A Meeting with Mahatma Gandhi

Journalist Edgar Snow was searching for words with the appropriate gravity to describe the weight of the assassination of Mohandas Gandhi on the people of India. Snow was at Birla House the night Gandhi was shot, and the reporter had spoken to the revolutionary many times over the years about nonviolence, religion, socialism, and governance. In his 1948 account, “The Message of Gandhi,” Snow explains the masses of followers that congregated at the Mahatma’s funeral: “There was a mirror in the Mahatma in which everyone could see the best in himself, and when the mirror broke, it seemed that the thing in oneself might be fled forever.”


Gandhi’s quotations, as reported by Edgar Snow:


“There are no pariahs in society. Whether they are millionaires or paupers, the two are sores of the same disease.”


“I think I have made a small contribution to the world: I have demonstrated that ahimsa [nonviolence] and Satyagraha [soul force or noncooperation] are more than ethical principles. They can achieve practical results.”


“There is no greater religion than truth.”


“For me, means and ends are practically identical. We cannot attain right ends by way of falsehoods.”


“Politics divorced from religion have absolutely no meaning for me.”


“Strictly speaking, all amassing or hoarding of wealth above and beyond one’s legitimate requirements is theft. There would be no occasion for theft, and therefore no thieves, if there were wise regulations of wealth and absolute social justice.”



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Read “The Message of Gandhi” by Edgar Snow from the March 27, 1948 issue of the Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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