A BEATLES' HARD-DIE'S SITE

Looking back at Ghandi and the Beatles

An article today about the connections between Ghandi and the Beatles in The Times of India reminds us that way back in 1967, John Lennon was very keen to have Gandhi on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

Fellow Beatle Sir Paul McCartney was quoted as saying, "The idea of having Mahatma Gandhi was dropped as head of EMI Sir Joe Lockwood said the album might not be released in India if his picture was used."

Ghandi shown in alternate Sgt. Pepper's photo

In other connections between The Beatles and Ghandi, the article also points out that John Lennon once said, "I refuse to be a leader and I will do something which prevents me from being Martin Luther King or Gandhi and getting killed." Ironically, he was murdered in New York one month later.

Also, George Harrison quoted Gandhi after the break-up of the Beatles. He said, "I don't say I am Beatle George. I certainly am going to control my own concept of myself. Gandhi says create and preserve the image of your choice."


Read The Article: Imagine, Gandhi on Beatles album cover (From The Times of India)

AHMEDABAD: Mahatma Gandhi and lead Beatle John Lennon sported similar round frame glasses. Gandhi had fought against the British but this Liverpool
boy was inspired, like so many others around the world, with this great Gujarati’s idea of pacifism.

It may interest everyone; including foreign delegates pouring in for Vibrant Gujarat, that way back in 1967 Lennon was very keen to have Gandhi on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

Fellow Beatle Sir Paul McCartney is quoted as saying, “The idea of having Mahatma Gandhi was dropped as head of EMI Sir Joe Lockwood said the album might not be released in India if his picture was used.” Lennon once said, “I refuse to be a leader and I will do something which prevents me from being Martin Luther King or Gandhi and getting killed.” Ironically, he was murdered one month later in New York on December 8, 1980.

Another Beatle, George Harrison, quoted Gandhi after the break-up of the band: “I don’t say I am Beatle George. I certainly am going to control my own concept of myself. Gandhi says create and preserve the image of your choice.”

Gandhi was the last great idea to come out of Gujarat, a state now going for an image makeover. Gandhi’s initial support and push came from the textile barons, largely Jains, of Ahmedabad, then known as Manchester of the East. Besides being patriotic, they sensed a business opportunity in ‘Swadeshi’—it meant more consumption of cloth they produced. Most of Ahmedabad’s textile mills in fact did good business during The Great Depression when India’s freedom struggle was peaking.

The Beatles’ indulgence in alcohol and experiments with drugs is well known. McCartney was arrested at Tokyo airport and spent time in a Japanese jail for carrying marijuana. This was one area where The Beatles differed with Gandhi. But his legacy has ensured that Gujarat stays a ‘prohibition’ state where consumption of liquor without permits, which are extremely restricted and only number around 25,000 in a population of 55 million, is a crime.

First-time offenders get to sweep the Gandhi Ashram as penance. Try all the same. If you get caught, the ashram is a
must-see anyway. And yes, Lennon loved the Japanese. He married one — Yoko Ono. The other affair is now on, with Japan a partner in Vibrant Gujarat.

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