Mahatma Gandhi and Charlie Chaplin together in one frame (old picture)

A very rare picture of Mahatma Gandhi and Charlie Chaplin together in one frame. Back then Gandhi had fans all over the world, but Gandhi-ji had no clue who Charlie Chaplin was.

During India’s struggle for freedom, Gandhi was revered not just in India, he had fans all over the world,including political leaders, authors, poets, educators, actors and actresses.

When Gandhiji was in England (1931), among the many famous celebrities who wrote, requesting an audience with Gandhiji, was none other than famous comedian Charlie Chaplin.

But Gandhi had not heard of him before, and when Gandhi was told that Charlie Chaplin was a famous actor, Gandhi replied he did not have time to meet with him. Then someone, who was aware of the depth of Chaplin’s radicalism, spoke up, “He’s sympathetic to our cause!” “In that case,” Gandhi replied, “I will meet with him.””

When Chaplin met Gandhi, he said “I am all for the freedom of your country and its people. But there is one thing that I don’t understand. Why do you oppose the use of machines? Don’t you think that a lot of work would come to a standstill if machines are not used?”

Gandhi responded frankly, “I am not against machines but I cannot bear it when these very machines take away a man’s work from him. Today we your slaves because we cannot overcome our attraction, for your goods. Freedom will surely be ours if we learn to free ourselves from this attraction.”

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Also Read: Charlie Chaplin in Switzerland

The 1940 Chaplin film “The Great Dictator” offered nonviolent resistance to Hitler’s aura of power. The final soliloquy of the film certainly sounds like influence from the Mahatma! Check it out.


Watch: The Great Dictator (1940). Chaplin’s speech with Gandhi’s vision in mind.


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