Sachi R

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Gandhi and Obama

Posted by rsachi on October 12, 2009

Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1937, 1938, 1947, and a few days before his assassination in 1948.The fact that he was not awarded the Prize was regretted by the committee publicly when the Prize was awarded to the Dalai Lama. If you read this item at, you will learn that it was because the Nobel Peace Prize was somewhat exclusive to Europeans and Americans during Gandhi’s time. The postage stamp in the picture is from UK in 1969.
Now the Nobel Prize has been awarded to Obama. Obama became the President of USA less than a year ago on a vote for change, a change from the policies and beliefs that precipitated wars and economic crises big time. Obama is a great orator, but he has not achieved anything to win a Nobel Peace Prize!
Gandhi’s life is remarkable. I found this report in the Time magazine archives from 1931:

The same frayed sandals that carried St. Gandhi on his illegal salt march through India 19 months ago carried him last week up the crimson-carpeted stair of Buckingham Palace. Flunkies in scarlet & gold bowed the small, unrepentant lawbreaker into the Picture Gallery. There at the head of the receiving line stood George V in striped trousers and morning coat, Queen Mary in a shimmering silver tea gown and Edward of Wales (who had flown down especially from Liverpool) dressed like his father. The Lord Cham berlain, the Earl of Cromer, advanced through a horde of 500 tea guests, some of them Maharajas wearing pearls as big as butterballs.

  “Mahatma Gandhi!” announced the Lord Chamberlain. George V at once looked up. The sandals carried the Saint to His Majesty who stretched out a royal hand. Mr. Gandhi took it firmly, shook it warmly. He then placed his own hands palm to palm, bowed to Their Majesties as a Hindu priest bows when imparting benediction.

Queen Mary smiled approvingly. Mr. Gandhi was not in “morning dress” as the royal invitation had requested (TIME, Nov. 9) but he was wearing a loincloth wider by a thumb’s breadth than usual, and a shawl of homespun. Queen Mary saw nothing unseemly, betrayed the merest flicker of interest as she espied the Mahatma’s dangling dollar watch.

 King George drew Guest Gandhi into the royal study. There the King-Emperor took a dish of tea, the Mahatma sucked in a bowl of goat’s milk sent up from the palace kitchen.

 Among buzzing guests in the Picture Gallery several startled the rest by recalling that this was not the first Gandhi-George V meeting. In 1901 the Indian community of Durban, South Africa welcomed the then Duke & Duchess of York, now Their Majesties, with a reception at which Lawyer M. K. Gandhi made the principal address. In 1901 impotent Ad- dresser Gandhi was bedight in the latest British fashion. Last week potent St. Gandhi created a sensation by leaving the royal teaparty before no other guest. “Personally I have very little time for social functions,” said he. “Both Their Majesties were charming. I also liked the Prince of Wales.”

British Reporter: Did the King give any encouragement to your hope for Indian independence?

St. Gandhi: Only God gives encouragement, not Kings.

 Badgered by correspondents to tell what his host had talked about, Guest Gandhi replied, “It would not be dignified for me to tell you what the King said,” and explained why.

 “Our conversation consisted mostly of pleasantries. There were questions and answers about the weather and its effect on a man so recently come from India as myself.”

 Shortly from Bombay the Mahatma received a cable signed by leading spirits of his Indian National Congress. They begged him to quit the Indian Round Table Conference in London because it has shown no sign of recommending independence for India. Promptly St. Gandhi announced: “I will sail for Bombay from Genoa on the 29th. … I feel that I’m wasting my time here, but I’m willing to stay in London until the end of the Conference, which I expect will be in a fortnight. Then nobody can accuse me of impatience.”


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