History lessons: Heed the voice of reason - Churchill vs. Gandhi

Gandhi really riled our 'Greatest Briton'. In 1930 he led hundreds of thousands of Indians in revolt against colonial rule - just the kind of upstart activity to irk arch-imperialists like Churchill.

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

The PM-to-be called him the 'seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir', and opposed negotiations. He talked of crushing 'Gandhi-ism and all it stands for'. In detention in 1942, Gandhi began a fast, in protest at India's role in the war. Churchill was happy to let him starve to death. Cabinet ministers urged against this rash course, saying that if he died in British care the revered Gandhi would become a martyr. Wise words. Since his assassination in 1948, Gandhi's name has become synonymous with peace and tolerance. And Churchill is remembered as the man who won the war - far better than being the man who killed Gandhi. PR is key to business too. If an ambitious upstart threatens your market share, see if other forces won't finish them off, so you don't have to crush them yourself.

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