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Mahatma Gandhi

On the day that Gandhi was killed, E. Stanley Jones arrived in Delhi and was on his way to see the Mahatma. That visit was not to occur. This wonderful book is an account that Jones wrote soon after the death of his friend. There is another story embedded in this book…it is the story of a young seminary student reading the section on page 88…Martin Luther King, Jr., read this passage…

“The Mahatma repudiated with all his might the idea that the method of trust and nonviolence was used because you are weak and cowardly. He insisted that it was the method of the strong, and only the method of the strong.”

My mother told me of the occasion in Boston when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was honored by Boston University at a convocation prior to his leaving for Sweden to receive the 1964 Nobel Peace prize.

At the reception following, my mother was introduced to Dr. King and my grandfather, E. Stanley Jones was mentioned. Dr. King immediately became very serious and said: “Your father was a very important person to me, for it was his book on Mahatma Gandhi that triggered my use of Gandhi’s method of non violence as a weapon for our own people’s freedom in the United States. “ He continued, that though he had been very familiar with the writings on Gandhi and had been interested in his method of non-violence for years, still it had not “clicked” with him that it was a vehicle for “use” in the United States. Reading my grandfather’s book on Gandhi may have assisted King with the application of Gandhian principles within a Christian context.