Boris Johnson was presented with a copy of a guide to London written by Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to the Indian independence leader’s ashram in Gujarat.
The Prime Minister remarked that “vegetarianism costs far less than meat-eating” as he read on Thursday from the book designed to be a guide for how Indians could manage in London in the late 19th century.
While flying to India for his two-day visit, Mr Johnson told reporters on the plane his own favourite curry is lamb rogan josh, rather than a meat-free variety.
The Sabarmati Ashram, which was the centre of the peace leader’s non-violent struggle against British rule, was one of the first stops for Mr Johnson during his visit to Ahmedabad.
Mr Johnson also draped a ring of khadi cloth around a statue of Gandhi, who studied law at University College London during his time in Britain.
After removing his shoes, Mr Johnson remarked: “There’s always a panic that the socks are going to let you down.”
Two women showed the Prime Minister how to spin the cloth promoted by Gandhi on a traditional wheel, with Mr Johnson telling them: “It’s a bit of an art, this spinning.”
Mr Johnson signed a guestbook, writing that it was an “immense privilege” to learn about how Gandhi “mobilised such simple principles of truth and non-violence to change the world for the better”.
From the ashram, Mr Johnson was driven to a meeting with Gautam Adani, the billionaire industrialist whose Adani Group has been plagued by controversy and allegations ranging from environmental abuse to tax evasion.