Be Your True Self (1st TV Interview)

April 06, 2015

Every week, we feature excerpts by Gandhi that lend insight into his values and personal practices.

On 30 April 1931, in Borsad --in the state of Gujurat-- he engaged in a Q & A with a reporter from Fox Movietone News. There, 3 years before, Gandhi also met with Vallabhbhai Patel (Sardar), and the peasants of Bardoli, for what was one of the major satyagraha campaigns of the independence movement. It is no coicidence that he decided to give this frank interview there at that time, especially after just been in prison for almost 7 months. This is Gandhi's first television interview in video followed by the transcript:

April 30, 1931

Reporter: If England does not grant your demands what course of action will you follow then?
Gandhi: Of course, civil disobedience and all other phases of Satyagraha are always at our disposal but whether we shall resort to these weapons immediately or what other steps we shall take I cannot tell at present.

Reporter: If England grant's your demands, Mr.Gandhi, will you have complete prohibition in the New Indian State?
Gandhi: Oh, yes!

Reporter: Absolute prohibition?
Gandhi: Absolute

Reporter: And do you intend also, if India wins its Independence, to abolish child marriages?
Gandhi: I should very much like to, even before.

Reporter: Do you expect England this time will give India full self-governance?
Gandhi: That also is more than I can say.

Reporter: But you are hopeful?
Gandhi: I'm an optimist.
Reporter: You are an optimist.

Reporter: If you go to the second round table conference will you go attired in native Indian dress or will you prefer an European dress?
Gandhi: I shall certainly not be found in an European dress, and if weather permitted, I shall be exactly as I am today.

Reporter: And if the King of England invited you to dinner at the Buckingham Palace would you go in your customary Indian dress?
Gandhi: In any other dress I should be more discourteous to him because I should be artificial.

Reporter: If England does not grant your demands are you prepared to return to jail again?
Gandhi: I am always prepared to return to jail** [laughing] :)

Reporter: Would you be prepared to die in the cause of India's Independence?
Gandhi: [smiling and laughing] This is a bad question.

** Almost a year before, he was arrested at Karadi near Dandi for breaking the Salt Law, without trail was imprisoned and released on 26 January, 1931. This interview took place three months after his release. Therefore the smile, laughter and the courage in his answer. :)

Be The Change

In your conversations this week, try to aknowledge your limits and answer with your most detached self by aligning your thougths, words and actions.