Satish Kumar

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]

Favourite track: Ma Solitude by Georges Moustaki
Book: The Collected Writings by Mahatma Gandhi
Luxury: A spade

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 3 Jun 2005 09:00


Role Contributor
PresenterSue Lawley
Interviewed GuestSatish Kumar

Featured in...

Listen to over 2,000 programmes

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs at 75 1920x1080

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?