Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

I am writing my regular column for the peer reviewed holistic medical and science journal Explore, and am trying to both authenticate and source, with a proper citation, a story I read about Gandhi, which I would like to use to illustrate the point I am trying to make about the power of "beingness." I have been unable to locate a copy of this interview. Here is what I have:

Mahatma Gandhi looked with a kind of benign amusement at the sweating reporter from the Times of India. The man found sitting on the floor uncomfortable, yet, because of Gandhi’s presence, felt at ease, which surprised him. Gandhi turned his attention to the small simple spinning wheel by his side, and began the ageless ceremony of its operation. This would be the last interview he would grant; Gandhiji would be assassinated by a Hindu extremist on 30 January 1948; he had less than two weeks to live.

The reporter focused his mind on the question that he and his colleagues had discussed endlessly.

“ Gandhiji. Can you tell us, please, how you got the British to leave India? You have never held public office. You are not a man of wealth. How did a private man accomplish what Maharajas could not?”

The soft sibilant sound the small spinning wheel made creaked on monotonously. Then Gandhi looked at him through his steel rimmed glasses. “I will tell you, just as I told the National Congress Party. They did not understand. I am afraid they still do not understand.

“It was not what we did that mattered, although that was important. It was not what we said, although that too was important. What mattered was our ‘beingness’. The essence of who we were, that is what made the British leave India.”[ii]

Can anyone authenticate this story — or refute it — and, if it is genuine, can you give me a complete and proper source citation. If it is garbled can you give me the correct version?

I am on deadline so any help would be much appreciated

Please contact me at my email address: in addition to what is posted here.

Thank you.

-- Stephan

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