4 December 1947
Gandhi wearing U Nu’s gift
Mahatma Gandhi wearing a hat just given to him by soon to be Prime Minister U Nu (4 December 1947 at Birla House in Delhi).The struggle against British colonialism is a shared history of Burma and India. Mahatama Gandhi visited Burma several times from 1905-1935 and wrote about how these trips influenced his thinking, on colonialism, on the role of women. His close friend and patron since student days in London was Dr Mehta who lived on Mughal Street and later Shwedagon Pagoda Road. Burma's own independence movement was deeply influenced by India. The 'boycott' and the 'general strike' were Indian imports. The pace of Burmese constitutional change closely followed India's in 1922 and 1935. And the underlying reason the Labour government of Clement Attlee decided in 1946 to quit Burma was that the country, with India's coming independence, would no longer hold any real strategic importance. British calculations would otherwise have been very different.