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Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar


First broadcast: Sun 29 May 2005

Peace campaigner

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the peace campaigner Satish Kumar. He has dedicated his life to promoting a peaceful, measured way of living; walking thousands of miles to raise awareness for his cause. Satish was born in Rajasthan, India, in 1936. As a child he decided to follow a spiritual life and, until he was 18, Kumar lived the life of an itinerant Jain monk, travelling from village to village with no more possessions than a begging bowl and a change of clothes.

Then in 1961, news from Britain reached Kumar. The 90-year-old philosopher and peace campaigner Bertrand Russell had been arrested for his anti-nuclear activities and sentenced to a week in prison. Kumar saw it as a call to action - if a 90-year-old man was prepared to go to jail for peace, what could he, a young man in his 20s, contribute to the struggle? Together with his friend Prabhakar Menon, Satish walked to the four nuclear capitals - Moscow, Paris, London and Washington. Their journey began at the grave of Mahatma Gandhi and ended, two and a half years later at the grave of John F Kennedy. For the past 30 years Satish has edited the magazine Resurgence, which promotes an ecological way of living - and he has pioneered the Human Scale Education movement.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]


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