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THE 

COLLECTED 

WORKS 

OP 

MAHATMA 

GANDHI 

LXVIII 

(1938-1939) 




THE 


COLLECTED 

WORKS 

OF 


MAHATMA 

GANDHI 

VOLUME SIXTY- EIGHT 



THE PUBLICATIONS DIVISION 


THE 

COLLECTED 

WORKS 

OE 

MAHATMA 

GANDHI 

LXVIII 

(1938-1939) 








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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF 
MAHATMA GANDHI 


LXVIII 

(October 15, 1938- February 28, 1939) 




THE COLLECTED WORKS OF 

MAHATMA GANDHI 

LXVIII 

(October 15, 1938 - February 28, 1939) 





THE PUBLICATIONS DIVISION 
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting 
Government of India 



January 1977 {Magha 1898) 


© Navajivan Trust, Ahmedabad, 1977 


COPYRIGHT 

By Kind Permission of Navajivan Trust, Ahmedabad 


PUBLISHED BY THE DIRECTOR, THE PUBLICATIONS DIVISION 
NEW DELHI-110 001 

AND PRINTED IN INDIA BY SHANTILAL HARJIVAN SHAH 
NAVAJIVAN PRESS, AHMEDABAD-380 014 



PREFACE 


The opening of the present volume (October 15, 1938 to 
February 28, 1939) finds Gandhiji in the North-West Frontier 
Province, where he had gone on October 6 and stayed on till 
November 9 as a guest of Abdul Ghaffar Khan. Gandhiji found 
the sojourn restful, for the climate of the place was excellent and 
“the peace beyond description” (p. 22). He travelled extensively, 
meeting the Khudai Khidmatgars and talking to them as well 
as to the local population. To the Hindus, who were exposed to 
the frequent raids of Waziri tribesmen from across the border, 
he conceded the right of self-defence. “You must develop a sense 
of co-operation. In no case should you be guilty of cowardice,” 
he said, “I do not want to see a single coward in India.” But he 
offered the non-violent approach, the active practice of unilate- 
ral love, as the better alternative. “You are a community of 
traders. Don’t leave out of your traffic that noblest and most 
precious merchandise, viz, love. Give to the tribesmen all the 
love that you are capable of, and you will have theirs in return” 
(p. 57). Though the Congress Ministry led by Dr. Khan Saheb had 
little control over the police and none over the military, he had 
hopes of evolving a plan under which the Khudai Khidmatgars 
could influence even the tribesmen with the “sweet fragrance” of 
their non-violence and might provide a permanent solution of the 
Frontier question. 

In the talks to the Khudai Khidmatgars the emphasis was 
on non-violence and service. “A small body of determined spirits 
fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the 
course of history. It has happened before and it may again 
happen if the non-violence of Khudai Khidmatgars is unalloyed 
gold, not mere glittering tinsel” (p. 81). To be truly servants 
of God the Khudai Khidmatgars must accept non-violence 
as a living faith, for “We become godlike to the extent we 
realize non-violence .... Non-violence is like radium in its action. 
Even a tiny grain of true non-violence acts in a silent, subtle, 
unseen way and leavens the whole society” (p. 29). How were 
the Khudai Khidmatgars to serve God? By serving His creation, 
said Gandhiji. “To relieve the distress of the unemployed by pro- 
viding them work, to tend the sick, to wean people from their 
insanitary habits, to educate them in cleanliness and healthy 



[vi] 

living should be the job of a Khudai Khidmatgar” (p. 43). “For 
God took and needed no personal service. He served His crea- 
tures without demanding any service for Himself in return. . . . 
Therefore servants of God were to be known by the service they 
rendered to His creatures” (p. 117). 

But while Gandhiji exhorted the Red Shirts and the people 
to cultivate the strength that came from non-violence and meet 
the menace of the raids, he squarely blamed the policy pursued 
by the British for the raids continuing. He said: “Continuation of 
the raids is in my opinion a proof of British failure in this part 
of India. Their Frontier policy has cost the country crores of 
rupees and thousands of lives have been sacrificed . . . life and 
property are not secure in most parts of the province” (pp. 55-6). 

The volume witnesses also an intensification of the struggle 
of the States’ people for responsible government. Attributing this 
awakening to the time spirit rather than the influence of the Con- 
gress, Gandhiji invited the Princes and their advisers to recognize 
the people’s demand as legitimate and added: “There is no half- 
way house between total extinction of the States and the Princes 
making their people responsible for the administration of their 
States and themselves becoming trustees for the people, taking 
an earned commission for their labours . . . And if the Princes 
believe that the good of the people is also their good, they would 
gratefully seek and accept the Congress assistance” (pp. 151-3). 
He further reminded the ruling chiefs that “if they are straight 
and if they have their people really at their back, they have no- 
thing to fear from the Residents. Indeed they should realize that 
the Paramount Power resides not in Simla, not in Whitehall, but 
in their people” (p. 275). 

The upsurge was particularly active in Travancore, Rajkot, 
Jaipur, Hyderabad and certain states of Orissa. The Rulers 
everywhere, instead of welcoming this mass awakening amongst 
their people and making them participants in the ordering of the 
States’ affairs, sought to crush it and, what is more, were encou- 
raged in their ways by the Paramount Power. Thus, following 
the assassination of a British Political Agent, Ranpur, a small Orissa 
State, became, as Gandhiji noted, “a howling wilderness”. He 
added: “The people, both innocent and guilty, are in hiding. 

They have deserted their homes in order to escape repression. 

. . . The technique of frightfulness is no doubt being applied and 
the whole of India has to be helpless witness to it” (pp. 301-2). 

In State after State — Limbdi, Rajkot, Dhenkanal — it was the 
same story of “fiendish cruelty exercised by the State myrmidons 



[vii] 

under the shadow of the police supplied by the Paramount 
Power” (p. 152). There was, on occasion, even firing by police, 
resulting in many deaths. No less than 26,000 out of a population 
of 75,000 had to leave Talcher and take shelter in British Orissa. 

In Rajkot, where the movement for responsible government 
was guided by Vallabhbhai Patel, a settlement was arrived at with 
the Thakore Saheb, which the latter did not respect. Imprison- 
ments and harassment of the detenus in jail and “organized 
goondaism by Regency Police” (p. 366) continued. Kasturba felt 
impelled to join the satyagraha. She could not be “unconcerned 
in a struggle in which so many reliable co-workers are involved,” 
wrote Gandhiji. “Satyagraha is a struggle in which the oldest and 
the weakest in body may take part, if they have stout hearts” 
(p. 387). There was no abatement of the repression and Gandhiji 
found it necessary himself to pay a visit to Rajkot “as a mes- 
senger of peace”, and the volume ends with Gandhiji hoping, 
vainly as he was soon to find out, “that there will be an honour- 
able settlement” (p. 466). 

In Travancore the repression was systematic and ruthless. 
There were large-scale arrests, indiscriminate firing, confiscation 
of property and gagging of newspapers. Gandhiji advised the 
State Congress leaders to concentrate on the demand for res- 
ponsible government, thus inviting from the Christians the charge 
that he was partial to the Hindu Dewan. Gandhiji said: “My 
conscience is quite clear ... I have been against the mixing 
up of the struggle for responsible government with the charges 
against the Dewan ... if they insisted on responsible government, 
there was no meaning in proceeding with the charges. It would 
divide the country’s attention ...” (p. 288). The satyagraha 
in the state remained suspended, under Gandhiji’s advice, during 
the period of this volume. In Jaipur the Praja Mandal was 
banned. Gandhiji wrote to the Viceroy: “Can a State suppress 
free speech, meetings and the like and expect the Paramount 
Power to help it in doing so, if the afflicted people carry on 
a non-violent agitation for the natural freedom to which every 
human being in a decent society is entitled?” (p. 331). 

While suppression of the popular movement was the gene- 
ral rule, instances were not lacking of enlightened Princes here 
and there going half way to meet the legitimate aspirations of 
their people. In Ramdurg, Jamkhandi, Miraj and Aundh, people 
secured liberal concessions from their Princes and in such cases 
Gandhi impressed upon the States People’s organizations to be 
restrained in their demands. Commenting on the literacy 



[ viii ] 

qualification for the franchise (proposed in the Aundh constitution) 
Gandhiji argued that the vote should be regarded as a privilege 
and should therefore carry some qualification and that this condi- 
tion for the franchise would help the spread of literacy (p. 292). 
When there were reports that the Ramdurg Praja Sangh wanted 
to “terrorize the Ruler into making further concessions” (p. 455) 
Gandhiji did not approve. He said: “It may be that the claim 
is intrinsically sound. But they cannot enforce it by rowdyism 
and threats . . . The representative Gongressmen in Karnatak 
have to stand by the Ramdurg Ghief and see that the settlement 
is honoured by the people even though in battling with them they 
should lose their lives” (p. 456). 

The period was also marked by a further sharpening of the 
conflict in the industrial as well as agrarian spheres. There were 
strikes and lock-outs and kisan marches and demonstrations were 
becoming a common feature, frequently with Congressmen lead- 
ing them. There was violence in the air. Gandhiji noted: 
“Bihar ministers live in perpetual dread of kisan risings and 
kisan marches. Only two days ago I had a wire from Khandesh 
of a contemplated march to the Collector’s bungalow by ki- 
sans headed by a well-known Congress worker” (p. 321). Gandhiji 
saw in this the sign of internal decay and warned: “Out of the 
present condition of the Congress I see nothing but anarchy 
and red ruin in front of the country. Shall we face the harsh 
truth at Tripuri?” (p. 321) 

Things however did not go quite as Gandhiji had hoped and, 
with the election of Subhas Bose as president, the Congress leader- 
ship passed into the hands of sections that did not wholly 
“approve of the principles and policy” for which Gandhiji stood. 
Gandhiji “rejoiced” in the defeat and called upon the “mino- 
rity” to give themselves up to the real work of the Congress 
which was the constructive programme with khadi as its cen- 
tre. Jawaharlal Nehru had called khadi “the livery of freedom” 
and Gandhiji said: “To wear khadi is to me to wear free- 
dom. . . . Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the 
breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?” Khadi 
alone provided “dignified labour to the millions who are other- 
wise idle for nearly four months in the year ... if millions live in 
compulsory idleness, they must die spiritually, mentally and phy- 
sically” (p. 174). Again he said, “To those who are hungry and 
unemployed, God can dare reveal Himself only as work and 
wages and the assurance of food” (p. 447). The constructive pro- 
gramme was an instrument of permanent value, whereas civil 



[ix] 

disobedience was limited in scope and “required suspension as 
the occasion demanded” (p. 200). Constructive work was “the 
permanent arm” of the Swaraj Movement; civil disobedience was 
remedial and therefore in its nature temporary. Suspension of civil 
disobedience doubled the importance of the constructive pro- 
gramme (pp. 243-4). 

He assured some Christian missionaries that there was nothing 
passive about his non-violence which was, in fact, “the activest 
force in the world” (p. 202). Again he told Lord Lothian: 
“Constitutional or democratic government is a distant dream 
so long as non-violence is not recognized as a living force, an 
inviolable creed, not a mere policy” (p. 390). 

Gandhiji also continued to voice his concern at Japan’s 
depredations in China and Hitlerite Germany’s persecution of the 
Jews. But his sympathy and admiration for the Jews did not 
“blind” him to the requirements of justice. He said: “The cry 
for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal 
to me. . . . Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, 
make that country their home where they are born and where 
they earn their livelihood? . . . Palestine belongs to the Arabs 
in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France 
to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on 
the Arabs ... it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the 
proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews ...” 
(p. 137). From the chosen race, whose gifts he extolled, he 
expected nothing less than exemplary non-violence (pp. 137-41). 

To meet Nazi tyranny, too, he advised the Jews to resort to 
non-violence. “I am convinced,” he said, “That if someone with 
courage and vision can arise among them to lead them in non- 
violent action, the winter of their despair can in the twinkling 
of an eye be turned into the summer of hope” (p. 140). Non- 
violent people would know no fear and would neither submit 
nor cringe to the dictator nor bear any grudge against him; they 
would only pity him (p. 252). To critics who argued that such 
non-violence was attainable only by very few highly developed indi- 
viduals his answer was: “Given proper training and proper general- 
ship non-violence can be practised by masses of mankind” (p. 192). 
He similarly advised the Chinese that while they should resist 
aggression they should not hate the Japanese but love them. He 
said: “It is not enough to love them by remembering their 
virtues” (p. 269). Gandhiji was convinced that the world’s 
problems could be solved only through love and non-violence — 
which was “the law of our life — individual, social, political, national 



[x] 

and international” (p. 390). He realized that just then violence 
everywhere had the upper hand but he was undaunted, his 
faith being “brightest in the midst of impenetrable darkness” 
(p. 391). 

Gandhiji was certain the world would take to the way of non- 
violence only when India developed this quality, but his own im- 
purity, in his humility he thought, was probably the chief stumbling- 
block in the way of that hope being fulfilled. He wrote in a 
letter: “My word has lost its power as it appears to me. . . . However 
I push on in faith. I must detach myself from the results of my 
thought, word or deed. I am not going to judge myself and 
condemn me to inactivity because I cannot get rid of the im- 
purity in spite of incessant effort” (p. 49). His great yearning was 
“to reach the condition of Shukadevji” (p. 250). His way of get- 
ting rid of impurity was the way of silence and prayer to which 
he gave himself up more and more. He told a Christian mis- 
sionary: “Nowadays I go into silence at prayer time every even- 
ing and break it for visitors at 2 o’clock. ... It has now become 
both a physical and spiritual necessity for me” (p. 173). 

He also clarified his ideas on the subject of machine pro- 
duction. Asked if he was against large-scale production he said: 
“I never said that. The belief is one of the many superstitions 
about me. . . . What I am against is large-scale production of 
things villagers can produce without difficulty” (p. 258). Simi- 
larly “the proper function of cities is to serve as clearing houses 
for village products” (p. 259). 

About prayer: “Prayer is an intense longing to have com- 
munion with our Maker. It is an effort not of the intellect 
but of the heart” (p. 100). Gandhiji’s estimate of his own 
spiritual status was truly modest. In a letter to an admirer 
(p. 40), he said, “I am an aspirant while they (Ramana Maharshi 
and Sri Aurobindo) are known to be, and perhaps are, realized 
souls.” In fact he claimed that when God guides one, one 
should not, need not, indeed cannot, think (p. 461). On this 
account of the thought-free state, Ramana Maharshi’s comment 
(p. 489) concludes with the assertion, “Gandhiji’s Satja is only 
the Self”. His belief in the manifestation of God in deed rather 
than in thought, word, vision or a person, comes out clearly in 
the conversation with Dr. Mott (p. 171). After describing the 
creative experience at Maritzburg railway station, Gandhiji declar- 
ed, “I have seen and believe that God never appears to you in 
person, but in action which can only account for your deliver- 
ance in your darkest hour.” 



NOTE TO THE READER 

In reproducing English material, every endeavour has been 
made to adhere strictly to the original. Obvious typographical 
errors have been corrected and words abbreviated in the text gene- 
rally spelt out. Variant spellings of names have, however, been 
retained as in the original. 

Matter in square brackets has been supplied by the Editors. 
Quoted passages, where these are in English, have been set up in 
small type and printed with an indent. Indirect reports of speeches 
and interviews, as also passages which are not by Gandhiji have 
been set up in small type. In reports of speeches and interviews 
slight changes and omissions, where necessary, have been made 
in passages not attributed to Gandhiji. 

While translating from Gujarati and Hindi, efforts have been 
made to achieve fidelity and also readability in English. Where 
English translations are available, they have been used with such 
changes as were necessary to bring them into conformity with 
the original. 

Where an item has no date in the source, the inferred date 
is supplied within square brackets, the reasons being given where 
necessary. The writings are placed under the date of publication, 
except where they carry a date-line or where the date of writing 
has special signihcance and is ascertainable. 

References to Volume I of this series are to the January 1969 
edition. 

In the source-line, the symbol S.N. stands for documents availa- 
ble in the Sabarmati Sangrahalaya, Ahmedabad; G.N. refers to 
documents, M.M.U. to the reels of the Mobile Microhlm Unit and 
S.G. to the photostats of the Sevagram collection available in 
the Gandhi National Museum and Library (Rashtriya Gandhi 
Sangrahalaya), New Delhi; C.W. denotes documents secured by 
the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 

The Appendices provide background material relevant to the 
text. A list of sources and a chronology for the period covered by 
the volume are also provided at the end. 




ACKNO WLEDGEMENTS 


For material in this volume we are indebted to Gandhi Smarak 
Nidhi and Sangrahalaya, National Archives of India, Nehru Memo- 
rial Museum and Library, New Delhi; Sabarmati Ashram Preserva- 
tion and Memorial Trust and Sangrahalaya, Ahmedabad; Govern- 
ment of Andhra Pradesh; Anand T. Hingorani, Allahabad; Shri 
Dahyabhai M. Patel, Ahmedabad; Smt. F. Mary Barr, Kottagiri; 
Shri G.D. Birla, Calcutta; Shri Gulam Rasool Qureshi, Ahmedabad; 
Shri Jairamdas Doulatram, New Delhi; Shri Kantilal Gandhi, 
Bombay; Smt. Lilavati Asar, Bombay; Shri M. R. Masani, 
Bombay; Smt. Manubehn S. Mashruwala, Bombay; Smt. Mira- 
behn, Austria; Shri Narandas Gandhi, Rajkot; Smt. Prema- 
behn Kantak, Saswad; Sardar Prithvi Singh, Lalru, Punjab; Shri 
Purushottam K. Jerajani, Bombay; Shri Satish D. Kalelkar, Ahmeda- 
bad; Shri Shantikumar N. Morarjee, Bombay; Smt. Shardabehn G. 
Chokhawala, Surat; Shri Suresh Singh; Smt. Vijayabehn M. Pan- 
choli, Sanosara; the publishers of the books: Bapuki Chhayamen Mere 
Jivanke Solah Varsh, 1932-1948, Bapuna Bane Patro, Bapuna Patro-4: 
Manibehn Patelne, Bapuna Patro-2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, Bapuni Prasadi, 
{The) Brotherhood of Religions, (A) Bunch of Old Letters, Incidents of 
GandhijPs Life, Madhya Pradesh aur Gandhiji, Mahatma'. The Life of 
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Vol. VI, Panchven Putrako Bapuke 
Ashirvad, {A) Pilgrimage for Peace, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, and 
the following newspapers and journals: The Bombay Chronicle, 

Harijan, Harijanbandhu, The Hindu, The Hindustan Times, Indian 
National Congress, February 1938 to January 1939, Sarvodaya and 
The Times of India. 

For research and reference facilities, we owe thanks to the 
Research and Reference Division of the Ministry of Information 
and Broadcasting, National Archives of India, and Shri Pyarelal 
Nayyar, New Delhi; and for assisting in photo-printing documents, 
to the Photo Division of the Ministry of Information and 
Broadcasting, New Delhi. 




CONTENTS 

PREFACE V 

NOTE TO THE READER xi 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS xiii 

1 NOTE TO MAHADEV DESAI (Before 15-10-1938) 1 

2 TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS-I (On or before 15-10-1938) 1 

3 TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS-II (On or before 15-10-1938) 3 

4 TALK WITH ABDUL GHAFFAR KHAN (On or before 15-10-1938) 4 

5 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (15-10-1938) 5 

6 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (15-10-1938) 6 

7 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (15-10-1938) 6 

8 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (15-10-1938) 8 

9 LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI (15-10-1938) 8 

10 LETTER TO VIJAYA N. PATEL (15-10-1938) 9 

11 LETTER TO SHARDA C. SHAH (15-10-1938) 9 

12 LETTER TO H. P. RANGANATH AIYENGAR (16-10-1938) 10 

13 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (16-10-1938) 10 

14 SPEECH AT NOWSHERA (16-10-1938) 11 

15 SPEECH AT HOTI MARDAN (16-10-1938) 13 

16 LETTER TO SHAMLAL (17-10-1938) 14 

17 LETTER TO SIKANDAR HAYAT KHAN (17-10-1938) 15 

18 LETTER TO V. S. SRINIVASA SASTRI (17-10-1938) 15 

19 LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI (17-10-1938) 16 

20 LETTER TO LILAVATI ASAR (17-10-1938) 16 

21 LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI (17-10-1938) 17 

22 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (17-10-1938) 18 

23 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (17-10-1938) 19 

24 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (17-10-1938) 19 

25 SPEECH AT SWABI (17-10-1938) 20 

26 LETTER TO ROY KUMAR SING (18-10-1938) 21 

27 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (18-10-1938) 21 

28 LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR (18-10-1938) 22 

29 LETTER TO MOOLCHAND AGRAWAL (18-10-1938) 22 

30 HINDUSTANI, HINDI AND URDU (19-10-1938) 23 

31 FOREWORD TO “dadabhai naoroji” (19-10-1938) 25 

32 LETTER TO RUSTOM MASANI (19-10-1938) 26 

33 DISCUSSION WITH ABDUL GHAFFAR KHAN (19/20-10-1938) 27 

34 NOTES (20-10-1938) 31 

35 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (20-10-1938) 32 

36 LETTER TO BRIJKRISHNA CHANDIWALA (20-10-1938) 33 



[xvi] 


37 LETTER TO H. L. SHARMA (20-10-1938) 33 

38 LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL (21-10-1938) 34 

39 LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA (21-10-1938) 35 

40 THE CONFISCATED LANDS (22-10-1938) 36 

41 TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA (22-10-1938) 37 

42 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (22-10-1938) 37 

43 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (22-10-1938) 38 

44 LETTER TO PRABHAVATI (22-10-1938) 39 

45 SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, KOHAT (22-10-1938) 39 

46 LETTER TO BRIJKRISHNA CHANDIWALA (22/23-10-1938) 40 

47 TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS (22/23-10-1938) 41 

48 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (23-10-1938) 43 

49 TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS (23-10-1938) 44 

50 THE NATIONAL FLAG (24-10-1938) 47 

51 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (24-10-1938) 49 

52 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (24-10-1938) 50 

53 LETTER TO SHARDA C. SHAH (24-10-1938) 51 

54 woman’s special mission (25-10-1938) 51 

55 LETTER TO MOTILAL ROY (25-10-1938) 53 

56 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (25-10-1938) 54 

57 LETTER TO VIDYA A. HINGORANI (25-10-1938) 54 

58 SPEECH AT BANNU (25-10-1938) 55 

59 TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS (On or before 26-10-1938) 58 

60 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (26-10-1938) 61 

61 SPEECH AT LAKKI (26-10-1938) 62 

62 A DENIAL (27-10-1938) 62 

63 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (27-10-1938) 63 

64 TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS (27-10-1938) 63 

65 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (27-10-1938) 65 

66 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (27-10-1938) 66 

67 LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI (27-10-1938) 67 

68 LETTER TO CHHAGANLAL JOSHI (27-10-1938) 67 

69 LETTER TO M. R. MASANI (27-10-1938) 68 

70 MONSTROUS IF TRUE (28-10-1938) 69 

71 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (28-10-1938) 69 

72 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (28-10-1938) 70 

73 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (28-10-1938) 70 

74 LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL (28-10-1938) 71 

75 LETTER TO VIJAYA N. PATEL (28-10-1938) 72 

76 LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA (28-10-1938) 73 

77 SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, DERA ISMAIL KHAN 

(28-10-1938) 73 

78 THE people’s education MOVEMENT (29-10-1938) 74 



[ xvii ] 


79 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (29-10-1938) 

80 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (29-10-1938) 

81 LETTER TO PURUSHOTTAM GANDHI (29-10-1938) 

82 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (30-10-1938) 

83 LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA (30-10-1938) 

84 INTERPRETATION OF MEMBER’S PLEDGE (30-10-1938) 

85 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (30-10-1938) 

86 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (31-10-1938) 

87 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (31-10-1938) 

88 SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, TANK (31-10-1938) 

89 TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS (31-10-1938) 

90 TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS (31-10-1938) 

91 LETTER TO AGATHA HARRISON (1-11-1938) 

92 TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS (1-11-1938) 

93 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (2-11-1938) 

94 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (2-11-1938) 

95 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (2-11-1938) 

96 LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI (2-11-1938) 

97 LETTER TO CHIMANLAL N. SHAH (2-11-1938) 

98 LETTER TO AMRITLAL V. THAKKAR (2-11-1938) 

99 MESSAGE ON OPENING OF KHADI EXHIBITION, PESHAWAR 

(Before 3-11-1938) 

100 SPEECH AT OPENING OF KHADI EXHIBITION, PESHAWAR 

(3-11-1938) 

101 KATHIAWAR NOTES (4-11-1938) 

102 LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI (4-11-1938) 

103 NOTES (5-11-1938) 

104 WHY NOT GREAT POWERS? (5-11-1938) 

105 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (5-11-1938) 

106 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (5-11-1938) 

107 SPEECH AT MEETING OF BAR ASSOCIATION, PESHAWAR 

(5-11-1938) 

108 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (6-11-1938) 

109 TALK AT BIBHUTI (6-11-1938) 

110 SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, HARIPUR (6-11-1938) 

111 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (7-11-1938) 

112 LETTER TO DEV PRAKASH BHATIA (7-11-1938) 

113 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (7-11-1938) 

114 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (7-11-1938) 

115 LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI (8-11-1938) 

116 TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS (8-11-1938) 

117 SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, MANSEHRA (8-11-1938) 

118 TALK TO minorities’ DEPUTATION (8-11-1938) 



[ xviii ] 


119 SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, ABBOTTABAD (8-11-1938) 104 

120 LETTER TO SARASWATI GANDHI (Before 9-11-1938) 107 

121 LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI (9-11-1938) 107 

122 LETTER TO MANILAL GANDHI (9-11-1938) 108 

123 LETTER TO M. R. MASANI (9-11-1938) 109 

124 LETTER TO VIJAYA N. PATEL (9-11-1938) 109 

125 MESSAGE ON DEATH OF KEMAL ATATURK (10-11-1938) 110 

126 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (10-11-1938) 110 

127 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (10-11-1938) 111 

128 DISCUSSION WITH COMMUNISTS (Before 11-11-1938) 111 

129 KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS AND BADSHAH KHAN (11-11-1938) 115 

130 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (11-11-1938) 119 

131 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (11-11-1938) 120 

132 LETTER TO RAMESHWARI NEHRU (11-11-1938) 120 

133 TELEGRAM TO R. S. RUIKAR (11-11-1938) 121 

134 LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW (On or after 11-11-1938) 121 

135 MASS LITERACY CAMPAIGN IN BIHAR (12-11-1938) 122 

136 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (12-11-1938) 122 

137 LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA (12-11-1938) 122 

138 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (12-11-1938) 123 

139 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (13-11-1938) 123 

140 NOTE TO KANCHAN M. SHAH (13-11-1938) 123 

141 THE CONGRESS AND KHADI (14-11-1938) 124 

142 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (14-11-1938) 126 

143 LETTER TO J. G. KUMARAPPA (14-11-1938) 126 

144 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (14-11-1938) 127 

145 LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI (14-11-1938) 127 

146 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (15-11-1938) 128 

147 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (15-11-1938) 128 

148 LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI (15-11-1938) 129 

149 LETTER TO PREMABEHN KANTAK (15-11-1938) 130 

150 TALK TO TRAVANCORE STATE CONGRESS DEPUTATION 

(15-11-1938) 131 

151 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (16-11-1938) 134 

152 LETTER TO JAW AHARLAL NEHRU (16-11-1938) 134 

153 DRAFT OF STATEMENT FOR THAKORE SAHEB OF RAJKOT 

(Before 19-11-1938) 135 

154 PROHIBITION IN SALEM DISTRICT (19-11-1938) 136 

155 TELEGRAM TO AMRIT KAUR (19-11-1938) 136 

156 LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL (19-11-1938) 136 

157 THE JEWS (20-11-1938) 137 

158 LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI (20-11-1938) 141 

159 LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU (21-11-1938) 142 



[xix] 

160 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (21-11-1938) 143 

161 LETTER TO GIRDHARILAL (21-11-1938) 143 

162 FOREWORD TO “tHE BROTHERHOOD OF RELIGIONS” 

(23-11-1938) 144 

163 LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU (24-11-1938) 144 

164 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (25-11-1938) 145 

165 NOTE ON LETTER TO DR. N. B. KHARE (25-11-1938) 145 

166 LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR (25-11-1938) 146 

167 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (26-11-1938) 146 

168 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (26-11-1938) 147 

169 LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI (26-11-1938) 148 

170 LETTER TO ANAND T. HINGORANI (26-11-1938) 148 

171 NON-CO-OPERATORS (27-11-1938) 149 

172 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (27-11-1938) 150 

173 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (27-11-1938) 150 

174 STATES AND THE PEOPLE (28-11-1938) 151 

175 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (28-11-1938) 154 

176 LETTER TO MOTILAL ROY (28-11-1938) 154 

177 LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI (28-11-1938) 155 

178 LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL (28-11-1938) 155 

179 LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL (28-11-1938) 156 

180 LETTER TO PRABHAVATI (29-11-1938) 156 

181 LETTER TO VIJAYA N. PATEL (29-11-1938) 157 

182 LETTER TO SHUAIB QURESHI (29-11-1938) 157 

183 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (29-11-1938) 158 

184 LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI (29-11-1938) 158 

185 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (30-11-1938) 159 

186 LETTER TO DEVDAS GANDHI (30-11-1938) 160 

187 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (30-11-1938) 160 

188 LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU (30-11-1938) 161 

189 LETTER TO SHANTIKUMAR N. MORARJEE (30-11-1938) 161 

190 A LETTER (30-11-1938) 162 

191 LETTER TO PREMI JAIRAMDAS (30-11-1938) 162 

192 TELEGRAM TO LOCAL SECRETARY, JALLIANWALA BAGH 

MEMORIAL FUND (After 1-12-1938) 163 

193 LETTER TO RANCHHODLAL PATWARI (Before 2-12-1938) 163 

194 A CAUTION (3-12-1938) 163 

195 TELEGRAM TO PATTOM THANU PILLAI (3-12-1938) 164 

196 LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR (3-12-1938) 164 

197 LETTER TO PRABHU DAYAL VIDYARTHI (3-12-1938) 165 

198 DISCUSSION WITH JOHN R. MOTT (On or before 4-12-1938) 165 

199 HOW TO POPULARIZE KHADI (4-12-1938) 173 

200 HARIJAN WELFARE IN TATANAGAR (4-12-1938) 176 



[xx] 

201 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (5-12-1938) 176 

202 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (5-12-1938) 177 

203 LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA (5-12-1938) 177 

204 LETTER TO N. R. MALKANI (5-12-1938) 178 

205 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (5-12-1938) 178 

206 LETTER TO SHAMLAL (5-12-1938) 179 

207 LETTER TO DEVDAS GANDHI (5-12-1938) 179 

208 LETTER TO VAIKUNTHLAL L. MEHTA (5-12-1938) 180 

209 LETTER TO SHANTIKUMAR N. MORARJEE (5-12-1938) 181 

210 LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI (5-12-1938) 181 

211 LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL (5-12-1938) 182 

212 LETTER TO CHIMANLAL N. SHAH (5-12-1938) 182 

213 LETTER TO MARGARETE SPIEGEL (5-12-1938) 183 

214 LETTER TO RAMESHWARI NEHRU (5-12-1938) 183 

215 LETTER TO H. L. SHARMA (5-12-1938) 184 

216 LETTER TO HARSARAN VERMA (5-12-1938) 185 

217 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (6-12-1938) 185 

218 LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA (6-12-1938) 186 

219 LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI (6-12-1938) 186 

220 LETTER TO VIJAYA N. PATEL (6-12-1938) 187 

221 DISCUSSION WITH D. TAKAOKA (7-12-1938) 187 

222 REPLY TO GERMAN CRITICS (8-12-1938) 189 

223 LETTER TO K. M. MUNSHI (8-12-1938) 190 

224 LETTER TO DAMODARDAS MUNDHRA (8-12-1938) 191 

225 SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED (9-12-1938) 191 

226 RED TAPE (9-12-1938) 193 

227 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (9-12-1938) 195 

228 LETTER TOJ. C. KUMARAPPA (9-12-1938) 196 

229 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (9-12-1938) 196 

230 LETTER TO LILAVATI ASAR (9-12-1938) 196 

231 LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA (9-12-1938) 197 

232 A. I. V. I. A. TRAINING SCHOOL (10-12-1938) 198 

233 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (10-12-1938) 198 

234 LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI (10-12-1938) 199 

235 LETTER TO PRABHAVATI (10-12-1938) 199 

236 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (10-12-1938) 200 

237 DISCUSSION WITH CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES (Before 

12-12-1938) 201 

238 MESSAGE TO C. K. GIBBON (On or before 12-12-1938) 207 

239 HINDU-MUSLIM UNITY (12-12-1938) 208 

240 LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA (12-12-1938) 209 

241 LETTER TO MARGARETE SPIEGEL (12-12-1938) 209 

242 LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA (12-12-1938) 209 



[xxi ] 


243 LETTER TO BRIJKRISHNA CHANDIWALA (12-12-1938) 210 

244 LETTER TO HARSARAN VERMA (12-12-1938) 211 

245 INTERVIEW TO CELESTINE SMITH (Before 13-12-1938) 211 

246 DRAFT OF CONGRESS WORKING COMMITTEE RESOLUTION 

ON INDIAN STATES (13-12-1938) 212 

247 LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA (13-12-1938) 213 

248 TELEGRAM TO PATTOM THANU PILLAI (14-12-1938) 214 

249 LETTER TO BHULABHAI J. DESAI (14-12-1938) 214 

250 LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI (16-12-1938) 215 

251 TELEGRAM TO ZAINAB (16-12-1938) 215 

252 TELEGRAM TO PATTOM THANU PILLAI (17-12-1938) 216 

253 TELEGRAM TO PATTOM THANU PILLAI (17-12-1938) 216 

254 MESSAGE TO ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY UNION (Before 

18-12-1938) 217 

255 LETTER TO SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE (18-12-1938) 218 

256 LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL (After 18-12-1938) 219 

257 NOTES (19-12-1938) 219 

258 PROHIBITION (19-12-1938) 221 

259 DISTRICT BOARDS (19-12-1938) 222 

260 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (19-12-1938) 224 

261 LETTER TO AGATHA HARRISON (20-12-1938) 225 

262 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (20-12-1938) 225 

263 LETTER TO BRIJKRISHNA CHANDIWALA (20-12-1938) 226 

264 LETTER TO N. M. JOSHI (21-12-1938) 226 

265 LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU (21-12-1938) 227 

266 LETTER TO PRITHVI SINGH (21-12-1938) 228 

267 LETTER TO SHAMLAL (21-12-1938) 228 

268 LETTER TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ (21-12-1938) 229 

269 LETTER TO MANUBEHN S. MASHRUWALA (21-12-1938) 229 

270 LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL (21-12-1938) 230 

271 MESSAGE TO ALL-INDIA WOMEN’ S CONFERENCE (Before 

22-12-1938) 230 

272 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (22-12-1938) 230 

273 LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL (22-12-1938) 231 

274 LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA (22-12-1938) 232 

275 SPEECH AT SCOUTS RALLY (22-12-1938) 232 

276 LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW (23-12-1938) 234 

277 LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA (23-12-1938) 235 

278 LETTER TO S. RADHAKRISHNAN (23-12-1938) 235 

279 LETTER TO INDU N. PAREKH (23-12-1938) 236 

280 LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA (23-12-1938) 236 

281 LETTER TO SARASWATI (23-12-1938) 237 

282 NON-VIOLENCE THE ONLY WAY (24-12-1938) 238 



[ xxii ] 


283 WANTED A GUIDE BOOK (24-12-1938) 239 

284 LETTER TO C. RAJAGO PALACHARI (24-12-1938) 239 

285 INTERVIEW TO H. V. HODSON (Before 25-12-1938) 240 

286 MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT, TRAVANCORE STATE CONGRESS 

(On or before 25-12-1938) 241 

287 MANIBEHN AND THE SPINNING-WHEEL (25-12-1938) 242 

288 DRAFT OF STATEMENT FOR HYDERABAD STATE CONGRESS 

(Before 26-12-1938) 242 

289 students’ shame (26-12-1938) 244 

290 LETTER TO AKBAR HYDARI (26-12-1938) 248 

291 NOTE TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ (26-12-1938) 248 

292 LETTER TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ (26-12-1938) 249 

293 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (27-12-1938) 250 

294 INTERVIEW TO AMERICAN TEACHERS (Before 29-12-1938) 251 

295 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (29-12-1938) 254 

296 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (29-12-1938) 254 

297 LETTER TO CHANDAN PAREKH (29-12-1938) 255 

298 SPEECH AT OPENING OF MAGAN SANGRAHALAYA AND 

UDYOG BHAVAN (30-12-1938) 255 

299 DISCUSSION WITH ECONOMISTS (30-12-1938) 258 

300 LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL (31-12-1938) 260 

301 LETTER TO RADHAKRISHNA BAJAJ (31-12-1938) 260 

302 LETTER TO H. L. SHARMA (31-12-1938) 261 

303 INTERVIEW TO TIMOTHY TINGFANG LEW (31-12-1938) 262 

304 LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM (1938) 264 

305 LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM (1938) 264 

306 LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM (1938) 265 

307 ENLIGHTENED ANARCHY — A POLITICAL IDEAL (January 

1939) 265 

308 DISCUSSION WITH MAURICE FRYDMAN (On or before 1-1-1939) 265 

309 LETTER TO S. VELU PILLAI (1-1-1939) 267 

310 INTERVIEW TO TINGFANG LEW, Y. T. WU AND P. C. HSU 

(1-1-1939) 267 

311 INTERVIEW TO S. S. TEMA (1-1-1939) 272 

312 RAJKOT (2-1-1939) 274 

313 IS NON-VIOLENCE INEFFECTIVE? (2-1-1939) 276 

314 TELEGRAM TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI (On or after 4-1-1939) 278 

315 TELEGRAM TO KRISHNASWAMY (5-1-1939) 279 

316 LETTER TO SHUAIB QURESHI (5-1-1939) 279 

317 LETTER TO RANCHHODLAL PATWARI (6-1-1939) 280 

318 TELEGRAM TO PATTOM THANU PILLAI (7-1-1939) 280 

319 TELEGRAM TO G. RAMACHANDRAN (7-1-1939) 280 

320 TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA (7-1-1939) 281 



[ xxiii ] 

321 DRAFT OF PRESS STATEMENT FOR JAMNALAL BAJAJ 

( 7 - 1 - 1939 ) 281 

322 DRAFT OF LETTER FOR JAMNALAL BAJAJ ( 7 - 1 - 1939 ) 282 

323 LETTER TO F. MARY BARR ( 7 - 1 - 1939 ) 284 

324 LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA ( 7 - 1 - 1939 ) 285 

325 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS ( 7 - 1 - 1939 ) 285 

326 UNCERTIFIED DEALERS ( 8 - 1 - 1939 ) 286 

327 SARDAR PRITHVI SINGH ( 9 - 1 - 1939 ) 286 

328 TRAVANCORE ( 9 - 1 - 1939 ) 287 

329 THE BAN ON JAMNALALJI ( 9 - 1 - 1939 ) 289 

330 TELEGRAM TO AKBAR HYDARI ( 9 - 1 - 1939 ) 291 

331 LETTER TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ ( 9 - 1 - 1939 ) 292 

332 AUNDH CONSTITUTION ( 10 - 1 - 1939 ) 292 

333 LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR ( 11 - 1 - 1939 ) 293 

334 NOTE TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL ( 11 - 1 - 1939 ) 293 

335 LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR ( 12 - 1 - 1939 ) 294 

336 LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA ( 12 - 1 - 1939 ) 294 

337 DISCUSSION WITH TOYOHIKO KAGAWA ( 14 - 1 - 1939 ) 295 

338 JAIPUR ( 16 - 12 - 1939 ) 299 

339 DRINKING METHYLATED SPIRITS ( 16 - 1 - 1939 ) 300 

340 VIOLENCE V. NON-VIOLENCE ( 16 - 1 - 1939 ) 300 

341 LETTER TO MIRABEHN ( 16 - 1 - 1939 ) 302 

342 NOTE TO AMRITLAL V. THAKKAR ( 16 - 1 - 1939 ) 303 

343 LETTER TO SIR W. BEAUCHAMP ST. JOHN ( 18 - 1 - 1939 ) 303 

344 LETTER TO CHANDAN PAREKH ( 18 - 1 - 1939 ) 304 

345 LETTER TO RAVINDRA R. PATEL ( 18 - 1 - 1939 ) 304 

346 LETTER TO AMRITLAL V. THAKKAR ( 18 - 1939 ) 305 

347 LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA ( 18 - 1 - 1939 ) 305 

348 LOVE A UNIVERSAL VIRTUE ( 20 - 1 - 1939 ) 306 

349 LETTER TO AKBAR HYDARI ( 20 - 1 - 1939 ) 308 

350 LETTER TO N. R. MALKANI ( 20 - 1 - 1939 ) 310 

351 LETTER TO MIRABEHN ( 20 - 1 - 1939 ) 310 

352 LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI ( 20 - 1 - 1939 ) 311 

353 TELEGRAM TO BALKRISHNA ( 21 - 1 - 1939 ) 312 

354 LETTER TO JAIRAMDAS DOULATRAM ( 21 - 1 - 1939 ) 312 

355 LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI ( 21 - 1 - 1939 ) 312 

356 LETTER TO CHANDAN PAREKH ( 21 - 1 - 1939 ) 313 

357 LETTER TO PURUSHOTTAM K. JERAJANI ( 21 - 1 - 1939 ) 314 

358 LETTER TO SIR W. BEAUCHAMP ST.JOHN ( 22 - 1 - 1939 ) 314 

359 LETTER TO N. R. MALKANI ( 22 - 1 - 1939 ) 315 

360 LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI ( 22 - 1 - 1939 ) 315 

361 LETTER TO MANUBEHN S. MASHRUWALA ( 22 - 1 - 1939 ) 316 

362 LETTER TO RAMIBEHN K. PAREKH ( 22 - 1 - 1939 ) 316 



[ xxiv ] 

363 LETTER TO DAHYABHAI M. PATEL (22-1-1939) 317 

364 LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM (22-1-1939) 317 

365 LETTER TO BRIJKRISHNA CHANDIWALA (22-1-1939) 318 

366 THE STATES (23-1-1939) 318 

367 INTERNAL DECAY (23-1-1939) 320 

368 ‘what a man of god!’ (23-1-1939) 322 

369 ISLAMIC CULTURE (23-1-1939) 323 

370 TELEGRAM TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ (23-1-1939) 324 

371 LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM (23-1-1939) 325 

372 LETTER TO RAMESHWARI NEHRU (23-1-1939) 325 

373 INTERVIEW TO “tHE TIMES OF INDIA” (24-1-1939) 326 

374 LETTER TO MANILAL GANDHI (25-1-1939) 329 

375 LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI (25-1-1939) 329 

376 LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW (26-1-1939) 330 

377 LETTER TO CHANDAN PAREKH (26-1-1939) 331 

378 LETTER TO BRIJKRISHNA CHANDIWALA (26-1-1939) 332 

379 SPEECH AT MEETING OF PEASANTS (26-1-1939) 333 

380 LETTER TO SIR W. BEAUCHAMP ST. JOHN (27-1-1939) 335 

381 LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM (27-1-1939) 335 

382 TELEGRAM TO BISWANATH DAS (Before 28-1-1939) 336 

383 TELEGRAM TO JANAKIDEVI BAJAJ (28-1-1939) 336 

384 DRAFT OF STATEMENT FOR JAMNALAL BAJAJ (28-1-1939) 336 

385 DISCUSSION WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF MUNICIPALITIES 

AND LOCAL BOARDS (28-1-1939) 338 

386 LETTER TO GENERAL SHINDE (29-1-1939) 343 

387 LETTER TO MAHARAJA OF MYSORE (29-1-1939) 344 

388 LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM (29-1-1939) 344 

389 SPEECH AT MEETING OF PEASANTS (29-1-1939) 345 

390 RAJKOT (30-1-1939) 346 

391 THE MODERN GIRL (30-1-1939) 348 

392 JAIPUR (30-1-1939) 350 

393 LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI (30-1-1939) 353 

394 LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI (30-1-1939) 353 

395 KICKS AND KISSES (31-1-1939) 354 

396 LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW (31-1-1939) 357 

397 LETTER TO PURUSHOTTAM GANDHI (31-1-1939) 358 

398 IN MEMORY OF NARAYAN M. KHARE (31-1-1939) 358 

399 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (31-1-1939) 359 

400 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (31-1-1939) 360 

401 TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA (2-2-1939) 361 

402 LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA (2-2-1939) 362 

403 FOREWORD (2-2-1939) 362 

404 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (2-2-1939) 363 



[ XXV ] 

405 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (2-2-1939) 363 

406 LETTER TO H. L. SHARMA (2-2-1939) 364 

407 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (3-2-1939) 365 

408 TELEGRAM TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ (On or before 3-2-1939) 367 

409 TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA (3-1-1939) 367 

410 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (3-2-1939) 368 

411 LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU (3-2-1939) 368 

412 LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR (3-2-1939) 369 

413 LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR (3-2-1939) 369 

414 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (After 3-2-1939) 370 

415 DISCUSSION WITH TEACHER TRAINEES (3/4-2-1939) 370 

416 TELEGRAM TO MAHADEV DESAI (4-2-1939) 378 

417 TELEGRAM TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ (4-2-1939) 378 

418 LETTER TO INDIRA NEHRU (4-2-1939) 379 

419 LETTER TO GENERAL SHINDE (4-2-1939) 379 

420 LETTER TO SHARDA C. SHAH (4-2-1939) 380 

421 ROMAN SCRIPT V. DEVANAGARI (5-2-1939) 380 

422 NO APOLOGY (5-2-1939) 381 

423 LETTER TO SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE (5-2-1939) 382 

424 LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU (5-2-1939) 383 

425 LETTER TO JANAKIDEVI BAJAJ (5-2-1939) 384 

426 NOTE TO AMRIT KAUR (On or after 5-2-1939) 384 

427 INTERVIEW TO SOUTH AFRICAN INDIAN STUDENTS 

(Before 6-2-1939) 385 

428 mahatma’s statue (6-2-1939) 386 

429 why KASTURBA GANDHI? (6-2-1939) 387 

430 WORKING OF NON-VIOLENCE (6-2-1939) 388 

431 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (6-2-1939) 391 

432 LETTER TO JANAKIDEVI BAJAJ (7-2-1939) 391 

433 LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL (7-2-1939) 392 

434 TELEGRAM TO CHANDRABHAL JOHRI (On or after 7-2-1939) 392 

435 TELEGRAM TO RAJENDRA PRASAD (On or after 7-2-1939) 393 

436 LETTER TO SHARD ABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA (After 7-2-1939) 393 

437 LETTER TO GORDHANDAS CHOKHAWALA (After 7-2-1939) 394 

438 LETTER TO THE LIMDI PRAJA MANDAL (Before 8-2-1939) 394 

439 TELEGRAM TO JETHANAND (8-2-1939) 394 

440 TELEGRAM TO DR. KAHN SAHEB (8-2-1939) 395 

441 LETTER TO MOTILAL ROY (8-2-1939) 395 

442 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (8-2-1939) 395 

443 LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA (8-2-1939) 396 

444 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (8-2-1939) 396 

445 TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA (9-2-1939) 397 

446 TELEGRAM TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU (9-2-1939) 398 



[ xxvi ] 


447 LETTER TO N. R. MALKANI (9-2-1939) 398 

448 LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU (9-2-1939) 398 

449 LETTER TO HAREKRUSHNA MAHTAB (9-2-1939) 399 

450 LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA (9-2-1939) 399 

451 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (9-2-1939) 400 

452 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (9-2-1939) 400 

453 TELEGRAM TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ (On or after 9-2-1939) 402 

454 LETTER TO F. MARY BARR (11-2-1939) 403 

455 LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU (11-2-1939) 403 

456 LETTER TO L. M. PATIL (11-2-1939) 404 

457 LETTER TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI (11-2-1939) 404 

458 LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI (11-2-1939) 405 

459 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (11-2-1939) 405 

460 LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL (11-2-1939) 406 

461 LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA (11-2-1939) 406 

462 HYDERABAD (12-2-1939) 407 

463 LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW (12-2-1939) 408 

464 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (12-2-1939) 409 

465 LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL (12-2-1939) 410 

466 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (12-2-1939) 410 

467 UNTRUTH IN NEWSPAPERS (13-2-1939) 411 

468 TRAVANCORE (13-2-1939) 413 

469 THE ETHICS OF IT (13-2-1939) 415 

470 MEWAR (13-2-1939) 415 

471 TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA (13-2-1939) 417 

472 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (13-2-1939) 417 

473 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (13-2-1939) 417 

474 LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL (13-2-1939) 418 

475 LETTER TO H. L. SHARMA (13-2-1939) 418 

476 DISCUSSION WITH DR. CHESTERMAN (13-2-1939) 419 

477 LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI (14-2-1939) 423 

478 LETTER TO GULAM RASOOL QURESHI (14-2-1939) 423 

479 LETTER TO SURESH SINGH (14-2-1939) 424 

480 LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA (15-2-1939) 424 

481 LETTER TO VIJAYABEHN M. PANGHOLI (15-2-1939) 424 

482 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (Before 16-2-1939) 425 

483 LETTER TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI (16-2-1939) 426 

484 LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA (16-2-1939) 426 

485 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (16-2-1939) 426 

486 LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL (16-2-1939) 427 

487 LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA (17-2-1939) 428 

488 TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA (18-2-1939) 428 

489 LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA (18-2-1939) 428 



[ xxvii ] 


490 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (18-2-1939) 429 

491 LETTER TO VIJAYABEHN M. PANCHOLI (18-2-1939) 430 

492 LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL AND MRIDULA SARABHAI 

(18-2-1939) 430 

493 NOTES (20-2-1939) 431 

494 TRAVANCORE AGAIN (20-2-1939) 432 

495 LAWLESS LiMBDi (20-2-1939) 434 

496 LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA (20-2-1939) 437 

497 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (20-2-1939) 437 

498 LETTER TO VIJAYABEHN M. PANCHOLI (20-2-1939) 438 

499 LETTER TO BALKRISHNA SHARMA (20-2-1939) 438 

500 TELEGRAM TO AKBAR HYDARI (21-2-1939) 439 

501 LETTER TO AKBAR HYDARI (21-2-1939) 439 

502 LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW (21-2-1939) 440 

503 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (21-2-1939) 440 

504 TALK TO HYDERABAD STATE CONGRESS DELEGATION 

(21-2-1939) 441 

505 A MISCHIEVOUS SUGGESTION (23-2-1939) 441 

506 TELEGRAM TO V. S. SRINIVASA SASTRI (23-2-1939) 443 

507 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (23-2-1939) 443 

508 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (23-2-1939) 444 

509 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (23-2-1939) 444 

510 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (23-2-1939) 444 

511 TELEGRAM TO PRIVATE SECRETARY TO THE VICEROY 

(24-2-1939) 445 

512 LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI (24-2-1939) 445 

513 TALK WITH AN ASHRAM INMATE (24-2-1939) 446 

514 LETTER TO VIJAYABEHN M. PANCHOLI (Before 25-2-1939) 446 

515 WORK INSTEAD OF ALMS (25-2-1939) 447 

516 LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW (25-2-1939) 447 

517 LETTER TO AKBAR HYDARI (25-2-1939) 448 

518 STATEMENT TO THE PRESS (25-2-1939) 449 

519 LETTER TO MANILAL GANDHI (25/26-2-1939) 452 

520 QUESTION OF HONOUR (26-2-1939) 453 

521 KHADI AS FAMINE RELIEF (26-2-1939) 456 

522 IS IT NON-VIOLENT? (26-2-1939) 457 

523 TELEGRAM TO RADHAKRISHNA BAJAJ (26-2-1939) 459 

524 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (26-2-1939) 460 

525 LETTER TO SATISH D. KALELKAR (26-2-1939) 460 

526 LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR (27-2-1939) 461 

527 LETTER TO MIRABEHN (27-2-1939) 461 

528 LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI (27-2-1939) 461 

529 INTERVIEW TO THE ASSOGIATED PRESS (27-2-1939) 462 



[ xxviii ] 


530 TELEGRAM TO AMRIT KAUR (27-2-1939) 462 

531 TELEGRAM TO MIRABEHN (27-2-1939) 463 

532 INTERVIEW TO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (27-2-1939) 463 

533 INTERVIEW TO “the hindu” (27-2-1939) 463 

534 TELEGRAM TO RADHAKRISHNA BAJAJ (On or after 27-2-1939) 464 

535 TALK TO REPRESENTATIVES OF MUSLIM COUNCIL OF 

ACTION (28-2-1939) 464 

536 DISCUSSION WITH DEPUTATION OF GARASIA MANDAL 

(28-2-1939) 465 

537 INTERVIEW TO “the hindu” (28-2-1939) 466 

ADDENDA 

1 LETTER TO SAMPURNANAND (1-1-1939) 467 

2 LETTER TO PRABHU DAYAL VIDYARTHI (7-1-1939) 467 

3 LETTER TO SAMPURNANAND (After 2-2-1939) 468 

APPENDICES 

I COLD-BLOODED BREACH OF A SOLEMN COVENANT 469 

THAKORE SAHEB’s LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 472 

LETTER FROM SIR PATRICK CADELL TO THAKORE SAHEB 472 

LETTER FROM THAKORE SAHEB TO SIR PATRICK CADELL 473 

LETTER FROM THAKORE SAHEB TO SIR PATRICK CADELL 474 

LETTER FROM E. C. GIBSON TO THAKORE SAHEB 476 

LETTER FROM THAKORE SAHEB TO E. C. GIBSON 477 

LETTER FROM E. C. GIBSON TO DURBAR VIRAWALA 478 

LETTER FROM POLITICAL AGENT TO DURBAR VIRAWALA 478 

LETTER FROM THAKORE SAHEB TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 479 

EXTRACTS FROM NOTES OF TALKS AT THE RESIDENCY 479 

RAJKOT GAZETTE NOTIFICATION 481 

LETTER FROM MANEKLAL PATEL TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 481 

LETTER FROM VALLABHBHAI PATEL TO MANEKLAL PATEL 483 

II GOVERNMENT OF INDIA’S STATEMENT ON RAJKOT 485 

III RESIGNATION LETTER OF CONGRESS WORKING COMMITTEE 

MEMBERS 486 

IV STATEMENT OF SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE 487 

V SRI RAMANA MAHARSHl’s COMMENTS ON GANDHIJi’s 

DESCRIPTION OF HIS STATE OF MIND 489 

SOURCES 490 

CHRONOLOGY 492 

INDEX OF TITLES 497 

INDEX 501 



1. NOTE TO MAHADEV DESAI 

[Before October 15, 1938] 

Translate this' for Harijan. Good work is being done in this 
village and it deserves to be noticed. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11661 

2. TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS-I 

[On or before October 15, 1938Y 

Gandhiji told them that though it sounded to him as an overbold 
statement for them to make, still, as was his wont, he would take them at 
their word.^ He explained to them in detail what his conception of the 
nature and implications of non-violence was. It was comparatively easy to 
maintain a passive sort of non-violence, when the opponent was powerful 
and fully armed. But would they remain non-violent in their dealings amongst 
themselves and with their own countrymen, when there was no extraneous 
force to restrain or check them? Again, was theirs the non-violence of the 
strong or that of the weak? If theirs was the non-violence of the strong, they 
should feel the stronger for their renunciation of the sword. But if that was 
not the case with them, it was better for them to resume their weapons which 
they had of their own free will discarded. For it was much better for them 
to be brave soldiers in arms than to be disarmed and emasculated. He 
remarked: 

A charge has been levelled against me and Badshah Khan 
that we are rendering India and Islam a disservice by presenting 
the gospel of non-violence to the brave and warlike people of the 
Frontier. They say that I have come here to sap your strength. 
The Frontier Province, they say, is the bastion of Islam in India, 
the Pathans are past masters in the use of the sword and the 

' This was a letter addressed to Mahadev Desai from Pipodara. It gave 
a report of the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations in that village from 21-9-1938 to 
2-10-1938, which included a round-the-clock spinning programme. For 
Gandhiji’s comments, vide “Letter to Mahadev Desai”, pp. 5-6. 

2 Gandhiji addressed the last batch of Khudai Khidmatgars of Peshawar 
on October 15. 

^ The Khudai Khidmatgars had said that even if Abdul Ghaffar Khan 
gave up non-violence, they would never do so. 

1 

68-1 



2 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


rifle and mine is an attempt to emasculate them by making them 
renounce their arms and thus undermine the citadel of the strength 
and security of Islam. I wholly repudiate the charge. My faith 
is that by adopting the doctrine of non-violence in its entirety you 
will be rendering a lasting service to India and to Islam which, 
just now, it seems to me, is in danger. If you have understood 
the power of non-violence, you ought to feel the stronger for having 
put away your arms. Yours will be the spiritual strength with 
which you can not only protect Islam but even other religions. 
But if you have not understood the secret of this strength, if as 
a result of renouncing arms you feel weaker instead of stronger than 
before, it would be better for you to give up the profession of 
non-violence. I cannot bear to see a single Pathan turn weak or 
cowardly under my influence. Rather than that I would that you 
returned to your arms with a vengeance. 

Today the Sikhs say that if they give up the kirpan they 
give up everything. They seem to have made the kirpan into 
their religion. By discarding it, they think, they will become 
weak and cowardly. I tell them, that is an idle fear and I am 
here to tell you the same. I have read the Koran with as much 
care and reverence as I have read the Gita. I have read other 
important books on Islam too. I claim to have as much regard 
in my heart for Islam and other religions as for my own, and I 
dare say with all the emphasis that I can command that although 
the sword has been wielded in the history of Islam and that too 
in the name of religion, Islam was not founded by the sword 
nor was its spread due to it. Similarly in Christianity the sword 
has been freely used. But the spread of Christianity was not due 
to its use. On the contrary, the use of the sword has only tarnished 
its fair name. Millions in Europe swear by Christianity. But 
contrary to the teachings of Jesus, they are engaged in a fratricidal 
orgy of bloodshed and murder, which is a negation of true Christ- 
ianity. If you can assimilate what I have been telling you, 
your influence will travel far and beyond your borders and you 
will show the way to Europe. 

Today a force of 17,000 British soldiers is able to rule over 
us because they have behind them the power of the British 
Government. If Khudai Khidmatgars really felt within them- 
selves the upsurge of soul force as a sequel to their renouncing 
arms, not even 17,000 would be needed to win India her free- 
dom, because they should have the strength of God behind them. 
As against it if a million of them professed non-violence while 
there was violence lurking in their hearts, they would count as 



TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS-II 


3 


nothing. You should renounce the sword because you have 
realized that it is the symbol not of your strength but of your 
weakness, because it does not make for true bravery. But if you 
put away your sword outwardly but there is the sword in your 
hearts, you shall have begun the wrong way and your renunciation 
will be devoid of any merit. It may even prove dangerous. 

What is the meaning of eradicating violence from the heart? 

He next asked and proceeded to explain that it meant not merely the 
ability to control one’s anger but its complete eradication from the heart. 

If a dacoit inspires anger or fear in my heart, it means that 
I have not yet purged myself of violence. To realize non-violence 
means to feel within you its strength, otherwise known as soul 
force, in short, to know God. A person who has known God 
will be incapable of feeling or harbouring anger or fear within 
him, no matter how overpowering the cause for it may be. 

A Pilgrimage for Peace, pp. 57-9 

3. TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS-II 

[On or before October 15, 193Sy 

A Khudai Khidmatgar, Gandhiji told them at one place, had first to be a 
man of God, i. e., a servant of humanity. It would demand of him purity in 
deed, word and thought and ceaseless, honest industry, since purity of mind 
and idleness are incompatible. They should, therefore, learn some handicraft 
which they could practise in their homes. This should preferably be ginning, 
spinning and weaving as these alone could be offered to millions and in their 
own homes. 

A person who renounces the sword dare not remain idle 
for a single minute. An idle man’s brain, as the popular pro- 
verb says, is the devil’s workshop. Idleness corrodes the soul and 
intellect both. A person who has renounced violence will take 
the name of God with every breath and do his work all the 
twenty-four hours. There will be no room for an idle thought. 

Moreover, every Khudai Khidmatgar must have an indepen- 
dent means of livelihood. Today many of you have land, but 
your land can be taken away from you, not your craft or your 
manual skill. It is true that God provides to His servant his 
daily bread but only if he performs bread labour. If you work 

* Gandhiji met the last batch of Khudai Khidmatgars of Peshawar on 
October 1 5 . 



4 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


not, neither shall you eat, is nature’s law and should be yours 
too. You have adopted red shirts as your uniform. I had hoped 
you would have adopted khadi too which is the livery of freedom. 
But I see that very few among you wear khadi. The reason 
perhaps is that you have to provide your own uniform and khadi 
is dearer. That would not be so if you spin for yourself. 

They should further, he told them, learn Hindustani, as that would en- 
able them to cultivate and enlarge their minds and bring them in touch 
with the wider world. It was up to them also to learn the rudiments of the 
science of sanitation and first-aid, and last but not least, they should cultivate 
an attitude of equal respect and reverence towards all religions. 

It is not the wearing of the red shirt that makes a Khudai 
Khidmatgar, nor standing in serried ranks but to feel within 
you the strength of God which is the opposite of the strength 
of arms. You have yet only arrived at the portal of non-violence. 
Still you have been able to achieve so much. How much greater 
your achievement will be when you have fully entered its 
holy edifice! But as I have said before, all that requires pre- 
vious preparation and training. At present you lack both. 

A Pilgrimage for Peace, pp. 60-1 


4. TALK WITH ABDUL CHAFF AR KHAN 

[On or before October 15, 1938^ 

ABDUL GHAFFAR KHAN: There are some Pathans in the villages here 

who persecute Khudai Khidmatgars beyond endurance. They beat them, seize 
their lands and so on. What are we to do against them? 

GANDHiji: We have to meet their high-handedness with 

patience and forbearance. We have to meet their atrocities in 
the same way as we used to meet the Britishers’, not answer 
violence by violence, nor abuse by abuse, nor harbour anger in 
our hearts. If we do that it is sure to melt their hearts. If it 
fails, we shall non-co-operate. If they seize our lands, we shall 
refuse to provide them the labour even though we may have 
to starve. We shall brave their wrath but refuse to submit or 
go against our conscience. 

' The talk took place at Utmanzai where Gandhiji spent a few days 
at Khan Saheb’s country-house before proceeding on a tour of Mardan and 
Nowshera on October 15. 



LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


5 


A. K. Would it be permissible for us to lodge a complaint against 
them before the police and get them punished ? 

G. A true Khudai Khidmatgar won’t go to a law-court. 
Fighting in a law-court is just like physical fighting. Only, you 
use force by proxy. To get the police to punish the aggressor is 
only a form of revenge which a Khudai Khidmatgar must 
abjure. Let me illustrate my meaning by a personal instance. At 
Sevagram some Harijans came to me and told me that unless 
I could get a Harijan included in the C. P. Congress Ministry, they 
would offer ‘satyagraha’ by staging a hunger-strike.* I knew it 
was all the doing of a mischief-maker. The Police Superintendent 
wanted to post some police force as he was afraid that the hooli- 
gans might do some mischief. But I said ‘no’ to him and told 
the Harijans that they need not sit outside in the sun; they could 
occupy any room they liked in the ashram. I offered to feed them 
too if they wanted. They chose my wife’s bathroom. I let them 
occupy it. We looked after their needs and when one of them fell 
ill, we nursed him. The result was that they became our friends. 

A Pilgrimage for Peace, pp. 61-2 

5. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


Utmanzai, 

October 15, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

It seems from the translation of this letter^ that many details 
have been omitted, and the report, therefore, does not read well. 
Did 18 persons besides the children take part? That is, in all 
22+18? How many Muslims among them? Was there only 
one spinning-wheel kept working non-stop ? What was the count 
of the yarn spun? Is Somabhai a teacher or a worker? If there 
are Muslim children in the school, how many? What is the 
population of Pipodara ? What was the highest speed ? And the 
highest count? What is the average strength? If you wish to 
send this letter itself, you may do so. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

The tour starts from today, and so the wonderful peace I 
have been enjoying will end. I hope nevertheless that my health 

* Vide Vol. LXVII, pp. 289-90 and 292. 

^ Vide “Note to Mahadev Desai”, p. 1. 



6 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


will continue to be as fine as it has been. The first stage of the 
programme is enclosed. The next has also been chalked out. 
We are here up to 8th November at any rate. 

Khan Saheb has only one thing to occupy him: how to 

give me complete rest and how to feed the others. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PPS.] 

Tell Rajkumari that I am not writing to her today. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11662 


6. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


Peshawar, 
October 15, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

I have all your letters. Although Dr. Benes is practically 
banished,' your letter should go to him even if it has not. If 
he imbibes the spirit, exile need not matter. 

Here we have superb weather. There you have abnormal 
rains. So had Bombay. I suppose the crops are destroyed. 

I am sorry I can’t leave this Province before 9th November. 
You will see the programme in the Press. It remains to be seen 
how I keep my health during the tour. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6409. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 1000 


7. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


Peshawar, 
October 15, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

Jivraj writes to say that you should not climb uphill. You 
also say that it does not produce a good effect. There are rick- 
shaws there. One can use them in illness. You may get into a 

' Following occupation of Sudetenland by Nazi Germany, Eduard Benes 
was forced, on October 5, to resign as President and leave the country. 
Vide also Vol. LXVII, p. 406. 



LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


7 


rickshaw wherever there is a climb. In this way you can go 
to a new place every day for a walk. I see nothing wrong in 
this. This is the only way of deriving full benefit from your 
stay in Simla. Shummy seems to be advising exactly the opposite 
in regard to Durga. If so, my advice should be disregarded. If I 
were present there, I would of course wrestle with Shummy. 

You know that when there are letters for others along 
with letters addressed to me, I do not read them. This is my 
nature. There were two letters by you to Sushila in reply to 
the same letter. I read them. I can give for this no excuse 
other than curiosity. From your previous letter, I have forgotten 
everything except the drawing of the moon. Yesterday’s letter I 
regard as important. I do not know what Sushila wrote to you 
regarding physical passion, but for me it has become a ques- 
tion of my veracity. You have told her that my last statement* 
should reassure them all. This pricked me. We cannot be 
complacent regarding physical passion in anybody’s case, but, as 
for myself, I should say that had I, at the time of my last state- 
ment, been having such experiences as I am having now, I 
would most certainly have not issued it. I cannot say, either, 
whether I would have stopped my experiment. Hence neither 
you nor anybody else can remain complacent regarding me. I see 
no need as yet to withdraw the last statement or issue a revised 
one. This does not mean that any of you should start worrying. 
For the present, I will not go further than this. I found the 
time to write this much as being necessary in the interest of 
truth. You will naturally be curious to know more. But restrain 
your curiosity. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

Tell Rajkumari about physical passion so that I need not 
write to her separately. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11663 


Vide Vol. LXVII, pp. 362-3. 



8. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Peshawar, 

October 15, 1938 


BA, 

You are causing me a good deal of worry this time. I keep 
swinging between my concern for you and my sense of dharma. 
The mind prompts me to run down to you. Dharma tells me to 
remain where I am and finish the work here. If you get well 
soon now, my worry may end. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 29 


9. LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI 

Peshawar, 

October 15, 1938 

CHI. AMRITLAL, 

I got your two letters together. 

Pay up Rs. 25 to Soptekar. I have already written to you 
about teaching Vatsala. Chakraiya had written to me about the 
book. I have replied to him and asked him to tell you. Do 
what you think proper. How is the newly-arrived friend* faring? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10776 


8 


’ Rajbhushan 



10. LETTER TO VIJATA N. RATED 


Peshawar, 

October 15, 1938 

CHI. VIJAYA, 

What a girl you are! No letter from you at all? I see 
from Amritlal’s letter that you have not rallied. I wrote to you 
and asked you to go to Maroli. When I return to Segaon you 
will come back there whatever the condition of your health. 
But do not spoil it yourself. Do as I have advised you in my 
letter. If there is any difficulty in going to Maroli, let me know. 
I must hear from you regularly. Address your letters to Pesha- 
war. Ba has fallen ill in Delhi. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

Shri Vijayabehn 

C/o Shri Rambhai Hirabhai Patel 
Saurashtra Society 
Ellis Bridge, Ahmedabad 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7100. Also C.W. 4592. Court- 
esy: Vijayabehn M. Pancholi 


11. LETTER TO SHARD A C. SHAH 


Peshawar, 

October 15, 1938 

CHI. BABUDI, 

I have your letter. It is bound to take more than a month. 
We are scheduled to be here till the 9th. I can understand 
your anxiety. My heart is there, but the work here is so 
heavy that I should not be impatient. Be patient, whatever the 
future may be. You want to do service whether you marry 
or not. And for that you wish to acquire more knowledge. I 
know that you would bear even blows from me, because they 


* The letter, addressed to Ahmedabad, was redirected to Dakshinamurti 
in Saurashtra. 


9 



10 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


would have been inspired only by love. I do not wish to 
keep you away from my eyes even for a moment. But I am 
helpless. 

You are right about Munnalal. He will leave. It seems it is 
in his interest to leave. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 10022. Courtesy: Shardabehii G. Chokhawala 

12. LETTER TO H. P. RANGANATH AIYENGAR 

Peshawar, 

October 16, 1938 

DEAR FRIEND, 

Mirabai has sent me both your letters. I am sorry I won’t 
be able to avail myself of your assistance, for which however I 
must thank you. 

I think you should remain where you are and do such ser- 
vice as comes your way. Shri Mahadev Desai is better. 

Tours sincerely, 
M. K. Gandhi 

Shri H. P. Ranganath Aiyengar 

B.A., LL.B. 

930 Naidoo Street 
Chicknagalur P. O. 

Mysore State 

From a photostat: G.N. 1335 


13. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Peshawar, 

October 16, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

I had two letters awaiting me on our return to Peshawar. 
I see the right hand must rest a little. It is having more work 
than it can comfortably manage. 

My health still remains ideal. What it will be during the 
tour I do not know. The silence will help me. 



SPEECH AT NOWSHERA 


11 


Joshi’s letter is quite typical of him. 

Tell Mahadev I got a wire yesterday saying Shukla^ is 
dead. He was one of my oldest friends, i. e., of English student 
days. He was practising in Rajkot. 

They are still having rains in Segaon. Here it is perfectly 

dry. 

Kanti’s letters herewith for Mahadev. They are interesting. 
You should ask Mahadev to give you a summary of what he 
has to say. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3640. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6449 


14. SPEECH AT NOWSHERA^ 


October 16, 1938 

I accept in toto your assurance that you have fully under- 
stood the principle of non-violence and that you will hold on 
to it always. I congratulate you on it, and I further say that 
if you can put the whole of that doctrine into practice, you will 
make history. You claim to have one lakh Khudai Khidmat- 
gars on your register which exceeds the total number of Congress 
volunteers as it stands today. You are all pledged to selfless 
service. You get no monetary allowance. You have even to 
provide your own uniforms. You are a homogeneous and disci- 
plined body. Khan Saheb’s word is law to you. You have 
proved your capacity to receive blows without retaliation. But 
this is only the first step in your probation, not the last. To gain 
India’s freedom, the capacity for suffering must go hand in hand 
with the capacity for ceaseless labour. A soldier for freedom 
must incessantly work for the benefit of all. The resemblance 
between you and the ordinary soldier begins and ends with the 
cut of the uniform and perhaps their nomenclatures which you 
have adopted. But unlike them the basis of all your activity is not 
violence but non-violence. Therefore, your training, your pre- 
occupations, your mode of working, even your thoughts and 

* Presumably Dalpatram Shukla; vide Vol. XXXIX, pp. 41 and 44. 

^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province-II”. The 
Khudai Khidmatgars of the place presented a written address to Gandhiji and 
assured him that their faith in non-violence was absolute and unqualified 
and they would never go back upon it. 



12 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


aspirations must necessarily be different from theirs. A soldier 
in arms is trained to kill. Even his dreams are about killing. 
He dreams of fighting, of winning fame and advancement 
on the battlefield by the prowess of his arms. He has reduced 
killing to an art. A satyagrahi, a Khudai Khidmatgar, on the 
other hand, would always long for opportunity for silent service. 
All his time would be given to labour of love. If he dreams, 
it will not be about killing but about laying down his life to 
serve others. He has reduced dying innocently and for his 
fellowmen to an art. 

But what shall be the training that will fit you out for 
this sort of work? It must be training in various branches of 
constructive work. 

With one lakh Khudai Khidmatgars trained in the science of construc- 
tive non-violence, he told them, trans-border raids should become a thing of 
the past. 

You should consider it a matter of utter shame if a single 
theft or dacoity takes place in your midst. Even the thieves and 
trans-border raiders are human beings. They commit crime not 
for the love of the thing itself but because they are driven to 
it largely by necessity and want. They know no other. The only 
method of dealing with them that has been adopted so far has 
been that of employing force. They are given no quarter and 
they give none. Dr. Khan Saheb feels helpless against them be- 
cause the Government has no other way of dealing with them. 
But you can make a non-violent approach to the problem, and 
I am sure you will succeed where the Government has failed. You 
can teach them to live honestly like yourselves by providing them 
cottage occupations. You can go in their midst, serve them in 
their homes and explain to them things in a loving and sympa- 
thetic manner, and you won’t find them altogether unamenable 
to the argument of love. There are two ways open to you to- 
day, the way of brute force, that has already been tried and found 
wanting, and the way of peace. You seem to have made your 
final choice. May you prove equal to it. 

Harijan, 29-10-1938 



15. SPEECH AT HOT I MARDAN^ 

October 16, 1938 

Gandhiji explained to them that non-violence could not, like the curate’s 
egg, be accepted or rejected in parts, it had value only when it was practised 
in its entirety. 

When the sun rises the whole world is filled with its warmth, 
so that even the blind man feels its presence. Even so when one 
lakh of Khudai Khidmatgars are fully permeated with the 
spirit of non-violence, it will proclaim itself and everybody will 
feel its life-giving breath. 

I know it is difficult; it is no joke for a Pathan to take an 
affront lying down. I have known Pathans since my South 
African days. I had the privilege of coming into close and inti- 
mate contact with them. Some of them were my clients. They 
treated me as their friend, philosopher and guide, in whom 
they could confide freely. They would even come and confess to 
me their secret crimes. They were a rough and ready lot. Past 
masters in the art of wielding the lathi, inflammable, first to take 
part in riots, they held life cheap, and would have killed a human 
being with no more thought than they would a sheep or a hen. 
That such men should have, at the bidding of one man, laid 
down their arms and accepted non-violence as the superior 
weapon sounds almost like a fairy tale. If the one lakh of Khudai 
Khidmatgars became truly non-violent in letter and in spirit 
and shed their violent past completely as a snake does its outworn 
skin, it would be nothing short of a miracle. That is why in spite 
of the assurance of your faith in non-violence that you have 
given me, I am forced to be cautious and preface my remarks 
with an ‘if’. My diffidence is only a measure of the difficulty 
of the task. But nothing is too difficult for the brave and I 
know the Pathans are brave. 

The crucial test by which I shall judge you is this: Have 

you befriended and won the confidence of each and all in your 

' Extracted from Pyarelal Nayyar’s report “At Mardan”. In reply to 
his usual question to the Khudai Khidmatgars whether they would remain 
non-violent in all circumstances, one of them replied that they could put 
up with every kind of provocation except the abuse of their revered leaders. 


13 



14 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


locality? Do the people regard you with love or with fear? So 
long as a single individual is afraid of you, you are no true 
Khudai Khidmatgar. A Khudai Khidmatgar will be gentle in 
his speech and manner, the light of purity will shine forth from 
his eyes, so that even a stranger, a woman or even a child would 
instinctively feel that here was a friend, a man of God, who could 
be trusted. A Khudai Khidmatgar will command the co-opera- 
tion of all sections of the community, not the sort of obedience 
that a Mussolini or a Hitler can command through his unlimi- 
ted power of coercion, but the willing and spontaneous obedience 
which is yielded to love alone. This power can be acquired only 
through ceaseless, loving service, and waiting upon God. When 
I find that under your influence people are gradually giving 
up their dirty and insanitary habits, the drunkard is being wean- 
ed from drink and the criminal from crime and the Khudai 
Khidmatgars are welcomed everywhere by the people as their 
natural protectors and friends in need, I shall know that, at 
last, we have got in our midst a body of men who have really 
assimilated the spirit of non-violence and the hour of India’s 
deliverance is close at hand. 

Harijan, 5-11-1938 

16. LETTER TO SHAMLAL 

Mardan, 

October 17, 1938 

DEAR LALA SHAMLAL, 

I have your letter. I do not know what I shall be able 
to do'. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

Lala Shamlal, m. l. a. 

7 Begum Road 
Lahore 

From a photostat: G.N. 1285 


Regarding the Punjab prisoners; vide Vol. LXVI, p. 382. 



17. LETTER TO SIKANDAR HATAT KHAN 


As AT Peshawar, 

October 17, 1938 

DEAR SIR SIKANDAR, 

I have just received a piteous letter from prisoner Inder- 
paul’s wife who tells me her husband, who has already served 8 
years, is suffering from paralysis. May I plead for his release? 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan 

Prime Minister 

Lahore 

From a copy; Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


18. LETTER TO V. S. SRINIVASA SASTRI 

As AT Peshawar, 

October 17, 1938 

dear brother, 

1 got your letter from Mahadev only yesterday. How I 
wish I could respond as you wish! Do you know that I sent 
Rajkumari specially to intercede'. But she could make no head- 
way. Sir C. P. won’t have any outsider to intervene. I implored 
him to invite you to inquire into the whole affair.^ There was 
no response. Shamelessly I have again wired to him to allow 
me to send a representative. Indeed I would go myself if he 
tolerated me. But he won’t listen to reason. Pardon me. That 
is how I look at his conduct of this business. Nothing has shaken 
my conviction that the movement is sound and so far as the 
leaders are concerned, non-violent. Now tell me what I should 
do. I hope you are keeping fit. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat: G.N. 8820 

’ With the Travancore authorities; vide Vol. LXVII, “Letter to C. P. 
Ramaswamy Iyer”, p. 253. 

2 VideVol. LXVII, pp. 311-2. 


15 



19. LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI 


Mardan, 

October 17, 1938 

CHI. NARANDAS, 

Did Kamala resent your guidance in any matter? On 
what grounds can khadi work or National School get a share of 
the Palitana or Porbandar money? Explain this to me. 

Write about the movement that is going on there. 

What has Purushottam* finally decided? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8552. Court- 
esy: Narandas Gandhi 

20. LETTER TO LILAVATI ASAR 

October 17, 1938 

CHI. LILA, 

I got your letter. I wish you not to be in a hurry to go to 
Segaon. Increase your weight there. Come when I return 
there. 

My health is fine. Don’t expect more at present. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 9376. Also C.W. 6651. Courtesy: 
Lilavati Asar 


* Addressee’s son 


16 



21. LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI 


Peshawar,' 

October 17, 1938 


CHI. KANTI, 

I got all your three letters. I can see no flaw in your argu- 
ments. They are well set out, too. I am sure it is not your view 
that, in case there is war, we should come to no compromise with 
the British. Moreover, our refusal to take part in the war on 
any terms would in itself be a harassment to them. We can, how- 
ever, adopt no other course, that is, if the Congress listens to 
me. 

But I do not think it desirable that you should divert your 
mind even to this from your study. You will continue to reflect 
on the matter of course, and you will come to definite conclu- 
sions. But I think it desirable that you should not waste your 
time in explaining your views to others. 

Your health causes me worry. You may be certain that 
there will be no harm at all if for the sake of your health you 
take one more year. Health, once lost, will not return. You have 
built up your body with exercise. Your constitution itself is strong. 
Let it not be undermined. Come to Segaon. Stay there for 
some time and build up your body there if you can with good 
food and rest. Listen to me in this matter and do not be negli- 
gent. Do not be over-confident and assume that you will some- 
how be able to improve your health afterwards. 

I have written to Saraswati’s grandfather.^ I have written 
to Prabha too. If she comes I will look after her. Do not be over- 
eager about nursing. After she is trained up, we shall see about 
other things. I hope that if she stays with me, her intellect will 
improve and develop. You will admit that that has happened 
to others who have stayed in the Ashram. It is true that the 
information they gather in their minds is little, for the cur- 
riculum is not planned with that end in view. But the intellects 
of those boys and girls who have stayed there work well enough 
in the subjects selected by them. 

' As in the source. However, Gandhiji was not in Peshawar on this date. 

^ This letter is not traceable. 


17 


68-2 



18 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Write to me if this seems unconvincing to you. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

We shall be here up to November 9 at any rate. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 7350. Courtesy: Kantilal Gandhi 


22. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS 


Mardan, 
October 17, 1938 

I have two letters from schoolmasters, besides others from 
laymen, complaining of students’ rowdyism in Travancore. The 
Principal of C. M. S. College, Kottayam, says that the stu- 
dents blocked the passage of those who wanted to attend the 
classes. They twice turned away girls who did not listen to 
them. They rushed at the classes and made noises, making 
classes impossible. 

This violent participation by students in a struggle which 
its authors claim to be absolutely non-violent, makes progress 
difficult, if not impossible. So far as I know, the leaders of the 
movement do not want the students, even if they wish to parti- 
cipate, to depart in any way from the non-violent way. Obstruc- 
tion, rowdyism and the like are naked violence. I am credited 
with influence over students. If I have any, I would ask them 
to observe non-violence in thought, word and deed. If, however, 
the forces of violence cannot be controlled by those who are in 
charge of the movement, it may be a question for them whether 
in the interest of the movement itself it is not wise to suspend 
civil disobedience. 

I must not presume to lay down the law from this dis- 
tance, but I do feel from the evidence before me that the leaders 
would incur grave risk if they allowed students to think that their 
violence would help the movement or that it is secretly liked 
by the leaders. 

Harijan, 22-10-1938 



23. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


SWABI, 

October 17, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

This is merely for love’s sake. During the tour I must con- 
serve time and energy. 

You will give me your reaction to the 2nd article' on the 
European situation. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3641. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6450 


24. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

SWABI, 

October 17, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

I am writing this at night in Swabi. Last night we slept 
in Mardan. I have been having long talks these days with the 
office-bearers of the Khudai Khidmatgars. Except for this, I ob- 
serve silence all the time. Do resist the temptation to write for 
Harijan. But send me your comments on it for my information. 
If there are mistakes in proof-reading draw Chandrashanker’s at- 
tention. Pyarelal will send you a copy of the letter. I have 
written to Sastri.^ Give the enclosed letter to Rajkumari. 

Lila has become impatient to go to Segaon. Restrain her. 
She should go there after I return. Let her improve her health 
while in Rajkot. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11664 


' Vide Vol. LXVII, pp. 413-5. 
2 Vide p. 15. 


19 



25. SPEECH AT SWABT 


{October 17, 1938Y 

Gandhiji’s speech here was a passionate appeal to the Khudai Khid- 
matgars to turn the searchlight inwards. They had proved their mettle by 
marching to jail in their hundreds and thousands. But that was not 
enough, he told them. Mere filling of the jails would not bring India free- 
dom. 

Even thieves and criminals go to prison, but their prison- 
going has no merit. It is the suffering of the pure and innocent 
that tells. It is only when the authorities are compelled to put 
into prison the purest and the most innocent citizens that a change 
of heart is forced upon them. A satyagrahi goes to prison, not 
to embarrass the authorities but to convert them by demonstrat- 
ing to them his innocence. You should realize that unless you 
have developed the moral fitness to go to prison which the law 
of satyagraha demands, your jail-going will be useless and will 
bring you nothing but disappointment in the end. A votary of 
non-violence must have the capacity to put up with the indig- 
nities and hardships of prison life not only without retaliation 
or anger but with pity in his heart for the perpetrators of those 
hardships and indignities. I would, therefore, today ask you to 
examine yourselves in the light of my remarks, and if you find 
that you cannot or do not want to go the full length, to drop 
your badge of non-violence and request Khan Saheb to release 
you from your pledge. That will be a species of heroism. But if 
you have full faith in the creed of non-violence as I have des- 
cribed it, then know it from me that God will arm you with the 
required strength in your hour of trial. 

Harijan, 5-11-1938 


^ Extracted from Pyarelal Nayyar’s report “At Mardan” 
^ Gandhiji was at Swabi on this date. 


20 



26. LETTER TO ROT KUMAR SING 

October 18, 1938 

DEAR FRIEND, 

All the points raised by you have surely been dealt with 
in my articles. Of course, I would have England and France 
to give up arms, if they have the courage. And of course, I main- 
tain that the law of the lower animal world is not the law of 
human beings. Brute nature has been known to yield to love. 

Tours sincerely, 
M. K. Gandhi 

SjT. Roy Kumar Sing 
Zamindar 
Nathnagar P. O. 

Dt. Bhagalpur 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


27. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 

October 18, 1938 

BA, 

I see from Ramdas’s and Devdas’s letters that you may now 
be said to be free from danger. When Sushila came to know 
that I was worried on your account, she asked me to let her go. 
I replied: “What is the use of sending you? There are many 
nursing Ba. I wish to be present by her bedside for my own peace 
of mind and Ba also would wish it. But I ought to harden my 
heart and obey the dharma of staying on here.” But God seems 
to have been kind. Lakshmi and the children will be fine. 

Btessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 30 


21 



28. LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR 


Utmanzai, 

October 18, 1938 


CHI. KARA, 

The accompanying is for your information. What can it 
mean ? It has produced no effect on me. What was there in the 
letter to Prema? 

I hope you are all right. Your health must have been com- 
pletely restored. Bal is with you. Isn’t he? I had got his 
postcard. 

The climate here is excellent. The peace is beyond descrip- 
tion. One will not get such peace anywhere else. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 


From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7683 


29. LETTER TO MOOLCHAND AGRAWAL 

On Tour, 

October 18, 1938 

BHAI MOOLCHANDJI, 

I am in a position to answer your letter only today. I could 
not read the book but entrusted the work to Nanavati. I read 
it'. I accept its evidence. It is not necessary to uphold the 
language of Nanavati’s criticism, since I am talking only of 
Swamiji’s writings. Nanavati has quoted Swamiji’s words to prove 
that the book, which constricts Hinduism, is disappointing. In 
my opinion, this debate should not be continued. Whatever 
the merits of the book, it cannot denigrate Swamiji, for who 
can forget the work that he has done? Swamiji’s fame is 
beyond the confines of the book. I think I have served the 
Arya Samaj by making these two statements. Even after saying 
all this, if doubts persist, you may write to me for clarifications. 

* Presumably a note prepared by Nanavati 

22 



HINDUSTANI, HINDI AND URDU 23 

It will be better if you write direct to Nanavati. He will keep 
me informed of whatever he writes. I trust him. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 828 

30. HINDUSTANI, HINDI AND URDU 

It is a great pity that bitter controversy has taken place and 
still continues regarding the Hindi-Urdu question. So far as the 
Congress is concerned Hindustani is its recognized official language 
designed as an all-India language for interprovincial contact. It 
is not to supplant but to supplement the provincial languages. 
The recent resolution of the Working Committee should set all 
doubt at rest. If the Congressmen who have to do all-India 
work will only take the trouble of learning Hindustani in both 
the scripts, we shall have taken many strides in the direction of 
our common language goal. The real competition is not between 
Hindi and Urdu but between Hindustani and English. It is a 
tough fight. I am certainly watching it with grave concern. 

Hindi-Urdu controversy has no bottom. Hindustani of the 
Congress conception has yet to be crystallized into shape. It will 
not be so long as Congress proceedings are not conducted exclu- 
sively in Hindustani. The Congress will have to prescribe the dic- 
tionaries for use by Congressmen and a department will have to 
supply new words outside the dictionaries. It is great work, it is 
work worth doing, if we are really to have a living, growing all- 
India speech. The department will have to determine which 
of the existing literature shall be considered as Hindustani, books, 
magazines, weeklies, dailies, whether written in Urdu script or 
Devanagari. It is serious work needing a vast amount of plodding 
if it is to achieve success. 

For the purpose of crystallizing Hindustani, Hindi and Urdu 
may be regarded as feeders. A Congressman must therefore wish 
well to both and keep in touch with both so far as he can. 

This Hindustani will have many synonyms to supply the 
varied requirements of a growing nation rich in provincial lan- 
guages. Hindustani spoken to Bengali or Southern audiences will 
naturally have a large stock of words of Sanskrit origin. The same 
speech delivered in the Punjab will have a large admixture of 
words of Arabic or Persian origin. Similar will be the case with 
audiences composed predominantly of Muslims who cannot 



24 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


understand many words of Sanskrit origin. All-India speakers 
will have therefore to command a Hindustani vocabulary which 
will enable them to feel at home with audiences drawn from all 
parts of India. Pandit Malaviyaji’s name comes uppermost in 
this connection. I have known him handle Hindi-speaking and 
Urdu-speaking audiences with equal case. I have never found 
him in want of the correct word. The same is true of Babu 
Bhagwandas who uses synonymous words in the same speech, and 
he sees to it that it does not lose in grace. Among the Muslims 
at the time of writing I can think of only Maulana Mahomed Ali 
whose vocabulary was varied enough to suit both audiences. His 
knowledge of Gujarati acquired in Baroda service stood him in 
good stead. 

Independently of the Congress, Hindi and Urdu will continue 
to flourish. Hindi will be mostly confined to Hindus and 
Urdu to Muslims. As a matter of fact, comparatively speaking, 
there are very few Muslims who know Hindi well enough 
to be called scholars, though, I expect, in Hindi-speaking parts, 
to Muslims born there, Hindi is the mother tongue. There 
are thousands of Hindus whose mother tongue is Urdu and there 
are hundreds who can be aptly described as Urdu scholars. 
Pandit Motilalji was one such. Dr. Tej Bahadur Sapru is an- 
other. Illustrations can be easily multiplied. There is therefore 
no reason for any quarrel or unhealthy competition between the 
two sisters. Healthy competition there always must be. 

From all accounts I have received it seems that, under the 
able guidance of Moulvi Saheb Abdul Haq, the Osmania Uni- 
versity is rendering great service to the cause of Urdu. The Uni- 
versity has a big Urdu lexicon. Scientific treatises have been and 
are being prepared in Urdu. And as the teaching is being 
honestly imparted through Urdu in that University, it must grow. 
And if, owing to unreasoning prejudice today, all Hindi-speaking 
Hindus do not profit by the literature that is growing there, it is 
their fault. But the prejudice has to die. For, the present dis- 
union between the communities is, like all diseases, only tempo- 
rary. For good or for ill, the two communities are wedded to 
India, they are neighbours, sons of the soil. They are destined to 
die here as they are born here. Nature will force them to live 
in peace if they do not come together voluntarily. 

And as with the Hindus so with the Muslims. It is the 
latter’s loss, if they will not take advantage of the fruits of the 
humbler labours of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan and the Nagari 
Pracharini Sabha. It is a pity they have not taken note with 



FOREWORD TO “dADABHAI NAOROJi” 25 

pride and pleasure of the big (for the Sammelan) step taken by 
it in defining Hindi as the language spoken in the north by 
Hindus and Mussalmans and written in Urdu or Devanagari 
script. Thus, so far as the definition is concerned, it answers 
the Congress definition of Hindustani. 

I know that there are some who dream that there shall be 
only Urdu or only Hindi. I think it will always remain a 
dream and it is an unholy dream. Islam has its own peculiar 
culture, so has Hinduism its own. India of the future will be 
a perfect and happy blend of both. When that blessed day comes, 
their common speech will be Hindustani. But Urdu will still 
flourish with a predominance of Arabic and Persian words, and 
Hindi will still flourish with its abundant Sanskrit vocabulary. 
The language of Tulsidas and Surdas cannot die, even as the 
language in which Shibli wrote cannot die. But the best of both 
will be quite at home with Hindustani speech. 

Utmanzai, October 19, 1938 
Harijan, 29-10-1938 

31. FOREWORD TO ‘^DADABHAI NAOROJW 

Utmanzai, 
October 19, 1938 

It was on 4th September, 1888, that I sailed from Bombay 
with three letters of introduction, the most precious being for the 
G. O. M. of India, Dadabhai Naoroji. The letter was given by a 
Maharashtrian doctor, a friend of the family. The worthy doctor 
told me the G. O. M. did not know him personally, in fact he 
had never even had the darshan of the G. O. M. “But,” said the 
doctor, “what does it matter? Everyone knows him and adores 
him as India’s great son and champion. He has exiled him- 
self for us. I claim to know him by his service of India. You 
will see that my letter will serve you just as well as if I had 
known him personally. The fact is, you need no introduction to 
him. Your being an Indian is sufficient introduction. But you 
are a youngster, untravelled and timid. This letter will give you 
courage enough to go to the G.O.M. and all will be smooth 
sailing for you.” And so it was. When I reached London, I soon 
found that Indian students had free access to the G.O.M. at all 
hours of the day. Indeed he was in the place of father to every 
one of them, no matter to which province or religion they belonged. 



26 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

He was there to advise and guide them in their difficul- 
ties. I have always been a her o-wor shipper. And so Dadabhai 
became real Dada^ to me. The relationship took the deepest 
root in South Africa. For, he was my constant adviser and inspi- 
ration. Hardly a week passed without a letter from me to 
him describing the condition of Indians in South Africa. And 
I well remember that whenever there was a reply to be ex- 
pected, it came without fail in his own handwriting, in his inimit- 
ably simple style. I never received a typed letter from him. 
And during my visits to England from South Africa I found 
that he had for office a garret perhaps 8 feet by 6 feet. There 
was hardly room in it for another chair. His desk, his chair and 
the pile of papers filled the room. I saw that he wrote his letters 
in copying ink and press-copied them himself. 

I have not read Shri Masani’s sketch. But if he has at all 
done justice to the life so noble and yet so simple, his work 
needs no introduction from me or anybody else. May it be an 
inspiration to the reader even as Dadabhai living was to me. 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat: C.W. 4875 


32. LETTER TO RUSTOM MAS AM 


Utmanzai, 
October 19, 1938 

DEAR FRIEND, 

Here is the promised foreword^. I hope it is quite in 
time. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

[PS.] 

I am just now reading during spare moments your The Reli- 
gion of the Good Life, a copy of which you kindly sent me. 

I see you want my photo. You will be surprised to learn 
that I keep none myself. 

M. K. G. 

Incidents of Gandhiji’s Life, p. 170 


* Grandfather 
^ Vide the preceding item. 



33. DISCUSSION WITH ABDUL GHAFFAR KHAN 

[October 19120, 193Sy 

An important stage in Gandhiji’s Frontier mission was reached when 
in his quiet retreat at Utmanzai he devoted two days to confabulate and 
compare notes with Badshah Khan after his tour of the Khudai Khidmat- 
gars in Peshawar and Mardan districts. He asked Badshah Khan : 

What is your impression? How do the Khudai Khidmat- 
gars stand with regard to non-violence? 

[a. g. k.] My impression, Mahatmaji, is that as they themselves 
admitted before us, the other day, they are raw recruits and fall far 
short of the standard. There is violence in their hearts which they have 
not been able altogether to cast out. They have their defects of temper. But 
there is no doubt as to their sincerity. Given a chance they can be ham- 
mered into shape and I think the attempt is worth while. ... If we could 
assimilate and put into practice the whole of the doctrine of non-violence 
as you have explained it to us, how much stronger and better off we should 
be. . . . 

Gandhiji suggested to Badshah Khan that if non-violence was to 
receive a fair trial, the Khudai Khidmatgars must be prepared to go through 
a rigorous course of training in constructive non-violence which he had in 
mind for them. 

[a. g. k.] My idea, Mahatmaji, is to make Utmanzai into a model 
village. The spinning and weaving centre will serve as a sort of permanent 
exhibition for the education of the villagers. At the home for Khudai 
Khidmatgars we shall set before us the self-sufficiency ideal. We shall wear 
only the clothes that we ourselves produced, eat only such fruits and vegetables 
as we raise there and have a small dairy to provide us with milk. We 
shall deny ourselves what we cannot ourselves produce. 

[g.] Good. May I further suggest that the Khudai Khid- 
matgars should take their due share in the building of the huts 
too that are to house them? 

[a. g. k.] That is our idea. 

To train the first batch of workers, Gandhiji suggested that some 
Khudai Khidmatgars whom Badshah Khan might select might be sent 

’ From Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— IV” published in 
Harijan, 12-11-1938 


27 



28 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


to Wardha, where, besides becoming adepts in the science of khadi, they 
would also get a grounding in first aid and hygiene, sanitation and village 
uplift work and in Hindustani. They would also be initiated there into the 
Wardha Scheme of education so that on their return they would be able to 
take up the work of mass education. Gandhiji then said: 

But your work will not make headway unless you take the 
lead and yourself become an adept in all these things. 

Lastly, your work will come to nought unless you enforce 
the rule of punctuality in your retreat. There must be a fixed 
routine and fixed hours for rising and going to bed, for taking 
meals and for work and rest, and they must be rigorously en- 
forced. I attach the greatest importance to punctuality; it is 
a corollary to non-violence. 

They next proceeded to discuss the modus operandi by which the Khudai 
Khidmatgars, when they had become sure of their non-violence, would fulfil 
their mission of coping with the trans-border raids. Badshah Khan was of 
the opinion that the task was rendered infinitely difficult by the presence of 
the police and the military who were not fully under popular control and 
whose presence there brought in all the evils of double rule. “Either 
the authorities should whole-heartedly co-operate with us or they should 
withdraw the police and the military from one district to begin with, and 
we shall then undertake to maintain the peace of that district through 
our Khudai Khidmatgars.” But Gandhiji held a different view. He remarked : 

I frankly confess that I do not expect the authorities whole- 
heartedly to co-operate with us. They would distrust our ability, 
if not our motive. It is too much to expect them to withdraw 
the police on trust. Non-violence is a universal principle and 
its operation is not limited by a hostile environment. Indeed its 
efficacy can be tested only when it acts in the midst of and in 
spite of opposition. Our non-violence would be a hollow thing 
and nothing worth if it depended for its success on the goodwill 
of the authorities. If we can establish full control over the 
people, we shall render the police and the military innocuous. 

And he described to Badshah Khan how during the Bombay riots on 
the occasion of the Prince of Wales’s visit, the police and the military found 
their job gone because the Gongress immediately regained control and peace 
was restored. 

[a. g. k.] But the difficulty is that the raiders are mostly bad charac- 
ters, who have absconded from British India. We cannot make contact with 
them because the authorities won’t permit us or our workers to go into 
the tribal territory. 



DISCUSSION WITH ABDUL GHAFFAR KHAN 


29 


[g.] They must, and I tell you they will when we are fully 
ready. But for that we shall need to have a body of Khudai 
Khidmatgars who are really and truly servants of God, with 
whom non-violence is a living faith. Non-violence is an active 
principle of the highest order. It is soul force or the power 
of the godhead within us. Imperfect man cannot grasp the whole 
of that Essence — he would not be able to bear its full blaze — 
but even an infinitesimal fraction of it, when it becomes active 
within us, can work wonders. The sun in the heavens fills the 
whole universe with its life-giving warmth. But if one went 
too near it, it would consume him to ashes. Even so is it with 
godhead. We become godlike to the extent we realize non- 
violence; but we can never become wholly God. Non-violence is 
like radium in its action. An infinitesimal quantity of it imbed- 
ded in a malignant growth, acts continuously, silently, and cease- 
lessly till it has transformed the whole mass of the diseased tissue 
into a healthy one. Similarly, even a tiny grain of true non- 
violence acts in a silent, subtle, unseen way and leavens the 
whole society. 

It is self-acting. The soul persists even after death, its exis- 
tence does not depend on the physical body. Similarly, non- 
violence or soul force too, does not need physical aids for its 
propagation or effect. It acts independently of them. It trans- 
cends time and space. 

It follows, therefore, that if non-violence becomes successfully 
established in one place, its influence will spread everywhere. 
So long as a single dacoity takes place in Utmanzai, I will say 
that our non-violence is not genuine. 

The basic principle on which the practice of non-violence 
rests is that what holds good in respect of yourself holds good 
equally in respect of the whole universe. All mankind in essence 
are alike. What is, therefore, possible for me is possible for 
everybody. Pursuing further this line of reasoning, I came to 
the conclusion that if I could find a non-violent solution of the 
various problems that arise in one particular village, the lesson 
learnt from it would enable me to tackle in a non-violent 
manner all similar problems in India. 

And so I decided to settle down in Sevagram. My sojourn 
in Sevagram has been an education for me. My experience with 
the Harijans has provided me with what I regard as an ideal 
solution for the Hindu-Muslim problem, which does away with 
all pacts. So if you can set things right in Utmanzai your 
whole problem would be solved. Even our relations with the 



30 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


English will be transformed and purified if we can show to them 
that we really do not stand in need of the protection for which 
their police and the army are ostensibly kept. 

But Badshah Khan had a doubt. In every village there is an element 
of self-seekers and exploiters who are ready to go to any length in order 
to serve their selfish ends. Would it not be better, Khan Saheb asked, to 
ignore them altogether or should an attempt be made to cultivate them 
too. 


[g.] We may ultimately have to leave some of them out, but 
we may not regard anybody as irreclaimable. We should try to 
understand the psychology of the evil-doer. He is very often 
victim of his circumstances. By patience and sympathy, we shall 
be able to win over at least some of them to the side of justice. 
Moreover, we should not forget that even evil is sustained 
through the co-operation, either willing or forced, of good. Truth 
alone is self-sustained. In the last resort we can curb power of 
the evil-doers to do mischief by withdrawing all co-operation 
from them and completely isolating them. 

This in essence is the principle of non-violent non-co-opera- 
tion. It follows, therefore, that it must have its roots in love. 
Its object should not be to punish the opponent or to inflict 
injury upon him. Even while non-co-operating with him, we 
must make him feel that in us he has a friend and we should try 
to reach his heart by rendering him humanitarian service whenever 
possible. In fact it is the acid test of non-violence that in a 
non-violent conflict there is no rancour left behind, and in the 
end the enemies are converted into friends. That was my exper- 
ience in South Africa with General Smuts. He started by being 
my bitterest opponent and critic. Today he is my warmest 
friend. For eight years we were ranged on opposite sides. But 
during the Second Round Table Conference it was he who 
stood by me and, in public as well as in private, gave me his full 
support. This is only one instance out of many that I can quote. 

Times change and systems decay. But it is my faith that 
in the result, it is only non-violence and things that are based 
on non-violence that will endure. Nineteen hundred years ago 
Christianity was born. The ministry of Jesus lasted only for three 
brief years. His teaching was misunderstood even during his 
own time, and today’s Christianity is a denial of his central 
teaching — “Love your enemy”. But what are nineteen hund- 
red years for the spread of the central doctrine of a man’s 
teaching ? 



NOTES 


31 


Six centuries rolled by and Islam appeared on the scene. 
Many Mussalmans will not even allow me to say that Islam, as 
the word implies, is unadulterated peace. My reading of the 
Koran has convinced me that the basis of Islam is not vio- 
lence. But here again thirteen hundred years are but a speck 
in the cycle of Time. I am convinced that both these great 
faiths will live only to the extent that their followers imbibe 
the central teaching of non-violence. But it is not a thing to be 
grasped through mere intellect, it must sink into our hearts. 

A Pilgrimage for Peace, pp. 71-8 


34. NOTES 

Mr. and Esquire v. Shri, Moulvi, Maulana, Janab 
AND THE Like 

Some friends told me on my putting ‘Shri’ before ‘Jinnah’ 
instead of ‘Mr.’ in my statement made before I visited him in 
Bombay that it must have offended him. I demurred and said 
that if he was offended he would have given me a gentle hint, 
I would have apologized and used an adjective he liked best. 
The readers will remember, in the heyday of non-co-operation 
the terms ‘Mr.’ and ‘Esq.’ were dropped by Congressmen and 
the nationalist Press, and ‘Shri’ was the title largely used for all 
irrespective of religion. Though the practice has largely fallen 
into desuetude, I have never given it up. But for our bad 
habit, I was going to say slavish mentality, we would never have 
used ‘Mr.’ and ‘Esquire’ before or after Indian names. In 
Europe an Englishman never addresses foreigners as ‘Mr.’ or 
‘Esquire’ but uses the adjectives current in the respective coun- 
tries. Thus Hitler is never called ‘Mr.’, he is ‘Herr’ Hitler. 
Similarly Mussolini is neither ‘Mr.’ nor ‘Herr’, he is ‘Signor’. 
Why we should have dropped our own nomenclature I do not 
know. But a moment’s detachment from the prevailing habit 
should show us that the use of ‘Mr.’ and ‘Esquire’ before or after 
Indian names sounds ludicrous. 

I must, however, admit that the use of ‘Shri’ before Muslim 
names, in these days of mutual suspicion, may not please Muslim 
friends. I have discussed the matter with some Muslim friends. 
They told me the word ‘Moulvi’ was the usual adjective. ‘Janab’ 
I have heard often in the South. Anyway I can say that in 
using ‘Shri’ for Muslim Indian names, I have had no idea except 



32 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

the friendliest. When anybody calls me ‘Mr.’ the use of the 
word jars on me. The happiest Hindu usage is ‘ji’ at the end 
of the name. ‘Saheb’ is synonymous with ‘ji’. I remember I al- 
ways used to address the late Hakim Ajmalkhan as Hakimji. 
Some Muslim friend told me that Hakim ‘Saheb’ would be pre- 
ferred by Muslims. I had not known before of any such prefer- 
ence. But since the correction, except for inadvertent use of 
‘ji’, I always addressed the deceased patriot as Hakim Saheb. I 
could not address him as ‘Mr.’ Ajmalkhan even if somebody de- 
posited five salted canes on the naked back. It seems that we 
become ‘Misters’ and ‘Esquires’ after we receive English educa- 
tion ! ! ! Will readers learned in this kind of lore help me and 
persons like me by giving the uncontaminated usages in vogue 
in India? 

Utmanzai, October 20, 1938 
Harijan, 29-10-1938 

35. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

October 20, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

My post is going abegging. Hence for four days I am 
without any news from you. I know it is well with Mahadev 
and yet one wants the written letter. Ba, whose health has 
caused me anxiety this time, is out of danger. Perhaps Mahadev 
too gets the news independently. 

At this end it is all well. I am having good chats with the 
Khudai Khidmatgars. The more correct description would be 
to say that I have been giving them discourses which Khan Saheb 
translates with rare zeal. He puts his whole soul into the thing. 
Silence has become second nature with me. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

[PS.] 

Utmanzai which we leave tomorrow not to return during 
this tour. 

From the original: C.W. 3642. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6451 



36. LETTER TO BRIJKRISHNA CHANDIWALA 


October 20, 1938 

CHI. BRAJKRISHNA, 

We get no time to talk.^ My prescription is good for you, 

for me and for the country. You would get the freedom you 
seek. Your capital is neither silver nor gold, nor intellect; your 
capital is your infinite love. You can trade it here to your 
heart’s content. I shall not be able to find for you a better 
field of service. You may accept it if you like. 

I got the impression from S.’s^ letter that she had given up 
the thought of F.^ If she wants to marry him you should cau- 
tion her fully. You should also tell F. that it would not be 
a proper thing for him to take on a married woman. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 2460 


37. LETTER TO H. L. SHARMA 


Peshawar, 

October 20, 1938 

CHI. SHARMA, 

I have your letter. Write about your experiences in Cal- 
cutta. Satis Babu has grown weak. Do something for him if 
you can. Or have you lost touch with nature cure ? I am 
only joking. I shall be here till November 9. Then Segaon. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a facsimile of the Hindi: Bapuki Chhayamen Mere Jivanke Solah Varsh, 
facing p. 272 


^ The addressee was with Gandhiji at Utmanzai. 
^ 3 The names have been omitted. 


68-3 


33 



38. LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 


Kohat, 

October 21, 1938 

BHAI VALLABHBHAI, 

I have replied to your telegram. Even if you go to Tra- 
vancore as a private citizen, you will succeed. Meet the pris- 
oners. There is a good deal of falsehood in the air. I have 
received heaps of telegrams from the Congress* totally denying 
the charge of violence by it. But there are other telegrams, too, 
which say that there has undoubtedly been violence. The truth 
can be ascertained only if somebody goes there personally. You 
know the attitude I have adopted. The people should withdraw 
the allegations against C. P. or make them the main issue. If 
they adopt the latter course, then there is no need for satya- 
graha. It is for the local workers to make the choice. If C. P. 
offers to invite a judge from outside to try the cases, the people 
should accept the challenge. If they refuse to do that, the fight 
will lose its moral basis. You must have seen my last advice. 
If violence is going on for whatever reason, civil disobedience must 
be suspended unconditionally. Let those imprisoned remain in 
jails. Excepting civil disobedience, the rest of the programme may 
continue. You may, however, decide what you think best after 
a personal visit. See Ramachandran first and then the prisoners. 

Read the accompanying wire from Balkrishna^ of Kanpur. 
I have wired back saying I knew nothing of the matter. The 
Parliamentary Board, I assume, must have agreed to intervene 
on the Minister’s advice. Even if that is not the case, the 
Provincial Committee is free to handle the affair as it likes. I 
suppose all this is not out of your mind. 

1 hope your health is all right. I am keeping well. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

Why should you resign from the Gandhi Seva Sangh? 
Jamnalalji is practically an invalid at present. Even if he resigns, 

* Travancore State Congress 

2 Balkrishna Sharma, a leading Congress worker of Kanpur 

34 



LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA 35 

however, won’t he continue to give his services? Nothing is 
going to improve by your resigning. 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro—2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, pp. 226-7 


39. LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA 

October 21, 1938 

CHI. BALWANTSINHA, 

It is 12.45 a. m. I do not have a pen. But since this is a 
good opportunity I am writing in pencil on mill-made paper. 
I am late in replying to you. I am helpless. The doctor won’t 
allow me to work at night. Today, for some reason, I am not 
able to sleep. That is how I can write to you. I hope you 
will not find my handwriting difficult to decipher. Or maybe I 
shall ask Kanu to copy it out in ink. 

Give me time till the end of this tour. Do not mind if this 
season is wasted. What do the poor do? There is nothing 
improper in what you say. I am certainly not angry but I 
am not amused either. I respect your language because you 
speak or write just what comes to your mind. Maybe I am in 
the dark. It is more probable because I know nothing of these 
matters. I have caught hold of one thing. Both of you love 
the cow. You are more industrious. You have greater love for 
the cow. Parnerkar has more scientific knowledge. In this 
situation, I thought I should do something which would allow 
scope for both. I shall then know who is right. This may en- 
tail some loss and I shall suffer it. 

However, I approve of your suggestion. I should not involve 
myself in these complications but should appoint an arbitrator 
who should listen to both sides and give a decision. His verdict 
should be accepted. Could Chimanlal, Nanavati or Mirabehn 
serve the purpose? I am inclined to suggest Kishorelal, but 
why should I put him to this strain? I do not mind troubling 
Radhakisan. If Parnerkar approves of these names, the matter 
can be decided soon. You need not wait till I return. You may 
mention this to Parnerkar. I think I have now answered all 
your points. Be patient. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 1911 



40. THE CONFISCATED LANDS 

It would be wrong on my part if I allowed it to be said 
that the Bill to provide for the restoration of lands forfeited during 
the Civil Disobedience Movement just passed by the Bombay 
Legislature, miscalled expropriatory law, would not have been 
passed if I had my will. I must make the confession that I 
had some hand in the Ministers’ bringing in the Bill. Indeed I 
felt that any other course would be less than correct. Any 
parley with those who had bought the lands would be either 
coercion on behalf of the Government or blackmail by the so- 
called owners. If it was right to restore the lands to the true 
owners, it should be done by law. If the Government had not 
the power under the Government of India Act even to pass such 
an innocent and necessary relief measure, it was worse than 
the critics had described it to be. I hold that the Bombay Bill 
is more than just. The clause providing for compensation to 
the so-called owners to the extent of their outlay plus interest 
makes it more than just. The provable facts about these lands 
are that they were bought in collusion with the authorities. 
Indeed it was difficult for them to find purchasers. The lands were 
sold to terrorize the people. It was part of the repressive policy, 
and they were sold in some cases for a song. When the Gov- 
ernment that resorted to such terrorism gave place to those who 
were its victims, surely they must be credited with magnanimity 
when, instead of confiscating the lands purchased collusively and 
in the teeth of strong and overwhelming popular opposition, they 
offered compensation. 

Had the fight between the Government and the people been 
violent instead of non-violent, the victorious party coming into 
power would certainly have restored without compensation all 
property to the legal possessors forcibly taken away from the 
rightful owners. Surely, the situation could not be altered be- 
cause the fight was non-violent and there was a semblance of 
legal procedure about the transfers. The public should know 
that the lands were first confiscated by the then Government and 
when the confiscation did not seem to break the spirit of the 
fighters, the unworthy means of selling the lands was resorted to. But 
they seemed to be terrified of their own enormity and they desisted 
from selling further lands. I would far rather draw the curtain 

36 



LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


37 


over the painful past. I have raised it just to let the reader know 
that the Bombay Government have not been guilty of injustice. 

Kohat, October 22, 1938 
Harijan, 29-10-1938 

41. TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA 


Kohat, 

October 22, 1938 

Birla 

Royal Exchange 
Calcutta 

KOHAT UP TO MONDAY. POSTING PROGRAMME. FINISH 
NINTH NOVEMBER. 

Bapu 

From a copy: C.W. 7799. Courtesy: G. D. Birla 


42. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Kohat, 

October 22, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

I got all the live letters yesterday at Peshawar during the 
4 hours’ halt. 

Tyrants would not be tyrants if they did anything but injustice. 
But thank God for this tyrant you acquit him of conscious in- 
justice. Mahadev says you felt like fainting the other day. Why? 
And why do you persist in working even when you faint? Or 
do you want it to be said of you after your death (may it be 
after many many years) that you were so conscientious that 
you worked away even though you fainted? In my language it 
would be called folly. You must not faint. There is no medi- 
cine for Shummy save love, more and yet more ad infinitum. I 
must not say more if I am to keep my appointments. Your 
Kohat letter has come. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3643. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6452 



43. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


October 22, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

We arrived in Peshawar yesterday at 8.30 and started out 
again at four. Five days’ mail had accumulated in Peshawar. 
I got all your letters only yesterday. 

Why did you feel that your letters might be a burden to 
me? It is not at all so. The fact is that whenever there is no 
letter from you, I feel very uneasy. And if the letter is short, 
I get angry and wonder what could keep you so busy that you 
had to be content with only two lines. 

About Bablo, Rajkumari writes to say that he should be given 
full scope for mental development. I also believe that this should 
be done, either through the current method, i.e., through the 
high school, etc., or the other method, of coaching at home. The 
development through home coaching will be in one direction, 
and through the college, etc., it will be in another direction. 
Think over this with Rajkumari. If you can think of anything 
different from what is being done at present, we may do it. 
Bablo also may suggest. 

I have already written to Lilavati. The only purpose behind 
asking you also to write to her was that she might hear the 
same opinion from all sides. She has given me no notice that 
she will not stay with you now. Nor do I feel so. All the 
same, we will not keep her there forcibly. But since at present 
your plans are uncertain why need we think about the matter? 

Pothan has been writing to me about Travancore. Gener- 
ally a man’s obituary is written after his death. In your case, this 
is done before your death. So why should you concern yourself 
now what will be written after your death ? Later on a new and 
revised edition of your biography will be brought out. If not 
Pothan, somebody else like him will write a revised obituary. 

I may not write more today. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11665 


38 



44. LETTER TO PRABHAVATI 


Kohat, 

October 22, 1938 


CHI. PRABHA, 

I have already written you two letters. In one I sent a 
note to Shamjibhai for Rs. 300.' You must have received it. 
You should respect Jayaprakash’s wishes. Go with him if you 
are required to do so. Even in that case, however, bring Saras- 
wati with you. Leave her at the nearest station. I will arrange 
for somebody to escort her from there. This means, of course, 
that you will have to go to Trivandrum. There is no time for 
more. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 3523 


45. SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, KOHAT^ 

October 22, 1938 

I have given over one hour today to acquaint myself with 
your difficulties and woes. But I confess to you that I am no 
longer fit to tackle such matters. While, on the one hand, old 
age is slowly creeping over me, on the other my responsibilities 
are becoming more and more multifarious and there is danger 
that if I have too many irons in the fire, I may not be able to 
do justice to the more important of my responsibilities. And 
among these, the responsibility that I have undertaken in respect 
of the Khudai Khidmatgars is the more important, and if I can 
carry it out to my satisfaction, in collaboration with Khan 
Saheb, I will feel that my closing years have not been wasted. 

' The letter to Shyamji Sunderdas however mentions Rs. 200; vide 
Vol. LXVII, p. 427. 

^Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province-Ill ”. 
At the meeting addresses were presented to Gandhiji by the District Congress 
Committee on behalf of the citizens of Kohat. The meeting was attended by 
about 5,000 people. 


39 



40 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

People laugh at me and at the idea of Khudai Khidmat- 
gars becoming full-fledged non-violent soldiers of swaraj. But 
their mockery does not affect me. Non-violence is a quality not 
of the body but of the soul. Once its central meaning sinks into 
your being, all the rest by itself follows. Human nature in the 
Khudai Khidmatgars is not different from mine. And I am sure 
that if I can practise non-violence to some extent, they, and 
for the matter of that anyone else, can. I, therefore, invite you 
to pray with me to the Almighty that He may make real my 
dream about the Khudai Khidmatgars. 

Harijan, 5-11-1938 

46. LETTER TO BRIJKRISHNA CHANDIWALA 

Kohat, 
[October 22j23, 1938Y 

CHI. BRAJKRISHNA, 

I feel on reading your letter that this time at any rate you 
have to stay in Delhi. All the tasks suggested are a must for 
you. 

I shall write to the Meerut people. 

You may do whatever seems proper regarding S. Shall I 
write to F. ? 

I certainly gave you permission to live with me but take it 
that this desire is born of attachment. It would not do simply 
to assert that Ramana Maharshi and Aurobindo are one-sided 
while I am all-sided. One who is one-sided but understands 
his mission and pursues it has merit. One who claims to be 
all-sided but is only experimenting has even less worth than 
broken almond shells. Only God knows where I stand. I am an 
aspirant while they are known to be, and perhaps are, realized 
souls. Anyway their followers attribute to them full self-realiza- 
tion. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 2459 


* Gandhiji was in Kohat on these dates. 



47. TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS 


Kohat, 

[October 22123, 1938]^ 

In the course of his talk before the Khudai Khidmatgar officers at 
Kohat, he impressed upon them the tremendous nature of the step which 
they had taken. He had often said before that if the Pathan, famed in the 
world for the prowess of his arms, really took to non-violence, renouncing 
arms, it would be a red-letter day in the history of India and the world. 

For good or for ill, the Pathan today has come to be re- 
garded as a bogey man by the average person in India. In 
Gujarat and Kathiawar children turn pale at the very mention 
of the Pathan. At Sabarmati Ashram, we try to inculcate 
fearlessness among the children. But I am ashamed to confess 
that in spite of all our elforts we have not succeeded in making 
them eradicate the fear of the Pathan from their hearts. I have 
not been able to impress upon our ashram girls that they have 
no need to fear a Pathan. They try to make a show of bravery. 
But it is only a make-believe. During a communal disturbance 
they dare not stir out of their homes if there is a report of even 
a casual Pathan being about. They are afraid they would be 
kidnapped. 

I tell them that even if they are kidnapped they must not be 
frightened. They should appeal to the kidnapper’s sense of 
honour to behave chivalrously towards one who should be as a 
sister to him. If in spite of their entreaties he persists in his 
evil intentions (since all must die some day), they can put an 
end to their life by biting the tongue but not submit. They 
answer, ‘What you say is right. But it is all new to us. We 
have not the confidence that at the proper time we shall be 
able to do what you tell us.’ If such is the case with the Ashram 
girls, what must it be with others? When, therefore, I hear 
that a body of Khidmatgars has arisen among the Pathans, who 
have completely renounced violence, I do not know whether 
to believe it or not. 


^ Gandhiji was in Kohat on these two days. However, according to the 
source this talk took place before “Talk to Khudai Khidmatgars”, pp. 44-7. 


41 



42 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


What are the implications of renouncing violence and what 
is the mark of a person who has renounced violence? 

One did not become a Khudai Khidmatgar by adopting that name 
or by putting on the Khudai Khidmatgar’s uniform, he told them. It 
needed systematic training in non-violence. In Europe where they had 
glorified killing into a noble profession, they spent millions on per- 
fecting the science of destruction. Their best scientists were pressed into its 
service. Even their educational system was centred on it. They spent stu- 
pendous sums too on luxuries and means of physical comforts, which formed 
a part of their ideal. By contrast, the mark of a man of God or a Khudai 
Khidmatgar should be purity, industry and unremitting hard labour in the 
service of God’s creation. 

In the course of serving your fellow creatures you will get a 
measure of the progress you have made in non-violence and of 
the power that is in non-violence. Armed with this power, a 
single person can stand against the whole world. That is not pos- 
sible with the sword. 

Hitherto, non-violence had been synonymous with civil breach of laws 
and taking the penalty for the same non-violently. But he wished to tell 
them that, although civil disobedience was included in the programme of 
non-violence, its essence as he had pointed out at Swabi, was the moral right 
or fitness which it presupposed in the civil resister and which accrued to one 
who trained himself in the practice of non-violence.' In the satyagraha 
fight ‘civil disobedience is the end, not the beginning. It is the last step, not 
the first.’ People used to have a craven fear of the Government. As a remedy, 
he had prescribed satyagraha or civil disobedience. It was a sharp medicine. 

Unless a physician, who administers powerful drugs, knows 
exactly when to stop, he loses his patient. That is why I prompt- 
ly called off civil disobedience, confining it to myself alone 
when the situation demanded it.^ It was just in time. So I 
would like you, for the time being, to forget civil disobedience. 

He next proceeded to explain that service of God could only be per- 
formed through service of His creatures. He had made it his habit to try 
to see always the hand of God in everything even at the risk of being consi- 
dered superstitious. Thus he saw the hand of God in the name that Bad- 
shah Khan had given them. Badshah Khan had not called them satyagrahis 
but servants of God. 

* Vide “Speech at Swabi’’, p. 20. 

2 In April 1934 Gandhiji had advised all Congressmen to suspend civil 
disobedience for swaraj as distinguished from civil disobedience for specific 
grievances; vide Vol. LVII, pp. 348-50. 



LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


43 


But how to serve God since He is incorporate and needs 
no personal service? We can serve Him by serving His creation. 
There is an Urdu verse which says: ‘Man can never be God 
but in essence he is not different from Divinity.’ Let us make 
our village our universe. We shall then serve God by serving 
our village. To relieve the distress of the unemployed by provid- 
ing them work, to tend the sick, to wean people from their in- 
sanitary habits, to educate them in cleanliness and healthy living 
should be the job of a Khudai Khidmatgar. And since what- 
ever he does is in God’s service, his service will be performed 
with far more diligence and care than that of paid workers. 

He ended by giving a few practical hints as to how to cultivate non- 
violent strength. 

A Khudai Khidmatgar will keep a strict account of every 
minute of his time which he will regard as God’s trust. To 
waste a single moment of one’s time in idleness or frivolity is a 
sin against God. It is on a par with stealing. If there is even 
a tiny little bit of land available, he will occupy himself with 
growing something on it — food or vegetables for the destitute 
and needy. If he should feel inclined to sit idle and do nothing 
because his parents have enough money to enable him to pur- 
chase food and vegetables from the bazaar, he will argue to him- 
self that by drawing upon the bazaar supplies, he deprives the 
poor of the same and steals what belongs to God. Before he 
purchases or uses anything, a Khudai Khidmatgar will ask him- 
self whether there is not somebody else whose need may be 
greater than his. Supposing somebody places a sumptuous dish 
before him and a starving person appears on the scene, he will 
think of the latter’s need first, feed him and then alone partake 
of the dish. 

A Pilgrimage for Peace, pp. 83-6 

48. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

October 23, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

As the ink in Sushila’s pen is exhausted, I am writing with 
a pencil to save time. This was given to me by Brijkrishna. 

I am sending the accompanying letter only for your information. 

I have written to Agatha and asked her to come here directly. 



44 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


My return may be delayed and it does not seem proper that she 
should keep wandering from place to place. Here some of the 
sights are so charming that I cannot help thinking about you. 
The climate of course is excellent. I will not write to Raj- 
kumari today. 

There is a heap of letters. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 


From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11667 

49. TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS 


Hungoo, 
[October 23, 1938^ 

Gandhijl referred to an address of welcome that had been presented 
to him at Nasarat Khel on the way, at the foundation laying ceremony of the 
Khudai Khidmatgars’ office. In it there was a reference to “our last strug- 
gle”. He remarked: 

Let me tell you that civil disobedience may come and go, 
but our non-violent struggle for freedom goes on and will 
continue till Independence is attained. Only the form has 
changed. 

I know that to 90 per cent Indians, non-violence means that 
and nothing else.^ It is good so far. There is bravery in it. 
But you and particularly the Khudai Khidmatgar officers must 
clearly understand that this is not the whole of non-violence. 
If you have really understood the meaning of non-violence, it 
should be clear to you that non-violence is not a principle or a 
virtue to be brought into play on a particular occasion or to 
be practised with reference to a particular party or section. It 
has to become a part and parcel of our being. Anger should 
disappear from our hearts altogether, otherwise what is the diff- 
erence between ourselves and our oppressors? Anger may lead 
one person to issue an order to open fire, another to use abus- 
ive language, a third one to use the lathi. At root it is all 

' According to Pyarelal’s report in the Frontier Province-Ill published 
in Harijan, 5-11-1938, Gandhiji visited Hungoo on October 23, 1938. 

^ The address had mentioned that the Khudai Khidmatgars had not 
been and would never be cowed down by repression. 



TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS 


45 


the same. It is only when you have become incapable of feel- 
ing or harbouring anger in your hearts that you can claim to 
have shed violence or can expect to remain non-violent to the 
end. 

He then proceeded to explain the difference between civil disobedience 
and satyagraha. 

Our civil disobedience or non-co-operation, by its very 
nature, was not meant to be practised for all time. But the 
fight which we are today putting up through our constructive 
non-violence has a validity for all time; it is the real thing. Sup- 
posing the Government were to cease to arrest civil resisters, our 
jail-going would then stop but that would not mean that our 
fight is over. A civil resister does not go to jail to embarrass 
the jail authorities by indulging in the breach of jail rules. Of 
course, there can be civil disobedience in jail too. But there 
are definite rules for it. The point is that the civil resister’s fight 
does not end with his imprisonment. Once we are inside the 
prison we become civilly dead so far as the outside world is 
concerned. But inside the prison our fight to convert the hearts 
of the Government’s bond slaves, i. e., the jail officials, just 
begins. It gives us a chance of demonstrating to them that we 
are not like thieves or dacoits, that we wish them no ill, nor 
do we want to destroy the opponent but want only to make 
him our friend, not by servilely obeying all orders, just or unjust — 
that is not the way to win true friendship — but by showing them 
that there is no evil in us, that we sincerely wish them well and 
in our hearts pray that God’s goodness may be upon them. My 
fight continued even when I was lodged behind prison bars. I 
have been several times in prison and every time I have left only 
friends behind in the jail officials and others with whom I have 
come in contact. 

It is a speciality of non-violence that its action never stops. 
That cannot be said of the sword or the bullet. The bullet can 
destroy the enemy; non-violence converts the enemy into a friend 
and thus enables the civil resister to assimilate to himself the 
latter’s strength. 

By their civil disobedience struggle, he continued, they had demons- 
trated to the world their determination no longer to be ruled by the British. 
But they had now to give proof of valour of another and higher type. During 
the Khilafat days tall, hefty Pathan soldiers used to come and meet the Ali 
Brothers and himself secretly. They used to tremble at the thought of 
their visit being discovered by their superior officers and resulting in their 



46 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


dismissal from service. In spite of their tall stature and physical strength 
they used to cower and become servile when confronted by a person phys- 
ically stronger than they. 

I want strength which will enable me to submit to none 
but God, my sole Lord and Master. It is only when I can do 
that, that I can claim to have realized non-violence. 

He then proceeded to expatiate on another speciality of non-violence, 
viz., one need not go to a school or a pir or a guru to learn its use. Its virtue 
lay in its simplicity. If they realized that it was the most active principle that 
worked all the twenty-four hours without rest or remission, they would look 
for opportunities for its application in their homes, in the streets, in relation 
to their foes no less than friends. They could begin to practise it in their 
homes from that very day. He had disciplined himself sufficiently never to 
feel angry with the enemy, but he confessed that he sometimes lost temper 
with friends. Such discipline in non-violence as he had, he told them, he 
had at home from his wife. And with that he unfolded in poignant detail, a 
chapter of his domestic life. He used to be a tyrant at home, he said. His 
tyranny was the tyranny of love. 

I used to let loose my anger upon her. But she bore it all 
meekly and uncomplainingly. I had a notion that it was her 
duty to obey me, her lord and master, in everything. But her 
unresisting meekness opened my eyes and slowly it began to 
dawn upon me that I had no such prescriptive right over her. 
If I wanted her obedience, I had first to persuade her by patient 
argument. She thus became my teacher in non-violence. And I 
dare say, I have not had a more loyal and faithful comrade in 
life. I literally used to make life a hell for her. Every other 
day I would change my residence, prescribe what dress she was 
to wear. She had been brought up in an orthodox family 
where untouchability was observed. Muslims and untouchables 
used to frequent our house. I made her serve them all regard- 
less of her innate reluctance. But she never said ‘no’. She was 
not educated in the usual sense of the term and was simple and 
unsophisticated. Her guileless simplicity conquered me com- 
pletely. 

You have all wives, mothers and sisters at home. You can 
take the lesson of non-violence from them. You must, besides, 
take the vow of truth, ask yourselves how dear truth is to you 
and how far you observe it in thought, word and deed. A person 
who is not truthful is far away from non-violence. Untruth it- 
self is violence. 



THE NATIONAL FLAG 


47 


Referring to the month of Ramzan that had just set in, he told them 
how it could be used to make a start in non-violence. 

We seem to think that the observance of Ramzan begins 
and ends with abstention from food and drink. We think no- 
thing of losing temper over trifles or indulging in abuse during 
the sacred month of Ramzan. If there is the slightest delay 
in serving the repast at the time of the breaking of the fast, the 
poor wife is hauled over live coals. I do not call it observing 
the Ramzan, but its travesty. If you really want to cultivate 
non-violence, you should take a pledge that come what may, 
you will not give way to anger or order about members of your 
household or lord it over them. You can thus utilize trifling 
little occasions in everyday life to cultivate non-violence in your 
own person and teach it to your children. 

He took another instance. Suppose somebody hit their child with a 
stone. Usually the Pathan tells his child not to return home to whine but 
to answer back with a bigger stone. But a votary of non-violence, said 
Gandhiji, would tell his child not to meet a stone by a stone but by em- 
bracing the boy who threw the stone and making friends with him. 

The same formula, i. e., to banish anger completely from 
the heart and to make everybody into one’s friend, is indeed 
enough to win India her independence. It is the surest and the 
quickest way, too, and it is my claim that for winning Indepen- 
dence for the poor masses of India, it is the only way. 

A Pilgrimage for Peace, pp. 87-91 


50. THE NATIONAL FLAG 

Here is a letter from a correspondent: 

It has become a far too common occurrence and therefore deserving 
of notice at your hands to set up the national tri-coloured 
flag in such a manner as to indicate rivalry with or predominance over 
the religious flags and other symbols exhibited on occasions of religious 
worship and festivities. While we all desire that the national flag should 
be a symbol of unity and determination to achieve uninterrupted 
progress in all directions, we should be undoing this very purpose by 
trying to make rivalry between the national flag and other flags and 
symbols connected with religion which should predominate on occa- 
sions of religious ceremony. The enthusiasm of some of our workers 
leads them to error in this respect and in fact to develop an opposi- 
tion in some quarters to the national flag which did not exist before. 



48 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Sometimes, again, private interests and factions seek to make use of 
the national feeling in respect of the flag and exploit it for their 
own purposes by mixing up a quarrel with the national flag and con- 
fusing the issues in regard to incidents. 

It seems as if ever so many of the movements for which you were 
responsible are liable to be misconstrued and misdirected, unless 
you are always ready to re-explain, re-interpret and prevent misdirec- 
tion. I particularly fear the consequences of doing anything to create 
a rivalry between the national flag and the religious symbols of either 
Hindus or Mussulmans or of others. The tendency of setting up the 
national flag on temple cars and temple towers offends my sense of the 
universality of religion and the incongruity of trying to nationalize 
God. 

As the author of the idea of a national flag and its make 
up which in essence the present flag represents, I have felt 
grieved how the flag has been often abused and how it has 
even been used to cover violence. The flag has been designed 
to represent non-violence expressed through real communal unity 
and non-violent labour which the lowliest and highest can easily 
undertake with the certain prospect of making substantial and 
yet imperceptible addition to the wealth of the country. But 
today it must be confessed that from that standpoint it is merely 
a piece of tricolour cloth not always khadi and is not proud of 
[j'zc] and a living emblem of communal unity and equalizing 
labour in which all participate. The spinning-wheel does hum in 
thousands of village huts. But compared to what should be, 
the result is poor. 

Moreover the national flag, if it is a symbol of non-vio- 
lence must also mean humility. If I had my way I would 
not exhibit it at any meeting which is not a purely Congress 
meeting if a single person objects to it. The dignity of the flag 
cannot be lowered by yielding even to a single objector at a 
non-Congress meeting. Its dignity will be lowered when it is 
hauled down for fear of the power we want to oust. The dig- 
nity will be still more lowered when we exhibit it at meetings 
or on Congress offices though we have no living faith in com- 
munal unity and the spinning-wheel with all its implications. 
Since the flag is not a religious symbol and represents and reconciles 
all religions, in religious processions, or temples or religious ga- 
therings it has no place. Everything has its value when it is 
in its place. It has none when it is out of its place. Bullion and 
banknotes have no value whatsoever in the desert of Sahara. 



LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


49 


Indeed in the present state of tension, I would not hoist it on 
Government buildings or municipal offices unless it is accepted 
not merely by an overwhelming vote but unanimously. I have 
no hesitation in saying that even one vote cast against it, maybe 
mischievously, should have its weight, if the flag is a symbol 
of non-violence and humility. 

My correspondent has evidently more faith in the power 
of my pen than I have. I write not because I believe that 
my word would carry weight where it is intended to carry. 
But I may not reject the correspondent’s appeal. His argument 
and facts I accept. I may not restrain myself simply because of 
the fear that my word may miscarry. Anyway, it does me good 
to redeclare my faith in the flag with all the implications I 
have mentioned. 

Bannu, October 24, 1938 
Harijan, 5-11-1938 


51. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Bannu, 
October 24, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

You must do with the pencil hand and on mill-made paper 
— the pencil does not move well on the glazed hand-made. 

Your two letters were awaiting me when we reached Bannu. 
‘A Woman’s Letter’’ I may use for Harijan. Your Kathiawar 
thing^ will go in this week with the last paragraph or two cut 
out. 

It is not likely that my articles on the European situation 
will bear fruit immediately. But they will, if India develops 
non-violence. There are grave doubts about its possibility. My 
own impurity is probably the chief stumbling-block. My word 
has lost its power as it appears to me. It should, according to 
my views of purity. However, I push on in faith. I must de- 
tach myself from the results of my thought, word or deed. I am 
not going to judge myself and condemn me to inactivity because I 
cannot get rid of the impurity in spite of incessant effort. Now 


’ Vide “Woman’s Special Mission”, pp. 51-3. 
2 Vide “Kathiawar Notes”, 4-11-1938. 

68-4 



50 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


perhaps you will understand my disbelief in my power to 
reach the woman’s heart. But this is a long story. So much 

has come in spontaneously. You won’t worry because I do not 
worry at all. I do not brood over my impurity. I see the 
snake is there. I know his fangs worse than a krait’s. I am 
therefore on my guard. The best test of no worry is my uniformly 
steady b. p. 

I wish you would show this to Mahadev. When I began the 
letter I did not know that it would be a serious business. It is 
good in a way. I have simply given you a few lines for love’s 
sake. 

Love. 

Tyrant 
Otherwise Warrior 
According to the 
Latest Honours’ List 

From the original: C.W. 3644. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6453 


52. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


Bannu, 
October 24, 1938 

chi. mahadev, 

At the moment I have no pen and so I am writing with 
a pencil. Rather than write nothing, is it not better to write 
with a pencil and use even mill-made paper? 

I got both your letters on arrival here today. What you 
write about Kanti’s letter is correct. If I can, I will make use 
of it. I shall see. Rajkumari was to be shown that portion 
only, that is, the substance, so that she might be pleased to 
know that Kanti’s ideas were developing well. 

What you say about her — Rajkumari’ s — virtues is correct. 
Such contacts serve to make us humble and increase our spirit 
of service. From this point of view, such occasions arising 
without our seeking should be welcomed. When I have complet- 
ed the tour, we shall think about what you should do. We shall 
be leaving here on November 10 at the latest. It may even be 
sooner. Even that Lilavati will consider too late. I do feel, there- 
fore, that if you like the place there, and Rajkumari is ready 
to stay and have you as her guest, you should stay on. Simla 
is really at its best in November-December. I do not believe it 



woman’s special mission 


51 


possible that you can start working by November 10. This rest 
will not be wasted. You are paying a long-accumulated debt 
and so, if not to Simla, you must go somewhere else for rest. 
You may consult Rajkumari about Jullundur. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 


From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11668 

53. LETTER TO SHARDA C. SHAH 


Bannu, 

October 24, 1938 

CHI. SHARDA, 

I have received your letter. But I have no time today to 
write you a long reply. Now the days you have to count are 
becoming fewer and fewer, aren’t they? 

I shall have to come and make some changes in your diet. 
I cannot do it from here. Do you have to nurse Bhansalibhai 
any time? Do you go for your walks alone? Does Shakaribehn* 
go out? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 10001. Gourtesy: Shardabehn G. Chokhawala 


54. WOMAN'S SPECIAL MISSION 

The Editor, Harijan 
Sir, 

I have read your articles on the recent European crisis with 
great joy. It was only natural that you should speak to Europe now. 
How could you restrain yourself when humanity was on the very verge 
of destruction? 

Will the world listen? That is the question. 

There is no doubt — judging from letters from friends in Eng- 
land — that people there went through absolute agony during that ghast- 
ly week. I am sure the same applies to the whole world. The mere 


’ Addressee’s mother 



52 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


thought of war — modern warfare — with its devilish ingenuity and conse- 
quent pitiless butchery and bestiality — definitely made people think 
as they had never thought before. “The sigh of relief that was breathed 
and the gratitude to God that went up from every heart when the news 
came through that war had been averted are something that I can never 
forget as long as I live,” writes an English friend. And yet is it just 
the fear of unspeakable suffering, the dread of losing one’s nearest 
and dearest, of seeing one’s country humiliated, that cause one to detest 
war? Are we glad war has been averted even at the humiliation of an- 
other nation? Would we have felt differently if the sacrifice of honour had 
been demanded of us? Do we hate war because we realize it is the 
wrong way to settle disputes or is our hatred of it part and parcel of 
our fear? These are questions that must be answered in the right way 
if war is really to vanish from the earth. 

The crisis over, however, what do we see? A more strenuous race 
than before for armaments, a more comprehensive and intensive organi- 
zation than ever of all the resources available — of men, women, money, 
skill and talent — in the event of war! No avowed declaration that 
“War shall not be” from anywhere! Is this not a recognition that war 
— however averted today — is still hanging over our heads as the pro- 
verbial sword of Damocles? 

To me, as a woman, it is painful to realize that my sex has not 
contributed to world peace the quota that should be ours by instinct 
and prerogative to contribute. It pains me to read and hear of 
women’s auxiliary corps being organized, of women being command- 
eered and volunteering to take their full share in the actual field as 
well as behind the lines. And yet, when war comes, it is the women’s 
hearts that are wrung in agony — it is their souls that are scarred 
beyond repair. It is all so inexplicable. Why is it that we have not 
chosen the better part through all the ages? Why have we, without 
murmur, bowed the knee to hideous, soulless, brute force? It is a 
sad commentary on our spiritual development. We have failed to 
understand our high calling. I am quite convinced that if women 
could only have a heart understanding of the power and glory of 
non-violence all would be well with the world. 

Why cannot you inspire and organize us, women of India? Why 
will you not concentrate on having us as your “sword arm”? How 
often have I longed for you to undertake an all-India tour just for this 
purpose? I believe that you would have a wonderful response, for the 
heart of Indian womanhood is sound and no women, perhaps in the 
world, have finer traditions of sacrifice and self-effacement behind 
them as we. Perhaps if you would make something of us we may, in 



LETTER TO MOTILAL ROY 


53 


however humble a manner, be able to show the way of peace to a sor- 
rowing and stricken world. Who knows? 

22-10-1938 A Woman 

I publish this letter not without hesitation. The correspon- 
dent’s faith in my ability to stir the woman heart flatters me. 
But I am humble enough to recognize my limitations. It seems 
to me that the days of my touring are over. Whatever I can 
do by writing I must continue. But my faith is increasing in 
the efficacy of silent prayer. It is by itself an art — perhaps the 
highest art requiring the most refined diligence. I do believe 
that it is woman’s mission to exhibit ahimsa at its highest and 
best. But why should it be a man to move the woman heart? 
If the appeal is addressed exclusively to me not as man but 
as the (supposed to be) best exponent of ahimsa to be practised 
on a mass scale, I have no urge in me to go about preaching the 
doctrine to the women of India. I can assure my correspondent 
that there is no want of will in me that deters me from respond- 
ing to her appeal. My feeling is that if men of the Congress can 
retain their faith in ahimsa and prosecute the non-violence pro- 
gramme faithfully and fully, the women would be automatically 
converted. And it may be that there shall arise one among them 
who will be able to go much farther than I can ever hope to 
do. For woman is more fitted than man to make explorations 
and take bolder action in ahimsa. For the courage of self-sacrifice 
woman is any day superior to man as I believe man is to woman 
for the courage of the brute. 

Bannu, October 25, 1938 
Harijan, 5-11-1938 

55. LETTER TO MOTILAL ROT 


Bannu, 
October 25, 1938 

DEAR MOTI BABU, 

I had your affectionate wire. But this I write not to give 
you thanks which I have done through the Press, but to tell you 
how heavy the burden of the debt owing by the P. Sangh to the 
A. I. S. A. lies on me. For I am chiefly responsible for the trans- 
action. Such was my faith in your business-likeness and of course 
integrity. Both of us are public institutions and I suggest to you 



54 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


that on that account our mutual dealing should be much more 
correct than those among private businessmen. Do please see to 
the debt being discharged. 

Love. 

Tours, 

M. K. Gandhi 

[PS.] 

But address Wardha. 

From a photostat: G.N. 11050 

56. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Bannu, 

October 25, 1938 

BA, 

I put oflF writing to you as you have now recovered. As 
we are touring at present, I hardly get time even to write a 
postcard. But you ought to write or send a message. Every- 
thing is going well here. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 2215 


57. LETTER TO VIDTA A. HINGORANI 


Bannu, 

October 25, 1938 

CHI. VIDYA, 

I have a letter from you after a long time. I am glad. 
Whenever you want you can come to Mahila Ashram after taking 
Jamnalalji’s permission. The rules are a bit changed now. 
I will reach Wardha probably on November 12. I had seen 
Anand’s letter to Mahadev. As far as possible I avoid writing 
letters. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a microfilm of the Hindi. Courtesy: National Archives of India 
and Anand T. Hingorani 



58. SPEECH AT BANNU^ 


October 25, 1938 

Perhaps you know that for over two months I have been ob- 
serving complete silence. I have benefited by it, and I be- 
lieve it has benefited the country too. The silence was original- 
ly taken in answer to an acute mental distress, but subsequently 
I decided to prolong it indefinitely on its own merits. It has 
served me as a wall of protection and enabled me to cope 
with my work better than before. When I came to this pro- 
vince, I had resolved to relax my silence only for the purpose 
of having talks with the Khudai Khidmatgars, but I had to 
yield to Khan Saheb’s pressure. 

Your addresses have eulogized me and thanked me for having 
come here. I do not think I deserve any praise or thanks. I 
know that I can do very little to satisfy your expectations. My 
visit to the Frontier Province is purely to meet the Khudai 
Khidmatgars and know for myself their understanding of non- 
violence. Visit to your town is a by-product. 

I gave many hours today seeing deputations and studying 
papers presented to me. The recent raid of Bannu and the 
happenings during the raid have touched me deeply. This 
province is peculiarly placed, and is different from the other 
provinces inasmuch as on one side it is surrounded by a num- 
ber of border tribes containing men whose profession is raiding. 
So far as I have been able to know they are not actuated by 
communal considerations. The raiders’ motive seems to be satis- 
faction of primary needs. That the Hindus are more often 
their victims is probably due to the fact that they generally pos- 
sess more money. The kidnappings too appear to have the same 
motive. 

Continuation of the raids is in my opinion a proof of Bri- 
tish failure in this part of India. Their Frontier policy has cost 
the country crores of rupees and thousands of lives have been 
sacrificed. The brave tribesmen still remain unsubdued. If all 

* At the meeting, which was largely attended, addresses of welcome to 
Gandhiji were presented by the Bannu District Congress Committee and the 
Seva Samiti, Chandni Chowk. The report of the speech was also pub- 
lished in The Hindustan Times and The Bombay Chronicle. 


55 



56 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


the accounts I have heard today are substantially correct, and I 
believe they are, life and property are not secure in most parts of 
the province. 

A number of people whose relations or dear ones have 
either been killed or kidnapped and held to ransom by the 
raiders, saw me today. As I listened to the harrowing tales 
of distress my heart went out to them in sympathy. But I must 
confess to you that with all the will in the world, I possess no 
magic spell by which I could restore them to their families. Nor 
should you expect much from the Government or the Congress 
ministry. No Government can afford, and the present British 
Government lacks even the will, to mobilize its military resources 
every time one of its subjects is kidnapped, unless the person 
kidnapped happens to belong to the ruling race. 

After studying all the facts I have gained the impression that 
the situation in respect of border raids has grown worse since the 
inauguration of Congress Government. The Congress Ministers 
have no effective control over the police, none over the military. 
The Congress ministry in this province has less than the others. 
I therefore feel that unless Dr. Khan Saheb can cope with the 
question of the raids it might be better for him to tender his 
resignation. There is danger of the Congress losing all prestige 
in this province if the raids continue to increase. Apart from my 
opinion, you have to say for yourselves whether in spite of the 
handicaps I have mentioned, you would rather have the Cong- 
ress ministry or some other. After all, the Prime Minister is 
your servant. He holds office under the triple sufferance of his 
electorate, the Provincial Congress Committee and the Working 
Committee. 

Some of those who met me today asked me if they could seek 
safety by migrating from the Frontier Province. I have told 
them that migration is a perfectly legitimate course to adopt 
when there is no other way of living with safety and honour. A 
complaint has further been brought to me that the Muslim popu- 
lations in the affected places no longer give help against the raiders 
which they used to formerly, before certain sections of Frontier 
Crime Regulation Act were repealed, and that has encouraged 
the raiders. While that may be true, let me warn you that 
if you depend for your protection on the armed assistance of 
others you must be prepared sooner or later to accept the 
domination of these defenders. Of course you are entitled to learn 
the art of defending yourselves with arms. You must develop 
a sense of co-operation. In no case should you be guilty of 



SPEECH AT BANNU 


57 


cowardice. Self-defence is everybody’s birthright. I do not want 
to see a single coward in India. 

The fourth alternative is that of non-violent approach which 
I am here before you to suggest. It is the surest and infallible 
method of self-defence. If I had my way, I would go and mix 
with tribes, and argue it out with them and I am sure they 
would not be impervious to the argument of love and reason. 
But I know today that door is shut to me. The Government 
won’t permit me to enter the tribal territory. 

The tribesman cannot be the bogey man that he is repre- 
sented to be. He is a human just like you and me and capable 
of responding to the human touch which has hitherto been conspi- 
cuous by its absence in dealing with him. A number of Waziris 
came and saw me today at noon. I did not find that their 
nature was essentially different from human nature elsewhere. 

Man’s nature is not essentially evil. Brute nature has been 
known to yield to the influence of love. You must never despair 
of human nature. You are a community of traders. Do not 
leave out of your traffic that noblest and most precious of merchan- 
dise, viz., love. Give to the tribesmen all the love that you are 
capable of, and you will have theirs in return. 

To seek safety by offering blackmail or ransom to the 
raiders would be a direct invitation to them to repeat their 
depredations and will be demoralizing alike to the giver and the 
tribesmen. Instead of offering them money, the rational course 
would be to raise them above penury by teaching them indus- 
try and thereby removing the principal motive that leads them 
into the raiding habit. 

I am having talks with Khudai Khidmatgars in this con- 
nection and evolving a plan in collaboration with Khan Saheb. 
If the plan bears fruit, and the Khudai Khidmatgars truly become 
what their name signifies, the influence of their example like the 
sweet fragrance of the rose will spread to the tribes and might 
provide a permanent solution of the Frontier question. 

Harijan, 5-11-1938 



59. TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS 


Bannu, 

[On or before October 26, 1938Y 

Gandhiji explained the difference between non-violence of the strong and 
non-violence of the weak and the difference between constructive work, taken 
up as a philanthropic activity or as a political expedient, and constructive work 
linked to non-violence, when it becomes an emancipative force with tre- 
mendous potency. He recalled how the movement of non-violence was 
launched in India. Millions at that time felt that they would not be able to 
fight the British Government with the sword as the latter was infinitely better 
armed. He told them that even if they went forth to fight, sword in hand, 
they had to be ready to face death. If the sword broke in their hand, death 
would be a certainty. Why should not they then learn the art of dying 
without killing and pit against the enemy the strength of their spirit? The 
Government might imprison them or confiscate their property or even kill 
them. What did it matter? The argument went home. But in their heart 
of hearts, said Gandhiji, many had the feeling that if only they had suffi- 
cient armed strength they would resort to fighting. They accepted non-violence 
because there was nothing else. In other words, there was violence in 
the heart. Only it was given up in action. It was non-violence of the 
weak, not of the brave. Even so it had made them stronger. He was 
there to tell them that it was a big mistake to regard non-violence as a wea- 
pon of the weak or to adopt it as such. If the Khudai Khidmatgars fell into 
that mistake, it would be a tragedy. 

If you give up the sword at Badshah Khan’s word, but re- 
tain it in your hearts, your non-violence will be a short-lived 
thing — not even a nine days’ wonder. After a few years you 
will want to revert to it but, maybe, you will then find that 
you have got out of the habit and are lost to both the ideals. 
Nothing will, in that event, remain to you but vain regret. 
What I want of you is a unique thing, i. e., that you will disdain 
to use the sword although you have got the capacity and there 
is no doubt as to victory. Even if the opponent is armed with 
a broken sword, you will oppose your neck to it. And this, not 
with anger or retaliation in your hearts but only love. If 
you have really understood non-violence in this sense, you will 

^ Gandhiji left Bannu on October 26. 

58 



TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS 59 

never want to use the sword because you will have got some- 
thing infinitely superior in its place. 

You will ask, ‘How will all this have any effect on the Bri- 
tish Government?’ My reply is that by uniting all the people 
of India in a common bond of love through our selfless service, 
we can transform the atmosphere in the country so that the 
Britisher will not be able to resist it. You will say that the 
Britisher is impervious to love. My thirty years’ unbroken exper- 
ience is to the contrary. Today 17,000 Englishmen can rule 
over three hundred millions of Indians because we are under a 
spell of fear. If we learn to love one another, if the gulf bet- 
ween Hindu and Muslim, caste and outcaste, and rich and poor, 
is obliterated, a handful of English would not dare to continue 
their rule over us. 

Just as there are laws of armed warfare, there are laws of 
non-violent warfare too. They have not been fully discovered. 
Under violence you punish the evil-doer, in non-violence you 
pity him, and regard him as a patient to be cured by your 
love. 

What must you do then to drive out the British by the 
non-violent method? If you want to adopt the method of vio- 
lence, you have to learn to drill and to become adept in the use 
of arms. In Europe and America even women and children are 
given that training. Similarly those who have adopted the wea- 
pon of non-violence have to put themselves through a vigorous 
discipline in non-violence. 

And with that he came to the constructive programme and its place in 
the scheme of non-violence as a dynamic force. He had placed the pro- 
gramme of non-violence before the country in 1920, he explained. It 
was divided into two parts, non-co-operation and constructive programme. The 
latter included establishment of communal unity, abolition of untouchability, 
prohibition, complete eradication of the drink and drug evil and propa- 
gation of khadi, hand-spinning, hand-weaving and other cottage industries. 
But all these things had to be taken up not as a political expediency but 
as an integral part of the programme of non-violence. This last made 
all the difference. For instance, Hindu-Muslim unity regarded as an expe- 
dient was one thing and quite another when adopted as an integral part of 
non-violence. 

The former, by its very nature, cannot be lasting. It will 
be discarded as soon as the political exigency that suggested it 
is over. It may even be a stratagem or a ruse. When it is 
taken up as a part of the programme of non-violence it will have 



60 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


nothing but love at its root and will be sealed with one’s heart’s 
blood. 

In the same way the charkha or the spinning-wheel had to 
be linked to non-violence. 

Today there are millions of unemployed destitute in India. 
One way to deal with them is to allow them to die off so that, 
as in South Africa, there might be more per capita land for the 
survivors. That would be the way of violence. The other way, 
the way of non-violence, is based on the principle of ‘even unto 
this last’. It requires us to have equal regard for the least of 
God’s creation. A votary of this path will deny to himself what 
cannot be shared with the least. That applies even to those who 
labour with their hands — the relatively better off among the labour- 
ing class must seek to align themselves with the less fortunate. 

It was this line of thinking, said Gandhiji, which had led to the dis- 
covery of the charkha on his part. 

I had not even seen a charkha when I first advocated its 
use. In fact I called it a handloom in Hind Swaraj, not know- 
ing a spinning-wheel from a handloom. I had before my mind’s 
eye the poor, landless labourer without employment or means of 
subsistence, crushed under the weight of poverty. How could 
I save him — that was my problem. Even now while I am sit- 
ting with you in these comfortable surroundings, my heart is 
with the poor and the oppressed in their humble cottages. I 
would feel more at home in their midst. If I allowed myself 
to succumb to the love of ease and comfort, it would be my 
undoing as a votary of ahimsa. What is it then that can provide 
a living link between me and the poor ? The answer is the char- 
kha. No matter what one’s occupation or rank in life is, the 
charkha, taken with all that it signifies, will provide the golden 
bridge to unite him to the poor. For instance, if I am a doctor, 
while I draw the sacrificial thread it will make me think how 
I can assuage the suffering of the destitute instead of the royalty 
in rich palaces with the prospect of fat fees. The charkha is 
not my invention. It was there before. My discovery consisted 
in linking it to the programme of non-violence and independence. 
God whispered into my ear: ‘If you want to work through 
non-violence, you have to proceed with small things, not big.’ 
If we had worked the fourfold constructive programme in its 
completeness during the last twenty years as I had envisaged it, 
we should have been our masters today. No foreign power would 
have dared to cast its evil eye upon us. No enemy from outside 



STATEMENT TO THE PRESS 


61 


would have dared to come and do us harm if there had been 
none within. Even if one had come we would have assimilated 
him to ourselves and he would not have been able to exploit us. 

It is this type of non-violence that I want you to attain. 
I expect you to be twenty-four-carat gold, nothing less. Of 
course, you can deceive me. If you do that, I shall blame my- 
self only. But if you are sincere, you have to prove by your ac- 
tion that nobody need be afraid of a Red Shirt or know fear 
while there is a Red Shirt alive. 

A Pilgrimage for Peace, pp. 97-101 


60. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS 

October 26, 1938 

I tender my congratulations to His Highness, Her Highness 
and the Dewan for the general amnesty granted to civil disobe- 
dience prisoners in Travancore on the Maharaja’s birthday. It is 
to be hoped that in order to make the amnesty fruitful and peace 
permanent it will be followed up by the appointment of a com- 
mittee of inquiry into past events and another into the nature 
of responsible government to be granted under the aegis of the 
Maharaja. 

There remain still allegations against the Dewan. I would 
repeat my suggestion for withdrawal. Withdrawal need not 
mean disbelief in their truth hy the authorities. They should 
withdraw in the higher interest. The case for responsible gov- 
ernment must not be mixed up with the allegations which pale 
into insignificance compared to the question of the transference 
of power into the hands of the people. 

Harijan, 29-10-1938 



61. SPEECH AT LAKKT 


October 26, 1938 

I am here to tell you, with fifty years’ experience of non- 
violence at my back, that it is an infinitely superior power as 
compared to brute force. An armed soldier relies on his wea- 
pons for his strength. Take away from him his weapons — his gun 
or his sword, and he generally becomes helpless. But a person 
who has truly realized the principle of non-violence has the God- 
given strength for his weapon and the world has not known any- 
thing that can match it. Man may, in a moment of unaware- 
ness forget God, but He keeps watch over him and protects 
him always. If the Khudai Khidmatgars have understood this 
secret, if they have realized that non-violence is the greatest 
power on earth, well and good; otherwise it would be better 
for Khan Saheb to restore to them their weapons which they 
have discarded at his instance. They will then be at least brave 
after the manner of the world that has today made the worship 
of brute force its cult. But if they discard their old weapons 
and at the same time remain strangers to the power of non- 
violence, it would be a tragedy for which I for one am not and, 
so far as I know, Khan Saheb too is not prepared. 

Harijan, 19-11-1938 


62. A DENIAL 

With reference to my note headed ‘Seven Gomplaints’^ 
Shri Brijlal Biyani writes: 

In the issue of Harijan dated 15th October there is something which 
concerns me in your article headed ‘Seven Complaints’. The complaint 
is that I was taken in procession with music past a mosque during 
Jumma Prayers. 

Such a complaint was made directly to me and I issued a state- 
ment on October 12, a copy of which I am herewith enclosing. 

The procession passed the mosque when the prayers were over. 
Kazi Saheb Saiyad Mohammad Ali who led the prayers agrees that the 

* Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— V” 

2 Vide Vol. LXVII, pp. 410-1. 


62 



TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS 


63 


prayers were over and that he was in some shop while the procession 
passed. 

In his Press statement I notice the following very relevant 
sentence: 

I am one of those who religiously believe in tolerance and respect for 
all religions and who believe in Hindu-Muslim unity for the attainment 
of Swaraj in India. 

Lakki, Marwat, October 27, 1938 
Harijan, 5- 11-1938 


63. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

Lakki, Marwat, 

October 27, 1938 

MY DEAR idiot. 

One letter I posted today to catch the local post. This is 
for tomorrow and to send you letter from Junagadh. After 
you have seen it, please send it to Narandas — have sent a sweet 
letter in Gujarati to the Dewanh You will of course write. 

This I am writing in the midst of the Khudai Khidmatgars 
to whom I shall presently speak. They are coming in. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

[PS.] 

I am sending the cheque to N.^ 

From the original: C.W. 3886. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7042 


64. TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS^ 


Lakki, 

[October 27, 1938^ 

The principles on which a non-violent organization is based 
are different from and the reverse of what obtains in a violent 
organization. For instance, in the orthodox army, there is a 

’ Dewan of Junagadh; vide “Letter to Narandas Gandhi”, p. 67. 

^ Narandas 

^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— V” 

^ Vide the preceding item. 



64 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


clear distinction made between an officer and a private. The 
latter is subordinate and inferior to the former. In a non-violent 
army the general is just the chief servant — first among equals. 
He claims no privilege over or superiority to the rank and file. 
You have fondly given the title ‘Badshah Khan’ to Khan Saheb. 
But if in his heart of hearts he actually began to believe that he 
could behave like an ordinary general, it would spell his downfall 
and bring his power to an end. He is Badshah in the sense only 
that he is the truest and foremost Khudai Khidmatgar and excels 
all other Khudai Khidmatgars in the quality and quantity of 
service. 

The second difference between a military organization and a 
peace organization is that in the former the rank and file have 
no part in the choice of their general and other officers. These 
are imposed upon them and enjoy unrestricted power over 
them. In a non-violent army, the general and the officers are 
elected or are as if elected when their authority is moral and 
rests solely on the willing obedience of the rank and file. 

So much for internal relations between the general of a non- 
violent army and his soldiers. Coming to their relations with 
the outside world, the same sort of difference is visible between 
these two kinds of organizations. Just now we had to deal with 
an enormous crowd that had gathered outside this room. You 
tried to disperse it by persuasion and loving argument, not by 
using force and, when in the end we failed in our attempt, we 
withdrew and sought relief from it by getting behind closed 
doors in this room. Military discipline knows nothing of moral 
pressure. 

Let me proceed a step further. The people who are crowding 
outside here are all our friends though they are not Khudai 
Khidmatgars. They are eager to listen to what we may tell 
them. Even their indiscipline is a manifestation of their love. 
But there may be others besides them elsewhere who may not 
be well disposed towards us, who may even be hostile to us. In 
armed organizations, the only recognized way of dealing with 
such persons is to drive them out. Here, to consider the op- 
ponent, or, for the matter of that, anybody, even in thought, as 
your enemy would, in the parlance of non-violence or love, be 
called a sin. Far from seeking revenge, a votary of non-violence 
would pray to God that He might bring about a change of 
heart of his opponent, and if that does not happen he would be 
prepared to bear any injury that his opponent might inflict upon 
him, not in a spirit of cowardice or helplessness, but bravely with 



LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


65 


a smile upon his face. I believe implicitly in the ancient saying 
that “non-violence real and complete will melt the stoniest hearts.” 

He illustrated his remarks by describing how Mir Alam Khan, his 
Pathan assailant in South Africa, had ultimately repented and become 
friendly.^ 

This could not have happened if I had retaliated. My 
action can be fitly described as a process of conversion. Unless 
you have felt within you this urge to convert your enemy by 
your love, you had better retrace your steps; this business of 
non-violence is not for you. 

‘What about thieves, dacoits and spoilers of defenceless 
women?’ you will ask. Must a Khudai Khidmatgar main- 
tain his non-violence in regard to them too? My reply is, 
most decidedly ‘Yes’. Punishment is God’s, Who alone is the 
infallible Judge. It does not belong to man “with judgment 
weak”. Renunciation of violence must not mean apathy or 
helplessness in the face of wrongdoing. If our non-violence is 
genuine and rooted in love, it ought to provide a more effective 
remedy against wrongdoing than the use of brute force. I cert- 
ainly expect you to trace out the dacoits, show them the error 
of their ways and, in so doing, brave even death. 

Harijan, 19-11-1938 

65. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 

Touring, 
October 27, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

I have all your letters I think. Sushila has discussed with 
me your proposal about avoiding typhoid. She says there is 
no difference between Nayakum’s well and ours. She says the 
only safety lies in using only boiled water not merely for drink- 
ing but also for washing pots from which we eat and drink and 
uncooked fruits which [we] handle and eat. She thinks we 
ought to be able to ensure a proper supply of fool-proof boiled 
water. But when we meet we shall discuss all the suggestions 
you have made. Williams did send all the plans. But I came 
to the conclusion that it was beyond us. In my opinion we 
must revert to my original plan. We must use buckets and turn 
night-soil into manure in some distant spot. Even so where we 

> Vide Vol. XXIX, p. 165. 


68-5 



66 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


have water rising to the surface there is no absolute safety. I 
am writing this in the midst of a meeting. So no more. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6410. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10005 


66. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

October 27, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

I got your letter yesterday as we were leaving Bannu. 
Why do you think that you are away from me? How do you 
know that you are not coming nearer? A wall separates two 
guests in a hotel. Who can say whether you are separated 
from me only by the thickness of nine to twelve inches of a 
wall or by a distance of miles and miles? And are there not 
people who feel near enough even though they may be separated 
by a distance of miles ? This much is certain, however, that you 
will be so well restored through rest that you will get energy 
for more work. A still greater benefit will be that your life will 
become regular in every particular. Observe the hours of food 
and rest with as religious a strictness as you do the hours of 
prayers. Is not eating also for the sake of yajna only? In any 
case, it should be so. If you forget one yajna, you forget all. 
As long as you like being there, you must stay on. My returning 
to Wardha must not concern you in any way just now. The 
solitude and comfort and good company that you are enjoying 
there, you will not be able to enjoy elsewhere. So stay there 
or at Jullundur. If Rajkumari feels that you are overstaying or 
if she has to go away somewhere else and therefore you cannot 
stay there, it will be a different matter. My blood-pressure 
yesterday evening was 136/84. Whose is better — yours or mine? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

The name of the place where we are today is Gathari or 
something like that. At 1 we start for Dera Ismail Khan. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11669 



67. LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI 


On Tour, 

October 27, 1938 


CHI. NARANDAS, 

The enclosed cheque for Rs. 750 is from the Junagadh 
Durbar. It was received on the occasion of the anniversary cele- 
bration. You may spend the money in the manner we have 
decided. He will give Rs. 750 more for the local Harijan 
committee. I have sent a letter* to this effect to Rajkumari. 
She will forward the cheque to you. You need not send any 
acknowledgment. But write to me of course. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8553. Courtesy: 
Narandas Gandhi 


68. LETTER TO CHHAGANLAL JOSHI 

Dera Ismail Khan, 

October 27, 1938 

CHI. CHHAGANLAL, 

I have gone through your note on the murder, etc., in 
Gunda. It has produced no effect on me. It is not enough 
to assert that the murder was not the result of a private feud. 
Did Savji take part in politics? Had he attracted anybody’s 
attention? Has there been a regular practice in Rajkot of 
beating up people in this manner? You should get — there should 
be — some evidence showing that the State authorities had some 
connection direct or indirect with the murder. You cannot jump 
to a conclusion on the basis of mere suspicion. The people will 
believe anything you say, but you should try and get evidence 
which would compel even opponents to believe the charge. 
Mere inference will not help. It also does not seem right to say 
that none of the culprits can be traced. And even if that is 


* Vide p. 63. 


67 



68 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

true, it does not warrant the conclusion that the State authorities 
had a hand in the murder. If, despite all efforts, the culprits 
cannot be traced, an inquiry should be held into the circumstan- 
ces of the murder and the results should be placed before the 
public. Your beginning is almost hair-raising, but as one pro- 
ceeds further one feels that this must be one of those incidents 
which are all too frequent in the world. But all this is only for 
your benefit. As for the world, it will go on as it has always done. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 5546 


69. LETTER TO M. R. MASAJVI 

Dera Ismail Khan, 
October 27, 1938 

BHAI MASANI, 

I was pained to read your reply to my article. You seem 
to say that socialists believe in khadi, in prohibition and in 
non-violence and that the Committee has no evidence of speeches 
inciting to violence having been made. I have talked not with 
one socialist but with many of them. I have read their writings 
and their speeches. They have not . . .* non-violence, have 
ridiculed khadi and said that prohibition is only a waste of money. 
As for the evidence of the use of force, I get it almost daily. 
This being the case, how can I change my opinion? 

I have sent to Father the foreword^ to Dadabhai JVaoroji. 

Vandemataram from 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4130. Also C.W. 4888. Courtesy: 
M. R. Masani 


* Not clear in the source 
2 Vide pp. 25-6. 



70. MONSTROUS IF TRUE 
A correspondent writes: 

Here in Nasik there is a Police Training School. Police officers are 
made in this school. They are expected to have their meals in a com- 
mon mess and they are obliged to partake of fleshmeat and wines. Let 
alone meat-eating, how far is it consistent with the prohibition policy of 
the Government to train its police officers in wine-drinking? These 
officers may well be required to take part in the prohibition drive. Perhaps 
you do not even know that meat-eating and wine-drinking is compulsory 
in this school. 

I must confess my ignorance of the compulsion. It is 
only the assurance with which my correspondent writes that 
has induced me to publish the letter. If the information is 
true, it is surely monstrous that meat-eating and wine-drinking 
should be considered a necessary part of a police officer’s train- 
ing. This rule excludes vegetarians and non-drinkers from train- 
ing as police officers. The rule is a grave injustice in a country 
in which tens of thousands are vegetarians by religion. I can 
only hope that the information is incorrect and that if it is true, 
the glaring wrong will be redressed without delay. 

Dera Ismail Khan, October 28, 1938 
Harijan, 5-11-1938 

71. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Dera, 
October 28, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

This is merely to tell you this is a lazy day for me in 
one way and a very busy day in another way. 

Did you ever receive my letter in which I asked you to 
send me some khadi sheets? Whether you did and forgot to 
send, or whether you never got it, pray do not send any now, 
as Chandrashanker has sent four pads. They will see me through. 
Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3645. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6454 


69 



72. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


October 28, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

Yesterday’s letter was written in a village. This is from 
Dera where we are for full three days. I got your draft letter 
to E.' here. It is also good but for the last paragraph. The 
last para shows mental fatigue. You will see it is disconnected 
and wholly unnecessary. It will be insulting for England well 
armed to honour a little nation for her throwing away arms. 
If Czechs could do the thing, the nations of the earth including 
Germany will be awe-struck. 

You must attend to your eyes at once. You have the right 
helper in Kri[shna]chandra. 

I have no recollection of having authorized tube well. 
Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6411. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10006 


73. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAL 


Dera, 

October 28, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

1 am sending the accompanying letter, which you may like 
to read. Don’t worry about it after reading it. I have even sent 
a brief note^ on the Nasik School. They have spared me 
today and tomorrow for Harijan work. With Khan Saheb in 
command, no one is permitted to come and disturb me. And 
moreover I am observing silence. Hence I am in an ideal 
place here, just as you are there. We tour in a lorry. It con- 

’ Presumably Emil Hacha, who had succeeded Benes as President of 
Czechoslovakia, on November 30, after the latter had resigned on October 5 
and left the country 

2 Vide “Monstrous If True”, p. 69. 


70 



LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL 


71 


tains a bed for me. Khan Saheb does not crowd the lorry with 
too many people. Tell Rajkumari whatever of this you think 
may interest her. 

Tell Bablo to write sometimes to me even under a false pre- 
text. What does he think regarding himself ? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11670 


74. LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL 

Dera Ismail Khan, 

October 28, 1938 

CHI. MANI, 

You have been forced to write to me after many years. 
The letter is full of news indeed. Continue to write in the same 
way. Assuming the report about the Nasik Police School to be 
true, I have written a note on it. Also talk to Kher* or MunshP 
if you happen to meet them. 

If the officials there do not work sincerely for enforcing prohi- 
bition, the Ministers should protest to the Governor in strong 
language. But they must be convinced that the officials do not 
have the heart in the work. 

About lands, I had written even before I received Vallabh- 
bhai’s letter. Send me a report of the debate on the subject 
in the Assembly. 

1 have not said that no steps can be taken against porno- 
graphic literature. I did give my opinion. Of course, I am 
afraid that people have come to like obscene literature and it 
cannot, therefore, be easily stopped. It will stop only when 
learned men themselves are disgusted with such literature. I 
do believe that pornographic writings should be stopped by law 
if it can be done. But please remember that there is a great 
difference between forcing students to read such things and the 
publication of obscene writing in newspapers. 

What is happening in Rajkot is wonderful. If the tempo 
is kept up, there is no doubt that the people will get what they 
want. Father has done the correct thing in regard to Travancore. 
There was no harm in his having called Ramachandran. Before 

* B. G. Kher, Premier of Bombay 

2 K. M. Munshi, Home Minister of Bombay 



72 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Father’s letter arrived, however, I had already issued my state- 
ment*. I feel that it was necessary to issue one. Now there is 
no immediate need to go to Travancore. 

The constant flow of mucus from the nose into the throat 
is not at all good. It must be stopped. 

I understand about Baroda. Let me know what happens 
in Bhadran. 

I hope to reach Wardha about the 15th. The tour here 
will be over by the 9th. 

What is happening regarding Subhas Babu is not out of my 
mind. That is why I discussed it in the Working Committee. 
But Father was of the view that we should wait till Jawaharlal’s 
arrival, so I kept silent. There is bound to be some difficulty 
this time in electing the President. Let Father think over the 
suggestion^ I have made in Harijan. I am of the view that letting 
the present state of affairs continue will be harmful. 

I have now replied to both your letters. Show this to 
Father when he has some free time. 

I keep really excellent health. Father should visit this Pro- 
vince, in Maulana’s company. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

Manibehn Patel 
P uRUSHOTTAM BuiLDING 

Opp. Opera House, Bombay 
[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro~4: Manibehn Patelne, pp. 119-21 

75. LETTER TO VIJATA M. PATEL 

October 28, 1938 

CHI. VIJAYA, 

1 got your three letters together — one addressed at Delhi, 
one from Segaon and the third directly. 

It is very good indeed that you have gone there. ^ Congratu- 
lations on your health having improved. I feel now you are your 
normal self. So why should I worry? 

* Vide p. 6 1 . 

2 Vide Vol. LXVII, “That Unfortunate Walk-out”, pp. 401-2. 

2 The addressee was at this time in Gram Dakshinamurti, a rural 
education centre near a village Ambla in Bhavnagar district of Saurashtra. 



SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, DERA ISMAIL KHAN 


73 


I am doing very well indeed. The climate suits me. The 
cold is such as I can bear. Mahadev is flourishing in Simla. 
You must be getting the news about the sickness at Segaon. 
How is Nanabhai? How are you getting on there? What work 
are you doing? 

We shall arrive at Segaon about the 15th. 

Blessings to you both from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7101. Also C.W. 4593. Courtesy: 
Vijayabehn M. Pancholi 


76. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA 

October 28, 1938 

CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA, 

It is good that you have started helping Mirabehn. She has 
her faults; but she is very devout and you will reap rich bene- 
fit from all your service. You will learn from her pure and practi- 
cal lessons in brahmacharya. 

I have already written to you about other matters. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4307 


77. SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, DERA ISMAIL KHAN^ 

October 28, 1938 

I thank you for the purse which you have presented but 
you should know that Daridramrayana, whose representative I claim 
to be, is not so easily satisfied. My business is with the crores 
of semi-starved masses, who need relief sorely. We have to 
tackle through khadi the question of a huge annual drain from 
India for cotton purchase. Through khadi the A. I. S. A. has al- 
ready distributed over four crores of rupees as wages among the 
needy, poor, Hindu and Mussalman spinners and weavers. Then 
there is the question of Harijan uplift — an equally Herculean 

* Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— V”. A purse 
of Rs. 5,753 was presented to Gandhiji. He rebuked the people for such a 
meagre sum as Rs. 5,000 of the total amount was a single donation. 



74 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


task. Your donation ought to be commensurate with the magnitude 
of the task for which it is intended. Yours is not a poor city. 
The donors are mostly merchants. Surely, you could have done 
better. 

Referring next to the Khudai Khidmatgars and to the strained relations 
between them and the local volunteers which he had noticed, he proceeded: 

These differences are unfortunate. If, however, Khudai Khid- 
matgars live up to their creed as they have now understood it, 
the differences and quarrels will be things of the past. They 
are on their trial. If they come out victorious they will be in- 
strumental in bringing about communal unity and establishing 
Swaraj. I know, to banish anger altogether from one’s breast 
is a difficult task. It cannot be achieved through pure, per- 
sonal effort. It can be done only by God’s grace. I ask you all 
to join me in the prayer that God might enable the Khudai 
Khidmatgars to conquer the last traces of anger and violence 
that might still be lurking in their breasts. 

Harijan, 19-11-1938 

78. THE PEOPLE'S EDUCATION MOVEMENT 

When Dr. Hengchih Tao visited me some time ago I invi- 
ted him to give me a note on the remarkable People’s Education 
Movement going on in China. He has now sent the following 
instructive note* which cannot but be useful to us in India. 

Harijan, 29-10-1938 


79. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Dera, 
October 29, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

Though you both say you don’t expect me to write daily, 
you do expect to hear from me ! ! 

I say nothing about myself because I have never kept bet- 
ter. The weather, food and peace have combined to bring about 
the results. I have nobody to quarrel with except Amtussalaam. 
But my silence is an effective check on that too. 

* Not reproduced here 



LETTER TO PURUSHOTTAM GANDHI 


75 


There was an interruption after I had written the foregoing 
lines. And when I write with the left hand, everything moves 
slow, the brain included. It is a good thing. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3646. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6455 


80. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


Dera, 

October 29, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

The right hand needs some rest. The accompanying is for 
your information. If you wish, you may write a few lines to 
Dorothy. 

Have you heard about Bhansali and Rajendra having had 
typhoid in Segaon? Does anyone in Segaon write to you di- 
rectly? Bhansali is quite well now. Rajendra is still having 
fever. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11672 

81. LETTER TO PURUSHOTTAM GANDHI 

October 29, 1938 

CHI. PURUSHOTTAM, 

I got your letter. You have my blessings, of course, for the 
New Year’s Day and for the whole year. 

I was certainly pained when I heard about your desire to 
give up public service. But I consoled myself with the thought 
that you would do nothing without thinking. What guidance 
can I give you? Don’t do anything through false shame or under 
pressure from anybody. Do only as much as the strength of 
your heart permits. There is no sin at all in giving up public 
service and working for money. Doing service is not something 
that everybody can digest. If we eat anything that causes indi- 
gestion, it cannot but result in disease. It would be much better, 
instead, to eat only what one can digest. 



76 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


It is good indeed that for the present you are staying 
on. Maybe, by and by, your economic condition will cease to 
trouble you. Please remember that it is good to live in poverty. 
Poverty shapes a man’s character. In plenty one does not 
know at all where one is going. Moreover, most of the world 
lives in poverty. We see very few living in plenty. I have 
never envied such people. Sometimes I pity them. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 


From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II 


82. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

Dera, 

October 30, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

It is nearing 8 p. m. — my time for walking out. 

The last of three deputations has just left me. 

What did I say about S.’s prescription for Durga? 

You are right. If I gave up Segaon altogether, it would 
be unjust to Aryanayakum. But I am not giving up Segaon. 
If all goes well, part of the year I must spend there. Let us 
see. Heaven’s Light my Guide. 

I am well. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

[PS.] 

Do you remember where you left Ku’s book which I gave 
you for revision? 

From the original: C.W. 3887. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7043 



83. LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA 


Dera, 

October 30, 1938 


MY DEAR KU, 

Your complaint is just. I have taken up too much on my 
shoulders. The more correct statement is I have been over- 
whelmed. And so what could stand by naturally got neglected. 
I now send you my drafts which I hope you will be able to deci- 
pher without difficulty. Before making it final please show it 
to Shankerlal and Jajujee. Your book I gave to R. K. in des- 
pair.^ I have written to her. 

How are you all doing ? 

I expect to leave Peshawar on 10th. 

Love. 

Bapu 


From a photostat: G.N. 10136 

84. INTERPRETATION OE MEMBERS PLEDGE 

[October 30, 193 8Y 

The pledge was purposely drawn as it is of a general cha- 
racter. It is a gentleman’s pledge, each member being put 
upon his or her honour as to the interpretation of the expres- 
sion ‘the best part of my energy and talents to the furtherance 
of its object which is the all-round welfare of the villagers of 
India’. 

Members are also pledged not only to work for the fur- 
therance of the object but also ‘to strive to live up to the ideals’ 
and ‘prefer the use of village manufactures to any other’. 

Recommending members of the Board will therefore see to 
it that the candidate for membership has, in everything he does, 
the welfare of the villagers at heart. It follows that such a per- 
son will give to village work at least some time every day not 

* Vide the following item. 

^ Vide the preceding item. 

3 Vide the preceding item. 

77 



78 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


necessarily in villages but may be for villages. Thus a member 
living in a city, who on a particular day sells to or induces a per- 
son to buy village manufactures, has done some village work 
for that day. 

The member recommending will also see to it that the 
candidate wherever possible uses articles of village manufac- 
ture, e. g., khadi in the place of mill-cloth, village earthen pots 
instead of factory-made china, reed-pen instead of steel-pen, hand- 
made paper instead of ordinary paper, wholesome babul or 
neem or such other tooth-brush instead of the very insanitary 
and injurious tooth-brush, leather goods made in villages out 
of village-flayed cattle instead [of] tanned hide, the ordinary 
village gur instead of factory sugar, hand-pounded whole rice in- 
stead of mill-polished rice, etc. 

For Ku 

The Board would draw the attention of agents, workers and 
the public to the importance of dead cattle hide as an article of trade 
and village manufacture. Workers are advised to study in their 
own areas the method of disposal of the dead cattle and its 
preparation from flaying to tanning and report to the Board their 
observations. Public are invited to prefer the use of only such lea- 
ther goods as are prepared in the villages. 

Things to Remember 

Agent’s appointment of Hardhyansingh, Delhi. Accurate de- 
scription of the areas of work of members of Board and agents. 

From a photostat: G.N. 10137 and 10138 

85. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


Dera, 

October 30, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

I think you will like to see the accompanying letter. 

Today the tour started at 12 and we returned at 4. We 
visited a village called Kulachi. Tomorrow we are going to Tank. 

Even now there is no cold in the air at all. We sleep in the 
open. 

We leave for Segaon on the 10th. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 



LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


79 


[PS.] 


Does Brijkrishna write to you regularly? 


From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11673 


86. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

October 31, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

This is just when we are ready to start. 

What is the difference between radio news and the paper 
news? Both are equally unreliable. My health has suffered no 
set-back. I am inclined to think that I can flourish even in mid- 
winter. But I may be over-enthusiastic. The rest from Mahadev. 
Love. 

Warrior 
Alias Tyrant 
Alias Robber 
What Next? 

From the original: C.W. 3647. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6456 


87. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

October 31, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

I have told Brijkrishna to write to you every day. He 
alone knows how much love and interest he pours in what he 
writes. 

I cannot give you quite definitely the date of our departure. 
We are trying to leave on the 9th from Kambalpur or Rawal- 
pindi or Taxila. You should reach Delhi latest by the 10th. It 
will be better if you can reach on the 9th. 

I will not let you stay in Wardha just now. I like the 
idea of a sea voyage, with Durga and Babla accompanying you, 
unless Durga likes and wants to stay at Bulsar. I should like 
you to make a trip as far as Singapore. You may even spend 
a few days in Singapore. You should resume work on January 
20 at the earliest. If you wish to write anything in the mean 
while, you may do so. I have no fear at all of your time being 
wasted anywhere. And you will return to work a fitter 
man. 



80 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


I am allowing your notes to go as they are. Ask back 
the article about Massingham. It is very fine indeed. It is 
poetry, but it is not for Harijan. Moreover, though there is poetry 
in it, it contains nothing of value to learn from our point of view. 
Is there anything common between their villages and our villages ? 
Even at the time when those villages were formed, the people 
there were armed pirates and freebooters. The villages were 
signs of this fact. Our villages are so many dung-hills. The king 
took interest in them only for the purpose of robbing them. 
The Vaishyas only gathered money. The Shudras and Atishudras 
slaved. Your article, therefore, can provide us no inspiration. 
Would it not be sheer ignorance for any superficial observer to 
see poetry in our villages? And if you take out extracts from 
the Vedas and place them beside extracts from modern English, we 
would have to hang our heads in shame. Elaborate this criti- 
cism of mine further and understand my point. If there is any 
error in my view, let me know. I read the article today at 
three in the morning. But you may send it to Modern Review 
or the Hindustan Times if you wish. 

We have to march out immediately. I am writing this 
while eating. I am eating fruit with a fork. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11674 

88. SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, TANK' 

October 31, 1938 

They^ feel that the existence of a microscopic Hindu minority 
in the midst of the predominantly Mussalman population in this 
area can be rendered possible only if the latter will be as true 
hamsayas — neighbours — to them and they have asked me to 
appeal to Khudai Khidmatgars to fulfil their natural role in res- 
pect of them. I entirely endorse their feeling and their appeal 
and I am convinced that it is within your power to set them at 
their ease if you will but fulfil the expectations you have raised 
in me. As I observed on a previous occasion, the Hindus, the 
Mussulmans and the Englishmen in this province are being 

* Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— V” 

^ The Hindus, who had met Gandhiji in deputation and complained 
about the state of general insecurity in which they had to live 



TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS 


81 


weighed in the balance. History will record its verdict about 
the Englishmen’s deeds. But Hindus and Mussalmans can write 
their own history by being correct in their mutual dealings. For 
the Khudai Khidmatgars their course of action has been deter- 
mined. They have to become a living wall of protection to their 
neighbours. 

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquench- 
able faith in their mission can alter the course of history. It has 
happened before and it may again happen if the non-violence of 
Khudai Khidmatgars is unalloyed gold, not mere glittering tinsel. 

Harijan, 19-11-1938 

89. TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS^ 


Tank, 
October 31, 1938 

If in your heart of hearts there is the slightest inclination 
to regard your non-violence as a mere cloak or a stepping-stone 
to greater violence as suggested by this friend^, nay, unless 
you are prepared to carry your non-violence to its ultimate logical 
conclusion and to pray for forgiveness even for a baby-killer and 
a child-murderer, you cannot sign your Khudai Khidmatgar’s 
pledge of non-violence. To sign that pledge with mental reser- 
vations would only bring disgrace upon you, your organization 
and hurt him whom you delight to call the Pride of Afghans. 

But what about the classical instance of the defenceless sister 
or mother who is threatened with molestation by an evil-minded 
rufhan, you will ask. Is the ruffian in question to be allowed to 
work his will ? Would not the use of violence be permissible even 
in such a case? My reply is ‘no’. You will entreat the ruffian. 
The odds are that in his intoxication he will not listen. But then 
you will interpose yourself between the intended victim and 
him. Very probably you will be killed but you will have done 
your duty. Ten to one, killing you unarmed and unresisting will 
assuage the assailant’s passion and he will leave his victim un- 
molested. But it has been said to me that tyrants do not act 
as we want or expect them to. Finding you unresisting he may 
tie you to a post and make you watch his rape of the victim. 
If you have the will you will so exert yourself that you will 

* Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— V” 

^ The reference is to a Pathan’s question quoted by Gandhiji in his 
article “Khudai Khidmatgars and Badshah Khan”; vide pp. 115-9. 


68-6 



82 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

break yourself in the attempt or break the bonds. In either 
case, you will open the eyes of the wrongdoer. Your armed 
resistance could do no more, while if you were worsted, the 
position would likely be much worse than if you died unresisting. 
There is also the chance of the intended victim copying your 
calm courage and immolating herself rather than allowing herself 
to be dishonoured. 

Harijan, 19-11-1938 

90. TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS' 

October 31, 1938 

It has touched me deeply and also humbled me to find that 
at a time when, owing to the Ramzan fast, not a kitchen fire was 
lit in the whole of this village of Mussalman homes, food had to 
be cooked for us in this place. I am past the stage when I could 
fast with you as I did in South Africa to teach the Mussalman 
boys who were under my care to keep the Ramzan fast. I had 
also to consider the feelings of Khan Saheb who has made my 
physical well-being his day-and-night concern and who would have 
felt embarrassed if I had fasted. I can only ask your pardon. 

Harijan, 26-11-1938 

91. LETTER TO AGATHA HARRISON 

November 1, 1938 

MY DEAR AGATHA, 

I hope you had a comfortable voyage. 

On second thoughts I decided to stop you from coming 
here. During the last days of the tour I could have given you 
not a moment and Khan Saheb would not be available to you 
during that period. You will have seen all you could wish 
of Bombay during these few days. 

More when we meet. 

Love. 

Bapu 

Peshawar which we reach this evening. 

From a photostat: G.N. 1505 

* Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— VI”. Gandhiji 
gave the talk in a small village near Dera Ismail Khan. 



92. TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS^ 


Paniala, 
{^November 1, 1938Y 

I have now had the assurance from your own lips of what 
I had from Khan Saheb already. You have adopted non- 
violence not merely as a temporary expedient but as a creed for 
good. Therefore, mere renunciation of the sword, if there is 
sword in your heart, will not carry you far. Your renunciation 
of the sword cannot be said to be genuine unless it generates 
in your hearts a power the opposite of that of the sword and 
superior to it. Hitherto revenge or retaliation has been held 
amongst you as a sacred obligation. If you have a feud with 
anybody, that man becomes your enemy for all time and the 
feud is handed down from father to son. In non-violence even if 
somebody regards you as his enemy you may not so regard 
him in return, and of course there can be no question of revenge. 
Who could be more cruel or blood-thirsty than the late Gen. 
Dyer? Yet the Jallianwala Bagh Congress Inquiry Committee, 
on my advice, had refused to ask for his prosecution. I had 
no trace of ill will against him in my heart. I would have also 
liked to meet him personally and reach his heart, but that was 
to remain a mere aspiration. 

At the end of his talk he was presented a poser by one of the 
Khudai Khidmatgars who had followed his address closely: “You expect 

us to protect the Hindus against the raiders and yet you tell us that we 
may not employ our weapons even against thieves and dacoits. How can 
the two go together?” Gandhiji replied: 

The contradiction is only apparent. If you have really as- 
similated the non-violent spirit, you won’t wait for the raiders to 
appear on the scene, but will seek them out in their own terri- 
tory and prevent the raids from taking place. If even then a 
raid does take place, you will face the raiders and tell them that 
they can take away all your belongings but they shall touch the 
property of your Hindu neighbours only over your dead body. 

* Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— VI” 

^According to Gandhi — 1915-1948 : A Detailed Chronology, Gandhiji was at 
Paniala on this date. 


83 



84 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


And if there are hundreds of Khudai Khidmatgars ready to 
protect the Hindu hamsayas with their lives, the raiders will cer- 
tainly think better of butchering in cold blood all the innocent 
and inoffensive Khudai Khidmatgars who are non-violently 
pitched against them. You know the story of Abdul Quadir Jilani 
and his forty gold mohurs with which his mother had sent him 
to Baghdad. On the way the caravan was waylaid by robbers 
who proceeded to strip Abdul Quadir’s companions of all their 
belongings. Thereupon Abdul Quadir, who so far happened to 
be untouched, shouted out to the raiders and offered them the 
forty gold mohurs which his mother had sewn into the lining 
of his tunic. The legend goes that the raiders were so struck by 
the simple naivete of the boy, as the saint then was, that they 
not only let him go untouched but returned to his companions 
all their belongings. 

Harijan, 26-11-1938 


93. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


November 2, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

All being well we reach there^ on 11th including Mahadev. 
These illnesses have made me impatient to reach you. 

Your second letter to Dr. B.^ was quite good. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 3612. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10007 


94. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

Ahmadbandh, 

November 2, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

I got your letter. The other mail must be waiting in Pesha- 
war. We shall reach there at 5. We shall start from there not 
on the 6th but on the 5 th, and instead of returning here, we shall 


’ Segaon 
^ Dr. Benes 



LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


85 


take a train on the 9th from some station on the way. So we 
are definitely reaching Delhi on the 10th. We don’t intend to 
break journey at Delhi. We shall, therefore, reach Wardha on 
the 11th. The illnesses at Segaon have set me thinking. I feel 
that as long as the water there does not improve, the place 
should be abandoned and only as many people as are abso- 
lutely necessary should be retained and the rest asked to go. 
But why should I make you worry about it now? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

Bandh is a small village. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11675 


95. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


November 2, 1938 


BA, 

Only nine days remain now, and God willing, we shall 
meet. We shall leave for Segaon the same day. I forgot to 
reply to one remark in your letter. You said that while leaving 
I did not even put my hand on your head. As the motor start- 
ed I also felt that, but you were away from me. Do you require 
outward signs? Why do you believe that because I do not show 
my love by outward signs, it has dried up? I assure you that 
my love has increased and goes on increasing. Not that it was 
less before, but what was there is becoming purer day by day. I 
do not look upon you merely as a clay doll. What more need 
I say? If you also, like . . .' ask for outward signs, I will 
comply. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 30 


^ Omission as in the source 



96. LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI 


November 2, 1938 

CHI. AMRITLAL, 

As you are an expert in nursing the sick, you have got 
such opportunities without seeking them. So far your cases im- 
prove and bring you credit. May this be ever so. 

It is desirable that Rajbhushan should go home. It is not 
proper that he should stay in Segaon at the cost of his health. 
But now I shall be returning there soon. I am counting the 
days. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10777 

97. LETTER TO CHIMANLAL N. SHAH 

November 2, 1938 

CHI. CHIMANLAL, 

I feel worried because of the illnesses. I think you, Shakari- 
behn, Parnerkar and others should leave Segaon for the present. 
It is not right to risk your lives. But I hope to arrive there 
on the 11th. Meanwhile think over this. If I can make Segaon 
healthy, I would call all of you there. This is a new problem 
facing me. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

I am not writing to Babudi today. I have no time at all. 
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10594 


86 



98. LETTER TO AMRITLAL V. THAKKAR 


November 2, 1938 

BAPA, 

I got your letter. It is desirable that the money sent to you 
from here should be spent in this region. I have not been able 
to study the matter carefully. You should tour this region. 
If you can bear the cold, then come this very month, otherwise 
in March next year. It is extremely cold here in December, 
January and February. It is said that there are eight lakhs 
of Harijans in this Province. I saw your sharp rejoinder to 
Ambedkar. But who can wake up a person pretending to sleep ? 

Who said that you were old? When you pass away, you 
will pass away in full youth. He is old whose mind is old. 
Ramdas, for instance, has become an old man in the prime of 
youth. He has no zest for anything at all. 

Bapu 


From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 1179 

99. MESSAGE ON OPENING OE KHADI EXHIBITION, 

PESHAWAR^ 

[Before November 3, 1938Y 

Do not be misled by names. A piece of Japanese cloth cannot 
become swadeshi merely by being labelled ‘Swadeshi’. Only an 
article that is wholly manufactured in India by the hands of 
millions of villagers and out of raw materials grown in India 
deserves the name of swadeshi. 

Khadi alone, it will be seen, fully satisfies this test; all other 
cloth is a travesty of swadeshi. Just as there can be no dawn with- 
out the sun, so there can be no genuine swadeshi without khadi. 

Judged by this test, Peshawar is left far behind in the race 
for swadeshi. There is only one khadi bhandar here and that too 


* Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Peshawar Khadi Exhibition” 

^ The Khadi Exhibition was inaugurated on November 3 but the 
message was printed in advance and was circulated among the visitors. 


87 



88 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


is being run at a loss. I hope that one result of this Exhibition 
will be to put the khadi bhandar on a firm footing, and to 
preclude the possibility of its having to close down. 

Harijan, 10-12-1938 


100. SPEECH AT OPENING OE KHADI EXHIBITION, 

PESHAWAK 


November 3, 1938 

Dr. Gopichand has thanked the Ministers for the help that 
they are giving to khadi work. But I find that neither all the 
Ministers nor all of the Congress M. L. A.s here use khadi as 
habitual wear. Some wear it only in the Assembly. Some do 
not do even that. This is contrary to both the spirit and the 
letter of the Congress constitution. Even the Red Shirts have yet 
to become khadi-clad. ... If they all take to khadi, the one 
lakh of them will in less than no time make the whole province 
khadi-clad. This province is rich in the resources for the manu- 
factures of khadi but it comes last in respect of khadi work 
actually done. 

I would like you all to visit the Exhibition in a spirit of 
inquiry and study. Khadi organization work, unlike textile 
mill industry, does not require lakhs of capital and highly special- 
ized technical skill. Even a layman can take it up. I hope 
that this first Khadi Exhibition in the Frontier Province will be 
followed by many more in the near future. 

Harijan, 10-12-1938 


’ Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Peshawar Khadi Exhibition”. Among those 
present on the occasion were Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Dr. Khan Saheb and a 
number of Congress M. L. A.s. 



101. KATHIAWAR NOTES 


The following notes' were prepared for me by Shri Raj- 
kumari Amrit Kaur on finishing her recent tour in Kathiawar 
for Harijan and khadi work. The notes are valuable not only 
for the workers in Kathiawar, but contain reflections which are 
of all-India importance. I hope that workers will profit by the 
experiences recorded by the Rajkumari. There is one sugges- 
tion she has made, which can be immediately given effect to, if 
what she says of the Princes is true, as I think it is. She has 
credited the Princes with the opinion that they have no belief 
in untouchability and that they will fling open all temples to 
Harijans, if their people desired it. Her suggestion, therefore, is 
that they need not wait for any expression of opinion on the part 
of their people but should build and open temples which are ac- 
cessible to all. The Princes can make it a point of visiting only 
these temples to the exclusion of those whose gates are barred 
against Harijans. And if these temples are built and situated 
attractively and are well managed, they will be a powerful aid to 
the breaking down of untouchability. It is possible to extend 
the principle to all the institutions which, for fear of 
wounding orthodox susceptibility, they would not dare to open 
to Harijans. This is the line of least resistance. There is 
not much meaning in a pious declaration of disbelief in un- 
touchability, if the princes cannot or will not take the cautious 
step suggested by the Rajkumari. 

Peshawar, November 4, 1938 
Harijan, 12-11-1938 


' Not reproduced here. The notes dealt with the disabilities suffered by 
Harijans in the various States visited by the author, such as Rajkot, Vankaner, 
Morvi, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Dwarka, Junagadh, Bilkha, Dhani, Amreli, 
Lathi, Bhavnagar, Palitana and Wadhwan. The notes also said that khadi 
worth Rs. 1,000 was sold during the tour. 


89 



102. LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI 


November 4, 1938 

CHI. AMRITLAL, 

You seem to be quite busy nursing Balkrishna. Mahodaya 
seems to have been a little negligent. 

The cleaning of the village also seems to have made good 
progress. Write to Vijaya and tell her that I am hard pressed 
for time and so she should not complain about the absence of 
letters from me. I hope you are doing well. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10778 


103. NOTES 

Aundh Reforms 

I congratulate both the Rajasaheb and the people of Aundh 
on the grant of responsible government. This small State has always 
been progressive. The ruler of Aundh has but anticipated the wants 
of his people and has even been in advance of them in social 
matters. The declaration of full responsibility was the natural 
result of the past acts of the ruler. I hope that the rights confer- 
red by the proclamation will not in any way be whittled down 
in drawing up the constitution. I would suggest that the privy 
purse should on no account exceed rupees thirty-six thousand. 
There should be a definition of fundamental rights, i. e., equality of 
all in the eye of the law, abolition of untouchability and liberty 
of speech. The last para of the proclamation is appealing. It truly 
says that “self-government implies self-control and self-sacrifice”, 
and adds: “in the new era that is coming to Aundh, and we 
hope to the whole of our country, the strong will serve the weak, 
the wealthy will serve the poor, the learned will serve the illite- 
rate.” 

It is to be hoped that the noble example of Aundh will be 
copied by the other States and that its people will by their con- 
duct prove themselves in every way worthy of the responsibility 

90 



NOTES 


91 


that is to devolve on them. The fact that in the heir to the gadi 
they have one who, from all accounts I have received, is a true 
servant of the people, must be a great help at the time of the 
inauguration of responsible government. The Western education 
received by him has not spoiled him. He is reported to be a 
votary of truth and ahimsa. He himself takes part in village 
uplift, does road cleaning himself in common with other volun- 
teers and handles the spade and the basket with as much ease as 
they. He wields the pen. He takes pride in doing the scavenging 
work including the removal of night-soil. 

Arya Samaj and Filthy Literature 

Shri Dharma Dev Shastri of Kanya Gurukul, Dehra Dun, 
and then Acharya Dev Sharma Abhaya of Gurukul Kangri have 
written to me to say that my reference in my article “Filth in 
Literature”' to my daughter-in-law, who is studying in the 
Kanya Gurukul and who wrote to me about the filth she found 
in certain text-books prescribed for her examination, has been 
interpreted in some quarters to mean that the Arya Samaj 
authorities countenance such literature. Both the friends repudi- 
ate the suggestion in emphatic terms. Acharya Dev Sharma 
Abhaya tells me that the Gurukul authorities were so metic- 
ulous about the matter that even for the works of classical poets like 
Kalidas they insisted on expurgated editions being printed before 
they would allow their students to study even a celebrated 
classic like Shakuntala. What has, however, happened is that, of 
late, they have allowed their students to prepare for Sahitya 
Sammelan examinations which tolerates books containing un- 
clean literature. I understand that the Gurukul authorities have 
brought the matter to the notice of the Sammelan management 
and asked them to withdraw the text-books which contain objec- 
tionable references. I hope that they will not rest satisfied till 
they have succeeded in their battle against unclean literature 
forming part of students’ text-books. 

To Correspondents 

No matter what warnings I issued, my correspondence is 
daily growing. Even at the risk of a breakdown, I cannot cope 
with the whole of it. Nor can Pyarelal, even though he often 
burns midnight oil. Though Mahadev Desai is decidedly on the 
mend and is even being permitted to write what he feels impelled 
to and can write without an effort, he cannot be given any 


> Vide Vol. LXVII, pp. 407-8. 



92 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


correspondence to deal with. I must not put his health in jeopardy 
again. Even a well regulated life like his has limitations which 
must not be disregarded. It is therefore a question if he can ever 
again be burdened with correspondence which is not strictly con- 
nected with Harijan. Let the readers, please, recognize my difh- 
culty. I have a file of papers unread. Some has been read and 
remains undisposed of. Thus there are long statements complain- 
ing against the Bihar Ministers, longer still from Malabar complain- 
ing against Rajagopalachari. I have cursorily glanced through 
them. I am wholly unable to deal with them. I may not even 
send them to the accused Ministers unless I am prepared to give 
the necessary time to them. I have neither the time nor the 
inclination. The Working Committee is the proper tribunal for 
such matters. If I began to handle such complaints it would be 
an unwarranted interference with the Ministers concerned and 
with the functions of the Working Committee. 

But this solid reason for non-interference is irrelevant to this 
note. The decisive reason is my utter inability. Therefore, these 
and such correspondents will forgive me for not even sending 
them personal acknowledgments. Then, there are letters complain- 
ing against the fancied or real misdeeds of Congress Committees 
in various provinces. These correspondents attribute to me pow- 
ers and influence I do not possess. But here again the physical 
inability is the peremptory cause for my silence. Then there is 
the unread correspondence. Heaven knows what is contained in 
it. There are, too, personal letters which I would gladly deal 
with if I could. I know I can give some help or comfort to 
these correspondents, if I can deal with their letters as I should 
like to. As it is, I must plead my inability to handle such corres- 
pondence. What energy I have left in me has to be reserved for 
the general causes which, I fancy, I can still serve. Therefore, 
correspondents who are awaiting answers will forgive me if they 
never receive any reply. Those who are in the habit of writing 
to me will help me much if they will restrict their correspondence 
only to such questions as may lend themselves to discussion or 
advice through the columns of Harijan. In other words Harijan 
should, as far as possible, be my only letter or message to those 
who seek to know my views on matters which interest them and 
which are also of importance to the public. 

Peshawar, November 5, 1938 

Harijan, 12-11-1938 



104. WHY NOT GREAT POWERS? 

In the criticisms on my recent writings on the plight of Cze- 
choslovakia,* I have observed one thing which demands an answer. 

Some critics argue that if the non-violent remedy I have 
suggested for the Czechs is only for comparatively weak because 
small nations like them and not for the great powers like 
England or France or America, it cannot be of much value, if 
any. 

Now if the critics will reread my article, they will see that I 
have refrained from suggesting it to these big powers because of 
their bigness, in other words, because of my timidity. But there 
was a more potent reason for my not addressing them. They 
were not in distress and therefore in no need of any remedy. 
To use a medical expression, they were not ailing as Czechoslovakia 
was. Their existence was not threatened as Czechoslovakia’s was. 
Any appeal from me therefore to the great powers would have 
amounted to an empty and unwanted sermon. 

By experience I have also found that people rarely become 
virtuous for virtue’s sake. They become virtuous from necessity. 
Nor is there anything wrong in a man becoming good under pres- 
sure of circumstances. It would be no doubt better if he be- 
comes good for its own sake. 

The Czechs were given a choice either to surrender peace- 
fully to Germany’s might or to light single-handed and risk 
almost certain destruction. It was at this moment that it became 
necessary for one like me to present an alternative which had 
proved its effectiveness under somewhat similar circumstances. 
My appeal to the Czechs was in my opinion as appropriate as 
it would have been inappropriate in the case of the great 
powers. 

My critics might have, however, well asked why I had gone 
out of my self-prescribed orbit to speak to a Western nation when 
I could not show cent per cent success of non-violence on the 
Indian soil, — more especially now, when I had begun to entertain 
serious doubts as to whether Congressmen were really living up 
to their creed or policy of non-violence. Indeed I had in mind 

* Vide Vol. LXVII, “If I were a Czech”, pp. 404-6 and “Logical Con- 
sequence”, pp. 413-5. 


93 



94 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


the limitation and the present state of uncertainty about the Cong- 
ress position. But my own faith in the non-violent remedy was 
as bright as ever when I wrote that article. And I felt that in 
the supreme hour of its trial it would be cowardly on my part not 
to suggest to the Czechs the non-violent remedy for acceptance. 
What may ultimately prove impossible of acceptance by crores of 
people, undisciplined and unused till but recently to corporate 
suffering, might be possible for a small, compact, disciplined 
nation inured to corporate suffering. I had no right to arrogate 
to myself any belief that India alone and no other nation was fit 
for non-violent action. I must confess that I have believed and 
still believe that India was the fittest nation to enforce non- 
violent action for regaining her freedom. In spite of signs to the 
contrary, I have the hope that the whole mass of people, who are 
more than the Congress, will respond only to non-violent action. 
They are the readiest of all the nations of the earth for such 
action. But when a case for immediate application of the remedy 
presented itself before me, I could not restrain myself from sug- 
gesting it to the Czechs for their acceptance. 

It is however open to the great powers to take it up any day 
and cover themselves with glory and earn the eternal gratitude 
of posterity. If they or any of them could shed the fear of 
destruction, if they disarmed themselves, they will automatically 
help the rest to regain their sanity. But then these great powers 
have to give up imperialistic ambitions and exploitation of the 
so-called uncivilized or semi-civilized nations of the earth and 
revise their mode of life. It means a complete revolution. Great 
nations can hardly be expected in the ordinary course to move 
spontaneously in a direction the reverse of the one they have 
followed, and according to their notion of value, from victory 
to victory. But miracles have happened before and may 
happen even in this very prosaic age. Who can dare limit God’s 
power of undoing wrong? One thing is certain. If the mad race 
for armaments continues, it is bound to result in a slaughter such 
as has never occurred in history. If there is a victor left the 
very victory will be a living death for the nation that emerges 
victorious. There is no escape from the impending doom save 
through a bold and unconditional acceptance of the non-violent 
method with all its glorious implications. Democracy and violence 
can ill go together. The States that are today nominally demo- 
cratic have either to become frankly totalitarian or, if they are to 
become truly democratic, they must become courageously non- 
violent. It is a blasphemy to say that non-violence can only be 



LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


95 


practised by individuals and never by nations which are composed 
of individuals. 

Peshawar, November 5, 1938 
Harijan, 12-11-1938 

105. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


Peshawar, 

November 5, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

Evidently you had the call perhaps at the same hour that I 
felt you will have it. As far as my recollection goes, I wrote to you 
also that if you felt the urge I would let you go. Of course the 
idea originated not with me, but with Rajkumari ; and I wrote to 
her suggesting that she should write to you directly. But in view 
of your letter, all this becomes past history. We will discuss 
ways and means when I am there which I hope will be on the 
11th. I hope I shall find Agatha there on my arrival. If the 
final decision is for you to go, what I feel is that the sooner you 
can go the better, if you can stand the continental winter. I do 
not want you to risk your health. It may be that if you recon- 
cile yourself to sterile eggs you might be able to stand the cold 
better, but of course you shall be the sole judge. 

I am already moving with reference to the financial part of 
it. I have relaxed temporarily the silence rule. Hence I have 
been able to dictate this while munching grapes. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6413. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10008 


106. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


Peshawar, 

November 5, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

Your decision to stay on is all right. I like it too and I 
certainly liked the idea about a sea voyage. I like Kallenbach’s 
suggestion very much indeed. You may go and see the field of 
my battles. I should like you very much to see Phoenix, Tolstoy 
Farm, the house in which I used to stay in Durban, the Johannes- 
burg office, etc. Manilal will dance with joy. But it might be 



96 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


difficult to take Durga and Bablo as far as that. I should like 
Bablo to remain with me. And moreover, a visit to South Africa 
would mean at least four months. South Africa is not less big 
than India. Go and see the four Colonies. And you must not 
miss the Victoria Falls. When you go so far, you cannot return 
immediately. It is worth going there even if only for the sake 
of meeting Miss Schlesin. Kallenbach will perhaps have a time 
that he will remember for ever. The climate there is beyond 
praise. Think over it. If you feel inclined, I am certainly ready 
to send you. 

If Mirabehn wishes to go, I am ready to let her go. Her 
going can do no harm at all. While she has to suppress herself 
with me, in the West she can work independently. There is no 
limit to her courage. 

I completely forgot to write to you about Muirhead. If I 
had had some talk, I would certainly have written to you. But 
I think he did not have the courage to discuss anything with me. 
Or maybe his only aim was to see me. I gave him no encou- 
ragement at all. I had no desire to. What was there to talk 
about? If the corruption in the Congress can be got rid of, we 
can get swaraj today without any discussion with anybody. If it 
is not got rid of, swaraj is an impossibility. I will stop my pen 
now. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11676 


107. SPEECH AT MEETING OE BAR ASSOCIATION, 
PESHAWAR^ 


[^November 5, 1938^ 

Gandhiji, in a witty little speech, while thanking them for the honour 
that they had done him, observed that he was hardly entitled to that privi- 
lege, in the first place because, as they all knew, he had been disbarred by 
his own Inn, and, secondly, because he had long forgotten his law. Of late he 
had more often been engaged in breaking laws than in expounding or inter- 
preting them in the courts of the land. Still another and, perhaps, his most 
vital reason was his peculiar views about lawyers and doctors which he had 


’ Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— VI” 
^ From Gandhi — 1915-1948 



LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


97 


recorded in his booklet, The Indian Home Rule} A true lawyer, he told them, 
was one who placed truth and service in the first place and the emoluments 
of the profession in the next place only. He did not know whether they had 
all adopted that ideal but if they pledged themselves to render service 
through their legal acumen in an altruistic spirit, he would be the first to 
pay them his homage. 

Harijan, 26-11-1938 

108. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

November 6, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

Travelling practically for the whole day by a motor lorry, 
we arrived at Haripur in the evening. 

What you write about Massingham is correct, but the way 
you applied it to conditions in India did not seem right to me. 
The article has no place in Harijan. Just as dazzling light 
in a small is room out of place, so is the case with your 
article. Massingham wrote a poem but we are doing things. 
Only accounts of active work being done have a place in it. But 
why go on arguing about this? When we meet, we shall dis- 
cuss it if we have time and if it is necessary to do so. It 
happens only rarely when what you say does not convince me 
and what I say does not convince you. I should, therefore, cer- 
tainly like to avoid arguing about this. I had thought of giving 
that article to you in Delhi. Now I will post it to you. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11677 


1 Vide Vol. X. 


68-7 



109. TALK AT BIBHUTI 


November 6, 1938 

The Khudai Khidmatgars is an organization with its head- 
quarters at Utmanzai. Anyone who signs their pledge and can 
speak Pushtu can enrol himself as a Khudai Khidmatgar. The 
only condition is that he cannot simultaneously be on the register 
of any other organization. You are, therefore, absolutely free to 
enrol as Khudai Khidmatgars if you like and no special per- 
mission is needed for it. 

The Khudai Khidmatgars have proved their undoubted capa- 
city for organization. The presence of a picked body of Khudai 
Khidmatgars at a public meeting makes all the difference bet- 
ween order and disorder. The principle of non-violence requires 
that they should make the people do, through their power of 
love, all those things that the police does through the power of 
the lathi and the bullet. When the seed of love sprouts forth 
in our hearts our petty quarrels and mutual bickerings will be- 
come things of the past. Take today’s incident of the calf that 
was accidentally overrun by our motor-bus.^ Love should have 
prompted the chauffeur to stop the car immediately so that 
adequate arrangements might be made for the care and treat- 
ment of the injured animal. One of our party showed what 
seemed to me as unseemly haste in naming the so-called oppo- 
nents as the deliberate authors of the accident. In non- 
violence, we must not be in a hurry to ascribe motives to the 
opponent or regard him with suspicion unless we have proof 
positive for it. When love fills the hearts of the Khudai 
we shall have independence. But independence will not come to 
Khidmatgars us till our love shines out in our littlest acts. 

We must send someone to the place where the accident 

'Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province —VI’’. 
The local Pushtu-speaking people had requested Gandhiji that they should be 
allowed to join the Khudai Khidmatgar movement although politically and 
geographically they belonged to the Punjab. 

2 While Gandhiji was being driven to Bibhuti, a calf had been knocked 
down and partly run over by Gandhiji’s car. The local Congressmen put 
the blame on the opponents or the Government. 


98 



LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 99 

occurred, to offer compensation to the owner of the animal and 
to take the calf for treatment to a vet. 

Harijan, 26-11-1938 


no. SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, HARIPUm 

November 6, 1938 

Scientists tell us that we are descended from the orang. That 
may be so, but it is not man’s destiny to live and die a brute. 
In proportion as he cultivates non-violence and voluntary discipline, 
he is contradistinguished from brute nature and fulfils his destiny. 
One of the obligations that non-violence places upon us is to res- 
pect the rights even of the weakest, even a child’ s.^ 

. . . We must meet abuse by forbearance.^ Human nature 
is so constituted that if we take absolutely no notice of anger or 
abuse, the person indulging in it will soon weary of it and stop. 
We should harbour no resentment against those who tried to 
create the disturbance which, without their meaning it, has taught 
us a valuable little lesson in forbearance. A satyagrahi always 
regards the ‘enemy’ as a potential friend. During half a century 
of experience of non-violence I have not come across a case of 
enmity persisting to the end in the face of absolute non-violence. 

Harijan, 26-11-1938 


111. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Haripur, 
November 7, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

Did you notice the recrudescence of riots in Burma It is a 
sad thing. The secret of the monks taking a leading part in 
them we shall perhaps never know. 

^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— VI” 

^ The reference is to a “gentle complaint” from the head master of a 
local school that the local Congress authorities had not taken his permission 
for holding the meeting in the school. 

^ The reference is to the walk-out of a “socialist” delegation shouting 
unseemly slogans because they were not allowed to present an address to 
Gandhiji as the meeting had already commenced when they arrived. 

Vide Vol. LXVII, “Recent Riots in Burma”, pp. 266-9. 



100 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


We visited the famous gurdwara in Hasan Abdal. You 
should if you have not. Whilst the building is majestic, the spi- 
rit of Nanak was absent. 

There was nothing from you yesterday. I expect to have 
your letter at Abbottabad. 

We take the train on 9th at Taxila. 

Love. 

Warrior 

From the original: C.W. 3648. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6457 


112. LETTER TO DEV PRAKASH BHATIA 

November 7, 1938 

DEAR FRIEND, 

You have been as good as your word. 

Prayer is an intense longing to have communion with our 
Maker. It is an effort not of the intellect but of the heart. The 
communion may come soon or it may take years or even ages. 
It is enough if the effort is sincere and heart-felt. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

Shri Dev Prakash Bhatia, b.a.,ll.b. 

Peshawar Gantt. 

From a photostat: G.N. 1538 

113. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


Abbottabad, 

November 7, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

This is the last I can write from this province. This is a 
beautiful place except for its associations. Tell Munnalal I shall 
discuss his letter when I meet [him]. No time today. 

Love. 

Bapu 

Shri Mirabehn 
Segaon Ashram 
Segaon, Wardha, C. P. 

From the original: C.W. 6414. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10009 



114. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

J4ov ember 7, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

This is a . . letter. If you have reached Delhi, it will follow 
you. With it is Mani’s. Pyarelal’s letter seems queer. Let us 
see what happens. 

Don’t decide too hastily to remain in Wardha. If nowhere 
else, go and stay in Bombay or Bulsar. If you can have the 
courage to go to South Africa, it will be best. But I would 
not insist. Follow your own inclination. If you cannot feel at 
ease anywhere outside Wardha, I won’t oppose your plan. Let 
us not take any risk. What has happened to you is something 
similar to what had happened to me in Nipani,^ confining me to 
bed for six months. Maybe, considering your age, you will not 
have to take that much rest. 

I am sending Radhakrishna’s letter also for you to read and 
then tear up. I have carefully preserved your article. After I 
know your wish, I shall send it or hand it over personally. How 
can we afford to lose it ? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati : S.N. 1 1678 

115. LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI 

Abbottabad, 

November 8, 1938 

CHI. KANTI, 

1 got your telegram. About money I have already decided 
that we cannot put that burden on Ramachandran. It is my 
impression that even when she went I myself gave the money. 
But if it was not so, I shall see when she comes. It is your duty, 
however, to talk to Ramachandran as I have suggested. Not to 
tell him is to betray his trust and will not be to Paparamma’s 
good. 

' The source is illegible here. 

2 Vide Vol. XXXIII, pp. 194-5. 


101 



102 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


It is wise on your part that you resist at present the tempt- 
ation of entering into a discussion. If convincing reasons occur 
to you and they are borne out by experience, then when your 
time comes your arguments will have greater force. It is enough 
for the present that you consider my path the right one and wish 
to follow it in your life, too. If you remain firm in this, it will 
be more than enough. 

Don’t let your health suffer in any way. Don’t have the 
false confidence that you will be able to manage it afterwards. 
Whatever the disease, trivial or serious, it must be got rid of as 
soon as it makes its appearance. 

The Frontier Province is worth visiting from the point of 
view of understanding human nature. There is also some beauti- 
ful scenery. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 7351. Courtesy: Kantilal Gandhi 


116. TALK TO KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS^ 

Mansehra, 
{^November 8, 1938Y 

It has become the fashion these days to say that society 
cannot be organized or run on non-violent lines. I join issue on 
that point. In a family, when a father slaps his delinquent child, 
the latter does not think of retaliating. He obeys his father 
not because of the deterrent effect of the slap but because 
of the offended love which he senses behind it. That in my 
opinion is an epitome of the way in which society is or should be 
governed. What is true of family must be true of society which 
is but a larger family. It is man’s imagination that divides the 
world into warring groups of enemies and friends. In the ulti- 
mate resort it is the power of love that acts even in the midst of 
the clash and sustains the world. 

I am told that the Red Shirts here are Red Shirts only in 
name. I hope the allegation is baseless. I know that Khan 
Saheb is seriously disturbed at the infiltration of the Khudai 
Khidmatgar movement by undesirable and self-seeking elements. 

^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— VII” 

^ The date is from Gandhi — 1915—1948. 



SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, MANSEHRA 


103 


I share with him this feeling that mere accession of numbers, 
unless they are true exponents of the creed which they profess, 
will only weaken instead of adding strength to the movement. 

The Red Shirt movement today has drawn attention of 
the whole of India and even outside. And yet what it has 
achieved is only a small fraction of what has to be achieved. I 
implicitly accept the assurance given by the Khudai Khidmatgars 
that they are anxious to understand and practise the doctrine of 
non-violence in full. There are tremendous heights lying before 
them still to be scaled. The programme of constructive non- 
violence that I have placed before them is self-acting when it is 
once started well. Its enforcement will be a sure test too of the 
earnestness and sincerity of the Khudai Khidmatgars. 

Harijan, 3-12-1938 

117. SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, MANSEHRA^ 

November 8, 1938 

Gandhiji replying assured them that he set great store by what they 
had already achieved in the field of non-violence. But believing as he did 
in the old adage that from him who gives much more is expected, he warned 
them that he would not rest satisfied till they had fulfilled their mission of 
achieving through their non-violence not only their own freedom but the 
freedom of India. He had visited their province a second time to know them 
more intimately and to understand how non-violence worked in their midst 
and it was his intention to return to them a third time when he hoped once 
more to pick up the threads of various problems where he had left them. 

Harijan, 3-12-1938 


^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— VII”. The 
local citizens in their address had assured Gandhiji that the Pathans would 
in a short time constitute “the spear-head of India’s non-violent fight 
for freedom”. 



118. TALK TO MINORITIES^ DEPUTATION^ 

Abbottabad, 

^November 8, 1938Y 

Gandhiji in reply told them that whilst he could support their demand 
that licences for keeping fire-arms should be freely issued on application, it 
would be too much to expect the Government to distribute fire-arms free 
amongst the entire border population. They could raise a fund for free distri- 
bution of fire-arms if they wanted, but he had his doubts whether free distri- 
bution of and training in the use of fire-arms would solve the question of trans- 
border insecurity. If the experience during the recent raid at Bannu was any 
guide, such a step would prove to be an expensive pedantry. During the 
Bannu raid, he was told, only one gun on the part of the citizens was in 
play although there was no lack of fire-arms in the city at the time of the 
raid and even that gun occasioned more casualties among the public than 
among the raiders. He, however, agreed with them with regard to what they 
had observed about the duty of the majority community. Khan Saheb was 
trying to prepare the Khudai Khidmatgars for discharging their duty of 
protecting citizens against raids. 

Harijan, 3-12-1938 

119. SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, ABBOTTABAD^ 

\November 8, 1938^ 

I thank you for the address that you have presented to 
me. You have in your address expressed your gratification at 
having in your midst ‘the greatest man on earth’. I wondered 
as I listened to your address as to who that gentleman could be. 

' Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— VII”. 
The deputation among other things suggested to Gandhiji that in view of the 
growing menace to security, fire-arms and training in the use of them ought 
to be provided free to the minority population settled in the border to facili- 
tate self-protection. 

^ From Gandhi — 1915-1948 

^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s report “In the Frontier Province— VIII”. 
At the meeting several addresses and a consolidated sum of Rs. 1,125 on 
behalf of the whole district were presented to Gandhiji. 

''From The Hindustan Times, 9-11-1938, and The Hindu, 9-11-1938 


104 



SPEECH AT PUBLIC MEETING, ABBOTTABAD 


105 


Certainly it could not be I. I know too well my shortcomings. 
There is a celebrated story told about Solon the great law-giver 
of Athens. He was asked by Croesus, who was reputed to be the 
wealthiest man of his age, to name the happiest man on earth. 
Croesus had fondly hoped that Solon would name him. But 
Solon replied that he could say nothing as no one could be ad- 
judged happy before his end. If Solon found it difficult to pro- 
nounce on a man’s happiness during his lifetime, how much more 
difficult it must be to adjudge on a man’s greatness ? True great- 
ness in the world is not found set upon a hill, for the vulgar 
crowd to see. On the contrary, my seventy years’ experience has 
taught me that the truly great are often those of whom and of 
whose greatness the world knows nothing during their lifetime. 
God alone is judge of true greatness, because He knows men’s 
hearts. . . . 

Not only the inhabitants of Abbottabad but even the sun, 
the moon and the stars here were eager to have a glimpse of 
me ! Am I to understand, my good friends, that your city has all 
to itself a set of sun, moon and stars which do not shine upon 
Wardha or Segaon? In Kathiawar we have a class of people 
known as Bhats or professional bards who make it their job to 
sing the praises of their chieftains for money. Well, I won’t call 
you Bhats. Banter apart, I want you to realize the mistake of 
indulging in hyperbolic praises of your leaders. It neither helps 
them nor their work. I would like you once for all to forget 
this practice of presenting laudatory addresses. At three score 
and ten I for one have no desire to let what little time God has 
still left me be frittered away in vain theatricalities. If an ad- 
dress must be presented, I would like it to be descriptive of the 
defects and shortcomings of the recipient of the address so that 
he might be helped to turn the searchlight inward and weed 
them out. 

Ever since my arrival in this province I have been trying to 
expound to the Khudai Khidmatgars the doctrine of non-violence 
in all its uncompromising completeness, abating not a jot, holding 
back nothing. I do not claim to have understood the meaning 
of non-violence in its entirety. What I have realized is only a 
small and an insignificant fraction of the great whole. It is not 
given to imperfect man to grasp the whole meaning of non- 
violence or to practise it in full. That is an attribute of God alone, 
the Supreme Ruler who suffers no second. But I have con- 
stantly and ceaselessly striven for over half a century to understand 
it and to translate it in my own life. The Khudai Khidmatgars 



106 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


have no doubt set a most brilliant example in the practice of 
non-violence, to the extent to which they have understood it. It 
has earned them universal admiration. But they have now to 
move a step further. Their conception of non-violence has to 
be broadened and their practice of it, especially in its positive 
aspects, to be made fuller and more intense, if they are to come 
out successful in the final heat. Non-violence is not mere 
disarmament. Nor is it the weapon of the weak and the impo- 

tent. A child who has not the strength to wield the lathi does not 
practise non-violence. More powerful than all the armaments, 
non-violence is a unique force that has come into the world. 
He who has not learnt to feel it to be a weapon infinitely more 
potent than brute force has not understood its true nature. This 
non-violence cannot be “taught” through word of mouth. But 
it can be kindled in our heart through the grace of God, in 
answer to earnest prayer. It is stated that today there are one lakh 
of Khudai Khidmatgars who have adopted non-violence as their 
creed. But before them as early as 1920, Khan Saheb came to 
recognize in non-violence a weapon, the mightiest in the world, 
and his choice was made. Eighteen years of practice of non- 
violence have only strengthened his faith in it. He has seen how 
it has made his people fearless and strong. The prospect of los- 
ing a paltry job used to unnerve them. They feel different 
beings today. At three score and ten, my faith in non-violence 
today burns brighter than ever. People say to me, “Your prog- 
ramme of non-violence has been before the country now nearly 
for two decades, but where is the promised independence?” My 
reply is that although the creed of non-violence was professed 
by millions, it was practised by but a few and that, too, merely 
as a policy. But with all that the result that has been achieved 
is sufficiently striking to encourage me to carry on the experi- 
ment with the Khudai Khidmatgars and God willing it will 
succeed. 

Harijan, 10-12-1938 



120. LETTER TO SARASWATI GANDHI 

[Before November 9, 19 3 8^ 

CHI. SARASWATI, 

You must have received my letters and given my letter 
to Grandfather. I am awaiting your letter. I hope you are 
physically well and mentally calm. Is there any difhculty in 
deciphering my handwriting? I shall be here till November 9. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

Ba had been taken ill. She is in Delhi and is slightly better. 
Write to her at the Harijan Nivas, Kingsway. 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: C.W. 3427. Courtesy: Kantilal Gandhi. 
Also G.N. 6154 

121. LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI 

November 9, 1938 

CHI. SUSHILA, 

I know that you like to live in Akola. It is indeed your 
dharma to serve NanabhaP. You are the best judge of how 
long you should stay there for that. If you are not urgently 
required there for that purpose, your duty is to go to Natal. The 
earlier you reach there, the better. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

I hope Nanabhai is better. Write to me at Segaon. 

I am writing this in a moving train. 

Shri Sushilabehn Gandhi 

C/o Shri Nanabhai Mashruwala 

Akola, Berar 

From a photostat of the Gujarati : G.N. 4888 

* Gandhiji left the Frontier Province on November 9, 1938. 

^ Nanabhai Mashruwala, the addressee’s father 


107 



122. LETTER TO MANUAL GANDHI 

November 9, 1938 

CHI. MANILAL, 

I owe you an apology. While on tour, I always leave you 
out. The work is heavy and my energy is relatively limited. 
I, therefore, content myself with the fewest possible letters. I 
realize, all the same, that 1 ought to write to you. I will try 
once again to be regular in writing or dictating letters to you. 
I have been feeling that I am not doing my dharma towards 
you fully. Though I may not be able to do anything in that 
direction, still even my letters to you have a value of their own. 

I wrote long back to Sushila that her dharma was to be 
by your side. She has decided to stay on here for a month or 
so. I have again written today that if she is not required to 
stay there for nursing Nanabhai, she should immediately return.' 
I will do everything possible to send her. 

If you find it necessary to sell any portion of Phoenix and if 
the trustees agree, you may sell it. 

Schlesin’s suggestion is certainly worth thinking over. 

I am sending your letter to Chhaganlal but I do not think 
he will want to go. The person who would have benefited by going 
and staying there was Ramdas, but he does not feel so inclined. 
The best way is for you and Sushila to do the best you can and 
be content. It will certainly be good if Schlesin gives whatever 
help she can. I will have no objection if Pragji takes charge. 
You should be guided by your experience. Don’t do anything 
which your experience does not suggest as advisable. 

Ba has completely recovered now. So also has Mahadev. 
Today I am travelling in a train bound for Wardha. Ba will 
meet me in Delhi and join us there. 

Dr. Sushila, Pyarelal and Amtul Salaam are with me. Kan- 
aiya also is there. My health is excellent. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4887 

' Vide the preceding item. 


108 



123. LETTER TO M. R. MASANI 

November 9, 1938 

BHAI MASANI, 

You must have seen that Dr. Khan Saheb has released a 
good many people. He wishes to release the remaining prisoners also 
but there are difficulties in the way. I have written to the local 
Secretary in this connection and asked him to send a copy of 
that letter to you. You must have received it. 

Vandemataram from 
M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4129 


124. LETTER TO VIJATA M. PATEL 

November 9, 1938 

CHI. VIJAYA, 

I got your letter. It would please me if you stayed there 
as long as you could. I am writing this letter in a train. I will 
reach Segaon on the 11th. Ba will join me at Delhi. 

You have given good information. 

Manubhai has done well in deciding to stay on there. 

Blessings to you both from 

Bapu 

Shri Vijayabehn 
Gram Dakshinamurti 
AmBLA, via SONGADH 
Kathiawar 

From a photostat of the Gujarati : G.N. 7102. Also C.W. 4594. Courtesy: 
Vijayabehn M. Pancholi 


109 



125. MESSAGE ON DEATH OE KEMAL ATATURK^ 

November 10, 1938 

THIS DEATH IS A GREAT LOSS TO TURKEY. MAY THEY COME 
OUT SAFE THROUGH THE CRISIS. 

The Hindu, 11-11-1938 


126. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Delhi, 
November 10, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

This is Satis Babu’s latest production.^ He is making vast 
strides in this direction. 

Your two letters came in today, the first without anything 
from M^. 

What could I say but from the heart about your pathetic 
appeal? If the message comes to me nothing on earth would 
deter me. I have told you, perhaps, I have not the requisite 
purity to penetrate the woman heart. There must be a distance 
between her and me so long as I have the snake in me. 

You can but pray. But the effort has to be mine. Therefore 
don’t feel angry or sorrowful if I can’t answer your expectations. 
Love. 

Bapu 

From the original; C.W. 3649. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6458 


’ President of the Turkish Republic. He died on November 10, 1938. 
^ The reference seems to be to the paper on which Gandhiji was writing 
the letter. 

3 Mahadev Desai 
■* Carnal desires 


no 



127. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


November 10, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

I had got your letter at Taxila. I received one here also. 
An earlier letter of Rajkumari I got today, in which I did not 
see your handwriting. I understand about South Africa. We 
will now think about something else when you return. Don’t 
mind if you sleep less now. It has taught us a lesson that 
even now you have to be very careful. What Gilder says is 
quite true. If it is necessary to stay on beyond the 19th, do so. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

[PS.] 

I have no time for more. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati : S.N. 11679 

128. DISCUSSION WITH COMMUNISTS^ 

[Before November 11, 1938^'^ 

communists: We confess, we do not understand what it is exactly you 

stand for. We oppose you, not necessarily because we always differ from 
you but because we do not know your mind and so regard your actions 
with vague fear and distrust. Faith would become easier if we understand 
you. So we have come to you. Possibly you too might find that some 
of your opinions about us needed revision, if you knew us. 

And by way of illustration, they cited the resolution on civil liberty^ 
that had been adopted by the A. I. C. C. at Delhi and which had occasioned 
the much talked of walk-out on the part of a group of members.'^ They 
could not understand why the “High Command” should be so anxious to 
steamroll that resolution through the house in spite of strong protest. 

* Extracted from Pyarelal’s “A Sporting Offer”. Gandhiji, Pyarelal says, 
made several additions in the writing to bring out his meaning clearly. 

^ From a reference in the text it is clear that Gandhiji was not at 
Segaon at the time of this discussion. He left Delhi for Segaon on the 11th. 

3 Vide Vol. LXVII, “ Draft of Resolution for A. I. C. C.”, p. 368. 

^ Vide Vol. LXVII, “That Unfortunate Walk-out”, pp. 401-2. 


Ill 



112 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


G. I must confess that I did not like the walk-out. Did it mean 
that you wanted the Congress to condone incitement to violence? 

c. No, we have again and again made it clear that we do not want 
any condonation of violence or incitement to violence. What distresses us 
is this. Whereas there was enlargement of civil liberty on Congress taking 
office, since the Haripura Congress civil liberty has actually suffered curtail- 
ment under the Congress ministries. We are driven to feel that this cry 
about abuse of civil liberty has been raised merely as a convenient pretext 
to shield the Ministers, some of whom have been behaving exactly like the 
old bureaucrats. 

G. I am more than glad that you have come to me, because 
you have come to the real culprit. I must confess that I am the 
sole author of that resolution. It is based upon unimpeachable 
evidence in my possession. But you should have known from my 
writings that they were meant to help Ministers to avoid action 
against those who have incited to violence and even actually 
committed it. Instead of Ministers taking action against them 
my purpose was to create public opinion against violent speeches, 
writings or acts. The resolution was a substitute for legal action. 
I want you to accept my assurance that I would not screen a 
single Minister who interferes with civil liberty or acts contrary 
to Congress resolutions. If you have Rajaji in mind, I am pre- 
pared to give you full satisfaction or ask him to resign. 

c. We feel puzzled. You have said that coercive measures should be 
used to put down incitement to violence. Is it right to use Government vio- 
lence to check the so-called incitement to violence by Congressmen? 

G. The question is badly put. But my answer is there. 
There should be no Government violence. But if a man kills a 
little child and robs it of its ornaments and if I deprive him of 
the liberty to repeat the performance, I would not call my act 
violence. It would be violence if my act was meant to be a 
punishment. 

I would like to make my position clearer still. You cannot 
have the cake and eat it. Assuming that there has been violence 
of speech, it has to be noticed by the Congress or the Congress 
Ministers. I have suggested the former course. The resolution 
was in pursuance of that course. Of course you may question 
the validity or sufficiency of proof in the possession of the Working 
Committee. In that case, you could have called for proofs and 
accepted the resolution subject to the production by the Working 
Committee of the proof in its possession. If you admit that 



DISCUSSION WITH COMMUNISTS 


113 


violent speech or writing does not come under the protection of 
civil liberty, there should have been no walk-out. Surely he who 
runs may see that in the Congress provinces latitude of speech 
and writing is allowed such as has never before been enjoyed. 

c. All the same, we cannot reconcile ourselves to the bias which the 
High Command has persistently shown against us. We have put ourselves 
under Congress discipline. We have joined the Congress because it is 
the only body that can raise a popular movement. If we misbehave, we may 
be put out and should lose caste with the people. As a people’s party we 
must move with the people or go out. These Ministers, on the other hand, 
are seeking to set themselves above the people to make themselves immune 
to democratic influence. We are wedded to no dogma. Tell us what we 
can do together in immediate practice. Our motives may differ but prac- 
tice will count. 

G. You should also admit that neither the resolution’ nor, 
I think, my article^ makes mention of socialists or communists. 
Violence is no monopoly of any one party. I know Congressmen 
who are neither socialists nor communists but who are frankly 
devotees of the cult of violence. Contrariwise, I know socialists 
and communists who will not hurt a fly but who believe in the 
universal ownership of instruments of production. I rank myself 
as one among them. But here I am not thinking of myself but 
of others whom I have the good fortune to know. 

What you have said, however, makes it clear to me that you 
do not put the same stress as I do on the means. But I under- 
stand your argument. Our minds are working at cross purposes. 
I want to occupy a corner in your hearts, if I can. But some 
of you have told me frankly that it is impossible, for they look 
at things from opposite poles. The utmost they can do is to 
tolerate me because they credit me with some capacity for sacri- 
fice and influence over the masses. Now I make a sporting offer. 
One of you or all of you can come to me at Segaon when I 
return there, study me, see all my papers, look at the correspon- 
dence, ask me questions, and decide upon the course you would 
adopt in your dealings with me. There is no secrecy with me. 
My mission is to convert every single Indian to my view of the 
means of liberation. If only that happens, complete indepen- 
dence is ours for the having. 

They next questioned Gandhiji as to the possibility of the Communist 
Party being legalized. “We do not want violence,” they explained. “It is 

’ Vide Vol. LXVII, p. 368. 

2 Vide Vol. LXVII, pp. 401-2. 


68-8 



114 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


true that we have not made non-violence our creed. We are not pledged 
to non-violence at all cost and for all time to come, but for the time being 
and in the immediate future we see no necessity for violence. Our method 
is thus, just now, the same as that of the Congress. We are forced at 
present to function as a secret organization because we are under ban. If 
the ban is removed, the necessity for secrecy should cease. For the rest we 
can only give the assurance that should we in the future find it necessary to 
drop non-violence, we shall make a clear and open declaration about it. 

G. If you mean that you do not as a party believe in vio- 
lence, then you should make that statement. All your literature 
that I have studied clearly says that there is no independence 
without resort to force. I know that there is a body of com- 
munists that is slowly veering round to non-violence. I would 
like you to make your position absolutely plain and above board. 
I have it from some of the literature that passes under the name 
of communist literature that secrecy, camouflage and the like are 
enjoined as necessary for the accomplishment of the communist 
end, especially as communism has to engage in an unequal battle 
against capitalism which has organized violence at its beck and 
call. I would, therefore, like you, if you can, to make it plain 
that you do not believe in these things I have mentioned. 

The communist friends promised to send Gandhiji an authoritative state- 
ment setting forth the position of their party. 

G. You may think over what I have said, keep yourself 
in touch with me, correct me when you think I go astray, and 
try to understand me. Do not distrust me. When you have 
doubts express them fearlessly. And I suggest that we leave the 
discussion at that. But I should be glad to think that we part 
with the determination to understand one another and but to 
meet again. 

Harijan, 10-12-1938 



129. KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS AND BADSHAH KHAN 


Whatever the Khudai Khidmatgars may be or may ultimately 
turn out to be, there can be no doubt about what their leader 
whom they delight to call Badshah Khan is. He is unquestion- 
ably a man of God. He believes in His living presence and 
knows that his movement will prosper only if God wills it. 
Having put his whole soul into his cause, he remains indifferent 
as to what happens. It is enough for him to realize that there 
is no deliverance for the Pathan except through out and out 
acceptance of non-violence. He does not take pride in the fact 
that the Pathan is a line fighter. He appreciates his bravery but 
he thinks that he has been spoilt by overpraise. He does not 
want to see his Pathan as a goonda of society. He believes that 
the Pathan has been exploited and kept in ignorance. He wants 
the Pathan to become braver than he is and wants him to add 
true knowledge to his bravery. This he thinks can only be 
achieved through non-violence. 

And as Khan Saheb believes in my non-violence, he wanted 
me to be as long as I could among the Khudai Khidmatgars. 
For me I needed no temptation to go to them. I was myself 
anxious to make their acquaintance. I wanted to reach their 
hearts. I do not know that I have done so now. Anyway I 
made the attempt. 

But before I proceed to describe how I approached my task 
and what I did, I must say a word about Khan Saheb as my 
host. His one care throughout the tour was to make me as 
comfortable as the circumstances permitted. He spared no pains 
to make me proof against privation or discomfort. All my wants 
were anticipated by him. And there was no fuss about what he 
did. It was all perfectly natural for him. It was all from the 
heart. There is no humbug about him. He is an utter stranger 
to affectation. His attention is therefore never embarrassing, never 
obtrusive. And so when we parted at Taxila our eyes were wet. 
The parting was difficult. And we parted in the hope that 
we would meet again probably in March next. The Frontier 
Province must remain a place of frequent pilgrimage for me. For 
though the rest of India may fail to show true non-violence, there 
seems to be good ground for hoping that the Frontier Province 

115 



116 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


will pass through the fiery ordeal. The reason is simple. Bad- 
shah Khan commands willing obedience from his adherents said to 
number more than one hundred thousand. They hang on his 
lips. He has but to say the word and it is carried out. Whe- 
ther, in spite of all the veneration he commands, the Khudai 
Khidmatgars will pass the test in constructive non-violence re- 
mains to be seen. 

Though Pyarelal has been giving a faithful record of the tour 
in the Frontier Province I must even at the risk of repetition in 
places give in my own way a resume of what has been done. 

At the outset both Khan Saheb and I had come to the con- 
clusion that instead of addressing the whole of the Khudai Khid- 
matgars at the various centres I should confine myself to the 
leaders. This would save my energy and be its wisest use. And 
so it proved to be. During the five weeks, we visited all the cen- 
tres, and the talks lasted for one hour or more at each centre. 

I found Khan Saheb to be a very competent and faithful inter- 
preter. And as he believed in what I said, he put into the trans- 
lation all the force he could command. He is a born orator 
and speaks with dignity and effect. 

At every meeting I repeated the warning that unless they 
felt that in non-violence they had come into possession of a force 
infinitely superior to the one they had and in the use of which 
they were adepts, they should have nothing to do with non-viol- 
ence and resume the arms they possessed before. It must never be 
said of Khudai Khidmatgars that once so brave, they had become 
or been made cowards under Khan Saheb’s influence. Their bra- 
very consisted not in being good marksmen but in defying death 
and being ever ready to bare their breasts to the bullets. This 
bravery they had to keep intact and be ready to show whenever 
occasion demanded. And for the truly brave such occasions oc- 
curred often enough without seeking. 

This non-violence was not a mere passive quality. It was 
the mightiest force God had endowed man with. Indeed, posses- 
sion of non-violence distinguished man from the brute creation. 
It was inherent in every human being, but in most it lay dor- 
mant. Perhaps the word ‘non-violence’ was an inadequate render- 
ing of ahimsa which itself was an incomplete connotation of all 
it was used for conveying. A better rendering would be love or 
goodwill. Violence was to be met by goodwill. And goodwill 
came into play only when there was ill will matched against it. 
To be good to the good is an exchange at par. A rupee against 
a rupee gives no index to its quality. It does when it is 



KHUDAI KHIDMATGARS AND BADSHAH KHAN 117 

matched against an anna. Similarly a man of goodwill is known 
only when he matches himself against one of ill will. 

This non-violence or goodwill was to be exercised not only 
against Englishmen but it must have full play even among our- 
selves. Non-violence against Englishmen may be a virtue of ne- 
cessity, and may easily be a cover for cowardice or simple weak- 
ness. It may be, as it often is, a mere expedience. Rut it 
could not be an expedience when we have an equal choice bet- 
ween violence and non-violence. Such instances occur in domes- 
tic relations, social and political relations among ourselves, not 
only between rival sects of the same faith but persons belonging 
to different faiths. We cannot be truly tolerant towards English- 
men if we are intolerant towards our neighbours and equals. 
Hence our goodwill, if we had it in any degree, would be tested 
almost every day. And if we actively exercised it, we would be- 
come habituated to its use in wider fields till at last it became 
second nature with us. 

The very name Khan Saheb had adopted for them showed 
that they were to serve, not to injure, humanity. For God took 
and needed no personal service. He served His creatures without 
demanding any service for Himself in return. He was unique in 
this as in many other things. Therefore servants of God were to 
be known by the service they rendered to His creatures. 

Hence the non-violence of Khudai Khidmatgars had to show 
itself in their daily actions. It could be so exhibited only if they 
were non-violent in thought, word and deed. 

And even as a person who relied upon the use of force in 
his daily dealings would have to undergo a military training, 
so will a servant of God have to go through a definite training. 
This was provided for in the very foundation resolution of the 
special Congress of 1920. It was broadened from time to time. 
It was never toned down to my knowledge. The exercise of 
active goodwill was to be tested through communal unity, shed- 
ding of untouchability by Hindus, the home and hand-manufac- 
ture and use of khadi — a sure symbol of oneness with the mil- 
lions — and prohibition of intoxicating drinks and drugs. This 
fourfold programme was called a process of purification and a 
sure method of gaining organic freedom for the country. This 
programme was followed but half-heartedly by Congressmen 
and the country, thus betraying a lack of living faith in non- 
violence, or faith in the method devised for its daily practice, or 
both. But Khudai Khidmatgars were expected and believed 
to have a living faith in non-violence. Therefore they would be 



118 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


expected to follow out the whole of the constructive self-purifica- 
tion programme of the Congress. I have added to it village sani- 
tation, hygiene and simple medical relief in the villages. A Khu- 
dai Khidmatgar will be known by his works. He cannot be in a 
village without his making it cleaner and affording help to the 
villagers in their simple ailments. Hospitals and the like are toys 
of the rich and are available for the most part only to the city- 
dwellers. Efforts are no doubt being made to cover the land with 
dispensaries. But the cost is prohibitive. Whereas the Khudai 
Khidmatgars could, with a little but substantial training, easily 
give relief in the majority of cases of illnesses that occurred in the 
villages. 

I told the leaders of the Khudai Khidmatgars that civil dis- 
obedience was the end of non-violence, by no means its beginning. 
Yet I started in this country at the wrong end in 1918. I was 
overwhelmed by necessity. The country had not come to harm 
only because I, claiming to be an expert in non-violent tech- 
nique, knew when and how to retrace our steps. Suspension of 
civil disobedience at Patna was part of the technique. I have 
just as much faith in the constructive programme of 1920 as I 
had then. I could not lead a campaign of civil disobedience in 
terms of puma swaraj without due fulfilment of the programme. 
The right to civil disobedience accrues only to those who know 
and practise the duty of voluntary obedience to laws whether 
made by them or others. Obedience should come not from fear 
of the consequences of the breach but because it is the duty to 
obey with all our heart and not merely mechanically. With- 
out the fulfilment of this preliminary condition, civil disobedience 
is civil only in name and never of the strong but of the weak. 
It is not charged with goodwill, i. e., non-violence. Khudai 
Khidmatgars had shown in unmistakable terms their bravery in 
suffering during the civil disobedience days as did many thousands 
in the other provinces. But it was not proof positive of goodwill at 
heart. And it would be a deterioration in the Pathan if he was non- 
violent only in appearance. For he must not be guilty of weakness. 

The Khudai Khidmatgars listened to all I said with rapt 
attention. Their faith in non-violence is not as yet independent 
of Khan Saheb. It is derived from him. But it is none the less 
living so long as they have unquestioning faith in their leader who 
enjoys undisputed kingdom over their hearts. And Khan Saheb’ s 
faith is no lip profession. His whole heart is in it. Let the doubt- 
ers live with him as I have all these precious five weeks and 
their doubt will be dissolved like mist before the morning sun. 



LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 119 

This is how the whole tour struck a very well-known 
Pathan who met me during the last days of the tour: 

I like what you are doing. You are very clever. (I do not know 
that cunning is not the right word.) You are making my people braver 
than they are. You are teaching them to husband their strength. Of 
course it is good to be non-violent up to a point. That they will be under 
your teaching. Hitler has perfected the technique of attaining violent ends 
without the actual use of violence. But you have bettered even Hitler. 
You are giving our men training in non-violence, in dying without killing; 
so if ever the occasion comes for the use of force, they will use it as never 
before and certainly more effectively than any other body of persons. I 
congratulate you. 

I was silent and I had no heart to write out a reply to dis- 
illusion him. I smiled and became pensive. I like the compli- 
ment that the Pathans would be braver than before under my 
teaching. I do not know an instance of a person becoming a 
coward under my influence. But the friend’s deduction was dead- 
ly. If in the last heat the Khudai Khidmatgars prove untrue 
to the creed they profess to believe, non-violence was certainly 
not in their hearts. The proof will soon come. If they zealously 
and faithfully follow the constructive programme, there is no dan- 
ger of their fulfilling the prognostication of the critic. But they 
will be found among the bravest of men when the test comes. 

On THE Train between Delhi and Wardha, 

November 11, 1938 

Harijan, 19-11-1938 

130. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

On the Train (Bhopal), 
November 11, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

Yes, the lines you have sent me were copied for me by you 
before also. I shall have them recited by Babla when he comes. 
You should ask him to remind me. 

I hope you got my letter' written from Taxila and one^ 
from Delhi where I had a very busy day, seeing people up to 


* This is not traceable. 

^ Vide “Letter to Amrit Kaur”, p. 110. 



120 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


the last moment. But the pressure remained quite good, 

166/100. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3888. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 

7044 


131. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

On the Train, 

November 11, 1938 

chi. MAHADEV, 

I am writing this after leaving Bhopal. Shuaib had come. 
He inquired after you and added that you had promised him 
that on your return you would break journey at Bhopal for two 
or three days. I feel that it would be good from every point 
of view, if you gave him two or three days. Durga and Babla 
will enjoy seeing a good many things there. 

As Sushila’s bag had been left behind, Pyarelal got off. He 
will come tomorrow. 

Herewith your letters, sent by Mirabehn, which I had 
opened. I am sending the letter addressed to me also. 

Ba is with me. She was tempted to stay on till your return, 
but I dissuaded her. Nimu came and saw me. She will now go 
to Lakhtar for a few days. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11680 

132. LETTER TO RAMESHWARI NEHRU 

On THE Train, 

November 11, 1938 

DEAR SISTER, 

The Kanya Gurukul celebrates its Annual Day towards the 
end of December at Dehra Dun. Acharya Ramdev invariably 
asks for someone to be sent for the occasion. I wanted to send 
Rajkumari, but she would be at the Women’s Conference. You 
also must be going. But it would be good if you could spare a 



LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW 121 

day at Dehra Dun. Perhaps you already know about the Kanya 
Gurukul. It is a good institution. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: C.W. 3081. Courtesy: Rameshwari 
Nehru. Also G.N. 7985 


133. TELEGRAM TO R. S. RUIKAR^ 

November 11, 1938 

I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO ABANDON FAST. ON REACH- 
ING WARDHA, I SHALL DO MY BEST. WIRE REPLY. 

The Hindu, 12-11-1938 


134. LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW 

Segaon, Wardha, 

[On or after November 11, 1938Y 

DEAR LORD LINLITHGOW, 

Your very kind and full letter of 31st October was sent to me 
by Mirabai, whilst I was touring in the Frontier Province. I 
knew that she had acknowledged it. But I had fully intended to 
express my thanks for the considerate manner in which you dealt 
with the question of distress in Hissar.^ Yes, I know that the 
Punjab Government is doing all it can. Not knowing the work- 
ing of the railway system, I approached the fountain-head. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

H. E. THE Viceroy 
Delhi 

From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy : Pyarelal 


^ Mr. R. W. Phulay, General Secretary of the Provincial Trade Union 
Congress, was asked to convey this message telegraphically when he came to 
see Gandhiji at Nagpur station to draw his attention to the textile workers’ 
strike at Rajnandgaon and Mr. R. S. Ruikar’s fast since October 29. 

2 Gandhiji returned to Segaon after his Frontier tour on November 11, 

1938. 

3 The reference is to a famine in the Punjab. 



135. MASS LITERACY CAMPAIGN IN BIHAR 


Dr. Syed Mahmud^ has sent me a copy of his note on the 
progress of Mass Literacy Campaign in Bihar. Below will be 
found all the relevant paragraphs^ of the instructive note. I 
commend to the Minister’s attention Dr. Tao’s note^ on a similar 
movement in China. He will find in it perhaps much to copy. 

Harijan, 12-11-1938 


136. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Segaon, 

November 12, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

Agatha is sitting in front of me. 

The rest from Mahadev’s letter'*. This is just not to miss 
the post. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3839. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7045 

137. LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA 

November 12, 1938 

MY DEAR KU, 

You must see me some time before 17th for 30 minutes, 
when I shall be on speaking terms. Of course it is joint action 
which has resulted in the appointment of trustees. Is it not so? 
Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 10139 

* Then Minister for Development and Employment in Bihar 
^ Not reproduced here 

^ This was published in Harijan, 29-10-1938, 5-11-1938 and 19-11-1938. 
Vide “Letter to Mahadev Desai”, p. 123. 


122 



138. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

November 12, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

Poor Lila had made preparations for you. 

Mirabehn has changed her mind. She has decided to go 
to the Frontier Province. I have approved of her plan. Khan 
Saheb also wished that she should go. I have now written to 
him for his consent. The climate is fine here. Agatha is sitting 
in front of me. I have still not broken my silence. I will break 
it at two. You must have received my letter written at Itarsi. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11681 

139. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

November 13, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

I got your letter. Your second article is lying with me. It is 
certainly going as the leading article. The other one is still lying with 
me. I will take it out today. Now I will return it to you here. 
I don’t want to send it by registered post, and I am afraid of sending 
it by ordinary post. There is no hurry at all. It is “evergreen”. 

Rajendra is from U. P. He has been here for the last four 
or five months. He is a good man. There is no time for more. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11682 

140. NOTE TO KANCHAN M. SHAH 

Sunday, November 13, 1938 
I could not reply to your letter. But if MunnalaP goes and 
you don’t wish to stay in the Mahila Ashram, you may come here. 
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 8564 
* Munnalal G. Shah, addressee’s husband 


123 



141. THE CONGRESS AND KHADI 

I have letters from Bombay, U. P., Bengal and Sind bitterly 
complaining that the khadi clause of the Congress constitution is 
honoured more in the breach than in the performance. I have 
mentioned the four provinces not to have it inferred that in the 
other provinces things are better. I have simply referred to these 
provinces because there are complaints from them. People in the 
other provinces have not perhaps thought it worth while to draw 
attention to the evil which is widespread. It may well be that 
correspondence on the matter from other provinces has not been 
brought to my notice. 

The correspondents’ chief complaint is that in selecting Con- 
gress candidates for municipalities or local boards, the Congress 
officials do not enforce the khadi clause for such candidates. One 
correspondent says that the obligation of wearing khadi is waived 
because the Congress officials do not find competent enough can- 
didates among khadi wearers. This would be a sound reason, if 
the dearth of proper khadi-clad men can be proved, for alter- 
ing the clause, surely not for committing a deliberate breach of 
the Congress constitution. A writer justifies the waiver by argu- 
ing that there is no connection between swaraj and khadi. This 
again may be a good reason for a change in the constitution 
but not for disregarding it. Every Congressman is a potential 
civil-resister. The right of civil-disobedience accrues only to 
those who perform the duty of voluntarily obeying the laws of 
their State, more so the laws of their own making. Therefore, 
the Congressmen are taking grave risks when they commit wilful 
breaches of the constitution. 

And is there no connection between swaraj and khadi ? Were 
the Congressmen who made themselves responsible for the khadi 
clause in the constitution so dense that they did not see the 
fallacy which is obvious to some critics ? I have not hesitated to 
say, and I make bold to repeat now, that without khadi there 
is no swaraj for the millions, the hungry and the naked, and for 
the millions of illiterate women. Habitual use of khadi is a sign 
that the wearer identifies himself with the poorest in the land, 
that he has patriotism and self-sacrifice enough in him to wear 
khadi even though it may not be so soft and elegant in appear- 
ance as foreign fineries nor as cheap. 

124 



THE CONGRESS AND KHADI 


125 


But my argument has perhaps no force with many Congress- 
men when anarchy reigns supreme among them. There is ano- 
ther batch of letters in my file which continue to give me fresh 
evidence of corruption among Congressmen so called. One 
correspondent says bogus members are increasing on a wholesale 
scale. The cry comes from Orissa that Congressmen do not hesi- 
tate to spread lies in order to enlist members. A Calcutta correspon- 
dent tells me that there are original members who have not 
paid their own subscriptions. When asked, they say they cannot 
spare four annas per year. The correspondent indignantly protests 
that these same men spend many four-anna pieces per year on 
cinemas. My point however is not that these men can afford 
to pay and do not. My point is that if they have not paid 
their subscriptions they are not Congressmen and that the register 
containing their names requires to be purged of them. A U. P. 
correspondent says bribery and corruption are spoiling the good 
name of the Congress. He says that Congressmen do not hesitate 
to use their influence with Collectors and other officials to have 
all sorts of injustices perpetrated for the sake of themselves or 
their relatives. And he adds that the services are ill able to 
resist the pressure. And he says the growing evil may be worse 
than the evil that existed when the services did wrong under in- 
structions from British officials. This charge is most damaging 
if it is true. It requires careful investigations by the U. P. Gov- 
ernment and the provincial Congress command. Indeed, the 
whole of the irregularities I have lumped together in this note 
require careful and immediate handling by the Working Committee 
and the Provincial Congress Committees. If the Congress is not 
purged of illegalities and irregularities, it will cease to be the 
power it is today and will fail to fulfil expectations when the 
real struggle faces the country. 

Segaon, November 14, 1938 
Harijan, 19-11-1938 



142. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Segaon, 

November 14, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

I have your letter. I hope I misunderstood your letter of 
yesterday. I loved you all the more for the deep cut I thought 
you had made. My love can weather storms and misunderstand- 
ings. My regret was and is that my reaction should hurt you. 
The scars left by loved ones never last. They heal as soon as 
they are made. If they did not, my love would suffer diminu- 
tion. I hope therefore that on your part you will laugh at your 
folly and lack of faith or my stupidity in putting in your letter a 
meaning you had not intended. You must not make yourself sick 
over this passing episode. 

Of course you could not attend Aryanayakum’s meeting. 
But let us hope next year your programme will be better arranged. 

Of course I shall write to you about the doings of the Tra- 
vancore delegation. 

Love. 

Warrior 

From the original: C.W. 3650. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6459 


143. LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA 

November 14, 1938 

MY DEAR KU, 

Can you come tomorrow, Tuesday ? Bring your work and 
take your meal here though not with me. You should take 
it after or before me so that you can talk the whole time. I 
am having my meal which [I] take between \sic\ 10.30 or there- 
abouts. You can have a quiet corner for your work. 

Love. 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

You need not worry about Travancore Deputation. 

From a photostat: G.N. 01401 


126 



144. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

November 14, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

Vallabhbhai came today. The problem of Rajkot has be- 
come fairly complicated.* But so long as his stars are favourable, 
even things that seem to go against him will end well. Mani 
has been showing her mettle.^ I have never seen another daughter 
like her. 

Your second article is going today. I will hand over to you 
personally the one rejected for Harijan. I will go through the one 
received today. Chandrashanker is really very ill. I am alarmed. 

Mirabehn is going ahead with her preparations for the Fron- 
tier Province in anticipation of Khan Saheb’s consent. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

I am sending two things shown to me by Mirabehn. You 
will understand both. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11683 


145. LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI 


Segaon, 

November 14, 1938 

CHI. KANTI, 

I got both your letters. If I could send you copies of all my 
labours, you would give me the first rank. But let it be enough 
for you that I have done all that was possible for me. At last I 


* The people of Rajkot had started an agitation against the autocratic 
rule of the Prince Dharmendrasinh and his Dewan Virawala. The leaders of 
the State were in consultation with Vallabhbhai Patel, who in turn was guided 
by Gandhiji. 

^ She toured the villages of the State and “sustained the peasants in 
their struggle”. 


127 



128 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

got the accompanying reply. Ramachandran is coming tomor- 
row, when I will try again. I will not give up. But it is a 
great handicap that one cannot discuss things with him. There 
ought to be no secrecy in this regard. Saraswati is free in such 
matters. All children are free. I am also returning the letters 
you wanted me to return. Don’t be perturbed. Have patience. 
I will spare no effort. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 7352. Courtesy: Kantilal Gandhi 


146. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

Segaon, Wardha, 

November 15, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

What you say about the Ataturk is all true. Why don’t you 
write a public letter about his removing the purdah ? 

Agatha will be here probably till J.^ returns. She is doing 
well. We are discussing things in a leisurely manner. 

So M.^ leaves you on 19th. He is in ecstasies over your 
affectionate attention. The Travancore deputation is due now. 
Hence I must close this. 

Love. 

Warrior 

From the original: C.W. 3651. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6460 


147. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

November 15, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

1 read your note about N. It cannot be sent anywhere for 
publication. Not that your argument is incorrect, but why give 
so much importance to N. ? We know his ideas. Moreover, to 
reply to him is to raise up a hornet’s nest. What is the advan- 
tage in publishing N.’s name? His arguments may be analysed 

’ Jawaharlal Nehru 

2 Mahadev Desai; vide “Letter to Amrit Kaur”, p. 134. 



LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI 


129 


and an indirect reply may be given to him as is often done by 
me. I can do this myself but his arguments do not have suffi- 
cient substance to deserve that. The proofs cited by you are worth 
using. I will see what can be done. I am, therefore, not return- 
ing the article. Treat this letter as the last I shall be sending. 
I will write tomorrow, however. If you have already left, Raj- 
kumari will forward it. I am not sending the other things. As 
you will start on the 19th, I assume that you will arrive on the 
evening of the 21st. 

Madgavkar is arriving tomorrow. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 


From a photostat of the Gujarati; S.N. 11684 


148. LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI 


Segaon, Wardha, 

November 15, 1938 


CHI. KANTI, 

I had a talk with R. He knows everything. He first heard 
about it from his father. R. has not made a full inquiry, but 
from what inquiry he has made, he feels that there is no truth 
at all in the matter. P. has completely denied the story 
and she says that P. could be believed guilty of such misconduct 
only if she also could be believed so. According to him, S. has 
seen everything through prejudiced eyes. But he says he will 
inquire into the matter further and will write to me. He has 
asked me not to worry about S. at all. In this situation, I have 
become completely helpless. If S. has committed no errors, 
she should boldly narrate what happened, as Devdas did in 
regard to Manilal. I would now advise you not to take any 
further interest in the matter. Don’t worry. R. has assured me 
that he will not let S. come to any harm. Just now she will 
stay with her grandparents. She will continue to write to me 
and will accept whatever I finally decide. 

I would also advise you to write to R. You may even write 
through me. If you handle the situation with detachment and 
calm, the truth will come out and S. can be saved. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

68-9 



130 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

[PS.] 

Just now there are several deputations and so there is a good 
deal of pressure on me. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 7353. Courtesy: Kantilal 

Gandhi 


149. LETTER TO PREMABEHN KANTAK 


Segaon, 

November 15, 1938 

CHI. PREMA, 

I saw your letter after many days. Is it any wonder that 
you win people’s appreciation wherever you go ? 

Patwardhan may come whenever he can. The family res- 
ponsibilities are always a problem. Illnesses and accidents are 
bound to happen. You at any rate ought never to fall ill. The 
golden remedy for this is obedience to rules in all things. 

You may certainly bring your new friend with you. 

Kishorelal had talked to me also. I myself have not been 
able to read the book’, but I read the letter^ which has been 
objected to. I have found no substance in the objection. Its 
publication is likely to do me no harm. I would be harmed only 
if I failed to do what I ought to do and did what I ought not 
to. I need therefore withdraw nothing. There is one letter 
among them which perhaps I would not have permitted to be 
published and that too only because of the prevailing social atti- 
tudes. 

I am sure, moreover, that you had taken all necessary 
precautions while publishing the letter. 

What Kishorelal has written is well meant. ^ Don’t take it 
to heart. Explain courteously your position to him. 

I am well. 

Khan Saheb has asked for one woman social worker. Your 
name was almost on my lips, but I did not like to draw you 


’ Vatsalyachi Prasaddiksha, a Marathi translation of Gandhiji’s letters to 
the addressee numbering about 90 

2 This was the one dated 21-5-1936; vide Vol. LXII, pp. 428-30. 

^ Kishorelal had been pained by the storm raised over the book and 
had written to the addressee criticizing her action in publishing the letters. 



TALK TO TRAVANCORE STATE CONGRESS DEPUTATION 131 


away from your present work. I, therefore, dropped for the 
moment the idea of sending you. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 6836. Courtesy: Premabehn 

Kantak. Also G.N. 10397 


150. TALK TO TRAVANCORE STATE CONGRESS 
DEPUTATION'^ 


November 15, 1938 

I have received reports that there has been violence on a 
considerable scale in Travancore. On the other hand I have re- 
ceived wires from the State Congress dictators saying that there has 
been no violence whatever for which they can be held responsible, 
that whatever violence there has been was instigated by the auth- 
orities. It has been alleged too that there has been secret en- 
dorsement of violence by the State Congress people though they 
are not directly responsible for it. What I say is that if there 
has been mob violence, by whomsoever wrought, it shows that the 
State Congress has not acquired sufficient control over the masses. 
In that case civil disobedience has to be suspended even as was 
done by me more than once. I admit you were behind the pri- 
son bars when most of the alleged cases of violence took place. I 
appreciate also the fact that you did not get a chance of edu- 
cating the masses into discipline. I entirely endorse your view 
that the fight should not be merely to wrest a few concessions 
from the authorities but for establishing real responsible govern- 
ment. But all that, to my mind, makes out a case for doing 
more spade-work among the masses. You must build from below. 

You tell me that you regard the removal of the Dewan would 
help your movement as he is the chief obstacle in your way. If 
you persist in the charges, you must be prepared to prove them. 
But in my opinion it will have the inevitable result of pushing 
the question of responsible government into the background by 
bringing to the fore a purely personal issue. I call that playing 
the enemy’s game. And you would give the wrong lead to the 
people. I do not want you to withdraw the allegations because 
they are not true, if you believe in them. I want those allegations 

* Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Why the Withdrawal”. The deputation had 
gone to see Gandhiji at Segaon. This, Pyarelal says, is the substance of the 
talk. 



132 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


to be withdrawn because you have a far bigger issue at stake. 
The greater includes the less. Removal of the Dewan by itself 
would not give you responsible government. A clever dewan 
might choose to slip out and remain in the background till the 
storm has blown over and in the mean time use a substitute to 
crush the movement. Such things have happened before and 
will happen again. On the other hand responsible government 
includes the power to dismiss ministers according to the popular 
will. You can therefore say, without abating an iota from your 
charges, you do not want to dissipate your energy by pursuing 
these charges. There are the two alternatives before you, both 
of them perfectly legitimate. You have to make your choice. 
You should know best the psychology of your people. It may 
be such that the fight can be best conducted through agitation 
to remove the Dewan. Personally, when I weigh the pros and 
cons of the matter, I feel like saying you should swallow the bitter 
cup and concentrate on getting the reins of power into your hands. 

But whatever the decision about the allegations, I would advise 
you not to restart civil disobedience just now. You should put 
your own house in order. If you keep unadulterated non-violence 
at the back of your minds, you would not say, “Let us take time by 
the forelock, and now that there is all this energy bubbling forth, 
let us consolidate our gains.” You would not capture power by 
madly frittering away the energy generated. That way lies dan- 
ger. You will, if you follow that, only pave the way for the political 
schemers who may exploit the situation for furthering their own 
designs. I would therefore ask you to go slow, steadily gathering 
all the threads into your hands. You should become a homogene- 
ous and disciplined mass by undergoing training in constructive 
work and non-violence. You may not take another forward step 
without canvassing public opinion inside and outside Travan- 
core first. 

Apparently there may be no connection between constructive 
work and non-violence; but there is an internal logic connecting 
the two when constructive work is taken up as a part of a non- 
violence programme. The National Flag, for instance, was con- 
ceived as a symbol of unity, purity and non-violence. It is the place 
that we have given it in our non-violence programme that gives 
it its significance and importance; by itself it has no virtue. In 
prosecuting your constructive programme, you must always keep 
the background of non-violence before your mind. 

Then I should ask students to remain apart from the civil 
disobedience part of the struggle and should not carry on any 



TALK TO TRAVANCORE STATE CONGRESS DEPUTATION 133 

propaganda in their midst. It is not proper to ask students of 
school-going age to do such work. It is a sign of weakness. It 
is like asking children to undergo suffering for their parents. 

But the students can and ought to take part in the struggle 
by becoming adepts in charkha and other items in the construc- 
tive programme, as the Chinese students are doing while the fight 
against Japan is going on. The Chinese students are working to 
preserve the essentials of Chinese culture through their programme 
of New Education. They are helping to create a national spirit 
which will remain unsubdued irrespective of the fortunes of the 
Chinese arms on the battle field. 

The satyagraha struggle in British India had two aspects, 
non-violent non-co-operation with the Government and co-opera- 
tion among the people themselves. Both these aspects should cons- 
tantly be kept before the mind’s eye. The constructive pro- 
gramme that I have set before you necessitates perfect co-operation 
among all the sections. You will therefore go among the Pulayas 
and the Pariahs, fraternize with them and appeal to them as 
fellow countrymen and equals to come out and take their due 
share in the sacred fight along with the Brahmins, Ezhawas, 
Christians and others. You must all become one. You dare not 
leave out or antagonize a single section or community without 
stultifying yourselves and damaging your fight. 

Then there is the prohibition work. You would not picket 
just now, but you would visit the drunkards in their homes and 
strive with them. Even if you do not succeed in producing 
immediate tangible results, it will put your struggle on a moral 
plane and add strength and momentum to it. 

Travancore people, both men and women, are so simple in 
their habits. They wear white and need very little cloth to pro- 
tect them against the elements. They can easily produce all the 
khadi they need. Travancore need not import a single yard of 
cloth or even khadi from outside. This means that there should 
be a spinning-wheel in every home. 

And khadi should be linked with liberty. All the time you 
are spinning, you would not think in terms of your own require- 
ments but in terms of the requirements of the nation. You will 
say, T want to clothe the whole nation that is naked and I must 
do it non- violently.’ Each time you draw a thread, say to your- 
selves, ‘We are drawing the thread of swaraj.’ Multiply this pic- 
ture millionfold and you have freedom knocking at your door. 

Harijan, 28-1-1939 



151. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Segaon, Wardha, 

November 16, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

Why do you say when Mahadev leaves you you won’t have 
to write to me (I suppose you mean so regularly) ? If you have 
the time I do want you to write regularly. I may fail to do 
likewise. But you have always permitted me that latitude. 

I hope you will have a kind of relaxation after his departure. 
Though it was a pleasure to you to have him with you it was 
undoubtedly a tax on your attention and energy. 

The Travancore deputation was finished today. They appeared 
to be good men. They have real difficulty in withdrawing the 
allegations. But they have not given me a conclusive answer. They 
will put the pros and cons before their W. C. and then come to a 
decision. How I wish you could have been present during the con- 
versations. I gave them four hours. Ramachandran is still here. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

If Mahadev is there when this is received tell him he should 
give a day or two to Bhopal if he can. 

From the original: C.W. 3890. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7046 


152. LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

Segaon, 

November 16, 1938 

MY DEAR JAWAHARLAL, 

I hope both you and Indu have benefited by the voyage. 
I am expecting you to be in Wardha about 20th. But of course 
you will come as early as you wish. You have tough problems 
awaiting solution. 

Love to you both. 

Bapu 

Gandhi-Nehru Papers, 1938. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and 
Library 

134 



153. DRAFT OF STATEMENT FOR THAKORE SAHEB 

OF RAJKOT^ 

[Before November 19, 1938Y 

1. After having observed the growth of popular feeling and 
the regrettable sufferings of our people during the last few 
months for the redress of what they understood to be their griev- 
ances, and after having discussed the whole situation with the 
Council and Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel, we are convinced the present 
struggle and sufferings should end immediately. 

2. We have decided to appoint a committee of ten gentle- 
men who should be subjects or servants of our State, three of 
whom will be State officers and seven subjects of our State 
whose names will be declared hereafter. The President of the 
committee will be a person appointed by His Highness. 

3. This committee shall draw up by the end of January, 
after proper investigation, a report to us recommending a scheme 
of reforms so as to give the widest possible powers to our people 
consistently with our obligation to the Paramount Power and 
with our prerogatives as a Ruling Chief. 

4. It is our desire that our Privy Purse shall henceforth 
be regulated in the manner laid down in the circular of the 
Chamber of Princes. 

5. We desire furthermore to assure our people that we 
intend to consider and give effect to the scheme that may be 
reported to us by the said committee. 

6. It being understood that all unconstitutional agitation 
shall immediately cease, as a necessary prelude to restore peace 
and goodwill, we hereby grant full amnesty and release immed- 
iately all political prisoners and remit all fines and withdraw all 
repressive measures. 

Harijan, 4-2-1939 


* This was signed by Dharmendrasinh, Thakore Saheb of Rajkot on 
December 26 after talks with Vallabhbhai Patel. 

2 Vide “Letter to Vallabhbhai Patel”, pp. 136-7, where Gandhiji mentions 
having drafted the statement. 


135 



154. PROHIBITION IN SALEM DISTRICT 


The Syndicate of the Annamalai University deputed Shri C. 
Jagannathachari to study the problem of prohibition in Salem 
District under the guidance and direction of Professor B. V. Nara- 
yanaswami Naidu. I have been favoured with a summary of the 
report from which I take the following excerptsh 

Harijan, 19-11-1938 


155. TELEGRAM TO AMRIT KAUR 


Ward HA, 
November 19, 1938 

Rajkumari Amrit Kaur 

Manorville 

Simla West 

HOPE DESPONDENCY GONE CHEERFULNESS RETURNED. LOVE. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 3891. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7047 


156. LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 

Segaon, Wardha, 
November 19, 1938 

BHAI VALLABHBHAI, 

Please study the statement^ which I have drafted after discus- 
sions with Anantrai^ and Nanabhai. If you approve of it, the 
Thakore Saheb may act accordingly and satyagraha should be 
withdrawn. Decide the names of the members of the Committee 
in consultation with Bhai Anantrai. The people’s representatives 
should be in a majority in the Committee. If this is accepted, I 

’ These are not reproduced here. 

2 Vide “Draft of Statement for Thakore Saheb of Rajkot”, p. 135. 

^ Anantrai Pattani, Dewan of Bhavnagar 


136 



THE JEWS 


137 


think we should be satisfied. There is no mention of responsible 
government in my draft, but I think it is clearly implied. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel 
P uRUSHOTTAM BuiLDING 
Opp. Opera House, Bombay 4 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Batro~2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, pp. 1TI-2> 


157. THE JEWS 

Several letters have been received by me asking me to de- 
clare my views about the Arab- Jew question in Palestine and the 
persecution of the Jews in Germany. It is not without hesitation 
that I venture to offer my views on this very difficult question. 

My sympathies are all with the Jews. I have known them 
intimately in South Africa. Some of them became life-long com- 
panions. Through these friends I came to learn much of their 
age-long persecution. They have been the untouchables of Christ- 
ianity. The parallel between their treatment by Christians and 
the treatment of untouchables by Hindus is very close. Religious 
sanction has been invoked in both cases for the justification of 
the inhuman treatment meted out to them. Apart from the 
friendships, therefore, there is the more common universal reason 
for my sympathy for the Jews. 

But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of 
justice. The cry for the national home for the Jews does not 
make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the 
Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after 
return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of 
the earth, make that country their home where they are born 
and where they earn their livelihood? 

Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that Eng- 
land belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong 
and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on 
in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of con- 
duct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. 
Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the 
proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly 
or wholly as their national home. 



138 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of 
the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in 
France are French in precisely the same sense that Christians 
born in France are French. If the Jews have no home but Pales- 
tine, will they relish the idea of being forced to leave the other 
parts of the world in which they are settled ? Or do they want a 
double home where they can remain at will? This cry for the 
national home affords a colourable justification for the German 
expulsion of the Jews. 

But the German persecution of the Jews seems to have no 
parallel in history. The tyrants of old never went so mad as 
Hitler seems to have gone. And he is doing it with religious 
zeal. For he is propounding a new religion of exclusive and 
militant nationalism in the name of which any inhumanity be- 
comes an act of humanity to be rewarded here and hereafter. The 
crime of an obviously mad but intrepid youth is being visited 
upon his whole race with unbelievable ferocity. If there ever 
could be a justifiable war in the name of and for humanity, a 
war against Germany, to prevent the wanton persecution of a 
whole race, would be completely justified. But I do not believe 
in any war. A discussion of the pros and cons of such a war is 
therefore outside my horizon or province. 

But if there can be no war against Germany, even for such a 
crime as is being committed against the Jews, surely there can be 
no alliance with Germany. How can there be alliance between a 
nation which claims to stand for justice and democracy and one 
which is the declared enemy of both? Or is England drifting 
towards armed dictatorship and all it means ? 

Germany is showing to the world how efficiently violence 
can be worked when it is not hampered by any hypocrisy or 
weakness masquerading as humanitarianism. It is also showing 
how hideous, terrible and terrifying it looks in its nakedness. 

Can the Jews resist this organized and shameless persecution ? 
Is there a way to preserve their self-respect, and not to feel helpless, 
neglected and forlorn? I submit there is. No person who has 
faith in a living God need feel helpless or forlorn. Jehovah of the 
Jews is a God more personal than the God of the Christians, the 
Mussalmans or the Hindus, though, as a matter of fact in essence. 
He is common to all and one without a second and beyond de- 
scription. But as the Jews attribute personality to God and be- 
lieve that He rules every action of theirs, they ought not to feel 
helpless. If I were a Jew and were born in Germany and earned 
my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even 



THE JEWS 


139 


as the tallest gentile German may, and challenge him to shoot me 
or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to 
submit to discriminating treatment. And for doing this, I should 
not wait for the fellow Jews to join me in civil resistance but 
would have confidence that in the end the rest are bound to 
follow my example. If one Jew or all the Jews were to accept 
the prescription here offered, he or they cannot be worse off than 
now. And suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an 
inner strength and joy which no number of resolutions of sympa- 
thy passed in the world outside Germany can. Indeed, even if 
Britain, France and America were to declare hostilities against 
Germany, they can bring no inner joy, no inner strength. The 
calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre 
of the Jews by way of his first answer to the declaration of such 
hostilities. But if the Jewish mind could be prepared for volun- 
tary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be 
turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy that Jehovah had 
wrought deliverance of the race even at the hands of the tyrant. 
For to the godfearing, death has no terror. It is a joyful 
sleep to be followed by a waking that would be all the more 
refreshing for the long sleep. 

It is hardly necessary for me to point out that it is easier for 
the Jews than for the Czechs to follow my prescription. And 
they have in the Indian satyagraha campaign in South Africa 
an exact parallel. There the Indians occupied precisely the same 
place that the Jews occupy in Germany. The persecution had 
also a religious tinge. President Kruger used to say that the 
white Christians were the chosen of God and Indians were infe- 
rior beings created to serve the whites. A fundamental clause in 
the Transvaal constitution was that there should be no equality 
between the whites and coloured races including Asiatics. There 
too the Indians were consigned to ghettos described as locations. 
The other disabilities were almost of the same type as those of 
the Jews in Germany. The Indians, a mere handful, resorted to 
satyagraha without any backing from the world outside or the 
Indian Government. Indeed the British officials tried to dissuade 
the satyagrahis from their contemplated step. World opinion and 
the Indian Government came to their aid after eight years of 
fighting. And that too was by way of diplomatic pressure not of 
a threat of war. 

But the Jews of Germany can offer satyagraha under 
infinitely better auspices than the Indians of South Africa. The 
Jews are a compact, homogeneous community in Germany. They 



140 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


are far more gifted than the Indians of South Africa. And they 
have organized world opinion behind them. I am convinced that 
if someone with courage and vision can arise among them to 
lead them in non-violent action, the winter of their despair can 
in the twinkling of an eye be turned into the summer of hope. 
And what has today become a degrading man-hunt can be turn- 
ed into a calm and determined stand offered by unarmed men 
and women possessing the strength of suffering given to them by 
Jehovah. It will be then a truly religious resistance offered against 
the godless fury of dehumanized man. The German Jews will 
score a lasting victory over the German gentiles in the sense that 
they will have converted the latter to an appreciation of human 
dignity. They will have rendered service to fellow-Germans and 
proved their title to be the real Germans as against those who 
are today dragging, however unknowingly, the German name 
into the mire. 

And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt 
that they are going about it the wrong way. The Palestine of 
the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their 
hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as 
their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of 
the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the 
aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine 
only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert 
the Arab heart. The same God rules the Arab heart who rules 
the Jewish heart. They can offer satyagraha in front of the 
Arabs and offer themselves to be shot or thrown into the Dead 
Sea without raising a little finger against them. They will find 
the world opinion in their favour in their religious aspiration. 
There are hundreds of ways of reasoning with the Arabs, if they 
will only discard the help of the British bayonet. As it is, they 
are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have 
done no wrong to them. 

I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had cho- 
sen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regard- 
ed as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country. But 
according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can 
be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming 
odds. 

Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their 
title by choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating their 
position on earth. Every country is their home including Pales- 
tine not by aggression but by loving service. A Jewish friend has 



LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI 


141 


sent me a book called The Jewish Contribution to Civilization by 
Cecil Roth. It gives a record of what the Jews have done to 
enrich the world’s literature, art, music, drama, science, medicine, 
agriculture, etc. Given the will, the Jew can refuse to be treated 
as the outcaste of the West, to be despised or patronized. He 
can command the attention and respect of the world by being 
man, the chosen creation of God, instead of being man who is 
fast sinking to the brute and forsaken by God. They can add to 
their many contributions the surpassing contribution of non-viol- 
ent action. 

Segaon, November 20, 1938 
Harijan, 26-11-1938 

158. LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI 

November 20, 1938 

CHI. KANTI, 

I had got your letter. You must have got mine. After writing 
to you, I discussed the matter with R. I have not been able 
to convince him. He says that there must have been some mistake 
in what S. saw and that the same charge was levelled against 
you regarding your relations with P. Ultimately it was proved 
that there was nothing in it. All the same, says R., he will make 
a full inquiry. But he adds: “Suppose my sister has fallen, is it 
not S.’s duty to bring her mother to her senses? Was it right 
for her to run down to you? Have we, who have brought her 
up, who have given her love, and separation from whom has made 
her shed tears, ceased to be of any value ? If you order, I will 
certainly bring S. before you even to tell her this.” In these 
circumstances, how could I insist any further? Now it is for S. 
to show courage. She should boldly prove P.’s misconduct, and 
having shown that she cannot reform P. she should try to come 
to me. P. may have gone astray but all the others cannot be 
like her. Don’t become impatient. It is not proper that you 
should give up hope of P. Her love for you has not diminished. 
If it has, cannot the betrothal be cancelled even after it has 
been made public? But he does not even dream of such a step. 
You have become a part of that family. You should believe 
that there is still room for further inquiry in this matter. How- 
ever that be, I do not want you to let this affair trouble you or 
take your time. Whatever type of woman P. may be, S. is 
certainly not going to be affected. It will be enough if she 



142 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

remains engrossed in her duty. Write to her and ask her to write 
to me as frankly as she does to you. If she is afraid that some- 
one might read her letters, I will tear them up after reading 
them, as I do R. K.’s. Her letters are given to me unopened, as 
also others which are marked “Private”, “Personal”, or anything 
to that effect. I want that not you but I should worry about 
S. You are also not right in believing that it was wrong to have 
made your betrothal public. 

I hope you are well. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

Jawaharlal arrives tomorrow. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 7354. Courtesy: Kantilal 

Gandhi 


159. LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

November 21, 1938 

MY DEAR JAWAHARLAL, 

I do hope you had my note’ in Bombay. I could not take 
silence before 2 o’clock. I hope you will have a little quiet till 
then and enjoy it after the strenuous time in Bombay. Hope 
Indu is well. 

Love. 

Bapu 

Gandhi-Nehru Papers, 1938. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and 
Library 


Vide “Letter to Jawaharlal Nehru”, p. 134. 



160. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


November 21, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

In a few minutes Jawaharlal will be here. I seize them 
for these few lines. The doleful strain still runs through your 
letters. Long or short, your letters are welcome and they get 
read in spite of heavy work. 

Your note' on Kemal I had to amend in parts. You will 
see the corrections which I know you won’t mind. 

Mira will be going on Wednesday to Bombay for her eyes 
and thence to the Frontier P[rovince]. I think it is better she 
goes there first. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3652. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6461 

161. LETTER TO GIRDHARILAL 

Segaon, Wardha, 

November 21, 1938 

dear LALA GIRDHARILAL, 

There is no question of distrust.^ We all feel that you 
cannot possibly do justice to your position, being continuously 
absent from Amritsar. The work suffers. But you can come and 
explain before your resignation is submitted to the Board. But 
then you should not be long in coming. I shall not be in 
Segaon in January. It would be better if you can come before 
15th December. 

Yours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


' This was published in Harijan, 26-11-1938, under “Notes”, sub-title, “The 
Late Kemal Ataturk”. 

^ VideYol. LXVII, “Letter to Lala Girdharilal”, p. 403. 


143 



162. FOREWORD TO “THE BROTHERHOOD OE 
RELIGIONS^' 

These essays of Sophia Wadia show at a glance how much 
similarity there is between the principal faiths of the earth in the 
fundamentals of life. All our mutual quarrels centre round non- 
essentials. Sophia Wadia’s labours will be amply rewarded if peo- 
ple belonging to different faiths will study faiths other than their 
own, with the same reverence that she has exhibited in her ess- 
ays. An understanding knowledge of and respect for the great 
faiths of the world is the foundation of true Theosophy — Wisdom 
about God. 

M. K. Gandhi 

Segaon, Wardha, November 23, 1938 

The Brotherhood of Religions 


163. LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

Segaon, 

November 24, 1938 

MY DEAR JAWAHARLAL, 

I have your note. I knew that once you were in harness 
you won’t be master of your own time. I shall be satisfied with 
what I get. 

Here is a letter delivered through messenger from Gurudev. 
I have replied saying my personal opinion was that he needed 
to be free from the Presidential work, if he was to rid Bengal of 
corruption. I have no doubt Gurudev will write to you directly 
or talk to you. You will give your own opinion. 

I hope Indu was none the worse for the journey. 

Love. 

Bapu 

Gandhi-Nehru Papers, 1938. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and 
Library. Also A Bunch of Old Letters, p. 298 


144 



164. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Segaon, 
November 25, 1938 


MY DEAR IDIOT, 

I had intended during the day to write to you but I could 
not. You must regain full control over your sleep. You must 
learn the art of producing a blank in the head at night. I under- 
stand what you say about Shummy. May everything turn out 
as it should. 

Did I tell you that the programme is to pass January in 
Bardoli? You are to come to Bardoli. The whole of December 
will be spent here. 

I had good talks with Jawaharlal on all sorts of topics. But 
I must not describe them. Most of my time is passed in giving 
interviews. 

Mahadev is not extra well. For the time being he stays 

here. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3892. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7048 


165. NOTE ON LETTER TO DR. N. B. KHARE^ 

November 25, 1938 

Evidently the writer of the letter at the back addressed yours 
to me by mistake, and you must have received what was meant 
for me. Anyway, the mistake enables me to know that you have 
been ailing and hope that this finds you fully restored. 

The Bombay Chronicle, 1-12-1938 


* The letter addressed to Dr. Khare by a student from Kanpur had 
been posted to Gandhiji by oversight. 


68-10 


145 



166. LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR 


November 25, 1938 

CHI. KARA, 

I see no need for withdrawing the 1100 copies of Prema’s 
book' and issuing a new edition. When the time comes for a 
new edition, we may think of omitting something. Prema’s argu- 
ment appears correct to me. I think we should see what effect 
the 1100 copies have. 

Chandan^ may now go to Delhi whenever she wishes. The 
earlier she goes, the better. Bal’s letter was interesting. Let him 
retain possession as a trustee. He may even be given a special 
right in that capacity. It is desirable that he should keep nothing 
as heir. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

Send the accompanying^ to Bal, if you approve it. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7977 

167. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

Segaon, Wardha, 

November 26, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

I won’t be satisfied till you can report that you are getting 
good sleep without difficulty. 

This according to your instruction goes to Jullundur. 

Your letter to Barnabas is good but very hastily drafted. 
They may join the Congress in their thousands but why may 
they not have a separate organization of themselves to consider 
many questions that specially affect them. For social and reli- 
gious uplift they need an organization. If they do not have it, 

' Vatsalyachi Prasaddiksha; vide “Letter to Premabehn Kantak”, pp. 130-1. 

^ Ghandan Parekh, who later married the addressee’s son, Satish 
^ Not traceable 


146 



LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


147 


they are likely to tire of the Congress for the Congress won’t con- 
tribute to their all-round uplift. I am therefore not dealing with 
it in Harijan. You should discuss this with me when you come. 
Love. 

Tyrant 

[PS.] 

How I wish I had known that the toga had to be kept for 
you! However you do not mind Indu wearing it. 

From the original: C.W. 3893. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7049 


168. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


Segaon, 
November 26, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

I hope you had mine of yesterday. This is just to tell you 
that now that you are gone everybody misses you. Your room 
is more than full. Mahadev is not going anywhere, for the time 
being at any rate. 

Love. 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

B.P. 160/98 
Shri Mirabehn 

C/o Seth Mathuradas Tricumjee 

74 Walkeshwar Road 

Bombay 

From the original: C.W. 6415. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10010 



169. LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI 


Segaon, Wardha, 

November 26, 1938 

CHI. KANTI, 

I am trying to call over S. in my own way. 

When the time for your medical studies comes, I shall see 
about your increased expenses. 

I am trying to find Dharmdevji’s letter. If I find it, I will 
reply to him, otherwise I will ask for a copy. 

Take care of your health. Learn the art of preserving it. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

[PS.] 

Mahadev has arrived. He will take time to resume work. 
He is in Segaon just now. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 7355. Courtesy: Kantilal Gandhi 


170. LETTER TO AN AND T. HINGORANI 

November 26, 1938 

CHI. ANAND, 

I have sent your letter on to Father and have also written 
him a good letter. He will melt. Hope Vidya is well. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a microfilm of the Flindi. Courtesy: National Archives of India 
and Anand T. Hingorani 


148 



1 71 . NON-CO-OPERATORS 

Several letters have been lying on my file from Congressmen 
who non-co-operated during the non-co-operation days. Among 
these were those also who resigned Government services. Some 
of these are now agitating for reinstatement. They quote in sup- 
port my appeal to the public including Government servants to 
non-co-operate. Among the sufferers who have, to my knowl- 
edge, not agitated for restoration are the resisters who were fined, 
the relatives who lost their bread-winners, the lawyers who gave 
up their practice and were reduced to penury, and the students 
who gave up their studies and consequent prospects. They think 
the suffering voluntarily undergone was its own reward and de- 
mands no further compensation. 

If all these were to claim restoration from the Congress Min- 
isters, the latter’s lot would be truly unenviable and they would 
have little work to do save that of adjudging claims. They 
would also have to raise money for discharging claims that must 
amount to several crores. Moreover, it would be difficult for the 
discharged Government servants who gave up their jobs whether 
compulsorily or voluntarily to show that the cases of other sufferers 
were less hard than theirs. 

In my opinion these ex-Government-servants as a class were 
the least sufferers. And if they have been without work all these 
years, they can hardly become efficient servants of the State. 
Government service for Congressmen is not an avenue to material 
advancement; it should be an avenue to service. Therefore only 
those Congressmen may enter Government service whose market 
value is higher than that they can get from the Government. 
They can be employed only when they are wanted. There should 
be no such thing as Congress patronage. 

A war, whether violent or non-violent, loses its thrill and its 
grandeur if the warriors are insured against all loss. A satya- 
grahi to be worthy of the name stands to lose all without ex- 
pectation of any compensation in the future. His merit lies in 
his undergoing the uttermost sacrifice. Indeed the Congress 
machinery will fall to pieces if men come to it to better their 
prospects in life. And if the Congress Ministers are expected 
to satisfy personal ambition they will be themselves discredited 
and bring down the prestige of the Congress in the end. 


149 



150 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


I hope the reader will not fail to note the difference between 
this and the restoration of lands which were vindictively sold for 
a song by the preceding Government administration. There the 
restoration was easily possible and was a duty. It was like restor- 
ing a bit of country taken away by the victor. 

If another civil disobedience campaign becomes necessary, 
the Government will think fifty times before selling people’s land 
and unpatriotic persons will not dare to profit at the expense of 
patriots. 

Segaon, November 27, 1938 
Harijan, 3-12-1938 

172. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Segaon, 

November 27 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

This is for the sake merely of telling you that I have your 
letter and that all is well. Mahadev seems to be progressing. I 
wish you could say the same of you. 

Here is the Aundh party coming. Jairamdas has also come 
in. He is looking much better. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3894. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7050 


173. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


Segaon, 

November 27\ 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

Your letter. I shall attend to all your instructions. I do 
hope your eyes will be so suited as not to cause any trouble for 
some years to come. 

Govind^ may go astray. Kaka offered him a job but he has 
not even put in an appearance. A mission has begun operations 

’ In the source ‘28’ seems to have been corrected to ‘27’. 

^ An inmate of the Ashram working with the addressee 



STATES AND THE PEOPLE 


151 


here and Govind has offered his services. I hear he has now gone 
to Nagpur to satisfy his would-be employers. He may prove 
an enemy of his people and Segaon. I do not want you to worry 
about him. I shall do all I can to wean him. But the lure of 
money is too great a temptation for poor peoples. Everything 
else is going well. Mahadev is well. Verrier and his sister came 
in today. They are passing the afternoon here. 

I have been taking silence from 7 p.m. to 2 p.m. next day. 
So the speaking is confined to 5 hours. But it is incessant for 
those hours. I must cut off that too, if I am to have the full 
benefit. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6416. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10011 


174. STATES AND THE PEOPLE 

The almost simultaneous awakening in the various States is a 
very significant event in the national struggle for independence. 
It will be wrong to think that such awakening can be due to the 
instigation of one person or a body of persons or any organiza- 
tion. It is just possible that the Haripura resolution of the Cong- 
ress put the people of the States on their mettle and they realized 
as never before that their salvation depended upon their own 
labours. But above all it is the time spirit that has brought about 
the awakening. It is to be hoped that the Princes and their 
advisers will recognize it and meet the legitimate aspirations of 
the people. There is no half-way house between total extinc- 
tion of the States and the Princes making their people respon- 
sible for the administration of their States and themselves becoming 
trustees for the people, taking an earned commission for their 
labours. 

I hope, therefore, the rumour is not true that the British 
Government are likely, at the instance of some Princes or their 
Dewans, to announce a change in the policy recently enunciated 
by Earl Winterton, about the ability of the Princes to grant res- 
ponsible government to their people. If any of them have 
asked the British Government to reverse the policy, they have 
undoubtedly done a disservice to themselves. And if the British 
Government respond to the unworthy wish, they will precipitate a 
first-class crisis whose magnitude it is difficult to foretell. I must 



152 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


refuse to believe that the British Government can commit such a 
blunder. Earl Winterton’s announcement was but an endorsement 
of past practice. They are not known to have ever interfered 
with the States giving powers to their people, however wide they 
might be. 

I go a step further. Even as the British Government, as the 
Paramount Power, are bound to protect the Princes against harm 
from outside or within, they are equally or a fortiori bound to 
ensure just rule on the part of the Princes. Hence it is their 
bounden duty, when they supply the police or the military to 
any State, to see that there is a proper emergency justifying the 
request and that the military or the police will be used with becom- 
ing restraint. From Dhenkanal have come to me stories of 
fiendish cruelty exercised by the State myrmidons under the shadow 
of the police supplied by the Paramount Power. I asked for 
evidence in support of some of the unnamable cruelties. And 
I have enough to inspire belief. 

Indeed, it is a question whether responsible Ministers in the 
provinces have not a moral responsibility in respect of the people 
of the States in their respective provinces. Under the Constitution, 
the Ministers have no power over them. The Governor is the 
agent of the Viceroy who is the representative of the Paramount 
Power. But the Ministers in autonomous provinces have surely a 
moral responsibility regarding what happens in the States. So 
long as the States and the people are satisfied. Ministers have no 
worry. But have they none if there is, say, a virulent epidemic in 
the States which, if neglected, may easily overtake the province 
in which they are situated? Have they none when there is a 
moral epidemic which seems to be raging in Dhenkanal ? 

I understand that the persecuted people are taking refuge in 
British Orissa. Can the Ministers refuse them shelter? How 
many can they take charge of? Whatever happens in these States 
affects for better or for worse the province as a whole. I do 
believe, therefore, that the Ministers by reason of the heavy res- 
ponsibility resting on their shoulders have the moral right, within 
strict limits, to assert themselves for the sake of internal peace and 
decency. They cannot look on with unconcern while the people 
of the States — an arbitrary creation of the Paramount Power — are 
being ground to dust as they in Dhenkanal are reported to be. 

One reads in the papers that some concessions have been 
given to the people of Dhenkanal. I do not know whether the 
report is true and whether the relief answers the purpose for 



STATES AND THE PEOPLE 


153 


which the people of Dhenkanal are fighting and suffering. It is, 
however, irrelevant to the issue raised by me. I feel that the 
Ministers in the provinces are morally bound to take notice of 
gross misrule in the States within their borders and to tender advice 
to the Paramount Power as to what, in their opinion, should 
be done. The Paramount Power, if it is to enjoy friendly rela- 
tions with the provincial Ministers, is bound to give sympathetic 
ear to their advice. 

There is one other matter which demands the urgent atten- 
tion of the States and their advisers. They fight shy of the very 
name Congress. They regard Congressmen as outsiders, foreign- 
ers and what not. They may be all that in law. But man-made 
law, if it is in conflict with the natural law, becomes a dead 
letter when the latter operates in full force. The people of the 
States look up to the Congress in all matters affecting their inter- 
est. Many of them are members of the Congress. Some like 
Shri Jamnalalji hold high offices in the Congress organization. 
In the eyes of the Congress there is no distinction between mem- 
bers from the States and from India called British. It is surely 
detrimental to the interests of the States to ignore the Congress or 
Congressmen, especially when it or they seek to render friendly 
assistance. They must recognize the fact that the people in the 
States are in many cases guided by the Congress. They know 
that I am responsible for the policy of non-interference hitherto 
followed by the Congress. But with the growing influence of the 
Congress it is impossible for me to defend it in the face of injus- 
tice perpetrated in the States. If the Congress feels that it has 
the power to offer effective interference, it will be bound to do 
so when the call comes. And if the Princes believe that the good 
of the people is also their good, they would gratefully seek and 
accept the Congress assistance. It is surely in their interest to 
cultivate friendly relations with an organization which bids fair 
in the future, not very distant, to replace the Paramount Power, 
let me hope, by friendly arrangement. Will they not read the 
handwriting on the wall? 

Segaon, November 28, 1938 
Harijan, 3-12-1938 



175. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Segaon, Wardha, 

November 28, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

I shall be ready to write to Sd as soon as you free me from 
the restraint. The suspense should cease, if it is at [all] possible. 
Today is Harijan day. Your absence is most felt on Mondays. 
Of course you can do a lot if you could be here and kept fit. 

I understand about Narandas. I am sending him your note, 
which is sweet. 

Mahadev is well. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3895. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7051 


176. LETTER TO MOTILAL ROT 

Segaon, Wardha, 

November 28, 1938 

DEAR MOTI BABU, 

My sympathies are with you but equity and justice make me 
lean towards the A. I. S. A. I relied upon your integrity and 
business ability. If you must have reduction please start payment 
and rely upon getting it when you have paid what you contem- 
plate. Is not that right and fair? But I would still plead with 
you to ask the co-workers to put forth redoubled effort to pay the 
debt due to a sister Association, which is run wholly for Dari- 
dranarayana. 

Love. 

Tours, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat: G.N. 11052 


* Shumshere Singh 


154 



177. LETTER TO N ARANDAS GANDHI 

November 28, 1938 

CHI. NARANDAS, 

I had got your letter. On the basis of it I wrote a couple 
of lines, not to complain but for information. I am enclosing 
the reply to that. Destroy the letter after reading it. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

If you see anything to criticize in the movement, please 
regard it as your duty to let me know about it. 

From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8554. Court- 
esy: Narandas Gandhi 


178. LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL 

Segaon, Wardha, 

November 28, 1938 

CHI. MANI, 

I have got your letter. I had not expected that you would 
be able to write in the midst of so much pressure of work. I am 
watching your exploits even from this distance. You seem to 
have earned great merit in your previous life. I never had any 
doubt about your courage. As far as possible, don’t court im- 
prisonment. That is the Rajkot people’s job. 

I hope you are taking care of your health. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

Manibehn Patel 

Near Telegraph Office 

Rajkot 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro—4: Manibehn Patelne, p. 122 


155 



179. LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 


Segaon, 

November 28, 1938 


BHAI VALLABHBHAI, 

I am enclosing a letter from Bhavnagar. I have sent a wire 
asking the man to await a letter before sending any more 
batches. Participation by students in this manner seems to me 
altogether improper. 

It also does not seem proper that subjects of other States 
should send batches from places outside Rajkot. This is com- 
pletely contrary to our policy. That batch does not want and will 
not get swaraj. Its going to Rajkot will increase ill will and 
cover up the weaknesses of the Rajkot people if there are any. 
What will we gain by their weaknesses being covered up? The 
mettle of the people of Rajkot will shine only as much as it is 
worth. We may help it to shine brighter, but that can be done 
only by promoting growth among the Rajkot people themselves. 
If you agree with this, stop the batches from outside and stop all 
students from joining. I can write much more, but where is 
the time? It doesn’t matter, though. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro—2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, p. 229 


180. LETTER TO PRABHAVATI 

Segaon, Wardha, 

November 29, 1938 

CHI. PRABHA, 

A letter for Jayaprakash is enclosed. I hope it will reach in 
time. I am writing this letter at 3.45 a. m. Take care of Jaya- 
prakash’s health. I do not know how yours is. I see that you 
both could see Kanti. I am glad. Didn’t I inform you that 
we would be going to Bardoli on January 1 ? We will be 

156 



LETTER TO SHUAIB QURESHI 


157 


there for a month. You may come there. Jayaprakash also may 
come. But he is a fakir, absorbed in himself and lost in his own 
dreams. How can I expect him to pass some time with me? 
He will not be able to get anything from me and he may 
not even like some aspects of my life. What is the remedy? 
I am glad that you remain busy in his service. My health 
is fine. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 3524 


181. LETTER TO VIJATA N. PATEL 


Segaon, 

November 29, 1938 

CHI. VIJAYA, 

I am writing this before the morning prayer. My health 
is excellent. Ba is fairly well. It is great news indeed that you 
have recovered. Now you need not come here at present for I 
expect to be at Bardoli on the 2nd of January. You are already 
there. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7103. Also C.W. 4595. 

Courtesy: Vijayabehn M. Pancholi 


182. LETTER TO SHUAIB QURESHI 

November 29, 1938 

MY DEAR SHUAIB, 

Zakir telegraphed Big Brother’s death.' What happened? 
I wrote to him only the other day about his daughter’s death. 
I tried to come near him but failed. Cannot his death be 
turned to the end for which in his best moments he tried his utmost ? 
This death is a tragedy. It will be doubled if no steps are taken 
to bring the two together. How it can be done is more than I 


' Shaukat Ali died on November 27, 1938, at Delhi. 



158 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


can say. I am working at it in my own way. But that is not 
enough. 

Love. 

Bapu 


From a facsimile: Madhya Pradesh aur Gandhiji, p. 127 


183. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

November 29, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

The cause of yesterday’s suffocation was that the water was 
too hot. I also had such experience. If the heat is gradually 
increased, no discomfort is felt. It is desirable to begin with 
near-body temperature. The bucket of hot water should be kept 
just near. This is, of course, to be followed by cold water. It 
would be best to take the hip-bath in the afternoon. This will 
cost you some time but let not that worry you. 

Bapu 


From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11685 


184. LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI 

Segaon, Wardha, 

November 29, 1938 

CHI. SUSHILA, 

Read the accompanying letter and send it to Manilal. Don’t 
change the January date. You may stay there as long as you 
desire. Whenever you wish to run up here, you will have every 
right to do so. I was thinking only of Nanabhai and Vijaya- 
lakshmi. You also would naturally desire to stay with your 
parents. 

In my present condition, I can give you nothing. I cannot 
spare even a minute for talking with you. And I would not wish 
that you should come here only in order that I could see your 
face every day and smile at you. Ba would not accept service 
from you. She is no longer ill. Having regard to all this, I 
leave it to you whether you should come here. I will leave this 



LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 159 

place on January 1 for Bardoli. If you wish to come there, 
you may do so for three or four days. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

Kishorelal and Gomati came and met me. Why does not 
Sita write? How is her health? How is Arun? 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4889 


185. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

Segaon, Wardha, 

November 30, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

This is the first letter I take up at 3.30 a.m. 

I have your time-table. This is therefore being posted to 
Delhi. 

Mahadev is having better nights than in Simla showing that 
the improvement continues. Perhaps the intense cold of Simla 
might not have agreed with him. Here unlike as before, he is 
sleeping under the open sky. The weather is quite mild. For 
three or four days I slept on the verandah. S. has permitted me 
to come out. How long the permission will last, one does not 
know. 

Ever since Mira’s departure I have been silent between 7 
p. m. to 2 p. m. the day following. Hence there are only 5 speak- 
ing hours. 

It will be good if Shummy finally makes up his mind to go 
to Europe. The change is likely to do him good and you will be 
able without anxiety to be with me. But Mahadev will say, what 
about the dog? He has been describing with what care that pre- 
cious member of the family is being looked after. 

I am just now engaged in hammering into shape the Aundh 
Constitution. The Raja Saheb’s son is a delightful boy. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3653. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6462 



186. LETTER TO DEVDAS GANDHI 


November 30, 1938 

CHI. DEVDAS, 

You did well in sending a copy of the report of Viceroy’s 
talk with Bharatan. It is difficult to say how this catastrophe will 
end. Also read and think over what I have written about the 
States.^ As Anantrai has intervened, the Rajkot matter will per- 
haps be settled. But how will that help? That will involve all 
the States. And that is what should happen. 

Lakshmi and the children will be well. I am writing this 
letter before the morning prayer. My health is excellent — at 
present at any rate. I am taking proper care of it. Ba is fairly 
well and so is Mahadev. These days the atmosphere at Segaon 
is quite good. There goes the bell. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 2007 


187. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 

Segaon, Wardha, 

November 30, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

I do not mind your having spent the money. I do not want 
you to be ill for want of warm clothing or other things that may 
be necessary for keeping the body fit. I have no fear of the 
cold of the Frontier injuring you. I shall watch your career 
there with anxiety. 

My silence up to 2 p. m. continues. There are thus only 5 
speaking hours per day which are all practically given to inter- 
views. 

Mahadev wrote to you yesterday. He is steadily improving. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6417. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10012 

’ Vide “States and the People”, pp. 151-3. 


160 



188. LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


Segaon, Wardha, 

November 30, 1938 

MY DEAR JAWAHARLAL, 

The Chinese friends came and instead of five minutes they 
took thirty-five. I had ultimately to say as gently as I could 
that they had overstayed their time seven times. 

Here is your copy of Agatha’s report of the interview with 
the Viceroy. My message was merely to say that he was to 
regard me as a friend of the English people, etc. It had nothing 
to do with politics. 

I hope you duly received my letter’ enclosing Gurudev’s 
letter about Subhas. 

Hope you are not killing yourself with work and that Indu is 
doing well. 

Sarup^ should be relieved of the heavy work she is doing. 
She should rebuild her shattered body. 

Love. 

Bapu 

Gandhi-Nehru Papers, 1938. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and 
Library. Also A Bunch of Old Letters, p. 303 


189. LETTER TO SHANTIKUMAR N. MORARJEE 

Segaon, Wardha, 

November 30, 1938 

CHI. SHANTIKUMAR, 

Mahadev has just now placed your letter in my hand. If I 
said I knew your father it would be an understatement. 
We were as close to each other as members of a family. It 
will not be strange, therefore, if I unveil his statue. But even if 
I do not do so, will it detract from our bond? Does one unveil 

’ Vide p. 144. 

^ Vijayalakshmi Pandit 

161 


68-11 



162 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

the Statue of one’s brother? I have lost all heart in such cere- 
monies. Please, therefore, do not take it ill at all. Try to under- 
stand my point of view fully and leave me out. Let the statue 
be unveiled on the same day on which the opening ceremony of 
the building takes place and let that be done by Sardar. Will 
you not excuse me? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 4728. Courtesy: Shantikumar N. Morarjee 


190. A LETTER 


Segaon, Wardha, 

November 30, 1938 

CHI. LAMBUS, 

‘Lambodar’ means ‘long belly’. It is the name of God Gana- 
pati. I should have named you ‘Lambus’. Was it not kind of 
you to write to me after such a long time? 

Amtul Salaam, Lilavati and Sharda are here. All of them 
are very well. 

You sisters seem to be doing good work. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 1752 

191. LETTER TO PREMI J AIR AMD AS 

Segaon, 

November 30, 1938 

CHI. PREMI, 

Your Hindi is not good, but I like it better than your Eng- 
lish. Further efforts would improve it. Father has arrived here. 
He writes better Hindi than you do. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 


From Hindi: C.W. 9250. Courtesy: Jairamdas Doulatram 



192. TELEGRAM TO LOCAL SECRETARY, JALLIANWALA 
BACH MEMORIAL EUND^ 


[After December 1, 1938] 

HOLD MEETING THIRTEENTH WARDHA THREE AFTERNOON. 

Gandhi 


From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


193. LETTER TO RANCHHODLAL PATWART 

[Before December 2, 1938Y 

I am lucky to receive your handwriting today after several years. 
It is difficult to address you when you tender me “dandavaf’. 

I am glad to hear about your ceaseless efforts to achieve my 
expectations. I never thought that the Rajkot public were pre- 
senting a united front single-handed, exhibiting unique solidarity. 
Vain are our impressions. God willing success is positive. If the 
unfavourable circumstances are reduced to dust, God may bless 
your services with singular success. 

The Bombay Chronicle, 3-12-1938 


194. A CAUTION 

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s and Shri Damodardas’s requests 
respectively to non-Rajkot people and non-Hyderabad people not 
to take part in satyagraha are timely and deserve to receive 
hearty response. It is the essence of satyagraha that those who 
are suffering should alone offer it. Cases can be conceived when 
what may be termed sympathetic satyagraha may be legitimately 
applied. But so far as I see there is nothing in the Rajkot or 

’ This was in answer to the addressee’s letter of December 1, asking if 
he might convene a meeting of the Memorial Fund at Wardha during the 
meetings of the Congress Working Committee there. 

^ Ex-Dewan of Morvi, Palanpur and Gondal States. The letter was 
presumably in Gujarati. 

^ The news report carrying this item is dated December 2. 


163 



164 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

Hyderabad satyagraha to warrant outside participation. Indeed 
it is likely to acerbate the authorities. The idea underlying satya- 
graha is to convert the wrongdoer, to awaken the sense of jus- 
tice in him, to show him also that without the co-operation, 
direct or indirect, of the wronged, the wrongdoer cannot do 
the wrong intended by him. If the people in either case are 
not ready to suffer for their causes, no outside help in the shape 
of satyagraha can possibly bring true deliverance. 

Segaon, December 3, 1938 

Harijan, 10-12-1938 

195. TELEGRAM TO PATTOM THAMU PILLAI 

Wardhaganj, 

December 3, 1938 

Thanupillai 
State Congress 
Trivandrum 

REGARD statement MADE BY SEBASTIAN OTHERS ABOUT 
INTERVIEW INCORRECT. SHALL I ISSUE TRUE VERSION?* 

Gandhi 

From the original: Pattern Thanu Pillai Papers. Courtesy: Nehru 

Memorial Museum and Library 


196. LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR 

December 3, 1938 

CHI. KAKA, 

I also wished to open the subject of the budget, but I forgot. 
We shall have to discuss the matter a little. A copy is enclosed. 
Come down on Tuesday. I will spare some time at 2 o’clock. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7979 


’ For Gandhiji’s version, vide “Statement to the Press”, 10-12-1938, and 
for the interview, vide pp. 131-3. 



197. LETTER TO PRABHU DATAL VIDTARTHI 


December 3, 1938 

CHI. PRABHU DAYAL, 

Your narration is prolix. You have not cited any evidence in 
it.' What you have to say could easily have been put on one 
sheet. A factual narration has no need of adornment. Write it 
again. I will send it to U. P. You must furnish evidence in sup- 
port of what you write. Give the names of persons who are your 
sources. Omit such phrases as “I hope” and the like. You 
should learn to be precise in writing. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 11519 


198. DISCUSSION WITH JOHN R. MOTT^ 

[On or before December 4, 193 8Y 

Dr. Mott . . . wondered if the world, including the world of missionaries, 
had advanced since they had last met.'* He was going to preside over the 
deliberations of the International Missionary Council meeting in Madras 
during the month, and he wanted to share with Gandhiji the plans of the 
meeting, and wanted Gandhiji’s “intuition and judgment on things to be 
discussed at the Convention.” 

He said: “ . . . This is a unique Convention where 14 councils of the 

younger churches of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and 14 of the older 
churches of Europe, America and Australia will be represented by over 400 
delegates. We want this to be a help and not a hindrance to India. . . . 
Am I, I ask, right in thinking that the tide has turned a little bit on the 

* The addressee had complained against the Congress. 

^ Extracted from Mahadev Desai’s “Dr. Mott’s Second Visit”. John 
Mott’s part of the conversation has been slightly abridged. 

^ Desai gives no dates. Vide, however, “Letter to Amrit Kaur”, 5-12- 
1938, where Gandhiji says, “Mahadev wrote yesterday for five hours on the 
Mott visit.” 

'* Vide Yo\. LXIV, pp. 33-41. 


165 



166 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


great things you impressed on me? ... Is there not a clearer recognition of 
these evils ? . . . 

GANDHiji: What I have noticed is that there is a drift 

in the right direction so far as thought is concerned, but I do 

feel that in action there is no advance. I was going to say “not 
much advance”, but I deliberately say “reo advance”. You may 
be able to give solitary instances of men here and there, but they 

do not count. Right conviction to be of use has to be trans- 

lated into action. 

JOHN mott: Take the first question, viz., that of the Communal Award. 
Has there been no progress? 

G. No progress at all. 

j.M. I have been studying the manuscript of the life of K. T. Paul, to 
which I have been asked to write a foreword. Don’t you think there has 
been an advance since his time ? The attitude of the Roman Catholics 
is hostile, but what about Protestant Christians? 

G. If Protestant Christians are at one on this question, they 
can have the Award changed, so far as they are concerned. But 
there is no solid action in the matter. 

j. M. I did not know that they could have an exception made in their 
behalf. 

G. They can. 

j. M. Take the next question. Is not taking advantage of people’s disa- 
bilities being avoided now? I must say I was terribly pained to read of 
the McGavran incident^ and greatly relieved to know that the misunder- 
standing has been cleared up. 

G. Even on this question, whilst some friends, I agree, are 
in earnest, so far as action goes, there has been no change. 

J. M. You mean to say there is not action enough ? 

G. No, there is no action at all. I have plenty of evidence 
to prove what I say. I do not publish all the correspondence I 
get. Mr. A. A. Paul, whom you may know, convened a confer- 
ence some time ago. The proceedings were revealing. Their 
resolutions were half-hearted. As far as I am aware, there was 
no unanimity about any definite action. 

' McGavran had contributed to World Dominion a fabricated report of 
the talk between Gandhiji on the one hand and Bishops Pickett and Azariah 
on the other. 



DISCUSSION WITH JOHN R. MOTT 


167 


j. M. I was encouraged by a resolution of the National Christian Coun- 
cil which insisted on pure motives and pure practice. 

G. You may cite the resolution but you will not be able to 
show corresponding action. 

j. M. I understand. Without action no decision is anything worth. 
This lesson was burnt on my mind even as a student when Foster’s great 
essay on the Decision of Character helped me more than anything I had 
read. 

G. I assure you you will find confirmation of what I say. 
I would say that there is not even concrete recognition of the 
danger of taking an undue advantage of people’s disabilities. 
They will never give up what they call the right of mass 
conversions. 

J. M. They are now talking of conversion of groups and families. I am 
not quite clear, though, as to what in certain cases the word ‘group’ 
implies. 

G. I am quite clear. It is mass conversions called by an- 
other name. 

J. M. That is strange. How can groups or families be converted en masse? 
Conversion in my family for instance came first with my father, then 
my oldest sister, then youngest sister, then I. It is an individual matter, 
a matter entirely between one and one’s God. 

G. So it is. On this matter of untouchability, I may tell 
you that for years I could not carry conviction to my own wife. 
She followed me willy-nilly. The conviction came to her after 
long experience and practice. 

J. M. In dealing with the holiest of things we should use the purest 
methods. But you will pardon me if I reiterate that I am hopeful of the 
tide having turned. Discerning Christian leaders to my knowledge are not 
only thinking of these things keenly but sincerely addressing themselves to 
fostering right practice. On the third question of the wise use of money I 
see signs of encouragement. 

G. But it is a virtue of necessity. The Indian Christians 
are thinking aloud and of doing things themselves. They are 
talking of their own responsibilities and saying, “Thank God, 
American money can’t come.” 

Then came a rather long digression on the wise and unwise use of 
money. The topic had engaged their attention on the occasion of the last 
visit too and Gandhiji had put the matter most forcefully when he said: 



168 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


“I think you cannot serve God and Mammon both, and my 
fear is that Mammon has been sent to serve India and God has 
remained behind, with the result that He will one day have His 
vengeance.” 

He had made it also clear that there was all the difference in the world 
between money given and money earned. 

j. M. But your own example proves that there are wise uses of money. 
What do all the organizations I saw this morning testify ? 

G. You see a contradiction between my theory and prac- 
tice? Well, you must see the background. With all my experi- 
ence and ability to collect money I am utterly indifferent in the 
matter. I have always felt that when a religious organization has 
more money than it requires, it is in peril of losing its faith in 
God and pinning its faith on money. There is no such thing as 
‘wise’ or ‘unwise’ use of money. You have simply to cease 
to depend on it. You don’t even depend on bread, and bargain 
with God saying you won’t pray until God gives your bread! 

j.M. I am arguing this at some length as I want to understand you 
and not to misquote you. 

G. Then I will illustrate what I say by two telling illus- 
trations. In South Africa when I started the satyagraha march 
there was not a copper in my pocket, and I went with a light 
heart. I had a caravan of 3000 people to support. ‘No fear’, 
said I. ‘If God wills it He will carry it forward.’ Then money 
began to rain from India. I had to stop it, for when the money 
came my miseries began. Whereas they were content with a 
piece of bread and sugar, they now began asking for all sorts 
of things. 

Then take the illustration of the new educational experiment. 
The experiment I said must go on without asking for any mone- 
tary help. Otherwise, after my death the whole organizations 
would go to pieces. The fact is the moment financial stability is 
assured, spiritual bankruptcy is also assured. 

j. M. But you wisely used the money. 

G. Not metal, but bread; and even the dog, under God’s 
Providence, has not to go hungry. 

Then came the last question of untouchability. Dr. Mott wondered if 
there was no quickening of the conscience all the world over. There had 
been, he said, battles royal between groups in America, conventions refusing 
to go to hotels where the Negroes were not received, there were Christians 



DISCUSSION WITH JOHN R. MOTT 


169 


in Germany who had gone to prison for protesting against the inhuman treat- 
ment of the Jews. There was gold coming out of dross. What about India? 

G. No advance in action, I say again. The British are a 
fair test. The racial feeling instead of declining is rising. In 
South Africa the tide of prejudice is rising high, declarations 
made by former Ministers are being disregarded. Similar stories 
come from East Africa. But I remain an optimist, not that there 
is any evidence that I can give that right is going to prosper, 
but because of my unflinching faith that right must prosper in 
the end. 

j. M. Well, in South Africa too are there not people like Hoffmeyr and 
Edgar Brookes ? There is certainly a turn of the tide on the part of certain 
individuals. 

G. It would be wrong to draw conclusions from a handful 
of individual instances. Our inspiration can come only from our 
faith that right must ultimately prevail. But on this matter, as I 
have said, there is an advance in the thought world, but not in 
action. 

Dr. Mott began the next day with these prefatory remarks: “You put 

in your quite original way your views on the questions I asked. I value it 
more than I can say. I was impressed by your recognition that there was a 
certain amount of advance in thought but not in action. ... I could show 
you, too, that there are certain things actually concretely on foot. But, 
today, I want to engage your attention on another matter. What to do with 
‘gangster’ nations, if I may use the expression frequently used? There was 
individual gangsterism in America. It has been put down by strong police 
measures both local and national. Could not we do something similar for 
gangsterism between nations, as instanced in Manchuria — the nefarious use 
of the opium poison — in Abyssinia, in Spain, in the sudden seizure of Au- 
stria, and then the case of Czechoslovakia. Now, in this connection, let me 
say, I was deeply impressed by what you wrote on the Czechoslovakian crisis* 
and on the Jewish question^. Can we bring something like international 
police into being?” 

G. This question is not new to me. 

j. M. I judge not. 

G. I have to deal with identical questions with reference 
to conditions in India. We have had to quell riots, communal 
and labour. The Ministries have used military force in some 
cases and police in most. Now whilst I agree that the Ministers 


* VideVoX. LXVII, pp. 404-6. 
2 71* “The Jews”, pp. 137-41. 



170 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


could not help doing so, I also said that the Congress Ministries 
had proved themselves bankrupt with their stock-in-trade, I mean 
their avowed weapon of non-violence. Even so, I would say in 
reply to the question you have asked, viz., that if the best mind 
of the world has not imbibed the spirit of non-violence, they 
would have to meet gangsterism in the orthodox way. But that 
would only show that we have not got far beyond the Law of the 
Jungle, that we have not yet learnt to appreciate the heri- 
tage that God has given us, that in spite of the teaching of 
Christianity which is 1900 years old and of Hinduism and Bud- 
dhism which are older, and even of Islam (if I have read it 
aright), we have not made much headway as human beings. But 
whilst I would understand the use of force by those who have not 
the spirit of non-violence in them, I would have those who know 
non-violence to throw their whole weight in demonstrating that 
even gangsterism has to be met by non-violence. For, ultimately, 
force, however justifiably used, will lead us into the same morass 
as the force of Hitler and Mussolini. There will be just a diff- 
erence of degree. You and I who believe in non-violence must 
use it at the critical moment. We may not despair of touching 
the heart even of gangsters, even if, for the moment, we may seem 
to be striking our heads against a blind wall. 

j. M. How may the Missionaries and Christians in general help in con- 
structive activities like the village industries movement, the new educational 
movement and so on? 

G. They should study the movements and work under or in 
co-operation with these organizations. I am happy to be able to 
say that I have some valued Christian colleagues. But they 
can be counted on one’s fingers. I fear that the vast bulk of 
them remain unconvinced. Some have frankly said that they 
do not believe in the village movement or the education move- 
ment as they are conducted by the associations you have named. 
They evidently believe in industrialization and the Western type of 
education. And the missionaries as a body perhaps light shy of 
movements not conducted wholly or predominantly by Christians. 

If I get in my activities the hearty and active co-operation 
of the 5000 Protestant missionaries in India, and if they really 
believed in the living power of non-violence as the only force 
that counts, they can help not only here but perhaps in affecting 
the West. 

j. M. Happily there are a goodly number amongst them who see eye 
to eye with you. 



DISCUSSION WITH JOHN R. MOTT 


171 


G. I know. 

j.M. What have been the most creative experiences in your life? 
As you look back on your past, what, do you think, led you to believe in 
God when everything seemed to point to the contrary, when life, so to say, 
sprang from the ground, although it all looked impossible? 

G. Such experiences are a multitude. But as you put the 
question to me, I recalled particularly one experience that changed 
the course of my life. That fell to my lot seven days after 
I had arrived in South Africa. I had gone there on a purely 
mundane and selfish mission. I was just a boy returned from 
England wanting to make some money. Suddenly the client 
who had taken me there asked me to go to Pretoria from Durban. 
It was not an easy journey. There was the railway journey as 
far as Charlestown and the coach to Johannesburg. On the train 
I had a first-class ticket, but not a bed ticket. At Maritzburg 
where the beddings were issued the guard came and turned me 
out and asked me to go to the van compartment. I would not go 

and the train steamed away leaving me shivering in the cold.^ 

Now the creative experience comes there. I was afraid for my 
very life. I entered the dark waiting-room. There was a white 
man in the room. I was afraid of him. What was my duty, 

I asked myself. Should I go back to India, or should I go 

forward, with God as my helper, and face whatever was in 
store for me? I decided to stay and suflfer. My active non- 
violence began from that date. And God put me through the 
test during that very journey. I was severely assaulted by the 
coachman for my moving from the seat he had given me. 

J.M. The miseries, the slaps after slaps you received burnt into your 

soul. 

G. Yes, that was one of the richest experiences of my life. 

J. M. I am grateful to you for sharing this experience with me. 

j. M. What has brought deepest satisfaction to your soul in difficulties 
and doubts and questionings? 

G. Living faith in God. 

J.M. When have you had indubitable manifestation of God in your life 
and experiences? 

G. I have seen and believe that God never appears to you 
in person, but in action which can only account for your deliver- 
ance in your darkest hour. 

> Vide Vol. XXXIX, pp. 93-4. 



172 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


j. M. You mean things take place that cannot possibly happen apart 
from God? 

G. Yes. They happen suddenly and unawares. One expe- 
rience stands quite distinctly in my memory. It relates to my 
21 days’ fast for the removal of untouchability.’ I had gone to 
sleep the night before without the slightest idea of having to de- 
clare a fast the next morning. At about 12 o’clock in the night 
something wakes me up suddenly, and some voice — within or 
without, I cannot say — whispers, ‘Thou must go on a fast.’ ‘How 
many days?’ I ask. The voice again said, ‘Twenty-one days.’ 
‘When does it begin?’ I ask. It says, ‘You begin tomorrow.’ I 
went quietly off to sleep after making the decision. I did not tell 
anything to my companions until after the morning prayer. I 
placed into their hands a slip of paper announcing my decision 
and asking them not to argue with me, as the decision was 
irrevocable. 

Well, the doctors thought I would not survive the fast. But 
something within me said I would, and that I must go forward. 
That kind of experience has never in my life happened before or 
after that date. 

j. M. Now, you surely can’t trace such a thing to an evil source? 

G. Surely not. I never have thought it was an error. If 
ever there was in my life a spiritual fast it was this. There is 
something in denying satisfaction of the flesh. It is not possible 
to see God face to face unless you crucify the flesh. It is one 
thing to do what belongs to it as a temple of God, and it is 
another to deny it what belongs to it as to the body of flesh. 

Dr. Mott concluded his visit in 1936 with a question on silence. He had 
done so during a brief flying visit to Ahmedabad in 1928 and during this 
visit too he asked if Gandhiji had continued to find it necessary in his spiri- 
tual quest. 

G. I can say that I am an everlastingly silent man now. 
Only a little while ago I have remained completely silent nearly 
two months and the spell of that silence has not yet broken. 
I broke it today when you came. Nowadays I go into silence 
at prayer time every evening and break it for visitors at 2 o’clock. 
I broke it today when you came. It has now become both a 
physical and spiritual necessity for me. Originally it was taken 
to relieve the sense of pressure. Then I wanted time for writing. 


• Vide Vol. LV, pp. 74-5. 



HOW TO POPULARIZE KHADI 


173 


After, however, I had practised it for some time I saw the spiri- 
tual value of it. It suddenly flashed across my mind that that 
was the time when I could best hold communion with God. And 
now I feel as though I was naturally built for silence. Of course 
I may tell you that from my childhood I have been noted for 
my silence. I was silent at school, and in my London days I was 
taken for a silent drone by friends. 

j. M. In this connection you put me in mind of two texts from the 
Bible; 

“My soul, be thou silent unto God.” 

“Speak Lord, for Thy servant hearkeneth.” 

I have often sought silence for communion even during my noisiest 
time . . . 

I am sorry to have overstayed my time. I lose all sense of time when I 
am with you. I am more grateful than I can say. 

Segaon, December 5, 1938 
Harijan, 10-12-1938 

199. HOW TO POPULARIZE KHADI 

A valued khadi worker writes a letter in Hindi which freely 
translated means: 

Compared to mill-cloth khadi is not an economic 
proposition in terms of prices. To compete with mill-cloth 
you have to drop the cost of hand-ginning, carding and spin- 
ning. Even for self-spinners, therefore, it is not a paying 
proposition. No doubt you have evolved new economics 
of khadi. But till the people at large appreciate them, khadi 
cannot be universal. Even the Congress Ministers do not 
understand or appreciate your new economics. In the circum- 
stances, will you not guide khadi workers and even the 
Ministers and Congressmen in general? Your faith seems to 
be so strong that you would straightway give eight annas per 
day to spinners for eight hours’ honest and skilled work if 
we, your co-workers, will let you. Frankly we do not possess 
your faith. 

There is no doubt that khadi cannot compete with mill-cloth, 
it was never meant to. If the people will not understand or 
appreciate the law governing khadi, it will never be universal. 
It must then remain the fad of monied people and cranks. And 



174 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


if it is to be merely that, the labours of a huge organization 
like the A. I. S. A. must mean a waste of elfort, if not something 
much worse. 

But khadi has a big mission. Khadi provides dignified la- 
bour to the millions who are otherwise idle for nearly four months 
in the year. Even apart from the remuneration the work brings, 
it is its own reward. For if millions live in compulsory idle- 
ness, they must die spiritually, mentally and physically. The spin- 
ning-wheel automatically raises the status of millions of poor 
women. Even though, therefore, mill-cloth were to be given 
gratis to the people, their true welfare demands that they 
should refuse to have it in preference to khadi, the product of 
their labours. 

Life is more than money. It is cheaper to kill our aged 

parents who can do no work and who are a drag on our slen- 

der resources. It is also cheaper to kill our children whom we 
do not need for our material comfort and whom we have to main- 
tain without getting anything in return. But we kill neither 
our parents nor our children, but consider it a privilege to main- 
tain them no matter what their maintenance costs us. Even so 
must we maintain khadi to the exclusion of all other cloth. It is 

the force of habit which makes us think of khadi in terms of pri- 

ces. We must revise our notion of khadi economics. And when 
we have studied them from the point of view of the national well- 
being, we shall find that khadi is never dear. We must suffer 
dislocation of domestic economy during the transition stage. At 
present we are labouring under a heavy handicap. Cotton pro- 
duction has been centralized for the sake of Lancashire and, if 
you will, for the sake of Indian mills. Prices of cotton are deter- 
mined by the prices in foreign lands. When the production of 
cotton is distributed in accordance with the demands of khadi 
economics, cotton prices would not fluctuate and, in any case, 
will be, in effect, lower than today. When the people, either 
through State protection or through voluntary effort, have culti- 
vated the habit of using only khadi, they will never think of it in 
terms of money, even as millions of vegetarians do not compare 
the prices of flesh foods with those of non-flesh foods. They will 
starve rather than take flesh foods even though they may be 
offered free. 

But I recognize that very few Congressmen have this living 
faith in khadi. The Ministers are Congressmen. They derive 
their inspiration from their surroundings. If they had a living 
faith in khadi, they could do a great deal to popularize it. 



HOW TO POPULARIZE KHADI 


175 


Khadi was an integral part of the original swaraj pro- 
gramme of 1920. In 1921-22 thousands of Congressmen repeated 
from hundreds of platforms that swaraj for the millions depended 
upon the spinning-wheel humming in every village. The late Ali 
Brothers used to say, at the numerous meetings they addressed, 
that without the charkha in every cottage and the loom in every 
village there was no freedom. Maulana Mahomed Ali used to say 
in his picturesque language that our charkhas were our instru- 
ments of war and the cones of yarn turned out by them were 
our ammunition. He said this with a conviction that went home 
to his audiences. But the faith of those early days was not sus- 
tained. Congressmen in general have ceased to connect khadi 
with swaraj. Shri Jawaharlal Nehru has called khadi the livery 
of our freedom. For how many does it bear that meaning? If 
Congressmen could have that belief, khadi itself would be current 
coin. Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. 
What would a man not pay for living? The Congress flag was 
designed to represent not civil disobedience which is but a phase, 
but it was designed to represent the essentials of freedom. Its back- 
ground is khadi. The spinning-wheel covers and sustains it. 
Its colours show how necessary communal unity is for the attain- 
ment of freedom. Given the fulfilment of these conditions, civil 
disobedience and the suffering it implies may not be at all neces- 
sary. To wear khadi is for me to wear freedom. 

Given a full-hearted acceptance of this meaning of khadi, I 
am able to say what the Congress Ministers and, for that matter, all 
the Ministers, khadi workers and Congressmen can and should do. 

There may be a Minister whose sole business would be to look 
after khadi and village industries. There should, therefore, be a 
department for this purpose. The other departments will co-ope- 
rate. Thus the Agricultural Department will frame a scheme 
of decentralization of cotton production, survey the land suita- 
ble for cotton production for village use and And out how much 
cotton will be required for its province. It will even stock cotton 
at suitable centres for distribution. The Stores Department will 
make purchases of khadi available in the province and give ord- 
ers for its cloth requirements. The Technical Departments will 
tax themselves to devise better wheels and other instruments of 
hand production. All these departments will keep in constant 
touch with the A. I. S. A. and the A. I. V. I. A. using them as 
their experts. 

The Revenue Minister will devise means of protecting khadi 
against mill competition. 



176 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Khadi workers will with unremitting zeal investigate the laws 
governing the science of khadi and seek to make it more durable, 
more attractive and believe themselves to be responsible for dis- 
covering means of making khadi universal. God helps only those 
who are ever watchful and who devote all their talents to their 
mission. 

Congressmen in general will spread the gospel of khadi 
among their neighbours by themselves wearing it not ceremon- 
ially but habitually, by spinning themselves, and by helping khadi 
workers whenever they are called upon to do so. 

Segaon, December 4, 1938 
Harijan, 10-12-1938 

200. HARIJAN WELFARE IN TATANAGAR^ 

I have before me a full and lengthy report of the function 
performed at Tatanagar by the Bihar Minister, Shrijaglal Chou- 
dhury, of opening the new extension of the Dhatkidih Harijan 
School. The manager, Shri J. J. Ghandy, who takes a personal 
interest in Harijan welfare, in the course of his address requesting 
the Minister to perform the opening ceremony among other things 
said:^ 

Segaon, December 4, 1938 
Harijan, 10-12-1938 

201. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


December 5, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

For the last three days I have neglected you so far as writ- 
ing is concerned. You have been simply crowded out. So this 
I am writing before the morning prayer. But though I do not 
write there is enough here to make me think of you often enough 
every day. 

* This appeared under “Notes”. 

^ The speech is not reproduced here. The speaker gave an account of 
the Tata Iron and Steel Company’s efforts to promote the education of Harijan 
children. 



LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA 


177 


I wonder how you are getting on in body, mind and soul? 
I am anxiously waiting to hear from you. 

Of the news here I must ask Sharda to write to you. 

Love. 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

I have at last your letter from Peshawar. I am quite well. 
B. P. is in order. The cold has begun here. 

From the original: C.W. 6418. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 
10013 


202. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

December 5, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

I wrote two letters to you at Delhi. One was, by my folly, 
sent to 12 instead of 4 Bhagwandas Road. I hope, nevertheless, 
it reached you. 

Everything seems to be going well here. The pressure of 
interviews continues. Anand is having a week’s fast with a break 
on the 4th day with lemon and banana. 

Mahadev wrote yesterday for five hours on the Mott visit.* 
The rest from Sharda. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

[PS.] 

This goes to Lucknow. 

From the original: C.W. 3896. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G. N. 7052 

203. LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA 

Segaon, 

December 5, 1938 


MY dear ku, 

I have read the Gram Udyog Patrika — both the editions. 

Are we in a position to show to the villagers the way to get 
unpolished rice cheaper than polished? 

• Vide pp. 165-73. 


68-12 



178 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

Has unpolished rice been proved to be digestible by delicate 
stomachs? I have in mind Chhotelal’s and Babasaheb’s experi- 
ences. Have we an apparatus we can present to the villagers for 
husking rice ? If the C. P. Government offered us a post to 
organize introduction of unpolished rice in every village, can we 
shoulder the burden ? If not, how will they manage it ? 

Who has written the Hindi Patrika? It is bad Hindi who- 
ever the writer may be. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 10141 

204. LETTER TO N. R. MALKANI 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 5, 1938 

MY DEAR MALKANI, 

I rarely read anything outside my beat. But last week and 
this week your articles in Chronicle weekly riveted my attention 
and [I] could not leave them unfinished. Let us straighten out a 
few more wrinkles. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 933 


205. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 5, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

I am glad your first impression is favourable. I think it will 
abide. Did you visit the Islamia College, Edward College? Did 
Ramdas or Chandrabhai seek you out? Of course Pushtu you 
have to learn. And you will find no difficulty. Give the 
enclosed to Khan Saheb with letter from Mehr Tajh 
Love. 

Bapu 


* Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s daughter 



LETTER TO DEVDAS GANDHI 


179 


[PS.] 

Did you not say that Angad’s* book was received? I can’t 
trace it. What was its name? 

From the original: C.W. 6419. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10014 


206. LETTER TO SHAMLAL 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 5, 1938 

DEAR LALA SHAMLAL, 

I wrote about Inderpal from the Frontier Province. I have 
now written again. 

Please let me have the history of the other prisoners you 
mention. Are they under the Provincial Government jurisdiction 
or the Central Government? 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat: G.N. 1286 


207. LETTER TO DEVDAS GANDHI 

December 5, 1938 

chi. DEVDAS, 

Don’t hesitate to write whenever necessary. 

You did well in sending the cutting. I will reply to the 
argument if I can spare the time. They will not give Ramdas 
the agency as readily as you think. 

Jamnadas has left. I also would not like the Mysore job. 
But I attach no importance to the possibility of my being criticiz- 
ed. Let Ramdas accept the job if he can get peace of mind 
thereby. This is my position. He will not be able to live with- 
out work nor will he take up honorary or half-honorary work. 
You should keep on writing to him. He will certainly respect 
your advice. 

Ramdas is pining for Nimu. He is calling her to Poona. He 
wants her also to be treated there. I have, therefore, advised her 
to go to Poona for the present. After the treatment is over, you 
may certainly make arrangements for her in Banaras. I like your 
idea too, though I also like the plan about Dehra Dun. After she 

^ Reginald Reynold’s 



180 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


has passed the examination for Ratna, she is bound to get more 
pay. I do not think it impossible that she may get even 
Rs. 150. She will have to trust her luck, of course. She can 
get sixty rupees in any circumstances. However, I would certainly 
like her to learn sitar. 

Ba is quite well. 

V[allabhbhai] wants that I should spend the whole of January 
in Bardoli. I have accepted his request. Mahadev also is quite 
well. As for me, God keeps me going. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

You or Lakshmi should drop a few lines to Ba from time to 
time. She yearns, and naturally, for the love of you all. Where 
should I address the letter so that you may get it earlier — at the 
office or at Harijan Niwas? 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 2008 

208. LETTER TO VAIKUNTHLAL L. MEHTA 

December 5, 1938 

BHAI VAIKUNTH, 

Chandrashanker' had sent your article here. I have already 
sent it for publication. Chandrashanker cannot publish articles 
on his own responsibility. Hence to save time please send articles, 
etc., to me directly. Mahadev is well. He still needs rest, 
though. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

Shri Vaikunthbhai Lallubhai Mehta 
Sir Lallubhai Samaldas’s Bungalow 
Andheri, B. B. & C. I. Rly. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 1365 


^ Chandrashanker Shukla, editor of Harijanbandhu 



209. LETTER TO SHANTIKUMAR JV. MORARJEE 


Segaon, Wardha, 

December 5, 1938 

CHI. SHANTIKUMAR, 

When I happen to be there some time, you may take me to 
your office. If I send you a message, I shall have to send mess- 
ages to others too. If friends excuse me, others too may. Such 
rules cannot, of course, be observed as vows. If you are keen 
on a message from me, I will not disappoint you. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

ShRI SHANTIKUMAR NaROTTAM MoRARJEE 
JUHU 

P. O. Santa Cruz 
B. B. & C. I. Rly. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 4729. Courtesy: Shantikumar 
N. Morarjee 


210. LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI 

December 5, 1938 

CHI. AMRITLAL, 

Sushilabehn was saying that the latrines remained unservi- 
ceable and that BankelaP did not seem to be doing any work. 
She said that the twenty rupees paid to him could be used in 
some other way. Think over this. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10780 


Sweeper at Segaon 


181 



211. LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL 


Segaon, Wardha, 

December 5, 1938 

CHI. MANI, 

Your account was true. You can always be trusted to acquit 
yourself well in whatever you undertake. Follow my advice and 
get your body massaged, or massage it yourself, with oil. The 
soldier who does not keep his body fit renders himself liable to 
punishment. And that is as it should be. 

If the people have understood the lesson of ahimsa and suffer 
beatings, etc., they will never be defeated. Mahadev is here of 
course. He is quite well. He purposely writes less. This time I 
permitted him to write a good deal for Harijan. But I will not 
do that very often. It is desirable that he should have no res- 
ponsibility at all. I keep very well these days. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

Smt. Manibehn Patel 
Near Telegraph Office 
Rajkot 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro—4: Manibehn Patelne, pp. 122-3 

212. LETTER TO CHLMANLAL N. SHAH 

December 5, 1938 

CHI. chimanlal, 

I feel that we should not have two goshalas. Expanding the 
present one will not endanger your health. To say that the 
goshala will swallow us up means that we will have to spend 
more and more on it. And if all the land is used for the 
cattle, that will be the only activity remaining to us. I would, 
therefore, advise Amritlal, Munnalal, Parnerkar, Balwantsinha 
and you to discuss the matter among yourselves and put your 
decision before me. What will be the total expenditure we shall 
have to incur? It is absolutely necessary to have some outward 
limit. I can arrange for the cattle which are not required. 

182 



LETTER TO RAMESHWARI NEHRU 


183 


Is it true that we shall not be able to increase the yield of 
milk any further? Have you stopped buying milk from neighbours? 

I suppose we shall not now be able to supply ghee to any- 
body. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10595 

213. LETTER TO MARGARETE SPIEGEL 

December 5, 1938 

CHI. AMALA, 

You will never be Margarete Spiegel to me, but will always 
remain Amala. How is your health? Please do come some day 
and let me see how you are. 

Did you read what I wrote about the Jews?' Did you like it? 
Mahadev is improving. He lives in Segaon at present. 
Herewith my autograph. 

All are well here. I hope the dog is fine. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Spiegel Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library 


214. LETTER TO RAMESHWARI NEHRU 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 5, 1938 

DEAR SISTER, 

Your last letter was answered by Pyarelal. Your letter from 
Rajgarh is before me. You are doing good work. I could pre- 
pare an account of the tour from your letters but I have not 
the time. Therefore do send an account for Harijan when you 
have completed the tour. If it is in Hindi we shall translate it 
into English and if it is in English we shall have it translated 
for Harijan Sevak. Give a brief description of the towns visited 


' Vide “The Jews”, pp. 137-41. 



184 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


and all that was done there.* The demands presented to Bhopal 
are quite legitimate. Something must come about there. 

You have to go to Dehra Dun for a day. It will be good 
to prepare the speech beforehand. Kakasaheb and Ba too ex- 
pect to reach there. 

I hope Bapa is keeping well and so are you. 

Did you collect any funds anywhere? 

Mahadev is here. 

Everything is going on well. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 7986. Also C.W. 3082. Court- 
esy: Rameshwari Nehru 


215. LETTER TO H. L. SHARMA 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 5, 1938 

CHI. SHARMA, 

I have your very candid letter. A tabloid machine cost- 
ing Rs. 30 may be purchased. I shall provide the money. 

As regards earning a living I do not believe that you can 
make a success of this venture. I fear that in one way or an- 
other your expenses will go up. The true purpose, which is that 
you should live simply, will be frustrated. Carrying on a busi- 
ness and doing good to others cannot go together. You should 
sit down with Draupadi and work out a limit to your expenses 
and you should make up your mind that you will not go be- 
yond it. If you do that your monthly expenses can be drawn 
from some institution. 

What can I say about the debt of Rs. 850? The mistake 
was made at the outset in incurring the debt. I can only say 
that so long as you have not repaid the debt you should forget 
all about helping others and take up a job so that you can meet 
your expenses and repay the debt. If you have jewellery or other 
property in the family you can even dispose of it to clear the 
debt. This is a drastic cure but I am sure it is also the most 
effective cure. You should resolve also not to incur any debts 
again. 

* An account of Rameshwari Nehru’s tour in Central India was pub- 
lished in Harijan in seven instalments, beginning with the issue of 18-3-1939. 



LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


185 


The question then remains as to what should be done about 
the task you have undertaken. I am myself baffled. You can 
always come and join me of course but what we have to con- 
sider is whether you can face living in society. 

The little girl is all right, I hope. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

From a facsimile of the Hindi: Bapuki Chhayamen Mere Jivanke Solah 
Varsh, between pp. 274 and 275 


216. LETTER TO HARSARAN VERMA 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 5, 1938 

BHAI HARSARAN VERMA, 

Do you wish me to forward your letter to Ranjit Pandit? 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 91 


217. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 6, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

There is no letter from you today. You had prepared me 
for the absence. 

I hope you are having a profitable time in Lucknow. I shall 
expect to have full news about Sarup and J. L. Of the latter you 
will hardly see anything. I hope you won’t be tired out. 

I don’t write to S.* before 10th. 

I am still keeping well and so is Mahadev. Balkoba is 
going to Nagpur for X-ray examination tomorrow. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3897. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7053 


* Shummy; vide “Letter to Amrit Kaur”, pp. 198-9. 



218. LETTER TO J. C. KUMAR APR A 

December 6, 1938 

MY DEAR KU, 

Here is the amended draft. 

I hope Satis Babu’s certificate won’t make you bulkier than 
you are. The book is still lying untouched. Those who wait 
and watch have their patience rewarded before they die. 

Your answer about rice is very like giving me polished rice 
when I wanted the whole unpolished.' We must show how to eat 
unpolished rice and show how a whole village can dehusk. What 
should I do in Segaon, say? You have to probe deeper. What 
you have told me is not new. I want you to tell me some- 
thing that is new and telling. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 10142 


219. LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI 

December 6, 1938 

CHI. AMRITLAL, 

Today the Gita was recited in several tunes. If your tune 
could not mingle with Lilavati’s, you ought to have let her recite 
by herself. Sushila’s tune also sometimes mingled with yours and 
sometimes broke off. The result was that I perspired listening to 
such cacophony. That did not matter since it gave me some 
warmth, but what about Mother Gita ? How must she have felt ? 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10781 


' Vide also “Letter to J. C. Kumarappa”, pp. 177-8. 


186 



220. LETTER TO VIJATA JV. PATEL 


Segaon, 

December 6, 1938 

CHI. VIJAYA, 

I am writing this just to drop you a few lines. Thank God 
you are keeping well. 

Nanabhai’ must be all right. I hope you don’t feel ner- 
vous. Do you insist on his taking proper care about his food, 
etc. ? If he can live on fruit juice for some days, he will certainly 
benefit. At his age, he should require very little of other food. 
If he is accustomed to taking tea, it should be the colour of hay, 
that is, tea-leaves should be placed in the strainer and boiling 
water should slowly be poured through it. He should be con- 
tent with the colour that this gives. The tea-leaves should never 
be immersed in the water. 

Everything is all right here. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7104. Also C.W. 4596. 
Gourtesy: Vijayabehn M. Pancholi 


221. DISCUSSION WITH D. TAKAOKA^ 

^December 7, 1938Y 

It can be possible if Japan ceases to throw its greedy eyes 
on India. No doubt you do not bring your army to India, but 
you employ your matchless skill, and your ability to hide the 
truth and your knowledge of the weaknesses of Indians, in order 
to flood India with your goods which are often flimsy. You 
have copied the rulers of India in their methods of exploitation 
and gone even one better. Now, from the Japanese standpoint 


* Addressee’s father 

^ Extracted from Mahadev Desai’s “A Japanese Visitor”. Takaoka was 
a member of the Japanese Parliament and wanted to know how unity could 
be brought about between India and Japan. 

^ From The Bombay Chronicle, 8-12-1938 


187 



188 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


you cannot afford to lose the millions of rupees that you get 
from India. And if you cannot get them voluntarily, you will 
be quite capable of doing so by force of arms. But that would 
not be the way of bringing Japan and India together. What can 
bring them together is a moral bond based on mutual friendship. 

But there is no basis for that friendship today. Take your 
art. I like it. I read a fascinating account of Japan and Japan- 
ese life by Edwin Arnold many years ago. That picture has 
remained with me. I want to assimilate all your good points, 
but unfortunately no one comes here to give us the good things 
of Japan. You believe only in dumping your goods on us. 
How can I take a single yard of Japanese cloth, however fine and 
artistic it may be? It is as poison to us, for it means starvation 
for the poor people of India. You have left the West far behind 
in diplomacy, in skill, in cheap manufactures, in armed warfare, 
in exploitation. How then can there be friendship between you 
and us, so long as you see nothing wrong in exploitation? 

Mr. Takaoka wondered if Gandhiji could give a message to the new 
party in Japan which stands for Asia for the Asiatics. Gandhiji said: 

I do not subscribe to the doctrine of Asia for the Asiatics, if 
it is meant as an anti-European combination. How can we have 
Asia for the Asiatics unless we are content to let Asia remain a 
frog in the well ? But Asia cannot afford to remain a frog in the 
well. It has a message for the whole world, if it will only live 
up to it. There is the imprint of Buddhistic influence on the 
whole of Asia, which includes India, China, Japan, Burma, Cey- 
lon and the Malay States. I said to the Burmese and the Ceylon- 
ese that they were Buddhist in name; India was Buddhist in 
reality. I would say the same thing to China and Japan. But, 
for Asia to be not for Asia but the whole world, it has to relearn 
the message of Buddha and deliver it to the world. Today 
it is being denied everywhere. In Burma every Buddhist monk 
is being dreaded by the Muslims. But why should anyone who 
is a true Buddhist be dreaded by anyone? 

You will therefore see that I have no message to give you but 
this, that you must be true to your ancient heritage. The mes- 
sage is 2,500 years old, but it has not yet been truly lived. But 
what are 2,500 years? They are but a speck in the cycle of 
time. The full flower of non-violence which seems to be wither- 
ing away has yet to come to full bloom. 

Harijan, 24-12-1938 



222. REPLY TO GERMAN CRITICS 

I was not unprepared for the exhibition of wrath from Germ- 
any over my article* about the German treatment of the Jews. 

I have myself admitted my ignorance of European politics. But 
in order to commend my prescription to the Jews for the remo- 
val of their many ills, I did not need to have an accurate knowl- 
edge of European politics. The main facts about the atrocities 
are beyond dispute. When the anger over my writing has sub- 
sided and comparative calmness has returned, the most wrathful 
German will find that underlying my writing there was friendli- 
ness towards Germany, never any ill will. 

Have I not repeatedly said that active non-violence is unadul- 
terated love — fellow-feeling? And if the Jews, instead of being 
helplessly and of necessity non-violent, adopt active non-violence, 
i. e., fellow-feeling for the gentile Germans deliberately, they 
cannot do any harm to the Germans and I am as certain as I 
am dictating these lines that the stoniest German heart will melt. 
Great as have been the Jewish contributions to the world’s prog- 
ress, this supreme act of theirs will be their greatest contribu- 
tion and war will be a thing of the past. 

It passes comprehension why any German should be angry 
over my utterly innocuous writing. Of course, German critics, 
as others, might have ridiculed it by saying that it was a vision- 
ary’s effort doomed to fail. I therefore welcome this wrath, 
though wholly unmerited, against my writing. Has my writing 
gone home ? Has the writer felt that my remedy was after all not 
so ludicrous as it may appear, but that it was eminently practical 
if only the beauty of suffering without retaliation was realized ? 

To say that my writing has rendered neither myself, my 
movement, nor German-Indian relations any service, is surely 
irrelevant, if not also unworthy, implying as it does a threat; 
and I should rank myself a coward if, for fear of my country or 
myself or Indo-German relations being harmed, I hesitated to 
give what I felt in the innermost recesses of my heart to be cent 
per cent sound advice. 

The Berlin writer has surely enunciated a novel doctrine 
that people outside Germany may not criticize German action 

* Vide “The Jews”, pp. 137-41. 


189 



190 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


even from friendliest motives. For my part I would certainly 
welcome the interesting things that Germans or other outsiders may 
unearth about Indians. I do not need to speak for the British. 
But if I know the British people at all, they, too, welcome out- 
side criticism, when it is well-informed and free from malice. 
In this age, when distances have been obliterated, no nation can 
afford to imitate the fabled frog in the well. Sometimes it is 
refreshing to see ourselves as others see us. If, therefore, the 
German critics happen to see this reply, I hope that they will 
not only revise their opinion about my writing but will also 
realize the value of outside criticism. 

Segaon, December 8, 1938 
Harijan, 17-12-1938 

223. LETTER TO K. M. MUNSHI 

December 8, 1938 

BHAI MUNSHI, 

It is some days since Pyarelal sent you a reply regarding the 
querns. Maybe the letter went astray. You may use mechanical 
querns in prisons. 

If Dharmanand Kosambi can work for Bharatiya Vidya 
Bhavan without letting the work of the Buddha Mandir suffer, 
he may certainly do so. 

If the Ministry continues for any length of time,^ you will 
have to give up many more loves, besides that of home. I have 
received a complaint against you that you are ruining your 
health through overwork. You will have to give up this form 
of attachment too. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 7642. Courtesy: K. M. Munshi 


* The addressee was Home Minister in the Congress Ministry of Bombay 
Province. 



224. LETTER TO DAMODARDAS MUNDHRA^ 


December 8, 1938 

BHAI DAMODAR^, 

Both the replies are very long. But long or short there is no 
need to send them. They are all right for my information. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Hindi: C.W. 10154. Courtesy: Secretary, Andhra Pradesh State 
Committee, Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Hyderabad 


225. SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED 

Friends have sent me two newspaper cuttings criticizing my 
appeal to the Jews. The two critics suggest that in presenting 
non-violence to the Jews as a remedy against the wrong done to 
them I have suggested nothing new, and that they have been 
practising non-violence for the past two thousand years. Ob- 
viously, so far as these critics are concerned, I did not make 
my meaning clear. The Jews, so far as I know, have never 
practised non-violence as an article of faith or even as a delib- 
erate policy. Indeed, it is a stigma against them that their ancest- 
ors crucified Jesus. Are they not supposed to believe in eye for 
an eye and tooth for a tooth? Have they no violence in their 
hearts for their oppressors ? Do they not want the so-called demo- 
cratic powers to punish Germany for her persecution and to 
deliver them from oppression? If they do, there is no non- 
violence in their hearts. Their non-violence, if it may be so 
called, is of the helpless and the weak. 

What I have pleaded for is renunciation of violence of the 
heart and consequent active exercise of the force generated by 
the great renunciation. One of the critics says that favourable 
public opinion is necessary for the working of non-violence. The 

* The letter was written on the reverse of a letter from the addressee 
with which he had enclosed a letter received from Padmaja Naidu and his 
reply to it as well as one from Jamnalal Bajaj. 

^Jamnalal Bajaj’s secretary 


191 



192 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


writer is evidently thinking of passive resistance conceived as a 
weapon of the weak. I have drawn a distinction between passive 
resistance of the weak and active non-violent resistance of the 
strong. The latter can and does work in the teeth of the fier- 
cest opposition. But it ends in evoking the widest public sym- 
pathy. Sufferings of the non-violent have been known to melt 
the stoniest hearts. I make bold to say that if the Jews can 
summon to their aid the soul power that comes only from non- 
violence, Herr Hitler will bow before the courage which he has 
never yet experienced in any large measure in his dealings with 
men, and which, when it is exhibited, he will own is infinitely 
superior to that shown by his best storm troopers. The exhibi- 
tion of such courage is only possible for those who have a living 
faith in the God of Truth and Non-violence, i. e., Love. 

Of course, the critics can reasonably argue that the non- 
violence pictured by me is not possible for masses of mankind, 
it is possible only for the very few highly developed persons. I 
have combated that view and suggested that, given proper train- 
ing and proper generalship, non-violence can be practised by 
masses of mankind. 

I see, however, that my remarks are being misunderstood to 
mean that because I advise non-violent resistance by the persec- 
uted Jews, by inference I expect or would advise non-interference 
by the democratic powers on behalf of the Jews. I hardly need 
to answer this fear. Surely there is no danger of the great 
powers refraining from action because of anything I have said. 
They will, they are bound to, do all they can to free the Jews 
from the inhuman persecution. My appeal has force in the face 
of the fact that the great powers feel unable to help the Jews in 
an effective manner. Therefore it is that I have offered the 
prescription which I know to be infallible when taken in the 
right manner. 

The most relevant criticism, however, which I have received 
is this: How do I expect the Jews to accept my prescription 

when I know that India, where I am myself working, where I 
call myself the self-appointed general, has not accepted it in toto. 
My answer is: ‘Blessed are they that expect nothing.’ I belong 
to the category of the blessed, in this case at least. Having got 
the prescription and being sure of its efficacy, I felt that I would 
be wrong if I did not draw attention to it when I saw cases 
where it could be effectively applied. 

Hitherto I have refused to deal with European politics. My 
general position still remains the same. I presented my remedy 



RED TAPE 


193 


almost in suppressed tones in the case of Abyssinia. The cases 
of the Czechs and the Jews became more vivid to me than the 
case of the Abyssinians. And I could not restrain myself from 
writing. Perhaps Dr. Mott was right when he said to me the 
other day that I must write more and more articles like those on 
the Czechs and the Jews, if only because they must aid me in 
the Indian struggle. He said that the West was never more pre- 
pared than now to listen to the message of non-violence. 

Segaon, December 9, 1938 
Harijan, 17-12-1938 

226. RED TAPE 

A distinguished Indian, who had been watching Ministers 
Kher and Munshi working at breakneck speed, told me the other 
day how they seemed to have aged, and warned me that the 
nation would lose them before their time if I did not prevent 
them from overworking themselves. I wish I had the influence 
over them which the friend credited me with. If I had, I would 
certainly prevent them from committing suicide by inches. What 
applies to these two Ministers applies to the others. A few days 
after the visitor, came a high official who has been specially 
entrusted with responsible work by Shri Kher. He said, “I want 
to fulfil Shri (of course he used ‘Mr.’) Kher’s expectations. But 
I do not know how I am to give him satisfaction. I believe I 
have always been a conscientious worker and kept myself busy. 
But now since the advent of the Congress Ministry our work has 
increased. For they give themselves no rest and give us none. 
The result is an ever-increasing pile of files. It is almost imposs- 
ible to clear the desk from day to day. And now I have been 
given work which demands thinking out and planning. I must 
study. And I do not know what to do with these files.” I 
promptly answered, “Burn them.” I meant it too. 

The third visitor, who followed quickly after the second, was 
a socialist friend. He said: “We are much misunderstood. Your 
article on the walk-out* has added to the misunderstanding. I 
assure you we want to help, not to hinder, the Congress work 
and the Ministers, reserving to ourselves the right of constructive 
criticism. But look at our difficulty. There is the Karachi 

* Vide Vol. LXVII, pp. 401-2. 


68-13 



194 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


resolution' and the Congress manifesto^. We honestly feel that the 
promises made in them about economic relief are not being fully 
carried out. I do not want to underrate the Congress Minis- 
ters’ difficulties. But mere tinkering with the problem won’t do. 
There are forces at work which no one can stop. Advantage is 
being taken of the situation to put up the masses against the 
Congress. The masses have the vote. They are becoming other- 
wise conscious of their power. And if we do not take care, the 
Congress may one fine morning discover that it has lost its hold 
(at least temporarily) on the masses.” 

I agreed in general with the friend and I said, “The reason 
for dissatisfaction is plain to me. You have a philosophy of your 
own. The Congress Ministries today are not of the socialist hue. 
They are supposed to be of the ‘Gandhian’ hue, whatever it may 
mean. Now, yours is a clear-cut programme. You have text- 
books to go by. But I myself do not know what is the Gan- 
dhian hue. I am sailing on an uncharted sea. I have to take 
frequent soundings. If such is my pitiable condition, the Minis- 
ters’ is much worse. They are so tied down to red tape that 
they have no time to think. They have no time to see me or 
discuss things with me and, what is more or worse, knowing 
their condition, I have no heart to inflict even letters on them. 
And I must not speak at them through the columns of Harijan.” 

1 have touched on many topics in the foregoing paragraph. 
But my main purpose in this article is to deal with red tape. 
If the Ministers are to cope with their new responsibility, they 
must discover the art of burning red tape. The old order could 
only live by and on red tape. It will strangle the new order. 
The Ministers must see people on whose goodwill alone they can 
exist. They must listen to petty and serious complaints. But 
they need not keep a record of all these or the letters they re- 
ceive nor even of all the decisions they give. They have only to 
keep sufficient record to refresh their memory and to preserve 
continuity of practice. Much of the departmental correspondence 
must cease. The Ministers are not responsible to the India Office 
several thousand miles away. They are responsible to the millions 
of their masters who do not know what red tape is and care 
little. Many of them can’t read and write. But they have primary 
wants to be fulfilled. They have been accustomed by Congress- 
men to think that immediately the Congress comes into power 

' Vide Vol. XLV, pp. 370-2. 

2 Vide Vol. LXV, Appendix III. 



LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


195 


there won’t be a hungry mouth in all India nor a naked person 
who wants to cover himself. The Ministers have to give their 
time and thought to such problems, if they are to do justice to 
the trust they have undertaken. If they are of the so-called 
Gandhian hue, they must find out what it is, not from me but 
from within by searching inward. I may not always know what 
it is. But I do know that if it is properly investigated and fol- 
lowed, it is radical and revolutionary enough to satisfy all the 
real wants of India. The Congress is a revolutionary body. Only 
its revolution is to be distinguished from all the other political 
revolutions known to history. Whereas the previous ones have 
been based on violence, this one is deliberately non-violent. If 
it was violent, probably much of the old form and practice would 
have been retained. But, for the Congress most of the old forms 
and practices are taboo. The most potent is the police and the 
military. I have admitted that so long as Congressmen are in 
office and they cannot discover peaceful ways and means of pre- 
serving order they are bound to make use of both. But the ques- 
tion ever present before the Ministers must be: is such use indis- 
pensable, and if it is, why is it so ? If, as a result of their inquiry — 
not after the old style, costly and more often than not useless, 
but an inquiry costless but thorough and effective — they find that 
they cannot run the State without the use of the police and the 
military, it is the clearest possible sign, in terms of non-violence, 
that the Congress should give up office and again wander in the 
wilderness in search of the Holy Grail. 

Segaon, December 9, 1938 
Harijan, 17-12-1938 

227. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

Segaon, Wardha, 
December 9, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

This letter is going to Jullundur. I have your letters. I am 
glad you had the talk with Pantji. The matter of corruption is 
becoming too serious to be neglected. I am going to discuss 
the whole thing at the forthcoming meeting. 

Mahadev is well. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3898. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7054 



228. LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA 

December 9, 1938 

MY DEAR KU, 

Fix any dates' you like after 20th December and let me 
know. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 10144 

229. LETTER TO MIRABEHM 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 9, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

Just a line to say all well here. Muriel and Dorothy came 
in this morning. Mary is also here. Shanta will be married in 
a few days to an Indian in London. She is happy and expects 
to return with her husband. 

Sardar is also here and so is Jairamdas. 

I hope the cold won’t prove too severe for you. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6420. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10015 

230. LETTER TO LILAVATI ASAR 

December 9, 1938 

CHI. LILA, 

I was very much pained by today’s incident. But how 
could you help your nature? 

However, my purpose in writing this is different. I have 
noticed that you and Amtul Salaam cannot tolerate S.^ sleeping 
with me. Whatever may be the cause, I do not want to carry 

' For the meeting of the A. I. S. A. Council 
^ The name has been omitted. 


196 



LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA 


197 


on my experiment by displeasing you two. I, therefore, want to 
tell both of you that I have discontinued my experiment for 
the present. The fault is not yours. I believe it is entirely 
mine. But I do not wish to discuss the matter with you, nor do 
I want you to reply. I have simply informed you. 

Show this letter to Amtul Salaam. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

I wanted to write and give this letter in the morning, but I 
could find no time. 

From Gujarati: C.W. 9794. Courtesy: Lilavati Asar 


231. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA 

December 9, 1938 

CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA, 

It would be wonderful of course if one could completely 
lose oneself in meditation. This means that the person who is 
the object of one’s devotion, has transcended the body. Why 
watch the activities of one who has left the body? But have 
I attained to that state? Therefore even the ears cannot be 
shut. It is not an artificial process. You have to strive towards 
perfect meditation. My efforts are known to you; there is 
nothing in them. I am a very imperfect person, I have good 
deal of intolerance, also anger. I am able to master these but 
that is nothing so great. 

While plying the takli fix your mind on the thought that 
it is God who is doing it, that He is hidden in every fibre of 
the yarn. See Him with the inner eyes. 

Then spinning, which now seems secondary to you, will 
become the primary thing. In the language of satyagraha the 
means become identified with the end. 

You ought to grasp it by now that observing outward acti- 
vities is only self-indulgence. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4566; also S.G. 71 



232. A. I. V. I. A. TRAINING SCHOOL 

From the report of the certificate-giving function of this 
Training School I cull the following:^ 

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel presided at the sessional gathering 
of the A. I. V. I. A. Training School for village workers, which was held 
at Maganwadi, Wardha, on Thursday 17th November. . . . The Superin- 
tendent, Sjt. J. P. Patel, . . . welcoming the President and the guests 
said among other things : 

. The industries that are taught at present are paper-making, 
oil-pressing, bee-keeping, gur-making, paddy-husking and flour-grinding. 
The course of the Vidyalaya is for five months. . . . 

“Rural economics, book-keeping and health and hygiene are also 
taught. . . . 

“In admitting students our main object is to see that after finishing 
the course here they devote themselves to some form of village 
service. . . . 

“The instruction is given through the medium of Rashtra- 
bhasha. . . .” 

I would advise the management to keep a register of all 
outgoing students, to keep a living contact with them, and 
carry on with them a kind of post-graduate correspondence 
class. So far as it is humanly possible not one of the students 
should lapse into the old rut or feel despondent because he can 
make no headway. 

Harijan, 10-12-1938 

233. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 10, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

I hope you have received all my letters. J. L. and Maulana 
came in last night. We had 2^ hours together only on the 
question of Presidentship. Subhas must have arrived in the 
evening. 

* Only extracts are reproduced here. 


198 



LETTER TO PRABHAVATI 199 

I hope you are none the worse for your wanderings. My 
letter to Shummy goes today. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3899. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7055 


234. LETTER TO AMRIT LAL T. NANAVATI 

December 10, 1938 

CHI. AMRITLAL, 

I chanced to see Kanam’s nails today. Look at them and 
see how dirty they are! Is not the teacher responsible for the 
cleanliness of his nails, ears, teeth, etc.? He does not still 
take part in the Ramadhun. How is that? At this age he should 
be able even to sing bhajans. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10782 


235. LETTER TO PRABHAVATI 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 10, 1938 

CHI. prabha, 

I got your letter and Jayaprakash’s. 

I have to go to Bardoli on the 1st of January. Come there 
both of you if you can. The treatment for your hand is steam, 
hip-bath and a diet of milk and fruit. I will cure you com- 
pletely if you come to Bardoli. 

Ba may perhaps go to Rajkot. Mahadev is better. Please 
tell Jayaprakash that I should be glad if he could spend some 
days with me. I sincerely wish that we should understand each 
other correctly. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 3525 



236. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS 

December 10, 1938 

Having obtained the permission of the President of the Tra- 
vancore State Congress, I am now able to tell the public what 
advice I gave the deputation that saw me on November 13 and 

14.* I told them that their cause would be damaged by persist- 
ence in the charges against the Dewan and that the question 

was not one of the truth or otherwise of the charges.^ It was 

one of political insight. Allegations were made that the struggle 
was personal. The demand for responsible government made 
it impersonal and raised it to a higher level. I could not be a 
party to the conduct of a struggle which must engage and ex- 
haust time and energy in pursuit of a personal matter to the exclu- 
sion of the most important one of swaraj. If they concentrated 
on the allegations, responsible government was bound to recede 
into the background. 

Though my conviction about the correctness of my advice 
was unshaken, the members were to be guided by their own, if 
it conflicted with mine, for the burden of conducting the struggle 
rested on them. I also told them that if violence continued, no 
matter how it occurred, they were bound to suspend civil dis- 
obedience; for violence on the part of the public, even though 
instigated, showed that the State Congress influence was not 
adequate. This in no way meant suspension of the struggle. It 
meant merely a change of the emphasis on the instruments. An 
instrument of permanent value was a constructive programme. 
The employment of civil disobedience had well-defined limita- 
tions and required suspension as the occasion demanded. 

Harijan, 17-12-1938 


* The deputation actually saw Gandhiji on the 15th; vide pp. 131-3. 
2 Vide also Vol. LXVII, pp. 387-8. 


200 



237. DISCUSSION WITH CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES^ 

[Before December 12, 1938Y 

One of the questioners asked Gandhiji what his motive in life was, “the 
thing that leads us to do what we do”, whether it was religious, or social 
or political. 

gandhiji: Purely religious. This was the question asked 

me by the late Mr. Montagu when I accompanied a deputa- 
tion which was purely political. “How you, a social reformer,” 
he exclaimed, have “found your way into this crowd?” My 
reply was that it was only an extension of my social activity. 
I could not be leading a religious life unless I identified 
myself with the whole of mankind, and that I could not do 
unless I took part in politics. The whole gamut of man’s acti- 
vities today constitutes an indivisible whole. You cannot divide 
social, economic, political and purely religious work into water- 
tight compartments. I do not know any religion apart from 
human activity. It provides a moral basis to all other activities 
which they would otherwise lack, reducing life to a maze of 
sound and fury signifying nothing! 

QUESTION : Seeing the influence you wield over the people, may we in- 

quire whether it is the love of the cause or the love of the people that moves you ? 

answer: Love of the people. Cause without the people 

is a dead thing. Love of the people brought the problem of 
untouchability early into my life. My mother said, ‘You must 
not touch this boy, he is an untouchable.’ ‘Why not?’ I ques- 
tioned back, and from that day my revolt began. 

q. You would expect us Christians to copy your example. Should 
we allow our religious motive to plunge us into politics? 

A. Those who come from different parts of the world into 
this country cannot say: ‘We shall have nothing to do with the 
politics of the country.’ They would not be true to their faith if 

* & ^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Non-violence and World Crisis”. The 
missionaries included William Paton, Secretary of the International Missionary 
Council, Leslie B. Moss, Secretary of the Conference of Missionary Societies 
in North America, Dr. Smith of the British and Foreign Bible Society and 
John Mott. They were in India to attend the International Missionary Con- 
ference which opened at Tambaram on December 12, 1938. 


201 



202 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

they bargained with the Government in order to supersede their 
fellow-feeling with the people. Supposing the Government does 
a grievous wrong to the people of the soil and the missionaries 
are told that they must not lift a finger to prevent it, surely, 
the least they can do is to leave the country by way of signify- 
ing their displeasure at the perpetration of the wrong. If a 
missionary puts himself out for service, opportunities will come: 
today it may be in the economic sphere, tomorrow in the 
social, next time it may be in the political field. You cannot 
then say, ‘I shall confine myself to this or that work and do 
nothing else.’ When I went to South Africa I knew nothing 
about that country. I was bound to my client only. Yet, within 
seven days of my reaching there, I found that I had to deal with 
a situation too terrible for words. 

Gandhiji was next asked in what relation his non-violence stood to the Pacifist 
attitude, “which we Westerners are trying to adopt without much success.” 

gandhiji: In my opinion non-violence is not passivity in 

any shape or form. Non-violence, as I understand it, is the activest 
force in the world. Therefore, whether it is materialism or any- 
thing else, if non-violence does not provide an effective antidote 
it is not the active force of my conception. Or, to put it con- 
versely, if you bring me some conundrums that I cannot answer 
I would say my non-violence is still defective. Non-violence is 
the supreme law. During my half a century of experience I 
have not yet come across a situation when I had to say that I 
was helpless, that I had no remedy in terms of non-violence. 

Take the question of the Jews on which I have written.^ 
No Jew need feel helpless if he takes to the non-violent way. A 
friend has written me a letter objecting that in that article I 
have assumed that the Jews have been violent. It is true that 
the Jews have not been actively violent in their own persons. 
But they called down upon the Germans the curses of mankind, 
and they wanted America and England to fight Germany on 
their behalf. If I hit my adversary, that is of course violence, 
but to be truly non-violent, I must love him and pray for him 
even when he hits me. The Jews have not been actively non- 
violent or, in spite of the misdeeds of the dictators, they would 
say, ‘We shall suffer at their hands; they knew no better. But 
we shall suffer not in the manner in which they want us to 
suffer.’ If even one Jew acted thus, he would salve his self- 


1 Vide^p. 137-41. 



DISCUSSION WITH CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES 203 

respect and leave an example which, if it became infectious, 
would save the whole of Jewry and leave a rich heritage to 
mankind besides. 

What about China, you will ask. The Chinese have no 
designs upon other people. They have no desire for territory. 
True, perhaps, China is not ready for such aggression; perhaps, 
what looks like her pacifism is only indolence. In any case 
China’s is not active non-violence. Her putting up a valiant 
defence against Japan is proof enough that China was never 
intentionally non-violent. That she is on the defensive is no 
answer in terms of non-violence. Therefore, when the time for 
testing her active non-violence came, she failed in the test. This 
is no criticism of China. I wish the Chinese success. According 
to the accepted standards her behaviour is strictly correct. But 
when the position is examined in terms of non-violence, I must 
say it is unbecoming for a nation of 400 millions, a nation as 
cultured as Japan [nV], to repel Japanese aggression by resorting to 
Japan’s own methods. If the Chinese had non-violence of my 
conception, there would be no use left for the latest machinery 
for destruction which Japan possesses. The Chinese would say to 
Japan, ‘Bring all your machinery, we present half of our popula- 
tion to you. But the remaining two hundred millions won’t 
bend their knee to you.’ If the Chinese did that, Japan would 
become China’s slave. 

And in support of this argument he referred to Shelley’s celebrated lines 
from The Mask of Anarchy, “Ye are many, they are few”: 

Stand ye calm and resolute, 

Like a forest close and mute, 

With folded arms and looks which are 
Weapons of unvanquished war. 

And if then the tyrants dare 
Let them ride among you there. 

Slash, and stab, and maim and hew, — 

What they like, that let them do. 

With folded arms and steady eyes. 

And little fear, and less surprise. 

Look upon them as they slay 
Till their rage has died away. 

Then they will return with shame 
To the place from which they came. 

And the blood thus shed will speak 
In hot blushes on their cheek. 



204 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Rise like Lions after slumber 
In unvanquishable number — 

Shake your chains to earth like dew 
Which in sleep had fallen on you — 

Ye are many — they are few. 

It has been objected, however, that non-violence is all right 
in the case of the Jews because there is personal contact between 
the individual and his persecutors, but in China, Japan comes 
with its long-range guns and aeroplanes. The person who rains 
death from above has never any chance of even knowing who 
and how many he has killed. How can non-violence combat 
aerial warfare, seeing that there are no personal contacts ? The 
reply to this is that behind the death-dealing bomb there is the 
human hand that releases it, and behind that still, is the human 
heart that sets the hand in motion. And at the back of the 
policy of terrorism is the assumption that terrorism if applied 
in a sufficient measure will produce the desired result, namely, 
bend the adversary to the tyrant’s will. But supposing a people 
make up their mind that they will never do the tyrant’s will, 
nor retaliate with the tyrant’s own methods, the tyrant will not 
find it worth his while to go on with his terrorism. If sufficient 
food is given to the tyrant, a time will come when he will have 

had more than surfeit. If all the mice in the world held con- 

ference together and resolved that they would no more fear the 
cat but all run into her mouth, the mice would live. I have 

actually seen a cat play with a mouse. She did not kill it 

outright but held it between her jaws, then released it, and again 
pouched upon it as soon as it made an effort to escape. In 
the end the mouse died out of sheer fright. The cat would have 
derived no sport if the mouse had not tried to run away. I 
learnt the lesson of non-violence from my wife, when I tried to 
bend her to my will. Her determined resistance to my will on 
the one hand, and her quiet submission to the suffering my stu- 
pidity involved on the other, ultimately made me ashamed of 
myself and cured me of my stupidity in thinking that I was 
born to rule over her, and in the end she became my teacher 
in non-violence. And what I did in South Africa was but an 
extension of the rule of satyagraha which she unwillingly prac- 
tised in her own person. 

But one of the visitors objected: You do not know Hitler and Musso- 
lini. They are incapable of any kind of moral response. They have 
no conscience and they have made themselves impervious to world opinion. 



DISCUSSION WITH CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES 


205 


Would it not be playing into the hands of these dictators if, for instance, 
the Czechs following your advice confronted them with non-violence? Seeing 
that dictatorships are unmoral by definition, would the law of moral conversion 
hold good in their case ? 

GANDHiji: Your argument presupposes that the dictators 

like Mussolini or Hitler are beyond redemption. But belief in 
non-violence is based on the assumption that human nature in its 
essence is one and therefore unfailingly responds to the advances 
of love. It should be remembered that they have up to now 
always found ready response to the violence that they have used. 
Within their experience, they have not come across organized 
non-violent resistance on an appreciable scale, if at all. There- 
fore, it is not only highly likely, but I hold it to be inevitable, 
that they would recognize the superiority of non-violent resis- 
tance over any display of violence that they may be capable of 
putting forth. Moreover the non-violent technique that I have 
presented to the Czechs does not depend for its success on the 
goodwill of the dictators, for, a non-violent resister depends 
upon the unfailing assistance of God which sustains him through- 
out difficulties which would otherwise be considered insurmount- 
able. His faith makes him indomitable. 

The visitor retorted that these dictators wisely refrain from using force, 
but simply take possession of what they want. In the circumstances what 
can non-violent resisters do? 

GANDHIJI : Suppose they come and occupy mines, facto- 

ries and all sources of natural wealth belonging to the Czechs, 
then the following results can take place: (1) The Czechs may 

be annihilated for disobedience to orders. That would be a 
glorious victory for the Czechs and the beginning of the fall of 
Germany. (2) The Czechs might become demoralized in the 
presence of overwhelming force. This is a result common in all 
struggles, but if demoralization does take place, it would not be 
on account of non-violence, but it would be due to absence or 
inadequacy of non-violence. (3) The third thing that can take 
place is that Germany might use her new possessions for occupa- 
tion by her surplus population. This, again, could not be avoid- 
ed by offering violent resistance, for we have assumed that vio- 
lent resistance is out of the question. Thus non-violent resis- 
tance is the best method under all conceivable circumstances. 

I do not think that Hitler and Mussolini are after all so 
very indifferent to the appeal of world opinion. But today these 
dictators feel satisfaction in defying world opinion because none 



206 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


of the so-called Great Powers can come to them with clean hands, 
and they have a rankling sense of injustice done to their people 
by the Great Powers in the past. Only the other day an esteemed 
English friend owned to me that Nazi Germany was England’s 
sin and that it was the Treaty of Versailles that made Hitler. 

question: What can I as a Christian do to contribute to international 

peace? How can international anarchy be broken down and non-violence 
made eflFective for establishing peace? Subject nations apart, how can nations 
at the top be made to disarm themselves? 

answer: You as a Christian can make an effective con- 

tribution by non-violent action even though it may cost you your 
all. Peace will never come until the Great Powers courageously 
decide to disarm themselves. It seems to me that recent events 
must force that belief on the Great Powers. I have an implicit 
faith — faith that today burns brighter than ever, after half a 
century’s experience of unbroken practice of non-violence — that 
mankind can only be saved through non-violence which is the 
central teaching of the Bible as I have understood the Bible. 

Q. You have said that so far as India is concerned you are hopeful 
that it will stick to non-violence. What are the omens of that hope? 

A. If you ask for outward proofs, I cannot give any. But 
I have an instinctive feeling that the country is not going to take 
to anything else. You must remember that just now I am filled 
with what I saw in the North-West Frontier Province. I was 
not prepared for what I saw. They are in dead earnest about 
the thing, and there is a deep-rooted sincerity in their hearts. 
They themselves see light and hope in non-violence. Khan 
Saheb told me that before that it was all darkness. There was 
not a family but had its blood feuds. They lived like tigers in a 
den. Though the Pathans used to be always armed with knives, 
daggers and rifles, they used to be terrified of their superior offi- 
cers, lest they should lose their jobs. All that has changed now 
with thousands. Blood feuds are becoming a thing of the past 
among those Pathans who have come under the influence of 
Khan Saheb’ s non-violence movement and, instead of depending 
for their livelihood on paltry jobs, they have turned to the soil 
for cultivation, and soon they will turn to industry if their pro- 
mise is kept. 

Q. What is your method of worship? 

A. We have joint worship morning and evening at 4.20 
a. m. and 7 p. m. This has gone on for years. We have a 



MESSAGE TO C. K. GIBBON 


207 


recitation of verses from the Gita and other accepted religious 
books, also hymns of saints with or without music. Individual 
worship cannot be described in words. It goes on continuously 
and even unconsciously. There is not a moment when I do not feel 
the presence of a witness whose eye misses nothing and with 
whom I strive to keep in tune. I do not pray as Christian 
friends do. Not because I think there is anything wrong in it, but 
because words won’t come to me. I suppose it is a matter of 
habit. 

<J. Is there any place for supplication in your prayer? 

A. There is and there is not. God knows and anticipates 
our wants. The Deity does not need my supplication, but I, a 
very imperfect human being, do need His protection as a child 
that of its father. And yet I know that nothing that I do is 
going to change His plans. You may call me a fatalist, if you like. 

Q. Do you find any response to your prayer? 

A. I consider myself a happy man in that respect. I have 
never found Him lacking in response. I have found Him nearest 
at hand when the horizon seemed darkest — in my ordeals in jails 
when it was not all smooth sailing for me. I cannot recall a 
moment in my life when I had a sense of desertion by God. 

Harijan, 24-12-1938 


238. MESSAGE TO C. K. GIBBON^ 

[On or before December 12, 1938Y 

I wish you success in your endeavour to wake up the Anglo- 
Indian community to a sense of their duty as citizens of free 
India. 

The Bombay Ghronicle, 13-12-1938 


* General Secretary of the Anglo-Indian Civil Liberties Association 
2 The news item carrying the message is dated December 12, 1938. 



239. HINDU-MUSLIM UNITY 

I read suggestions about a memorial to the late Maulana 
Shaukat Alid As soon as I learnt about the wholly unexpected 
death, I wrote to some Muslim friends sharing with them my 
innermost thoughts. One of them writes thus: 

There can be no two opinions about the extreme urgency and 
essential necessity of a sincere and lasting Hindu-Muslim unity. And 
the sooner it is brought about the better it will be for all concerned. 
Delay in this matter can only be fraught with consequences which no- 
body can contemplate without serious concern. The present drift may 
lead to most tragic developments which must, if at all possible, be avoid- 
ed. I know that Shaukat was in his own way genuinely anxious to 
bring about real Hindu-Muslim understanding, and nothing will please 
his spirit more than to know in its rest in heaven that one of the objects 
after which he strove in this world was at last achieved. There may be 
people who may doubt this, but knowing him and the working of his 
mind most intimately as I do, I can assert it with confidence. 

I entirely endorse the opinion that, in spite of his outbursts 
at times to the contrary, deep down in the Maulana was the 
same longing for peace for which he used to speak and work 
eloquently during the Khilafat days. I have no doubt whatso- 
ever that the truest memorial to his memory will be a joint deter- 
mination on the part of both the communities to bring about 
not a paper-unity but a heart-unity, based not on suspicion 
and distrust but on mutual trust. No other unity is worth 
having. And without that unity there is no real freedom for 
India. 

Segaon, December 12, 1938 
Harijan, 17-12-1938 


Shaukat AH died on November 27. 


208 



240. LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA 

December 12, 1938 

MY DEAR KU, 

I think 5 p. m. will be the ideal timed If any other is 
more suitable, I shall suit myself to it. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 10146 

241. LETTER TO M ARC ARETE SPIEGEL 

December 12, 1938 

CHI. AMALA, 

I received the five rupees. Even if you sign Margarete Spieg- 
el, you will be only Amala to me. I will address the envelope 
as you desire. 

I hope you are keeping fine. 

It will be good if you study Gujarati, even if only a little. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Spiegel Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library 


242. LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA 

December 12, 1938 

CHI. BALWANTSINHA, 

Your anger will eat up both you and the cow. I am un- 
able to see to everything myself. So I have entrusted this work 
to others. You have no plan. I would have closed my eyes 
and let you spend as you wished if I had unlimited funds. But 
I must know where to draw the line. I do not consider you an 
expert, but I have full confidence in you and also patience, so I 

* Vide “Letter to J. C. Kumarappa”, p. 196. 

209 


68-14 



210 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

go on. Yes, I want to keep more than a hundred cows but 
where do I have the plan? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

If you cannot patiently argue with your colleagues, how do 
you expect to serve? 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 1912 

243. LETTER TO BRIJKRISHNA CHANDIWALA 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 12, 1938 

CHI. BRAJKRISHNA, 

What I did cannot apply in the case of your brother. I 
took no medicine except soda and I lived entirely on fruit juice. 
Massage, hip-baths, etc., were continued. If I tried to eat any- 
thing in the mean while my condition became worse. In the end 
it was goat’s milk that saved my life. 

Carry on whatever treatment is possible there. See if Sara- 
swati can do anything. If you are so inclined you may take him 
to Poona. 

The problem of Satyavati is a difficult one. She will not 
even take the full treatment. 

It is surprising that there is no reply from the Meerut 
people. I am writing to them. 

Mahadev and I are keeping well. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

I am not able to suggest anything with regard to the mills 
except that we should organize the mill-hands. 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 2458 



244. LETTER TO HARSARAN VERMA 


Segaon, Wardha, 
December 12, 1938 


BHAI HARSARAN VERMA, 

I have your letter. It is good you wrote to me. You 
should also submit to the Congress Committee all that you 
have written to me. 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 90 


245. INTERVIEW TO CELESTINE SMITW 

[Before December 13, 1938Y 

I had never thought of a girl coming. To take the respon- 
sibility of a girl so far away from her home would perhaps be a 
bit too much. But as you can see I have plenty of girls around 
me here, and if a girl did come from America like that, I 
should not mind it a bit, i. e., if she could put up with the in- 
credibly simple life here as it would appear to her. What she 
can learn from here and take back is the secret of simple living. 
However simple life may be in America, it cannot come any- 
where near the simplicity of life here. I do not know if Ame- 
rica can assimilate such simplicity, or wants it. The other thing 
that she could take back is the spirit of non-violence, to the ex- 
tent that she can assimilate it without the help of any words or 
speeches, if there is non-violence in the atmosphere here. If 
there is no non-violence in the atmosphere, no written or spoken 
word can make her understand it or grasp it. 

Harijan, 31-12-1938 

’ Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Weekly Letter”. Celestine Smith was the 
Secretary of the Negro Section of the Young Women’s Christian Association, 
New York. She was impressed with the Wardha scheme of education and 
wanted to know whether she could send one of her girls and, if she did, 
what she would learn and take back to America. 

^ A photograph of Gandhiji with Celestine Smith was published in The 
Bombay Chronicle of December 13, which would indicate that they had met 
before that date. 


211 



246. DRAFT OF CONGRESS WORKING COMMITTEE 
RESOLUTION ON INDIAN STATES^^ 

December 13, 1938 

The Working Committee welcome the awakening of the 
people of Indian States in many parts of the country and con- 
sider this as a hopeful prelude to the larger freedom, comprising 
the whole of India, for which the Congress has laboured. The 
Committee support the demand for civil liberty and respon- 
sible government under the aegis of the Rulers in the States and 
express their solidarity with these movements for freedom and 
self-expression. While appreciating that some Rulers of the 
States have recognized this awakening as a healthy sign of growth 
and are seeking to adjust themselves to it in co-operation with 
their people, the Committee regret that other Rulers have 
sought to suppress these movements by banning peaceful and 
legitimate organizations and all political activity and, in some 
cases, resorting to cruel and inhuman repression. In particular, 
the Committee deplore the attempt of some Rulers to seek the 
aid of the British Government in India to suppress their own 
people, and the Committee assert the right of the Congress to 
protect the people against an unwarranted use of military or 
police forces, lent by the British authorities, for the suppression 
of the legitimate movement of the people for responsible govern- 
ment within the States. 

The Committee desire to draw attention afresh to the resolu- 
tion of the Haripura Congress which defines Congress policy in 
regard to the States. While it is the right and privilege of the 
Congress to work for the attainment of civil liberty and respon- 
sible government in the States, existing circumstances impose cer- 
tain limitations on this work, and considerations of prudence pre- 
vent the Congress from interfering organizationally and directly 
in the internal struggles of the States. This policy was con- 
ceived in the best interests of the people, to enable them to deve- 
lop self-reliance and strength. It was also intended as a mea- 
sure of the goodwill of the Congress towards the States and of 
its hope that the Rulers, of their own accord, would recognize 

' The Indian Annual Register, in the Chronicle of Events, notes under the 
date December 13 that Gandhiji drafted this resolution. 

212 



LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA 


213 


the spirit of the times and satisfy the just aspirations of their 
people. Experience has proved the wisdom of this policy. But 
this was never conceived as an obligation. The Congress has 
always reserved the right, as it is its duty, to guide the peo- 
ple of the States and lend them its influence. With the great 
awakening that is taking place among the people of the States, 
there must be an increasing identification of the Congress with 
States’ people. 

The policy laid down by the Haripura Congress, which has 
been so abundantly justified, must continue to be pursued. 
While, therefore, the Working Committee welcome the move- 
ments in the States for the attainment of responsible government, 
they advise the people not belonging to the States concerned 
against taking part in civil disobedience and the like. Participa- 
tion by such people will bring no real strength to the movement, 
and may even embarrass the people of the States concerned 
and prevent them from developing a mass movement on which 
strength and success depend. 

The Committee trust that all movements in the States will 
adhere strictly to the fundamental Congress policy of non-violence. 

Indian National Congress, February 1938 to January 1939, pp. 69-70 


247. LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA 

December 13, 1938 

CHI. BALWANTSINHA, 

You understand now that I pleaded with Chimanlal on 
your behalf that cows need not be kept in two places. What 
I want to have is an estimate of the expenditure on and income 
from a herd of cows and calves numbering up to a hundred. 
You are a worker but a person who has to collect funds must 
have a plan. Therefore I said that if the workers here could 
together prepare a scheme I could think over it. It would have 
made my path easier if you and Parnerkar could get on well to- 
gether. I want to expedite this matter. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 1915 



248. TELEGRAM TO PATTOM THANU PILLAI 

Wardha, 

December 14, 1938 

Thanupillay 
State Congress 
Trivandrum 

AM QUITE CLEAR THAT IN SPITE PROSECUTION YOU 

SHOULD WITHDRAW ALLEGATIONS BEFORE HEARING COM- 
MENCES. IF COURT PERSIST YOU STILL REFUSE DEFEND 

SAYING THAT UNDER ADVICE WHICH ON SECOND THOUGHTS 

YOU CONSIDER TO BE SOUND YOU HAVE DECIDED NOT 

TO PURSUE THEM AS BEING INCONSISTENT WITH PURSUIT 

OF LARGER POLICY OF ATTAINMENT RESPONSIBLE GOVT. 

Gandhi 

From the original: Pattom Thanu Pillai Papers. Courtesy: Nehru 
Memorial Museum and Library 


249. LETTER TO BHULABHAL J. DESAL 


Segaon, 

December 14, 1938 

bhai bhulabhai, 

I read Nariman’s letter. Personally I feel that a great injus- 
tice has been done to him. If there is nothing else apart from 
that letter and if my view is correct, I should like you yourself 
to make amends when we meet tomorrow. I write this so 
that you may think about the matter beforehand. I wrote to 
Vallabhbhai from the car itself. But I see that I ought to 
write to you. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: Bhulabhai Desai Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial 
Museum and Library 


214 



250. LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI 


Segaon, Wardha, 
December 16, 1938 

CHI. SUSHILA, 

I read your postcard addressed to Ba. I should certainly 
like to drag you here, but now I will not send for you. Stay at 
Bardoli as long as you can. Here I cannot even raise my head; 
what is the use of having you here then ? 

The swelling produced by the vaccination must have sub- 
sided. 

I trust Nanabhai is well. Will it be too early for you to 
join me on the 1st itself ? 

Here we have a stream of visitors coming and going these 
days. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4890 


251. TELEGRAM TO Z^INAB^ 

{December 16, 1938Y 

jamnalalji’s wire brings sad news. my deepest sympa- 
thy AND PRAYER WITH YOU ALL. I KNOW YOU ARE 

BRAVE. HOPE DOCTOR’S TRADITION WILL BE FULLY KEPT 
UP BY FAMILY. LOVE. 

Bapu 

The Bombay Chronicle, 17-12-1938 


* Widow of Dr. Rajab Ali Vishram Patel, a well-known freemason. 
During the non-co-operation movement in 1921 he had donated Rs. 50,000 
and handed over the amount to Gandhiji for use at his discretion. 

^ Dr. Rajab Ali died on December 16, 1938. 


215 



252. TELEGRAM TO PATTOM THANU PILLAI 

Wardha, 

[^December 17, 1938Y 

Thanupillay 

President State Congress 
Trivandrum 

ADVISE YOU EMPHATICALLY NOT TO RESIST PRESENT BAN ON 
CONTEMPLATED CONFERENCE NEAR TRIVANDRUM AND ON 
DEMONSTRATIONS DURING FORTHCOMING VICEREGAL VISIT. 
ALSO ADVISE TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF CIVIL DISOBED- 
IENCE EVEN IN FACE OF PROVOKING RESTRICTIONS. SUCH 

WILLING OBEDIENCE TO IRKSOME RESTRICTIONS ON FREEDOM 
WILL BE A LESSON IN ART OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. 

Gandhi 

From the original: Pattom Thanu Pillai Papers. Courtesy: Nehru 

Memorial Museum and Library 


253. TELEGRAM TO PATTOM THANU PILLAI 

Wardha, 

December 1 7, 1938 

Thanupillay 

President State Congress 
Trivandrum 

WITHDRAWAL MAY BE AS FOLLOWS. AFTER SERIOUS AND 

PRAYERFUL CONSIDERATION WE HAVE COME TO THE CONCLU- 
SION THAT THE ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST THE DEWAN 

IN THE MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED TO HIS HIGHNESS SHOULD 
BE UNRESERVEDLY WITHDRAWN IN THE INTEREST OF THE 
LARGER STRUGGLE FOR RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT. BUT 

WHILST THEREFORE WITHDRAW THE ALLEGATION FULLY 

AND UNEQUIVOCALLY WE WOULD BE UNTRUE TO OUR- 
SELVES TO THE CAUSE AND TO THE PUBLIC IF WE DID 

NOT STATE THAT THE ALLEGATIONS WERE MADE BY US 

^ The original telegram as delivered has only “17”. However the Viceroy 
arrived in Travancore on January 9, 1939, and hence the telegram is placed 
under this date. 


216 



MESSAGE TO ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY UNION 


217 


WITH A FULL SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND WITH A 

BELIEF IN THEM AS FULL AS IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE 

IN A STATEMENT BASED UPON ONE-SIDED EVIDENCE. OUR 

BELIEF IN THE TRUTH OF THE ALLEGATIONS MADE PERSISTS 
BUT THE OPINION HAS FORCED ITSELF UPON US THAT 
FOR US TO PERSIST IN THOSE ALLEGATIONS WOULD BE 

TO HARM THE GREAT STRUGGLE FOR RESPONSIBLE GOVERN- 
MENT IN TRAVANCORE. WE THEREFORE WITHDRAW THE 
ALLEGATIONS AND ASK THE PUBLIC NOT TO BE AFFECTED 
BY THE ALLEGATIONS OR BY OUR BELIEF IN THEM. IN 

CASE PROSECUTION IS PURSUED IN SPITE OF ABOVE 

WITHDRAWAL ADD LATER IN COURT AS FOLLOWS. WE 

ARE SORRY THAT THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR IS NOT SATIS- 

FIED WITH OUR WITHDRAWAL OF THE ALLEGATIONS. WE 
SHALL CHEERFULLY UNDERGO ANY SENTENCE THAT MAY 
BE IMPOSED UPON US FOR OUR UNCONDITIONAL WITHDRAWAL 
MEANS THAT WE HAVE WITHDRAWN THE ALLEGATIONS NOT 

TO EVADE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE LAW BUT FOR 

HELPING THE LARGER CAUSE OF RESPONSIBLE GOVERN- 
MENT. WE THEREFORE DO NOT PROPOSE TO ENTER UPON 

ANY DEFENCE AND AS WE HAVE WITHDRAWN THE ALLEGA- 

TIONS IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR US TO PLEAD GUILTY. 

Gandhi 

From the original: Pattom Thanu Pillai Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial 
Museum and Library 


254. MESSAGE TO ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY UNION^ 

[Before December 18, 1938Y 

I believe nothing except non-violence can solve our diffi- 
culties. 

The Bombay Chronicle, 21-12-1938 


* This message was sent on the occasion of the unveiling of Gandhiji’s 
portrait-painting in the Senate Hall of the University. 

2 The report carrying this message is dated December 18, 1938. 



255. LETTER TO SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE 


Strictly Confidential Segaon, Wardha, 

December 18, 1938 

MY DEAR SUBHAS, 

I must dictate this as I am wilfully blind. Whilst I am dic- 
tating this Maulana Saheb, Nalini Babu’, and Ghanshyamdasji are 
listening. We had an exhaustive discussion over the Bengal Min- 
istry. I am more than ever convinced that we should not aim at 
ousting the Ministry. We shall gain nothing by a reshuffle. And 
probably we shall lose much by including Congressmen in the 
Ministry. I feel, therefore, that the best way of securing compa- 
rative purity of administration and continuity of a settled prog- 
ramme and policy would be to aim at having all the reforms that 
we desire carried out by the present Ministry. Nalini Babu 
should come out, as he says he would, on a real issue being 
raised and the decision being taken by the Ministry against the 
interests of the country. His retirement from the Ministry would 
then be dignified and wholly justified. I understand that so far 
as the amendment of the municipal law is concerned, separate 
electorate for the scheduled class is given up. There is still in- 
sistence on separate electorate for Mussalmans. I do not know 
whether opposition should be taken to the breaking point. If the 
Mussalman opinion is solid in favour of separation, I think it 
would be wisdom to satisfy them. I would not like them to 
carry the point in the teeth of the Congress opposition. It would 
be then a point against the Congress. 

If my opinion is acceptable to you, the release of the Pri- 
soners becomes a much simpler matter than it is today. And if 
this opinion commends itself to you there should be an open 
declaration about the new policy. This ought to result in easing 
the tension that prevails in Bengal, and Bengal will be automat- 
ically free from the state of suspended animation. Maulana Saheb 
is in entire agreement with this opinion and so are Nalini Babu 
and Chanshyamdas. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From a copy: C. W. 7784. Courtesy: G. D. Birla 

^ Nalini Ranjan Sarkar, then Finance Minister of Bengal 


218 



256. LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 

Segaon, Wardha, 
[After December 18, 1938Y 

BHAI VALLABHBHAI, 

I have gone through the papers. They are dreadful. If the 
Thakore Saheb remains firm, the problem can be solved in no 
time. But I doubt if he will remain firm. How much use can 
we make of the information gathered from the papers? If you 
receive an invitation, do go. I think if you go you should see 
the Resident^ also and tell him the truth. The Ruler’s invitation 
should not be kept a complete secret. If he does not have that 
much courage, it may not be worth while going to Rajkot. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

SaRDAR VALLABHBHAI PaTEL 
PURUSHOTTAM BuiLDING 

Opp. Opera House, Bombay 4 
[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro-2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, p. 230 


257. NOTES 

Complaint against Congressmen 

I have a letter from the Rangoon Khadi Bhandar and an- 
other from Karnatak complaining that Congress committees have 
certified khadi which was decertified by the A. I. S. A. There is no 
doubt whatsoever as to the truth of the complaint. I have copies 
of the certificates issued by two Congress bodies. Congress com- 
mittees should know that these certificates are illegal. The only 
authority that can issue certificates about khadi is the A. I. S. A. 

* The papers referred to in the text consisted of correspondence Thakore 
Dharmendrasinhji of Rajkot had initiated with the addressee for a settlement. 
The addressee in his letter of December 18 to the Thakore Saheb had said, “I 
would come immediately — on receipt of your letter — and persuade the people 
to agree to the termination of the struggle.” This therefore must belong to 
some date after December 18. 

2E. C. Gibson 


219 



220 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

No Congress committee has been, or can be, given the right un- 
less the Congress resolution constituting the A. I. S. A. is changed. 

There is no such thing as certified khadi. It is impossible to 
certify every piece and every article made of khadi ; only shops 
and persons can be authorized to sell khadi approved by the 
A. I. S. A. The original definition of khadi has been broadened to 
ensure an adequate wage for the manufacturers of khadi. Those 
who sell any other khadi, deprive khadi workers of the wage that 
the A. I. S. A. has, of its own accord, ensured for them. Let 
it not be said of any Congressman and Congress committee that 
they are interfering with the vast experiment in nation-building 
that the A. I. S. A. is conducting and which bids fair to put life and 
lustre in the dying bodies of millions of sisters whom no agency 
ensures even two pice per day. I hope, therefore, that the Con- 
gress committees and Congressmen will not only not interfere 
with the work of the A. I. S. A., but will give their full-hearted co- 
operation to numerous organizations of the A. I. S. A., especially in 
the sale of khadi. If there was a steadily increasing demand, it 
would be possible to provide remunerative work in every famine 
area. 


Hindustani Only 

A Muslim friend who calls himself an old Congress worker 
says: 

The Times of India, in its issue of the 12th September last, pub- 
lished an abstract of your article from the Harijan under the caption 
‘Congressmen Beware!’’. The cogent explanation you have given of the 
position caused by the anti-Hindi agitation in Madras and the use of 
the Criminal Law Amendment Act is remarkably convincing. I have 
no doubt that the sound advice you have offered to the agitators will go 
a long way in satisfying them and that they will be brought round to 
the right way of thinking. But in this connection I should like to draw 
your attention to an anomaly which seems to have crept in inadvertent- 
ly regarding the ‘Rashtrabhasha’ for India. To the best of my knowl- 
edge the Congress resolution on the subject contains the word ‘Hindus- 
tani’ and not ‘Hindi’. You yourself, in all your speeches and writings, 
have always used the word ‘Hindustani’. It is therefore to be regretted 
that a majority of Congressmen have, in contravention of the Congress 
resolution, been using the word ‘Hindi\ 

This use of the wrong word has given rise to considerable misunder- 
standing and contention among the members of the different camps of 


’ VideVoL LXVII, pp. 323-6. 



PROHIBITION 


221 


the Congress. To my mind it should be neither ‘Hindi’ nor ‘Urdu’, 
and all Congressmen when referring to the Rashtrabhasha should use the 
word ‘Hindustani’. 

I endorse the suggestion whole-heartedly. Rashtrabhasha 
has only one name, i.e., Hindustani. 

Segaon, December 19, 1938 
Harijan, 24-12-1938 

258. PROHIBITION 

Prohibition in the Congress provinces is not going on in the 
spirit in which it was conceived. It is perhaps no fault of the 
Ministers. Public opinion is not insistent. Congress opinion is 
equally dormant. Congressmen do not seem to see that prohibi- 
tion means new life for many millions. It means new and sub- 
stantial accession of moral and material strength. They do not 
realize that honest prohibition gives a dignity and prestige to the 
Congress which perhaps no other single step can give. They do 
not see that prosecution of prohibition means identification with 
the masses and a resolute determination to refuse to have any- 
thing to do with the drink revenue. Even such a confirmed pro- 
hibitionist like Rajaji has not had the daring to set apart the 
drink revenue purely for the purpose of fighting the drink evil. 
He has proved in this matter too cautious for me. Congressmen 
have learnt to count no cost too dear for winning freedom. Our 
freedom will be the freedom of slaves if we continue to be vic- 
tims of the drink and drug habit. Is any cost too much to estab- 
lish complete prohibition in all the provinces? 

And yet one finds Ministers drawing up prohibition prog- 
rammes in a proper bania spirit. They think of their deficits. I 
wonder what they will do if all the winebibbers and opium- 
eaters suddenly give up their drinks and drugs! They will manage 
somehow, it may be answered. Why will they not do so volun- 
tarily? Surely, merit lies in doing the right thing voluntarily, not 
compulsorily I The Bihar Government did not come to a standstill, 
when the earthquake swallowed more than their annual income. 
What do the Governments all over India do, when famines and 
floods ruin people and materially reduce the State revenue? I 
maintain that the Congress Governments break the spirit, if not 
the letter, of their pledge, when they delay prohibition for the 
sake of revenue. 



222 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


They can and must make an honest attempt to raise money 
by fresh taxation. The drink curse is most prevalent in urban 
areas. It is in these areas that they can resort to fresh taxation. 
Prohibition gives direct help to the employers of labour. They 
can surely afford to bear the loss of revenue caused by prohibi- 
tion. The few months of prohibition in Ahmedabad have put 
money into the pockets both of the employers and the labourers. 
There is no reason whatsoever why the employers should not pay 
for this inestimable service. Many similar sources of revenue can 
easily be thought of. 

I have not hesitated to suggest a grant or at least a loan without 
interest from the Government of India where it can be proved 
that the raising of additional revenue is not a practical proposition. 

The only valid reason for not having immediate prohibition is 
want of previous experience and hence the need for caution. I 
viewed the Salem experiment in that light. The Madras Govern- 
ment wanted to take the first step with great deliberation and 
did not want to take any risk of failure. The success of the 
Salem experiment should be sufficient encouragement to go on 
with the whole scheme. But it is not impossible to understand 
the desire of each Government to go in for prohibition in stages 
so as to have local experience. It was for that reason that the 
Working Committee fixed three years as the period to bring 
about complete prohibition. The time is running fast. And if India 
is to be free of the curse within the period fixed, there should be no 
delay for want of money or for fear of deficit in revenue. And 
if the programme is prosecuted with single-minded zeal, there is 
no doubt that the other provinces and the States will follow. 

Segaon, December 19, 1938 
Harijan, 24-12-1938 

259. DISTRICT BOARDS 

It has often been borne in upon me that District Boards and 
Municipal Councils are excrescences involving a useless tax upon 
the people’s purses. This became patent to me during the non- 
co-operation days in Mehmadabad. I had then advised the people 
that, if they boycotted their council or whatever it was called, 
they could do their own sweeping and lighting and conduct 
their schools without fuss and without much expense and avoid 
wrangling into the bargain. 



DISTRICT BOARDS 


223 


The truth of my remark became clear to me a few days ago 
when a member of the Surat District Board came to me, showed 
me a circular issued by the Board, and asked me for my blessing 
on their scheme. The scheme was extra-official. There are about 
forty members of the Board. I write from memory. They have 
really no work except to meet at stated intervals and hold de- 
bates on certain items of expenditure. As the Board has a sweep- 
ing Congress majority and as some of the members are con- 
scientious, they do not know how to use their time for the service 
of the people. The Board has an income altogether inadequate 
for the expenditure required to keep all its departments in good 
order and condition, especially the roads. The circular, therefore, 
contained a pompous advertisement that the members and the 
officials would work during the National Week in April at road 
repairs, etc. On the strength of the proverb that something is 
better than nothing, certainly the National Week idea was com- 
mendable. But it was not good enough for me. I said, “If you 
want my blessing, you must begin work now and not merely for 
one week as a holiday, but for the whole term of your office and 
regularly as if you were members of the paid staff — no doubt 
consistently with your domestic and other obligations. In other 
words, you should constitute yourselves into a national service. 
You will meet officially only to vote items you must, but never to 
hold long debates or wrangle over petty appointments and the 
like. But your real and solid work would be extra-official. 
You would take pride in having first-class roads which you will 
have built yourselves. You will run your schools efficiently. 
You will see that your district has its proper supply of water, 
and your fields are well manured and grow crops that are useful 
from the national standpoint. You will teach the people proper 
methods of sanitation and ensure voluntary prohibition by wean- 
ing the people from the drink habit. You will run night-schools 
for adults. If you are in earnest about your duty, you will be 
too few for the task. You will set an example to the other 
boards and you will justify the choice of the electors. The result 
will be that the electors themselves and the others will become 
a voluntary brigade of workers who will revolutionize the life of 
the people around you. If you take to heart what I am telling you, 
you will find at once that you cannot do without hand-ginning, 
hand-carding, hand-spinning and hand-weaving. This will give 
full occupation during leisure hours to every boy, girl, man 
and woman who is not disabled for light labour, and you will 
immediately add a good few lacs of rupees to your income as a 



224 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


district. When you have achieved this programme you will have 
my blessings. I shall become your advertising agent. If you 
cannot do this, do not play with your work by having a spec- 
tacular demonstration of your holiday patriotism. 

I fear, however, that the District Boards in India will not 
quite approve of the programme of voluntary service I have 
sketched above. I, therefore, suggest that at least the Congress pro- 
vinces have a model and novel legislation constituting municipal, 
local and district boards on the basis of efficiency. I would have 
them elected, but there would be very few men and women 
capable of doing administrative, plodding work. Each one of the 
members will have his work cut out for him. I should impress the 
services of the paid officials side by side with the elected mem- 
bers who will be at once their masters and co-workers. This is 
but the barest outline of Boards of my notion. The Congress is a 
revolutionary body in the widest and the wisest sense. It must 
be original. All its activities must be derived from its creed of 
non-violence. There must be a perfect chain linking the smallest 
to the biggest unit after the same pattern, so that he who runs 
may see that it is an artistic whole designed to answer the main 
purpose. This presupposes one united mind and will in the Con- 
gress — not the mind and will of one man but the minds and wills 
of many men and women acting as one mind and one will. 

Segaon, December 19, 1938 
Harijan, 24-12-1938 

260. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

Segaon, Wardha, 
December 19, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

I have not been able to give you a line. 

Yes, I shall not part with the blanket designed for me. I 
do not know whether I am wearing the old or the new. I shall 
inquire and get the new. What shall I do with the old? 

Of course you will have a copy of the Aundh Constitution 
when it is ready. 

If K.' has responsible government, why can’t you be its 
first Minister and shape its destiny at will? But we shall discuss 
when you come. 


^ Kapurthala 



LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 


225 


I fear I must leave for Bardoli on 1st Jan. The W. C. 
meets there on 7th, so you should come via Ahmedabad. If you 
leave on 3rd, you will reach Bardoli on 6th. No time for more. 
Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3654. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 6463 


261. LETTER TO AGATHA HARRISON 


Segaon, Wardha, 

December 20, 1938 

MY DEAR AGATHA, 

I cannot let your sweet note go unanswered. I know what 
Xmas means to the English people. All my good wishes accom- 
pany you. 

I knew you would understand Mira’s letter. Yes, do keep 
in touch with her. She is in God’s good hands. 

You will come as often as you like and stay as long as you 

like. 

Nobody gave you fudge today! Some goes with this. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 1506 


262. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAI 

December 20, 1938 

CHI. MAHADEV, 

This is just to tell you that I remember you. There is a 
terrible pressure of work, but that seems to be God’s pleasure. 
I do not work beyond the time fixed. I hope your stay is prov- 
ing fruitful. Amtul Salaam is badly ill — malaria. There is a 
large crowd — Pannalal, Gangabehn, Nanibehn have come. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 11686 


68-15 



263. LETTER TO BRIJKRISHNA CHANDIWALA 


December 20, 1938 

CHI. BRAJKRISHNA, 

Here is the reply from Vichitr ah What should be done now? 
I hope your brother is better. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 2457 

264. LETTER TO N. M. JOSHI 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 21, 1938 

MY DEAR JOSHI, 

I am very grateful to you for your two letters containing an 
exhaustive reply to my letter. I am glad too that Parulekar took 
the trouble of writing out his speech. Though the sentences mark- 
ed do not appear in the speech, there is hot stuff enough in it, 
perilously going near to the sentiments ascribed to Parulekar in 
the report I sent to you. Mark the following: 

They often described British bureaucracy as Satanic. I must find 
out a stronger term than the word “Satanic”, as this act is more devi- 
lish .... They know that the Bill is not in your interest and, therefore, 
they are afraid of you. They feel nervous. They think that you will 
throw away their Gandhi caps. This “Gandhi Cap Government” has 
shown by its acts that they are not the friends of the poor. They are 
there to work in the interests of the rich. ... If they postpone the discussion 
they will have to discuss the Bill in Bombay who are politically con- 
scious. The workers in Bombay will take out monster demonstrations 
and will create such a row that those who are responsible for the Bill 
will not be able to enjoy sound and comfortable sleep. The workers 
can be compared to a sleeping lion. I warn Government not to wake 

* Vichitra Narayan Sharma, a khadi worker of Meerut. He had stated 
in his letter of December 14 that starting khadi work in famine-affected 
areas was bound to result in financial loss while expanding the work to in- 
clude Delhi was inconvenient. 


226 



LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


227 


him up. Let them not tease him. Let them not attack him. They 
must realize that if they provoke him the working class has enough 
strength to retaliate on the strongest Government. . . . This Bill is a deadly 
poisonous pill coated with sugar. We must scratch the sugar and leave 
the poison to be swallowed by the framers of the Bill. 

I should not like such language in the mouth of a member 
of the Society. 

As to your remark about the danger to civil liberty, I would 
like you to give me some concrete suggestion for a Provincial 
Government to be at least able to know what public men are 
saying and doing. Or, do you suggest that they ought not to 
concern themselves with the sayings and doings of public men? 
I am not now thinking of the possible punishment that might be 
inflicted upon those who make speeches inciting to violence or 
whatever is considered contrary to law. I am thinking of peace- 
ful action such as warning to reckless speakers and establishing 
contact with organizations to which they belong. So far as Paru- 
lekar is concerned, I am making further inquiry. In any case I 
I am quite clear in my mind that there should be no prosecution 
against him and I am writing to Kher accordingly. 

Tours sincerely. 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


265. LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 21, 1938 

MY dear JAWAHARLAL, 

Maulana Saheb does not want the crown of thorns. If you 
want to try again please do. If you won’t or he won’t listen, 
Pattabhi seems to be the only choice. 

Love. 

Bapu 

Gandhi-Nehru Papers, 1938. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and 
Library 



266. LETTER TO PRITHVI SINGH 


Segaon, 

December 21, 1938 

MY DEAR PRITHVI SINGH, 

I have your two letters. I have been too busy to write to 
you earlier, but Pyarelal has been attending to every one of your 
requirements. The wool is being taken up and I shall have it 
woven and of course make use of it myself, unless I make better 
use of it by using it for exhibition purposes. I have not decided. 

Though I do not want to publish your letter as the authori- 
ties may not like its publication whilst you are still a prisoner, I 
am going to make judicious use of it amongst those who are 
still unconvinced of the matchless superiority of non-violence over 
violence. So far as your own case is concerned you may depend 
upon my doing everything in my power. You need not do any- 
thing there till I advise you otherwise. 

I have a very fine portrait of you taken by Kanu which 
Pyarelal is sending to your brother, but he will be writing inde- 
pendently to you. 

Mahadev is quite well now, though I do not want him to 
return to his regular work. 

Tours, 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 5632. Also C.W. 2943. Courtesy: Prithvi 
Singh 


267. LETTER TO SHAMLAL 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 21, 1938 

DEAR LALA SHAMLAL, 

Your letter surprises me, for in your previous letter you said 
that while the prisoners were not ready to give the assurance 
to the Government, they were ready to give it to me. You now 
tell me they will not. Why this change ? Please bring this to the 

228 



LETTER TO MANUBEHN S. MASHRUWALA 229 

prisoners’ notice that if they cannot give this assurance even to 
me, so far as I am concerned, I am powerless. 

Tours, 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 1287 


268. LETTER TO JAMMALAL BAJAJ 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 21, 1938 

CHI. JAMNALAL, 

I had both your letters. I had acted on the first. Why do 
you insist on my acting on the second, too ? You need not attend 
the Jallianwala Bagh Committee. Keshavdevji may well attend. 
There will be no need of a vote. Don’t take it into your head 
that your health is bad. The body only needs rest. If you get 
it, your health will be all right. It will be enough if you travel 
a little in India or Ceylon. Give up all worry about work. 

Are Rajabali’s affairs being properly administered? How 
is Janakibehn? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 2996 


269. LETTER TO MANUBEHN S. MASHRUWALA 


CHI. MANUDI*, 

Do come to Bardoli if you can. 


Segaon, Wardha, 

December 21, 1938 


Blessings from 

Bapu 


From Gujarati: C.W. 1573. Courtesy: Manubehn S. Mashruwala 


Gandhiji’s granddaughter 



270. LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 


Segaon, Wardha, 

December 21, 1938 

BHAI VALLABHBHAI, 

The Maulana has flatly refused, and it does not, therefore, 
seem proper to press him further. I think it will be best to think 
of Pattabhi. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro—2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, p. 230 


271. MESSAGE TO ALL-INDIA WOMENN CONEERENCE^ 

[Before December 22, 1938^ 
Women alone can emancipate themselves not men. If women 
will, they can help in the fulfilment of ahimsa. Through the 
charkha, they can serve the cause of their poor sisters. By 
wearing khaddar, they can bring help to the homes of the poor. 
They can bring about Hindu-Muslim unity. They can abolish 
the purdah and drive away the ghost of untouchability. 

Will the Women’s Conference at Delhi undertake to fulfil any 
of these causes? 

The Hindustan Times, 28-12-1938. Also from a copy: C.W. 10362. Court- 
esy: All-India Women’s Conference 


272. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 22, 1938 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

I am just now managing things through deputies. I can’t 
cope with work otherwise. You are going to keep well in Bardoli. 

* The Conference opened in Delhi on December 28. Amrit Kaur pre- 
sided. Gandhiji’s message according to The Bombay Chronicle, 29-12-1938, was 
in Gujarati. 

^ Vide the following item. 


230 



LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL 231 

Herewith a letter for Tai and a message* for the Conference. 
You having had one, naturally she also wants one. 

I hope you left Shummy in a good condition. I am glad 
you liked my letter. 

Mahadev should return on 24th. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

[PS.] 

Herewith draft reply to the Jewish appeal. 

From the original: C.W. 3900. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7056 

273. LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 22, 1938 

CHI. MANI, 

Mridula and you make a good pair. I got both your let- 
ters. Take complete rest. I am very glad that you spin. Write 
about food, etc., if you are permitted to do so. How does Mri- 
dula spend her time? 

Mahadev has gone for four days to see the goshala near Cal- 
cutta. He is expected to return on the 24th. I am keeping 
excellent health. Ba has not yet got the permission to go there. 
She is going to Dehra Dun for the Kanya Gurukul. I am leav- 
ing for Bardoli on the 1st of January. 

Blessings to you and Mridula from 

Bapu 

Shri Manibehn Patel 
State Jail 
Rajkot — Kathiawar 
[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro-4: Manibehn Patelne, p. 123 


* Vide the preceding item. 



274. LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA 


December 22, 1938 

CHI. BALWANTSINHA, 

I gave much thought to your letter. You did make a mis- 
take, but who doesn’t? Your simplicity of nature consists in that 
you readily admit your mistake. The service of the cow and 
the good of all of us, including you, now lies in sticking to the deci- 
sion that has been taken. If your anger really subsides every- 
thing will turn out well in the end. You and Parnerkar will 
have been tested. Give whatever help Parnerkar asks for. Find 
out what else can be done and tell me. You have to be in 
good cheer. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 1913 


275. SPEECH AT SCOUTS RALLT^ 


Segaon, 

^December 22, 1938]^ 

I congratulate you on the demonstration of the drill that you 
have given. It is a necessary part of your training. But while 
you have made a fine beginning, you have still much ground to 
traverse. 

The object of mass drill is to enable large bodies of people 
to perform any movement rhythmically and swiftly and with 
absolute precision. What a saving in national time and energy 
it would mean if we could do that in our public meetings and 
functions! There is a silent music in disciplined movement of mas- 
ses of men and women. Just now I asked you to move a little 
towards me so that my low voice may reach you. Had you 
advanced far enough in your drill, you would have been able to 

* Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Weekly Letter”. The rally was held at the 
end of a 21 days’ training course in scoutcraft conducted at Wardha for 
pupil teachers under the Wardha Scheme of Education. 

^ The date is from The Hindu, 23-12-1938. 


232 



SPEECH AT SCOUTS RALLY 


233 


perform that movement with ease without any noise or confusion. 
There is a rhythm and music in drill that makes action effortless 
and eliminates fatigue. If the whole nation of 300 millions could 
be drilled so as to move together and act together and if neces- 
sary to die together as one man, we should attain independence 
without striking a blow and set an example of a peaceful revolu- 
tion for the whole world to emulate. 

I was particularly glad to note that the Khoja Boarding 
House at Wardha had sent its quota of scouts to participate in 
your rally. This is as it should be. Boy scouts’ training has 
been incorporated in the Wardha Scheme of Education. It 
would be nothing worth if it did not serve to remove all mutual 
distrust and suspicion and foster among the various sections and 
communities a perfect spirit of camaraderie which is an integral 
part of that scheme, although it is not set down in so many 
words in the Zakir Husain Committee’s report. The Wardha 
Scheme of Education does not aim merely at imparting 
literary training to the students; its object is to give an 
education for life that would answer the need of our millions. 
It is calculated to be a living and life-giving experiment. 
Teachers, who have in their turn to become torch-bearers of 
this education, have need, therefore, of a broader and wider 
training. And scoutcraft is an important and useful part of that 
training. 

I know something of the work of the old Seva Samiti found- 
ed by Revered Malaviyaji. I know also Pandit Hridayanath 
Kunzru’s work on it; and I have come in contact with Shri 
Bajpai, the organizer of the Samiti. If, therefore, I offer a few 
remarks by way of suggestions, they must be taken as those of a 
friend. As I watched the flag salutation ceremony, there seemed 
to be an air of unreality about it. Your song is composed 
in highflown language. You have in that song expressed your 
readiness to lay down your lives for that flag which you have 
envisioned as one day floating over the whole world. Gould you 
seriously mean it, I asked myself, as you sang that song. I ven- 
ture to suggest that such sentiments as are expressed in that song 
may not be associated with any other than the national flag — if 
they are not to remain a mere pious wish calculated to begin 
and end with the singing of that song. People cannot die for 
many flags. If you must have a separate flag and a hoisting 
ceremony, your song should be pitched in a lower key. Then, 
again, I see you have your inscription on the flag in Eng- 
lish. That seems to me an anomaly. You should have on your 



234 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


flag Hindustani inscription. Scouting must aim not merely at 
the training of the body but that of the brain and heart too. 
It would be a poor performance if it confines itself to mere exter- 
nals and ignores the internal. 

A word to the pupil teachers who are assembled here. As 
the first batch, on them rests a heavy responsibility. It is not 
merely they but the scheme of education which they are out to 
work that is going to be put on its trial. It therefore behoves 
them to be punctilious and exact in every little thing that they 
say or do. They must weigh every word that they utter and 
take care never to utter a word in vain. It is a new and untried 
experiment that they are going to launch upon, i.e., to give the 
whole education through a craft. Success will be the reward of 
unremitting exercise of intelligence in all their acts. Nothing 
will be more detrimental to it than insincerity in speech, thought 
or action. 

Harijan, 31-12-1938 


276. LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW 

Segaon, Wardha, 
December 23, 1938 

dear lord LINLITHGOW, 

I find that Residents in certain States are discouraging Ruling 
Chiefs from having any dealings with Congressmen such as 
Sardar Patel. I have unimpeachable evidence in two cases. Of 
these I am free to mention one. That is in connection with 
Rajkot. I do not wish to tax you with details. I hope it is 
not the intention at the headquarters to discourage ruling 
Chiefs from cultivating friendly relations with Congressmen. The 
States people have always looked to the Congress for guidance 
and advice. With increasing awakening among the States people, 
there should be no wonder if Chiefs seek Congress advice and 
assistance in settling their differences with their people. Dis- 
couragement by Residents amounts to orders to them. Recent 
declarations in London seem to show that there is no intention, 
on the part of the superior authority, to interfere with the 
Chiefs in such matters. If my impression is correct and if on 
enquiry you find that the statement I have made about Rajkot 
is borne out, may I expect that you will instruct Residents in 
general not to interfere with the Ruling Chiefs who may choose 



LETTER TO S. RADHAKRISHNAN 235 

to seek the assistance of Congressmen in solving the difficulties 
that face them? 

I am, 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

Lord Linlithgow Papers: Microfilm No. 107. Courtesy: National Archives 
of India 


277. LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA 

December 23, 1938 

MY DEAR KU, 

I am glad you went to Bombay. It would have been a mis- 
take if no one had gone. No doubt you were the best man for 
our purpose. I would like you to tell me more about your do- 
ings on 30th if possible. But you may anticipate the date if 
you think it necessary. 

I would like Sir P. to come to Bardoli on the earliest day 
after 3rd January. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 10147 


278. LETTER TO S. RADHAKRISHNAN 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 23, 1938 

DEAR SIR RADHAKRISHNAN, 

As you know I have always aimed at a redistribution of 
Provinces on a linguistic basis. The cue was taken from the An- 
dhra movement. I should therefore be more than glad if Andhra 
could have its status as a Province recognized even now.^ 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a facsimile in Mahatma, Vol. VI, between pp. 352 and 353 


^ At this time the addressee was in Segaon to persuade Gandhiji to 
prevail upon Rajaji not to make Hindi compulsory in Madras schools. Vide 
“Letter to C. Rajagopalachari”, p. 239. 



279. LETTER TO INDU N. PAREKH 


Segaon, Wardha, 

December 23, 1938 

CHI. INDU, 

I got your letter. I had got the previous one also. In both 
you are carried away by your emotions. Be patient and search 
for a job there or come to me in Bardoli. We will think it over. 
Why do you lose heart? I will leave for Bardoli on January 1. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 6256 


280. LETTER TO BALWANTSIMHA 


Segaon, 

December 23, 1938 

CHI. balwantsinha, 

I have gone through your letter carefully. It is good. But 
I notice that you cannot bear to be separated from the cows. 
You should take it that the separation is in the interest of greater 
service to the cow. I shall gain some experience and so will you. 
You have doubts as to the propriety of what is being done. It is 
not right. For if you have doubts it denotes a lack of knowledge 
behind your renunciation. From what you told me yesterday 
I thought your heart was cleansed and you had realized that 
what was being done was all to the good. I never attributed to 
you any baseness of spirit. I did mention your pride and that 
too by way of praise. I even said that in your devotion to the 
cow you have no equal, not even Parnerkar, and the same ap- 
plied to your capacity for hard labour. Your experience too 
is considerable, for you have been familiar with agriculture 
and cattle-keeping from childhood. But I also said that not- 
withstanding all this your knowledge was not systematic or scienti- 
fic and consequently you would not be able to make further pro- 
gress in animal husbandry and that your anger would consume 
you as well as the cow. At the same time I asked Parnerkar to 

236 



LETTER TO SARASWATI 


237 


examine his heart and to take possession of the dairy only if he 
was confident of himself. He has been given charge only under 
this stipulation and these conditions. I have had a talk with 
Nayakumji. He will discuss the matter with you. Do not commit 
yourself definitely to any work for the present. Have a little 
rest; give some quiet thought to what has been and is being 
done; read and ponder a little and do whatever Ashram 
tasks naturally come your way. Consult Chimanlal and take up 
any job for which he is hard-pressed. There can never be any 
want of work in our institution for a worker like you. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 1914 


281. LETTER TO SARASWATI 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 23, 1938 

CHI. SURU, 

I have your letter. I do not remember about your earlier 
letters but I have replied to them all. I talked at length with 
Uncle* and strongly requested him to send you to me. If you 
continue your request he might send you. Keep writing to me. 
Uncle knows everything. You should speak to him fearlessly. 

Ba has gone to Dehra Dun today to attend the Kanya 
Gurukul function. We all leave for Bardoli on January 1, to 
spend a month there. I hope that you will be reaching there. 

I am keeping well, Kanti keeps on writing. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 6174. Also C.W. 3448. Courtesy: 
Kantilal Gandhi 


* G. Ramachandran 



282. NON-VIOLENCE THE ONLY WAT 


I share with the reader the following letter* from Mr. Gregg, 
the author of several books on khadi and non-violence. He is 
an industrious and accurate student of world events. The reader 
may know that Mr. Gregg was in India long enough to study 
things in India. 

Harijan, 24-12-1938 


283. WANTED A GUIDE BOOK 

Shri Mridulabehn has sent me a letter which freely translat- 
ed means: 

A beginning has been made in forming girl volunteer 
brigades. Naturally they require lessons in drilling, saluta- 
tion to the flag, national songs, etc. If there was a book of 
instructions covering these important matters, we should have 
uniformity of practice throughout India. At present there is 
anarchy. Every gymnasium teaches what it likes, uses or 
coins its own technical words, and in many cases orders are 
given in English. Imagine village girls being given orders in 
English which they do not understand. This is essentially 
for the central office to handle, and that too with the quick- 
est despatch. If the book suggested by me is published 
immediately, it will be useful for the instruction of the corps 
that are being formed in view of the coming Congress session 
in Mahakoshal. 

I commend this letter to the central office. It ought not to 
be difficult to bring out the required book inside a week. 
The material is there in a scattered form. Dr. Hardikar has, I 


* Not reproduced here. Richard B. Gregg, after describing the horrors 
resulting from “modern methods and weapons of war”, had argued that it was 
“not bravery but utter folly” to pretend to fight that kind of thing. He had 
also forwarded a copy of Russell’s Which Way to Peace? to reinforce the argument 
that war could not end war and that complete pacifism was the only prac- 
tical possibility. 

238 



LETTER TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI 


239 


think, published some literature on the subject. Pandit Mala- 
viyaji’s organization must have also issued some instruction book. 
I know that Prof. Manikrao of Baroda has taken great pains 
to produce simple technical terms in Hindustani answering most 
of the requirements. It ought to be a simple matter to bring 
out an authoritative book out of this material. 

In this connection I would remind the Mahakoshal Recep- 
tion Committee of the suggestion I had made at Haripura that 
there should be a guide book for Congressmen and visitors in 
simple Hindustani, written in Devanagari and Urdu scripts, about 
sanitation, etc. Generally the visitors are left to their own re- 
sources. They do not even know where to find the places they want 
to go to or the things they need. A guide book with a map of 
the Congress Nagar for the help of those thousands of people who 
attend the Congress session from year to year is a necessity. 

Segaon, December 24, 1938 
Harijan, 31-12-1938 

284. LETTER TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI 

Segaon, Wardha, 
December 24, 1938 

MY DEAR C. R., 

Sir Radhakrishnan was here yesterday. He said that anti- 
Hindi agitation was on the increase. He had suggested to you 
that you should accept a conscience clause, exempting those chil- 
dren from learning Hindi whose parents stated in writing that 
they had a conscientious objection to their children learning Hindi. 
I suppose you remember that such a suggestion was made in Hari- 
jan in the initial stages of the agitation. I think that it is not too 
late to give effect to it. It should not matter to you even 
though the concession may be interpreted as concession to unreason- 
able agitation. You will do what appears to you to be best. 

What about separation of Andhra as a separate province? 
You had made some statement that you were moving in the 
matter. Are you? How are you keeping otherwise? 

Love. 


From a photostat: G.N. 2072 


Tours, 

Bapu 



285. INTERVIEW TO H. V. HODSON^ 


[Before December 25, 1938]'^ 

Mr. Hodson expressed the opinion that the solution of the Hindu- 
Muslim question was made difficult by the fact that, owing to its very nature, 
the Congress tended to take on the nature of a “totalitarian party” and 
acted as if it were the one and the only party in the country that mattered, 
instead of regarding itself simply as one of the principal parties. 

GANDHiji: It is a very wrong view to take of the Congress. 

The Congress does claim to be the one and the only party 
that can deliver the goods. It is a perfectly valid claim to make. 
One day or the other some party has to assert itself to that ex- 
tent. That does not make it a totalitarian party. It is the ambi- 
tion of the Congress to become all-representative of the entire 
nation, not merely of any particular section. And it is a worthy 
ambition in keeping with its best tradition. If you have studied 
Congress history, you will find that since its very inception the 
Congress has sought to serve and represent all sections in the 
country equally without any distinction or discrimination. Thus 
it used to have Rajas and Maharajas on the Reception Commit- 
tee, and has defended the cause of the States against the Para- 
mount Power as in the case of Kashmir and Mysore. It would 
love to be absorbed by the Muslim League if the Muslim League 
would care to absorb it, or to absorb the Muslim League in its 
turn, so far as the political programme is concerned. For reli- 
gious and social activity, of course, every community can have its 
separate organization. 

hodson: But if the Congress has the ambition of absorbing other 

political organizations, it cannot help being a totalitarian party. 

GANDHIJI ; You may try to damn it by calling it totalitarian. 
Absorption is inevitable when a country is engaged in a struggle 
to wrest power from foreign hands; it cannot afford to have 
separate, rival political organizations. The entire strength of 
the country must be used for ousting the third and usurping 
party. That is what is happening in India today. Where there 

' SD Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Weekly Letter” dated December 25. 
H. V. Hodson was the editor of Round Table. 

240 



MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT, TRAVANCORE STATE CONGRESS 241 


is no common danger to oppose, there must be separate parties 
representing different schools of thought. You should bear in 
mind that the Congress does not impose its will on others. Its 
sanctions are non-violent. 

hodson: Would not the march to full responsible government be more 

rapid if the Muslims were taken along? 

GANDHiji : Of course it would be. Personally I do not want 

anything which the Muslims oppose. But I have faith that the 
solution of the Hindu-Muslim tangle will come much sooner than 
most people expect. I claim to be able to look at the whole 
position with a detached mind. There is no substance in our 
quarrels. Points of difference are superficial, those of contact are 
deep and permanent. Political and economic subjection is com- 
mon to us. The same climate, the same rivers, the same fields 
supply both with air, water and food. Whatever, therefore, 
leaders, Mahatmas and Maulanas may say or do, the masses, 
when they are fully awakened, will assert themselves and combine 
for the sake of combating common evils. 

The effect of the Socialist and Communist propaganda too is 
to bring the masses of both the communities together by emphasiz- 
ing identity of interests. I have my differences with them, but I 
cannot withhold my admiration for their endeavour to demo- 
lish the superstition that keeps the different communities apart. 

Harijan, 31-12-1938 

286. MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT, TRAVANCORE STATE 

CONGRESS 

[On or before December 25, 193 8Y 

On receipt of a telegram from the President of the Travancore State 
Congress, Gandhiji said he was delighted that personal allegations against the 
Dewan were withdrawn. He added that civil disobedience should also be 
suspended in order to examine the whole position afresh. He hopes that in 
view the of withdrawal of the allegations prosecutions will be withdrawn by 
the State and prisoners will be set free. 

The Bombay Chronicle, 26-12-1938 


The report carrying the message is dated December 25, 1938. 


68-16 



287. MANIBEHN AND THE SPINNING-WHEEL 

Manibehn is a mani^. I know of only one Mani in India 
who has sacrificed her all in order to serve her father and who 
has readily accepted spinsterhood for his sake. She left for 
Rajkot at one single word from her father and the strength that 
she had derived from her incomparable devotion is amazing. She 
is now in prison.^ She keeps writing letters to me. Some of 
them deserve to be published. But, nowadays, I just cannot 
write for Harijanbandhu. I find no time for it. But I cannot 
help quoting the last sentence of her latest letter from jail. It 
is in praise of the spinning-wheel. It runs as follows: 

It is after a long time that I have found such leisure to work 

on the spinning-wheel. And when I can spin so peacefully, I do not 

need anything else. I find incomparable joy in this. I feel that I 

should spin enough to make up for the many days when I could not spin. 

We do not come across many persons who combine so well in 
themselves love of the spinning-wheel, sacrifice, devotion to one’s 
father and courage of the highest order. But, when I do come 
across one, my heart dances with joy. 

[From Gujarati] 

Harijanbandhu, 25-12-1938 

288. DRAET OE STATEMENT EOR HYDERABAD 
STATE CONGRESS^ 

[Before December 26, 1938Y 

The Working Committee of the Hyderabad State Congress 
after great deliberation has decided upon a temporary suspension 
of satyagraha, which was launched recently and which has already 
resulted in the imprisonment of more than 400 satyagrahis. 
Sentences range from one month to 3j years. 

’ Gem 

2 Manibehn Patel was arrested on December 5, 1938, for participating 
in the Rajkot satyagraha. 

^ Except for the first two paragraphs the draft is in Gandhiji’s hand. 

Vide “Letter to Akbar Hydari”, p. 248. 


242 



DRAFT OF STATEMENT FOR HYDERABAD STATE CONGRESS 243 


The public would like to know the reasons that have prompt- 
ed this decision. 

The State Congress has come in for a great deal of misrep- 
resentation. It has been called a communal body. Its activities 
have been mixed up with those of the Aryan Defence League 
and the Hindu Civil Liberties Union. Unfortunately the move- 
ments of the A. S.' and the Hindu M. S.^ synchronized with 
the civil disobedience of the State Congress. The decisive cause 
has been the advice given by Gandhiji, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru 
and other Congress leaders that in order to make our position 
absolutely clear it was essential that we should suspend C. D. 
They say suspension would give the Government of H. E. H. the 
Nizam an opportunity to review the situation. We could not 
disregard the advice of the leaders whose sympathy and support 
are always a valuable asset in the conduct of the struggle for 
Swaraj within the State. 

We suspend C. D. in the hope that it will not need to be 
revived. But whether it will have to be revived, and if so 
when, will depend wholly upon the attitude of the State autho- 
rities. It is not without a wrench that we are suspending the 
struggle when more than 400 of our comrades are undergoing 
imprisonment ranging from 4^ years to two months [^ir]. We have 
more than 2,000 persons on our list as volunteers for C. D. The 
list is daily increasing. Every fresh arrest brings an addition to 
the list. We have had embarrassing offers of volunteers from 
outside the State. We have been obliged to decline the offers 
as we realize that the movement in order to remain strictly non- 
violent must depend upon internal strength and support. 

But we have no desire to use our strength and undergo suffer- 
ing, if we can achieve our end through negotiation and entreaty. 
We hope therefore that the Government of H. E. H. will recognize 
the wholly peaceful and loyal motive underlying the suspension. 
We hope that they will release the G. D. prisoners and lift the 
ban on the S. C. and its activities and pave the way to the 
inauguration of a scheme of responsible government consistently 
with reasonable safeguards for the rights of minorities. 

Here we would draw the attention of the members of the 
State Congress that there are two arms to a non-violent swaraj 
movement, the remedial and constructive. C. D. is remedial 
and therefore in its nature temporary. The other is constructive 

’ Arya Samaj 

2 Hindu Maha Sabha 



244 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

and permanent. We hope that the people will never lose sight 
of the permanent arm. Indeed our fitness for C. D. increases in 
the same measure as the intensity of the constructive programme. 
The constructive activities include hand-spinning, hand-weaving 
and like productive pursuits, activities promoting heart unity bet- 
ween the different communities composing the subjects ofH. E. H. 
the Nizam, removal of untouchability, total abstinence from intoxi- 
cating drinks and drugs and kindred reforms. For a non-violent 
movement for gaining freedom must necessarily be a process 
of purification and social and economic reform. No one should 
run away with the idea that suspension of C. D. is suspension of 
movement for responsible government. Indeed its constructive 
nature should be doubly strengthened because suspension of C. D. 
frees the mind for constructive work. 

In conclusion we wish to thank all those friends who have 
helped us by their advice and even material assistance. 

From a copy: C.W. 101529 


289. STUDENTS' SHAME 

There is a most pathetic letter from a college girl in the 
Punjab lying on my file for nearly two months. Want of time 
was but an excuse for shirking the answer to the girl’s question. 
Somehow or other I was avoiding the task, though I knew the 
answer. Meanwhile I received another letter from a sister of 
great experience, and I felt that I could no longer evade the 
duty of dealing with the college girl’s very real difficulty. Her 
letter is written in chaste Hindustani. I must try to do as much 
justice as I can to the letter, which gives me a perfect picture of 
her deep feeling. Here is my rendering of a portion of the let- 
ter: 

To girls and grown-up women there come times, in 
spite of their wish to the contrary, when they have to 
venture out alone, whether they are going from one place to 
another in the same city or from one town to another. And 
when they are thus found alone, evil-minded people pester 
them. They use improper or even indecent language whilst 
they are passing by. And if fear does not check them, they 
do not hesitate to take further liberty. I should like to know 
what part non-violence can play on such occasions. The 
use of violence is of course there. If the girl or the 



students’ shame 


245 


woman has sufficient courage, she will use what resources she 
has and teach miscreants a lesson. They can at least kick 
up a row that would draw the attention of the people 
around, resulting in the miscreants being horse-whipped. 
But I know that the result of such treatment would be mere- 
ly to postpone the agony, not a permanent cure. Where 
you know the people who misbehave, I feel sure that they 
will listen to reason, to the gesture of love and humility. 
But what about a fellow cycling by, using foul language on 
seeing a girl or a woman unaccompanied by a male com- 
panion? You have no opportunity of reasoning with him. 
There is no likelihood of your meeting him again. You may 
not even recognize him. You do not know his address. 
What is a poor girl or a woman to do in such cases ? By way 
of example I want to give you my own experience of last 
night (26th October). I was going with a girl compan- 
ion of mine on a very special errand at about 7.30 p. m. 
It was impossible to secure a male companion at the time 
and the errand could not be put off. On the way a Sikh 
young man passed by on his cycle and continued to murmur 
something till we were within hearing distance. We knew 
that it was aimed at us. We felt hurt and uneasy. There 
was no crowd on the road. Before we had gone a few paces 
the cyclist returned. We recognized him at once whilst he 
was still at a respectful distance. He wheeled towards us, 
heaven knows whether he had intended to get down or 
merely pass by us. We felt that we were in danger. We had 
no faith in our physical prowess. I myself am weaker 
than the average girl. But in my hands I had a big 
book. Somehow or other courage came to me all of a 
sudden. I hurled the heavy book at the cycle and roared 
out, “Dare you repeat your pranks?” He could with diffi- 
culty keep his balance, put on speed and fled from us. Now, 
if I had not flung the book at his cycle, he might have 
harassed us by his filthy language to the end of our jour- 
ney. This was an ordinary, perhaps insignificant, occur- 
rence; but I wish you could come to Lahore and listen to the 
difficulties of us unfortunate girls. You would surely disco- 
ver a proper solution. First of all, tell me how, in the circum- 
stances mentioned above, can girls apply the principle of 
ahimsa and save themselves. Secondly, what is the remedy 
for curing youth of the abominable habit of insulting women- 
folk? You would not suggest that we should wait and 



246 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


suffer till a new generation, taught from childhood to be 
polite to their womenfolk, comes into being. The Govern- 
ment is either unwilling or unable to deal with this social evil. 
The big leaders have no time for such questions. Some, 
when they hear of a girl bravely castigating ill-behaved 
youth, say, ‘Well done. That is the way all girls should 
behave.’ Sometimes a leader is found eloquently lecturing 
against such misbehaviour of students. But no one applies 
himself continuously to the solution of this serious problem. 
You will be painfully surprised to know that during Diwali 
and such other holidays newspapers come out with notices 
warning women from venturing outdoors even to see the 
illuminations. This one fact should enable you to know to 
what straits we are reduced in this part of the world! Nei- 
ther the writers nor the readers of such warnings have any 
sense of shame that they should have to be issued. 

Another Punjabi girl to whom I gave the letter to read sup- 
ports the narrative from her own experiences of her college days 
and tells me that what my correspondent has related is the 
common experience of most girls. 

The other letter from an experienced woman relates the exper- 
iences of her girl friends in Lucknow. They are molested in 
cinema theatres by boys sitting in the row behind them using all 
kinds of language which I can only call indecent. They are stat- 
ed to resort even to practical jokes which have been described 
by my correspondent but which I must not reproduce here. 

If the immediate personal relief was all that was needed, no 
doubt the remedy that the girl who describes herself to be physi- 
cally weak adopted, i. e., of flinging her book at the cyclist, was 
quite correct. It is an age-long remedy. And I have said in 
these columns that when a person wants to become violent, 
physical weakness does not come in the way of its effective use, 
even against a physically powerful opponent. And we know 
that in the present age there have been invented so many meth- 
ods of using physical force that even a little girl with sufficient 
intelligence can deal death and destruction. The fashion nowa- 
days is growing of training girls to defend themselves in situations 
such as the one described by my correspondent. But she is wise 
enough to know that even though she was able to make effective 
use for the moment of the book she had in her hand as a wea- 
pon of defence, it was no remedy for the growing evil. In the 
cases of rude remarks, there need be no perturbation but there 
should be no indifference. All such cases should be published in 



students’ shame 


247 


the papers. Names of the offenders should be published when 
they are traced. There should be no false modesty about expos- 
ing the evil. There is nothing like public opinion for castigat- 
ing public misconduct. There is no doubt that, as the corres- 
pondent says, there is great public apathy about such matters. 
But it is not the public alone that are to blame. They 
must have before them examples of rudeness. Even as stealing 
cannot be dealt with unless cases of thieving are published and 
followed up, so also is it impossible to deal with cases of rude 
behaviour if they are suppressed. Crime and vice generally require 
darkness for prowling. They disappear when light plays upon 
them. 

But I have a fear that the modern girl loves to be Juliet to 
half a dozen Romeos. She loves adventure. My correspondent 
seems to represent the unusual type. The modern girl dresses not 
to protect herself from wind, rain and sun but to attract atten- 
tion. She improves upon nature by painting herself and looking 
extraordinary. The non-violent way is not for such girls. I 
have often remarked in these columns that definite rules govern 
the development of the non-violent spirit in us. It is a stren- 
uous effort. It marks a revolution in the way of thinking and 
living. If my correspondent and the girls of her way of thinking 
will revolutionize their life in the prescribed manner, they will 
soon find that young men, who at all come in contact with 
them, will learn to respect them and to put on their best beha- 
viour in their presence. But if perchance they find, as they may, 
that their very chastity is in danger of being violated, they must 
develop courage enough to die rather than yield to the brute in 
man. It has been suggested that a girl who is gagged or bound 
so as to make her powerless even for struggling cannot die as 
easily as I seem to think. I venture to assert that a girl who 
has the will to resist can burst all the bonds that may have been 
used to render her powerless. The resolute will gives her the 
strength to die. 

But this heroism is possible only for those who have trained 
themselves for it. Those who have not a living faith in non- 
violence will learn the art of ordinary self-defence and protect 
themselves from indecent behaviour of unchivalrous youth. 

The great question, however, is why should young men be 
devoid of elementary good manners so as to make decent girls be 
in perpetual fear of molestation from them ? I should be sorry to 
discover that the majority of young men have lost all sense of chival- 
ry. But they should, as a class, be jealous of their reputation 



248 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


and deal with every case of impropriety occurring among 
their mates. They must learn to hold the honour of every 
woman as dear as that of their own sisters and mothers. All the 
education they receive will be in vain if they do not learn good 
manners. 

And is it not as much the concern of professors and school- 
masters to ensure gentlemanliness among their pupils as to pre- 
pare them for the subjects? 

Segaon, December 26, 1938 
Harijan, 31-12-1938 

290. LETTER TO AKBAR HTDARP 


Segaon, 

December 26, 1938 

dear sir AKBAR, 

I have purposely refrained from troubling you over the Hy- 
derabad affairs. But as I have played an important part in shap- 
ing the decision of the H. S. Congress, I feel I should write to 
you. I do hope that you will appreciate the wisdom of the 
suspension^ and return a generous response to their action. 

I hope you are fully restored. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat: G.N. 6841 


291. NOTE TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ 

December 26, 1938 

We shall talk for some time tomorrow, or, if you can stay on 
for a day or two, do so. I think the remedy for your disease is 
quite simple. There is no need to get alarmed. You are cert- 
ainly not fated to be destroyed. But I do admit your blemishes, 
for I have gone through all such experiences. At the moment I 


* Dewan of Hyderabad 

^ Of civil disobedience. Vide “Draft of Statement for Hyderabad State 
Congress”, pp. 242-4. 



249 


LETTER TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ 

will say only this, that you should go only after solving the prob- 
lem. 

I will write this very evening.’ 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 2997 

292. LETTER TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ 


Unrevised Segaon, 

December 26, 1938 

CHI. JAMNALAL, 

Recently there was a thought for the day in English. It 
means: Man should not think about his shortcomings but 

should think about his virtues, for man becomes as he thinks. 
This does not mean that one should not see one’s faults. One 
must see them, but one should not brood over them and lose 
one’s balance of mind. We find the same advice in our Shas- 
tras. You should, therefore, have confidence in yourself and be 
sure in your mind that you will be an instrument of good. You 
have already been so. 

You should overcome excessive greed. You should give up 
private business even if it is intended to help you in public ser- 
vice. If you cannot do that, you must lay down strict limits. 
You should try to retire from politics. If you think that 
you must remain in it, and if you can do so on your own 
terms, you should devote yourself exclusively to the advancement 
of the C. P. But your real field is altruistic business. Hence you 
should again use all your ability for the Charkha Sangh. That 
activity can make full use of your intellect, your moral qualities 
and your business acumen. In politics lots of dirty things go on. 
You are not likely to get much satisfaction from it. If the Char- 
kha Sangh succeeds fully in its object, we shall easily get puma 
Swaraj. If you take up that work, you can also do some work 
for village industry, eradication of untouchability, etc. But that 
depends on your inclination. I have said this only to dissuade 
you from excessive greed and to suggest to you work which would 
give you heart-felt satisfaction. 

The other thing is impure thoughts. This is a rather diffi- 
cult problem. If I understand you rightly, I feel that you 
should stop the practice of being nursed by women. All cannot 


Vide the following item. 



250 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


digest it. In our circle, it can be said that I am practically 

the only one who follows such a practice. The measure of my 

success or failure will be judged after my death. For me the 

thing is still an experiment. I cannot confidently claim that 

I have succeeded. I yearn to reach the condition of Shukadevjih 
I am miles away from such a condition. If you have confidence 
in yourself I have nothing to say. But if you don’t have it, 
and if I understand you rightly, you should examine yourself 
deeply and make the necessary change. I am not suggesting 
here stopping of women’s service. 

If none of these things find an echo in your heart, you need 
not do them. Continue to consult me on the matter. There 
is no cause at all for despair. You are not a fallen person, you 
are a votary of truth. There is no possibility of a fall for such 
a person. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 2998 


293. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 

Segaon, Wardha, 
{December 27, 195(9]^ 

CHI. MIRA, 

Your daily post is an eagerly awaited event for me. My 
heart and spirit are with you. The spirit is hovering round you. 
You must not accept defeat. You should learn the art of saying 
everything to K. S.^ in the gentlest manner possible. You must 
keep your health and keep it there. There means the Frontier 
Province. I am prepared to risk your death there rather than 
that you should return to Segaon to live. You will be all right 
in Peshawar. You may pass the week-end in Peshawar, if you 
cannot keep well in Utmanzai. You should have the three things. 
You must be able to go out, you must have a boy or a girl 
exclusively to yourself. Tell K. S. you do not expect him to 
spend money after you. I hope to send you some tomorrow. 

* Son of Vyasa, regarded as the supreme example of one who has risen 
above body-consciousness. 

^As given in Bapu’s Letters to Mira. The source, however, has no date. 

^ Khan Saheb 



INTERVIEW TO AMERICAN TEACHERS 


251 


I told Agatha to ask Jardine to invite you. Of course you 
could go to Hindu homes. But I do not want you to do that 
just yet, unless K. S. himself suggests. 

Anyway see if my suggestion commends itself to you that you 
are going to do or die there. Of course I shall be there in 
March. It may not be before the middle because the Congress 
does not meet before 10th March. 

Mahadev returned yesterday. He broke down the last day 
of his stay in Calcutta. He is looking quite well but has some- 
thing wrong in his head. He needs rest and proper dieting. He 
overdid it in Gosaba. 

I have a crowd of visitors. But I am keeping my times 
fairly well. I do not need the silence as completely as I used to 
have. You should not worry about me. I am really keeping 
quite well, even becoming steadily better. 

Here is Holmes’s* letter. There is a letter from Lothian 
which I shall deal with in HarijanP- 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6421. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10016 

294. INTERVIEW TO AMERICAN TEACHERS^ 

[Before December 29, 193 8^ 

teacher: How would you, an old and experienced leader, advise 

young men to throw away their lives in the service of humanity ? 

GANDHiji: The question is not rightly put. You don’t throw 

away your lives when you take up the weapon of satyagraha. 
But you prepare yourself to face without retaliation the gravest 
danger and provocation. It gives you a chance to surrender 
your life for the cause when the time comes. To be able to do 
so non-violently requires previous training. If you are a believer 
in the orthodox method, you go and train yourselves as soldiers. 
It is the same with non-violence. You have to alter your whole 
mode of life and work for it in peace time just as much as in the 
time of war. It is no doubt a difficult job. You have to put 
your whole soul into it; and if you are sincere, your example will 
affect the lives of other people around you. America is today 

* John Haynes Holmes 

^ Vide “Working of Non-violence”, 6-2-1939. 

^ &'* Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Weekly Letter” dated December 29 



252 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


exploiting the so-called weaker nations of the world along with 
other powers. It has become the richest country in the world, 
not a thing to be proud of when we come to think of the means 
by which she has become rich. Again, to protect these riches 
you need the assistance of violence. You must be prepared to 
give up these riches. Therefore, if you really mean to give up 
violence, you will say, “We shall have nothing to do with the 
spoils of violence, and if as a result America ceases to be rich, 
we do not mind.” You will then be qualified to offer a spotless 
sacrifice. That is the meaning of preparation. The occasion for 
making the extreme sacrifice may not come if you as a nation 
have fully learnt to live for peace. It is much more difficult to 
live for non-violence than to die for it. 

The friends wanted to know if non-violence as enunciated by Gandhiji 
had a positive quality. 

If I had used the word ‘love’, which non-violence is in es- 
sence, you would not have asked this question. But perhaps ‘love’ 
does not express my meaning fully. The nearest word is ‘charity’. 
We love our friends and our equals. But the reaction that a 
ruthless dictator sets up in us is either that of awe or pity accord- 
ing respectively as we react to him violently or non- violently. 
Non-violence knows no fear. If I am truly non-violent, I would 
pity the dictator and say to myself, ‘He does not know what a 
human being should be. One day he will know better when 
he is confronted by a people who do not stand in awe of him, 
who will neither submit nor cringe to him, nor bear any 
grudge against him for whatever he may do.’ Germans are today 
doing what they are doing because all the other nations stand 
in awe of them. None of them can go to Hitler with clean 
hands. 

T. What is the place of Christian missions in the new India that 
is being built up today? What can they do to help in this great task? 

G. To show appreciation of what India is and is doing. 
Up till now they have come as teachers and preachers with 
queer notions about India and India’s great religions. We 
have been described as a nation of superstitious heathens, know- 
ing nothing, denying God. We are a brood of Satan as Mur- 
doch would say. Did not Bishop Heber in his well-known hymn 
“From Greenland’s Icy Mountains” describe India as a country 
where “every prospect pleases, and only man is vile”? To me 
this is a negation of the spirit of Christ. My personal view, 
therefore, is that if you feel that India has a message to give to 



INTERVIEW TO AMERICAN TEACHERS 


253 


the world, that India’s religions too are true, though like all reli- 
gions imperfect for having percolated through imperfect human 
agency, and you come as fellow -helpers and fellow-seekers, there 
is a place for you here. But if you come as preachers of the 
‘true Gospel’ to a people who are wandering in darkness, so far 
as I am concerned you can have no place. You may impose 
yourselves upon us. 

T. What is India’s real message to the world ? 

G. Non-violence. India is saturated with that spirit. It has 
not demonstrated it to the extent that you can go to Ame- 
rica as living witnesses of that spirit. But you can truthfully 
say that India is making a desperate effort to live up to that 
great ideal. If there is not this message, there is no other mes- 
sage that India can give. Say what you may, the fact stands out 
that here you have a whole subcontinent that has decided for 
itself that there is no freedom for it except through non-violence. 
No other country has made that attempt even. I have not 
been able to influence other people even to the extent of be- 
lieving that non-violence is worth trying. There is of course a 
growing body of European opinion that has begun to appreciate 
the possibilities of the weapon of non-violence. But I want the 
sympathy of the whole world for India if she can get it while 
she is making this unique experiment. You can, however, be 
witnesses to that attempt only if you really feel that we are mak- 
ing an honest effort to come up to the ideal of non-violence 
and that all we are doing is not fraud. If your conviction is 
enlightened and deep enough, it will set up a ferment working 
in the minds of your people. 

T. This is an admirable charge. 

G. Take that charge with you then. 

Harijan, 7-1-1939 



295. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Segaon, 

[^December 29, 193 8Y 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

I have your love notes. I am going through terrible rush. 
But I am keeping quite fit. I do not read Sharda’s letters. What 
was there disturbing? 

Do you say I sent you no message for Nagpur? It was 
wrung from me. And only you could have performed the trick. 
But having landed me in it, there was no getting out when the 
summons came from Tai. I can only call that your making.^ 
Your health causes me anxiety. The sooner you come to 
me the better. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3901. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7057 


296. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 

Segaon, Wardha, 

December 29, 1938 

CHI. MIRA, 

It is strange you have not yet heard from Jardine. Did I 
ask you to tell K. S. that if he was invited to see the Governor 
he should not say ‘no’ ? You are also likely to be invited. I am 
glad you are having the pupils fairly regularly now.^ It is a 
great thing that is being done. 

Mildred has come in today, two days in advance of the 
Muriel party. 

No winter here now. There has been hardly any cold this 
winter. Rs. 25 herewith. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6422. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10017 

* The date is in the addressee’s handwriting. 

^ Vide aho “Letter to Amrit Kaur”, p. 231. 

^ She was teaching carding and spinning to the Khudai Khidmatgars. 


254 



297. LETTER TO CHANDAN PAREKH 


Segaon, Wardha, 

December 29, 1938 

CHI. CHANDAN, 

I have sent the money to Shankar. If you have not written 
to Anantbhai, write a nice letter of thanks. Send a copy of it to 
me. 

Herewith is a letter from H.* Think over it. If there is 
any possibility of your both being innocent, give the benefit of 
it to H. If there is none, you may give whatever reply you 
wish to. Send the letter to me. Keep a copy of it. 

You promised to write to me but have not kept the promise. 
If you had kept it, you would have written to me as soon as 
you arrived there.^ I naturally desire to know how things are 
going there. And you alone can give me news about Ba. She 
herself is a cripple, so to say. So long as she is there, you can 
write on her behalf. 

It is never too late to mend. Fulfil your promise even now. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 945. Courtesy: Satish D. Kalelkar 

298. SPEECH AT OPENING OE MAGAN SANGRAHALATA 
AND UDTOG BHAVAN^ 

Wardha, 

December 30, 1938 

Maganlal Gandhi was one of those few spirits who chose to 
face a precarious future by casting their lot with me in South 
Africa when I decided to give up my legal practice in order to 

* The name has been omitted. 

^ The addressee on her return from America had gone to Dehra Dun 
Kanya Gurukul to teach English to the girls and study Hindi herself. D. B. 
Kalelkar and Kasturba had accompanied her. 

^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s “A Dream Fulfilled”. The function was 
attended by a large gathering which included over thirty economists who 
had come to take part in the Economic Conference being held at Nagpur. 
Gandhiji spoke in Hindustani. 


255 



256 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


embrace the ideal of voluntary poverty and service. He became 
a foundation member of the Phoenix Settlement, and took charge 
of the printing press when Indian Opinion was shifted there from 
Durban. Although he had gone there primarily with the intention 
of earning money, he sacrificed his ambition and decided to 
sink or swim with me and he never turned back. 

He was, in my opinion, a genius. He had a versatile mind. 
His life was well ordered and disciplined. This enabled him to 
pick up anything new with ease and facility. Although not a 
mechanician by training, he soon made himself master of the 
printing machinery that was set up at Phoenix. On returning 
to India he made the service of the masses the passion of his life. 
He laid the foundation of the science of khadi by writing his 
Vanat Shastra. This book still holds its place as a classic although 
the science of khadi has made great progress since Maganlal’s 
death. Although he had not specialized in all the various crafts 
that are at present being tackled by the A. I. V. I. A., his khadi 
activity, by providing the nucleus round which the village indus- 
tries movement has since grown up, became its precursor. 

A word about the buildings. Although, as Shri Kumarappa 
has observed, they follow the rural style, they are still far above 
the rural standards of living as they obtain in our country today. 
They stand there as a futurist symbol of what artisans’ dwellings 
should be and would be in the rural India of the A. I. V. I. A.’s 
dreams. This much assurance, however, I can give you in this 
connection, that no pains have been spared to enforce the stin- 
giest economy and simplicity commensurate with the purpose that 
they are intended to serve. The worst that can be said about 
the organizers of the Association is that they did not know their 
job as well as they might have. The Association is always ready 
to admit mistakes and to regard them as stepping-stones to 
knowledge. The one thing that it dreads is ignorance that mas- 
querades as perfection. 

So much for the externals. Proceeding to the exhibits inside 
the Museum, a critic may object, ‘How can reversion to these 
primitive appliances and methods of production lead to swaraj ? 
These village crafts have been with us always. Can they win 
the race against the industrial competition of the West and 
achieve anything like what the Western countries with their 
latest inventions of science and engineering skill have been able to 
achieve ? ’ My reply is that although village crafts have been with 
us always, our forefathers were not aware of the tremendous 
possibilities that lie hidden in them and, they were never plied by 



SPEECH AT OPENING OF MAGAN SANGRAHALAYA 257 

awakened masses as a means for attaining freedom. I admit that in 
terms of orthodox and stereotyped standards of economics, as 
that science is understood and taught in our colleges today, 
and in a society governed by these standards, village industries 
including spinning have perhaps no chance, and to revive them 
might appear like reversion to Middle Ages. But I would like 
you to enter the Udyog Bhavan with a fresh and unsophisticated 
mind that has shed its prejudices. Envisage this spinning-wheel 
as a spinning mill in miniature, that enables a person to earn two 
annas daily in his home in this land of chronic and nationwide 
unemployment and starvation when otherwise he would not be 
earning two pice even. Picture this mill planted in lakhs of 
homes, as it is capable of being planted, and I see nothing in 
the world which can compete with it. 

And yet two annas a day by no means exhausts its income- 
yielding capacity. If only I get the co-operation of our intel- 
ligentsia, I hope, before I close my eyes, to see it bring a wage 
of eight annas a day to the spinner. Show me another industry 
or industrial corporation in the world that has in the course of 
eighteen years of its activities put four crores of rupees into the 
pockets of lakhs of the neediest and most deserving of men 
and women, with the same capital expenditure that the A. I. S. A. 
has done. And this money has been evenly distributed among 
Hindus and Mussalmans, caste and the outcaste, without any 
distinction, uniting them in a common economic bond. Ima- 
gine what this would mean in terms of swaraj if many helped 
to cover the entire seven lakhs of our villages with this life- 
giving and unifying activity. You need not be highly specialized 
engineers or technicians to take part in this work of industrial 
revolution. Even a layman, a woman or a child can join in it. 

I would like you to regard the Magan Museum and the 
Udyog Bhavan not as the ‘old curiosity shop’ but as a living 
book for self-education and study. 

Harijan, 14-1-1939 


68-17 



299. DISCUSSION WITH ECONOMISTS^ 


Wardha, 
December 30, 1938 

I want you to criticize what you have seen, and tell me the 
defects you may have discovered. Praise won’t help me. I know 
where I deserve praise. Do not tell me ex cathedra that the whole 
thing is doomed to failure, as some economists have done before. 
Such condemnation would not impress me. But if after a close 
and sympathetic study you discover flaws and point them out to 
me, I shall feel thankful. 

C>. Are you against large-scale production? 

A. I never said that. This belief is one of the many super- 
stitions about me. Half of my time goes in answering such 
things. But from scientists I expect better knowledge. Your 
question is based on loose newspaper reports and the like. What 
I am against is large-scale production of things villagers can pro- 
duce without difficulty. 

q. What do you think of the Planning Commission ? 

A. I cannot say anything. I have not studied it. It was 
not discussed in my presence in the Working Committee. Because 
I still continue to tender advice to the Working Committee 
whenever my advice is sought, it does not mean that everything 
that emerges from the Working Committee bears my imprimatur 
or is even discussed with me. I have purposely divested myself 
of responsibility, so far as the general body of decisions are con- 
cerned. 

q. It has your blessings ? 

A. What can be the use of my blessings in a thing I do 
not know, or in which I am not interested. 

q. Do you think that cottage industries and big industries can be 
harmonized ? 


’ Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Weekly Letter”. The economists, some 
thirty in number, had been attending the Economic Conference at Nagpur 
and had gone to Wardha to meet Gandhiji and to attend the opening of 
Magan Sangrahalaya. 


258 



DISCUSSION WITH ECONOMISTS 


259 


A. Yes, if they are planned so as to help the villages. Key 
industries, industries which the nation needs, may be centralized. 
But then I would not choose anything as a ‘key industry’ that 
can be taken up by the villages with a little organizing. For 
instance, I did not know the possibilities of hand-made paper. 
Now I am so hopeful that I believe that every village can pro- 
duce its own paper, though not for newspapers, etc. Supposing 
the State controlled paper-making and centralized it, I would 
expect it to protect all the paper that villages can make. 

q. What is meant by protecting the villages? 

A. Protecting them against the inroads of the cities. At 
one time cities were dependent on the villages. Now it is the 
reverse. There is no interdependence. Villages are being exploit- 
ed and drained by the cities. 

Q_. Don’t the villages need a lot of things that the cities produce ? 

A. I wonder. In any case, under my scheme, nothing will 
be allowed to be produced by cities which can be equally well 
produced by the villages. The proper function of cities is to 
serve as clearing houses for village products. 

Can we harmonize cloth-mill activity with handloom production ? 

A. So far as I know, my answer is an emphatic ‘no’. All 
the cloth we need can easily be produced in the villages. 

Q. But the number of mills is increasing. 

A. That is a misfortune. 

Q. But that is one of the things that the Planning Commission has 
set itself to do. 

A. It is news to me. In that case the Congress will have 
to scrap its resolution on khadi. 

Harijan, 28-1-1939 



300. LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 


Segaon, Wardha, 

December 31, 1938 

BHAI VALLABHBHAI, 

You know Shambhushankar. He is hoping to win self-rule 
for Palitana. I have of course written to the Durbar. Shambhu- 
shankar is a man of fairly independent nature. He hopes to 
be able to achieve his aim with God’s help only, but he 
certainly expects the blessings of respected leaders. I have told 
him that if he can and does fight with such faith he is bound to 
have their blessings. A votary of truth and ahimsa cannot but 
command the blessings of all. But he won’t be satisfied with 
such an assurance. He insists on having your blessings. Hear 
him and give him your blessings. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

SaRDAR VALLABHBHAI PaTEL 
PURUSHOTTAM BuiLDING 

Opposite Opera House 
Bombay 4 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro—2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, p. 231 


301. LETTER TO RADHAKRLSHNA BAJAJ 

December 31, 1938 

“Jamnalalji 
Fill in the Address^ 

Delhi 

Wire. No worry about order. If possible come Bardoli. 
Bapu.”2 


* Instructions in Gujarati to Radhakrishna Bajaj 
^ This is in English. What follows is in Hindi. 


260 



LETTER TO H. L. SHARMA 


261 


CHI. RADHAKRISHNA, 

Please send off this wire tomorrow.* The letter is also 
enclosed. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

You must have got the message regarding the arrangements to 
be made for Muriel Lester. Send her here tomorrow at 3 o’clock. 

From a photostat: G.N. 3039 


302. LETTER TO H. L. SHARMA 


Segaon, 
December 31, 1938 

CHI. SHARMA, 

You are right in saying that time is against us. It is a matter 
of great satisfaction to me that you do not think that our ways 
of thinking differ. What pleases me, more than anything else, 
however, is your decision. It is not your dharma to sell ghee. 
Your dharma consists in curing patients by nature cure or other 
acceptable treatment. It is good that you will now earn a living 
in the city practising nature cure. iiq: says the Bhagavad 

Gita. It is part of a verse^ and means that even death in the 
pursuance of one’s own dharma is good. There is only fear in 
another’s dharma, never profit. 

If you like you may also bring out a small magazine making 
a mention of the statement you made while withdrawing your 
books,^ and outlining your future course. Keep me informed. 

You have to pass one test. You have to master the art of 
getting on well with everybody, especially those with me. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Hindi] 

Bapuki Chhayamen Mere Jivanke Solah Varsh, pp. 274-5 

* In the mean while a telegram from Jamnalal Bajaj had been received 
and Gandhiji asked Pyarelal to write to Radhakrishna Bajaj to send the fol- 
lowing wire instead: “Your wire. Will gladly meet you Jaipur friends Bardoli 
fourth. Bapu” {Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 208). 

2 Bhagavad Gita, ni. 35 

^ This had appeared in Harijan, 14-12-1934, with a comment by Gan- 
dhiji. Vide Vol. LIX, pp. 447-8. 



303. INTERVIEW TO TIMOTHY TINGEANG LEW^ 


December 31, 1938 

Rev. Lew, ... in conveying thanks for the Indian medical mission to 
help the Chinese, remarked: 

“We appreciate it as an expression of India’s sympathy and goodwill 
towards China. China’s struggle is not merely for China but for the whole 
of Asia. . . . 

“We are not afraid of material destruction, . . . but of cultural destruc- 
tion. The first bomb in Shanghai hit a library. Colleges have been wiped 
out. Professors have been killed. . . . 

“Even worse is the moral injury. . . . 

“We want your message. . . . We look to you for spiritual guidance.” 

GANDHiji: I was once asked by a Chinese friend from San- 

tiniketan to give a message to the Chinese people. I had to ask 
him to excuse me. I gave him my reasons. If I merely said I 
sympathized with the Chinese in their struggle, it would be not 
of much value as coming from me. I should love to be able to 
say to the Chinese definitely that their salvation lay only through 
non-violent technique. But then it is not for a person like me, 
who is outside the fight, to say to a people who are engaged 
in a life-and-death struggle, “Not this way, but that”. They 
would not be ready to take up the new method, and they would 
be unsettled in the old. My interference would only shake them 
and confuse their minds. 

But whilst I have no ‘message’ to send to the Chinese peo- 
ple who are engaged in fighting, I have no hesitation in present- 
ing my viewpoint to you. I was almost going to ask you as 
to what you meant by being culturally ruined. I should be 
sorry to learn that Chinese culture resided in brick and mortar 


* Extracted from Pyarelal’s “A World in Agony”. Rev. Timothy Ting- 
fang Lew was a member of the Chinese delegation to the Missionary Con- 
ference at Tambaram. Lew was a member of the Legislative Yuan of China. 
He had gone to Segaon to see Gandhiji along with two other Chinese dele- 
gates, Y. T. Wu, editor of Association Press of Y. M.C. A., Shanghai, and P. 
C. Hsu, author of several works on Confucius. There were also delegates 
from Rhodesia and one from Japan — a “world in miniature”, as Gandhiji 
described them; vide “Letter to F. Mary Barr”, pp. 284-5. 

262 



INTERVIEW TO TIMOTHY TINGFANG LEW 


263 


or in huge tomes which the moths can eat. A nation’s culture 
resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people. Chinese cul- 
ture is Chinese only to the extent that it has become part and 
parcel of Chinese life. Your saying, therefore, that your culture 
and your morals are in danger of being destroyed, leads one to 
think that the reform movement in your country was only skin- 
deep. Gambling had not disappeared from the people’s hearts. 
It was kept down not by the tone set by society, but by the 
penalty of the law. The heart continued to gamble. Japan is of 
course to blame and must be blamed for what it has done or is 
doing. But then Japan is just now like the wolf whose business 
it is to make short work of the sheep. Blaming the wolf would 
not help the sheep much. The sheep must learn not to fall into 
the clutches of the wolf. 

If even a few of you took to non-violence, they would stand 
forth as living monuments of Chinese culture and morals. And 
then, even if China were overwhelmed on the battlefield, it 
would be well with China in the end, because it would at the 
same time be receiving a message which contains a promise 
of hope and deliverance. Japan cannot force drugs down un- 
willing throats at the point of the bayonet. It can only set up 
temptations. You cannot teach people to resist these tempta- 
tions by replying to Japanese force by force. Whatever else force 
may or may not be able to achieve, it cannot safeguard Chinese 
morals or save Chinese culture. 

If you feel the truth of my remarks, you will become a 
living message to China. You will then tell the Chinese people: 
“No matter what material destruction Japan inflicts, it cannot 
bring about China’s cultural destruction. Our people must be 
sufficiently educated and warned to resist all the temptations that 
Japan may devise. Monuments and cities may be razed to the 
ground. They are but a passing show that is going one day to 
be claimed by time as its own. If they are destroyed by the 
Japanese, it will only be a morsel taken out of time’s mouth. 
The Japanese cannot corrupt our soul. If the soul of China is 
injured, it will not be by Japan.” 

The Chinese friend was of opinion that only the economic collapse of 
Japan could save China. He wanted to know what the prospects of a 
boycott of Japanese goods by India were. 

GANDHiji : I wish I could say that there was any great hope. 

Our sympathies are with you but they have not stirred us to 
our very depths, or else we should have boycotted all Japanese 
goods, especially Japanese cloth. Japan is not only conquering 



264 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

you but it is trying to conquer us too by its cheap, flimsy 
machine-made goods. The sending of the Medical Mission was 
good as a gesture of friendship and goodwill which there are in 
abundance. But that does not give me much satisfaction when 
I know we could do much more. We too are a big nation like 
you. If we told the Japanese: ‘We are not going to import a 

single yard of your calico nor export any of our cotton to you,’ 
Japan would think twice before proceeding with its aggression. 

Harijan, 28-1-1939 


304. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM 


[1938Y 

CHI. A. S., 

What can I say! There is ‘T in whatever you do. I do 
not complain of that. Your inability to eat yesterday proves that 
I have no influence over you. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 612 


305. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM 


{1938Y 

DAUGHTER, 

You can do anything to improve your health but nothing 
if you find excuses to put it off. I shall be very happy if you 
get well. 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 613 


* & ^ From the placing of the letter in Bapuke Patra-8: Bibi Amiussalaamke 


Nam 



306. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM 


{1938Y 

I cannot write anything today. Do what Sushila says in 
her letter. Do not let your health deteriorate. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 


From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 614 


307. ENLIGHTENED ANARCHT—A POLITICAL IDEAL 

Political power, in my opinion, cannot be our ultimate aim. It 
is one of the means used by men for their all-round advancement. 
The power to control national life through national representatives 
is called political power. Representatives will become unnecessary if 
the national life becomes so perfect as to be self-controlled. It will 
then be a state of enlightened anarchy in which each person will 
become his own ruler. He will conduct himself in such a way 
that his behaviour will not hamper the well-being of his neighbours. 
In an ideal State there will be no political institution and therefore 
no political power. That is why Thoreau has said in his classic 
statement that that government is the best which governs the least. 

[From Hindi] 

Sarvodaya, January, 1939 

308. DISCUSSION WITH MAURICE ERTDMAN^ 

[On or before January 1, 1939]^ 

FRYDMAN : What attitude should I, as a realist, adopt with regard to 

the tide of industrialization that is sweeping over the world?. .. Is it not waste 
of energy merely to oppose it? Would it not be better to try to change its 
direction ? 

* From the placing of the letter in Bapuke Patra-8: Bibi Amtussalaamke Nam 

^Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Weekly Letter”. Frydman, commonly 
known as Bharatanand, was a Pole. He was the head of the Government 
Electrical Workshop at Bangalore. He took a keen interest in Indian politics 
and philosophy. 

^ Gandhiji was in Segaon, where Frydman visited him, till January 1. 

265 



266 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


GANDHiji: You are an engineer. You will therefore appreciate 

an illustration from mechanics. You know the parallelogram of 
forces. There the forces do not neutralize each other. Each force 
acts freely along its own line and we get the resultant which 
indicates the final direction of motion. It is the same with the 
problem you have mentioned. As I look at Russia where 
the apotheosis of industrialization has been reached, the life 
there does not appeal to me. To use the language of the 
Bible, “What shall it avail a man if he gain the whole world and 
lose his soul?” In modern terms, it is beneath human dignity to 
lose one’s individuality and become a mere cog in the machine. I 
want every individual to become a full-blooded, fully developed 
member of society. The villages must become self-sufficient. I see 
no other solution if one has to work in terms of ahimsa. Now I 
have that conviction. I know there are others who believe in industri- 
alization. I work with all my being for my conviction. The 
process of adjustment goes on all the time. I do not know what the 
outcome of it will be. But whatever it is, it will be to the good. 

F. But, is no compromise with industrialization possible without impe- 
rilling the ideal of self-sufficient villages? 

G. Oh yes. Railways are there, I do not avoid them. I 
hate motor-cars, but I make use of them willy-nilly all the same. 
Again, I dislike fountain-pens, but just now I am making use of 
one though I carry a reed pen about in my box. Every time I 
use the fountain-pen it hurts me and I think of the neglected 
reed pen in my box. Compromise comes in at every step, but 
one must realize that it is a compromise and keep the final goal 
constantly in front of the mind’s eye. 

F. When I turn from the busy West to masses in the Indian villages, 

I seem to be moving in a different world altogether in which stagnation reigns. 

G. Yes, so long as you look on the surface. But the mom- 
ent you talk to them and they begin to speak, you will find that 
wisdom drops from their lips. Behind the crude exterior you will 
find a deep reservoir of spirituality. I call this culture. You will 
not find such a thing in the West. You try to engage a Euro- 
pean peasant in conversation, and you will find that he is unin- 
terested in things spiritual. In the case of the Indian villager an 
age-old culture is hidden under an encrustment of crudeness. 
Take away the encrustation, remove his chronic poverty and his 
illiteracy and you have the finest specimen of what a cultured, 
cultivated, free citizen should be. 

Harijan, 28-1-1939 



309. LETTER TO S. VELU PILLAI 


Wardha, 

January 1, 1939 

Your telegram made painful reading. I have given the best 
advice I was capable of giving. I have no partiality for the 
Dewan. I repeatedly told the friends who came here that they 
were not to withdraw the allegations, unless they felt that my 
advice was thoroughly sound. I never said they were to be with- 
drawn against the express wish of the people. After all you, 
as leaders, were expected to know the wishes of the people. In 
spite of your telegram, I hold that withdrawal of the allegations 
was sound. If now the prosecutions continue, your course is clear. 
If there is unrest, you the leaders should be able to allay the unrest 
by showing the wisdom of the step you have taken. If the move- 
ment is really sound and the people are backing it with knowledge, 
it should be now stronger than it ever was. The burden of the 
allegations being removed, your course is absolutely clear and if 
you can control the forces of violence there is no difficulty in the 
way of your launching civil disobedience. My own conscience is 
absolutely clear. My advice is still at your disposal. 

The Hindu, 16-1-1939 


310. INTERVIEW TO TINGEANG LEW, T. T. WU AND 

P. C. HSm 


[January 1, 1939Y 

The Chinese delegates put searching questions. . . . One of them asked: 
“Is it not necessary that individuals should practise non-violence first in 
their own person, in their relations with other individuals?” 

’ This was in answer to the addressee’s telegram saying that the Dewan 
had not responded to the withdrawal of the allegations by the State Cong- 
ress, that the Travancore fight had resulted in nothing, that arrests were 
continuing and that there was unrest everywhere in the State. 

^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s “A World in Agony” 

^ Pyarelal says the Tambaram Conference delegates were in Segaon “on 
the last day of the dying year and the New Year’s Day”. Also that Lew 
saw Gandhiji separately on the first day {vide pp. 262-4) and that the whole 
group had discussion with him “later”, which presumably meant January 1. 


267 



268 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


GANDHiji : It would be a delusion to think otherwise. If one 

does not practise non-violence in one’s personal relations with 
others and hopes to use it in bigger affairs, one is vastly mis- 
taken. Non-violence like charity must begin at home. But if it is 
necessary for the individual to be trained in non-violence, it is 
even more necessary for the nation to be trained likewise. One 
cannot be non-violent in one’s own circle and violent outside it. 
Or else, one is not truly non-violent even in one’s own circle; 
often the non-violence is only in appearance. It is only when 
you meet with resistance, as for instance when a thief or murder- 
er appears, that your non-violence is put on its trial. You 

either try or should try to oppose the thief with his own wea- 
pons, or you try to disarm him by love. Living among decent 
people, your conduct may not be described as non-violent. 

Mutual forbearance is not non-violence. Immediately, therefore, 
you get the conviction that non-violence is the law of life, you 
have to practise it towards those who act violently towards you, 
and the law must apply to nations as to individuals. Training 
is no doubt necessary. And beginnings are always small. But 

if the conviction is there, the rest will follow. 

q. In the practice of non-violence, is there not danger of developing 
a ‘martyrdom complex’ or pride creeping in? 

A. If one has that pride and egoism, there is no non- 

violence. Non-violence is impossible without humility. My own 
experience is that whenever I have acted non-violently I have 
been led to it and sustained in it by the higher promptings of 
an unseen Power. Through my own will I should have misera- 
bly failed. When I first went to jail, I quailed at the prospect. 
I had heard terrible things about jail life. But I had faith in 
God’s protection. Our experience was that those who went to 
jail in a prayerful spirit came out victorious, those who had gone 
in their own strength failed. There is no room for self-pitying 
in it either, when you say God is giving you the strength. Self- 
pity comes when you do a thing for which you expect recogni- 
tion from others. But here there is no question of recognition. 

Another friend thus placed his dilemma: “I am a firm believer in 

non-violence. Eight years ago, I read your Experiments with Truth and . . . 
translated the book into Chinese. And then came the Japanese invasion. My 
faith in non-violence was put to a severe test. . . . On the one hand, I felt 
I could not preach non-violence to my people who . . . believed that resist- 
ance with force was the only way out. . . . But on the other hand, when I 
try to take a sympathetic attitude and try to do something helpful in such 



INTERVIEW TO TINGFANG LEW, Y. T. WU AND P. C. HSU 269 

a situation, I find I am giving moral and material support directly and 
indirectly to something which is against the highest that I know. . . 

G. Yours is a difficult situation. Such difficulties have con- 
fronted me more than once. I took part on the British side in 
the Boer War by forming an ambulance corps. I did likewise 
at the time of what has been described as the Zulu revolt. The 
third time was during the great war. I believed in non-violence 
then. My motive was wholly non-violent. That seemingly incon- 
sistent conduct gave me strength. My example cannot be used as a 
precedent for others to follow. Looking back upon my conduct 
on those three occasions, I have no sense of remorse. I know this 
too that my non-violent strength did not suffer diminution because 
of those experiences. The actual work I was called upon to do 
was purely humanitarian, especially during the Zulu revolt. I 
and my companions were privileged to nurse the wounded Zulus 
back to life. It is reasonable to suggest that but for our services 
some of them would have died. I cite this experience not to 
justify my participation however indirect it was. I cite it to show 
that I came through that experience with greater non-violence 
and with richer love for the great Zulu race. And I had an 
insight into what war by white men against coloured races meant. 

The lesson to be learnt from it by you is that, placed as you 
are in a position of hopeless minority, you may not ask your peo- 
ple to lay down their arms unless their hearts are changed and 
by laying down their arms they feel the more courageous and 
brave. But whilst you may not try to wean people from war, 
you will in your person live non-violence in all its completeness 
and refuse all participation in war. You will develop love for 
the Japanese in your hearts. You will examine yourself whether 
you can really love them, whether you have not some ill will 
towards them for all the harm they are doing. It is not enough 
to love them by remembering their virtues. You must be able to 
love them in spite of all their misdeeds. If you have that love 
for the Japanese in your hearts, you will proceed to exhibit in 
your conduct that higher form of courage which is the hall mark 
of true non-violence and which your Chinese friends will not fail 
to detect and recognize as such. You will not wish success to 
Japanese arms because you ‘love’ the Japanese. At the same time 
you will not pray for the success of Chinese arms. It is very 
difficult to judge, when both sides are employing weapons of 
violence, which side ‘deserves’ to succeed. You will therefore 
pray only that the right should prevail. Whilst you will keep 
yourself aloof from all violence you will not shirk danger. You 



270 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


will serve friend and foe alike with a reckless disregard for your 
life. You will rush forth if there is an outbreak of an epidemic 
or a fire to be combated and distinguish yourself by your sur- 
passing courage and non-violent heroism. But you will refuse to 
call the curses of heaven upon the Japanese. If by chance some 
Japanese soldiers or airmen fall into the hands of the Chinese and 
are in danger of being lynched by an infuriated Chinese mob or 
Otherwise ill-treated, you will plead for them with your own peo- 
ple and if necessary even protect them with your life. You know 
the story of Emily Hobhouse. Though an Englishwoman, she 
courageously went to the Boer concentration camps. She exhort- 
ed the Boers never to lose heart, and it is said that if she had 
not steeled the hearts of the Boer women as she did, the war 
might have taken a different turn. She was full of wrath against 
her own people for whom she had not a good word to say. 
You would not copy her unmeasured wrath which somewhat 
vitiated her non-violence, but you will copy her love for the 
‘enemy’ that made her denounce the misdeeds of her own coun- 
trymen. Your example will affect the Chinese and might even 
shame some Japanese who will become bearers of your message 
among the Japanese. 

A very slow process, you will perhaps say. Yes, possibly, 
under the existing adverse circumstances to begin with. But it 
will gather momentum and speed in an incalculable manner as 
you proceed. I am an irrepressible optimist. My optimism 
rests on my belief in the infinite possibilities of the individual to 
develop non-violence. The more you develop it in your own 
being, the more infectious it becomes till it overwhelms your 
surroundings and by and by might over-sweep the world. 

C>. I, a believer in non-violence, often find that I am actuated by mixed 
motives. So does a war general have mixed motives. Is it not possible to 
fight with love for the enemy in one’s heart ? May we not shoot out of love ? 

A. We do often have mixed motives. But that would not 
be non-violence. There can be degrees in violence, not in non- 
violence. The constant effort of the votary of non-violence is to 
purge himself of hatred towards the so-called enemy. There is 
no such thing as shooting out of love in the way you suggest. 

The last to place before Gandhiji his problem was Mr. P. C. Hsu. 

p. c. HSu: I can say honestly, I have no feeling of hatred towards 

the Japanese people but I feel their military system is an evil. ... I had hoped 
that at Tambaram, at any rate, an international link between the two 
countries on the basis of mutual goodwill and peace would be forged. But I 



INTERVIEW TO TINGE ANG LEW, Y. T. WU AND P. C. HSU 271 

was disillusioned. . . . Our difficulty is this : While sincerely believing 

in non-violence, we have not found a way of making it effective. 

G. Should that present a difficulty? A person who realizes 
a particular evil of his time and finds it overwhelms him, dives 
deep in his own heart for inspiration, and when he gets it, he presents 
it to others. Meetings and group organizations are all right. They 
are of some help, but very little. They are like the scaffolding that an 
architect erects — a temporary and makeshift expedient. The thing 
that really matters is an invincible faith that cannot be quenched. 

Faith can be developed. Only, the way it can be developed 
and in which it works differs from that in the case of violence. 
You cannot develop violence through prayer. Faith, on the other 
hand, cannot be developed except through prayer. 

Non-violence succeeds only when we have a living faith in 
God. Buddha, Jesus, Mahomed — they were all warriors of peace 
in their own style. We have to enrich the heritage left by these 
world teachers. God has His own wonderful way of executing 
His plans and choosing His instruments. The Prophet and Abu 
Bakr trapped in a cave were saved from their persecutors by a 
spider which had woven its web across the mouth of that cave. 
All the world teachers, you should know, began with a zero ! ! 

q. Whilst we have isolated individuals who have the mind of Jesus, 
because they are not united, not organized, theirs remains a mere cry in the 
wilderness. The question that arises in my mind is: Can love be organized, 
and if so, how? 

A. Organization in the orthodox sense may not be possible. 
But there is no bar to united non-violent action. I am trying to 
show by a series of experiments that it is possible. It has its 
own technique. 

Q,. If China wins the war, will she be worse off or better off for her 
victory? 

A. If China wins and copies Japanese methods, she will 
beat Japan hollow at her own game. But the victory of China 
will not mean a new hope for the world. For China will then 
be a multiple edition of Japan. But whether China wins or goes 
down, your line of action is clear. If China is defeated on the 
battlefield, your non-violence will remain undaunted and will 
have done its work. If China wins, you will go to the gallows 
in the attempt to wean China from copying Japan’s methods. 

Harijan, 28-1-1939 



311. INTERVIEW TO S. S. TEMW 

^January 1, 1939Y 

tema: How can my people make their Congress as successful as the 

Indian National Congress ? 

GANDHiji: The Congress became successful for the simple 

reason that it was inaugurated by the most selfless and cultured 
people that could be found in that age. They made themselves 
the representatives of the people and captured their imagination 
by reason of service and self-sacrifice. They were from the peo- 
ple and of the people. You have not, as far as I am aware, a 
band of Africans who would be content to work and live in 
impecuniosity. Among those who are educated there is not 
that absolute selflessness. Again, while most of your leaders are 
Christians, the vast mass of the Bantus and Zulus are not Chris- 
tians. You have adopted European dress and manners, and 
have as a result become strangers in the midst of your own peo- 
ple. Politically, that is a disadvantage. It makes it difficult for 
you to reach the heart of the masses. You must not be afraid of 
being ‘Bantuized’ or feel ashamed of carrying an assagai or of 
going about with only a tiny clout round your loins. A Zulu 
or a Bantu is a well-built man and need not be ashamed of show- 
ing his body. He need not dress like you. You must become 
Africans once more. 

T. Of late there has been some talk of forming an Indo-African united 
non-white Front in South Africa. What do you think about it? 

G. It will be a mistake. You will be pooling together 
not strength but weakness. You will best help one another by 
each standing on his own legs. The two cases are different. The 
Indians are a microscopic minority. They can never be a ‘men- 
ace’ to the white population. You, on the other hand, are the 

* Extracted from Pyarelal’s “A World in Agony-II”. Rev. S. S. 
Tema of D. R. Mission, Johannesburg, was a Negro and a member of the 
African Congress. He was one of the delegates to the Tambaram Conference 
who had come to see Gandhiji after the Conference was over. 

^ The delegates were in Segaon on December 31 and January 1. On 
December 31 only Lew saw Gandhiji. Tema presumably met him on Janu- 
ary 1. 


272 



INTERVIEW TO S. S. TEMA 


273 


sons of the soil who are being robbed of your inheritance. You 
are bound to resist that. Yours is a far bigger issue. It ought 
not to be mixed up with that of the Indian. This does not prec- 
lude the establishment of the friendliest relations between the 
two races. The Indians can co-operate with you in a number of 
ways. They can help you by always acting on the square 
towards you. They may not put themselves in opposition to 
your legitimate aspirations, or run you down as ‘savages’ while 
exalting themselves as ‘cultured’ people in order to secure conces- 
sions for themselves at your expense. 

T. What sort of relations would you favour between these two races? 

G. The closest possible. But while I have abolished all 
distinction between an African and an Indian, that does not 
mean that I do not recognize the difference between them. The 
different races of mankind are like different branches of a tree — 
once we recognize the common parent stock from which we are 
sprung, we realize the basic unity of the human family, and there 
is no room left for enmities and unhealthy competition. 

T. Should we adopt violence or non-violence as a means for our 
deliverance ? 

G. Certainly, non-violence under all circumstances. But you 
must have a living faith in it. Even when there is impenetrable 
darkness surrounding you, you must not abandon hope. A person 
who believes in non-violence believes in a living God. He 
cannot accept defeat. Therefore, my advice is non-violence 
all the time, but non-violence of the brave, not of the coward. 

T. Your example has shed so much influence upon us that we are 
thinking whether it would not be possible for one or two of our young 
men, who we are hoping will become leaders, to come to you for training. 

G. It is quite a good and sound idea. 

T. Do you think Christianity can bring salvation to Africa ? 

G. Christianity, as it is known and practised today, cannot 
bring salvation to your people. It is my conviction that those 
who today call themselves Christians do not know the true mes- 
sage of Jesus. I witnessed some of the horrors that were perpe- 
trated on the Zulus during the Zulu Rebellion. Because one man, 
Bambatta, their chief, had refused to pay his tax, the whole race 
was made to suffer. I was in charge of an ambulance corps. I 
shall never forget the lacerated backs of Zulus who had received 
stripes and were brought to us for nursing because no white 


68-18 



274 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


nurse was prepared to look after them. And yet those who per- 
petrated all those cruelties called themselves Christians. They 
were ‘educated’, better dressed than the Zulus, but not their 
moral superiors. 

T. Whenever a leader comes up in our midst, he flops down after a 
while. He either becomes ambitious after money or succumbs to the drink 
habit or some other vice and is lost to us. How shall we remedy this? 

G. The problem is not peculiar to you. Your leadership 
has proved ineffectual because it was not sprung from the com- 
mon people. If you belong to the common people, live 
like them and think like them, they will make common cause 
with you. If I were in your place, I would not ask a single 
African to alter his costume and make himself peculiar. It does 
not add a single inch to his moral stature. 

Harijan, 18-2-1939 


312. RAJKOT 

Hitherto I have said hardly anything about the Rajkot strug- 
gle which has just ended* as brilliantly as it began. My silence 
was not due to lack of interest. That was impossible owing to 
my intimate connections with the place. Apart from my father 
having been the Dewan of the State, the late Thakore Saheb 
looked up to me as to a father. My silence was due to the fact 
that Sardar Vallabhbhai was the soul of the movement. To 
praise him or his work would be like self-praise. 

The struggle showed what non-violent non-co-operation could 
do, if there was adequate response from the people. I was whol- 
ly unprepared for the unity, grit and capacity for sacrifice that 
the people showed. They showed that they were greater than 
their ruler, and that even an English Dewan was powerless 
before a people united in non-violent action. 

The Thakore Saheb deserves congratulations for taking the 
reins in his own hands and overruling the English Dewan’s ad- 
vice and the known wishes of the Resident. 

* The settlement about establishing responsible government was reached on 
December 26, 1938. The main terms were: (1) All repressive measures should 

be withdrawn; (2) all political prisoners should be released; (3) satyagraha 
should be called off; (4) to draft the constitution a committee of 10 persons 
should be appointed, seven of whom should be those suggested by Vallabhbhai 
Patel. 



RAJKOT 


275 


From documents in my possession I know that Sir Patrick 
Cadell, supported by the Resident, cut a sorry figure as servant of 
the Thakore Saheb. He acted as if he was the master. He traded 
upon the fact that he belonged to the ruling race and his ap- 
pointment was subject to the sanction of the central authority, 
and thought that he could do what he liked. At the time of 
writing I do not know whether he has wisely retired or what has 
happened. The correspondence in my possession shows that the 
ruling chiefs have seriously asked themselves whether it is wisdom 
to have Europeans as their Dewans. The central authority has to 
keep watch over Residents if its declarations are to be carried 
out as well in the letter as in the spirit. 

It is to be hoped that the ruling chiefs who stand in awe of 
Residents will know from the Rajkot example that if they are 
straight and if they have their people really at their back, they 
have nothing to fear from the Residents. Indeed they should realize 
that the Paramount Power resides not in Simla, not in White- 
hall, but in their people. An awakened people who rely upon 
non-violent strength are independent in the face of any conceiv- 
able combination of armed powers. What Rajkot could do in 
three months every State can do if the people show the qualities 
that the people of Rajkot showed. 

But I do not claim that the people of Rajkot had developed 
the rare type of non-violence that would stand true in the face 
of all odds. But Rajkot did show what even ordinary non- 
violence by a whole people in an organization could do for it. 

But great as was the work done by the people of Rajkot, as 
civil resisters their real test is yet to come. Their victory, if it is 
not followed up by a sustained exhibition of the same qualities 
that secured it, may prove also their undoing. By a long course 
of training Congressmen all over India have shown their capa- 
city for offering civil resistance, but they have yet to show capa- 
city for constructive non-violence. Civil disobedience may well 
be adulterated with much incivility, i. e., violence, and yet 
pass current. But construction is very difficult. In it detection 
of violence is easy. And existence of violence may even turn vic- 
tory into a trap and prove it to have been a delusion. Will the 
people exhibit the requisite selflessness and self-denial? Will they 
resist the temptation to serve themselves and their dependants? 
Any scramble for power will rob the people at large of what 
they should really get if there was wise and resolute leadership 
that would command ready and willing obedience. Kathiawar is 
noted for its intrigues. It contains a race of politicals whose one 



276 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

aim in life is self-advancement, if it is also known to contain 
stuff of which heroes are made. If the politicals gain the upper 
hand, there will be no Ramraj in Rajkot. Ramraj means renunci- 
ation ail along the line. It means discipline imposed by the peo- 
ple on themselves. If constructive non-violence is displayed by the 
people, it is possible for Rajkot to radiate an influence that can 
easily make Rajkot an example to follow. 

Let the victory, therefore, be a time for humility, heart- 
search and prayer instead of self-satisfaction and vain rejoicings. 
I shall watch, wait and pray. 

On the Train to Bardoli, January 2, 1939 
Harijan, 7-1-1939 

313. IS NON-VIOLENCE INEEEECTIVE? 

In dealing with my answer* to the criticism that the Jews 
had been non-violent for 2,000 years. The Statesman says in the 
course of an editorial: 

The whole world has heard of Pastor Niemoeller^ and the 
sulferings of the Lutheran Church; here many Pastors and individual 
Christians bore themselves bravely before People’s Courts, violence and 
threats; without retaliation they bore noble witness to the truth. And 
what change of heart is there in Germany ? Buried in prisons and 
concentration camps are today, and have been for five years, members of 
the Bible Searchers’ Leagues who rejected Nazi militarism as conflicting 
with Christ’s Gospel of peace. And how many Germans know of them 
or, if they know, do anything about it ? 

Non-violence, whether of the weak or of the strong, seems, except 
in very special conditions, rather a personal than a social gospel. A 
man’s salvation may be left to himself; politicians are concerned with 
causes, creeds and minorities. It is suggested by Mr. Gandhi that Herr 
Hitler would bow before a courage “infinitely superior to that shown by 
his own Storm Troopers”. If that were so, one would have supposed 
that he would have paid tribute to such men as Herr von Ossietzky^. 

* Vide “Some Questions Answered”, pp. 191-3. 

^ Martin Niemoeller, anti-Nazi Protestant theologian, who had been 
arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned in a concentration camp 

^ Carl von Ossietzky (1889-1938), German pacifist and writer. He was 
arrested as an enemy of the State and imprisoned. While in jail he was 
awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Hitler was so enraged that he prohibi- 
ted Germans thenceforth from accepting such awards. 



IS NON-VIOLENCE INEFFECTIVE? 


277 


Courage to a Nazi, however, seems a virtue only when displayed by his 
own supporters: elsewhere it becomes the impudent provocation of 

Jewish-Marxist canaille. Mr. Gandhi has produced his prescription in 
view of the inability of the Great Powers effectively to move in the 
matter, an inability we all deplore and would see remedied. His sym- 
pathy may do much for the comfort of the Jews, but seems likely to do 
less for their enlargement. Christ is the supreme example of non-violence 
and the indignities heaped upon Him at His tortured death proved once 
and for all that in a worldly and temporal sense it can fail hopelessly. 

I do not think that the sufJerings of Pastor Niemoeller and 
others have been in vain. They have preserved their self-respect 
intact. They have proved that their faith was equal to any 
suffering. That they have not proved sufficient for melting Herr 
Hitler’s heart merely shows that it is made of a harder material 
than stone. But the hardest metal yields to sufficient heat. 
Even so must the hardest heart melt before sufficiency of the 
heat of non-violence. And there is no limit to the capacity of 
non-violence to generate heat. 

Every action is a resultant of a multitude of forces even of a 
contrary nature. There is no waste of energy. So we learn in 
the books on mechanics. This is equally true of human actions. 
The difference is that in the one case we generally know the for- 
ces at work, and when we do, we can mathematically foretell 
the resultant. In the case of human actions, they result from a 
concurrence of forces of most of which we have no knowledge. 
But our ignorance must not be made to serve the cause of dis- 
belief in the power of these forces. Rather is our ignorance a 
cause for greater faith. And non-violence being the mightiest 
force in the world and also the most elusive in its working, it 
demands the greatest exercise of faith. Even as we believe in 
God in faith, so have we to believe in non-violence in faith. 

Herr Hitler is but one man enjoying no more than the av- 
erage span of life. He would be a spent force if he had not the 
backing of his people. I do not despair of his responding to 
human suffering even though caused by him. But I must refuse 
to believe that the Germans as a nation have no heart or marked- 
ly less than the other nations of the earth. They will some day 
or other rebel against their own adored hero, if he does not wake 
up betimes. And when he or they do, we shall find that the 
sufferings of the Pastor and his fellow-workers had not a little to 
do with the awakening. 

An armed conflict may bring disaster to German arms; it 
cannot change the German heart even as the last defeat did not. 



278 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

It produced a Hitler vowed to wreak vengeance on the victors. 
And what a vengeance it is! My answer, therefore, must be the 
answer that Stephenson gave to his fellow-workers who had des- 
paired of ever filling the deep pit that made the first railway 
possible. He asked his co-workers of little faith to have more 
faith and go on filling the pit. It was not bottomless, it must 
be filled. Even so I do not despair because Herr Hitler’s 
or the German heart has not yet melted. On the contrary I 
plead for more suffering and still more till the melting has be- 
come visible to tbe naked eye. And even as the Pastor has co- 
vered himself with glory, a single Jew bravely standing up and 
refusing to bow to Hitler’s decrees will cover himself with glory 
and lead the way to the deliverance of the fellow Jews. 

I hold that non-violence is not merely a personal virtue. It is 
also a social virtue to be cultivated like the other virtues. Surely 
society is largely regulated by the expression of non-violence in 
its mutual dealings. What I ask for is an extension of it on a 
larger, national and international scale. 

I was unprepared to find the view expressed by The Statesman 
writer that the example of Christ proved once and for all that in 
a worldly and temporal sense it can fail hopelessly 1 1 Though I 
cannot claim to be Christian in the sectarian sense, the example 
of Jesus’ suffering is a factor in the composition of my undying 
faith in non-violence which rules all my actions, worldly and tem- 
poral. And I know that there are hundreds of Christians who 
believe likewise. Jesus lived and died in vain if he did not teach 
us to regulate the whole of life by the eternal Law of Love. 

On the Train to Bardoli, January 2, 1939 

Harijan, 7-1-1939 

314. TELEGRAM TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI 

[On or after January 4, 1939^ 

PLEASE CONVEY MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCE FOR THE 

UNTIMELY DEMISE OF MR. RAMAN MENON TO THE 

BEREAVED FAMILY. SETH JAMNALAL BAJAJ JOINS. 

The Hindu, 6-1-1939 


* Raman Menon died on January 3. Jamnalal Bajaj arrived in Bardoli, 
where Gandhiji was, on January 4. 



315. TELEGRAM TO KRISHNASWAMT 

January 5, 1939 

WIRE REDIRECTED. MY OPINION SUCH CANDIDATE INELIGIBLE 
BUT YOU SHOULD SECURE AUTHORITATIVE RULING FROM 
PROVINCIAL COMMITTEE. 

Gandhi 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


316. LETTER TO SHUAIB QURESHI 


Bardoli, 

January 5, 1939 

MY DEAR SHUAIB, 

Zakir Husain was with me for four or five days. In the 
course of our conversations I learnt that the aid that was given 
to the Jamia Millia by Bhopal had been stopped. Is there any 
reason for the stoppage except the pressure on the purse? If 
there is not, I would like you to think of some retrenchment for 
the sake of the Jamia. It seems to supply a felt want. It seems 
to be the only institution manned by Muslims which has self- 
sacrificing workers who are staunch Muslims and equally staunch 
nationalists. 

Now that I have disburdened myself of the load that was 
weighing on me, I leave the matter in your safe hands. 

I hope Gulnar and baby are doing well. 

Love to you all. 

Bapu 

Janab Shuaib Qureshi Saheb 
Bhopal 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


^ The addressee had asked whether producers and weavers of uncerti- 
fied khadi were eligible to stand for election as delegates to Tripura Congress. 


279 



317. LETTER TO RANCHHODLAL PATWARI 


Bardoli, 

January 6, 1939 

RESPECTED BROTHER, 

I have received your letter . What you write is quite true. 
The real test is yet to come.* I have shown your letter to Sar- 
dar. He has just left for Bombay. However, he has left word 
that your fear is out of place. 

My going to Ahmedabad is not in the programme. 

Salutations from 

Mohandas 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4123. Also C.W. 2789. 
Courtesy: Chhaganlal Gandhi 

318. TELEGRAM TO PATTOM THANU PILLAI 

Bardoli, 

January 7, 1939 

President State Congress 
Trivandrum 

GLAD demonstrations CANCELLED AND PROHIBITION 

LAUNCHED. DELIGHTED PROSECUTIONS WITHDRAWN.^ 

Gandhi 

From the original: Pattom Thanu Pillai Papers. Courtesy: Nehru 

Memorial Museum and Library 


319. TELEGRAM TO G. RAMACHANDRAN 

\_January 7, 1939Y 

WHY NOTHING FROM YOU? LOVE. 

Bapu 

Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 

* The reference is to the Rajkot Satyagraha; vide “Letter to Ranchhodlal 
Patwari”, p. 163. 

^ This was in reply to the Acting President R. Sankar’s telegram dated 
January 3, 1939, informing Gandhiji of the launching of a prohibition campaign. 

^ This was written on the same sheet on which the telegram to Pattom 
Thanu Pillai, the preceding item, was drafted. 

280 



320. TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA 


January 7, 1939 


IN JAMNALALJI S LETTER JAIPUR STATE THERE IS 

REFERENCE TO YOUR TELEGRAM DATED OCTOBER 

TWELFTH ADVISING THAT REMAINING SIKAR PRISONERS 
WILL BE RELEASED THIRTEENTH. YOUR NAME NOT 
MENTIONED BUT MAY HAVE TO BE IF CHALLENGED. 

HAVE YOU ANY OBJECTION? WIRE BARDOLI. 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 209 


321. DRAET OE PRESS STATEMENT EOR 
JAMNALAL BAJAJ^ 

Bardoli, 

January 7, 1939 

Rumours have been going the round as to what I am going 
to do about the ban on my entry into Jaipur State — my 
birth-place and ancestral home. The ban is as much a surprise 
to me as to my friends. My whole life has been passed in the 
interests of peace in all walks of life. Whatever else non- 
violence may be with Congressmen it is my creed and I try 
as much as it is in my power to live up to it. I am no enemy 
of States. I have always maintained a friendly attitude towards 
them. I have always believed the States to be capable of respond- 
ing to the new awakening that has taken place in India. I 
am now carrying on correspondence with a view to find out the 
secret lying behind the ban. The wording of the order in no 
sense applies to me. I do not wish to act in haste. I have no 
desire to embarrass the Jaipur State authorities. But if every 
honourable effort to have the ban removed fails the public may 
depend upon my doing my duty. 

My present and immediate object is to afford through the 
MandaP relief to the famine-stricken in Jaipur State. I hope 
that the ban will not be allowed to disturb the would-be donors. 

’ This was sent to Pilani. 

^ The draft was in Gandhiji’s hand. 

^ Jaipur Rajya Praja Mandal 

281 



282 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


I am making arrangements for all eventualities. Indeed my 
main reason for going to Jaipur was to devise measures for fam- 
ine relief. 

My second immediate concern is to try to secure the release 
of the nine prisoners during the recent crisis in Sikar. One of 
them is convicted and eight are still awaiting trial. I had good 
grounds for hoping that they would come in for general amnes- 
ty. I can only assure them that I shall leave no stone unturned 
to secure their release while I am still free. 

From a photostat: G.N. 3077 


322. DRAFT OF LETTER FOR JAMJVALAL BAJAJ^ 

Camp Bardoli, 

January 7, 1939 

TO 

The President 
Council of State, Jaipur 

SIR, 

The attached order dated 16th December last was served 
on me on the 28th of the same month at Sawai Madhopur whilst 
I was on my way to Jaipur. 

The order came as a painful surprise to me. At the station 
I had over an hour’s chat with Mr. F. S. Young, I. G. P., who 
was persuading me not to commit a breach of the order. I did 
not need much persuasion as in a discussion with Gandhiji, of 
the possibility of such an order being served on me, he had ad- 
vised me not to break the order immediately but to consider the 
whole situation in consultation with him before taking any final 
step. 

Accordingly I suspended my journey and proceeded to Delhi. 
After having conferred with friends and fellow-workers and finally 
Gandhiji, I have come to the conclusion that on the 1st of Feb- 
ruary next I should commit a breach of the order unless, before 
then, it is unconditionally revoked. 

The authorities know that a public appeal was issued by me 
on 1st November last on behalf of the Jaipur Rajya Praja Man- 
dal, of which I am President, that as famine had overtaken She- 
khawati and other areas, relief work was to be undertaken by the 

’ The draft was prepared and twice revised by Gandhiji. The first 
draft in Gandhiji’s hand is available in G.N. 3076. 



DRAFT OF LETTER FOR JAMNALAL BAJAJ 283 

Mandal to the exclusion of all other activity. They were also 
aware that on a newspaper report having appeared to the effect 
that civil disobedience was to be started in Jaipur I had issued 
a flat contradiction. 

I do not know what had happened on or before the 16th 
December to warrant the passing of the order in anticipation 
of my seeking to enter Jaipur State. I note that on the same 
date a notification was published in the State Gazette to the 
effect that “an emergency has arisen which makes it necessary 
to provide against instigation to illegal refusal to the payment 
of certain liabilities”. Seeing that the order against my entry 
was passed the same day, it is reasonable to assume that in the 
opinion of the authorities I would be connected with the feared 
movement of illegal refusal of taxes. Surely if the authorities 
had any fear of my leading such a movement, they might have 
at least ascertained from me as to the truth or otherwise of the 
information in their possession. They knew me sufficiently to 
feel sure that I would not conceal the truth from them. 

Indeed the authorities know I rendered help to them also 
during the recent crisis in Sikar consistently with my obligations 
to the people. They know that my offices were used entirely on 
behalf of peace. 

My surprise may therefore be better imagined than I can 
describe it when I learnt from the order that “your (my) pre- 
sence and activities are likely to lead to a breach of the peace”, 
and that, therefore, “it is considered necessary in the public inte- 
rest and for the maintenance of public tranquillity to prohibit 
your (my) entry within the Jaipur State.” I have no hesitation 
in saying that the notice belies the whole of my public career. 

I observe that I have been described as of Wardha. I hope 
this is a slip. For the Jaipur State, surely I am of Jaipur. I do 
not cease to be of Jaipur because I have interests in Wardha 
and elsewhere. 

It has become a serious question for my co-workers and me 
to consider our position in the State. 

The Praja Mandal was started in July of 1931 and reorganiz- 
ed in November 1936. It has a constitution. It has many 

distinguished men of Jaipur State as its members. It has hither- 
to carried on its activities within the four corners of the Jaipur 
law and submitted even to irksome and illiberal restrictions re- 
garding meetings and processions. 

But the order served on me has opened the eyes of the Man- 
dal. It has come to the conclusion that it must resort to civil 



284 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


disobedience if civil liberty is not guaranteed and meetings and 
processions and forming of associations are not allowed without 
let or hindrance so long as they observe strict non-violence. 

I should define the scope of our activity. There is no mis- 
take as to our goal. We want responsible government under the 
aegis of the Maharaja. We must therefore tell the people what it 
is and what they should do to deserve it. But we do not propose 
to offer civil disobedience for it. We must, however, seek the 
redress of the grievances of all classes of the people; we must 
carry on constructive and educative activities. The Mandal has 
no desire whatsoever to preach non-payment of taxes at this stage. 
If we secure the co-operation of the State in our essentially 
peaceful and life-building activities and in the redress of admitted 
grievances there never need be any resort to non-payment of 
taxes. But should it unfortunately become a necessity, the Man- 
dal will give the State authorities ample notice of its intention 
to do so. For the Mandal stands for open, honourable and strict- 
ly non-violent methods. Therefore, what I am pleading for is 
full liberty to the Mandal to carry on its perfectly legitimate and 
non-violent activities without let or hindrance. If, however, this 
reasonable request is not granted before the 31st day of this 
month, I shall reluctantly be compelled to attempt to enter the 
State in spite of the order, and the Mandal will hold itself free 
to take such steps as it may deem necessary for self-expression 
consistent with human dignity. 

I hold that to do less will be to commit civil suicide. I 
trust that the Council of State will not put an unbearable strain 
upon my loyalty and that of the members of the Mandal. 

/ have, etc., 


Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, pp. 393-6; also G.N. 3076 


323. LETTER TO E. MART BARR 


Bardoli, 

January 7, 1939 

CHI. MARY, 

Of course your letters are business letters, but business let- 
ters, when the business is the service of God’s creatures, become 
love letters. Therefore there need be no apology for your letters 
being business letters. 



STATEMENT TO THE PRESS 285 

I can’t think of any woman who will suit the purpose men- 
tioned by you. 

Muriel brought a party of 18 persons. I called it a world 
in miniature.* 

Though it is quite a formal thing, let me reciprocate the 
good wishes for this year. 

Love to you and Mira. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 6074. Also C.W. 3404. Courtesy: F. Mary 

Barr 


324. LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA 


Bardoli, 

January 7, 1939 

CHI. BALWANTSINHA, 

How are you getting on? What are you doing? Are you 
keeping cheerful? Tell me everything. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 1916 


325. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS 

January 7, 1939 

The murder of Major R. L. Bazalgette,^ the Political Agent 
of Orissa States, is most unfortunate and comes as a rude shock. 
I tender my sympathy to the bereaved family. I hope that the 
subedar, who accompanied the deceased, will recover from the 
wounds. The Praja Mandal is expected to carry on the strict- 
est investigation and find out the cause of the murder. It should 
be a warning to all workers to be most careful in conducting 
mass agitations. They should realize that the slightest departure 
from non-violence is bound to harm the movement for freedom, 
whether in the States or all India. 

Harijan, 14-1-1939 

’ Vide footnote on p. 262. 

^ Bazalgette was killed by a mob in Rampur State in Orissa on 
January 5, 1939. 



326. UNCERTIFIED DEALERS^ 

The Secretary of the Tamil Nad Spinners’ Association has 
sent us a complaint which he has received from the Kerala Branch 
of the Spinners’ Association. The complaint gives conclusive 
proof that some merchants of Tiruppur are dumping cloth 
under description 'shuddha khadi’ and even making use of the 
name of the Spinners’ Association. Two labels have been sent by 
the Secretary which were affixed to the cloth thus sold, and the 
labels show the names of ‘S. Mariasusai Chettiar, Khaddar 
Store, Tiruppur’ and ‘M. K. Chidambaram Chettiar and Bro- 
ther A. Palaniappa Mudaliar, Khaddar Store, Tiruppur’, and 
the description is ‘shuddha khadi, certified by A. I. S. A’. 

S. Mariasusai Chettiar has never been certified by the 
A. I. S. A. for dealing in khadi, and A. Palaniappa Mudaliar was 
decertified some four years ago. Such deception can certainly be 
punished under the ordinary Indian Penal Code. It would, how- 
ever, be much better for the merchants as well as for the public 
if the public demand for khadi were not thus exploited, and 
if merchants who have not been certified abstain from such busi- 
ness, or at least abstain from fraudulently using the name of the 
Spinners’ Association. 

Bardoli, January 8, 1939 
Harijan, 14-1-1939 

327. SARDAR PRITHVI SINGH^ 

Sardar Prithvi Singh writes to me to say that he is keeping 
well and that his requirements are being supplied by the autho- 
rities and friends as the case may be. I am in constant corres- 
pondence with him. He tells me that many friends are desirous 
of meeting him. He wishes me to thank them all but also to 
tell them that they need not take the trouble to go all the way 
to Rawalpindi to meet him. And when they do wish to do so, 
they should not feel disappointed if they are not immediately 
given a date. The visiting days generally remain full. He would 

These appeared under “Notes”. 


286 



TRAVANCORE 


287 


like all friends desiring to visit him to correspond with me so 
that I might guide them. Whilst I convey this wish to the would- 
be visitors, and whilst Pyarelal, or Mahadev as soon as he is per- 
mitted to take up full work, will gladly make arrangements, this 
will be possible only in a few cases. For nothing will be possible 
without correspondence with the authorities. This means taxing 
work to which those who are helping me are hardly equal in the 
present state of my health. 

Bardoli, January 9, 1939 
Harijan, 14-1-1939 


328. TRAVANCORE 

A Travancore Christian friend writes: 

There is a great misunderstanding about you among the Christian 
circles of Travancore that you are absolutely against the interests 
of Christians, and this has originated since you have begun to insist on 
the withdrawal of the memorial to the Maharaja. The trend of public 
opinion as has been expressed to me by many friends is something like 
this: 

By the influence of the Travancore Maharani and Sir C. P. 
Ramaswami Iyer you are wrongly made to understand that the present 
movement in Travancore is only a rising of the Christians for absolute 
supremacy over the Hindus of Travancore. It is with this impression in 
the background of your mind that you are today working against 
the Travancore movement. Besides, due to the famous temple-entry 
proclamation, Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer has done a great service to the 
Hindu community as a whole, and therefore you want to save him from 
any blemish and personal charges, whatever be his shortcomings. It is 
with this end in view that you are so strongly pressing the State Congress 
to withdraw the memorial. Otherwise there is no reason why you 
should adopt one policy for Rajkot and another for Travancore. For in 
the case of Rajkot Vallabhbhai Patel and many others have made so 
many personal charges against the Dewan, and recently Vallabhbhai even 
threatened to start another fight for the removal of the present Dewan. 
You simply approve of all this. While in the case of Travancore, even 
though it is absolutely impossible for you to understand the situation on 
the spot being so far oflF, you simply dictate terms on the memorial 
question and keep mum over all the unjust actions of the Government. 
Even after the memorial has been withdrawn the leaders are kept in pri- 
son and arrests are being continued in large numbers, and people are 



288 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


terrorized all over the State even though the movement is almost dead. 

All this you view in silence without uttering a word. This is a further 

evidence of your partiality in siding with the Travancore Government. 

Similar communications, more strongly worded, have also 
been received by me. It might clear the atmosphere a little if I 
answer the charges. My conscience is quite clear. I claim that 
in no other State movements have I taken so much interest as 
in the Travancore movement, for the simple reason that I was 
pressed to do so by Shri G. Ramachandran who belongs to the 
Sabarmati Ashram and in whose wisdom, courage, sincerity 
and non-violence I have very great faith. He threw himself into 
the struggle after receiving my consent. He had told me that 
there were all sections interested in the struggle. It was at his ins- 
tance that I requested Shrimati Rajkumari Amrit Kaur to go to 
Travancore and do what was possible by way of negotiation. 

I have been against the mixing up of the struggle for respon- 
sible government with the charges against the Dewan. But I 
have been equally insistent that the leaders need not withdraw 
them unless they realized the soundness of my advice, for they 
had to bear the brunt of public opposition, if there was any. 
They could not do so, unless they could speak with conviction. 
I told them too that they would be justified in prosecuting the 
charges, if they made the dismissal the only issue, as they well 
might. But if they insisted on responsible government, there 
was no meaning in proceeding with the charges. It would 
divide the country’s attention, and in the event of prosecution 
their time and resources would be employed in proving the char- 
ges. Whereas, if they got responsible government, which they 
were bound to if they were united and strong in their faith in 
non-violence and truth, they would have control over all the 
Dewans, present and future. The charges have been withdrawn, 
therefore, only because the leaders, as I see from the acting Pre- 
sident’s statement just received by me, were fully convinced of 
the advisability of withdrawing the charges. 

The comparison with Rajkot is ignorant. I never guided 
the movement there. There was no occasion for my guidance. 
The Sardar was in no need of it. If he needed it, it was 
always at his disposal. There was no question there of dis- 
missal of the Dewan. The Sardar resolutely refused to have any- 
thing to do with the charges, if the fight was to be for responsi- 
ble government. Of course all sorts of people who opposed the 
struggle came under his lash, but that was wholly different from 
making dismissal of an official a plank in the struggle. 



THE BAN ON JAMNALALJI 


289 


And my guidance in the Travancore struggle has never been 
lacking. But the critics should understand that I am not con- 
ducting the struggle. I advise when I am referred to. Nor need 
or can all my advice and all my work be before the public gaze. 
Much of my work is behind the curtain. It is not therefore 
secret. I have nothing to hide. But many things need to be 
done silently, even secretly (in the right sense of the word), in 
the interest of the cause. 

Lastly, let my critics understand that I am not interested in 
the present Dewan retaining his office. If I have been in corres- 
pondence with the Dewan, it has been only for the sake of the 
cause, pleading for justice. And as for the Maharani, I have 
never been in correspondence with Her Highness throughout the 
struggle. I claim to be and have always been above partisanship. 
I know no distinction between Christians and non-Christians in 
terms of politics. I do in terms of religion, and then, too, I 
hold the Christian religion and the other religions in the same 
respect as my own. 

Bardoli, January 9, 1939 
Harijan, 14-1-1939 

329. THE BAN ON JAMNALALJI 
The ban on Jamnalalji makes curious reading. Here it is; 

TO 

Seth Jamnalal Bajaj 
OF Wardha (C. P.) 

Whereas it has been made to appear to the Jaipur Government 
that your presence and activities within the Jaipur State are likely to 
lead to a breach of the peace, it is considered necessary in the public 
interest and for the maintenance of public tranquillity to prohibit your 
entry within the Jaipur State. 

You are, therefore, required not to enter Jaipur territory until 
further orders. 

By order of the Council of State 
(Sd.) M. Altaf a. Kherie 
Secretary, Council of State, Jaipur 

He is the last person whose presence anywhere can be a 
danger. He has ever been known as a peacemaker. He has 
enjoyed the happiest relations with the official world. His worth 
was so much recognized that he was awarded the title of Rai 


68-19 



290 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Bahadur in 1916 or thereabouts. This he returned during the 
non-co-operation days. He is one of the best known merchants 
in the commercial world. He is a banker besides being a com- 
mercial magnate. Though an ardent Congressman he has never 
been known as “an agitator”. He is foremost in constructive 
work and social reform. True he has the courage of his convic- 
tions and has more than once staked his all for these. He is 
never afraid of prison. Obviously the description given in the 
order served upon Jamnalalji is false and wholly inapplicable to 
him. It will be probably urged that the wording is a mere for- 
mality, and that without it the order could not be legally served 
upon him. If that be so, it proves conclusively that persons like 
Jamnalalji were never meant by the law to be affected by it. It 
is an abuse, pure and simple, of the law to keep a person like 
Jamnalalji out of Jaipur or any other part of the country. 

And the humorous part of it all is that Jamnalalji had to 
be described in the order as “of Wardha”. As a matter of fact 
he belongs to the Jaipur State, has property there, and has many 
relations residing there. 

It is to such an order that Jamnalalji has submitted wholly 
on my advice. There was a rumour that he might be arrested if 
he attempted to enter Jaipur. He had therefore consulted me 
as to his duty if an order was served on him. His co-workers of 
Jaipur had held that he should defy any such order there and 
then. I held a contrary opinion. And I have no cause to regret 
my opinion. The order, I reasoned, would be a mad act. Mad 
people should not be taken at their word. They should be given 
time to cool down. I understand that great preparations were 
made in anticipation of the arrest. There must have even been 
a kind of disappointment when the arresting party discovered 
that they were not to have their prey. 

Jamnalalji has lost nothing by waiting and reasoning with 
the authorities' and telling them that they have acted wrongly 
and hastily. As a responsible man and Jaipur subject, it was 
perhaps his duty to give them time to reconsider their decision. 
If they do not, and Jamnalalji decides, as he must, to defy the 
order, he will do so with added moral strength and prestige. And 
it is moral strength that counts in non-violent action. 

Let it be known that the Maharaja is merely a tool in the 
hands of his Ministers who are all outsiders and some of them 
English. They know nothing of the people or the country. They 
are, as it were, imposed upon them. Jaipur talent is at a discount, 

' Vide “Draft of Letter for Jamnalal Bajaj”, pp. 282-4. 



TELEGRAM TO AKBAR HYDARI 


291 


though before the foreigners came, Jaipur was somehow or other 
able to hold its own as a State. I had reason to remark last 
week on the sorry figure the English Dewan cut in Rajkot dur- 
ing his very brief term of office. At least the act of the Jaipur 
Council consisting of outsiders is a sorry exhibition of irresponsi- 
bility and ineptitude. The externment of one man, however 
great, may appear to be insignificant. But events may prove 
that it was a foolish and costly affair, if not much more. For 
the reader may not know that there is a Praja Mandal in Jaipur 
which has been working under Jamnalalji’s inspiration for the 
past six years. Jamnalalji is its present President. The Mandal 
is a strong organization containing responsible men as its mem- 
bers and has a good record of constructive work to its credit. 
The Mandal will have to do its duty if the ban is not removed. 
For the ban is, it is said, a precursor of stopping even the con- 
structive and constitutional activities of the Mandal. The autho- 
rities cannot brook the growing influence of a body which aims 
at responsible government in Jaipur under the aegis of the Maharaja, 
no matter by means howsoever honourable. It seems to be the pre- 
cursor also of a ruthless policy of stopping all activities of bodies 
having political ambition in any shape or form. And rumour 
has it that it is a concerted policy on the part of the Rajputana 
States. Whether it is true only of Jaipur or all the other States, 
it is sufficiently ominous, and Jamnalalji and the people of Jaipur 
are in honour bound to resist it with all the strength at their 
command, no doubt consistently with the Congress creed of non- 
violence and truth. 

Bardoli, January 9, 1939 
Harijan, 14-1-1939 

330. TELEGRAM TO AKBAR HTDARP 


Bardoli, 
January 9, 1939 

Sir Akbar Hydari 
Hyderabad Dn 

THANKS WIRE ADVISING CERTAIN RELEASES. LETTER NOT 
RECEIVED. 

Gandhi 

From a photostat: C.W. 10094. Courtesy: Government of Andhra Pradesh 
^ A photostat of the telegram was displayed at the Gandhi Darshan 
Exhibition held in New Delhi in 1969-70. 



331. LETTER TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ 


\Janmry 9, 1939y 

CHI. JAMNALAL, 

G.’s telegram has been received.^ He has consented. The 
letter has been sent by registered mail.^ 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 2999 


332. AUNDH CONSTITUTION^ 

There are several startling things in the Aundh constitution. 
For the moment I am concerned with only two things — the qua- 
lifications for the vote and the courts of justice. 

I have myself hitherto sworn by simple adult franchise as 
well for the illiterate as the literate. My observation of the wor- 
king of the Congress constitution has altered my opinion. I have 
come round to the view that a literacy test is necessary for two 
reasons. The vote should be regarded as a privilege and there- 
fore carry some qualification. The simplest qualification is a lite- 
racy test. And if the ministry appointed under the literacy fran- 
chise is sincere and solicitous about the disqualified illiterates, 
the much desired literacy would come in no time. The Aundh 
constitution has made primary education free and compulsory. I 
have been assured by Appasaheb that he will see that illiteracy 
is driven out from Aundh State inside of six months. I hope, 
therefore, that there will be no opposition in Aundh to the lite- 
racy test. 

The second important departure from the ordinary practice 
is the making of justice in the lower court free and incredibly 
simple. What would, however, displease critics is not the freeness 
or the simplicity as such but the abolition of intermediate courts 

* The date is in a hand other than Gandhiji’s. 

^ Firfe “Telegram to G. D. Birla”, p. 281. 

^ The reference presumably is to the letter to President, Gouncil of State, 
Jaipur; vide “Draft of Letter for Jamnalal Bajaj”, pp. 282-4. 

This appeared under “Notes”. 


292 



NOTE TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 


293 


and the fate of litigants and persons charged with offences being 
made to depend on a High Court presided over by one person. 
In a population of 75,000 a multiplicity of judges would be both 
unnecessary and impossible. And if the right type of person is 
chosen as the Chief Judge, he is as likely to deal out unadulte- 
rated justice as a bench of highly paid judges. This simplification 
contemplates abolition of the cumbrous procedure and the use of 
tomes of law books including hundreds of law reports used in 
British law-courts. 

Bardoli, January 10, 1939 
Harijan, 14-1-1939 

333. LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR 


Bardoli, 

\_January 11, 1939Y 

CHI. KARA, 

I have been observing silence for the last three days and 
hence I can do justice to correspondence. 

The enclosed is about Sanjiva Kamat. 

Shanker’s letter is enclosed for your information. Write to 
him again. I have already written to Nanavati. After careful 
thinking, I have instructed him to pass the night in Segaon and 
the day with you. But if you need him in the tour, he may 
remain with you all the time. I consider your need more im- 
portant. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

My coming there will be delayed. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10917 

334. NOTE TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 


Bardoli, 

January 11, 1939 

It has always been my firm view (and it still holds complete 
sway over me) that in every province, except for one or two select- 
ed leaders, all the others should observe silence. When this is 

* The date is in a hand other than Gandhiji’s. 



294 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

not possible, they should read out at meetings carefully consi- 
dered, short, simple written speeches. Everybody should remember 
that the people are getting increasing power in their hands now. 
In such circumstances no thoughtless word should escape the lips 
of the people’s leaders. 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro~2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, p. 232 


335. LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR 


Bardoli, 

January 12, 1939 

CHI. KAKA, 

I saw your letter to Mahadev. Have I changed my policy? 
In Calcutta what has happened has happened. We should take 
our hands off that class. He will be paying Vamanchand’s 
wages today, won’t he? Not to start a separate class at present 
will perhaps be better. We shall discuss this matter when I 
come. I am afraid of internal disputes. 

You must have received my letter* of yesterday. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

The enclosed is for Shriman. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10918 

336. LETTER TO KRISHNACHAMDRA 


Bardoli, 

January 12, 1939 

CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA, 

I do not have a minute to spare. Even this I am writing 
with difficulty. 

The most powerful aid to brahmacharya is purification of the 
heart. In this external measures are to a certain extent helpful. 

Prayer can go on even unconsciously, which means that when 
a person is engrossed in prayer he is not conscious of praying. 
It is like a man in deep slumber not being aware that he is 
asleep. Ramanama in its scope includes Krishnanama also. Even 


Vide p. 293. 



DISCUSSION WITH TOYOHIKO KAGAWA 295 

the plying of charkha can be regarded as Ramanama. Only 
so much for today. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4309. Also S.G. 72 


337. DISCUSSION WITH TOTOHIKO KAGAWA^ 

YJanuary 14, 1939^ 

Now for his talk with Gandhiji. 

Your reputation has preceded you, Dr. Kagawa. 

With these words Gandhiji stood up to greet Dr. Kagawa. . . . The 
preliminary questions were about the drought in South India and famines 
and the co-operative movement. Was the movement flourishing in India ? 

gandhiji; I can’t say that it is flourishing. It is going on 
somehow. It was initiated by the British Government. It did 
not come from within, but was superimposed upon the people. 
It is managed after a certain stereotyped pattern and has there- 
fore no room for growth according to the exigencies of time. 
Whereas I know you have a big co-operative movement. 

kagawa: Yes, it is growing every day. There are 3,50,000 producers’ 

co-operatives organized by themselves. There are national health insurance 
co-operatives, harvest insurance co-operatives and storage co-operatives. 

G. What is the feeling of people in Japan about the war? 

K. I am rather a heretic in Japan. Rather than I express my views, I 
would like to learn from you what you would do if you were in my position. 

G. It would be presumptuous for me to express my views. 

K. No, I would like very much to know what you would do. 

G. I would declare my heresies and be shot. I would put 
the co-operatives and all your work in one scale, and put the 
honour of your nation in the other, and if you found that the 
honour was being sold, I should ask you to declare your views 
against Japan and in so doing make Japan live through your 
death. But, for this, inner conviction is necessary. I do not 

’ Extracted from Mahadev Desai’s “Dr. Kagawa’s Visit”. Kagawa, a 
Japanese social reformer, evangelist and author, had come to India to attend 
the Tambaram Conference. 

^ From the manuscript of Mahadev Desai’s Diary 



296 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


know that I should be able to do all that I have said if I were 
in your position, but I must give you my opinion since you have 
asked for it. 

K. The conviction is there. But friends have been asking me to desist. 

G. Well, don’t listen to friends when the Friend inside 
you says, ‘Do this.’ And friends, however good, can sometimes 
well deceive us. They cannot argue otherwise. They would ask 
you to live and do your work. The same appeal was made to 
me when I took the decision to go to jail. But I did not listen 
to friends with the result that I found the glow of freedom when 
I was confined within the four solid walls of prison. I was inside 
a dark cell, but I felt that I could see everything from within 
those walls, and nothing from outside. 

K. Have you some irrigation co-operatives in India ? 

G. I do not think so. Of course you have all these things. 
You have done marvellous things, and we have many things to 
learn from you. But how can we understand this swallowing 
alive of China, drugging her with poison and so many other 
horrid things that I read about in a book called What War Means 
which Pandit Jawaharlal has given me. How could you have 
committed all these atrocities ? And then your great poet calls it 
a war of humanity and a blessing to China ! 

Dr. Kagawa is a student of religions. He wanted to know how Gandhiji’s 
ahimsa teaching could be reconciled with the Bhagavad Gita. Gandhiji said 
it could not be discussed in a brief interview, but he would ask him to read 
his introduction to the Gita where he had answered the question. The 
answer had just come to him as part of his experience, and the interpretation 
was, as he thought, not laboured in any way. 

K. I am told you recite the Bhagavad Gita daily ? 

G. Yes, we finish the entire Gita reading once every week. 

K. But at the end of the Gita Krishna recommends violence. 

G. I do not think so. I am also fighting. I should not be 

fighting effectively if I were fighting violently. The message of 
the Gita is to be found in the second chapter of the Gita where 
Krishna speaks of the balanced state of mind, of mental equi- 
poise. In 19 verses at the close of the 2nd chapter of the Gita 
Krishna explains how this state can be achieved. It can be 

achieved, he tells us, after killing all your passions. It is not 

possible to kill your brother after having killed all your passions. 

I should like to see that man dealing death — who has no passions. 



DISCUSSION WITH TOYOHIKO KAGAWA 


297 


who is indifferent to pleasure and pain, who is undisturbed by 
the storms that trouble mortal man. The whole thing is descri- 
bed in language of beauty that is unsurpassed. These verses 
show that the fight Krishna speaks of is a spiritual fight. 

K. But there was actual fighting then, and your interpretation is your 
own peculiar interpretation. 

G. It may be mine, but as mine it has no value. 

K. To the common mind it sounds as though it was actual fighting. 

G. You must read the whole thing dispassionately in its 
true context. After the first mention of fighting, there is no men- 
tion of fighting at all. The rest is a spiritual discourse. 

K. Has anybody interpreted it like you ? 

G. Yes. The fight is there, but the fight as it is going on 
within. The Pandavas and Kauravas are the forces of good and 
evil within. The war is the war between Jekyll and Hyde, God 
and Satan, going on in the human breast. The internal evidence 
in support of this interpretation is there in the work itself and 
in the Makabharata of which the Gita is a minute part. It is not 
a history of war between two families, but the history of man — 
the history of the spiritual struggle of man. I have sound rea- 
sons for my interpretation. 

K. That is why I say it is your interpretation. 

G. But that is nothing. The question is whether it is a 
reasonable interpretation, whether it carries conviction. If it 
does, it does not matter whether it is mine or XYZ’s. If it does 
not, it has no value even if it is mine. 

K. To my mind Arjuna’s ideas are wonderful. Krishna has found 
some excuse for him, and it was natural and necessary before Christianity. 

G. This interpretation is even historically wrong. For Bud- 
dha existed long before the Christian era, and he preached the 
doctrine of non-violence. 

K. But Arjuna’s views seem to me to be superior to Krishna’s. 

G. Then according to you the disciple was greater than the 
master ! 


K. But I agree with what you say, with your teaching of non-violence. 
I shall read the Gita again, bearing your interpretation in mind. . . . 

Dr. Kagawa again turned to his great theme — agriculture and co- 
operation which he has studied carefully. “You get famine once in every ten 
years,” he said. 



298 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

G. We get it every year, famine is our constant friend. 

K. Then you should have more tree culture, more trees for fuel and for 
cattle fodder. Rice and barley are not enough, you need more protein trees. . . . 

G. No. We need a change in the method of government! 

It was a great pity that Dr. Kagawa had to go away to Bombay the 
same evening. . . . Even for a detailed discussion of his co-operative programme 
he might have stayed longer with the leading men in India. But Gandhiji 
appealed to him on a different ground. 

How can you leave India without seeing Santiniketan? 

K. But I have read the Poet’s poems, and I love them. 

G. But you have to love the Poet. 

K. If I can repeat the Giianjali every day, I can see the Poet every day 
and do I not love him? Maybe he is greater than his poems. 

G. Sometimes the reverse is the truth, but in the case of 
the Poet he is infinitely greater than his great poems. Now, 
another question. Have you included Pondicherry in your pro- 
gramme ? If you want to study modern India, you must see both 
Santiniketan and Aurobindo Ghose’s Ashram. I wonder who 
your tour advisers are. I wish you had appointed me your advi- 
ser in this matter! 

K. No. You are a good guide for life. 

Dr. Kagawa asked what other books Gandhiji read every day. Gandhiji 
mentioned the Ramayana in which he said there was supposed to be enough 
blood and thunder, “but not for me”. Dr. Kagawa said he too loved it for the 
story of Sita — the ideal of chastity. 

G. But there are other fine things also in that unique poem. 
I have not read the original which is great. But the Hindi ren- 
dering done by a great devotee is the scripture for the masses of 
India. In the North India Tulsi Ramayana has been the inspi- 
ration of many a home for four centuries. 

Dr. Kagawa discussed Shankaracharya and Ramanuja, and Gandhiji 
expressed his predilection for the former, and for his direct and marvellously 
logical way. But Gandhiji reverted again to his itinerary and expressed his 
great regret that Rev. Hodge who had been in charge of it had, out of his 
partiality for him (Gandhiji), included Bardoli, but not Santiniketan! [He said:] 

You are going to Calcutta and not Santiniketan! It is a 
great pity. You say you are going to Gosaba. Well Gosaba is 
Gosaba, but Santiniketan is India. 

Harijan, 21-1-1939 



338. JAIPUR 


Jaipur authorities will not be happy until they have brought 
the Jaipur patriots to their senses. For they have now banned 
the Jaipur Rajya Praja Mandal of which Jamnalalji is the 
President. Jamnalalji has released for publication his letter' 
to the President of the Jaipur Council of State. The readers 
will find it elsewhere in these columns. That letter should 
induce withdrawal of the order. But evidently the Jaipur Coun- 
cil, which I erroneously described as entirely composed of out- 
siders in my last week’s article^, but which I understand does con- 
tain four members from the State, is intent upon wiping out of 
existence every activity whether social, humanitarian or other 
with which Jamnalalji or his co-workers are connected. 

This is the newest method of dealing with people whom the 
authorities do not like. I can only hope against hope that the 
Jaipur authorities will shrink from precipitating an all-India cri- 
sis. For there are three reasons which might well give the Jaipur 
question that character. Jamnalalji is himself an institution. He 
is, moreover, a member of the Working Committee of the Cong- 
ress and its Treasurer. The method being adopted in Jaipur is 
too drastic to be suffered without a desperate struggle. If it goes 
unchallenged, it may mean a death-blow to every activity in 
the States when it is even remotely connected with the legitimate 
political aspirations of their people. 

The curious thing about Jaipur is that the real ruler is a 
high-placed Englishman^ and not the Maharaja. Can it be that 
he represents the wishes of the central authority? If he does, 
what becomes of the recent declarations ? If he does not, may an 
English Dewan initiate policies that may in the end spell disaster 
to the State itself ? I understand that the Jaipur treasure- 
chest is over-full. If the worst happened, it could stand a pro- 
longed boycott by the people, that is, assuming that the modern 
weapons of destruction do not tame the people into submission. 
It is time for the Princes and the Central Government to evolve 
a common policy of action. Or is the Jaipur method the common 

' Vide “Draft of Letter for Jamnalal Bajaj”, pp. 282-4. 

^ Vide “The Ban on Jamnalalji”, pp. 289-91. 

^ Sir W. Beauchamp St. John, Prime Minister of Jaipur 

299 



300 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


policy of action, as some tell me it is? I can only hope that it 
is not. 

Bardoli, January 16, 1939 
Harijan, 21-1-1939 

339. DRINKING METHYLATED SPIRITS^ 

A correspondent writes:^ 

The correspondent’s letter deserves the attention of those who 
are engaged in prohibition work. 

Bardoli, January 16, 1939 
Harijan, 21-1-1939 

340. VIOLENCE v. NON-VIOLENCE 

Everywhere in India there is a duel going on between the 
method of non-violence and that of violence. Violence like water, 
when it has an outlet, rushes forward furiously with an over- 
whelming force. Non-violence cannot act madly. It is the es- 
sence of discipline. But when it is set going, no amount of violence 
can crush it. For full play, it requires unsullied purity and an 
unquenchable faith among the leaders. Therefore, if non-violence 
seems to fail in the duel, it will do so because the leaders lack 
the purity or the faith or both. There seems, however, to be 
reason to believe that non-violence will triumph over violence. 
Things seem to be shaping so that the workers will see for them- 
selves the futility of violence. 

But a well-known public worker writes:^ 

“The States’ method of dealing with satyagraha seems to be diff- 
erent from the British method. The methods adopted in some States are 
too inhuman and brutal. Will non-violence succeed against such brutal 
methods ?. . . 

I have carefully read and re-read your views'* on the murder of 
the Political Agent of Orissa States. I was rather pained to find that 

* This appeared under “Notes”. 

^ The letter is not reproduced here. It stated that with the intro- 
duction of prohibition drink addicts had started drinking diluted methylated 
spirit and suggested that its sale should be controlled. 

^ Only extracts are reproduced here. 

'* Vide “Statement to the Press”, p. 285. 



VIOLENCE V. NON-VIOLENCE 


301 


you made no reference to the terrible atrocities committed on the poor 
State subjects of Orissa. ... If the mob was wrong in using violence 
against the Political Agent, was the latter justified in firing on the mob 
and thus provoking them to violence?. . . 

... I fail to understand why you as the greatest apostle of truth 
and non-violence should not have also conveyed a warning to the Poli- 
tical Department of the Government of India, and especially the Eas- 
tern States Agency, that they should not adopt brutal methods in deal- 
ing with the States subjects’ fights? I feel that the Eastern States 
Agency has been most brutal in dealing with the States subjects’ fights, and 
murder of the Political Agent is the climEix of the brutal repression carried 
on by the Eastern States Agency. . . . And if we are to show sym- 
pathy for the loss of life of the Political Agent, what about the two per- 
sons who died on the spot as a result, possibly of the police violence?. .. 
Of course the right of self-defence is there and so is the right 
of armed rebellion. But after deep deliberation the Congress has 
abjured both and that for valid reasons. Non-violence is not 
worth much if it is worsted in the face of the greatest provoca- 
tion. Its true test consists in its capacity for standing any amount 
of provocation. If there were eye-witnesses of the rapes and 
if the witnesses were non-violent, why are they alive? If the rapes 
became known after the event, of what use is violence ? The non- 
violent method is still open. The men may be tried or they 
may be brought up before the bar of public opinion, if there 
was any. To expose the criminals to mob fury would be 
barbarity. 

The argument about the murder of the late Political Agent 
of the Orissa States is irrelevant to the issue. I was not called 
upon to adjudge the merits of the action of the ruler and the 
Political Agent on the one hand and the people’s action on the 
other. It was enough for me at the time to condemn in unquali- 
fied terms the murder of the Political Agent not merely as a 
mark of sympathy, though that was deserved, but as an act of 
gross indiscipline and breach of the fundamental Congress policy. 
The misdeeds of the rulers have been exposed often enough in 
these columns. But they have not been mentioned for the pur- 
pose of drawing the wrath of the people upon the doers, but for 
the sole purpose of showing the people the way of dealing with 
them non-violently. Things were shaping themselves well in Oris- 
sa. I can quote chapter and verse in support of this assertion. 
This murder has disturbed the even course of the movement. 
Ranpur is a howling wilderness. The people, both innocent and 
guilty, are in hiding. They have deserted their homes in order 



302 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


to escape repression. For it will not be merely the actually guilty 
persons who will suffer. The technique of frightfulness in some 
shape or other is no doubt being applied and the whole of 
India has to be helpless witness of it. The authorities know no 
other way of dealing with murders of their officials, especially 
when they are Europeans. The non-violent method has been slow- 
ly educating them to know the new way. But I need not pro- 
long the argument. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. 
Both methods are being tried out in India. The workers have 
to make their choice. I know that India’s freedom is possible 
only through non-violence. Those workers in the Congress who 
think or act otherwise are wronging themselves and the Congress. 

Bardoli, January 16, 1939 
Harijan, 21-1-1939 

341. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


Bardoli, 
January 16, 1939 

CHI. MIRA, 

I have been unable to write a single letter during these exact- 
ing days. Today I worked at Harijan till after 5 p. m. Now I 
have a minute or two before going to the evening prayer. 

Of course you will pay Jurab as you suggest. He will be 
worth all that and more, if he gives you full satisfaction. 

I am glad your recent letters have been hopeful. Had they 
been otherwise, I would have made time to send you, if it was 
only a line. 

Sushila has been writing to you daily. So you know all 
about my health. So far as the feel goes, it is excellent. 

Events are fast shaping themselves. You will see the coming 
Harijan to show you what is happening. 

I hope you are now having the food you need. 

Devdas and Laxmi are here just now. Ramdas came in 
yesterday. He leaves tomorrow for Poona. Kallenbach lands 
on Saturday. 

There are numberless visitors here. There is no such thing 
as the quiet of Segaon. But Sardar protects me against intru- 
ders. 

Ramdas is looking none too well. Premabehn came in today. 
Mridula has been here for the past four days. 



LETTER TO SIR W. BEAUCHAMP ST. JOHN 


303 


There is nothing to report about Agakhan’s visit. He wants 
the Congress to settle with Jinnah if it is at all possible. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6424. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10010 


342. NOTE TO AMRITLAL V. THAKKAR 


Bardoli, 

January 16, 1939 

This should be credited to the Harijan fund and a receipt 
sent to me. 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 1181 

343. LETTER TO SIR W. BEAUCHAMP ST. JOHN 

Bardoli, 

January 18, 1939 

DEAR FRIEND, 

My first thought was to publish the accompanying letter pur- 
porting to describe your attitude with regard to the ban on Seth 
Jamnalalji’s entry into Jaipur State. But on second thoughts I 
felt that my purpose would be better served by sending you a 
copy of Shri Chudgar’s' letter and inviting your opinion on it. 
My purpose is to promote harmony between the Princes and 
the people who are obliged in one way or the other to come 
in contact with them to secure justice wherever possible by friend- 
ly negotiation. And now that I have felt the necessity of wri- 
ting to you, whatever may be your opinion on Shri Chudgar’s 
letter, I would like to suggest to you that the bans upon Seth 
Jamnalalji and his organization might be removed without endan- 
gering the peace of Jaipur State. Indeed, I feel that peace is 
certainly endangered by the bans.^ 

Tours sincerely. 

Sir W. Beauchamp St. John 
Dewan, Jaipur State Jaipur 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, pp. 397-8. Also C.W. 7809. Courtesy: 
G. D. Birla 

* Barrister and legal adviser of Rao Rama of Sikar; vide “Jaipur”, pp. 350-2. 

2 For Sir Beauchamp’s reply, vide “Jaipur”, pp. 350-2. 



344. LETTER TO CHANDAN PAREKH 


Bardoli, 

January 18, 1939 


CHI. CHANDAN, 

I have your letter. I am forwarding the letter which you 
have written to H. Nanabhai has also met me. He has left 
Dakshinamurti because of my letter. Thus H. has agreed to the 
first alternative. He is, however, firm about his innocence. 
But since he has left Dakshinamurti and withdrawn himself from 
women’s education, nothing more remains to be done. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 946. Courtesy: Satish D. Kalelkar 


345. LETTER TO RAVINDRA R. PATEL 


Bardoli, 

January 18, 1939 

CHI. RAVINDRA, 

I have your letter. If you have had enough of that place 
and are giving up all thought of making money you can em- 
brace poverty and serve the country. I shall consider it a success. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7455 


304 



346. LETTER TO AMRITLAL V. THAKKAR 


Bardoli, 

January 18, 1939 

BAPA, 

A cheque for Rs. 5,000 was sent to you from the Frontier 
Province. Shri Jasaram writes that it was meant for khadi work. 
The amount may therefore be remitted to Dr. Gopichand. I 
hope to raise money from the same person for Harijan work 
when I go again to the Frontier Province. 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

I received just now your letter about Orissa. It is very 
difficult for Sardar to go there. Rajendra Babu will certainly go. 
He is doing that work from here also. Will you be able to spare 
15 days for prohibition in Khandesh ? Dr. Gilder has promised 
to get 12 shops closed provided you come. If you can, come 
immediately. Send a telegram. 

Bapu 


From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 1182 


347. LETTER TO BALWANTSINHA 


Bardoli, 

January 18, 1939 

CHI. BALWANTSINHA, 

I return your old letter. Your handwriting is better than it 
was but there is still much scope for improvement. Do not cram 
the sheet too full. There should always be a margin on the left 
side and the words should be spaced well. The pen should be 
finely pointed. You must take a vow that you will effect these 
improvements for the sake of mother cow. You know the import- 
ance of vows, don’t you? 

The account you have sent could not but be good. There 
was never any doubt about your sincerity and your unselfishness. 

305 


68-20 



306 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


It is good that you are at peace, 
improve your knowledge of Hindi. 


Make yourself strong and 

Blessings from 
Bapu 


From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 1917 


348. LOVE A UNIVERSAL VIRTUE 

An Indian Christian writes:' 

Your article “The Jews”^ has evoked considerable comment of 
varying nature. I propose to confine myself to the criticism that the 
love that Jesus taught was a personal, not a social or collective, virtue. 

To deny that Jesus’ way of life was meant for all — collectively 
no less than individually — is surely to deny the basic truth of the reli- 
gion of Christ. He was utterly dissatisfied with the existing order; the 
hypocrisy and pride of the Scribes and Pharisees riled him sufficiently 
for him to call them a ‘generation of vipers’ and ‘whited sepulchres’; he 
openly protested against bribery and corruption when he ‘upset the tab- 
les of the money-changers’ and accused them of having made his house 
‘a den of thieves’; he denounced the sin of untouchability by dining with 
outcastes and speaking words of comfort to prostitutes. 

His preaching roused the anger of the people because it was 
revolutionary and universal; otherwise why should those in authority 
have cared to arrest and condemn to the extreme penalty of the law 
a man in whom even the judge who tried him could find no ‘sin’ ? 

They sensed in his teachings a power which, if exercised by those 
who believed in them, would surely cause to fall the whole framework of 
their society. To ‘turn the other cheek’ to him who smites you on one, to 
love the enemy, to rejoice in suffering, to love your neighbour as your- 
self, to remove the beam from your own eye before pointing to the mote 

in another’s, to pray for those who persecute you, to forgive the offender 

until seventy times seven, to serve the poor, to leave all and follow 
Jesus, are of the essence of a universal gospel for which he lived and 
died. That he asked his disciples to let the world see this message by 
virtue of their own example, that the disciples themselves felt the 
call to recreate a new order, bears ample evidence in the very forma- 
tion, through their martyrdom, of the early Church which is termed to 
be the body of Christ. One of the most beautiful passages in the New 

Testament, the 13th Chapter of I Corinthians, was written by St. Paul 

' Only extracts from the letter are reproduced here. 

2 FzWepp. 137-41. 



LOVE A UNIVERSAL VIRTUE 


307 


at a time when the Church of Corinth was torn by internal dissensions. 
The message of love therein was the message for collective action. The 
‘Church Militant’, as it is called, is surely the emblem of Christian 
society trying to war against the powers of evil by means of love which 
‘conquers all things’. 

But while it may be convenient, because of the lack of courage 
and faith within us, to set aside the central teaching of the religion of 
Christ as a mere rule for personal conduct, it is a dangerous doctrine 
which has brought the so-called Christian nations to a sorry pass today. 

No doubt the result of non-violence is not always visible to the 
naked eye. That the way of love — for what is non-violence except bound- 
less love — is not easy to pursue is only too true. But to rule love out 
as a social virtue is to deny the existence of not only the religion of 
Jesus but of all the great religions of the world and to give way to fear 
which is the ruling passion in the world today. 

Non-violence on a national or international scale has not yet 
been sufficiently tried; where it has been tried by Gandhiji it has met 
with success. Is not Europe, by subordinating her mind to the doctrine 
that ‘Might is Right’, giving a direct lie to the teaching of Jesus ? This is 
the question before Christendom today. Does the greatest measure of 
freedom consist in being able to resist force with the weapons of force, 
or may it not be that its highest and eternal form will be born out of 
the blood willingly shed by one nation or many nations? 

Oh cross that liftest up my head, 

I may not ask to flee from thee, 

I lay in dust, life’s glory dead. 

And from the ground there blossoms red 
Life that shall endless be. 

This letter should convince honest doubters that the love 
that Jesus taught and practised was not a mere personal virtue, 
but that it was essentially a social and collective virtue. Buddha 
taught and practised the same thing six hundred years before 
Jesus. 

Bardoli, January 20, 1939 
Harijan, 4-3-1939 



349. LETTER TO AKBAR HTDARI 


Bardoli, 

January 20, 1939 

DEAR SIR AKBAR, 

I have your wires and your letter of the 5th instant, with 
enclosure which came later. The two documents were re- 
directed from Wardha and then I had to see the State Congress 
friends before I could reply. Hence the delay which please forgive. 

At the outset I must thank you for the friendly tone of your 
letter. Nothing else and nothing less was expected of you. 

Nevertheless the letter has not given me satisfaction. The 
only thing relevant to my request was the statement issued by 
the State Congress manifesto' calling off civil disobedience and 
its language. If it left nothing more to be desired, the immed- 
iate result should have been the discharge of the prisoners who 
had offered civil disobedience from within and as members of 
the State Congress. 

Even Shri Kashinathrao Vaidya’s statement was irrelevant. 
The State Congress manifesto was not before him. Had he 
known the implications of the manifesto, he should not have court- 
ed imprisonment at all. But his case needs to be condoned by 
the State Congress manifesto. Perusal of Shri Kashinathrao 
Vaidya’s statement did not confirm the impression created by 
your letter. His statement I regard as mild and subdued. 
There is no threat in it. He has endeavoured calmly to argue 
the position of the State Congress and brought out the facts to 
the date of his conviction. It is noteworthy that he has accepted 
the fact of suspension and exhorted the State Congress members 
to desist from civil disobedience. 

The Aryan League and the Hindu Mahasabha activities 
should not be confused with that of the State Congress. There 
never was any intention of amalgamation on the part of the State 
Congress. 

Do you want me to find out what Sardar Patel, Shri Deo or 
Shri Bhulabhai said or did? As a matter of fact I have not 
even showed your letter to the Sardar though I am living with 

Vide “Draft of Statement for Hyderabad State Congress”, pp. 242-4. 


308 



LETTER TO AKBAR HYDARI 


309 


him at present. Not that I would not share your letter with 
him, only he has his work cut out for him as I have mine. But 
I could find out what they said if their opinion was relevant to 
my purpose or to the argument. If, however, you want me to, 
I shall gladly do so. 

You were quite right in dismissing from your mind the sugges- 
tion that I had secretly advised anyone against the attempt to reach 
a settlement between Hindus and Muslims. Baba it was who 
brought Shri Narasingh Rao with him. Maulvi Bahadur Yar Jung 
was also to be of the party. But he could not come. They had 
come to a standstill. I, therefore, advised them to proceed no 
further but await Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s advice and be 
guided by him. Maulana Saheb is now in correspondence with you. 

Now about “Bande Mataram”. Some students did come 
to me. I told them that “Bande Mataram” was no religious 
prayer but that they had a perfect right to say it in their rooms 
or their prayer room. I told them too that by proper representa- 
tion they would get redress and that till they had the redress 
they should remain without their studies unless they could go 
elsewhere. I have seen the explanation issued by the Osmania 
University authorities. It has not given me satisfaction. I do 
think that this is a matter you should set right without delay. If 
I have erred, not having all the facts before me, you will please 
correct me. But, of course, this question stands on its own footing. 

I have not interested myself in it. The students are not 
under my guidance. And I told those who came to me that I had 
no time to study their question, important though I admitted 
it to be. 

You say that drunkards and the like have sought imprison- 
ment. My informants say that if such people have courted 
imprisonment they were unauthorized and had nothing to do with 
the State Congress. 

I believe I have now covered all the points in your letter. 

If my argument has any substance in it, I repeat the re- 
quest for the discharge of all the State Congress prisoners and for 
permission for the State Congress to pursue such activities, politi- 
cal or otherwise, that are constitutional. 

I hope this finds you in the possession of the best of health. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 


From a photostat: G.N. 6846 



350. LETTER TO jV. R. MALKANI 


Bardoli, 

January 20, 1939 


MY DEAR MALKANI, 

I was ashamed of your letter to Banker*. I enclose a copy 
received by me. Is your notion of agency so low and the worth 
of khadi so poor as to make you write what you have done? I 
would far rather let khadi die in Sind than be treated with such 
contempt as you have been betrayed into showing. Surely your 
other work should be subordinate to khadi. I do not want you 
to retort that Choithram and even Jairamdas did worse than 
you had contemplated. Then it was an evil of necessity. 

I am deeply hurt. 

Love. 

Bapu 


From a photostat: G.N. 930 


351. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


Bardoli, 

January 20, 1939 

CHI. MIRA, 

Your letters are all works of art whether brief or long. I 
am glad you are getting on so well with John. If you will be 
patient, you will find that the Pathan grows on you. He is an 
admirable fellow — open if he once trusts you. 

You need not worry about my health. I am taking all the 
care I can. I am taking the rest that is possible. B. P. is under 
control. Jumpy, I fear, it will remain unless I lead the forest 
life and cease all outward activity. But that would be wrong. I 
must discover the art of living long though full of activity to 
the end. I shall never completely master it, having dissipated 


* Shankerlal Banker, Secretary, All-India Spinners’ Association 


310 



LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI 311 

SO much of my life in youth. We have to be thankful for what 
God vouchsafes of the rest of my life. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6425. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10020 


352. LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI 


Bardoli, 

January 20, 1939 

CHI. AMRITLAL, 

Kakasaheb’s letter was sent to you yesterday. Everyone here 
has been distressed to hear that you will have to go. Music that 
was considered a permanent feature will now be discontinued. 
No one likes this idea. It also makes me unhappy. If your 
health permits, this is my suggestion. You should walk down at 6 
in the morning every day after partaking of milk and fruit. You 
can easily be with Kakasaheb at 7.15. You can start work at 
7.30 and go on till 5 or 4.30 and reach Segaon at 6 or 6.30 
every evening. If you can do this, both the purposes will be 
served. The exertion is not too much for a healthy man. In South 
Africa I lived at a distance of 7 miles from my office and used 
to go there and come back either on foot or on bicycle. But I 
do not wish to overburden you. Think it over. Show this letter 
to Kakasaheb and do what is right. Think about other things 
having in mind that your decision to go to Kakasaheb is a firm 
one. I do not think that Kakasaheb wants you with him all 
the 24 hours. But if it is so, the question does not arise. Or 
even if he desires you to tour with him, then also there is no 
question of doing any work in Segaon. I have written in the 
dim light. 

Everything else must be going well. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10783 



353. TELEGRAM TO BALKRISHNA 


Bardoli, 

January 21, 1939 

Balkrishna 
“Pratap” Office 
Cawnpore 

AM GIVING ALL ATTENTION’ GUIDED BY MEHTAB^. 

Gandhi 

From a copy; Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


354. LETTER TO JAIRAMDAS DOULATRAM 

Bardoli, 

January 21, 1939 

MY DEAR JAIRAMDAS, 

You should not write but ask someone else to write. Some- 
how I feel it is wrong to go to Hyderabad. Mothers are often 
more affectionate than wise. But if not to fulfil her wishes dis- 
turbs you, I suppose you must go to Hyderabad. Is Indore 
not possible? Why not Matheran? Nasik or Deolali are good. 
So is Sinhagadh for that matter and you have Dinsha Mehta’s 
help there. How I wish you could make up your mind soon. 
Don’t write. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 9253. Courtesy: Jairamdas Doulatram 


355. LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI 


Bardoli, 

January 21, 1939 

CHI. SUSHILA, 

I have just now received your letter. Since I am continu- 
ing my silence I can answer it. If the reason for stopping you is 

’ The addressee, in his telegram, had described the sufferings of the 
refugees in Dhenkanal satyagraha camp. 

^ Harekrushna Mahtab 


312 



LETTER TO CHANDAN PAREKH 


313 


merely sentimental, then it is certainly better for you to go to 
South Africa. By your going there, Manilal will certainly be 
helped. You are worried about Sita. I am not. She will cert- 
ainly learn at least something there also. Hence my opinion is 
this: if your services are not essential at Akola you may gladly 
go to South Africa. It is your duty. Since you have stayed on, 
write to Manilal and know his views. This is the right course. 

Does Sita read the book she has received ? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4891 


356. LETTER TO CHANDAN PAREKH 


Bardoli, 

January 21, 1939 

CHI. CHANDAN, 

I have your letter. Did I send you the money or not? 
Kanu is not here. I do recollect that I had already instructed 
him. 

I send herewith H.’s letters lying with me. You may pres- 
erve them. Now we do not need to make them public. He left 
both Dakshinamurti and women’s education. That was exactly 
what we wanted him to do. Let me know what impression these 
letters make on you. Now you need not write to H. However, 
if you still feel like it, you may write and send the letter to 
me. If I think it proper I shall forward it. Now the H. ep- 
isode should not trouble you. 

Absorb yourself in your study. Be careful about your 
health. Take long walks. Do you get fruit? Abstain from spices 
and oil. 

Improve your handwriting. There is scope for improvement 
even in the Gujarati. There certainly is in the English. Keep 
writing to me. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

The sweet letter from Shankar was in acknowledgment of 
the receipt of the money. 

From Gujarati: C.W. 947. Courtesy: Satish D. Kalelkar 



357. LETTER TO PURUSHOTTAM K. JERAJAMI 


Bardoli, 

January 21, 1939 

BHAI KAKUBHAI, 

The reason you have given for selling to the Government 
at a lower price is not a valid one. We can reduce the price 
for everyone if we get a large order, as executing it will also cost 
less. Since you have already written, it is all right. I have 
made the suggestion for future guidance. Discuss with Shanker- 
lal the merits and demerits of my suggestion. Ultimately in the 
face of your experience, my own opinion will be of only 
secondary importance to me. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 10840. Courtesy: Purushottam 
K. Jerajani 


358. LETTER TO SIR W. BEAUCHAMP ST. JOHN 

Bardoli, 

January 22, 1939 

dear friend, 

I thank you for your prompt reply to my letter of the 18th 
instant. 

I had expected your version of the interview, if you repu- 
diated Shri Chudgar’s version. The matter is too important to 
be dropped by me. I shall gladly publish your version to- 
gether with Shri Chudgar’s if you so wish.* 

Sir W. Beauchamp St. John 
Dewan, Jaipur State, Jaipur 

Tours sincerely, 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 399. Also C.W. 7809. Courtesy: 
G. D. Birla 


* For the addressee’s reply, vide “Jaipur”, pp. 350-2. 


314 



359. LETTER TO M. R. MALKANI 


Bardoli, 

January 22, 1939 


MY DEAR MALKANI, 

Just now Mahadev is out of work. And the cashier Kanu* 
is yet too boyish to shoulder the burden. He is a good boy but 
mere goodness without attention to one’s duty is of no value. I 
gave him Chandwani’s cheque to he sent to you as soon as it 
came. He forgot to send it. Then went on leave. On asking 
him today, he shamelessly said he forgot all about it. The fault 
is mine, not his. I have trained him badly. 

Please forgive. You will find the cheque herewith. 

Return it, if you cannot give undivided attention to the vil- 
lage construction work. I must be faithful to Chandwani. If you 
cannot concentrate on this work do not look to me for the 
monthly payment. Of course I shall send you money for three 
months in any case. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 931 


360. LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI 


Bardoli, 

January 22, 1939 

CHI. SUSHILA, 

I could read Manila!’ s letter fully only yesterday. I am enclos- 
ing it. It seems to have come direct. On reading that letter 
I felt that you should leave by the first available steamer. I 
cancel what I wrote yesterday. This is the first letter from Mani- 
lal which satisfied me. Ordinary letters from you both are drab 
and empty. Letters should reflect the life of the writer. I like 
this letter so much that I want it back. Ba is of the opinion 


* Kanu Gandhi 


315 



316 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


that you should immediately go to Manilal. I do think about 
the needs of Akola. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4892 


361. LETTER TO MANUBEHN S. MASHRUWALA 

Bardoli, 

January 22, 1939 

CHI. MANUDI, 

Will it be all right if I do not write but dictate a letter to 
you? I dictated one to Sharda yesterday. Grandmother was 
angry and said, “Manu pines for a letter from you and you 
have no time to write to her.” You know better whether you 
pine or not, but you can have this letter. You never write about 
yourself nor about Surendra. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 1574. Courtesy: Manubehn 

S. Mashruwala 


362. LETTER TO RAMIBEHN K. PAREKH 


Bardoli, 

January 22, 1939 

CHI. RAMI, 

I saw your handwriting after many months — or is it years? 
I should be happy if you kept on writing. Even if I do not 
write, being too busy, you must. Hope you and the children 
are well. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 9727 



363. LETTER TO DAHTABHAI M. PATEL 


Bardoli, 

January 22, 1939 

BHAI DAHYABHAI, 

I had received your letter. Your action cannot be defended 
morally. You cannot be considered a cultivator. It can be said 
that you conspired to be listed as a cultivator. But you did not 
find any immorality in your action and so nothing remains to be 
done for the present. It would perhaps be proper if you with- 
drew from the Board at the earliest. You may seek some law- 
yer who can legally interpret such matters and act according to 
his advice. That seems the best way. 

I do not intend to reply to the complainant. He will not 
understand such intricacies. 

Understand about Ramjibhai. 

I do not remember about leather and dead animals. Write 
again if the matter is important. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 2710. Courtesy: Dahyabhai M. Patel 

364. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM 


Bardoli, 

January 22, 1939 

DEAR daughter, 

I have your letter. What can I say? Ba is of course unhappy. 
She wants you to come soon. I do not want that. I want 
you to stay on if you have work there. You must visit your bro- 
thers also. You are crazy not to be able to live away from me. 
Anyway, do what you think best. 

What can I say about my suspicion? I cannot free myself 
of it. Time alone can do that. It came of itself and it will dis- 
appear of itself if that is to be. If you can become stable and 
discharge your duties the suspicion is bound to disappear. You 
will continue to get an occasional letter. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 411 

317 



365. LETTER TO BRIJKRISHNA CHANDIWALA 


Bardoli, 

January 22, 1939 

CHI. BRAJKRISHNA, 

I have your two letters. 

I hope your brother is better. I understand about the . . .* 
of Delhi. 

If Dr. Gopichand wants to work in the neighbourhood of 
Delhi, he may. 

What is the harm in the Harijan Ashram contributing the 
major portion towards the construction of the prayer hall? You 
should be agreeable. It does not require any deliberation. 

My health is good. Here I have more than enough work. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 2476 


366. THE STATES 

The movement for liberty within the States is entering a new 
stage. History is going to repeat itself. Talcher and Dhenkanal 
have led the way in repression. It is no small matter that 
26,000 out of 75,000 all told have migrated from Talcher to Bri- 
tish Orissa. Prof. Ranga has published harrowing details of the 
sufferings of these refugees. His narrative is supported by Thak- 
kar Bapa, the great social reformer and philanthropist, who res- 
ponds to the call of distress no matter from what quarter it 
comes. They have been in exile for two months. I had hoped 
that they would have returned to their homes. But there seems 
to be no peace for these people as yet. 

It is not possible for Orissa alone to tackle the relief work. 
The Government of Orissa has not much money to spare. I 
hope that the Marwadi Relief Society will take up the relief work 
bearing in mind that labour should be found for the refugees. 

^ Obscure in the source 


318 



THE STATES 


319 


Ranpur has murdered a political agentd And the police and 
military are having a merry time at the expense of innocent men 
and women. I hope the Government of Orissa will firmly han- 
dle the situation and not let the Imperial Power deal with the 
situation as it chooses. The Imperial Power loses its head 
when it loses one of its own class in the circumstances attending 
the unfortunate murder of Major Bazalgette. This murder should 
show us that there is nothing to be gained by the people by such 
acts. 

Jaipur will not tolerate even the education of the Jaipurians 
to ask and fit themselves for responsible government and would 
presently bury alive one of its foremost sons. 

The advisers of the Thakore Saheb of Rajkot think nothing 
of making him eat his own words and commit a breach of his 
promise solemnly made to his people. The Resident of the West- 
ern States is party to this breach, if evidence in my possession is 
to be relied upon. To him the Congress and Sardar are anath- 
ema. Ground is being prepared in Rajkot for fomenting quar- 
rels between Hindus and Muslims and the people in general and 
the Bhayats. None of these have hitherto quarrelled. It is to 
be hoped that the Muslims and the Bhayats will not prove ene- 
mies of their own deliverance. The reformers’ course is clear. 
They must avoid all clash. They must be prepared to die at 
the hands of their own people if the occasion arose. They 
have tried with marvellous success the weapon of non-violent 
non-co-operation. They can enforce it fully and simply sit still. 
The people are the paymasters, and the Prince and the officials 
are their servants who have to do the will of their masters. 
This is literally true of an awakened and enlightened people who 
know the art of thinking and acting as of one mind. 

I would urge the people in the other States to hasten slow- 
ly. Liberty is theirs if they will have patience and self-restraint. 
Let them everywhere knit themselves together and have a con- 
sciousness of their strength. They should not have internal dissen- 
sions. They must know how to combat the maxim of irres- 
ponsibility — divide and rule. It is easy enough if the reformers 
master the technique of non-violence. 

Travancoreans had better be on their guard. I have suffi- 
cient evidence in my possession to show that attempts are being 
made to create divisions between Hindus and Christians and Ezha- 
was. If they are to have responsible government, they must 

* Vide “Statement to the Press”, p. 285. 



320 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


forget that they are of these different communities. They must 
learn that they are one and indivisible political unit, and they 
must attain control over all forces of violence. They must take 
full responsibility for peace throughout Travancore without the 
aid of the police, if they are to win freedom through non-violent 
means. Meetings and processions are necessary for propaganda 
among ignorant masses. They are not necessary for a people 
awakened to a sense of their duty as citizens. Swaraj is for the 
awakened, not for the sleepy and the ignorant. 

Bardoli, January 23, 1939 
Harijan, 28-1-1939 

367. INTERNAL DECAY 

My time and that of co-workers is largely taken up in wad- 
ing through complaints about corruption among Congressmen. 
The latest typical letter received is from a Bombay Congressman:' 
Tripuri Congress delegates’ elections took place last Sunday in 
Bombay. The voting was to start at 8 a. m. in the morning. I reached 
Congress House at nearly 8.45 a. m., but to my consternation I found 
that I had already been impersonated in the short span of forty-five 
minutes. Scores of others had the same experience. I tried to trace the 
source, and though (as expected) I could not trace the miscreant I found 
that this impersonation business was regularly organized and practised on 
a mass scale as soon as the polling had started. Naturally those who 
came even half an hour late were disappointed, they having been 
impersonated meanwhile. 

Many suggestions have been made to you to abate this nuisance, 
but in my humble opinion unless we introduce the system of asking the 
prospective voters to produce their membership cards to be duly stamped by 
the issuing officers before slips are issued to them, nothing will do the 
trick .... 

The correspondent’s suggestion is quite sound. I should have 
thought that every voter had to produce an identification card 
before being allowed to register his vote. 

My purpose, however, in reproducing the correspondent’s let- 
ter is not merely to draw attention to the impersonation in Bom- 
bay and the method of dealing with it. The letter is a pointer. 
Besides impersonation there is the wholesale tampering with the 
Congress registers which contain bogus names. These registers 
have as much value as a box containing counterfeit coins though 
* Only an extract from the letter is reproduced here. 



INTERNAL DECAY 


321 


it is claimed to contain rupees. Strife at Congress elections is 
becoming a common occurrence. The indiscipline of Congressmen 
is on the increase everywhere. Many of them make irresponsible, 
even violent, speeches. Many fail to carry out instructions. 
Bihar is a notable example. Kisans of Bihar are supposed to be 
Congressmen. Their leaders are Congressmen. Bihar Ministers 
live in perpetual dread of kisan risings and kisan marches. Only 
two days ago I had a wire from Khandesh of a contemplated 
march to the Collector’s bungalow by kisans headed by a well- 
known Congress worker. Such instances can be multiplied. 

Rome’s decline began long before it fell. The Congress, 
which has been nursed for over fifty years by the best brains of 
the country, will not fall the moment it has begun to decay. 
It need not fall at all, if the corruption is handled in time. 

In my opinion the greatest work before the Congress will be 
to deal with this fourfold process of decay. We are yet far from 
our goal. We shall be no nearer it if we are not sure of our 
means and their meaning and implications. When the real time 
comes we shall be found wanting. If I was called upon to lead, 
say, an army of civil resisters, I should be unable to shoulder the 
burden. This is a big admission to make. But I should be guilty 
of cowardice and worse if I did not make it. Though there is 
non-violence enough among the masses, there is not enough among 
those who have to organize the masses. Even as a banker cannot 
run a bank if he has nothing in his chest, so can a general not 
lead a battle if he has no soldiers on whom he can rely implicitly. 

Let no Congressman blame me for thinking aloud. Though I 
am not in the Congress, I have not ceased to be of it. Congress- 
men still expect me to give the call when in my opinion the time 
for action has come. What is more, if God so wills it, I feel I have 
enough strength and energy in me to lead a battle much more 
strenuous than any I have fought. But there are Saharas in the 
way. I have mentioned one which Congressmen can see, touch and 
handle. The Congress would not be harmed by my having lifted 
the curtain and exposing our uglinesses to the public gaze. It 
would be harmed if knowing the truth I hid it from the public. 

Out of the present condition of the Congress I see nothing 
but anarchy and red ruin in front of the country. Shall we face 
the harsh truth at Tripuri? 

Bardoli, January 23, 1939 

Harijan, 28-1-1939 


68-21 



368. ‘WHAT A MAN OF GOD!’ 

The much-travelled Miss Muriel Lester, my East End host- 
ess during the Round Table days, who is in the Frontier Pro- 
vince at the time of writing this, having met Badshah Khan, thus 
writes of him: 

Now I have got to know Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, I feel there 
is not likely to be another such honour in my life so far as meeting 
wonderful people goes. He is an Old Testament prince with the New 

Testament gentleness. What a man of God! Thank you for mak- 

ing it possible for us to know him. 

He is taking us tomorrow to Utmanzai. It will be a pleasure to 
see Mira again. 

I would not have published this private testimony if I had 
thought it to be the exaggeration of an unbalanced mind. It is 
true that Muriel Lester readily sees the bright side of those whom 
she meets. It is not a fault but a virtue. There is no one 

without faults, not even men of God. They are men of God 

not because they are faultless but because they know their own 
faults, they strive against them, they do not hide them and are 
ever ready to correct themselves. Such is Khan Saheb who 
prides himself in calling himself a servant of God. He is a de- 
vout Muslim who never misses his prayers and fasts. His inter- 
pretation of the Koran is the most liberal I have known. He had 
to make a choice of one from among the workers whose services 
I had offered him for introducing spinning, etc., among Khudai 
Khidmatgars. He deliberately chose Mirabai, Madeleine Slade. 
She was until recently living under the same roof as Khan Saheb 
and is now living in rooms adjoining Khan Saheb’s residence 
where she conducts her class. She writes to me almost daily. I 
am glad to be able to say that her letters, though she does not 
spare those whom she loves, bear out Muriel Lester’s first impres- 
sion of this noble fakir. And yet the English officials have no 
use for him. They fear him and distrust him. I would not 
mind this distrust so much if it did not hamper progress, did not 
harm India and England and therefore the world. 

Bardoli, January 23, 1939 
Harijan, 28-1-1939 


322 



369. ISLAMIC CULTURE 


A great Muslim asked me what appeared to me strange 
questions the other day. Strange, because I should have thought 
that every Muslim who knows me, and this great Muslim knew 
me, could answer them for me. Here is the dialogue: 

q. Are you the same to Muslims now that you used to be in South 
Africa — their friend, father and guide? 

A. I never claimed the privilege of being father to them or 
anyone in South Africa. But I certainly was their guide and 
friend. (I may state in passing that I was addressed as Bhai — 
brother — by them and others.) I am absolutely the same as I 
was in South Africa, twenty-four years ago. I regard Muslims 
like other Indians as blood brothers entitled to the same rights 
and privileges as any other Indian. 

{). Then do you cherish their culture as you would cherish your own 
Hindu culture ? 

A. Of course I do. I cannot do otherwise, as I believe 
Islam and other great religions to be as true as my own. India 
is the richer for the cultures that Islam and Christianity brought 
with them. I regard the present antagonisms as a passing phase. 

q. Let me be plain. I do not believe in Akbar’s dream. He aimed 
at fusing all religions into one and producing a new faith. Do you have 
some such aim? 

A. I do not know what Akbar dreamt. I do not aim at 
any fusion. Each religion has its own contribution to make to 
human evolution. I regard the great faiths of the world as so 
many branches of a tree, each distinct from the other though 
having the same source. 

q. I would like you to tell me what you mean by Hindustani. Do 
you favour a common dictionary? 

A. I have anticipated you. I understand that Maulvi 
Abdul Haq Saheb has produced a dictionary which has taken all 
the Urdu words that are to be found in the Benares Hindi Lexi- 
con and Hindi words from the Osmania Lexicon. I have recom- 
mended to the Congress the adoption of the Maulvi Saheb’ s 

323 



324 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

dictionary. And for new words have suggested a board composed 
of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Rajendra Babu. 

Cl. What about the Border Tribes? You know they are being crushed 
under the British heel. Will you favour their relations with India being 
regulated by the Frontier Province? 

A. I would most decidedly. I have been moving in that 
direction. I nave publicly stated more than once that India has 
to trust and befriend them and not regard them as her natu- 
ral enemies. I have been trying to go in their midst myself and 
secure the same permission for Badshah Khan. 

There were other questions also asked, but they are not of 
such public interest as the ones I have dealt with. And they 
are not matters of controversy so far as I know. I should like to 
add here that I have not lost my faith in communal unity. My 
life is still dedicated to it. Though a political pact has to come, 
it will never satisfy me without a heart unity. And a heart unity 
is inconceivable without non-violence as the basis of permanent 
friendship or brotherhood. 

Bardoli, January 23, 1939 
Harijan, 28-1-1939 

370. TELEGRAM TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ 


Bardoli, 
January 23, 1939 

Jamnalal Bajaj 
Care Kanoria 
Calcutta 

TIME RESERVED. 

Bapu 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 210 



371. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM 


Bardoli, 

January 23, 1939 


DEAR DAUGHTER, 

I have your letter, but what a letter! You bite even from a 
distance! Why should I worry about you? God takes care of 
all. It is surprising that you could not meet Mridulabehn. I 
am well. The reading was 160/94 at noon. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 412 


372. LETTER TO RAMESHWARI NEHRU 


Bardoli, 

January 23, 1939 

DEAR sister, 

I have both your letters. The articles will be published in 
Harijan.^ I had myself asked for them — hadn’t I? I was only 
awaiting the second. I hope your daughter-in-law is well. Ba 
is all right. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

Rameshwari Nehru 

Pakpattam 

Punjab 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 7987. Also G.W. 3083. Courtesy: 
Rameshwari Nehru 


’ They were published in Harijan, 18-3-1939, 1-4-1939, 15-4-1939,29-4-1939, 
6-5-1939 and 20-5-1939. 


325 



373. INTERVIEW TO “THE TIMES OE INDIA’^ 

Bardoli, 

January 24, 1939 

In reply to the correspondent’s question as to what Gandhiji meant 
by saying in the last week’s Harijan that an all-India crisis would occur if the 
Jaipur authorities persisted in prohibiting the entry of Seth Jamnalal Bajaj 
into the State,* Gandhiji replied: 

Seth Jamnalal is an all-India man, though a subject of Jai- 
pur. He is also a member of the Congress Working Committee, 
and essentially and admittedly a man of peace. He is the 
president of an organization which has been working and has been 
allowed to work in Jaipur for some years. Its activities have 
always been open. It contains well-known workers who are 
sober by disposition and who have done much constructive work, 
both among men and women. There is at the head of affairs in 
Jaipur a distinguished politico-military officer. He is shaping 
the policy of the State in connection with the ban pronounced 
against Jamnalalji and his association, the Jaipur Rajya Praja 
Mandal. I take it that Sir Beauchamp St. John, Prime Minister 
of Jaipur, would not be acting without at least the tacit approv- 
al of the Central authority, without whose consent he could not 
become the Prime Minister of an important State like Jaipur. 

If the action of the Jaipur authorities precipitates a first- 
class crisis, it is impossible for the Indian National Congress, 
and therefore all India, to stand by and look on with indiffer- 
ence whilst Jamnalalji, for no offence whatsoever, is imprisoned 
and members of the Praja Mandal are dealt with likewise. The 
Congress will be neglecting its duty if, having power, it shrank 
from using it and allowed the spirit of the people of Jaipur to 
be crushed for want of support from the Congress. This is the 
sense in which I have said that the example of Jaipur, or say 
Rajkot, might easily lead to an all-India crisis. 

The policy of non-intervention by the Congress was, in my 
opinion, a perfect piece of statesmanship when the people of the 
States were not awakened. That policy would be cowardice when 
there is all-round awakening among the people of the States and 

* Vide “Jaipur”, pp. 299-300. 


326 



327 


INTERVIEW TO “tHE TIMES OF INDIA” 

a determination to go through a long course of suffering for 
the vindication of their just rights. If once this is recognized, 
the struggle for liberty, wherever it takes place, is the struggle 
for all India. Whenever the Congress thinks it can usefully in- 
tervene, it must intervene. 


In answer to a further question how the Congress as an institution and 
the Congress Ministries in the various provinces were justified in precipitating 
a crisis on an issue which exclusively concerned a State, Gandhiji said: 

Supposing in a particular district in British India the Collec- 
tor butchered the people of that district, is or is not the Congress 
justified in intervening and precipitating an all-India crisis? If 
the answer is ‘y^®’, then it applies to Jaipur also for examining 
the conduct of the Congress in terms of intervention. If there 
had been no non-intervention resolution by the Congress, this 
question really would not have arisen. Therefore, unthinking 
people very often blame me for having said that constitutionally 
Indian States were foreign States. I do not accept that blame at 
all. I was wandering about in the States and I knew as a mat- 
ter of fact that the people of the States were not ready. 

The moment they became ready, the legal, constitutional 
and artificial boundary was destroyed. This is a tremendous 
moral question. Constitutionalism, legality and such other things 
are good enough within their respective spheres, but they become 
a drag upon human progress immediately the human mind has 
broken these artificial bonds and flies higher. That is precisely 
what is happening before my eyes. Without any spur from any 
outside agency I saw at once that there must be intervention by 
the Congress of the type you see today. And it will go on from 
stage to stage, if the Congress remains the moral force that it has 
become — in other words, if the Congress lives up to its policy of 
non-violence. 

People say that I have changed my view, that I say today 
something different from what I said years ago. The fact of the 
matter is that conditions have changed. I am the same. My 
words and deeds are dictated by prevailing conditions. There 
has been a gradual evolution in my environment and I react to 
it as a satyagrahi. 

The correspondent next drew Gandhiji’s attention to recent developments 
in Rajkot and in Baroda, where the minorities were protesting against the 
Congress dictation. Gandhiji said in reply that he was unperturbed by those 
developments. He said; 



328 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


The movement for liberty cannot possibly be withdrawn or 
arrested because there are at the moment so-called communal 
splits. I see that history is repeating itself and the power that 
is losing ground is becoming desperate and fomenting trouble and 
dissension within, hoping to drag on its existence by means of 
these dissensions. If the people know how to work the non-violent 
technique, the powers that are acting in this manner will be 
confounded and the people will rise victorious. 

The Muslims in Rajkot, for instance, have everything to 
gain by the people of Rajkot securing liberty. They are today 
depending upon the sweet will, not of the Rulers, but of the 
advisers of the Rulers ; tomorrow they will share power with the 
people because they are of the people. But I really do not believe 
that there is real Muslim opposition in Rajkot. They have 
enjoyed the best relations with the Hindus. I know this from per- 
sonal experience myself. During the three months’ brief but bril- 
liant struggle there was no dissension between the Hindus and 
the Muslims in Rajkot. Though many Muslims did not court 
imprisonment, the Muslims as a community remained at the back 
of the agitation. 

I really do not understand this unfortunate squabble in Baroda. 
I am as yet too paralysed to get a full grasp of the situa- 
tion. There again, what can Maharashtrians lose if there is self- 
rule in Baroda? They are powerful enough to assert themselves. 
It is not as if they will be crushed by the so-called Gujarati 
majority, and if the majority gets its share of the crumbs of 
office, that should not be a matter for non-participation by the 
Maharashtrians in the struggle for liberty. Hence, though I have 
not been able to fathom the bottom of this quarrel, I have no 
misgivings so long as the reformers remain non-violent and do not 
harbour any ill will against the Maharashtrians for their action. 
The question dwindles into insignificance so far as Baroda is con- 
cerned when it is remembered that against its population of 
2,500,000 there are only a few thousands of Maharashtrians, 
mostly to be found in Baroda city itself. 

The Times of India, January 25, 1939, and Harijan, 28-1-1939 



374. LETTER TO MANUAL GANDHI 


Bardoli, 

January 25, 1939 

CHI. MANILAL, 

Enclosed is a cheque for £100. It is for the repairs of the 
library building — is it not? Why should you be afraid of the 
astrological prediction ? Now it is certainly time for me to leave the 
world. Do not weep if you hear the news of my demise tomorrow. 
Both of you may look after my work. You should shine as my 
heir. Add to the inheritance. Money is something that comes 
and goes, but if I have some virtues those are your inheritance. 
Add to them and be happy. All are sharers in this inheritance. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4893 


375. LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI 

Bardoli, 

January 25, 1939 

CHI. SUSHILA, 

Your letter does you justice. It came to my hand at 6.30. 
It is 7.50 now. I only think of your good. How can I claim 
to be a father otherwise? It is wrong for you to stay back 
for fear of your dreams and forecasts coming true. One should 
not deviate from one’s duty even if the forecast is trustworthy. 
What does it matter if I or anybody at Akola dies when you 
are not here? If your presence here is necessary for some serv- 
ice, it becomes your duty to stay back. Otherwise, your place 
is by Manilal. You are his wife, his vamangini, which means the 
left side of the body. You are his better half. Your place is 
where Manilal is. Go without hesitation and with a light heart. 
That is your duty. 

The enclosed is for Manilal. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4894 

329 



376. LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW 


Confidential Bardoli, 

January 26, 1939 

DEAR LORD LINLITHGOW, 

Your clear reply of the 4th inst. in reply to mine of the 
23rd ultimo emboldens me to bring to your notice certain happen- 
ings as I see them. 

In Orissa things seem to be worst.’ Public opinion there is 
not so strong as elsewhere and the most unfortunate murder of 
Major Bazalgette in Ranpur has complicated the situation. The 
Orissa Government, as has been officially admitted, has rendered 
every assistance it could have. This unfortunate event apart, out 
of a total population of 75,000 souls in Talcher, 26,000 have 
been compelled by sufferings said to be indescribable to migrate 
to British Orissa. 

I feel that it is the clear duty of the Resident to see that 
the cause of this migration is investigated and redress given to 
the people. 

The Resident in Kathiawad, as far as I can see, has made 
the Thakore Saheb of Rajkot break his solemn pact with his 
people published in the form of an official Notification.^ 

The struggle has, therefore, been resumed in Rajkot. 

The British Prime Minister of Jaipur is said to have vowed 
to crush Seth Jamnalalji, a well-known banker, philanthropist and 
social reformer, and socio-political organization of which he is 
the President.^ Their crime consists in aiming at responsible 
government in Jaipur under the aegis of the Maharaja. 

I take it that the Central Government cannot escape respon- 
sibility, if the information given herein is trustworthy. 

This means that the people of the States have to fight not 
only their rulers who by themselves cannot resist their people but 
they have also to combat the unseen and all too powerful hand 
of the Central authority. 

I venture to present this awful problem to you. I call it 
awful because I do not know how far it will commit both the 

Vide pp. 318-20. 

3 Vide pp. 299-300. 


330 



LETTER TO CHANDAN PAREKH 


331 


Central authority and the Congress which has a moral duty by the 
people of the States. I can understand the treaty obligations of 
the Paramount Power to protect States against danger from with- 
out and anarchy within. Is not the corollary equally true, that 
if the States suppress their people, the latter have also to be 
protected by the Paramount Power? Can a State suppress free 
speech, meetings and the like, and expect the Paramount Power 
to help it in doing so, if the afflicted people carry on a non- 
violent agitation for the natural freedom to which every human 
being in decent society is entitled ? 

I do not expect any reply to my letter unless there is any- 
thing to tell me. I know how every moment of your time is 
occupied. It is enough for me to know, as I do know, that 
my letters receive your personal attention. 

I remain. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a microfilm of a printed copy: Lord Linlithgow Papers. Courtesy: 

National Archives of India. Also Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, pp. 401-2 


377. LETTER TO CHANDAN PAREKH 


Bardoli, 

January 26, 1939 

CHI. CHANDAN, 

I have asked Kanu to send you Rs. 30. I am sorry this 
was overlooked. 

You should take it for certain that H. would not have 
left had it not been for the episode in which you figured. Do 
not forget the purport of your first letter. You wanted that 
H. should give up women’s education. That has been done. 
To do anything more is cruelty. Your purpose is served. I 
do not hold you guilty. You wanted such justice from me, did 
you not? If I hand over the papers to Jamnalalji and 

others and if they hold you guilty, will you accept the ver- 
dict? Are you so foolish? But that is the meaning of your let- 

ter. You write that you will accept the verdict if they hold 
you guilty. This statement lacks wisdom. When I have acquit- 
ted you, what more is there for you to do? But I have done 
more for you. I pronounced you not guilty and made H. 

give up Dakshinamurti and women’s education. What more 



332 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


would you gain by making him accept his guilt? A prisoner is 
punished but he is never forced to confess the guilt. You are 
really exhibiting your foolishness. Have you or have you not 
given me the right to call you foolish? Write your reply with 
an easy mind. If you insist, I shall certainly give trouble to 
Jamnalalji and others. 

I advise you to forget about H. and absorb yourself in 
your work. If you do not find the food suitable, cook yourself. 
It will take 15 minutes in a cooker. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 


From Gujarati: C.W. 948. Courtesy: Satish D. Kalelkar 

378. LETTER TO BRIJKRISHMA CHAMDIWALA 

January 26, 1939 

CHI. BRIJKRISHNA, 

You will have received my letter. Your question is perti- 
nent. But the solution is not to be found in what happened. 
We must find out why it happened. There is plenty of violence 
in the Aryan League. Who will counteract it? The substance 
of what you say is that the Muslims are more given to the gos- 
pel of violence. What is the non-violent person to do when two 
violent parties fight? When he is powerless to do anything he 
should pray, keep away from the conflict and seek for an oppor- 
tunity to sacrifice himself. 

About The Hindustan Times you should speak to Devdas. 

The newspapers here do not contain any news of the riot. 
Was there anything in The Statesman? 

I have not read the letter to Kripalani. I gave it to Pyare- 
lal to forward to him. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 2475 



379. SPEECH AT MEETING OE PEASANTS 


Bardoli, 

January 26, 1939 

I went through the resolutions you have passed before coming 
here. Let me congratulate both the parties on it. Sardar has 
said that you have passed these resolutions with God as your 
witness. You have already had some experience of what happens 
when a man breaks his vow. I do hope that you will 
fully adhere to these resolutions. Quite often, when people do 
not make such resolutions of their own accord, law compels 
them to do so, which carries with it some kind of punishment. 
It is a good thing that you have passed these resolutions 
of your own free will. It is not an ordinary thing that the 
Dublas have ceased to be serfs and have become free. Of 
course, these resolutions gave me an impression that the peasants 
in this part are big businessmen for, through these resolutions 
they have indeed struck a big bargain. What is so great about 
paying fair daily wages to the Dublas for the full quota of work 
whereas formerly they were made to work as much as the own- 
ers desired? I am not greatly impressed by it. According to 
me, any man or woman must get the minimum wage of 8 annas 
for 8 hours of work. God willing, such conditions will be creat- 
ed in my lifetime. You may find 8 annas a big thing; but it 

* The meeting, with an attendance of between 10 and 15 thousand land- 
owners and Halis or Dublas, was held to approve the recommendations made 
by a committee of farmers and village workers, formed in the previous year 
to consider the question of the emancipation of Halis whose status was that 
of serfs. The committee had made the following recommendations: 

(1) Every Hali to be emancipated, the wages from 26th January 
1939 to be as. 4/6 (for males) and as. 3/- (for females); (2) every Hali 
who has worked on his master’s farm for twelve years or more is auto- 
matically free from all his debts to him; (3) such Halis as may have worked 
for less than twelve years to have credited to their account a twelfth of the 
debt for every year that they have worked; (4) an anna per day to be deduc- 
ted from the wage, in the case of men, until the debt is repaid; (5) everyone 
to be declared free from debt on expiry of 12 years, whether the debt be paid 
or not; (6) every debt to expire with the debtor’s life; (7) a Dubla may 
engage himself on an annual wage of Rs. 80, and Rs. 15 may be deducted 
from his wage for repayment of a debt due if any; (8) a village committee 
to be appointed to settle all questions pertaining to debts. 


333 



334 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


really is not so big. But you have fixed 3 annas as the wages 
for a woman labourer, whereas you will take the same amount of 
work from her. Do you think those people will run away from 
you ? Hence, even while congratulating you, I tell you that you 
have struck a bargain. 

I would like to insist that you should not take the reso- 
lution too literally. Do not think that you can never pay more 
than 4g annas and 3 annas. The very fact that you have 
made them free implies that they are free to work wherever they 
choose and earn the wages they can. The great significance of 
this resolution is that they will remain where they are and your 
relations will be pure. The fact that a Dubla ceases to be a serf 
and becomes a ploughman does not mean that the farmer will 
not plough the land. The plough will belong to the farmer and 
the Dubla will use it for him. But the real ploughman, in fact, 
is the tiller of the land and the ideal condition will be that in 
which both the farmer and the serf become ploughmen. Furth- 
er, the resolution does not mean that even when it has been a 
good year and there are bumper crops you will pay only 4| an- 
nas as wages. If you do so, I would say that you have not car- 
ried out your resolution. 

You had taken the great vow of independence in 1921. You 
have not yet fulfilled the major part of it. What you have done 
now should have been done in 1921. This means that you delayed 
what should have been done many years ago. Nevertheless, I 
congratulate you as this is a meritorious act. 

Agriculture is our basic occupation. But we are not very 
good agriculturists, because our farming does not keep us busy 
throughout the year. Nor does it give us enough to eat. That 
is why I have described the charkha as Annapurna and praise it 
even today as much as I did formerly. Hence, if the farmers want 
to make progress, they will have to supplement their income by 
taking to the charkha. Thus you should devote all your free time 
to the charkha. 

I hope the resolutions will be implemented by both the parties. 

[From Gujarati] 

Harijanbandhu, 19-2-1939 



380. LETTER TO SIR W. BEAUCHAMP ST. JOHN 


Bardoli, 

January 27, 1939 

DEAR FRIEND, 

I thank you for yours of the 25th inst. 

I am afraid I cannot sympathize with you in your hesita- 
tion. The report Shri Chudgar has sent is too valuable not to 
be published. My concern was to see that I did not give cur- 
rency to a report whose accuracy could be successfully challenged. 

I am in correspondence with Shri Chudgar and if he adheres 
to the report he has given to Seth Jamnalalji, I may feel com- 
pelled to publish it in the interest of the cause of the people of 
Jaipur. 

I have not understood the meaning of “suitable action” to 
be taken by you in the event of publication of Shri Chudgar’ s 
version. 

Yours sincerely, 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, pp. 400-1. Also C.W. 7809. Courtesy: 
G. D. Birla 


381. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM 

January 27, 1939 

CHI. AMTUSSALAAM, 

I am puzzled. I did not say no. I only explained my pre- 
dicament. You made the suggestion and I accepted it. You are 
so unpredictable. If you are not worried over the lack of my 
contact but only about the refusal from Maulana, why is the 
letter so full of that topic? But I do not wish to get into an 
argument with you. There is no need for you to go to Mridula. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 669 


335 



382. TELEGRAM TO BISWANATH DAS 


[Before January 28, 1939Y 

Prime Minister 
Cuttack 

THAKKAR BAPA SAYS TALCHER REFUGEES STARVING AND 
SUFFERING. WANT MEDICAL ASSISTANCE. PLEASE GIVE RELIEF. 

Gandhi 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


383. TELEGRAM TO JANAKIDEVI BAJAJ 

Bardoli, 

January 28, 1939 

Jankidevi Bajaj 
Wardha 

don’t go JAIPUR NOW TILL CERTIFIED BY DOCTORS 
AND ME AS PERFECTLY FIT AND CHEERFUL. 

Bapu 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 210 


384. DRAFT OF STATEMENT FOR JAMNALAL BAJAJ^ 

Bardoli, 

January 28, 1939 

The Prime Minister of Jaipur is reported to have vowed to 
crush the Jaipur Rajya Praja Mandal and me. In pursuance of 
that policy I have been put out of harm’s way as they may 
think. Presently the same fate will overtake the members of the 
Mandal. But if we are true to ourselves and our self-imposed 
trust, though our bodies may be imprisoned or otherwise injured, 
our spirits shall be free. 

* From the reference to the plight of Talcher refugees; vide “The 
States”, pp. 318-20. 

2 This was to be issued by Jamnalal Bajaj at the time of his arrest. 
The draft in Gandhiji’s hand is available in G.N. 3078. 

336 



DRAFT OF STATEMENT FOR JAMNALAL BAJAJ 


337 


As I go into enforced silence let me reiterate what we are 
fighting for. Our goal is responsible government under the 
Maharaja but our civil disobedience has not been taken up so 
as to influence the Durbar to grant us responsible government. 
Civil disobedience is aimed at asserting the elementary right that 
belongs to all societies, to speak and write freely, to assemble in 
meetings, to take out processions, to form associations, etc., so 
long as these activities remain non-violent. We have been forced 
to resort to civil disobedience because this elementary right has 
been denied to us. The moment this right is restored civil dis- 
obedience should be withdrawn. 

Hence there is no question as yet of mass civil disobedience 
or a no-tax campaign. 

Seeing that the Mandal has been virtually declared an illegal 
body, let us regard our existing register to be abrogated. A 
new register should be opened if possible within the State and 
without if necessary. Those only will become members who 
know that there is risk today even in becoming members of the 
Mandal. It is to be hoped, however, that there will be a large 
number of Jaipurians living within the State or without who will 
become members of the Mandal and thus at least show their dis- 
approval of the ban. 

The names, addresses and occupations of these members will 
be registered and published from time to time. 

The affairs of the Mandal will in my absence be managed 
by . . .' and they will exercise all the powers of the Mandal and 
the President as if the constitution was in operation. This coun- 
cil of five will have the right to substitute others in their respec- 
tive places. In all matters of civil disobedience the council will 
whenever necessary seek and be guided by the advice of 
Gandhiji. 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, pp. 403-4. Also G.N. 3078 


’ Omission as in the source 


68-22 



385. DISCUSSION WITH REPRESENTATIVES OE 
MUNICIPALITIES AND LOCAL BOARDS^ 

Bardoli, 

January 28, 1939 

The first question they asked related to the question of taxation: 

The Congress is pledged to the policy of reducing the burden of taxation. 
Yet when Congressmen enter the local boards and municipalities, they required 
more money for carrying out their programme of beneficent municipal 
activity. How can this be done without fresh taxation which the people 
naturally dislike? How is the dilemma to be solved? 

A. If I were a tax-payer within the jurisdiction of a local 
board or a municipality, I would refuse to pay a single pie by 
way of additional taxation and advise others to do likewise unless 
the money we pay is returned fourfold. Those who enter local 
boards and municipalities as people’s representatives go there 
not to seek honour or to indulge in mutual rivalries, but to ren- 
der a service of love, and that does not depend upon money. 
Ours is a pauper country. If our municipal councillors are im- 
bued with a real spirit of service, they will convert themselves 
into unpaid sweepers, Bhangis and road-makers, and take pride in 
doing so. They will invite their fellow-councillors, who may not 
have come on the Congress ticket, to join them, and if they 
have faith in themselves and their mission, their example will 
not fail to evoke response. This means that a municipal coun- 
cillor has to be a whole-timer. He should have no axe of his 
own to grind. The next step would be to map out the entire 
adult population within the jurisdiction of the municipality or the 
local board. All should be asked to make their contribution to 
municipal activity. A regular register should be maintained. Those 
who are too poor to make any money contribution but are able- 
bodied and physically fit, can be asked to give their free labour. 
Real India consists not of a few big cities and our Presidency towns, 
but of seven lakhs of villages. It is there that the real problems 
of India have to be faced and solved. We require better roads, 
better sanitation, better drinking water supply for our villages. 

* Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Municipal Service and Non-violence”. About 
200 representatives of municipalities and local boards had met Gandhiji to 
discuss the various knotty problems relating to their day-to-day work. 

338 



DISCUSSION WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF MUNICIPALITIES 339 


We shall never be able to get through even a fraction of 
this stupendous work if we proceed on a money basis. But India 
has an inexhaustible reserve of manpower. If we can mobilize that, 
we can transform the entire look of the country in an incredibly 
short time. 

And the charkha is a means par excellence for effecting this 
mobilization of our labour resources. It is a natural symbol of 
non-violence too, which is the soul of all voluntary life-giving 
corporate activity. The popularization of the charkha thus has 
a definite place in any scheme of municipal work, whether it 
relates to the liquidation of rural unemployment and the conse- 
quent penury and appalling conditions of existence under which 
vast sections of our rural population live, or whether it refers to 
the amelioration of slum hfe that is the shame of our big cities. 

But this presupposes a living faith in the charkha, a faith 
that should lead to an intelligent study and mastering of the sci- 
ence of spinning and its allied processes. As it is, we today love 
to kill our time by going to cinemas and picture houses or even 
in idle talk. Pursuits of making money without work interest us, but 
not the charkha. Yet it is my faith that we shall advance to- 
wards our goal of non-violence to the extent we succeed in univer- 
salizing the charkha. 

By following the plan of work outlined above, we shall 
be able to return to the ratepayers whatever taxes they may 
have paid, multiplied manifold, in the form of vastly improved 
services and municipal amenities, and they will not grudge the 
levying of additional taxes, too, should that become necessary. 

A member of the Jambusar Municipality asked: “In our municipality there 
are 17 members, out of whom eight have been returned on the Congress ticket, 
the remaining nine are non-Congress. They can always outvote us and thwart 
our plans. What should we do ?” 

G. That should present no problem. If they want to proceed 
in the orthodox style and fill up their time with speechifying and 
so on and so forth, you need not imitate them, or waste your 
time like them; you may just put in your appearance at these 
meetings, but need not waste your time by taking part in idle 
controversy. Instead, you should occupy all your time with 
useful service of the ratepayers, by yourself wielding the bucket 
and the broom, by working with the spade and the basket, by 
nursing and rendering medical aid to the sick and ailing, and by 
teaching the ratepayers who are illiterate, and their children, 
to read and write. As a result, two things may happen. Either 



340 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


your opponents will be infected by your example and will align 
themselves with you and there will be an end to all controversy. 
Or the ratepayers will learn to know the sheep from the goats, 
and at the next election all the seventeen seats will be filled by 
Congressmen. That is the non-violent way of liquidating oppo- 
sition. It eliminates all conflict and clash and makes our way 
clear irrespective of what the other party may or may not do. 

q. Since in many places in Gujarat the National Week is being observed 
by inviting the people to take part in rural uplift or municipal service work, 
would it not be desirable to alter the dates of the celebration so that the week 
should fall within the bright phase of the moon? This will enable mass 
operations to continue even after nightfall and economize lighting. 

A. A multitude of calendars are at present in vogue in diff- 
erent parts of the country. But for a national celebration it is 
desirable to follow a calendar which is universal. If your civic 
zeal is not a vain show, beginning and ending with the National 
Week, you will have a series of municipal service weeks in addi- 
tion to the National Week. The dates for these weeks in each 
place can be fixed according to the requirement of the activity 
suited to that particular place. 

“Which form of taxation is better for municipal purposes, direct or 
indirect?” asked a city father from Surat. 

G. Indirect taxation is found to be more popular with the 
ratepayers, because its incidence is not directly felt. But the direct 
taxation has more educative value and will be found more handy 
when the object is to make the ratepayers municipal-minded. 

A friend from Kheda District complained: “We would like to introduce 
the Wardha scheme of basic education in the primary schools run by local 
boards. The local bodies are willing, but the Inspectorate and the higher 
officials of the Education Department are still old-fashioned in their outlook. 
They have not developed faith in the Wardha principles. How shall we 
circumvent this handicap?” 

G. That does not surprise me. I should be surprised if 
the higher educational authorities developed faith in the Wardha 
scheme of education all at once. Faith will follow experience. In 
the mean time all I can say is that where there is a will there is 
a way. I do not think there is any legal difficulty in the way of 
the Education Minister instructing his Director of Public Instruc- 
tion to help, in every possible way, those who might wish to 
give effect to the Wardha scheme of education. The G. P. Min- 
istry has not found any difficulty in making the Education Depart- 



DISCUSSION WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF MUNICIPALITIES 341 

ment to fall into line with them. But if a legal or technical diffi- 
culty is discovered, it can be removed in a legal way. 

In our schemes for adult education, should the aim be to promote 
the spread of literacy or to impart ‘useful knowledge’? What about the 
education of women? 

A. The primary need of those who are come of age and 
are following an avocation, is to know how to read and write. 
Mass illiteracy is India’s sin and shame and must be liquidated. 
Of course, the literacy campaign must not begin and end with a 
knowledge of the alphabet. It must go hand in hand with the 
spread of useful knowledge. But municipal bodies should beware 
of trying to ride two horses at a time, or else they are sure to 
come a cropper. 

As for illiteracy among the women, its cause is not mere 
laziness and inertia as in the case of men. A more potent cause 
is the status of inferiority with which an immemorial tradition 
has unjustly branded her. Man has converted her into a domes- 
tic drudge and an instrument of his pleasure, instead of regarding 
her as his helpmate and better half ! The result is a semi-para- 
lysis of our society. Woman has rightly been called the mother 
of the race. We owe it to her and to ourselves to undo the 
great wrong that we have done her. 

“You have expressed varying opinions on certain subjects at different 
times,” asked a friend from Kapadwanj, Kheda Dist. “These are sometimes 
exploited by our opponents to oppose our current policies. What should we 
do under these circumstances?” 

G. The contradiction in these cases is only in appearance 
and easily capable of being reconciled. A safe rule to follow 
would be that the latest utterance, in order of time, should be 
given precedence over all the previous ones. But no utterance of 
mine, whether late or early, need bind you if it does not appeal 
to your heart and head. That would not mean that my stand- 
point was wrong. But it would be wrong to accept a standpoint 
which you cannot appreciate or assimilate. 

q. How to deal with people who commit nuisance by using any and 
every place for evacuations? They defend the practice on the ground that it 
is enjoined by their religion. Again, how to cope with the nuisance of flies, 
mosquitoes, rabid dogs and monkeys, etc.? Their extermination is objected 
to by some on the ground of ahimsa. 

A. With regard to the first, there are two ways of dealing 
with the problem — the apparently violent, and the non-violent. 



342 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


You can enforce the penalty of law against those who may in- 
fringe the laws of sanitation. I have used the word ‘apparent’ 
advisedly. Religious freedom, like liberty, becomes licence when 
it is indulged in at the expense of the health and safety of others, 
or in contravention of the principles of decency or morality. If 
you want to claim unrestricted and absolute liberty for yourselves, 
you must choose to retire from society and take to solitude. I 
call the practice of making evacuations anywhere and every- 
where, regardless of the health and convenience of others, a tra- 
vesty of ahimsa. Where there is filth, whether physical or moral, 
there is no ahimsa. 

The other way is to seek out the religious heads of the sects 
that indulge in these insanitary practices and to try to touch their 
heart and reason by patient argument. 

As for the nuisance of flies, mosquitoes, street dogs and mon- 
keys, etc., I in my individual capacity may choose to put up with 
it, but society as a whole cannot afford to do so if it at all wants 
to exist. These pests are a result of our misdeeds. If I feed 
the monkeys in a public place and thereby make life impossible 
for others, it is I who commit kimsa, and society will have no 
choice but to exterminate the pest that my himsa has created. 
The criterion of ahimsa is the mental attitude behind an act, not 
the mechanical act by itself. A citizen who lets loose pests on 
others by indulging in a mistaken humanitarian sentiment is 
guilty of himsa. 

Shrimati Mridulabehn Sarabhai, who is a keen social worker and founder of 
the Jyoti Sangh, an institution for the uplift and emancipation of women at 
Ahmedabad, put Gandhiji a few leading questions on the position of women 
in society: “The awakening of civil and political consciousness among Indian 
women has created a conflict between their traditional domestic duties and their 
duty towards society. If a woman engages in public work, she may have to 
neglect her children or her household. How is the dilemma to be solved?” 

Basing his reply on a celebrated text of the Gita, Gandhiji remarked that 
it was always wrong to run after the ‘distant scene’ to the neglect of the 
more immediate duties that might have accrued to one naturally. Neglect 
of present duty was the way to destruction. The question was whether it 
is a woman’s duty to devote all her time to domestic work. More often 
than not a woman’s time is taken up not by the performance of essential 
domestic duties but in catering for the egoistic pleasure of her lord and 
master and for her own vanities. 

G. To me this domestic slavery of women is a symbol of 
our barbarism. 



LETTER TO GENERAL SHINDE 


343 


In my opinion the slavery of the kitchen is a remnant of 
barbarism mainly. It is high time that our womankind was 
freed from this incubus. Domestic work ought not to take the 
whole of a woman’s time. 

MRiDULABEHN : At the elections your Congressmen expect all manner of 

help from us, but when we ask them to send out their wives and daughters 
to join us in public work, they bring forth all sorts of excuses and want to 
keep them close prisoners within the four domestic walls. What remedy do 
you suggest? 

G. Send the names of all such antediluvian fossils to me for 
publication in Harijan. 

Segaon, February 7, 1939 
Harijan, 18-2-1939 

386. LETTER TO GENERAL SHINDE 


Bardoli, 
January 29, 1939 

DEAR GEN. SHINDE, 

I am obliged to you for your letter of the 25th inst. 

I want unity between Maharashtrians and Gujaratis. There 
is no reason whatsoever for a split. 

If you have copies of Sardar Vallabhbhai’s speeches at Bha- 
dran and Ena,' I would like to see them. Sardar is not the man 
to foment dissensions between the two communities. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


* The addressee in his letter had charged Sardar Patel with fomenting 
dissensions between Gujaratis and Maharashtrians by his speeches at Bhadran 
and Ena and by his Press statements. 



387. LETTER TO MAHARAJA OE MYSORE 


Bardoli, 

January 29, 1939 

DEAR MAHARAJA SAHIB, 

I had intended long since to thank you for the woollen 
shawl you were good enough to send me through Shri Ranga- 
swami. I hope that the relations between the State and the peo- 
ple are happy and that the forthcoming reforms will inaugurate 
an era of peace and prosperity. 

I am. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

Maharaja of Mysore 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


388. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM 

January 29, 1939 

DEAR DAUGHTER, 

I have your two letters. 

How can I order you ? I have already said that you are free 
to do as you like as I do not know what is in your best interest. 
It would be absurd for me to express any opinion under such 
circumstances. So the best thing would be for you to do what 
you think proper. I shall be content with that. I write this 
neither in grief nor in anger, only with your good at heart. 

I hope everyone there is well, including yourself 

Blessings from 

Bapu 


From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 413 


344 



389. SPEECH AT MEETING OE PEASANTS^ 


Varad, 

[January 29, 1939Y 

There can be no two opinions that this is an auspicious occa- 
sion. There was a time when we were faced with confiscation of 
our lands and when they were actually confiscated we declared 
times without number in our speeches that the Government would 
not be able to retain them, that they would be returned to the 
owners. And now these lands have been returned. Do not 
think that we have been able to get them back by our ceaseless 
efforts. You would be making a great mistake if you thought 
so. We have succeeded to the extent we adhered to truth and 
non-violence. Chitta PateP remained firm and never came to 
Varad. He therefore completely fulfilled his pledge. It is not 
that Chittabhai alone had taken such a pledge. India abounds 
in such men and it is owing to their merit alone that we have 
got back our lands. 

But we must know how to lose them again should an occa- 
sion arise. To believe that restoration of lands means that we 
have won swaraj or that we have become fit for it is to commit a sin. 
It suggests that for winning swaraj we have to tread the path 
which we have trodden so far. Let us not delude ourselves 
that nothing remains for us to do now. If we play the game 
guided by self-interest and pecuniary motives, we are bound to 
lose. I wish to warn you that a greater ordeal is yet to come.'* 

Let us in all humility pray to God that He may bless us 
with strength a hundredfold of that which He has bestowed on us up 
to now, so that we may be able to stand more fiery ordeals. We 
have had the courage to go to jail, to lose our homes and lands. 
Let us now pray for the courage to go to the scaffold cheerfully 
or to become ashes in a consuming fire. When we have exhibited 


* On the occasion of restoration of confiscated lands. The text has been 
extracted from Mahadev Desai’s reports in Gujarati and English under the 
heading “Bardoli”. 

2 From Gandhi — 1915-1948 

^ Chitta Patel had vowed not to enter the British territories until the 
confiscated lands were restored. 

^ The paragraph that follows is from Harijan. 


345 



346 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


that courage, swaraj will be ours, and no one dare rob us of 
it. But if we forget the lesson today, we shall lose the battle and 
be bankrupt. I hope and pray that none of us may be found 
wanting when the supreme test comes. 

Harijanbandhu, 2Q-2-l9'39, and Harijan, 18-2-1939 


390. RAJKOT 

The struggle in Rajkot has a personal touch about it for me. 
It was the place where I received all my education up to the 
matriculation examination and where my father was Dewan for 
many years. My wife feels so much about the sufferings of the 
people that though she is as old as I am and much less able than 
myself to brave such hardships as may be attendant upon jail 
life, she feels she must go to Rajkot. And before this is in print 
she might have gone there.' 

But I want to take a detached view of the struggle. Sar- 
dar’s statement^, reproduced elsewhere, is a legal document in 
the sense that it has not a superfluous word in it and contains 
nothing that cannot be supported by unimpeachable evidence 
most of which is based on written records which are attached to 
it as appendices. 

It furnishes evidence of a cold-blooded breach of a solemn 
covenant entered into between the Rajkot Ruler and his people.^ 
And the breach has been committed at the instance and bidding 
of the British Resident"* who is directly linked with the Viceroy. 

To the covenant a British Dewan^ was party. His boast was 
that he represented British authority. He had expected to rule 
the Ruler. He was therefore no fool to fall into the Sardar’s 
trap. Therefore, the covenant was not an extortion from an 
imbecile ruler. The British Resident detested the Congress and 
the Sardar for the crime of saving the Thakore Saheb from bank- 
ruptcy and, probably, loss of his gadi. The Congress influence 
he could not brook. And so before the Thakore Saheb could 
possibly redeem his promise to his people, he made him break 

’ Kasturba Gandhi was arrested at Rajkot on February 3 on entering 
the State to offer satyagraha. 

^ Appendix I. 

^ Vide “Letter to Lord Linlithgow”, pp. 330-1, and also “The States”, 
pp. 318-20. 

"* E. C. Gibson 

^ Sir Patrick R. Cadell 



RAJKOT 


347 


it. If the news the Sardar is receiving from Rajkot is to be believ- 
ed, the Resident is showing the red claws of the British lion 
and says in effect to the people: ‘Your ruler is my creature. 

I have put him on the gadi and I can depose him. He knew 
well enough that he had acted against my wishes. I have 
therefore undone his action in coming to terms with his people. 
For your dealings with the Congress and the Sardar I shall teach 
you a lesson that you will not forget for a generation.’ 

Having made the Ruler a virtual prisoner, he has begun a 
reign of terrorism in Rajkot. Here is what the latest telegram 
received by the Sardar says: 

Becharbhai Jasani and other volunteers arrested. Twenty-six volun- 
teers taken at night to a distant place in the Agency limits and brutally 
beaten. Volunteers in villages are similarly treated. Agency police con- 
trolling State agency and searching private houses in civil limits. 

The British Resident is repeating the performances of the 
British officials in ‘British India’ during the civil disobedience days. 

I know that if the people of Rajkot can stand all this mad- 
ness without themselves becoming mad, and meekly but resolutely 
and bravely suffer the inhumanities heaped upon them, they will 
come out victorious and, what is more, they will set free the 
Thakore Saheb. They will prove that they are the real rulers of 
Rajkot under the paramountcy of the Congress. If, however, 
they go mad and think of impotent retaliation and resort to acts 
of violence, their state will be worse than before and the para- 
mountcy of the Congress will be of no effect. The Congress 
paramountcy avails only those who accept the banner of non- 
violence, even as the paramountcy of Britain avails only those who 
subscribe to the doctrine of ‘might is right.’ 

What then is the duty of the Congress when the people of 
Rajkot have to face not the Ruler and his tiny police but the 
disciplined hordes of the British Empire ? 

The first and natural step is for the Congress ministry to 
make themselves responsible for the safety and honour of the 
people of Rajkot. It is true that the Government of India Act 
gives the ministers no power over the States. But they are gover- 
nors of a mighty province in which Rajkot is but a speck. As 
such they have rights and duties outside the Government of India 
Act. And these are much the most important. Supposing that Raj- 
kot became the place of refuge for all the goondas that India could 
produce, supposing further that from there they carried on opera- 
tions throughout India, the ministers would clearly have the right 



348 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


and it would be their duty to ask the Paramount Power through 
the British Representative in Bombay to set things right in Raj- 
kot. And it will be the duty of the Paramount Power to do so 
or to lose the ministers. Every minister in his province is affected 
by everything that happens in territories within his geographical 
limit though outside his legal jurisdiction, especially if that thing 
hurts his sense of decency. Responsible government in those parts 
may not be the ministers’ concern, but if there is plague in those 
parts or butchery going on, it is very much their concern; or else 
their rule is a sham and a delusion. Thus the ministers in Orissa 
may not sit comfortably in their chairs, if they do not succeed in 
sending 26,000 refugees of Talcher to their home with an absolute 
assurance of safety and freedom of speech and social and political 
intercourse. It is insufferable that the Congress, which is today 
in alliance with the British Government, should be treated as an 
enemy and an outsider in the States which are vassals of the 
British. 

This wanton breach, instigated by the British Resident in 
Rajkot, of the charter of the liberty of its people is a wrong 
which must be set right at the earliest possible moment. It is 
like a poison corroding the whole body. Will H. E. the Viceroy 
realize the significance of Rajkot and remove the poison? 

Bardoli, January 30, 1939 
Harijan, 4-2-1939 

391. THE MODERN GIRL 

I have received a letter written on behalf of eleven girls whose 
names and addresses have been sent to me. I give it below with 
changes that make it more readable without in any way altering 
the meaning: 

Your comments on the letter of a lady student captioned ‘Stu- 
dents’ Shame’ and published in Harijan on the 31st December, 1938* 
deserve special attention. The modern girl, it seems, has provoked you 
to the extent that you have disposed of her finally as one playing 
Juliet to half a dozen Romeos. This remark which betrays your idea 
about women in general is not very inspiring. 

In these days when women are coming out of closed doors to 
help men and take an equal share of the burden of life, it is indeed 
strange that they are still blamed even when they are maltreated by men. 

* Vide pp. 244-8. 



THE MODERN GIRL 


349 


It cannot be denied that instances can be cited where the fault is equal- 
ly divided. There may be a few girls playing Juliets to half a dozen 
Romeos. But such cases presuppose the existence of half a dozen 
Romeos, moving about the streets in quest of a Juliet. And it cannot or 
should never be taken that modern girls are categorically all Juliets or 
modern youths all Romeos. You yourself have come in contact with 
quite a number of modern girls and may have been struck by their reso- 
lution, sacrifice and other sterling womanly virtues. 

As for forming public opinion against such misdemeanours as 
pointed out by your correspondent, it is not for girls to do it, not so 
much out of false shame as from its ineffectiveness. 

But a statement like this from one revered all over the world 
seems to hold a brief once more for that worn out and unbecoming 
saying ‘woman is the gate of Hell.’ 

From the foregoing remarks, however, please do not conclude 
that modern girls have no respect for you. They hold you in as much 
respect as every young man does. To be hated or pitied is what they 
resent much. They are ready to mend their ways if they are really 
guilty. Their guilt, if any, must be conclusively proved before they are 
anathematized. In this respect they would neither desire to take shelter 
under the covering of ‘ladies, please’, nor would they silently stand and 
allow the judge to condemn them in his own way. Truth must be 
faced; the modern girl or ‘Juliet’, as you have called her, has courage 
enough to face it. 

My correspondents do not perhaps know that I began serv- 
ice of India’s women in South Africa more than forty years ago 
when perhaps none of them was born. I hold myself to be 
incapable of writing anything derogatory to womanhood. My 
regard for the fair sex is too great to permit me to think ill of 
them. She is, what she has been described to be in English, the 
better half of mankind. And my article was written to expose 
students’ shame, not to advertise the frailties of girls. But in giving 
the diagnosis of the disease, I was bound, if I was to prescribe the 
right remedy, to mention all the factors which induced the disease. 

The ‘modern girl’ has a special meaning. Therefore there 
was no question of my restricting the scope of my remark to 
some. But all the girls who receive English education are 
not modern girls. I know many who are not at all touched 
by the ‘modern girl’ spirit. But there are some who have be- 
come modern girls. My remark was meant to warn India’s girl 
students against copying the ‘modern girl’ and complicating a prob- 
lem that has become a serious menace. For, at the time I receiv- 
ed the letter referred to, I received also a letter from an Andhra 



350 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


girl Student bitterly complaining of the behaviour of Andhra stu- 
dents which from the description given is worse than what was 
described by the Lahore girl. This daughter of Andhra tells me 
the simple dress of her girl friends gives them no protection, 
but they lack the courage to expose the barbarism of the boys 
who are a disgrace to the institution they belong to. I commend 
this complaint to the authorities of the Andhra University. 

The eleven girls I invite to initiate a crusade against the rude 
behaviour of students. God helps only those who help them- 
selves. The girls must learn the art of protecting themselves against 
the ruffianly behaviour of man. 

Bardoli, January 30, 1939 
Harijan, 4-2-1939 


392. JAIPUR 

The reader should know the distinction between the Jaipur 
struggle and the Rajkot one. 

The Rajkot struggle is frankly for responsible government 
within the State and is now for redeeming the Ruler’s promise to 
his people. Every man and woman of Rajkot, if they have any 
stuff in them, will be reduced to dust in resisting the dishonour- 
able conduct of the British Resident. 

The Jaipur struggle is on a very small and narrow issue. 
The one political association of Jaipur has been virtually 
declared illegal for the offence of pleading for responsible govern- 
ment, and its President, himself a resident of Jaipur, has been 
put under a ban. The civil disobedience struggle will cease the 
moment the bans are lifted and the right of free association, hold- 
ing public meetings, etc., is conceded. But here again the Brit- 
ish lion has opened out his big claws. The British Prime Min- 
ister of Jaipur had a chat with Barrister Chudgar, legal adviser 
of the Rao Rana of Sikar. He reported to Seth Jamnalalji the 
following purport of the talk: 

I understand it my duty to inform you that during my inter- 
view with Sir Beauchamp St. John, Prime Minister of Jaipur, in con- 
nection with Sikar affairs on the 9th inst. (January), at about 11 a. m. at 
his bungalow Natanika Bagh, I had some discussion with him regarding 
the Jaipur situation. The following is the substance of the discussion: 
I told Sir Beauchamp that the ban against your entry into Jaipur 
State territories came as a painful surprise to millions of people all over 
India, particularly because you are well-known to be a man of peace 



JAIPUR 


351 


and your mission was to supervise and direct famine relief activities in 
the famine-stricken parts of Jaipur State. To this Sir Beauchamp re- 
plied that he agreed that you are a man of peace, but you and your 
men’s visit, he thought, would bring you and your men in contact with 
the masses in the famine-stricken areas, and this he did not like for 
obvious political reasons. I told him that you cannot be expected to 
submit to the order for an indefinite period, and that it would be better 
in the interests of the State and the people, in view of the statement 
you have published in the Press after you had been served with the 
order, if the order were recalled so that unnecessary trouble may be 
avoided. He was adamant, and he said that he was prepared to meet 
any situation that might arise if you disobeyed the order. He said 
that the Congressmen are out for a revolution by means of a non- 
violent struggle. But non-violence, he said, was a force as powerful or per- 
haps more powerful than violence. He further said Indians were playing 
upon the humane instincts in the English race, but if there was Japan 
or Herr Hitler instead of the English in India we could not have succeed- 
ed so well with our non-violence. 

He then said that it was his considered opinion that non-violence, 
however strict, must be met by violence, and his reply to the non- 
violent movement in Jaipur would be the ‘machine-gun’. I pointed out 
to him that all Englishmen were not of his way of thinking and even 
the English race as such would not agree with him. He said, “That 
may or may not be so,” but personally he was of the opinion that there 
was no difference between non-violence and violence, and that there 
would be nothing wrong in using violence against non-violence. 

If you or Mahatmaji desire to make use of this statement, I have 
no objection. 

I considered this to be so startling that I referred it to the 
Prime Minister in the following letter (18-1-1939) 9 The Prime 
Minister replied as follows (20-1-1939): 

I write to acknowledge your kind letter of the 18th instant, enclos- 
ing a copy of a letter from Mr. Chudgar to Seth Jamnalal Bajaj. 
Your hesitation in publishing it before you had ascertained the correct- 
ness of its contents was a wise step, which I personally much appreciate, 
as I am now able to inform you that its description of my views is com- 
pletely erroneous. I am unable to understand how Mr. Chudgar so 
misunderstood me, as I may say that this incident confirms me in my 
hesitation to grant any such interviews in future. 

Now that you are aware of the facts, I am sure your reluctance 
to publish such a letter will be confirmed. Should, however, you decide 

* For the text of the letter, vide p. 303. 



352 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Otherwise, I shall be glad if you can inform me as soon as practicable so 
that I can take suitable action. 

With renewed thanks for your consideration. 

I replied as under (22-1-1939) 9 

To this there came the following reply (25-1-1939): 

Many thanks for your letter of the 22 nd instant. 

I am sure you will sympathize with me in my natural hesitation 
to make a record of an interview which was understood to be private and 
personal when the other party to the interview has already threatened 
to publish an erroneous version. Such a procedure can, as I am sure 
you will agree, only lead to acrimony, and so far as I can see, serve no 
useful purpose. 

Should, however, Mr. Chudgar see fit to publish his erroneous 
version, I am sure you will give me due warning so that, as I have 
already said, I may take suitable action. 

To this I replied again as follows (27-1-1939) '? 

I referred the correspondence to Shri Chudgar and he has 
sent me the copy of the following letter he has addressed to Shri 
Jamnalal (28-1-1939): 

I have read the correspondence between Mahatmaji and Sir W. 
Beauchamp St. John ending with Mahatmaji’s letter to him dated 
the 27th inst. I have carefully read my letter to you dated the 15th 
inst. again, and I say that what I have stated in that letter is a substan- 
tially correct reproduction of the conversation between me and Sir 
Beauchamp. 

The Prime Minister’s letters have made strange reading. I 
had asked for bread, he has sent me a stone. He will pardon 
me if I believe Shri Chudgar’ s version, unless he can give his 
own. His mere denial accompanied by a threat carries no weight. 

The Congress cannot wait and watch whilst it has the power, 
and allow the people of Jaipur to die of mental and moral starva- 
tion, especially when this denial of a natural right is backed 
by British might. If the Prime Minister has no authority to do 
what he is doing, let him at least be recalled. 

Bardoli, January 30, 1939 
Harijan, 11-2-1939. Also C.W. 7809. Courtesy: G. D. Birla 


* For the text of the letter, vide p. 314. 
2 For the text of the letter, vide p. 335. 



393. LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI 


Bardoli, 

January 30, 1939 


CHI. KANTI, 

I had messages sent to you. Ba, I and others were worried 
because there was no letter from you. It was received today. I 
am all right. You should not miss sending at least one postcard 
every week. 

I have had a long talk with Ramachandran. I have just 
received his letter. He is now convinced. I am of course still 
trying to persuade him to send Saraswati. S.’s help is essential in 
this matter. 

It is time for prayer and so I stop now. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

I am leaving for Segaon on the 1st. 

From Gujarati: C.W. 7357. Courtesy: Kantilal Gandhi 

394. LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI 

January 30, 1939 

CHI. KANTI, 

I do not make any suggestions of my own these days. P.’s 
name was mentioned to me and that was the only name. I had 
expressed my objection to re-election. 

You must have received my letter of yesterday. 

Saraswati writes to me occasionally. 

Take care of your health. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 7356. Courtesy: Kantilal Gandhi 


353 


68-23 



395. ‘KICKS AND KISSES’ 

The reader will read with painful interest the following ac- 
count, said to be authentic, of the meeting recently held in Bom- 
bay of the Chamber of Princes: 

H. H. the Maharaja of Bikaner opened the discussions by narrat- 
ing the events at Rajkot where, he said, the trouble was due to the 
absence of influential jagirdars, the want of demarcation between the 
Privy Purse and the State Expenditure, and the smallness of the Kathia- 
war States. It was regarded as a test case by the Congress, and they had 
selected Rajkot for various reasons, the principal ones being that Rajkot, 
small and with limited resources, would not be able to withstand for long 
the onslaughts of the Congress, that the ground was ready for the deli- 
very of such an attack, that the Congress was virile and active in Kathia- 
war and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was near at hand to direct opera- 
tions and conduct the campaign. H. H. the Maharaja of Bikaner then 
mooted the suggestion of a common Police force for a group of States, 
as the resources of individual States, particularly of small ones, are not 
extensive and, therefore, totally inadequate to face the common danger. 
Such also was the indication of the Paramount Power and of its represen- 
tatives. No great reliance, he said, could now be placed on co-operation 
and help from adjoining British territories as Congress was supreme 
there and they naturally would not like to help Indian States. On the 
other hand their sympathies either tacitly or actively are on the side of 
Indian State subjects or foreign agitators. This was actually evidenced by 
the attitude of the Orissa Government when help was demanded by 
the States in Orissa which had to face this trouble. 

Continuing, he stated that the Congress would devote increasing- 
ly greater attention to Indian States. Up to now its policy, as em- 
bodied in the resolution of the Haripura session and before, was of non- 
intervention, and the Indian States people were directed to be self- 
reliant. The reason is manifest. The Congress was actively busy with 
British Indian problems, and it wanted to generate strength in Indian 
States subjects and foster self-help in them. Now the Congress had 
practically established its sway in British India and would naturally 
mobilize its energy and influence towards Indian States. 

There was another point. In order to distract attention from the 
differences that are creeping into Congress ranks, it is necessary to unfold 
the plans of a campaign. This is a subtle but short dictum of statecraft. 


354 



‘kicks and kisses’ 


355 


This is one of the reasons of the Italian conquest of Abyssinia and the 
Austrian and Sudeten campaigns of Germany. It enables the powers to 
draw attention away from cleavages in the party and creates enthu- 
siasm amongst its followers. We have also to bear in mind the attitude 
of the Paramount Power. In this connection reference must be made to 
the recent utterances of Mr. Gandhi on this subject. In my opinion 
greater reliance should be placed on our own strength than on any out- 
side agency whose support is, at best, precarious and inadequate. 

After a survey of Rajkot affairs. His Highness discussed the prob- 
lems of the Rajputana States and outlined for the benefit of the Princes 
the policy he pursued with regard to his own State, Bikaner. He stated 
that he started the State Assembly in 1913, and it discussed the State 
expenditure. Bikaner had a Raj-patra — State Gazette. He discriminat- 
ed between the agitators from outside and from amongst his own sub- 
jects. This, he said, was important and the distinction must ever be 
borne in mind. Foreign agitators, who have no stake in the State and 
who assume this role merely to be dubbed leaders and to be in the 
public eye, deserve short shrift. No consideration should be shown to 
them. Their continued activities are a menace to the State; their pre- 
sence constitutes a danger. The remedy is deportation from the State 
and their entry should be banned. The agitators in the State, though 
equally obnoxious to the State and its ordered peace and progress, how- 
ever, stand on a slightly different footing. They have an interest in the 
land; they probably sometimes advocate grievances which are to a cert- 
ain extent legitimate, and such should be redressed as far as possible 
so that the wind may be taken away from the sails of their agitation 
which they advocate and foster. Legitimate grievances so far as possible 
should be redressed and agitation should be silenced. If the agitators are 
genuine and come from the ranks of the educated unemployed, an effort 
should be made to give them suitable State employment and to close their 
mouths, acting on the adage “it is better to sew the mouth with a morsel.” 

The question of Praja Mandals was then discussed. In this con- 
nection H. H. the Maharaja of Bikaner, Sir Kailashnarain Haksar, R. B. 
Pandit Amar Nath Atal of Jaipur, Pt. Dharmanarain of Udaipur and 
Major Harvey of Alwar made valuable contributions to the discussions. 
Mr. Robertson of Bundi and Mr. McGregor of Sirohi also asked a few 
questions. Mr. Atal narrated at great length the origin and growth of 
the Praja Mandal at Jaipur. It was evident that the founders and pro- 
moters of these Praja Mandals were disgruntled subjects and dismissed 
petty officials of the State. A note of caution and warning was sounded. 
It was agreed that they should be watched very carefully and their acti- 
vities, however slight or extensive, should be fully reported. It was stat- 
ed that these Praja Mandals should be crushed immediately and that 



356 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


they should not be allowed to gather strength or to attain the status of 
an influential body. If they had gained any, an effort should be made 
to direct adroitly their activities into social channels such as the Sarda 
Act, etc. On the other hand it was urged that the formation of genuine 
and healthy advisory bodies of the States people should be encouraged, 
which should form the nucleus for the training of the people for so-called 
responsible government in the States. The Praja Mandals located outside 
the States should be ignored. 

As regards responsible government in the States advocated by 
Congress leaders like Messrs Gandhi and Patel, it was felt that the States 
people are not at all ready for it, and to concede it, therefore, would 
be detrimental to the States and the people and fatal to ordered prog- 
ress and peace. The position was summed up in the dictum, ‘Be 
responsive, but no responsible government.’ H. H. the Maharaja of 
Bikaner was emphatic in his policy towards the Congress, and his words 
can be crystallized in the following mottos: Be just, but be firm; follow 

the policy of repression and reconciliation as stated in the famous letter 
of Lord Min to in 1908, ‘the policy of kicks and kisses’. It will require 
all the tact and discretion possible to adjust when to be gentle and when 
to be firm and how to mix the two. The decision must depend on 
the situation which confronts the State and the merits of the individual 
problem. It was, however, very clear in their discussions that the Praja 
Mandals, as such and as political bodies, should never be allowed to be 
formed in the States, and if in existence, should be crushed and banned 
and their activities very carefully and closely watched. No hard and 
fast rules could be laid down as to how they should be repressed. 
Individual States will devise and evolve their own plans and lay down 
the modus operandi. 

The tentative conclusions arrived at were: 1. Group Police for 

States; 2. Praja Mandals to be crushed immediately; 3. Legitimate 
grievances to be redressed; 4. Foreign agitators to be severely dealt with 
and deported; 5. Encourage social activities but not political; 6. 
Encourage genuine States People’s Advisory Bodies; 7. Policy of ‘Recon- 
ciliation and Repression’; ‘Be just, but be firm’. 

If the report is an accurate summary of the speeches deli- 
vered at the Conference, it shows that there is a nefarious plot to 
crush the movement for liberty which at long last has commenced 
in some of the States. Kisses are to go hand in hand with kicks. 
This reminds me of the Latin proverb which means: “I fear the 

Greeks especially when they bring gifts!” Henceforth Rulers’ 

favours are to be suspected. Reforms when they are made are to 
be made not for the sake of making the people happy, but in 
order to sew the mouth with a morsel. But man’s proposals are 



LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW 


357 


often confounded even though his may be a crowned head. God 
has been found often to have disposed of his proposals in a way 
contrary to his expectations. If the people have shed fear and 
learnt the art of self-sacrifice, they need no favours. Kicks can 
never cow them. They will take what they need and assimilate 
it. 

Bardoli, January 31, 1939 
Harijan, 4-2-1939 

396. LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW 

January 31, 1939 

DEAR LORD LINLITHGOW, 

Shri K. M. Munshi, Sir Purshottamdas and now Shri G. D. 
Birla tell me that my writings in Harijan about the States have 
been causing you embarrassment — more especially about Jaipur. 
I have, therefore, suspended publication of the accompanying 
article^ which I had already sent to the Manager of Harijan 
at Poona. 

I need hardly say that I have no desire whatsoever to do 
anything that would cause you embarrassment, if I could avoid 
it. My purpose is to secure justice for the people concerned. 

How I wish it were possible for you to take effective action 
in the three cases mentioned by me in my previous letter^! 

May I expect a line as to what you would have me do 
about the article under suspension? 

I am. 

Tours sincerely. 

From a copy: C.W. 7806. Courtesy: G. D. Birla 


^ Vide “Jaipur”, pp. 350-2. 
2 Vide pp. 330-1. 



397. LETTER TO PURUSHOTTAM GANDHI 


Bardoli, 

January 31, 1939 

CHI. PURUSHOTTAM, 

Here are a few words' about Panditji. 

I hope you are keeping good health. 

Do write sometimes about Kusum, Manju and others. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II 


398. IN MEMORY OF NARATAN M. KHARE^ 

Bardoli, 

January 31, 1939 

I like to write about Panditji. I have many sweet memories 
of him. But I do not have the time to record them. The 
essence of all those memories is that I have seen very few persons 
combining purity and music. It was found in a great measure 
in Panditji. It was Panditji who created a taste for good music 
in Gujarat. For this, Gujarat will remain ever indebted to 
him. 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II 


* Vide the following item. 

^ He had died on February 6, 1938, at Haripura. 


358 



399. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS 


Bardoli, 
January 31, 1939 

Shri Subhas Bose has achieved a decisive victory over his 
opponent, Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya. I must confess that 
from the very beginning I was decidedly against his re-election 
for reasons into which I need not go. I do not subscribe to 
his facts or the arguments in his manifestos. I think that his 
references to his colleagues were unjustified and unworthy. 
Nevertheless, I am glad of his victory. And since I was 

instrumental in inducing Dr. Pattabhi not to withdraw his name 
as a candidate when Maulana Saheb withdrew, the defeat is 
more mine than his. I am nothing if I do not represent definite 
principles and policy. Therefore, it is plain to me that the delegates 
do not approve of the principles and policy for which I stand. 

I rejoice in this defeat. It gives me an opportunity of 
putting into practice what I preached in my article^ on the 
walk-out of the minority at the last A. I. C. C. meeting in Delhi. 
Subhas Babu, instead of being President on the sufferance of those 
whom he calls rightists, is now President elected in a contested 
election. This enables him to choose a homogeneous cabinet 
and enforce his programme without let or hindrance. 

There is one thing common between majority and minority, 
viz., insistence on internal purity of the Congress organization. 
My writings in the Harijan have shown that the Congress is fast 
becoming a corrupt organization in the sense that its registers 
contain a very large number of bogus members.^ I have been 
suggesting for the past many months the overhauling of these regis- 
ters. I have no doubt that many of the delegates who have 
been elected on the strength of these bogus voters would be 
unseated on scrutiny. But I suggest no such drastic step. It will 
be enough if the registers are purged of all bogus voters and are 
made fool-proof for the future. 

* This appeared in the source under the title “I Rejoice in This Defeat” 
and was also published in The Bombay Chronicle, 1-2-1939, The Hindu, 31-1-1939, 
The Hindustan Times, 1-2-1939, and various other papers. 

'^Vide Vol. LXVII, pp. 401-2. 

^ Vide “Internal Decay”, pp. 320-1. 


359 



360 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


The minority has no cause for being disheartened. If they 
believe in the current programme of the Congress, they will 
find that it can be worked, whether they are in a minority or a 
majority and even whether they are in the Congress or outside it. 

The only thing that may possibly be affected by the changes 
is the parliamentary programme. The ministers have been chosen 
and the programme shaped by the erstwhile majority. But parlia- 
mentary work is but a minor item of the Congress programme. 
Congress ministers have after all to live from day to day. It 
matters little to them whether they are recalled on an issue in 
which they are in agreement with the Congress policy or whether 
they resign because they are in disagreement with the Congress. 

After all Subhas Babu is not an enemy of his country. He 
has suffered for it. In his opinion his is the most forward and 
boldest policy and programme. The minority can only wish it 
all success. If they cannot keep pace with it, they must come 
out of the Congress. If they can, they will add strength to the 
majority. 

The minority may not obstruct on any account. They must 
abstain when they cannot co-operate. I must remind all 
Congressmen that those who, being Congress-minded, remain 
outside it by design, represent it most. Those, therefore, who feel 
uncomfortable in being in the Congress may come out, not in 
a spirit of ill will, but with the deliberate purpose of rendering 
more effective service. 

Harijan, 4-2-1939 

400. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS^ 


Bardoli, 
January 31, 1939 

Appeals are being made to me not to precipitate matters in 
the States. These appeals are unnecessary. After three months 
of non-violent struggle by the people of Rajkot an honourable 
understanding was arrived at between the Thakore Saheb-in- 
Council and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel representing the people, 
and the struggle was closed amid general rejoicings. But the 
noble work done by the Thakore Saheb and the people has been 
undone by the British Resident.^ 

* This appeared under the title “Rajkot and Jaipur”, and was also 
published in The Hindu, The Hindustan Times and The Bombay Chronicle. 

^ For the Government of India communique in reply to this, vide Appendix II . 



TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA 


361 


Honour demanded that the people should fight unto death 
for the restoration of the covenant between the Thakore Saheb 
and his people. The struggle now is not between the Ruler and 
his people, but in reality it is between the Congress and the 
British Government represented by the Resident, who is reported 
to be resorting to organized goondaism. He is trying thereby to 
break the spirit of innocent men and women, who rightly resent 
the breach of faith. 

It is a misrepresentation to suggest that Rajkot has been 
made a test case.* There is no planned action with reference 
to Kathiawar States. What is happening is that those who feel 
that they are ready for suffering come to the Sardar for advice 
and he guides them. Rajkot seemed ready and the fight com- 
menced there. 

Jaipur’s case is incredibly simple and different from that of 
Rajkot. If my information is correct, the British Prime Minister 
there is determined to prevent even the movement for popularizing 
the ideal for responsible government.^ Civil disobedience in 
Jaipur is being, therefore, offered not for responsible government 
but for the removal of the bans on the Praja Mandal and its 
president Seth Jamnalal Bajaj.^ 

In my opinion it is the duty of the Viceroy to ask the 
Resident in Rajkot to restore the pact and to ask the British 
Prime Minister of Jaipur to lift the bans. Such action by the 
Viceroy can in no sense be interpreted to mean unwarranted 
interference in the affairs of States. 

Harijan, 4-2-1939 

401. TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA 


Wardhaganj, 
February 2, 1939 

Ghanshyamdas Birla 
New Delhi 

QUITE WELL. TAKING NEEDED REST. NO ANXIETY. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 7802. Courtesy: G. D. Birla 


* Vide “Kicks and Kisses”, pp. 354-7. 
Vide “Jaipur”, pp. 350-2. 



402. LETTER TO J. C. KUMARAPPA 


Segaon, 

Eebruary 2, 1939 

MY DEAR KU, 

I came in today. I should not have taken such a long time 
to produce the accompanying.* I wanted to go through the whole 
book but it was impossible. And now I am laid up. That is 
to say the doctors say unless I want to commit suicide, I must 
be on bed and do as little work as possible. Complete silence 
is enjoined. I shall break it therefore only when I must. In 
these circumstances I thought I must give you a few lines at 
once. Here they are with a thousand apologies. 

I hope your committee is flourishing and Sita^ is proving her 
worth. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 10148 


403. EOREWORD 


Segaon, Wardha, 

February 2, 1939 

It is a good sign that Why the Village Movement is required 
to go through the third edition. It supplies a felt want. Prof. 
J. C. Ku[marappa] answers almost all the doubts that have been 
expressed about the necessity and feasibility of the movement. 
No lover of villages can aflbrd to be without the booklet. No 
doubter can fail to have his doubts dispelled. It is of no use 
to those who have made up their minds that the only move- 
ment worth the name is to destroy the villages and dot India 
with a number of big cities where highly centralized industries 
will be carried out and everyone will have plenty and to spare. 


* Vide the following item. 

^ Wife of Bharatan Kumarappa, younger brother of the addressee 


362 



LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


363 


Fortunately as yet there are not many who belong to that school 
of destruction. I wonder if the village movement has come just 
in time to prevent the spread of the movement of despair! This 
booklet is an attempt to answer the question. 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat: G.N. 10149 

404. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 

Segaon, Wardha, 

February 2, 1939 

chi. MIRA, 

I have neglected you for many days but Sushila has instruc- 
tions to write to you daily. I have to take complete rest from 
physical toil but also as much as possible from mental. You 
won’t worry. Bury yourself in your work. 

Ba going to Rajkot. So she stayed behindb 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6426. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10021 

405. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Segaon, 

February 2, 1939 

BA, 

Why are you uneasy? Do not worry about me. Improve 
your health. Recite Ramanama. Rest assured we shall win the 
battle by dint of the devotion of many. That includes yours 
too. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 31 


* At Bardoli 



406. LETTER TO H. L. SHARMA 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 2, 1939 

CHI. SHARMA, 

The work at Bardoli was so much that I fell ill and return- 
ed only today. Hence the delay in answering your letter. There 
is no cause for anxiety. I shall be all right. 

February 3, 1939 

But I could have asked someone to send you a line saying 
that the reply would be delayed. I did not do it, because I was 
hopeful of being able to write soon. 

Destruction and construction are simultaneous processes. 
Your destruction seems to be of a kind which may become un- 
bearable for you. It should not turn out that you do one thing 
today and another tomorrow. 

I cannot write the pamphlet. You have rightly said that 
everything is useless until construction has commenced. The 
pamphlet probably has no place in what is going on. 

An earlier letter from you mentioned a principle: namely, 
that society and family are distinct entities and should be so. 
However, if you think they are identical but cannot reach the 
ideal today, why talk about it? Once you show in practice 
that there is no difference between you and those living with me 
I shall consider my job done. 

The comparison with the dog is harsh but quite apt. We 
are all in a way like dogs in that we lack tolerance, but living 
in society and being intolerant are incompatible things. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a facsimile of the Hindi: Bapuki Chhayamen Mere Jivanke Solah 

Varsh, between pp. 177 and 178 


364 



407. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS^ 


Segaon, 

Eebruarj 3, 1939 

The communiques^ issued by the Government of India and 
the Jaipur Government on my statements^ on Rajkot and Jaipur 
are remarkable for sins of omission and commission and suppression. 

It was no part of the Sardar’s duty to publish the Thakore 
Saheb’s letter about the composition of the Committee. It was 
for the Thakore Saheb’s convenience that a condition as to the 
composition of the Committee was embodied in a separate letter. 
This is a well-known procedure adopted in delicate negotiations. 
Surely the Thakore Saheb’s understanding of his note, which 
admits of no double interpretation, is wholly irrelevant. 

I aver that this understanding is an afterthought, discovered 
to placate the Resident, who was angered that the Thakore 
Saheb should have dared to deal with a Congressman and 
give him a note of which he had no advice. Those who know 
anything of these Residents and States know in what dread the 
Princes stand of even their secretaries and peons. I write from 
personal knowledge. 

There is sufficient in the appendices to the Sardar’s statement* 
on the recrudescence of the struggle to show how the whole trouble 
is due to the Resident’s displeasure. It is wrong to suggest that the 
Sardar did not give reasons for his refusal to alter the names of the 
Committee. A translation of his letter is one of the appendices. 

When the Thakore Saheb agreed to nominate those whom 
the Sardar recommended, Mussalmans and Bhayats were before 
his mind’s eye. But it was common cause that all rights would 
be guaranteed under the reforms. The proper procedure would 
have been to lead evidence before the Committee. I suggest that, as 
happens everywhere in India, the Mussalman and Bhayat objection 
to the personnel of the Committee was engineered after the event. 

' This appeared under the title “Not a War of Words”, and was also 
published in The Hindu, The Bombay Chronicle, and The Hindustan Times, all 
of 4-2-1939. 

^For the Government of India communique, vide Appendix II. 

^ Vide “Rajkot”, pp. 274-6 and 346-8, “Jaipur”, pp. 299-300 and 350-2. 

"* Vide Appendix I. 


365 



366 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

I have not asked that the Thakore Saheb should be asked to 
do this or that. He has no will. His will is pledged to the Resi- 
dent. The Thakore Saheb once dared to act against his suspect- 
ed wishes. He was on the brink of losing his gadi. What I 
have asked is that the Resident should restore the pact and help 
to honour it. If it is a matter purely of names to placate inter- 
ests, I undertake to persuade the Sardar to make the accommoda- 
tion provided that its other parts are carried out to the full. 

But the communique adroitly omits the most relevant fact 
that the terms of reference too have been altered out of shape. 
These were agreed to by the Thakore Saheb-in-Council, of which 
the British Dewan was a member. I have never known such a 
dishonourable breach of a pact signed on behalf of a Chief. I do 
suggest that the Resident, who should be the custodian of the 
honour of the Chiefs within his jurisdiction, has, in this case, 
dragged the Thakore Saheb’ s name in the dust. 

I repeat the charge of organized goondaism. The Agency 
police are operating in Rajkot. Wires received by the Sardar 
show that civil resisters are taken to distant places, there stripped 
naked, beaten and left to their own resources. They show 
further that Red Cross doctors and ambulance parties have 
been prevented from rendering help to those who were injured 
by lathi-charges in Halenda. I call this organized goondaism. 
If the charges are denied, there should be an impartial enquiry. 

Let me state the issue clearly. I seek no interference in the the 
affairs of the State. I seek non-interference by the Resident in Rajkot. 
The Resident is directly responsible for the strained relations between 
the State and the people. It is the duty of the Paramount Power 
to see that the solemn pact is fulfilled to the letter and in spirit. 

If the objection about Muslim and Bhayat representation has 
any honesty about it, it can be removed. I once more appeal 
to His Excellency the Viceroy to study the question more deeply 
than he has done. Let not a grave tragedy be enacted while 
whitewashing communiques are being forged in the Delhi Secre- 
tariat. This is not a war of words. It is a war in which the 
people who have hitherto never been to jail nor suffered lathi 
blows are exposing themselves to all risk. 

As for Jaipur, I have only one word. I do know that the 
British Prime Minister^ is one member of the Jaipur State Coun- 
cil. My submission is that he is all in all. He has vowed venge- 
ance against the Praja Mandal and Seth Jamnalalji. And in 


’ Sir W. Beauchamp St. John 



TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA 


367 


spite of the forest of words about action in respect of the Praja 
Mandal, I claim that virtually it is declared illegal. If not, let 
the authorities leave Seth Jamnalalji free to enter Jaipur and let 
him and his Mandal educate unmolested the people in the art 
of responsible government. Let them be punished if they incul- 
cate violence, directly or indirectly. 

Harijan, 11-2-1939 

408. TELEGRAM TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ^ 

[On or before February 3, 1939^ 
STICK TO YOUR PLANS. MY BLESSING IS WITH YOU 
AND SUCCESS IS YOURS. 

The Hindu, 5-2-1939 


409. TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA 


Ward HA, 

February 3, 1939 

Ghanshyamdas 
Birla House 
Albuq,uerq^ue Road 
New Delhi 

SWELLING MUCH REDUCED. TAKING PRACTICALLY FULL 
REST. BLOODPRESSURE 156/98 LAST NIGHT. JAMNALALJI 
MUST NOT WAIT WITHOUT WRITTEN REQUEST FROM 
AUTHORITIES.^ HAVE MADE STATEMENT ABOUT JAIPUR 
GOVERNMENT COMMUNIQUE WHOLLY UNSATISFACTORY.'* 

Bapu 

From a copy: C.W. 7803. Courtesy: G. D. Birla 


* This was evidently in reply to the addressee’s telegram of February 3, 
saying: “Ghanshyamdas pressing delay re-entry” into Jaipur State, which 
Bajaj intended to effect in defiance of the ban imposed by the State. 

^ In his diary Bajaj mentions under the date February 3, having received 
a telegram from Gandhiji. Presumably this was the telegram. 

^ This was in answer to the addressee’s telegram suggesting that Jamna- 
lal Bajaj might wait another fortnight before returning to Jaipur. 

'* Vide the preceding item. 



410. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 3, 1939 

CHI. MIRA, 

Your letter from Peshawar is crowded with news. You are in 
the thick of it now. You must keep your health at any cost. 
Cover your feet well. Insist on the food you need. Do not 
overdo it. And do not go beyond your depth. Then all will 
be well. 

Have no worry on my account. God will keep me on earth 
so long as He needs me. It is well whether I am here or else- 
where. His will, not ours, be done. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6427. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10022 

411. LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 3, 1939 

MY DEAR JAWAHARLAL, 

After the election and the manner in which it was fought, I 
feel that I shall serve the country by absenting myself from the 
Congress at the forthcoming session. Moreover, my health is none 
too good. I would like you to help me. Please do not press me 
to attend. 

I hope the rest at Khali has done you and Indu good. 
Indu ought to write to me. 

Love. 

Bapu 

Gandhi-Nehru Papers, 1939. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and 
Library. Also A Bunch of Old Letters, p. 307 


368 



412. LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR 


February 3, 1939 

CHI. KAKA, 

The necessary arrangements have been made for the poet 
Khabardarh Ambalalbhai will pay or collect for him Rs. 200 
every month. 

Booke asks for more information about him. He needs an 
X-Ray of his chest. There is little hope of his being able to 
help much. Have you written to Parvati? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10919 

413. LETTER TO D. B. KALELKAR 

February 3, 1939 

CHI. KARA, 

I am feeling thoroughly washed out at present. You may 
come. But I do not know what I shall be able to do. The 
trainees are here up to the 3rd or 4th. I hope to write about 
the Roman script.^ Do the needful about Hindi pracharak. I do 
not see my way clearly. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10920 


' Ardeshar F. Khabardar 

^ Vide “Roman Script o. Devanagari”, pp. 380-1. 

369 


68-24 



414. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Segaon, 

[After Eebrmry 3, 1939Y 

BA, 

I have your letter. You have now become a State guest. 
Take care of your health. I am not worried since Mani^ is with 
you. I must have letters. I shall bear your point in mind. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Pairo, p. 32 


415. DISCUSSION WITH TEACHER TRAINEES^ 

February 3j4, 1939 

It is the fashion these days to talk of the rights of minorities. 
Therefore, although those who understand English only are here 
in a hopeless minority, I shall speak today in English."* But I 
warn you that I shall not do so at the next meeting. You must 
go back with a firm resolve to learn Hindustani. It is impossible 
to put into practice the idea of basic education — an idea which 
is calculated to answer the educational requirements of our mil- 
lions — if the mind works only through the English medium. 

A number of questions were put to him by the delegates. The first 
question expressed a doubt as to whether the Wardha scheme was likely to 
stand the test of time, or if it merely was a measure of temporary expe- 
diency. Many prominent educationists were of opinion that sooner or later 
the handicrafts would have to give place to whole-hog industrialization. 
Would a society educated on the lines of the Wardha scheme and based on 

* Kasturba Gandhi was arrested on entering Rajkot on February 3, 1939. 

^ Manibehn Patel 

^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s “Wardha Scheme under Fire”. About seventy- 
five delegates from all over India had attended a three weeks’ course at the 
Teacher Training Centre at Wardha. Before leaving for their respective provi- 
nces they met Gandhiji. 

"* Gandhiji, at the suggestion of Asha Devi, had started to speak in 
Hindi and some of the delegates had not been able to follow. 

370 



DISCUSSION WITH TEACHER TRAINEES 


371 


justice, truth and non-violence, be able to survive the severe strain of the 
process of industrialization ? 

GANDHiji: This is not a practical question. It does not 

affect our immediate programme. The issue before us is not as 
to what is going to happen generations hence, but whether this 
basic scheme of education answers the real need of the millions 
that live in our villages. I do not think that India is ever 
going to be industrialized to the extent that there will be no vil- 
lages left. The bulk of India will always consist of villages. 

“What will happen to the scheme of basic education if the Congress pol- 
icy changes as a result of the recent presidential election?” he was asked next. 

Gandhiji replied that it was misplaced fear. A change in the Cong- 
ress policy was not going to touch the Wardha scheme. 

It will affect, if it at all does, higher politics only. You 
have come here to undergo three weeks’ training course, so that 
you may be able to teach your students along the Wardha meth- 
od on your return. You should have faith that the method will 
answer the purpose intended. 

Although schemes for industrialization of the country might 
be put forth, the goal that the Congress has set before it today is 
not industrialization of the country. Its goal is, according to a 
resolution' passed by the National Congress at Bombay, revival 
of village industries. You cannot have mass awakening through 
any elaborate scheme of industrialization that you may put before 
the kisans. It would not add a farthing to their income. But 
the A. I. S.A. and A. I. V. LA. will put lakhs into their pockets 
within the course of a year. Whatever happens to the Working 
Committee or the ministries, personally I do not sense any dan- 
ger to the constructive activities of the Congress. Although start- 
ed by the Congress, they have been having an autonomous exis- 
tence for a long time, and have fully proved their worth. Basic 
education is an offshoot of these. Education Ministers may 
change but this will remain. Therefore, those interested in basic 
education should not worry themselves about Congress politics. 
The new scheme of education will live or die by its own merits 
or want of them. 

But these questions do not satisfy me. They are not directly 
connected with the scheme of basic education. They do not take 
us any further. I would like you to ask me questions directly 
pertaining to the scheme, so that I may give you my expert advice. 


1 Vide Vol. LIX, p. 220. 



372 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Before going to the meeting, a friend had asked him if the central idea 
behind the scheme was that teachers should not speak a word to the pupils 
that could not be correlated to the takli. Gandhiji, answering this question 
in the general meeting, remarked: 

This is a libel on me. It is true I have said that all instruction 
must be linked with some basic craft. When you are impart- 
ing knowledge to a child of 7 or 10 through the medium of an 
industry, you should, to begin with, exclude all those subjects 
which cannot be linked with the craft. By doing so from day to 
day you will discover ways and means of linking with the craft 
many things which you had excluded in the beginning. You 
will save your own energy and the pupils’ if you follow this 
process of exclusion to begin with. We have today no books to 
go by, no precedents to guide us. Therefore we have to go slow. 
The main thing is that the teacher should retain his freshness of 
mind. If you come across something that you cannot correlate 
with the craft, do not fret over it and get disheartened. Leave it 
and go ahead with the subjects that you can correlate. Maybe 
another teacher will hit upon the right way and show how it can 
be correlated. And when you have pooled the experience of 
many, you will have books to guide you, so that the work of 
those who follow you will become easier. 

How long, you will ask, are we to go on with this process of 
exclusion? My reply is, for the whole lifetime. At the end you 
will find that you have included many things that you had exclud- 
ed at first, that practically all that was worth including has 
been included, and whatever you have been obliged to exclude 
till the end was something very superficial that deserved exclusion. 
This has been my experience of life. I would not have been able 
to do many things that I have done if I had not excluded an 
equal number. 

Our education has got to be revolutionized. The brain must 
be educated through the hand. If I were a poet, I could write 
poetry on the possibilities of the five fingers. Why should you 
think that the mind is everything and the hands and feet no- 
thing? Those who do not train their hands, who go through the 
ordinary rut of education, lack ‘music’ in their life. All their 
faculties are not trained. Mere book knowledge does not interest 
the child so as to hold his attention fully. The brain gets weary 
of mere words, and the child’s mind begins to wander. The 
hand does the things it ought not to do, the eye sees the things it 
ought not to see, the ear hears the things it ought not to hear. 



DISCUSSION WITH TEACHER TRAINEES 


373 


and they do not do, see, or hear, respectively, what they ought 
to. They are not taught to make the right choice and so their 
education often proves their ruin. An education which does not 
teach us to discriminate between good and bad, to assimilate the 
one and eschew the other is a misnomer. 

Shrimati Asha Devi asked Gandhiji to explain to them how the mind 
could be trained through the hands. 

G. The old idea was to add a handicraft to the ordinary 
curriculum of education followed in the schools. That is to say, 
the craft was to be taken in hand wholly separately from educa- 
tion. To me that seems a fatal mistake. The teacher must learn 
the craft and correlate his knowledge to the craft, so that he will 
impart all that knowledge to his pupils through the medium of 
the particular craft that he chooses. 

Take the instance of spinning. Unless I know arithmetic I 
cannot report how many yards of yarn I have produced on the 
takli, or how many standard rounds it will make, or what is the 
count of the yarn that I have spun. I must learn figures to be 
able to do so, and I also must learn addition and subtraction 
and multiplication and division. In dealing with complicated 
sums I shall have to use symbols and so I get my algebra. 
Even here, I would insist on the use of Hindustani letters instead 
of Roman. 

Take geometry next. What can be a better demonstration 
of a circle than the disc of the takli ? I can teach all about cir- 
cles in this way, without even mentioning the name of Euclid. 

Again, you may ask how I can teach my child geography 
and history through spinning. Some time ago I came across a 
book called Cotton — The Story of Mankind. It thrilled me. It 
read like a romance. It began with the history of ancient 
times, how and when cotton was first grown, the stages of its 
development, the cotton trade between the different countries, 
and so on. As I mention the different countries to the child, I 
shall naturally tell him something about the history and geog- 
raphy of these countries. Under whose reign the different commer- 
cial treaties were signed during the different periods? Why has 
cotton to be imported by some countries and cloth by others? 
Why can every country not grow the cotton it requires? That 
will lead me into economics and elements of agriculture. I shall 
teach him to know the different varieties of cotton, in what kind 
of soil they grow, how to grow them, from where to get them, 
and so on. Thus taA:/z-spinning leads me into the whole history 



374 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


of the East India Company, what brought them here, how they 
destroyed our spinning industry, how the economic motive that 
brought them to India led them later to entertain political aspira- 
tions, how it became a causative factor in the downfall of the 
Moguls and the Marathas, in the establishment of the English 
Raj, and then again in the awakening of the masses in our times. 
There is thus no end to the educative possibilities of this new 
scheme. And how much quicker the child will learn all that, 
without putting an unnecessary tax on his mind and memory. 

Let me further elaborate the idea. Just as a biologist, in 
order to become a good biologist, must learn many other sciences 
besides biology, the basic education, if it is treated as a science, 
takes us into interminable channels of learning. To extend the 
example of the takli, a pupil teacher, who rivets his attention not 
merely on the mechanical process of spinning, which of course he 
must master, but on the spirit of the thing, will concentrate on 
the takli and its various aspects. He will ask himself why the 
takli is made out of a brass disc and has a steel spindle. The 
original takli had its disc made anyhow. The still more primi- 
tive takli consisted of a wooden spindle with a disc of slate or 
clay. The takli has been developed scientifically, and there is a 
reason for making the disc out of brass and the spindle out of 
steel. He must find out that reason. Then, the teacher must 
ask himself why the disc has that particular diameter, no more 
and no less. When he has solved these questions satisfactorily 
and has gone into the mathematics of the thing, your pupil be- 
comes a good engineer. The takli becomes his Kamadlienu — the 
‘Cow of plenty’. There is no limit to the possibilities of knowl- 
edge that can be imparted through this medium. It will be limi- 
ted only by the energy and conviction with which you work. 
You have been here for three weeks. You will have spent them 
usefully if it has enabled you to take to this scheme seriously, so 
that you will say to yourself, ‘I shall either do or die.’ 

I am elaborating the instance of spinning because I know it. 
If I were a carpenter, I would teach my child all these things 
through carpentry, or through cardboard work if I were a worker 
in cardboard. 

What we need is educationists with originality, fired with true 
zeal, who will think out from day to day what they are going to 
teach their pupils. The teacher cannot get this knowledge through 
musty volumes. He has to use his own faculties of observation 
and thinking and impart his knowledge to the children through 
his lips, with the help of a craft. This means a revolution 
in the method of teaching, a revolution in the teacher’s outlook. 



DISCUSSION WITH TEACHER TRAINEES 


375 


Up till now you have been guided by inspectors’ reports. You 
wanted to do what the inspector might like, so that you might get 
more money yet for your institutions or higher salaries for your- 
selves. But the new teacher will not care for all that. He will 
say, ‘I have done my duty by my pupil if I have made him a 
better man and in doing so I have used all my resources. That 
is enough for me. 

(j. In training pupil teachers, would it not be better if they are first 
taught a craft separately and then given a sound exposition of the method 
of teaching through the medium of that craft? As it is, they are advised 
to imagine themselves to be of the age of 7 and relearn everything through 
a craft. In this way it will take them years before they can master the new 
technique and become competent teachers. 

G. No, it would not take them years. Let us imagine that 
the teacher when he comes to me has a working knowledge of 
mathematics and history and other subjects. I teach him to 
make cardboard boxes or to spin. While he is at it I show him 
how he could have derived his knowledge of mathematics, history 
and geography through the particular craft. He thus learns 
how to link his knowledge to the craft. It should not take 
him long to do so. Take another instance. Suppose I go with 
my boy of 7 to a basic school. We both learn spinning and I 
get all my previous knowledge linked with spinning. To the 
boy it is all new. For the 70-year-old father it is all repetition 
but he will have his old knowledge in a new setting. He should 
not take more than a few weeks for the process. Thus, unless 
the teacher develops the receptivity and eagerness of the child of 
7, he will end up by becoming a mere mechanical spinner, which 
would not fit him for the new method. 

C). A boy who has passed his matriculation can go to college if he 
wishes to. Will a child who has gone through the basic education syllabus 
too be able to do so ? 

G. Between the boy who has passed his matriculation and 
the boy who has gone through basic education, the latter will 
give a better account of himself because his faculties have been 
developed. He would not feel helpless when he goes to college as 
matriculates often do. 

Seven has been put down as the minimum age for admission of 
children to a basic education school. Is it to be a chronological or mental age ? 

G. Seven should be the average minimum age, but there 
will be some children of a higher and some of a lower age as 



376 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


well. There is physical as well as mental age to be considered. 
One child at the age of 7 may have attained sufficient physical 
development to handle a craft. Another one may not be 
able to do so even at 7. One cannot therefore lay down any 
hard and fast rules. All the factors have to be taken into 
consideration. 

Many questions show that many of you are filled with 
doubts. This is the wrong way of going about the work. You 
should have robust faith. If you have the conviction that I have, 
that Wardha education is the thing required to give training 
for life to millions of our children, your work will flourish. If 
you have not that faith, there is something wrong with those in 
charge of your training. They should be able to imbue you with 
this faith, whatever else they may or may not give you. 

q. The basic education scheme is supposed to be for the villages. Is 
there no way out for the city-dwellers ? Are they to go along the old rut ? 

G. This is a pertinent question and a good one, but I have 
answered it already in the columns of Harijan. Sufficient for the 
day is the good thereof. As it is, we have a big enough morsel 
to bite. If we can solve the educational problem of seven lakhs 
of villages, it will be enough for the present. No doubt educa- 
tionists are thinking of the cities too. But if we take up the ques- 
tion of the cities along with that of the villages, we will fritter 
away our energies. 

q. Supposing in a village there were three schools with a different 
craft in each, the scope for learning may be wider in one than in the other. 
To which school out of these should the child go ? 

G. Such overlapping should not occur. For the majority 
of our villages are too small to have more than one school. But 
a big village may have more. Here the craft taught in both 
should be the same. But I should lay down no hard and fast 
rule. Experience in such matters would be the best guide. The 
capacity of various crafts to become popular, their ability to 
draw out the faculties of the student, should be studied. The 
idea is that whatever craft you choose, it should draw out the 
faculties of the child fully and equally. It should be a village 
craft and it should be useful. 

q. Why should a child waste 7 years on learning a craft when his real 
profession is going to be something else, e.g., why should a banker’s son, who 
is expected to take to banking later on, learn spinning for 7 years ? 



DISCUSSION WITH TEACHER TRAINEES 


377 


G. The question betrays gross ignorance of the new scheme 
of education. The boy under the scheme of basic education does 
not go to school merely to learn a craft. He goes there to 
receive his primary education, to train his mind through the craft. 
I claim that the boy who has gone through the new course of 
primary education for seven years, will make a better banker 
than the one who has gone through the seven years of ordinary 
schooling. The latter when he goes to a banking school will be 
ill at ease because all his faculties will not have been trained. Prej- 
udices die hard. I will have done a good day’s work if I have 
made you realize this one central fact that the new education 
scheme is not a little of literary education and a little of craft. 
It is full education up to the primary stage through the medium 
of a craft. 

q. Would it not be better to teach more than one craft in every 
school? The children might begin to feel bored of doing the same thing 
from month to month and year to year. 

G. If I find a teacher who becomes dull to his students 
after a month’s spinning, I should dismiss him. There will be 
newness in every lesson such as there can be new music on the 
same instrument. By changing over from one craft to another a 
child tends to become like a monkey jumping from branch to branch 
with abode nowhere. But I have shown already in the course of 
our discussion that teaching spinning in a scientific spirit involves 
learning many things besides spinning. The child will be taught 
to make his own takli and his own winder soon. Therefore, to 
go back to what I began with, if the teacher takes up the craft 
in a scientific spirit, he will speak to his pupils through many 
channels, all of which will contribute to the development of all 
his faculties. 

Segaon, February 9, 1939 
Harijan, 18-2-1939 and 4-3-1939 



416. TELEGRAM TO MAHADEV DESAP 


Wardha, 

[February 4, 1939Y 

Mahadev Desai 
Birla House 
New Delhi 

THOUGH DO NOT LIKE YOUR SUGGESTION NOT KNOWING 

FULLY AM ADVISING JAMNALAL FOLLOW YOUR INSTRUC- 

TIONS. HEALTH GOOD. 

Bapu 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 212 


417. TELEGRAM TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ 

[February 4, 1939Y 

Jamnalal 

Care Lakinsure 

Agra 

YOUR WIRE. mahadev HAS WIRED YOU CERTAIN 

SUGGESTIONS. CARRY THEM OUT. HEALTH GOOD. BA 

MANIBEHN detained STATE GUESTS. 

Bapu 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 404 


^ The addressee in his telegram of February 4 from New Delhi had 
said “Inasmuch as police officer in charge Jamnalalji verbally requested him 
give authorities time reconsider may I ask Jamnalalji address letter to authori- 
ties mentioning police officer’s request absurdity of communique and giving 
them time until eighth ? Am sending him draft suitable letter. If you agree 
advise him send letter.” 

^ Vide the following item. 

^ As given in the source 


378 



418. LETTER TO INDIRA NEHRU 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 4, 1939 

CHI. INDU, 

How can you think of me now? I was happy to learn that 
Almora had benefited you. I pray to God that you may soon 
be well. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: C.W. 9801. Courtesy: Nehru Memo- 
rial Museum and Library 


419. LETTER TO GENERAL SHINDE 


Segaon, 

Eebruary 4, 1939 

DEAR GENERAL SHINDE, 

Many thanks for your letter and enclosures.* 

I see nothing objectionable in the excerpts you have sent 

me. 

As to the printed circular, if what is stated therein is true it 
is evidence of a tragic situation. It is up to the wise heads in 
Baroda to find out the truth. 

Tours sincerely, 
M. K. Gandhi 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


* Vide “Letter to General Shinde”, p. 343. 


379 



420. LETTER TO SHARDA C. SHAH 

Eebruary 4, 1939 

CHI. BABUDI, 

If you cannot stay away, you can stay here even after your 
marriage. I made haste because you wished it. There is nothing 
certain about me. I am moreover weak of health. Therefore, I 
thought it better to pay off this debt with my own hands. You 
can return after staying for only a few days at your husband’s 
place. You may, of course, come if you are in bad health. You 
can do as you like. I do wish you to join the work at Bardoli. 

Where is the cloth ? But would it not be better if you took 
a new piece out of what I keep for my wear for a petticoat or 
upper garment where white will pass ? What about the charkha ? 
All the books will be available. I have already prepared the 
maxims. Staying away, you will serve me by doing my work. 

Reply to yesterday’s letter could not be covered in the letter 
to Sardar. I advise you to convey your views in this matter 
to Sardar. 

Ask me again about religious reading. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 10003. Courtesy; Shardabehn G. Chokhawala 

421. ROMAN SCRIPT v. DEV AN AG ART 

I understand that some of the tribes in Assam are being taught 
to read and write through the Roman script instead of Devanagari. 
I have already expressed my opinion that the only script 
that is ever likely to be universal in India is Devanagari, either 
reformed or as it is. Urdu or Persian will go hand in hand 
unless Muslims, of their own free will, acknowledge the superi- 
ority of Devanagari from a purely scientific and national stand- 
point. But this is irrelevant to the present problem. The Roman 
cannot go hand in hand with the other two scripts. Protagonists 
of the Roman script would displace both. But sentiment and 

* This appeared under “Notes”. 


380 



NO APOLOGY 


381 


science alike are against the Roman script. Its sole merit is its 
convenience for printing and typing purposes. But that is no- 
thing compared to the strain its learning would put upon mil- 
lions. It can be of no help to the millions who have to read their 
own literature either in their own provincial scripts or in Deva- 
nagari. Devanagari is easier for the millions of Hindus and even 
Muslims to learn, because the provincial scripts are mostly deriv- 
ed from Devanagari. I have included Muslims advisedly. The 
mother tongue of Bengali Muslims, for instance, is Bengali as is 
Tamil of Tamil Muslims. The present movement for the propaga- 
tion of Urdu will, as it should, result in Muslims all over 
India learning Urdu in addition to their mother tongue. They 
must, in any case, know Arabic for the purpose of learning the 
Holy Koran. But the millions whether Hindus or Muslims will 
never need the Roman script except when they wish to learn 
English. Similarly, Hindus who want to read their scriptures in 
the original have to and do learn the Devanagari script. The 
movement for universalizing the Devanagari script has thus a 
sound basis. The introduction of the Roman script is a super- 
imposition which can never become popular. And all superimposi- 
tions will be swept out of existence when the true mass awaken- 
ing comes, as it is coming, much sooner than anyone of us can 
expect from known causes. Yet the awakening of millions does 
take time. It cannot be manufactured. It comes or seems to 
come mysteriously. National workers can merely hasten the pro- 
cess by anticipating the mass mind. 

Segaon, February 5, 1939 
Harijan, 11-2-1939 


422. NO APOLOGY 

I have two letters from Jewish friends protesting against a 
remark of mine in a dialogue reported in Harijan over the Jewish 
question. Here is one of the letters: 

My attention has been called to a paragraph^ in Harijan of Decem- 
ber 24th, 1938, in which you are reported to have said that “The 
Jews called down upon the Germans the curses of mankind, and 
they wanted America and England to fight Germany on their behalf.” 
I can hardly doubt that you have been misreported, for there is no- 
thing that could possibly justify such a statement. But as the paragraph 


> Vide pp. 202-3. 



382 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


much distressed me, I should be glad to receive from you a word of 
reassurance. 

I am sorry to say that I cannot give the reassurance requir- 
ed. For I did make the remark put into my mouth by Shri 
Pyarelal. Hardly a paper comes to me from the West which 
does not describe the agony of the Jews who demand retribution 
by the democratic Powers for German atrocities. Nor do I see 
anything wrong in the attitude. The Jews are not angels. My 
point was they were not non-violent in the sense meant by me. 
Their non-violence had and has no love in it. It is passive. 
They do not resist because they know that they cannot resist 
with any degree of success. In their place, unless there were 
active non-violence in me, I should certainly call down upon my 
persecutors the curses of Heaven. It is not contended by my 
correspondents that the German Jews do not want the big 
Powers like England, America and France to prevent the 
atrocities, if need be, even by war against Germany. I happen 
to have a Jewish friend living with me. He has an intellectual 
belief in non-violence. But he says he cannot pray for Hitler. 
He is so full of anger over the German atrocities that he cannot 
speak of them with restraint. I do not quarrel with him over his 
anger. He wants to be non-violent, but the sufferings of fellow- 
Jews are too much for him to bear. What is true of him is true 
of thousands of Jews who have no thought even of ‘loving 
the enemy’. With them as with millions ‘revenge is sweet, to 
forgive is divine.’ 

Segaon, February 5, 1939 
Harijan, 18-2-1939 

423. LETTER TO SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE 


Segaon, 
Eebruary 5, 1939 

MY DEAR SUBHAS, 

I hope you had my personal letter as also yesterday’s.' 

I had a wire from Maulana Saheb suggesting his and others’ 
withdrawal from Working Committee.^ I replied saying it might 
be embarrassing to you. Now comes a letter from Rajen Babu 

' These letters are not available. 

^ For the resignation letter of members of the Working Committee, vide 
Appendix III. 



LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 


383 


making the same suggestion supporting it by the argument that 
you would be helped if you had the resignations in your hands 
now so that you could choose a temporary cabinet to help you to 
frame your future programme. Rajen Baku’s argument commends 
itself to me. So far as I can judge the old colleagues whom you 
consider as rightists will not serve on your cabinet. You can 
have their resignations now, if that would be more convenient 
for you. Their presence would be unfair to you and to them. 
You should be left free to frame your own programme 
and expect the rightists (I wish you would choose better and 
indigenous terms to designate the parties of your imagination) to 
support where they can and abstain without obstructing where 
they cannot see eye to eye with you. 

I have just read your statement' in answer to mine^. Though 
it demands a reply, I must refrain. I do not want to enter 
into a public controversy with you so long as I can avoid it. 

This letter you may show to friends, if you find it necessary. 
I am sending copies to Maulana Saheb, etc. 

Love. 

Bapu 

Gandhi-Nehru Papers, 1939. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and 
Library 


424. LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

February 5, 1939 

MY DEAR JAWAHARLAL, 

This copy^ for your information. 

Love. 

Bapu 

Gandhi-Nehru Papers, 1939. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and 
Library 


* Vide Appendix IV. 

2 Vide pp. 359-60. 

2 Vide the preceding item. 



425. LETTER TO JANAKIDEVI BAJAJ 


[Eebruarji 5, 1939Y 

CHI. JANAKIBEHN, 

Nanabhai and Manubhai will be arriving tomorrow. It 
would be better to let them come to Segaon. We are not so 
crowded here these days. And why should I trouble you unneces- 
sarily when Munnalal will be going to receive them? Probably 
five more persons will be coming on Tuesday and I want them 
too to come to Segaon. If changes are to be made, I shall see. 
It is good that Jamnalalji has been arrested. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

The marriage rites will be performed by Nanabhai but Vyasji 
may certainly come. 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 3002 


426. MOTE TO AMRIT KAUR 

[On or after Eebruary 5, 1939Y 

Contradictory is wholly inapplicable. I mean that there is 
nothing wrong in an ordinary man wanting God to punish the 
wrongdoer. Non-violence is a new thing. It would be wrong 
for a non-violent man to call down the wrath of God or man. 
But a non-violent man must not see anything wrong in a perse- 
cuted man retaliating and seeking the assistance of others. You 
should try to understand the argument. 

From the original: C.W. 4209. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7845 


'From the reference to Jamnalalji’s arrest and the weddings of Vijaya 
Patel and Sharda Shah which took place on Tuesday, February 7, 1939 

^ The note is written on the back of a telegram from Damodar to Bachh- 
raj, Wardha, dated 5-2-1939. 

384 



427. INTERVIEW TO SOUTH AERICAN INDIAN 
STUDENTS^ 


Bardoli, 
[Before Eebruary 6, 1939Y 

“What should we, South Africa-borns, do to preserve our Indian culture 
in our country of adoption?” they asked Gandhiji. “What other languages 
would you ask us to learn besides English ?” 

Gandhiji answered by first twitting them for giving the first place to 
English. He advised them instead to learn Hindustani, which should contain 
all words of Sanskritic as well as Persian or Arabic origin, that are used by 
the man in the street. The Hindus dared not neglect the study of Sanskrit, 
nor the Muslims of Arabic, not only because the study of these languages 
was necessary to give them access to their scriptures in the original, but also 
because these two tongues contained the grandest poetry that the world has 
ever produced. He concluded: 

But above all you should jealously retain the essential 
simplicity and spirituality which is the hallmark of Indian culture. 

Their other question was whether they should carry on the struggle for 
their rights in South Africa through satyagraha or through constitutional 
agitation. 

gandhiji: If the South African Indian community had guts 

in them, I would say satyagraha, and they are bound to win. I 
am hoping that some day from among Indian youths born in 
South Africa a person will arise who will stand up for the rights 
of his countrymen domiciled there, and make the vindication of 
those rights his life’s mission. He will be so pure, so cultured, 
so truthful and so dignified in his bearing that he will disarm 
all opposition. The whites will then say, Tf all Indians 

were like him, we should have no objection to giving them 
an equal status with us.’ But he will answer, ‘It is not enough 
that there is one representative of the Indian community whom 
you are ready to recognize as your equal. What I am, other 
countrymen of mine too can be, if instead of calling them names 
and putting them under all sorts of disabilities you give them a 

^ ^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s “A World in Agony— II”, 6-2-1939. 
The students were in India to pursue medical studies and wanted Gandhiji 
to help them gain admission in medical college. 

385 


68-25 



386 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

sporting chance in the matter of educational and other facilities 
which are today denied them.’ Such a one, when he appears, 
will not need to be coached by me. He will assert himself by 
his sheer genius. 

Harijan, 18-2-1939 


428. MAHATMA'S STATUE^ 

Correspondence has been pouring in upon me protesting 
against the Mahatma’s statue said to be in course of construction 
on the Congress ground at a cost of Rs. 25,000. I know nothing 
of this statue. I have enquired about it. But I must not wait 
for confirmation. Assuming that such a statue is in course of 
construction, I reinforce the protest of my correspondents and I 
agree with them that it will be waste of good money to spend 
Rs. 25,000 on erecting a clay or metallic statue of the figure of 
a man who is himself made of clay and is more fragile than a 
bangle which can keep by preservation for a thousand years, 
whereas the human body disintegrates daily and undergoes final 
disintegration after the usual span of life. I have learnt from my 
Muslim friends, among whom I have passed the best part of my 
life, my dislike of statues and photographs of my figure. And I 
should like the Reception Committee, if the report is true, to desist 
from the unfortunate enterprise. Let them save what money 
they can. If it is a mere rumour, let these lines serve as a warn- 
ing to those who want to honour me by erecting statues and 
having portraits of my figure, that I heartily dislike these exhibi- 
tions. I shall deem it ample honour if those who believe in me 
will be good enough to promote the activities I stand for and at 
least divert the money they would use for statues and portraits 
to the work of the Harijan Sevak Sangh, A. I. S. A., A. I. V. I. A., 
or Hindustani Talimi Sangh. 

Segaon, February 6, 1939 

Harijan, 11-2-1939 


’ This was published under the heading “Notes”. 



429. WHY KASTURBA GANDHI?^ 

I had not intended to say anything about my wife having 
joined the Rajkot struggle. But some cruel criticism I have 
seen about her intervention prompts an explanation. It had 
never occurred to me that she should join it. For one thing 
she is too old for such hardships as are involved in being in civil 
disobedience struggles. But strange as it may appear to critics, 
they must believe me when I say that though she is illiterate, 
she is and has been for years absolutely free to do what she likes. 
When she joined the struggle in South Africa or in India, it was 
of her own inner prompting. And so it was this time. When 
she heard of Manibehn’s arrest, she could not restrain herself and 
asked me to let her go. I said she was too weak. She had just 
then fainted in her bathroom in Delhi and might have died but 
for Devdas’s presence of mind. She said she did not mind. I 
then referred her to Sardar. He would not hear of it either. 

But this time he melted. He had seen my grief over the 
breach of faith by the Thakore Saheb induced by the Resident. 
The reader must realize my ancestral connection with Rajkot 
and the intimate personal relations I had with the present Ruler’s 
father. Kasturba is a daughter of Rajkot. She felt a personal 
call. She could not sit still whilst the other daughters of Rajkot 
were suffering for the freedom of the men and women of the 
State. Rajkot is no doubt an insignificant place on the map of 
India. But it is not insignificant for me and my wife. As a 
child she was brought up in Rajkot though born in Porbandar. 
And, after all, neither she nor I can be unconcerned in a struggle 
which is based on non-violence and in which so many reliable 
co-workers are involved. 

The success of the struggle in Rajkot will be a stage forward 
in the fight for freedom. And when it ends in success, as it must 
sooner or later, I hope that Kasturba’ s share will count as a humble 
contribution towards it. Satyagraha is a struggle in which the oldest 
and the weakest in body may take part, if they have stout hearts. 

Segaon, February 6, 1939 
Harijan, 11-2-1939 

’ This was published under the heading “Notes”. 


387 



430. WORKING OF NON-VIOLENCE 

I have been very much interested in reading the recent numbers 
of Harijan and your observations on the European crisis and the 
N. W. F. Province. But there is one aspect of the non-violence problem, 
which I should have discussed with you at Segaon' if there had been 
time, to which you seldom or never refer. You say that non-violent 
non-co-operation, as you have developed it, is the answer to the violence 
which is now threatening the whole world with ruin. There is no doubt 
as to the immense effect such spirit and action could produce. But must 
not the non-violent spirit of selfless love for all, enemies and friends 
alike, express itself, if it is to succeed, in a liberal, democratic and 
constitutional form of government? Society cannot exist without law and 
government. International peace cannot exist unless the nations accept 
a system of constitutional government which will give them unity and 
law and end anarchy among them. No doubt some day the law of God 
will be so “written on the hearts and minds” of men that they become 
individually the expression of it, and will need no human law or govern- 
ment. But that is the end. The beginning of progress towards that 
heavenly goal must take the form at first of a willingness among races, 
religions and nations to unite under a single constitution, through which 
their unity and membership one of another is established, the laws under 
which they live are promulgated after public discussion and by some 
form of majority decision and are enforced, where it is not voluntarily 
obeyed, not by war but by police force, where persuasion and example 
have not sufficed. As between sovereign nations the operation of a 
constructive non-violence spirit must lead to some form of federation. It 
cannot succeed until it has done so. The proof that it exists effectively 
will be the appearance of a federal system. Thus the only real solution 
for the European problem is the federation of its 25 peoples and 
nations under a single democratic constitution which will create a govern- 
ment which can look at and legislate for the problems of Europe, not 
as a set of rival and conflicting nations but as a single whole with 
autonomous parts. In the same way the only solution to the Indian 
problem is the substitution of a democratic constitution for the control of 
Great Britain. And what is true for Europe and India is true, in the 
long run, for the whole world and is the only final method of ending war. 

* Lord Lothian was at Segaon from January 18 to 20, 1938; vide Vol. 
LXVI, p. 343. 

388 



WORKING OF NON-VIOLENCE 


389 


Non-violent non-co-operation may be the best, perhaps the only, 
method of bringing about the change of mind and heart which will make 
acceptance of a federal democratic constitution by the nation possible. 
But attainment to democratic federation is the necessary attainment where- 
by its success is assured and without which it cannot succeed. It is 
always a matter of interest and indeed of surprise to me that you appear 
to think that non-violent non-co-operation is enough in itself, and that 
you never proclaim that a democratic system of government unifying men, 
races, religions and nations is the goal to which it must lead, though 
that attainment is only possible as the result of a spiritual change of 
heart and cannot be reached by force or violence or chicanery. 

I do not write this as a kind of indirect argument for the Indian 
constitution, though it obviously has a bearing on that problem also. 
The Government of India Act is clearly a very imperfect application of 
the principle of democratic federation and must necessarily evolve rap- 
idly if it is to work. The main argument I have always urged for 
it is that in present conditions it represents the only constitutional 
compromise uniting Provinces, States, Muslims and Hindus which can 
be made to work and that it has far more seeds of evolution within 
it than is generally recognized. If your spiritual gospel informed the 
people, it would rapidly and easily evolve. My object is not to elicit 
any opinion from you about the constitutional problem but an answer 
to the larger question set forth in the early part of the letter. 

Thus writes Lord Lothian. The letter was received early in 
January, but urgent matters prevented my dealing earlier with 
the important question raised in it. 

I have purposely refrained from dealing with the nature of 
government in a society based deliberately on non-violence. All 
society is held together by non-violence, even as the earth is held 
in her position by gravitation. But when the law of gravitation 
was discovered the discovery yielded results of which our an- 
cestors had no knowledge. Even so when society is deliberately 
constructed in accordance with the law of non-violence, its struc- 
ture will be different in material particulars from what it is today. 
But I cannot say in advance what the government based wholly 
on non-violence will be like. 

What is happening today is disregard of the law of non- 
violence and enthronement of violence as if it were an eternal law. 
The democracies, therefore, that we see at work in England, 
America and France are only so called, because they are no less 
based on violence than Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy or even 
Soviet Russia. The only difference is that the violence of 
the last three is much better organized than that of the three 



390 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

democratic powers. Nevertheless we see today a mad race for 
outdoing one another in the matter of armaments. And if when 
the clash comes, as it is bound to come one day, the demo- 
cracies win, they will do so only because they will have the back- 
ing of their peoples who imagine that they have a voice in their 
own government whereas in the other three cases the peoples 
might rebel against their own dictatorships. 

Holding the view that without the recognition of non-violence 
on a national scale there is no such thing as a constitutional 
or democratic government, I devote my energy to the propaga- 
tion of non-violence as the law of our life — individual, social, 
political, national and international. I fancy that I have seen 
the light, though dimly. I write cautiously, for I do not pro- 
fess to know the whole of the Law. If I know the successes 
of my experiments, I know also my failures. But the successes 
are enough to fill me with undying hope. 

I have often said that if one takes care of the means, the 
end will take care of itself. Non-violence is the means, the end 
for every nation is complete independence. There will be an 
international League only when all the nations, big or small, 
composing it are fully independent. The nature of that indepen- 
dence will correspond to the extent of non-violence assimilated 
by the nations concerned. One thing is certain. In a society 
based on non-violence, the smallest nation will feel as tall as the 
tallest. The idea of superiority and inferiority will be wholly 
obliterated. 

It follows from this that the Government of India Act is 
merely a makeshift and has to give way to an Act coined by 
the nation itself. So far as Provincial Autonomy is concerned, it 
has been found possible to handle it somewhat. My own experi- 
ence of its working is by no means happy. The Congress Gov- 
ernments have not that non-violent hold over the people that I 
had expected they would have. 

But the Federal structure is inconceivable to me because it 
contemplates a partnership, however loose, among dissimilars. 
How dissimilar the States are is being demonstrated in an ugli- 
ness for which I was unprepared. Therefore the Federal structure, 
as conceived by the Government of India Act, I hold to be an 
utter impossibility. 

Thus the conclusion is irresistible that for one like me, wed- 
ded to non-violence, constitutional or democratic government is a 
distant dream so long as non-violence is not recognized as a 
living force, an inviolable creed, not a mere policy. While I 



LETTER TO JANAKIDEVI BAJAJ 


391 


prate about universal non-violence, my experiment is confined to 
India. If it succeeds the world will accept it without effort. 
There is, however, a big but. The pause does not worry me. 
My faith is brightest in the midst of impenetrable darkness. 
Segaon, February 6, 1939 
Harijan, 11-2-1939 

431. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Segaon, 

February 6, 1939 

BA, 

Herewith are letters from Akola. I hope you are well. The 
marriages of both the girls' will take place tomorrow. We all 
feel your absence. I have to do the giving away and that too 
in your absence. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 31 

432. LETTER TO JANAKIDEVI BAJAJ 

February 7, 1939 

CHI. janakibehn. 

You must not worry. Those who worry are not warriors. 
There is no point in going to Jaipur. Therefore, you have to 
stay here and do your duty. Let it be as God wills. 

I am keeping the telephonic message with me.^ I wish to 
make some statement. I am not detaining the car. 

Why do you want to come here in your present condition? 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 3000 


' On February 7, Vijaya Patel was married to Manubhai Pancholi and 
Sharda Shah to Gordhandas Chokbawala. 

^ Vide “Statement to the Press”, pp. 396-7. 



433. LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebmary 7, 1939 

BHAI VALLABHBHAI, 

I have your letter. What is happening in Limdi is terrible, 
but it does not surprise us. More, and worse, will happen. 
That will test the people. Our path is straight. I intend to 
write about this. Since I arrange my work with due care for 
my health, I am not able to attend to everything as I would 
wish to. I very much like what Subhas Babu is doing. We 
have had a narrow escape. See about Rajendra Babu. 

I am ready for a meeting whenever you desire it. 

I have received a letter from Mani, which is enclosed. I 
am writing this after performing the marriages of both the girls. 
The simplicity was absolute. Nobody was invited. The village 
Harijans and others were present. I was very much pleased. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro-2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, pp. 232-3 


434. TELEGRAM TO CHANDRABHAL JOHRI i 

[On or after Eebmary 7, 1939^ 

JAMNALALJI IS SAFE WHEREVER HE IS.^ TRYING ISSUE 
STATEMENT. KEEP ME INFORMED. 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 213 


* This was in reply to the addressee’s telegram of February 6, 1939, 
received on February 7, expressing his anxiety about Jamnalal’s whereabouts 
after the latter’s arrest on February 5, 1939. 

^Jamnalal had been taken to Bharatpur State and released there on 
February 7. 

392 



435. TELEGRAM TO RAJENDRA PRASAD 

[On or after February 7, 1939Y 

R[ajendra Prasad] 

Sadaq^at Ashram 
Patna 

HAVE NOT CONVENED CONFERENCE. NO SUCH SUGGESTION 
BEFORE ME. DO YOU WANT CONFERENCE? 

From a copy: Jamnalal Bajaj Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial 
Museum and Library 


436. LETTER TO SHARD ABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA 

[After February 7, 1939^ 

CHI. BABUDI, 

I have your two letters. If you write ‘Private’, etc., at the 
top, no one will read your letters. I will tear them up after 
reading. 

Do not get frightened. Obtain permission and come away 
to me immediately. We shall talk about everything at length. 
Your experience is no unusual story. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

You may use the accompanying letter^ if you wish. 

From the Gujarati original: C.W. 10021. Courtesy: Shardabehn G. 
Chokhawala 


^ This along with the preceding item was drafted on the reverse of the 
telegram from Chandrabhal Johri; vide the preceding item. 

2 This was obviously written some time after the addressee’s marriage, 
which took place on February 7. 

^ Vide the following item. 


393 



437. LETTER TO GORDHANDAS CHOKHAWALA 


Segaon, Wardha, 

[After Eebruary 7, 1939Y 

CHI. GORDHANDAS, 

If Sharda feels ill at ease there, send her away here to me 
for some days. She has never been away from home and so it 
is likely that she may feel a stranger there. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From the Gujarati original: C.W. 10084. Courtesy: Shardabehn G. 
Chokhawala 


438. TELEGRAM TO THE LIMDI PRAJA MAJVDAL 

[Before February 8, 1939Y 

IN THE HAPPENINGS IF THE PEOPLE REMAIN NON- 
VIOLENT AND BRAVE SUFFERING TORTURES LOSS OF 
PROPERTY LIMBS AND LIFE, VICTORY IS THEIRS. KEEP ME 
INFORMED. 

The Hindustan Times, 10-2-1939 

439. TELEGRAM TO JETHANAND 


Wardha, 

February 8, 1939 

Raibahadur Jethanand 
Deraismailkhan 

DEEPLY REGRET RIOTS. AM HELPLESS THOUGH WIRING^ 
PREMIER. HAVE MAHOMEDANS BEEN KILLED AS REPORTED 
PAPERS. 

Gandhi 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 
* Vide the preceding item. 

2 The news report carrying this item is dated February 8. 

^ Vide the following item. 


394 



440. TELEGRAM TO DR. KHAN SAHEB 


Wardha, 

Eebruary 8, 1939 

Dr. Khan SAHEB 
Peshawar 

ARE YOU DOING ANYTHING EFFECTIVE ABOUT DERA RIOTS. 

Bapu 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


441. LETTER TO MOTILAL ROT 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 8, 1939 

DEAR MOTI BABU, 

Better to send instalment directly to A. I. S. A. 

The convocation address not yet received. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: G.N. 11053 


442. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Segaon, 

Eebruary 8, 1939 

BA, 

You are being put to a severe test. You must let me know 
about the difficulties you face. You are born to suffer and 
hence your discomforts cause me no surprise. I have sent a tele- 
gram to the Government. I do not wish to publish anything 
about your difficulties in the Press. God is certainly even there 
by your side. He will do as He wills. 

Kanam is well. He remembers you at night. Do not worry 
in the least. Amtul Salaam is here. She takes care of Kanam. 

Chi. Mani, how nice that you are there! 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 31 

395 



443. LETTER TO KRISHNACHAMDRA 


February 8, 1939 

CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA, 

You should not expect a long letter from me. Only he is 
a brahmachari who can remain unmoved even while conducting a 
wedding. One who feels disturbed watching a wedding need 
not do so. I did not invite anyone. 

You should salute A. B. from a distance and forget the rest. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4310; also S.G. 73 


444. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS^ 


Wardha, 

February 8, 1939 

The following telephone report^ has been received about 
Seth Jamnalalji who, when he was arrested a second time, was 
accompanied by his son, his secretary and a servant: 

Seth Jamnalalji was detained at Ajmer Road station, 
50 miles from Jaipur, and kept in the dak bungalow there. 
Mr. Young went to Sethji in person and asked him to enter 
his car. Sethji declined saying, “You wish to put me out- 
side the border of Jaipur State. I wish to enter Jaipur. I 
will not accompany you.” Mr. Young thereupon said, “We 
are taking you to Jaipur. Come with us.” Sethji replied, 
“I cannot rely on your word.” Mr. Young then said, “I 
have orders. You will have to come with me.” Sethji 
asked to be shown the order, but it appears that there was 
no order in Mr. Young’s possession. At length, Mr. Young 

' The statement was also published in The Hindu and The Bombay Chronicle 
of February 9 and in a slightly modified form in Harijan of February 1 1 under 
the heading “Barbarous Behaviour”. It turned out, however, that the report 
used by Gandhiji in the statement was not wholly accurate; vide “Statement to 
the Press”, pp. 410-1. 

2 The report was in Hindi, which Gandhiji translated; vide “Statement to 
the Press”, pp. 410-1. 

396 



TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA 


397 


again told Sethji that he would be taken to Jaipur. “If 
we do not take you there, you can have it printed in the 
newspapers that after promising to take you to Jaipur, we 
took you elsewhere.” Sethji was not inclined to believe any- 
thing that was said to him. He said, “I will not accompany 
you willingly. You can take me by force, if you so desire.” 
This conversation took nearly an hour. In the end, five 
men forcibly put Sethji in a car and took him away. In 
this process of using force, Sethji was injured on his left cheek 
below the eye. He was taken to Alwar State. Sethji here 
said, “You cannot act like this. You are not at liberty to 
deposit me in another State. If you do so I will run a case 
against you.” On this Mr. Young brought Sethji back again 
into Jaipur State. But we do not know his present where- 
abouts. 

The only remark I have to offer is that this is barbarous 
behaviour. The sacredness of person, legal procedure and liberty 
are thrown to the winds. That a British Inspector-General of 
Police should resort to deception and then to personal injury to 
one who was his prisoner is what I call organized goondaism. 
But I know that nothing will break Jamnalalji’s spirit. He will 
enter Jaipur either as a free man or prisoner. 

The Hindustan Times, 9-2-1939 


445. TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA 


Wardhaganj, 
Eebruary 9, 1939 

Ghanshyamdas Birla 

Lucky 

Calcutta 

I THINK BEST LEAVE JAMNALALJI DO ACCORDING HIS 

INSTINCT. I DO NOT APPRECIATE SENDING NOTICE. LET 

HIM SUFFER IF HE MUST. 

Bapu 


From the original: C.W. 7804. Courtesy: G. D. Birla 



446. TELEGRAM TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

Wardhaganj, 

Eebruary 9, 1939 

Jawaharlal Nehru 
Anand Bhawan 
Allahabad 

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED I THINK IT WOULD BE WISE 
POSTPONE LUDHIANA CONFERENCE TILL AFTER CONGRESS. 
PRINCIPAL WORk[er]s ENGAGED IN STRUGGLE GOING ON 
VARIOUS STATES. 

Bapu 

Gandhi-Nehru Papers, 1939. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and 

Library 


447. LETTER TO N. R. MALKANI 

Sevagram, Wardha, 

Eebruary 9, 1939 

MY dear MALKANI, 

I understand your letter.’ It satisfies me. I shall send you 
Rs. 200 as soon as Kishorelal returns. You will operate on 
Rs. 300 cheque. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 932 


448. LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 9, 1939 

MY DEAR JAWAHARLAL, 

I have your letter. I understand your analysis. Subhas wired 
saying he wants to come to Wardha. Let us see what happens. 

’ Vide also letters to the addressee, pp. 310 and 315. 


398 



LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA 


399 


Of course I shall take no hasty decision. I am glad Sarup' is 
coming soon. I am hoping that the quiet of Segaon will suit her. 
Love. 

Bapu 

Gandhi-Nehru Papers, 1939. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and 
Library 

449. LETTER TO HAREKRUSHNA MAHTAB 

Segaon, Wardha, 

February 9, 1939 

MY DEAR MAHTAB, 

Your letter. You can come on 16th inst.^ 

Tours, 

Bapu 

From the original: H. K. Mahtab Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial 
Museum and Library 


450. LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA 

Segaon, Wardha, 

February 9, 1939 

CHI. BABUDI, 

Marriage is a sacrament. It should, therefore, lead not to 
indulgence but to restraint. We have four stages of life. Grihasth- 
ashrama^ is the second stage. In family life enjoyment has no 
place but service has an important place. Service and beget- 
ting of progeny cannot go hand in hand. Progeny, however, has 
a place in married life. If there is an intense desire for progeny 
sexual union is permitted. This union should result from deli- 
beration, not passion. If this principle is accepted, husband and 
wife should not share the same bed. There should be no love- 
play. Nothing should be done which would turn their minds to 
the sexual act. In these days it is a difficult dharma. May God 
grant you both the strength to perform it. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 10004. Courtesy: Shardabehn G. Chokhawala 

^ Vijayalakshmi Pandit 

2 The addressee had wanted to meet Gandhiji to discuss the affairs of 
the Princely States in Orissa. 

^ Householder’s state 



451. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 

Segaon, 

Eebruary 9, 1939 

BA, 

I have your letter. I do not like your being constantly ill. 
But be brave now. You will get the facilities. But what does it 
matter even if you don’t? Mani should read aloud the Ramayana, 
even if she cannot sing well. What are our troubles as com- 
pared to those of Rama and Sita ? For the time being I have given 
up taking help from the girls. Do not feel uneasy. Do not 
worry. I shall see what to do. Sushila of course continues to 
look after me. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, pp. 31-2 

452. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS^ 

Wardha, 

Eebruary 9, 1939 

Critics of my recent writings on Rajkot and Jaipur have accus- 
ed me of being guilty of untruth and violence. I owe them 
an answer. Such accusations have been made against me before 
now, indeed since my entry into public life. I am happy to be 
able to say that most of my critics have later been obliged to 
acknowledge that I had not been guilty of either untruthful or 
violent language and that my statements were based on my belief 
in them and made without malice. 

Even so is the case in the present instance. I am fully 
aware of my responsibility. I know that many of my country- 
men put implicit faith in my statements. I have been asked for 
proofs in support of my statements. I have given them. 

* This was also published in The Bombay Chronicle and The Hindu of 
February 10 and in Harijan of February 18 under the heading “Not Guilty”. 

400 



STATEMENT TO THE PRESS 


401 


Sardar Patel has reproduced in his statement' on Rajkot the 
remarks of the Resident reported to have been made by him about 
the Congress and himself. The memorandum of the conversa- 
tion between the Resident, the Thakore Saheb and councillors, 
including Sir Patrick Cadell, is in my possession. It is too long 
to be published, but it will be, if occasion requires it. 

As for organized goondaism, the facts have been published.^ 
I connect the Resident with it, because he has sent the Agency 
police to the State and must be held responsible for the acts of 
his agents. 

Similarly, the British Prime Minister is responsible for every- 
thing that is happening in Jaipur. The making of Seth Jamna- 
lalji a football to be kicked out of Jaipur every time he dares to 
exercise the right of entering his birth-place is surely worse than 
unseemly. 

I am not guilty of violence of language when I correctly 
characterize action. I would be guilty of violence if I harboured 
any ill-feeling against the Kathiawar Resident or the Jaipur 
Prime Minister. For ought I know, they may be most estimable 
men to meet, but their being estimable does not help the people 
of Rajkot or Jaipur. As a votary of truth and ahimsa, my busi- 
ness is to state the naked truth without fear but without ill will 
against the wrongdoers. My non-violence does not require any 
gilding of a bitter pill. I must, therefore, plead not guilty to the 
charge of racial animosity. 

1 cannot succeed in weaning people from the path of violence 
by hiding or dressing the naked truth; I hope to wean them by 
telling them and, what is more, showing by my conduct that it is 
not only right but profitable to wish well to the wrongdoer in 
spite of his wrongs, however grievous these may be. 

Protection of the Princes is a duty the Paramount Power 
owes to them, but surely it is equally its duty to protect the people 
living in their jurisdiction. It seems to me that it is also their 
duty to withhold support from Princes when it is proved that a 
ruler is guilty of breach of faith with his people as in Rajkot or 
when it is proved that his people are denied ordinary civil liberty 
and one of his citizens is driven from pillar to post and practically 
denied access to courts of justice as in the case of Jaipur. 

The more I think of what is happening in the States in 
India, I see nothing but a dark future for this unhappy land, 

* Vide Appendix I. 

2 Vide p. 366. 

68-26 



402 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


if the Paramount Power remains a helpless witness to the tragedy 
that is being enacted in the Princes’ India. For what is hap- 
pening in Rajkot and Jaipur is but a sample of what is going to 
happen presently in the other States. The Maharaja of Bikaner 
was right when he advised concerted action among the Princes.' 
Only His Highness gave the wrong lead. 

The doctrine of kicks and kisses will lead the Princes no- 
where. It has sown bitterness and strife. The people of States 
may not be able to take concerted action as the Princes can, but 
the latter will not be able to treat the people from States other 
than their own or those from British India as foreigners. There 
is sufficient awakening among the people of the States to with- 
stand the pressure even from a concert among the Princes. 

The Hindustan Times, 10-2-1939 


453. TELEGRAM TO JAMNALAL BAJAJ 

[On or after Eebruary 9, 1939]^ 

Jamnalalji 
Sainik, Agra 

YOUR TELEGRAM. SEND DEFINITE CORRECTIONS MY 

VERSION. WILL THEN PUBLISH REVISION. QUITE CLEAR 

YOU SHOULD CROSS BORDER IF POSSIBLE ON FOOT 

WITH SMALL PARTY WITHOUT GIVING NOTICE. JANAKIDEVI 

MUST NOT LEAVE WARDHA. SHE IS UNFIT PHYSICALLY 

AND KAMALA’s APPROACHING DELIVERY MAKES IT 
DANGEROUS FOR HER LEAVE WARDHA. IF SHE WENT 
SHE MUST THROW HERSELF INTO STRUGGLE AND CAN 

NEVER COME BACK BEFORE STRUGGLE OVER. AM CON- 
VINCED TIME HAS NOT ARRIVED FOR HER TO DO 

SO. EVEN IF SHE WAS WELL AND OTHERWISE FREE 

TO LEAVE WARDHA I SHOULD DISCOUNTENANCE HER 
LEAVING BUT WOULD RESERVE HER FUTURE WHEN 

STRUGGLE IN FULL SWING. 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 214 


* Vide “Kicks and Kisses’’, pp. 354-7. 

^ This was in reply to the addressee’s telegram of February 9, for the 
text of which, vide “Statement to the Press”, pp. 410-1. 



454. LETTER TO E. MART BARR 


Segaon, 

Eebruary 11, 1939 


CHI. MARY, 

You are considerate always. But if you had come you would 
have caused me no worry. Yes, you will stay with me if I go 
to the Congress. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 6075. Also C.W. 3405. Courtesy: F. Mary Barr 


455. LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 11, 1939 

I have your wire and letter. I understand your position 
about the conference and the W. C. I cannot think of causes 
without the persons who handle them. I wrote about postpone- 
ment on the strength of what I had heard from Balwantrai 
Mehta. He is engrossed in the Kathiawar struggle. Achintram 
could not do without him. So I wired to you. I know nothing 
about the situation in Ludhiana. 

I am sorry about Sarup. I was looking forward to her 
passing a few days with me. 

Love. 

Bapu 

Gandhi— Nehru Papers, 1939. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and 
Library 


403 



456. LETTER TO L. M. PATH 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 11, 1939 

DEAR PATIL, 

I have your letter. Where the Directors are Indians having 
an effective voice in the management of the concern and the 
concern itself is wholly in the interests of India I would call it 
swadeshi even though the whole of the capital may be foreign. 
Thus if I had full control of, say, a hand-spinning concern but 
I employed skilled white men under me and employed also Europ- 
ean capital with or without interest I would claim that concern 
to be wholly swadeshi. 

Yours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


457. LETTER TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 11, 1939 

MY DEAR C. R., 

I would have you to continue what you are doing about 
employment in spite of adverse comment. We do not need to 
copy anybody. 

Who is this lady at the back of the anti-Hindi propaganda? 
Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 2073 


404 



458. LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 11, 1939 

CHI. KANTI, 

I may be said to be quite ill. Prabha will write. If I 
cannot show Saraswati’s letter to Ramachandran it will be diffi- 
cult to send for her here. How can we help one who hides her 
misery? I have, however, written to Ramachandran to send Sara- 
swati here. But to send for her is one thing and to do so in order 
to save her from abuses and beatings is another. So you should 
give me full freedom. You should not lose your peace of mind. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 7358. Courtesy: Kantilal Gandhi 


459. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Segaon, 

Eebruary 11, 1939 

BA, 

I read about your transfer in the newspapers. Stay free of care 
wherever you are placed. Do not worry. God is certainly with 
you wherever you go. The doctors have come to examine me. 
They advise rest. I do take rest. A letter has gone to you from 
here every day. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 32 


405 



460. LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 11, 1939 

BHAI VALLABHBHAI, 

I got the papers sent by you. 

I cannot believe the report about Mani having been separat- 
ed from Ba. 

If the meeting of the Working Committee on the 22nd is 
arranged here, what about Bardoli? Jamnalal writes to say that 
the meeting on the 22nd will be held here. Why not stay here 
for the present? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

Forward the enclosed. 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro~2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, p. 233 


461. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA 

Eebruary 11, 1939 

CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA, 

So long as you have not acquired equimindedness it is best 
to observe the restraint I have suggested. But it does not at all 
mean that you are not to render even the necessary services to 
her or speak to her when the occasion demands it. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4311; also S.G. 74 


406 



462. HYDERABAD 


Hyderabad State Congress people are getting restive. As they 
have been acting under my advice some of them came to me 
and said, “We have suspended civil disobedience at your and 
other leaders’ instance. You had held out the hope that, if 
we suspended civil disobedience, most probably the prisoners 
would be released and the State Congress recognized. Neither 
the one nor the other has happened. How long are we to re- 
main out and vegetate while our co-workers are rotting in the 
State jails where life is none too easy? What will you have us 
do?” 

As these friends have to deal with a large number of col- 
leagues I had better give a summary of my answer to them. I 
said: 

I sympathize with you. In your place I should feel like you. 
But satyagraha is not a simple affair. It is a way of life. It 
requires discipline. It demands infinite patience and capacity for 
uttermost suffering. Civil disobedience, which is but a phase of 
satyagraha, has to be suspended even though colleagues may 
have to suffer imprisonment, hardships attendant upon jail life, 
and even worse. And they have to do all this with good grace, 
joyfully and without malice towards those who are responsible for 
subjecting them to such suffering. Remember, too, that a true 
satyagrahi, being outside, goes through greater mental suffering 
than the one who has gone behind prison bars. The latter has 
done his task for the time being. His mind is free. He fulfils 
his immediate mission if he behaves like a model prisoner and 
cheerfully submits to the sufferings he might have to go through. 
Whereas the former has to bear the brunt of managing the strug- 
gle, thinking out plans, and responding to the programme as it 
may be given from day to day. 

I have to ask you to prolong your suspension if only for the 
simple and decisive reason that two bodies are offering civil 
disobedience for purposes wholly different from yours, however 
worthy their purpose may be. The Arya Samaj civil disobed- 
ience is purely religious in the sense that it is being offered for 
the vindication of the exercise of their religion. The Hindu 
Mahasabha is, I suppose, supporting the Arya Samaj. And, 

407 



408 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


therefore, the struggle has assumed a communal colour. If you 
resume civil disobedience, it will be very difficult for you to retain 
your nationalistic character. You will expose yourselves to need- 
less suspicion. Your methods too may not be identical with 
theirs. You will create an embarrassing situation without advanc- 
ing your cause. 

Thus the situation demands delicate handling. It is my convic- 
tion that your restraint will largely disarm suspicion, and to 
that extent you will be making a definite advance towards 
your goal. Meanwhile I can give you the assurance that what- 
ever friendly offices can do is being and will continue to be 
done. Having heard my argument, you will act as may seem 
best to you. You must reject my advice if it does not appeal 
to your head and heart. If you accept it, remember that every 
member will be expected to devote himself whole-heartedly to 
the constructive programme as I have explained it to you. 

Segaon, February 12, 1939 
Harijan, 18-2-1939 

463. LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW 

Segaon, Wardha, C. P., 
Eebrmry 12, 1939 

DEAR LORD LINLITHGOW, 

I duly received your letter of the 5th inst. redirected from 
Bardoli. 

1 am grateful for the pains you have taken to explain your 
position so fully, frankly and fairly. After much consideration I 
felt that it was a duty to publish the article returned by you. 
Even if Shri Chudgar has been guilty, consciously or uncon- 
sciously, of having misreported' Sir Beauchamp St. John, the truth 
could only be ascertained by publication of the correspondence. 
As I have the moral conviction about the accuracy of Shri Chud- 
gar’s report I felt that it would be wrong to withhold it from 
the public. I note in passing that although I asked the Prime 
Minister of Jaipur, if he denied Shri Chudgar’s version, to give 
me his own, he would not do so.^ But the question of wisdom 

’ Vide “Jaipur”, pp. 350-2. 

2 Vide pp. 314 and 335. 



LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


409 


or otherwise of publishing the correspondence pales into insigni- 
ficance in the presence of the tragedy that is going on in Jaipur, 
Rajkot and Orissa. 

In spite of your letter suggesting the possibility of it being 
erroneous, what is happening in these places has deepened the 
belief expressed by me in my letter to you of the 26th ult. 

If you think that by a meeting you could clear my mind 
of the disquiet and show me that my belief is erroneous, I would 
be glad to run up to Delhi even though medical friends have 
enjoined complete rest for some time if I am not to collapse 
altogether. But I would gladly risk my health if I can be shown 
my error or if I could convince you that delay in action on your 
part is dangerous. 

Tours sincerely. 

From a copy: C.W. 10388. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


464. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Segaon, 

February 12, 1939 

BA, 

I have your letter. You are kept informed of all the news. 
Stop worrying. I learn that you have duly received the enema 
can. What medicine would you want sent from here ? The doc- 
tor now visits you there. If you feel the need you may take the 
medicine he prescribes. I will of course continue to write to you 
every day. Be brave. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 32 



465. LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 12, 1939 

BHAI VALLABHBHAI, 

What happened about the article that Chudgar was to write 
for me? I want it soon. I have received a long letter from the 
Viceroy. I will send you a copy of the reply* I have sent. 

Send me a copy of the Princes Protection Act referred to in 
the accompanying notification. 

Mani was first removed and then again brought back to 
Ba. What is all this? I don’t understand at all. Who is the 
doctor, and the nurse? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro-2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, p. 234 


466. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS^ 


Wardha, 

February 12, 1939 

On reading my Press statement regarding his second expul- 
sion from Jaipur State, Seth Jamnalalji telegraphed to me as 
follows: 

On the 9th instant I saw that your statement on my version 
regarding Mr. Young was incorrect owing to confusion in the telephonic 
message. The correct version appeared in The Hindustan Times of the 
8th and 9th. ^ I hope you will do the needful. 

1 had not then seen The Hindustan Times referred to by 
Sethji. I have now seen both issues and I find that I have 

’ Vide pp. 408-9. 

2 Published in Harijan, 18-2-1939, under the title “My Apology”; this 
also appeared in The Bombay Chronicle, 13-2-1939, and other newspapers. 

^ It also appeared in The Tribune, 8-2-1939, in the form of a statement 
by Damodar Das and showed that Young had never given any assurance to 
Jamnalal Bajaj that he would not be taken outside Jaipur State. 

410 



UNTRUTH IN NEWSPAPERS 


411 


unconsciously done injustice to Mr. Young, whom, in my Press 
statement, I accused of having practised deception upon Sethji. 
I made the accusation on the strength of the telephone message 
received by his son in Wardha, of which I gave a literal 
translation in my statement. Sethji’s son had no doubt what- 
soever as to what he received through the telephone. But neither 
his accuracy nor my faithful translation can excuse the error 
into which I was betrayed. I, therefore, tender my unqualified 
apology to Mr. Young and I shall be extra careful henceforth 
in making use of telephone messages. 

I see that not only was Mr. Young not guilty of any decep- 
tion, but that he was careful to say that he was performing 
a painful duty in obedience to the orders of a superior authority. 
And in the execution thereof he was as courteous and as careful 
as it was possible for him to be in the circumstances. 

Having made these amends, I must say that The Hindustan 
Times report, confirmed by Sethji, shows that his ill-treatment 
was much worse than was conveyed in the telephone message. 
All that night journey in the cold of Rajputana winter was a 
cruel and unnecessary torture. Even if expulsion was necessary 
for the preservation of peace in Jaipur, the night journey could 
surely have been avoided, as also the use of force. 

The Hindu, 12-2-1939 

467. UNTRUTH IN NEWSPAPERS 
A State official writes: 

I have read your several articles in the Harijan about Congress 
activities in general and those in the States in particular. One^ of these 
deals with corruption in the Congress ranks and at least, by implication, 
with other undesirable activities quite inconsistent with the spirit which 
you have tried to infuse into the mass of Congress workers. 

It has occurred to me to draw your attention to the fact that 
much violence to truth and, therefore, harm to the cause you have at 
heart is being done by certain newspapers which live by abuse and 
which depend upon so-called ‘Congress workers’ for the unmitigated false- 
hoods they publish. 

So far as the States are the targets of attack, legitimate criticism 
which rests on incontrovertible facts must be wholesome and should 
be helpful. You would, however, agree that nothing but the truth 
should be published. 

• Vide pp. 320-1. 



412 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


What is happening, in fact, is that some people who nurse a 
sense of injury against the State to which they belonged or where they 
lived in the past, finding themselves driven away as a result of their 
activities to which the Government of the State took objection, are 
trying to pay off old scores and for such a purpose they imagine 
their position greatly fortified by their having joined the Congress fold. 
The papers they feed, in their turn, live by their diatribes, while for 
them those papers are the needed medium for the discharge of stored- 
up venom. The unfortunate result is that however these vernacular 
papers may succeed in inflaming the uninformed public, responsible people 
remain unaffected by their denunciations. 

It is a pity that things that may be usefully brought to light in 
the honest spirit of awakening the administrations of the States to 
their responsibilities are, for want of knowledge, never published. What 
is published is either in the nature of a gross exaggeration of facts of no 
vital importance or, as is more often the case, some pure inventions and, 
therefore, an utter lie. 

Your present policy seems to me to be that where the people 
desire to manage their own affairs, it is the duty of the Congress to help 
them in the attainment of that aim. I venture to think that it is not 
your policy to replace the contentment of the people with discontent, in 
pursuit of the ideal of responsible government throughout India. 

Above all, I take your policy to be to disseminate and propagate 
the truth, and to wage a ceaseless war against untruth. In that belief, 
I venture to suggest that an article or two in the Harijan on the responsi- 
bility of newspapers that depend for what they publish upon ‘Congress 
workers’ and that of those workers might help to purge the Congress 
movement of some destructive germs and thereby make it more effective 
alike for the uplift of the downtrodden masses and for serving the high- 
est cause of the country. 

I have no difficulty in agreeing with the correspondent that 
newspapers which indulge in untruth or exaggeration harm 
the cause they profess to espouse. I admit, too, that there is 
enough untruth in enough newspapers to warrant action. But 
my experience is that no amount of public criticism will affect 
the policy of newspapers which make their livelihood by such 
policy. 

I would like, however, to point out to my correspondent and 
others like him who are connected with States that the public 
must not be blamed for believing untruths if the State officials, 
under a false sense of security, will not deign to correct untruths 
or render explanations. And sometimes when they condescend 
to give explanations they are more untruthful than the untruths 



TRAVANCORE 


413 


of the newspapers. The latest instance is that of Talcher. The 
Chief denied even the truth of a telling photograph in The States- 
man of the refugees and has received a well-deserved snub 
from its Editor. I have a Talcher bulletin sent to me by Thak- 
kar Bapa for me to laugh or weep over. Its denial is a shame- 
ful perversion of truth. I am publishing in this issue startling 
news about Mewar.' 

I would like an authentic contradiction of the news or strong 
action against the police if they acted in disregard of instructions. 
But I write this in no way to condone untruths in newspapers. 
I am quite clear that if newspapers weighed every word that is 
printed therein, we should have a speedier removal of abuses 
whether in the States or elsewhere. 

Segaon, February 13, 1939 
Harijan, 18-2-1939 

468. TRAVANCORE 

Though I have been apparently silent about Travancore, 
the workers may rest assured that I have not been neglectful. 
Sometimes silence is more telling than speech. All I am free to 
say is that I have been usefully silent. I am sorry that all has 
not gone well. I had hoped that when the State Congress with- 
drew the allegations against the Dewan things would run smoothly 
and the movement for responsible government would be allowed 
full play.^ But the bulletin^ reproduced elsewhere shows that there 
is no such luck for the Travancoreans. The unseating of 19 promi- 
nent members of the Travancore Assembly seems to be vindictive.'* 
Have they done anything dishonourable? Not that I know of. 

I have before me a letter describing the ill-treatment of 
Shrimati Akkamma Cherian, a political prisoner. If what she 
declared in court is true, her treatment was surely disgraceful. 
She is a cultured woman. She gave up the headmistress-ship of a 
school in order to join the struggle for liberty. It hurts one to 
think that in an advanced State like Travancore, which boasts of 
an enlightened Prince, an equally enlightened Maharani, his 

* Vide pp. 415-6. 

^ Vide “Talk to Travancore State Congress Deputation”, pp. 131-3, and 
“Travancore”, pp. 287-9. 

^ “Travancore Bulletin” by G. Ramachandran 

■* These members, all belonging to the State Congress, had been dis- 
qualified on the ground of their having been convicted under the Criminal 
Law Amendment Regulation. 



414 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

mother, and an experienced Dewan, liberty is being choked by 
rude repression. 

But another letter tells me that this repression is taking place 
in the name of Hinduism and for the sake of saving a Hindu State! 
It has been suggested that the idea is to repress the Christians 
who are playing a prominent part in the struggle for freedom. 

It is surely late in the day to talk of Hindu States and Mus- 
lim States. And what is the test? Is Kashmir a Hindu State because a 
Hindu Prince happens to rule a territory which has an over- 
whelming majority of Muslims as its inhabitants? Or is Hydera- 
bad with its overwhelming Hindu population a Muslim State 
because a Muslim Prince rules their destiny? I regard this kind 
of talk as a libel on nationalism. Is India a Christian State because a 
Christian king rules over her destiny? But if India is Indian no 
matter who rules, the States are also Indian no matter who 
happens to be the ruler. And the present Rulers and their succes- 
sors will rule only by the grace of an awakened people. The 
awakening that has taken place has come to stay. Every day 
quickens the pace. The Rulers and their advisers may succeed 
for the time being in suppressing the spirit of the people. They 
will never succeed in killing it. To succeed would be to kill the 
spirit of the people of India. Is anyone in India so short- 
sighted as to feel that independence is not coming soon ? And is it 
possible to conceive that an independent India will for one mom- 
ent tolerate repression in any single spot, be it ever so big or 
ever so small ? There is room, in my conception of an indepen- 
dent India, for States with Princes as constitutional trustees, as 
in Aundh.* There is room for Englishmen as fellow-servants of 
the people, never as masters. Therefore, the only way in which 
the Princes can live in a free India is for them now to recognize 
the time spirit, bow to it and act accordingly. Let it be 
the boast of the Hindu Prince, his Hindu mother and their 
Hindu Dewan that they were not afraid of their Christian citi- 
zens. Supposing there was responsible government in Travancore, 
what could the Christians or the Hindus or the Muslims do? 
Whoever the legislators, they will be responsible to the voters. 
There is no room for fear, there is no hitch in the process. But 
in the present repression, there is much to fear and there are 
many hitches. 

Segaon, February 13, 1939 
Harijan, 18-2-1939 


* Vide pp. 90-1. 



469. THE ETHICS OE IT 

A friend suggests that I have perhaps departed from correct 
conduct in publishing the confidential correspondence' between 
Thakore Saheb and Sir Patrick Cadell and extracts from the inter- 
view between Thakore Saheb-in-Council and the Resident. I 
have no such feeling at all. I claim to be very sensitive to points 
of honour. My worst critics have credited me with the capacity 
to respect confidence and bury secrets entrusted to me. But I 
have never regarded it any part of my duty to protect breaches 
of promises against disclosure or to cover crimes of which I have 
notice in due course. I do protect confessions made to me in 
confidence as I did when I was asked, on pain of being punished 
by a court of law, to disclose the names of criminals during the 
unfortunate riots in Ahmedabad at the time of the Rowlatt Act 
agitation. In the case in question there is no such point of hon- 
our. Regard for truth and the popular cause demanded publica- 
tion of the correspondence and the extracts. The documents were 
received by the Sardar in ordinary course. They were handed 
by those who were in legal possession. There was, therefore, so 
far as I can see nothing dishonourable about getting possession of 
the documents and, as I have said, nothing incorrect, much less 
dishonourable, about their publication. Without such publication 
the popular case could not be proved. 

Segaon, February 13, 1939 
Harijan, 18-2-1939 


470. MEWAR 

A correspondent sends the following business-like note^: 

First incident: Date of happening: 14th December, 1938. Place of 
happening: A wayside bridge in the British territory of town Deoli. 
Mewar territory: At a distance of about 12 yards. 

. . . Shri Mathura Prasad Vaidya, a worker of the Mewar Praja Man- 
dal, . . . while distributing Praja Mandal literature . . . was all of a sudden 
attacked by two constables of Uncha Police in Mewar. One of them 
snatched away the literature . . . The other knocked him down on the 

* Vide Appendix I. 

^ Of which only extracts are reproduced here 


415 



416 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


ground and then both of them forcibly dragged him in a semi-conscious 
state to the nearby territory of Mewar only at a distance of about 12 
yards . . . Vaidya Mathura Prasad was severely beaten by those policemen 
on the way to Uncha police station. He has now been sentenced for 
nine months. 

Second incident: Date of happening: 2nd February, 1939. Place of 
happening: On the outskirts of Deoli, British territory. 

. . . Shri Maniklal Varma, secretary of the Mewar Praja Mandal, had 
gone to Deoli ... In the evening at about 6.30 p.m., he with four other 
colleagues of his was all of a sudden attacked on the outskirts of the town 
by 15 men of Mewar police with lathis. All the five persons were badly 
wounded, and Maniklalji was then forcibly dragged through bushes and 
thorns in a most inhuman way to the Mewar territory which was at a dis- 
tance of at least a few hundred yards. The Deoli police was informed 
during the mishap but no notice was taken, and the Dewan of the police 
station could not be found even after a good search, as if the whole thing 
was prearranged. Maniklalji was arrested and taken to the Uncha police 
station in Mewar. 

The correspondent adds: 

Shri Maniklalji belongs to Bijolia. He has been devoting himself to 
the service of the peasantry for the past 20 years. He founded the Praja 
Mandal a year ago. But it was declared illegal within a few days. There- 
fore he started civil disobedience some months ago. I send you these 
incidents as you have begun to write publicly about States’ affairs. Will you 
kindly guide us workers also what should be done in such circumstances? 

This news is strange, if it is true. It is difficult to under- 
stand why the police did not arrest these workers within the 
Mewar border. Or was it that the workers’ friends were avoid- 
ing the Mewar territory? In any event the arrests seem to me 
to have been illegal. The dragging amounted to an assault. 
The only advice I can give is that this is essentially a case for 
legal proceedings. The Praja Mandal should take it up. 

But civil resisters of the States should remember that the 
real battle has yet to come. The States, big or small, seem to 
be taking concerted action. They are copying the methods 
adopted by the British in British India during the satyagraha 
struggle and are likely to improve upon them in frightfulness. 
They fancy that they have no fear of public opinion, for there is 
none in the States except in rare cases. But civil resisters who are 
worth their salt will not be deterred by any frightfulness. 
Segaon, February 13, 1939 

Harijan, 18-2-1939 



471. TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA 


Wardha, 

Eebruary 13, 1939 


Ghanshyamdasji 

Lucky 

Calcutta 

GILDER JIVARAJ EXAMINED YESTERDAY BUT DR. ROY* 
HAS RIGHT COME WHEN HE LIKES. 

Bapu 

From a copy: C.W. 7805. Courtesy: G. D. Birla 


472. LETTER TO MIRABEHJV 

{February 13, 1939'\'^ 

CHI. MIRA, 

All your letters are good and works of art. Your report of 
the interview is graphic. Let us hope it will bear fruit. 

The money I hope you received in good time. 

I shall try to come as soon as I can. 

The rest from Sushila. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6428. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10023 

473. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHL 

February 13, 1939 

BA, 

You have now had good experience of staying alone also. 
But I forget. When were you alone? Rama has always been 
with you. And when He is there, it does not matter whether 


* Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy 
^ From the postmark 


68-27 


417 



418 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Others are or not. But now there are two, Mridu and Mani. 
Be cheerful. They may also write. 

Blessings to you all from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 32 


474. LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 

Segaon, Wardha, 

February 13, 1939 

BHAI VALLABHBHAI, 

I got your letters. The Garasias are not likely to forgo readi- 
ly what they regard as their garas\ If we go on suffering 
silently everything will end well. 

The problem about Ba was quickly solved. Mani is a resource- 
ful girl. She has mastered the art of doing the right thing at 
the right time.^ She is living up to her name.^ 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro— 2: Sardar Vallabhbhaine, p. 234 


475. LETTER TO H. L. SHARMA 

Segaon, Wardha, 

February 13, 1939 

CHI. SHARMA, 

Did you get the wire I sent? The reply received here was: 
“Many Sharmas, wire undelivered.” 

There is only one point you want answered. We need not 
give such a deep meaning to nature cure. Only he is entitled 
to it who has put it into practice in its popular meaning. We 
cannot all say: “I am the Brahman.” When it is time for 
you to go to jail God will open a way. Anyway, what I am 

’ Share in State lands 

^ On being separated from Kasturba, Manibehn had refused to take food 
till she was taken back to her. 

^ ‘Mani’ means a jewel. 



DISCUSSION WITH DR. CHESTERMAN 


419 


envisaging for you is not jail-going. So keep yourself immersed 
in your work. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a facsimile of the Hindi: Bapuki Chhayamen Mere Jivanke Solah 

Varsh, between pp. 278 and 279 


476. DISCUSSION WITH DR. CHESTERMAN^ 


Segaon, 

Eebruary 13, 1939 

. . . He said he had been overwhelmed with the perplexity of Indian prob- 
lems and naturally the medical ones had taken first place in his mind. When 
he heard that 2 lakhs of women die yearly from child-birth, 1 lakh from smallpox, 
36 lakhs from indiscriminate fevers, that there are 10 lakhs of lepers and 6 
lakhs of blind persons, he confessed he was appalled with the immensity of the task 
of both preventive and curative medicine. He was not sure whether Gandhiji 
was aware of the fact that there were 266 mission hospitals and 500 dispensaries 
in India, 254 European and 350 Indian doctors, 300 European and 800 Indian 
nurses, 2 million patients seen and 5 million treated per annum in these 
hospitals, that half of the T. B. work and almost the entire work of lepers was 
in the hands of missions. While, of course, the work of conversion was there, 
and he knew Gandhiji’s opinion on this subject, he wanted to draw attention 
to the fact that three quarters of their medical work lay in areas where there 
was no response to religious teaching . . . He would, therefore, much like to 
have Gandhiji’s opinion on how the work could be most fruitfully developed 
and how far they could count on support and co-operation. 

In reply Gandhiji said that the answer was difficult and yet simple at the 
same time. 

I hold peculiar views on the function of medicine. I express- 
ed these very forcibly years ago, and nothing in all the course 
of my long experience since has made me change them in 
essence. But there is no need for me to expound these to you 
now. I have visited many mission hospitals, seen the wonderful 
work of the missionaries among lepers. This work may be called 
their monopoly and speciality, for practically no one else has 
come in to take it up. I know the Leper Home in Cuttack. I 
have spent quite a long time in the Purulia Leper Asylum and 

* Extracted from Amrit Kaur’s “A Good Samaritan”. Dr. Chesterman 
was the medical secretary of the English Baptist Mission and had come to 
India to attend the International Missionary Conference at Tambaram and to 
visit various mission hospitals. 



420 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


been very struck with the work there. Then I have seen Mrs. 
Higginbotham’s work in Allahabad and several other places, too, 
for I love to visit leper homes. But in spite of all this admira- 
tion of mine for the work of medical missionaries there has 
always been mental reservation and criticism within me. I have 
felt that these good and well-intentioned missionaries have not 
touched the fringe of the question. Certainly good work has been 
done for lepers, for the blind, for sufferers from T. B. and 
other ailments, but the help has not really touched the suffering 
millions of this great land. Medical aid has been made available 
in the main to those who live in or near the cities — whereas the 
bulk of India’s population in our villages has been untouched. 
Provincial Governments, even Congress Governments, are appalled 
at the need of the villager. They do not know what to do and 
nothing great has yet been done in spite of various experiments. 
Therefore, if I were asked to advise missionaries or Mission Boards, 

I would ask them not to try to transplant the entire system of 
Western medicine into India. We cannot afford it. There is 
ever so much to be gleaned and had from the study of indi- 
genous drugs and medicines, but practically very little work 
has been done in this department. No one has made it his 
business to go out into our fields and search and much of the 
indigenous talent, simply because it is not considered original or 
scientific, is running to waste. I will give you an incident which 
happened only today. As you may know, I have had a little 
swelling on one foot for some days now which has alarmed the 
doctors because they feel that it is a sign denotative of commenc- 
ing disintegration of the heart and kidneys. One of my co-workers 
here — you may call him almost an illiterate man — was very 
troubled, as all are, about me and tells me he could not sleep 
last night. This morning he brought me a green leaf and told 
me that it had cured his father of the same trouble and begged 
of me to try it also. I had no hesitation in acceding to his pro- 
posal — whereas if I had had a bewildering prescription given me 
by a highly qualified doctor my reaction would not have been 
the same. I feel, therefore, that in these simple ways lies relief 
for the villager. I do not say that the leaf will answer the pur- 
pose. But there should be an agency that can say with certainty 
what these herbs are and what is their quality. 

Gandhiji then went on to explain that he had no prejudice against Western 
medicine or doctors. He had today sent for glucose for Mr. Kallenbach, a 
South African friend of his who was lying ill with malaria and who was 
refusing to take quinine, a drug in which Gandhiji himself had implicit faith. 



DISCUSSION WITH DR. CHESTERMAN 


421 


Here, Dr. Chesterman interposed and said that quinine was an indigenous 
drug to which Gandhiji replied that though that was so it was a monopoly 
and therefore very expensive and utterly beyond the reach of the villager. 

I should, therefore, like to see missionaries as medicine ven- 
dors for the villages, confining themselves, as far as they can, to 
indigenous medicines. There will certainly not be gold medals 
or knighthoods from Government forthcoming for them for this 
valuable research work. But, in my opinion, they will obtain what 
is of far greater value, a knighthood from Jesus Christ. 

Proceeding, Gandhiji said that he had felt for a long time that the medical 
faculty in India should manufacture a short course of training for village workers, 
and had told Surgeon General Hooten of Bombay so, many years ago. Village 
school-teachers should be utilized for this purpose. They should look upon the 
entire village as under their jurisdiction from the point of view of health and 
teach the simple laws of hygiene and prevention of disease to the inhabitants. 
Their schools could be used as dispensaries for the distribution of ordinary 
medicines for simple ailments. He gave the analogy of the useful six weeks 
first-aid training which he himself had had to undergo before he could form 
and lead the ambulance corps which he did during the Boer War. 

. . . Dr. Chesterman then asked Gandhiji his opinion on expenditure on 
buildings and elaborate equipment for hospitals. Gandhiji replied saying that 
he had always been opposed to this and was invariably trying to wean people 
from spending on what was unnecessary when for so much that was urgently 
needed money was lacking. Big hospitals did not help the poor man in the 
long run for they did not educate him to understand how he ought to look after 
his health once he left the hospital. 

DR. chesterman: What contribution can medical missionaries make to- 
wards the raising of ethical standards in professional life? 

gandhiji; They can help, but I do not feel they can do 
much according to my measurement. You may think me uncha- 
ritable, but so long as the mental reservation is there that medical 
missionaries would like all their patients and co-workers to be- 
come converts to Christianity, so long will there remain a bar 
to real brotherhood. Then there is the additional handicap that 
they belong to the ruling race and that is responsible for their 
aloofness. Missionaries have not learnt the maxim ‘When you 
go to Rome do as Rome does’. They retain everything of the 
West in their daily lives forgetting that clothes and food and 
modes of life are in response to climate and to surroundings and 
adjustment, therefore, becomes necessary. They have not stooped 
to conquer. The gulf of mutual distrust exists and there is. 



422 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


therefore, no easy passage between the medical missionary and 
the medical profession in India. 

Dr. Chesterman disputed this statement. He maintained that there was 
any amount of goodwill also. He had met a Hindu friend in Bombay who 
had definitely assured him that there was need for mission hospitals because 
Indians got greater consideration and greater compassion there than in Govern- 
ment institutions. 

Asked whether mission hospitals were justified in taking fees from those able 
to afford them, unlike Government institutions where money was generally ex- 
tracted by the subordinate staff in undesirable ways, Gandhiji said he saw no 
reason against it. 

The last question Dr. Chesterman asked was whether Gandhiji’s objection 
to conversion applied to areas like the Kond Hills where the aboriginal races 
were animists. The unhesitating reply was: 

Yes. It does apply, because I know that in spite of being 
described as animists these tribes have from time immemorial been 
absorbed in Hinduism. They are, like the indigenous medicine, 
of the soil, and their roots lie deep there. But you can only 
endorse this if you feel that Hinduism is as true as Christianity. 
I hold that all religions are true but imperfect inasmuch 
as they are presented through human agency and bear the 
impress of the imperfections and frailties of the human being. 
My quarrel with missionaries is that they think no religion other 
than Christianity is true. 

In parting from Gandhiji, while thanking him for the time he had given 
and hoping the conversation had not unduly tired him. Dr. Chesterman im- 
plored Gandhiji to continue to appeal to the best that was in them. The feel- 
ing answer that greatly touched Dr. Chesterman was : 

I am making that appeal incessantly from the innermost 
recesses of my heart. That is of far more value than the written 
word although I have indulged in that also. 

Harijan, 25-2-1939 



477. LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI 


Segaon, 

Eebruary 14, 1939 


CHI. NARANDAS, 

Is your work going on well ? How did you manage to fall ill ? 
A letter for Shaikh Chandbhai is enclosed. 

If there is anything which you think might interest me, write 
to me. 

I am not quite well, but there is no cause for worry just now. 
Can you or Gokibehn get permission to see Ba? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8555. Courtesy: 
Narandas Gandhi 


478. LETTER TO GULAM RASOOL QURESHI 

Segaon, Wardha, 

February 14, 1939 

CHI. QURESHI, 

Amtul Salaam had a talk with me but I completely forgot to 
write to you. There is no need to feel hesitant about accepting 
money for social service. I have already talked about it. You 
can start drawing money the moment you are relieved from the 
perfumery business. You have to bear in mind that you are not 
to incur debts. 

I have already explained to you about the children, haven’t 
I ? You can give them religious education at home and general 
education along with other children. Sultana might perhaps 
study in the Harijan Ashram as the other girls do. I could not 
ask Narahari whether you could get a place in the Ashram and 
later forgot about it. I am now having him consulted. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 10765. Courtesy: Gulam Rasool 
Qureshi 


423 



479. LETTER TO SURESH SINGH 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 14, 1939 

BHAI SURESH, 

I have not so far considered civil disobedience nor do I find 
an atmosphere for it. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 8691. Also C.W. 2893. Courtesy: 
Suresh Singh 


480. LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 15, 1939 

CHI. BABUDI, 

I had your second letter. Time will put everything right. 
Have patience. Everything, since it is new to you, must appear 
strange. Ultimately you will get used to things. Have courage. 
You must have received my letter. 

Mr. Kallenbach was seriously ill but is better now. Your 
absence is often felt here. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 10009. Courtesy: Shardabehn G. Chokhawala 


481. LETTER TO VIJATABEHN M. PANCHOLI 

Segaon, Wardha, 

February 15, 1939 

CHI. VIJAYA, 

We have already begun feeling lonely without you. One 
misses your voice at the prayer. But that is the way of the 
world. Meeting, parting, again meeting, and again parting will 
go on and we should remain unaffected by them. 

424 



LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


425 


You should now understand your dharma. Conjugal dharma 
is easy as well as difficult. It is easy for one who understands 
it. You should become one with Manubhai and Manubhai should 
become one with you. But there is no scope for bargaining. 
There can be no bargaining in dharma. Dharma has to be 
performed by oneself. So it is certain that you have to become one 
with Manubhai who may or may not become one with you. 
This means that your entire spiritual riches should be surrender- 
ed to him. And so you both should lift each other higher and 
higher but never bring each other down. Brighten up the 
atmosphere there as you filled the house with joy here. If you 
have understood the Gita you will be cheerful in whatever condi- 
tion you may be placed. 

Absorb yourself in the school work. There can hardly be 
any news to give, seeing that it is not quite two hours since you 
left. But Prabha will come tomorrow. This will also be des- 
patched tomorrow. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 4599. Courtesy: Vijayabehn M. 
Pancholi 


482. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 

[Before February 16, 1939y 

BA, 

I have your letter and Mani’s. You must go through all the 
tests. Letters have already gone from here. Enquire from the 
officer there. Mr. Kallenbach has fallen ill. It is a severe 
illness. Lilavati observes fast on Mondays. I am not writing 
separately to Mani. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 33 


* Vide “Letter to Kasturba Gandhi”, pp. 426-7, in which Gandhiji says, 
“Kallenbach is better.” 



483. LETTER TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruarj 16, 1939 

MY DEAR C. R., 

If you can, you should give him notice about the passages 
marked by me and ask him to apologize and promise not to 
repeat the performance. But you will be right in prosecuting 
him straightway. 

Do read the enclosed from Tatachar. You can’t govern by 
mere cold reason. But you are the man on the spot. You must 
act according to your lights not mine. 

Pray don’t ask me to cover the spinning prices. Do listen 
to those who ask you to take care of your health. 

Love. 

Bapu 

From a photostat: G.N. 2174 


484. LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA 

Eebruary 16, 1939 

CHI. BABUDI, 

Is it my fault that you do not receive the letters I write you? 
I hope you have become calm now. Vijaya left yesterday, crying. 
Many others have come. Among them are Yashoda and Sarup. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 10005. Courtesy: Shardabehn G. Chokhawala 

485. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHL 

Eebruary 16, 1939 

BA, 

I write to you every day. What can I do if you do not get 
my letters? Just as there is now no cause for worry about you, 
there was never any cause for worry about me. Subhas Babu 

426 



LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL 


427 


has already arrived. Others keep coming and going. Mr. Kal- 
lenbach is better. Kanam is well. He not only eats with me 
but also sleeps with me. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 33 


486. LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebmary 16, 1939 

CHI. MANI, 

I have received your long letter and other letters. I have 
been impressed by all your actions. I can find no fault. I see 
that you have understood the principle of satyagraha very well. 
I am therefore completely at ease. 

I don’t get a telegram from Government every day. I have 
had two or three. From here letters have gone every day. In 
the beginning I wrote at the address you gave. Then I wrote 
to the Government as to why my letters were not reaching you. 
They sent me a telegram advising me to route my letters through 
the First Member. I now act accordingly. 

I do receive a letter from your end every day. I am there- 
fore content. 

I do not write separately to Mridu. She should not worry. 
Is the burden of work there so little that she should take up that 
of the Congress, too? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

Smt. Manibehn Patel 
State Prisoner 

C/o First Member of the Council 
Rajkot (Kathiawar) 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro- 4: Manibehn Patelne, p. 124 



487. LETTER TO SHARD ABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 17, 1939 

CHI. BABUDI, 

If you do not receive my letters sent to you at the Bombay 
address given by you, is it my fault or yours? I have even the 
dates with me. It will be better if you come here now. It is 
not good to fall ill. My going to Bardoli has been cancelled. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

I myself open your letters. 

From Gujarati: C.W. 10006. Courtesy: Shardabehn G. Chokhawala 

488. TELEGRAM TO G. D. BLRLA 


Wardha, 

February 18, 1939 

Ghanshyamdas Birla 

Lucky 

Calcutta 

TELL BIDHAN BARDOLI CANCELLED. NO ANXIETY. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 7808. Courtesy: G. D. Birla 


489. LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA 

Segaon, 

February 18, 1939 

CHI. BABUDI, 

I have your letters. I have written or asked somebody to write 
to you almost every day. It is difficult to forget you. My eye 
always turns towards where you used to sleep, but to what good ? 
It won’t do your having a chronic fever. If it persists, you had 

428 



LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


429 


better come to me in good time. If you do not use a mosquito- 
net, start using one now. I am quite well. But do not keep me 
worried about you. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 10007. Courtesy: Shardabehn G. Chokhawala 


490. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Segaon, 

February 18, 1939 

BA, 

Letters have been sent to you every day. But if you do not 
get them what can one do? You need not worry about me. 

Even if I am in a really bad way I shall expect you to say: 

‘If it is willed that he should die during separation, he will. I 
on my part will stay where my children are being tortured. I 
shall be even more happy if I am sent to jail. All of you should 
help me in making Thakore Saheb fulfil his promise. I would 
prefer to die in Rajkot, if you do not make use of my services.’ 
Since you have gone there of your own accord, you may voice 
these sentiments if they arise in your heart. You should think 
on these lines. 

You are always telling me to take service from the girls. But 
I have altogether given that up now. Sushila does the massage. 
That also will have to be abandoned, won’t it? I have not 

been able to give it up because of my present bad health. Do 

not worry about me even in this respect. Is not God my ultimate 
support ? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 33 



491. LETTER TO VIJATABEHN M. PAJVCHOLI 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebrmry 18, 1939 

CHI. VIJAYA, 

I hope you are completely at ease and happy there. I would 
not like your being the least bit unhappy; it will be a blot on my 
training. There should not be the slightest resistance to mutual 
adjustment. Write to me a detailed letter. How are you settled? 
How do you find the climate and the surroundings? 

Amritlal had a little fever today. Even a slight change has 
its effect. There is nothing to worry about. Mr. Kallenbach is 
fairly improved although the fever is still there. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[PS.] 

Write a letter to Ba. 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7108. Also G.W. 4600. Courtesy: 
Vijayabehn M. Pancholi 


492. LETTER TO MANIBEHN PATEL AND 
MRIDULA SARABHAI 


Segaon, 

February 18, 1939 

CHI. MANI AND MRIDULA, 

It is God’s grace that you both are there. I would be 
happy if all three of you were here together. But we have to 
live as God wills. 

You do not have to worry about Subhas Babu and others. 
As far as that is concerned you are in jail. I shall act as God 
directs me. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 


[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Patro-4: Manibehn Patelne, p. 125 


430 



493. NOTES 


Jaipur 

After all the Jaipur Durbar has been obliged to arrest Seth 
Jamnalalji. It is reported that he is decently housed though 
kept in an out-of-the-way place under a strong guard. There 
seems to be secrecy about everything. I suggest that the authori- 
ties make a public statement as to his whereabouts, the facilities 
given to him and the conditions as to correspondence and inter- 
views. Is medical assistance easily available? 

But if what one hears about Shekhavati is true, the deten- 
tion and treatment under detention of Sethji is of minor account. 
In the absence of detailed news on behalf of the State the public are 
bound to give credence to the statements appearing in the Press. 

Segaon, February 20, 1939 

True Swadeshi 

If I have to use the adjective ‘true’ before swadeshi, a critic 
may well ask, ‘Is there also false swadeshi?’ Unfortunately I 
have to answer ‘yes’. As, since the days of khadi, I am supposed 
to be an authority on swadeshi, numerous conundrums are 
presented to me by correspondents. And I have been obliged to 
distinguish between the two kinds of swadeshi. If foreign capi- 
tal is mixed with indigenous, or if foreign talent is mixed with 
indigenous, is the enterprise swadeshi ? There are other questions 
too. But I had better reproduce the definition I gave to a Minister 
the other day. “Any article is swadeshi if it subserves the 
interest of the millions, even though the capital and talent are 
foreign but under effective Indian control.” Thus khadi of the 
definition of the A. I. S. A. would be true swadeshi even though 
the capital may be all foreign and there may be Western special- 
ists employed by the Indian Board. Conversely, Bata’s rubber or 
other shoes would be foreign though the labour employed may be 
all Indian and the capital also found by India. The manufacture 
will be doubly foreign because the control will be in foreign 
hands and the article, no matter how cheap it is, will oust the 
village tanner mostly and the village mochi^ always. Already the 
mochis of Bihar have begun to feel the unhealthy competition. 

‘ Cobbler 


431 



432 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

The Bata shoe may be the saving of Europe; it will mean the 
death of our village shoemaker and tanner. I have given 
two telling illustrations, both partly imaginary. For in the 
A. I. S. A. the capital is all indigenous and the whole of the 
talent also. But I would love to secure the engineering talent 
of the West to give me a village wheel which will beat the 
existing wheels, though deep down in me I have the belief 
that the improvements that indigenous talent has made are 
by no means to be despised. But this is a digression. I do 
hope that those Ministers and others who guide or serve the 
public will cultivate the habit of distinguishing between true and 
false swadeshi. 

Segaon, February 20, 1939 
Harijan, 25-2-1939 


494. TRAVANCORE AGAIN 

I take the following from Shri Ramachandran’s letter to the 
Rajkumari: 

I know there is nothing we can expect unless we burn ourselves out 
peacefully and truthfully for the cause for which we stand. You must 
have seen how at the last meeting of the Working Committee of the State 
Congress we laid down a time limit of six weeks before commencing a 
programme of civil resistance. God is witness that we are anxious for 
peace. But there has been no enquiry into shootings which took place 
in nine places. Many lawyers convicted during the last campaign have 
been debarred from practising for two years. 19 members of the State 
Congress Party in the Legislature have been disqualified just on the eve 
of the present session now sitting. Government had ample time to notify 
disqualification earlier and order re-elections in time. Now 19 constit- 
uencies remain unrepresented. Fines have not been refunded. Gonfiscated 
property has not been returned. Cancellation of newspaper licences 
remains intact. One would have thought that the birthday amnesty would 
include all these. Instead a systematic attempt has been made to destroy 
the State Congress volunteer organization under another iniquitous re- 
gulation brought into force for that specific purpose. Just now there are 
over 200 political prisoners. Many respectable people have been arrested 
under section 90 meant for security proceedings against goondas. Fresh 
accommodation has been added in the central jail. Over 1,000 special 
police have been recruited from among bad elements at the astounding 
monthly salary of Rs. 5. Can anything beat that? And as though the 



TRAVANCORE AGAIN 


433 


Travancore police cannot be trusted to do the dirty work, numerous police 
constables have been recruited from outside Travancore. The Government’s 
policy of repression has gone on unabated, without fuss and without pre- 
cipitating a frontal battle. That is why we feel compelled to lay down 
a time limit of six weeks. I wish you to study carefully the papers I 
have sent to Bapu — specially the two resolutions we passed at the last 
meeting of the Working Committee. I am oppressed with the idea that 
Sir C. P. Ramaswamy Aiyer’s policy will create a gulf between the 
Ruler and the people. 

I have refrained from giving in these columns the resolu- 
tions and the preface referred to in the letters. It is well for the 
reader to have these before him to enable him to judge what 
the State Congress is doing. They will be found elsewhere in 
this issue. 

The documents make painful reading. What has happened 
since the amnesty has robbed it of the grace that should accom- 
pany generous amnesties as this one on the birthday of the 
Maharaja was claimed to be. It was a spontaneous gesture. 
After events seem to suggest that it was no gesture of generosity, 
but that it was a part of the tactics adopted by the authorities 
to allay the agitation that was rising against the Travancore Dur- 
bar and to divide the people in Travancore. If the information 
given by Shri Ramachandran is correct, the second object has not 
been gained and the first was partly achieved. For the Indian 
Press was inclined to believe, after the release of prisoners, that 
the fight was over. 

I would love to think that there was no sinister motive be- 
hind the partial amnesty. If so, it seems to me to be quite easy 
to conciliate the State Congress, unless crushing, not conciliation, 
is the aim of the authorities. Let the amnesty be completed and 
Reforms Committee be appointed in consultation with the State 
Congress, and peace between the Prince and the people is assured. 

But there may be no such good fortune either for the people 
or the Prince. In that case the State Congressmen should re- 
member that satyagraha, if it is the greatest force in the world, 
requires also the capacity for the greatest suffering with a heart 
without anger or malice. Whilst it is right to publish the news 
about the doings of the oppressor, there must be infinite patience 
for endless suffering and yet a burning faith in the ultimate 
success of truth. 

It is well that the Congress has fixed upon a six weeks’ 
limit. But if it is found that six weeks are not enough for ensur- 
ing non-violence as far as it is humanly possible and for also 


68-28 



434 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


ensuring continuity of constructive work, there would be no 
shame but additional credit in taking further postponement. If 
thoughtless persons and unkind critics regard such postponement 
as a sign of weakness, the fighters need not mind such imputa- 
tions. After all the soldier knows when to stay his hand and 
when to move on. He knows that often there is action in so- 
called inaction and imprudent action is worse than real inaction. 
And weak is not he who is so called but he who feels that he is 
weak. Let the members of the Working Committee realize that 
the technique of non-violent action requires general and effective 
control over forces of violence, no matter how or by whom insti- 
gated. If and when the struggle is resumed, I hope that in 
answer to my wires I will not be told that the State Congress is 
not responsible for violence if it breaks out. Does not responsible 
government mean that the people, instead of a dictator appoint- 
ed by a Paramount Power, are responsible for all the acts of the 
people? Let them realize that if violence breaks out on any 
appreciable scale, it might, very probably will, be a call for an- 
other suspension, even as there was suspension in Bardoli, though 
violence broke out in far-off Chauri Chaura.^ 

Segaon, February 20, 1939 
Harijan, 25-2-1939 


495. LAWLESS LIMBDL 

Limbdi is a Kathiawar State. It had the reputation of 
being progressive. I have the good fortune to know many of 
its workers. They are wise, self-sacrificing and capable of doing 
hard work. In common with many States, Limbdi also had a 
great awakening among the people. The workers used to boast 
of their progressive Yuvraj. But they have now discovered that 
he has imbibed some curious notions of the dictatorships of the 
West. He would let the reformers have a free run of little Limb- 
di. But they must not go to the villages. In the villages 
he was to make his own experiments unhindered by anybody. 
The Limbdi reformers thought that they had as much right as 
the Yuvraj to work among the villagers, especially as they had 
already established connection with them. They therefore dared 
to go to the villages, with the result mentioned in the following 
telegram: 


• Vide Vol. XXII, pp. 415-21. 



LAWLESS LIMBDI 


435 


At least eighty persons, armed with lathis, dharias, native guns, swords, 
axes, attacked village Pansina midnight fifth. Entrances of village were 
guarded by batches of three to five persons. Two batches of twenty 
persons went round village and selected houses of Prajamandal workers 
and sympathizers for dacoity. First of all they went to the Prajamandal 
office and chained it from outside so that volunteers could not go out. Then 
one batch went to house of Chhotalal, prominent merchant and Prajamandal 
worker, and brutally assaulted him and his wife. She received serious 
injuries including on her sex organs. President of local branch attacked 
with sword and received punctured wound in lungs. About thirty persons 
are seriously injured. Ornaments, cash and goods worth about sixty 
thousand rupees taken away from ten to twelve houses of active members 
of Prajamandal. Dacoits continuously carried on firing in air and at 
houses for about two hours. After this they went to another village, Ralol, 
two miles away from Pansina and repeated process there. Three gold- 
smiths and one bania sympathizing with popular movement have been 
seriously wounded and property worth ten thousand rupees taken away. 
One bania Jeychand Valji was attacked today with knife, stabbed at four 
places and plundered in Siani; his sister also beaten. People have strong 
grounds to suspect State Officers’ hand in dacoity. Some dacoits were 
identified as Pagis and Pasayatas of State. Prajamandal workers and 
sympathizers were actually being threatened since last week by State Pagis, 
Pasayatas that they will be robbed and beaten. Stolen property removed 
in about eight motor-cars and two buses which could not have been sup- 
plied by private individuals. Dacoits continued firing in air for two 
hours using number of cartridges which could not have been supplied by 
private individual. State police has not started any investigation as yet. 
Even panchanamas have not been made. No medical aid sent by State 
from capital. Thakore Saheb even though approached has not taken 
any strong action. Threats of similar dacoity are being given by State 
Pasayatas in other villages. Previous incidents of goondaism strengthen 
this suspicion. Attacking Bhaktiba’s car with lathis in Jambu by 
Mukhi’s men, smashing Prajamandal car and beating its driver and worker 
in Siani, beating members of Prajamandal in village Raska, threatening 
head of volunteers in Siani by village Pasayatas with death, free move- 
ment of about thirty goondas with lathis, dharias, knives in Siani and 
number of such incidents have left no doubt here that organized goondaism 
is started by State to suppress recently started popular movement. 
Attention of Thakore Saheb has been drawn to these incidents times with- 
out number but in vain. As protest against last act of dacoity about 400 
to 500 persons including Nagarsheth Lalchandbhai and prominent citizens 
like Durlabhji Umedchand, Amulakh Amichand have started hunger 
strike and are sitting day and night before Palace. About three thousand 



436 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Other persons have joined this morning. Great indignation prevails against 
State. People observing remarkably non-violent attitude and are prepared 
for any contingency. 

They also dared to announce a meeting of their Parishad 
with the result embodied in the following message received by 
me: 


Sitting Praja Parishad arranged tomorrow. To break Praja Parishad 
many goondas imported Limbdi. People suspect hand of State officials in 
this. Strong grounds for this suspicion. Procession of goondas armed with 
lathis, naked swords, guns, dharias, marching through town for whole day. 
Some of these tried to assault certain women. Seth Amulakh Amichand, 
prominent merchant of Bombay, intervened and asked them to beat 
him rather than women. Seth Durlabhji Umedchand and Bhagwanlal 
Harakhchand rushed to scene with six male volunteers. Male volunteers 
were brutally assaulted with sticks and beaten. At another place goondas 
caught hold of Prahladrai Mody, pleader of Bhavnagar, and released him 
only when they knew that he was not Prajamandal worker. Bhogilal 
Gandhi was threatened with death by goonda armed with naked sword. 
Manubhai Thakar was given one lathi blow. Goondas are shouting before 
Prajamandal office. Batch of goondas, headed by Tapubha of Siani who 
is State servant and who beat Prajamandal volunteers in Siani two days 
before, have stationed themselves outside Sthanakvasi Bhojanshala where 
peasants from villages are sleeping. They threaten anybody who comes 
out with death. Different batches of goondas are marching streets. Prac- 
tically state of siege amounting to virtual martial law by State prevails. 
People feel that State is responsible for this. Narubha, superintendent of 
police, was seen talking with some of these by respectable people. Many 
peasants are forcibly brought from villages and made to parade streets 
in procession headed by these goondas. People have adopted remarkably 
non-violent attitude and have decided to suffer anything for asserting their 
right to meet in Parishad. 

I have since learnt that Durbar Gopaldas Desai and his wife 
Bhaktiba were surrounded by the same gentlemen described in 
the message. Both suffered minor injuries. The goondas had the 
satisfaction for a time of preventing the meeting of the Parishad. 

I have no reason whatsoever for disbelieving the messages 
which describe the events with a wealth of detail that carries con- 
viction. What is more, they are sent by parties whom I hold to 
be incapable of conscious exaggeration or of invention. 

In spite of this lawlessness, the reformers will win if they 
have grit enough to be ground to the dust and if they really 
represent the wishes of the people. The public outside will help 



LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


437 


them. The Paramount Power is also bound by treaty obliga- 
tions to help them as has been amply proved by Pyarelal in the 
extracts produced from Lee Warner. But let the satyagrahis 
know that salvation comes from within. They will have to lose 
all, if they will save their souls and gain the freedom which is 
their birthright. 

Segaon, February 20, 1939 
Harijan, 25-2-1939 

496. LETTER TO SHARDABEHN G. CHOKHAWALA 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 20, 1939 

CHI. BABUDI, 

I have your letter. I see that you are getting wiser. With 
patience all will be well. You have done well in getting rid of the 
fever. Engage yourself in work now. Take the diet which suits you. 

My tour of the Frontier Province is likely to be after the 
12th. I am well. It does not seem probable that I shall be 
going for the Congress session. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 10008. Courtesy: Shardabehn G. Chokhawala 


497. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Segaon, 

Eebruary 20, 1939 

BA, 

Be alert. Take care of your health. Everybody has come 
so I shall not write much. Nanavati has gone to stay with Kaka 
today. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 34 



498. LETTER TO VIJATABEHN M. PAJVCHOLI 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruarj 20, 1939 

CHI. VIJAYA, 

You must have received my letters. How bad you are! 
Why should you feel giddy? Why should you feel so unhappy 
going to your own house? Be wise and do your duty cheerfully. 
Your constantly falling ill won’t do. Write to Ba. Address the 
letter care of the First Member. Write to others also. 

Amritlal has gone to live with Kakasaheb today. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7110. Also C.W. 4602. Gourtesy: 
Vijayabehn M. Pancholi 


499. LETTER TO BALKRLSHNA SHARMA 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruarj/ 20, 1939 

BHAI BALKRISHNA SHARMA, 

What have they been doing in Kanpur? Why all this riot- 
ing?’ Did not another Ganesh Shankar VidyarthF offer himself 
as a sacrifice? 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 7516. Also C.W. 4993. Courtesy: 
Parasuram Mehrotra 


’ There had been communal riots in Kanpur from 11th to 13th February, 

1939. 

^ Editor of Pratap', he had been killed during the Hindu-Muslim riots 
in Kanpur in March 1931. 

438 



500. TELEGRAM TO AKBAR HTDART 


Wardha, 

Eehrmry 21, 1939 


Sir Akbar Hydari 
Hyderabad Dn 

IN REPLY YOUR TELEGRAM HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM 

SHOLAPUR. NARAYANSWAMI interviewed after PERMISSION 
BY OUR REPRESENTATIVE SUNDERPERSHAD ON SEVEN- 
TEENTH GULBARGA JAIL . . WITH CONVICT DRESS 

AND IRON RING IN HIS FOOT. 

Gandhi 

From a photostat: C.W. 10097. Courtesy: Government of Andhra Pradesh 


501. LETTER TO AKBAR HTDARP 

Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 21, 1939 

DEAR SIR AKBAR, 

Here is a letter on the Arya Samaj satyagraha. Their de- 
mand seems to me to be reasonable. But I do not want to say 
anything in public till I hear from you. 

I still await your reply to my letter'^ about State Congress. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat: C.W. 10096. Courtesy: Government of Andhra Pradesh 


Photostats of these items were displayed at the Gandhi Darshan 
Exhibition held in New Delhi in 1969-70. 

2 Illegible in the source 
Vide pp. 308-9. 


439 



502. LETTER TO LORD LLNLLTHGOW 


Segaon, Wardha, 

February 21, 1939 

DEAR LORD LINLITHGOW, 

I am much obliged to you for your cordial and frank let- 
ter.’ In the circumstances I shall await the time that you may 
consider appropriate for our meeting. 

I am, 

Tours sincerely. 

From a microfilm: Lord Linlithgow Papers. Courtesy: National Archives 
of India. Also C.W. 7810 


503. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Segaon, 

February 21, 1939 

BA, 

I get your letters regularly. My letters are despatched reg- 
ularly from here. I shall find out why they are not delivered to 
you in time. Take proper care of your health. I must get a 
detailed report. Prabha will write the rest. I have not been 
able to look after Sushila’s diet. You did well in cautioning me. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 34 

’ In his letter of February 19, the Viceroy had referred to Gandhiji’s 
letter to him of February 12 and said he did not “in the least misunderstand 
your decision to publish the article which you were kind enough to let me see.” 
(This was the one entitled “Jaipur”, 30-1-1939, which Gandhiji in his letter 
of 31-1-1939, had said he was not publishing and which evidently he decided 
later to publish.) He had also referred to Gandhiji’s suggestion that they 
might meet and said he did not see the time was appropriate but never- 
theless if Gandhiji still felt they might meet it would be a great pleasure 
to him to see Gandhiji again but would prefer that it should be after his 
Rajputana tour. 


440 



504. TALK TO HYDERABAD STATE CONGRESS 
DELEGATION^ 


Segaon, 

Eebruary 21, 1939 

A satyagrahi will, like a general, always choose his own time 
and ground for fight. Satyagraha should be kept in reserve until all 
other means of advancing the cause are exhausted. Even in armed 
warfare, suspensions and withdrawals are the recognized tactics. 

Suspension does not exclude facing imprisonment if in the 
course of legitimate, peaceful and constructive activities people 
are arrested. These will not constitute civil disobedience. Your 
decision to continue the suspension is a wise one. You have lost 
nothing by suspension. There is nothing to prevent you from 
resuming the satyagraha when the situation again demands it 
and there is ample cause to compel you to revive satyagraha. 

The Hindu, 22-2-1939 


505. A MISCHIEVOUS SUGGESTION 

A correspondent sends the following cutting from The Bombay 
Chronicle : 

Mr. Rushbrook Williams in a letter to The Manchester Guardian declares 
that during the last few months of last year there was a definite progress 
by the Right Wing elements of the Congress High Command towards a 
position in which Mahatma Gandhi would have found it possible to ap- 
proach the authorities with suggestions in relation to the Central Govern- 
ment, roughly corresponding to those which he so successfully carried 
through in connection with the Provincial Governments. What was then 
regarded as the approach of Federation compelled the Gongress to reckon 
up its forces. It had little Muslim support and without such support, 
thanks to the Muslim League, and unless it found new allies, it will 
be unable to form a Government in the Centre. Therefore it was 
necessary to concentrate on Indian States in order to secure that the 

^ The Delegation had informed Gandhiji of the State Gongress decision 
to continue suspension of the satyagraha for some time more. The satyagraha 
was suspended on or about 26-12-1938. Vide “Draft of Statement for Hyderabad 
State Gongress”, pp. 242-4, and “Letter to Akbar Hydari”, p. 248. 


441 



442 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


representations of States should be drawn from elements sympathizing 
with the Congress programme. 

He adds: “It is not without significance that Dr. Pattabhi Sitaram- 
ayya is intimately associated with the States Subjects’ Conference, 
but the election of Mr. Bose has been a blow to the Right Wing and 
apparently has postponed any rapprochement with the authorities as the 
High Command had in mind. Mr. Bose does not like the States, but 
he also does not like Federation. He can, therefore, have little sympathy 
with an endeavour to convert States into allies of the Congress in prep- 
aration for a Congress domination over the new Central institutions. In 
fact he desires to keep them at arm’s length to secure a settlement of 
British Indian destinies by British India and eventually no doubt to expel the 
Princes and absorb the States into the new self-governing India he projects.” 

Mr. Williams is an old ‘enemy’. During the non-co-opera- 
tion days he edited an official Year Book, in which he drew upon 
his imagination and gave his own colour to facts which he could 
not avoid. He has played the same role again in his letter to 
The Manchester Guardian, assuming that he is correctly quoted. It 
is wrong to say that there was a definite or any progress by the 
Right Wing elements of the Congress High Command towards 
the position pictured by Mr. Williams’s imagination. The sugges- 
tion about Muslim support is malicious. I know my own mind 
and so far as I know the Congress mind, neither it nor I ever 
dreamt that there could be any federation without Muslim sup- 
port. Indeed so long as there is opposition to federation by the 
Muslims, the Congress has no need to worry about federation 
coming. Therefore, unless there is perfect communal unity, no 
Congressman can think or talk of federation whether of the Gov- 
ernment mint or cent per cent swadeshi mint. 

About Dr. Pattabhi, the whole of India knows that his candi- 
dature was thought of at the last moment when Maulana Saheb 
withdrew and as Dr. Pattabhi was the only candidate left besides 
Subhas Babu. His connection with the States People’s Confe- 
rence has been a convenient fact for building up Mr. Williams’s 
case. 

As for the innuendos about Subhas Babu, he is well able to 
look after himself. But throughout one year’s intimate connection 
with him I never once heard him say of the States what Mr. 
Williams attributes to him. I am quite certain that if the States 
come to terms with the Congress about the treatment of the 
people in their jurisdiction, Subhas Babu will be quite as keen 
as any Congressman to close the bargain but not in anticipation 
of federation. 



LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


443 


I have come into the States agitation by accident. Responsi- 
ble government in the States is a goal by itself and independent 
of federation which may never come. It won’t come till the Cong- 
ress and Muslims are ready for it. But liberty of the States 
people has to come in any and every case. They cannot be in 
chains and what is called British India become free. 

Segaon, February 23, 1939 
Harijan, 4-3-1939 


506. TELEGRAM TO V. S. SRINIVASA SASTRT 

[February 23, 1939Y 

Rt. Honourable Sastri 
Madras 

NEVER KNEW ANYTHING WAS SERIOUS IN YOUR UNIVER- 

SITY. FULL LETTER RECEIVED YESTERDAY GAVE ME 
SHOCK. MY HEART WENT OUT TO YOU. I PITY 

STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN SO UNWORTHY OF YOUR 
GREAT STEWARDSHIP. 

Gandhi 

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal 


507. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Segaon, 

February 23, 1939 

BA, 

You always complain about my not writing, but today there 
is no letter from you. What about that? All is well here. No- 
thing to worry about. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 34 


* At this time Vice-Chancellor of Annamalai University 
^ Vide “Statement to the Press”, pp. 444-5. 



508. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS^ 


February 23, 1939 

I continue to receive daily wires about hunger-strikes in 
Rajkot over the treatment, said to be inhuman, of prisoners and 
others in villages. The Rajkot matter is becoming daily graver 
because of the breach of faith on the ruler’s part with which the 
second struggle started. Agitated inquirers should know that I 
am in telegraphic correspondence with the State authorities. I 
hope to take them into confidence in the near future. In the 
mean time let the satyagrahis understand that the first thing they 
have to show is an infinite capacity for suffering with inward joy 
and without malice or anger. 

The Hindustan Times, 24-2-1939 

509. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS 

February 23, 1939 

The news of Lord Brabourne’s death has grieved me deeply.^ 
I had the privilege of close friendship with him. 

The Hindu, 24-2-1939 


510. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS2 

February 23, 1939 

I saw yesterday a letter'* from Annamalai University, ad- 
dressed to a colleague, giving a detailed description of the students’ 
strike. According to the letter, the strikers prostrate themselves in 
front of the entrances to prevent non-strikers from attending 
classes and when the classes are held, they enter the class-rooms, 

’ This was also published in Harijan, 4-3-1939, under the title “Gandhiji’s 
Statement on Rajkot”. 

^ Lord Brabourne had served as Governor in Bombay and Bengal. He 
died in Calcutta on February 23. 

^ This was also published in Harijan, 4-3-1939, under the heading 
“Students’ Strike at Annamalai”. 

* Vide “Is It Non-violent?”, pp. 457-9. 


444 



LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


445 


shout, and otherwise make holding of classes impossible. The 
letter ends by saying that the strikers are likely to give up the 
strike if they know that, in my opinion, the methods adopted by 
them are contrary to non-violence. 

If the description reproduced by me is correct, I have no 
hesitation in saying that the methods adopted by the strikers are 
not only not non-violent but positively violent. I would implore 
the strikers to desist from the methods they have adopted and 
allow those who want to attend classes to do so without any 
obstruction. 

The Hindu, 23-2-1939 


511. TELEGRAM TO PRIVATE SECRETARY TO 
THE VICEROY 


Eebruarj) 24, 1939 

Private Secretary to His Excellency Viceroy 
New Delhi 

HAVE WIRED TO FIRST MEMBER RAJKOT AS FOLLOWS;* 
PLEASE PLACE THIS BEFORE HIS EXCELLENCY. 

Gandhi 

From a copy: C.W. 7811. Courtesy: G. D. Birla 


512. LETTER TO KASTURBA GANDHI 


Segaon, 
Eehruary 24, 1939 

BA, 

You should be receiving letters regularly now. I take as 
much service as necessary from the girls. Keep up patience and 
courage. All will be well. 

Blessings from 
Bapu 

[From Gujarati] 

Bapuna Bane Patro, p. 34 


For the text of this telegram, vide “Statement to the Press”, pp. 449-52. 



513. TALK WITH AN ASHRAM INMATE 


Segaon, 
February 24, 1939 

Who knows. But somehow I think it would not happen 
that way. I expect this visit to be brief. My relations with the 
Rajkot ruling family are such as to warrant a frank talk. Either 
the Thakore Saheb will restore the pact or he will refer me to 
the Resident and I shall settle it up with him in no time. The 
case is so clear that I do not expect any serious resistance. It 
will be a test of my ahimsa too. People may think that I am 
gone crazy in my old age to give so much importance to a small 
State like Rajkot. But I am made that way. When the moral 
fibre in me is touched to the quick I simply cannot sit still. 

Harijan, 25-3-1939 

514. LETTER TO VIJATABEHN M. PANCHOLI 

[Before February 25, 1939Y 

CHI. VIJAYA, 

I am now coming nearer you. It does not mean that you 
both have to come over to Rajkot. Take care of your health. 
Do not fall ill. I hope you are cheerful now. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7105 


’ Extracted from Pyarelal’s “The Rajkot Fast”. On hearing about 
Gandhiji’s decision to go to Rajkot an Ashram inmate had asked him when 
he expected to return and whether there was not a chance of his being made 
a ‘State guest’ at Rajkot like Kasturba. 

2 Gandhiji left for Rajkot on February 25. 


446 



515. WORK INSTEAD OF ALMS^ 

To those who are hungry and unemployed God can dare 
reveal Himself only as work and wages as the assurance of food. 

I do not want to humiliate the naked by giving them 
clothes of which they have no need. Instead I will give them work 
which they need very badly. I will never commit the sin of 
becoming their benefactor. But having realized that I had a 
hand in their ruination, I will give them a respectable place in 
society. I will never give them left-overs and discarded things. 
I will share with them my best food and clothes and help them 
in their work. My ahimsa will not tolerate giving free food to a 
healthy person who does not put in honest labour. If I had my 
say I would close down all charitable institutions and alms-houses. 
It is because of them the country has fallen and such vices as 
laziness, hypocrisy and crime have got encouragement. 

[From Hindi] 

Harijan Sevak, 25-2-1939 

516. LETTER TO LORD LINLITHGOW 

Segaon, Wardha, 
February 25, 1939 

DEAR LORD LINLITHGOW, 

My telegram to the Rajkot State of yesterday was wired to 
you last night.^ Nevertheless I attach a copy of it as also of the 
Rajkot answer and my reply thereto. 

For me Rajkot has become a moral issue of tremendous im- 
portance. I am sure you recognize it and will give me all the 
help you can. 

I am. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From a microfilm: Lord Linlithgow Papers. Courtesy: National Archives 
of India 

' This was originally published in Sarvodaya, a monthly organ of Gandhi 
Seva Sangh. 

^ Vide “Telegram to Private Secretary to the Viceroy”, p. 445 and 
“Statement to the Press”, pp. 449-52. 


447 



517. LETTER TO AKBAR HTDARP 


Segaon, Wardha, 

Eebruary 25, 1939 

DEAR SIR AKBAR, 

I am obliged to you for your two letters of the 16th and 
one of the 21st inst. 

About the State Congress, for the time being, we must agree 
to differ. You will have seen my advice^ to the State Congress. 
In order to make assurance double sure I enclose herewith the 
relevant cutting. You will have also seen the manifesto of the 
State Congress accepting my advice. I suppose you will say 
even that is not enough. I am hoping, however, that some day 
you will see eye to eye with me and release the State Congress 
prisoners and let the organization function normally. 

As to Mahatma Narayanswami I realize what you say and I 
am glad that I referred the matter to you.^ I am now trying 
to persuade my informants to correct the mistake they have 
made, I hope, quite unconsciously. 

With reference to your letters about the prisoners I am un- 
able to agree with you that ghee is a luxury. But I am going to 
bear your suggestion in mind and must think out the name of 
someone whom I can ask to visit your jails. 

I am glad you are restored to health and that you are work- 
ing at the proposed reforms which I hope will answer the time 
spirit. 

Tours sincerely, 
M. K. Gandhi 

From a photostat: C.W. 10098. Courtesy: Government of Andhra 
Pradesh 


* A photostat of the letter was displayed at the Andhra Pradesh Pavilion 
at Gandhi Darshan Exhibition held in New Delhi in 1969-70. 

2 Vide pp. 242-4. 

2 Vide p. 439. 


448 



518. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS^ 

Eebruary 25, 1939 

The following wires have been exchanged between the First 
Member^ of the Rajkot State Council and myself:^ 

Hear satyagraha prisoners Rajkot jail fasting. For Sar- 
dhar prisoners said to be inhumanly treated. Could you 
enlighten me? — Gandhi (dated 20-2-’39). 

Your telegram. Personally visited Sardhar yesterday. No truth 
absolutely whatsoever regarding ill-treatment to prisoners. First Member 
of Council (dated 21-2-’39). 

Thanks wire. You are silent about hunger-strike. Have 
again long wire about atrocities which difficult to disbelieve. 
Every day urge growing that I should myself plunge. Agony of 
Ruler’s breach of faith, coupled with growing tales of terrorism, 
becoming unbearable. Have no desire embarrass Thakore 
Saheb or Council. Would like you listen to voice of old man 
claiming to be Rajkot’s friend. — Gandhi (dated 22-2-’39). 

Absolutely no truth in allegations of ill-treatment to Sardhar prison- 
ers. Whole thing nothing but fabrication. Regular programme of daily 
diet, bedding, etc., nearly on same lines as Rajkot arranged. Written in- 
formation to above effect given to prisoners on hunger-strike in local jail 
by me. In spite of these they unreasonably insist continue fasting. 
Assure you everything humanly possible being done give fair treatment. 
Please have no anxiety. — First Member (dated 23-2-’39). 

If all reports are fabrication, it is serious for me and 
co-workers. If there is substance in them, it is serious reflec- 
tion on the State authorities. Meanwhile, the hunger-strike 
continues. My anxiety is unbearable. Therefore, propose 
start for Rajkot tomorrow night taking with me medical at- 
tendant, secretary and typist. I come in search of truth and 
as peacemaker. 

Have no desire to court arrest. I want to see things 
for myself and shall make ample amends if my co-workers 

* This was also published in Harijan, 4-3-1939, under the heading 
“Gandhiji’s Statement on Rajkot”. 

^ Khan Bahadur Fateh Mohammed Khan 

^ None of the telegrams quoted here are available from any other source. 

449 


68-29 



450 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


have been guilty of fabrication. I shall also plead with Tha- 
kore Saheb to repair breach of faith with his people. I shall 
ask people to avoid demonstrations and am asking Sardar, 
pending my effort in Rajkot, to suspend satyagraha by per- 
sons in Rajkot or from outside.’ If by any chance Thakore 
Saheb and Council can restore pact intact, subject to adjust- 
ment of members, and prisoners are immediately set free and 
fines restored, I naturally cancel my proposed departure. 
You can send official with full authority to negotiate adjust- 
ment as to personnel. Majority of Sardar’s nominees will be 
a condition. May God guide Thakore Saheb and his Coun- 
cillors. May I expect express wire? — Gandhi (dated 24-2- ’39). 

Since your telegram you must have received information that hunger- 
strike has been discontinued since last night having no justification, as 
telegram sent to you by Nanalal Jasani and Mohanlal Gadhadawala must 
have convinced you. His Highness does not consider there has been any 
breach of faith on his part and is only anxious that representative Com- 
mittee appointed by him should be able to start working in calm atmos- 
phere, so that he may be in a position to introduce as soon as possible 
such reforms as may be found by him to be required after fully consider- 
ing the Committee’s recommendations. His Highness feels sure that in 
the circumstances explained, you will appreciate that no useful purpose 
could be served by your coming here now. He wishes once again to 
assure you that no atrocities or terrorism have been or will be allowed. 
— First Member (dated 24-2-’39). 

Your wire is no answer to my heart-felt entreaty. I leave 
for Rajkot today on my mission of peace. — Gandhi (dated 
25-2-’39). 

These wires tell their own tale. I am glad the fast is bro- 
ken. That certainly removes one cause of anxiety. But the charge 
of fabrication abides. I know personally many of the workers 
in Rajkot. They and I must make full reparation if they 
have resorted to falsehood in order to make out a case of atroci- 
ties against the authorities. The struggle in Rajkot, as in other 
States, is part of the struggle for the liberation of India. Mutual 
mud-flinging cannot advance the cause. Truth must be ascertained. 

The telegram of the First Member denies the charge of 
breach of faith. It baffles me. I do not know what is meant by the 
denial. The notification announcing the pact and the notification 

’ On February 25, Vallabhbhai Patel issued a statement suspending the 
satyagraha. 



STATEMENT TO THE PRESS 451 

announcing the breach with Sardar Patel are clearly contradictory 
as one reads the plain language of the two. 

I have suggested that the Resident at Rajkot is responsible for 
the breach.* I have been told that I have been hasty in bring- 
ing this charge and that there is another side. If there is, it is 
my duty to know it. I shall make it a point to seek an inter- 
view with him and if I find that I have done an injustice to 
him, I shall tender a public apology. I feel that it is wrong 
on my part to allow the sufferings to continue in the midst of 
mutual recriminations. The least I can do is to go to Rajkot 
and find out the truth and invite the Thakore to repair what is 
a palpable breach of faith, unless I discover that the repudiation 
of this charge is somehow justified. 

If the statements made by the workers about atrocities are 
true, there must be found a way of avoiding such exhibitions of 
man’s worst passions. He must be helped against himself, if it is 
at all possible. It is part of the struggle for liberty, if it is non- 
violent, to reclaim even the goondas, whether they are to be found 
among the people or those in authority. By going to Rajkot, I 
want to exert myself to the utmost of my capacity and find 
out the way of dealing with the goonda element in society. In 
this respect Rajkot is a test case. I go to Rajkot because I am 
the same friend of the States that I have always claimed to be. 

It hurts me that by force of circumstances, all of which per- 
haps I do not know, the Ruler of Rajkot has been made to 
break his word given to his people. I hold that it is the duty of 
the Princes of Kathiawar, if not of all India, and their advisers 
to help to rectify the wrong, if it is done. An honourable mutual 
understanding is impossible if faith becomes a valueless article. 
Life to me becomes a burden when I find myself witness to a 
breach of faith, as I happen to be in this case. Let it be recall- 
ed that I was the author of the drafts that the Ruler of Rajkot 
signed with but a slight modification. I know that Sardar Vallabh- 
bhai Patel left no stone unturned to ensure that it was signed 
with the fullest understanding. 

As I go to Rajkot purely as a messenger of peace, I have 
asked Sardar Patel to suspend the Rajkot civil resistance whilst, 
under Clod’s guidance, I make the humble effort to end the 
agony. The public will please remember that I am an invalid 
so far as the body is concerned. They will avoid demonstrations 

’ Vide pp. 346-8 and 365-7. 

^ Vide “Draft of Statement for Thakore Saheb of Rajkot”, p. 135. 



452 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

at the stations. In Rajkot the citizens will carry out the instruc- 
tions of the State authorities during the suspension period. I 
shall need freedom from turmoil during my negotiations. I want 
the silent prayers of all who believe in them. Though Rajkot 
is a tiny place on the map of India, the principle for the vindica- 
tion of which I go to Rajkot is one without which society must 
disintegrate. 

The Hindu, 25-2-1939 


519. LETTER TO MANUAL GANDHI 

Segaon, Wardha, 
February 25j26, 1939 

CHI. MANILAL, 

I received your letter yesterday. How good you are at 
deciphering! And Schlesinl Why did you not read ‘M. A.’ ins- 
tead of ‘ma’ ? Where was there any talk of sending a woman ? 
I have acted on the advice of Schlesin. The person who was 
to be sent is the brother-in-law of Nirmala, Mahadev’s sister. 
You should have sent a cable to ask. 

February 26, 1939 

However, I hope that Mahadev has written to you all the 
details. Even if he has not, you now know them. If you cannot 
pay his salary there, there is provision for payment from here. He 
can take up the work in Gujarati, English, etc. Your burden will 
be reduced. Cable to me about what you wish to do now. If 
you do get the permission to call him, wire accordingly. 

Mr. Kallenbach has recovered now. He has to be careful, 
however. I am leaving for Rajkot. Don’t worry about it. I 
hope to return only after solving the problem. I am going at 
God’s command. I shall act according to His directions. Ba is 
fine. Don’t worry about the Congress. It is enough if you can 
remain absorbed in your work. 

Pyarelal, Sushila and Kanaiyo are accompanying me. Rami, 
Manu, etc., had come to see me. Rajkumari is at Segaon. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 


From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4895 



520. QUESTION OF HONOUR 

On my way to Rajkot, going via Bombay, I have to wait 
a whole day for the Kathiawar mail. I am passing the time in 
writing for Harijan. And I read the following note: 

Ramdurg — a small State in the Bombay-Karnatak, area 169 sq. miles, 
population 33,997, revenue Rs. 2,69,000 — was hard hit by famine and 
scarcity conditions, and also depression due to fall in prices for some years 
past. On 20th March 1938 some agriculturists from villages gathered 
together in front of the palace and requested the Rajasaheb to grant 
some concessions in respect of land revenue. It was alleged on behalf 
of those assembled at the Palace that they were dispersed by lathi 
charge by the Ramdurg police. On the other hand these allegations 
were denied by the State authorities. It seems that no definite demands 
were made on behalf of the people, nor was there any organization to 
speak for them. Some time later some of the people of the State 
approached Shri Yalgi, a Congressman and one of the Secretaries of the 
Karnatak Provincial Congress Committee, and requested him to visit 
Ramdurg and see the situation for himself. Accordingly, Shri Yalgi 
visited Ramdurg in April and advised the people there to organize a 
committee to place their demands before the authorities. In accordance 
with his advice, a body named Ramdurg Sansthan Praja Sangh was estab- 
lished and on its behalf demands were formulated and submitted to the 
Rajasaheb. 

A Conference of Deccan States’ People took place at Sangli on 22nd 
May 1938, presided over by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He left Sangli 
on the 22nd. But the Conference continued under the presidentship of 
Shri Gangadharrao Deshpande. 

On the 23 rd, the question of Ramdurg was taken up and it was 
decided that a committee, consisting of(l) Shri Gangadharrao Deshpande, 
President, K. P. C. C., (2) Shri Shankarrao Deo, Member of the Congress 
Working Committee, (3) Shri Munoli, President, Ramdurg Praja Sangh, 
(4) Shri Kanabur, Secretary of Deccan States People’s Conference, (5) 
Shri Andaneppa Doddameti, M. L. A., (6) Shri K. S. Patil, M. L. A., (7) 
Shri Ari, Pleader, Hubli, a subject of the State, was appointed to 
investigate and report on the Ramdurg affair. In the mean time the 
Ramdurg Durbar, on their own initiative, had issued a proclamation and 
announced certain concessions. But the people were not satisfied with these 
concessions and the agitation was assuming a serious turn. . . . 


453 



454 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Then on the 5th June 1938 the Committee appointed at Sangli visited 
Ramdurg and instituted an enquiry. It was felt by the Committee and 
also by the prominent representatives of the Ramdurg Praja Sangh 
that a mere enquiry and report would not serve the purpose. There- 
fore the latter requested the Committee to bring about a settlement in 
respect of the demands which were submitted to the Ramdurg Durbar. 

The matter was discussed for two hours and on the 6th of June Shri 
Deo was entrusted with the sole authority of settling the differences. 
Shri Deo, in accepting the responsibility, made clear to the people all the 
implications of what they were doing. Shri Deo, on behalf of the Com- 
mittee, formulated the demands and submitted them to the Rajasaheb. 
After some discussions the matter was postponed at the desire of the 
Rajasaheb. However, most of the suggestions, with slight modifications, 
were conceded by the Rajasaheb. Shri Deshpande wrote to the Sardar as 
to what had happened. He also informed him of the demands of the 
Praja Sangh and the offer of Rajasaheb. In reply, Sardar wrote to Shri 
Deshpande on the 11th June 1938 to say that the terms offered by 
Rajasaheb could not be improved upon, that they were quite good and 
that the people should be advised to accept them. 

Though Shri Deo was entrusted with full powers to negotiate and 
settle the terms, he on the 21st June 1938 took Shri Munoli and all the 
members of the Managing Committee of the Praja Sangh into confidence, 
and after long discussion secured their assent to the terms settled between 
himself and Rajasaheb. The members of the Committee appointed by 
the Sangli Conference with the exception of Shri Shastri, who was absent, 
also agreed. The acceptance of the terms was communicated to Raja- 
saheb. The same evening durbar was held in the palace to which the 
President and representatives of the Praja Sangh and leading men of 
Ramdurg were invited. The Rajasaheb in his opening speech surveyed 
the history of his rule and gave the outlines of the terms of settlement. 
The Dewan, Rao Bahadur Pradhan, then read out the proclamation 
embodying the terms of the settlement. Thereupon the President of the 
Praja Sangh, on behalf of the Sangh, thanked the Rajasaheb in suitable 
terms. After the durbar was over, Shri Deo and others went to the 
public meeting. The meeting was attended by more than 12,000 persons. 
The President of the Praja Sangh presided. When Shri Gangadharrao 
Deshpande was explaining the terms of the settlement, a slight disturbance 
was noticed in one corner of the meeting. It was ascertained that they 
belonged to Sureban and were weavers. Shri Andaneppa Doddameti went 
to that corner and successfully tried to restore peace. After Shri Desh- 
pande, Shri Andaneppa spoke for more than one hour and fully ex- 
plained all the details of the terms and defended them very vigorously. 
He carried conviction to the audience and concluded his speech amongst 



QUESTION OF HONOUR 


455 


enthusiastic cheers. Shri Deo also made a short speech asking people to 
organize and strengthen their position by working the reforms granted. 
Shri Munavalli, the President in his concluding speech, which was very 
touching, defended all the terms settled and asked the audience whether 
they had confidence in him. The audience with one voice replied in the 
affirmative. He then asked them to accept the terms and they assented. 
At the conclusion of the meeting a paper, containing the terms of the 
settlement, was brought to the President for his signature by an officer of 
the State. Shri Munavalli, the President, again asked the audience 
whether he should sign it and with concurrence of not only the large 
audience but of the representatives of the Praja Sangh, signed the docu- 
ment. 

The Council of the Karnatak Provincial Congress Committee passed 
the following resolution: 

“The Council congratulates the people of Ramdurg, Jamkhandi, 
Miraj Sr. and Jr. and Mudhol for the success they have achieved in 
their struggle for redress of their grievances and trusts that they will 
strengthen their organizations by non-violent and peaceful means for the 
attainment of full responsible government in the near future. 

“This Council expresses its sense of appreciation of the Rulers of the 
above States for readily responding to the demands of their subjects and 
trusts that the terms of the settlement will be implemented by both the 
portions without delay. It also requests the Rulers of all the States in 
Karnatak to follow the liberal policy followed by the above-mentioned States. 

“This Council, however, notes with extreme pain that anti-propaganda 
is being carried on by some people and especially by some Congressmen on 
the plea that the settlement was arrived at by the efforts of prominent 
Congress leaders between the people and the Prince of Ramdurg. This 
Council while requesting them not to carry on anti-propaganda is definitely 
of opinion that the good of the people will advance only by standing by 
the settlement.” 

I have omitted some part irrelevant for my purpose. It 
appears that an attempt is now being made on behalf of the 
Ramdurg Praja Sangh to terrorize the Ruler into making further 
concessions' . He refrains from taking action against the mischief- 
mongers for fear of losing Congress sympathy. The question I 
am asked is, “What are Congressmen involved in the settlement 
to do?” Assuming the correctness of my information, my un- 
equivocal answer is that they have to keep at any cost the plight- 
ed word of the Provincial Committee. I am going to Rajkot to 
entreat H. H. the Thakore Saheb of Rajkot to keep his word. 

' Vide also Vol. LXIX, “Popular Violence in Ramdurg”, 24-4-1939. 



456 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


The breach, as I interpret his action, has shaken me to my depths. 
I can think of no other answer with regard to the Congress. 
Rajkot represents the Princely order. Its shame or credit would 
be the shame or credit of the whole order. If a representative 
Congressman breaks his word, the reputation of the whole Cong- 
ress is at stake. How much more so, if a Provincial Congress 
Committee cannot redeem its word? The Congress claims to 
represent the whole nation. Its transactions must be above re- 
proach. 

In these days of awakening, all kinds of forces must rise up. 
Demands, even extravagant, will be made by new additions to 
the Congress. If they are in excess of Congress commitments 
and if the Congress credit is to go up day after day, they must 
be checked. I do not know what the Ramdurg Praja Sangh 
claims. It may be that the claim is intrinsically sound. But 
they cannot enforce it by rowdyism and threats even before the 
ink is dry on the settlement paper. The representative Congress- 
men in Karnatak have to stand by the Ramdurg Chief and see 
that the settlement is honoured by the people even though in 
battling with them they should lose their lives. 

Bombay, February 26, 1939 
Harijan, 4-3-1939 

521. KHADI di' FAMINE RELIEF 

This letter' shows conclusively what a relief khadi is to 
famine areas. Those, therefore, who buy relief khadi help the 
famine-stricken and themselves. In addition they give not 

doles but wages and these at khadi market rates for spinning 
which are higher than for any other relief work. I hope, therefore, 
that this appeal will receive a generous response from the public. 

Bombay, February 26, 1939 
Harijan, 4-3-1939 


* Not reproduced here. The correspondent had said that because of 
drought and failure of crops in certain taluks of Coimbatore district, the 
farmers there had taken up spinning and so there was a surplus stock of khadi 
in Tamil Nadu. He had requested Gandhiji to appeal to the readers of 
Harijan to buy the khadi produced in the drought-hit areas. 



522. IS IT NON-VIOLENT? 


Below is an extract from a letter from a teacher in the Anna- 
malai University:^ 

Some time in November last, a group of five or six students organi- 
zedly assaulted the secretary of University Union, a fellow student. 
Shri Srinivasa Sastri, the Vice-Chancellor, took a serious view of it 
and punished the leader of the group with expulsion from the Univer- 
sity and the rest with suspension till the end of this academic year. 

Some sympathizers and friends of these punished students wanted to 
abstain from attending classes and strike work. . . . 

The next day, about 20 per cent of the students stayed away from 
the classes; the remaining 80 per cent attended the classes as usual. I 
may add, the strength of this University is about 800. 

The student who was expelled next day came inside the hostel to 
direct the strike. Finding the strike unsuccessful he adopted other 
methods in the evening, as for example, bodily lying across the four 
main outlets from the hostel, locking some gates of the hostel, locking 
up some of the young boys inside their own rooms. ... In this way 
in the afternoon, the rest of the students were prevented from coming 
outside the hostel gates by fifty or sixty people. 

The authorities thus finding the gates closed wanted to make an open- 
ing in the fencing. But when they started pulling down the fence with 
the help of servants of the University, the strikers prevented the other 
students from passing through the breaches to attend college. . . . 
The authorities finding the situation unmanageable requested the 
police to remove the expelled student from the hostel premises . . . 
which the police did. This naturally irritated some more of the students 
who began to show sympathy with the strikers. . . . Shri Srinivasa 
Sastri then closed down the University for a long vacation of Ij months 
from November 29th to January 16th. He gave a statement to the 
Press appealing to the students to come back from home in a chastened 
and happier mood for study. 

But the college reopened with renewed activities on the part of 
the strikers who had extra advice during the vacation from . . 


^ Only extracts from the quotation are reproduced here. 
^ Omission as in the source 


457 



458 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

They went to Rajaji, it appears, but he asked them to obey the Vice- 
Chancellor, and declined to interfere. . . . 

The picketing is still going on. . . . The strikers are about 35 to 
45 in number. They have got about 50 sympathizers who dare not 
come into the open and strike with them, but from within they create 
trouble. Every day they come in a body and lie down in front of 
entrances to classes, and on the stairs leading to classes on the first 
floor and thus prevent the students from entering the classes. But the 
teachers shift from place to place and hold classes before the picketers 
can reach there. . . . 

Yesterday there was a new development. The strikers came into 
the classes, rolled on the floor and uttered shouts. Some strikers, I 
heard, began writing on blackboards before the teacher could come. 
If any teachers are known to be meek, some of the strikers try to inti- 
midate them also. In fact they threatened the Vice-Chancellor with 
‘violence and bloodshed’, if he did not accede to their demands. 

One other important point I ought to tell you is that the strikers 
get help from some outsiders, employ goondas to enter the University 
premises and disturb the work there. . . . 

Now the point I am driving at is this: We have all been feeling, i.e., 
several teachers and a large number of students, that these activities are 
not truthful and non-violent and so are against the spirit of satyagraha. 

I learn reliably that some of the striker students persist in calling this 
non-violent. They say that if Mahatmaji declares this to be violent they 
will stop these activities. 

The letter is dated 17th February and addressed to Kaka- 
saheb Kalelkar whom the teacher knows intimately. The portion 
not printed by me seeks Kakasaheb’s opinion whether the conduct 
of the students can be called non-violent and deplores the attitude 
of unruliness which has become rampant among so many students 
in India. 

The letter gives the names of those who are inciting the strik- 
ers to persist in their behaviour. On the publication of my 
opinion^ on the strike, someone, presumably a student, sent me 
an angry telegram saying that the behaviour of the strikers is 
perfectly non-violent. Assuming the correctness of the version 
reproduced by me, I have no hesitation in saying that the atti- 
tude of the students is essentially violent. Surely, if someone 
blocks the passage to my house, his action is violence just as 
much as if he pushed me bodily from the doorstep. 


' Vide “Statement to the Press”, pp. 444-5. 



TELEGRAM TO RADHAKRISHNA BAJAJ 459 

If students have a real grievance against their teachers, they 
may have the right to strike and even picket their school or col- 
lege but only to the extent of politely warning the unwary from 
attending their classes. They could do so by speaking or by dis- 
tributing leaflets. But they may not obstruct the passage or use 
any coercion against those who do not want to strike. And 
the students have struck against whom? Shri Srinivasa Sastriar 
is one of India’s best scholars. He had become renowned as a 
teacher before many of the students were born or were in 
their teens. Any university in the world will be proud to have 
him as Vice-Chancellor as well for the greatness of his learning 
as for the nobility of his character. 

If the writer of the letter to Kakasaheb has given an accu- 
rate account of the happenings in the Annamalai University, Sas- 
triar’s handling of the situation seems to me to have been quite 
correct. In my opinion the strikers are harming themselves by 
their conduct. I belong to the old school which believed in rev- 
erence for teachers. I can understand not going to a school for 
whose teachers I have no regard. But I cannot understand dis- 
respect towards or vilification of my teachers. Such conduct is 
ungentlemanly, and all ungentlemanliness is violence. 

Bombay, February 26, 1939 

Harijan, 4-3-1939 


523. TELEGRAM TO RADHAKRISHNA BAJAJ 


Rajkot, 
February 26, 1939 

RADHAKRISHNA BaJAJ 

Jaipraja 

Agra 

NO HARTAL JAIPUR CITY. 

Bapu 


Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 214 



524. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAT 

Eebruary 26, 1939 

You must not be anxious. I miss you on this journey. I 
am going there as God is taking me there. Within me is joy, 
hope. Who knows if the prospect is no more than a mirage? I 
know that I will not return from Rajkot with hope blasted. 

Harijan, 11-3-1939 

525. LETTER TO SATISH D. KALELKAR? 

Eebruary 26, 1939 

CHI. SHANKER^, 

I had no time to reply to your letter. I liked it. Chandan is 
quiet and happy. It should be sufficient that she has been proved 
innocent, that is, truthful. We should not be interested in proving 
a person guilty. So long as H.‘* does not admit his guilt, it does not 
seem fair to give a final verdict about him. Ninety-nine per cent he 
is no longer innocent. I think now he will not indulge in backbiting 
against you. Doing anything more will be like killing a man who is 
already down. It will be good if you can forget this incident. I 
should like it even better if you can see that my viewpoint is correct. 

Take care of your health. 

Poor Chandan came here to go to Rajkot. I feel as if I was 
going there on her behalf. I am writing this in the train. 
Chandan is accompanying me. She will go to Bhavnagar from 
Viramgam. There she will wait and watch. 

What Chandan has written above was really my test. I 
wanted to see whether she would respond to my advice or not. 
She may be said to have scored 33j per cent marks in the test. 

Blessings from 

Bapu 

From Gujarati: C.W. 949. Courtesy: Satish D. Kalelkar 

^ Extracted from Mahadev Desai’s “A God-given Fast”. The letter, which 
was presumably in Gujarati, is not available from any other source. 

^ This was written below a letter Chandanbehn wrote to the addressee, 
whom she later married. 

^ Son ofD. B. Kalelkar, who later changed his name to ‘Satish’. 

The name has been omitted. 


460 



526. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR 


Eebrmry 27, 1939 

MY DEAR IDIOT, 

The journey up to now has been quite pleasant and unevent- 
ful. This is being written at Viramgam. You bore yourself bravely 
on parting. The same bravery must continue. It is strange 
that responsibility for the secretariat work should rest solely upon 
you so suddenly. You had not bargained for it. You will expect 
a wire from Rajkot either today or tomorrow. 

You will keep well both in body and mind. 

Love. 

Tyrant 

From the original: C.W. 3903. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7212 


527. LETTER TO MIRABEHN 


Viramgam, 

Eebrmry 27, 1939 

CHI. MIRA, 

We reach Rajkot about 2.50 p. m. Train going, so good-bye. 
Love. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6429. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10024 

528. LETTER TO MAHADEV DESAT 

Eebrmry 27 , 1939 

How mysterious are the ways of God! This journey to Raj- 
kot is a wonder even to me. Why am I going, whither am I 
going? What for? I have thought nothing about these things. 
And if God guides me, what should I think, why should I think? 
Even thought may be an obstacle in the way of His guidance.^ 

' Extracted from, Mahadev Desai’s “A God-given Fast”. The letter, which 
was presumably in Gujarati, is not available from any other source. 

^ For Shri Ramana Maharshi’s comments on this, vide Appendix V. 


461 



462 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

The fact is it takes no effort to stop thinking. The thoughts 
do not come. Indeed there is no vacuum — but I mean to say that 
there is no thought about the mission. 

Harijan, 25-3-1939 

529. INTERVIEW TO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 

February 27, 1939 

A few minutes prior to his arrival at Rajkot, Mahatma Gandhi told the 
Associated Press special correspondent travelling with him that he had no 
specific plans with regard to his “mission of peace in Rajkot”. 

Asked how long he would be at Rajkot, Mahatma Gandhi said: 

I really don’t know how long I will be here. I have to be 
here till I finish my work. 

(question: Does that mean that you will not be able to go to Tripuri 
Congress ? 

answer: Well, if my work in Rajkot detains me, I am 

afraid I will not be able to go to Tripuri. 

On being told that despite the suspension of satyagraha in Rajkot State 
the authorities have continued the arrests and the auctioning of houses for the 
purpose of recovering fines, Mahatma Gandhi said: 

I myself heard of an instance just now in the train. If this 
is true, it is most unfortunate. 

The Hindustan Times, 28-2-1939 


530. TELEGRAM TO AMRIT KAUR 

Rajkot, 

February 27 , 1939 

Rajkumari 

Maganwadi 

Wardhaganj 

BORE JOURNEY WELL. TALKS BEGUN. LOVE. LAST 

SENT TELEGRAM FIRST MEMBER NOT RECEIVED HERE. 

INQUIRE. 

Bapu 


From the original: C.W. 3902. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7211 



531. TELEGRAM TO MIRABEHN 

Rajkot, 
Eebruary 27, 1939 

Mirabehn 

Care Badshahkhan 

Charsadda 

BORE JOURNEY WELL. TALKS BEGUN. LOVE. 

Bapu 

From the original: C.W. 6430. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 10025 

532. INTERVIEW TO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 

Eebruary 27, 1939 

I am a born optimist. I hope that as a result of my visit 
to Rajkot there will be an honourable settlement. 

I had a friendly exchange of views with Khan Saheb Fateh 
Mahomed and Durbar Virawala. They have offered me full facil- 
ities to visit the jails and see prisoners and also to visit the vil- 
lages. I am seeing the prisoners tomorrow afternoon. The Mus- 
lims and Garasias (landholders) have asked for an appointment 
and I expect to meet them tomorrow. 

The negotiations are likely to take a few days. Although I 
am most anxious to attend the Tripuri Congress, I am afraid work 
in Rajkot will take me some time. 

The Hindustan Times, 28-2-1939 

533. INTERVIEW TO “THE HINDW^ 

Eebruary 27, 1939 

... I do not know how long I may stay here. I have no 
ready plan. I desire to study the situation and interview the 
Ruler and Mr. Gibson and do my best to restore the Pact 
between the Administration and the Praja Parishad. I am doubt- 
ful of my visit to Tripuri. If I finish my mission in time, I 
shall go to Tripuri. Otherwise I may have to miss it. 

The Hindu, 27-2-1939 


463 



534. TELEGRAM TO RADHAKRISHNA BAJAJ^ 

[On or after February 27, 1939] 

HARTAL SHOULD BE ABANDONED WHEN VICEROY ENTERS. 
BUT YOU MUST BE FINAL JUDGES. 

Bapu 

Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 215 


535. TALK TO REPRESENTATIVES OF MUSLIM 
COUNCIL OF ACTION^ 


February 28, 1939 

But surely, you do not mean to ask for separate electorate 
without reservation of seats? The former without the latter 
would be meaningless. You must, therefore, have that too. 
Having made that unilateral offer, may I take the liberty of tell- 
ing you that if you chose to represent your interests through the 
Parishad, the latter would be bound to safeguard your religion 
and culture and protect every legitimate Muslim interest? But I 
agree that so long as the atmosphere is vitiated with mutual distrust 
and suspicion you are entitled to ask for and have separate re- 
presentation. 

Harijan, 25-3-1939 


* This was in reply to the addressee’s telegram of February ’ll , 1939, 
which read: “Received. Jaipur hartal spontaneous and continues in connection 
Viceroy visit. We favour hartal. Wire if you disapprove.” 

^ Extracted from Pyarelal’s “The Rajkot Fast”. Pyarelal says: “The 
representatives of the Muslim Council of Action met him at 7 a. m. They 
told him that during the last civil disobedience struggle in Rajkot the Muslim 
community had given its passive support to the movement. Gandhiji at the 
very outset of the conversation set them at their ease by telling them that 
he would gladly agree to have their two nominees on the committee. They 
also insisted on separate electorate. He conceded that too.” 


464 



536. DISCUSSIOJV WITH DEPUTATION 
OF GARASIA MANDAD 


February 28, 1939 

As in the case of the Muslim Deputation, Gandhiji set them completely 
at their ease by telling them at the very start that they would have their 
one nominee on the Committee. In reply to further questions on their part, 
he told them that if they expected to be confirmed for all time in all the 
privileges that they had up till now enjoyed, they were doomed to disappoint- 
ment. That was neither right nor feasible. If the condition of India’s count- 
less destitute masses was to be ameliorated, the privileged class shall have to 
divest itself of some of its privileges in favour of Daridranarayana. If the Gara- 
sias would only understand the spirit of the times, become one with the toiling 
masses and make the latter’s interests their own, their legitimate interests would 
be safeguarded. He would therefore give them the advice he had given to 
the Princes, viz., to make themselves true servants of the people and not want 
to ride on their backs. They should hold their wealth as a trust to be used 
wisely in the interest of the people. They were entitled to a reasonable emolu- 
ment for themselves but only in return for service rendered. 

“We are bitterly attacked by a certain section of Congressmen, we are 
even called names. Would not you protect us?” 

You should know that there is today in the Congress a con- 
siderable and growing section that wants to do away with all 
vested interests altogether, because they have no faith in the 
possibility of their conversion. My capacity to protect you will, 
therefore, entirely depend on your willingness to adopt and live 
up to the ideal of trusteeship that I have placed before you. I 
would not be able to help you unless you co-operate with me. 

Harijan, 25-3-1939 


Extracted from Pyarelal’s “The Rajkot Fast” 


465 


68-30 



537. INTERVIEW TO ^‘THE HINDU’^ 


Rajkot, 
Eebruary 28, 1939 

Gandhiji in an interview stated that the day began with a cordial ex- 
change of views with representatives of Muslims.* 

After the meeting with the Muslim representatives, I went to 
the Resident’s bungalow, and there was a very friendly conversation 
between us two. At 2 p. m. I met representatives of the Garasia 
Association with whom also I had a cordial talk.^ Later I visited 
the jails of the State in the company of Col. Daly, Lt. Col. 
Aspinal and Khan Saheb Fateh Mahomed Ahmed, who were all 
present at the interviews with the prisoners. At Rajkot Jail, I 
met men and women satyagrahi prisoners for an hour and then 
drove to Sardhar Jail where I spent an hour and a half. 

Asked about his impressions of his talks with prisoners in the two jails, 
Gandhiji refused to commit himself to any definite opinion until he had had a 
discussion with Khan Saheb Fateh Mahomed. Gontinuing, Gandhiji said: 

From the Sardhar Jail, I went to Tromba where I met Kas- 
turba, Mridulabehn and Manibehn. I had my meal there. On 
returning to the capital, I went to the Thakore Saheb and spent 
nearly an hour and a half with him. 

Replying to a question about the chances of his going to Tripuri, Gandhiji 

said: 

I Still entertain the hope that there will be an honourable 
settlement, and I am making desperate efforts to go to Tripuri as 
early as possible. It is, however, difhcult for me to say whether 
I will be able to leave before the week-end. 

The Hindu, 1-3-1939 


* Vide p. 464. 

^ Vide the preceding item. 


466 



ADDENDA 

1. LETTER TO SAMPURNANAND 

Segaon, Wardha, 

January 1, 1939 

BHAI SAMPURNANANDJI, 

Dr. Zakir Husain was here with me for a few days. He 
has prepared a memorandum on the Hindu-Muslim question. I 
send you the portion concerned with U.P.^ I like the suggestions 
he makes. Please go through it and implement what it is possible 
to implement. If you wish, you may write direct to Dr. Zakir 
Husain. I have known him for many years. He is a good man. 

Tours, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From the Hindi original: Sampurnanand Papers. Courtesy: National 
Archives of India 


2. LETTER TO PRABHU DATAL VIDTARTHI 

Bardoli, 

January 7, 1939 

CHI. PRABHU DAYAL, 

I have your letter. I hope your feet are all right now. 

I wrote a letter regarding what you had said about Basti 
and the matter has been fully investigated. I even received a 
reply from there. Ask me about it when we return. I will show 
you the letter if it is lying somewhere. 

Blesssings from 

Bapu 

From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 11688 


^ In this Zakir Husain had suggested Government help being extended to 
the various Muslim educational institutions in U. P. He had also recommended 
that assistance should be provided to libraries and societies doing literary work 
in Urdu. 


467 



3. LETTER TO SAMPURNANAND 


[After February 2, 1939Y 

BHAI SAMPURNANANDJI, 

I received your letter but could not acknowledge it promp- 
tly. I hope you have also written to Dr. Zakir Husain what 
you wrote to me. 

Your letter regarding the flag and Bande Mataram was re- 
ceived at a time when I was travelling. What you have said 
in it is correct. I am working on the same lines. 

The problem of those who have entered Councils is becom- 
ing difficult day by day. But after all it is nothing but a symp- 
tom of the malaise. I see clearly that the Congress is going 
downward each day. Selfishness, infighting, untruth and violence 
have crept into the Congress and are on the increase. I fear we 
are destroying ourselves because of our inner failures. Let us see 
what God wills. 

Tours, 

M. K. Gandhi 

From the Hindi original: Sampurnanand Papers. Courtesy: National 

Archives of India 


* This letter seems to be connected with that written to the addressee on 
1-1-1939. Gandhiji returned to Segaon on this date. 

468 



APPENDICES 

APPENDIX I> 

COLD-BLOODED BREACH OF A SOLEMN COVENANT 

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel issued the following statement on January 25th: 

It is with the deepest regret that I have to announce resumption of the 
struggle in Rajkot which seemed to have ended so happily. Resumption has 
become a duty in order to vindicate the honour of the State and the self-respect 
of the people of Rajkot. 

The public will recall that the settlement announced in the Rajkot State 
Gazette of 26th December was a result of discussions between the Thakore 
Saheb and his Council consisting of Sir Patrick Cadell, Rao Saheb Maneklal 
Patel and Shri J. Jobanputra. The discussions which took place on the even- 
ing of December 25th lasted for nearly eight hours ending at 1.42 a.m. On 
the day of the settlement the Thakore Saheb gave me the following note: 

Amarsinhji Secretariat, Rajkot State, 
December 26, 1938 

It is agreed that seven members of the Committee mentioned in 

Clause 2 of the State announcement of today’s date are to be recommended 

by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and they are to be nominated by us. 

(Sd.) Dharmendrasinh 
Thakore Saheb, Rajkot 

It should be remembered that I had gone to Rajkot at the Thakore 
Saheb’s invitation. 

Soon after the settlement Sir Patrick Cadell retired. . . . 

I must state with the greatest reluctance that the Thakore Saheb has 
been ill served by those who have eaten his salt. Among the worst of these 
advisers has been Durbar Virawala who has ruined the State and drained it 
empty by his hopeless mismanagement. He has cast a spell over the Thakore 
Saheb which the latter cannot resist even if he would. It was he who brought 
Sir Patrick Cadell. When the latter realized that Durbar Virawala was 
the evil genius of the State, almost his first act was to have him 
banished from Rajkot with the help of the Agency. Sir Patrick Cadell might 
not have been obliged to leave if he had not traded upon his prestige as a 
member of the ruling race. Durbar Virawala would not brook the presence 
of a Dewan who had brought about his banishment. 

' Vide p. 346. 


469 



470 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


Though he was banished he pulled the wires from Bagasra. His son 
Bhojvala and his nephew Valeravala are still with the Thakore Saheb. 
Realizing that he could not successfully resist the contemplated settlement, he 
played the role of a friend and seemed to assist the settlement. Soon after the 
settlement, when Sir Patrick Cadell was about to go. Durbar Virawala found 
himself in Rajkot and began his operations which have never ceased. The 
Resident’s note and the Political Agent’s note will be read with interest. 

I needed a few days to enable me to select, in consultation with those who 
were in charge of the movement, seven names of the committee that had to 
be given in terms of the settlement. I sent the following seven names on the 
4th January: 

1. Shri Popatlal Dhanjibhai Malaviya 

2. Shri Popatlal Purushottam Anada 

3. Shri Mullan Valiji Abdulalli 

4. Dr. D. J. Gajjar 

5. Shri Jamnadas Khushalchand Gandhi 

6. Shri Vrajlal Mayashanker Shukla 

7. Shri Uchharangray Navalshanker Dhebar 

Notification of the appointment of the committee should have followed 
at once. But nothing happened for some days. 

On the 28th December there was a consultation between the Resident 
and the Thakore Saheb-in-Council. I have authentic notes of that interview 
taken by one of those present. The remarks made by the Resident about the 
Congress and me will be read with interest. He could not conceal his dislike 
of the settlement, the Congress or me. 

It seems that the Resident and Durbar Virawala are responsible for the 
breach of the solemn undertaking the Thakore Saheb gave to his people. As 
evidence of Durbar Virawala’s influence over the Thakore Saheb, the letter 
of thanks received by me from him makes interesting reading. 

It is necessary to compare the present one-sided arbitrary notification with 
the one which was issued in terms of the settlement. The second notification 
cancels four of my nominees. It also cancels the terms of reference and is 
vague, whereas the first was precise. The former contemplates publication of 
the report before the 31st instant and effect being given to it by the Thakore 
Saheb. The latter fixes no time-limit for the report. 

Before the last announcement I received a letter from Rao Saheb Manek- 
lal Patel. It is noteworthy that whereas that letter had accepted four of my 
nominees the notification has only three. To this I sent a reply in Gujarati 
of which the translation will be found. 

I had heard so much of Durbar Virawala’s influence on the Thakore 
Saheb and his interference that I had to say in my said letter that Durbar 
Virawala could not in any event be accepted on the committee. I wanted 
no loophole left. 



APPENDICES 


471 


This flagrant breach of a solemn settlement leaves but one course open 
before the people of Rajkot. It now remains for me to invite the people of 
Rajkot to resume the self-chosen course of suffering for vindicating their liberty 
and saving Rajkot and the Thakore Saheb from utter ruin. It is best to anti- 
cipate and provide for the worst. The worst that can happen is frightfulness 
of the extreme type, including torture not unknown in Kathiawar and setting 
up of internal quarrels. Of the latter we have evidence in inspired agitation 
from some Muslim brethren. We have to show them by our conduct that 
they have at least as much to gain as the rest of us by settled government 
under their own control. Rajkot has been made bankrupt through hopeless 
mismanagement and corruption. These dissensions, if they persist, can pro- 
long the struggle, never defeat the end in view, if the people at large cohere, 
show capacity for enduring suffering, no matter how great or protracted, and 
also show capacity, in spite of pecuniary losses, for going through the items 
of non-violent non-co-operation. On no account must students take part in 
civil disobedience or strikes. They can and should do constructive work if 
they believe in it. They can by house-to-house visits alleviate suffering which 
is bound to be inevitable as the struggle proceeds. 

Non-violence has to be observed in thought, word and deed. It has to 
be observed as well among co-workers as with opponents and neutrals, as well 
in the jail as outside it. The measure of our non-violence will be the measure 
of our success. We must have faith in the possibility of our non-violence 
turning the Thakore Saheb’s face in the direction of his people. Today he 
is a Ruler in name only; it must hurt every one of his people to find the 
young Prince committing a deliberate breach of the solemn covenant he 
made with his people. 

I have said seemingly bitter things about Durbar Virawala. But truth has 
to be sometimes bitter and harsh. I have said nothing that I do not believe 
about him. We must love him in spite of his glaring blemishes and expect 
our love to convert him and those who are working under his influence and 
direction. 

I am sorry the Resident resents my intervention and the influence of the 
Congress in shaping the policy and programme of the people of Rajkot. The 
people of the States have always been guided by the Congress. They owe 
allegiance to it. Indeed in the early stages the Princes also looked to the 
Congress for its support. The Congress adopted the policy of non-intervention 
in the sense of direct participation in the matters affecting questions arising 
between the people and the Princes. This was nothing but recognition of the 
limitations of the Congress. But when the people became conscious of their 
strength and were prepared to suffer, the Congress would be untrue to its 
mission if it failed to help them to the best of its ability. As for poor me I 
happen to have been a President of the Kathiawar Rajkiya Parishad and as 
such owe a duty to the people of Kathiawar as also to the Princes and dare 



472 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


not refuse help when they need it. In Rajkot the people in the first instance 
and then the Ruler sought my assistance which I claim has been unstintingly 
given. I fail to see anything wrong in this or to be resented by the Resident 
or the Imperial Power. This is a question which it would incidentally be 
Rajkot’s proud privilege to be the cause of having decided. 

For the time being the civil resistance will be confined to Kathiawaris 
only. The people of Kathiawar are so inter-related that for practical pur- 
poses it would be difficult to exclude any Kathiawar! from participation on 
moral grounds. 

THAKORE SAHEB’S LETTER TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 

Amarsinhji Secretariat, 
Rajkot State, 
December, 1938 

MY DEAR SARDAR VALLABHBHAI, 

Thanks for your note received just now. 

I shall be delighted if you come and have tea with me at 5 p. m. today. 

We shall then discuss the present question in presence of my Council 
Members. 

Tours sincerely, 
Dharmendrasinh 

LETTER FROM SIR PATRICK CAD ELL TO THAKORE SAHEB 

Amarsinhji Secretariat, 
Rajkot, 
October 1, 1938 

YOUR HIGHNESS, 

I yesterday asked you to allow me to see you not later than 8 o’clock. 
I had affairs of great importance to talk about. I suggested this late hour 
though inconvenient to myself, in order to suit you. You sent your Private 
Secretary to tell me that you would see me at 8.30. I was present at that 
time and was told that you were in your bath. I waited till 9 o’clock, and 
was told that you might be another quarter or half an hour late. I then left. 

I now write to inform Your Highness that I have no intention of allow- 
ing myself to be treated in this grossly discourteous manner. I had no idea 
when I left England to help you that you would be capable of such behaviour. 
I cannot allow it to be continued. 

I had intended to tell you last night that in any case the present situa- 
tion cannot go on. The condition of affairs in the State is very serious. Many 
of the complaints against the State are based on your behaviour. It is believed 



APPENDICES 


473 


that you spend too large a share of the State’s revenue, that most of your 
expenditure is on unworthy objects, and that you take no part in the adminis- 
tration of the State. I do not wish to make any reference at present either to 
the amount of money you spend, or the way you spend it. But it is certainly 
true that you take no part in the administration and show no interest in the 
welfare of your people. This is all the more noticed because it is so different 
from the system which your father followed. It is not fair to your officers to 
expect them to bear the burden of repressive methods while you do nothing. 
You must take some share. I therefore propose to you the following action. 

(1) I understand that you are to take part in the yajna ceremony 
at one, and perhaps two, of the temples this evening at 7.30. If there is time 
for you to agree to this, I request that after you have done this, you will drive 
through the city and that you will allow me to accompany you. 

(2) The Huzur Office is closed today as it is a holiday, but it is open 
on Monday. I suggest that you should promise on your word of honour to come 
to the office on Monday, not later than 6 p. m. to hear petitioners for about 
an hour. 

I am sure that these two actions will have a good effect in the city. 

I must also make a third request. 

(3) Whenever I have to see you on any day, you will promise to see me 
on that day not later than 7.30 p. m. and you will promise on your word of 
honour not to be more than a quarter of an hour late. 

If you are unable to accede to these suggestions, I shall be obliged to 
inform the Hon. the Resident that I cannot carry on and that I propose to 
return to England as soon as possible. 

If I have to do so, I fear that this may have unfortunate consequences 
both for your State and for yourself. I can assure you that the Government 
of India are not likely to look with favour on your conduct. I should be sorry 
if you were to suffer, but I cannot continue if Your Highness behaves like this. 

I should be obliged if you would let me know before 5.30 this evening 
whether Your Highness agrees to drive through the city this evening and to 
allow me to accompany you. 

Tours sincerely, 
Patrick Cadell 

LETTER FROM THAKORE SAHEB TO SIR PATRICK CADELL 

Confidential Ranjit Vilas Palace, 

Rajkot, 
October 2, 1938 

DEAR SIR PATRICK, 

I am exceedingly sorry to receive your letter of yesterday, and I must 
say that I do not like the tone of it. I cannot accept that the complaints 



474 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


against me are based on facts. The present agitation is only a wave spread 
by the Congress for the initiation of responsible government in the States, 
and I believe that to be the reason why they have selected Rajkot in Kathia- 
war, as they have done with Mysore, Travancore, etc., as States in which 
people already enjoy greater share of public liberties. 

It was with a view to put down the situation that I had requisitioned 
your services. I have still a wish to smoothen your task as much as possible 
and will come to the office any day at my convenience after Dasera. 

I strongly object to your remarks that if you have to go it may have 
unfortunate consequences both for my State and myself, and that the Govern- 
ment of India are not likely to look with favour on my conduct. In this con- 
nection I must definitely let you understand that it is I who has appointed 
you as my Dewan, and that if as a result of any disagreement with you I have to 
ask you to be relieved, neither the Hon. the Resident nor H. E. the Viceroy 
will have any cause to look upon me with disfavour. Whatever information you 
may be able to gather with regard to my State and myself is made available 
to you because you enjoy my confidence, and I need hardly say that you 
cannot utilize any of my State records without my permission, and much 
less against myself. Any information which the Hon. the Resident has thought 
it necessary to receive about anything relating to my State has been sought 
for through my Dewan, only if I am agreeable to give it. I might also tell 
you that I have done nothing to lose any share of the confidence which I 
enjoy both with the Hon. the Resident and H. E. the Viceroy to its fullest 
extent. I would therefore wish you to reconsider your decision and express 
your agreement to act in a manner consonant with my dignity and policy. 

Tours sincerely, 

Dharmendrasinh 

LETTER FROM THAKORE SAHEB TO SIR PATRICK CADELL 

Rajkot, 

October 16, 1938 

dear sir PATRICK, 

You are, I am sure, fully aware of the present situation. It has not 
been improved in any way and so far as I can see it is getting worse every 
day and has reached a climax by now. The other day when we called a 
meeting we agreed to give the people certain concessions, but it failed to ease 
the situation and bring about any desired result. I am myself getting con- 
vinced that we failed to take proper steps at the proper time, which should 
have removed my anxiety. The situation, in short, is decidedly getting out of 
control and adding immensely to my troubles. The agitation is getting more 
and more intense with little hope of its being brought under control in the 
near future. My people feel and are led to believe that you have been sent by 



APPENDICES 


475 


the Government and that I have lost the position which I had hitherto en- 
joyed. They now refuse to extend to me the same love and loyalty which 
they used to extend before your arrival. Nay they even seem to think and 
carry the impression that not I but you are the Ruler. 

I should say that though this feeling is not created by you but I must 
say that anyway it is there which they are not in a mood to shake off obvi- 
ously. Diwali holidays are drawing nearer and Ijaras must as usual be given 
but the people have boycotted them. They are further determined to boycott 
sales of grain also, and it is possible that no sale of grain could be made this 
year due to their non-co-operation. This would mean a financial ruination of 
the State and a crisis which had better be imagined than stated. This state of 
things, I feel, I, as the Ruler, am bound to prevent at any cost or sacrifice in 
the interests of the State and its subjects. 

The people, as you know, have now adopted a defiant attitude and are 
suffering. I must, therefore, see that this unfortunate situation must be thorough- 
ly eased and some sort of definite settlement should be arrived at between them 
and me at the earliest possible opportunity. I feel I am unable to do anything 
in this matter so long as my people do not recognize me as their de facto Ruler. 
As a well-wisher of the State you would also wish and agree that such state 

of things should not be permitted to continue any more. It is therefore my 

bounden duty to see that I must have my position as the real and benevolent 
Ruler re-established in the eyes of my people, in order that I may be able 

to carry conviction and settle with them and win their love and confidence. 

I had asked D. S. Virawala to know your views in this matter. He 
tells me that he saw you on the 13th instant and you told him that in your 
view the fight should be continued as long as the State’s finances would per- 
mit and we should see whether they or we would ultimately win. 

Besides, your letter dated 1st October 1938 gives me to understand that 
in so far as you are concerned you are definitely of the view that I am myself, 
more or less, the cause of these troubles. I have denied the charges by my 
reply. Considering the allegations made in your letter and your attitude, I 
have little doubt in my mind that we would not be able to pull on together 
in the interests of my State and its subjects and also my rights, dignity and 
position of the Ruler, as nobody realizes the extremely disastrous situation 
more than I do. 

It is my definite desire to myself settle the domestic dispute between 
my State and its subjects as early as possible and before the Diwali holidays. 
This would not, in my view, be possible unless we part at the earliest. This 
is a very unfortunate position and no one would be more sorry than myself, 
but it could not be helped as the interests of myself and my State are at stake. 
I need hardly assure you that it is not my desire to make your position awk- 
ward in any way, and hence I leave it to you to decide how you should 
arrange to leave and retire, as I am anxious to see that just as you came as a 



476 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


friend you should also part as a friend. I had engaged your services for six 
months certain and hence I am instructing the State Treasury to pay your 
salary accordingly. I am also instructing Mr. Bhat, the Revenue Secretary, 
to relieve you at your convenience. 

Tours sincerely, 

Dharmendrasinh 


LETTER FROM E. C. GIBSON TO THAKORE SAHEB 

Confidential The Residency, 

Rajkot, 

D. O. No. C/134-38 October 26, 1938 

MY DEAR THAKORE SAHEB, 

You will remember that on the evening of October 16th you wrote to 
inform me that you desired to dispense with Sir Patrick Cadell’s services and 
you enclosed a copy of the letter which you already sent to him. On the 
following morning we had a discussion. I then strongly advised you to reconsi- 
der the matter and to refrain from taking a step which from every point of 
view must inevitably be very prejudicial to the interests of your State and your- 
self. I also pointed out that when, on August 25th, you wrote to me asking 
me to obtain the necessary sanction to Sir Patrick Cadell’s appointment, you 
stated very definitely that the appointment was to be for a minimum period 
of six months in the first instance. On this understanding I referred your request 
to the Political Secretary to His Excellency the Crown Representative’s approval 
of the proposal. 

I need not repeat here the views which I explained fully when we 
discussed the matter on October 17th and again on October 22nd. After our 
discussion on October 17th, as you are unwilling to accept the advice which 
I offered, I forwarded to the Political Secretary a copy of your letter of 
October 16th. 

When we met on October 22nd I told that I had been instructed to 
inform you that His Excellency the Crown Representative trusts that in the 
interests of your State and yourself you will lose no time in reversing the ac- 
tion taken by you. Since then I have been hoping to hear that you have 
accepted and acted upon this advice. As however I have received no inti- 
mation from you to this effect, I write to ask you kindly to let me know as 
soon as possible the action you have taken in the matter since I saw you on 
October 22nd. 

Tours sincerely, 

E. C. Gibson 



LETTER FROM THAKORE SAHEB TO E. C. GIBSON 


Confidential October 29, 1938 

MY DEAR MR. GIBSON, 

I am very thankful for your confidential D. O.C/134-38 dated 26th instant. 
In view of the desire of His Excellency the Crown Representative and your 
earnest advice and recommendation, I have decided to continue Sir Patrick 
Cadell in my service, although I maintain that the constitutional aspect of 
this question is in my favour. 

I am very anxious that proper steps should be taken as soon as possible 
and have decided to form a strong council consisting of Sir Patrick Cadell and 
two of my officers to carry on the State, so that peace and tranquillity and 
respect for law is properly maintained. 

At the time of my interview with you on the 17th instant you approved 
of my suggestion of forming a council. Accordingly I have decided to have 
one of the following members in charge of the departments shown against their 
names: 

1st member and Vice-president: Sir Patrick Cadell: 1. Law and Justice, 

2. Political, 3. Finance, 4. Police and 5. Praja Pratinidhi Sabha and Muni- 
cipality. 

2nd member : Rao Saheb Maneklal C. Patel: 1. Finance, 2. Industries, 

3. Revenue, 4. P. W. D. and 5. Bardashi. 

3rd Member : Mr. Jayantilal L. Jobanputra: 1. Medical, 2. Jail, 3. Edu- 
cation and 4. Stables and other unspecified departments. 

As regards the future steps to be taken to control the present situation, 
they will be decided by the council with my approval and in all other import- 
ant questions the above procedure is to be adopted. 

I will issue detailed instruction hereafter. I think the formation of such 
a strong council will remove my anxiety about the present situation, which is 
increasing day by day. 

On hearing from you, I shall inform Sir Patrick Cadell accordingly. 

I am so sorry for the trouble I gave you in the matter. 

Yours sincerely, 

Dharmendrasinh 


477 



LETTER FROM E. C. GIBSON TO DURBAR VIRAWALA 


The Residency, Rajkot, 

November 25, 1938 

MY DEAR VIRAWALA, 

Thanks for your letter. I did hear when I returned to Rajkot this morn- 
ing that you were here, and I must say that I was very much surprised to 
hear it. I should have thought that if Mr. Anantrai Pattani wanted to see 
you he could have asked you to go to Bhavnagar or could himself have gone 
to Natwarnagar which is, I believe, much nearer to Bhavnagar than Rajkot 
is. I cannot understand why he felt it incumbent on him to make this extra- 
ordinary request, and I certainly think that it is a pity that you complied 
with it after the advice I gave you. I can understand that you were reluctant 
to come here. These long journeys must be very bad for your health at a 
time when you require rest and quiet for recuperation after your long illness. 
I am glad that you are feeling better today, and I strongly advise you to take 
more care of your health in future. 

With kind regards. 

Tours sincerely, 

E. C. Gibson 


Vala Shri Vira Mulu, 

Talukdar of Natwarnagar, Rajkot 


LETTER FROM POLITICAL AGENT TO DURBAR VIRAWALA 

Personal Rajkot, 

November 29, 1938 

DEAR VALA SHRI, 

Your personal letter of yesterday. I am sorry Col. Aspinall thought the 
journey had been trying to you, particularly as you told me you were feeling 
so unwell after it. 

I was naturally extremely surprised, after your assurances that you would 
see nobody in Rajkot pending a reply to my reference to the Hon. the 
Resident, to learn that you had been to the Palace. 

I can only assume that you will realize that, in your own interests, this 
was hardly wise, and that you will, pending your return to Natwarnagar, not 

478 



APPENDICES 


479 


again depart from the attitude you had offered to adopt, i. e., complete aloof- 
ness from local affairs and not to meet anybody. 

I trust that you have now completely rested and will not suffer from 
your return journey to Natwarnagar tomorrow. 

Tours sincerely, 

C. K. Daly 


LETTER FROM THAKORE SAHEB TO VALLABHBHAI PATEL 

Amarsinhji Secretariat, 
Rajkot State, 
December 27, 1938 

MY DEAR VALLABHBHAI PATEL, 

I am very thankful to you for coming to Rajkot. 

I appreciate very much the way in which you helped me in ending the 
impasse. 

I think you are fully aware by now that Dewan Saheb Virabhai has been 
most loyal to me and my State. All along his career he has done his best 
for the good of my people. 

In safeguarding the interests of myself and my State he had to suffer also. 
Now I request you to do your best to remove any misunderstanding exist- 
ing in the minds of my people against him. 

I shall feel very thankful for the same. 

Tours sincerely, 
Dharmendrasinh 
Thakore Saheb, Rajkot 


EXTRACTS FROM NOTES OF TALKS AT THE RESIDENCT 

December 28, 1938 

Present: The Hon. Mr. Gibson, 

The Thakore Saheb, 

Sir Patrick R. Cadell, Members of the 

Rao Saheb M. C. Patel, State Council 

Mr. Jayantilal L. Jobanputra 

The Hon. Mr. Gibson started by saying to the Thakore Saheb to the 
effect that the agreement made by him had stirred up all the Princes. He 
would like to know how Vallabhbhai Patel had come to Rajkot and whether 
he was invited by him. 



480 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


THAKORE saheb: He had come of his own accord and asked for meeting 
me, and I had invited him to tea. 

MR. GIBSON: Well, he is a very unreliable man. You know that the 
Government of India’s wishes were that no outside interference should be allow- 
ed. By settling with him, you have lost sympathies of your brother Princes and 
the Government. Although the Government of India do not mind what you 
do, you have erred in settling through Patel. Even amongst the Congress 
workers, Mr. Patel is the most untrustworthy. However, as it appears from the 
Notification, the wordings of the settlement are not so bad but for the words 
“widest possible powers” which are capable of any interpretation. It may mean 
that you will be reduced to a figurehead. On the strength of these words, they 
would demand full responsible government at the very start and you will find 
yourself in a very awkward situation. 

THAKORE SAHEB : No, I have only appointed a committee. 

MR. GIBSON: Yes, but who will appoint the members of the committee? 
And the report as received has to be given effect to. 

THAKORE saheb: Well, Mr. Vallabhbhai Patel will suggest names. 

MR. GIBSON : That is it. That means Congress workers, who will 
demand full responsible government in view of the words “widest possible 
powers”. 

SIR PATRICK: How is Mr. Patel to suggest names? Are we to write 

to him? 

THAKORE saheb: No, he will send names. 

MR. GIBSON: In one of the clauses, you have agreed to give full effect 

to the report. That is very bad. You have given up your cards. 

As regards the appointment of the President of the Reforms Committee, 
Mr. Gibson asked the Thakore Saheb as to who will be the President of the 
Committee. 

THAKORE saheb: Durbar Virawala. 

MR. GIBSON: No, he cannot come. 

thakore saheb: Why? He will come after his leave period is over. 

MR. GIBSON: No. He is a talukdar. He cannot come. I would not let 
him come now. 

THAKORE SAHEB : No. He Can come after Sir Patrick has gone. 

MR. Gibson: That will be seen after Sir Patrick is gone. 



RAJKOT GAZETTE NOTIFICATION 


Rajkot Darbari Gazette Extraordinary, 

Saturday, January 21, 1939 

Notification 
No. 61 OF 1938-39 

As observed in the Notification No. 50, dated the 26th December ’38, 
we are hereby pleased to appoint the following seven gentlemen, representing all 
important interests in the State, to work along with the three officers of 
the State, whose names will be announced hereafter, to work on a committee 
to draw up, after proper investigation, a report recommending to us a scheme 
of reforms with a view to associating the people more closely with the 
administration of the State: 

1. Mr. Popatlal Purushottam Anada, President, P.P. Sabha, 

2. Jadeja Jivansinhji Dhirubha, 

3. Sheth Dada Haji Valimohmed, 

4. Mr. Popatlal Dhanjibhai Malaviya, 

5. Mr. Mohanlal M. Tank, President, Municipal Corporation, 

6. Dr. D. J. Gajjar, and 

7. Sheth Haptubhai Abdulali. 

The Committee is expected to submit its report after full and thorough 
inquiry. 

Dharmendrasinh 
Thakore Saheb, Rajkot State 


LETTER FROM MANEKLAL PATEL TO 
VALLABHBHAI PATEL 


Confidential Ranjit Vilas, 

Rajkot, 

January 12, 1939 

DEAR SARDAR SAHEB, 

I am desired by H. H. Thakore Saheb to acknowledge receipt of your 
letter of the 4th instant, recommending the seven names to be nominated by 
him to the proposed Reforms Committee. 

You must have learnt from the newspapers that the names suggested by 
you were already out by the time your letter was received by His Highness, 

481 


68-31 



482 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 

He regrets that it should have been so, because such an exposure places you 
and His Highness in somewhat awkward position. 

While H. H. would very much wish to select all the names suggested by 
you, you would also appreciate that he cannot ignore the requests made by 
important classes of his subjects, and should see that the committee consists 
of such persons as would command the confidence of all important groups of 
his subjects. In fact. His Highness has received representations from the Bhayats 
and Muslim Council and a petition from the Depressed Class, and has there- 
fore desired me to write to you as under. 

While here, you very rightly said to H. H. that you did not know who 
the real leaders were and therefore postponed suggesting names until after you 
had consulted others. 

His Highness approves of the gentlemen numbered 1, 2, 4 and 5. 

While number three owns immovable property and resides here since 
about 40 years and is a respectable citizen, he could hardly be expected to 
be useful with independent opinion to work on a committee of this nature. 

You would agree that the Mahomedans form a very important unit and 
are now too well organized to be ignored so lightly. In their representation 
submitted as a result of the unanimous resolution of the Muslim Council, they 
have requested that three out of seven should be Mahomedans. This demand 
of theirs is of course unreasonable, but including the Bohras they should be 
given two seats and the President of their Council should be one of them. In 
view of your vast experience in British India, you will appreciate that if their 
legitimate request were not met, they may make a row and may create un- 
healthy atmosphere, which we all wish to avoid. There is no doubt that we 
all want a committee which would represent all sections of the people, be im- 
partial and work harmoniously and with sagacity. 

As regards numbers six and seven, it appears that they would not come 
strictly within the scope of the definition of the “subject” as referred to in the 
notification. 

Mr. V. M. Shukla was neither born in the State nor has he been staying 
within the jurisdiction of the State since his birth for as many as about forty 
years. Possession by his ancestors of some property in Sardhar Pati does not 
entitle him, according to the definition, to be considered as a Rajkot State 
subject. He is neither born, nor domiciled, nor naturalized in the State. 

As regards Mr. U. N. Dhebar, His Highness feels that the same objec- 
tion would come in the way. As is understood, he originally belongs to the 
Jamnagar State and his father spent the major portion of his life in Bombay. 
He himself is said to have received his schooling in Rajkot and was residing 
in the Civil Station when he started practice as a pleader. He has been living 
within the State limits since about two years. He has also purchased land in 
the State last year. His Highness feels that he should restrict his nomination 
to the definition, so as not to create any ill-feeling amongst other leading 



APPENDICES 


483 


gentlemen, who have always been recognized by the State, since the time 
of the late Thakore Saheb, as leaders of the public. 

It may also be brought to your notice that the Bhayats have also 
approached His Highness, and very rightly, with a request that at least one of 
them should be on the committee, as they represent a very important and 
considerable unit in the State. His Highness therefore considers it essential 
that one of them should be on the committee. 

It is His Highness’s wish, as you will readily understand, that the com- 
mittee should consist of the best brains who would also be representative of all 
important classes of his subjects. 

If any suggestions are to be made in the light of what has been said 
above. His Highness will then declare the personnel of the committee, inclusive 
of three officials besides the President of the committee. 

Tours sincerely, 

M. C. Patel 


LETTER FROM VALLABHBHAI PATEL TO 
MAMEKLAL PATEL 


Camp, Bardoli, 

January 15, 1939 

DEAR SHRI MANEKLAL PATEL, 

I have your letter of the 12th instant. It has pained me. It is indeed 
regrettable that the names I proposed were published, but it is not always 
possible to keep anything private in which a number of persons are concerned. 
And then in spite of publication, alteration can certainly be made therein if 
there are valid reasons. 

I am afraid I cannot accept your recommendation regarding the names 
of Bhayats and Mussalmans on the committee. There was a definite intelligible 
object behind the settlement entitling me to suggest the names. That object 
would be frustrated if I were to accept your recommendation. The names 
have been suggested to achieve the object which can be fulfilled only by hav- 
ing on the committee men of integrity holding particular views. The seven 
members whose names I have suggested will surely bear in mind the interests 
of Bhayats and others. More than this may not be expected. 

I regret you have seen fit to object to certain names on the ground of 
their not being State subjects. But you have a right to do so. If on further 
consideration you should adhere to the view that Shri Dhebarbhai does not 
come within the definition, rather than argue with you I am prepared to with- 
draw his name and to suggest instead the name of Shri Gajanan Joshi Vakil. 
I maintain that Shri Vajubhai Shukla comes within the definition. 



484 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


H. H. the Thakore Saheb’s notification can only mean that the chairman 
of the committee had to be from the committee of ten, and I must say that 
Darbar Virawala may not be appointed chairman. He has sent me word 
that he does not intend to hold any office, but in order to avoid any possible 
accident I have thought it proper to mention this. 

I cannot help saying that the appointment of the committee has been 
greatly delayed. Their report has got to be published by the 31st January. 
I therefore hope that the committee will be appointed immediately on receipt 
of this letter. If unfortunately the appointment continues to be delayed, 
there is every fear of the struggle being resumed by the people. I must also 
add that I have in my possession copies of correspondence that has taken place 
between H. H. the Thakore Saheb and Sir Patrick Cadell, and of the summary 
of an interview with the Resident. If the settlement breaks down, I am 
afraid it will be my duty to publish, in public interest, these and other docu- 
ments in my possession. But I hope I may have to do nothing of the kind, 
and the committee will be appointed and begin work immediately. 

May I expect a wire from you in reply? 

Tours sincerely, 
Vallabhbhai Patel 

Harijan, 4-2-1939 



APPENDIX II 


GOVERNMENT OF INDIA’S STATEMENT ON RAJKOT^ 

New Delhi, 

February 1, 1939 

1. Attention has been drawn to Mr. Gandhi’s statement to the Press in 
regard to the recent events in the Rajkot and Jaipur States. 

2. In the case of Rajkot, Mr. Gandhi states that “an honourable under- 
standing arrived at between the Thakore Saheb-in-Council and Sardar Patel, 
representing the people, has been undone by the Resident”, and he expresses 
the opinion that “it is the duty of the Viceroy to ask the Resident in Rajkot 
to restore the pact.” 

3. The facts are that the Thakore Saheb-in-Council reached an agree- 
ment with Sardar Patel that a committee should be appointed to investigate 
and make recommendations for constitutional reform. The terms of this agree- 
ment were published on December 26, in the State Gazette. The number of 
official and non-official members who were to serve on the committee were 
stated in this announcement. No further indication was given as to the com- 
mittee’s composition or the basis of its selection. It appears that simultaneously 
a private exchange of letters took place between the Thakore Saheb personally 
and Sardar Patel, to which no publicity was given. In this correspondence, 
the Thakore Saheb wrote to Sardar Patel as follows: 

Amarsinhji Secretariat, 
Rajkot State, 
26-1 2-’ 38 

It is agreed that seven members of the Committee mentioned in Clause 
2 of the State Announcement of today’s date are to be recommended by 
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and they are to be nominated by us. 

(Sd.) Dharmendrasinh, 
Thakore Saheb, Rajkot 

The Thakore Saheb claims that this letter was intended to leave him at 
liberty to accept or not the names put forward by Sardar Patel. Sardar Patel 
contends that its intention was to bind the Thakore Saheb to accept whatever 
names he put forward. 

Reforms Committee Personnel 

Of the names put forward by Sardar Patel, the Thakore Saheb accepted 
three. In the interests of securing adequate representation for the Mohammedans 

* Vide pp. 360-1. 

485 



486 


THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI 


and the Bhayats in the State, both of which parties submitted their claims 
to be represented, he found himself unable to accept the remaining four names. 
On his instructions, his Minister so informed Sardar Patel. Sardar Patel, how- 
ever, in his reply, did not address himself to the merits and refused to acquiesce 
in the Thakore Saheb’s proposals for the representation of the interests mention- 
ed above, and merely intimated that he would be content with nothing less 
than the names which he had put forward irrespective of the considerations 
advanced by the Thakore Saheb, in acting as he has acted of his own 
free will. The Resident has no knowledge of the correspondence which 
had passed and was not a party to it. 

Mr. Gandhi’s suggestion is that the Thakore Saheb should now be re- 
quired to accept a different construction which Sardar Patel has placed on 
his letter. It would clearly be most improper to bring pressure on the Thakore 
Saheb to accept a construction which he evidently did not intend and is not 
now pr