An old Indo-Somalian connection

With all these PJs about Kerala, Somalia and Po Mone, it is interesting to find something from the 1930s showing Gandhi’s connection with a Somali warder in his jail. Somalia was also a British colony then.

I vaguely remember reading this as one of the stories in 6th or 7th  standard. Typically for those times, English and Hindi textbooks in CBSE schools had numerous stories involving Gandhi and others who may not be so popular now.

Anyway, the story was something like this:

Apart from that, there are some ladies from eastern India with the name Somali.


Gandhi and the shirts

Whatever the British rulers of India may have felt about Mahatma Gandhi, he had captured the imagination of the general public around the world. His shirt (or rather the lack of one) was a recurring theme. Here are a few examples.

A cartoonist from New Zealand created a cartoon described below:

Gandhi shirt

The only unfamiliar name may be Leon Blum, one of the main leaders of France in the 1930s.

In the 1930s, Hitler and his brown shirts as well as Mussolini and his black shirts were well known in Europe.

A less profiteering form of Gandhigiri explained his popularity among English liberals and prompted a verse in that Bible of the fashionable left, the New Statesman and Nation, that C.F. Andrews cited,

Hitler with his Brown Shirts, riding for a fall,

Mussolini with his Black Shirts, back against the wall,

De Valera with his Green Shirts, caring not at all,

Three cheers for Mahatma Gandhi, with no shirt at all.

By the time World War II came around, British soldiers had modified it to:

Mussolini with his Black Shirts, backs against the wall,
Hitler with his Brown Shirts, heading for a fall,
Churchill in his dress shirt dominates them all,
Three Cheers for Gandhi – no Shirt at ALL !!!!!!!!

This did show some affection for him-as the British working class were good at creating sarcastic songs about their enemies. Hitler and his associates would have been well aware of that: