“You want talking pictures of Mahatma Gandhi? Well, let me tell you that he is one of the most difficult subjects in the world.” These were the first welcoming words when a reporter from Fox Movietone News arrives to film the first interview with Gandhi at his home in Borsad in 1931 using newly developed sound technology. “He has a very feeble voice. Moreover he has a very deep prejudice against being photographed at all.”
About a year after Gandhi launched Salt Satyagraha, a direct action campaign of tax resistance and non-violent protest against British illegal ownership of salt, he appeared in front of a movie camera on April 30,1931, answering every question related to civil disobedience movement and Satyagraha.
The reporter then asks him if he intends to have complete prohibition in the new Indian state. “Oh, yes,” he says. Absolute prohibition? “Absolute,” he says.
The reporter goes on to ask him about abolishing child marriage if Indian wins independence, to which he replies,” I should very much like to, even before.”
The reporter asks him if he went for the second round table conference, would he go in his Indian attire or European dress. Gandhi smiles and responds, “I should certainly not be found in European dress,” he says, and adds, “And if the weather permitted, I should present myself exactly as I am today.”
Mahatma Gandhi First Television Interview (3
The reporter persists and asks if the King of England invited him to Buckingham Palace for dinner would he go dressed in his customary Indian dress? “In any other dress I would be most discourteous to him,” he says, and then adds, “Because I shouldn’t be artificial,” Gandhi says.
The reporter concludes by asking: “Would you be prepared to die in the cause of India’s independence?” Gandhi takes his time, smiles and replies, “It’s a bad question.”