When Charlie Chaplin Asked Mahatma Gandhi – Why Are You Against Machines, They Get Freedom From Slavery, Work Is Quick And Man Is Happy?

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After meeting Mahatma Gandhi, the words of Charlie Chaplin were, “When he (Gandhi) finally arrived and got down from the cab while he was properly fitting his clothes, the cheers echoed in welcome.” What a strange scene in that small cramped poor colony when an outsider was entering a small house amidst the throng of the people. ‘

Look at the above picture carefully, this is a London incident when ‘Dictator’ Chaplin met the Mahatma. The picture of that click, from the window from where Charlie Chaplin, waiting for Gandhiji, stood up to listen to the clamor below.

This was the glory of Gandhi’s reputation in India, India and England too!

After returning to India from Africa, Gandhi went on a foreign trip only: to attend round table talks in 1931. The talks failed, but they won the hearts of the British a lot.

Gandhi did not stay in a high hotel in London, staying in a small room in the community Kingsley Hall (now Gandhi Foundation) in the backward area of ​​East London. Put a bed on the ground. Even in the cold of London, they kept their costumes the same – cotton undergarment, random dushala, slippers. He lived there for some three months.

This picture is made only then. Charlie Chaplin returned to his homeland by gaining extreme fame in Hollywood. He was interested in discussing politics with politicians. He was in London for the premiere of his film City Lights.

Someone suggested to Chaplin that he should meet Gandhiji. He wrote a postcard to Gandhiji.

Someone suggested to Chaplin that he should meet Gandhiji. He wrote a postcard to Gandhiji.

When Gandhiji was reading his post in London, his host Muriel Lester told him about Chaplin in detail. It also said that Chaplin’s path in politics and art world is no different. Gandhiji approved the meeting.

Chaplin was given time in the evening of 22 September 1931

at Doctor Chunnilal Katial in Canning Town, where Gandhiji was supposed to go that day.

Chaplin has an interesting mention of Gandhiji’s meeting in detail in his autobiography; Also stay with Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

Chaplin had arrived to meet Gandhiji some time before (or perhaps at the right time according to English rules). In Chaplin’s own words: ‘When he (Gandhi) finally arrived and got down from the cab while he was fitting his clothes properly, huge cheers echoed in the reception. What a strange scene in that small tight poor township (slum) when an outsider was entering a small house in the midst of Jai-Ghosh of the community.

At the Dr. Katiall meeting, a young woman surrounded by Chaplin was silenced by a domineering woman (possibly Sarojini Naidu), ‘Now will you let them talk to Gandhiji?’ There was ‘silence’ in the room. Gandhiji was looking towards Chaplin.

Chaplin writes that I could not expect from Gandhiji that he would start talking on any of my films and would say that he had great fun; ‘I didn’t think he’d ever seen a movie.’

So Chaplin ‘cleaned his throat’ and said that I am with India’s struggle for freedom, but why are you against machines, they get freedom from slavery, work is quick and man is happy?

Gandhiji presented him the essence of the struggle for freedom from non-violence to a smiling voice. Gandhiji said- You are right, but we should first get rid of the British rule.

Gandhiji further said that machines have made us more slaves of the British. That is why we talk about Swadeshi and self-rule. We have to save our lifestyle.

Gandhiji made more disclosure of his talk – our climate is completely different from you. In a cold country you need a different type of industry and economy: you need tools like knives and thorns to eat food, so you set up its industry, but our work is done with fingers. We also need freedom from unnecessary things.

In the discussion, Chaplin was overwhelmed by Gandhiji’s unique pleas for independence, his conscience, understanding of the law, political vision, realistic outlook and unwavering determination.

But Chaplin was suddenly surprised when Gandhiji said at one point that sorry, it was time for our prayers. However, he also told Chaplin that he can stop here if you want. Chaplin stopped.

Chaplin was sitting on the couch and saw: Gandhiji and five other Indian men sat down on the ground and Raghupathiraghava Raja-Ram, Patit Pawan Sita-Ram; Vaishnav jana to tene kahiye, je pir parai jane re sing in the same tone.

Chaplin experienced a strange ‘paradox’ in the thought-provoking Gandhiji’s ‘anthem’. He felt that the ‘unique idea of ​​political reality’ he had seen in the Mahatma disappeared as if in this group-anthem.

But really? Perhaps this was the cultural distinction which the Chaplin, the British, Gandhiji till the end gave us understanding and inspiration, even to the Indians!

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