Vol. 4, No. 3, June 1943

“Louis Fischer’s Open Letter to Winston Churchill”

India Today, Vol. 4, No. 3, June 1943

“As We See It”

  • “First Colonel Louis Johnson, now William Phillips–but no change in Britain’s policy. We hope that Americans will soon find out the truth about India through their own representatives.” (It is interesting to note that India Today¬†highlights the lack of change in British policy, not American.)

Louis Fischer (1896-1970)


  • Foreign relations journalist (reported from Soviet Union for 14 years) who worked to promote Indian independence cause in the U.S.
  • Met extensively with Gandhi and later published a biography, The Life of Mahatma Gandhi¬†(1950), which the Oscar-winning movie is based on

Primary Sources

The Great Challenge. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946.

  • Includes account of Fischer’s, May 1942 trip to India and his meetings with Nehru and Gandhi
  • “No one imagines that independence will solve all of the problems of India. It will create problems. Freedom merely opens the door to the solution of the problems” (135).

The Life of Mahatma Gandhi. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1950.

  • Ch. 38 “My Week with Gandhi”
  • Gandhi gave Fischer a letter to deliver to Roosevelt. Gandhi later asked if Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: “include the freedom to be free?” (376)