You have to remember that although Gandhi and Churchill only met physically once, their paths crossed again and crossed again all over the globe, from London and South Africa and India and back to London. In fact, I discovered that during the Boer War in 1899 they literally passed yards from each other on the battlefield.
When I am right, I get angry. Churchill gets angry when he is wrong. We are angry at each other much of the time.
Gandhi wanted to meet with Churchill, his most bitter foe, when he visited London in 1931- but it didn’t happen. Churchill wanted to go to India personally as prime minister in 1942 to negotiate a final settlement on India with Gandhi and the other nationalist leaders – but the fall of Singapore prevented it from happening.
To be sure, Kennedy did not discount the importance of words in rallying the nation to meet its foreign and domestic challenges. Winston Churchill’s powerful exhortations during World War II set a standard he had long admired. Kennedy was hardly unmindful of how important a great inaugural address could be.
I think the most important thing that comes out of the meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt in early 1942 is a commitment on Roosevelt’s part to fight Europe first. To struggle first against Germany and put Japan and the Pacific as a secondary theatre in the conflict. And this is what Churchill was after.