Broadcaster: Well, you mentioned Mahatma Gandhi – we have a couple of minutes left, what was it like being around him?
Shri Mataji: Oh, he was a very sweet person because – I was a child when I joined, he used to call me Nepali because my face has little Nepali features – and you see, he was very strict, with everybody else, I should say, with all elders, and all that, but with children, he was very sweet, extremely sweet person. And he would sit down with me, very seriously ask me very sweet questions and things. It fills me with great pride and happiness that we had such a great man in our country, who delivered us from the bondage of slavery, which is the worst thing that one can have. And I myself took a very dynamic role for that; myself, I went to jail and they gave me electric shocks and put me on the ice and all sorts of things they did to me …
Broadcaster: How terrible!
Shri Mataji: Yeah, horrible – I was about eighteen years of age, that time, and … but doesn’t matter; my father himself was sent to jail and my mother, she was sent to jail, and had problems. But then my father was the member of parliament and all that. Whatever has happened has happened; we should forget about it.
Broadcaster: It’s in the past.
Shri Mataji: All in the past …
Broadcaster: Do you think that movie “Gandhi” was a realistic portrayal?
Shri Mataji: Yes, it was quite realistic, in the sense, whatever was shown was realistic, and it was nice they didn’t show much of it because it doesn’t look gracious. I think it was all very nicely done. But one thing is there, after all – you see, Gandhiji had his own style of talking, and Indians don’t talk that way, you see, in that sharp, brilliant manner; they talk in a very … I should say, very persuasive, sweet manner. So, I think that actor was good but little bit sharp in his answers and rather over-brilliant.
(Radio interview, Los Angeles, USA, 25/9/83)
photo: outside 10 Downing Street, London, 1931