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Cornell University Library 
DS 448.G19S8 1922 

Speeches and writings of lU.K. Gandhi / 
3 1924 023 968 757 













If we would classify him with any of the supreme 
■figures of human history, it must be with such august 
religious 'prophets as Confucius and Lao-tse, Buddha, 
Zoroaster and Mohammed, and, most truly of all, the 
Nazarene ! Out of Asia, at long intervals of time, have 
arisen these inspired ^ witnesses of God. One hy one 
they have appeared to teach men hy precept and 
example the law of life, and therewith to save the 
race. To-day, in this our time, there comes another of 
this sacred line, the Mahatma of India. In all 
reverence and with due regard for historic fact, I 
match this man with Jesus Christ : — Rev. Dr. Holmes. 
— Minister of the Community Church, New Torlc City, 


THIS is an exhaustive, comprehensive and thorough- 
ly up-to-date edition of Mr. Gandhi's Speeches 
■and Writings revised and considerably amplified^ 
with the addition of a large number of articles from 
Young India and Navajivan (rendered int® English.) 
The inclusion of these papers have almost doubled the 
size of the old edition and the present collection 
Tuns to about 1,000 pages of well- arranged matter 
ranging over the whole period of Mr. Gandhi's public 
life. It opens with a succinct biographical sketch of 
Mr. Gandhi bringing the account of his life dovi^n to 
the historic trial and sentence. The Volume begins 
with the Indian South African Question and 
covers his views on indentured labour and Indians 
in the Colonies, his jail experiences in South Africa, 
his pronouncements on the Khaira and Champ aran 
affairs, his discourses on Rowlatt Bills and Satya- 
rgraha, and finally his Toung India and Navajivan 
articles on the Non-Co-operation movement, including 
select papers on the Khilafat and Punjab wrongs, the 
Congress, Swadeshi, Boycott, Gharka, National Edu- 
cation and Swaraj. The additional chapters are 
arranged under suitable headings and include his 
messages on the eve of and after the arrest, his 
statement before the court, the trial and judgment. 


Then follows a symposium of appreciations from sucb 
diverse men as Tolstoy and Tagore, Prof. Gilbert 
Murray and Dr. Holmes of New York besides ex- 
cerpts from the British and American press. The 
book which is bound in cloth and indexed contains- 
portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi and %three charac- 
teristic pictures of Mr. Gandhi taken at different 
■periods of his life. 

May, 1922. G. A. NATESAN & CO. 



By Mr. C. F. Andrews 

M. K. Gandhi: A Sketch 


South African Indian Question 

The Beginning of the Struggle 


Deputation to Lord Selborne 


Mr. Gandhi's Address 


Deputation to Lord Elgin 


Before the Court in 1907 


Attitude towards the Assailants 


The Issue at Stake 

.. 56 

The Marriage Question 

.. 61 

Before the Court in 1913 


The Solomon Commission 

. . 69- 

Should Indians have full Citizen Kights ? 

.. 77 

A Truce with the Government 

. . 80! 

The Settlement 

.. 83 

Farewell Speech at Durban 


Address to the Indentured Indians 

.. 89 

Address to the Tamil Community 

. . 91 

Farewell Speech at Johannesburg 


Farewell to South Africa 

.. 102 

Heeeption in England 

.. 107 

Letter to Lord Crewe 

. . 108 

Farewell to England 

.. 109,. 

Eeception in Bombay 

.. no" 

E.eoeption in Madras 

. . 112 

The Indian South African League 

.. 115 

Advice to South African Indians 

.. 117 

Kailway Restrictions in Transvaal 

. . 119 

Indians in South Africa 

,. 122 

Indian JRights in the Transvaal 

. . 125 

Another S, A. Commission 

.. 129 



Indians in the Colonies 

Beciprocity Between India and the Dominions . . 13 1 

Indian and European Emigrants . . IBS'- 

Indentured Labour . . 135- 

Indian Colonial Emigration .. 139 

The Iniquities of the Indenture System 144 

Imperial Conference Resolutions 149" 

Jail Experiences 152 

Passive Resistance 

How the Idea Originated .. 179* 

Soul Force v. Physical Force . . 1 80- 

The Origin of the Movement in South Africa . 181 

The Genesis of Passive Resistance . . 182 

Passive Besisters in the Tolstoy Farm .. 183 

A Lesson to India . . 184 

A Message to the Congress . . 185 

The Gains of the Passive Resistance Struggle 18& 

The Cfaamparan Enquiry 

Labour Trouble in Behar . . 193- 

The Kaira Question 

The Situation in Kaira . , 19& 

The Vow of Passive Resistance . . 199 

Statement on the Kaira Distress . . 200 

Reply to the Commissioner . . 206 

The Meaning of the Covenant . , 210' 

Reply to Kaira Press Note .. 211 

End of the Kaira Struggle . . 217 

• The Last Phase . . 221 

Earlier Indian Speeches 

The Duties of British Citizenship . . 225 

A Plea for the Soul . . 226 

On Anarchical Crimes . . 229- 

Loyalty to the British Empire . . 232 

Advice to Students . , 233 

Politics and the People , , 23& 

The Reward of Public Life . . 241 



Earlier Indian Speeches — amtd. 

Three Speeches on Gokhale — . 

Unveiling Mr. Gokbale's Portrait 
The La<eMr. Gokhale 
Gokhalb's Services to India 

Hindu University Speech 

The Benares Incident 

Reply to Karachi Address 

The Gurukula 



Economic vs. Mora! Progress 

The Moral Basis of Co-operation 

Third Glass in Indian Railways 

Yernaculars as Media of Instruction 

Social Service 

True Patriotism 

The Satyagrabasrama 

Indian Merchants 

National Dress 

The Hindu- Mahomedan Problem 

Gujarat Educational Conference 

Gujarat Political Conference 

Address to Social Service Conference 

The Protection of the Cow 
""■— ^' Oa Womanhood 

Plea for Hindi 

The Ahmedabad Mill Hands 

A Letter to the Viceroy 

Recruiting for the M''ar 

The Montagu Chelmsford Scheme 

Present Top-heavy Administration 

The Rowlatt Bills & Satyagraha 

Mgipifesto to the Press 
The Pledge 
Speech at Allahabad 
Speech at Bombay 
Speech at Madras 







The Rowlatt Bills & Satyagraha— co»<(2. 

Appeal to the Viceroy 

Thq Satyagraha Day 

Sa,tyagraha Day in Madras 

Message to Satyagrahis 

The Delhi lucident 

Message to Madras Satyagrahis 

Mp^sage to the Bombay Citizens 

Distribution of Prohibited Literature 

Message After Arrest 

TljQ " Satyagrahi " 

Saityagraha and Duragraha 

Speech at Ahmedabad 

Temporary Suspension of the Movement 


The Punjab & Khilafat "Wrongs 
The Amritsar Appeals 
The Khilafat Question 

" Why I have Joined the Khilafat Movement 
Cqngress Report on the Punjab Disorders 
The Punjab Disorder : A Personal Statement 
How to Work Non-Co-operation 
Open Letter to Lord Chelmsford 
Pqlitical Freemasonry 
Courts and Schools 
SpL^ech at Madras 
Speech at the Special Congress 
Swaraj in one Year 
" To Every Englishman in India " 
'The Creed of the Congress 
Appeal to Young Bengal 
Open Letter to the Duke of Connaught 
The Need for Humility 

The Malegaon Incident 
The Simla Visit 
The Ali Brothers' Apology 
Violence and Non-Violenoe 





Non-Co-Operation — contd. 

A[^eal to the Women of India 
The Arrest of the Ali Brothers 
Manifesto on Freedom of Opinion 
The Great Sentinel 
Honour the Prince 
The Bombay fiiots — 
The Statement 

Message to the Citizens of Bombay 
Appeal to the Hooligans of Bombay 
Appeal to his Co-Workers 
Peace at Last 
The Moral Issue 
Oivil Disobedience 
The Moplah Outbreak 
Reply to Lord Ronaldshay 
The Round Table Conference 
The Abmedabad Congress Speech 
The Independence Resolution 
The Bombay Conference 
Letter to H. E, the Viceroy 
Reply to the Government of India 
The Crime of Chauri Ohaura 
In Defence of the Bardoli Decisions 
The Delhi Resolutions 
Reply to Critics 
A Divine Warning 

On the Eve of Arrest 

" If I am Arrested." 
Message to Co- Workers 
Message to Kerala 

After the Arrest 

The Arrest 

The Message of the Charka 
Letter to Hakim Ajmal Khan 
Letter to Srimati Urmila Devi 
Interview in Jail 






After the Attest— contd. 

Letter to Moulana Abdul Bari 

. 745- 

Message to the Parsis 

. 746 

Truth of the Spinning Wheel 

. 747 

Letter to Mr. Andrews 

. 748 

The Great Trial 

Statement Before the Court 

. 749 

Written Statement 

. 751 

The Judgment 

. 757 

Mr. Gandhi's Eeply 

. 758 

Message to the Country 

. 758- 

Jail Life in India 

The Meaning of the Imprisonments 

. 759 

Work in Gaols 

. 763 

A Model Prisoner 

. 766 


A Confession of Faith 

. 769 

Passive Kesisters in the Tolstoy Farm 

. 773 

The Rationale of Su£fering 

. 774 

The Theory and Practice of Passive Resistance 


Oa Soul Force and Indian Politics 

. 779 

Rights and Duties of Labour 

. 784 

The Doctrine of the Sword 

. 788 

The Gujarat National University 

. 793 

Indian Medicine 

. 798 

Hindustani and English , 

. 800 

Social Boycott 

. 802 

" Neither a Saint nor a Politician " 

. 805 

Hindu- Moslem Unity 

. 811 


. 815 

Gokhale, Tilak and Mehta 

. 818 

The Fear of Death 

. 823 


. 826 

National Education 

. 834 

From Satyagraha to Non-CoOperation 

. 838 


. 841 

The Spinning Wheel 

. 844 

Love, not Hate 

.. 846 


Appendix I 

Mr. Gandhi's Religion ,, J 

The Rules and Regulations of Satyagrahasrama 5 

The Memorial to Mr. Montagu . , 10 

The Swadeshi Vow . i 12 

Appendix II — Appreciations. 

Count Leo Tolstoy . , 17 

Prof , Gilbert Murray .. 17 

Lord Hardinge ■ ■ 20 

Lord Ampthill . . 20 

The Lord Bishop of Madras . . 20 

Lord Gladstone • . . 21 

The Hon. Mr. Jameson . . 21 

Sir Henry Cotton . . 21 

Mr. Charles Roberts, M. P. . . 21 

Senator W. P. Sohreiner . . 22 

G. K. Gokhale . . 22^ 

Rev. Joseph Doke . . 23 

Mrs. Annie Besant . . 24 

Sir P. M. Mehta . . 24 

Mrs. Sarojini Naidu . . 24 

Dr. Subramania Iyer . . 25 

Sir Rabindranath Tagore . . 25 

Bal Gangadhar Tilak . . 25 

Lala Lajpat Rai . . 26- 

Dr. J. H. Holmes . . 26 

Mr. W. W. Pearson . . 27 

Mr. Percival Landon - . 27" 

Col. J. C. Wedgwood, M, P. . . 28 

Mr. Blanch Watson . . 28 

Mr. Ben Spoor, MP. . . 28 

Mr. S. E Stokes . . 30 

Vincent Anderson . . 30- 

Sir Valentine Ohirol . . 30 

Mr. C. F. Andrews . . 30 

S. W. Clemes . . 32 

Mr. W. E. Johnson . . 32: 


Appendix II — Appreciations — contd. 

The Rt. Hon. V. S. Srinivasa Sastri . . 33 

Mi«. H. S. L. Polak . . 38 

Mr. K. Natarajan . . 45 

Mrs, Sarojini Naidu . . 45 

Bkbu Dwijendranath lagore . . 46 

Index . . i 


Mr. & Mrs, Gandhi 
Three, Portraits of Gandhi 


It appears to me unnecessary for any prefatory note- 
to be written to the Life and Speeches of Mohandas 
Karamchand Gandhi ; they live and speak for themselves. 
Personally, I have had such a great shrinking from writing^ 
anything, during his life-time, a'bout one whom I reverence 
so deeply, that I have many times refused to do so. Eut a 
promise given in an unguarded moment now claims fulfil- 
ment, and I will write veiy briefly. 

To Mr. Gandhi, any swerving from the truth, even 
in casual utterance, is intolerable ; his speeches must be- 
read as stating uncompromisingly what he feels to be true. 
They are in no sense diplomatic, or opportunist, or merely 
' political,' using the word in its narrower sense. He never 
pays empty compliments : he never hesitates to say, for the 
truth's sake, what may be unpalatable to his audience. 

I shrink, as I have said, out of the very reverence- 
that I have for him, from writing for the cold printed 
page about his character ; but I may perhaps not offend by 
setting down something, however inadequate, concerning, 
his intellectual convictions. It is of the utmost impor- 
tance to understand these ; because, in his case, they are- 
held so strongly, as to bind fast his whole life and to 
stamp it with an originality, all its own. 

The greatest of all these is his conviction of the- 
eternal and fundamental efficacy of ahimsa. What this 
means to him, will be explained a hundred times over in the 
writings which follow. To Mr. Gandhi, — it would not 
be too much to say, — ahimsa is the key to all higher exist- 
ence. It is the divine life itself, I have never yet been 
able to reconcile this with his own recruiting campaign, for- 
war purposes, during the year 1918, But he was, himself,, 
able to reconcile it ; and some day, no doubt, he will give 


to the world the logical background of that reconciliation. 
Leaving aside the question ot this exceptional case, T do 
not think that there has been any more vital and inspir- 
ing contribution to ethical truth, in our own generation, 
than Mr. Gandhi's fearless logic in the practice ot ahimsa. 
Sir Gilbert Murray's article in the Hibberi Journal has 
made this fact known to the larger world of humanity 
outside India. 

A second intellectual conviction is the paramount use of 
religious vows in the building up of the spiritual life, 
Personally, I find it far more difficult to follow Mr. 
Gandhi here. Especially I dread the vow of celibacy 
which he, not unfrequently, recommends. It appears to 
me unnatural and abnorm!U« But here, again, he has 
. often told me, I do not understand his position. 

The further convictions, which are expressed in his 
writing, concerning the dignity and necessity for manual 
labour, — the simplification of society, — the healing powers 
of nature as a remedy for all disease, — the Swadeshi spirit, 
— the false basis of modern civilisation, — all these will be 
studied with the deepest interest. They will be seen, through 
Mr. Gandhi's Speeches, in a perspective which has not 
been made evident in any other writer. For, whatever 
may be our previous opinion, whether we agree or disagree 
with Mr. Gandhi's position, he compels us to think anew 
and to discard conventional opinion. 

It is necessary to add to these very brief notes (which 
1 had already published in an earlier edition of this book) 
a statement with regard to Mahatma Gandhi's intellectual 
position on the subject of the ' British Constitution ' and 
the ' British Empire.' 

I have heard him say, again and again, to those who 
were in highest authority : " If I did not believe that 
racial equality was to be obtained within the British 
Empire, I should be a rebel." 

At the close of the great and noble passive resistance 
struggle in South Africa, he explained his own standpoint 
in Johannesborg, in his farewell words, as follows : — 


"It is my knowledge, right or wrong, of the British 
constitution, which has bound me to the British Empire. 
Tear that constitution to ehreds, and my loyalty will also 
be torn to shreds. Oa the other hand, keep it intact, and 
you hold me bound unreservedly in its service. The choice 
has lain before us, who are Indians in South Africa, either 
to sunder ourselves from the British Empire, or to 
struggle by means of passive resistance in order that 
the ideals of the British Constitution may be preserved, — 
but only those ideals. The theory of racial equality in the 
eyes of the Law, once recognised, can never be departed 
from ; and its principle must at all costs be maintained; — 
the principle, that is to say, that in all the legal codes, 
which bind the \Empire together, there shall be no racial 
taint, no racial distinction, no colour disability." 

I have summarised, in the above statement, the 
speech which Mahatma Gandhi delivered on a very 
memorable occasion at Johannesburg, before a European 
audience, and I do not think that he has ever departed 
from the convictions wl^ich he then uttered in public. 
What has impressed me most of all, has been his unlimit- 
ed patience. Even now, when he has again been imprisoned 
by the present rulers of the British Empire, who have 
charge of Indian'~~a3airs, he has not despaired of the 
British Empire itself. ^According to his own opinion, it^ 
is these rulers themselves who have been untrue to the 
underlying principle of that Empire, 

A short time before Mahatma Gandhi's arrest, when 
I was with him in Ahmedabad, he blamed me very severely 
indeed for my lack of faith in the British connexion and 
for my publicly putting forward a demand for complete 
independence. He said to me openly that I had done a 
great deal of mischief by such advocacy of independence. 
If I interpret him rightly his own position at that time 
was this. He had lost faith in the British Administration 
in India, — it was a Satanic Government. But he had 
not lost faith in the British Constitution itself, He still 
believed that India could remain within the British Empire 


on the basis of racial equality, and that the principle of 
racial equality would come out triumphantly vindicated 
after the present struggle in India was over. Indeed, he 
held himself to be the champion of that theory, and the 
upholder of the British Constitution. 

"Whether that belief, which he has held so persistently 
and patiently all these years, will be justified at last, time 
alone can show. I remember how impressed I was at the 
time by the fact that he, who had been treated so disgrace- 
fully time after time in South Africa, should still retain his 
faith in the British character. I said to him, " It would 
almost seem as if you had more faith in my own -country -t 
men than I have myself." He said to me, " That may be 
true," — and I felt deeply his implied rebuke. 

I have gone through carefully the words he employed 
later at the time of his trial, and in spite of all that he 
said with such terrible severity concerning the evil effect of 
British Rule in India, I do not think that he has actually 
departed from the position which runs through all the 
speeches in this book from beginning to end. He still trusts 
that the temper and character of the British people will 
change for the better, and that the principle of racial equal- 
ity will finally be acknowledged in actual deed, not merely 
in word. If that trust is realised, then he is prepared to 
remain within the British Empire. But if that trust is 
ultimately shattered, then he will feel that at last the time 
has come to sever once and for all the British connexion. 

Shantiniketan, 1 
May, 1922. | C. F. ANDREWS. 



; ^^p^^ 











I— t 






t— I 







M. K- GMDfll 


A Scene in Johannesburg 
^lAHB scene is laid in Johannesburg. Summer is- 
JL coming and the days are lengthening out. At Park 
Station, at 6 o'clock on a Sunday evening, in September 
1908, whilst it was still broad daylight, a small animated 
group of dark-skinned people might have been observed 
eagerly looking in the direction from which the mail train 
from Natal, that stops at Volksrust, was expected. The 
watchers were Madrassi hawkers, who were apparently 
awaiting the arrival of one aSeutionately regarded by them. 
Punctually to time, the train steamed in and there was 
observed, descending from a second-class compartment^ 
attended by a prison-warder in uniform, a small, slim, 
dark, active man with calm eyes and a serene countenance, 
He was clad in the garb of a South African native con- 
vict — small military cap, that did npt protect him from 
the sun, loose, coarse jacket, bearing a numbered ticket and' 
marked with the broad arrow, short trousers, one leg dark,, 
the other light, similarly marked, thick grey woollen socks 
and leather sandals. But it was plain that he was not a 
South African native, and upon closer scrutiny, one became 
aware that he, too, was an Indian, like those who respect- 
fully saluted him, as he turned quietly to the warder for 
instructions. He was carrying a white canvas bag, which 
held his clothing and other effects found upon him when he 
was received by the gaol authorities, and also a small 
basket containing books. He had been sent by the Govern- 
ment to travel nearly two hundred miles, for many hours, 
without food or the means of procuring it, as the warder 


had no funds for that purpose and but for the charity of a 
European friend — a Government official — he would have 
had to starve for twenty-four hours. A brief consultation 
ensued between the prisoner and the warder. The latter 
appeared to realise the incongruity of the situation, for he 
bore himself towards the prisoner with every reasonable 
mark of respect. The latter was evidently a person of 
some importance, to whom a considerable amount of defe- 
rence should be shown. The subject of conversation was 
■whether the prisoner preferred to go by cab or to walk to 
lihe gaol. If the former, he (the prisoner) would have to 
pay for it. He, however, declined the easier method of 
locomotion, choosing to walk three-quarters of a mile in 
broad day-light, in his convict suit, to the gaol and re- 
solutely shouldering his bag, be briskly stepped out, the 
Madrassi hawkers shamefacedly following at some distance. 
Later, he disappeared within the grim portals of the 
Johannesburg gaol, above which is carved, in Dutch, the 
motto, "Union makes strength." 

Five years have passed. On the dusty, undulating 
road from Standerton to Greylingstad, for a distance of 
three miles, is seen a long, trailing " army " of men who, 
on closer inspection, are recognisable as Indians of the 
labouring classes, to the number of some two thousand. 
Upon questioning them, it would be found that they had 
been gathered from the coal mines of Northern Natal, 
where they had been working under indenture, or as "free" 
men, liable to the £3 annual tax upon the freedom of 
themselves, their wives, their sons of 16 years and their 
daughters of thirteen. They had marched from Newcastle 
to Charlestown, whence they had crossed the border into 
the Transvaal, at Volksrust. They were now marching 
stolidly and patiently on, until they reached Tolstoy Farm 
near Johannesburg, or they were arrested, as prohibited 
immigrants, by the Government. Thus they had marched 
for several days on a handful of rice, bread and sugar a 
day, carrying with them all their few worldly belongings, 
hopeful that, at the end, the burden of the hated £ 3 tax 
would be removed from their shoulders. They appeared 


■to place inqplicit trust in a small, limping, bent, but dogged 
>maD, coarsely dressed, and using a staff, painfully marching 
:at the head of the straggling column, but with a serene 
and peaceful countenance, and a look of sureness and con- 
tent. A nearer inspection of this strange figure discloses 
<uhe same individual that we have already seen entering the 
'forbidding portals of the " Fort," at Johannesburg. But 
•how much older looking and care-worn ! He has taken a 
vow to eat only one poor meal a day, until the iniquitous 
■tns. upon the honour and chastity of his brothers and sisters 
shall have been repealed, Upon him, as the foremost 
pro^^gonist of the movement, has fallen the main burden 
^and responsibility of organising one of the greatest and 
nobleBt protests against tyranny that the world has ever 
seen during the preceding seven years. Time has left its 
mark upon him ! 

Nine more years have passed. Bent down by the weight 
of years, but resolute of heart, that same figure is yet the 
-cynosure of all eyes. The scene is laid now in Abmedabad 
where thousands of Khadder-dad pilgrims march in solemn 
■array to the court-house and await " the man of destiny." 
it was twelve noon on the 18th of March. That same 
frail figure in a loin cloth, with the dear old familiar smile 
^f deep content, enters the court-house, The whole court 
suddenly rises to greet the illustrious prisoner. "This looks 
'like a family gathering," says he with the benignant smile 
of his. The heart of the gathering throbs with alternate 
'hopes and fears but the august prisoner, pure of heart and 
'meek of spirit, is calm like the deep sea. In a moment 
the great trial had begun ; and as the prisoner made his 
'historic statement, tears were seen trickling down the cheeks 
of the stoutest of hearts " I wish to endorse all the blame 
that the Advocate -General has thrown on my shoulders," 
says he with perfect candour. " To preach disaffection to 
the esiisting system of Government has become almost a 
ipassion with me. * * * I do not ask for mercy. I do not 
'plead any extenuating act. I am here therefore to invite 
and submit to the highest penalty that can be inflicted 
'Upon me for what in law is a deliberate crime and what 


appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen." And"' 
then follows the terrible inditement of the Government. 
The judge himself is deeply moved. He feels the great- 
ness of the occasion and in slow and deliberate accents he 
says : " It will be impossible to ignore the fact that you 
are in a different category from any person I have ever 
tried or am likely to try. It would be impossible to ignore- 
the fact that in the eyes of millions, of your countrymen you 
are a great patriot and a great leader. Even those who differ 
from you in politics look upon you as a man of high- 
ideals and of noble and even saintly life." But, Oh, the 
irony of it,! " I have to deal with you in one character 
only * * to judge you as a man subject to the law who hss- 
by his own admission broken the law and committed, what 
to an ordinary man must appear to be, grave offences- 
against the state." A sentence of six years' simple impri- 
sonment is passed ; but the judge adds : " that if the 
course of events in India should make it possible for the 
Government to reduce the period and release you, no one 
will be better pleased than I." And the prisoner thanks- 
the judge and there is perfect good humour. Was there 
ever such a trial in the history of British Courts or any 
other court for the matter of that ? And finally he bids 
farewell to the tearful throng pressing forward to touch 
the bare feet of him whose presence was a benediction ! 

The man is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Dewan's 
son, Barrister-at-Law, scholar, student, cultured Indian 
gentleman " farmer, weaver," and leader of his people^ 
Because he preferred to obey the dictates of conscience* 
because he placed honour before comfort or even life itself' 
because he chose not to accept an insult to his Motherland' 
because he strove so that right should prevail and that his 
people might have life, a civilised. Christian Government 
in a Colony over which waves the British flag, deemed that 
the best way to overcome such dangerous contumacy was- 
te cast his body into gaol, where at one time he was com- 
pelled to herd with and starve upon the diet of the most 
degraded aboriginal native felons, men barely emerging 
from the condition of brute beasts, or rather, with all their 


'human aspirations and instincts crushed out of them by 
iihe treatment accorded to them under the " civilising " 
.process of the Transvaal's colour legislation, And, again 
obeying the behests of conscience, believing that he best 
serves India so, he has again chosen the refuge of prison, 
convinced like Thoreau that he is freer than his gaolers or 
those who mourn for him, but do not liberate themselves 
from bondage. 


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on the 2nd* 
(October, 1869. Though he has a Brahmin's spirituality 
and desire to serve and teach, he is not a Brahmin. Though 
he has a Kshattriya's courage and devotion, he is not a 
'Kshattriya. He belongs to an old Bania family resident in 
'Kathiawar, politics being a heritage of the family. His 
forefathers were Dewans of the State of Forbandar in that 
Province, his father having been Dewan of that State for 
25 years, as also of Rajkote and other States in 
Kathiawar, He was likewise, at one time, a member 
-of the Rajasthanik Sabha, having been nominated 
thereto by the Government of Bombay. Mr, Gandhi's 
iather was known to and loved by all with whom he 
came in contact and he did not hesitate, if need came, to 
oppose the will of the Rana, of Forbandar and of the Foli- 
tical Agent, when he thought that they were adopting a 
wrong or unwoethy line of conduct. This particular trait 
has evidently descended to his youngest son. Mr. Gandhi's 
mother was an orthodox Hindu lady, rigid in her obser- 
vance of religious obligations, strict in the performance of 
Jier duties as wife and mother, and stern in determination 
that her children should grow up good and honest men 
and women. Between her jftungest son and herself exist- 
ed a strong affection and her religious example £).nd influ- 
ence left a lastii^g impression upon his character. Mohan- 
das Gandhi received his education partly in Kathiawar an4 
partly in London. It was only with the greatest difficulty 
that his mother could be prevailed upon to consent to his 
^crossing the waters, and before doing so, she exacted from. 


him a threefold vow, administered by a Jain priest 
that he would abstain from flesh, alcohol and women. 
And this vow was faithfully and whote-heartedly kept 
amidst all the temptations of student life in London. 
Young Gandhi became an. under-graduate of the London. 
University and afterwards joined the Inner Temple, 
whence he emerged in due course a barrister-at law. He- 
returned to India immediately after his call, and was at 
once admitted as an Advocate of the Bombay High Court,. 
in which capacity he began practice with some success. 


In 1893, Mr. Gandhi was induced to go to South Africa,, 
proceeding to Natal and then to the Transvaal, in connec- 
tion with an Indian legal case of some difficulty. Almost 
immediately upon lauding at Durban, disillusionment await- 
ed him. Brought up in British traditions of the equality of 
all British subjects, an honoured guest in the capital of 
the Empire, he found that in the British Colony of Natal,. 
he was regarded as a pariah, scarcely higher than a savage- 
aboriginal native of the soil. He appealed for admission 
as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Natal, but his- 
application was opposed by the Law Society on the ground 
that the law did not contemplate that a coloured person 
should be admitted to practise. Fortunately, the Supreme 
Court viewed the matter in a different light and granted- 
the application. But Mr. Gandhi received sudden warn- 
ing of what awaited him in the years to co«ie. 

In 1894, on the urgent invitation of the Natal' 
Indian community, he decided to remain in the 
Colony, in order that he might be of service in the political 
troubles that he foresaw in the near future. In that year 
together with a number of prominent members of the 
community he founded the Natal [ndian Congress, being 
for some years its honorary secretary, in which capacity he 
drafted a number of petitions and memorials admirable in 
construction, lucid and simple in phraseology, clear and' 
concise in the manner of setting forth the subject matter. 
He took a leading part in the successful attempt to defeat 
the Asiatics' Exclusion Act passed by the Natal Parliament 


and in the unsuccessful one to prevent the disfranchise- 
ment of the Indian community, though the effort made- 
obliged the Imperial authorities to insist that this dis- 
franchisement should be effected along non>raciaI lines. A.t- 
the end of 1895, he returned to India, being authorised 
by the Natal and Transvaal Indians to represent their 
grievances to the Indian public. This he did by means of 
addresses and a pamphlet, the mutilated contents of which' 
were summarised by Renter and cabled to Natal, where- 
they evoked a furious protest on the part of the European- 
colonists. The telegram ran thus : " A pamphlet published 
in India declares that the Indians in Natal are robbed, and 
assaulted, and treated like beasts, and are unable to obtain 
redress. The Times of India advocates an enquiry into- 
these allegations " 

This message was certainly not the truth, the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth, though it had elements of 
truth in it About the saine time, Mr. Gandhi returned to- 
Durban with his family, and with him, though independent- 
ly of him, travelled several compatriots. The rumour arose 
that he was bringing with him a number of skilled Indian 
workers with the express object of ousting the European 
artisans from the field of employment, and the two circum- 
stances combined to stimulate in the colonists, high and 
low alike, all the worst passions, and feeling ran so high- 
that the Attorney- General, Mr. Escombe, felt himself 
obliged to side with the popular party, and accordingly 
gave instructions that the vessels bringing Mr. Gandhi and 
his companions should be detained in quarantine. The- 
quarantine was only raised when the ship-owners announc- 
ed their intention of taking legal action against the Govern- 
ment. The vessels now rame alongside the wharf, but the- 
crowd that assembled became so hostile that a police in- 
spector, who came on boaid, warned Mr. Gandhi of his own. 
personel danger if he landed then, and urged him to delay 
the landing until night. A little later, however, a wpII- 
known member of the Natal Bar came on board specially 
to greet Mr. Gandhi and offer his services, and Mr. Gandhi 
at once determined to land without waiting for darkness to- 


come, trusting, as be himself expressed it, to the British 
sense of jus+ice and fair-play. He was soon recognised, 
however, set upon, and half-killed, when the wife of the 
superintendent of police, who recognised him, ran to his 
rescue, and, raising her umbrella over him, defied the crowd 
and accompanied him to the store of an Indian friend. 
Mr. Gandhi was, however, in order to save his friend's 
property, obliged to escape disguised as a police constable. 

The affair was at an end, popular pafsions calmed 
down, and the newspapers apologised to him, though the 
incident demonstrated the temper of the mob towards 
the resident Indian community. Years afterwards, 
meeting Mr. Gandhi one day, Mr. Esoombe expressed 
profound regret at his connection with this unsavoury 
business, declaring that, at the time, he was unacquainted 
with Mr. Gandhi's personal merits and those of the com- 
munity to which he belonged. Half-an-hour later he was 
found dead in the streets, stricken down by heart-disease, 


In 1899, at the outbreak af the Anglo- Boer War, Mr. 
Gandhi, after considerable opposition, induced the Govern- 
ment to accept the offer of an Indian Ambulance Corps. 
The Corps was one thousand strong and saw active service, 
being on one occasion, at least, under heavy fire, and on 
another, removing the dead body of Lord ilobert's only 
son from the field. The Corps was favourably reported on, 
and Mr. Gandhi was mentioned in despatches and after- 
wards awarded the war medal. His object in offering the 
services of a body of Indian to do even thw most menial 
work was to show that the Indian community desired to 
take their full share of public responsibilitieF^, and that just 
as they knew how to demand rights, so thpv also knew to 
assume obligations. And that has been the keynote of 
Mr. Gandhi's public work from the beginning. 

"Writing in the Illustrated Star of Johannesburg 
in July 1911, a European, who had taken part in that 
campaign, says-: — 

My first meeting with Mr. M. K. Gandhi was under strange 
circumstances. It was on the road from Spion Kop, after the 

M. K. GANDHI 9. 

"fateful retirement, of the British troops in January, 1900. The 
previous afternpon I saw the Indian mule-train moved up the 
slopes of the EC op carrying water to the distressed soldiers who 
liadlain powerless on the plateau. The mules carried the water 
in immense hags, one on each side, led by Indiana at their heads. 
'The galling rifle-fire, which heralded their arrival on the top, 
did not deter the strangely-looking cavalcade, which moved 
■lowly forward, and as an Indian fell, another quietly stepped 
forward to fill the vacant place. Afterwards the grim duty of 
"the bearer corps, which Mr. Gandhi organised in Natal, began. 
It was on such occasions the Indians proved their fortitude, and 
the one with the greatest fortitude of all was the subject of this 
-sketch. After a night's work which had shattered men with 
much bigger frames. I came across Gandhi in the early morn- 
ing sitting by the roadside — eating a regulation Army biscuit. 
Every man in Buller's force was dull and depressed, and dam- 
nation was heartly invoked on everythinir. But Gandhi was 
stoical in his bearing, cheerful, and confident in his conversa- 
-tion, and had a kindly eye. He did one good. It was an infor- 
mal introduction, and it led to a friendship. I saw the man 
and his small undisciplined corps on many a field of battle dur- 
ing the Katal campaign. When succour was to be rendered 
they were there. Their unassuming dauntlessness cost them 
many lives, and eventually an order was published forbidding 
them to go into the 'firing- tine. Gandhi simply did his duty 
then, and his comment the other evening in the moment of his 
triumph, at the dinner to the Europeans who had supported the 
Indian movement, when some hundreds of his countrymen and 
a large number of Europeans paid him a noble tribute, was that 
ihe had simply done his duty. 


In 1901, owing to a breakdown in health, Mr. Gandhi 
came to India, taking his family with him. Before he went, 
however, the Natal Indian community presented him, Mrs. 
Gandhi, and his children with valuable gold plate and 
jewellery. He refused, however, to accept a single item of 
this munificent gift, putting it on one side to be used for 
public purposes, should the need arise. The incident but 
endeared him the more to the people, who realised once 
again how selfless was the work that he had so modestly 
iind unassumingly undertaken. Before the Ambulance 
-Corps left for the front, its members had been publicly 
entertained by the late Sir John Kobinsoo, then Prime 
Minister of Natal, and on the occasion of the presentation 
to Mr. Gandhi by the Indian community, he addressed a- 

lo M.. K. GANDHI 

letter to the organisers of the ceremony, in which, after 
excusing his unavoidable absence, he said : — 

It would have given me great pleasure to have been- 
present on the occasion of so well-earned a mark of respect to 
our able and distinguished fellow-citizen, Mr. Gandhi. • • • . ■ 
Not the less heartily do I wish all success to this public recogni- 
tion of the good work done and the many services rendered to 
the community by Mr. Gandhi. 

On his arrival in Bombay Mr. Gandhi once more 
resumed practice, as he then had no intention of returning 
to South Africa, believing that with the end of the war, a 
new era had arrived. 


Scarcely, however, had he returned from the Calcutta. 
Congress, where, under Mr. Waoha, he did some very 
useful organising work unobtrusively, when he received an- 
urgent telegram from Natal, peremptorily calling him back 
to South Africa to draft the memorials to Mr. Chamber- 
lain, whose visit was imminent, to take charge of the work- 
required to secure the removal of existing grievances and 
to place Indian affairs finally on a higher level. Without a 
moment's hesitation he obeyed the ceiII of duty, and a new 
chapter opened in his life. In Natal, he had been able to 
overcome official prejudice and was high in the esteem of all 
those heads of departments and ministers with whom his 
public duties brought him into contact. But when, after 
heading a deputation to Mr. Chamberlain in NatU, he 
was called to the Transvaal for a similar purpose, he found 
all officialdom hostile, and he was refused the right to 
attend upon Mr. Chamberlain as a member of a deputa- 
tion of Transvaal Indians: and it was only after the 
utmost endeavours that he prevailed upon the Indian com- 
munity to send a deputation that did not include hira. 
Finding that the situ-ition was becoming rapidly worse,. 
and being without a trained guide, the Transvaal Indians 
pressed him to remain with them, and this he at last con- 
sented to do, being admitted to practise as an Attorney 
of the Supreme Court of the Transvaal. In 1903 together 
with other communal leaders, he founded the Transvaal 
British Indian AssociatioD, of which until his finals 


departure from South Africa, he] was the Honorary Secratary 
and principal legal adviser. 


About the middle of 1 903, it had occurred to him 
that, if the South African Indians were to be brought into 
closer association with each other and with their European 
fellow-colonists, and to be poli*:ica]ly and socially educated, 
it was absolutely necessary to have a newspaper, and, after 
consultation, he provided the greater part of the capital 
for its inauguration, with the late Mr, M, H. iN'azar as 
editor, and thus the Indian Opinion was born. It was first 
published in English, Gujarati, Hindi and Tamil. For 
various reasons it afterwards became necessary to dispense 
with the Tamil and Hindi column?. But although Mr. 
Gandhi, had, in theory, delegated much of the work of 
conducting the paper to other!', he was unremitting in his 
own efforts to make it a success. His purse was ever open 
to make good the deficits that continually occurred owing 
to the circumstances of its production, and to' its English 
and Gujarati columns he contributed month after month 
and year after year out of the fund of his own political and 
spiritual wisdom and his unique knowledge of South 
African Indian affairs. 

Towards the end of 1904, however, finding that the 
paper was absorbing most of the money that could be spared 
without making any appreciable financial headway, he 
went to Durban to investigate the situation. During the 
journey he became absorbed in the perusal of Kuskin's 
" Unto this Last," and he received certain impressions that 
were confirmed whilst on a visit to some relatives, who 
had started a trading enterprise in an up-country village. 
His conclusions were that the town conditions in which the 
paper was produced were such as almost to compel unlimit- 
ed waste, to act as a check upon the originality and indi- 
viduality of the workers, and to prevent the realisation of 
his dearest desire to so infuse the columns of the paper 
with a spirit of tolerance and persuasiveness as to bring 
together all that was best, in the European and Indian 
communities, whose fate it was to dwell sideby side, either 

1 2 M. K. GANDHI 

-mutally hostile to or suspicious of each other, or amicably 
co-operating in the securing of the welfare of the State and 
the building-up, of a wise-administration of its assets. 


Accordingly, he determined that the very first thing 
to be done was to put an end to the divorce of the workers 
from the land, and from this determination arose what has 
since become known as the Phoenix Settlement. Phoenix 
is situated about 12 miles from Durban, in the midst of a 
sugar-growing country, and Mr, Gandhi invested his 
savings, in the purchase of an estate of about 100 acres of 
land about two miles distant from the station, on which were 
erected the press buildings and machinery. A number of 
selected Indians and Europeans were invited to become 
• settlers, and the original conditions were these — that they 
-should have entire management of all the assets of the 
press, including the land itself; that each should practical- 
ly vow himself to a life of poverty, accepting no more 
,£3 (Rs. 45) a month, expenses being high in South 
Africa, and an equal share in the profits, ?f any ; 
that a house should be built for him, for which he 
should pay when able, and in whatever instalments 
might seem suitable to him, without interest ; that 
he should have two acres of land as his own for 
cultivation, payment being on similar conditions, and 
that he should devote himself to working for the public 
good, Inditm Opinion being meanwhile the mainspring of 
the work. Whilst the fundamental principles remained, 
it became necessary later, in the light of further experience] 
to modify these conditions. Subsequently the Phoenix' 
settlers extended the scope of their labours, to the task of 
educating some at least of the children of the lakh-anda- 
half of Indians in South Africa. It is true that, in com- 
parison with the magnitude of the task, only a small begin- 
ning was made, but this was principally due to the fack 
of qualified workers and also to the state of the exchequer. 


In 1904, an outbreak of plague occurred in the Indian 
•Location, Johannesburg, largely owing to gross negligence 

M.- K. GANDHI 13- 

on the part of the Municipal authorities, in spite of repeated 
warnings of the insanitary conditions prevailing. A week' 
before the official announcement of the outbreak, Mr. 
Gandhi sent a final warning that plague had already broken- 
out, but his statement was officialy denied. "When, how- 
ever, a public admission of the existence of plague could 
no longer be withheld, but before the Municipal authorities- 
bad taken any steps to cope with the disease, he at once 
organised a private hospital and nursing home, and, to- 
gether with a few devoted friends, personally tended the 
plague patients ; and this work was formally appreciated^ 
by the Municipal authorities. In the same year, owing to 
arbitration proceedings between expropriated Indian stand- 
holders in the Location and the Johannesburg Municipa- 
lity, in which he was busily engaged, he earned large 
professional fees which he afterwards devoted in their 
entirety to public purposes. 


In 1906, a native rebellion broke out in !N'atal due to 
many causes, but realising that bloodshed was imminent 
and that hospital work would necessarily ensue therefrom, 
Mr. Gandhi offered, on behalf of the ^atal Indians, a 
Stretcher Bearer Corps, which, after some delay, was 
accepted. Meanwhile, he had sent his family to Phoenix, , 
where he thought it was most proper that they should live, 
rather than in the dirt, noise, and restlessness of the town. 
He himself volunteered to lead the Corps, which was on 
active service for a month, being mentioned in despatches 
and publicly congratulated and thanked by the Governor 
for the valuable services rendered. Each m£mber of the 
Corps has had awarded to him the medal especially struck 
for the occasion, and as an indication of the manner in 
which the Transvaal Government appreciated the work 
so selflessly performed by Mr. Gandhi and his Corps, it 
may be noted that, together with at least three other 
members of the Corps, as well as some who belonged to or 
helped to fit out the old Ambulance Corps, he was flung- 
into gaol, to associate with criminals of the lowest type. 
The work of the Corps was, besides that of carrying stretch- 


ers and marching on foit behind mounted infantry, 
through dense bush, sometimes thirty miles a day, in the 
midst of a savage enemy's country unarmed and unprotect- 
ed to perform the task of hospital assistants and to nurse 
the wounded natives, who had been callously shot down by 
the colonial troopers, or had been cruelly lashed by mili- 
tary command. Mr. Gandhi does not like to speak his 
mind about what he saw or learnt on this occasion. But 
many times he must have had searchings of conscience as 
to the propriety of his allying himself, even in that merci- 
ful capicity, with those capable of such acts of revolting 
and inexcusable brutality. However, it is well to know 
that nearly all his solicitude was exercised on behalf of 
aboriginal native patients, and one saw the Ddwan's son 
ministering to the needs and allaying the sufferings of 
some of the most undeveloped types of humanity, whose 
odour, habits and surroundings must have been extremely 
repugnant to a man of refined tastes — though Mr. Gandhi 
himself will not admit this. 


Scarcely had he returned to Johannesburg to resume 
practice (he had left his office to look after itself during 
his absence), than a thunderbolt was launched by the 
Transvaal Government by the promulgation of the Draft 
Asiatic Law Amendment Ordinance, whose terms 
are now familiar throughout the length and breadth 
of India. After years of plotting and scheming, 
the anti-Asiatics of the Transvaal, having first secured 
the willing services of an administrative depart- 
ment anxious to find an excuse for the continuance 
of its own existence, compelled the capitulation of the 
executive itself with the afore- mentioned result. Mr. 
Gandhi at once realised what was afoot, and understood, 
immediately that, unless the Indian community adopted a 
decided attitude of protest, which would be backed up, if 
necessary, by resolute action, the whole Indian population 
of South Africa was doomed, and he accordingly took 
counsel with the leading members of the community, who 
agreed that the measure must be fought to the bitter end. 

M. K. GANDHI 1 5 

Mr. Gandhi is chiefly responsible for the initiation of the 
t,policy of passive resistance that was so successfully carried 
-out by the Indians of South Africa during the next eight 
years, Since that day, Mr. Gandhi's history has been 
mainly that of the Passive Resistance struggle. All know 
how he took the oath not to submit to the Law on the 
11th September, 1906 ; how he went to England with a 
compatriot in the same year, and how their vigorous plead- 
ing induced Lord Elgin to suspend the operation of the 
objectionable piece of legislation : how, when the law 
<fiDally received the Boyal assent, he threw himself into the 
forefront of the fight, and, by speech, pen, and example, 
inspired the whole community to maintain an adaman- 
"tine front to the attack that was being made upon 
the very foundations of its religion, its national honour, 
its racial self-respect, its manhood, No one was, tfaeie- 
fore, surprised when, at the end ot 1907, Mr. Gandhi 
was arrester'!, together with a number of other leaders, 
and consigned to gaol ! or how, when he heard that some 
of his friends in Pretoria had been sentenced to six 
months' imprisonment with hard labour, the maximum 
penalty, he pleaded with the Magistrate to impose the 
.penalty upon him too, as he had been the acknowledged 
leader and inspirer of the opposition against this Law, To 
him it was a terrible shock that his followers were being 
more harshly treated than he himself, and it was with 
bowed head and deep humiliation that he Teft the court, 
sentenced to two months' simple imprisonment only. 
Happily, the Government realised the seriousness of the 
situation, and after three weeks' imprisonment of the 
leading passive resistors, General Smuts opened negotia- 
tions with them, and a compromise was effected between 
him and the Indian community, partly written, partly 
verbal, whereby voluntary registration, which had been re- 
ipeatedly offered, was accepted conditionally upon the Law 
being subsequently repealed. This promise of repeal was 
made personally to Mr, Gandhi by General Smuts in the 
^presence of official witnesses. When, shortly afterwards- 
.Mr. Gandhi was nearly killed by a few of bis more fanatil 

1 6 M. K. GANDHI 

cal countrymen (who thought he hadj betrayed them to- 
the Government) as he «Tas on his way to the Registration 
Office of carry oub his pledge to the Government, he^ 
issued a letter to the Indian community in which he defi- 
nitely declared that promise of repeal had been made.. 
General Smuts did not attempt to deny the fact and, 
indeed, did not do so until several months later. No 
one was, however, astonished to find Mr. Gandhi' 
charging General Smuts with breach of faith, and absolute- 
ly refusing to compromise himself or the community 
that he represented by accepting further legislation that 
would, in the end, have still further degraded the Indians 
of South Africa. Having convinced his colleagues that 
such acceptance on their part was impossible, the 
struggle recommenced. 

Twice more, during this period of passive resistance, 
was he sent to gaol, and then the Government sought to 
^educe his followers from their allegiance, by imprisoning 
them in hundreds and leaving him free. In 1909, whilst his 
friend and fellow- worker, Mr. Polak, was in India, on 
behalf of the South African Indian community, he and a 
colleague had gone to England to endeavour to arouse the 
public conscience there to the enormities that were being 
perpetrated in South Africa in the name of the British 
people. Whilst he failed in his main purpose to secure 
from General Smuts, through the mediation of the Imperial- 
Government, the removal of the racial bar in the Immigra- 
tion Law, he nevertheless sowed the seeds of the subsequent 
settlemept, for his suggestions were embodied, and their 
adoption was recommended by the Imperial Government 
in their despatch to Lord Gladstone, shortly after the 
creation of the Union of South Africa in the following, 

ME. GOKHALE's historic VISIT 

In 1911, the second "provisional settlement" wa* 
eflfected after the Union Government had, notwithstanding,, 
prolonged and sympathetic negotiations with Mr. Gandhi 
found themselves unable to discover a formula acceptable 
ahke to the Indian community, the Government them- 


selves and Parliament. Nor did the year 1912 show any 
better promise in the direction of a final settlement. 
Meanwhile, there occurred the historic visit to South 
Africa of India's great statesman-patriot, the Hon. Mr.. 
Gokhale, who, even then, was suffering from ill-health. 
Mr. Gandhi, who, for years had regai-ded him as his own 
political leader, had invited him to South Africa, not 
primarily for political reasons, but so that he might nurse 
his guru back to health. Circumstances combined, how- 
ever, to impose upon Mr. Gokhale a greater physical strain 
than had been anticipated, in spite of Mr. Gandhi's own 
devoted personal service. It was pathetic and beautiful to 
observe the way these two old friends refused to see any- 
thing but the best in each other, in spite of their funda- 
mental differences of temperament and often of outlook, 
To Gandhi, Gokhale was the gallant and selfless paladin, 
whom the whole of India looked up to as her noblest son, 
To Gokhale, Gandhi was the very embodiment of saintly 
self-abnegation, a man whose personal sufferings, splendid 
and chivalrous leadership and moral fervour, marked 
him out as one of the most outstanding figures of 
the day, the coming leader of his people, who had 
made the name of his adored Motherland, revered and 
honoured throughout the Empire and beyond, and who 
had proved beyond dispute the capacity of even his most 
insignificant countrymen to live and die for her. 


During his visit, Mr. Gokhale extracted a promise- 
(afterwards denied) from the principal Union Ministers, 
that they would introduce legislation -repealing the ,£3 tax. 
When therefore in 1913, Mr, Gandhi discovered that the 
Government were not going to fulfil their pledges of 1911,. 
and that they refused to repeal the .£3 tax, he denounced 
the " provisional settlement," and, in September, announced 
the revival of Passive Kesistance and its bodily extension 
to Natal, where he promptly organised and carried through 
the now historic strike. The events of this last phase of 
the struggle are still fresh in the public memory and 
therefore need no more than the barest recapitulation — the- 


<jampaign of the Indian women whose marriages had been 
dishonoured by a fresh decision of the Supreme Court at 
the instigation of the Government, tbe awakening of the 
free and indentured labourers all over Natal, the tremen- 
dous strikes, the wonderful and historic strikers' march of 
protest into the Transvaal, the horrible scenes enacted later 
in the effort to crush the strikers and compel them to 
resume work, the arrest and imprisonment of the 
principal leaders and of hundreds — many thousands 

qJ the rank and file, the enormous Indian mass 

meetings, held in Durban, Johannesburg, and other 
parts of the Union, the fierce and passionate indignation 
aroused in India, the large sums of money poured 
into South Africa from all parts of the Motherland, Lord 
Hardinge's famous speech at Madras, in which he placed 
himself at the head of Indian public opinion and his 
demand for a Commission of Inquiry, the energetic efforts 
•flf Lord Ampthill's Committee, the hurried intervention of 
the Imperial authorities, the appointment over the heads 
of the Indian community of a Commission whose personnel 
could not satisfy the Indians, the discharge from prison of 
the leaders whose advice to ignore the Commission was 
;almost universally accepted, the arrival of Messrs. Andrews 
and Pearson and their wonderful work of reconciliation, 
the deaths of Harbat Singh and Valliamma, the strained 
position relieved only by the interruption of the second 
European strike, when Mr, Gandhi, as on an earlier occa- 
sion, undertook not to hamper the Government whilst 
they had their hands full with the fresh difficulty and 
when it had been dealt with, the entirely new spirit of 
friendliness, trust, and co-operation that was found to 
have been created by the moderation of the great Indian 
leader and the loving influence spread around him by Mr. 
Andrews as he proceeded with his great Imperial mission, 

All these things are of recent history, as are the 
favourable recommendations of the Commission on 
practically every point referred to it and out of which 
Passive Resistance had arisen, the adoption of the Com- 
mission's Report in its entirety by the Government, the 

M. K. GANDHI 1 9 

introduction and pasBing into law of the Indians' 
Belief Act, after lengthy and remarkable debates 
in both Houses of the Legislature, the correspond- 
■ence between Mr. Gandhi and General Smuta^ 
in which the latter undertook, on behalf of the 
'Government, to carry through the administrative reforms 
that were not covered by the new Act, and the final letter 
of the Indian protagonist of Passive Kesistance — formally 
annouDcing the conclusion of the struggle and setting 
forth the points upon which Indians would sooner or later 
have to be satis'fied before they could acquire complete 
-equality of civil status — and the scenes of his departure 
fur his beloved Motherland, enacted throughout the 
«ountry, wherein the deaths and sufierings of the Indian 
•martyrs, Nagappan, Narayanasamy, Harbat Singh and 
Yalliammn, were justified and sanctified to the world. 


Faithful {o his instinct for service, Mr, Gandhi hurried 
to England, where he heard that Gokhale was critically ill, 
and arrived, on the outbreak of the Great War, to find 
that his friend was slowly recovering from the almost fatal 
attack that had overwhelmed him. Here, too, his sense of 
responsibility revealed itself. He recognised that it was 
India's duty, in the hour of the Empire's trial, to do all in 
jier power to belp,'and he at once set about the formation 
-of the Indian Yolunteep Ambulance Corps in London, 
-enrolling himself and his devoted wife, who had herself 
been barely snatched from the jaws of death but a few 
weeks earlier, amongst the members. But the years of 
strain, his neglect of his own physical well-being, and his 
addiction to long fasts as a means to spiritual purification, 
had undermined a never very robust constitution, and his 
condition became so serious that private and official 
friends insisted upon his proceeding immediately, with 
Mrs. Gandhi, to India. 


Since his arrival in his Motherland, at the beginning 
-of 1915, his movements have been much in the popular 
«ye. His progress through India, from the day of tha 

2p M. K. GANDHI 

public landing and welcome at the Apollo Bunder, was in 
the nature of a veritable triumph, marred only by the sud- 
den death of his beloved teachpr, Gopal Krishna Gokhale„ 
who had sacrificed health and life itself upon the altar of 
his country's welfare. 

The Government of India marked their appreciation 
of Mr. Gandhi's unique services by recommending him for 
the Kaiser- i- Hind gold medal, which was conferred upon 
him by the King Emperor amongst the 1915 New Year 
Honours. To Gokhale he had given a promise to make no 
public utterance on Indian affairs until at least a year had 
passed, and he had visited the principal centres of public- 
life in India. This promise, which was faithfully kept, was 
exacted, because Gokhale, hoping to see in him his own 
successor, had been somewhat disturbed^ by the very 
advanced views expressed by Mr. Gandhi in the proscribed 
pamphlet. Hind Swaraj, whose pages, we now know, 
were written to show the basic similarity of civilisation the- 
world over, the superiority of India for the particular 
Indian phase of that civilisation, and the stupidity of the 
barriers of luxury erected by the modern industrial civili- 
sation of the West, that constantly separate man from man 
and make him a senseless machine drudge, and that threat- 
en to invade that holy Motherland that stands in his eye& 
for the victory of spirit over matter, Ho had condemned 
some things of which he had 'disapproved, in Gokhale's 
opinion, somewhat hastily, and the older man hnd thought 
that, after an absence from India of so many years, during 
which he had perhaps idealised certain phases of Indian 
life, a year's travel and observation would be a useful 
corrective. Which of the two, if rfther, has correctly 
diagnosed the situation, time alone can show. 


Mr. Gandhi, however, made his headquarters at 
Ahmedabad, the capital of his own Province of Gujarat 
and here he founded his SatyagrahaBhram,* where he ifr 
endeavouring to train up from childhood public servants 
upon a basis of austerity of life and personal subordination 

* For a full account of the Ashram, see appendix. 

M. K. GANDHI 2t 

iio the common good, the members supporting themselves 
by work at the hand-loom or other manual labour, 


True to his promise to Gokfaale, Mr, Gandhi, 
on his return to India, started on an extensive tour 
through the country. Though his idea was merely to 
visit every place of importance and acquaint himself 
thoroughly with the conditions of the country and thus 
acquire first-hand knowledge of men and things, he had 
of course to speak wherever he went. He was given a warm 
and enthusiastic welcome at every station and the magnifi- 
cent demonstrations in his honour bore eloquent testi- 
mony to the great regard in which his countrymen have 
always held him. Mr. Gandhi accepted these marks of 
affection and respect with his accustomed grace, but 
spoke out his mind on every subject, as the occasion 
-demanded. One characteristic feature of these speeches is 
that Mr. Gandhi seldom repeats second-hand opinions and 
his views on every subject are, therefore, refreshingly 
•original. Undeterred by fear or any exaggerated sense of 
-conventional respectability he retains his independence, 
-indifferent to the applause or contumely of his listeners. 
Speaking at the Students' Hall, College Square, Calcutta, 
in March 1915, when the Hon. Mr. Lyon presided he 
said with reference to 

Whatever his perional views were, he must say that misguid- 
ed zeal that resorts to dacoities and assassinations cannot be 
productive of any good. These dacoities and assassinations 
are absolutely a foreign growth in India. They cannot take 
root here and cannot be a permanent institution here. 
History proves that assassinations have done no good. The 
religion of this country, the Hindu religion, is abstention 
from " himsa," that is taking animal life. That is, he believes 
the guiding principle of all religions. The Hindu religion 
says that even the evil-doer should not be hated. It says that 
nobody has any right to kill even the evil-doer. These assassina- 
tions are a western institution and the speaker warned his 
hearers against these western methods and western evils. 

At the Madras Law Dinner in April of the same year 
he observed in proposing (at the request of the P^esideub 


the Hon. Mr. Corbett, the Advocate- General) the toast? 
of the British Empire : — 

As a passive resister I discovered that a passive resister 
has to make good his claim to passive resistance, no matter- 
under what circumstances he finds himself, and I discovered 
that the British Empire had certain ideals with which I have 
fallen in love, and one of those ideals is that every subject of 
the British Empire has the freest scope possible for his energies 
and honour and whatever he thinks is due to his conscience. I 
think that this is true of the British Empire, as it is not true of 
any other Government. (Applause) I feel, as you here perhaps 
know, that I am no lover of any Government and I have more- 
than once said that that Government is best which governs least... 
And I have found that it is possible for me to be governed least 
under the British Empire. Hence my loyalty to the British 
Empire. {Loud applause). 


Addressing the students of Madras at the Y. M.C.A. 
when the Hon. Mr. (now the Rt. Hon.) V, S. Srinivasa 
Sastri presided, he pointed out : — 

I am and I have been a determined opponent of modern 
civilisation. I want you to turn your eyes to-day upon what is- 
going on in Europe and if you have come to the conclusion that 
Europe is to-day groaning under the heels of the modern civilisa- 
tion then you and your elders will have to think twice before- 
you can emulate that civilisation in our Motherland. But I 
have been told, " How can we help it, seeing that our rulers< 
bring that culture to our Motherland." Do not make any mis- 
t^e about it at all. I do not for one moment believe that it iS' 
f(^any rulers to bring that culture to you, unless you are pre- 
pared to accept it, and if it be that the rulers bring that culture 
before us, I think that we have forces within ourselves to enable- 
us to reject that culture without having to reject the rulers- 

He concluded : — 

I ally myself to the British Government, because I believe- 
that it is possible for me to claim equal partnership with every 
subject of the British Empire. I to-day claim that equat 
partnership. I do not belong to a subject race. I do not call 
myself a subject race. (Applause). But there is this thing : it 
is not for the British Governors to pive you, it is for you to take^ 
the thing. I want and I can take the thing. That I want only 
by discharging my obligations. Max MuUer has told us,— we 
need not go to Mai MuUer to interpret our own religion— but 
he says, our religion consists in four letters " D-u-t-y " and not 
in the five letters "E-i-g-h-t." And if you believe that all that. 

M. K. GANDHI 2$ 

we want can flow from a better discharge of our dutS", then 
think always of your duty and fighting along those lines' you 
will have no fear of any man, you will fear only God. 


In May Mr, Gandhi went to visit some cities jn th& 
south where he discoursed on social leform and the vexed 
question of untouchability which is somewhat rampant on 
the banks of the ICaveri and its environs. He spoke witb 
characteristic candour soniGwhat 1o the chagrin of the 

Later he was invited to Bangalore to unveil the- 
portrait of Mr. Gokhale, when he made a brief and highly 
suggestive speech: — 

. I saw in the recitation, — the beautiful recitation 
that was given to me, — that God ii with them whose- 
garment was dusty and tattered. My thoughts imme- 
diately went to the end of my garment; I examined 
and found that it is not dusty and it is not tattered ; it is fairly- 
spotless and clean. God is not in me. There are other condi- 
tions attached ; but in these conditions too I may fail ; and you, 
my dear countrymen, may also fail ; and if we do tend this- 
well, we should not dishonour the memory of one whose por- 
trait you have asked me to unveil this morning. I have declar- 
ed myself his disciple in the political field and I have him as" 
my Saja Guru : and this I claim on behalf of the Indian people. 
It was in 1896 that I made this declaration, and I do not regret 
having made the choice. 

Later in the year he presided over the anniversary 
function at the Gurukul and spoke in Hindi on the mean- 
ing of true Swadeshism, the doctrine of Ahimsa and other 
kindred topics, 


On Feb. 4, 1916, he attended the Hindu University- 
celebrations and delivered an address which unfortunately 
was intercepted. But the regrettable incident of which far 
too much was made, revealed the hold that he possesses 
upon the esteem and affection of his countrymen, for his- 
version of what transpired was generally accepted. Since- 
then Mr. Gandhi has been taking a prominent part in the 
building-up of the Indian nation along his own peculiar 
lines. For, he teaches both by precept and by example^ 

24 M. K. GANDHI 

But he goes his own way, untrammelled by precedent, 
carefully analysing the criticism to which he is naturally 
subjected, holding himself answerable, however, to his own 
conscience alone. For he is of the prophets, and not 
merely of the secondary interpreters of life. 

The same month he came to Madras and on the 10th 
spoke on Social Service to a large audience presided over 
by Mrs, Whitehead. On the 14th he spoke on Swadeshi 
before the Missionary Conference and a couple of days 
later gave a lucid account of his Satyagrahaahram to a 
large gathering of students in the precincts of the Young 
Men's Christian Association, Madras, the Hon. B,ev. G. 
'Pittendrigh of the Christian College presiding. He then 
went back to Ahmedabad to look after his Ashram, Late 
in the year on December 22, he made a remarkable speech 
on " Economic versus Moral Progress " at the Muir Central 
■College, Allahabad, Mr. Stanley Jevons presiding. The 
address contains some of his most mature and thoughtful 
reflections on life, and both in style and sentiment is one 
of the most characteristic of Mr. Gandhi's utterances, 


Then came the Champaran incident which has since 
become historic. In the Lucknow Congress of December 
1916, Mr. Gandhi, though pressed by some of the citizens 
of Behar, declined to talk about the grievances of the 
labourers in the Behar plantations without first-hand 
knowledge of the real state of afiairs. This he resolved to 
acquire soon after the Congress session : nnd in response 
■to an insistent public demand, to inquire into the 
conditions under which Indians work in the indigo 
plantations, Mr Gandhi was in Muzaffarpur on the 
15th April 1917," whence he took the mid-day train for 
Motihari, Next day he was served with a notice from the 
Champaran District Magistrate to quit the district " by 
the next available train " as his presence " will endanger 
the public peace and may lead to serious disturbance which 
may be accompanied by loss of life." But the local 
authorities in issuing this mandate counted without the 
host. For Mr. Gandhi, who had initiated the Passive 

M. K. GANDHI 2$ 

fleBista.nce Movement in South Africa, replied in a way 
that did not surprise those who had known him : — 

Out of a sense of public responsibility, I feel it to be my 
•duty to say that I am unable to leave this district, but if it so 
pleases the authorities, I shall submit to the order by suffering 
the penalty of disobedience. 

i most emphatically repudiate the Commissioner's sugges- 
tion that " my object is likely to be agitation." Hy desire is 
.purely and simply for " a genuine search for knowledge " and 
this I shall continue to satisfy so long as I am left free^ 

Mr. Gandhi appeared before the District Magistrate 
on the 18th, when he presented a statement. Finding that 

the case was likely to be uanecessarily prolonged he pleaded 

.guilty and the judgment was deferred pending instructions 
from higher authorities. The rest of the story is pretty 
familiar. The higher authorities subsequently issued 

'instructions not to proceed with the prosecution, 
while a commiiision of enquiry was at once instituted to 
enquire into the conditions of the Behar labourers with 
Mr, Gandhi as a member of that body. As usual, Mr. 

'Gandhi worked in perfect harmony with the other 
members and though with'the findings of his own private 
enquiry he could have raised a storm of indignant agita- 
tion against the scandals of the plantations, he refrained 

' from using his influence and knowledge for a merely vin- 
dictive and vainglorious cry, He worked quietly, with 
no thought of himself, but absorbed in the need for'reme- 
dial measures ; and when in December 1917 the Champaran 
Agrarian Bill was moved in the Behar Legislative Coun- 
cil, the Hon. Mr. Maude made a frank statement of the 
scandals which necessitated an enquiry by a Commission 
and acknowledged Mr. Gandhi's services in these hand- 
some terms : — 
It is constantly asserted, and I have myself often heard it 

:said, that there is in reality nothing wrong or rotten in the 
state of affairs ; that all concerned are perfectly happy so long 
as they are left alone, and that it is only when outside influences 
and agitators come in that any trouble is experienced. I 
submit that this contention is altogether untenable in the light 
of the history of the last fifty years. What is it we find on 
each individual occasion when fresh attention has been, at 

iremarkably short intervals, drawn oAce more to the conditions 

26 M. K. GANDHI 

of the production of the indigo plant ? We do not find on eacb 
occasion that some fresh little matter has gone wrong which 
can be easily adjusted, but we find on every occasion alike that 
it is the system itself, which is condemned as being inherently 
wrong and impossible, and we see also repeated time after time- 
the utter futility of brincing the matter to any lasting or satis- 
factory settlement by the only solutions that have so far been 
attempted, namely, an enhancement of the price paid for indigo 
and a reduction of the tenant's burden by reducing the limit of 
the proportion of his land which he would be required to earmark 
for indigo cultivation. Repeatedly those expedients have been- 
tried — repeatedly they have failed to effect a lasting solution, 
partly because they could not be universally enforced, but 
. chiefly because no thinking can set right a system which is in. 
itself inherently ratten and open to abuse. 

The planters of course could not endure this. They 
took occasion to indulge in the most rapid and UDbecoming: 
attacks on Mr, Gandhi, One Mr. Irwin earned an 
unenviable notoriety by writing all sorts of scurrilous- 
attacks touching personalities which have nothing to do- 
with the subject of enquiry. Columns of such stuff appear- 
ed in the pages of the Pioneer : but Mr. Gandhi with a. 
quiet humour replied in words wiich should have made the 
soul of Irwin penitent. Tbe controversy on Mr. Gandhi's 
dress and Mrs. Gandhi's stall-keeping reveals the character 
of the two men, Mr, Irwin, fussy, vindictive, violent, ill- 
tempered, writhing like a wounded snake in anger and 
^gotiy) and Mr. Gandhi secure in his righteousness,, 
modest, quiet, strong and friendly with no malice and 
untainted by evil passions. 


By this time Mr. Gandhi had made the Guzerab 
Sabha a well-equipped organisation for effective srcial 
service. "When in August 1917 it was announced that Mr. 
Montagu would be in India in connection with the scheme 
of Post-War Reforms the Guzerat Sabha under the direc- 
tion of Mr. Gandhi devised in November the admirable 
scheme of a monster petition in connection with the Con- 
gress League Scheme. The idea and the movement alike 
were opportune. Mr. Gandhi himself undertook the work 
in his province of Guzerat and carried it out with charac- 
teristic thoroughness. The suggestion was taken up by 

M. K. GANDHI 27' 

the GoDgress and the Home Rule League and the pUes of 
books containing the monster signatures were duly present- 
ed to Mr. Montagu at Delhi. 

Meanwhile Mr. Gandhi was not idle. On the 17th. 
September he presided over the Bombay Co-operative Con- 
ference. On Nov. 3, he delivered a remarkable address as- 
president of the Quzerat Political Conference and later, of 
the Guzerat Educational Conference. Then came the- 
Gongress week in Calcutta in December and be presided- 
over the First Session of the Social Service League when ' 
he made a striking speech. 

Mr. Gandhi has always travelled in the third class in 
all his journeyings and the grievances of the third-class - 
passengers are driven home in this address to the Social - 
Service League. But even before this he had already sent 
a letter to the press on the subject on the 25th September,^ 
1917, in which he gave a vivid and true account of the 
woes of the third-class paesengers, 


After his return from the Calcutta Congress of Dec 
1917, Mr. Gandhi was occupied in connection with the- 
famine in the Kaira district. The facts of the story can 
be easily told in Mr. Gandhi's own words uttered at a~ 
meeting in Bombay on Feb. 5, 1918, 

The responsibility for the notice issued by the Guzerat 
Sabha of Ahmedabad was his ; and nobody expected that the 
Government would misinterpret the objects of the notice. The 
Guzerat Sabha had sufBcient proof of the plight of the people- 
in the Eaira District and that the people were even obliged to 
sell their cattle to pay taxes, and the notice was issued to 
console those suffering from hardships. The Sabha's request 
was to suspend the collection of dues till negotiations were 
over. If the Commissioner of the Division had not been angry 
with the deputation and had talked to them politely, such 
crises would not have happened. He fully., expected that the- 
deputation which would wait on the Governor would be able- 
to explain the situation to His Excellency' and the people's- 
cause would succeed in the end. Pi»blic men had every right 
to advise tbe people of their rights. He trusted that those who 
had given the people the right advice would stand by them 
and would not hesitate to undergo hardships in order to secure^ 

28 M. K. GANDHI 

Ihe first and last principle of passive resistance is that 
we should not inflict hardships on others but put up with them 
ourselves in order to get justice, and the Government need not 
fear anything if we make up our mind as we are bent on 
getting sheer justice from it and nothing else.. We can have 
two weapons on occasions like this:— Revolt or passive resist- 
ance, and my request is for the second remedy always. In 
order to remove distress through which the Guzerat people 
are passing, it is my firm conviction that if we tell the truth to 
the Government, it will ultimately be convinced and if we are 
firm in our resolve, the Kaira District people shall suffer 
wrongs no more. 


In spite of all these activities in India, Mr. Gandhi 
has not forgotten the scene of his early labours. His 
South African friends and fellow- workers are always dear 
to him. In a communication to the Indian Opinion he 
wrote under date 15th December, 1917 : — 

When I left South Africa, I had fully intended to write to 
my Indian and English friends there from time to time, but I 
found my lot in India to be quite different from what I had 
expected it to be. I had hoped to be able to have comparative 
peace and leisure but I have been irresistibly drawn into many 
activities. I hardly cope with them and local daily corre- 
spondence. Half of my time is passed in the Indian trains. My 
South African friends will, I hope, forgive me for my apparent 
neglect of them. Let me assure them that not a day has pass- 
ed but I ha'^e thought of them and their kindness. South 
African associations can never be effaced from my memory. 

I note, too, that our people in South Africa are not yet free 
from difficulties about trade licences and leaving certificates. 
My Indian experience has confirmed the opinion that there is 
no remedy like passive resistance against such evils. The com- 
munity has to exhaust milder remedies but I hope that it will 
not allow the sword of passive resistance to get rusty. It is 
our duty whilst the terrible war lasts to be satisfied with peti- 
tions, etc., for the desired relief but. I think the Government 
should know that the community will not rest until the ques- 
tions above mentioned are sal;isfactorily solved. It is but right 
that I should alaft warn tlie community against dangers from 
within. I hear from those who return from South Africa that 
we are by no means free of those who are engaged in illicit 
traffic. We, who seek justice must bo above suspicion, and I 
hope that our leaders will not rest till they have urged the 
. community of internal defects. 

H. K. GANDHI 2^> 


Passive Resistance in some £orm or other bas always 
been Mri Gandhi's final panacea for all ailmeAts in 
the body politic. He has applied it with resolute 
courage, and has at least as often succeeded as he bas 
undoubtedly failed. But success or failure in the pursuit 
of a righteous cause is seldom the determining factor,, 
with men of Mr, Gandhi's moral stamina. When in March 
1918 the mill hands at Ahmedabad went on strike, Mr. 
Gandhi was requisitioned to settle the dispute between the 
millowners and the workmen. He was guiding the latter 
to a successful settlement of their wages when some of 
them betrayed a sense' of weakness and despair ; and 
demoralisation was apprehended. At a critical stage in 
the crisis Mr. Gandhi and Mis!) Anusuyabhai took the vow 
of fast. This extreme action on the part of Mr, Gandhi 
was disquieting to friends and provoked some bitter com- 
ments from the unfriendly. He, of course, would be the 
last person to resort to such a method of, forcing the mill- 
owners by appe^ing to their sense of pity, knowing that 
they were his friends and admirers. He explained the 
circumstances in a statement issued subsequently : — 

I am not sorry for the vow, but with the belief that I have, . 
I would have been unworthy of the truth undertaken by me if 
I had done anything less. Before I took the vow I knew that 
there were serious defects about it. For me to take such a 
vow in order to affect in any shape or form the decision of the 
millowners would be a cowardly injustice done to them, and 
that I would so prove myself unfit for the friendship which J 
had the privilege of enjoying with some of them. I knew that I 
ran the risk of being misunderstood. I could not prevent my fast 
from affecting my decision. That knowledge moreover put a 
responsibility on me which I was ill-able to bear. From now 
I disabled myself from gaining concessions for the men whioh- 
ordinarily in a struggle such as this I would be entirely justified 
in securing. I knew, too, that I would have to be satisfied with 
the minimum I could get from the millowners and with a fulfil- 
ment of the letter of the men's vow rather than its spirit and so 
hath it happened. I put the defects of my vow in one scale and 
the merits of it in the other. There are hardly any acts of human 
beings which are free from all taint. Mine, I know, was 
exceptionally tainted, but better the ignominy of having 
unworthily compromised by my vow the position and indepen- 



dence of the mill-owners than that it should be said by pos- 
terity that 10,000 men had suddenly broken the vow whioh they 
'had for over twenty days solemnly taken and repeated in the 
name of God. I am fully convinced that no body of men can 
make themselves into a nation or perform great tasks unless 
ithey become as true as steel and unless their promises come 
•to be regarded by the world like the law of the Medes and 
Persians, inflexible, and unbreakable, and whatever may be the 
verdict of friends, so far as I can think at present, on given 
occasions, I should not hesitate in future to repeat the humble 
performance which I have taken the liberty of describing in the 


Mr. Gandhi was one of those invited to attend the 
Delhi War Conference in April 1918. At first he refused 
to participate in the discussions on the ground that Mr. 
Tilak, Mrs. Besant and the Ali Brothers were not invited 
to the Conference. He however waived the objection at 
•the pressing invitation personally conveyed by H. B. the 
"Viceroy in an interview. At the Conference he spoke 
briefly, supporting the loyalty resolution. He explained 
his position more clearly in a communique issued by him 
soon after the Conference. He pointed out: — 

I recognise that in the hour of its danger we must give, as 
we have decided to give, ungrudging and unequivocal support 
to the Empire of which we aspire in the near future to be 
'partners in the same sense as the Dominions Overseas. But it 
js the simple truth that our response is due to the expectation 
that our goal will be reached all the more speedily. On that 
account even as performance of duty automatically confers a 
corresponding right, people are entitled to believe that the 
imminent reforms alluded to in your speech will embody the 
main general principles of the Congress- League scheme, and I 
am sure that it is this faith which has enabled many members 
of the Conference to tender to the Q-overnment their full-hearted 
co-operatioD. If I could make my countrymen retrace their 
steps, I would make them withdraw all the. Congress resolutions 
-and not whisper "Home Rule " or " Responsible Government" 
during the pendency of the War.p would make India offer all 
her able-bodied sons as a sacrificelo the Empire at its critical 
moment and I know that India, by this very act, would become 
the most favoured partner in the Empire and racial distinctions 
would become a thing of the past. But practically the whole 
of educated India has decided to take a less effective course, and 
it ii no longer possible to say that educated India does not 
-exercise any influence on the masses. 

M. K. GANDHI 31 

I feel sure that nothing less than a definite vision of Home 
^ule to be realised in the shortest possible time will satisfy the 
Indian people. I know that there are many in India who 
-consider no sacrifice is too great in order to achieve the end, 
and they are wakeful enough to realise that they must be 
equally prepared to sacrifice themselves for the Empire in which 
they hope and desire to reach their final status. It follows then 
that we can but accelerate our journey to the goal by silently 
and simply devoting ourselves heart and soul to the work of 
delivering the Empire from the threatening danger. It will be 
a national suicide not to recognise this elementary truth. We 
■must perceive that, if we serve to save the Empire, we have in 
that very act secured Home Rule. * 

Whilst, therefore, it is clear to me that we should give to 
the Empire every available man for its defence, I fear that I 
cannot say the same thing about the financial assistance! My 
intimate intercourse with the raiyats convinces me that India 
has already donated to the Imperial Exchequer beyond her 
capacity. X know that, in making this statement, I am voicing 
"the opinion of the majority of my countrymen. "7 

It is iateresting to note that even so early as this 
Mr. Gandhi foreshadowed his views on the Khilafat 
<}uestion of which we shall hear so much indeed in the 
subsequent pages. Mr. Gandhi wrote these words in a letter 
to the Viceroy : — 

V Lastly, I would like you to ask His Majesty's Ministers to 
give definite assurance about the Muhammadan States. I am 
sure you know that every Muhammadan is deeply interested in 
them. As a Hindu I cannot be indifferent to their cause. Their 
sorrows must be our sorrows. In the most scrupulous regard 
for the rights of these States and for the Muslim sentiment as to 
the places of worship and in your just and timely treatment of 
the Indian claim to Home Rule lie the safety of the Empire, t 
write this, because I love the English nation and I wish to 
evoke in every Indian the loyalty to Englishman, 


On June 10, 1918, Lord Willingdon, then Governor 
of Hombay, presiding over the Bombay War Conference, 
happened to make an unfortunate reference to Home 
!Rulers. Mr, lilak who was on the war-path resented what 
be deemed an unwarranted insult to Home Bulers and 
instantly launched on a downright political oration. His 
Excellency ruled him out of order and one by one the 
Home Bulers left the Conference, Mr. Gandhi was asked 

32 M. K. GANDHI 

to preeide over the protest meetiog in Bombay held oa 
the 16th June. He spoke as follows : — 

Lord Willingdon has presented them with the expression' 
Home Rule Leaguers distinguished from Home Eulers. I can- 
not conceive the existence of an Indian who is not a Home 
Ruler; but there are millions like myself who are not 
Home Rule Leaguers. Although I am not a member of any- 
Home Rule League I wish to pay on this auspicious day my 
humble tribute to numerous Home Rule Leaguers whose associa- 
tion I have ever sought in my work and which has been 
extended to me ungrudgingly. I have found* many of them to 
be capable of any sacrifice for the sake of the Motherland. 


Mr. Gandhi did a great deal to stimulate recruitiDg- 
for the war, Though he did not hesitate to criticise the 
.bureaucracy for individual acts of wrong, he went about 
In the Districts of Kaira calling for recruits. Time and 
again he wrote to the press urging the need for volunteers 
and he constantly spoke to the educated and the illiterate 
alike on the necessity for joining the Defence Force. 
On one occasion he said in Kaira where he had conducted 
Satyagraha on an extensive scale : — 

You have successfully demonstrated how you can 
resist Government with civility, and how you can re- 
tain your own respect without hurting theirs. I now 
place before you an opportunity of proving that you 
bear no hostility to Government in spite of your strenuous flght 
with them. 

You are all Home Rulers, some of you are members of 
Home Rule Leagues. One meaning of Home rule is that we 
should become partners of the Empire. To-day we are a subject 
people. We do not enjoy all the rights of Englishmen. We 
are not to-day partners of the Empire as are Canada, South 
Africa and Australia. We are a Dependency. We want the 
rights of Enelishmen, and we aspire to be as much partners of 
the Empire as the Dominions Overseas. We wish for the time 
when we may aspire to the Viceregal office. To bring such a 
state of things we should have the ability to defend ourselves, 
that is the ability to bear arms and to use them. As long as 
we have to look to Englishmen for our defence, as long as we 
are not free from the fear of the military, so long we cannot be 
regarded as equal partners with Englishmen. It, therefore, be- 
hoves us to learn the use of arms and to acquire the ability to 
defend ourselves. If we want to learn the use of arms With the 
greatest possible despatch, it is our duty to enlist ourselves in 
the Army. 

M. K. GANDHI 33. 

The easiest and the straightest way to win Swiwajya, 
sai4 Mr. Gandhi, is to participate in the defence of the 
Empire. This argument, doubtless, went home, and he- 
appealed in the following words : — 

There are 600 villages in the Kaira District. Every village- 
has on an average a population of over 1,000. If every village 
gave at least twenty men the Eaira District would be able to 
raise an army of 12,000 man. The population of the whole 
district is seven lakhs and this number will then work out at 17 
per cent. — a rate which is lower than the death-rate. If we are 
not prepared to make even this sacrifice for the Empire and 
Swarajya, it is no wonder if we are regarded as unworthy of it. 
If every village gives at least twenty men they will return from 
the war and be the living bulwarks of their village.- If- they 
fall on the battle-fleld, they will immortalise themselves, their 
villages and their country and twenty fresh men will follow 
suit and offer themselves for national defence. 


We have noticed how Mr. Gandhi took a leading part 
in the agitation for post-war reforms and how his idea of a 
monster petition was taken up by every political body of 
importance in the country. It must, however, be noted 
with regret that his enthusiasm for the reforms was nofe 
kept up as he was absolutely engrossed in other affairs. On 
the publication of the Joint Report in July 1918, Mr. 
Gandhi wrote to the Servant of India at the request of th& 
Hon. Mr, (now the Rt. Hon.) V. S. S. Sastri for an ex- 
pression of opinion : — 

No scheme of reform can possibly benefit India that does 
not recognise that the present administration ia top-heavy and 
ruinously expensive and for me even law, order and good 
government would be too dearly purchased if the price to be 
paid for it is to be the grinding poverty of the masses. The 
watchword of our Beform Councils will have to be not the 
increase of taxation for the growing needs of a growing country, 
but a decrease of financial burdens that are sapping the founda- 
tion itself of organic growth. If this fundamental fact is recog- 
nised there need be no suspicion of our motives and I think I 
am perfectly safe in asserting that in every other respect 
British interests will be as secure in Indian hands as they are in 
their own. 

It follows from what I have said above that we must respect- 
fully press for the Congress-League claim for the immediate- 
granting to Indians of 50 per cent.-^of the higher posts in the' 
Civil Service. 

34 . M. K. GANDHI 


But soon there began a muvement which was to tax 
"the utmost energies of Mr. Gandhi, a movement fraught 
with grave consequences. The Government of India per- 
sisted in passing a piece of legislation known as the 
Rowlatt Laws which were designed to curb still further 
what little liberty is yet poshessed by Indians in their own 
country. The legislation was presumed to be based on the 
Report of the Rowlatt Committee which announced the 
•discovery of plots for the subversion of Government, 
Friends of Government, solicitous of the peaceful and well- 
ordered condition of society, warned it of the danger of 
passing such acts which betrayed a tactless want of confi- 
dence and trust in the people at a time when Responsible 
•Government was contemplated. The bill was stoutly 
opposed by the public and the press. It was denounced 
by every political organisation worth the name. It was 
•severely and even vehemently attacked in the Imperial 
Council. Irrespective of parties, the whole country stood 
solid against a measure of such iniquity. The Hon. Mr. 
Sastri and Pundit Madan Mohan Malaviya, and in fact 
©very one of the non-official members condemned the bill 
as outrageous and forebode grave consequences if it should 
be passed. But Government was obstinate and the bill 
was passed in the teeth of all opposition. 

Mr. Gandhi who travelled all over the country and 
wrote and spoke with amazing energy was not to be easily 
silenced. Every other form of constitutional agitation 
having failed he resorted as usual to his patent — Satya- 
graba. On February 28, 1919, he published a momentous 
pledge which he asked his countrymen to sign and observe 
as a covenant binding on them, The pledge ran as 
follows : — 

" Beingconsoientiously of opinion that the Bills known as 
the Indian Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill No. 1 of 1919, and 
the Cnmmal Law (Emergency Powers) Bill No. 11 of 1919 are 
un]uat,8ubversive of the principle of liberty and justice, and de- 
structive of the elementary rights of individuals on which the 
safety of the community as a whole and the State Itself is 
based, we solemnly affirm that in the event of these Bills 

M. K. GANDHI 35 

tieooming law. and until they are withdrawn, we shall refuse 
•civilly to obey these laws and such other laws as a committee 
to be hereafter appointed may think fit and further affirm that 
in this struggle we will faithfully follow truth and refrain from 
•violence to life, person or property." 

He then started on an extensive tour through the 
country educating the learned and the unlearned, in 
the principles and practice of Satyagraha. At Bombay, 
Allahabad, Madras, Tanjore, Trichy, Tuticorin and 
Negapatam he addressed large gatherings in March. 
"Sunday the 6th April was appointed the Satyagraha Day 
when complete hartal was to be observed, prayers offered 
and the vo<v to be taken amidst great demonstra- 
'tions. Delhi observed the Satyagraha day on the 30th, and 
there ensued a scuffle between the people and the police. 
It was alleged against the Delhi paople at the B.ailway 

(1) that some of them were trying ^to coerce sweetmeat 
-sellers into closing their stalls ; (2) that some were forcibly 
preventing people from plying tramcars and other vehicles ; 
(3) that some of them threw brickbats; (4) that the whole 
crowd that marched to the Station demanded the release of 
men who were said to be coercers and who were for that 
reason arrested at the instance of the Railway authorities ; 
(5) -that the crowd declined to disperse when the Magistrate 
Kgave orders to disperse. 

Swami Shraddhananda (the well-known Mabatma 
Munshi Kam of the Gurukuln, who had taken the orders of 
-the Sannyasi) denied the first three allegations, Granting 
they were all true there was no need, argued 
Mr. Gandhi, for the interference of the military who were 
called on to fire on the unarmed mob. But the crowd 
was completely self-possessed and though there was some 
'loss of life, it spoke volumes in praise of the Delhi people 
that they conducted a meeting of 40,000 in perfect peace 
and order. But the Dalhi tragedy had burnt itself into 
the soul of Mr. Gmdhi and his friends. The incident he 
said, " imposed an added responsibility upon Satyagrahis 
of steeling their hearts and going on with their struggle 
-until the Rowlatt Legislation was withdrawn." The whole 
•country answered Mr. Gandhi's call in a way that was at> 

36 M. K. GANDHI 

once significant and impressive. Tens and hundreds of 
thousands gathered in different cities, and never withim 
living memory have such demonstrations been witnessed, 

In the meanwhile the Satyagraha Committees m 
diflFerent centies of India were actively carryirg or their 
propaganda. The Central Committee of which Mr, 
Gandhi was the president, advifed that for the time'being 
laws regarding prohibited literature and registration of 
newspapers might be civilly disobeyed. Accordingly on the 
7th April Mr. Gandhi issued a notice to organise, regulate^ 
and control the sale of these publications. A leaflet called 
Stttyagrahi was at once brought out as also some early 
writing of Mr. Gandhi's which was pronounced to be 
seditious. The first print stated among other things : 

"The editor is liable at any moment to be arrested, and it 
is impossible to ensure the continuity of publication until India 
is in a happy position of supplying editors enough to take the 
place of those who are arrested. It is not oui intention to break 
for all time the laws governing the publication of newspapers. 
This paper will, therefore, exist so long only as the Rowlatt 
Legislation is [not withdrawn." 

Meanwhile as contemplated by Mr. Gandhi he wa« 
arrested at Kosi on his way to Delhi on the morning of the 
10th April and served with an order not to enter the 
Punjab and the District of Delhi, The oflBcer serving the 
order treated him most politely, assuring him that it would be 
his most painful duty to arrest him, if he elected to disobey,, 
but that there would be no ill-will between them. Mr, 
Gandhi smilingly said that he must elect to disobey as it 
was his duty, and that the officer ought also to do what was 
his duty. Mr. Gandhi then dictated a message to Mr. 
Desai, his secretary, laying special emphasis in his oral 
message that none should resent his arrest or do anything 
tainted with untruth or violence which was sure to harm 
the sacred cause. 

Mr. Gandhi arrived in Bombay on the afternoon of 

the 11th April, having been prevented from entering the 

Provinces of the Punjab and Delhi. An order was soon 

after served on him requiring him to confine his activities 

; within the limits of the Bombay Presidency. Having heacd 

M. K. GANDHI 37 

oi the riots and the consequent bloodshed in different 
places he caused the following message to be read at all the 
meetings that evening : — 

I have not been able to uaderstand the cause of so much 
-excitement and disturbance that followed my detention. It is 
xiot Satyagraha. It is worse than Duragraha. Those who 
join Satyagraha demonstrations are bound one and all tp 
refrain at all hazard from violence, not to throw stones or in 
any way whatever to injure anybody. 

I therefore suggest that if we cannot conduct this move- 
ment without the slightest violence, from our side, the move- 
ment might have to be abandoned or it may be necessary to 
give it a different and still more restricted shape. It may be 
necessary to go even further. The time may come for me to 
offer Satyagraha against ourselves. I would not deem it a 
disgrace that we die. I shall be pained to hear of the death 
of a Satyagrahi, but I shall consider it to be the proper 
sacrifice given for the sake of the struggle. 

I do not see what penance I can offer excepting that it is 
for me to fast and if need be by so doing to give up this body 
and thus prove the truth of Satyagraha.. I appeal to you to 
peacefully disperse and to refrain from acts that may in any 
way bring disgrace upon the people of Bombay. 

But the Duragraha of the few upset the calculations 
of Mr, Gandhi, as he had so constantly been warned by 
many of his friends and admirers who could not however 
subscribe to his faith in civil disobedience. The story of 
the tragedy needs no repeating. It is written on the 
tablet of time with bitter memories, and the embers <rf 
that controversy have not yet subsided. But Mr, 
Oandhi, with a delicacy of conscience and a fine apprecia- 
tion of truth, which we have learnt to associate with his 
name as with that of Newman, felt for the wrongs done to 
Englishmen with the same passionate intensity with which 
:he felt for those infiicbed on his own countrymen. Few 
•words of remorse in recorded literature are more touching 
than those uttered by Mr. Gandhi in his speech at A.hme- 
dabad on the 14th April 1919, They are in the supreme 
manner of Cardinal Newman's Apologia : 

Brothers, the' events that have happened in the course of 
the last few days have been most disgraceful to Ahmedabad, 
and as all these things have happened in my name, I am ashala- 
«d of them, and those who have been responsible for them 
have thereby not honoured me but disgraced me. A rapier run 

38 M. K. GAND-Hl 

through my body could hard)y have pained me more. I have- 
said times without number that Satyagraha admits of no vio- 
lence, no pillage, no incendiarism ; and still in the name of 
Satyagraha we burnt downbuildings,.forcibly captured weapons, 
extorted money, stopped trains, cut off telegraph wires, killed 
innocent people and plundered shops and private houses. If 
deeds such as these could save me from the prison house or the- 
■caffold I should not like to be so saved. 

' It is open to anybody to say that but for the Satyaeraha 
campaign there would not have been this violence. For this I 
have already done a penance, to my mind an unendurable one, 
namely, that I have had -to postpone my visit to Delhi to i^eek 
re-arrest and I have also been obliged to suggest a temporary 
restriction of Satyagraha to a limited field. This has been more 
painful to me than a wound, but this penance is not enough,, 
and I have therefore decided to fast for three days, i. e., 72 
hours. I hope my fast will pain no one. I believe a seventy.two 
hours ■ fast is easier for me than a twenty-four hours' fast for 
you. And I have imposed on me a discipline which I can bear. 
In consequence of the violence, he ordered a general 
suspension of the movement on the 18th April only to be 
resumed on another occasion which was soon to follow in 
the heels of the Punjab tragedy. 


Before passing to a consideration of the Khilafat 
question and Mr. Gandhi's lead which made it such a potent 
and All-Jndia agitation we must say a word on the after- 
math of the Punjab tragedy. It is unnecessary to recount 
the extraordinary happenings in the Punjab as time and 
vigilant CLquiries have laid bare the unscrupulous method^ 
of that Government. For over a year, the tale of the Punjab 
atrocities, the shooting down of a defenceless and unarmed 
gathering of some 2,000 men, women and children in cold 
blood at the Jallianwallah Bagh, the monstrous metbods^ 
of martial law administered by Col. Johnson and Bosworth 
Smith, the outrageous indignities to which the poor people 
of the place were subjected, the callous disregard of life 
and respect with which Sir Michael O'Dwyer and Briga- 
dier Dyer were inflicting some of the worst features of 
Prussianism on a helpless people— the crawling order and' 
the public flogging— these have been the theme of countless 
articles and speeches. The Punjab revelations have shock- 
ed the conscience of the civilized world which coul* 

M. K, GANDHI 39- 

scarcely believe that such frightful acts of brutality could 
be possible in the British Government till the Hunter 
Oommission confirmed their worst apprehensions. 

But it was long before the Government could 
be forced to appoint a Commission of Inquiry. And at- 
last only a Committee was appointed while all India was- 
anxious for a Boyal Commission. It was therefore decid- 
ed to proceed with an independent enquiry. Mr. Gandhi 
headed the Congress Sub Committee and carried out a 
most searching and thorough investigation. It was a pity 
he could not lead the Congress evidence before the Hunter 
Committee, owing to certain differences between the two- 
Committees in regard to the freedom of certain witnesses 
then under confinement. Suffice it to say that the Congress- 
Committee decided not to give evidence, or in any way 
participate with the Hunter Committee. 

But under the able and indefatigable guidance of Mr. 
Gandhi the Congress Committee collected a great mass of 
material for judging the Punjab disorders. They examin- 
ed over 1,700 witnesses and recorded the evidence of na 
less than 650. Mr. Gandhi's participation in the Committee 
was itself a guarantee to its merit as an authoritative and 
responsible body. In fact no name could carry more 
weight than Mr. Gandhi's in the matter of veracity in such 
an undertaking — an undertaking likely to prejudice and 
warp the judgment of many. When in April 1920 the- 
Report was published it was hailed everywhere as an 
unanswerable document — the result of patient industry 
and dispassionate judgment on a most brutal and savage 
episode in contemporary history. 

Soon after, the Hunter Report which was for many 
months in the hands of the Cabinet, was also issued,, 
accompanied by a despatch by the Secretary of State. 
The Report recorded indeed many of the facts published 
already in the Congress Report, laid stress on the evils of 
Satyagraha, condoned the bloody exploits of Gen. Dyer 
as " an error of judgment " (a diplomatic euphemism for 
the slaughter of the innocents) and vindicated the states- 
manship- of Sir Michael O'Dwyer ! The force of perversion. 

40 M. K. GANDHI 

could no further go ! Mr. Montagu, however, passionately 
denounced Gen. Dyer's savagery as inconsistent with the 
principles of British Government but curiously enough 
paid a tribute to Sir Michael's sagacity and firmness and 
the Viceroy's policy of masterly inactivity ! This was bad 
enough from the Indian point of view. But there sprang 
up a wild scream from the Anglo Indian Press, and Mem- 
Sahebs in search of sensation and notoriety discovered in 
Gen. Dyer the saviour of British India. The Pioneer and 
-other prints followed the lead of the London Morning 
Fast and appealed for funds towards a memorial to this 
gallant soldier who shot men like rabbits, while a section of 
the Indian Press urged that " Chelmsford must go." Then 
followed the debate in the House of Commons which was 
looked forward to with some excitement. The House ulti- 
mately retained its honour in the debate and though Mr. 
Montagu, Mr. Asquith and Mr. Churchill spoke with a pro- 
found sense of justice and carried the day, there was no 
doubt of the mentality of the average Englisbmen. But it 
was left to the House of Peers to betray the utter demoralisa- 
tion that had set in. Lord Finlay's motion condoning Gen, 
Dyer was passed ha spite of the masterly speeches of Lord 
Curzon and Lord Sinha. Though the noble Lords' 
action could have no constitutional value it was yet 
an index: to the depth of English ignorance and preju- 
dice. Above all, some officers who had misbehaved 
in the late tragedy still continued to exercise authority 
in the Punjab, and Mr. Lajpat Rai started a propaganda to 
boycott the New Councils so long as they were not dispens- 
ed with. Mr. Gandhi who had already made up his mind 
to offer Satyagraha in varying forms in connection with 
the Khilafat question readily joined the Lala and issued 
the following note in July 1920 : — 

Needless to say I am in entire accord with Lala Lajpat 
Rai on the question of a boycott of the Reformed Councils. For 
me it is but one step in the campaign of Non-Co-operation, as 
I feel equally keenly on the Punjab question as on the Khilafat. 
Lala Lajpat Rai's suggestion is doubly welcome, I have seen 
a suggestion made in more quarters than one that Non-Co- 
operation with the Reforms should commence after the process 
of election has been gone through. I cannot help saying that 


it is a mistake to go through the election farce and the expense 
-of it, when we clearly do not intend to take part in the proceed- 
ings of these Legislative Councils. Moreover, a great deal of 
educ5tive work has to be done among the people, and if I could 
I would not have.the best attention of the country frittered 
away in electioneering. The populace will not understand the 
'beauty of Non-Co-operation, if we seek election and( 
then resign ; but it would be a fine education for them if 
electors are taught not to elect anybody and unanimously to 
tell whosoever may be seeking their suffrage that he would 
■not represent them if he sought election so long as the Punjab 
and Ehilafat questions were not satisfactorily settled. I hope, 
however, that Lala Lajpat Rai does not mean to end with the 
boycott of the Reformed Councils. We must take, if necessary, 
every one of the four stages of Non-Co-operation if we are to 
be regarded as a self-respecting nation. The issue is clear. 
Both the Khilafat terms and the Punjab affairs show that 
Indian opinion counts for little in the Councils of the Empire. 
It is a humiliating position. We shall make nothing of the Re- 
forms if we quietly swallow the humiliation. In my humble 
opinion, therefore, the first condition of real progress is the re^ 
moval of these two difficulties in our path, and unless som4 
ietter course of action is devised, Non-Co-operation must hold 
the field. 

The Khilafat Question 
We have referred more than once to Mr. Gandhi's 
connection with the Khilafat question. The country was 
in the throes of a tremendous agitation — an agitation 
which gained enormously in ' its intensity and popular 
appeal by the mere fact of Mr. Gandhi's participation in it. 
It would take us far afield to discuss the whole question of 
the history of the Khilafat movement. Briefly put, it 
resolves itself into two primary factors. The first was the 
Premier's pledge and promise, that after the war nothing 
would be done to disturb the integrity of the Ottoman 
Jlmpire both as a concession to Muslim loyalty and in 
accordance with the principles of self-determination. The 
second was that the violation of imperial obligation was 
thoroughly immoral and should at all costs be resisted by 
•all self-respecting Mabomedans. In this gigantic enter- 
prise Hindus must help Mabomedans and join hands 
'with them as a token of neighbourly regard. This at any 
rate was the interpretation put upon the Khilafat question 
hy Mr. Gandhi, Mr. Gandhi would not stoop to consider 

42 M. K. GANDHI 

that the Governrcent of India could possibly have no voic&- 
in the determination of an international negotiation. He 
knew that the Governiuent of India had represented the 
Indian feeling with some warmth and tjaat Mr. Montagu 
and Lord Sinha had done their best to voice the claims of 
India at the Peace Table. But he hfld that the Government 
of India had not done all in their powjr and when the 
terms of Treaty with Turkey were published with a lengthy 
note from the GoverniLent of Jndia to soothe the injured 
sentiment of the Muslim peoph , Mr Gandhi wrote a re- 
markably frank letter to H. E Lord Ohtlmsford, the 
Viceroy, on June 14, 1920, io which he pointed out: — 

The Peace terms and Your Excellency's defence of them 
have given the Mussulmans of India a shock from which it will ' 
be difficult for them to recover. The terms violate Ministerial', 
pledges and utterly dlBiegard the Mussulman sentiment. I 
consider that as a staunch Hindu, wishing to live on terms of 
the closest friendship with my Mussulman countrymen I should 
be an unworthy son of India if I did not stand by them in their 
hour of trial. In my humble opinion their cause is just. They 
claim that Turkey must not be punished if their sentiment is to - 
be respected. Muslim soldiers did not fight to inflict punish* 
ment on their own Ehalifa or to deprive him of his territories. 
The Mussulman attitude has been consistent throughout these 
five years. My duty to the Empire to which I owe my loyalty, 
requires me to resist the cruel violence that had been done to- 
Mussulman sentiment. So far as I am aware the Mussulmans 
and Hindus have as a whole lost faith in British justice and 

The report of the majority of the Hunter Committee, Your 
Excellency's despatch thereon, and Mr. Montagu's reply have 
only aggravated the distrust. In these circumstances the only 
course open to one like me is either in despair to sever all con- 
nection with British Eu e or if I still retained the faith in the 
inherent superiority of the British Constitution to all others at 
present in vogue, to adopt such means as will rectify the wrong 
done and thus restore that confidence. 

Non-Co-operation was tl3e only dignified and constitutional • 
form of such direct action. For it is a right recognised from 
times immemorial of the subjects to refuse to assist the ruler ■ 
who misrules. At the same time I admit Non-Co-operation 
practised by the mass ot people is attended with grave risks. 
But in a crisis such as has overtaken the Mussulmans of India, 
no step that is unattended with large risks can possibly bring 
about the desired change. Not to run some risks will be to 
count much greater risks if not the virtual destruction of law - 

M. K. GANDHI 43: 

and order ; but there ia yet an escape from Non-Co-operation. 
The Mussulman representation has requested Your Excellency 
to lead the agitation yourself as did your distinguished prede- 
cessor at the time of the South African trouble, but if yott 
cannot see your way to do so and Non-Co-operation becomes 
the dire necessity, I hope Your Excellency will give those whO' 
have accepted my advice and myself credit for being actuated' 
by nothing less than a stern sense of duty. 

The Non Co-opekation Pbogbamme 

And what was the Non-Co-operation programme that 
Mr, Gandhi had worked out for the adoption of the country 
for rectifying the wrongs done to Muslim sentiment ? He 
enunciated the four stages in the programme of Non -Co- 
operation in clear and unambiguous terms. 

The first was the giving up of titles and honorary- 
offices ; the second was the refusal to serve Government in 
paid appointments or to participate in any manner in the- 
working of the existing machinery of civil and judicial 
administration. The third was to decline to pay taxes and' 
the last was to ask the police and the military to withdraw 
■co-operation from the Government. From the first Mr. 
Gandhi realised the full scope of the movement and he had 
no doubt of its far-reaching efiects. It cannot therefore 
be said that he started the movement in a fit of indigna- 
tion. Far from it he had worked out his programme to 
the farthest limits of its logic and had a clear grasp of all 
its implications. From time to time he set right many a 
misconception in the mind of the non- co-operationists, such 
for instance, in regard to the position of the non co- 
operationist Vakil. There is no ambiguity in what Mr. 
Gandhi said. The Vakil should quietly wash his hands oflT 
the court, cases and all, Mr. Gandhi took care to explain 
that no stage would be taken until'he had made suie that 
he was on firm ground. That is, he would not embark on 
the last two stages till he bad created an indigenous 
panchayat to dispense justice and an organization of 
volunteers to maintain peace and order. In any case, 
violence should be completely avoided. 

Now it must be admitted that many people had only 
a vague and hazy notion of Mr. Gandhi's programme^ 
There were of course those who plainly told Mr. Gandhi of 

44 M. K. GANDHI 

the impracticability of his scheme and the dangers involved 
in it. Many Liberal League organisations implored Mr. 
Gandhi not to lead the country to a repetition of the 
Punjab tragedy. Moderate leaders like Sir Narayan Chan- 
davarkar argued the futility of methods leading to 
anarchy and chaos. But the most amusing, even 
at such serious times, was the attitude of some 
Congressmen. These were variously divided. All hailed 
Non- Co- operation in theory. But when the time 
came for practising it, they flooded the country with a 
mass of literature of the most tortuous kind ; casuistry was 
dealt in abundance. Aspirants after Council honours 
refused to commit what they called "political suicide" by 
"boycotting the New Councils". Others affected to believe 
in the possibilities of further efforts of constitutional agita- 
tion. Still others detected illegalities in some stages of 
Non- Co-operation. And yet some would not commit 
themselves but await the verdict of the Special Congress, 
_A minority would contest at the elections only to resign 
again and yet some others would join the New Councils 
just to wreck the Reforms ! What a cloud of words and 
mystification of meaning ! To all this warfare of words 
Mr. Gandhi's own direct and simple statements are in 
refreshing contrast. He spoke and wrote strongly on the 
subject. There could be no doubt of bis intentions or his 
iplans. There was no ambiguity in bis language. His 
words went straight as a bullet and he had a wholesome 
scorn of diplomatic reserves in opinion. Whatever one 
■may think of his views Mr. Gandhi's leadership was 
faultless and he held his ground with the fervour of faith. 
In no case would he play to the gallery nor make light 
of his cherished convictions even if he found the whole 
mass of the people ranged against him. He would not be 
led away by the passing gusts of popular frenzy 'and he 
has a wholesome contempt for sycophancy of any kind, 
even to the people. He has a noble way of bearing the 
brunt of all toil and trouble. He would not like many 
■other "leaders" throw the followers into the fray while 
they continue to remain in comparative security. He 

M. K. GANDHI 45, 

has ail inconvenient way of urging the leaders really to 
lead. Accordingly on tbe 1st of August, as he had already 
announced he led the movement by returning his Kaiser-i- 
hind gold medal to the Viceroy. , In returning it he wrote 
a letter to His Excellency from which we must quote the 
following sentences : — 

" Events that have happened during the past month have 
confirmed me in the opinion that the Imperial Government 
have acted in the Khilafat matter in an unscrupulous, immoral, 
and uo just manner and have been moving from wrong to wrong 
in order to defend their immorality. I can retain neither 
reap ect nor affection for such a Government. 

Your Excellency's light-hearted treatment of ofBcial crime, 
your exoneration of Sir Miohsel O'Dwyer, Mr. Montagu's des- 
patch, and above all the shameful ignorance of the Punjab 
events and callous disregard of the feelings of Indians betrayed 
by the House of Lords have filled me with the gravest misgiv- 
ings regarding the future of the Empire, have estranged me com- 
pletely from the present Government and have disabled me 
from rendering as I have hitherto — whole-heartedly tendered, 
my loyal co-operation. 

" In my humble opinion the ordinary method of agitating 
by way of petitions, deputations, and the liJ^e is no remedy for 
moving to repentance a Government so hopelessly indifferent 
to the welfare of its charge as the Government of India has 
proved to be. In European countries condonation of such 
grievous wrongs as the Khilafat and the Punjab would have 
resulted in a bloody revolution by the people. They would have 
resisted, at all costs, national emasculation. Half of India 
is too weak to offer violent resistance, and tbe other half is un- 
willing to do so. I have therefore, ventured to suggest the 
remedy of Non-Co-operation, which enables those who wish to 
dissociate themselves from Government, and which, if it is 
unattended by violence and undertaken in ordered manner, 
must compel it to retrace its steps and undo the wrongs com- 
mitted ; but whilst I pursue the policy of Non-Co-operation, in- 
so far as I can carry the people with me, I shall not lose hope 
that you will yet see your way to do justice, I therefore re- 
spectfully ask Your Excellency to summon a conference of 
recognised leaders of the people, and, in consultation with 
them, to find a way that will gladden Mussulmans and do re- 
paration to the unhappy Punjab." 

Soon after, Mr. Gandhi started on an extensive cam- 
paign preaching Non- Op- operation to large audiences. 
In August he came to Madras where he delivered a power- 

46 M. K. GANDHI 

ful speech advocating his scheme. Mr. Gandhi went to 
Tanjore, Trichy, Bangalore and other places and discourBsd 
on the same subject with his accustomed energy, while his 
weekly Towng India was replete with regular contributions 
from his indefatigable pen. Week after week Young India 
came out with a series of articles from Mr. Gandhi's pen 
answering objections and formulating methods of Non-Co- 


Mr. Gandhi's immediate objective was to convert the 
Special Congress to his creed. For as we have said though 
many had jubilantly proclaimed their faith in his pro- 
gramme, it was found that as time drew near for putting 
his plans into practice they were busy finding loopholes to 
escape the rigours of Mr. Gandhi's discipline. Everybody 
would throw everybody else into the struggle. A body of 
men who had sworn by Mr. Gandhi and denounced 
those yiho had the courage to differ from him were suddenly 
faced with an awkward dilemma. They felt the inconveni- 
ence of suffering and sacrifice and would fain be relieved of 
their unwitting words of bravado. But Mr. Gandhi would 
stand four square to all the winds that blow. Nor could 
they with any grace secede from the Congress, having so 
violently denounced as treason the Moderates' disregard of 
the Delhi and Amritsar Besolutions. There was to their 
mind only one course left open, i. e., to thwart Mr. Gandhi's 
resolution in the open Congress. But Mr. Gandhi had 
prepared the ground with characteristic thoroughness. 
Khilafat specials from Bombay and Madras had flooded 
the Congress with delegates sworn to vote for him. There 
was a tough fight in the Subjects Committee which sat for 
eight long hours without coming to any apparent decision. 
Over forty amendments were brought in by different mem- 
bers, twelve of them were ruled out as mere verbal repeti- 
tions and there remained no less than 28 amendments to 
consider. The speeches in the Subjects Committee were 
remarkably frank. Messrs. Malaviya, Das, Pal, Jinnab, 
Baptista, all attacked the original resolution with warmth 
while Mrs, Besant vigorously assailed the very principle of 

M. K. GANDai 47 

INon-Oo-operation. The debate was most exciting. The 
President, Mr, Lajpat Bai himself, spoke strongly against 
-certain important provisions of the Besolutiou. He would 
not agree to the withdrawal of boys from schools nor could 
he think it at all possible to call upon lawyers to leave 
their practice. He was personally in favour of the 
■principle of Ifon-Go-operation but he doubted the wisdom 
of committing the Congress to those extravagant and far- 
reaching items in Mr. Gandhi's programme. 

BoTccoTT OF Councils 

But by far the most contentious item in the Resolu- 
tion was that relating to the boycott of councils. The bulk 
of the nationalists were strangely enough opposed to it and 
by a curious stretch of logic they considered obstruction in 
-the council as preferable to wholesale boycott. 

Mr. C. R. Das, who was in charge of the main resolu- 
tion on behalf of the Reception Committee, agreed to Mr. 
iBspin Chandra Pal's amendment of his resolution, but if it 
was defeated,, he would stand by his own. Mr. Pal's 
amendment was put to the vote and was lost, 155 voting for 
and 161 against. Then another vote was taken on Mr. 
Das's resolution and Mr. Gandhi's resolution as amended by 
Pundit Motial Nehru and as accepted by Mr. Gandhi him- 
self. It is said that in the final voting a poll was taken 
133 voting for Mr. Dis's resolution and 148 for Mr, 
•Gandhi's, thus giving a majority to Mr. Gandhi of 15 
votes and thus showing that the voting was very close. It 
is clear that the Subjects Committee consisted of 296 
members present and that 15 of w.hom remained neutral. 
The greatest excitement prevailed both inside the Com- 
mittee room and outside when it was known that Mr. 
■Gandhi won the day. Nearly two thousand people collected 
outside and shouted " Gandhi Mahatma Kee Jai " and 
*' Bande Mataram." 


That gives the clue to the mentality of the Congress. 
If Mr. Gandhi could win in the Subjects Committee itself 
there was no doubt of his triumph in the open Congress. 
'Still Mr, Das proposed to bring his amendments to the 

48 M. K, GANDHI 

open Congress and take the verdict. That verdict was a, 
foregone conclusion. The Nationalists complained (what 
an irony of things !) that the Khilafats had packed the 
bouse and macosuvred a majority. There is no doubt that 
each party strove for victory. When the Congress met the- 
next day, Sir Asutosh Choudhuri moved for adjournment 
of the question in the right legal way. Mr. V, P. Madhava 
Kao seconded it but the motion was lost by an overwhelm- 
ing majority. 

Mr, Gandhi then rose to move his resolution amidst 
thunderous applause. The Resolution ran as follows : — 

This Congress is of opinion that there can be no content- 
ment in India without redress of the two aforementionerl wrongs 
and that the only effectual means to vindicate national honour 
and to prevent a repetition of similar wrongs in future is the 
establishment of Swarajya. This Congress is further of opinion 
that there is no course left open for the people of India but to 
approve of and adopt the policy of progressive non-violent Non-, 
Co-operation until the said wrongs are righted and Swarajya is. 

And inasmuch as a beginning should be made by the classes 
who have hitherto moulded and represented public opinion and 
inasmuch as Government consolidates its power through titles 
and honours bestowed on the people, through schools controlled 
by it, its law courts and its legislative councils, and inasmuch 
as it is desirable in the prosecution of the movement to take the 
minimum risk and to call for the least sacrifice compatible with 
the attainment of the desired object, this Congress earnestly 
advises : 

(o) surrender of titles and honorary ofiSces and resignation 
from nominated seats in local bodies ; 

(6) refusal to attend Government levees, durbars, and other 
of&ciai and semi-official functions held by Government officials 
or in their honour ; 

(c) gradual withdrawal of children from schools and 
colleges owned, aided or controlled by Government and in place 
of such schools and colleges establishment of national schools 
and colleges in the various provinces ; 

{d) gradual boycott of British courts by lawyers and liti- 
gants and establishment of private arbitration courts by their 
aid for the settlement of private disputes ; 

(e) refusal on the part of the military, clerical and 
labouring classes to offer themselves as recruits for service in 
Mesopotamia ; 

(f) withdrawal by candidates of their candidature for elec- 
tion to the Beformed Councils and refusal on the part of the 

M. K. GANDHI 49 

voters to vote for any candidate who may despite the CongTes» 
advice offer himself for election. 

(g) And inasmuch as Non-Co-operation has been conceived 
as a measure of discipline and self-sacrifice without which no 
nation can make real progress, and inasmuch, as an opportunity 
should be given in the very jBrst stage of iN'on-CO'Operation to 
every man, woman, and child, for such discipline and self-sacri- 
fice, this Congress advises adoption of Swadeshi in piecegoods 
on a vast scale, and inasmuch as the existing mills of India with 
indigenous capital and control do not manufacture sufficient 
yarn and sufficient cloth for the requirements of the nation, and 
are not likely to do so for a long time to come, this Congress 
advises immediate stimulation of further manufacture on a 
large scale by means of reviving hand-spinning in every home 
and hand-weaving on the part of the millions of weavers who 
have abandoned their ancient and honourable calling for want 
of encouragement. 

In moving the resolution, Mr. Gandhi spoke with 
compelling fervour. " I stand before you, in fear of God," 
he said, " and with a sense of duty towards my country to 
commend this resolution to your hearty acceptance." Mr. 
Gandhi said that the only weapon in their hands was Non- 
Co-operation, and non-violence should be their creed. Dr» 
Kitchlew seconded the resolution in Urdu. 

Mr. Pal then placed his amendment which proposed a 
mission to England to present our demands and meanwhile 
to establish national schools, formulate arbitration courts 
and not to boycott the councils. 

Mr. Das in supporting the amendment made an 
appeal to Mr. Gandhi to consider the practical effect of his 
victory. Mrs. Besant opposed both the resolution 
and the amendment, while Pandit Malaviya and Mr. 
Jinnah preferred the latter. Messrs. Yakub Hasan, 
Jitendra Lai Banerjea, Nehru and Kambhuji Dutt 
supported Mr. Gandhi whose resolution was finally- 

The Congress reassembled on the 9th and the whole 
morning was devoted to the taking of votes, province by 
province, for and against Mr. Gandhi's motion. Out of 
twelve provinces only the Central Provinces and Berar 
showed a majority against Mr. Gandhi's motion, while in 
the remaining ten provinces the majority of votes were in 



his favour. The president announced that out of 5,814 
delegates, the registered number of delegates who took 
part in voting was 2,728 while 63 did not vote. Actual 
voting showed that 3,855 voted for and 873 against Mr. 
Oandhi's motion. 

After this fateful decision it is no wonder that. Con- 
gressmen who were avowedly against Non- Co-operation 
found themselves in a difficult predicament. They hastily 
called for a meeting of the All-India Congress Committee 
and it was resolved to find a way out of the mess the Con- 
gress had made. 

The mandatory nature of the Congress Resolution 
was relaxed at the instance of Pandit Malaviya and a few 
others who thought it suicidal to let slip the benefits of the 
new reforms. It was, however, thought inexpedient to 
impair the authority of the Congress and Congressmen 
like Mr. Patel in Bombay, Mr. Das in Bengal, Pandit 
Motilal Nehru in TJ. P., Messrs. Madhava Rao and 
"Vijayaraghavachariar in Madras — though they had oppos- 
ed the Resolution in the Congress — decided to abide by 
it, and withdrew their candidature from the forthcoming 
elections. Many leading Congressmen resigned their 
honorary offices and relinquished their titles. While Mr, 
Gokaran Nath Misra, one of the Secretaries of the All- 
India Congress Committee, and several office-bearers in the 
Provincial Congrets Committees who were opposed to the 
Resolution resigned their offices so as to leave the Congress 
organisations free to work out Mr. Gmdhi's programme. 

If Mr. Gandhi's Jinfluence was so decisive at the 
Special Congress as to set at naught the opinons of Con- 
gressmen like C. R. Das and Bepin Chandra Pal, his autho- 
rity was supreme at the Nagpur Session in December. 
Nagpur in fact, witnessed the turning point in the history 
of the Congress, as in that year Mr. Gandhi, with an over- 
whelming majority completely captured this institution 
and converted its leading spirits to his creed. Here it was 
that the old creed of the Congress was discarded for the 
new one of indifference to British overlordship, 

M. K. GANDHI 5! 

With the change of creed and the wholesale adoption 
of the programme of Non-Co-operation the old Congress 
■was virtually dead. The New Congress was inspired by a 
■new hope and sustained by new methods altogether alien 
~to the faith of men like Dadabhai and Gokhale who had 
guided it in its years of infancy and adolescence. 

Mr. Gnndhi was not slow to use his great authority 
■over the Congress to further the movement of which he was 
the directing head. At his command were all the Congress 
and Khilafat organisations, and he set out on an extensive 
■tour of the country preaching the new cult with the 
•fervour of a prophet. Everywhere he was received with 
■ovation. His Nagpur triumph was the beginning of an 
agitation -bsfora. v,'hieh even his Satyagraha demonstra- 
tlaaa wera as nnt.h>r;g. M". saigbt. be expected 
of one of his ardent and generous impulse, staked his life on 
the agitation, and day after day he was unwearied in his 
-services and unsparing of himself in his devotion to what 
might be called the most supreme and desperate adventure 
of his life. 

As be went from place to place accompanied by the 
All Brothers the movement became popular among the 
■ignorant and the literate. His fourfold programme of boy- 
cotting schools, cloths, councils and Government Service 
'was the theme of his multitudinous discourses. But the 
most painful result (at any rate to those who are not of 
his pursuasion) was the calling away of youths from their 
schools and colleges. Many a lad, led away by the glamour 
of the great ideal and the irresistable appeal of a saintly 
leader, gave up their school education, the only education 
available at present. 


At Aligarh and Benares great efforts were made to 
-call away the students from the Muslim and, Hindu Uni- 
versities, if they could not nationalise them. They were 
not quite successful though a few joined the Congress, but 
in Bengal, at the instance of Messrs. C. B. Das and Jitend- 
ralal Banerjea, a large number of students flocked to their 
standard and deserted the schools. It was such appeals 



that enthused the youth of Bengal who created a pro- 
found sensation by throwing themselves in their thonsanda- 
at the steps of the Calcutta University Hall, that the few 
who did attend the examination had to do so by walking, 
over their bodies. 

One peculiarity of the programme was that emphasis 
was laid on each item as the occasion demanded. At one 
time it was the boycott of schools, again it was the collec- 
tion of a crore of rupees for the Swarajya Fund, a third 
time it was the burning of mill cloths and yet again 
it was the boycott of the Duke or the good Prince. Bach 
was in turn to bring Swarajya within the year. Thus in 
February the agitation centred on the boycott of the Duke 
of Connaught to whom Mr. Gandhi addres.sed a. dignified- 
it uncompromisiEg lotoe?, wir, ^jraiiuui ^rctc; — 

Our nan-partioipation in a hearty welcome to Your Royar 
Highness is thus in no sense a demonstration against your high 
personage, but it is against the system you come to uphold. I 
know individual Englishmen cannot even if they will, alter 
the English nature all of a sudden. If we would be the equals- 
of Englishmen we must oast off fear. We must learn to be self- 
reliant and independent of schools, courts, protection and 
patronage of a Government we seek to end if it will not mend. 

By May the spirit of lawlessness had spread far and 
wide and strikes and hartals became the order of the day. 
Mr, Gandhi, however, resolutely discountenanced all 
violence and he was seldom sparing in his admonition of 
those who took part in the incident at Malegaon and other 
places. Again and again, be spoke strongly against the 
spirit of non-violence which for a time broke out as often as 
he decried it in all earnestness. 


It was about this time too that Lord Chelmsford retired 
and his place was taken by Lord Reading, who came to 
India with a great reputation. An Ex-Lord Chief Justice of 
England and sometime British Ambassador at Washington 
during the fateful years of war — the new Viceroy inspired 
great hopes. His reputation for justice, strengthened by 
his repeated assurances, and his reputation for tactful 
dealing of delicate questions were just the things of 

M. K. GANDHI 53 

momentous need for India, No wonder, an air of hope 
and expectancy bung over the whole country. 

Soon after Lord Reading arrived in India, an inter- 
-view was arranged by Pandit Malaviya between the new 
Viceroy and Mr. Gandhi, This interview, which lasted 
many hours, took place at Simla in May 1921. Much 
speculation was rife as to its result and Mr. Gandhi 
explained the circumstances and the results of his talk in 
an article in Young India under the title " The Simla 
Tisit." What was the upshot of the visit ? The leader of 
the ]S'on- Go-operation movement and the head of the 
Government of India got to know each other. It was a 
great thing. 

But the immediate result of this was the statement 
issued by the Ali Brothers — a statement in which they 
regretted their occasional lapse into excessive language and 
promised to refrain from writing or speaking in any man- 
ner likely to provoke violence. This " definite result of 
the interview " was claimed as a victory for the Govern- 
ment. Others claimed that it was a victory for Mr. Gandhi 
who explained that it was no apology or undertaking to 
the Government but a reassertion of the principle of non- 
violence to which the Ali Brothers had subscribed. It was 
a statement to the public irrespective of what the Govern- 
ment might or might not do with them. In answer to 
-criticisms against his advice to the Brothers, Mr, Gandhi 
stoutly defended his action, and praised the Brothers' 

Indeed Mr. Gandhi's loyalty to his colleagues and 
particularly his affectionate and fraternal regard for the 
brothers is beautiful and touching to a degree. And when 
in September 1921 the Brothers were prosecuted by the 
Bombay Government, Mr. Gandhi with fifty others issued 
a public manifesto that " it is the inherent right of every 
one to express bis opinion without restraint about the 
propriety of citizens offering their services to, or remaining 
in the employ of the Government whether in the civil or 
the military department," 

34 M. K. GANDHI 


Another feature of Mr. Gandhi's activity which for a: 
a time threw a baleful light over the movement was the> 
cult of destruction, as typefied in the burning of foreign 
cloth. KabiEdranath Tagore and 0. F. Andrews and, 
several others, horrified at the wanton waste, pointed out 
from time to time the evil effects of this burning business, 
Mr. Gandhi, mercilessly logical as ever, would heed no 
such counsel but continued literally to feed the flames.. 
With that cultivated sense of distinction between the doer 
and the thing done, which is ever present in men 
such as he, there might be some efficacy in 
this form of purification and self-denial. But many were 
the critics who held that his honfvre mania was the surest- 
way to rouse all the evil passions of the multitude and as- 
surely lead to hatred and civil strife. 

The Bombay Riots 

Whatever the root cause of the breaking out of violence- 
and' hooliganism, the landing of the Prince of Wales in 
Bombay on the 17th November was made the occasion of 
a ghastly tragedy. Mr. Gandhi had since the announce- 
ment of the Eoyal visit appealed to his countrymen to 
refrain from participating in the functions got up in 
honour of the Prince. Non-Co operators all over the 
country had organised what are known as ' hartals,*^ 
closing of shops and suspending all work, and boycot- 
ting the Prince. In Bombay such activities resulted in 
a great riot in which all parties' suffered owing to the 
hooliganism of the mischievous elements in the mob who 
violated Mr. Gandhi's injunctions to be non-violent and 
brought about a terrible riot. Mr. Gandhi was then in 
Bombay and after witnessing the scene of the tragedy,, 
wrote some of the most stirring letters which, coupled with 
the exertions of men of all parties, restored peace in the 

As a penance for this ghastly tragedy he pledged' 
himself to fast till complete peace was restored. Strangely 
enough, the situation was well in hand in a couple of 
days and on the fourth day in breaking the fast in th& 

M. K. GANDHI 55 

midst of a gathering of Co-operatorp, Non-Co-operators, 
Hind UP, Mussulmans, Parsis and I^Ohristians, Mr, Gandhi 
made a thrilling statement. 

I am breaking my fast upon the strength of your assurances. 
I have not been unmindful of the affection with which innumer- 
able friends have surrounded me during these four days. I shall 
ever remain grateful to them. Being drawn by them I am- 
plunging into this stormy ocean out of the heaven of peace in 
which I have beep diu-ing these few days. I assure you that, in 
spite of the tales of misery that have been puured into my ears,. 
I have enjoyed peace because of a hungry stomach. I know 
that I cannot enjoy it after breaking the fast. I am too human 
not to be touched by the sorrows of others, and when I find no 
remedy for alleviating them, my human nature so agitates me- 
that I pine to embrace death like a long-lost dear friend. There- 
fore I warn all the friends here that if real peace is not estab- 
lished in Bombay and if disturbances break out again and if as- 
a result they find me driven to a still severer ordeal, they must 
not be surprised or troubled. If they have any doubt about 
peace having been established, if each community has stiU 
bitterness of feeling and suspicion and if we are all not prepared 
to forget and forgive past wrongs, I would much rather that they 
did not press me to break the fast. Such a restraint I would 
regard as a test of true friendship. 

And then Mr, Gandhi drove the moral home to the 
gathering as also to the eager and anxious public all over 

Warned by the disasters at Bombay and the Moplab 
rebellion which was still going on in Malabar, it was ex- 
pected that Mr. Gandhi would reconsider his position and' 
stop short of the extreme steps in Non- Co operation. But 
that was not to be. The Congress had by this time become 
an" organ for registering his decrees. And the Committee 
met frequently to devise methods in pursuance of Non-Co- 
operation. Thundering resolutions, alternating with hopes- 
and warnings, came in quick succession. Province after 
Province vied with one another for the exciting novelty of 
civil disobedience. 

Though the author of the Civil Disobedience move- 
ment in India, Mr. Gandhi was always alive to its dangers,. 
He therefore insisted that his conditions should be fulfilled 
in toto before any Taluka could embark on a campaign o£ 

56 M. K. GANDHI 

"Civil Disobedience. And those conditions were very 
.rigorous indeed. 

The Calcutta Hartal 
Meanwhile the hartal organised by Non-Co operators 
in connection with the Prince's visit was more or less 
successful in many places. It was alleged that by intimi- 
datioa and otherwise, the hartal in Calcutta on the day of 
the Prince's lauding in Bombay was phenomenally com- 
plete. The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and the Anglo- 
Indian press took an alarmist view of the situation and 
expressed grave indignation against the passivity of the 
■Government. With a view to suppress the activity of the 
Congress in this direction Government resuscitated part II 
of the Criminal Law Amendment Act which was then 
literally Under a sentence of death. "When volunteering 
was declared unlawful Congress leaders took up the 
challenge and called on the people to disobey the order 
and seek imprisonment in their thousands. Men like 
Messrs. C, B Das in Calcutta and Motilal Nehru in Alla- 
habad openly defied the order and canvassed volunteers in 
total disregard of legal consequences. They sought impri- 
sonment and called on their countrymen to follow them to 
prison. The situation was grave. It was then that 
Pundit Madan Mohan Malaviya, Sir P. C. Ray and others 
thought that the time had come when they should step 
into the breach and try to bring about a reconciliation 
between Government and Non Co-operators. With this 
view Pandit Madan Mohan and others interviewed leading 
Non-Co operators and those in authority. Lord Konald- 
shay, in his speech at the Legislative Couacil referred to 
the gravity of the situation and defined the firm attitude 
of Government. 

The Viceroy who had invited the Prince was natu- 
rally very indignant at the strange form of " reception " 
that awaited the innocent scion of the Royal Souse. 
Could anything be done at all towards a rapproachment ? 
The Dbpctation to the Vicekoy 

A Deputation headed by Pundit Madan Mohan Mala- 
viya waited on His Excellency the Viceroy at Calcutta 

M. K. GANDHI 57 

-on Dcember 21 and requested him to call a Round 
Table Conference of representatives of people of all 
shades of opinion with a view to bring about a final settle- 
ment. Lord Reading replied at some length and defined 
the attitude of the Government. He regretted that " it is 
impossible even to consider the convening of a conference 
if agitation in open and avowed defiance of law is mean- 
while to be continued." Mr. Gandhi's refusal to call oflf 
the hartal in connection with H.R.,H. the Prince of Wales' 
-visit to Cilcutta on December 24, apparently stiffened the 
attitude of the Government, Interviewed by the Associat- 
ed Press, Mr. Gandhi made the following statement re- 
garding the Vicero>'ii reply to the Deputation :- — 

I repeat for the thousandth time that it l8 not hostile to any 
nation or any body of men but it is deliberately aimed at the 
system under which Government of India is being to-day con- 
-ducted, and I promise that no threats and no enforcement of 
threats by the Viceroy or any body of men will strangle that 
agitation or send to rest that awakening. 

The Ahuedabad Congbess 
Meanwhile the Annual Session of the Congress 
■met at Ahmedabad, the headquarters of Mr, Gandhi. 
It was virtually a Gandhi Session. The President-elect, 
Mr. C. R. Dxs, was in prison and so were many other lead- 
ers besides. Hakim Ajmal Khan was elected to take the 
-chair and the proceedings were all in Hindi and Gujarati, 
Mr. Gandhi was invested with full dictatorial powers by 
the Congress and the central resolution of the session, 
which he moved, ran as follows : 

" This Congress, whilst requiring the ordinary machinery to 
•remain intact and to be utilised in the ordinary manner when- 
ever feasible, hereby appoints, until further ingtructions, 
Mahatma Gandhi as the sole executive authority of the Con- 
gress and invests him with the full power to convene a special 
session of the Congress or of the All-India Congress Committee 
or the Working Committee and also with the power to appoint 
a successor in emergency. 

" This Congress hereby confers upon the said successor and 
all subsequent successors appointed in turn by their predeoes- 
■ors, all his aforesaid powers, provided that nothing in this 
resolution shall be deemed to authorise Mahatma Gandhi or 
.anv of the aforesaid successors to conclude any terms of peace 

58 M. K. GANDHI 

with the Government of India or the British Government with- 
out the previous sanction of the All-India Congress Committee,, 
to be finally ratified by the Congress specially convened for the- 
purpose, and provided also that the present creed of the Cong- 
ress shall in no case be altered by Mahatma Gandhi or his- 
successor except with the leave of the Congress first obtained."" 

There were yet some in the Congress who went a step 
further than Mr. Gandhi himself. Moulana Hazrat 
Mobani stood out for complete independence and it is 
interesting to note how valiantly Mr. Gandhi fought 
against the motion of absolute severance from Britain. 
Mr. Gandhi opposed all his amendments and pinned' 
the Congress down to his own dubious resolution. 
Soon after the session, some of the Provincial organisations- 
were busy preparing for a no-tax campaign. In TJ. P., 
Guzerat, the Andhra and in the Punjab the movement- 
threatened to assume a serious turn. Mr. Gandhi, him- 
self, while insisting that his conditions should be fulfilled 
before any taluka should embark on an offensive com- 
paign, threw the onus of responsibility on the Province 
itself — Provincial autonomy with a vengeance ! But then- 
there were hopes of peace in the air. 

The Bombay Confeeencb 
A conference of representatives of various shades 
of political opinion convened by Pundit Malaviya, Mr. 
Jinnah and others, assembled at Bombay on the 14tb- 
January, 1922, with Sir C. Sankaran Nair, in the Chair, 
On the second day Sir Sankaran withdrew and Sir M.. 
Visveswaraya took up his place. Over two-hundred leading 
men from different provinces attended. Mr. Gandhi was 
present throughout and though he refused to be officially 
connected — an attitude resented by many — with the reso- 
lution?, he took part in the debates and helped the con- 
ference in framing the resolutions which were also ratifiei^ 
by the Congress Working Committee, 

The Ultimatum 
While negotiations were going on between the 
representatives of the Malaviya Conference and H. E, the- 
Viceroy, Mr. Gandhi addressed an open letter to Lord 

M, K. GANDHI ^g^ 

Heading. The letter was in effect an ultimatum threaten- 
ing with the inauguration of offensive civil disobedience in 
Bardoli. The efforts of the Conference thus came to- 
nothing as neither Mr. Gandhi nor the Viceroy would- 
give up any one of their points. Compromise was im- 
possible. And the Qovernment of India in a communique 
published on the 6 th February in reply to Mr, Gandhi's 
letter, repudiated his assertions and urged that the issue 
before the country was no longer between this or that pro- 
gramme of political advance, but between lawlessness with 
all its consequences on the one hand and the maintenance- 
of those principles which lie at the root of all civilised 
governments. Mr. Gandhi in a further rejoinder issued: 
on the very next day pointed out that the only choice 
before the people was mass civil disobedience with all its 
undoubted dangers and lawless repression of the lawful- 
activities of the people. 

The Chauri Chauka Tkaqedy 

While Mr, Gandhi was about to inaugurate mass 
civil disobedience in Bardoli, there occurred a terrible 
tragedy at Chauri Chaura on the 14th February when an 
infuriated mob, including some volunteers also, attacked 
the thana, burnt down the building and beat to death not 
less than twenty-two policemen. Some constables and- 
chaukedars were literally burnt to death and the whole place 
was under mobocracy. Mr. Gandhi took this occurrence as 
a third warning from God to suspend civil disobedience, 
and the Bardoli programme was accordingly given up.^ 
On the 11th the Working Committee met at Bardoli and 
resolved to suspend all offensive action including even 
picketing and processions. The country was to confine 
itself to the constructive programme of Khaddar manu- 
facture. The Working Committee advised the stoppage 
of all activities designed to court imprisonment. 

The suspension of mass civil disobedience in- 
Bardoli, whicsh was recommended by the Working Com- 
mittee at the instance of Mr. Gandhi, was resented bjr 
some of his colleagues and followers. In reply to corre- 

60 M. K. GANDHI 

spondents who attacked bim, he wrote as follows 
in Young India of February, 23 : 

I feel still more confident of the correctness of the decision 
of the Working Committee, but if it is found that the country 
repudiates my action I shall not mind it. I can but do my duty. 
A leader is useless when he acts against the promptings of his 
own conscience, surrounded as he must be by people holding all 
kinds of views. He will drift like an anchorless ship if he has 
not the inner voice to hold him firm and guide him. Above all, 
I can easily put up with the denial of the world, but any denial 
by me of my God is unthinkable, and if I did not give at this 
critical period of the struggle the advice that I have, I would 
be denying both God and Truth. 

The All-India Congress ComDoittee met on the 25th 
at Delhi to consider the Bardoli decisions and though the 
latter were endorsed it was not done without some impor- 
tant modifications, to feed the growing demand for 
aggressive action on the part of the extreme Non-Co-opera- 
tors. From subsequent events it is fairly certain that 
the Delhi resolutions confirmed the Government's resolve 
to prosecute Mr. Gandhi, a resolve which was held in 
abeyance after the Bardoli programme was made known, 
Mb. Gandhi's Aeebst 

For months past the rumour of Mr. Gandhi's impend- 
ing arrest was in the air. Expecting the inevitable Mr. 
Gandhi had more than once written his final message. But 
in the first week of March the rumour became more wide- 
spread and intense. The stiflFening of public opinion in 
England and Mr. Montagu's threatening speech in defence 
of his Indian policy in the Commons, revealed the fact that 
the Secretary of State had already sanctioned Mr. Gandhi's 
prosecution, Chauri Chaura and the Delhi decisions were 
presumably the immediate cause of Government's action 
on Mr. Gandhi. Kealising that his arrest would not long 
be deferred, Mr. Oandhi wrote a farewell message in Young 
India calling on his countrymen to continue the work of 
the Congress undeterred by fear, to prosecute the Khadder 
programme, to promote Hindu-Muslim Unity and to 
desist from violence at any cost. 

Meanwhile he was arrested at the Satj'agraha Ashram, 
^hmedabad, on Friday the 10th March, On the 11th noon 

M. K. GANDHI 6 1 

Messrs. Gandhi and Sankarlal Banker the publisher were 
placed before Mr. Brown, Assistant Magistrate, the Court 
being held in the Divisional Commissioner's Office at 
Sahibab. The Superintendent of Police, Ahmedabad, the 
first witness, produced the Bombay Government's authority 
to lodge a complaint for four articles published in Young 
India, dated the 15fch June, 1921, entitled "Disaffection 
a Virtue ", dated the 20th September, " Tampering with 
Loyalty" dated the 15th December, " The Puxzle and Its 
Solutiou" and " Shaking the Manes," dated the 23rd Febru- 
ary 1922. Two formal police witnesses were then produced. 
The accused declined to cross-examine the witnesses,. 
Mr. M. K, Gandhi, who described himself as farmer and 
weavfir hv nrofessiou, residing at Satyagraha Ashram,. 
Sabarraati, said : 

I simply wish to state that when the proper time comes I 
shall plead guilty so far as disaffection towards the Government 
is concerned. It is quite true that I am the Editor of Young 
India and that the articles read in my preience were written 
by me and the proprietors and publishers had permitted me to 
control the whole policy of the paper. 

The case then having been committed to the Sessions,, 
Mr. Gandhi was taken to the Sabarmati Jail where he was 
detained till the hearing which was to come off on 
March 1 8. From his prison Mr, Gandhi wrote a number 
of inspiring letters to his friends and colleagues urging the 
continuance of the Congress work. 

The Geeat Trial 

At last the trial came off on Saturday the 18 th March, 
before Mr, C, N. Broomfield, I. C. S,, District and Sessions 
Judge, Ahmedabad.. Of the trial itself it is needless to 
write at length. Fo(^ it will be long before the present 
generation could forget the spell of it. It Was historic in- 
many ways, Men's minds involuntarily turned to another 
great trial nineteen hundred years ago when Jesus stood 
before Pontius Pilate. Mr. Gandhi's statement (both the 
oral and the written statements) was in his best form,, 
terse and lucid, courageous and uncompromising, with just 
that touch of greatness which elevates it to the level of a 

.•62 M. K. GANDHI 

masterpiece. Never before was such a prisoner arraigned 
before a British Court of Justice, Never before were the 
laws of an all-powerful Government so defiantly, jet with 
such humility, challenged. Men of all shades of political 
opinion, indeed all who had stood aloof from the movement 
and had condemned it in no uncertain terms, marvelled at 
the wisdom and compassion and heroism of the thin spare 
-figure in a loin cloth thundering his anathemas agairst the 
Satanic system. And yet none could be gentler nor more 
sweetly tempered than the prisoner at the bar with a smile 
and a nod of thanks and recognition for every otip, 
■including his prosecutors. An eye-witness has given an 
account of the scene and we can not do better than quote 
his words :■ — 

Mahatmaji stood up and spoke a few words complimenting 
the Advooate-G-eneral on his fairness and endorsing every state- 
ment he made regarding the charges. "I wish to endorse all 
the blame that the Advocate-General has thrown on my 
shoulders ", said Mahatmaji in pathetic earnestness, "and I 
have come to the conclusion that it is impossible for me to 
dissociate myself from the diabolical crimes of Cbauri Chaura 
or the mad outrages of Bombay.' ' These words of confession 
seemed to penetrate every heart throbbing in that hall and 
make those present there feel miserable over the mad deeds of 
their thoughtless countrymen. The speech finished and Mahat- 
maji sat down to read his immortal statement. It is impossible 
to describe the atmosphere of the Court-house at the time he 
was, and a few minutes after he finished reading his state- 
ment. Every word of it was eagerly followed by the whole 
audience. The Judge and the Advocate-General, the military 
oflScera and the political leaders all alike strained their ears and 
were all attention to hear the memorable statement of the Great 
Man. Mahatmaji took nearly 15 minutes to read his statement. 
As he proceeded with his reading, one could see the atmosphere 
of the Hall changing every minute, This historic production was 
the master's own. The ennobling confessions, the convincing 
logic, the masterly diction, the elevated thoughts and the in- 
spiring tone — all produced instantaneous eflfeot on the audience 
including the Judge and the prosecutor. For a minute every- 
body wondered who was on trial — whether Mahatma Gandhi 
before a British Judge or whether the British Government 
before God and Humanity. Mahatmaji finished his statement 
and for a few seconds there was complete silence in the Hall. 
Not a whisper was heard. One could hear a pin falling on the 

M. K, GANDHI 63 

The most unhappy man present there was perhaps the 
-Judge himself. He restrained his emotion, cleared his voice, 
gathered his strength and delivered his oral judgment in care- 
tul and dignified words. No one could have performed this duty 
^better. To combine the dignity of his position with the courtesy 
Jue to the mighty prisoner before him was no easy task. But he 
.succeeded in doing it in a manner worthy, of the highest praise. 
Of course, the prisoner before ^im belonged of a different cate- 
gory from "any person he ever tried" or is r likely try in 
future. And this fact influenced his whole speech and demean- 
our. His words almost fell when he came to the end and 
j)ronounced the sentence of simple imprisonment for six years. 

And who is this Mr. Gandhi, who at the age of 53, 
has been sentenced to six jears* imprisonment ? He is the 
man whom the convicting judge himself described " as 
•n great pa,triot and a great leader, as a man of high ideals 
and leading a noble and even saintly life," a man in whom, 
as Gokhale aptly described, ' Indian humanity has really 
reached its high water-mark ' and in whom a Christian 
Bishop witnesseth ' the patient sufferer for the cause of 
-righteousness and mercy.' Such a man has been condemn- 
ed despite his public avowal of his huge mistake, his 
penitance for the same, his decision to suspend his aggres- 
sive programme, and his grave warnings that it would be 
'" criminal " to start civil disobedience in the existing 
state of the country. Even some of the Anglo-Indian 
papers have condemned the action of the Government as a 
blunder ; and one of these has gone so far as to characte- 
rise it as ' a masterpiece of official ineptitude.' And such 
a criticism cannot be described as altogether undeserved or 
unjust. Mr. Gandhi's agitation originated with the 
Rowlatt Act. It received strength on account of the 
«alcHlated brutalities and humiliations of the Martial Law 
regime. And the climax was reached when the solemn 
pledges of the British Prime Minister in regard to Turkey 
were conveniently forgotton at Severs. The Bowlatt Act 
has since been repealed, the Punjab wrongs have been ' 
admitted and an appeal has been made to "forget and 
forgive." Mr. Gandhi's bitter complaint that the British 
Ministers have not sincerely fought for the redemption of 
the solemn pledges to the Mussulmans has been proved to 

64 M. K. GANDHI 

be well founded. And so the three great grievances 
for which Mr. Gandhi has been fighting — are griev- 
ances admitted by all to be just. In the opinion 
of Mr. Gandhi and most of his countrymen 
there would never have arisen these festering sores 
' if we were in our country what others are in their 
own,' if in short, we too had been given '' the Self- 
determination," for which elsewhere so much blood and 
treasure have been sacrificed. The whole question there- 
fore reduces itself to one dominant problem — the Problem 
of 8waraj. And the problem of Mr. Gandhi is no less than 
that. But for the lost faith of the people in the sincerity 
of the British, even this question would not have assumed 
such an acute form as we find it to-day. 

You cannot solve this problem by clapping its best, 
brightest and noblest exponent even though bis methods 
may be novel and his activities inconvenient and some- 
times dangerous. Sir John Rees was not far wrong 
when he observed that " Gandhi in Jail might prove to be 
more dangerous than Gandhi out of it." There is a 
world of significance in the warning of Professor Gilbert 
Murray : — 

"Persons in power should be very careful when they deal 
with a man who cares nothing for sensual pleasures, nothing for 
riches, nothing for comfort or praise or promises but simply 
determines to do what he believes to be right. He is a danger- 
ous and uncomfortable enemy because his body, which 
you can always conquer, gives you so little purchase upon his 


South African Indian Question 


The following is the full text of a lecture delivered 
at the Pachaiyappa's Ball, Madras, on October 26, 1896, 
by Mr, M. K. Qandhi on the " Grievances of Indian 
settlers in South Africa.'' The Hon. Mr. P. Ananda 
Charlu presided. Besolutions sympathising with the 
Indian settlers and expressing regret at the action of the 
■Home and Indian Governments in ha,ving assented to 
the Indian Immigration Amendment Bill were passed. 
Mr. Gandhi said : — 

Mr, Preeideat and GeatlemeD,-^! am to plead before 
you this eTSDiog for the 100,000 British Indians in South 
Africa, the land of gold and the seat of the late Jameson 
Baid. This dooumeut will show you (here Mr. Gandhi 
read a credential from the people of Natal deputing him 
to plead their cause) thati I have been deputed to do so 
by the signatories to it who profess to represent the 
100,000 Indians. A large majority of this number are 
people from Madras and Bengal. Apart, therefore, from 
the interest that you would take in them as lodians, you 
are specially interested in the matter. 

South Africa may, for our purposes, be divided into 
the two self-governing British Colonies of Natal and the 
Cape of Good Hope, the Grown Colony of Zululandi the 
Transvaal or the South African Bapubiie, the Oranga 


Free State, the Chartered Territories and the Portuguese 
Territories oomprisiog Delagoa Bay and Beira. 

South Africa la iodabted to the Colony of Natal for 
the presenoe of the ladian population there. In the year 
1860, when m the words of a member of the Natal Parlia- 
menti, " the existence of the Colony hung in the balance," 
the Golooy of Natal introduced indentured Indians into 
the Colony, Such immigration is regulated by law, is 
permissible only to a few favoured States, eg., Mauritius, 
Fijif Jamaica, Straits Sattlemeuts, Damarara and other 
States and is allowed only from Madras and Calcutta. 
As a result of the immigration, in the words of another 
eminent Natalian, Mr. Saunders, "Indian immigration 
brought prosperity, prices rose, people were no longer 
oontent to grow or sell produce for a song, they could do 
better." The sugar and tea industries as well as sanita- 
tion and the vegetable and fiab supply of the Colony are 
absolutely dependent on the indentured Indians from 
Madras and Calcutta, The presence of the indentured 
Indians about sixteen years ago drew the free Indians in 
the shape of traders who first went there with a view to 
supply the wants of their own kith and kin ; bub after- 
wards found a very valaabia customer in the native of 
South Africa, called Zulu or Kaffir. These traders are 
obieiiy drawn from the Bombay Memon Mahomedans 
and, owing to their less unfortunate position, have 
formed themselves into custodians of the interests 
of the whole Indian population there. Thus, adversity 
and identity of interests have united in a oom- 
pact body the Indians from the three Presidencies and 
they take pride in calling themselves Indians rather than 
Madrasees or Bengalees or Gujaratees, except when it is 
necessary to do so. That however by the way. 


Tbese ^Indians have now spread all OTer Soatb 
Afrioa. Natal which is governed by a LegtBlative 
Assembly ooDsisting of 37 members elected by the voters, 
a Lagialative Coanoil ooDsistiog of 11 members nominati- 
ed by the Gavernor who represents the Qaeen* and a 
movable Ministry oonsisting of 5 members, oontains a 
'Baropean population of 50>000, a native population of- 
400,000, and an ladian population of 51,000. Of the 
^1,000 Indians about 16,000 are at present serving their 
indenture, 30.000 are those that have oomplefead their 
indeniiure, and are now variously engaged as domestio 
servants, gardeners, hawkers and petty traders and 
about 5.000 are those who emigrated to the Colony on 
-their own aciioaat and are either traders, shop-keepers, 
assistants or ha tvkers. A few are also sohool-masters, 
-interpreters and olerks. 

The self-governing Oolony of the Gape of Good Hope 
has, I believe, an Indian population of about 10,000 oon- 
sisting of traders, hawkers and labourers. Ids total 
population is nearly 1,500,000 of whom not more than 
400,000 are Raropeans, The rest are natives of the 
country and Malays. 

The SjaBh AC;rieaa Bapublio of the !fransvaal whiob 
is governed by two eleotive Chambers called the Vol- 
■fasraad and an Bseoutive with the President at its head 
has an Indian population of about 5,000 of whom aboufi 
200 are traders with liqaidated assets amounting to 
Dearly £100 000, The rest are hawkers and waiters or 
hoaaehold servants, the latter being men from this 
Presidency. Its white population is esbiea&ted at roughly: 
120.000 ani the K»ffic population at roughly 6a0,000«f' 
This B^public is subjaot to the Qaaen's suzsrainty. Ani 
(there is a ooaveation batwaea Great Britain and tha. 


Bepublio nhioh seonres the property, trading and farm- 
ing right -of all persona other than natives of Sontb 
Africa in common \7ith the oiti-zens of the Bepnbiio. 

The other States have noIodiaD population to speak 
of, beoause of the grievanoas and disabilities except the 
Portuguese territories whioh QODtain a very large Indian 
population and whioh do not give any trouble, to the- 
Indians. :< 

The grievances of the Indians in South Africa are 
two-fold, i,e., those that are due to the popular ill-feeling, 
against the Indians and, snoondly, the legal disabilities^ 
placed upon them. To deal with the first, the Indian is^ 
the naost hated being in South Africa. Every Indian 
without distinction is contemptuously called a " coolie."' 
He is also called " Sammy, " Bamasawmy," anything: 
but " Indian." Indian ecbool-masters are called " coolie- 
school masters.'' Indian storekeepers are " coolie store- 
keepers." Two Indian gentlemen from Bombay. Messrs,. 
Dada Abdulla and Moos Hajea Oassim, own steamers* 
Their steamers are " coolie ships." 

There is a very respectable firm of Madras traders- 
by name, A. ColandaVeloo Pilla'y & Cc. They have built 
a large block of buildings in Darban, these buildings are 
called " ooblie stores " and the owners are " oooli6> 
owners." And I can assure you, gentlemen, that there is- 
as much difference between the partners of that firm and 
a " coolie " as there ia between any one in this ball and 
a coolie. TheiraiJway and tram-officials, in spite of the 
contradiction itttat has appeared in official quarters 
which X am goiSg to deal with presently, I repeat, tr^aii 
us as beasts, : We oanrfist safely walk on the footipalhs, 
A Madrassi gentleman, e^potlessly dressed, always avoids. 


lihe fdobpaifas of prominenb sbreelis in Baiban for fear 
lie' should be iasalbed or puabad off. 

Wa are 6ha "Asian dirti " bo be "hearbily oursad," wa 
are ohokefulof vice " *' and wa live upon rioe, "waare 
' sbinking ooolias " living on " bhe smell of an oiled rags," 
we are ' bhe blaok vermin, "Iwe are desoribed in tbe Sbabuba 
Books as " semi-barbarous Asiabios, or persons belquging 
to the unoivilised raaes of Asia." We "breed like rabbits" 
and a gentleman at a maebing lately beid in DarbfiQ said 
>he "was sorry we oould.nob be shob like them." There 
are ooaohes running bebween aactsin places in the Trans- 
vaal. We mty npb sib inside them. lb, is a sore triat, 
apart from the indigaiby ib involves and oonbemplates, to 
faava to sit outside bbam either in deadly winter morning, 
{or the winter is , severe in bhe Transvaal, or under a 
l^qrning sun, though wa are Indians, The hotels refuse 
Ujs admission.. Indeed, there ara oases in whioh respeot- 
«bla Indians have found ib difficulb even bo prooure 
cefripishm^nbs ab European plaoes. Ih was only a abort 
time ago that a gang of Europeans set fire bo an Indian 
store in a village {cries of shame) called Dundee in Na.tal^ 
doing some damage, and another gang threw burnipg 
craokers into the Indian stores in a business street in 
Durban. This feeling of intense hatred has been X&-. 
produced into legislation in bhe various Sbabea of Soubh 
Africa resbrioting the freedom of Indians in many Ways. 
To begin with, Nabal, which is thf most important frondi 
an Indian point of view, has of late shown tbe greatest 
aobiviby in passing Indian legislation. Till 1894, the 
Indians had been enjoying the franchise ni^ually with the 
SiUrop^ans under the general frat^ohise law; of the Colony, 
which entitles any adult male being a British sabjeot bo 
il)e placed on bhievobers' lisbirwho possessjag immoveable 


property worth £50 or pays an annual rent of £lO There- 
ia a separate franohise qaalifioation for the Zulu. In- 
1894, the Natal Legislature paaaed a Bill distranohising 
Asiatioa by name. We resisted it in the Looal Parlia- 
ment bub without any avail. We then memorialifled the 
Secretary of State for the Colonies, and as a result thab 
bill was this year withdrawn and replaced by another 
which, though not quite so bad as the first one, is bad 
enough, It says that no natives of countries (not of 
Kuropean origin) which have nob hitherto possessed 
elective representative ioetitutions, founded on the 
Parliamentary Franohise, shall be placed on the voters 
roll unless they shall first obtain an exemption from the- 
Governor in Council. This bill excepts from its operatiou^ 
those whose names are already rightly contained in any 
voters' list- Before being introduced it was submitted to- 
Mr. Chamberlain who has approved of it, We have- 
opposed it on the ground that we have such institutions 
in India, and that, therefore, the Bill will fail in its ob}eot 
if it is to disfranchise the Asiatics and that therefore also^ 
it is a harassing piece of legislation and is calculated to- 
involve us in endless litigation and expense. This ig> 
admitted on all bands. The very members who voted for 
it thought likewise. The Natal Grovernment orgun sayS' 
in effect: — 

We know India has such inBtitutione and therefore the bill will 
ooii apply to the Indians. But we oan have that bill or none, li it- 
diBfranohisea Indians, nothing oan be better. If it does ,not, then 
too we have nothing to fear 1 for the Indian oan never gain politioa^ 
eupremaoy and if neoesBary, we oan soon impose an edooational test 
or raise the property qualifioation which, while disfranohieing 
Indians wholesale, will not debar a single European from voting. 

Thus the Natal legislature ia paying a game of "toss^ 
up" at the Indians' eipense. We are a fit subject for 
TiviseotioD under the Natal Pasteur's deadly scalpel and 


knife, with this diffarenoe between the Paris Pasteur and 

the Natal Pasteur that, while the former indulged in vivi- 

seotion with the object of benefiting humauity, the latter 

has been indulging in it for the sake of amusement out of 

sheer wantonness. The object of this measure is nob 

politioal. It is purely and simply to degrade the Indians 

in the words of a member of the Natal Parliament, "to 

make the Indian's life more comfortable in his native 

land than in Natal,' in the words of another eminent 

Katalian, " to keep him for ever a hewer of wood and 

drawer of water." The very fact that, at present, there 

are oily 250 Indians as against nearly 10,000 European 

voters shows that there is no fear of the Indian vote 

swamping the European, "Ear a fuller history of the 

question, I must refer you to the Green Pamphlet, The 

London Times which has uniformly supported us in our 

troubles, dealing with the franchise question in Natal, 

Ihcs puts it in its issue of the 27i)h day of June of this 

year : — 

The question now put before Mr. Chamberlain is not an 
aoademio one. It is not a question of argument but of raoe feeling. 
We cannot afiord a war of races among our own subjects. It would 
be a wrong for the Government of India to suddenly arrest the 
development of Natal by shutting all the supply of immigrants, as 
it would be for Nata) to deny the right of oitizenship to British 
Indian eubjaots, who, by years of thrift and good work in the 
Colony, have raised themselves to the aocaal status of citizens, 

If there is any real danger of the Asiatic vote 
swamping the European, we should have no objection to 
an educational test being imposed or the property) 
qualifications being raised. What we object to is class 
legislation and the degradation which it necessarily; 
involves. We are fighting for no new privilege in oppos- 
ing the Bill, we are resisting the deprivation of the one 
we have been ecjoying. 


In stiict accordance with the policy of degrading 
tbe Indian to dbe level of a raw Kaffir and, in the words 
of tbe Attorney-General of Natal, " that of preventing 
him from forming part of the future South African 
nation that is going to be bailb," the Natal Government) 
last year introduced their Bill to amend the Indian 
Immigration Law which, I regret to inform you, has 
received the Boyal sanction in spite of our hopes to the 
contrary. This news wsa received' after the Bombay 
meeting, and it will, therefore, be necessary for me to 
deal with this queBbion at some length, also because this 
question more immediately affects this Presidency and 
can be best studied here. Up to the iStb day of August, 
1894, the indentured immigrants went under a contract 
of service for five years in oonsideration for a free 
passage to Natal, free board and lodging for tbdmselves 
anji their families and wages at the rate of ten shillings 
per month for tbe first year to be increased by one shil- 
ling every following year. They were also entitled to a 
free passage back to India, if they remained in the 
Colony another five years as free labourers. This is now 
changed, and, in future, tbe immigrants will have either 
to remain in the Colony for ever under indenture, their 
wages increasing to 20 shillings at the end of the 9th 
year of indentured service, or to return to India or to 
pay an annual poll-tax of £3 sterling, equivalent) to 
nearly half a year's earnings on the indentured scale. A 
Commission consisting of two members was sent to India 
in 1893 by the Natal Gcvercment to induce the Indian 
Government to agree to tbe above alterations vjith the 
exception of tbe imposition of tbe poll-tax. The present 
Viceroy, while expressing bis reluctance, agreed to the 
alteration subject to tbe sanction of the Home Gorero- 


ment, refuaing to allow the Naiial GovernmenI) bo maka 
the breach of the olauae about aompalsory returo a 
oriminal offenoe. The Natal Governmant have gob ovat 
the difficulty by the poll-tax Clause. 

The Attoroey-General in disouseiag that clause said 
that while ati lodiaa could aob be seat bo gaol for refas- 
iog to returp to lodia or to pay the tax, so loag as there 
Was aoythiDgworth haviag ia hia hut, it will ba liable 
to seizure. We strongly opposed that Bill in the local 
Parliament and failiog there, aenb a msmorial. to Mr. 
-GbamberlaiD, praying either tbab the Bill should ba dis- 
allowed or emigration to Natal should be suspended. 

The above proposal was mooted 10 years ago and it 
was vehemently opposed by the mosl: eminent colonists 
in Natal. A Commission was then appointed to inquire 
into various mattera concerning Indians in Natal. Oae 
-o( the Commissioners, Mr, Saunders, says in bis addi- 
tional report : — 

Thoogh tbcCommiseion has made no reoommendatioa on 
the Bubjeoc.of paBBiug a law to force IndiaDB back to India at the 
expiratiup of their term of service, unless they renew their inden- 
tures, I wish to.ezprees my strong condemnation of any suoh idea, 
and I feel convinced, that many, who now advocate the plan .when 
they realise what it means, will reject it aa energetically as I do. 
Stop Indian emigration and face results, but don't try to do 
what I can show is a great wrong. 

Whafi is it but taking the best of our servants (the good as well 
as the bad), and tiien refusing them ihe enjoyment of the reward, 
forcing them bacfc iif we could, but we oannotl when their best 
days have been spent for our benefit, Whereto ? Why baok to 
face a prospect of starvation from which they sought to escape 
when they were young. Shylook-like, taking the pound of flesh, 
and Shylook-like we may rely on it meeting Bhylock's reward. - 

The Colony can stop Indian immigration, and thai-, perhaps, 
far more easily and petmanectly than some ' popularity seekers' 
'would desire. But force men off at the end of their service, this 
the Colony cannot do, And I urge on it not to discredit a fait 
name by trying. 


The AbborDey-General of Natal who introduoed the 
Bill under diBoussion expreesed the following viewii whilfr 
giving his evidenoa before the Oonanaisaion : — 

With referenoe to time-expired Indians, I do not think that it- 
ought to be compulBory on any man to go to any pact of the world 
save for a crime for which he is irausported. I hear a great deal 
of this question; I have been asked again and again to take a dif- 
ferent view, but I have not been able to, A man is brought 
here, in theory with his own consent in practice very often without' 
his consent, he gives the best five years of his life, he forma new- 
ties, forgets the old ones, perhaps establishes home here, and he 
cannot, aooording to my view of right and wrong, be sent baok. 
Better by far to stop the further introduetion of Indians altogether' 
than to take what work you can out of them and order them away, 
Ibe Colony, or part of the Colony, seems to want Indiana but alsa 
wishes to avoid the oonBequeaoes of Indian immigration. The- 
Indian people do no harm as far as I know ; in oertaia respeota 
they do a great deal of good. I have never heard a reason to jus- 
tify the extradition of a man who has behaved well for five years. 

And Mr, Binna who oama to India as one of the 
Natal CommissicDers to induoe the Indian Governmenfi- 
to agree to the above-mentioned alterations gave bbe- 
foilowing evidence before the Gommisaion ten years 
ago :— / 

I think the idea whioh has been mooted, that all Indians- 
should be ocmpelled to return to India at the end of their term of 
indenture, is most unfair to the Indian population, and would 
never be sanctioned by the Indian Qovernment. Id my opinion 
the free Indian population is a most useful seotion of the com- 
munity , 

But then great men may obanga their views aa of> 
ten and as quickly aa they may ohange their olothes 
with impunity and even to advantage. In them, they 
Bay, such changes are a result of sincere oonviotioDi II^ 
is a thousand pities, however, that unfortunately for the, 
poor indentured Indian his fear or rather the expeatation- 
that the Indian Governmenb will never sanotion the 
ohange was not realised. 

The London Star thus gave venb to its feelings oa 
reading the Bill : — 


Theaa parMoulars are anongh to throw light upDn the hateful* 
jperseoution to which British Indian subjeots are being subjeoted. 
The new Indian Immigration Law Amendment Bill, which virtu- 
ally propoBsa to reduce Indians to a state of slavery, is another 
example. The thing is a monstcous wrong, an insult to British - 
subjeots. a disgrace to its authors, and a slight upon ourselves. 
Every Englishman is oonoerned to see that the oommeroial greed 
of the South African trader is not permitted to wreak such bitter 
iDJustioe upon men who alike by proclamation and by statute are 
placed upon an equality with ourselves before the Law. 

Thd London Times also in supporting our prayer 
has compared the etate of perpetual indenture to a "state 
perilously near to slavery." It also says : — 

The Governmenii of India has one simple remedy. It oan 
enapend indentured immigration to South Africa as it has sus- 
pended such immigration to foreign possessions until it obtains (he- 
necessary guarantees for the present well-being and the future 

status of the immigrants It is eminently a case for sensible 

and oonoiliatory action on both sides. . . , But the Indian Govern- 
ment may be forced to adopt measures in connection with th»' 
wider claim now being urged by every section of the Indian com- 
munity and which has been explicitly acknowledged by Her Majes- 
ty's Government at home-^namely, the claim of (he Indian races 
to (rade and to labour with the full status of British subjects 
throughout the British Empire and in allied States. 

The letters from Natal informing ma of the Boyat- 
sanction to this Bill ask me to request the Indian public^ 
to help US to get emigration suspended. I am well aware 
that the idea of suspeoding emigration requires eareful' 
oonsideration. I humbly think that there is no other- 
oonolusion possible in the interests of the Indians at' 
large. Emigration is supposed to relieve the oongeeted 
districts and to benefio those who emigrate. If the 
Indians instead of paying the poll-tax, return to India, 
the^ongestion cannot be affected at all. And the re- 
turned Indians will rather ba a source of difficulty than 
anything else as they must necessarily find it difficult to- 
get work and oannob be expected to bring sufficient to 
live upon the interesli of their capital. It certainly wilfe 


Dob benefili the emigranlia as lihey will never, if the 
"Government can possibly help it, be allowed to rise higher 
than the sUtus of labourers. The faob is that they 
are being helped on to degradation, 

Under such ciroumslianoea I humbly ask you to 
support our prayer to suspend emigration to Natal, 
unless the new law can be altered or repealed. You will 
naturally be anxioua to know the treatment of the 
Indians while under indenture. Of course, that life can- 
not be bright under any ciroumstanoea ; but T do not 
think their lot is worse than the lob of the Indiana simi- 
larly placed ia other parts of the world, At the same 
time they too certainly come in for a share of the tre' 
mendous colour prejudice, I can only briefly allude to 
the matter here and refer to the curious Green Pamphlet 
wherein it has been more fully discussed. There is a sad 
mortality-^rom suicides on certain estates in Natal, lb is 
-very di£Scult for an indentured Indian to have hia 
services transferred on the ground of ill-treatment. An 
indentured Indian after he bseomes free is given a free 
pass. This he has to show whenever asked to do so, 
lb is meant to debeob desertion by the indentured Indiana. 
The working of this system is a source of much irrita- 
tion to poor free lodians and often puts respeptabU 
Indians in a very unpleasant position. This law really 
would Dob give any trouble, but for the unreasonable 
prejudice. A sympathetic Protector of Immigrants, 
preferably an Indian gentleman of high standing and 
knowiog the Tamil, Telugu and Hindustani languages, 
would certainly mitigate the usual hardshipa of the 
indentured life. An Indian immigrant who loses hia 
free pass la, as a rule, called upon to pay £3 starling for 


a duplioalia oopy. This is DodhiDg bub a system of- 

Tbe9 o'clock rale in Natal which makes it Deoessary 
for every Isdian to carry a pass if he wants to be out after- 
9 P.M., at the pain of being locked up in adungeon, causes- 
much heart-burning especially among the gentlemen 
from this Presidenoy. You will be pleased to hear that 
children of many indentured Indians receive a pretty 
good education ; and then wear as a rule the European 
dress. They are a most sensitive class and yet unfortu- 
nately most liable to arrest under the 9 o^olook rule. 
The European dress for an lodian is no reoommendatioD 
in Natal. It is rather the reverse. For the flowing 
robe of a Memon frees the weareit from suoh molestation. 
A happy incident described in the Green Pamphlet led 
the police in Durban some years ago to free Indians thus- 
dressed from liability to arrest after 9 P.M. A Tamil- 
school- mistress, a Tamil school-master and a Tamil 
Sunday school-teacher were only a few months ago 
arrested and locked up under this law. They all got 
justice in the law courts, but that was a poor consolatioa. 
The result, however, was that the Corporations in Natal 
are clamouring for an alteration in the law so that it 
might be impossible for such Indians to get off scot-free 
in the Law Courts. 

There is a Bye- Law in Barban which requires 
registration of coloured servants. This Bule may be and 
perhaps is necessary for the Kaffirs who would not work,. 
but absolutely useless with regard to the Ihdians, Bat 
the policy is to class the Indian with the Kaffir whenever 


Tbia does noti oomplete the list of grievanoea in 
"Natai, I musb beg to refer bhe ourioua to the Gtean 
Pamphlet for further information. 

But, gentlemen, you have been bold lateJy by the 
Natal Agent-General that the Indiana are nowhere better 
treated than in Natal; that the faot that a majoriby of 
bhe indentured labourera do not avail themaelvea of the 
rebarn paaaaga ia the beat answer to my pamphlet, and 
bhab bhe railway and tram-oar offieiala do nob breat bha 
Indiana as beasts nor do bhe Law Gourba deny them 

With the greataab deference to the Agent-Ganeral, all 
I dan say as to the first abatemenb ia bhab he must have 
very queer notions of good breatmeat, if bo be loakad up 
for being oub afber 9 P.M. wibboub a pass, to ba denied the 
most elementary right of oibizanship in a free oountry, bo 
be denied a higher sbatas than bhab of bondman and at 
besii a free labourer and to be subjaotad to obher restrio- 
tiona referred to above, are insbanoes of good breabment. 
And if auoh treatment is the best the Indians reoeive 
throughout tbe world, then the lot of the Indians in other 
parts of the world and hare must be very miserable 
indeed, acoording to the oommonsense vieWi The thing 
ia that Mr. Walter Feaoe, the Agenb-Ganeral, ia made (o 
look through tbe official apeotaolea and bo him everything 
official is bound bo appear rosy. The legal disabilibiea 
are oondemnatory of the action of the Nabal Government 
and how can bhe Agenb-General be expeobed bo oondemo 
himself ? If he or the Government which ha represents 
only admitted that the legal disabilitiea mentioned above 
were against the fundamental prinoiples of tbe B''itiBh 
Oonstitubion, I ahould not stand before you this evdning. 
I respectfully submit that statements of opinions mada 


(by the Agent-General cannot' be allowed to have greater 
weight than tboea of an aooused person about his own 

The fact that the indentured Indians as a ruie do 
•not avail themselves of the return passage we do not 
•dispute, but we certainly dispute that it is the best 
answer to our complaints. How can that fact disprove 
the esistenoe of the legal disabilities ? It may prove that 
'bhe Indians who do not take advantage of the return 
-passage either do not mind the disabilities or remain in 
the Colony in spite of suoh disabilities. If the former be 
the case, it is the dusy of those who koow better to 
make the Indians realise their situation and to enable 
'them to see that submission to them means degradationt 
Jf the latter be the case it is one mora instance of the 
patienoe and the forbearing spirit of the Indian Nation 
wbioh was acknowledged by Mr. Chamberlain in his 
Despatch in oonneotion with the Transvaal arbitration. 
Because they bear them is no reason why the disabiiitieB 
flhonid not be removed or why they should be interpreted 
Jnto meaning the best treatment possible. 

Moreover, who are these people who. instead 
of returning to India, settle in the Colony ? They 
are the ladians drawn from the poorest classes and 
itOBa the most thickly populated districts possibly 
living in a state of semi- starvation in India. They 
-migrated to Natal with their families, if any, with 
the intention of settling there, if possible. Is it any 
wonder, if these people after the expiry of their in- 
denture, instead of running ' to face semi-starvation,' 
as Mr. Saunders has put it, settled in a country where the 
-olimate is magnificent and where they may earn a decent 
Jiving ? A starving man generally would stand any 


amouDt of rough breatmenti to get a orumb of bread, 

Do not the UitUoders make out a terribly long list, 
of grievanoea id the Transvaal ? And yet do they Dot> 
flook bo the Transvaal in thousands in spite of the ill- 
treatment they receive there beoause they can earn their 
bread in the Transvaal more easily than in the old> 
country ? 

This, too, should be borne in mind that in makiog- 
bis statement, Mr- Peace has not taken into account the' 
free Indian trader v;ho goes to the Colony on his owo' 
aooount and who feels most the indignities and disabilities. 
If it does not do to tell the Uitlander that he may not go 
to the Transvaal if he oannot bear the ill-treatment, much 
lass will it do co say so to the enterprising Indian. We 
belong to the Imperial family and are children, adopted' 
it may be, of the same august mother, having the 
same rights and privileges guaranteed to us as to the- 
European children. It was in that belief that we went 
to the Colony of Natal and we trust that our belief was 

The Agent-General has oontradioted the statement 
made in the pamphlet that the railway and tramoar 
o£Qoials treat the Indians as beasts. Even if the state- 
ments I have made were incorrect, that Would not 
disprove the legal disabilities which and which alone have 
been made the subject of memorials and to remove which 
we invoke the direct intervention of the Home and the 
Indian Governments. But I venture to say that the 
Agent-General has been misinformed and beg to' repeat 
that the Indians are treated as beasts by the railway 
and the tramoar officials. That statement was made 
now nearly two years ago in quarters where it oould have 
bean contradicted at onoe. I had the hononr id addreea 


an open letter ' to the members of the Looal Parliamenb 

in Natal, It was widely oiroulatad io the Colony and 

Dotioed by aimoati every leading newspaper in South 

Africa. No one oontradioDed it then. lb was even 

admitted by soma newspapers. Uoder such oiroumstanaee, 

I ventared to quote it in my pamphlet published here. 

I am not given to exaggerate matters and it is very 

unpleasant to me to have m citd tediimony in my own 

favour, but since an attempt has been made to disoredili 

nay staiiements and thereby the cause I am advocating, I 

feel it to be my duty for the soke of the oauBe to tell ytfn 

what the papers in South Africa thought about the 'op'eh 

letter ' in whiob the statemenii was made. 

The Star, the leading newspaper in Johannesburg, 

says: — ' 

Mr. Gandhi writes foroiblj, moderately and well, He hgg 
himsel{ eufieied some slighi medsute of lujustioe eiaoe he oame 
into the Colony, but that fact does not aeem co have coloured his 
sentiment, and it must be coDfessed that to tbe tone of ihe opea 
lenter do objeaciou can reasonably be taken. Mr, Gandhi disoustes 
the quescioDB he has raised with ooDspicuous moderation. 

The Natal Mercury, the Go'vernment organ in Naiial, 

says : — i " 

Mr, Gandhi writes with calmness and moderatiota, &e is as 
impartial as any one ooald expect him to be and probably a little 
more 80 than might have been expected, oonsidering that he did 
not reeoeive very just treatment at the bands of the Law Sbdidty 
when he first came to the Colony, 

Had I made unfounded etatementa, the newspaper's 
wquld not have given such a oertifioata to the ' op^u 

An Indian, abouii two years ago, took out a, seqbpd 
class ticket on tbe Natal railway. In a single night jour- 
ney be was thrice disturbed and was twice made !jia 
change compartments to please European passengei^s. 
Tbe oase oame before the Court and the Ipdian got &^lo 


dumages. The following is the plaintiff's evidenoe in the 

case : — 

Deponent got into a eeoond class carriage in tfce train, leaving 
Charleetown at 1-30 P M. Three other Indiana were in the same 
oompaFtment, but they got out at New Castle. A white man 
opened the door of the compartment and Decknned to witness, 
saying "come out. Sammy." Plaintiff afked, "why," and the 
white man replied " Never mind, come out, I want to place 'Some- 
one here." Witness said, " why should I come out Irom here 
when I have paid my fare ?".... The white man then leic and 
brought an Indian who, witness believed, was in the employ of 
the railway. The Indian was told to tell plaintifi to get ont of 
the carriage. Thereupon the Indian said, " the white man orders 
ybu to come out and you must come out." The Indian then left. 
Witness said to the white man, "what do you want to shift me 
about for. I have paid my fare and have a right to remain here," 
The white man became aogry at this and said, " well, if yon 
don't oome out, I will knocli hell out of you." The white man 
got into the carriage and laid hold of witness by the arm and tried 
to pull him out, Plaintifi said, "Let me alone and I will oome 
out." The witness left the carriage aod the white man pointed 
ont another second class compartment and told him to go there. 
Plaintifi did as he was directed. The compartment he was shown 
into was empty. He believed some people who were playing a 
band were put into the carriage from which he was expelled. This 
white man was the District Superintendent of Railways at New- 
castle. {Shame). To proceed, witness travelled undisturbed to 
Maritzberg, He tell asleep and when he awoke at Mariizberg he 
foand a white man, a white woman and a ohild in the compart- 
ment with him, A white man came up to the carriage and said, 
" Is that your boy speaking to the white man in the compart- 
ment ?" WitmeBs's fellow-traveller replied "yes," pointing to hia 
little boy. The other white man then said, " No, I don't mean 
him. I mean the damned coolie in the corner," This gentleman 
with the choice language was a railway cfSoial, being a shunter. 
The white man in the compartment replied, " Oh never mind him, 
leave him alone." Then the white man outside (the ofSoial) said, 
"I am not going to allow a coolie to be in the same comDartmeni 
with white people." This man addressed plaiutifi. saying "Sammy, 
oome out," Plaintifi said, " why, I was removed at New Casile to 
this compartment." The white man said, " well, you must oome 
out " and was about to enter the carnage. Witness thinking he 
Would be handled as at New Castle said be would go out and left 
the compartment. The white man pointed out another second 
class oompariment which witness entered. This was empty for a 
time but before leaving, a white man entered. Another white man, 
(the official), afterwards came up and said if you don't like to 
travel with that stinking ooolie I will find you another carriage," 
{The Natal Advertiser, SDnd November, 1893.) 


Yon will have Dotioed that tha offioial ad Marilizberg 
"Uial-breated the Indian passeogsr althoagb hit whiiia 
fellow-paHgeDger did nob mind him, I( tbis is not) bestiial 
treatmeDii, I abould very maoh like to know what ia, and 
flaoh noourrenoes take plaqa oftea enougb to be irritatiog. 

It was found during the oase th^ ona of tha 
"Witneeses for the defendant) waa ooaohed. In aoBwer to 
a Question from the Bdaoh whether the Indian peaseogera 
"Were treated with oaneideration, the witneaa who waa 
one of the offiaiala referred to replied ia the affirmative, 
T^^reupoQ the preaiding Magiatrata who tried the ease ia 
re^ortec^fio have said to the witneae, ' Then you haina 
a dtffdrent opioioa to what I have and it ia a. onrioua 
thing that peopla who ara no*) oonneoted with the 
railway observe more than you," 

The Natal Adwrtiser, a Eiaropean daily in Datban, 
made the followiog remurka on the case i — 

It was indisputable from the eyidenoe that the Arab had beap 
badly treated and seeiDg that seooad olasa tiflkstg are issaed tp 
IndiaDB oi tbia deeonpiiion, the plaiatifi ought not to have been 
subjacted 10 anDeoeSBary aODoyaDce andiDdignity, . , ■ . , , Some 
definite meapnrea abonid be taken to minimise the danger of trouble 
'ariaiDg be' ween Kuropean and oolonred passsngers Without rendet- 
ing the oarrving out of auoh measures annoying to any person 
whether black or white. 

In thfl ooiiraa of ita remarks on the aama oaaa the 
Natal Mercury observed : — 

Toera la throughout S'luth Africa a tendenojr to treat all 
Indians, as onoli^a pure and simple, no matter whether they be edu- 
cated aud cleanly in their habits or cot, . . On our railways wa 
iiave noticed ou more than one oooasioD that coloured psssengera 
are not by any means treated with civility, and although it would 
be unreasonable to ezpeot that the white employees of the N.G-.d, 
shoutd treat them with the same deference as is aooorded to 
Buropean p^Sieiigerg still we th">k it would not be in any way 
derogatory to their dignity if the offluials were alittle more ^uavitor 
-in ntodo when dealing with coloured (ravelleis. 

The Cape Times, b leading newspaper in Soath 
Afrioa, aaya :— 


Natal presents the ourious epeotacle of a oounti^ eoteMainitig^ 
a supreme oqnlempt {or the very olaes o( pjBopIs she oan least 40 
without, Imagination oan only picture the oommetoial paralysis 
whioh would inevitably attend the withdrawal of the Indian popu- 
lation {rem that Colony. And yet the'Indian is the most despised 
of creatures, he may not ride in the tram-oars, nor sit in the same 
compartment of a railway carriage with the Buropeans, hotet> 
keepers refuse him food or shelter and he is denied (he privilege of 
the public bath I 

Hare ia the opiniou of an Aoglo-Indian, Mr- Drum- 
mond wbo ia intimately oocaeobed with the lodiana iit- 
^abal. Ha says, writing to the Natal Mercury : — 

^fae majority 6f the' people here seem to forget that they aE» 
British subjects, that their Mabarani is our Qaeen and for that 
leason alone one would think that they might be spared^he oppro- 
brious term of ' coolie, ' as it is here applied. In India it is only 
.the lower class of white men who calls native a * nigger ' aocl'treats 
him as if he were unworthy of aay consideration or respect. In 
their eyes, as in the eyes of many in this colony, he ia tteated 

{either as a heavy burden oi a mechaiiiqal ;maohiDe ,..Ic is a 

common thing and a lamentable thing to hear the ignorant and 
the uaenligbtened epesk of the Indian generally as the soumrdf 
the earth, eto. It is depreciation from the white man and not 
appreciation that they get, 

; I thibk I have adduced aaffioient outside teatimony 
to substantiate my statement that the railway ofi&oials 
treat the Indians aa beaata, Oa the tramoarSi the 
Indiana are often not allowed to ait inaide but are sent 
npataira,' aa the phrase goea. They are often made-to 
remove from one Beat to another or prevented from ooou- 
pying front benohea, I linow an Indian ofifioer, a Tamil 
gentleman, dreased in the lateat European style who was 
made to stand on the tram-oar board although there was 
accomodation available for him. 

Quoting statistics to prove the prosperity of the 
Indian community is quite unneoesBary, It is not denied 
that the Indians who go to Natal do earn a living and 
that in spite of the persecution. 


. la.liba Transvaal wa oanool) own landed prooertiy, wa 
"may nob trade or i reside exoeph ia speoified Iocations« 
'Whiob are daapribad by tba Brijiiab Agent. '' as places to 
-deposit tbe rafaaa.of tb^ town w.itboufe any water exoepb 
the polluted Boakage in tbe gully between tba location 
ftitd tbe towo," We may not as of rigbt walk on tba 
'foplpatba in Job^kaneaburg and Pretoria, we may not b» 
oat afcer 9 ?• M. Wa in^yjnot travel witbonb paaaea, 
Tba law (rom travelliag first or aeoond olaas 
on thatra|Iwaya, We a,ra required to pay a special regis- 
tration fee of £3 -to enable us to settle in tbe Transvaal 
and tbongt) wa are treated as mere "chattels" and 
'have no priyilegea wba,tever, we may be oalled upon 
to render oompQlaory military aervioer if Mr. Gbamberlain 
-disregarda tbe Memorial whipb wa .have addresaed 
bo him ^ on tbe aubjaot. Tbe biatory of tbe wbola 
oase as ibaSdcts tba' ladiaaa la tba' Trab'sVa'al is very 
interestiog and t am o'aly sorry ' tbab fbi: wanb of tima 
I oannot deal with in how. 1 must, however,' beg you to 
abudy ib from bba Qreen Pamphlet. I hiusb not omit bo 
mention that ib ia criminal for an Indian bo buy Dativei- 

«old. -'■'•.• J ;r 

Tb^ Orange Erea Sbabe baa made "tba ' BritiabI 
Indian aii'itndoa'^tbilitv by 'simiily classifying him with' 
the' iSaffir," aa it^ ohief or^ah puta ib. Ib bafl paaaeda' 
Bpeoial law whereby we are jjrevent'ed from br'aditig,'' 
farming or owniiig > tiroperby under any oiroufaastaneeB. 
If we aubmit to tbesaf degrading oonditiona we may be 
allowed bo'Veside a'ftee pasaing tbrbt^gh oertaib humUiat- 
ing oeremoiiiaa. We Were driven bub from tba State 
and our abores were oloaed oauaing to ud a loss of £9,000. 
And this grievance remains absolutely without redress- 
The Oape Padiament has passed a Bill gtaafcing the E^abi 


London Mnnioipality in that Oolony, the power to frfrma> 
Bye-Lawa prohibiting lodians from walking on the foot- 
paths and making them live in locations. Ic has issued 
instructions to the authorities of Bast Gripuinland not 
to issue any trading lioenoes to the Indians. Tne Gaps 
Government are in ootnmunioation with the Home 
Government with a view to induce them to sanction 
legislation restricting the influx of the Asiatics. The 
people in the Chartered territories are endeavouring to 
close the country against the Asiatic trader. In Zulu- 
land, a Crown Cplony, we cannot own or' acquire landed 
property in the townships of Eahowe and Nondweni. 
This question is now before Mr. Chamberlain for consi- 
deration, As In the Transvaal there also it is criminal 
for an Indian to buy native gold. 

Thus we are 'hemmed in on all sides by restriction^. 
And if nothing further were to be done here and in Bog- 
land on our behalf, it is merely a question of time whan 
the respectable Indian in South Africa will be absolutely 
extinct, i 

Nor is this merely a local question. It is as the- 
London Tivtes puts it, "that of the status of the British 
Indian outside India," "If," says the Thund^reri "they ; 
fail to secure that position, (that is of equal status) in 
Boutb Africa, it will be difficult for them to attain it else- 
where." I have no doubt you have read in the papers 
that Australian Colonies have passed legislation to pre-- 
vent Indians from settiirg in that part of the World. It- 
will be interesting to know how the Home Government 
deal with that question. 

The real cause of all this preiudice may be expressed 
in the words of tha leading organ in South Afrioftt 


namelyi tha Gape Times, when ib was under the edilior- 
ship of the ptiaoa oi South A(rioau joucnalists, Mr. St., 

It is the position of these merohants which is produotive of no 
little hostility to this day. And it is in oonsideting their position 
that their rivals in trade have sought to inflict upon them chrongb 
the medium of the BDaie, what looks on the face of it something 
very like an injascioe foe the benefii of self, 

CoDtiDueB the Bame organ : — 
The injustice to the Indians is so glaring thai one is almost 
ashamed oi one's oounirymen in wishiog to have these men treated 
as native {i.e., of South Africa,) simply because of their suQcesB in- 
trade. The very reason that they have been so euooessful against th^ 
dominant race is sufficient to raise them above that degrading level. 

If this was true in 1889 when the above was 
written, it is doubly so now, beoauae the legislatora of 
South Africa have shown phenomeDal activity in passing 
maagnres restrioting the liberty of the Qaean'g Indian 
sabjectEi. Other objeatioDS alao have been raised to our 
pcesenoe there, but they will not hear ecruciny and I 
have dealt .with them in the Green Pamphlet. I 
venture, however, to quotp, from the Natal Advertiser, 
which states one of them and presoribes a statesman- 
like remedy also. And so far as the objection may be 
valid, we are in perfect aooord with the Advertiser's 
suggestion. Tiiis paper whioh i^ under European manage- 
ment was at one time violently against us. Dealing with 
the whole questioQ from an Imperial standpoint it 
ooDcludes :— 

It will, therefore, probably yet be found that the removal of 
the drawbacks at present incidental to the immigration of Indians 
into British Colonies is not to be effected so much by the adoption 
of au obsolete policy of exclusion bs by an enMghtened and pro- 
gressive application of ameliorating laws to those Indians who 
settle in tiiem. One of the chief obieotioos to Indians is that they 
do not live in accordance with European rules. The remedy for 
this is to gradually raise their mode of life by oompeliing tbem to 
live in better dwellings and by creating among them new wants, it 
will probB bly be found easier, because, mote in accord with the 


gceat onward raoTements of minkiod, to demand of suoh settlers 
that they shall tian to thait new oonditions than to ondeavout to 
maintain the status quo ante by theit oatice exolusion. 

Wa believe alao bbaS cnuoh of the ill-feeling ia due 
feo the want of proper knowledge in South Afrioa about 
the Indians in India. We are, therefore, endeavouring 
to eduoate publio opinion in South Afrioa by impartiDg 
the neoeasary informaition. With regard feo the legal 
disabilitiea we have tried to inflaeuoe in our favour 
the publio opinion both in Eagland and here. Aa you 
know both the Oonaervatives and Liberals have supported 
US in Eagland without distiootion. Tne London Times 
has given eight leading articles to our oausa in a vary 
aympathetio spirit. This alone has raised us a step 
higher in the esttmitioa of 4iha Earopaans in South 
Afrioa 'and baa oonaiderably affeoted for the better the 
tone of newspapers there. The British Committee of 
the' Congress has been working for us for a very long 
time. Ever sinoe he entered Parliament, Mr, Bhownaggrea 
baa been pleading oar cause in season and out of season. 
Says one of our bast sympathisers in London :— 

The wroDg ia so seriou!! chat it has only to be known in order 
I hope to be remedied, I feel ic my daty on all oooaaiona and in 
all suitable ways to insiac that the Indian subjects of the Crown 
should enjoy the full status of British aubjeot throngout the whole 
British Empire and in allied states. Thia ia the poaition whioh 
you and oar Indian friends in South Afrioa should firmly take up. 
In suoh a qneation aompromise is impossible. For any oompromise 
would reliuguish the fuuditmencal right of the Indian races to tha. 
complete status of British sabj'jots— a right which they have 
earned by their loyalty in peace nod by their serviceB in war, a 
right whioh was solemnly guaranteed to them by the Queen's 
Proolamation in 1857, and whioh has now been explicitly recognis- 
«d by Her Majesty's Government," 

• . Says the same gentleman in another letter ;— 

I have great hopes that justice will, in the end, be done, You 

bare a gdbd cause You have only to take up your positioii 

strongly in order to be successful. That position is that the British 
Indian Bubjects in South Africa are alike in out own Colonies and 


in iadependent friendly States beiog deprived of theic status as 
British subjeocs guaranireed to them bj the Sovereiga and the 
British Farliameot. 

Ad es-Liberal member of the House of Gommona 
flays; — 

You are infamously treated by the Colonial Govetoment and 
you will be so treated by the Home Governmeot if they do not 
compel the Colonies to alter their policy. 

A Conservative member says : — , 

I am quite aware that the situation is surrounded with many 
difSoulties ; but some points stand out olear and, as far as I oaa 
-make out it is true to say that breaches of what in India is a oivil 
oontraot ace punishable in South Africa as though they were 
criminal offences. This is beyond doubt contrary to the principles 
of the Indian Code and seems to me an infringement of the privile- 
ges guaranteed to British subjects in India. Again it is perleotly 
evident tnai in the Boer republic and possibly in Natal it is the 
-direct obvious intention of tbe Government to " kunt" natives of 
India and to compel tbem to carry on their business under degrad- 
ing conditions, Tbe excuses which are put forward to defend the 
iniringemems of the liberties of British subjects in tbe Transvaal 
are too flimsy to be worth a moment's attention." Vet another 
-Conservative member says: "Your activity is praiseworthy and 
demands justice. I am, therefore, willing to help you as far as 
Jies in my power." 

Suoh 18 tbe sympathy evoked in Bogland. Here, too, 
I Isnov? we have tbe same sympathy, but I bumbly tbink 
that our oause may oooupy your attention still mora 

What is required inlaiiia has been well put by the 
Moslem Chronicle in a forcibly written leader : — 

What with a strong and intelligent public opinion hers and a 
■well meaning Oovercment the difficulties we have to contend with, 
-are not at all commensurate with those that retard the well-bsiug 

of our countrymen in that country. It is therefore quite time 
'that all public bodies should at once turn their attention to this 
•important subject to create an intelligent public opinion with a 

view to organise an agitation for thd removal of tbe gcievanoea 
-under which our brethren are labouring. Indeed, these grievances 

have become and are day by day becoming so unbearable and 

offensive that the requisite agitation oaanot be taken up one 
.day too soon. 


I may stata oar posiliioD a little more olearly, Wff- 
are awara that the insulta and iadignitids tbat we are , 
anbjaoted to at the hands of the populane oannot be 
direotly removed by the intervention of the Home 
Government. We do not appeal to it for any suoh 
intervgntioD. We bring them to the notice of the publio 
BO that the falrminded of all communiciea and the Press 
may be expressing their disapproval, materially reduos- 
their rigour and possibly eradicate them ultimately. But 
we certainly do appeaJ and we hope not vainly to the Hame- 
Government for protection againnt reproduction of suoh 
ill-feeling in legislation. We oerTiainly beseeoh the HdmS' 
Government to disallow all the Aots of the Legislative 
bodies of the Colonies restricting our freedom in any 
shape or form. And this brings me to the last qaestioD, 
namely, how far can the Home Government interfere- 
with such Botion on the part of the Colonies and the 
allied States. As for Zaluland there can be no gaestion 
siDce it is a Crown Colony direotly governed from- 
Downing Street through a Governor. It is nob a self- 
governing or a responsibly-governed Colony as the 
Colonies of Natal and the Cape of Good Hope are. With 
' regard to the last two their Constitution Act provides 
that Her Majesty may disallow any Act of the Local 
Parliament within two years even after it baa become 
law having received the Governor's assent. That is one 
safeguard against oppressive measures by the Colonies. 
The Boyal instructions to the Governor as also the 
Constitution Act enumerate certain Bills which cannot 
be assented to by the Governor without Her Majesty'e 
previous sanction. Among such are Bills which have 
for their object class legislation suoh as the FranohiBe 
Bill or Immigration Billi Her Majesty's interventioo 


ia libug direob and preoisa. While iti ia trae thai) the 
Home Goverumeab is slow to incerfara with the Acta of 
the Colonial Legislatures, there are iastaooes where it hae- 
npli hesitated to pub its loat dowD on ocoEisions less urgent 
than the Draaeoli one' Aa you araawarei (he repeal o{ 
the first Fi-unohise Bill was dee to such wholesome inter- 
veabion, What is more the Colooists are ever afraid of it. 
Aad as a result of tha syaopa'ihy expraassd in England 
and the aympaiihetia answer given by Mr Chamberlain 
to the Ddputation that vvaited on him some months ago 
moat of the papers in South Afrioai ab any rata in Natal 
tiave veered round oonaiderably. As to the Transvaal 
there ia the oonvention. As to tbe Orange Free State T 
oan oaly say that it is an uafi-iandly aoS oq the part of a 
fFieodly Scate Go shut her doors against any portion ot" 
ffar Majesty's sabjaota. And as auah I humbly think it 
oan be effeotiveiy oheoked. 

It may not be amiss to quite a few pasfiaga^ (rom- 
tha Ii>ndon ITmes 'ariiialaB baarmg on the qauation of 
incervantion as wall as tna whole questiou generally : 

Taa nhole question lesolvas Uself into this. Are Hec- 
Uajescy'a Indian subjeots to be treated as a degraded and an ont- 
oaste race by a friendly govoromeiit or are they to have the- 
aama rights and status as other British suhjeots eb}oy ? Are- 
leading Muhammadan merohaDta who might aib ip the Legis- 
lative Qounoil at Bombay, to be liable to indignities and outrage 
to tha Sonbh Afrioan Republio ? We are oontinually telling our 
Indian subjects that the eoonomio future of their country depends 
OB their ability to spread themselves out and to develop their 
toreigD trade. What answer oan our Indian Governmenli give 
them i{ it iaila to secure to them the same proteotion abroad which 
is aeoured to the subjects of every other dependency of the Grown f" 

It is a mockery to urge our Indian fellow-Bubjeets to embark 
pu external commerce if the moment they leave India they lose 
their rights as Uritish subjects, and can be treated by loreign- 
governments as a degraded and an outeaste race. 

In another article it says : — 
The matter ia eminently one for good offices and lot ioAuence. 
foir that " friendly negotiation" whioh Mr. Chamberlain promi«es^ 


though he warns the depntation that it may be tedious and will 

oerCaioly oot be easy. As Co the Gape Colony and NaCnl, the 

question 18 Co a oerCain escent simplified siuoe, of coatee, tb^ 
Colonial Office can speak t;o them wiih greater authority. 

The inoideot is oneof those whioh suggests wider queationa, 
than any Chat directly offer thems<>lveB for official replies. We 
are at the oeatreof a world-wide Empire, at a period when looo- 
lootioa is easy and is every day becoming easier, both in :fime. 
and cost. Some portions of the Smpire are crowded, others are 
oomparacively empcy, a'nd the flow from the oongeHCed to thei 
under-peopled discriots is continuous. What is to happen when, 
flubjeota difiaring iq colour, religion and habits from ourselves or 
from the natives of a particular spot emigrate to chat spot foe 
their liviug 7 Hovi[ are race prejudices and antipathies, the jeal- 
ousies of trade, i he fear of competition to be controlled? She 
answer, ol oourse, must be by intelligent policy at the Colonial 

Small as are the reQ;uirements of the Indian the steady growth 
of the population of India is snoh that a certain outward move- 
ment is inevitable, and it is a movement that will increase. It 
is very desiraele thai our white fellow-subjeota in Africa shonld. 
ijoderstand chat there will, lo all probability, be this current flovy-, 
ing from India, that it is perfectly within the rights of the British 
Indian to seek bis subsistence at the Cape, and that he ought, in 
the common interest of the Empire lobe well treated when he 
comes ihere. It is indeed to be feared that the ordinary Oolbnist, 
wherever settled, thinks muoh more of his immediate interests than 
of those of the great empire which protects him, and. he has soma 
difficulty in recognising a fellow-subjeot in the Hindu or-, the 
Paraee. The duty 'of thei Colonial Office is to enlighten him Jtni^ 
to see that fair treatment is extended to British subjeots of what-. 
■ ever colour. 

Again : — 

In India the British, the Hlnd^i and the Mussalman oommuJ 
cities find themselves face to f»oe with the question as to whe- 
ther at the outaec of the new industrial movements whioh have 
been BO long and aoxiously awaited. Indian tradefs and workerfli 
are or are not to have the same status before ihe law as all other 
BciciBh Bubjeocs^DJoy. May they or may they not go freely from 
one British poaseaaion to another'and claim the rights of British 
•flubjecta in allied states or ate they to be treated as ou'Oaste races, 
aubjeoi.ed CO a system of permits and passes when travelling oil 
their ordinary business avooations, and relegated, as tiha Transvaal 
Government would relegate them to a ghetto at the permanent 
centres of their trade ? These are questions which applied to all 
Indians who seek to better their fort,un6a outside the limiliB of the 
Indian Empire. Mr. Chamberlain's Words and the determined 


attitude taken up by every seotion 6l iihoilindian. press sbiow that 
for two Buoh queatioDs tbece can be but one answer. 

I shall take the liberby to give otie mors quotation 

from the same journal : — 

^ ■ ' , i. 

The question with which Mr. Chambbrlain Was called upbii 
to deal cannot be eo easily redaoad to ooa<irete terma. Qo the one 
hand ha clearly laid down t,he principle of tbo " equal rights " and 
equal privilege of all British subjeots in regard Co redress froQv 
loreign Slates. It would, indeed, haverbeen impossible to deny 
that principle. Our Indian subjects have been fighting the battles 
of Great Britain over half tbe old world with the loyalty and 
courage which have won the admiiiatioD df all Jjritishi men, . Tbe 
fighting reserve which Great Britain has in the Indian taoes adcfs 
greatly to her political influeuoe and prestige and it would be » 
violation of the British sense of justice to use the blood and the 
valour of these races in war and yet to deny them tbe protection 
of the British name in the enterprise of peace. The Indian 
workers and traders are slowly spreading across the earth from 
Oentrat Asia to the Australian Colonies and froin tbe Straits Settle- 
ments to the Canary Islands. V^berever the Indian goes he is 
the same useful well-doing man, lawabiding under whatever form 
of Government he may find himself, frugal in bis waots and in- 
,dustrions in his babils. But these very virtues inake him a for- 
'midable competitor in tbe labour markets to which he resorts. 
.Although numbering in the aggregate some hundreds of thousandsi 
tha imigrant Indian labourers and small dealers have only 
recently appeared in' tbe foreign countries or British Colonies in 
pumbets sufficient to arouse jealousy and to expose them to 
political injustice. 

But the fasts which we brought to notice in June, and 
which were urged on Mr. Chamberlain by a deputation of 
'Indians last week, show that the necessity has now arisen for 
'protecting tbe Indian labourer from Buob jealousy, and foe securing 
to him the same rights as otha^British subjects eujoy. 

GenbleoieD, Bombay haa spoken in no uooeKtain 
terms. We are yet young and inexperienoed, we have a 
'right to appeal to you, our elder and freer brethren for 
proteotiou. Being under the yoke of oppression we oan 
'merely ory oub in aoguisbi You have beard our ory. 
The blame will now lie on your shoulders if tha yoka is 
not removed from our neeks. 



Messn. Abdul Gani (Chairman, British Indian 
Association), Mr. Haji Habib (Secretary. Pretoria Cornr 
mittee), Mr. E. S. Goovadia, Mr. P. Moonsamy Moonlight, 
Mr. Ayob Haeje Beg Mahomed and Mr. M. K GandU 
formed a deputation that waited on Lord Selbome on 

- November, asind, 190S. On behalf of the deputation, 
Mr. Gandhi presented the following statement of the 
position to His Excellency : — 

There are^ besides laws afiaotitig ooloured people and therefore 
British Indian's the Peaoa Preservation Ocdinanoe and LawSoi 
1685 as amended io 1886. 

The Peaoe Preeetvatioa Ordioanoe, as its name implitB 
although framed to keep out of the Colony dangeroas oharaoier. ig 
being used mainly to prevent British Indians from enienng the 
Transvaal. The working of the law has always been harsh and 
oppressive — and this in spite o{ ihe desire of the Chief Secretary for 
Permits that it ehnnld not be eo. Ha has to receive instruotiooB 
Irom the Colonial OlSoe, so that the harsh working is due, not tO 
the ohief offioer in uharge of the Department, but to the eyseeni 
under whiob it is being worked, (a) There are still hundreds of 
refugees waning to oome, (b) Bnys with their parents or with- 
out are required to take oat permits, (c) Men with old £3 reKiaira- 
tions oomiDK into the oountry without permits are, though refugees 
being sent away and required to make formal applioatioo. {d) Even 
wives of Traugvaat resideota are expected Co take out permiis it 
they are alone, and to pay £3 registration, whether with or wiiboot 
their huebands. iGorreepondence jp now going on beiwern ifas 
Government and the British Indian Assooiation on thepoiur. I (<) 
Children under sixteen, if it oannot be proved that cbeir parents 
are dead, or are residents of the Transvaal, are being sent away or 
are refused permits, in spite of the faot that they may be supported 
by their relatives wbo are their guardian and who are rei^ldiiig id 
the Transvaal, if) No non-refugee British Indians are allowed to 
enter the Colony, no matter what their station may be iu life. 
(The last prohibition oauEea serious inoonvenienoe to the establish- 
ed merchants, who, by reason thereof, are prevented from drawing 
upon India for aonfidential managers or clerks.) 

In spite of the deolaraiione o{ her late Majesty's mioisteia, 

. and asBurauoes ol relief after the eetablishmeDC oi oivil Govetn- 


ment, this law remairg on the statute boob, and is being fully 
eoforced, though tnaoy laws, which were ooDsidered to be in 
ooDflict with the Brilieh cODScitution, were repealed as soon as 
British authoriij whs proclaimed iu the Transvaal. Law 3 ot 
1885 is insalting to British Indians, and was aooepted totally 
under a misapprehension. It imposes the {ollowing restriotions on 
Indians ; — (at It prevents them from enjoying burger rights, lb) 
It prohibits onneiship of fixed property, except in screets, wards, 
or locations set. apart lor the residence of Indians, (c) It 
oontemplates compulsory segregation in locations of British 
Indians for purposes of sanitation. And {d) It imposes a levy of 
£3 on every Indian who may enter the Oolony for purpoeea of trade 
oc the like. 

It is reBpeccfully submitted, on behalf of the British Indian 
Association thar, the Fcaos Preservation Ordinance should be so 
administered thut ia) it should facilitate the entry of all refagees 
without delay, (b) 'Children under sixteen should be exempt from 
any restriotion wbaLsoever, if ihey have their parents or supporters 
with them, (c) Female relatives of British Indians should be 
entirely free from interference or restriotion as to the lights on 
entry. And (di a limited number of lodians, though not refugees, 
should on the application of resident traders who mvy satisfy the 
Permit Offl)er that they require the services of suoh meu, be 
granted permits for residence during the period of their oontraot of 
service. (e) Indians with educational attainment should be 
allowed to enter the Colony on application. 

Both the Law of 1885 and the Peace Preservation Ordinanoe 
and all other colour legislation aSecting British Indians, should be 
repealed so soon as possible and they should be assured as to — 

(o) Their right to own landed property. (61 To live where they 
like, subject to the general sanitary laws of the Colony, (c) Exemp- 
tion from any special payment. |<i) And generally freedom from 
speoial legislation and enjoyment of civil rights and liberty in the 
same manner and to the same extent as the other Colonists. 

Though the British Indian Association does not share the fear of 
the European inhabitants that an unrestricted immigration from 
India will swamp the Utter, as an earnest of its intention to work 
in harmony with them and to ooociliate them, it has all along sub- 
mitted that -(a) The Peace Preservation Ordinanoe should be 
teplaoed'oy an immigration law of a general character, on the Gape 
or the Natal basis, provided that the educational test recognises the 
«reat Indian languages and that power be given to the Government 
•to grant residential permits to suoh mea as may be required foe 


tbe wants of Indians who may be themselves already established in 
businesses, (6) A Dealer's Ij'oeDoes Law of a general oharaoter 
may be passed, applicable to all seotions of the oommunity, where- 
by the Town Oounoils or Local Boards could control the issue of 
new trade lioenees, subject to appeal to the Supreme Court to 
review the decisions of such Councils or Local Boards. Under such 
a law whilst tbe then existing licenses would be fully proteoted, 
except when the premises licensed are not kept in a sanitary condi- 
tion, all new applicants would have to be approved or by the Town 
Councils of tbe Local Boards, so that the increase of licenses 
would be largely dependent upon the bodies abave-named, 


Before presenting the statement to Lord Selborne, Mr. 
Gandhi addressed His Excellency as follows : — 

Before I deal vvith the etatemeDb I am bo baud to your 
Ssoellanoy, I have beeo asked to mentica two matberB 
that baveooourred during yoar reoeot tour through the 
TraoBvaal. Your EsoelleDoy ig reported to have said at 
Pobohefatroom that "no non-refnges British ludians 
would be allowed to eater tbe Colony until tbe Represen- 
tative Assembly has oonsldered the qaestioa nest year." 
If tbe report is oorreot, it would, as I hope to show this 
afternoon, be a very grave iniaatioe to the vested rights' 
of the Indian oommunity. At Ermelo, your Exoellenoy 
is reportsd to have used the espresaion "ooolia store- 
keepers." This expression' has given very great offenoe 
to the British Indians in the Oolony, but the BrUiflh 
Indian AssooiaSion has assured them that the expression 
has probably not been used by your Bxcellenoy, or, if it 
haSi your Esoellenoy is incapable of giving thereby any 
intentional offence to British Indian storekeepers.. The 
use of the word "aoolieV has oaused a great deitl oi 


misohief in Natal. Atone time it beoame Ao serious that) 
tbe then Juatioe, Sit Walter Wagg, had to intervene and 
to pot down the use of that expreasion in oonnection with 
any bat indeaturad Indians, it having baan imported into 
the Court of Jaatioe. Aa your Esoellenoy may be aware, 
it means "labourer" or "porter." Used, therefore, in 
oonnection with tradera, it ia not only offenaive, bat a 
oontradiotion in terms. 

Coming to the abatement t^at the Britiah Indian Aaao- 
oiation ia submitting to your Excallenoy, I would take firab 
the Paage Preservation Ordinance. Soon after tbe 
Tranavaal beoame part of the Briciah Dominions, the 
aervioea rendered during the war by the dhooly-bearers 
that came with Sir George Wnite, and those rendered by 
the Indian Ambulanoa Corps in Natal, were on many 
people's lips. Sir George White apoke in glowing terms 
of the heroism of Parbhur Singh, who, perched up in a 
tree, never ones failed to ring the gong aa a notice to tbe 
inhabitants each time the Boar gun waa fired from the 
Umbulwana Hill. General Buller'a despatobes, praising 
the work of the corps, were juat out and the administra- 
tion was in the hands of the military officers who knew 
the Indians. Toe first batch of refugees, therefore, who 
were waiting at the ports, entered the country without 
any difficulty, bub the civilian population beoame alarm- 
ed, and called for the restriction of the entry of even the 
refugees. The result waa that the country waa dotted 
with Aaiatio officers, and from that time up to-day the 
Indian community has known no resB ; whereas aliens, in 
every sense of the term, aa a rule, got their permits at the 
ports on application there and then, the Indian, evea 


though a refugee had to write to the euperviaora of 
Asiatiog, who had to refer the applioation to the Colonial 
Office, before permits were issued. The process took a 
very loog time, from two to six months, and even one 
year and more, and then, too, the Colonial office had 
laid down a role that only so many permits should be 
issued to British Indian refugees per week. The result 
of this mode of operation was that corruption became 
rampant, and there grew up a gang of permit-agents who 
simply fleeced innooenb refugees ; and it was a matter of 
notoriety that each refugee who wanted to enter the 
Transvaal had to spend from £15 to £30 or more. The 
matter came bo the' notice of (he British Indian Assooia- 
tioD, repeated representations were made, and ultimately 
the Asiatic offices were wiped out. The mode of grant- 
ing permits was however, unfortunately still kept up, 
and the Chief Secretary for Permits has been always 
subject to instruction from the Colonial Office. Thug 
the Peace Preservation Ordinance, which was intended 
to apply to dangerous character and politioal offenders, 
under the iofluenoe of the Colonial Office had become an 
Indian Immigration Eestriobion Law, as it remains to 
this day. Under the present regime, too, therefore, it is 
a most difficult matter for even bona fide refugees to get 
permits, and it is only in rare oases that it is possible to 
get them, except after a delay of months. Every one, 
no matter what his status may be, has to make an appli- 
cation on a special form, give two references, and put 
his thumb impression upon the form, The matter is 
then investigated, and the permit is granted. As it this 
were not enough, owing to the charges made by Mr. 
Loveday and his friends, the Chief Secretary for Permits 
received instructions to insist on European references. • 


'This was bantamounb bo bhe denial of bherighb of Bribish 
Indian refugees bo enbet bhe oounbry. lb would be hard 
'bo find bwenby Indians who would be known borespeob- 
«ble Uaropeana by name as well as appearance. The 
Bribiah Indian Assooiabion had bo oorree^pond wibh bhe 
<jrovernmenb, and, in bhe meanbime, bhe issue of permits 
was suspended, and ib has been only labely realised bbai 
■bhe inaisbing upon Eturopean , reference was a serious 

Bub sbill bhe difSoulbies aparb from bhe neoeasiby lor 
European refarenoes are bhere, Mala children under 
-fiixbeen years of age are now oallad upon bo bal^e oub per- 
mibs before bhey oan euber bhe Colony, bo bhab it has 
i)een nob an unoommon exparianpa for libble children of 
ten years of age and under bo be born away from their 
parenba at bhe border bowns. Why such a rule has been 
imposed we fail bo undarsband. 

- The High Oommissioner : Have you ^v«r known a 
oaae where bhe parenbs have ababed beforehand bhab bhey 
faave children and which children have been refueed per- 
mission bo come in ? 

Mr. Gandhi : Yes ; and bhe parenba have been 
obliged bo make afGdavite before bhe children .have been 
allowed bo come in. 

If bhe parenba have the righb bo enter, so far as I 
am aware,, every civilised country has admitted the righb 
of minor children also bo enber with them, and, in any 
oase, children under sixteen years, if bhey oannob prove 
their parenba are dead, or bhat their parenbs have been 
^esidenb in bhe Transvaal, before bhe war, are nob. al-> 


lowed to enter or remain in the Colony. This is a very 
serious matter. Aa your Exoellenoy is aware, the "joint- 
family " system prevailB all over India. Brothers and 
siatera and their children live under the same roof from 
generation to generation, and the ePdest member in thfr 
family is nominally, as well as in reality, the supporter 
and the bread-earner. There is, therefore, nothing unu- 
sual in Indians bringing the children of their relatives 
into bbe oountry, and it is submitted that it will be a. 
very serious injustice if such children, who have hither^ 
to been left unmolested, are either deported from the- 
Colony or prevented from entering the Colony. The 
Government, again, intend to require the female relatives 
of resident Indians also to be registered, in the same- 
manner as the males. The British Indian Association 
has sent an empbatio protest against any such measure, 
and bas even submitted that it would be prepared to- 
fighb the question in a court of law, as, according to the 
advice given to it, wives of resident Indians are not 
required to take out registration cereifioates and pay £ 3> 


No new petmita are granced by the Government, no 
matter how neoeasary it may ba in certain oases. We 
vvere all extremely pleased to read in the papers your 
ExQellenoy'a empbatio declaration that the vested inte- 
reeta of the Indians who are already settled in the country 
ehould not be disturbed or touched. There are merohanta 
who bave constantly to draw upon India for confidential 
clerks, in order to enable them to carry on their bueineas. 
It is not easy to pick out reliable men from the reaideuit^ 
population. That is the experience of merohanta all 
over, and belonging bo all oommunibiea. If thereforei. 


new Indians are abaolubely shut onb of the country until 
the establishment of representative government, it will 
seriously interfere with these vested interests, and in any 
ease, it is diffioult to sea why naen of attainments and 
eduoatioD, whether they be refugees or not, should not be 
able to have their permits on application- And, in epita 
of all these hardships, our anti-Indian friends are never 
tired of saying the country is flooded with British Indians 
who were never in the Transvaal. They have made a 
■point of saying that every Indian who was before in the 
country was registered- I hardly think it is necessary 
for me to dilate upon this matter, as your Excelienoy has 
been told that all the facts with reference to this charge 
are wrong, but I may be pardoned for referring your , 
SiXdellenoy to a case that happened in 1893. Shire and 
Damat were large contractors of labour. They brought 
into the country at one time 800 Indian labourers. How 
many mora they brought I do not know. The then State 
Attorney insisted that they should take out registration 
■oertifioates and pay £ 3 each. Shire and Damat tested 
the matter in the High Court, and the then Chief Justice, 
Kotz3, held that these men were not, in the terms of the 
laW) called upon to pay £3, as they did not enter for 
" purposes of trade," and that he could not help the 
'Government, even if the men, after the contract was 
over, subsequently remained in the country. That is 
only one instance, which cannot be gainsaid, in which 
hundreds of Indians remained in the country without 
praying £8 each. The British Indian Association has 
always submitted, and that from personal experience, 
itbat hundreds of Indians, who did not take out trade 
licences, remained in the country witbouli ever registering 
4ihemselye? and paying 4t 3. 


Oomibg to Law 3 of 1885, ib has been often urge* 
that Indians, after the establislament of British Govern- 
nfent in this country, have reoeived relief with reference 
to trade lioenoes. Nothing, however, can be farther from, 
the truth.' Bafore the war, we were able to trade any- 
where we liked, as against tender of payment for lioenoe- 
moaey, The long arm of the British Government wafr 
then strong enough to protect us. and up to the very; 
eve of the war, in spite of the constant threats of the 
then Government to prosecute British Indians who were 
trading, no aoii'on was taken. It is true that now, owing, 
to the decision of the Supreme Court, Indian trade is 
unfettered but that is in spite of the Government, Up 
to the very last moment the Government declined tql 
come to the rescue and a^po^tioe was published called th& 
"Bazaars Notioe," which stated that, after a certain date, 
every Indian who did nob hold a licence to trade at thft 
outbreak of war outside locations, wpuld be expected nob 
only to remote to locations, but bo trade there also. 
After the notice was published locations were established. 
in almost every town, and when every effort to get 
justice ab the hands of the Government was exhausted,., 
as a last reSort it was decided to test the matter in a 
Court of Law. The whole of the Government machinery 
was then set in motion against us, Before the war a 
similar case was fought, and the British Government- 
aided the lodians to seek an interpretation of the law, 
which we have now received frdm the present Supreme- 
Court. After the establishment of the British Govern- 
ment, all these forces were against us. It is a ornet 
irony of fate, and there ifl no use disguising the fact that 
we have felb ib most keenly, and this, I may state, as- 


has now transpired, in spite of the faoi that the then 
Attorney-General told the Government that the inter- 
pretation they sought to place upon the law was bad , 
that, if it went to the Supreme Court, the matter would 
be decided in favour of British Indiana. If, therefore, 
British Indiana have nob been sent to looations and are 
free to trade anywhere they like, and to live where they 
like — as I say, it is beaause it is notwithstanding the 
intentions of the Government to the contrary. In every 
instance, Law 3 of 1885 has been, so far as the Indians 
are concerned* most strictly interpreted against us, and 
we have not been allowed advantage of any loopholes 
that are left in it in our favour, For instance, British- 
Indiana are not debarred from owning landed property 
in "streets, wards, or looations that may be set aparb''- 
by the Government. The Government have resolutely 
declined to consider the words "streets and wards," and 
have simply clung to the world looations, and these 
locations, too, have been established miles away, We 
have pleaded hard, 'saying that the Government have the 
power to give us the right to ownership of land in streets 
and wards, that they should make use of that power in 
our favour, but the plea baa been in vain. Even land 
which is being used Jor religious purposes, the GoTern- 
ment would not transfer in the names of the trustees, as 
in Johannesburg, Heidelburg, Pretoria and Fotobefstr 
roocTi although the mosque premises are good in every 
respect, from a sanitary standpoint. It is time, ws. 
therefore submit, that soma relief was granted to us, 
while new legislation is under consideration, 
Aa to the new legislation to replace Law 3 of 1885 
the despatch drawn by Sir Arthur Lawley has caused us 


a very great deal of paio. It insiate od legislation 
affeotiDg British Indians or Asiaticia, aa such. It also 
inslBts on the prinoiple of oonapulsory segregatloo both 
of whioh are in oGtjflJol; with ibe repeated assuraDces given 
to British Indiane, Sir Arthur Lawley, I wish to say 
vrith the greatest deference, bag allovred himeelf to be 
led astray by what he saw in Natal. Matal has been held 
up aA an axanaple of what the Transvaal would be, but the 
responsible poiitiorans in Natal have always admitted 
that Indians have been the saving of the Colony. Sir 
James .Huiett stated before the Native Affairs Gommis- 
sioQ that the Indian, even as a trader, was a desirable 
oitizen, and formed a better link between the white 
wholaaala merohRnt and the Native. Sir Arthur 
Lawley had also stated that, even if promises were made 
to British lodians, they were made in ignorance of the 
faots aa they now are, and therefore it would be a greater 
duty to break them than to carry them out. With tba 
greatest deference, I venture to submit that this is a 
wrong view to take of the promises. We are not dealing 
with promises that were made fifty years ago, though we 
undoubtedly rely upon the Proclamation of 1858 as 
our ' Magna Gbarta." That proclamation has been 
reaffirmed more than once. Viceroy after Viceroy has, 
stated emphatically that it was a promise acted upon. 
At the Ooofereuoa of the Colonial Premiers, Mr- Gbam- 
berlMn laid down the same doctrine and told . tba 
Premiers that no legialation affecting British Indians as 
such would be countenanced by Her late Majesty's 
Government, that it would be putting an affront quite 
unnecessarily on millions of the loyal subjects of the 
crown, and that, therefore, the legialation that was passed 
could only be of a general character. It was for that 


■reason thah the first Immigrabion Eaeliriotiion Aob of 
Australia was vetoed. It was for the same reason that 
the first Natal Eranohise Aot was vetoed, and it was (or 
the same reason that the Oolony of Natal, after submit- 
ting a draft bill applioable to Asiatics as suoh. had to draft 
another measure. There are matters, not of years gone 
■by, hut of reoenb years. It oanoot ha said that there are 
to-day any uew facts that have oooae to light to .change all 
this. Indeed, even immediately before the war, declara- 
tions were made by Miaisterg that one of the reasons was 
to protect the rights of British Indiana. Lastly, but not 
■ieaat, your Esoallenoy, too, gave expresaion to similar 
sentimenta on the eve of the war. Taough, therefore, the 
manner in which Sir Arthur Liwiey has approached &ha 
question ie, in our humble opinion, vary unjust and inoon- 
sistent with the British traditions, we, in order to show 
that wa wish to oa-operatie with the white ooionista, 
have submitted that, even though no such law existed 
before, there may now be an Immigration Act after "the 
basis of the Gape or Natal, except that, as to the edu- 
cational test, the great Indian languages should be 
recognised and that the already estaliahed British 
Indian merchants should have facilities afforded to 
them for importing temporarily men whom they may 
require in their businesses. That will at once do away 
with the fear of what has been termed an Asiatic invaaion. 
We have also submitted that with reference to trade 
{icanaes, which have caused so much grumbling, the 
power should be given to the Local Boards or Town 
-Councils to regulate the issue of any new licence subject 
to the control of the Supreme Court, All the existing 
licences should -be taken out of the operation of any 
such statute, because they represent vested interests. 


We feel tbab, if those two measures were passed, andLaw 
3 of 1885 were repealed, some measure and only some- 
measure of jusbioe would be done bo ludiaos. We sub- 
mib tbab we ought to bave perfeob freedom of owning 
landed property and of living where we like under the 
general munioipal regulations as to sanitation and appear- 
ance of buildings, and during the time that the legislation 
is being formed, the Feaoe Preservation Ordinanoe should' 
be regulated in aooordanoe with the spirit of suoh regula- 
tion, and liberal interpretation should be placed upon 
Law 3 of 1885. It seems to me to be foreign to the 
nature of the British Constitution as I have been taught 
from my obildhood, and it is difScult for. my oouutrymen 
to understand that, under the British flag whioh protects 
aliens, its own subjeots should be debarred from holding' 
a foot of landed property so long as good use is made of 
it, Uuder the oonditions, therefore, submitted by the 
Association, it ought to be possible for the Government to 
free the Statute Book of the Colony from legislation that 
neoessarily insults British Indians, I do not wish to touch 
on suoh questions as footpath regulations, when we have- 
to consider the question of bread and butter and life and 
death. What we want is nob political power ; bat 
we do wish to live side by side with other pribish 
subjects in peace and amity, and with dignity and self- 
respect. We, therefore, feel that the moment His Majes- 
ty's Government decide so pass legislation differentiating 
between class and class, there would be an end to that 
freedom which we have learned to cherish as a prioelesa' 
heritage of living under the British Crown, 



The deputation to the Earl of Selborne, High Com- 
missioner in South Africa, having failed in its efforts to 
obtain redress, the Indians led by Mr. Oandhi organised 
an agitation in England and succeeded in enlisting the 
sympathy of many Englishmen in the cause of the South 
African Indians. An influential Committee with Lord 
Ampthill as President, SirM.M. Bhownaggree as Execu- 
tive Chairman and Mr. Bitch as Secretary, was formed to 
guard over Indian interests and a deputation ffom among 
the leading sympathisers of the cause of British Indians 
in South Africa was organised to wait on the Earl of 
Elgin, the Colonial Secretary, The deputation luhich 
consisted of Lord Stanley of Alderley, Mr. H. 0, Ally, 
Mr. M, K. Gandhi, Sir Lepel Griffint Mr. J. D. Bees,. 
G.I.E.i M,P., Sir George Birdwood, K.C.S.L, Sir Henry- 
Cotton, KG.S.I., M. P., Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji, Sir 
M. M. Bhownaggree, K.G.I.E., Mr. Amir Ali, Mr. Harold 
Oox,M.P., and Mr- Thornton, G.S.I., waited on Lord 
Elgin on Thursday, November, 8, 1906, at the . Colonial 
office. Lord Elgin began by saying that his sentiments 
would all be in favour of doing anything he could for the^ 
interest of British Iridians. Sir Lepel Griffin having in- 
troduced the Delegates in a neat little speech, Mr. Gandhi,^ 
as one of the two delegates from South Africa, spoke a»^ 
follows : 

Both Mr. Ally and 1 are very muoh obliged to your 
Lordship for giving ua the opportunity of plaoiog the- 
British Indian position before you- Supported though-- 
vre are by distiogaiahed Aogio-Indiakn frienda and othara, 
I feel that the task before Mr. Ally ani myaelf ia very 
difficult beoauEe your Lordship, in reply to the oablegranx 


sent to you through Lord Selborne, after the great 
Indian Mass Meeting in Johannesburg, was pleased to 
ioform the British Indian Association that, although you 
would be pleased to give as every opportunity of stating 
our case, no good purpose was likely to he served, as 
your Lordship bad approved of the priuciple of the 
Ordinance, in that it gave sooie naeaaure of relief to (he 
British Indian oommunity, though not as muoh as His 
Majesty's Government would desire. We> who are the 
men on the spot, and who are afifeoted by the Ordinance 
in question, have ventured to think otherwise. We have 
felt that this Ordinance does not give us any relief what- 
soever. It is a measure which places British Indians in 
a far worse position than before, and makes the lot of 
the British Indian well-nigh intolerable. Under the 
Ordiuanee, the British Indian is assumed to be a 
criminal. If a stranger, not knowing the oiroumstanoes 
of the TrauEvaal, were to read the Ordinance, he would 
have no hesitation in coming to the conolueion that 
an Ordinance of that nature, which carries so many 
penalties, and wounds the British Indian oommunity on 
ali sides, musr. only apply to thieves or a gang of robbers, 
I venture, therefore, to think that, although Sir Lapel 
Griffin has used strong language in connection with the 
Ordinance, he has not at all exaggerated, but every word 
of it is justified. At the same time I beg to state that 
the Ordinance, as amended, does not apply to British 
Indian females. The draft Ordinance undoubtedly 
applied to females also, but owing to the very strong 
protest made by the British Indian Association, and by 
Mr. Ally separately, as Chairman of the Hamidia Islamio 
Society, pointing out the'greit violence that would have 
been done to female sanctity, if I may say so, the 


Ordinanoe was amended ao aa to take femalea out of ita 
operatioa. Bull ib applies to all adatt malea and even to 
obildren, to that the parents or guardians have to take 
out registration oertifioates for theit ohiidran or wards, 
aa the ease may be. 

It is a fundamental maxim of the British law that - 
everyone ia preaumad to be inoooant until he is found 
guilty, but the Ordinanoe revarsea the prooess, brand». 
every Indian aa guilty, and leavea no room for him to 
prove his innooenoe. There is absolutely nothing proved 
against ua, and yet every British Indian, no matter what 
his statua ia, ia to be ooademnad as guilty, and not 
treated aa an innooent man. My Lard, an Ordinance of 
this nature it ia not possible for British Indiana to re- 
oonoile themaelvaa to. I do not know that auoh an 
Ordinance is applicable to free British subjeota in any 
part of His Majeaty'a Dominions. 

Moreover, what the Irauavaal thinks to-day, the 
other Colonies thinks to-morrow. When Lord Milner 
sprang bis Bazaar Notice on British Indiana, the whole 
of South Africa rang with the idea. The term "bazaar" 
is a misnomer- it baa been really applied to iooationa 
where trade is utterly impoasible. However, a proposal 
was aariously made, after a Bazaar Notice by the then 
Mayor of Durban, Mr. Ellis Brown, that Indians should 
be relegated to bazaars. There ia not the alightest- 
reason why this Ordinance also, if it ever beoomea law, 
should not bd copied by the other parts of South Africa. 
The position to-day in Natal is that even indentured 
Indians are not required to carry passes as contemplated 
by the Asiastio Law Amendment Ordinance ; nor are 
there any penalties adtaobed feo the non-carrying o£ 


passes as are defined in the Ordinance under disoug- 
«ion. We have already shown, in our humble repra- 
aentabion, that mo relief has been granted by 
this Ordinance, beoauae the ramiasion of the £3 fag 
referred to by Mr. Dancan is qaite illusory, beoauaa 
all we British Indians resident in the Transvaal, who 
are obliged to pay £3 under Ltw 3 of 1885) and thosa 
who, under Lord Sslborna'a protnisas are likaiy to be 
allowed to re-enter the Transvaal, have paid the £3 

The authority to issue teoiporary permits is also 
saperfiaouB) in lihali the Government have already eseroia- 
ed the power, and (hare are to-day in the Transvaal 
several Indians in possession of temporary permits. 
Taey are liable to be espalled from the Colony on the 
expiry of their permits. 

The relief under the Liquor-Ordinance is, British 
Indiana feel, a wanton insult. So much was thus 
recognised by the local Government that they immediately 
assured the Indians that it was not intended for British 
Indians at all, but for somebody else. We have no 
connection with anybody else and we have always 
endeavoured to show that the British Indians ought to 
be treated as British aubjeots, and ought not to ba 
included with the general body of Asiatics with respaoi 
to whom there may bs a need for some restrictions which 
ought not to apply to British Indians as British subjects. 

There remains one mora sentimenli, that is, in con- 
nection with the land owned by the late Aboobalser. Tha 
land should belong bo the hairs by right, but under tha 
interpretation reluctantly put upon it by tha Saprema 
Court, that it is o«ly individual in oharaoSer, and does nob 


touch the oommunity, (be land oannoti be transmiliied to 
the heirs, The Ordioanoe is intieiided to rectify the error, 
but as I had the honour to represent the heirs, I ventured 
-to think that even they would not consent to pay for 
getting this relief at the price, in the nature of the 
Ordinance for British Indians ; and certainly the Indian 
oommunity can never exchange, for the relief given to the 
heirs of the land of Aboobaker, an Ordinance of this 
nature, which requires them to pay so great a price for 
what is really their own. So that under the Ordinance, 
in that respect again, there is absolutely no relief. Aa 
I said before, we shall be under the Ordinance branded 
as criminals. 

My Lard, the existing legislation is severe enough., 
I hold in my hands returns from the Court of the Magis- 
trate at Volksruat. Over 150 successful proseoations of 
Indians attempting to enter the Transvaal ha\[B taken 
place during the years 1905 and 1906, All these prose- 
cutions, I venture to say, are by no means just. I 
'venture to believe that, if these prosecutions were gone 
into, you would see that some of them were absolutely 

So far as the question of identification is concerned, 
the present laws are quite enough. I produce to Your 
Lordship the Eegistration Certificate held by me, and it 
will show how complete it is to establish idenbifioation. 
The present law can hardly be called an amendment. I 
produce before Your Lordship a registration receipt held 
by my colleague, Mr. Ally, from the Transvaal Govern- 
ment. Your Lordship will see that it is merely a receipt 
^or £3, The registration under the present Ordinaoce 
is of a different type. When Lord Milner wished to 


enforce L\w 3 of 1885, he suggested new registratioo. 
We protesiied agaioBti it, bul; on his strong advice,, 
as a voluntary act, we allowed ourselves to be newly 
registered ; and hence the form produced before Your 
Lordship. At the time the registration was nudertakeu. 
Lord Milner stated empbatioaliy that it was a measure- 
once for all, and that it would form a complete title to 
residence by those who hold suoh registration oertifioates,. 
Is all this now to be undone? 

Your Lordship is doubtless aware of the Fania case,, 
wherein a poor Indian woman in the company of her 
husband, was torn away from her husband, and was- 
ordered by the Magistrate to leave the oouniiry within 
seven hours. Fortunately, relief was granted in the end,. 
as the matter was taken up in time. A boy under 
eleven years was also arrested and sentenced to pay a 
fine of £ 30 or to go to gaol for three months, and at the 
end of it to leave the country. In this case, again, the 
Supreme Court has been able to grant justice, The con- 
viction was pronounced to be wholly bad, and Sir James 
Bose-Innes stated that the Administration would bring 
upon itself ridicule and contempt if such a policy was 
pursued. If the existing legislation is strong enough, 
and severe enough to thus prosecute -British Indians, is 
it not enough to keep out of the colony British Indians 
who may attempt fraudulently to enter it? 

It has been stated that the reason for passing the 
Ordinance is that there Is an unauthorised influx of 
British Indians into the Transvaal, on a wholesale scale, 
and that there is an attempt, on the part of the Indian 
community, to introduce Indians in such a manner. The 
last charge baa been, times without number, repudiated 


by the Indian oommanity, and the makera of the charge 
have been challenged to prove tbair statemeni). Tua 
first) Bbatemenb baa also been denied. 

I oughf) to menliioa one thing also ; that ia, the fourth 
resolution that waa passed at the Britiah Indian Mass 
Meeting. It waa passed by the meeting solemnly, 
prayerfully, and in all humility, and the whole of that 
great meeting decided by that reaolutionisMaii, if this 
Ordinance ever oame to be enforced and we did nob get 
relief, the British Indiana, rather than submit to the 
great degradation involved in it, would go to gaol, such 
was the intensity of the feeling aroused by the Ordinanoe. 
We have hitherto suffered much in the Transvaal and in 
other parts of South Africa ; bat the hardship baa been 
tolerable ; we have not considered it neoeaaary to travel 
6000 milea to place the poaition before the Imperial 
Government. But the strainibg point bas been reached 
by the Ordinanoe, and we felt that we should> in all 
humility, exhaust every resource, even to the extent of 
sending a deputation to wait on Your Lordahip, 

The least, therefore, tfaat, in my bumble opinion, 
is due to the British Indian community, ia to appoint a 
Gommission as suggested in the bumble representation 
submitted to Tour Lordship. It is a time-honoured 
British custom that, whenever an important principle la 
involved, a Commission is appointed before a step is 
taken. The question of Allen Immigration into the 
United Kingdom ia a parallel case. Charges somewhat 
similar to the charges against the Indian oommanity 
were made against the aliena who enter the United 
Kingdom. There waa also the question of adequacy of 
the existing legislation, and the neoesaity for further 


legislation. All these three points were referred to a 
GommiBsioa before any step was taken, I therefore 
venture to think that a Gommisaion ahoald be appointed, 
and the whole question thrashed out before any drastic 
measures are taken. 

I venture therefore to hope that Your Lordship will 
see your way to grant this small measure of relief to the 
British Indian community. 


Mr. Gandhi's appeal to Lord Elgin and the efforts 
of the British Committee in London were sucoessful only 
to the extent of securing from Lord Elgin a declaration 
that the ordinance would be hung up until the matter, had 
received the consideration of the Transvaal Parliament 
that was shortly to come into being, A constitutional 
^ovefnment was soon after formed in the Transvaal and 
the new measure received the Boyal Assent and became 
Law. The Indian Community in Transvaal, seeing that 
their efforts ivere all in vain, determined to fight and risk 
the consequences of disobedience in accordance with the 
resolution passed at a vast mass meeting of some 3,000 
British Indians held at the Empire Theatre, Johannesburg. 

On the 26th Decembert 1907, the Boyal Assent to the 
Immigration Act was announced and simultaneously came 
the news that a number of the leaders of the two Asiatic 
communities were warned to appear before the Magistrate 
to show cause why, having failed to apply for 'registration, 
as required by the law, they should not be ordered to leave 
the Transvaal, They were directed to leave the Colony 

bb:^orb xhe court in 1907 51 

fpithin a given period, and failing to do so, they were 
-sentenced to simple imprisonment for two months. 
Mr., Gandhi was one of those arrested and brought to trial. 

In Christmas week of 19(^7 Mr. Qandhi received a 
■telephone message from Mr. H. F. D. Papenfue, Acting 
Gommissioner of Police forr the Tvansva,al, ashing him to 
call at Marlborough House. Upon arriving there, he was 
informed that the arrests had been ordered of himself and 
■25 others. 

" The following account of the proceedings in Court is 
■taken from the " Indian Opinion." 

Mr. Gandhi gave hia word thab all would appear ba- 
4ota the respeotive magistratea at 10 A.M. aexb day and 
'iibe Gommisaioner aooeplied ibis guarantee. Next morning 
when he attended at the B. Criminal Court ha waa ask- 
>ed by the Superintendenb whether he held duly issued 
I'egiatration oertifiaates under law 2 ol 1907, and upon 
(rsoeiving replies in tba negatire, be waa pronaptly arreat- 
ved and obarged under aeocion 8 sub-aeabion 2 of Aat 2 of 
-1907, in that he was in the Tranavaal without a registra- 
tion oertifiaate issued under the aot. The Court was 
-orowded to exoessi and it seemed as if, at one time, the 
barrier would be overthrown. 

Mr. D. J. Sburmau proaeouted on behalf of the 

Mr, Gandhi pleaded guilty. 

Sup. Vernon gave evidenoe as to the arrest. 

Mr. Gandhi asked no queations, but went into the 

■box prepared to make a statement. He aasd what he waa 

ibouli to state was not evidence but ha hoped tha,Courb 

^woaid graat him iudulgsnoa to make a short explanatioa 


Beeing thab be was an ofiSoer of thad Court. He wished 
to say wby be bad not submitted to this. 

Mr. Jordan (Magistrate) : I don't think that haa any- 
thing to do with it. The iaw is there, and you have dis- 
olaeyed it, I do not want any politioaS apeeohea made. 

Mr, Gandhi ; I do not want to make any politioal 

Mr, Jordan : The question is, have you registered or 
not ? If you bave not registered there ia an end of. ika 
OBse. If yon have any esplanatlon to offei; as regards the 
order I am going Co oaake that is anoliher atory. There' 
is the law, whiob has been passed by the Transvaal legis- 
lature and sanotioned by the Imperial Government, All I 
bave to do and all I oaa do is to administer that iaw as 
it stands. 

Mr. Gandhi : I do not wish to give any evidence in 
extenuation and I know that legally I cannot giv» 
evidence at all. 

Mr. Jordan : All I have to deal with is legal evi- 
dence. What you want to say, I suppose, is that you dO' 
not approve of the law and you conscientiously resist it. 

Mr. Gandhi : That is perfectly true. 

Mr, Jordan : I will take the evidence if you say you 
coDsoientiously object. 

Mr. Gandhi was proceeding to state when he came 
to the Transvaal and the fact that he was Secretary to 
the British Indian Association when Mr, Jordan said ha 
did not see how that aifected the case. 

Mr. Gandhi : I said that before and I simply asked 
She indulgence of the Court for five minutes. 

Mr. Jordan : I don't think this ia a case in whiob 
the Court should grant any indulgence ; you have defied 
tho law. 


Mr. Gandhi : Vary wall, sir, than I hava notbiog 
vaore tio say. 

The Magistrate then ordered Mr. Gandhi to leave 
the oountry in 48 hours. 

On the 11th January 1908 Mr. Qandhi appeared before 

■the Court, and he pleaded guilty to the charge of disobeying 

■the order of the Court to leave the Colony within 48 hours, 

Mr. Gandhi asked leave to make a tthort Btatement 

and having obtained it, ha said he thought there should 

'be distinction made between his oaae and those who were 

to follow. He bad just received a message from Pretoria 

-stating that his oompatriots had been tried there and had 

been sentenoed to thiree months' imprisonment with hard 

labour, and they had been fined a heavy amount in lieu 

-of payment of wbiah they would reoeiva a' further period 

of three months' bard labour. If these men had oommils- 

ted an offence, he had oommitiied a greater offence, and 

ha asked the magistrate to impose upon him the heaviest 


Mr. Jordan ; You asked for the heaviest penalty- 
which the law authorised ? 
Mr. Gandhi: Yes, Sir. 

Mr. Jordan : I must say I do not feel inclined to ao- 
oede to your request of passing the heaviest sentence 
which is six months' hard labour with a fine of £500. 
l?hat appears to me to be totally out of proportion to the 
offence which you have committed. The offence practi> 
•oally is oontampt of Court in having disobeyed the order 
of December, 28) 1907. This is more or less a political 
offence, and if it bad nob been for the political defiance 
set to the law, I should have thought it my duty to pass 
4ha lowest sentenca which I am authorised by the aob > 


Under tba oiraumstanae, I bfaink a fair seDtence lio toeefp 
tbe case would be two montihs' imprisoomeat wibhonk 
bard labour. 

Mr, Gandbi waa tben removed in custody. 


As licences to trade or to hawk were refused without- 
the production of the new registration certificates many 
men were sentenced to imprisonment for hawking without 
a licence, until the Johannesbury gaol was uncomfortably 
crowded. Bealising that there was no sign of the passive 
resistance movement breaking down and impressed by the 
determination of the Asiatic communities, as well as the- 
increasing pressure of public opinion not only in England- 
and India, but also in South Africa and the Transvaal 
itself. General Smuts decided to try a truce, and accord- 
ingly invited negotiations from the imprisoned Indian- 
leaders. As a result of these negotiations, General Smuts 
suspended the operation of the Act, and agreed to accept 
voluntary re-registration, promising at the same time to- 
introduce repealing legislation in the next Session of 
Parliament, provided that voluntary re-registration had 
been satisfactorily effected- True to his promise, Mr. 
Gandhi took to voluntary re-registration and began advis- 
ing his countrymen to do so. 

One morning in February, 1908, when Mr, Gandhi set 
out to fulfil his pledge to the Transvaal Government that- 
he would undertake voluntary registration, he was attack- 
ed by a small section of the Passive Besisters who imagin- 
ed that Mr. Gandhi was playing the coward and betraying 
his trust. Though bleeding profusely he refused to seek 


police protection against his own countrymen and would 
not permit the Doctor to stitch up his face before complet- 
ing the form of application for voluntary registration, 
That same day, though tossing with fever, he issued the 
following manifesto from his sick bed : — 

Thoaa who have oommilited tha aob did nob know 
what they were doing. They tboughb tbab I was doing 
what was wrong. They have had bheir tedresB in bhe 
only manner they know. I, therefore, request thab no 
steps be taken against them. 

Seeing thab the assault was oommitted by a Maho- 
medan or Mahomedans, the Hindus might probably feel 
hurt. If so, they would put themselves in the wrong 
before the world and their Maker, Bather lab the blood 
spilb to-day oement the two oommunities indissolubly — 
snoh is my heartfelt prayer. May God grant it I ... . 
The spirit of passive resiatanae rightly cnderstood should 
make the people fear none and nothing but ' God — no 
cowardly fear, therefore, should deter the Met majority 
of sober-minded Indians from doing their dai.y. The 
promise of repeal of the Aot, against voluntary registra- 
tion, having been given, it is tbe saored duty of every 
true Indian to help the Government and the Colpny to 
the uttermost. 



Undisiurhed in any way by the murderous attack on 
him Mr. Gandhi was able to secure the voluntary re- 
registration of his countrymen by the middle of May, 
1908. It was now time for Genl. Smuts to carry out his 
promise to repeal the obnoxious act. It luas clear, however, 
Oenl. Smuts was determined to depart from Ihis promise 
and to " break faith." Immediate protests were made by 
both the British Indian and Chinese leaders to General 
Smuts, who, however, failed to satisfy them, constantly 
evading the issue. Finally he invited Mr. Gandhi to 
discuss the difficulty with him, and at the interview pro- 
duced a Draft Bill to repeal the Act. on condition that Mr. 
Gandhi, onbehalfof the British Indian community, would 
consent to regard certain classes of Indians as prohibited 
emigrants, including even those who could pass the most 
severe education test of the Immigration Act. Recognising 
at once that General Smuts' intention was to substitute for 
one piece of insulting legislation an even more humiliating 
law, Mr. Gandhi indignantly refused to contemplate the 
suggestion and negotiations were abruptly broken off. The 
agitation was in full swing ; the jails became crowded as 
usual ; a deputation was sent to England to explain to 
the British public how General Smuts had broken faith 
and was playing with the liberty and the conscience of the 
Indian community . The following statement issued by 
Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Haji Habib on the 5th Nov. 1909 
in London gives an account of the abortive negotiation 
made in England by Mr. Gandhi and the British Com- 
mittee there for redressing the wrongs of the Transvaal 
Indians : — 


Tbe Transvaal BritiBb Indian Deputation arrived in 
London on bbe lOtih day of Jaly last. Tbe enolosed atate- 
ment ot tbe Britisb Indian oaaa in tbat Colony was pre- 
pared immediately after the arrival in London of that 
Depatation, but ib was not issued as delioate negotiationa 
with a view to arriving at a qaiet settlement were in 
progress. We have now learnt tbat these have proved 
abortive and tbat tbe position remains unobanged. It 
has, therefore, beaome necessary for us to inform the 
publio as to how tbe matter stands and what the struggle 
of tbe British Indians in the Transvaal means. 

The es-Goloniai Secretary of the Transvaal, during 

its administration as a Crown Colony, writing in a 

magazine in South Africa in the month of February last, 

thus correctly summed up the gaestion : 

" The position of the Indian leaders IB that they will tolerate 
DO law which does not pat them on an equality with Euiopeans 
in regard to restriotion on immigration. They are willing to see 

the number of Asiatics limited by administrative aotion 

They ioBlst on equality in the terms of the law itself. 

That is still the position. 

Mr. Smuts, the present Colonial Secretary of the 
'Transvaal, ofiPers to repeal the Bagiatration Law around 
which tbe struggle baa been raging for tbe last three years, 
and to concede to a limited number of British Indians, 
■other than former residents of the Transvaal, certificates 
of permanent residence. Were tbe object aimed at by tbe 
British Indians the admission into the Colony of a few 
more of their brethren, this concession would be material, 
but the object they have bad in view in agitating for tbe 
repeal of the L»w being to secure legal or theoretical 
equality in respect of immigration, their purpose is fay 
the propoaed maintenance of the legal disability noli 
=advaDoed a step. We are not aware whether tbe abo ve 


modjfioatiion of the preaenb law proposed by Mr. Smats- 
will take plaoe irreapeotive of the oontinuaDoe of the 
passive reaistanoe at present being offered by the British 
lodiaaa of the Tranavaai, but we are in a positioD to- 
state that the proposed oonoeesion will not satisfy passive 
reaistera, The atruggle of the Indian oommuDity of that 
Colony was underliaksn in order to obtain the removal 
of the stigma oast upon the whole of India by this legia-^ 
lation, which importa a racial and colour bar into the 
Immigratioo Laws of a British Colony for the first time- 
in tbh history of Colonial legislation. The priooipie so lail 
down that British Indians may not enter the Tranavaai 
because they are Britiah Indiana is a radical departure- 
from traditional policy, is un-British and intolerable, and 
if that principle is accepted even tacitly by British Indiana^ 
we consider that they will be untrue to themaelvaa, to 
the land of their birth, and to the Empire to which they 
belong. Nor is it the passive resiaters in the Transvaal 
who, in amattercf this kind, have alone to baconsidered^ 
The whole of India is now awakened to a sense of the 
insult that the Transvaal legislation offers to her, and we 
(eel thai) the people bare, at the heart of the EmpirOi 
cannot remain unmoved by this departure, so unpreoe- 
dented and so vital, from Imperial traditions. Mr, Smuts* 
proposal brings out the issue in the clearest manner 
possible. If we were fighting not for a principle but for 
loaves and fishes, be would be prepared to throw them at 
Hs in the shape of residential permita for the amall 
number of cultured British Indiana that may be required 
for our wants, but because we insist upon the removal of 
the implied racial taint from the legislation of th& 
Colony, he ia not prepared to yield an inob. He would 
give us the husk without the kernel. He declineB to 


remove the badge of inferiority, but is ready to ohange 
the present rough-looking symbol for a nicely polished 
one. British Indians, however, decline to be deluded. 
They may' yield everything, oooupy any position, but the 
badgta must be removed first. We, therefore, trust that 
the public will not be misled by the specious ooncessiona 
that are being offered, into the belief that British 
Indians, because they do not accept them, are unreason- 
able in their demands, that they are unoompromising, and- 
that, therefore, they do not deserve the sympathy and 
support of a common sense and practical public. In the 
final reply received by us from Lord Crewe the following 
is the position that is taken up : 

Hia Lordship explained to you that Mr. Smuts was UDabIe< 
to aooapt the olaim that Asiatios should be placed in a position- 
of equality with Europeans in respect of right of entry or 

Herein lies the orus. Legal equality in respect of 
the right of entry, even though never a man does enter, is- 
what British Indians have been fighting for, and accord- 
ing to the reports we have received from the TransvaaU- 
is what some of them, at least, will die for. The only 
possible justification for holding together the different' 
commanitiea of the Empire under the same sovereignty is 
the fact of elementary equality, and ib is because tba< 
Transvaal legislation outs at the very root of this prinoipla 
that British Indians have offered a stubborn resistance. 

It would be contrary to fact to argue that no relief' 
can be had in this matter because the Transvaal is a 
SeH-Governing Colony, and because now South Africa, 
has got its Union. Tbe difSculty of the situation is due 
to a mistake committed at the centre of the Empire. The- 
Imperial Government are party to the crime against tb» 
Imperial Constitution. They sanctioned when they ae^d^ 


DOt have, aud when it was their duty not to have 
saaotiooed the leglBlation in gaesbion. They are now 
undoubtedly most anxions to settle this troubleaotne 
matter. Lord Crewe has endeavoured to bring about a 
eatisfaotory result, but he is too late. Mr. Smuts, 
perhaps, very properly has reminded his Lordship of the 
{aot that the legislation in question had received Imperial 
sanotion, and that he should or could now be called upon 
to retrace his' steps, because the British Indians in the 
Transvaal had undertaken to disregard the legislation, 
and to suffer the penalties of such disregard. His 
position as a politician and as an aspirant to high office 
"in a white South Africa" is unquestionable, but 
neither the British public nor the Indian publio are 
interested in bis position nor are they party to this crime 
of the Imperial Government. 

We may add that, during the last four months, 
arrests and imprisonments have gone on unabated. The 
leaders of the community continue to go to prison. The 
-Severity of the prison regulations is maintained- The 
Prison diet has been altered Tor the worse. Prominent 
tnedioal men of Johannesburg have certified (bat the 
present dietary scale for Indian prisoners is deficient. 
The authorities, unlike their action during last year, have 
ignored the religious scruples of Mahomedan ijrisoners. 
and have refused to give faoilitiies for observing the 
sacred annual fast which millions of Mahomedans scru- 
pulously undergo from year to year. Sixty passive 
resistors recently came out of the Pretoria gaol emaciated 
and weak. Their message to us is that, starved as they 
ware, they are ready to be re- arrested as soon aa the 
Government wish to lay their hands on them. The 
acting Chairman of the British Indian Association baa 


only juBb been arrested and Bentenoed to be imprieotied 
for tbree months with hard labour. This is his third 
term, He is a Mahomedaa. A brave Farsee, a well- 
adaoated man, was deported to Natal, He re-enteredi 
and is now undergoing six months' imprisoumenii with' 
hard labour* He is in gaol for the fifiiii time. A young. 
Indian, an ex- Volunteer Sergeant, has also gone to gaol 
for the third time on the sarae terms as the Parsee, 
Wives of imprisoned British Indians and bheir obiidren. 
either take up baskets of fruit, hawk about and earn- 
their living in order to support themselves, or are being, 
supported from oontribations, Mr. Smut8> when be re- 
embarked for South Africa) said chat be bad arrived aD- 
an understanding with Lord Crewe that would satisfy 
the large body of British Indians who were heartily siclc. 
of the, agitation. His prophecy has been totally disprov- 
ed by what has happened since. 


The £3 tax was not the only disability of South Afri- 
can Indians. Among the various legal disabilities to- 
which Indians were subjected, the most galling was the one 
concerning the introdtiction of the plural wives of Asiatios- 
into the Transvaal. The law involved great hardship on 
the Muslims in particular. Mr. Oandhi urged on the 
Minister "not for a general recognition of polygamy" , but 
contended " that, in continuation of the practice hitherto 
followed, existing plural wives of domiciled residents 
should be allowed to enter." On this question the follow- 
ing correspondence between Mr. Gandhi and Mr. E. M. 
Gorges took place in September, 1913. In reply to Mr. 
Gorges' letter, Mr, Gandhi wrote on 22nd September: — 


Dear Mr, Gorges, — I am muoh obliged to you for 

your lebber of the I9j1i instaDt regardiog tibe marriage 

^aeatioD. I faave not widened the original aciope of 

my request. Bat I shall endeavour as olearly as 

possible to re-state the position, 

It is submitted that authority should be taizen froaa 
Parliament during its nest session to legalise mono* 

-gamous marriages already solemaised or hereafter to 

«be solemnised by Indian priests among Indians belong- 
ing to non-Christian denominations. Legislation has 

'become necessary only beoaase the marriage olause in 
the new Aob was hastily worded without considering 
the full position. Unless the relief now sought is 

.granted soon, the status of Indian women married in 
South Africa is that of concubines and their children 
not lawful heirs of their parents. Such is, as' I take 
it, the eSeot of the Saarle judgment combined with the 
action of the Natal Master of the Supreme Court and 
the Gardiner judgment, I have asked for a promise 
■of amelioration during the nest session because I 

^submit that the matter is one of urgency. With regard 
to polygamy, I have not asked for legal reoogcitioo, 
but the admission under the powers vested in the 
Minister of plural wives without the Government in any 
wa,y recognising their legal status, The admission is 
to foe restricted only to plural wives already married to 
Indians who may be found to be unquestionably 
domiciled in the Union. This at once restricts the 
scope of the Government's generosity and enables 
them to know now how many such wives will have to 
be admitted, I have already submitted a plan as to how 

itihia can be brought about). 


In myibumbleopinioD.rthe letter of the 10:h August, 
3911, referred to in your ooBamuQioatioD, bears the 
interpretation I have placed upon it. The Britiab 
Indian As^ooiatioc raised the question of polygamy 
and the above-mentioned letter oontaining the aesuranoe 
"Was the reply. Id suppose you know that plural wives 
have aotually been admitted by the Immigration Offioera 
and that polygamous Unions are even registered on the 
Transvaal registration oertifiaates. 

As doubts have arisen as to the meaning of the term 
''monogamous marriage," I beg to record that the 
meaning that the community has placed upon ib is that 
a marriage is monogamous if a man is married to only 
one woman, no matter under what religion and no matter 
whether such religion under given circumstances sanc- 
iiions polygamy or nob. 

I observe that paragraph 2 of your letter seems to 
-suggest that my reply to your last wire did not though it 
-might have covered the other points referred to therein, 
I purposely refrained from tonobing the other points as I 
felt that no scope was left open for me to do so. £ut if 
General Smuts is still prepared to consider the other 
points, I shall be certainly prepared to make a further 
-submission. I cannot help feeling that the unfortunate 
rupture has taken place on points vary vital to the Indian 
■community but of little consequence to the Government 
■or the dominant population of the Union. 

Fray always consider me to be one the leasb'^desiroua 
to obstruct the Government and most anxious to serve it 
in so far as I can do so consistently with my duty to my 

To this Mr, Gorges replied that the minister after 
Jull consideration had ashed him to say that it would 


not he possible for him to give any assurance that legis- 
lation on the lines indicated by him would be introduced 
at the next session- Mr. Gandhi thereupon replied on 28th 
September: — 

Daar Mr. Gorge?, — I do noli know that I am jaatified 
in writing tbia letlier to you, bnt, as you have been 
peraonaily Bolioitoua aboat tbe non-revival of paseive 
resiatanoe, and as, in the oourae of my oonveraations 
with yon, I have so often told you that I have nothiog 
to withhold from tbe Government, I may as well in- 
form you of what ia now going on. 

I wrote to you from Pfaoeois in reply to your last 
letter, and if you have not yet replied to my com- 
muniaatioD bat intend to do ao, I would suggest your 
sending your reply to my Johannesburg address, as I 
shall habere for some time at least. 

The campaign has started in earnest. As you know, 
sixteen passive reaisters, including four women, are 
already serving three months ' imprisonment with hard 
labour. The resisters here were awaiting my arrival 
and the aotivity here will commence almost immediately. 

I cannot help saying that tbe points on which tbe 
struggle has re-started are suoh that the Government 
might gracefully granb them to tbe community. Bab 
what I would like to imprees upon the Government is 
the gravity of tbe step ws are about to take. I know 
(bat it is fraught with danger. I know also that, 
once taken, it may be difficult to control the spread of 
the movement beyond the limits one may set, I know 
also what responsibility lies on my shoulders in advising 
aucb a momentous step, but I feel that it is not possible 
for me to refrain from advising a step which. I consider 


to be naoaaaary, to ba of edaoational valae and, in thd 
end, to be valuabia both to the Indian oommanity and 
to the State, Thia step oonsiats in aotively, peraiatentiy 
and oontinuoualy aaking those who are liable to pay the 
£3 tax to daoline to do so and to auffer the penalties 
for non-payment, and, what ia more important, it: 
asking thoae who are now serving indenture and who 
will, therefore; be liable to pay the £3 tax on completion 
of their indantnra to strike work until the tax is with- 
drawn. I feel that, in view of Lord AmpthiU'a de- 
claration in the House of L'>rds, evidently with the 
approval of Mr. Gokhale, aa to the definite promise 
made by the Governmant and repeated to Lord Glad- 
stone, this advice to indentured Indians would ba fully 
justified. That the tax baa weighed most heavily upon 
the men I know from persooal experience ; that the 
man resent it bitterly I also know from personal know- 
ledge. But they have submitted bo it more or less 
with quiet resignation, and I am loth to disturb their 
minds by any step that I might taka or advise. Can 
I not even now, whilst in the midst of the struggle^ 
appeal to General Smuts and ask him to re-oonsider 
hia decision on the pointa alrnady submitted and on 
the question of the £3 tax, aod, whether this letter i& 
favourably considered or not, may I anticipate the 
assurance that it will in no wise be taken to be a threat ? 

(8d.) M, K, G4NDHI. 


While Mr. Gandhi was leading a deputation to 
JEngland, another deputation led by Mr. Polak came 
to India to press the question of the repeal of the 
£3 tax. Then followed an agitation in England and 
India in 1910-1912 which compelled attention of the 
authorities. Mr. GoTchale subsequently ,visited South 
Africa and made special representations to the Union 
Ministers on this particular question and a definite under- 
taking was given to Mm that the tax would be repealed. 
For a time it appeared that settlement was possible. But 
General Smuts again evaded and the tension became more 
when in 1913 a measure was introduced into the Union 
Parliament exempting women only from its operation, Mr. 
Gandhi wired to Mr. Ookhale asking whether the promise 
of repeal was limited to women only. Mr. Gokhale replied 
that it applied to all who were affected by the tax. Mr. 
Gandhi reminded the Union Government of the promise 
and asked for a definite undertaking to repeal it in 191i- 
The Union Government declined. It was then that Mr, 
Gandhi organised the great movement advising indentured 
Indians to suspend work till the tax loas repealed. Under 
his lead the Indian labourers gathered in thousands and 
they passed mine after mine adding to their numbers. Then 
commenced the historic March into the Transvaal allowing 
themselves to be freely arrested. The Government hoping 
to demoralise the Indians issued a warrant to arrest Mr,' 

Mr, Gandhi, was. on the 11th November, 1913, charged 
on three counts, before the Resident Magistrate, Mr. J. W. 
Oross, of Dundee, with inducing indentured immigrants to 
leave the Province. The Court was crowded with Indians 


^nd Europeans- Mr. W, Daizell-Turnbull was specially 
instructed by the Attorney- General to appear for the prose- 
cution, and Mr. Advocate J, W. Godfrey appeared for 
Mr, Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi pleaded guilty to the charges. 

Mr. TurnbuU read the section and left the matter in 
the hands of the Magistrate. 

Mr. Godfrey stated that he was under an obligation 
to the defendant not to plead in mitigation in any way 
whatsoever. The circumstances which had brought Mr. 
Gandhi before the Magistrate were weU known to all 
persons, and he was only expressing the desire of the 
defendant when he stated that the Magistrate had a duty 
to perform, and that he was expected to perform that 
■duty fearlessly, and should therefore not hesitate to 
impose the highest sentence upon the prisoner if he felt 
that the circumstances in the case justified it- 
Mr. Qandhi obtained the permission of the Court, 
and made the following statement ; — 

As a mepabar of tha professioo, and being aa old 
resident of Natial, he liiioughli bhab, in jasbioe bo himself 
skpd the public, ha should sbate thab bhe oouats agaiusb 
him were of suoh a uabare bhab be bool: bhe reaponeibiliby 
imposed upon him, for'be believed thab bhe demonsbra- 
biou for whioh bhesa people were talsen oub of the Colony 
was one for a worthy objaob, Ha felb bhab he should say 
that he bad nobbing against the employers, and regret- 
bed that in this oampaign serious losses were being caused 
to them. He appealed bo the employers also, and be 
•lelt thab the tax was one which was heavily weighing 
-down his countrymen, and should be removed. He 
also felb bhab he was in honour bound, in view"* of bhe 
.Dosition of things between Mr. Smuts and Professor 


Gokbalei to produce a atrikiag demonstratioD, He wa» 
aware of the miseries oausad to the women and babes ia 
arms. Oq ibe wbole, he felt he had Dob gone beyond 
the principles and honour of the profession of which he 
was a member. He fait that be had only done his duty 
in advising his countrymen, and it was his duty to advise- 
them again, that, until the tax were removed, to leave work 
and subsist upon rations obtained by charity. He was 
certain that without suffering it was not possible for them 
to get their grievance remedied. 

The Magistrate finally in pronouncing sentence 
said : — 

It ivas a painfui duty to pass a sentence upon the 
conduct of a gentleman like Mr, Gandhi, upon the deliberate 
contravention of the law, hut he had a duty to perform, 
and Mr. Godfrey, his counseU had asked him fearlessly to 
perform that duty. The accused having pleaded guilty, he 
{the Magistrate) accepted that plea, and passed the 
following sentences : — Oount 1, £20, or three months' 
imprisonment, with hard labour : Count 2, £20, or thre& 
months' imprisonment, with hard labour) to take effect up- 
on the expiration of the sentence in respect to count 1 ; 
Count 3, £,20 or three months' imprisonment, with hard 
labour, this to take effeH uport the expiration of the 
sentence imposed in count 2. 

Mr. Gandhi, in a clear and cahn voice, said : — " I 
elect to go to gaol." 

His counsel visited him later, and, through him, 
desired it to be stated that he was cheerful and confident, 
and sent as his message to the strikers the following '.— 

" No cessation of the strike without the repeal of 
the £3 tas. The Government, having imprisoned me, can 
graoefully make a declaration regarding the repeal." 


While Mr. Gandhi and his compatriots were suffei ing: 
in jail, his countrymen in India, under the guidance of 
Mr. Ookhale, continued to render all possible assistance to 
keep up the firm attitude of the South African Indians 
Money was raised in thousands for the help of the distress- 
ed in South Africa. And in December, 1913, Lord Ear- 
dinge's famous speech in Madras opened the eyes of the 
Imperial Government to the gravity of the situation 
created by the Union Government. Soon after a Royal 
Commission to enquire into' the condition of Indians in 
South Africa was appointed. In view of the forthcoming 
Commission's enquiry, Mr. Gandhi and his colleagues were 
released from prison. Soon after release Mr, Qandhi 
-made the following statement : — 

We wara diBohargad aaoonditiioaally on libe iSth 
iaatianli, on the reoamoaandaliioa of the OommiasioDt We 
were noi; told at bbe titua of our relief wby wa were being 
relieved, lb is nob trua bbati after relief we weot to 
Pretoria to see tba Miniatera. Kaowing aa wa db the 
feelioga of Mr. E^aalan, and Goionel Wylie towards 
lodiaoa, it ia impoaaible for us not to feel strongly tbat 
the Oomoaiasion has not bean appointed to give us fair- 
play, bat it is a packed body and intended to hoodwink 
the Government and the public both in England and in 
India. The Gnairmaa'd integrity and impartiality ia 
undoubted, but Mr. Eaaelen and Colonel Wylie are well 
known and admitted generally to be amongst the strong- 
est and most violent opponents of Indiana in South 
Aifrioa- Mr. Esselen has emphatioally deolared from the 
publio platform on many oooasiona extreme anti-Aaiatio 
views and is ao intimately related politioally to the Union 


Miniatera fchat he is regarded here praobioally aa a non- 
offioial member of the Ministry. Oaly reoenSIy heexpreaa- 
ed himaelf, privaliely, moab offensively aboub bbe Indiana 
to a member of She Union Parliament, named Mr, Mey- 
ler, who haa publioly protested againab his appointment. 
Colonel Wylie haa been our bittereat opponent in Natal' 
for more than twenty years. So far baok as 1896 he led 
a mob to demonatrate against the iandingof Indiana who 
bad arrived at Darban in two vessela, advocated at a 
publio meeting the sinking of the ahipa with all IndiaDs 
on board and commending a remark made by another 
speaker that he would willingly put down one month's 
pay for one shot at Jibe Indiana and asked bow many 
were preoared to put down similarly a month's pay on 
those terma ; and he has consistently been our enemy all 
these years. Moreover, he is Colonel of the Defence 
Force whose aots are the anbjeot of inquiry and he is 
also the Lsgal Adviser of many estate owners and during 
the present agitation he has openly aaid that the £ 3 ta^ 
ought not to be repealed. 

The Commission ia not merely judioial but also- 
political, inveatigating not only the facta aa to ill-treat- 
ment, but also recommending a policy for the future, and' 
it ia impossible that the Chairman will control tibe view» 
of his colleagues in matters of policy. The appointment^ 
of Messrs. Baselen and Wylie to investigate our grievan- 
ces and to stigmatise our protests agains'; their appoint- 
ment as an unwarranted reflection on their impartiality 
is to add insult to injury. Almost the entire South 
African Press admits the reasonableness of our suggas-^ 
tions as to the additional members. Ministers of religion 
and other European friends are working to remove the- 
j)ra86nt deadlock and seoure ua fair- play. We would be- 


prepared bo lead evidenoe before Sir Wiliiam Solomon 
alone if id was a queafeion merely of enquiriug into the 
charges of flogging, aolis of military and other ill-oreat- 
ment, but this inquiry ioaludea an esamination of griev- 
anoea also. Bafocja our release, public meetings had 
been held at all Indian eeatras throughout South Africa 
protesting strongly against the personnel of the Gom- 
missioD and urging the appointment of Mr. Sohreiaei: 
and Judge Bose-Innea to counterbalance Messrs., 
Esaelen and Wylie, Immediately on our release, as soon 
as we took the situation in, we addressed a letter to the 
Ministry asking for these additions to the Commission. 
Objection has been taken to the form in which this 
request was put forward by us, but we are confronted 
with a terrible crisis and it is not ea,fty always to weigh 
carefully the niceties of form at suoh n juncture. The 
Indian position has always been to insiB*; on the com- 
munity being consulted at least informally regarding 
matters vitally affecting it since it is voteless. 

In the constitution of the present Oommissioa, 
Indian sentiment not only was not consulted bub was 
contemptuously trampled on. Daring the recent dead- 
lock in connection with the European railwaymen'a 
grievances, the man were permitted to choose their 
nominee by a referendum, We merely aaked for infor- 
mal consultation when we were released. 

We found that the indignation of our countryman 
was at white heat owing to flaggings which had been seen 
with their own eyes, shooting which they believed to ba 
unjustified and other acts of ill-treatment, and this indig- 
nation wen further intensified by the harrowing accounts 
of prison treatment which the passive resisters includ- 
ing ladies who were released at this time on the expiry 


of their BenterioeB gave to the oommunity. In all our 
'Bxperieriae of prison treatment in this oountry never 
have we been treated before with suoh uoparaileled 
cruelty. Insults by warders, frequent assaultB by Zulu 
warders, with the holding off of blankets and other neces- 
sary articles, food badly oookeH by Zulus, all these 
neoessitated a hunger strike oausing immense suffering. 
You have to know Ihese things to understand the frame 
of mind with whioh the community met in the public 
meeting on Sunday, the Slst December, to consider the 
position and resolve on future action. 

There was but one feeling at the meeting and that 
was that if we had any self-respect, we must not accept 
the Oommission unless it was modified in some manner 
in favour of the Indians and we must also ask for the 
release of all real passive resister prisoners in which 
terms we do not include persona rightly conviolied of 
actual violence and we all took a solemn oath in God's 
name that unless these conditions were complied with, we 
would resume our Passive Basistanoe. Now this oath 
we mean to keep whatever happens. In this trouble we 
are fighting with spiritual weapons and it is not open to 
us to go back on our solemn declaration. Moreover, in 
this matter it is not as though it is the leaders that are 
«gging the community on, on the contrary so determined 
is the oommunity to keep the vow whioh it has solemnly 
taken that, if any leaders ventured to advice acceptance 
of the commission without any modification on the lines 
as^ed for, they would beyond all doubt be killed and I 
must add, justly so. I believe we are gaining ground. 
Several influential Europeans including some ministers 
of religion, recognising the justice of our stand, are 
working to help us and we have not yet given 


up the hope libati some way may be fonnd out of (he 

Id ail bhis oriais, I wish to say before oonoludiogi two 
(binga have greatly sustained and comforted ua, one is 
the splendid oourage and staunoh advooaoy of our oause 
by His Esoellenoy the Yioeroy and the other is the 
hearty support which India baa sent us. We shall do 
nothing now, till Sir Benjamin Bobertaon arrives and 
we shall receive him with all honour and trust both 
•foeoauae you tell us we shall find in him a strong friend 
^nd also because he has been appointed by the Yioeroy 
to whom we feel so profoundly grateful. Bat unless the 
^Oommisaion is made in some way more acceptable to 
US, I do not see how the renewal of Paesive Besietance 
oan be avoided. We know it will entail enormous suffer- 
ing. I assure you, we do not desire it, but neither shall 
we shrink from it, if it must be borne. 

At a meeting held under the auspices of the Natal 
Indian Association, Mr. Gandhi sketched his future pro- 
gramme. He said : — 

He would have preferred to speak first in one of the 
Indian tongues, but in the presence of Messrs. Polak 
and Kallenbacb, bis fellow- convicts, feelings of gratitude 
compelled him to speak first in the tongue they knew. 
They would notice he had changed his dress from that 
he bad formerly adopted for tbe last 20 years, and he 
had decided on the change when he beard of the shoot- 
ing of their fellow-countrymen. No matter whether the 
shooting was found to be justified or not, the fact was 
that they were shot, and those bullets shot him 
'^Mr. Gandhi) through the beart also, He felt bow 
-{glorious it would have been if one of those bullets had 


sbraok him also, beoause mighfe he not be a murderer 
himself, by baving parbioipated in lihali event by having" 
advised Indians to strike ? His oonsoienoe cleared him 
from this gailt of murder, bat he felt be shoald adopt 
monrniDg for those Indians as an humble example to his 
fellow-oountrymen. He felt that he should go into 
mourning at least for a period, which should be oo- 
eztensive with the end of that struggle, and that he 
should aooept some mourning not only inwardly, bat 
outwardly as well, as a humble example to his fellow- 
oountrymen, 80 that he oould tell them that it was- 
neoessary for them to show, by their oonduot and out- 
ward appearance, that they were in mourning. He wa& 
not prepared himself to accept the European mourning 
dress for this purpose, and, with some modification in 
deference to the feelings of hia European friends, be bad 
adopted the dress similar to that of an indentured 
Indian. Ha asked his fellow-countrymen to adopt soma 
sign of mourning to show to the world that they were 
mourning and further to adopt some inward observance' 
also. And perhaps he might tell them what hia inward- 
mourning was — to restrict himself to one meal a day, 
They had been released, he continued, not on any con- 
dition, but they knew that they ■were released on the re- 
commendation of a Commission appointed by the Gov- 
ernment, in order that every facility might be given not- 
only to them, but to the Indian community, to bring- 
before the Commission any evidence that community 
might have in its possession, He thought it a right and- 
proper thing that the Government had appointed a Com- 
mission, but he thought the Commision was open to the 
gravest objection from the Indian standpoint; and hfr 
was there to tender hia bumble advice to them that it 


was impossible bo aooepb the Commission in a form in 
whioh bhe Indians bad no voioe. Tbey were fighbiDg for 
so many grievanoes, and the underlying spirit of tbe 
abruggle was to obtain fall reoogniiiion on the part of tbe 
Government of the right of oousaltation in anything 
wbiob appertained bo ladian interests. Unless the Gov- 
ernmant was prepared to condescend bo that extent, un- 
less they were prepared to aaoerbain and respeob the 
Indian sentiments, it was nob possible for Indians, as 
loyal but manly citizens of tbe Empire, to render obedi- 
enoe bo their commissions or laws which they might 
have passed over their heads. This was one of tbe 
serious fundamental objections. Tbe other objection was 
bhab ib was a partisan Commissioa ; therefore the Indians 
wanted their own partisans on it. Tais they might not 
get, bat they at least wanted impartial men, who bad not 
expressed opinions hosbile to bheir inberests, bub gentle- 
men who would be able to bring to the deliberations of 
bhe Commission an open, just and imparbial mind. 
(Applause.) He considered bhat Mr. Esslen and Mr..^ 
Wylie, honourable genblemen as they were, could not 
possibly bring open minds to bear on the inquiry, for the 
simple reason bhab bhey had their own human limitations - 
and could nob divesb themselves of bheir anti-Asiatic 
views which* they had expressed times without number. 
If the Government appointed the Indians' nominees, and 
thus honoured their sentiments, and granted a release for 
the prisoners now in gaol, be thought it would be possi- 
ble for them bo assist the Government, and therefore the 
Empire, and bring, perhaps, this crisis to an end with- 
out farther suffering- Bat it mi^bb be that they 
might have to undergo further saffering. It might 
be that bheir sins were so greab bhab bhey might. 


bave to do still farther pananoe. " Therefore I 
hope you will hold yourselvea in readiaess," he pro- 
ceeded, " to respood to the call the Goveromeat may 
make by deolining our just and reasoaable reqaeste, and 
then to again force the pace by again undergoing still 
greater purifying suffering, until at last the Government 
may order the military to riddle us also with thair ballets, 
My friends, are you prepared (or this ? (Voioaa : " Yea,") 
Are you prepared to share the fate of those of our 
oouatrymen whom the oold stone is restiag upoa to-day? 
Are you prepared to do this (Ories of "Yas.") Then, if the 
Government does not grant our request, this is the propo- 
sition I wish to plaoe before you this morning. That 
all of us, on the first day of the New Year, should ba 
r^ady again to suffer battle, again to suffer imprisaQmeot 
aod maroh out. (Applause,) Taat is the only proaess of 
punfioation and will ba a substantial mourning both 
inwardly and outwardly whioh will bear justifioation 
before our God. That is the advice we give to our free 
and iodentared oouatrymen — to strike, and even though 
this may mean death to them, I am sure it will be justi- 
fied." Bat if they aooapted the quiet life, ha went on, 
not only would the wrath of God descend upon them, but 
they would inour the disgrace of the whole of that portion 
of the Qaropaao world forming the British Empire. (Ap- 
plause.) Ha hoped that every man, woman and grown- 
up child would hold themselves in readiness to do this. 
He hoped they would not oonsider self, that they would 
not consider their salaries, trades, or even familias, their 
own bodies in the struggle which was bo his mind a 
struggle for human liberty, and therefore a struggle for 
the religioa to whioh they might respectively belong- It 
-W48 eaaaacially a religious struggle — (hear, hear)— '.as any 


struggle involving asaeriiioD and freedom of (beir ood- 
eoienoa masfi be a retigioua atruggle. He therefore hoped 
they would hold themaelvea ia readinesa to respond to 
the oall and not listen to the advice of those who 
wavered, nor liateo to those who asked them to wait, or 
to those who might ask them to refrain from the battle. 
Toe struggle waa one involving qaite a olear iaaue, and an 
iaoredibiy simple one. " Dj not listen to any one," be 
oonoluded, " ba!i obay your own oonacienoe and go 
forward without thinking. Now ia the time for thinking, 
and having made up your mind§ stiok to it, even unto 
death." (Applause.) 


Though Mr. Gandhi declined, to participate 
with the Solomon commission his demands on behalf 
of the South African Indians were never extra- 
vagant. He realised the limitations under which 
they had to labour and he defined the limits of 
their ambition. Within those limits however he 
was determined to o'ffer resistance to interference. 
Beplying to the criticims of the "Natal Mercury" he 
wrote early in January 1914 : — 

Your firat leader in to-day's issue of your paper 
invites a statement from me, whiob, I hope, you will 
permit me to make. 

You imagine that a more potent reason for delaying 
the contemplated march is " to be found in the fact that 


the mags of the local Indian oommuoity oould nob be 
relied upon lio join in the resussibation of a form of 
ooniliot which raooiled mosti injarioualy upon the Indiana 
themBelveB." There are other iuferenaes, also, you have 
drawn frono the delay, with whioh I shall not deal all 
present. I, however, assure you that you are wrongly 
informed if you consider that the mass of the looal 
Indian oommunity is nob to be relied upon to join the 
march, if it has ever to be undei||tal:en. On bhe oontrary 
the diffioulty to-day is even to delay it, and tuy 
oo-worliers and I have been obliged bo send special 
messengers and bo issue special leaflebs in order bo 
advise bhe people thab bhe march causb be postponed for 
the time beingni I admit bhab speculation as bo whebher 
the mass of bhs looal Indian oommunity will or will 
not join the march is fraittass, because this will be, if ib 
has to be, pub to bhe besb ab no disbant date. I give my 
own view in order thab bhe public may nob be lulled 
inbo a sense of false belief bhab bhe movement is confiaed 
bo a few only among bhe communiby. 

The ahief reason, bherefore, for brespasaing upon 
your oourbesy is bo inform bhe South African publio 
through your columns bhab whilsb bhe great Nabional 
Congress thab has just cloaed its session ab Karachi was 
fully jusbifled in asking, and was bound bo aak, for full 
aibizan righbs throughoub bhe Btitiab Dominions for all 
bhe King's subjects, irrespective of oasbe, eolour, or 
creed, and whilsb bhey may not and oughb nob bo be 
bound by loaal oonsiderabions, we in Soubh Africa have 
repeatedly made ib clear bhab, as sane people, we are 
bound bo limit our ambition by local oiroumabances, we 
are bound bo recognise bhe widespread prejudice however 
unjustified ib may be and, having done so, we have 


declared — and I venliure to re-deolare through your 
oolumns — that nay oo-workers and I shall not be a party 
to any agitation whioh haa for its object the {ree and 
unrestricted immigration of British Indians into the 
Union or the attainment of the political franchise in the 
near future. That these rights must come in time will, 
I suppose, ba admitted by all , but when they do 
come they will not be obtained by forcing the pace, 
as passive resistance is undoubtedly calculated to do, bub 
by otherwise educating public opinion, and by the Indian 
community so acquitting itself in the discharge of all the 
obligations that £ow from citizenship of the British 
Empire as to have these rights given to them as a mat- 
ter of course. Meanwhile, so far as my advice counts 
for anything, I can only suggest that the eiforts of 
the Indian community should be oonoeutrated upon 
gaibing or regaining every lost civil right or every such 
right at present withheld from the community ; and I 
hold that even this will not happen unless we are ready 
to make an effective protest against our civil destruction 
by means of passive resistance, and unless through our 
self-suffering we have demonstrated to the European 
public that wa are a people that cherishes its honour 
and self-respect as dearly as an<y people on earth. 


The following letter from Mr. Gandhi to the 
Government places on record the agreement arrived 
at as a result of a series of interviews with the 
Minister at Pretoria. It was dated PretoriUf 
January 21, 1914 :— 

Before leaving for Pboeaix, I ventara tio expreaa my 
thanks to General Smuts for the patient and kind inter- 
views thai! he has been pleased bo grant ma during this 
time of overwhelming pressure. My countrymen will re- 
member with gratitude his great consideration, 

" I understand that the Minister is unable to aooapt 
(with regard to the Indian Inquiry CommisaioD) either 
(l) my suggestion that a member representing Indian 
interests should be oo-optad whan questions of policy are 
inquired into, or (2) my suggeatioa that a seooad 
Gommiasioo, with Indian representation should be' 
appointed to deal with those qaaationa only, the pre- 
sent Commission in that case beooming puraly judicial, 
I Bubmitted a third proposal also, which, in viaw 
of the Government's decision, I need not sfiate hare. 
Had any of my suggestions baan viewed favourably 
by the Government, it would have been possible 
for my countrymen to assist the labours of the Com- 
miaaion. Bat with regard to leading evidence before thia 
GommiaaioD, which has a political aa well as a judicial 
character, they have consoiantioua scruples, and these 
have taken with them a solemn and religious form, I may 
state briefly that these scruples ware baaed on the atrong 
feeling that the Indian oommuoity should have been 
either oanaalted or repreaented where questions of policy 
vrere oonoerned. 


The Minieter, I observe, appreoiatea these scru- 
ples, and regards them as honourable, but is unable to 
alter hi9 deoision, Asi however, by granting me the 
recent interviews, he has been pleased to accept the 
principle of consultation, it enables me to advise my 
oountrymen not to hamper the labours of the Commis* 
sion by any active propaganda, and not to render the 
position of the Government diffioult by reviving passiva 
resistance, pending the result of the Commission and the 
introduction of legislation during the forthcoming 

If I am right in my interpretation of the Govern- 
ment's attitude on the principle of consultation, it would 
be farther possible for us to assist Sir Benjamin Bobert- 
son, whom the Viceroy, with gracious forethought, has 
deputed to give evidence before the Commission. 

A word is here necessary on the question of allega- 
tions aa to ill-treatment during the progress of the 
Indian strike in Natal. For the reasons above stated, the 
avenue of proving them through the Commission is closed 
to us, I am personally unwilling to challenge libel 
proceedings by publishing the authentic evidence in our 
possession, and would far rather refrain altogether from 
raking up old sores. I beg to assure the Minister that, 
as passive resisters, we eadeavour to avoid, as far 
aa passible, any resentmeat of personal wrongs. But 
in order that our siienoa may not be mistaken, may I 
ask the Minister to recognise our motive and reciprocate 
by not leading evidence of a negative character before the 
Commissioa on the allegations in question. 

Suspension of passive resistance, moreover, carries 
with it a prayer for the release of the passive resistance 
prisoners now undergoing impriaoDmeat, either in tba 


ordinary gaols or bba mine oompouDda, wbioh -might 
have beea declared as auob. 

Fmallyi ib migbli noti be outof plaoa bera to reoapi- 
tulata Dba poinii|i oa wbiob relief bas been sougbti. They 
are as follows : — 

(1) Bepeal of thei£3 taix ia suoh a manner that the Indians ' 
lelieved will oooupy virtually the same status an the indentured 
Indians disoharged under the Katal Law, 25 of 1891, 

(2) The marriage question, (These two are the points, as I 
have verbally submitted, which require fresb legislation.) 

(3| The Oape entry question. (This requires only adminis- 
tracive reliei subjeot to ihe clear safeguards explained co the 

(1) The Ocaoge Free State question. (This requires merely a 
verbal alteration in the assurance already given.) 

(5) An assurance that the existing laws espeoially afieoting 
ludiaus will be administered justly, wich due regard to vested 

I ventare to suggest thab Nob. 3, i aud 5 preseoli 
DO special diffiaully, and thab iihe needful relief may be 
DOW givea on these toiubs as ao earneBli of the good 
inbeabioDS of the Governmenb regarding the resident 
lodiaD popuiabion. 

]i ibe Miuister, as 1 brusb and hope, views my 
submissiou with favour, I shall be prepared bo adfise my 
oounbrymen in aooordanoe with the tenour of this 


The passing of the Indian Belief Act in July, 
1914, in the Union Houses of Parliament brought a 
sigh of relief to the whole Indian population both in 
South Africa and in India. The abolition of the 
£3 tax, the legislation on the marriage question and 
the removal of the racial bar were distinctly to the 
adoantage of the Indians and on the lines recom- 
mended by the Commission. But there were certain 
other administrative matters which were not in- 
cluded in the Relief Bill hut which were of equal 
importance to constitute a complete settlement. 
Mr. Gandhi submitted a list of reforms in the 
desired directions which General Smuts discussed in 
a letter addressed to Mr. Gandhi under date, 30th 
June. On the same day Mr. Gandhi sent the 
following reply : — 

I beg to ackaowtedga reoeipt of your lebtier of even 
date herewith setting forth the sabstanoe of the interview 
that General Soauts waa pleased, notwithstandiiig many 
other pressing oalle upon hia time, to grant me on Satur- 
day last. I feel deeply grateful for the patienoe and 
courtesy which the Minister showed during ibe disoussion 
of the several points submitted by me. 

The passing of the Indians' Belief Bill and this cor- 
reapondenoe finally closed the Passive Besistanoe struggle 
whiob commenced in the September of 1906 and which 
to the Indian commanity cost biuch physical suffering 
and pecuniary loss and to the Govermenli maoh auxioua 
thought and ooniiideratioa. 


As the Minister is aware; aome of my couDtrymeB- 
have wished me to go further. They are dissatisfied that 
the trade lioensea laws of the different Frovinoes, the' 
Transvaal Gold Law, the Transvaal Towoahips Act, the 
Transvaal Ltw 3 of 1S85, have not been altered so as to- 
give tham full rights of residence, trade and ownership of 
land. Same of them are dissatisfied that fall inter-pro- 
vinoial migration is not permitted, and aome are dissatis- 
fied that on the marriage question the Belief Bill goes no 
further than it does, They have asked me that all the 
above matters might be inoladed in the Passive Besistanae 
struggle. I have been unable to oomply with their 
wishes. Whilst, therefore, they have not been inoludec^ 
in the programme of Passive Besistanoe, it will not be 
denied that aome day or other these mattera will requira- 
further and sympathetic oonsideraiion by the Govern- 
ment, Complete satiafaotion oannot be expected until' 
full oivio rights have been conceded to the resident ludiaa 

I have told my countrymen that they will have to- 
exeroise patience and by all honourable means at their 
disposal educate public opinion so as Co enable the- 
Government of the day to go further than the present 
oorreapondence does. I shall hope that when tha- 
Europeans of South Africa fully appreciate the fact that 
now, as the importation of indentured labour from India 
ia prohibited and as the Immigrants' Begulation Act of 
last year baa in praotioe all but stopped further free 
Indian immigration and that my oouutrymeu do not 
aspire to any politioal ambition, they, the Europeaaai- 
will see the justice and indeed the neoeaeity of my 
countrymen being granted ..the rights I have jast- 
leferred to. 


Meanwhile, if the geoerous spirit) thab bhe Govern- 
■menb have appplied to the breatmenb of the problem 
■during the past few monfiha oontiaues to be applied, as 
'IDromisad in your letter, in the admigtratioD of the 
-existing law?) I am quite certain (hat the Indian com- 
munity throughout the Union will be able to enjoy some 
measure of peaoe and never be a aouroe of trouble to the 


On the eve of their departure from South Africa 
Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi were the recipients of 
innumerable addresses from every clas^ of South 
African residents, Hindus, Mahomedans, Parsees 
and Europeans. Mr, Gandhi replied to each one of 
these touching addresses in suitable terms. 

On Wednesday the 18th July, 1914, Mr. and 
Mrs. Gandhi were entertained at a great gathering 
of Indian and European residents at the Town Hall, 
Durban, which was presided over by the Mayor 
(Mr ^W. Holmes). Telegrams were read from the 
Bishop of Natal, Gen. Botha, Messrs. Smuts, Merri- 
■man. Burton, Hoskin and others. The Mayor and 
-several speakers eulogised the services of Mr. 

Referring to the addresses whioh had been presented 
to him, he said that, while he valued tbem, he valued 
more the love and sympathy whioh the addresses had 
"expressed. He did nob know that he would be able to 


tuRke adequate compensation. He did not deserve all the' 
praise bestowed upon him. Nor did bis wife claim tO' 
deserve all tbat bad been said of her. Many an Indian, 
woman bad done greater service during the struggle than 
Mrs. Gandbi. He thanked the community on behalf of 
Mr. Kallenbaofa, who was another brother to him, for the 
addresses presented. The community bad done well in 
recognising Mr, Kallenbaob's worth. Mr. Eallenbaob 
would tell them tbat he came to the struggle to gain. He 
considered that, by taking |up their cause, be gained a 
great deal in the truest sense. Mr, Kallenbaoh bad done- 
splendid work during the strike at Newcastle and, when 
the time came, he cheerfully went to prison, again think- 
ing tbat be was the gainer and not the loser. Proceeding, 
Mr. Gandbi referred to the time of ^bis arrival in 1897 
when his friend Mr. Laughton bad stood by bim against 
the mob. He also remembered with gratefulness tha 
action of Mrs. Alexander, the wife of the late Superinten- 
dent of Foiioe in Durban, who protected him with her 
umbrella from the missiles thrown by the excited crowd. 
Beferring to Passive Besistanoe, he claimed that it was a 
weapon of the purest type. It was not the weapon of the 
weak. It was needed, in his opinion, far greater courage 
to be a Passive Besister than a physical resister. It was 
the courage of a Jesus, a Daniel, a Cranmer, a Latimer 
and a Bidley who could go calmly to su£fering ard death, 
and the courage of a Tolstoy who dared to defv the Czara 
of Bussia, tbat stood out as the greatest. Mr. Gandhi 
said he knew tbe Mayor bad received some telegratDS 
stating tbat tbe Indians' Belief Bill was not satisfactory. 
It would be a singular thing if in this world they would 
be able to get anything that satisfied everybody, but ia 
the condition of things i in South Africa at the presenlt 


lime, he was certain tViey oouli? not have had a better 
measure. '' I do nob olaim tbe credit) for ib," Mr. Gaodhi 
remarked. " Ib is rabher due bo the women and young 
people like Nagappan, Narayanasamy, and Valliamab 
who have died for the oaUBe and to those who quickened 
the ooDsoienoe of Soubh Africa. Our thanks are due also 
to the TJuioD Government. General Botha showed the 
greatest statemanship when be said bis Governmenb 
would stand or fall by this measure. I followed the 
whole of that historic debate — historio to me, historio. 
to my countrymen, and possibly historic to South 
Africa and the world." Proceeding, Mr. Gandhi 
said that it was well known to them how the Govern- 
ment had done justice, and bow tbe Opposition 
had come to their assistance They bad also 
received handsome help from both the Imperial and 
Indian Governments, backed by that generous Viceroy, 
Lord Hardings. (Cheers.) Tbe mm.nei' in which Indiai 
led by bheir great and distinguished coiintryman, Mr. 
Gokhale, bad responded to the cry which en me from tbe 
hearts of thousands of their countrymen in Sou.h Africa, 
was one of the results of tbe Passive Besistanoe move- 
ment, and left, be hoped, no bitter traces or bitter memo- 
ries. (Applause). " This assurance," continued Mr. 
Gandhi, " I wish to give. I go away with no ill- will 
against a single European' I have received many hard 
knocks in my life, but here I admit bbab I have received 
those most precious gifbs from Ear.opeans — love and 
sympathy." (Cheers.) This settlement, be said, bad 
been achieved after an eight years ' struggle. The Indians 
in South Africa bad never aspired to any political 
ambition, and as rsgardes the social question, that 
oould never arise in connection with the Indians, 


*' I do nob bold for one momeDt," Mr. Gandhi esolaicD. 
fid> '' that Easb aod West) caonotr combine. I think the 
day is ooming when 'EiBi masti meet West} or West 
meet Bast} but I think the sooial evolution of the West 
to-day lies in one ohanoeli and that of the Indian in 
another ohanael. The Indians have no wish to-day to 
«naroaoh on the sooial institueioas of the European in 
South Africa. (Cheers. ) Moat Indians are natural 
traders- There are bound to be trade jealousies and 
those various things that come from oompebition. I have 
never bean able to find a solution of this most diffioult 
problem, whioh will reqaire the broad-mindedness and 
spirit of justioa of tiha Qjvaramant of S3Uth Africa to 
hold the baUaoa between ooafliobiag interests." Bafer- 
ring to his stay in South Afrioa, Mr, Gandhi said that he 
shoald retain the mosB sacred memories of this land. 
He had been fortunate in forming the happiest and 
most lasting friendships with both Earopeans and 
IndianSi Ha was now returning to India — a holy land 
sanctified by the auataricies of the ages. In conclusion, 
Mr, Gandhi hoped chat the same love and sympathy 
which had bean given to him in South Africa might be 
extended to him, no matter in what part of the world 
he might be. He hoped that the settlement embodied 
in the Indians' Eelief Bill would be carried out ia a 
spirit of broad-mindedness and justice in the administra- 
tion of the laws lately passed in connection with the 
affairs of the Indian oommunioy. " Then," added Mr. 
Gandhi, " I think there will be no fear on the part of 
my countrymen in their sooial evolution. That is one 
of the lessons of the settlement." 


The following speech is the text of Mr. Gandhi's 
<iddress to Indentured Indians at Verulam on the 
12th July, 1914 :— 

Flaase understaDd, my iadanliureil oounfiryaiaD, tbetli 

il) is wroag for yoa to oonsider thab ralief has bsen 

-obtained baoaaae I or you have gone to gaol, but be- 
oauae you had the courage to give up your life and 

-flaorifioe yourselves and in this instance I have also to 
tell yoa that many causes led to this result, . I have to 
speaially refer to the valuable assistaaoe rendered by the 
Hon. Senator Marshall Campbell. I think that your 
thanks and my thanks are due to him for his work in the 

'^Senate while the Bill was passing through it. The relief 
is of this nature ;ithe £ 3 tax you will not have to pay, and 
arrears will be remitted. It does not mean that you are 
free from your present indentures. You are bound to go 
through your present indentures faithfully and honestly, 
but when these finish you are jus t as free a^ any other 

'free Indian under Aot 25, 1891, and can receive the same 
protection as set forth in that A it. You ara not bound to 
re-indenture or return to India. Disoharge oertifioates 
will be issued to you free of charge. If you want to go 
to India and return therefrom you must first spend three 
years in Natal as free Indians. If you, being poor, want 
assistance to enable you to go to India, you can get it on 
application to the Government ; but in that case you 
would not be allowed to return. If you want to return, 

'£ght shy of this asistance, and use your own money or 
borrow from your friends. If yon ra-indenture you 

40ome under the same law — namely, 25 of 1891. My 


advioe to you is: Da uot re-iudentare, but by all meaps 
serve your presenli masters under the oommon law of the 
oountry. Now, in the event of any oeoasion arising 
(whioh I hope it will not do), you vvill know what is 
neoesaary. * * 

Viotoria County baa not been aa free from violenoe 
as the Newcastle District was You retaliated. I do not 
oare whether it was under provocation or not, but you 
retaliated, and have used stioka and stones, and you have- 
burnt sugar-oana. That is not passive resistance. If I 
had been in your midst I would have repudiated you, 
and allowed rather my own head to be broken than 
allow a single stick or stone to be used. Passive reais- 
tanoe is a more powerful weapon than all ths stioka,. 
stones, and gunpowder in the world. If imposed upon, 
you must 8u£fer even unto death. That is passive re- 
sistanoe. If, therefore, I was an indentured Indian 
working for the Hon, Mr, Marshall Campbell, Mr.- 
Saunders or other employer, and if I found my treatment 
not just, I would not go to the Protector — I would go to- 
my master and ask for iuatice;and if he would Dot 
grant it I would say that I would remain there without, 
food or drink until it was granted. I am quite aure that 
the stoniest heart will be melted by passive resistaaoe, 
Let this sink deeply into yourselves. This is a sovereign 
and most effective remedy. * * "^ 

I shall now say my farewell to Verulam and you- 
all. The scene before me will not fade in my memory,, 
be the distance ever so great. May God help you all m 
your trouble. May your own oonduot be such that God 
may find it possible to help you. 


On the 15th July, 1914, at the West-End' 
Bioscope Hall, Johannesburg, Mr. Gandhi addressed 
a meeting of the Tamil Community, including maiiy 

Mr, Gandhi said tbat be fell!,,iti oonaing to meefi 
the Tamil hrotbsra and siBters, as if he came to meet 
blood felatioDS. That was a sentiment wbioh he had 
oherished now for many years, and the reason was 
qnite simple. Of all the diitereot eeotions of the Indian 
oommnnity, he thought that the Tamil had borne tha 
braot of the struggle. The largest number of deaths 
bbat Passiva Besistanoe had taken had been from the 
Tamil oommunity, They bad that morning gone to the- 
oemetery to perform the unveiling ceremony in aoDneotion 
with the two memorialp to a dear sister and brother.. 
Both of these had been Tamils. There was Narayaneamy 
whose bones lay at Dalagoa Bay. He had been a Tamil. 
The deportees had been Tamils, The last to fight and' 
oome out of gaol had bean Tamil's. Those who were- 
ruined hawkers were all Tamils. Tha majority of the- 
Passive Bssiaters at Tolstoy Farm had been Tamils. Or^ 
every aide, Tamils had shown themselves to be most- 
typioal of the beat traditions of India, and by saying- 
that be was not exaggerating in the slightest degree, 
The faith, the abundant faith in God, in Truth, that 
the Tamils had shown, had been one of the most suBtaic- 
ing forces throughout those long-drawn years. The 
noajorifey of women to go to gaol were Tamils. The 
sisters who defied the authorities to arrest them and bad" 
gone from door to door, from barrnoks to barracks at 
Newoaalilp, to ask the men to lay down tbetr tools aods 


■ flbrike work — who were they ? Again, Tamil sistera. 
Who matohed amoog the womeD ? Tamils, of course. 
Who lived on a pound loaf of bread and an ounoe of 
sugar? The majority were Tamils: though there be 
must give their due also to those of their countrymen 
who were called Calcutta men. In that last struggle 
they also had responded nobly, hut he was not able to 
say quite so nobly as the Tamils ; but they had oertainly 
come out almost as well ae the Tamils bad, but the 
Tamils had sustained the struggle for the last eight years 
and had shown of what stuff they were made from the 
very beginning, Here in Johannesburg they were a 
handful, and yet, even numerically, they would show, be 
thought, the largest number who bad gone to gaol again 
and again ; also if they wanted imprisonment wholesale, 
it came from the Tamils. So that he felt, when became 
to a Tamil meeHng, that he came to blood-relations. The 
Tamils bad shown so much pluck, so much faith, so much 

-devotion to duty and such noble simplicity, and yet had 
been so self-efifaoing, He did not even speak their 
language, much as h& should like to be able to do so, and 
yet they had simply fought on. It bad been a glorious, 
a rioh experience, which he would treasure to the end of 
hie life. How should be explain the settlement to them ? 
They did not even want it. But if he must he could only 
tell them that all that they and theirs had fought for had 
been obtained and obtained largely through the force of 
character that they had shown ; and yet they did not 
want, they had not wanted to reap the reward, except 
the reward that their own consciences would o£fer tbem. 
They had fought for the Cape entry right for Colonial 
borns, That they had got. Thay had fought for 
the iast adminigtratioD of the laws, That they had 


got. Tbey had foughfi for bha removal of the racial 
taint in the law with refereaoe bo the Eree State. That 
they had got. The £3 Tas was now a matter of the 
past. And, with refetenoa to the marriage questioa, 
all those dear sisters who had gone to gaol now 
oould be called the wives of their husbands, whilst bub- 
yesterday they might have been oaliad so out of oour>- 
tesy by a friend, but were not so in the eye of the law. 
That was one of the things tbay had fought for and bad- 
got. Truth was what they had been fighting for, and- 
Truth had conquered — not he or they. They might fight 
to-morrow for an unrighteous thing, and as sure as fata- 
they would be beaten and well-beaten, Truth was un- 
oonquerable, and whenever the aall to duty oame he- 
hoped they would respond. There was one thing more.^ 
They had sometimes, as every other section of the com- 
munity had, jealousies amongst bbamselves, Tbey had 
petty jealousies not in aoneotion with the struggle, but in 
matters which had nothing to do with the struggle, All 
those petty jealousies and dififerenoas, he hoped, would go, . 
and they would rise higher still in the estimation of 
themaelvo? and of those who at all grew to know them- 
and the depth of oharaoter which they had, Tbay bad- 
alsoi as all sections of the Indian community had, not 
only those jealousies but sometimes m&ny piokerings- 
also, and petty quarrels. Ha felt these also should ba- 
removed especially from their midst, beoaaea they had- 
shown thempelvas so fib to give themselves to the Mother- 
land. And hare, of coarse, it was a Tamil who had giverv 
his four sons to be trained as servants of India. He 
hoped Mr. and Mrs. Naidoo knew exactly what they bad 
done. Tbay bad surrendered all right to those children 
or life, and they could not possibly do anything to ad- 


vaooe tbeir maberial well-beiag, bub had always bo remain 
Bervanlia of ladia. lb wag no joke, and yeb Mr, and Mre, 
Naidoo bad oertaioly doDe bbab. Ha oould Dob appeal to 
bbem boo abroagly bbao bbey of all saotioos sboald rid 
tbemselvea of all those biokerioga, petty jealouBies aod 
qaarrela amongst themselves. He would also ask bbem 
wbeoevar they oboae a President or a Gbairman to obey 
him, to follow him, and not always listen to the views of 
this or chat man. If they did tbab their usefulness would 
ba curtailed. And then too thay should not worry if 
others and nob tiboy might reap the reward. Tbeir re- 
ward would be all the greater if it was not of this earth ; 
they were not fightiag for material reward, and a trua 
Passive Basistar never thought of material reward. Tbey 
should nob worry about material proaperiby, but always 
have higher things before them. Then indeed they would 
ba ilka the eleven working in the oommuniby whiob oould 
raise the oommunity as one to look up bo. The privilege 
was oertainly theirs and time also was at tbeir disposal, 
and if they make good use of that time it would be a 
splendid thing for the whole of South Afrioa, and would 
oertainly be a splendid thing for them; and if ha heard 
in India that all those libble bhings to whioh he had 
drawn attention had also been got rid of by the Indian 
oommunity he would indeed be rejoioad. One thing moret 
He had known something of Madras, and how sharp 
oaste distinotions were there, He felt they would have 
oorae to South Afrioa in vain if they were to carry those 
oaste prejudioes with them. The oasbo system had its 
uses, bub bhab was an abuse. If tbey carried oaste disbino- 
tionai to that fatuous extent and drew those diatincbione, 
and called one anobhar high and low and so on, those 
things would ba their ruin. Ibey should remetuber that 


they were noli high oaste or low oaate, but kH Indians, 
all Tanails. He said Taoiils, but) that was also applicable 
to the whole Indian oommuniiiy, but most to them 
beoause most was certainly espeoted of them. 


At Johannesburg Mr. Gandhi was the recipient 
of numerous addresses, from Hindus, Parsees, 
Mahomedans, Europeans and other important 
communities. Indeed every class of people, and 
every important association presented a separate 
address. Mr, Gandhi made a touching reply to them:. 

Johannesburg was not a new place to him. He saw 
many friendly faces there, many who had worked with 
him in many struggles in Johannesburg. He had gone 
through much in life. A great deal of depression and 
sorrow had been his lot, but he had also learnt during ali 
those years to love Johannesburg even though it was a Min- 
ing Camp. It was in Johannesburg that he had found his 
moat precious friends. It was in Johannesburg that the 
foundation for the great struggle of Passive Besistanoe 
was laid in the September of 1906. It was in Johannes- 
burg that he had found a friend, a guide, and a biographer 
in the late Mr. Doka. It was 'in Johannesburg that ba 
bad found in Mrs. Doke a loving sister, who had nursed 
him back to life when he had been assaulted by a country- 
man who had misunderstood his mission and who mis- 
understood what he had done. It was in Johannesburg 
that he had found a Kallenbaob, a Polak, a MXm Sahlesin 
and many another who had always helped him and had 


always ohaared him and his oountrymen. Johannesburg^ 
therefore, had the holiest assooiations of all the holy 
assooiations that Mrs. Gandhi and he would oarry baok 
to India, and, as be had already said on maay another 
platform. South Africa, next to India, would be the 
holiest land to him and to Mrs. Gandhi aod to bis 
ohildreo, for, ia soita of all the bittaraessas, it had givatt 
tham those life-loog companions, It was in Johannesburg 
again that the Earopaaa Committee had bean formed, 
when ladians ware going through the darkest stage ia 
their history, presided 7er tham, as it still was, by 
Mr. Hoslsen, It was last, but not least, Johannesburg, 
that had givan Valliamma, that young girl, whose piotura 
rose before him even as ha spoka, who had died in the 
oausa of truth. Simple-minded in faith — shd had not the 
knowledge that ha had, she did nob kaow whali Paaaiva 
Basistianoe was, she did not koow what it was the oom' 
munity would gain, but she was simply taken up with ua- 
bounded enthusiasm for her people — want to gaol, oama 
out of it a wraok, and within a few days died. It was 
Johannesburg again that produoad a Nagappan ani 
Narayansamy, two lovely youths hardly out of thair 
teens, who also died. But both Mrs. Gaodhi and ha stood' 
living before tham. Ha and Mrs. Gaadbi had worked ia 
the lima-ligbt; those others had worked behind tho soeoea 
not knowing where they were going, esoept this that what 
thay were doing was right and proper and, if any praise 
was due anywhere at all, it was due to those three who 
died, Thay had had the nama of Harbatsiagh givan to 
them. He (the speaker) had had the privilega of serving 
imprisonment with him, Harbatsingh was 75 years old, 
He was an ex-indentured Indian, and when he (the speaker^' 
asked him why he had come there, that he had gonS' 


(faere ^o seek his grave, the brave man replied, " Whab 
does it matber ? J know what yoa are fighting for, Yoa 
hfkve nob bo pay bhe £3 bax, bub my fellow es-uidenbared, 
ladians h^ve bo pay fchab bax, and whab more glorious 
dQ^bh oouid I meeb ?" He had meb bhab deabh in bhe gaol 
ab Doirbaa. No wonder if Paaaive BaBiabanoe had fired 
i^nd quickened the oonaoienaa of Soubb Afrioa ! 

Bub, praoeedad Mr. Gandhi, he oonourred wibb 
Mr. Dunoan in an arbiele be wrote some years ago, when 
he bruly analysed bhe abruggle, and said tbab behind bhab 
afarnggle for oonorabe righbs lay bhe 'great spirib which 
asked for an ababraob principle, and the figbb which was 
underbaken in 1906, although ib was a fi^hb against at 
particular law, waa a fight underbaken in order bo aombab 
the apirib bhab waa aeen aboub to overshadow the whole 
pf South Africa, and to undermine the glorious British 
Constitution, of which the Chairman had spoken so 
lofbily bhab evening, and about which he (the speaker) 
shared his views. It was hia knowledge, tight or wrong, 
of the British Qonstiituliioa which bound him to the 
Empire. Tear that Conabibubion bo shreds and hialoyalby 
alao would be bora bo shreds. Keep bhab Conabibubion in- 
taobi and they held him bound a slave to that Consbibu- 
tion. He had felb tbab bhe choice lay for himself and hia 
tellow-countryman babweaa bwp courses, when ihia 
spirit waa brooding over South Africa, either to sunder 
thamaelvea from the Bribiah Conabibubion, or bo fight in 
order that the ideala of bhat Conabibubion might be pre- 
served — but only the ideala. Lard Ampthill had said, in 
a prefaoa to Mr. Doke'a book, bhab bhe bbeory of tbe> 
British Conatibubion must be preaerved ab any coat if the. 
Bribiah Empire was to ba eavad from the mistakes bhat 
all the previous Empires hai made. Practice might. 


bead to the temporary aberration through vrhioh looal 
oiroumstanoes might oompel them to pasa, it might bend 
before UDreaeoning or anreasonable prejudice, but theory 
oDoe reoogniaed oould never be departed from, and ihig 
prinoipie must be maintained at any oost. And it waa 
that apiriii wbioh had been acknowledged now by the 
Union Government, and aolinowledged how nobly and 
loftily. The worde that General Smuts so often em- 
ohaaised still rang in his ears. He had said, *' Gandhi, 
this time we want no misunderstanding, we want no 
mental or other reservationa, let ail the oarda be on the 
table, and I want you to tell me wherever you think that 
« particular jpaesageor word does not read in aooordanoe 
with your own reading," and it was so. That waa the 
spirit in which be approached the negotiations. When 
lie remembered General Smuta of a few years ago, when 
he bold Lord Crewe that South Africa would not depart 
from ita policy of racial distinction, that it waa bound to 
retain that distinction, and that, therefore, the sting that 
4ay in this Immigration Law would not be removed, 
many a friend, including Lard Ampthilf, asked whether 
-tbey could not for the time being suspend their activity. 
He had said '' No." If they did that it would undermine 
his loyalty, and even though he migbt be the only person 
be mould stiil fight on. Lord Ampthill had oongratulac- 
ed him, and that great nobleman had never deserted the 
«au8e ev,en when it was at ics lowest ebb, and they saw 
the result that day. They bad not by any means to con- 
gratulate themselves on a victory gained. There was no 
question of a victory gained, but the question of the 
-eetablishment of the prinoipie that, so far aa the Union 
cf South Africa at least was concerned, ita legislation 
would never contain the racial taint, would never ooniiaiu 


the colour diBability. The pracMoe would oertainly 
be diiCeceat, There Tua the Immigratioa L»Wi li ra- 
«ogaised no racial distioations, but \q praoMoe bhay had 
arranged, they had given a promise, thab there should ba 
QO undue inflax from India as to immigraiion. That 
was a ooncession to present prejadioe. Whether it 
was right or wrong was not for him to disouss then. 
Bat it was the establiahmant of the prinoiple which 
■had made the struggle so important in the British 
Empire, and the establisbment of that prinoiple which 
had made those Buiferings perfectly justifiable and per- 
leotly honourable! and ba thought lihat, when they 
^ionsidered the struggle from that standpoinb, it was a 
perfectly dignified thing for any gathering to con- 
-gratulate itsalf upon such a vindication of the prinoiples 
of the Bcibish Constitution, One word of caution he 
wished to utter regarding the settlemant. Tba settle- 
ment was hoDOurabla to both parties. He diii not think 
there was any room left for misunderstanding, but whilst 
jt was final in the sense that it closed the great struggle, 
it was not final in the sense that it gave to Indians all 
that they were entitled to. There was still the Gold Law 
which had many a sting in it. There was still the 
Licensing L%ws throughout the Union, which also ooa- 
.tained many a sting. There was still a matter which the 
Colonial-born Indians especially could not understand or 
appreciate, namely, the water-tight compartments in 
which they had to live ; whilst there was absolutely free 
inter-communication and inter-migration between the 
Provinces for Europeans, Indians had to be cooped up in 
their respective Frovinoes. Then there was undue 
restraint on their trading activity. There was the 
prohibition as to holding landed property in tfa^ 


Transvaal, whioh was degradiog, and all these things 
took ladiana into all kinds of uodesirable ohannels. 
These restriotioaa would have to be removed. Bat for 
that, he thought, auf&oiant patienoe would have to be 
exeroised. Time was now at their dispoBal, and how 
wonderfully the tone had been changed I And here he 
had been told in Capetown, and he believed it implicitly, 
the spirit of Mr. Andrews had pervaded all those states- 
men and leading men whom he saw. He oame and went 
away after a brief period, hut he certainly fired those 
whom he saw with a sense of their duty to the Empire 
of whiob they "were members. But, in any case, to 
whatever oiroumstanQes that healthy tone was due, it had 
not esoaped him. Qe had seen it amongst European 
friends whom he met at Capetown ; he had seen it more 
fully in Durban, and this time it had been hia privilege 
to meet many Europeans who were perfect strangers 
even on board the train, who had come smilingly 
forward to congratulate him on what they had called a 
great victory. KiVery where be had notioed that healthy 
tone. He asked European friends to continue that 
activity, either through the European Committee or 
through other ohannels, and to give hia fellow-country- 
men their help and extend that fellow-feeling to them 
also, so that they might be able to work out their own 

To his countrymen he would say that they should 
wait and nurse the settlement, which he considered was 
all that they could possibly and reasonably have expect- 
ed, and that they would now live to see, with the co- 
operation of their European friends, that what was 
promised waa fulfilled, that the administration of the 
existing laws waa just, and that vested rights were 


Tespeotecl in the adminiatiratiioii ; that after they had 
nursed these things, if they oultivated European public 
-opinion, making it' possible for the Government of the 
day to grant a restoration of tlie'bt^^r rigbtET of whiob 
they had been deprived, be did not think that there need 
be any fear about tbe future. He thought that, with 
mutual ao-operation, wit¥ muYaal good-will, with due 
response on the part of either party, the Indian 
oommuoity need ever be' a source of weakness to that 
'Government or to any Government, Qa the contrary 
he had full faith in his oouotrymen that, if they were 
welV-treateid, they would alwayslrise to tlie occasion and 
help the (jroveVnmenf of the day. If tliey Had' insisted on 
their rights on many an occasion, he hop^d't'hat't^e Euro- 
pean friends who were tfaeire would remember that they 
'had also diactiarged the responsibilities which had faced 

And noW it was time for him to' close his remarks 
and say a few words of fiirdwell only. He did liot know 
how he could expres'S' those words. The best years of 
bis life had been passed in South Africa. India, as bis 
dietingaishedi oonntryman, Mr, Gokhale, had reminded' 
faim, had' become a strange land' tio hiiu. South Africa, 
he koew, but^ not India. He did not know whatf impdlled' 
bim to go to India, but be did know that th^ parting 
from them all, the parting from tbe European friend'r 
who had helped him through thick and thin, was- a heavy 
blow, and one he was least able to bear, yet be knew he' 
had to part from them, He oould only say farewell and 
ask them bo giV'C him their blessing, to pray for them 
that their beads might not be turned by the praise they 
had' reoeired; that they might still know how to do their 
duty to the best of bfaeir ability, that- they might' still 


learn thai) firab, seoond, and last should be tiba approba- 
tion of tbeir own consoienoa, and bhati then whatever 
might be due to them would follow in iba own time. — 
From ^'The Souvenir of the Passive Resistance Movement 
in Smith Africa." 


Just before leaving South Africa, Mr. Oandhi 
handed to Beuter's Agent at Capetown the following 
letter addressed to the Indian and European public 
of South Africa: — 

I would li'ke on the eve of my departure for lodin 
to Bay a few worda to my countrymen in South Africa, 
and a1ao to the European oommunity. The kindoesa 
with which both European and Indian frienda have' 
overwhelmed me aenda ma to India a debtor to tbem- li 
ia a debt I ahall endeavour to repay by rendering in India 
what aervioea I am capable of rendering there , and if in 
speaking about the South African Indian qneation I am 
obliged to refer to the injuaticea whioh my countrymen 
have received and may hereafter receive, I promise that< 
I ahall never wilfully exaggerate, and ahall atate the truth 
and nothing but the truth. 

A word about the aettlemenl, and what it means. Id- 
my humble opinion itia the Magna Gharta of our liberty 
in thia land. I give it the hiatoric name, not beaausa it 
gives US righta whioh we have never enjoyed and which 
are in themaelves new or striking, but because it haa 
come to us after eight years' strenuous suffering, that has 
involved the loss of material posaeasions and of precious 


livea. I call it our Magna CharU beoause id marka a, 
ohange in the poUoy of the Government towards us and 
establishes our right not only to be oonsolted in matters 
affecting ua, bat to have our reasonable wishes respected. 
It moreover confirms the theory of the British Oonatitu- 
tion that there should be no legal raoial inequality be- 
tween different eubjeots of the Grown, no matter how 
much practice may vary according to local oircGmstance. 
Above all the settlement may well be called oar Magna 
Gharta, because it has vindicated Passive Besistanoa as 
a lawful clean weapon, and has given in Passive Basiat- 
ance a new strength to the community ; and I consider ib 
an infinitely superior force to that of iha voie, which 
history shows has often bean turned againsk the voiierB 

The settlement finally distjoaea of al),the points that 
were the subject-matter of Passive Beaiatanoe, and in do- 
ing so it breathes the spirit of justioa and fair play. If 
the same spirit guides the administration of the existing 
laws my countrymen will have comparative peacOi and 
South Africa will hear little of Indian problem in an 
acute form. 

Some of my countryman have protoated against it. 
The number of these protestants is numerically very 
small and in influence not of great importance. They 
do not object to what has been granted, but they object 
that it is not enough. It is impossible, therefore, to 
withhold sympathy from them. I have had an oppor- 
tunity of speaking to them, and I have endeavoured to 
show to them that if we had asked for anything more It 
would have been a breach of submission made on behalf 
of the British Indiana in a letter addressed to the Govern- 
ment by Mr. Gachalia during the latter part of last year 


aod we should have laid ourseWes opan to the charge of 
naaking new dbmaodB. 

But I have also assured them that the present set- 
tlement does not praolada them from agitation (as has 
been mads clear in my letter to the Secretary of the 
Interior of the 16th uUimo) for the removal of Other 
disabilities crbich the community will still suSer froin 
ucder the Gold Liw, the Townships Act, the Law 3 6f 
1885 of the Transvaal and the Trade Licences Laws of 
Natftl and the Cape. Tela promlsa made by General Smuts 
to administer the esisting law justly and with due regard 
to vested rights gives the community bt'eathing time, but 
these laws ara in thamsalvas dafaotive, and can bd, as 
tbey hsva badtf, tarned into anginas of Oppression add 
iDstrumsnts by indirect means to drive the resident 
Indian popuUC'idtil from S3Uth Africa- Tbe ooncession to 
popular pfdjudica in that we have raoaaoiled ourselves to 
the almos't total prohibition by administrafrive methods 
of a fresh infljx of lacliaa immigrants, and to the depriva- 
tion of all political po«7ar, iss in my opinion, the utmost 
that could ha' reasonably espeotad from us. These twd 
things being assured, I venture to submit thaii we are 
entitled to full rights of trade, inter- provincial migration,, 
aud bwaershi [I of landed property being restored in the 
nbt distant future. I leave South Africa in tbe hope thai 
the haslthy tone that pervades tibe European oommUnity 
in South Africa to-day will continue, and that it Wilt 
enable Europaans to recagdise the inharaoit justice of 6ur 
submission, To my countrymen I have at Various meet- 
ings that I have addressed during the pEis't fortolgfat 
attended iu several cases by thousands, said, "Nurse the 
settlement ; see to it that tbe promises made are being 
carried out. Attend to development and progress frooi 


'\TithiD, Zanlously remove all oaases whioh we may 
tava given for the rise and growth of anbi-Indian preju- 
dioa or agitation, and patiently oultivste and inform 
HaropAan opinion bo as to enable the Government of the 
day and legislature to restore to us our rights." tt is by 
mutual oo-operation and goodwill that tde solution of the 
i)Blanoe of the pressing disabilities whioh were not made 
voints for Passive Besistanoe may be obtained in the 
uabaral ooarse, and without trouble or agitation in an 
acute form. 

The presehoe of a large indentured and es-indentar- 
fid Indian population in Natal is a grave problem, 
CompalEtory repatriation is a physioal and potitioal 
jmpossibility, voluntary repatriation by way of granting 
free passages and similar induoements will not — as my 
«xperieliae teaofaes me^-be availed of to any appreoiable 
-extent, "fhe only real and effeoliive remedy for the great 
State to adopt is to face respoasibility fdirl'y and 
'squaraly, to do av^ay with the remnant of the system of 
indenture, and to level up this part of the population and 
make xiae of it for the general welfare of the tJdion, 
]Vlen and women who can e£Eaotively strike in tatg^ 
bodies, who oan for a oommoa purpose suffer untol'cl 
hardships, who oan, uadisoiplinad though they are, he 
martyrs for days without polide supervis'lon and yeS 
avoid doing any damage to property or person, and who 
-oan id times of need serve their King faithfully etnd 
-oapably, as the ambulaooe oorps raided at the time of th>e( 
late war (and which had among other olasses orf Iadi>aa<s 
nearly I|500 indentured Indians) bore wi'tnaas, are 
aurefy people who wflT, if given ordinary opportanities inf 
Jife, form an hdnouralJle part of any nation. 


If any olasa of persons have speoial olaim to br 
considered, ii) is lihese iadeatured Indians and their 
children, bo whom South Africa has beoome either a land 
of adoption or of birth. They did not enter the Unioo 
as ordinary free immigrants, but they came upon invita- 
tion, and indeed even after mnoh coaxing, by agents o£ 
South African employers of this class of labour. In this 
letter I have endeavoured as accurately and as fairly as 
is in my power to set forth the Indian situation) and the 
extraordinary courtesy, kindness and sympathy that: 
have been shown to me during the past month by so- 
many European friends. The frankaesa and generosity 
with which General Smuts, in the interview, that he waa< 
pleased to grant me, approached the questions at issuer 
and the importance that so many distinguished members, 
of both Houses of Parliament attached to the Imperial 
aspect of the problem, give me ample reason for believ- 
ing that my countrymen who have made South Africa 
their homes will receive a fairly full measure of justice 
and will be enabled to remain in the Union with self-^ 
respect and dignity. 

Finally, in bidding good-bye to South Africa, I 
would like to apologise to so many friends on whom I. 
have not been able, through extreme pressure of work, 
to call personally. I once more state that though I have- 
received many a hard knock in my long stay in this, 
country, it has been my good fortune to receive much, 
personal kindness and consideration from hundreds of 
European friends, well-wishers and sympathisers. I 
have formed the closest friendships, which will last 
for ever, for this reason and for many similar reasons,, 
which I would love to reduce to writing but for fear of 
trespassing unduly open the courtesy of the press. Thi* 


Bub-Bontioenb baa beoome to me a saored and dear^ 
land, next only bo my motberland. I leave fche abores of 
Soutb Afrioa wibb a beavy beart, aod the distanoe tbatr- 
will now separate ma from South Afrioa will but draw 
me oloaer to it, and its welfare will always be a matter 
of great oonoern, and the love bestowed upon me by my 
oountrymen and the generous forbaaranaa and kindness- 
extended to me by tbe Europeans will ever remain al- 
most cherished treasure in my memory. 


Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi left South Afrioa for London^ 
in July, 1914. On their arrival in Englaiid they were- 
welcomed at a great gathering of^British and Indian 
friends and admirers at the Hotel Geail, on August 8.. 
Letters of apology were received from the Prime Minis ter^. 
the Marquis of Grewe, Earl Roberts. Lords Gladstone, 
Gurzon, Lamington, Anipthill, Harris, the Hon. Mr. 
Gohhale, Mr. Harcourt, Mr. Keir Hardie and Mr. Ramsay:. 
Maodonald. The Reception was arranged by the Hon. 
Mr. Bhupendranath Basu, the Rt. Hon. Mr. Ameer Alt 
and others who spoke on the occasion. 

Mr. Gandhi, in returning thanks, referred to the- 
great arisia wbioh at the moment overshadowed l*be- 
world. He hoped his young friends would " thio k 
Imperially " in the beat sense of tbe word, and do their 
duty. With regard to affairs in South Afrioa, Mr> 
'Gandhi paid a noble tribute to the devotion of hia 
followers. It was to tbe rank and file that their victory 
was due, Those who had suffered and died in tbe strug.- 


gla were the real heroes'. * * Mr- Gandhi regarded the 
Bettlemenfi as the Magna Gharba of the South Afrioa 
British IndiaDS, not because of the substaaoe but be- 
oause of the spirit which brought it about. There bad 
been a change in the attitude of the people of South 
Afrioa and the settlement had been sealed by the suffer- 
ings of the Indian oomnauDity. It had proved that if 
Indians were in earnest they were irresistible, Tbeire 
had been no oooipromise in principles. Some grievanoefi 
remained unredressed but these were capable of adjust- 
•ment by pressure from Downing Street, Simla, and from 
South Afrioa itself. The future rested with themselves. 
It they proved vi^orthy of better Conditions, they would 
.^geti tbem. 


The following letter dated tHe 14th August, 1914, 

■signed by. Mr. and Mrs. Oandhi,^ Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, 

Major N. P. Sinha, Dr. Jivraj N. Mehta aiid some fifty 

■other Indians, was sent to the Under- Secretary, of State. 

./or India : — 

Id was thought desirableby many of usthatdariDg' 
the crisis that has overtaken the Empire and whilst 
many Englishmen, leaving their ordinary vooations in 
life, are responding to the Imperial call, those Indiana 
who are residing in the United Kingdom and who can at 
all do so should place themselves unconditionally at the 
disposal of the Authorities. 

With a view of ascertaining the feeling of th«' 
resident Indian population, the undersigned sent out a 
siraular letter to as many Indians in the United King- 


dom as oould be approached during the fchirty-aigbti 
hours tbab the orgaoisers gave themselvea. The res- 
ponse has been generous and pronapt, in the opinion 
of the under-signed representabives of Hia Majesty's 
subjeots from the Indian Empire at present residing in ■ 
the different parts of the United Kingdom, 

On behalf of ourselves and those whose names 
appear on the list appended hereto, we beg to offer our 
servioes to the authorities. We venture to trust that 
the Bight Hon'ble the Margaess of Crewe will approve 
of our offer and secure its aooeptance by the proper 
authority. We would respectfully emphasise the fact 
th»t the one dominant idea guiding us is that of render- 
ing such humble assistance as we may be considered 
capable of performingias an earnest of our desire to share 
the responsibilities of membership of this great Empire 
if we would share its privileges. 


When England joined the war Mr, Gandhi organised ' 
the Indian Field Ambulance Corps loith the help of lead- 
ing Indians in England, notably H. H. the Aga Khan. 
Soon after Mr. Gandhi fell ill and he teas nursed back to 
health by thelJeindness of Mr. and Mrs. Roberts. Mr, and 
Mrs, Gandhi were again entertained at a Farewell Be- 
ception at the Westminster Palace Hotel, prior to their 
departure for India. Among those who tooTt part in the 
function were Sir Henry Gotton, Mr. Charles Boberts, 
Sir K. G. Gupta. A letter of apology was read from Sir 
William Wedderbum. Mr, Gandhi said in the course of 
his reply : — 

Hia wife and himself were returning to the mother- 
land with their work unaooomplished and with brolien . 


faealtih, bub ha wished navertheiessi to nS9 the laagnage of 
^ope. * * He bad himself pleaded bard vvitb Mr. Boberts 
thab some place should be found for him ; bub his healbb 

'had nob permibbed and the doobora had been obdurate. 

i He had nob resigned from che oorps, If in bis own 

: mabherland he should be restored to strengtb, and hosti- 
iibiea were still oonbinuing, be intended bo come back, 
^ireobly the summons reached bim. (Cheers), As for 
his work in South Africa, bhey had been purely a matter 

-of duty and carried no merit with them and his only as- 
'piration on hia return to his motherland was bo do hia 

~^uty as he found it day by day. He had been pracbioally 
an exile for 25 years and bis friend and maaber, Mr. 

•X^rokhale, bad warned him nob bo speak of Indian questioDg 
as India was a foreign land to him. (Laughter.) Bat the 

'India of his imagination was an India unrivalled iirthe 
worldi an India where the moat spiritual treasures were 
bo be found: and ib was his dream and hope bhab bhe con- 
oeotion between India and England migkb be a aouroe 
at spiritual oomforb and uplifbing bo bbe whole wcrldi 


Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi arrived at Bombay on the 9th 
January, 1915', They were entertained on arrival at a 
great public reception over which Sir Fherozeihah Mehta 
presided, Beplying to the toast Mr. Gandhi said in the 
course of his speech : — 

In what he had done, be had done nobbing beyond 
hia duty and ib remained bo be seen how far he had auo- 
oeeded in doing bis duty. That was nob a mere lit) 


"a^pression bub be asked them to believe einoerely bhali 
these were his feelings. 

They had also hononred Mrs. Gandhi as the wife of 
the great Gandhi. He had no knowledge of the great 
■Oandhi but he oouid say that she oould tell them more 
abont the sufferings of women who rushed with babies to 
'the jail and who had now joined the majority, than he 

In oouolnsion, Mr. Gandhi appealed to them to aooept 

the servioes of himself and hia wife, for he said they had 

-oome to render suob service as God would enable bfaem to 

do so. They had not oome to reaeive big entertainments 

like that because they did not think they were worthy of 

-euch presents, He felt they would only spoil tbem if ever 

-by Buoh action a thought crossed their minds- tbat they 

-had done something to deserve suoh a big tamasha made 

in their honour, He, however, thanked tbem on behalf 

of his wife and himself most sincerely for the great honour 

done to them that afternoon and he hoped to receive the 

whole country in their endeavour to serve the Motherland. 

Hitherto, he said, they bad known nothing of his failures. 

AH the news that they had received related to his sucoesses. 

Here they would now see them in tbe naked light, and 

would see their faults, and anticipating such faults and 

failures, he asked them to overlook them, and with that 

appeal, he' said, they as humble servants would commence 

the service of their country. 


In reply to the Welcome Address read by Mr. G. A- 
Natesan on behalf of the Indian South African League, at 
a meeting at the Victoria Public Hall, Madras, on the 21st 
April, 1915, with Dr. Sir Subramania Iyer in the Ghair^ 
Mr, Odndhi said : — 

Mr, Chairman and Frienda, — On behalf of my wifa 
and myself I am deeply gratefal for (he greab honour thab 
you here in Madras, and, may I say, this Presidency, have 
dons tio us and the affeobion thai; has been lavished upon 
us in this great and enlightened — not benighted — 

If there is anything that we have deserved, as has 
been stated in this beautiful address, I oan only say I lay 
it at the feet of my Master under whose inspiration I have 
been wording all this time under exile in South Afrioa. 
(Hear, hear). In 30 far as the sentiments expressed in this 
address are merely prophebio^ Sir, I aooept them as a bles- 
sing and as a prayer from you and from this great meeting 
that both my wife and I myself may possess the power, the 
inolination, and the life to dedicate whatever we may de- 
velop in this sacred land of ours to the service of the 
Motherland. (Cheers), Iti is no wonder that we have ooma 
to Madras. As my friend, Mr. Natesan, will perhaps tall 
you, we have been overdue and we have neglected Madras. 
But we hare done nothing of the kind. We know (hat 
we had a corner in your hearts and we knew that you 
will not misjudge us if we did not hasten to Madras 
before going to the other presidencies and to other 
towns. * * * * ^^^ gji.^ jj Qna.tiQQijj, ^j jj,g 

language that has been used in this address is deserved 
by us, what language do you propose io use for (hose who 


bava lost their lives, and bherefore finiahed their work on 
behalf of your euflfering oountrymen in South Africa ? 
What language do you propose to use for Nagappan and 
Narayanaaawmy, lads of aevanteen or eighteen years, 
who braved in simple faith all the trials, all the sufifer- 
ingB, and all the indignities for the sake of the honour of 
the Motherland {Cheers.) What language do you propose 
to use with reference to Vallianoma, that sweet girl 
of seventeen yeara who was discharged from Maritzbnrg 
prison, skin and bone suffering from fever to which she 
ancoumbed after about a month's time (Cries of shame). 

It was the Madrasaia who of all the Indians were 
singled out by the great Divinity that rules over us for 
this great work. Do you know that in the great city of 
Johannesburg, the Madrasis look on a Madraasi as die- 
honoured if he has not passed through the jails once or 
twice during this terrible crisis that your countrymen in 
South Africa went through during these eight long years ? 
Tou have said that I inspired these great men and 
women, but I cannot accept that proposition. It was 
they, the aimple-minded folk, who worked away in faith, 
never expecting the aligblieat reward, who inspired me, 
who kept ma to the proper level, and who inspired me by 
their great sacrifice, by their great faith, by their great 
trust in the great God, to do the work that I was able to 
do. {Cheers.) It is my misfortune that my wife and I 
have been obliged to work in the lime-light, and you 
have magnified out of all proportion {cries of 'No ? no ?') 
this little work we have bean able to do. Believe me, 
my dear friends, that if you consider, whether in India or 
in South Africa, it ia possible for us, poor mortale — the 
same individuala, the same stuff of which you are 
made — if you consider that it is possible for us to da 


aaytbing whatsoever wibbouii your assisfcaaoe aod witb- 
outi your doing fcbe Bame tbiog tbat we would be prepared 
to do, you are lost, and we are also lost, and our servioes 
will be in vain, I do not for one moment believe tbat 
tbe inspiration was given by as. The inspiration was 
given by tbem to usi and we were able to be interpreters 
between tbe powers who called tbems'elves the Governors 
and tbosa man (or wbom redress was bo neoessary. We 
were simply links between those two parties and nothing 
more. It; was my duty, having reoeived tbe eduoation 
that was given to ma by my parents to interpret what 
was going on in our midst to those simple folk, and (hey 
rose to tbe oooasion. They realised hhe might of religious 
foroe, and it was they who inspired U9, and let them who 
have finished their work, and who have died for you and 
me, let tbem inspire you and us. We are still living aul 
who knows whether tbe davil will uoo poaaass us 
to-morrow and we shall not forsaka tbe post of duty 
before any new danger that may faoa us. Bat these 
three have gone for ever, 

An old man of 75 from tbe United I'rovinoes, 
Harbart Singb, has also jaiaed tbe majority and died in 
jail in South Africa ; and he deserved the crown tbat you 
would seek to impose upon us. These young men deserve 
all the adjectives tbat you have so affectionately, but 
blindly lavished upon us. It was not only the Hindus 
who struggled, bun there were Mahomedans, Parsis and 
Christians, and almost every part of India was represented 
in tbe struggle. They realised the oommon danger, and 
they realised also whab their destiny was as Indians, aud 
It was Ihey, and tbey alone, who matched tbe soul-forces 
against tbe physical forces. {Loud applause,) 


At the General Meeting of the Indian South African 

League, hetd at the premises of Messrs O. A. Natesan d 

Co., Madras, on Friday, May 7, 1913, with Demon Baha- 

dur M. Audinarayana lyah in the Chair, Mr, G.A. Natesan, 

one of the Joint Secretaries, presented a statement of 

uocounts of the League and wound up by urging that the 

balance of the League's Fund might be handed over to 

Mr. Gandhi who had undertaken to look after the interests 

of the South Africa returned Indians and their dependents. 

The Resolution was unanimously passed. Mr. Gandhi in 

the course of his reply made a brief statement and said: — 

Tbe paseive reaiabanoe straggle started with the Aaia- 

tio struggle in the Tranevaal in 1906. As it went on 

stage after stage, it, owing to the esigenoiea of the case 

aod as a matter of course, expanded and embraoed the 

following further points, viz., (1) the removal of racial 

disability in the Immigration Lagialation of the Union of 

8outh Africa ; (2) the restoration of the status of Indian 

wives whether married in accordance with Hindu or 

Mahomedan religious rites as it orginally existed before 

what was known in South Africa as the Saarle Judgment; 

(3) repeal of the annual £3 tax which was payable by 

every ex-indentured Indian, bis wife and bis children — 

mala and female — males after reaching 16 years, females 

after reaohing'lS, if they decided to settle in the province 

of Natal as freemen ; (4) just administration of existing 

aws specially affeoMng British Indiana with due regard 
to vested rights. All these points were completely gained 
under the settlement of last year, and they have been 

embodied so far as legislation was necessary in what was 
known as the Indian Belief Act and otherwise in the oor- 


reapondenoe that took place betwesD General Smub's ' and 
himBelf imoaediately after the passing of the Aob referred 
to. Saob being the oase and as the Indian South Afrioan 
League wan formed solely for the purpose of assieting thd 
struggle it Qould well disETolve itself, Mr, Gandhi refer- 
red also to the administration of the funds that were sent 
to him from India and other parts of the Empire. He 
said that, at every stage of the struggle, a complete sbate- 
ment-of income and expenditure was published, 

Mr- Gandhi then informed the meeting that there 
were nearly 30 passive resiaters including their families' 
in India who were to be supported. These included the- 
widows aad obildren of the two men who were shot in 
the oouree of the struggle. He, therefore, suggested that 
the small balance which was still with the Indian South 
African League might well be devoted to their assistance. 
Mr. Gandlii desired to take the opportunity to express 
the thanks of the South Afrioan Indians for the great 
and valuable assistance it had rendered to them during 
the most oritioal times of the struggle. Ha was not 
going to mention any names, but he felt it his daty to 
convey in person as the interpreter of the wishes of 
many Transvaal deportees, who were in Madras in 
1909, of their heartfelt thanks to Mr, Natasan for the 
devotion which he displayed in looking after their interest 
during their exile in India- He was glad- he was able to 
convey in person bis grateful thanks to the chairman 
and the members of the League for the moral and 
material support they had rendered to their cause. 


In spite of his multifarious activities in India, Mr, 
■Oandhi seldom forgot the scene of his early labours. His 
South African friends and fellow-workers are always dear 
to him. In a communication to the Indian Opinion he 
wrote under date 13th December, 1917 : — 

When I lefb Soatb Afrioa, I had fully iDbeaded to 
write to my ladian Eaglisb friends there from time to 
time, but I fouad my lot in India to be quite different) 
from what I had espeoted it to be. I had hoped to be 
able to hava oomparatire pease and leisure but I have 
beet! irresistibly drawn into many aotivities. I hardly 
oope with bhem and looal daily oorrespondenoe. Half 
of my time is passed in the Indian trains. My South 
African friends will, I hope, forgive me for my apparent 
negleot of them. Lat me assure them that not a day baa 
passed but I have thought of them and their kindness, 
South African assooiations oan never be efifaoed from my 

Yon will not now be surprjasd when I tell you that 
it was only to-day that I learnt from Indian Opinion to 
iiand about the disastrous floods. Daring my travels I 
rarely read newspapers and I have time merely to glance 
at them whilst I am not travelling, I write this to 
tender my sympathy to the sufferers. My imagination 
enables me to draw a true picture of their sufferings. 
They malse one thing of God and His might and the utter 
«vaneaceaoe of this life. They ought to teach us ever to 
seek His protection and never to fail in the daily duty 
before us. In the divine aooount-books only our actions 
«re noted, not what we have read or what we have 
epoken. These and similar reflactiona fill my soul foe 


the momenti and I wish to share them with the sufferers. 
The deep poverty that I esperienoe in this ooantry deter» 
me even from thinking of finanoial assiatanoe to be sent 
for those who have been rendered homeless. Even one 
pie in this country ooants. I am at this very moment 
living in the midst of thousands who have nothing but 
roasted pulse or grain flour mixed with water and salt. 
We here, therefore, oan only send the sufferers an assur- 
ance of our heartfelt grief. 

I hope that a determined movement will be set on 
foot to render illegal residence on flats exposed to visita- 
tions of death-dealing floods. The poor will, if they oan, 
inhabit even suob sites regardless of conseguencesi It is 
for the enlightened persons to make it impossible for 
them to do so. 

The issues of Indian Opinion that acquainted me 
with the destruction caused by the floods gave me also 
the sad news of Mr. Abdul Ganie's death. Please con- 
vey my respectful condolences to the members of our 
friend's family. Mr. Abdul Ganie's services to comma- 
nity can never be forgotten- His sobriety of judgment 
and neverr-faiiing courtesy would have done credit to 
anybody. His wise handling of public questions was a. 
demonstration of the fact that services to one's country 
could be efficiently rendered without a koowledge of 
English or modern training, 

I note, too, that our people in South Africa are not 
yet free fi^om difficulties about trade licences and leaving 
certificates, My Indian esperienoe has confirmed the 
opinion that there is no remedy like passive resistauoa 
against suab evils, The community has to exhaust 
milder remedies but I hope that it will not allow the 
aword of passive resistanoe to geb rusty. It is our duty 


-whilai the terrible war lasts to be satisfied wHh petitions, 
eto. for the desired relief but I think the Government 
should know that the oommunity will not rest until the 
questions above mentioned are satisfaotorily solved. It ia 
but right that I should also warn the oommunity against 
dangers from within. I hear from those who return 
from South Africa that we are by no means free of those 
who are engaged in illicit traflSo. We who seek justice 
mast be above suspicion, and I hope that our leaders 
will not reso till they have purged the oommunity of 
internal defeats. 


Writing to the " Times of India " on June 2, 1918, 
Mr. Gandhi drew attention to the fresh disabilities 
imposed on Indians by the Union Government by the 
introduction of the railway, travelling restrictions, 
Mr, Gandhi, while deploring the existing coloiir prejudices 
felt bound to protest against the attempt of the Union 
Government to give legal recognition to the anti-colour 
campaign. We omit the long extracts from the „ Indian 
Opinion" and give the text of Mr. Gandhi's letter : — 

Sib, — I offer, no apology for seeking the hospitality 
of your columns for the enclosed extracts from Indian 
Opinion, They deal with the well being of over two lakhs 
ofeaiigrants from India, Mr. Ahmed Mahomed Gachaliai 
the esteemed president of the British Indian Association 
of Johatineaburg, baa sent from that plaoe the following 
oablegram regarding cne of the matters referred to in the 
eztraots : — 


'MaBB meeting fifth strongly proteeted seotion nineteen, tailway^ 
cegulations, Besolved oable aupportera India, Begulationa impose 
statutory oolor-bar in regard to issue of tiokets, plaoing in and 
removing from oompartmeuts, oooupation of plaoes on station 
platforms, empowers minor o'fSoiala remove without assigning 
reason, Please make suitable representations appropriate quarters. 
Community unanimous assert rights unless relief sought granted.' 

Mr, Caohalia was one of the Btaunobesli workers 
during tiha Passive Besisbanoa oampaign that raged for 
eigbt years in South Africa. Daring that oampaign ha 
reduoed himself to povariiy and aooepted imprisoDmeDli 
for the sake of India's honoar, Oae oan, therefore, easily 
undaretand what is meant by the words oommuoity 
unsDimous assert right unlesH relief sought granted.' 

It is not a threat. It is the burning cry of distress 
felt by a oomoaunity whose self-respeot has been injured. 

It is evident that the white people of South Africa 
have not been visibly impressed by the war which is 
claimed to be waged for the protection of the rights of 
weaker or minor nationalities. Their prejudice against 
colour is not restrained even by the facli that local Indians 
have raised a volunteer bearer corps which is gallantly 
serving in East Africa with the column that was taken 
bo Eist Africa by General Smuts, 

The problem is difficult, it is oomples- Prejudices 
oanpot be removed by legislation, Ttiey will yield only 
to patient toil and education. Bab what of tha Union 
Government? It is now feeding the prejudice by 
legalising it. Indiana would have been content, if 
the popular prejudice hid been left to work itself out, 
oare being taken to guard against violence on either side^ 
Indians of South Africa could not complain even against 
a boycott on the part of the whites. It is there already. 
In social life they are completely ostracised. Thay feel 
the ostracism, but they silently bear it, But the situa- 


tion alliara when theGoverDmdnt steps in and gives legaF 
«6oognition bo the Anti-Colour Campaign. It ia impoB- 
flible for the Indian settlers to submit to an insulting 
restraint upon their noovemants They will not allow 
booking clerks to decide as to whether they are beoom- 
"Sngly dressed. They oanooli allow a plaiforna-inapeotor 
to restrict them do a reserved part of a platforin. They 
"Will not, as if they were ticket of-leave men, produce 
-their certifijates in order to secure railway tickets. 

The pendency of the war cannot be used as an 
-effaotive shield to cover fresh wrongs and insults. The 
plucky custodians of India's honour are doing their share 
in South Africa. We here are bound to help them, 
Meetings throughout! India should inform the white 
inhabitants of Sjueh Africa that India resents their 
treatment of her sons. Toey' should call ui;on the 
'Government of India and the Imperial Government to 
secure effective protection for our oouatrymen in Sauth 
Africa. I hope that Englishmen in India will not be- 
behind band in lending their valuable support to the 
movement to redress the wrong. Mr. Casbalia's cable is 
-silent on the grievance disclosed in the second batch of 
extracts. It is not less serious. In its effect) it is far 
more deadly. Bat the community is hoping to right the 
wrong by an appeal to the highest legal tribunal in the 
Union. But really the question is above that tribunal. 
Xidt me state it in a sentence. A reactionary Attorney- 
■General has obtained a ruling from the Natal Supreme 
Court to the effect that subjects of ' native states ' are 
aliens and not British subjects and arei therefore, nob 
-entitled to its protection so far as appeals under a parti- 
cular section of the Immigrants Bestriotion Act are- 
ooncarned. Thus if the losal courts' ruling is. correct. 


bbouaands of ladiaas setbled in Soalih Africa will bei" 
deprived of the aeouriby of raaidaDoa \a South Africa for 
whioli they fought for eight yeara aad wbioh they 
thought they had won. At least a quarter of the Indian 
settlers of South Africa are subjeota of the Baroda and 
the Ktthiawar states. If any law oonsiders them as 
aliens, eurely it has to be altered, It is an insult to the- 
etates and their subjeota to treat the latter as aliens 


In 1919 the Transvaal legislature passed laws res- 
tricting the then Indian traders and their suooessors to 
particular Townships, The disabilities of Indian traders 
multiplied and became the subject of an acute agitation, 
and threatened to revive passive resistance. On receipt 
of a cable early in August, 1919, from the British 
Indian Association, Natal, Mr, Gandhi wrote as follows 
in the Indian Beview : — 

I have juat reoaived the following oablegram from 

Mr. Ibrahim Ismail Aawaii, Chairman of the British 

Indian Asaooiation, Johannesburg : 

"BiUaaseated 33(d Jaae, pcomalgatecl 3(d iaaUoti. Beatciota 
oompaniea acquiring further fixed propaitiea and holding bonds 
aa prior to ootnpany law, Be-affirma Gold and Townships Aots 
operating on new lioenaeea after 1st May and testrioting present 
traders and suooessors to pactioular townships. Deputation waiting- 
His Exoellenoy urging withhold assent on ground olasa legislation, 
Government promised another oomtnission during reoess inveati.. 
gale Indian question throughout Union as oonoession to the 
detraotors in Parliament. Fear further restrictive legislation. 
Community request you appeal Viceroy propose Boyal Commission, 
India representing Union looal Indian interests. Convened Union; 
Indian Conferenoe 4th Auguat,great success. Decided united action, 
Many of th; association pledged resist any cost.— Aswat," 


The cablegram beara oul: what I have said in my 
letter to Sir George Bstrnes* and v«bat I said at the 
reoent meetitsg at Poo&a, The reetriatioDa are olear — I.- 
No further holding of landed property in the Traoavaai ;. 
2. No new trade lioenoea within the area affeoted by the 
Gold Law and the Townshipa Aot ; 3 the preeenb 
holders and their auooesaora in title to be reatrioted a» 
iio trade to the townahipa in whiob they are now 

Aa I have already remarked, this meana virtual ruin 
of the Indian settlers in the Transvaal, Their only 
meana of livelihood to the largest number is trade, and: 
the largest number of Indians is to be found probably 
within the gold area. I( the Aot stands, they must die- 
out in the natural oourae, 

* In the course of the correspondence between Mr. Oandhi 
and Sir George Barnes, Mr. Qandhi wrote : — 

Do you know that the Indiana of South Africa raised an ambu- 
lanoe corps which served under General Smuts in South Africa? Is 
this new law to be their reward ? I ought not to bring in war 
servioea in order to secure the protection of an elementary rigfat 
which oonsiderations alike of honour and justice entitle them to. 
I commend to your attention the report of the Select Comiuittee of 
the Union House of Assembly. 

The Union Government, unmindful of their trust and equally 
unmindful of their written word, accepted the amendment " prohi- 
biting the holding of mortgages by the Asiatics on property except 
as security for bona fide loan or investment and providing that any 
Asiatic Company which acquired fixed property after the 1st instant 
should dispose of the same within two years or a farther period aa 
fixed by a competent Court with a rider that in the event of failure 
to do so the property might be sold by an order of the Court," I 
am quoting from Beuter'a cable dated 33rd May from Capetown. 
You will see this completes legalised confiscation of property rights 
throughout the Transvaal and virtually the trade rights within the 
gold area of the Indian settlers. There was no evasion of Law 3 of 
188S. Indians did openly what the law permitted them to do, and 
they should be left free to do so. I do not wish to prolong this tail 
of agony. The Government of India are bound to protect the rights 
of the 5,000 Indian settlers in the Tranevaal at any coat. 


In the oablegracD the word aesenli' ooourg twioe- III 
saya the Bill haa beaa assented to and it refers to a 
deputation that is to wait on H, E. the Governor-Gener- 
a1 of South Afrioa requesting bim to withhold assent 
The seaoad use of the word 'assent' refers probably to a 
clause in the Lsiterd Patent providing for the vetoing of 
olass legislation, Tne clause is undoubtedly to be used 
under esoeptional ciroumstanoes. No one oan deny that 
the Asiatioa Act constitutes a very esoeptional ciroum- 
etaaoa warranting the esaraise of the Boyal veto. 

The most important part of the cablegram, however, 
is the fact that the aommission promised by the 
Union Government is to be appointed as a " oon- 
cession" to "the detractors" of Indiana in the UoioD 
Parliament, Unless, therefore, the Government of India 
take care, tbere is every likeliheod of the oommissioD, 
"^ike the committee of the South African Assembly 
proving to the British Indians a curse, instead of 
a blessing. It is, therefore, not unnatural that the 
.British Indian Association urges that H. B- the Viceroy 
should propose a Royal Oommission upon which both the 
Union and the Indian interests are represented. 
/Nothicg oan be fairer than the proposal made by Mr. 
Aswat. I say so, because as a matter of right no com- 
mission is really needed to decide that Indian settlers 
are entitled to trade in South Afrioa where they like and 
hold landed property on the same terms as the European 
settlers. This is the miaimum -they oan claim. Bab 
under the complex constitution of this great Empire, 
justice is and has often to be done in a round-aboat 
manner. A wise captain, instead of sailing agatoat 
a head-wind, tacks and yet reaches his destination 
sooner than he othejrwise would have. Even so, Mr, Aawati 


Wisely aooepts the prinoiple of a oommission on ft 
malitier that ia self evident, but equally wisely wants a 
oonamisBion that would not prove abortive and that will < 
dare to tell the ruling raoe in South Africa that, as mem- 
berg in an Empire which has more coloured people than 
white, they may not treat their Indian fellow-subjeota 
as helots. Whether the above proposal is accepted or 
some other is adopted by the Imperial Government, it 
must be made clear to them that public opinion in India, 
will not tolerate confiscation of the primary rights of ^ 
the British Indian settlers in South Africa, 


From time to time trouble rose in Transvaal between 
the trading people among European colonists and Indians. 
A policy of squeezing out the Indian petty trader was: 
prevalent throughout the colony. A correspondent of the 
Times of India wrote to its columns in August 18, 1919, 
that South Africa cannot be run economically with the 
Indian in it and the white people cannot be expected 
to commit race suicide. Strangely enough even the 
Smutts-Oandhi agreement was pressed into issue. Mr. 
Gandhi wrote to "The Times of India" : — 

No possible exception can be taken to the impartial 
manner in which your South Afrfoan correspondent bas 
given a summary of the Indian position in the Trans- 
vaal in your issue of the 18th instant. He has put as 
fairly as it was possible for him to do, both sides of tba 


III is noli the additional 'brown burden on the top of 
the black one' wbioh agitate the European Colooiats in 
'South Afrioa,' but "the orux of the whole question is, 
«B your oorreapondent puts it, ' chat South Afrioa oaonot 
be run eoouomioally with the Indian in it, and the white 
people who have made the couotry, oannot be espeoted 
to oommit race suioide," This is not the problem that 
presents itself to the Boer living on the Veldt to whom 
the Indian trader is a blessing nor to the European 
faousewifa in the big towns of che Transvaal who de- 
pends solely upon the Indian vegetable vendor for the 
vegetables brought to her door. But the problem pre- 
sents itself in the manner put by your oorrespondent to 
the petty European trader who finds in the thrifty and 
resouroeful Indian a formidable rival, and with his vote 
whioh counts a great deal and with his infiueaoeas a 
member of the ruling raoe ha has suooeeded in oaaking 
bis own eoonomio problem a raoe problem for South 
Africa. In reality the problem is whether the petty 
trader for his selfish end is to be allowed to override 
every oonsideration of juatioe, fair play, imperial polioy 
and all that goes bo make a nation good and great. 

In support of the gradual but oertain squeezing out 
process, what has been called the Smuts-Gandhi agree- 
ment has been pressed into service. Now that agreement 
is embodied in two letters and two only of the 30tb 
June, 1914: the first one addressed to me on behalf of 
General Smuts by Mr. Gorges, Secretary for the lu- 
terior, and the second my acknowledgment of it bearing 
the same date. The agreement, as the letters conclu- 
sively show, is an agreement on questions which were the 
subject of civil — in the correspondence described as pas- 
sive — resistance. The settlement stipulates only for aa 


extensioD — never a reatriotiioD — of existing rights, and 
as it was intended only to cover questions arising out 
of aivil rasistanoe it left open all the other questions. 
Henoe the reservation in my latter of the SOth June, 
■viz : — 

" As the Minister is aware, some of my ftountrymen 
have wished me to go further, They are dissatisfied that 
trade licenses, laws of the different Provinoes, the Trans- 
vaal Gold Law, the Transvaal Law 3 of 1885, have nob 
been altered so as to give them full rights of residence, 
trade and ownership of land. Some of them are dissatis- 
-fied that full inter-provinoial migration is not permitted, 
and some are dissatisfied that on the marriage question 
the Belief Bill goes no further than it does," 

In this correspondence there is not a word about the 
Indian settlers not getting trade licenses or holding fixed 
property in the mining or any other area. And the 
Indians had a perfect right to apply for and get as many 
trade licenses as they could secure and as much fixed 
property as they could bold, whether through forming 
registered companies or through mortgagee. After a 
■strenuous fight for eiqht years it was not likely that I 
would give away any legal rights, and if I did, the com- 
munity, I had the honour to represent, would naturally 
and quite properly have dismissed me as an unworthy, if 
Aot a traitorous, representative. 

Bat there is a third letter, totally irrelevant consider- 
ed as part of the agreement, which has been used for the 
curtailment of trade rights, It is my letter of the 7tb 
July addressed to Mr. Gorges. The whole tone of ift 
shows that it is purely a personal letter setting forth only 
my iudividual views about vested rights in •connection 
'v;itb the Gald Law and Townships Amendment Act.' I 


have therein stalied definitely that I do not wish to 
reetrioba' the future aotion of my ooantrymen and I havs^ 
simply Jeoorded the definition of 'vested rights' I dieoug- 
sed wilb Sir Benjamin Robertson on the 4bh March, 1914, 
saying that by " vested rights I understand the right of 
^n Indian and his suooessors to live and trade in town- 
ships in which he was living and trading, no matter bow 
often he shifts his residence or business from place to 
place in the same township," This ia the definition on 
\vhiab the whole of the theory of evasion of law and breach 
of faith has been based. Apart from the question of 
irrelevance of the letter I claim that it could not be used., 
even if it could be admitted as part of the agreement, in the 
manner it has been. As I have already stated on previous 
occasions there was a prospect of an adverse interpretation 
of the Gold Law as to trade licences, and there was the 
tangible difficulty in getting land or leases of buildings and 
it was by the most strenuous efforts that Indians were able 
vritbin Gold Areas to retain their foothold. I was ansious 
to protect the existing traders and their successors evert 
though the legal interpretation of the law might be adverse 
to the Indian claim. The vested right, therefore, referred 
to in my letter of the 7th July was a right created in 
spite of the law, And it was this right that bad to be 
protected in the administration of the then existing laws,. 
Even if, therefore, my said letter can be incorporated in 
the agreement, by no cannon of interpretation that I know 
can it be said to prevent the Indians morally (for that is 
the meaning of the ofaarge of breach of faith) from getting 
new trade licences in virtue of the law of the land, 
Indians openly and in a fair fight gained in their favour 
a legal decision to the effect that they could obtain trade 
licences against tender of the licence fee even within the 


gold area. To bhia they were perfeotly morally entitled. 
Tbere oanDob be any qaeecion of a legal breaob. Tbere 
trade rivale would long ago have made eborli work of any 
legal breaob. Lastly eupposing that the law was advergB 
to the Indian claim my definition oonld nob be pleaded Co 
bar any agitation for amendment of the law, for the 
whole of the settlement, if the nature of it was of a 
temporary obaraoter, and the Indians, as definitely stated 
in my letter of the 30tb June, could not be expected to 
rest content until full civic rights had been conceded:' 
The whole of the plea, therefore, of breach of faith is, I 
venture to submit, an utterly dishonest and shameless 
piece of tactics* which ought nob to be allowed to in- 
terfere with a proper adjustment of the question. * 


In response to the agitation in South Africa and in 
India, a Gommissionwas appointed by the Union Govern- 
ment to investigate the trade and other questions which 
Caused grave irritation to the Indians ; and Mr. Montagu, 
the Secretary of State for India announced in November, 
1919, the inclusion of 6ir Benjarnin Bobertson, Chief Com- 
missioner of the Central Provinces in the Commission to 
represent the Government of India, Interviewed by the 
Associated Press, Mr. Gandhi said on the subject ef 
enquiry and the composition : — 

lb is a matter of very great regret bhat Mr. 
Montagu's meseage to His Bxoellenoy the Viceroy so 
materially alters the position. I do, however, feel that 
any agitabion insisting npou the appointmenb oo the 
Commission of Indian representabivea may damage our 


case wbioh is so overwhelmingly stroDg. If a repre8en« 
tative lilse Mr. SAStiri is appoiobed along with Sir 
BeDJatnia BiberbeoQ bo pub before the South Afrioan 
Governmenb aad bba forBbaomiag Gamaaisaioa the 
Indian case, it would ba bhe nexs baali bhiDg, In my 
opioioQ our effort should ba to ooaoantraba upon seour- 
iug a propar refareaaa bo tba Go nms^ioa in the plaoa o( 
the very narrow one, we are led bo believe, ia likqly to ba 
eugseated by the Uaioa Gjvernmanti Tbe Times of 
India is really rendering a graab sarvioe in moulding and 
'Oonsolidating publio opinion on this quesuoo, irrespeotive 
of olass or caoe. I> ia noc enough bhat merely tbe trade 
question is rafarred bo iiha Gomoaisaioo, Toe whole of 
the LskW 3 of 1885 must oome under review leaving 
aside for the time baiag aha qaajtion of politioal status, 
0>ir goal must be the restoration of fall trading and 
property rights of ludiiad lawfully sabtted in South 
Afrioa. Tois is what even Auabralia has allowed 
although it was Audtralia which lad the anti- Asiatic ory, 
Wd must also guard against the Gjmmisjioa whittling 
down any of the righ&s alraady baiug eojoyad by tbe 
settlers. By no oanon of justioe or propriety oan the ex- 
isting rights ba taken a^ray from the ludiaa settlers, but 
if. V^e do not take oare and provide bdforebaud there is 
every danger of suah a aacastrophe happening. It 
■aotually happened with the Sjleoc Gommictea of tbe 
"Uuion Parliament whose fiadiogs produoed the new 
iegislation we so much deplore. ' 

Indians in the Colonies 


At the Madras Provincial Oonferenae held at Nellora 
■in June, 1915i Mr. G. A. Natesan moved a resolution 

,-0ianking Mr. and Mrs Gandhi for the invaluable services 
■they had rendered to the Motherland by their heroic 

^■struggle in South Africa. Mr. Gandhi, in acknowledging 
the thanks of the Conference, spoke as follows :— 

In. 80 far as sealiimaati eatars. into tha olaitn? of Ip- 
;dia, witb regard bo-cfae atatiaa of lodiaDS in the Empire, 
ib seema possible that by a measara of raoiprodal treat- 
Dqenli as batweeo India and theDoEninipoa tbvs di£Sauhy 

^^onld be aurmioaDbad. Giveo aa oablet for lodian 
emlgranlie in EiS-b Africa, iti ougbt nob to be beyond tba 
powers of stateiaciaanBbip to arrange that In^ia sboaid 
have tbe power to exolade wbite men -of the working 
■olaas, just aa the Djoainiona esolude ladian?, -; Or.ratber 
it naight be arraagad that the nambar of ladiana to bs 
admitted to any one of tba white States of tbe Eaapira 
abould bear a relative prooortion to the wbite popalatioa 
of the Ssate. As a oaatter of faat, if the proportion 
agreed on is to avoid the necessity for removing aonae of 
the Aaiabioa now in tbe DomiDioDP, it will have to be 
Bonaething like twioa aa great aa the namber of tbe 
whites in lodia in ralaiiioa to the total population, Tba 
esisting white oomaaanity in India, inola^ive of troops.. 


bears the proportion of abouli 1 : 2,002 of the oativO' 
population. Id Canada there are now aboat 3,000 Indians' 
in a total popnlatioa of 8,000,000. A 1 : ratio 1,000 aa 
suggested ^woald; therefore, permit 4he Indian ooiony in 
Canada to be increased by about 5,000. In Australia 
there are rather more than 5,000 Indians, and under 
5,000,000 white men at present, bat^the esoass over tbO' 
1 : 1,000 ratio is trifliDg. In Ne«7 ZaaUod, where there 
are about 1 : 250 Indians, this ratio is almost ezaotly 
oonforiiied 'Vd by the existing situation'; South Africa- 
preaentiS Ek diffioulty since tlie South Afrioan Indians 
itlready ezo^ed a proportion of one to ten of the white 
residents; Bat ' Sotii<h Afrioti dilfara from its sistdr 
Domidions, since "it is the only' one which htis a native- 
population of 'more than 'negligible size. The Indian ^eo- 
tioD of the oomposite racial problem — presented by the 
TJoion — might perhaps be adjusted somewhat by offering: 
iaduoements to South African Indians to transfer them- 
selves to East Africa. ^ The conferring of full political 
rights on the small Indian cbinmunities domiciled in the* 
Dominions would then be the only step necassary to 
meet every legitimate aspiration of Indians for equality 
of treatment and the recognition of their claims as- 
Briiisli snbjeote. 


Mr. M. E. Gandhi, in moving the Resolution on 
India and the Colonies at the Bombay Congress of 1915, 
said i — 

Mr, Preaidanli aad Friends, — the Basolattpn . lihat 
stiaDda in my name reada thua : — 

' The Cdngreaa regreba tbat the esiatiag lawa affaat- 
lag Indiana in South Afrioa and Canada have not, in 
apite of the liberal and imDsrialistio deolarationa ^f 
'Colonial statreamaD., been jaatly and eqaitaSly adminis- 
tered, and thia Congreaa Si-aata that the Salf-Governing 
'Coloniea will extend to the Indian emigranta e^ual rights 
with Earopaan emigranta and that the Imperial Govern-, 
-ment will use all poasible means to aeoure. thd 'rights 
which have' been hitherto unjustly withheld from them, 
<tbus oanaing 'widespread disaatisfaotion and diaoontent." 

Friebda, — It is an irony of fate that whilst this vast 
aaa^mbly will be regretting the hoatile attjtnde that has 
been adopted by the Salf-GoverDihg Oolonies,': a Go£|<lin- 
.gent of your oOuntrymen formed in South Afriba will be 
nefaring the theatre of war in order to hel^ the siak.; and 
the wounded, and I am in poaeesaion of faots in oqnneo- 
^ion with thia Contingent formed in South Afrioa which . 
-shows that it is oompoaed of the middle olassea which, in 
aooordanoe with the Times of India, are going to focfia 
the Tutur'e self-governing nation. Thoae men are drawn 
from et-indentdred Indians add their children, from , the 
petty hai^kera, the toilera, the traders, and, yaft the Qolp- 
niea do not oonaider it neoeaaary to altei , their attitudes 
nor do I see the logic in altering their poligf.1 tb is the 


faehion cow-a-dftys to oonsider that beoause our humbla 
share in not beiog disloyal to the Goverament ab tha 
present juaoture, we are entitled to the rights wbioh 
have been hitherto withheld from us, as if those rights 
■were witrhheld beoause our loyalty was ^uspeoliad, " No, 
m$'tfiends, if they have' been withheld from ua, tha rea- ' 
sons are different and those reasons will have bo;'b»t 
altered. They aradae, some of them to undying prejudioas, 
to eeonomio causes and these will have to ba examined ; 
but prejudioe will have to be cub down. And what are 
the hardships that our Countrymen are labouring under 
in South Afrioa, in Canada, and the other Salf-GoverDing 
Colonies ? In South Africa the Settlement of 191.4 seoures' 
what' tha passive rasiaters were fighting for and nothing 
more, and they were fighting for the restoration of legal 
equality in oonneotion with emigrants from British India 
and nothing more. 

That legal equality has been restored, but the domes^ 
tio troubles till,remain and if it was not the custom 
unfortunately inherited for the last forty years that tha 
predominant Unguagein this assembly should ba Eaglisb, 
oar Madras friends will have taken good care to have 
learnt one of the northern vernaculars, and then there ai'a 
men enough in South Africa who would tell you about 
the difficulties that we have to go through even now in 
South Africa in connection with holding landed property, 
in connection with men who having been once domioilad 
in South Africa; return to ^outh Africa, their difBaulties 
in oonneotion' With the admission of children, their difS- 
onlties in obnneotion with hblding licenses of trade^ Theaa ' 
are, if't may so call them, bread and butter diffionlties. 
There are other difSoulties which I shall not enumerate 
just DOW. In Canada, it is not possible for these membera 


01 the S;khB vsho are domioiled there to bring their wives 
and their ohildrep. {Cries of 'shame, shame.') The law is 
the aame but adoninistration is widely unequal, so unequal 
that they cannot bring their wivea and ohildren, and the 
law-or the adnainistration etill remains the sanoe in spits 
of deolarationa. about justiee and what not, in view o| 
the hostilities and in view of the splendid aid whiob 
India is said to have rendered to the Empire. How are 
these difi5oul(iiea to be met. I do not intend to go into 
details, but the Congress proposes that this difiSoulty oan 
be met by an appeal to the sense of justioe of iihe Gola<! 
pial statesmen and by an appeal to the Imperial Gov- 
ernmenli, I fear that the Congress oan only do this, bub 
thjB Besolution so far as it goes in one respeot is inade- 
quate'. to the occasion. L3rd Hardinge, only a few 
months ago, made a fervent appe&l lu Indian pnblioiata 
and to Indian public statesmen for liulping him to an 
honourable solution which will retain una dignity of 
India, at the same time, not because of any trouble to 
the Self' Governing Colonies. Lord Hardinge is still 
waiting for an answer, that answer is not 8q.pplied by 
the Congress, nor oan it be by the Congress ; it is to ba 
supplied by an association of the specialists, if I may so 
call them. The Congress has given them the lead, and 
it is for these associations tu frame the details in whiob 
they will have to examine the rival claims and to o£fer 
to Lord Hardinge a solution which shall be saturat- 
ed with details, a soltnion which will satisfy tba 
Colonial Governments as well as the Indian people and 
will not take away anything whatsoever from the just 
-demaniia that this Besolution makes. With these words 
I have much pleasure in proposing this Besolution. 


Ihe following is a pronouncement made by Mr. 
Gandhi during the strenuous agitation made throughout 
India in the early part of 1917 for the complete abolition 
of indenture : — 

There is no donbd fthali we are engaged in a savers 
etrnggle for the preaervafcion of our honour, and thai), if 
we do noti bake oare, the promisa made by L3rd Hardinga, 
that indanbured labour should soon be a thing of the past 
may be rednoed to a nullity. The Vioeregal prononnea- 
ment jusb made seams bo sat at rest one fear, that the 
system may be prolonged for a further period of fiva 
years, whioh, as Sir Bskmakrishna Bhandarkar showed at 
Poona, would, in reality, mean ten years. We are 
^'^hankful bo Lord Chelmsford for his assuranoe. And we 
are thankful, bop, to that good Baglishman, Mr, 0. F, 
Andrews, for the lead that ha gave us io the matter. So 
eoon as he gained the information from Fiji that fiva 
isrears' extension was taken by the planters of those 
lands a^s a settled faofa, he forsook his siok-bed and his 
rest at Sbanti Nikatan, and sounded for us the call of 

Bub if one oloud, that threatened bo dsstiray our 
hopes, seems to have disADpeared, auobher equally dan- 
gerous looms on the hariz>a., Tba oondibioos of aboli- 
tion, as stated by L^rd Hirdiuga Usb Mtroh, are these:— 

"On behali of Hia Majesty's Governmeat, he (the Beotetary 
of State) has asked us, however, to make it clear that the exist- 
ing system of reoraiting mast be maintained until new oondi- 
tions, undec whioh labour should be permitted to proceed 
to the Colonies, should have been worked out in oonjunolion with 
the Colonial OfSoe and the Crown Colonies ■ oonoerned ; until pro- 


Ter safeguards in the Oolonies should have been pcoyided ; and 
'iintil they should have had reasonable time to adjast themselves to 
the ohange, a period which must neoessacily depsnd on oiroum- 
Btanoes and conditions impecfeotly kaotva at pceaent." 

Thoaa of u» who kaow anything of the aysteai knew 

thafi ib was well-Qigh imposaibia to find new oondiliioDS 

whioh would ba eaoaamioally sound for the planters, and 

-morally souad for us. Wa fait thai) bhe Govarnmenli 

woald 803D fiad thia ous for thaoiaelvaa, and that, in 

-view of Lard Hardinga'a whole'-liaarlied diaapproval of 

the aystaaa, his view of tba naaraasa of the end would 

ooinoide with oar owa, Bat now a dififaraat situation 

faoea us. Nearly a ye&t haa gone by, and we diaoover 

that the -planters of Eiji have bean led to believe that 

'they will hava five yaara mora of the syatam, and at tba 

•end of it new oonditiona may after all be a ohange in 

name bub not insabatance. L'at Mr. Bonar Law'a daa- 

-patoh apeak for itaelf. Writing under date Marob i, 1916, 

to the Acting Governor of Fiji, ha aaya :-7- 

" Ihe Searetary at State for India is Batiafiad that it would not 
be possible for the Governmeat of India to oontinne to defeat by a 
bare official mnjority resolutions in their Legislative Council, 
oirgiDg the abolition of indenture ; that in his opinion, the strong 
and universal feeliag in India on this suojsot makes it a question 
of urgency : and that he has accepted the aonolusion that inden- 
<tured emigration must be abolished." 

Ha then prooeada : — 
" Xhough, from the point of view of the Oolonies oonceraed, 
the decision whioh the Indirtn G-overnment and the Secretary of 
'Btate for India have taken is to be regretted, I recognise that the 
^nal deoiaion upon this question must rest with the, Indian Govern- 

Thus the humanitiaa of the qaestion are taoitly sup- 
posed to ba no oonoero of the Oolonies. 

Now mark thia s.ignifiaant paragraph, called from 
bbe same iliamiDating deapatoh :r- 

" I have, therefore, agreed to the appointment of an inter- 
departmental committee to consider what system should be sub- 


stitutNl for tfae system of indentore should be allowed for a fartbep 
period of five years, aod should cease ae ibe end of ihac period,; 
• ■ . Tue Secretary of State for ludia is anxious that ihe chaoge- 
of system should be brought about with as little disturbanoe a» 
possible to ihe eoooomio interests of the Colouiea, and that he baa^ 
made it clear ibac the existing system must be maintained until a 
properly safeguarded system has been devised," 

Mr, Andrewa baa been twittad for baving referred to- 
the five yeara' extension, Lafc hia critica explain away- 
Mr. Bonar Ltw's empbatio pronounoemanli published ia 
the Fiji newspapers. What with this official statement 
and the Saoretary of State for India's solioitude for tha- 
eoonomio interests of the planters, our oause may easily- 
be lost, if we are found unwatohful, 

la the light of the Viceregal speech and Mr, Bonar 
Law's despatch, our duty seems to be clear. We mast' 
strengthen the Government's hands where necessary, and' 
even stimulate their activity, so that tbig inter-depart'^ 
mental committee ia not allowed to frastrate oar hopes. 
It is a body wherein the ioflaeDce of the Orowa Colonies' 
and the Colonial ofiSca will bs preponderant. It is a body 
which has to Qad a substitute which would be aooeptabla" 
to us. As I hold, it) will be a vain searqh, if the mors- 
well-being of the labourer is to be the primary oonaidera^ 
tion, But, if (he planters can have their own way, WB' 
know that they will urge an impossible aubstitnte, and, 
in the event of ita rejection by us, they will, in aooordaose 
with Mr. Bonar Liiw's despatch, claim contlnaanae (^ 
recruiting under indenture. It must, therefore, be clearly; 
understood that the onus of producing an acceptable sub- 
stitute rests with them and not with us. Triey have had' 
more than a year already. Lard Hardinge'a despatch, 
urging total abolition, is dated the 15th Ojtober, 19 15. Tbe 
committee is to sit in May next. Tbia period for findiag 
a aubatitate ia long enoagh, in all coDScienae. Either 


Mr? Andrews' harrowing picture of the conditions of Ufa in 
I'.ji is true or it ia untrue. Wa believe it to be trnel andir 
it has never been seriously attacked. And in waiting for 
over a year, we shall have waited alnaost beyond tfas- 
point of enduranoa. Substitate or no substitute, we are 
entitled, for the sake of our motherland, {or the sake ot 
our own honour and reputation, and, indeed, that of th» 
Empire, bo the uooonditional abolition of this last rem- 
nanb of slavery. Natal stopped the system without tha- 
provision of a sulistitute. Mauritius has done likewise. 
Tha Johannesburg mines survived not only the shock of 
an abrupt termination of Chinese labour, but the with- 
drawal of every Chinese labourer from the country as fasb- 
aa transport could be gob ready. 

Capital is both bold and timid. If only we shall do- 
onr duty, if only the Governmanb of India will seeel their 
hearts against tha blandishmaots of the Fijian and Wesb. 
Indian planters, theire is, no doubt, that these people will 
know how bo save millions, without India's having to giv 
to their rescue. 

The following is the full text of on article published 
in the *' Indian Review" for September, 1917 : — 

I have carefully read the resolution issued at Simla 
bv the Government of India on the lat instant, embody- 
ing the report of the Inter-Dapartmental Conference re- 
cently held in London. It will be remembered that this 
was the oonferer»ce referred to in the Viceregal speech of 
last year at the opening of the sessions of the Viceregal 
Legislative Council. It will be remembered, too, tb ab 


this was bbe Gonferanoe wbioh Sir James Meaton and Sir 
S.P. SiDha were to have atbaoded bub were unable to 
atitond owiDg to their hftving returned to India before the 
date of the meeting of the Oanferenoe, It is stated in the 
report under discussion that these gentlemen were to 
disouss the qaeation of emigration bo certain ESngliab 
Colonies informally with the two Seorebariea of State, i.e., 
bbe Searetary of Siate for India and the Secretary of, 
State for the Colonies. Lard Islington, Sir A, Steel 
Maitland, and Messrs, Sebon, Grindle, Green and Mao- 
n'aughton constituted the Conference. To take the word- 
ing of the B^solution, this Conference sab ''to consider 
the oroposals for a new assisted system of emigration to 
BrUish Guiana, Trinidad, Jamaica and Fiji." The public 
should, therefore, note that this assisted emigration is to 
ba ooafined only to the four Orowa Colonies mentioned 
and not to the Sdlf-Gorerniog Cjlouies of South Africa, 
Canada or Australia, or the Growa Colony, of MauritiuB. 
What follows will show the importance of this distinction. 
Ig is something to be thankful for that "the Governoaept 
of India have not yet considered the report and reserved 
judgment on all the points raised in it." Tdis is as it 
should be on a matter so serious as this and one which 
only last year fairly coavulsed the . whole of India and 
which has in one shape or anobber agitated tibe country 
since 1895. ^ . , ; 

The declaration too that " His Majesty's Govern- 
ment in agreement with the Government of India have 
decided that iodentured emigration shall not be re-open- 
ed " is welcome as is also the one ihab no free 
emigrants can be introduced into any Colony until ail 
Indian emigrants already there have been released from 
existing indentures." 


In apilie, however, of so tnuoh in the reporb thab- 
fills one with gladness, the substantive part of it which 
sebg forth the aoheme whioh is to replace indentured' 
emigration is, so far as one can judge, to say the least of 
it, disappointing. Stripped of all the phraseology under 
which the soheme has been veiled, it is nothing less than 
a system of indentured emigration, no doubt on a more 
humane basis and safeguarded with some oonditioos 
benefioial to the emigrants taking advantage of it. 

The main point that should be borne in mind is tbab 
Conference sat designedly to consider a scheme of emigra- 
tion not in the interests of the Indian labourer, bub Id 
those of the Colonial employer. The new system, 
therefore, is devised to help the Colonies concerned. . 
India needs no outlet, ab any rabe for the present 
moment, for emigration outside the country. It i» 
debateable whether, in any evenb, the four CoIodibb will, 
be the most suitable for Indian colonisation. The besl> 
thing, therefore, that can happen from an Indian stand- 
point is that there should be no assisted emigration from' 
India of any type whatsoever. In the absence of any 
such assistance, emigration will have to be entirely fre» 
and ab the risk and expense of the emigrant himself. 
Past experience shows that, in that event, there will be- 
very littile voluntary emigrabioo to distant Colonies. In^ 
the report assisted emigration means, to use a mild 
expression, stimulated emigration ; and surely with tlia- 
industries of India crying out for labour and with her 
legitimate resources yet undeveloped} it is madness to 
think of providing a stimulus for the stay-at-home 
Indian to go out of India, Neither the Governmeni; nor 
any voluntary agency has been found capable of protect'-^ 
ng from ili-uaage the Indian who emigrates either to. 


Burma or Geylon, muoh less can any ^uoh prot'eotioD 
«vail in far-cff Fiji or the three other Colonies. I 
hope that leaders of publio opinion in India will| there- 
fore, take their stand on the one impregnable rook of not 
wanting any emigration whatsoever to the Cclonies. It 
might be argued that we, as a component part of the 
-^iOjpire, are bound to consider the wants of our partners, 
'but this would not be a fair plea to advance so long as 
India stands in need of all the labour she can produce. 
If, therefore, ladia does not assist the Colonies, it is not 
'because of want of will but it is due to want of ability, 
-An additional reason a politician wculd be justifiad in 
"Using is that, so long as India does nob in reality occupy 
the position of an equal partner with the Colonies, and 
«o long as her sons continue to be regarded by Eciglisb- 
men in the Colonies and Boglisb employers even aearer 
borne to be fib only as hewers of wood and drawers o) 
water, no scheme of emigration to the Colonies can be 
morally advantageous to Indian emigrants. If the badge 
of inferiority is always to be worn by them, they can 
tiever rise to their full status and any material advantage 
they will gain by (Jmigrating can, therefore, be of no 
- consideration. 

But let us for the moment consider the new system. 
"The system," it is stated, "to be followed in>future will be 
one of aided emigration and its object will be to encourage 
the settlement of Indians in certain Colonies after a proba- 
tionary period of employment in those Colonies, to train 
and fie them for life and work there and at the same 
time, to acquire a supply of the labour essential to the 
well-being of the colonists themselves," So the resettle- 
'-ment is to be conditional on previous employment under 
.contract and it will be seen in the coutse of our examioa- 


^ion thab (bis ooniiraoi is to be juBt as bindiog as the 
ooDtraots used to be under indenture. Tbe report bas tbe 
followiDg bumorons passage in it: "He will be, in no 
way, restrioced to servioe under any particular employer 
-exoepli that for bis own proteotion, a selected employer 
will be obosen for hioci for tbe first six months." Tbig 
baa a flavour of the old indentured system. Oae of the 
evils complained of about bbat system was that the 
labourer, was assigned to an employer. Ha was not free 
'to ciboose one bimself-. Under tbe new 7 system, the 
employer is to be selected fs^ tbe protection of the la- 
bourer. It is hardly necessary for me to poitit oiit thab 
iibe would-be labourer will never be able to fee! tbe pro- 
tection devised for hipa. The labourer is further "to be 
-Encouraged to "work tor bis first tbreaVe^fB iu.agrlouitijrai 
industries, by tbe offer, should he do so, of numerous and 
important benefits subsequently as a colonist." This ig 
'another induaemeut to indenture, and I know enough of 
such schemes to be able to assure both the Government) 
«nd public that these so-called inducements iu the bands 
of clever manipulators become nothing short of methods 
of compulsion in respent of innocent and ignorant; Indian 
iabourers. It is due to the framers of tbe scheme that I 
'should draw attention to the fact that they have avoided 
all criminal penalties for breach of contract, Iu India 
itself if tbe schema is adopted, we are promised a revival 
of the muob-dreaded depots and emigration agents, all 
no doubt, on a more respectable basis but still of the 
/game type and capable of untold mischief, 

Taa rest of the 'report is not likely to interest the 
public, but those who wish to study it will, I doubt not^ 
oome to the conclusion to which I have been driven'^ 
-that tbe fraiuera have done their beat to strip the old 


Byatem of many of the abuses whioh had orept inbo tli, bu^ 
they have Dot Buooeaded in placing before the ladiait' 
public aD aaaaptabla sobeme. I bold that it was ao 
impossible task. The system of iadeoture was one of 
temporary slavery ; it was inoapable of being amended, 
it should only be ended and it is to be hoped that India< 
will never oonsent to its revival in any shape or form. 


Under the auspioes of the District Congress Oom- 
mittee in Bombay Mr. M. K. Gandhi delivered a lecture 
on Indentured Indian Labour before a large gathering 
on 30th October, 191 7, at the Empire Theatre, Sir Ebrahim 
Rahimtullah presiding. 

Mr. Oandhi said : — 

The question of indentured labour was jaac now a- 
topioal question, beuause those true and real friends of 
India, Messrs. Andrews and Pearson, were oooduotiog 
an enquiry in Fiji. The Fiji Islands absorbed the largast 
number of indentured Indians at the prasenii moment. 
Messrs. Andrews and Pearson were not the first to in- 
terest the Indians in this question* but it was the deoeaS' 
ed statesman Mr. Gokhale, who first impressed Indians 
with the importance of their duties in oonneotion with 
this question. The resolution whioh Mr, Gakbala^ 
brought before the Oounoil for the abolition of the in- 
denture system waa defeated by a majority though all 
the non-official members of the Council voted for the 
abolition, However much a benign and symDatbetio 
Viceroy wished to remove this abominable system of 
iadanture from the Indian Statute Book there was » 


vary eerioua difiBculty in hia way and thai) was the reporb 
by the two GomDaiasionerci, who were sent by Lord 
Hardinge, namely, Meaare. MaoNeill and Ghimanlal 
whioh are oontained ia two bulky volamea. All might 
not oare to wade through the rather dull pagea of those 
Tolamea but to him who knew what real indentured ]»,- 
bour was, they were of great inberaab. They might, how- 
ever, take upon trust that the report reoogaised that in- 
dentured labour should aoatinue just aa it was, if certain 
tsonditioDB were fulfilled. Tboae conditions, Mr. Gandhi 
said, were impoaaible of fulfilmeni;. And the reoommenda- 
tions whioh these two great Gommissiouera made, show- 
ed that they really obuld not seriously have meant that 
the system of indenture whioh esisted to-day in Fiji, 
Jamaica, Guiana and other oolonies should be oontinned 
a minute longer than was actually neoeasary. The 
Speaker here referred to the previous Gommiesion and said 
that the defeats whioh Messrs. MaoNeill and Ghimanlal 
had pointed oab were patent to all. Their report eon- 
tained nothing new. Bat there was unofSoial investi- 
gation on behalf of some philanthropic body in England 
some forty years ago, and in that book an unvarnished 
tale waa given, which told in graphio language what 
were the hardships under that system. 

In this oonneotion Mr. Gandhi quoted a statement 
made by the Prime Minister of Natal in whioh he said 
that the system o^ indenture was a moat unadvisabla 
thing and that the sooner it was terminated the better 
for the iudentured labourer and the employer. Lord 
Selborne said the same thing when be was the High 
Commissioner in South Africa : he said that it was worse 
for the employer than the employed, beoftuse it was a 
syatem perilously near to slavery. Sir William Hunter 


wrote a beautiful series of letters in 1895 when hs firab 
brought himself to study the system personally and 
compared the system of indenture, after a due 
investigation, to a state bordering on slavery. Oa 
one oooasioD be used the expression semi-slavery, 
Mr. Gandhi said if he erred in making these state- 
ments, he erred -in Lord Selborne's oompany, And 
it was in oonneotion with this system that these 
two worthy gentlemen, the Gommisaionera, had seen 
fit bo report and advise the fulfilmeot of certain oondi- 
tiona which, in the very nature of the oontraob, 
were impossible of fulfilment. The conditions were that 
unsuitable emigrants be excluded ; the proportion of 
famalea to males to be raised from 40 to 50 per cent, Tba 
speaker could not understand what they meant by ua- 
fluitable emigrants being excluded. The OommisaioDers 
Ihemselves told them that it was not easy to find labour 
in India, India was not pining to send her children out 
aa aemi-slavea. Lord Sanderson stated that it was the 
Burplua population from India that went out from dig- 
satisfaction with the economic oonditiona in India. Bat 
they must remember that there were 500 recruiting 
licences issued in the year 1907. Gould tbey conceive the 
Bignifioauoe of the extraordiaary state of things which 
required one recruiter to 17 labourers ? The Golonial 
Governments had their sub-agents in India for tbia 
indentured labour to be collected. They were paid a sum 
of B<i. 25 for each oooly recruited, and this sum of B9. 25 
was divided between the recruiter and the sub-agect, 
Mr. Gandhi thought the mental state of thosa recruitera 
must be miserable, who could send so many of their 
countrymen as semi-slaves. After having seen what the 
recruiting agents did and after having read the many groaa 


tnis-statemebtB they made, he was not surprised that tibou' 
«tLtids''and thoaaandB of their oountrymsn wer'^ beoomiog 
ibdentared labourers. The Oommiasiobers deToted several 
'Pages to bhe ioamorality prevailing oa the estates. It was 
uob forty women for sisty men ; bub the statement was 
made than these men did not marry these womeo, but kept 
them, aud that many of these women were prostitutes. 
Mr. Gaadhi said he would deoline togend his ohildrea 
under suoh ao indenture, if he was worthy of his salt, out 
<>f the oouatry. Bat thousands of men and Women had 
gone. What did thsy think of that in India? 

The oouditions were that rigorous provisions should 
b'a either expunged from the Ordinances br that the Pro- 
teotor should oontrol employers. As for the ragulationa 
made to protect these labourers they oould take it from 
him, Mr. Gandhi said, that there were a great many 
:B.iW8 in them and a ooach and four could be easily 
driven through these. The aim of the rules was to 
make the employer supreme. Here was capital ranged 
against labour with arbifioial props for capital and nob 

Mr. Gaadhi condemned the "protector" of emigrants. 
They ware men belonging to that Very class to which em- 
ployers bdlooged ; they moved among them and was id 
nob only natural that they should have their sympathiea 
on the side of the employer? How was' it then possib'e 
bbab they could do justice to the labourer against the 
•employer ? He knew many instances when magistrates 
had mated out justice to the indentured labourer, but lb 
was impossible to expect suoh a thing from the Protectors 
of emigrants. The labourer was bound hand acid fobt to 
the employer. If he committed an offenoe Etgain'st bia 
employer he first of all had to undergo a course of iia 


Drisonment; tbea the days thab bbe labourer had apenfr- 
in the jail ware added iio his iadanture and bo was taken 
back Iso hia master to aerve again. The GomaiisBioDers^ 
had to aay nothing agalDSb theee rulea. There waa nobody 
to judge the Frobeobor of Emigranta if he gave a wrong 
iudgoaenti, bat in the oaae of the magiatrata ha could bft- 
oritioiaed. Again the GommiBaionera add that theae 
prieooers ahoald be pub into aeparabe jaiia. Bat the Golcl-^ 
nial GovernmeDt would be bankrupt if they built jaile foir 
hundreda of prisonera that were impriaoned. They were 
not able to build jaiia for the paeaive reaistera. Then the 
Commiaaionera aaid that the labourer ebould be allowed 
to redeem hia indenture by payment of a graduated re- 
demption fee. Tdey made a miabake in thinking bim to 
be an independent man. He waa nob hia own master' 
Mr. Gandhi said he had koowu of Eagiiah giria well edu- 
cated who were daooyed, and who were nob indenturadp 
unable to free ubemaal7aa. How waa it then possible for 
an indentured labourer to do this ? Mr. Balfour compared 
the labourer under an indenture to a soldier- Bab the 
aoidiar waij a raspouaibie man and he could rise to a high- 
posicioD. Bab an iudenbured labourer remained a labourer. 
Ha had no privileges. Hia wife was also included under 
his disabilities, so also hia son. In Natal the finger of 
soorn was pointed ab theaa people. Never could an in-^ 
denburad lodiaa rise to a higher post than thab of labou- 
rer. And what did the labourer bring when he returned' 
to India ? He returned a broken vessel, with some of the 
artifioial and suparfioial aigna of oivilisation, bab he left, 
more valuable things behind him. He may bring aomS' 
sovereigns also with him. They should decline to per- 
petuate this hateful system of indenture beoauae it robbed, 
them of their national self-reapeet. 


If they ooald oonsider well over what) he had said, 
^hey wonld try and abolish the Byatetn in a year's time 
-^nd (his one (aiab upon the nation would have gone and 
iodtjntnred labour would be a thing o( the past. He 
wanted to renaove the cause of the ill-treatment af the 
Indiana in the Colonies, However proteotad that systeai 
may be, it still remained a state bordering upon slavery. 
" It would remain," said Mr. Gandhi, " a state based 
upon (ull-fladged slavery and ib was a hindrance to 
^national growth and national dignity." 


In the course of an article criticising the Imperial 
Oenference Besolution on Indian emigration, Mr, Qandhi 
wrote as follows in the Indian Beview for Attgusti 
1918 :— 

The Imperial Gonferenoe Besolution * on the status 
'0( our oountrymen emigrating to the Goloaies, reads well 
on the surfaoe, but it is highly deoeptive. We need coll 

'A summary of (he proceedings of the Conference was cabled 

■tp the Secretary of State to the Viceroy. The following is an 

'txtract: — 

The fifteenth meeting of the ConfereDoe was held on July 
liSth., The first sabjeot disouBsed was leoiprooity ■ of treatment 
i)etween India and the Dominions. This disonssion followed on 
the resolutioo passed by the Gonterenoe last year, aoeepting the 

rprinoiple of ceoipcooity and a further resolution passed to^that eSeot 
ehoUld now be given to the last year's resolution in pursuance b( 
wfaioh the Conference agreed as follows :—(U' I<> is the inherent 

-function of the Governments of several communities of British 
-bommonwealth including India that each should enjgy oomplete 
oontrol in the composition of its own populatioa ' by' means of 
restriction on immigration from any other oblumunitieB. <3) 
British citizens domiciled in any British country including India 
should be admitted into any other British country for visits for 

4be purposes of pleasure or commerce including temporary reei- 


consider i6 a greab aobieremeob (hat we 'oan pass tbe:aam& 
laws againsti the colonials bhat they may pass against ns. 
It is like a giant telling a dwarf that the latter is free ta 
give blow for blow. Who is to refuse permission and pass- 
ports to (be colonials desiring to enter India? But Indians, 
DO matter what their attainments are, are constantly 
being refused permission to enter the colonies even for 
temporary periods. South African legislation of emi- 
gration was purged of the racial taint, by the passive- 
resistance movement, But the administrative principles 
still continue and will do so, so long as India remains^ 
both in name and substance a dependency, 

The agreement arrived at regarding those who are 
already domiciled practically re-states the terms of the set- 
tlement of 1914. If it extends to Canada and Australia 
it is a decided gain^ for in Canada till recently there was^ 
a big Agitation owing to the refusal of its Government ta 
admit the wives and children of its Sikh settlers. Jjoaiay 
perhaps add that the South African settlement provides- 

denor for the purpoEe of education. The oonditions of suoh viaitS' 
Bhould be regulated on the pcinoiple of leoiprooity as foUons;— 
(a) The rigfat of the GoTernment of India reoogoieed to enaot 
laws which gball have the effect ot eubjeoting Kcitieh oitizens- 
domioiled in any other Bcitieh country to the same conditious ia 
visitiDg India as those imposed on Indians desiring to visit suob- 
country, lb) Such eight of visit or temporary residence shall, in- 
each individual case, be embodied in the passport or written permit 
issued by the country of domicile and eubjeot to vie there by an 
o£Soer appointed by and acting on behalf of the oouutry to ba 
visited. If suoh a oountry so desires such right shall not extend ta 
the visit or temporary residents for labour purpose or to permanent- 
settlement. (3) Indians already permanently domiciled in other 
British countries should be allowed to bring in their wives and 
minor children on condition (a) that no more than one wife and her 
children shall be admitted for each such Indian and (b) that each 
'individual BO admitted shall be certified by the Government of 
India as being the lawful wife or child of suoh Indian, The 
Conference recommends other questions covered by the memoranda 
presented to the Qonfetenoe by the representatives of India. 


for the prolieotion of bboae who had plural wives before the 
settlemeDl), espeoially if the latter had at any time entered 
South Africa. It may be the proper thing in a predomi- 
nently Christian oouotry to oonfiae the legality to only 
one wife. But it is necessary even for that country, in 
the interests of humanity and for the sake of friendship 
for members of the same Imperial E'aderation to which 
they belong administratively, to allow the admission of 
plural wives and their progeny. 

The above agreement still evades the question of in* 
equality of status in other matters : — Thus the difSoulty 
of obtaining licenses throughout South Africsi the prohibi- 
tion to hold landed property in the Transvaal and the 
Free State and virtual prohibition within the Union itself 
of the entry of Indians into the Free State, the prohibi- 
tion of Indian children to enter the ordinary Government 
schools, deprivation of Manioipal francbise in the Trans- 
vaal and the Free State and praotioal deprivation of the 
Union franchise throughout South Africa, barring 
perhaps the Cape. The resolutions of the Imperial 
Conference therefore are deoidely an eye-wash. There is 
no change of heart in the oaionies and certainly no 
recognition of Imperial obligations regarding India. The 
Fii'ian atrocities to which Mr. Andrews has drawn 
pointed attention show what is possible even in the 
Grown Colonies which are under direct Imperial control. 

Jail Experiences 

These prison experiences were originally written bv 
Mr. Oandhi in Gujarati and we are indebted to the 
Modern Raview for the following English version : — 


When the different inspaotiors ooma to iospeoli, all 
the prisonere have to DOSt thecnselvea in a rowi and take 
off their cap3 to saiata theoi. As M of us had Eagliah 
caps, there was no difficulty in observing this rale. It was 
both legal and proper that we should take off our oapa. 
The words of direotion used were "fall in." These words 
had, so to speal:, beoome our food, as wa had to "fall in'/' 
four or five times a day. Oae of these offioers, an 
assistant to bha Chief Warder, was a little stifF-neoked, 
and so tha Indians had niokoamed him " General 
Smuts." Generally he was tha first to oome in the 
mornings, and again in tha evenings, At half past nina 
the Dootor oame, Ha was very goo^ and kind, and 
unfailing in his inquiries. Eaoh prisoner had, aooording 
to jail rules, to show all pares of his body, on the first day 
to the Dootor, stripping himself bare of all olothas, but he 
was kind enough not to enforoe the same in our ease. 
When many more Indians had oome, ha simply told ua 
to report to him if any one had got itobas, eta , so that 
be might esamina him in camera. At half past ten or 
eleven, the Go.vernor and Chief Warder oame. Tha 


former waa a firm, juBb and quieli-aatared . officer. 
Hia invariable inguiriea were whether we were all 
Tighb, whether -we wanted anytbiDg, whether we had 
any oomplaiata to make. Wtienevar we had any suob, 
be heard them atteotively, and gave us relief, if he ooald. 
Some of these oomplaialis and grievaaoee I Bhall refer to 
later on. Hia deputy oamu also at times. He waa 
^iad-hearted too. But the beat of them all was pur Obief 
Warder. Himself deeply religioua, he waa not only kind 
and oourteoua towards us, but every prisoner sang hia. 
praises in no measured terms. He waa attentive in pre- 
serving to the prisoners all their righta, he overlooked 
their trivial faults, and knowing in our ease that we were^ 
all innooent he waa particularly kind to us, and to show 
'hia kindness he often oame and talked to us. 


I have aaid before that there were only five of ua 
passive resistera, at first. Oa Hth January, Tuesday, 
-oame in Mr. Thambi Naidui the Chief Picket, and Mr. 
Koin, the President of the Chinese Association. We all 
were pleased to receive them. Oa the iSiih, fourteen 
otbera joined us, including Samundar Khan. He waa in 
'{of two montha. The reat were Madrasia, Kunamias 
and Gujarati Hindus. They were arrested for hawking 
without licences, and sentenced to pay a fine of £2, and, 
in default, to H daya' idaprisonment, Tbey had bravely 
elected to go to jail. On the 2l8t, 76 othera came- In thia 
batch only Nawab Khan had two months, the reat were 
with a fine of £2, or, in default, 14 :daya' impria'bnment, 
TMoat of iibem were Gujarati Hindua, some Kunamiaa 
and Bome Madraaia. On the 22nd, 35, on the 23rd, 3, 
on the 24tb, 1, on the 25tb, 2, on the 28lib, 6, and in the 


eveniDg 4 more, and on tha 29iib, i Kunamias added to- 
our nambars. So thai) by bba 29iih, tbere were 15&: 
paaaive resistara inoaraeralied. On tiba SOsh, I waa re- 
moved lio Pretoria, bull I knew tbab on tbab day 5 or & 
otbera bad ootsa in. 


The queation of food is of greaii momanii to many oV . 
ua, in all oircumatanoaa, bab to thoaa in priaon, it ia of 
the greateab importance. They are greatly in need of 
good food. Tbe rule is tbat a prisoner bad to reat oon- 
tent witb jail. food, be cannot procure any from outaide.. 
Tbe same ia tbe oaaa witb a aoidier wbo baa to aubmit 
to bis regulation rations, but tbe diffarenca between the 
two is tbat bis friends can send other food to the aoidier 
and he can take it, while a priaoner ia prohibited from 
doing so. So tbat this prohibition about food ia one of 
tbe aigna of being in prison. Even in general conver- 
sation, you will find tbe jail-offiaera, aaying that there 
oould be no exeroiae of taste about priaon diet, and do 
suob article oould be allowed therein. In a talk with 
the priaou medical officer, I told him that it waa neoea- 
sary for ua to have aome tea, or ghee or aome such thing: 
along V7ith bread, and, he said, you want to eat with 
taste, and no palatable thing could be allowed in a priaon. 

Aoobrding to the regulations, in the first week, an 
Indian geta, in tba morning 12 oz. of " mealie pap" 
without sugar or ghee ; at noon, i oz. of rice and one oz. 
of ghee ; in the evening, from 5 days,'' 12 oz. of mealie 
pap, for 3 days, 12 oz. of boiled beana an''d aalb. This 
scale haa bean modelled on the dietary of tbe Kaffirs — 
the only difference being that in the evening, the Kaffira 
are given crashed maize corn and lard or fat, while the' 


Indiana get -rioa. In the aeoond week, and thenoefor- 
ward, for two days, boiled potatoes and for two days,. 
cabbages, ox puoapliin or some suoh vegetable is given 
along with maiza flour. Those wbo take meat are given- 
naeat wibh vegetables on Sundays. 

The first baiioh of prisoners bad resolved to solicit- 
for DO favours at tbe bands of Qovernmant, and to take 
whatever food was served outi if not religiously objec- 
tionable. Baally speaking, the above was not a proper kind 
of diet for Indians, though medioally, of oourse, it oon- 
bainad suffiaient nubtition. Maize is the daily food of 
tihe Kaffirs, so this diet) suits them, nay, they bbriva on 
it in jail. But Indians rarely use ma^z^-flour, rios- 
only suits them. We are not used to eat beans alotie,,. 
Dor oould we like vegetables a^ oooked by or for Kaffirs^ 
They never clean the vegetable nor season them witb- 
any spioes. Again the vegetable oooked for the Kaffirs 
mostly consist of the paeiinga lefo after tbe same ' hava 
been prepared for the Earopsan conviots. Eor spioes, 
nothing aha besides salt is given. Sugar is never dreamt 
of. Thus the food question was a very difficult one for 
us all. Still, as wa had determined that the passive re-- 
Bisters were neither bo solicit nor aak for favours from 
the jail authorities, we triad to rest content with this 
kind of food. 

In reply to his iaquiries we had told the Governor- 
thab the food did not suit us, but we were determined not»~ 
bo ask for any favours from Goveromant, If Govern- 
ment of its own aooord wanted to make a ohanga, it 
would be weloome, else we would go on taking the re 
gulation diet. 

But this determination oould not last long. Wbeux 
obhera joined us, we [thought it would be improper ta> 


make them share bhia trouble with ub also. Was iii nok 
stifiSaieDt that bhey had shared the prisoa with ua * So 
we began bo talk to the GoTernor on their behalf, Wa 
told him, we were prepared bo bake any kind of food, 
bub bhe later babohes ooald nob do so. He thoughb over 
"the mabter, and said bhab he would allow them to oook 
separately, if tbay pub ib on the ground of religion, bub 
the articles of food would be the same, ib did nob resb 
'wilh him to make any changes in them. 

In bhe maanbime, fourteen others had joined ns) and 

csome of them elected bo starve rabher than take mealie 

•pap. So I read vhp jail rules and found out bhab applioa- 

tions in suoh matters should be made to the Director 

-of Prisons. I asked, therefore, the Governor to be 

permitted to apply to him, and sent a petition 


We, ths uadersigned prisoners, beg to state that we are all 
'Asiatios, 18 Indiana and 3 Chinese. 

The 18 Indians get for theic breaktast maalie pap, and the 
others, rioe and ghee; the; gee beans thrioe and "pap" {out 
times. We were given potatoes on Saturdays and greens on 
Sundays. On religious grounds, we cannot eat meat : some are 
entirely prohibited (com taking it, and others oannor, do so be- 
cause of its not being religiously slaughtered. 

The Chinese get maize-corn instead of rioe. All the ptisoa- 
■ers are mostly used to European food, and they also eat bread 
and other flour preparations. None of us is used to mealie pap, 
-and some of us suSar from indigestion. 

Seven of us have eaten no breakfast at all ; only at times, 
when the Chinese prisoners who got bread, out of meroy, gave 
them a pieoe or two out of theic rations, have we eaten the 
same, When this was mentioned to the G-overnoc, he said we 
were guilty of a jail offenoe in thus aooepting bread. 

In our opinion this kind of food is entirely unsuitable to us. 
-fio we have to apply that we should be given food aooording to 
the rules for European prisoners and mealie pap be left out en- 
tirely ; or, in the alternative, suoh food should be given as would 
^upp ort us, and be in consonance with our habits and oustoms. 
This is an urgent matter and a reply be sent by wire. 


Twenty-one of na bad signed the petition and wbile^ 
it was being deatiatohed seTsnty-sis naore came in, They 
also bad a dislike for the '' pap," and so we added a para- 
graph stating that the new arrivals al&o objeoted to the 
diet., I requested the Governor to send it by wire. He- 
asked his superior's permission by telephone} and allowed 
at onoe 4 oz. of bread in place of*' pap," We were all- 
Tery pleased, and from the 22nd, i oz, of bread was sub- 
stituted in plaoe of- pap, morning and evening. ' In the 
evening we got 8 oz,, i.e., half a loaf, - But this wss'- 
merely a temporary arrangement. A committee was sit- 
ting on lihe question and we heard that they had reoom- 
mended an allowance of flour, ghee and pulse; but before 
it oould take effest, we had been released, and so nothing 
more happeTned, 

In the beginning when there was only eight of us we 
did not cook ourselv'ds, so we used to get uooopked rice 
and ill-oboked vegetables whenever the same were given, 
80 we obtained permission to oook of ourselves. On the 
first day, Mr. Kidva cooked. After that Mr. Thambi^ 
Naidu and Mr. Jivan both took up the function, and in 
our last days they bad to cook for about 150 men, They 
had to epc^ onoa only, excepting on vegetable days which 
were two in a week — when they had to do so twice. Mr. 
Naidu took great trouble' over this, I used to distri- 

From the style of the petition the reader must have 
noted the fact that it was presented on behalf of all- 
Indian prisoners and not us (eight) alone. We talked 
with the Governor also on the same lines and he had 
promised to look into ili for all the Asiatic prisoners. We- 
still hope that the jail diet of the Indians would bd- 
JTu proved. 


Again the ibree Chineaa used tio gab other artiolea 
iDBtead of rioe, and henos annoyanae was felb, as there 
was an appearanoe of their being oonsidered separata 
^rom and inferior to us. For this reason, I applied, on 
their behalfi to the Governor and to Mr, FIay> 
'ford, and it was ordered that they should be placed on 
the same level as Indians. 

It is instruotiva to compare this dietary with that 
ot the Europeans, They get for their morniDg breakfast 
" pap " and 8 oz, of bread ; for the midday meal, bread 
and Boup or bread and meat, or bread and meat and 
potatoes or vegetables ; and in the evenings bread and 
*" pap." Thus thsy got bread thrioe in the day, and so 
they do not oara whether they have tha«" pap " or not, 
Again they get meat or soup, in addition, Besides this 
they are often given tea or ooooa. This will show - that 
both the Europeans and the native Ka£Srs get food suit- 
able to them, and it is the poor Indians alone who suffer, 
They. bad no speoiat dietary of their own. It they were 
treated like Europeans in food, they the Europeans would, 
■have felt ashamed, and no one had the oonoern to find 
out what was the food of the Indian. They had thus to 
be ranked with the Kaffirs and silently starve, For this 
aUta of oiroumstanoas I find fault with our own people, 
the Passive Besisters. Some Indians got the requisite 
food by stealth, others put up with whatever they got, 
and ware either ashamed to make public tha story of their 
distress or had no thought for others, Henoe tha outside 
public remained in tha dark, If we were to follow truth 
and agitate where wa got iojustioe, there would be no 
room to undergo such iaconvenienoes. If wa were to 
leave self and apply ourselves to the good of others, 
-.grievanoes would get remedied soon. Bub just as it is 


ueoessary bo take etepa for tberadreas of suoh oomplaints, 
«b it is neaesaary bo bhink of oartain other thiogs aUo, lb 
is bab meet for priaonera bo undergo oerbain inooaveai- 
eooaa. If bhere be no brouble, whab ia the good of being 
oalled a prisoner? Those who are bhe maabers of their 
minds, bake pleasure even in suffering, and live happily 
Jn jails. They do nob lose sighe of the eziabenoe of the 
Buffering, and bhey abould nob do ao, oonaidering (haft 
'there are obhars also^ suffering wibb bhem. 

There ia anobher evil habib of onra, and bhab is our 
'feenaoity in sticking to our manners and oustoms. We 
masb do in Borne as the Bomans do. Wa are living 
ia Soubb Afrioa and we musb aconabom ourselves bo whab 
-is oonsidered good food here. " Mealie pap " is a food, 
as good, simple and oheap as our wheat. We oannob say 
ih is without taste, sometimes, ib beats whaat even. It is 
my belief that out of respeob for the oouniry 
of our adoption, we must take food whioh grows 
in that country, if ib be not unwholesome. Many 
■*' Whites " like this " pap " and eat ib in the morning. 
Ib beoomes palatabia if milk or sugar or even gbee 
■be taken with it. For these reasons and for the faob 
that we might have to go to jail again, in the future, 
ib ia advisable for every Indian to aoonstom him- 
self to this preparation of maiza. Wibh bhis habib even 
when bhe time oomea to bake it merely with aalb, we 
would not find it hard to do bo, It is inoumbenb on ua 
to leave off some of our habiba for the good of our 
oounbry. All those nations that have advanced have 
given up these things where there was nothing 
substantial to lose. The Salvation Army people attraot 
the natives of the soil, by adopting their oustoma, dress, 
-ado., if not particularly objectionable. 


Iti would hava been a miracle had no one cull of ISC' 
priaoDers fallen ill. The first) to be taken ill waa Mr. 
Samundar Eban. He had been bronghb into jail ailing 
and was taken Co Hospital the next day. Mr, EaSva 
was a viotim to rheumatism, and for some days he did 
not mind being treated by the Doctor in the prison cell 
itself, but eventually he had to go to the Hospital too. 
Two others suffered from fainting fi;s and were takaU' 
there. The reason was that it was very hot then, and 
the convicts had to remain out in the sun the whole day, 
and so they f ^11 down in fisa. ' We nursed them as best 
we could. Liter oa Mr. Ntwab Khan also succumbed, 
and on the day of our release bs had to be led out by 
band. He had improved a little after the Doctor had 
ordered milk, etc., to be given to him. On the whole, 
still, it may be 'safely aaid, that the Passive Basistera 
Cared well. 


I have stated already that our cell had epaoe- 
enough to accommodate only fifty-one prisoners, and the 
same holds good with regard to the area. Later on when 
instead of 51 there were 151 souls to be accommodated,, 
great difficulty waa felt. The Governor had to pitch 
tenta outside, and many bad to go there. Daring our 
last days, about a hundred had to ba taken out to sleep,, 
and back again the morning. The area apace was too 
email for this number, and we could pass our time there 
with great difficulty. Added to this was our evil iaborD- 
habit of spitting everywhere, which rendered the place 
dircy. and there was the danger of disease breaking out. 
Fortunately our oompanions were amenable to advioBn 


and aaaiBbed us in keeping the oompound olaan. 
Sor'jpaloas oare was exeroised in inspeoting the area and 
privieF* and this saved the inmates from disease. Every 
one will adnaib that the Government was at fault id 
inaaroarating saoh a large number in so narrow a space. 
If the room was insufficient, it was incumbent on the 
Governmaat not to send so many there, and if the 
straggle had been prolonged, it would not have been 
possible for the Government to commit any, more to this 


I have already mentioned that the Governor had 
allowed us sthe'uee of a table, with pen, ink, eto, We had 
the fraa run of the prison library also. I had taken from 
therei the works of Garlyle and the Bible, l*rom the 
Chinese Interpreter, who used to come there, I had bor- 
rowed tha Kuran-e-Sharif translated into English, speeoh- 
ea of Huxley, Garlyle'a Livas of Barns* Johnson, and 
Soott, and Bacon's Essays. Of my own I had taken the 
Bhagavad-Gita, with IVTanilai Naihubhai's Annotations, 
several Tamil works, fan Urdu Book from the ]S|oulvi 
Sahib tha writings of TpUtoy, Buskin and Socrates. 
Many of.these I read or re-read in the jail. I used Ijo 
Btady Tamil regularly. In the morning I used to read, 
tha Gita and at nooo, mostly the Koran, In the 
evening I taught; the Bible to Mr. Foretoon, who was a 
Chinese Christian. Ha wanted to learn English, and I 
taught it to him through the Bible. 

If I had been permitted to spend out my full period 
I would have been able to complete my translations of a 
book each of Carlyle and Euskin. I believe that as I 
ivaa fully occupied in the study of (he above works, I 


woulj noli have bsoome tired even if I had got mote than 
two moDtha ; nab only that but I would, have added use> 
fully to my kno.wjedga and studies, I would have passed 
a happy life, believing as I do: that whoever .has a taste; 
for reading good books is able to bear loaeliaess in any 
place with great ease. 

religious' STUDY 

In the West, we now see, that, as a mittar of faot,' 
the State looks after the religion of all its prisoners, and' 
benoe, we fiad a Cburah iii the Johannesburg prison for 
its inmates, but it is provided to meet only the needs of 
the Whites, who aioae are allowed aooess thereto, I ask-, 
ed for special permission for Mr. Foretoon and myself, 
bnt the Governor told ma it was only for White Chris-, 
tian prisoners. Every Sunday they attend ^it, and 
preachers of diffarent denominations give tham religions 
lessons there, . . , 

Several missionaries ooma in. to convert the EafQrs 
also with special permission. Tbare is no Church for 
ihem ythey sit in the open. Jaws also have got their 
preaohers to look after them. It is only the Hindus and 
Mahomedans wh& are spiritually left unprovided for. 
Tbere are not many Indian prisoners, it is true, but the 
absence of any such provision for them is hardly credit- 
able to them, Tba leaders of both communities should, 
therefore, lay their beads together, and arrange for the 
religious instruction of tba membeis of their community 
in jail, even if there be only one convict. The praaohers, 
whether Hindus or Moulvis, should ba pure-hearted, and^ 
they should ba carefuKnot to become thorns in the aides 
of tba ooDviots. 



All that waa worth knowiog has been stated ' abbva- 
la^ians bsing placed on a level with the Kaffirs is a' faoft 
wbtAh oalls for farther aoDsideration. While the White 
4dnvtc^taget a bedstead to sleep on, a ^tooth-briish to 
-olean -their teeth, a tdwel to wipe their'-taoes and hat^ds, 
■and also a handkerohief, Indians get nothing, Why 
■this distination ? ' i , . > 

' ,^e should never think that this is not a matter for 
■our intbrferenoe. Is is these little things wbioh either 
■enhanoe our respeot or degrade us. An Arabio book saya 
that he'who has no aelf-respeot has no religion. Nations 
4)ava baoome great by gradually enhaDoing their aeU-res- 
vebt, Salf-respeot does not, mean vanity or rashaas^i but 
^a state of mind whioh ia prepared not to let go itg privi-"Bi'mply odt of fear or idleness, Oae who has really 
h\B trust in Gad attains to self-reapeot, and I firmly 
4t)elieva that one who haa no trust in Him never knows 
^vhat ia right, nor doaa ha know bow to do right. 


, I Every prisoner ,in the jail on getting up in the tu^orn- 
ing is.reqnired'tq fold his own bedding, and to place it in 
Us proper plaoe. Ha must finish his toilet by 6 o'clock 
'ftnd be raady to start out at the stroke of' the hour. 
The work begins at 7 o'clock. It ia of various kinds. 
Xfae ground to be dug waa very bard. lo waa to be 
worked upon with spades, acid banca the work proved 
boo hard. Again, it was a'very bot day. The place wis 
were taken to was about a mile and a half from the jail, 
fiacb ana of us started very well indeed. But as one ol 

us was aaed to this kind of woi^.'it was noli long befors 
wn were quite done up. As the day advanced, the'work 
seemed barderstill. The warder was very striot, Hf 
used bo cry out every now and then, '' go on, go on.' 
This made the Indians quite nervous. I saw soma o£ 
them weeping, One of them had a swollen foot. AU 
this caused me a great deal of heart-burning, and yet oa 
every oooasioo, I reminded them of the 'duty, and asked 
tbem to perform it as well as poasibia, with a good heart,, 
and without minding the words of the warder, I felt 
myself done up also. My bands were covered with 
blisters and water was oozing out of tbem. I could 
hardly bend the spade and feU the weight of it as if i^ 
was quite a maund. I'prayed to God to preserve my 
honour, to maintain my limbs intact, and to bestow on 
ma sufficient strength to be able to perform my allotted 
iiaek. I trusted to Him and went on with my work. 
The harder would sometimes remonstrate with me af)- 
an' occasional break required to get over the fatigue. I 
told him that it was unnecessary for him to remind me 
of my duty, and that I was prepared to go through as 
much of it as was possible for me to do. Just then I 
saw Mr. Jbinabhai faint... .^.While I was pouring water 
on Jhinabhai's head, the following occurred to me. 
Most of the Indians trusted my word, and submitted 
themselves to imprisonment, If the advice that I hap* 
peoed to c£fer tbem were erroneous, bow much sin I 
woul.4 b^ committiDg in the eye^ til God in tendering i^ 
to tbena. Tbey underwent all sorts of hardships' o& 
aooountof that advice. With this thought in my mind,. 
I heaved a deep sigh. With God as npy witness, I re* 
::^eQted on the subject once more, and was immediately 
xeassured that it was all right. I felt that the advice 

GANDHI'S Ste06Ni}' Mili>J4x^BEIBN0E8 86S 

that I baudarad to them was tha only rtdvioe bhSt I oould 
binder the oiroumafcanoas. In antioipatlon of fatura 
liappinesa, it was abaolufiely neoessary that we should 
ubdergo tha hardest trials and sufferings in the first 
inatianae, and that there was no reason to bs grieved at 
'ibe lebtor, This was simply a fis 6f fainting, bat avad 
if it was a oasa of death, how oould I offer any other 
-advice than what I had already dona? It at onoe 
<ooaarred to me that it Was more honourable for anybody 
to die suffering in that mauneri than to oontinae living 
« life of perpetual enslavement. 

At one time one of the warders oame to ma, and 
-aakad me to provide hiofi with two of his men to clean tha 
watar-olosebs. I thonghli bhat I oould do nothing babter 
than olaan them myself and so I offared him my setVioes. 
I have no particular dislike to bhat kind of work. On bhe 
-contrary, I am of opinion bhat wa oaght to get onrsalvea 
«ooastomed to it. 

t was given a bad in a ward, where there were princi- 
pally Kaffir patients. Here I passed the whole night lit 
;great misery and terror. I did nob kaow then that I 
was to be taken the next day to another cell that wag 
oooupied by Indian prisoners. Fretting that I would 
-be kept incarcerated with such men, I got very nervoua 
«nd terror-stricken, And yet I tried my best to reoonoile 
myself to the idea thiit it was my duty to undergo the 
Bufferings that may befall ma. I read from tha 
"Bbagawad-Gita," that I had with me, certain veraes 
-suited to the oooasion, and, on pondering over them, was 
soon reconciled to the aituation. The chief reason why 
1 got nervoua was that In the same room, there were % 

166 ^>IL, e;^]|3IBNqe§ 

onmber of wild, murderoua looking, vioioua Ea£QT an^ 
Chinesa prie[0Der8. I did nob know their language, Oaa- 
of tlie Kaffirs began to ply naa with all aorta of gaestiona. 
Aa.far aa I could gather, be aeemed to be mocking me- 
indecently. I did not nuderatand wbat his gue8tiona> 
were and I kept quiet* ,E[e then aaked me in his brokea 
English, " W^y have they brought yon bere ?" I gave- 
him a very abort reply and was again silent. He was 
followed by one of the Chinamen. Ha was worse than 
the other. Ha approached my bed, and looked at me- 
intently. I kept on my silence. Ha then proceeded 
towards the above-mentioned Kaffir's bed. There they 
began to mock each other indecently, and expose their 
private parts. Both these prisoners were probably 'there- 
for naurder or highway robbery. How oould I enjoy sleeps 
after seeing these deadfuHbings? 

(At one time) aa soon aa I got seated at the water 
oloaetrthere to anawar the call of nature, a very wild aud 
muaoular looking Kaffir turned up. Ha asked ma to gei^ 
off from the aeat, ana began to abnae me. I told him I 
would not be long when betook bold of ma, and threw 
me outside. Fortunately, I- was able to oabcb bold of 
one of the doorp, and to save myself from a naaty fall.. 
Thia did not make me very nervous. I simply walked 
away with a smiling countenance. Bub one or two Indian 
prisoners who happened to see the situation in which F 
was placed, oould not restrain themselves from sbeddiu^ 


When on the 25lh February I got three months' hard 
l^abour, and once again embraped my brother IndiauB and 
my Bon in the VoiksruBt Jail. I little thought that I 
should have had to say much in oonneotion with my 
third " pilgrimage" to the jail, but with many othe? 
human asBumptionB, this too proved to be false. My 
experience this time was unique, and what. Ilearnt there- 
from I oould not have learnt after years of study, I 
consider these three months invaluable. I saw many 
vivid pictures of passive resistance, and I have become, 
thereforei a more ootifirmed resister than what I was 
three months a^o. For ^11, .this, I have to Jthank the 
Govertmaeht of this place (the Transvaal), 

Several ofSoers bad betted this that I should notgel( 
less than six months. My friends — old and renowned 
Indians — my own son — had got six months and so I tpo 
was wishing that they might win their bets. Still I'had 
my own misgivings, and they proved true. I got only 
three months, that being the maximum under the law. 

After going there, I was glad to meet Messrs, Dawood 
Muhammad, Bustamji, Sorabiji, Pillay, Hajura Sing, Lai 
Bahadur Sing and otber ' fighters." Exoepting for about 
ten all others were accommodated in tents, pitched in the 
jail compound for sleeping, and the scene resembled a 
oamp more than a prison. Every one liked to sleep in 
the tents. 

We were comfortable about our joaeals. We used to 
aook ourselves as before, and so could cook as we liked. 
We were about 77 passive resisters in all. 

^baae who were taken out for work had rather a 
bard time of iti lue road near the Magistrate's Goar& 


had to be bniU, so they had to dig up stones, etc., and 
carry them, After that waa fiaished they were aaked to 
dig up grass from the echoal oompouad. Bab Uostly 
they did their work oheertuUy, For three days I was 
also thus sent out with the " shana" (gaogs) to work, but 
in the meanwhile a wire was reoeived that I was not to 
be taken outside to work, I was disheartened at this as 
I liked to move out, because it improved my health and 
exercised my body. Generally I take two meals a day, 
but in the Volksrust Jail, oh aooount of this eserdise I 
felt hungry thrice. After this turn, I was given the work 
of a sweeper, but this was useless, and after a time even 
ihat was taken away. ^ 


On the 2nd of March I heard that I was ordered to 
()e sent to I^retoria. I was asked to be ready at once, 
and my warder and I had to go to the station in pelting 
rain, walking on hard roads, with my luggage on my 
head. We left by tbe evening train in a third class 

My removal gave rise to various surmises. Some 
thought that peace was near, others, that after separating 
me from my companions. Government intended to op'-' 
press me more, and some others, that in order to stifle 
discussion in the House of Commons it might be intend-^ 
ed to give me greater liberty and convenience, 

I did not like to leave Volksrust, as we passed 
our days- -and nights pleasantly there talking to one 
another. Messrs. Hajura Sing and Joshi always pat us 
questions, questions which ware neither useless nor ifff 
vial, as they related to science and philosophy. How 
would one like to leave such company and such a camp? 


Bab if everythiog happened as wa wUhed, we Should 
aai be called human beings. So I left the plaoe qaiebly- 
Saluting Mr. Kaji on the road, the wardet and I got oon- 
'fined in a oompArtnaent. It waa very oold, and rainibg 
too for the whole nightr I had my overobat with mo 
Whioh I was permitted to use, I was given bread and 
-oheese for my meals on the way, but as I bad eatea 
-bafore I left, I gave them to my warder. 


Wa reached Pretoria on the 3rd, and found every- 
<%hiag new, Tbe jail was newly bailt, and the men ware 
■new, I was asked to eat but I had no inoliaation ti> dp 
-90. Mealie meal porridge was placed before me- I tasted 
r« spoonful only and then left it untouched- My warder 
was surprised at it, but I told him I was not hungry, and 
fae smiled. Then I was handed over to another warder; 
Ha said, " Gandhi, take off yoar cap." I did so. Then 
be asked, "Are you the son of Ganibi?" I said, ''No, 
my aoB is undergoing sis months' imprisonmant at 
Yolkarust." Ha then confined ma in a cali. I begin ta 
walk forwards and backwards in it< Ha saw it from tbe 
AVeitoh-hoIe in the door, and esolaimad, ''Gindhi, don't' 
walk aboiit like that. It spoils my fljor." I stoppedi 
and stood in a corner, quielily. I had nothing to read 
-even, as I had not yet got my books. I was coofioed at 
about eight, and at ten I was taken to tha Doctor, Ha 
only asked me if I hal any contagious disease, and then 
'allowed me to go. I was then interned in a small roSba' 
4t eleven wbera'^I passed my whole tiii^e. It seemed to 
-^e a cell made for one priionSe only. Its dimensions 
ware about 10x7 feet, Tbe Qoor was of blaok pftob^ 
'^bidb the warder tried to keep shiniDg. There was only 


one small glass window, barred witb iron bars, foriighip 
and air. There was eleoiirio lighb kapfs to esamine the- 
inmabes tcli nighli. I6 was not meant for the Qse of the; 
prisoners, as it was not strong enough to enable one bd^ 
read. When I want and aiooA very near it, I oouid read' 
only a large-type book. It is put out at eight, but i» 
again put on five or six -times during the night, to enable 
the warders to look over the prisoners, through the- 
watoh- holes. 

After eleven thelDapnty-Governor bame and I made 
these requests to himl for my books, for permission to' 
write a letter to my wife who was ill, and for a small 
bench to sit on. For the first, he said, he would oonside'C 
for the second, I might write, and for the thirds nOr 
Afterwards I wrote out my letter in Gajarati and gave it 
to be posted, He endorsed on it, that I should write it in 
English, I said, my wife did not know Engliah, and my 
letters were a great souroa of a comfort to her,' and thab 
I had nothing speoial to write in them. Still I did not 
get the permission) and I declined to write in Ecgliah, 
My books' were given to me in' the evening. ' '^ 

My mid-day meal I had to take standing in my. cell 
with closed doors. At threei I asked leave for a babb> 
The wardei: said, '^AU right, bub you had bobber go there 
afber undressing yourself." (The place was 125 feat 
distant' from my cell). I said, if there was no speoial 
object, in my doing so, I woald'put my olothes on the 
curtain there and take my bath. Ha alfowad it, biit said, 
"Do not delay- Even before I had cleaned my body, be 
shouted out," "Gandhi, have you done ?" I said, " I 
would do so in a minute." I could rarely see the faoe of 
au Indian. In the evening I gob a blanket and a coir 
mab bo sleep on bub neibber pillow nor plank. Even 


7?hen I answering a call of naturej I waa being watohod by 
a warder. If he did noli happen to-know me, he woald* 
cry out, "Sam, oome oai." Bub Sam had got the bad- 
habit of^takiog his full times in auph a oondition, bo bow 
ooald be get up at onoa'i^ If he were to do so, be would' 
not be easy. Sometimes thejwarders and'sometimes tli^- 
Kaffirs would peep in, and at times would sing out,/! get 
up." The labour given to me next, day was to polish the 
^oor aq^jthe doors. The -latter were of varnished >'°°> 
and what'polish oould be brought on them by rubbing 7* 
I spent three hours an reach door rubbiog, but found, 
them apohanged, the same as before. 

The food was in keeping with the above oonditionsl 

■.(-"• ' • ■, ' 

I kpew that no ghee was given with rioe in tho> 
evening, and I had thought of remedying the defect,- I 
gpoke to the. Chief Warder, but he said, ^hee wasito be^ 
given only on W^^tissdaya and Sunday noons in place of 
meat^ and if its farther supply were needed, I shoipld see- 
the Doctor. -Next day applied to see him and I wa». 
taken to him. '^ " 

I requested him to .order out for all Indians gbee in. 
place of fat. The Chief Warder was present and he add- 
ed that Gandhi's request was not proper. Till then many- 
Indians had used both fab and tjdeati and that those who. 
objected to fat, were given dry rice';' which they ate with^ 
out atiy objection; that the ^passive resiatera had also- 
done BO, and when they were releaaed, they' left with, 
added w^ght, The Doctor asked mei what I had to say 
to that, I replied that I oould not quite swallow the story, 
but speaking for myself, I should spoil my health, if £ 


-were oompalled to take rise withouli ghee. Then ha said, 
"* for you speoially, I would order bread to ba given," I 
4aid, " thank yon, but I had not applied for myself alone, 
and I would not be able to take bread for mygelf alone, 
till ghee was ordered to be given to all others." Thd 
Dootor said, " Then you should not find fault with me, 

I again petitioned and 1 oama to learn that the food 
regulations would ultimately be tiaade as in Natal, t 
oritioised that also and gave the reasons why I oould not 
^or myself alone aooept ghee, At last, when in all aboUi 
a month and a half had elapsed, I got a reply stating that 
wherever there were many Indian prisonersi ghee would 
invariably be given. Thus it might ba said that after a 
■month and a half I broke my fast, and for the last month 
I was able to take rioe, ghee and bread. Bat I took no 
■breakfast and at noon, when pap was doled out, I hardly 
took ten spoonfals, as every day it was differently prepar- 
'ed, But still I got good nourishment from the bread 
and riee, and BO my health improved* I say so,baoansa 
when i used to eat onoe only, it had broken down, I had 
lost all strength, and for ten days I was suffering from a 
severe ache in half of my forehead, My oheali too had 
shewn symptoms of being affected, L 

I had told many passive resistars thilt, if they left 
jail'wlth spoiled health, they would be considered want' 
ing in the right spirit. We must turn our prisons into 
palaoes so that when I found my own health getting ruin- 
ed I felt apprehensive lest T should haf a to go out for that 
■reason. It has to be remembered that I had dob availed 
imyBelf of the order for ghee mada in my favour, so that 
4hare was a ohanoe of^my health getting affdoted, bdt 
tihis does not apply in the oase «f ,others, as it is open to 


oaoh individaal prisoaer, when be is in jaili to have aonae 
Bpeeial order made in his favour, and thus preserve l^is 


I have said lihat my Warder was harsh in hiH deal- 
ings with me. Bat this did not last long. When he saw 
that I was fighting with the Guverument about food, &9., 
but obeying his orders aoreservedly, he ohanged his oon-- 
duot and allowed me to do aa I liked. This removed 
my diffioulties about bath, latrine, &a. He became 80> 
ooDsiderate that he soaroely allowed it to be seen that h» 
ordered me to do anything, The man who auaoeeded 
him was like a Pasha and he was always ansious tO" 
work after my oonvenieooes, He said, " I love thoB&- 
who fight for their oommanity, I myself am suoh a.- 
fighter, and T do not ooosider you to be a oonviot." He- 
thus used to comfort me. 

Again, the bench which was refused in the beginning- 
was sent to me, by the Cbief W^rdar himself, after some* 
days- In the meanwhile I had received two religious 
books for reading from General Smuts. Fcom this T 
oonolnded that the hardship I had to updergo were due, 
Dot to his express orders, but to the carelessness and in- 
difference to himself and others, and alqo because the- 
Indians were considered to be like Kaffirs. The only 
object of isolating ma appeared to be to prevent my 
talking with others. After soma trouble I got permission. 
for the use of a note-book and pencil. 

Before I was taken to Pretoria, Mr. Liohenstein had- 
seen me with special permission. He had come to see. 
on office business, but be asked tiie bow I was, &a, L 

:if 4 JaiIj expbbienoes 

was nob willing boianswer him oniiihe point, hni be pras-. 
fied me. So I said, " I will noli tell you all, bub I will 
Bay this muob, that they treat me cruelly. General. 
Smuts by this means wjknts me toj give in, but that 
would never be. as T was prep^jred to undergo whatever 
befell ma, that my .mind was at peaoe^ but ithab yon 
should publish, this. After poming out> I myself would 
•do 80." Ha oommuQioated ib to Mr. Polaki whof nob 
being able to keep ib to himself in hia turn spoke tp 
others' and Mr,; Davi^ Polak thereupon ^rpte tOijIjord 
~Salborne and an inquiry was held, Xhe warder oame 
for that purpose and I spoke to him the very wofda? 
set out above. I also pointed out the defeotei, whioh I 
have mentioped in the beginning, Theteupp,n, after ;ten 
days he sent me a plank for bed, a pillow, a nighbiBbirb 
and a hardkerqhief, whioh I took. In my ipemorial to 
him I had asked him to provide this oonvenienoe for all 
Indians. Baally speaking, in this respeob Indians are 
softer than the whites, and they oannob do without 


The opinion I had oome to, in oonaeqaenoe of my 
treatment in jail in the beginning, was confirmed by 
what happened now. About four days after I received 
a witness summoas in Mr, Pillay's case. So I was taken 
to Oourt, I was manaoled this time, and the Warder 
took no time in putting on the handcuffs. I think this 
was dona uninfcentioually. The Ohief Warder had seen 
me and from him I had obtained leave tp carry a book 

-with me. Ha, seemed to be under the impression that I 
was ashamed of the maoacles, and so I had asked 

.pfavmibsion to carry a book, and henoa ha asked ma to 


4iold the book in tnyi-haDdgMo-'Baisb a way aa bo oonoeal 
the handcuffs. Tuis made me smile, aa I waa feeliog 
4iODoared ia thua ibeiag maaaoled. The book that I was 
-oarryiDg was oalded, " The Court) of God ia ia Their 
-Mmd." I choughti thia a happy aoiaoidease, baoauae I 
tboughli what h-irdghipa might trouble me externally, if I 
were auob aa to make God live in my heare, what should 
1 oare for the hardships? I was thua taken on foot, 
•bandoulfed, to Court. 

Some of the above details might be oonsidered trivial, 
■but my main objaot in setting tham out has been that to 
minor aa well aa importaat mafatera'you oaa apply tha 
-principles of re'sistanoe. I calmly acqaieaoad in all the 
troubles, bodily given to me by the warder, . with tha 
result that not only was I able to remain aalQa and 
iguiet, but that he himself had to remove them in tha 
end. If I had opposed him, my atrangdh of mind would 
iiave beooma weakened, and I oould not have dona thaaa 
mora important things that I had to do, and in tha 
-bargain made him my enemy, 

My food difficulty also was solved at last baoauae I 
■resiatied, and underwent auffaring in tha baginaing, 

Toe greatest good I derived from these autfarioga 
waa that by uadergpiag bodily hardahipa I oould aee 
■my mental strength clearly inoreaaiag, and it ia even now 
maintained. Tue esparienoa of tha last three montha 
has left me more than ever prepared to undergo all such 
hardships wioh ease. ,1 fael that God helps auoh 
oonsoientious objaotors, and in putting them to the test. 
He only burdens them with such suffarings aa they oaa 



The tale of my happiness or aobappinesB ia now abi 
ao end, Amongat the niany benefita I reoeived in tbes& 
trhree montha, one was bbe opportunity I got to read. At 
the atarb, I must admit, I fell into moodS' of deapond- 
enoy and tboagbtfulneea while reading, and was even 
tired of these hardships, and my mind played antios like- 
a monkey, Suoh a atate of mind leads many towards 
lunaoy, bub, in my oaae, my hooka saved me. They made 
tip in a large meaapre for the loaa of the sopjety of my 
Indian brethren. I always got about three hours to read. 

So that I was able to go through about thirty booka^ 
and oon over others, wbioh oompriaed English, Hindi, 
Gujarathi, Sauekrit and Tamil works. Out of these, I 
consider Tolstoys' Emerson's and Garlyle'a worth men- 
tioning. The two fotmer related to religion, I had bor- 
rowed the Bible from the jail. Tolstoy's bocks are bQ' 
simple and eaey that any man OBtn study and profit by 
them, Again be ia a man who practices what he preaobee,, 
and hence bia writicga ips.pire great oonfidenoe, 

Catlyle'a French Bevplution ia written in a very 
tffeolive etyie. It made me think that from the Whits 
Nations we could hardly learn the remedy to remove thfr 
present miaeriea of India, because I am of opinion that 
the Erenoh people have secured no special benefits by 
their Eevolution. This was what Mazzini thought too. 
There is a great conflict of opinion about this, which it 
ja hardly proper to mention here. Even there I aaw aome. 
inatancea of pasaive reaiatanoe. 

The Swsmiji Lad Pent me Gcjarati, H ndi and Sana- 
krib bocks, Bhai KeBhavram bad eent Vedasabdasankhl]'* 
and Mr. Motilal Devan, the Upanishads. I also rea^ |ih» 

Gandhi's thiru jail bxpeeienoes 177 

Manusmriti, the Bamayaoa Sar, published in Phoeaix, 
the Patanjal Yog Darshana, the Ahnii Prahash of Na- 
thuramji, the Sandhya Outika given by ProfesBor Parma- 
nand, the Bhagavad Oita and the works of the late Kavi 
Shri Bajohandra. This gave me muoh food for thonght. 
The UpaniBhadB produced ia me great peaoefulnesB. One 
aentenoe epeoially has struck to me. It meansi "whatever 
khon dost, thou ahouldatido the same for the good of the 
soal." The words are of great importanoe and deserve 
great ooDsideration too. 

Bub I derived the greatest eatisfaotion from the 
writiogB of Eavi Shri tBajobandra, Id my opioion they 
are snoh as should attract universal belief and popularity. 
His life was as exemplary and high as Tolstoy's. I had 
learnt some passages from them and from the Sandhya 
book by heart and repeated them at night while lying 
awake, Svery morning also for half an hour I used to 
think over them, and repeat what I iiad learnt by heart. 
This kept my mind in a state of cheerfulness, night and 
day. If disappointment or despair attacked me at times, 
I would think over what I bad read and my heart would 
instantly beoome gladdened, and thank God. ... I 
would only say, that in this world good books make up 
for the ahsenoe of good ocmpanions, so that all Indians, 
if they want to live happily in jail, should accustom them- 
selves to reading good books. 

What the Tamils have done in the struggle no other 
Indian community has done. So I thought that if for no 
other reason than to show my sincere gratefulness to 
them, I should seriously read their books. So I spent the 
last month in attentively studying their language. The 



mors I studied, the more I felt its beauties. It is an iu- 
terastiDg and sweet language, and from its ooustraoticn 
and from wbab I read, I saw that the Tamils coanted in 
theii: midsc, in the past and even now, many intelligent, 
olever and wise paraonii. Again, if there is to be one na- 
liob in. India, those who live outside the Madras Presi- 
denoy, must know Tamil. 

' I wish that the result of the perusal of these esperi- 
«noe9 would be that he who knows not what patriotism 
is would learn it> and after doing so, beoomea jpassive 
resiateri and he who is so already i would be confirmed 
in his attitude, I also get more and more oonvinoed that 
he who does not know his true duty or religion would 
never know what patriotism or feeling for one's own 
country is. 

Passive Resistance 


In answer to a. question put to him by the B^i 
Joseph Doke. his biogmpher, as to the birth and evolution 
•0/ ihis principle so far as he- was conoerned, Mr.-- Oawdhi 
replied as follows: — 

- - I r&member , " he said, " how one verse ot a 
•Gu}*ra6i poem, whioh, aa a obild, I learned at sohooK 
clung to ma, In aubstanca ib waa thia : — ' 

'. If a man gives you a drink of water and you giva 
•bim a drink in return, that ia nothing. - * 

Baal beauty oonaists in doing good againat evil," 
As a obildt tbia versa had a powerful influanoe over 
-nae, and I tried to oarry it into praotioe. Ttian oam» 
the 'Serman on the Mount.'" 

"Bat, " aaid I, " am^aly - the Bhagavad-Gita oama 

"N'd," be replied, " of oourse I knew the Bhagavad' 
■Cfita in Sagakrit tolerably well, but I bad not oaade its 
teaching' in that pattiovilar a s'iQd.y'' It war th^' New 
Taatament whioh really awakened" nadto'thl^ riilltnlii 
and value of Passive Basiatanoe. When I read' in tH^ 
'Sarmon on the Mount' auoh passagea as 'Basial not 
bim that is evil hut whosoever smiteth thee on thyrighji 
oheek turn to him tha other also ' and 'Xiove your one* 
tuies and pray for them that perseouta you, that ye may. 


be sous o{ your Fabhec whioh ia in heaveD,' I was aimply 
overjoyed, and found my own opinion confirmed where I 
leas!) expeolied ib. The Bhagavad Oita deepened th& 
impression, and Toialroy'a 'Tbe Kingdom o{ God i» 
Within You' gave id a permanent! form." 

Tolstoy, Buskin, Thoredii and the Passive Resistance- 
Movement in England " had proved an object lesson, not 
only to him but to his people, of singular force and in- 
terest." Mr. Gandhi's ideal "is not so muah to resist evil 
passively; it has its active compliment — to do good in 
reply to evil!' In answer to Bev. Joseph Dohe, he saidi — 

I do nob lilie bhe term " passive reaiataDce." lb fails 
bo oonvey all I mean. It desoribea a method, bub gives 
no hint of the system of whioh it ia only part. Beat 
beauty, and that ia my aim, is in doing good against evih 
3iiiil, I adopt the phraae because ib ia well-known, and 
eaaily underabood, and because, ab present, bhe greab 
majoriiiy of my people can only grasp that idea. To me, 
the ideas which underlie bhe Gujarabi hymn and the 
"Sermon on the Mount" should revolutioniae the whole- 
^l life. 


The advantages of soul-force against phy'sioal force 
are well pictured by Mr, Oandhi in the following 
words : — 

Faasivereaiabanoe ia an all- aided aword ; ib can be 
used anyhow ; it bleaaea him who uses ib and him againab 
whom ib is used without drawing a drop of blood ; ib pro« 
4ucea {ar-reaohing resulbs, Ib never rusba and cannob be 


"BlioleD. Oompetitiion between paaaive resisters does not 
•exhausli them. The aword of pasaive reaiatAtioe does not 
require a soabbardjaiid one oaDooli be foroibly diapoaaeaa- 
«d of it. 


As to how the movement originated in South Africa, 
here is Mr. Gandhi's statement :— 

Some years ago, when I began to take an active 
part in the publio life of Natal, the adoption of this 
fuethod ooaarrad to me as the best oonrae to puraue, 
-should patitioDs fail, but, ia the then unorganiged oon- 
•dition of our Indian oommunity, the attempt seemed' 
nselaas. Hare, however, in Johanneabarg, when the 
Aaiatio Begistration Aot was introduoed, the Indian aom- 
tuunity was so deeply stirred, and so knit together in a 
aommon determination to raaiat it, that the moment 
-seamed opportune Soma aotion they would take ; it 
-seemed to be beat for the Colony, and altogether right, 
that their aotion should not take a riotous form, bub 
lihat of Passive Basidtanoe. They had no vote in Par- 
llaiuent, no hope of obtaining redress, no one would lis- 
ten to their oomplaints. The Christian ohnrohes were 
indifferent, so I proposed this pathway of suffering, and 
after maoh disonssion, it was adopted. In September, 
1906, thera was a large gathering of Indians in the old 
Empire Theatre, when the poBitisn was thoroughly faoed, 
and, under the inspiration of deep feeling, and on the 
proposal of one of our leading men, they swore a solema 
-oath oommittiug tbamaelves to Paasiva BesiBtanoe, 


In an address that Mr. Gandhi delivered before an 
attdience of Europeans at the Germiston {Transvaal) 
Literary and Debating Society in 1908, he said : — 

Passive resistaooe was a misDomer. But) the ezprea- 
sion bad been accepted as ill was popular, aod had been 
for a long time used by those who carried oub in praofeioe 
6he idea denoted by the term. The idea was more oom-^ 
pletely and better expressed by the term ' soal-foroe." As 
such, it was as old as the human race- Active resis- 
tance was better expressed by the term " body force.*' 
Jesus Gfariat, Daniel aud Socrates represented the purest- 
form of passive resistanqe or sonl-foroe. All these 
teachers counted their bodies as nothing in comparison 
to their soul. Tolstoy was the best and brightest (mo- 
dern) exponent of the doctrine. He not only expounded 
it, but lived according to it. In India, the doctrine was 
understood and commonly practised long before. it came- 
ipto vogue in Europe. It was easy to see that eoul foroc' 
was in^nitely superior to body force. If peopior-iD order 
to secure redress of wrongs, resorted to soul force, muob 
of the present suffering would be avoided, In any oaee- 
the wielding of this force never caused suffering to- 
others. So that, whenever it was misused, it only, in- 
jured the users, and not those against whom it was used. 
Like virtue, it was its own reward. There was no such 
thing as failure in the use of this kind of force. *' Be~ 
sist not evil " meant that evil was not to be repelled by 
evil, but by good ; in other words, physical force was to 
be opposed not by its like but by soul-force. The- 


same 'idea was e^prsasad in Indian philosophy by 
the expression, " freedom from injury to every living 
thing," The eseroise of this dootrine involved physical 
offering on the part of those who praotised it. Bat 
it was a Isnown faob that the sum of such suffering was 
greater rather than less in the world. That being so, all 
that was neoaasary for those who reooghised the 
immeasurable power of soul force, was oonsoionsly and 
deliberately to aooept physioal suffering as their lot, and 
when this was done, the very suffering beoame a sonroa 
of joy to the suffarar, It wa^ quite plain that pasasive 
resistance thus understood, was infinitely superior to 
physioal foroe, and that it required greater courage than 
the latter, No transition was, therefore) possible from 
passive resistance tq_actiye or physioal resistance. . . 
. The only condition of a sucoessfut use of this foroa 
was a recognitjoa of the existence of the soul as apart 
from the body, and its permanent and superior nature. 
And this recognition must amount cu » living, faith and 
not a mere intellectual grasp. 


Writing a friend from the Tolstoy Faxm, where 
he was living with a number of passive resisters' families, 
Mr. Gandhi says, touching manual labour : — 

I prepare the bread that is required on the farm. The 

general opinion about it is that it is well made. Manilal 

and a few others have learnt how to prepare it. We pat 

in no yeast and no baking power. We grind our own 


wheat. We have jasb prepared aome marmalada from 
the oranges grown on the farm. I have also learnb how 
to prepare ooromel coffee. It oaa be given aa a beverage 
even to babies. The passive resisters on the farm have 
given up the use of tea and oo£fae, and taken to ooromel 
ooffee prepared on the 'arm. It ia made from wheat 
which is first baked in a certain way and then ground. 
We intend to sell our surplus prodacMon of the above 
three artiolea to the public later on. Just at present, we 
are working aa labourers on the ooastruotion wark thtli 
is going on, on the farm, and have not time to prodaaa 
mora of the artiolea above-mentioned than we need for 


Mr. Gandhi wrote these lines in reply to the Bev. 
Joseph Bohe, his well-known biographer, who had invited 
him to send a message to his countrymen in India with 
referenie to the unrest in 1909 : — 

The struggle in the Transvaal ia not without its in- 
terest for India. We are engaged in raising men who 
will give a good aocount of themaelvea in any ptirt of the 
world. We have undertaken the struggle on the fallow- 
ing aaaumptions : — 

(1) Passive Basiatance ia always infinitely superior 
to physical foroe- 

(2) There ia no inherent barrier between European 
and Indian anywhere, 

(3) Whatever may have been the motivea of the 
British ralera in India> there is a desire on the part of tbg 
Nation at large to sea that juatioa ia done, It would be a 


oalamiliy fco break the oonnaotion between the Britiab 
{)eople and the people of India. If we are treated as, 
-or assert our right to be treated as, free men, whether in 
India or elsewhere, the oonneotion between the British 
ceople and the people of India oanaot only be mutually 
ijenefiaial, but is oaloulatad to be of enormous advantage 
■to the world religiously, and, therefore, socially and poli- 
'-tioally. In my opinion, eaoh Nation is the oomplement of 
the other. 

Passive Besistanoe in oonneotion with the Transvaal 
-struggle I should bold justifiable on the strength of any 
of these propoaitions. It may be a slow remedy, Dot 
only for our ills in the Transvaal, but for all the politioal 
«nd other troubles from whiab our people suffer in India. 


The following message to the Congress was published 
in the Indian Review for December, 1909 :— 

Yoii have cabled me for a message to the forthcom- 
ing Congress. I do not know that I am at all oompetenli 
to send any message. Simple courtesy, however, de? 
manda that I should say something in reply to your cable; 
At the present moment I am unable to think of any- 
thing but the task immediately before me, namely, the 
struggle that is going on in the Transvaal. I hope our 
countrymen throughout India realise that it is national 
jn its aim'i in that it has been undertaken to save India's 
iionour. I may ba wrong, but I have not hesitated pub- 
iioly to remark that it is the greatest struggle of modern 
iilmes, because it is the purest as well in its goal as in its 


methods. Oar oouDirymen in the Transvaal are fighting^ 
for the right of ouUared Indiana to enter the TraDSVaak 
in oommoD with Europeans. la thia the fighters 
have no pergonal interest to serve, nor is there any 
material gain to aaarue to anybody after the abovsr 
mentioned right (whioh has for the first time in Colonial- 
Legislation been taken away) is restored. The sons of 
Hindustan, who are in the Transvaal, are showing that- 
they are capable of fighting for an ideal, pure and simple. 
The methods adopted in order to secure relief are also 
equally pure and equally simple, Violenoe in any shape 
or form is entirely esohewed, They believe that self- 
suffering is the only true and e£feotive means to procure 
lasting reforms. They endeavour to meet and conquer 
hatred by love. They oppose the brute or physical foroa. 
by soul force. They hold that loyalty to an earthly 
sovereign or an earthly oonatitution is sabordinata 
to loyalty to God and His constitution. In incerpretiog 
God's constitution through their conscience they admit 
that they may possibly be wrong, Henoai in rasisting or 
disregarding those man-made laws which they consider to 
be inconsistent with the eternal laws of God, they accept 
with resignation the penalties provided by the former, 
and trust to the working of time and to the best in 
human nature to make good their position. It they are- 
wrong, they alone suffer, and the established order of 
things continues. la the process, over 2,500 Indians or 
nearly one-half of the resident Indian population, or one- 
fifth of the possible Indian population of the Transvaal, 
have suffered imprisonment, carrying with it terrible 
faardsbips. Some of them have gone to gaol again and 
again. Many families have been impoverished. Several 
merohanta have accepted privation rather than surrender* 


their manhoofl. Inoidentally, the Hindu-Mfthonaedan 
problem baa been solved in Soulih Afrioa. We realise 
there that the one oannot; do without the other. Mahome- 
dansi Parsees and Hindas, oir taking theca provinoially.- 
Beogaleee, Madraaees, Panjibig, Afghaniataneas, and 
Bombayitee, have fought shoulder to shoulder. 

I venture to suggest that a struggle auoh as this is 
worthy of oooapying the best, if not, indeed, the esolu- 
sive attention of the Congress. If ib he not impertinent I 
would like to distinguish between this and the other items ' 
on the programme of the Congress. The opposition to the 
laws or the polioy with whioh the other itema deal doea- 
nob involve any material suffering : the Congress activity 
consists in a mental attitude without oorreaponding ao- 
tion. In the Transvaal oaae the law aod the poliny it- 
enunciates being wrong, wa disregard it, and therefore 
consciously and deliberately suffer material and physical 
injury ; action follows, and oorresponda to, our mentat- 
attitude. If the view here submitted be correot, it will be- 
allowed that in asking for the best plaoe in the Congress 
programme for the Transvaal question, I have not been 
unreasonable. May [ also suggest that in pondering over 
and ooDoentratiDg our attention upon passive resistance 
such as has been described above, we would perchance 
find out that, for the many ills we suffer from India, 
passive resistance is an infalliable panacea, It is worthy 
of careful study, and I am sure it will be found that it is 
the only weapon thst is suited to the genius of our people 
and our land, which is the nursery of the most ancient 
religiona and haa very little to learn from modern oivili- 
zation^-B civilization baaed on violence of the blackest 
type, largely a negation of the Divine in man, and whioh- 
18 rushing headlong to its own ruin. 


The following is an English rendering from Guj'a- 
rati, originally published in the '' Indian B9view'^ 
for Nov.Deo,, 1911:— 

Very ofban we ooma aerosB ladiaDS who qaesliioa 
bbe utilitiy of passiva reBistanoe as carried on in bhis 
country (8ouiih Afrtoa). They say fibafi what our people 
have got as a resulb of the terrible saffaringci in the jaila 
«nd outside is aoma proposed modifiaation in the loamig- 
ratioQ Law, which they cannot understand, and which ia 
-hardly likely to be of any practical value to thena. The 
maximum gain from the struggle, according to their viewi 
is that thereby a few very highly-ednoated Indins who 
are least likely to be of any use bo them will find it 
possibia to enter the country. For the edification of those 
who bold the above view, we propose to give a short 
nummary of the gains thereof. 

That thereby the Indian community could preserve 
its national Belf-respeot : according to our proverb, one 
'who can preserve his saif-respact can preserve everything 

That thereby the Bagiabration Act of 1907 has got 
io be swept off the statute book. 

That thereby the whole of India became aoqaainted 
with our disabilities in this country. 

That through it other nations beoama aoqaainted 
with our grievaaoss aud began to appreciate us better. 

That by it was brought about the prohibition of 
Indian indentured labour to Natal by the Indian Govern- 


Thai) the struggle helped to bring about some 
desirable modifiaation in the LioeDoiug Law or 

That it brought about the diaallov7aDoe of the Bagid- 
tration Law of Bhodesia whioh was framed on the same' 
basis as that of the Transvaal, 

That it brought about the disallowance of the most- 
obnoxious Lioensiag Ltw of Natal. Any one who 
doubts this statenaent had better refer to the despatch of' 
the Imperial Government disallowing the Act and the* 
reasons for such disallowance. 

That but for the struggle the other Galocies in South 
Africa would have passed Immigration Eastrlotion Laws- 
similar to the law in the Transvaal. 

That but for the struggle, the Transvaal Lsgislatura- 
would have passed other Anti-Asiatio Law as batsh as 
the Immigration Bestriotion Law. 

That the struggle brought about the repeal of the 
Railway Begulationa whioh'. differentiated between the- 
white and the coloured people and that they are now 
appHoabla to all equally. 

That it is a matter of common knowledge that the- 
Transvaal Begisbration Law of 1907 was the first of a~ 
series of Anti-Asiastic Laws that were proposed to be- 
added to the statute book. The unanimous opposition of 
the Indians to this law, however, deterred the Transvaal. 
Government from taking up the other, legislation. 

That it brought into esistanoe a committee consist- 
ing of Europeans under the presidency of Mr. Hosken 
whioh could not have come into existence otherwise,. 
This committee is likely to be useful to Indians in their- 
fatnre struggle. 


That beeides tbose who bava already joined (he 
oommitliee, it has created, in a great maDy other Europe- 
ans, feelings of sympathy and regard for lodians,. 

That thereby the Indian oommunity has gained a 
great deal of prestige and that those Europeans who be- 
fore the struggle used to treat Indians with contempt, 
have bean taught to show them due regard and conside- 
ratioD. y 

That the Government now feels that the strength 
which is in us is unoonguerable. 

That the majority of the ludians domiciled in the 
country showed themselves quite cowardly before the 
struggle. It has, however, given them more vigour and 
courage. Those who were afraid even to whisper before 
that time,' are now boldly speaking out their minds as 

That whereas before the struggle, there was no 
woman's movement in Johannesburg, now there is a 
class opened under Mrs. Vogle who gives bar services 
free to the oummunity. 

That jail life which seemed so dreadful to Indians 
before the struggle, is no longer terrifying to them. 

That although on aooount of the strugglai Mr. 
Gaohalia and others have lost almost all their earthly 
possessions, they feel that as a oonsequenoa thereof, 
they have acquired muoh slirenglih of mind and aharaotet 
which they could not have purchased with any amoun^t 
of money and which nothing but the actual struggle 
could have infused into them. 

That but for the struggle, the Indian oommunity 
would have continued to remain ignorant of the faot tha^ 
in the Tamil seobion thereof, there ware man and woman 


'^vho were great asselia to this people, and who would do 
-oredit to any oummunityi 

That the struggle, wbiob brought about the 
TrauBVaalLaw of 1908, revived the rights of huodreda of 
IndiaDB who bad left the oountry during the great war. 

That the Indian oomaiUDity now standa before tha 
world fully acquitted of all obarges of fraud wbiob were 
ilevelled against tbem before the present settlement. 

That Ibe withdrawal of the Bill iotroduoed in the 
Union Parliament exempting Eiaropeana from the pay- 
ment of the poll-tax in Natal is one of the fresheat in- 
etanoes showing the dread the authorities have of a 
-fresh pasaive resietanoe struggle on the part of Indians. 

That the struggle made General Smuts resoind his 
own orders on three and tha Imperial Governmaot on 
two different oocasiona. 

That before the struggle, all laws uaed to be framed 

against us independently of us and what we thought of 

them, but that since the struggle the authoritiea are 

obliged to take our views and feelings into their oonsi- 

•deration and they aertainly show more regard to tbem. 

That as a Qonaeqaenoe of the struggle, the prestige 
of the Indian oommunity stands on a muoh higher level 
than ever before. Better this than the riohea of the 
whole world, 

That the oommunity has demonstrated to the world 
the invulnerability of " Truth." 

That by keeping its full faith in God the oommunity 
has vindioated tbeglorrof Beligion. " Where there ia 
truth and where there ia religion, there alone is viotory." 

On bestowing more thought on the gueatiou and 
looking at it from its various bearings, one oan find muoh 
more lio say as to the fraifis thacaif, thia what has baaa 


ataiied above. Tbe last on the listi, hoTrcver, is inoom- 
parably (ba baRt of tbeoa all. Saab a greali fighfi oouli] 
nob have been carried on Buooesafally witboaifally trust-^ 
iog ID God. Ha waa our only prop all thab bime. Tboao' 
wbo put tbair implioii: faibb in Him oannob but raaob 
bbeir aima. The struggle wili not have been carried oa 
in vain, if, as a reaall; of it, wa ahall bava iaarat to pulv 
ficill more trust ia Him. 

The Champaran Enquiry 


For many yean past the relations of landlords and 
tenants and the circumstances attendinij the cultivation of- 
indigo in the Champaran District have not been satisfae- 
iory. In response to an insistent public demand to inquire 
into the conditions under which Indian labourers work 
in the Indigo Plantations. Mr. Gandhi arrived at Muzaf- 
farpur on the 15th April, 1917, whence he took themidday 
train for Motihari. Next day he was served with a notice 
to quit the District " by next available train as his pre- 
sence," the notice announced ' will endanger the public 
peace and may lead to serious disturbance which may be 
accompanied by loss of life," Mr. Gandhi replied : — 

Wbith referenoe to fcha order under See, 144, Or. P. 
0., justi served upou me, I beg to atafca that I am sorry 
that you have felt called upon to issue it ; and I am 
sorry too that the Oommisaioner of the Division has 
totally mis-interpreted my position. Oat of a sense of 
publio responsibility, I feel it to be my duty to say that 
I am unable to leave cbia distriot, but if it so phases the 
authorities, I shall submit to the order by suffering the 
penalty of disobedienoe- 

I moati emphatiioally repudiaSe the Oommisaiouer's 
suggestion that ' my objeot is likely tobe agitation.' My 
deaira ia purely and simply for ' genuine search foe 


knowledge ' and this I shall oontiaue to satiefy eo long 
as I am left free, 

Mr. Oandhi. appeared before the Magistrate on the 
18th instant andtread the following statement before the 
Oourt : — , 

With bhe permisalon of the . Courb I would like to 
make a brief statemeDt abowuog wby I haye taken the 
very aerioua step of aeemiagly'diabbayiag the order made 
^aAetB, Hi of tbe Gr P. 0. la my bambie opipion it 
i^, a gaeation of difFarenoa of opinion betweea the local 
adminiatratioD and myaeU. I have entered tne oquntry with' 
ipotiyea of rendering bamanitarian and national aervioe, 
J have done ao in reaponae to a preaainjg Invitation to 
coma and help the ryota, who urge tbey are not being 
fairly treatied by the indigo plaptera, I opnld not render 
any lielp without atudying the problem. I have, there- 
tor^, coma to atndy it with the aaaiatance, if poaaible, of 
the adminiabration and the ptantera. I have no^btfa^ 
motive and 1 oannot believe that my coming hdre oin in 
any way disturb public paaoe^ or oauae loaa of life. I 
claim to have oonaiderabia experience in atch mattera. 
The adminiabration* however, have thought differently. 
I fully appreciate their diffiouliy, aad I admit too, that 
they oaa only proceed upon the information they receive. 
Aa a law-abiding cibizan, my first iasbinct would be aa it 
waa, to obey the order served upon me. I could not do 
Bo without doing violenca to my senae of duty to those 
tor whom I cama. I feel that I could juat now aerve 
them only by remaining in their midab. I could not, 
therefore, voluntarily retire. Amid this conflot of duty 
I could only throw the responsibility of removing ma 
from them on the administrabipn. I am fully conaoioua 
of bbe faob tbab a person, holding in bba public life of 


lodia a positrion auoh as I do, has to be mosli oareful 
ia setting examples. In is my firm belief that in the 
-complex ooQatitation under which, we are living, the 
only safe and. hononrabla Qourse for . a . self-respeotittg 
caan ia, in the oiroamstanoe^ saoh as faoe me, 
to do what I have deoMed -bo-di>7-that is, to submit with- 
■out protest to the penalty of disobedienoe. I have ven- 
tured to make this statement not'jn aj3y.^wiiy in extenua- 
tion of the penalty to be awarded against me, but to show 
that I have disregarded the order' served' upon me, not for 
.want of respect for lawfal authority, but in ojbedienoe to 
the higher law of oar being — the voice of conscience. 
f.'' Under instructions from higher authorities the notice 
was soon withdrawn. Early in June a commission was 
appointed to enquire into the agrarian troubles in the 
Sehat plantations with Mr. Oandhi himself as one of the 
members of the commission. In December, 1917, the Ghamr 
paran Agrarian Bill based on the recommendations of the 
•Oommassion was passed in the Behar Legislative Oounoil 
'ibf^n the Hon, Mr. Maude who moved the Bill made a 
f^d'Ak statement of the scandals which necessitated the 
inquiry, thus justifying Mr. Oandhi's work on behalf of 
■the Ic^ourers, 

The Kaira Question 


In the year 1916-17 there was serious and widespreai 
failure of crops in the District of Kaira in Gujarat. 
Under the revenue rules the ryots were entitled to full 
suspension of taxes if the yield ibas less than 4 as. in the- 
rupee and half suspension if between 4 and 6 as. Tht 
Government granted complete suspensian to one village 
only out of a total of 600, half suspension to some lOi^ 
milages and issued orders to collect revenue from the rest 
The ryots claimed that the Oovernmeut were wrong in their 
estimate and Mr. Gandhi and Mr. V. J. Patel who con- 
ducted an enquiry also came to the same conclusion. The 
Government persisted in collecting revenues as usual. Peti. 
tions and protests having been of no avail, the ryots resorted 
to passive resistance under the guidance of Mr, Gandhi.. 
In the following lecture at Bombay in February, 1918, Mr. 
Gandhi narrated the story of the trouble in Kaira in his 
usually brief and lucid manner : — 

I do not waDb to say muob. I have reoeived a letter 
aakiog ma bo be preBenli at to>morrow'a depatabion tbat 
is going to wait oq his Esoalleooy tbe Governor, and I 
am sure I will be able to explain to b'm tbe true facts, 
Still I must mako it clear bare tbat tbe reeponsibility of 
tba Dotioa issued by tbe Gujarat Sabba lies on me. I 
was at Abmedabed before tbati notioe was issued, where- 


the malilier of Kaira Distriob waa being diaoaaaed, when it 
waa daoided that the Gujarati Sabha oughli 60 take.parbin 
the mattier. I think thab, as regarda this notioe, a mountain 
has been made ouh of a mole-hill. Everyone knew what 
the Qotioa was when it waa being framed, Nobody then 
even dreamt that Government would misinterpret it. 
The Sabha had with it su£Soienb data about the plight of 
the people. Tday oama to know that Government 
ofSoials were aollecting taxes and the people were even 
■selling their oattla 00 pay the taxes. Toe matter bad 
oome to suoh a paas, and, knowing this, the Sabha 
thought it better to fssue a notioe to oonaole the people 
^vho braved these hardships. And the notioe was th* 
result of that information, and;! have every bopa that in 
"the deputation that is going to wait on the Governor, the 
result of the deliberations will end in the suooess of the 
jpeople. ' " 


If the Commissioner had not been angry with U8| 
«nd had talked politely with the deputation that waited 
-on him, and had not misinatruoted the Bombay Gov- 
'flrnment, saoh a grave orisis would not have eventuated, 
and we would not have had the trouble of meeting here 
this evening. The Sabha's request was to suspend the 
colieotioo of dues till the negotiations were over. But 
-Government did not take this proper course and issued 
an angry Press Note. It was my firm belief — and even 
now I firmly believe — that the representatives of rhe 
'People and Government could have joined together and 
taken the proper steps. I regret to have to aay that Gov- 
ernment haa made a miatake. Perhaps aubordinate 
offioera of Government would aay to Government that 

198 thM kAiBA question " 

tbe Dobioe was issued nob from a pure motive, buli {roni 
some other ulterior motive. If Government are impressed 
witb this erroneous belief, those who have stood by the- 
people, I hope, will oontinne to stand by them to tbe end 
and will not retreat. Any responsible right-tbinkicg man- 
oould have given tbem tbe same advioe. People possess- 
the same rights as the authorities have, and public men- 
have every right to advise the people of their rights. Tbe 
people that do not fight for their rights are like slaves- 
(hear, hear), and snob people do not deserve Home Bule. 
When aufhorities think thab they can take anything from- 
tbe people and oan interfere, a difGoult situation arises. 
And if suofa a situation arises, I must plainly say that" 
tbbse who have given the people tbe right advioe, will 
stand by tfaetn till tbe end. 


I have not yet oome to any oonolusioni and I sin- 
cerely trust tbaJi those who understand tbe responsibi- 
lity, will not hesitate to undergo hardships in order to 
sedure justio^'. (Applause). And in such an eventuality 
I hope you will not beat an ignominous retreat. The- 
first and the last prinoiple of passive resistance is that we 
should not infliot hardships on others, but put up with- 
tbem. ourselves in order to get justice, and Government 
need not fear anything if we make up our mii^d, as wa 
are bent -on getting sheer justice from iii and nothing else. 
To get that justice we must fight with the authorities- 
and the people that do not so fight are but slaves. We 
oMi have only two weapons :on occasions like, this t 
Bevolt or passive resistance, and my request is for the 
second remedy always. The right of suiferrag bardshipa 
and olaiming justice and getting our demands is from 


one's birlih. Similarly we have to get inetioe ad the 
hands of Governmenb by suffering hardships. We musb 
suffer hardships like brave men. Whati I have to say is, 

resorii to the right noiaDs/aDd that very firmly, in order 
to remove the distress tbrongh which the Gnjarab people 

are paesiog. It is my oonviolion that, if we tell the troth 
to the British Goveroment, it oan nitimakely be ooDvinoed, 
and if only we are firm in our resolve, rest aasared that 
Kaira people shall suffer wrongs no more, (pond 


.. As a result of the persistent refusal of Government to 
recognize the serious state of affairs in Kaira and grant a 
suspension of revenue, a passive resistance movement wits 
inaugurated under Mr- Qandhi's lead. At the meeting oU 
the 32nd Mtxroh, 1918, at Nadiad, Mr, Oandhi exhorted 
the ryots to resort to Satyagraha, and over 300 men sign- 
ed the following deolaratian : — 

Knowing that the crops of onr villages are less than 
four annas we had requested the Government to suspend 
the revenue oolleotion till the ensuing year. As however 
Government has not acceded to our prayer, we, the under- 
signed, hereby solemnly declare that we shall not pay 
the full or remaining revenue, hut we will let the 
Government take such legal steps as they may think fit 
to ooUeot the same and we shall gladly suffer all the 
ooDseguenoes of our refusal to pay. We shall allow our 
lands to be confiscated, but we shall nol>, of our own 
accord, pay anything and thereby lose our self-respect 


and pro7a ourselves wrong. If Gavernmenb decide' ts 
suspaod the seoond iasbalmeat of iha revenae trhroughonb 
the diatrioti, tbose amongati ua wbo are ia a position to 
pay, will pay the whole or tbe balanoe of the revenue as 
may be dae. Tbe reaaon wby tbose of as wbo have the 
money to pay and still do noli, ia that if they do tbe 
poorer might in paaio sell their things or borrow to pay 
and thereby suffer. 

Under the oicaamatanoas we believe it is the duty of 
those who are able to pay to protect tbe poor. 

ifr. Gandhi sent to the Press the following statement 
en the Kaira distress under date 28th March, 1918 i — 

In tbe Dtstritjb of Kaira the crops for the -year 1917-. 
18 have, by oocnaaon admission, prayed a. partial failnre. 
Under the Revenue rales if the oropj are under lour 
annas, tbe cultivators are entitled to full suspension of 
the Revenue assessment for the year; if the oropa are 
under sis annas, half the amount pf aaseasmept is 
suspended, So far as I am aware, tbe Gavernments have 
been, pleased Co grant full susosnsion with regard to one 
village oat of nearly 600, and balf-aasoansiaa in tbe 
ease of over 103 villages. It is olaimsd on behalf of tbe 
ryots that tbe suspension is not at all adequate to the 
actuality. The Government contend that in tbe vast 
majority of villages crops have been over six annas. The 
only question, therefore, at issue is, whether the crops 
have been under four annas or six annas, as tbe case may 
be, or over tbe latter figure. Government valuation is in 
the first instance made by the Titlatia assisted by the 
ohiefman of the villages ooDoerned. As a rule no check 


■on thair figuraa ia ootasidered neoessary, for ib is 

■only during partial tailura of oropa thati Gbvernnaenli 

valuation of oropa may have to be ohalleagad. The 

Talabis are aa a olaaa obseqaious, uaaorupuloua and 

tyrannical. The ohief msQ ara aspsoiaily aalaobad for 

their dooililiy. Tne Talati'a ooa aioa la Q*(iural!y bo ool- 

'leob full aaaesanaant aa prom ably aa poaaibie. Wa goma- 

ciuaea read aoooanta of aaaidaous TAlatla having bean 

awarded pagraaa' for making fall ooUaaliioa, In applying 

bo bhe Talatia bhe adjaobivaa I have given, I wiah bo oaali 

ho refldobiona on bhem aa man, I' merely aiiaiia the faat« 

The Talatia ara nob born ; bhay ar0 made ; and rant- 

-ooileobora all bhe world over have to aulbivabe a dalldae- 

neas wibhoub wbiob ebay oauld nob 'do bbeir work bo the 

-Babiefaobion of bhair maaberg, lb ia impoaaible for me bo 

-reproduoe bhe graphic daaoripbion given by bhe ryoca of 

^be recent oollecbora which the Talatia chiefly are. My 

purpoae in dealing with tba Talatia ia bo ahow bhab the 

'Govarnmenb'a valuabion of the crops ia derived in the 

£rat instanoa from bha taloted aouroe and ia preaumably 

'biasaed againab bhe ryoba. Aa againat their valuation we 

-have the univeraal teabimony of ryota, high and low, 

-flome of whom are man of poaition and oonaiderabla 

wealbh who have a reputabion bo loae and who have 

nobbing to gain by esaggerabioos esoepb bha odium of 

Talabia and possibly higher officials. I wish to state at 

-bnoe that behind bbia movamenb there ia no desire to 

diaoredit the Government, or an individual official. Toe 

movement is intended bo assert the right of tba people 

to be effectively beard In matters concerning bbemselves. 

lb ia known to the public thab bha Hon'bIa Mr, G,K, 
Farekb and Mr. V. J, Patel invibed and assisted by the 


'Gnjarat Sabha oairied on investigatiions, aa also MessraK 
Deed bar, Joabi and Tbakkar of tbe Servants of India. 
Society. Tfareir investigation was necessarily prelioaiBairy 
and brief and therefore oonfiaed to a few villages only. 
But tbe result of their enquiry went to show that ihe- 
orops in the majority of oases was under four annas. As 
their investigation, not being extensive enough, was oap-^ 
able of being ohallenged, and it was ohallenged, I under- 
took a full inquiry with tbe asaistanoe of over 20 capable,, 
ezperienoed, and impartial naen of influence and status. P 
f)epsonally visited over 50 villages and met aa many men- 
in the villages as I could, inspected in these villages most- 
of the fields belonging to them and after a searching cross- 
examination of tbe villagers, came to the conclusion tfbat 
their crops were under four annas. I found that ao^ODg 
the men who surrounded me, there were preaeat those- 
who were ready to check lexaggeratiooa and wild state- 
mentB, Men knew what was at stake if they departed- 
from tbe truth. As to the ' Babi ' crops and the still 
standing ' Kharif ' orops, I was able by the evidence of 
my own eyea to check the statements of the agriculturists.. 
Tbe methods adopted by my co-workers were exactly the 
eame. In this manner nearly four hundred villagers were- 
examined, and with bat a few exceptions, crops were 
found to be under four annas, and only in three cases 
tbey were found to be over six annas. Tbe method adop- 
ted by us was, so far aa the ' Kbarif ' cropa were oon-- 
oerned, to ascertain tbe actual yield of (he whole of tbe 
orops of individual villages and tbe posaible yield of the 
same village in a normal year. Assuming the truth of 
tbe statements made by them,' this is admittedly an 
absolute teat, and any other method that would bring 
about the aame reeult muat be rejected aa untrue and 


nneoientifio; and, as I have already remarked, all prob-^ 
ability of exaggeration was avoided in tbe above-named 
inveBtigfttion. As to the standing ' Rabi ' orops, there 
waB the eye estimate and it was tested by the method 
above mentioned. The Government matbod is an eye- 
estimate and therefore a matter largely of guess-work. 
It is moreover open to fandameotal objeotions which I 
have endeavoured to set forth in a letter to the Colleotor 
of the Distriob. I requested him to treat Vadthal — a 
wellknown and ordinarily well-to-do village of the- 
District with the railway line passing by it and 
which is near a trade centre — as a test case, and T 
suggested that if the orops were in that village proved to 
be under four annas, as I bold tbey were, it might be- 
assumed that in tbe othbr villages less fortunately situat- 
ed, crops were not likely to be more than four aoDap. I 
have added to my request a suggestion that I should he- 
permitted to he presenti at the inquiry. He made the- 
inquiry, but rejected my suggestion, and therefore it- 
proved to be one-sided, The Colleotor has made an ela- 
borate report on the orops of that village, which in my 
opinion I have successfully oballenged, The- original 
Government valuation, I understand, was twelve annas< 
tbe Collector's minimum vaintion Is seven annae. If the- 
probabiy wrong methods of valuation to which I have^ 
drawn attention and which have been adopted by the 
Collector are allowed for, tbe valuation according to his 
own reckoning would come under sis annas and accord* 
ing to the agriculturists it would be under four annas^ 
Both the report and my answer are too technical to be- 
of value to the public, Biit I have suggested that, as 
both the Government and agriculturists hold themselves^ 
in the right, if the Government have any regard for 


popular opinioD, they shoald appoiat an impartial 
oommilikee of inquiry with the oultivatorB' representa- 
tices upon it, or graoefully aocept the popular view. The 

'OoTeromeDb have rejeoted both the . suggestiona and 
insiab uvaa applying ooeroive measures for the oollootion 
of revenue.- It may be mentioned that these measareB 
have never been totally suspended and in many oases 
the ryota have paid simply under preasure. The Talatia 
have taken away cattle, and have returned them only 
after the payment of assessment. In one oaae, I witness- 

-ed a painful incident : — A man having hia miloh buffalo 
taken away from him, and it waa only on my happening 
to go to the village that the buffalo was released ; this 
buffalo was the mosl; valuable property the man poaaeas- 
ed and a source of daily bread for him. Scorea of. snob 
oaaea have already happened and many more will no 

-doubt happen hereafter if the publio opinion is not rang- 
ed on ibe side of the people, Every means of seeking 
redress by prayer haa been eshauated. Interviews with 
the Golleotor, the Commissioner and His Esoellenoy 
faave taken plaoe. The fiaal suggestion that was made 
is this ; — Although in the majority of oases people are 
entitled to full suspension, half suspension should be 

-granted throughout the District, except for the villages 
which show, by common consent, crops over sis annas. 

'.Such a gracious concession may be accompanied by a 
declaration that the Government would espect those 
who have ready means voluntarily to pay up the dues, 
we the workers on our part undertaking to persuade 

•^euoh people to pay up the Government dues, This will 
leave only the poorest people untouched. I venture to 
fubmit that acceptance of this suggestion can only bring 

■ credit and strength to the Government. Basistanoe of 


popular will oan only prodaoe disoontenti which in the 
o&aa of faar-sfiriakaD peasantry suoh aa o( Kaira oan only 
fiad an undargrouncl passage and thna demoraliae them.' 
The presenli movement ia an attempli bo gab oub of 8uob< 
a falsa poaitioD, huoiiliabing alike for the Government) 
and the people. And how do the Government 
propoae to aaaerb their poaibion and so-oalied^ 
preabiga ? Taey have a ' Bevenua Code ' giving tbem 
anlitnibed powers witboub a right of appeal to the ryots, 
againab the decisions of tibe Bsvenaa Authoribiee. Eser- 
oiaas of theae powers in a case like the one before us in*' 
whioh the ryota are fighting for a principle and the^ 
aubhoritiea (or preatige, would be a proatibubion of jostioe,. 
of a disavowal of all fair-play. These powers are: — 

(1) Bight of aammary eseoubion. 

(2) Bight of ezaobing a qaarber of the asseessmenb 
as panisbmenb. 

(3) Bighb of oonfisoabion-of land, nob merely 'Bayat- 
wari' bab even 'Inami' or Saaadia,' and the right of 
keeping a man under hajat. 

Those remadiea may be applied singly or all to- 
gather, and unbelievable though ib may aeem to the 
public, ib may be menbioned bbai: nobioes of the applica— 
bion of all tbesa remedies bat the last have been issued ,„ 
Thus a man owning two hundred acres of land In per-- 
pebuiby and valued ab thousands of rupees, paying a 
small asseasmenb rate, may at the will of the authority 
lose the whole of it, because for the sake of principle he- 
reapectfaily refuses voluntarily to pay the asaesemenb 
himself, and is prepared meekly but under sirong protest 
to penalties that may ba infiioted by law. Surely vin-- 
diobive oonfiscation of property ought not to be the re- 
ward for orderly disobedienos whioh properly handled^ 

■206, ,XHB KAJIRA QUESTION,,., ..,.,1-. 

oan only resalb io P'Og'^aa all roand, and ip:({g4,vii)g ,tl^ 
-<j07eramenli a bold^aad a frank peasaabry wibh a will pL 
its owD. r; 

I ventiure tio invite the press and bhe pQblio to aBsist 
these oaltivHiiors' of Kaira who have dare^ tci euter ap)a 
;fighti for wte^b they oonsider ia jast.and ugfat. Let tha 
public remember this' also that^' nopreoedentally sevjere 
plague has deoimated the pqpalation of Kaira, ; !^eople 
are living outside their faomes in speoislly prepared, 
thatohed cottages at oonsiderable expenses to (hemselvea^ 
In some villages mortality has been tremendpus. Prioea 
are ruling high on which owiog to the failure of oropa 
they can but take little advantage and have to suffer all 
the disadvantages thereof. It is not money they want, 
so much as the voice of a strong, unanimous and em- 
phatic public opinion. 

Mr, Gandhi wrote from I^adiad under date T5ih 
April, the following reply to the.Oommissioner's address^ 
■to the cultivators to desist from following Mr, Gandhi's 
lead in regard to the vow of Passive Besistanoe.' The 
Commissioner's exhortations to the agricultuiiats amount- 
ed to a threat detailing the consequences of non-payment 
■ ef revenues. Mr. Oa^dhi replied as follows: — 

The pablioatioa of the summary of the Comm a- 
aiouer's Gaja.rati address to the Kaira oultivatora necessi- 
tates a reply in justice to the latter as alao the workers, 
I have before me a varbatim report of 'the speech. 
;Iii is more direac than the summary in the laying down 
of the Government policy. The Gommisaioner's position 
.'ia that the revenue authorities' deciaion regarding aua- 


■pension ia fiaal: They may and do reoeive and bear oom- 
^lainba frooa the ryota bat the fiaaliby of their deoiaiozi 
cannot be qaeationed. This ia the eras of struggle. It 
ia ooDtended on behalf of the ryota that where there are, 
ip matters oi admtnistrative orders, sharp diffarenaea a{ 
'OpiDioD between looal offio^ials and them the points of 
:^£ferenoes are and ought to ba referred to an impartial 
oommittee of inquiry. This, it ia held, oonatitutes the 
«trength of tha British ooostitution. Tae Commiasioner 
faaa on prinoipla rejected this position and invited a oriaia, 
And he baa made suoh a fetish of it that he armed him- 
self beforehand with a letter from Lord Wiilingdon to the 
'effect that even he should not interfere with the Gbmmia- 
«ioner's deoiaion. He brings in the' war to defend his 
position and abjures the ryots and me to deaist fropa our 
«aase at thia time of peril to tha Empire. Bat I venture 
to auggest that the Cammiaaioner's attitude oonatitutes a 
^eril far graver than the G-arman peril, and I am aerving 
the Empire in trying to deliver it from thia peril ,,from 
within. There ia no mistaking the faot that India ia 
waking up from ita long aleep. The Byota do not need 
to ba literate to appreciate their rights and their duties. 
They have but to realise their invulnerable power and no 
'Government, however strong, can stand against their will. 
The Kaira ryota are solving an imperial problem of the 
first magnitude in India. They will show that it is im- 
possible to govern men without their oonsent. Onoe the 
Oivil Service realises 6his position, it will supply to India 
ttuly civil servants who will be the bulwark of the 
people's righta. To-day the Oivil Sarvioe rule is a rule 
of fear. The Kaira Eyot is fighting for the rule of 
love. It is the Oommissionar who has produoad the crisis. 
Jt waa, as it is now, hia duty to placate the people wbea 


be Baw that) they held a different view, The revenue of 
India will be do more in danger because a GommiBsioner 
yields to the popular demands and grants oonoession^ 
than the administiratioD of justioe was in danger when' 
Mrs. Ma> brick was reprieved p&rely in obedience to the- 
popular will, or the Empire was in danger beoauBe a- 
corner of a moFque in Gawnpore was replaced in 
obedience to the same demand. Had I hesitated to advise' 
bbe people to stand firm against the GommiBBioner's- 
refusal to listen to their prayer, instead of taking the open- 
and healthy course it has taken, their discontent would 
have burrowed under and bred ill-will. That son is a. 
true so'n of bis father who rather than harbour ill-wilt 
Bgamst him, frankly but respectfully tells him all he feels 
and equally respectfiilly resists him, if he cannot trutb.- 
lully obey bis commands. I apply the same law to the 
relations between the Government and the people. There 
cannot be seasons when a man must suspend his con» 
science. But just as a wise father will quickly agree 
with his son and not incour his ill-will, especially if the 
family was in danger from without, even so a wise 
Government will quickly agree with the ryots rather 
than incur their displeasure. War cannot be permitted 
to give a license to the offioials to exact obedience to their 
orders, even though the ryots may consider them to ba 
onreasoDable and unjust. 

The Commissioner steels the hearts of the ryots for 
continuing their course by telling them that for arevenUa. 
of four lakhs of rupees he will for ever confiscate over a 
hundred and fifty thousand acres of land worth over three 
orores of ruiees, and for ever dbclara the holders, their 
wives and children unworthy of holding any lands in 
Eaira, He coneiders the ryots to be misguided and 


ooDtumaoioua in the same breabh. These are solemn 
\7ord8 : — • 

Do not be undec the impreeBiou that out matnlatdarB and our 
Talatis will realiae the assessment by attaohing and selling yont 
movable property. We are not goiog to trouble ourBelveB bo much. 
Oar officers' time is valuable. Only by your bringing in the moniee 
Bhall the treasutiea be filled. This is no threat. You take it from me 
that parents never threaten their children. They only advise. But 
if you do not pay the dues, your lands will be oonfisoated, Many 
people say that this will not happen. But I say it will. 1 have no 
need to take a vow. I shall prove that I mean what I say. The 
lands of those who do not pay 'will be oonfisoated. Those who are 
oonlumaoioua will get no l»nds in future. Government do not want 
their names on their Records of Bights. Those who go out shall 
never be admitted again," 

I hold tba6 ib is the sacred duty of every loyal oitizen 
to fight unto death againsli suah a spirit of vindiotivenesa 
and tyraDDy, The Gatnmissioaer has done the Ahmeda- 
bad sbrikera and me a ornal wrong, in saying that the 
sbrikera knowingly broke their vow, He was present at 
the meeting where the sebblemaab was declared. He may 
hold that bhe strikers had broken their vow (though his 
speech at the meebiog produced a oonbrary impression) 
bub there is nothing to shoj? thab the strikers knowingly 
broke their row, Oa the oonbrary ib was entirely kept 
by their resuming their work on their getting for the 
first day wages demanded by them, and the final decision 
US to wagea being referred bo arbitrabian. The sbrikers 
bad suggesbed arbibrabion 'whic'i bhe mill-owners had 
rejected, Their sbraggle in it3 esaenoe was for a thirby- 
five per cant, increase in their wages or such increase as 
an arbibration board may decida. And bbis is whab they 
have got. The hib ab bhe strikers and me is, I regret to 
have bo say, a hit below the belt. 


On the 20th Aprii, Mr. Oandhi in company of Mrs. 
Gandhi, Messrs. Manu Subedar, V. J. Fatel and others 
visited three villages, viz., Kasar, Ajarpura and 
Samarkha in Anand Taluka. 

At Ajarpura which was visited by the Mamlatdar of 
the Taluha only two days bach' and where he had taken 
great pains to explain to the people why they should now 
pay up the revenue without any further delay, but where 
all efforts had proved fruitless, a meeting of about a thou-- 
sand men and three hundred ladies was held- Here 
Mr, Gandhi delivered a long address. He said : — 

Firsk of all' I wanb to talk to you alibble aboufi 
the Mamlalidac'a visili. The Mamlatdar told you that 
the oovanant must ba observed. Bat ha misinterpreted 
the maaning of the aovenant. Ha told you that your 
forefathers had entered into a covenant vrith the Govern- 
ment to pay a oertain assessmaat for the lands in their 
possession, Now let us sea as to what kind of oovanant our 
forefathers had entered into. Oar ancient law oovanant ia 
that we should give to our king one-fourth of the grains 
that grow in our fields. It maant that whenever our oropa 
failed wa had to pay nothing. The present Government 
have changed this law and forces up to pay in money. I 
do not know whether it has gained thereby. Perhaps 
they may have. Bat remember well that this is our 
ancient law, and you hava takan the vow in aooordanoa 
with it. And again it is tha Government law that if the 
crops are under four annas, the collection of revenue must 
be suspended till tha next year. This year you sinoerely 
believe that your crops are under four annas and thara- 


tore your revenue nauat be suspended. The Government 
flay bbat it is not your right, but it is only a graoe that 
^t suspends revenue till the next year. Let me declare 
to yoa that it is no graoa on the part of Governmanb, but 
it ia your right. And if it is a graoe GovernmeDb 
•flannob show it at its sweet will." 

Ha then pointed out that the real signifiaanoe of the 
struggle lay in the fact that it would revive the old village 
Tapublios. The key of village self-government lay in the 
'-assertion of publio opinion. Ha than exhorted them to 
<ba fearless. Ha than said that Satyagraha maot 
pervade through ail their life. <<:'< 

Mr. M. K. Gandhi sent the following reply to the 
^ress note issued by the Bombay Govermnent in the first 
yieeh of May, 1918, on the situation in the Kaira District, 
The G^vernmant prass note on the Kaira trouble is 
ramarkabla for the sins both of omission and oommisaion. 
As to the paragraph devoted to Maaars, Parekh's and 
^atel's investigations, I wish only to aay that at the 
tntqrviaw with His Esoallanoy the Governor, the GodS- 
-•miasionar ohallangad tha aoouraoy of thair atatamaata. I 
immediately suggastad tha appointmant of a oommittaa 
of inquiry. Surely, it wa-i tha moat proper thing that the 
■Governm'ant oOnld have donsi and-tha" whol&'of the un- 
seemly exeoatioDS, tha removal of tha oultiyabora' miloh 
oattle and their ornaments, the oonfisoation ordara, oould 
faave baen avoided. lastead, as tha preas note says, they 
^posted a Oolleotor ' of long experienoe.' What oQuJd, h|a 
-do ? Tha best of offioiala have to move in a vioious .^irgl^, 
They have lio carry ou*! tha traditions of a^seryioe vyhioh 


has made of prestige a fetish and whioh coDaidera itself 
to ba almost infallible, and rarely admits its mlataikes. 

With referenoe to the investigation by Mr. Devdhar 
and his co-workers, the press noiie leaves on the reader 
the ioaprassion that the Gooacaissioner had responded to 
their saggestious. At the interview at whioh I was pre- 
sent be ohallenged the report they had submitted to him 
and said disbinotly that whatever relief he granted would 
not ba granted beoausa of tha report whioh ha said in 
Bubstauce was not true so far aa it contained any new 
things and was not new in so far as it oontained any 
true Btatementa, 

I cannot weary the public with the tragedy in th» 
Mfttar Taluka. In certain villages of tha Taluka which are 
affected by the irrigation canals they have a double grie- 
vance : (l) the ordinary failure of crops by reason of 
the esoassive rainfall, and (2) the total destrubion of crops 
by reason of overfljodiag, la tha second case, they are 
entisled to full remission. So far as I am aware, in many 
oases it baa nob been granted. 

It) is not correct to aay that the Servants of India 
Siciety stopped investigation in tha Thasra Taluka be- 
oausa there was no case for inquiry but because they 
deemed it uaneoesaary, so their report says, aa I had de- 
cided to inquire into the crops of almost every village, 


Tba press note is less than fair in calling my method 
of inquiry 'Utopian.' I do adhere to my contention thalh 
if the cultivators' statements may ba relied upon, my me- 
ihod cannot bub yiald absolutely reliable results. Who 
flhould know batter than the cultivator himself the yield 
of ia oropa ? I refuse to believe that lakha of men oould 


"oonapira bo bell an untruiih whan there was no greab gain 

in View, and aufifaring, a oartainliy. It is impossible for 

thousands of man bo laarn by heart figures as to the yield, 

—actual and probable— of over tan crops 30 that the total 

in each oase would give leas than a four-anna crop. I 

contend that my method contains automatic safeguards 

against deception. Moreover I had challenged the official 

annawari alike of hharif and rahi crops. When I did so 

the rabi oropa were still standing. I had, therefore, sug- 

igested tnat they could out the rabi oropa and test the 

yield and thua find the true annawari, I had suggested 

this apeoially of Yadthal. My argument was that if the 

oulfeivatora' annawari of such rabi crops waa found to ba 

•oorreot and the offioiaU' wrong, it was not improper to 

infer that the cultivatoca' valuations regarding the kharif 

crops ware also right. My o£fer waa not accepted. I 

<may add that I had naked to be allowed to be present 

when the oolleotor visited Vadthal which waa taken as a 

iieat village. This request was also not acceded to. 

Tbe note is misleading inasmuch as it states that in 
-arriving at my annawari, I have not taken into account 
the rabi oropa or the cotton crops, I have taken these 
crops into account, I have aimply questioned the logic of 
the official system, The reaaon ia obvious. If out of a 
•^population of one thousand men, only two hundred men 
igraw rabi cropai it would ba highly unjust to the eight . 
hundred men to force up their annawari if without the 
rabi crops their crops showed only four annas or 


I am surprised at the gross inacouraoies in the para- 
;grapb devoted to the crops in Limbasi, In the first ins- 


tanoe I was not preBeoti nhen tho offioial inquiry was 
made, and in (be seaond instaooe tbe wbeati, w hiob \» 
valued ab Bs, 13,445, inoluded wbeab also from tiwa 
neigbbouring villages so tbab oul) of tbe orops esiiimated' 
ab Bb- 13,445, three assessments had to be paid. And 
what are Bsr 13,445 in a population of eighteen hundred 
men ? For the matter of that, I am prepared to admit 
that the Limbaai people had a rloe crop whioh too gave 
tbem as many rupees. At the rate of forty rupees per 
head per year to feed a man the Limbasi people would re- 
quire Bi. 72,000 for their food alone. It may interest 
the publio to know that aooording to the cfQoial annawari„ 
the Limbasi wheat alone should have beeo> 
B^. 83,021- This figure has been supplied to me by the- 
oolleotor. To demonstrate the reoklessnees with whjoh 
the press note has been prepared, I may add that if the. 
Limbasi people are to be believed, the whole of the wheat" 
orop was on the threshing floor. Aooording to their 
statements, nearly one-third was foreign wheat. The 
Limbasi wheat, therefore, would be under Bs. 9,000. Tbe- 
offioial annawari is ten annas. Now aooording to ths' 
actual yield the wheat annawari of Limbasi was 11 annas 
as against the offioial ten annas. Moreover, a maund of 
wheat per Yigha is required as seed and the Limbasi 
cultivators had 3,000 (Bs. 3 per maund equals Ba. 9,000) 
maunda of wheat on 1,965 Vighas, i.e., the wheat orop 
was a trifle over the seed. Lastly, whilst the crop wa8< 
under harvest, I had offered to the collector to go over io- 
Limbasi myself and to have it weighed so that there-- 
might be no question of the aoouraoy or otherwise of the- 
cultivators' statements. But the collector did not aocepb. 
my offer. Therefore, I hold that the ouUivators' figures^ 
inuBt be accepted as true. 


Merely feo show how hopslasaly misleading (he press 
note is I may sbate thali the Gajarati Sabha did no* pass 
a resolution advising passive raaiatanoa. Nor that 16 
would have shirked it but I felt myself that passive re- 
sistance should not be the subjaot of a resolution in a 
Sabha, whose oonstitntion was governed by the rule of 
majority and so the Gujarat Sabha's resolution left it 
open to individual members to follow their own bent of 
mind. It is true that most of the active members of the 
Sabha are engaged in the Kaira trouble. 

t must repudiate totally the insinuation that I 
dissuaded payment by people who wished to pay. The 
figures given in the press note showing the oolleotion in 
the different Talukas, if t^y prove anything, prove that 
the hand of the law has hit them hard and that the fears 
of the Bavanis and the Talatia have proved too strong. for 
them. When after oonfisoation and sales under ezeontion 
the Government show a clean bill and no arrears, will they 
contend that there was no ease for relief or inquiry? 

I admit that the suspension is granted as a matter of 
grace and not as a matter of right enforceable by law, but 
the concession is not based on caprice, but is regulated 
by properly defined rnlesi and the Government do noti 
contend that if the crops had been under four annas they 
could have withheld suspension. The sole point through- 
out has been the diffareuoe as to annawari. If it is true 
that in granting concessions the Government take into 
account also other circumstances, e> g>, in the words of 
the press note, the general eoononiic situation, suspen- 
sion is doubly necessary this year because of the plague 
and high prices. The collector told me definitely that he 
could not take this last into account, Se could grant 


saspension only under tha rules wliioh bad referenoa only 
to oropa and nobbing else. 

I 6bink I hava shown enough hara to warrant a 
oommibiea of inquiry and I suboaib ihatii as a mabber of 
prinoiple, id would be worbh whila granting bha inquiry 
avan if one oulbivabor remaina wibh an arraar against bim, 
baaausa tbara is nothing found to attaoh and tha Govern- 
ment might be relaotanb to sell his lands. The peoDia 
hava'ohallanged tha'aoouraay of lalabia' figures ; in soma 
oasas bhara are Talatia thamaelves ready to oome forward 
to ahow that the? ware asked to pub up bhe annawari 
found by bhem. Bat if tha inquiry is now held to be 
unneaaasary, why do tha Govarnmanb nob granb suapan- 
sion, aapaoially whan admibtedly thara is only a amall 
number lafb to oolleot from and more eapeoially when 
if suapension is gran!iad wall-bo-do aulbivators are ready 
to pay, 

lb is evidenb now bhab Goyarnmaut have surrendered 
the question'of prinoipla for whiah tha Gommiasionar baa 


The Vioaroy has appealed for tha sinking of domestio 
dififerenoes. la tha appeal oon&nad only to tha ryots or 
may the ofSoials also yield to the popular will whan the 
popular demand is not immoral or unjuab and bhua pro- 
duce oontentment? 

If diatress means atarvabion, I admib bhab bha Eaira 
people are not starving, Bat if sale of goods to pay 
assessment or bo buy grain for food be an indioatioa 
of distress tbara is enough of it in bhe distriob. I am 
prepared to show that hundreds have paid their assess- 
ment either by incurring debts or by selling their trees, 
oatbia or other valuables. The most grievous omission 


■in liha preaa note, however, is that of Iha faob thab 
-oollaoliiona are being made in a vindioMva spirit. Tha 
cultivators are being taught a lesson for their oontumaoy 
flo oallad. They are under threat to loaa their lands 
worth 3 ororea of rupaaa for an aaaesamant of 4 lakhs of 
rupees, In mapy oaaea a quarter of the aaaeasmant has 
i)aan exaoiiad as a penalty. Is thefa not in tha abova 
narrative room for a doubt that tha oESaiala may be ia 
iha wrong ? 

The following is the translation of a manifesto'issued 

in Qujarati to the people of Kaira by Messrs. M.K. Gandhi 

and Vallabhhhai J. Patel : — 

Tha struggle that tha people of tha Diatriot of Kaira 

entered upon on the 22ad of Maroh last, has oonie to an 

end, Tha people took tha following vow on that day : — 

" Our village has bad orops under {out annas. We therefore 
Tequeated the Government to postpone oollection to the next year, 
but they did not do bo. We the undersigned therefore solemnly 
4eolare that we shall not pay the assessment for the year nhethec 
it be wholly or in part. We shall undergo all the sufferings that 
may result from suoh refraining. We shall also allow our lands to 
be oonfisoated should they do so, But we shall not by voluntary 
payment allow ourselves to be regarded as liars and thus lose out 
^self -respect. If the^Government would graciously postpone for all 
the remaining villages collection of the balance of the revenue, we, 
who can aSord it, would be prepared to pay up revenue whether it 
b,e in full or in part. The rerison why the well-to-do amongst ua 
would not par is that if they do, the needy ones would out of fright 
sell their chattels, or incur debts and pay the revenue and thus 
.suffer. We believe that it is the duty of the well-to-do to protect 
.the needy against such a plight," 

Tha meaning of this vow is that tha GovernDaenb 

•suspending oolleotion of the revenue from the poor, tha 

v7ell-to-do should pay the asseasmanb due by tham. The 

Mamlatdar of Nadiad at UttarsandB,'on tha 3rd of June, 

issued suoh orders, whareupon tha people of Utteraanda 


■who oould afiford, ware advised to pay up- Paymentsh 
have already oommeDoed there. 

On the foregoing order having been passed at Utter- 
Banda a letter was addressed to the Collector stating that 
if orders like the one in Ubtersanda were passed every- 
vrbere the struggle would oome to an end, and it would 
be possible to inform His Esoelleacy the Governor. on the 
lOth instant — the day of the sitting of the Frovinoial 
War Gonferenoe — that the domeatio di£ferenoa in Kaira 
was settled. The Golleotor has replied to the effeot that 
the order like the one in Uttersanda is applicable to the 
whole district. Thus the peoples' prayer has at last been 
granted. The Collector has also stated in reply to a^ 
query about Ghothai orders that the orders will not be 
enforced against those who may voluntarily pay upi Oar 
thanks are due to the Collector for this conoession. 

We are obliged to say with sorrow that although the> 
struggle has oome to an end it is an end without grace^ 
It lacks dignity. The above orders have not been passed 
either with generosity or with the heart in them. It very 
much looks as if the orders have bean passed with the- 
greatest reluctance. The Collector says : — 

" Orders were issued to all mamlatdars on the 25th April that 
no pressure should be put on those unable to pay. Their attention 
was again drawn to these orders in a proper ciroular issued by ma- 
on the 33ad of M<^y and to ensure that proper efieot was given to 
them. The mamlatdars were advised to divide the defaulters in- 
eaoh village into two classes, those who oould pay and those who 
were unable to pay on aooount of poverty," 

If this was so why were these orders not published 
to the people ? Had they known them on the 25th April 
what sufferings would they not have been saved from. 
The expenses that were unnecessarily incurred by the 
Government in engaging the officials of the district in^ 


efleobing exaoufcions would have been saved, Wheraver tha 
BBaeaamant was unoollaotaa bha paopla lived with their 
Uvea in their handa. They haVa liveiJ away from their 
homea to avoid attaohmenlia. They have not had even 
enough food. The woman have auffared what they 
ought not to have. At timaa, they have baen obliged to 
put up with inaalta from insolent Oirola loapeotors, and 
lo helplessly watoh their miloh buffallqaa taken away 
from them. They have paid Ghothai fioea, and had they 
known the foregoing orders they would have been saved • 
all the misariea. The offiaiala kaaw that thia relief for 
the poor waa tha orus of the struggle, The Gommiaaioner 
would not svan look at this diffiaulty, Many letters were 
addressed to him but he remained unbending. Ha aaid ^ 
" Individual relief oannot be granted, it is not the law." 
Now the Colleotor says : " The orders of April 25, ao far - 
as it related to patting pressure on thoae who were really - 
unable to pay on account of poverty, were merely a re- 
Bbabemant of what are publioly kaown to ba the standing - 
ordera of Government on that'subjaot." If this is really - 
true the people have saffarad deliberately and through 
sheer obstinacy ! At the tima of going to Dalbi Mr. Gandhi - 
wrote to tha Commissioner requesting him to grant or bo 
issue orders bo tha above effaot so thab the good news 
could be given to His Eseallanoy the Vioeroy, The Com-- 
missioner gave no heed to the reqaeat, 

" We are moved by the sufEatings of the people, we perceive ouc- 
mistake and in order to plaoate the people we ace now prepared to- 
grant individual relief," the officialg oould have generously said all 
this and endeared themselves to the people but they have obstinately- 
avoided this method (of .wiqning (hem over). And even now relief 
has been granted in a niggardly manner, involuntarily and without 
admission of any mistake. It is eveu claimed that what has novr 
been granted is nothing new. And hence we say that there is little, 
graae in the settlement. 


The ofiSoiala have failed (o be popniar beoansa of 
their obaliinaay, beoausa of bheir mialiaken belief (hafi they 
should never admili being in tha wrong and beoaaae of 
their having made id a fetiah thab ib ahonid never be said 
of them bhab bhey had yielded bo anybhing like popular 
agibation. lb grievea ua bo offer bhia oribioism, Bab we 
have permitbed ouraelvea bo do ao aa their friends. 
Bub though bha ofQoial abtibnde ia thua uhsabiafaobory, 
our prayer haa been granbed and ib ia our dubjr bo aooepb 
the oonoeaaion wibh thankfuloeaa. Now, there ia only 3 
ver oenb- of tha asaeaamenb remaining unpaid, Ib waa a 
poioi; of honour wibh us bill now bo refuse payment. 
<]oadibiona having materially albered ib is a poinb of 
honour for a Sabyagrahi to pay up tha aaeessmenb, Thosa- 
i!7ho can afford ahould pay without causing the Govern" 
menb bhe alighbeat'broubla and bhus show that, whan there 
is no oonfliot between tha diotatea of oonaoieaoa and fhoaa 
-of man-made law they are able to oompal anybody bo 
-obey the law of bhe land. A Sabyagrahi sometimes ap- 
pears momentarily to disobey laws and bhe oonatitubed 
-authority, only to prove in bhe end hia regard for bobh. 

In making a lisb of bhoae who are uoabla bo pay we 
should apply a besb so rigid bhab no one oan ohallenge our 
'fading. Those whose inoapaoiby for paymenb is at all in 
doubb should oonaider it their duty bo pay. The final 
-deoiaion aa bo the inaapaoity for payment will rest wibh 
the aubhoritiesi but we believe that the judgment of the 
<i)aopIa will have its full weight. 

By bbeir courage tha people of Kaira have drawn tha 
-attention of bhe whole of India. Daring tha laat sis 
•asontha bhey have had fall tasta of bha fruita of observing 


truth, faatlesanea. uaity, dataroainaliion and aelt-aaorifioa. 
We hopa thab they will aiiiU futbhar oalbivaba bheaa great 
qualibies, will mova forward in tha path of progresa, acd 
ahad luafcra on the nama of the Motherland. lb is our firm- 
belief that the people of K»ira have truly aarvad their owo 
oauaa, aa well as the oausa of Svraraj and the Ecnpira. 
May God bleas you. 


The 6atyagraha Campaign in Kaira was thus practi- 
cally over. Several meetings were held, some to greet the- 
Batyagrahis released from jail, some to celebrate the victory- 
of the campaign and several more to do honour to Mr. 
Gandhi for his wise and courageous lead. At the meeting- 
of the 27th July at Nadiad, Mr. Gandhi thus welcomed 
those who were released from the j ail '.^ 

We stand on the threaholl of a twilight — whether 
.morning or evening twilight we know not, One is follow- 
ed by the night, the other heralda the dawn. If we waut^ 
to aee the dawning day after tha twilight and not the- 
mournful night, it bahovas every one of us who are Home 
Bulera to realise the truth ai thia juaoture, to ataudfor ilh 
againat any odda and to preach and praotiae it at any cost 
unfiinohiugly, Oaly will tha oorreob praotioe of truth en- 
title them to the name of Home Bulers. 

It happened that some one who preceded had said in- 
the 'Course of his speech that he ivas the disciple of 
Mr. Pandya who, in turn, was the disciple of Mahatma 
Gandhi. Almost the whole of Mr. Gandhi's address ivas irt 
answer to this statement. He said : — 

Aa the fate would have it, it happana that with my 
Incger stay and inoreasing familiarity in India, the uaea-^ 


viable name of " Gam " is baing given me. Soma do 
faaaitafia to voluateer for others and balk of them aa 
disoiples. Bab I may give them a warning, I am 
insensible that bhis warning aarriaa wibh ib a sense 
eelf-eateem, bub even ab the risk of baing sbylad ooncei 
I would give bhe warning, I say bhab ib is nob within 
to ba anybody's "Guru." I have always and Will ain 
-disclaim this bitle, I, who am in searoh of a spiri 
<3rarui how oan I arrogabe bo myself bhe bibia of a Ga 
I oannob even bhink of baing anybody's polibioal gart 
the Bsnsa. bhab I applied the berm bp.bha laba Mr, Gokh 
tot I am bub an infanb in polibios. Another bhing is t 
I would be in&nibely pained to find one who oalls him 
my disoipla going astray, or falling sborb of my expe 
tions and I want to spare myself that pain, I, theref 
ask you bo bhink a million bimes before you prooead bo 
that you are anybody's disoipla. Oar whole life is 
an experimant and our skill lias in always keeping 
grain from bhe ohaff. I wish you all bo join ma in I 
greab esperiment, not as disoiples but as my brothers i 
sisters, regarding me if you choose, as your elder broti 
To be a guru I must ba myself flawlessly perfect, whic 
can never claim to be. (Speaking of Mr. Mohanlnl Fan( 
the Mahbma said:] The'.honourifor the victory balongi 
Mr. Fandya in a special aanse. I am everywhere be 
regarded aa one living in bheElyaian haighbs of parfacbni 
aa one by profession a Sabyagrahi, and aa standing ap 
from all, oapabla of conceiving anything and aohiav 
anybhing. No one bherefore ventures bo emulaba my i 
ample. Bab Mr. Mohanlal Fandya was abill a novice 
the trade, he began his study of ' Satyagraha early in 
«ampaigo and has now won his degree of tha Maabat 
Arts. His inflaenoe, therefore, told on all and ha co 


infeofi maQy others with his oourage and lova of trabh. 
Conolading, tha Mahatma said that Satyagraha had 
maltitudinoas applioabioDa and ona oould not oall himssH 
a real Satyagrahi unless ha had vealiaed all of them. 

The meeting in Nadiad was called for the special 
purpose of doing honour to Mr, Oandhi, On receiving the 
address Mr- Oandhi spoke to this effect :— 

I am gratefal to you for the address of honour yon 
tiave given ma. Bat a servant of tha people oanaot aooapt 
ifaonoars. Ha is supposed to have oonaaorated his all to 
ithe people and I oould but conseorate all that you have 
•given me to youi One who has made "sarvica " his re- 
ligion, aannot lust for honour; tha moment ha does so, 
he is lost. I hava saan that soma are inspired by tha 
lust of help while some by the lust of fame. The lust of 
help is sordid enough, but that of fame is even more so. 
ICha misdeeds of tha latter leads a man into one mora 
<wiakad than thosa into whioh tha former does, I thera- 
iora beseech you that if you want really to do me honour) 
do not please giva ma a showar bath of addresses and 
honours. Tha bast way to honour ma is to do my 
iiehest and to carry my principles into praotioe. And 
what, forsooth, have I done in this campaign ? If any- 
thing, I can only claim the clevernass that is necessary 
for a commander in picking out man for his campaign. 
I was clever enough in doing that, but there too I should 
not hava achieved anything if you had nob acquitted 
yourselves well. The choice of my lieutenant, I may 
here add, was particularly happy. I will say thati 
without tha help of Mr. V. J. I'atel, we could 
not hava won tha campaign. Ha had a splendid 
praotica, ha had his municipal work to do, but ha 
renounced it all and threw himself in tha campaign. Bub 


before I close, I musb'give my tribute of praise to those 
who deserve it more than all the restj and whose names 
will probably never adorn your honours list. First and 
foremost I place the sweeper in the Ananthashram, wba 
has rendered me a service which is service in the higheet 
sense of the term, aud for which I can never express ade-; 
guate gratefulness- Next come the children of the Ashram^ 
who have ungrudgingly without auy sense of reward 
served me, looked after me at all hours of the day and 
the night, and thus rendered a service of which vakils 
and barristers are incapable. 



The following statement made by Mr. Gandhi at the 
time of the troubles in the Transva-al explains his atti- 
tude towards law and legislators and enunciates the 
duties of true British citizenship : — 

I consider myself a lover of the British Empire, a 
citizen (though voteless) of the Transvaal, prepared to 
take my full share in promoting the general well-being 
of the country. And I claim it to be perfectly honour- 
able and consistent with the above profession to advise 
my countrymen not to submit to the Asiatic Act, as 
being derogatory to their manhood and offensive to their 
religion. And I claim, too, that the method of passive 
resistance adopted to combat the mischief is the clearest 
and safest, because, if the cause is not true, it is the 
resisters, and they alone, who suffer. I am perfectly 
aware of the danger to good government, in a country 
inhabited by many races unequally developed, when an 
honest citizen advises resistanco to a law of the land. 
But I refuse to believe in the infalKbility of legislators. 
I do believe that they are not always guided by gene- 
rous or even just sentiments in their dealings with 
unrepresented classes. I venture to say that if passive 
resistance is generally accepted, it will once and for 
ever avoid the contingency of a terrible death-struggle 
and bloodshed in the event (not impossible) of the 
natives being exasperated by a stupid mistake of our 


It has been said that those who do not like the law 
may leave the country. This is all very well, spoken 
from a cushioned chair, but it is neither possible nor 
becoming for men to leave their homes because they do 
:not subscribe to certain laws enacted against them. The 
Uitlanders of the Boer regime complained of harsh 
Jaws ; they, too, were told that if they did not like 
•them, they could retire from the country. Are Indians, 
who are fighting for their self-respect, to slink away 
from the country for fear of suffering imprisonment or 
worse ? If I could help it, nothing would remove 
Indians from the country save brute force. It is no part 
■of a citizen's duty to pay blind obedience to the laws 
imposed on him. And if my countrymen believe in God 
and the existence of the soul, then, while they may 
admit that their bodies belong to the state to be 
imprisoned and deported, their minds, their wills, and 
iheir souls must ever remain free like the birds of the 
air, and are beyond the reach of the swiftest arrow. 


The following is an extract from the letter of the 
London correspondent of the " Amrita Bazaar Patrika" 
summarising an address delivered by Mr. Gandhi before 
the Members of the Emerson Club and of the Hampstead 
Branch of the Peace and Arbitration Society whilst in 

Mr. Gandhi turned to India, and spoke with 
enthusiasm of Rama, the victim of the machinations of 
a woman, choosing fourteen years' exile rather than 
surrender ; other Orientals were mentioned, and then, 
through the Doukhabors of to-day, he brought the 


thoughts of the audience to the soul resistance of Indians- 
versus brute force in south Africa. He insisted that it 
was completely a mistake to believe that Indians were 
incapable of lengthened resistance for a principle ; in 
their fearlessness of suffering they were second to none 
in the world. Passive resistance had been called a 
weapon of the weak, but Mr. Gandhi maintained that it 
required courage higher than that of a soldier on the 
battlefield, which was often the impulse of the moment ; 
for passive resistance was continuous and sustained : it 
meant physical suffering. Some people were inclined 
to think it too difficult to be carried out to-day, but those 
who held that idea were not moved by true courage— 
Again referring to Oriental teaching, Mr. Gandhi said 
that the teaching of the " Lord's Song" was, from the 
beginning, the necessity of fearlessness. He touched on 
the question of physical force while insisting that it . 
was not thought of by Indians in the Transvaal. He does 
does not want to share in liberty for India that is 
gained by violence and bloodshed, and insists that no 
country is so capable as India f or wielding soul force. 
Mr. Gandhi did not approve of the militant tactics of 
the suffragettes for the reason that they were meeting 
body force with body force, and not using the higher 
power of soul force .• violence begot violence. He main- 
tained, too, that the association of Britain and India — 
must be a mutual benefit, ■ if India — eschewing 
violence — did not depart from her proud position of be- 
ing the giver and the teacher of religion. "If the world 
believes in the existence of the soul." He said in con- 
clusion, "it must be recognised that soul force is better 
than body force : it is the sacred principle of love which 
moves mountains. On us is the responsibility of living 


out this sacred law ; we are not concerned with results," 
Mr. Gandhi protested against the mad rush of to- 
daVj and, instead of blessing the, means by which 
modern science has made this mad rush possible, that 
is, railways, motors, telegraph, telephone, and even ther 
coming flying machines, he declared that they were- 
diverting man's thoughts from the main purpose of life ; 
bodily comfort stood before soul growth ; man had no 
time to-day even to know himself ; he preferred a news- 
paper or sport or other things rather than to be left 
alone with himself for thought. He claimed Ruskin as- 
on his side in this expression of protest against th^ 
drive and hurry of modern civilisation. He did not 
describe this development of material science as ex- 
clusively British, 'but he considered that its effect in 
India had been baneful in many ways. He instanced 
the desecration of India's holy places, which he said, 
were no longer holy, because the fatal facility of 
locomotion had brought to those places people whose 
only aim was to defraud the unsophisticated : such 
people, in the olden days when pilgrimages meant long 
and wearisome walking through jungles, crossing rivers,. 
and encountering many dangers, had not the stamina to 
reach the goal. Pilgrimages in those days could only 
be undertaken by the cream of society, but they came 
to know each other ; the aim of the holy places was to- 
make India holy. Plague and famine, which existed in 
pre-British days, were local then ; to-day, rapid locomo- 
tion had caused them to spread. To avoid the calamity 
which intense materialism must bring, Mr. Gandhi 
urged that india should go back to her former holiness 
which is not yet lost. The contact with the West has 
awakened her from the lethargy into which she had" 


Stink : the new spirit, if properly directed, would bring 
blesssing to both nations and to the world. If India 
adopted Western modern civilisation as Japan had done, 
there must be perpetual conflict and grasping between 
Briton and Indian. If, on the other hand, India's ancient 
civilisation can withstand this latest assault, as it has 
withstood so many before, and be, as of old, the reli- 
gious teacher, the spiritual guide, then there would be 
no impassable barrier between East and West. Some 
circumstances exist, said Mr. Gandhi, which we cannot 
Understand ; but the main purpose of life is 'to live 
rightly, think rightly, act rightly ; the soul must 
languis[h when we give all our thought to the body. 


rhe following is the summary of an adclress 
delivered at the Students* Hall, Gollege Square, Calcutta, 
in March 1915 wtth the Hon, Mr. Lyon in the chair. 

Though it was the command of his Guru, the late 
Mr. Gokhale that Mr. Gandhi, during his stay here 
'should keep his ears open. but his mouth shut, he could 
not resist the temptation of addressing the meeting. It 
was the opinion of the speaker as well as his departed 
Guru that politics should not be a sealed book to the 
-Student community ; for he saw no reason why student 
should not study and take part in politics. He went, the 
length of saying that politics should not be divorced 
from religion. They would agree with him as well as 
their teachers, professors and the worthy Chairman that 
literary education is of no value, if it is not able to build 
up a sound character. Could it be said that the students 
or the public men in this country are entirely fearless ? 


This question engaged the speaker's serious attention 
although he was in exile. He understood what political 
dacoity or political assassination was. He had given 
the subject his most careful attention and he came to 
the conclusion that some of the students of his country 
were fired no doubt with zeal in their minds and with 
love for their motherland, but they did not know how 
they should love her best. He believed that some 
of them resorted to nefarious means, because they 
did Hot work in the fear of God but in the fear of 
man. He was there to tell them that if he was for 
sedition, he must speak out sedition and think loudly 
and take the consequence. If he did so, it would clear 
the atmosphere of any taint of hypocrisy. If the 
students, who are the hopes of India, nay, perhaps of the 
Empire, did not work in the fear of God, but in the fear 
of man, in the fear of the authorities — the Government 
whether it is represented by the British or an indigenous 
body, the results would prove disastrous to the country. 
They should always keep their minds open, regardless 
of what the consequence would be ; youths who have 
resorted to dacoities and assassinations, were misguided 
youths with whom they should have absolutely no 
connection. They should consider those persons as 
enemies to themselves and to their country. But he 
did not for a moment suggest that they should hate those 
people. The speaker was not a believer in Government 
he would not have any Government. He believes that 
Government is the best that governs the least. But 
whatever his personal views were, he must say that 
misguided zeal that resorts to dacoities and assassinations 
cannot be productive of any good. These dacoities and 
assassinations are absolutely a foreign growth in India* 


They cannot take root here and cannot be a permanent 
institution here. History proves that assassinations 
have done no good. The religion of this country, the 
Hindu religion is abstention from "himsa," tha.t is taking 
animal life. That is, he believes the guiding principle 
of all religions. The Hindu religion says that even the 
evil-doer should not be hated. It says that nobody has 
any right to kill even the evil doer. These assassina- 
tions are a western institution and the speaker warned 
his hearers against these western methods and western 
evils. What have they done in the western world ? 
If the youths imitated them and believed that they 
could do the slightest good to India they were totally 
mistaken. He would not discuss what Government was 
best for India, whether the British Government or the 
Government that existed before, though he believed 
that there was a great deal of room for improvement in 
the British Government. But he would advise his 
young friends to be fearless, sincere and be guided by 
the principle of religion. If they had a programme for 
the country, let them place it openly before the public. 
The speaker concluded the address with an appeal to 
the young men present, to be religious and be guided by 
a spirit of religion and morality. If they were prepared 
to die, the speaker was prepared to die with them. He 
would be ready to accept their guidance. But if they 
wanted to terrorise the country, he should rise against 


At the annual gathering of the Madras Law Dinner 
in April 1915, Mr. M. K. Gandhi was specially invited 
to propose the toast of the British Empire. The Hon'ble 
Mr. Gorbet, the Advocate-General, in doing so referred to 
Mr. Gandhi as a very distinguished stranger, a stranger 
in the sense that they had not known him long, but one 
whose name they were all familiar with. Mr. Gandhi 
was a member of the profession, though he had not lately 
practised. Mr. Gandhi, he continued, was about to pro- 
pose the toast of the British Empire, for the consolida- 
tion of which he had laboured strenuously, with absolute 
self-devotion for many years. Mr. Gandhi said : — 

During my three months' tour in India,, as also in 
South Africa, I have been so often questioned how I, a 
determined opponent of modern civilization and an 
avowed patriot, could reconcile. myself to loyalty of the 
British Empire of which India was such a large part ; 
how it was possible for me to find it consistent that 
India and England could work together for mutual 
benefit. It gives me the greatest pleasure this evening 
at this great and important gathering, to re-declare my 
loyalty to this British Empire, and my loyalty is based 
upon very selfish grounds. As a passive resistor I dis- 
covered that a passive resister has to make good his 
claim to passive resistance, no matter under what cir- 
cumstances he finds himself, and I discovered that the 
British Empire had certain ideals with which I have 
fallen in love, and one of those ideals is that every sub- 
ject of the British Empire has the freest scope possible 


for his energies and honour and whatever he thinks is 
due to his conscience. I think that this is true of the 
British Empire, as it is not true of any other Govern- 
ment. (Applause.) I feel, as you here perhaps know, 
that I am no lover of any Government and I have more 
than one said that that .Government is best which 
governs least. And I have found that it is possible for 
me to be governed least under the British Empire. Hence 
my loyalty to the^^British Empire, fLoud applause). 


Mr. Gandhi delivered the following speech at the 
y. M. 0. A. in reply to the Madras Stndents' address on 
April 27. 1915, the Hon. Mr. V. S. Snnivasa Sastri 

Mr. Chairman and Dear Friends, — Madras as well- 
nigh exhausted the English .vocabulary in using adjec- 
tives of virtue with reference to my wife and myself, and, 
if I may be called upon to give an opinion as to where I 
have been smothered with kindness, love and attention, I 
would have to say : it is Madras.- (Applause). But as 
I have said so often, I believed it of Madras. So it is no 
wonder to me that you are lavishing all these kindnesses 
with unparalleled generosity, and now the worthy pfe- 
sident of the Servants of India Society — under which 
society I am going through a period of probation — has, 
if I may say so, capped it all. Am I worthy of these 
things ? My- answer from the innermost recesses of my 
heart is an emphatic " No." But I have come to India 
to become worthy of every adjective that you may use, 
and all my life will certainly be dedicated to prove 
worthy of them, if I am to be a worthy servant. 


And so it is that you have sung that beautiful 
national song, on hearing which all of us sprang to our 
feet. The poet has lavished all the adjectives that he 
possibly coirld to describe Mother India. He describes 
Mother India as sweet smiling, sweet-speaking, fragrant, 
all-powerful, all good, truthful, land flowing with milk 
and honey, land having ripe fields, fruits and grains, 
land inhabited by a race of men of whom we have only 
a picture in the great Golden Age. He pictures to us a^ 
land which shall embrace in its possession the whole of 
the world, the whole of humanity by the might or 
right not of physical power but of soul-power. Can we 
sing that hymn ? I ask myself, " can I, by any right, 
spring to my feet when I listen to that song." The 
poet no doubt gave us a picture for our realisation, the 
words of which simply remain prophetic, and it is for 
you, the hope of India, to realise every word that the 
poet has said in describing this motherland of ours. TO' 
day, I feel that these adjectives are very largely mis- 
placed in his description of the motherland, and it is^ 
for you and for me to make good the claim that the poet 
has advanced on behalf of his motherland. 


You, the students of Madras, as well as the students^ 
all over India — are you receiving an education which 
will make you worthy to realise that ideal and which 
will draw the best out of you, or is it an education which 
has become a factory for making Government employees- 
or clerks in commercial offices ? Is the goal of the educa- 
tion that you are receiving that of mere employment 
whether in the Government departments or other 
departments ? If that be the goal of your Education, if 
that is the goal that you have set before yourselves, I 


feel and I fear that the vision which the poet pictured for 
himself is far from being realised. As you have heard 
me say perhaps, or as you have read, I am and I have 
been a determined opponent of modern civilisation. I 
want you to turn your.eyes to-day upon what is going on 
in Europe and if you have come to the conclusion that 
Europe is to-day groaning under the heels of the modern 
civilization then you and your elders will have to think 
twice before you can emulate that civilisation in our 
Motherland. But I have been told, " How can we help 
it, seeing that our rulers bring that culture to our 
Motherland." Do not make any mistake about it at all. I 
do not for ope moment believe that it is for any rulers to 
bring that culture to you, unless you are prepared to 
accept it, and if it be that the rulers bring that culture 
before us I think that we have forces within ourselves to 
enable us to reject that culture without having to reject 
the rulers themselves. (Applause). I have said on many 
a platform thai the British race is with us. I decline to 
go into the reasons why that race is with us, but I do 
believe that it is possible for India if she would but 
live upto the traditions of the sages of whom you have 
heard from ftur worthy president, to transmit a message 
through this great race, a message not of physical 
might, but a message of love. And 'then, it will be 
your privilege to conquer the conquerors not by shed- 
ding blood but by sheer force of spiritual predominence. 
When I consider what is going ou to-day in India, I 
think* it is necessary for us to say what our opinion is in 
connection with the political assassinations and political 
dacoities. I feel that these are purely a foreign impor- 
tation which cannot take root in this land. But you 
the student world have to beware, lest mentally or 


morally you give one thought of approval to this 
kind of terrorism. I, as a passive resister, will 
give you another thing very substantial for it. 
Terrorise yourself ; search within ; by all means resist 
tyranny wherever you find it ; by all means resist en- 
croachment upon your liberty, but not by shedding the 
blood of the tyrant. That is not what is taught by otir 
religion. Our religion is based upon ahimsa, which in 
its active, form is nothing but Love, love not only td 
your neighbours, not only to your friends but love even 
to those who may be your enemies. 

One word more in connection with the same thing I 
think that if we were to practise truth, to practise 
ahimsa we must immediately see that we also pratiSie 
fearlessness. If our rulers are doing what in our opinion 
is wrong, and if we feel it our duty to let them hear our 
advice, even though it may be considered sedition, I urge 
you to speak sedition — but at your peril, you must be 
prepared to suffer the consequences. And when you are 
ready to suffer the consequences and not hit below ttfie 
belt, then I think you will have made good your right 
to have your advice heard even by the Government, 


I ally myself with the British Government, because 
I believe that it is possible for me to claim equal part- 
nership with every subject of the British Empire. 1 
to-day claim that equal partnership, I do not belong to 
a subject race. I do not call myself a member of a 
subject race. But there is this thing : it is not for the 
British Governors to give you; it is for you to take 
the thing. I want and I can take the thing. That I 
want only by discharging my obligations. Max 
Muller has told us, — we need not go to Max Mnller to 


interpret our own religion — but he says, our religion 
consists in four letters "D-u-t-y" and not in the five 
letters "R-i-g-h-t". And if you believe that all that we 
want can go from a letter discharge of our duty, 
then think always of your duty and fighting along 
those lines ; you will have no fear of any man, you will 
fear only God. That is the message that my master — ' 
if I may say so. your master too — Mr. Gokhale has given 
to us. What is that message then ? It is in the constitu- 
tion of the Servants of India Society and that is the- 
message by which I wish to be guided in my life. The 
message is to spiritualise the political life and the 
political institutions of the country. We must immedi- 
ately set about realising its practice. The students- 
cannot be away from politics. Politics is as essential to- 
them as religion. Politics cannot be divorced from 
religion. My views may not be acceptable to you, 
I know. All the same, I can only give you what is- 
stirrin'' me to my very depths. On the authority 
of my experiences in South Africa 1 claim that your 
countrymen who had not that modern culture but who' 
had that strength of the Rishis of old, who have- 
inherited the tapascharya performed by the Rishis,. 
without having known a single word of English lite-- 
rature and without knowing anything whatsoever of 
the present modern culture, they were able to rise to 
their full height. And. what has been possible for the 
uneducated and illiterate countrymen of ours in Soutfr 
Africa is ten times possible for you and for. me to-day in 
this sacred land of ours. May that be your privilege: 
and may that be my privilege. (Applause.) 


Mr. and Mrs, Gandhi on their way to Tranquebar 
arrived at Mayavaram on the 22nd May, 1915, and they 
werr- presented with an address by the citizens of tht 
town. In the course of his reply, Mr. Gandhi said : — 

It was quite by accident that I had the great 
pleasure of receiving an address from, my ' Panchama 
brethren, and there, they said that^they were without 
convenience tor drinking water, they were without con- 
venience for living supplies, and they could not buy or 
hold land. It was difficult for them even to approach 
Courts. Probably, the last is due to their fear, but a 
lear certainly not due to themselves, and who is then 
responsible for this state of things ? Do we propose to 
perpetuate this state of things ? Is it a part of Hindu- 
ism ? I do not know. I have now to learn what 
Hinduism really is. In so far as I have been able to 
stndy Hinduism outside India, I have felt that it is no 
part of real Hinduism to have in its hold a mass of 
people whom I would call " untouchables." If it was 
proved to ms that this is an essential part of Hinduism, 
I for one would declare myself an open rebel against 
Hinduism ilself. (Hear, hear.) 

Are the Brahmins in Mayavaram equal minded to- 
wards the Pariah and will they tell me, if they are so 
equal minded, that others will not follow ? Even if 
they say that they are prepared to do so but others will 
not follow, I shall have to disbelieve them until I have 
revised my notions of Hinduism. If the Brahmins 
themselves consider they are holding high position by 


penance and austerity, then they have themselves much 
to learn, then they will be the people who have cursed 
and ruined the land. 

My friend, the Chairman, has asked me the ques- 
tion whether it is true that I am at war with my leaders. 
I say that I am not at war with my leaders. I seem to 
be at war with my leaders because many things I have 
heard seem to be inconsistent with my notions of self- 
respect and with self respect to my Motherland. I feel 
that they are probably not discharging the sacred trust 
they have taken upon their shoulders ; but I am sure I 
am studying or endeavouring to take wisdom from them, 
but I failed to take that wisdom. It may be that I am 
incompetent and unfit to follow them. If so, I shall 
revise my ideas. Still I am in a position to say that I 
seem to be at war with my leaders. Whatever they do 
or whatever they say does not somehow or other appeal 
to me. The major part of what they say does not seem 
to be appealing to me. 

I find here words of welcome in the English lan- 
guage. I find in the Congress programme a Resolution 
on Swadeshi. If you hold that you are Swadeshi and 
yet print these in English, then I am not Swadeshi. To 
me it seems that it is inconsistent. I have nothing to 
say against the English language. But I do say that, 
if you kill the vernaculars and raise the English lan- 
guage on the tomb of the vernaculars (hear, hear), then 
you are not favouring Swadeshi in the right sense of the 
term. If you feel that I do not know Tamil, you should 
pardon me, you should execuse me and teach me and 
ask me to leafn Tamil and I having your welcome in 
that beautiful language, if you translate it to me, then 
I should think you are performing some part of the 


programme. Then only I should think I am being 
taught Swadeshi. 

I asked when we were passing through Mayavaram 
whether there have been any handlooms here and 
whether there were handloom-weavers here. I was told 
thai there were 50 handlooms in Mayavaram. What were 
they engaged in ? They were engaged chiefly in prepar- 
ing " Sarees" for our women. Then is Swadeshi to be 
confined only to the women ? It is to be only in their 
keeping ? I do not find that our friends, the male 
population, also have their stuff prepared for them by 
these weavers and through their handlooms, (u voice r 
there are 1,000 hondlooms here,). There are, I understand 
one thousand handlooms. So much the worse for the 
leaders ! Loud applause.) If these one thousand hand- 
looms are kept chiefly in attending to the wants of our 
women, double this supply of our handlooms and you 
will have all your wants supplied by our own weavers 
and there will be no poverty in the land. I ask you and 
ask our friend the President how far he is indebted to 
foreign goods for .his outfit and if he can tell me that 
he has tried his utmost and still has failed to outfit 
himself or rather to fit himself out with Swadeshi 
clothing and therefore he has got this stuff, I shall sit 
at his feet and learn a lesson. What I have been able 
to learn today is that it is entirely possible for me, 
without any extra cost, to fit myself with Swadeshi 
clothing. How am I to learn through those who move 
or who are supposed to be movers in the Congress,- the 
secret of the Resolution ? I sit at the feet of my leaders, I 
sit at the feet of the Mayavaram people 'and let them 
reveal the mystery, give me the secret of the meaning, 
teach me how I should behave myself and tell me 


whether it is a part of the National movement that 
should drive off those who are without dwellings, why 
cry for water and that I should reject the advances of 
those who cry for food. These are the questions which 
I ask my friend here. Since I am saying something 
against you, I doubt whether I shall still enjoy or 
retain the affection of the student population and 
whether I shall still retain the blessing of my leaders. I 
ask you to have a large heart and give me a little corner 
in it. I shall try to steal into that corner. If you would 
be kind enough to teach me wisdom, I shall learn wisdom 
in all humility and in all earnestness. I am praying for 
it and I am asking for it. If you cannot teach me, I again 
declare myself at war with my leaders. (Loud cheers.) 


In reply to the citizens' address at Bangalore 
presented in May 1915, Mr. Gandhi made the following 
speech : — 

I did not want to be dragged in the carriage. There 
is a meaning in that. Let us not spoil our public men by 
dragging them. Let them work silently. We should not 
encourage tTie thought, that one has to work, because one 
will be honoured similarly. Let public men feel that 
they will be stoned, they will be neglected and let them 
still love the country ; for service is its own reward. A 
charge has been brought against us that we as a nation 
are too demonstrative and lack businesslike methods. We 
plead guilty to the charge. Are we to copy modern 
activities or are we to copy the ancient civilisation which 
has survived so many shocks ? You and I have to act on 
the political platform ffom a spiritual side and if this is 


done, we should then conquer the conquerors. The day 
will dawn then, when we can consider an Englishman 
as a fellow-citizen. (Cheers). That day will shortly 
come ; but it my be difficult to conceive when. I have 
had signal opportunities of associating myself with 
Englishmen of character, devotion, nobility and in- 
fluence. I can assure you that the present wave of 
activity is passing away and a new civilisation is com- 
ing shortly which will be a nobler one. India is a 
great dependency and Mysore is a great Native State, 
It must be possible for you to transmit this message to 
British Governors and to British statesmen; the mes- 
sage is "Establish a Ram Rajya in Mysore and have 
as your minister a Vasishta who will command 
obedience." (Prolonged cheers.) Then my fellow- 
countrymen, you can dictate terms to the conqueror, 
(Prolonged cheers.) 


The following is the speech delivered by Mr. Gdndhi 
at Bangalore in unveiling a portrait of Mr. Gokhale in 
May, 1915. 

My dear countrymen,— Before I perform this cere- 
mony to which you have called me, I wish to say this 
to you that you have given me a great opportunity or 
rather a privilege on this great occasion. I saw in the 
recitation, — the beautiful recitation that was given tO' 
me,-^that God is with them whose garment was. dusty 
and tattered. My thoughts immediately went to the 
end of my garment ; I examined and found that it is not 
dusty and it is not tattered ; it is fairly spotless and 


clean. God is not in me. There are other conditions 
attached ; but in these conditions too I may fail ; and 
you, my dear countrymen, may also fail ; and if we do 
tend this well, we should not dishonour the memory of 
one whose portrait you have asked me to unveil this 
morning. I have declared myself his disciple in . the 
political field and I have him as my Raja Guru; and 
this I claim on behalf of the Indian people. It was in 
1896 that I made this declaration, and I do not regret 
having made the choice. 

Mr. Gokhale taught me that the dream of every 
Indian who claims to love his country, should be not to 
glorify in language but to spiritualise the political life 
of the country and the political institutions of the 
country. He inspired my life and is still i nspiring ; and 
in that I wish to purify myself and spiritualise myself. 
I have dedicated myself to that ideal. I may fail, and 
to what extent I may fail, I call myself to that extent 
an unwort hy disciple of my master. 


What is the meaning of spiritualising the political 
life of the country ? What is the meaning of spiritual- 
ising myself ? That question has come before me often 
and often and to you it may seem one thing, to me it 
may seem another thing ; it may mean different things 
to the different members of the Servants of India 
Society itself. It shows much difficulty and it sho\ys 
the difficulties, of all those who want to love their 
country, who want to serve their country and who want 
to honour their country. I think the political life must 
be an echo of private life and that there cannot be any 
divorce between the two. 


I was by the side of that saintly politician to the end 
of his life and I found no ego in him. I ask you, members 
•of the Social Service League, if there is no ego in you, 
If he wanted to shine, if he wanted to shine in the 
political field of his country, he did so not in order that 
he might gain public applause, but in order that his 
■country may gain. He developed every particular 
faculty in him, not in order to win the praise of the 
■world for himself, but in order that his country might 
^ain. He did not seek public applause, but it was 
showered upon him, it was thrust upon him ; he wanted 
that his country might gain and that was his great 

There are many things for wliich India is blamed, 
^ery rightly, and if you should add one more to our 
failures the blame will descend not only on you but also 
«n me for having participated in to-day's functions. But 
I have great faith in my countr ymen. 

You ask me to unveil this portrait to-day, and I will 
■do so in all sincerity and that should be the end of your 
life. (Loud and continued applause.) 


The following is the text of Mr. Gandhi's speech in 
seconding the Resolution on Mr, Gokhale at the 15th 
Bombay Provincial Conference held at Poona on 10th 
•and 11th July 1915. 

Mr. President, Brothers and Sisters, — Perhaps it is 
impudent on my part to add anything to the feeling 
words that have been spoken by Mrs. Ranade. The fact 
that she is the widow of the master's master adds solem- 
nity to the proceedings, which I can only mar by any 


remarks I may make. But, claiming as I do to be one of 
Mr. Gokhale's disciples, you will forgive me if I say a 
few words which are personal tit-bits. It was on board 
the Oronprinz some years ago that I found myself in the 
master's company together with a common friend, Mr. 
Kallenbach, a German. (Laughter.) Let me say that all 
Germans are not fiends ; nor are all German soldiers 
fiends. Mr. Kallenbach is a German and a soldier, but I 
feel that no purer-minded person to-day walks the earth 
in Europe than Mr. Kallenbach. (Hear, hear.) He was 
accepted as a worthy companion by Mr. Gokhale, who 
used to play with him the game of coits. Mr. Gokhale 
had just then, during the voyage from England to 
Capetown, picked up that game, and he very nearly 
gave Mr. Kallenbach a beating in the game. (Laughter). 
I fancy that was a drawn game between them ; 
and, let me add, Mr. Kallenbach, so far as I am 
aware, is one of the cleverest players of coits in 
South Africa. Just after that we had our meals 
at which Mr. Gokhale was talking to me with re- 
ference to the result of the game. He thought I never 
indulged in such sports and that I was against them. He 
expostulated with me in kind words and said, "Do you 
know why I want to enter into such competition with 
Europeans ? I certainly want to do at least as much as 
they can do, for the sake of our country. (Hear, hear.) 
It is said, rightly or wrongly, that we are inferior people 
in many matters, and so far as I can do it" — and this he 
said in all humility — "I certainly want to show that we 
are at least their equals, if not their superiors." That 
was one incident. On board the same steamer we were 
engaged in a hot discussion in connection with our 
dear motherland, and he was mapping out for 


me, as a father would for his child, a programme 
that I was to follow in India if I ever happened to 
see the motherland again, and in connection there- 
with there was one thing he said : — "We lack in 
India character ; we want religious zeal in the 
political field." Shall we then follow the spirit of 
the master with the same thoroughness and the same 
religious zeal, so that we can safely teach a child poli- 
tics ? One of his missions in life, 1 think, was to incul- 
cate the lesson that whatever we do, we should do with 
thoroughness. This it is not possible for us mortals to 
imitate in any degree of perfection. Whatever he did, 
he did with a religious zeal ; that was the secret of his 
success. He did not wear his religion on his sleeves ; 
lie lived it. Whatever he touched, he purified ; where- 
ever he went, he recreated an atmosphere around him 
which was fragrant| When he came to South Africa 
he electrified the people there not only by his magnifi- 
cent eloquence but by the sincerity of his character 
and by the religious devotion with which he worked. 
What was that devotion ? Ailing though he was, 
he was awake the whole night practically when 
we was to have seen General Smuts; he did' so in 
order to prepare the case for his countrymen with a 
thoroughness that surprised the Leader of the Boer 
Government. What was the result ? The result was 
that he got the promise from the South African Govern- 
ment that the £3 tax would be gone in a few years, and 
the £3 tax is no more. (Cheers.) It is no more there 
to grind down so many thousands of our countrymen. 
Mr. Gokhale is dead, but it is possible for you and for 
me to make his spirit live in us and through us. (Hear, 
hear). We are about to pass resolutions which would 


expect us, the chosen representatives, it, or may be, the 
-self-elected representatives of the people to do certain 
things. Shall we discharge our trust with the master's 
devotion? The people we represent will base their 
verdict not upon our speeches but upon our actions, and 
-how shall we act ? We have a right to pass this resolu- 
tion if we act in the spirit of the' master. 


In unveiling the portrait of Gohhale at th^ Khalih- 
dina Hall, Karachi, on Tuesday the 29th February, 
1916, Mr. Gandhi spoke as follows : — 

In Hyderabad, Sind, also, I was asked to unveil a 
-portrait of Mr. Gokhale ; and there I put to myself and 
to those present a question which I put to myself and to 
you now. That question is : What right have I to un- 
veil the portrait of Mr. Gokhale and what right have you 
to join in the ceremony ? Of course to unveil a portrait 
or to join in it is nothing great or important in itself. But 
the question really involved in the ceremony is impor- 
tant viz., axe your hearts and is my heart in reality so 
much moved as to copy the glorious example of the 
great man ? The function will have no real significance 
unless we follow in his footsteps. And if we do follow 
him we shall be able to achieve a great deal. Of course 
it is not possible for all of us to achieve what Mr. 
Gokhale did in the Imperial Legislative Council. But 
the way in which he served the Motherland, the whole- 
hearted devotion with which he did it day and night 
without ceasing — all this it is in our power to do as the 
great one did. And I hope that when yon leave this . 
hall you will bear in mind to follow him and thus give 


expression to your regard for hita. You know that the 
best achievement of Mr. Gokhale according to him- 
self was the establishment of the Servants of India 
Society. This great institution he has left behind him ; 
and it lies with us to support it and continue its npble 
work. It would be best if we could join the Society. 
But that will involve the question of our being fit for it. 
But if we are not in a position to join the Society, we 
can all do the next best thing viz, render pecuniary aid 
and swell the funds of the. Society. A great deal of 
money has been collected in the Bombay Presidency to 
perpetuate the memory of Mr. Gokhale ; but so far 
nothing has been done in Karachi, Hyderabad and other 
parts of Bind. Hence to-day on this occasion you should 
all make up your minds to do something in this connec- 
tion. In Bombay, Rs. 30,000 have been collected for the 
erection of Mr. Gokhale 's statue. Besides that, money 
has been collected for placing the Servants of India 
Society on a sound financial basis. For this purpose a 
lakh of rupees are required. That amount has not yet 
been collected. In fact, Rs. 75,000 has been collected 
and Rs. 25,000 still remains to be subscribed. Karachi 
and Hyderabad could easily do that and collect the 
balance. I do not msan to say that you should neces- 
sarily contribute that amount . You may do what your 
hearts move you to do ; what I say is that if your hearts 
are really moved, you may render monetary help to the 
Servants of India Society. That will be the true test of 
your regard for Mr. Gokhale and the best way of 
perpetuating the memory of the great man who lived 
and who died for the Motherland. (Loud applause). 


The following is the full text of the speech delivered 
on Feb. 4th 19 \ 6, on the occasion of the opening of the 
Benares Hindu University, The speech was edited by 
Mr. Gandhi. " In editing the speech " he wrote, " I have 
merely removed some of the verbiage which in cold print 
would make the speech bad reading^' 

Friends, I wish to tender my humble apology for the 
long delay that took place before I am able to reach this 
place. And you will readily accept the apology when V 
tell you that I am not responsible for the delay nor is- 
any human agency responsible for it. (Laughter)v The 
fact' is that I am like an animal">on show, and my 
keepers in their over-kindness always manage to neg- 
lect a necessary chapter in this life, and that is pure- 
accident. In this case, they did not provide for the- 
series of accidents that happened to us — to me, keepers, 
and my carriers. Hence this delay. 

Friends, under the influence of the matchless- 
eloquence of the lady (Mrs. Besant) who has just 
sat down, pray, do not believe that our University 
has become a finished product, and that all the youngs 
men who are to come to the University, that has. yet 
to rise and come into existence, have also come and" 
returned from it finished citizens of a great empire. 
Do not go away with any such impression, an4 if you,- 
the student world to which my remarks are sup- 
posed to be addressed this evening, consider for one 
moment that the spiritual life, for which this coun- 
try is noted and for which this country has no rival,- 


■can be transmitted through the lip, pray, believe me 
you are wrong. You will never be able merely through 
the lip, to give the message that India, I hope will one 
.day deliver to the world. I myself have been " fed up" 
with speeches and lectures. I accept the lectures that 
have been delivered here during the last two days from 
this category, because they were necessary. But I do 
venture to suggest to you that we have now reached al- 
most the end of our resources in speech-making, 
and it is not enough that our ears are feasted, that our 
eyes are feasted, but it is necessary that our hearts 
have got to be touched and that our hands and feet 
have got to be moved. We have been told during 
the last two days how necessary it is, if we are to 
retain our hold upon the simplicity of Indian charac- 
ter that our hands and feet should move in unison 
with our hearts. But this is only by way of pre- 
face. I wanted to say it is a matter of deep humiliation 
and shame for us that I am compelled this evening under 
the shadow of this great college, in this sacred city, to 
address my countrymen in a language that is foreign to 
me. I know that if I was appointed an examiner, to 
examine all those who have been attending during these 
two days this series of lectures, most of those who might 
be examined upon these lectures would fail. And why? 
Because they have not been touched, I was present at 
the sessions of the great Congress in the month of Decem- 
ber. There was a much vaster audience, and will you 
believe me when I tell you that the only speeches that 
touched that huge audience in Bombay were the 
speeches that were delivered in Hindustani ? In Bombay, 
mind you, not in Benares where everybody speaks Hindi, 
But between the varnaculars of the Bombay Presidency 


on the OHe hand, and Hindi on the other, no such great 
dividing line exists as there does between English and 
the sister languages of India ; and the Congress audi- 
ence was better able to follow the speakers in Hindi. I 
am hoping that this University will see to it that the 
youths who come to it will receive their iustruction 
through the medium of their vernaculars. Our langu- 
age is the reflection of ourselves,and if you tell me that 
bur languages are too poor to express the best thought, 
then I say that the sooner we are wiped out of exis- 
tence the better for us. Is there a man who dreams 
that English can ever become the national language of 
India ? (Cries of " Never"), Why this handicap on the 
nation ? Just consider for one moment what an un- 
equal race our lads have to run with every English 
lad. I had the privilege of a close conversation with 
some ,Poona professors. They assured me that every 
Indian youth, because he reached his knowledge through 
the English language, lost at least six precious years of 
life. Multiply that by the number of students turned 
out by our schools and colleges, and find out for your- 
selves how many thousand years have been lost to the 
nation. The charge against us is that we have no 
initiative. How can we have any if we are to devote the 
precious years of our life to the mastery of a foreign 
tongue ? We fail in this attempt also. Was it possible 
for any speaker yesterday and to-day to impress his 
audience as was possible for Mr. Higginbotham ? It was 
not the fault of the previous speakers that they could 
not engage the audience, They had more than 
substance enough for us in their addresses. But their 
addresses could not go home to us. I have heard it 
said that after all it is English-educated India which is 


leading and'which is doing all the thing for the nation^ 
It would be monstrous if it were otherwise. The only 
education we receive is English education. Surely we 
must show something for it. But suppose that we had 
been receiving during the past fifty years education 
through our vernaculars, what should we have to-day ? 
We should have to-day a free India, we should have 
our educated men, not as if they were foreigners in their 
own land but speaking to the heart of the nation; they 
would be working amongst the poorest of the poor, and 
whatever they would have gained during the past 5£X 
years would be a heritage for the nation. (Applause), 
To-day even our wives are not the sharers in our best 
thought. Look at Professor Bose and Professor Ray 
and their brilliant re-searches. Is it not a shame that 
their researches are not the common property of th& 
masses ? 

Let us now turn to another subject. 

The Congress has passed a resolution about self- 
government, and I have no doubt that the All-India. 
Congreis Committee and the Moslem League will do- 
their duty and come forward with some tangible sugges- 
tions. But I, for one, must frankly confess that I am. 
not so much interested in what they will be able to 
produce as I am interested in anything that the student 
world is going to produce or the masses are going to 
produce. No paper contribution will ever give us self- 
government. No amount of speeches will ever make 
us fit for self-government. It is only our conduct that 
will fit us for it. (Applause). And how are we trying 
to govern ourselves ? I want to think audibly'" this 
evening. I do not want to make a speech and if you 
find me this evening speaking without reserve, pray. 


consider that you are only sharing the thoughts of a 
man who allows himself to think audibly, and if you 
think that I seem to transgress the limits that courtesy 
imposes upon' me, pardon me for the liberty I may 
be taking. I visited the Viswanath temple last even- 
ing, and as I was walking through those lanes, these 
were the thoughts that touched me. If a stranger drop- 
ped from above on to this great temple, and he had to 
.consider what we as Hindus were would he not be 
justified in condemning us ? Is not this great temple a 
a reflection of our own character ? I speak feelinglyj 
as a Hindu. Is it right that the lanes of our sacred 
temple should be as dirty as they are ? The houses 
round about are built anyhow. The lanes are tortuous 
And narrow. If even our temples are not models of 
roominess and cleanliness, what can our self-govern- 
ment be ? Shall our temples be abodes of holiness, 
cleanliness and- peace as soon as the English have 
retired from India, either of their own pleasure or by 
complusion, bag and baggage ? 

I entirely agree with the president of the Congress 
that before we thinlc of self-government, we shall have 
to do the necessary plodding. In every city there are two 
xlivisions, the cantonment and the city proper. The city 
mostly is a stinking den. But we are a people unused 
to city life. But if we want city life, we cannot repro- 
duce the easy going hamlet life. It is not comforting 
to think that people walk about the streets of Indian 
Bombay under the perpetual fear of dwellers in the 
storeyed buildings spitting upon them. I do a great deal 
of Railway travelling, I observe the difficulty of third 
class passengers. But the Railway Administration 
is by no .means to blame for all their hard lot. 


We do not know the elementary laws of cleanliness. 
We spit anywhere on the carriage floor, irrespective 
of the thought that it is often used as sleeping 
space. We do not trouble ourselves as" to how we 
use it ; the result is indescribable filth in the com- 
partment. The so-called better class passengers over- 
awe their less fortunate brethren. Among them I 
have seen the students world also. Sometimes they be- 
have no better. They can speak English and they have 
worn Norfolk jackets and therefore claim the right to- 
force their way in and command seating accommodation. 
I have turned the searchlight all over, and as you have 
given me the privilege of speaking to ygu I am laying my 
heart bare. Surely we must set these things right in our 
progress towards self-government. I now introduce j'ou- 
to another scene. His Highness the Maharajah who- 
presided yesterday over our deliberations spoke about the 
poverty of India. Other speakers laid great stress upon it 
But what did we witness in the great pandal in which' 
the foundation ceremony was performed by the Viceroy. 
Certainly a most gorgeous show, an exhibition of jewel- 
lery which made a splendid feast for the eyes of the- 
greatest jeweller who chose to come from Paris. I com- 
pare with the richly bedecked noblemen the millions of 
the poor. And I feel like saying to these noblemen,. 
" There is no salvation for India unless yon strip- 
yourselves of this jewellery and hold it in trust for 
your countrymen in India.'' (Hear, hear and applause.) 
I am sure it is not the desire of the King-Emperor 
or Lord Hardinge that in order to show the 
trnest loyalty to our King-Emperor, it is necessary 
for us to ransack our jewellery-boxes and to appear' 
bedecked from top to toe. I would uftdertake, at 


the peril of my life, to bring to you a message from- 
King George himself that he expects nothing of the kind. 
Sir, whenever I hear of a great palace rising in any great 
city of India, be it in British India or be it in India which 
is ruled by our great chiefs, I become jealous at once, and 
I say "Oh, it is the money that has come from the agricul- 
turists." Over 75 per cent, of the population are agri' 
culturists and Mr. Higginbotham told us last night in 
his own felicitous language, that they are the men who- 
grow two blades of grass in the place of one, But there- 
cannot be much spirit of self-government about us if we 
take away or allow others to take away from them' 
almost the whole of the results of their labour. Our 
salvation can only come through the farmer. Neither 
the lawyers, nor the doctors, not the rich landlords 
are going to secure it. 

Now, last but not the least, it is my bounden duty' 
to refer to what agitated our minds during these two or' 
three days. All of us have had many anxious moments 
while the Viceroy was going through the streets of 
Benares. There were detectives stationed in many places r 
We were horrified. We asked ourselves, " Why this 
distrust ? Is it not better that even Lord Hardinge should 
die than live a living death ? But a representative of a 
mighty sovereign may not. He might find it necessary 
even to live a living death. But why was it necessary to 
impose these detectives on us ? We may foam, we may 
fret, we may resent but let us not forget that India of to- 
day in her impatience has produced an army of anarchists. 
I myself am an anarchist, but of anbther type. But there 
is a class of anarchists amongst us, and if I was able to 
reach this class, I would say to them that their anarchism- 
bas no room in India, if India is to conquer the conqueror 


It is a sign of fear. If we trust and fear God, we shall 
have to fear co one, not Maharaj ahs, not Viceroys, not 
the detectives, not even King George. I honour the 
anarchist for his love of the country. I honour him for 
his bravery in being willing to die for his country ; but I 
ask him — Is killing honourable ? Is the dagger 
of an assassin a fit precursor of an honourable death ? 
I deny it. There is n'o warrant for such methods in 
any scriptures. If I found it necessary for the salvation 
of India that the English should retire, that they 
should be driven out, I would not hesitate to declare 
that they would have to go, and I hope I would 
be prepared to die in defence ftf that belief. That 
would, in my opinion, be an honourable deaths 
The bomb-thrower creates secret plots, is afraid to 
come out into the open, and when caught pays the 
penalty of misdirected zeal. I have been told : '' Had 
we not done this, had some people not thrown bombs 
we should never have gained what we have got with 
reference to the partition movement." (Mrs. Besant : 
Please stop it). This was what I said in Bengal when 
Mr. Lyon presided at the meeting. I think what I am 
saying is necessary. If I am told to stop I shall obey 
(Turning to the Chairman) I await your orders. If you 
consider that by my speaking as I am, I am not serv - 
ing the country and the empire I shall certainly 
stop. (Cries of " Go on."). (The Chairman .—Please 
explain your object). I am explaining my object, I 
am simply (Another interruption). My friends, please 
do not resent this interruption. If Mrs. Besant this 
evening suggests that I should stop she does so because 
she loves India so well, and she considers that I am 
erring in thinking audibly before you young men. But 


even so, I simply say this that I want to purge India 
of this atmosphere of suspicion on either side, if we 
are to reach our goal, we should have an empire 
which is to be based upon mutual love and mutual 
trust. Is it not better that we talk under the shadow 
of this college than that we should be talking irrespon- 
sibly iu our homes ?. I consider that it is much better 
that we talk these things openly. I have done so with 
excellent results before now. I know that there is 
nothing that the students are not discussing. There is 
nothing that the students do not know. I am therefore 
turning the searchlight towards ourselves. I hold the 
name of my country so dear to me that I exchange 
these thoughts with you, and submit to you that there 
is no room for anarchism in India. Let us frankly and 
openly say whatever we want to say to our rulers, and 
face the consequences if what we have to say does not 
please them. But let us not abuse. I was talking the 
other day to a member of the much-abused Civil Service. 
I have not very much in common with the members of 
that Service, but I could not help admiring the manner 
in which he was speaking to me. He said: "Mr. Gandhi, 
do you for one mbment suppose that all wa. Civil 
Servants, are a bad lot, that we want to oppress the 
people whom we have come to govern .'"' 'No,' I said. 
'• Then if you get an opportunity put in a word for 
the much-abused Civil Service ?" And I am here 
to put in that word. Yes; many members of the Indian 
Civil Service are most decidedly overbearing ; they 
are tyrannical, at times thoughtless. Many other 
adjectives may be used. I grant allthese things and I 
grant also that after having lived in India for a certain 
number of years some of them become somewhat 


(degraded. But what does that signify ? They were 
igentlemeu before they came here, and if they have 
lost soms of the moral fibre, it is a. reflection upon our- 
■selvesi (Cries of " No".) Just think out for your- 
selves, if a man who was good yesterday has be- 
■GOtne bad after having come in contact with me, is he 
•responsible that he has deterierated or am I ? The 
atmosphere of sycophancy and falsity that surrounds 
ithem on their coming to India demoralises them, as it 
-would many of us. It is well to take the blame some- 
times. If we are to receive self-government, we shall 
ihave to take it. We shall never be granted self-govern- 
iment, Look at tbe history of the British Empire and 
the British nation ; freedom-loving as it is, it will not be 
.a party to give freedom to a people who will not take it 
•themselves. Learn your lesson if you wish to from the 
IBoer War. Those who were enemies of that empire 
only aifew years ago have now become friends. 

[At this point there was an interruption and there 
■was a movement on the platform to leave ; the speech 
•therefore ended here abruptly.] 


The following coinmunicatton was made to the Press 
'by Mr, M. K. Gandhi, describing the circumstanees under 
which his speech at the opening ceremony of the Hindu 
'University, Benares, was interrupted. 

Mrs. Besant's reference in New India and certain 
'Other references to the Benares incident perhaps render 
it necessary for me to return to the subject, however 
disinchned I may be to do so. Mrs. Besant denies my 


Statement wtth refereace to her whispering to the 
Princes. I can only say that if I can trust my eyes land 
my ears, I must adhere to the statement I have made. 
She occupied a seat on the left of the semi -circle on 
either side of the Maharaja of Darbhanga, who occu- 
pied the chair, and there was at least one Prince, per- 
haps there were tw^o, who were sitting on her side- 
Whilst I was speaking, Mrs. Besaint was almost behind 
me. When the Maharaja rose Mrs. Besant had also 
risen. I had ceased speaking' before the Rajahs actually 
kft the platform. I gently suggested to her that she 
might have refrained from interrupting, but that, if she 
disapproved of the speech after it was finished, she 
could have then dissociated herself from my sentiments. 
But she, with some degree of warmth, cried, "How 
could we sit still when you were compromising every 
one of us on the platform ? You ought not to have made 
the remarks you did." This answer of Mrs. Besant's 
does not quite tally with her solicitude for me, which 
alone, according to her version of the incident, promoted 
her to interrupt the speech. I suggest that if she merely 
meant to protect me she could have passed a nore round 
or whispered into my ears her advice. And, again, if it 
was for my protection, why was it necessary for her to 
rise with the Princes and to leave the hall as I held 
she did along with them ? 

So far as my remarks are concerned, I am yet unable 
to know what it was in my speech that seems to her to 
be open to such exception as to warrant her interruption. 
After referring to the Viceregal visit and the necessary 
precautions, that were taken for the Vitieroy's safety, I 
showed that aii assassin's death was anything but an 
honorable death, and said that anarchism was opposed 


to our Sastras and had no place in India. I said then: 
where there was honourable death it would go down to 
history as men who died for their conviction. But when- 
a bomb-thrower died, secretly plotting all sorts of 
things, what could he gain ? I then went on to state 
and dealt with the fallacy that, had not bomb-throwera 
thrown bombs, we should never have gained what we 
did with reference to the Partition Movement. It was 
at about this stage that Mrs. Besant appealed to thfr 
chair to stop me. Personally, I shall desire a publica- 
tion of the whole of my speech whose trend was a 
sufficient warrant for showing that I could not possibly 
incite the students to deeds of violence. Indeed it was 
conceived in order to carry on a rigorous self-exami- 

I began by saying' that it was a humiliation for the 
audience and myself that I should have to speak in 
English. I said that English having been the medium 
of instruction, it had done a tremendous injury to the 
country, and I conceive I showed successfully that, had 
we received training during the past 50 years in higher 
thought in our own vernaculars, we should be to-day 
within reach of our goal. I then referred_ to the Self- 
government Resolution passed at the Congress and 
showed that whilst the All-India Congress Commitee 
and the All-India Moslem League would be drawing up 
tlieir paper about the future constitution, their duty 
was to fit themselves by their own action for self- 
government. And in order to show how short we fall 
of our duty 1 drew attention to the dirty condition of 
the labyrinth of* lanes surrounding the great temple of 
Kasi-Viswanath and the recently erected palatial buil- 
dings without any conception as to the straightness or- 


the width of the streets. I then took the audience to 
the gorgeous scene that was enacted on the dais 
of laying of the foundation and suggested that 
if a stranger not knowing anything about Indian 
life had visited the scene he would have gone 
away under the false impression that India was one of 
the richest countries in the world, such was the display 
of jewellery worn by our noblemen. And turning to the 
Maharajahs and the Rajahs I humourously suggested 
that it was necessary for them to hold those treasures in 
trust for the nation before we could realise our ideals, 
and I cited the action of the Japanese noblemen who 
considered it a glorious privilege, even though there was 
no necessity for them, to dispossess themselves of 
treasures and land which were handed to them from 
generation to generarion. I then asked the audience 'to. 
consider the humiliating spectacle of the Viceroy's 
person having to be protected from ourselves when he 
was our honoured guest. And I was endeavouring to 
show that the blame for these precautions was also on 
ourselves in that they were rendered necessary because 
of the introduction of organised assassination in India, 
Thus I was endeavouring to show on the one hand how- 
the students could usefully occupy themselves in assist- 
ing to rid society of its proved defects, and on the other, 
to wean themselves even in thought from methods of 

I claim that with twenty years' experience of pub- 
lic life in the course of which I have had to address 
on scores of occasions turbulent audiences, I have some 
experience of feelmg the pulse of my audience. I was 
following closely how the speech was being taken, and 
I certainly did not notice that the student world was 


being adversely affected. Indeed some of them came to 
me the followi'ng morning and told me that they per- 
fectly understood my remarks, which had' gone home. 
One of tiiem, a keen debater, even subjected me to cross- 
examination and seemed to feel convinced by a further 
development of the argument such as I had advanced 
in the course of my speech. Indeed I have spoken 
now to thousands of students and others of my country* 
men throghout South Africa^ England' and India and 
by precisely the arguments that I used that evening I 
claim to have weaned many from their approval of 
anarchical methods. 

Finally, I observe that Mr. S. S. Setlur, of Bombay^ 
■whc has written on the incident to Hiu'dti in do friendly 
mood towards me and who, I think, in some respects- 
totally and unfairly has endeavoured to tear me to pieces 
and who was an eye-withess to the proceedings gives 
a version different ftfom Mrs. Beaant's. He thinks that 
the general impression was not that I wasj encouraging^ 
the anarchists but I was playing the role of an apologist 
for the civilian bureaucrat. The whole of Mr. Setlur'a 
attack Upon me shows that if he is right, I was certainly 
not guilty of any incitement to violence and that oflfeTice 
consisted in my reference to jewellery, etc. 

In order that the fullest justice might be done both 
to Mrs. Besant and myself, I would make the following 
suggestion. She says that she does not propose to 
defend herself by quoting the sentence which drew the 
Princes away and that would be playing into the 
enemies' hand. According to her previous statement 
my speech is already in the bands of detectives, so that 
so far as my safety is concerned, her forbearance is not 
going to be of the slightest use. Would it not there- 


f©je be better that she should either publish a verbatimi 
report, if she has it, or reproduce such sentiments iin 
my speech as, in her opinion, necessitated her interrup- 
tion aaMi the Princes' withdrawal. 

I will therefore conclude this statement by repeat- 
ing what I have said before : that, but for Mrs. Besant's 
interruption, I would have concluded my speech in a 
few miijutra and no possible misconception about my 
views on anarchism would have arisen. 


In reply to the veelcome address presented by the 
Citizens' Ansoeiation, Karachi; on February 29, 1916,. 
Mr. Gandhi spoht in Hindi to the following effeet : — 

I am grateful to you all for this address and for 
wiat you have done in connection with my visit and! 
for ibfi trouble you have taken therefor. I hg;ve bee» 
travelling in various parts of India ; and in the course 
of my travels I have been struck with the facl that 
throughout Indi« th« hearts of the people are in a special! 
degree drawn towards me. All brothers of Hindustan, 
without distinction of creed or caste, have been showingf 
this attachment. But I feel convinced that this remark- 
able attachment to me is meant not for me but as a fitting 
tribute of admiration to all those noble brothers and 
sisters of ours in South Africa who underwent cuch 
immense troubles and sacrifices, including incarceration' 
m jails, for the service of the Motherland. It is un- 
doubtedly this consideration which leads you to be sO' 
very kind to me. It was they who won the struggle,, 
and it was by reason of their unflinching determination 
to" do or die' that so much was achieved. Hence I take 


it that whatever tribute is paid to me is in reality and 
in truth paid to them. 

In the course of my tour in India I have been parti- 
cularly struck with one thing and that is the awakening 
of the Indian people. A new hope has filled the hearts 
of the people, hope that something is going to happen 
which will raise the Motherland to a higher status. 
But side by side with this spirit of hope I also had 
amongst my countrymen awe not only of the Govern' 
ment but also of heads of castes and the priestly class. 
As a result of this we are afraid to speak out what is in 
us. 3o long as this spirit remains, there will be and 
there can be, no true progress. You know that at the 
last session of the Congress a resolution was passed 
about self-government. For the attainment of that ideal 
you and I, all of us, must work and persevere. In per- 
suance of that resolution the committees of the Congress 
and the Moslem League will soon meet together ; and 
they will decide what they think proper. But the 
attainment of self-government depends not on their 
saying or doing anything but upon what you and I do. 
Here in Karachi commerce is predominent and there 
are many big merchants. To them I wish to address 
a few words. It is a misapprehension to think that 
th3re is no scope in commerce for serving the mother- 
country. If they are inspired by the spirit of 
truth, merchants can be immensely useful to the 
country. The salvation of our country, remember, is 
not in the hands of others but of ourselves, and more in 
the hands of merchants in some respects than the 
educated people ; for I strongly feel that so long as 
there is no swedeshism, there can be no self-government 
(hear, hear,) ; and for the spread of swadeshism Indian 


merchants are in a position to do a very great deal. The 
swadeshi wave passed through the country at one time. 
But I understand that the movement had collapsed 
largely because Indian merchants bad palmed on foreign 
goods as swadeshi articles. By Indian merchants being 
honest and straight-forward in their business, they could 
achieve a great deal for the regeneration and uplift of 
of the country. Hence merchants should faithfully 
observe what Hindus call Dharma and Muhammadans 
call Iman in their business transactions. Then shall 
India be uplifted. I appeal to you that in this potent 
way can you be serviceable to the country. Karachi is 
a big and important city — the fourth important city and 
port in India. It possesses many big and rich mer- 
chants. I hope they will brood over this suggestion, 
for it rests very largely with the merchants to do last- 
ing good or lasting harm to the country. In South 
Africa our merchants rendered valuable help in the 
struggle; and yet because some of them weakened, the 
struggle was prolonged somewhat. It is the duty of the 
educated classes to mix freely with Indian merchants 
and the poor classes. Then will our journey to the 
common and cherished goal be less irksome. (Prolonged 


The following is an account of Mr. Gandhi's speech 
at the anniversary of the Gurukula, as written out by 
himself: — 

I propose to reproduce only as much of it as in my 
opinion is worth placing on record with additions where 
they may be found necessary. The speech, it may be 


observed, was delivered in Hindii Aftec tbamkingr 
Mahatoiaji Mnnshii Ram for his great kindness t® my 
boys to 'Whom he gaive sheiter cm two occasions and' 
acted as father to them and af tea? stating that the time 
for action had arrived rather than for speeches, I prO'' 
ceeded : — 'I owe a debt of gratitude to the Arya Samaj, 
I have often derived inspiration from its activity. I 
have noticed among the members cxf. the Samaj mucfe 
self-sacrifiae. During my travels in India I came 
across many Arya Samajists who were doing exceK' 
lent work for the country. I am, therefore, grateful 
to Mahatmaji that I am enabled to be in your midst^ 
At the same time it is biit fair to s;late that I am 
frankly a Samatanist. For me Hinduism is all- 
sufficing. Every variety of belief finds protection under 
its ample fold. And though the Arya Samajists and the 
Sikhs and the Brahmo Samajists may choose to be 
classed differently from the Hindus, I have no doubt 
that at no distant futuire they wiJI be all merged in 
Hinduism and find in it their fulness. Hinduism like 
e^very other human institution has its drawbacks and its 
defects. Here is ample scope for any worker to strive 
for reform, but there ie little cause for succession, 


Throughout my travels I have been asked about 
the immediate need for India. And perhaps I would 
not do better than repeat this afternoon the 
answer I have given elsewhere. In general terms 
a proper religious spirit is the greatest and most 
immediate need. But I know that this is too general 
an answer to satisfy anybody. And it is an 
answer true for all time. What, therefore, I desire 
to say is that owing to the religious spirit being 


dormant in Us, we are living in a state of per- 
petual fear. We fear the temporal as well as the 
spiritual authority. We dare not speak out our minds 
before our priests and our Panditsi We stand in awe of 
theitempwiral power. lam sure that in so doing we do 
a disservice to them and us. Neither the spiritual 
teachers nor our political governors could possibly desire 
that we should hide the truth from them. Lord Willing- 
don speaking to a Bombay audience has been saying 
recentl-y that he had observed that we hesitated to say 
' DO ' when we realty meant it and advised his audi- 
ence to cultivate a fearless spirit. Of course, fearless- 
ness should never mean want of due respect or regard 
for the feelings of others. In my humble opinion fear- 
lessness is the first thing indispensable before we could 
achieve anything permanent and real. This quahty is 
unattainable without 'xeFgious consciousness. Let us 
fear God and we s'hall cease to fear man. If we grasp 
the fact that there is a divinity within us which wit- 
nessess everything we think or do and which protects 
UB and guddes us along the true path, it is clear that we 
shall cease to have any other fear on the face of the 
earth save the fear of God. Loyalty to the Governor 
of governors sifpersedes all other loyalty and gives an 
intelligent basis to the latter. 


And when we have sufficiently cultivated this 
spirit- of fearlessneess, we shall see that there is- 
no salvation for us without true Swadeshi, not the 
Swadeshi which can be conveniently put off. Swadeshr 
for me has a deeper meaning. I would like us 
to apply it in our religions, political and econo- 
mic life. It is not therefore merely confined to- 


wearing on occasions a Swadashi cloth. That we 
have to do for all time not out of a spirit of jeal- 
ousy or revenge, but because it is a duty we owe 
to our dear country. We commit a breach of the 
Swadeshi spirit certainly if we wear foreign-made cloth 
but we do so also if we adopt the foreign cut. Surely 
ihe style of our dress has some correspondence with 
our environment. In elegance and tastefulness it is 
immeasurably superior to the trousers and the jacket. 
An Indian wearing a shirt flowing over his pyjamas 
with a waist coat on it without a necktie and its flaps 
hanging loose behind is not a very gracefull spectacle. 
Swadeshi in religion teaches one to measure the 
glorious past and re-enact it in the present genera- 
tion. The pandemonium that is going on in Europe 
shows that modern civilization represents forces of evil 
and darkness whereas the ancient «.e., Indian civiliza- 
tion, represents in its essence the divine force. Modern 
civilization is chiefly materialistic as ours is chiefly 
spiritual. Modern civilization occupies itself in the 
investigation of the laws of matter and employs the 
human ingenuity in inventing or discovering means of 
production and weapons of destruction ; ours is chiefly 
occupied in exploring spiritual laws. Our Shastras lay 
down unequivocally that a proper observance of truth, 
chastity, scrupulous regard for all life, abstention from 
coveting others' possessions and refusal to hoard an/- 
thing but what is necessary for our daily wants is 
indispensable for a right life ; that without it a know- 
ledge of the divine element is an impossibility. Our 
civilization tells us with daring certainty that a proper 
and perfect cultivation of the quality of ahimsa 
which in its active form means purest love and pity, 


brings the whole world to our feet. The author of this 
discovery gives a wealth of illustration, which carries- 
conviction with it. 


Examine its result in the political life. There is no 
gift so valued by our Shastra, as the gift of life. Consider 
what our relations would be with our rulers if we gaver 
absolute security of life to them. If they could but feel 
that no matter what we might feel about their acts, we 
would hold their bodies as sacred as our own, there 
would immediately spring up an atmosphere of mutual 
trust and there would be such frankness on eitheir sider 
as to pave the way for an honourable and just solution 
of many problems that worry us to-day. It should be re- 
membered that in practising ahimsa there need not be 
any reciprocation, though as a matter of fact in its final 
stages it commands reciprocation. Many of us believe 
and I am one of them, that through our civilization we 
have a message to deliver to the world. I tender my 
loyalty to the British Government quite selfishly. I 
would like to use the British race for transmitting this 
mighty message of ahimsa to the whole world. But 
that can only be done when we have conquered our so- 
' called conquerors and you, my Arya Samaj friends, are 
perhaps specially elected for this mission. You claim 
to examine our scriptures critically. You take nothing 
for granted and you claim not to fear to reduce your 
belief to practice. I do not think that there is any room 
for trifling with or limiting the doctrine of ahimsa. 
You dare then to reduce it to practice regardless of 
immediate consequences which would certainly test the 
strength of your convictions. You would not only 
have procured salvation for India, but you would 


have rendered the noblest service that a man can 
render to humanity — a service moreover which y6u 
would rightly assert, the great Swami was boHi for. 
This Swadeshi is to becorisidered as a very active force 
to be ceaselessly employed with an ever-increasing 
vigilance, searching sslf-examination. It is not meant 
for the lazy, but it is essentially meant for them who 
would gladly lay down their lives for the sake of truth. 
It is possible to dilate upon several other phases of 
Swadestii, but I think I have said enough to enable you 
to understand what I mean. I only hope that you who 
represent a school of reformers in India will not reject 
what I have said, without a thorough examination. 
And if my word has commended itself to you, your past 
record entitles me to expect you to enforce in your own 
lives the things of eternity about which I have ventur- 
ed to speak to you this after-noon and cover the whole 
of India with your activity. 


In concluding my report of the above speech, I 
would like to state what I did not in speaking to that 
great audience and it is this. I have now twice visited 
the Gurukula. In spite of some vital differences with 
my brethren of the Arya Samaj, I have a sneaking 
regard for them, and it, and perhaps the best result of 
the activity of the Acya Samaj is to be seen in the 
establishment and the conduct of the Gurukula. Though 
it depends for its vitality entirely upon the inspiring 
presence of Mahatmaji Munshiram, it is truly a national 
and self-governing and self-governed institution. It is 
totally independent of Government aid or patronage; 
Its war chest is filled not out of monies received from the 
privileged few, but from the poor many who make it a 


point of honor from year to year to make a pilgrimage 
to Kangri and willingly give their mite for mainitainJDg 
this National CoUege. Here at every anniversary a 
huge crowd gathers and the manner in which it is 
handled, housed and fed evinces no mean power of 
OrFganisation. But the most wonderful thing about,it all is 
that the crowd consisting of about ten thousand men, 
women and children, is imanaged without the assistance 
^f a single policeman and without any fuss or semblance 
of force, the only f®rce that subsists between the crowd 
and the managers of the institution is that of love and 
mutual esteem. Fourteen years are nothing in the life of 
a big institution like this. What the collegiates who 
have been just turned out during the last two or three 
years will be able to show, remains to be seen. The 
public will not and cannot judge men or institutions 
«xcept through the results that they show. It makes no 
allowance for failures. It is a most exacting judge. The 
iinal appeal of the Gurukula as of all popular institu- 
tions must be to this judge Great responsibility there- 
fore rests upon the shoulders of the students who hav« 
been discharged from the College and who have entered 
-upon the thorny path of life. Let them beware. Mean- 
while those who are wallwishers of this great experi- 
ment may derive satisfaction from the fact that we 
have it as an indisputable rule of life, that as the tree 
is so will the fruit be. -The tree looks lovely enough. 
JHe who waters it is a noble soul. Why worry about 
-what the fruit is likely to be V 


As a lover of the Gurukula, I may be permitted 
to offer one or two suggestions to the coinmitte and the 
parents. The Gurukula boys need a thorough industrial 


training if they are to become self-reliant and self- 
supporting. It seems to me that in our country in which 
85 per cent, of the population is agricultural and perhaps 
10 per cent, occupied in supplying the wants of the pea- 
santry, it must be part of the training of every youth 
that he. has a fair pratical knowledge of agriculture and 
.hand-weaving. He v/ill lose nothing if he knows a proper 
use of tools, can saw a piece of board straight and build 
a wall that will not come down through a faulty hand- 
ling of the plumber's line. A boy who is thus equipped 
will never feel helpless in battling with the world 
and never be in want of employment. A knowledge of 
the laws of hygiene and sanitation as well as the art 
of rearing children should also form a necessary part 
of the Gurukula lads. The sanitary arrangements at the 
fair left much to be desired. The plague of flies told 
its own tale. These irrepressible sanitary inspectors in- 
cessantly warned us that in point of sanitation all was 
not well with us. They plainly suggested that the re- 
mains of our food and excreta need to be properly buried. 
It seemed to me to be such a pity that a golden oppor- 
tunity was being missed of giving to the annual visitors 
practical lessons on sanitation. But the work must 
begin with the boys. Then the management would 
have at the anuuiil gathering three hundred practical 
sanitary teachers. Last but not least let the parents 
and the commitee not spoil their lads by making them 
ape European dress, or modern luxuries. These will 
hinder them in their after life and are antagonistic to 
Bramacharya. They have enough to fight against in 
the evil inclinations common to us all. Let us not 
make their fight more diflScult 'by adding to their temp- 


The following is an. address delivered before the 
Missionary Conference, Madras, on the 14-th February, 

It was not without great dififtdence that I under- 
took to speak to you at all. And I was hard put to it 
in the selection of my subject. I have chosen a very 
delicate and difficult subject. It is delicate because of 
the peculiar views I hold upon Swadeshi, and it is 
difficult because I have not that command of language 
which is necessary for giving adequate expression to 
my thoughts. I know that I may rely upon your, in- 
dulgence for the many shortcomings you will no doubt 
find in my address, the more so when I tell you that 
there is nothing in what I am about to say that I am 
not either already practising or am not preparing to 
practise to the best of my ability. It encourages me 
to observe that last month you devoted a week to 
prayer in the place of an address. I have earnest- 
ly prayed that what I am about to say may bear fruit 
and I know that you will bless my word with a similar 

After much thinking I have arrived at a definition 
of Swadeshi that, perhaps, best illustrates my meaning, 
Swadeshi is that sprit in us which restricts us to the 
use and service of our immediate surroundings to the 
exclusion of the more remote. Thus, as for religion, in 
order to satisfy the requirements ot the definition, I must 
restrict myself to my ancestral religion. That is the 
use of my immediate religious surrounding. If I find it 


defective, I should serve it by purging it of its defects. 
In the domain of politics I should make use of the 
indigenous institutions and serve them by curing them 
of their proved defects. In that of economics I should 
use only things that are produced by my immediate 
neighbours and serve those industries by making them 
efficient and complete where they might be found want- 
ing. It is suggested that such Swadeshi, if reduced to 
practice, will lead to the millennium. And, as we do 
not abandon our pursuit after the millennium, because 
we do not expect quite to reach it within our times, so 
may we not abandon Swadeshi even though it may not 
be fully attained for generations to come. 

Let us briefly examine the three branches of 
Swadeshi as sketched above. Hinduism has become 
a conservative religion and, therefore, a mighty force 
because of the Swadeshi spirit underlying it. It 
is the most tolerant because it is non-proselytising^ 
and it is as capable of expansion to-day as it has 
been found to be in the past. It has succeeded not 
in driving oat," as I think it has been erroneously 
held, but in absorbing Buddhism. By reason of the 
Swadeshi spirit, a Hindu refuses to change his reli- 
gion, not necessarily because he considers it to be the 
best, but because he knows that he can complement it 
by introducing reforms. And what I have said about 
Hinduism is, I suppose, true of the other great faiths of 
the world, only it is held that it is specially so in the 
case of Hinduism. But here comes the point I am 
labouring to reach. If there is any substance in what 
I have said, will not the great missionary bodies of 
India, to whom she owes a deep debt of gratitude for 
what they have done and are doing, do still better and 


serve the spirit of Christianity better by dropping the 
goal of proselytising while conti nuing their philanthro- 
pic work? 1 hope you will not consider this to be an im- 
pertinence on my part. I make the suggestion in all 
sincerity and with due humility. Moreover I have some 
claim upon your attention. I have endeavoured to study 
the Bible, I consider it as part of my scriptures. The 
spirit of the Sermon on the Mount competes almost on 
equal terms with the Bhagavad Gita for the domination 
of my heart. I yield to no Christian in the strength of 
devotion with which I si'ng " Lead kindly light " and 
several other inspired hymns of a similar nature, I 
have come under the influence of noted Christian mis- 
sionaries belonging to different denominations. And I 
enjoy to this day the privilege of friendship with some 
of them. You will perhaps, therefore, allow that I have 
offered the above suggestion not as a biased Hindu, but 
as a humble and impartial student of religion with great 
leanings towards Christianity. May it not be that '' Go 
ye unto all the world" message has been somewhat 
narrowly interpreted and the spirit of it missed ? It will 
not be denied, I speak from experience, that many of the 
conversions are only so-called. In some cases the appeal 
has gone not to the heart but to the stomach. And in 
every case a conversion leaves a sore behind it which, 
I venture to think, is avoidable. Quoting again from 
experience, a new birth, a change of heart, is perfectly 
possible in every one of the great faiths. I know I am 
now treading upon thin ice. But I do not apologise in 
closing this part of my subject, for saying that the 
frightful outrage that is just going on in Europe, per- 
haps shows that the message of Jesus of Naza- 
reth, the Son of Peace, had been little understood in 


Europe, and that light upon it may have to be thrown 
from, the East- 

I have sought your help in religious matters, which 
it is yours to give in a special sense. But I make bold 
to seek it even in political matters. I do not believe 
that religion has nothing to do with politics. The latter 
divorced from religion is like a corpse only fit to be 
"buried. As a matter of fact, in your own silent manner, 
you influence politics not a little. And I feel that, if the 
attempt to separate politics from religion had not been 
made as it is even now made, they would not have 
Regenerated as they often appear to have done. No 
one considers that the political life of the country is in 
a happy state. Following out the Swadeshi spirit, 
I observe the indigenous institutions and the village 
panchayats hold ms. India is really a republican 
country, and it is because it is that, that it has survived 
■every shock hitherto delivered. Princes and poten- 
tates, whether they were Indian born or foreigners, 
have hardly touched the vast masses except for collec- 
ting revenue. The latter in their turn seem to have 
rendered unto Caesar what' was Caesar's and for the rest 
have done much as they have liked. The vast organis- 
ation of caste answered not only the religious wants of the 
community, but it answered to its political needs. The 
villagers managed their internal affairs through the caste 
system, and through it they dealt with any oppression 
from the ruling power or powers. It is not possible to 
•deny of a nation that was capable of producing the 
'Caste system its wonderful power of organisation. One 
had but to attend the great Kumbha Mela at Hardwar 
fest year to know how skilful that organisation must 
have been, which without any seeming effort was able 


effectively to cater for more than a million pilgrims. 
Yet' it is' the' fashion to say that we lack organising^ 
ability. This is true, I Tear, io a certain extent, of 
those who have been' nurtured in the new traditions.. 
We Tiave laboured u'nder^a terrible handicap owing to- 
an almost fatal departure from the Swadeshi s^rit. 
We, the educated classes, have received our educationi 
through a foreign tongue. We have therefore not 
reacted upon the' masses. We want to irepresent the 
masses, but we fail. They recognise us not much more 
than they recognise the English officers. Their heairts 
are an open book to neither. Theii: aspirations are not 
ours. Hence there is a break. And you witness hot iri 
reality failure to organise but want of correspondence 
between the representatives and the represented. If 
during the last fifty years we had been educated 
through the vernaculars, bur elders and our servants 
and our neighbours would have partaken of our know- 
ledge ; the discoveries of a Bose or a Ray would have 
been househould treasures as are the Ramayan and the 
Mahabharat. As it is, so far as the masses are con- 
cerned, those great discoveries might as well have 
been made by foreigners. Had instruction in all the 
branches 'of learning been given through the verna- 
culars, I make bold to say that they would have been 
enriched wonderfully.' The question of village sanitation 
etc., would have been solved long ago. The village 
panchayats would be now a living force in a special 
way, and India would almost be enjoying self-govern- 
ment suited to its requirements and would have been 
spared the humiliating spectacle of organised assassi- 
nation on its sacred soil. It is not too late to mend. And 
you can help if you will, as no other body or bodies can. 


And now for the last division of Swadeshi. Much 
of;the deep poverty of the masses is due to the rninons 
departure from Swadeshi in the economic and industrial 
life. If not an article of commerce had been brought 
from outside India, she would be to-day a land flowing 
with milk and honey. But that was not to be. We were 
greedy and so was England. The connection between 
England and India was based clearly upon an error. But 
she does not remain in India in error. It is her declared 
policy that India is to be held in trust for her people. If 
this be true, Lancashire must stand aside. And if 
the Swadeshi doctrine is a sound doctrine, Lancashire 
can stand aside without hurt, though it may sustain a 
shock for the time being, I think of Swadeshi not as 
a boycott movement undertaken by way of revenge. I 
conceive it as a religious principle to be followed by all. 
I am no economist, but I have read some treatises 
which show that England could easily become a self- 
sustained country, growing all the produce she needs. 
This may be an utterly ridiculous proposition, and 
perhaps the best proof that it cannot be true , is that 
England is one of the largest importers in the world. 
But India cannot live for Lancashire or any other 
country before she is able to live for herself. And she 
can live for herself only if she produces and is helped 
to produce everything for her requirements within 
her own borders. She need not be, she ought not to be, 
drawn into the vertex of mad and ruinous competition 
•which breeds fratricide, jealousy and many other evils. 
But who is to stop her great millionairies from entering 
into the world competition ? Certainly not legislation. 
Force of public opinion, proper education, however, can 
do a great deal in the desired direction. The hand-loom 


industry is in a dying condition. I took special care 
during my wanderings last year to see as many weavers 
as possible, and my heart ached to find how they had 
lost, how families had retired from this once flourishing 
and honourable occupation. If we follow the Swadeshi 
doctrine, it would be your duty and mine to find out 
neighbours who can supply our wants and to teach 
them to supply them where they do not know how 
to proceed, assuming that there are neighbours who 
are in want of healthy occupation. Then every village 
of India will almost be a self-supporting and self- 
contained unit, exchanging only such necessary com- 
modities with other villages where they are not 
locally producible. This may all sound nonsensi- 
cal. Well, India is a country of nonsense. It is non- 
sensical to parch one's throat with thirst when a kindly 
Mahomedan is ready to offer pure water to drink. And 
yet thousands of Hindus would rather die of thirst than 
drink water from a Mahomedan household. These non- 
sensical men can also, once they are convinced that 
their religion demands that they should wear garments 
manufactured in India only and eat food only grown in 
India, decline to wear any other clothing or eat any 
other food. Lord Curzon set the fashion for tea-drinking. 
And that pernicious drug now bids fair to overwhelm 
the nation. It has already undermined the digestive 
apparatus of hundreds of t housands of men and women 
and constitutes . an additional tax upon their 
slender purses. Lord Hardinge can set the fashion for 
Swadeshi, and almost the whole of India forswear 
foreign goods. There is a verse in the Bhagavat Gita, 
which, freely rendered, means, masses follow the classes. 
It is easy to undo the evil if the thinking portion of the 


community were to take the Swadeshi vow even though 
it may, for a time, cause considera'KIe inconvenience." I 
hate" legislati ve'intei-f Sreh'cel i'ii '^'any ' department' of life. 
At' best it i5 the lesser eVllV But I' Would folerate, wel- 
come, indeed,' plead for a stiifF prdtectiv^'^dut^ upon 
foreign goods. Natal," a ' British colony, protected its 
sugar by taxing thfe sugat that came frbin another Bri- 
tish colony, Maufitius. England ' has sinned iaga:inst 
India by forcing free tirade upon her. It may have been 
food for her, but it has been poison for this countfy. 

'' I-t has of ten been utgecflliat India cannot adopt 
Swadeshi in the economic life at any rate. 'Those who 
aidi^ance this objetfibn do not look upon Swadeshi as a 
rule of life. With them it'is a mere patriotic effort nOt 
to be made if it involved any self-denia!l. ' Swkdeslii, as 
defined here, is a religioiis discipline to be undergone in 
utter disregard of the physical discomfort it iria^ cause 
to indiv'idiials. 'Under its s^ell the de'privati'bn of ai 'pib 
or a' needle, because these are^riot''mariufactur'^B iii India', 
need cause no terror. A Swadeshist will learn to d& 
without 'hundreds of things 'virhlch to-day he considers 
necessary. Moreover, those who disrfai&s Swadeshi from 
their rninds by arguiug the impossible,' forget that Swa- 
deshi, aft'et all, is a goal to be' reached by steady effort. 
And we would 'be rtiaki'ng for the goal even if we 
confined Swadeshi to a givfen set 'df articles allowing 
ourselves as a temporary measure to use such things as 
might, not be procuraWe iff the country. 

There now remains for me to consider one more ob- 
jection that has been raised against Swadeshi. The objec- 
tors consider it to be a most selfish doctrine without any 
warrant in the civilized code of morahty. 'With them to 
practice Swadeshi is to revert to barbarism. I -cannot 


ent^r into a detailed analysis of the proposition. But 1 
would urge tliat Swadeshi is tlie o^nly doctrine consistent 
with the law of humility and love. It is arrogance to 
thinlc of laliinc^ing out to serve the whole of India when 
1 aril hardly able to serve even my own fartiily. It were 
better to concentrate my effort upon the family and con- 
sider that through therii I was serving the whole nation! 
and, if you will, the whole qf humanity. This is humility 
and it is love. The motive will determine the quality of 
the act. I may serve my family regardless of the suffer- 
ings' I may cause to others. 'As for instance, I may accept 
an employment wljich enables me to extort money from; 
people, I enrich myself thereby and then satisfy 
many unlawful demands of the familyl ' Here I am nei- 
ther serving the family nor the State. Or I may recog- 
iofse ttat God has given me hards and feet only to work 
with for my sus'ten^nce and for thai 'of those who may 
be dependent upoii'mel i'would ttieri at once simplify 
my life and th^l of those whom I can directly reacji. In 
this instance f would have served the family without 
causing injury to anyone else. Supposing that every 
one followed this mode of life, we should have at once 
an ideal state'. Ail 'Will not reach 'that state at th& 
same tini^. But those of us who, realising its truth,- 
erifofce it' inpiractice wiir clearly anticipate and acceler- 
ate the coming of that happy day.' Under this plan 
of life, in seeming to serve India ' to the exclusion oif 
every other counfy, I do not harm any other cbuntry» 
My pattiotisin is'' both exclusive and inclusive. It is^ 
exclusive in^he sense that in all humility I confine my 
attention to the land of my biirth, but it is inclukive in 
the sense that niy service is not of a competitive or 
antagonistic nature. Sic utere tuo ut alienutn non la 


is not merely a legal maxim, but it is a grand doctrine 
of life. It is the key to a proper practice of Ahimsa or 
Jove, It is for you, the custodians of a great faith, to 
^et the fashion and show, by your preaching, sanctified 
by practice, that patriotism based on hatred " killeth " 
and that patriotism based on love '' giveth life." 


The following letter from the pen of Mr. M. K» 
Gandhi appeared in The Modern Review, for October, 

There seems to be no historical wari;ant for the 
belief that an exaggerated practice of Ahimsa synchroni- 
sed with our becoming bereft of manly virtues, During 
the past 1,500 years we have, as a nation, given ample 
proof of physical courage, but we have been torn by 
internal dissensions and have been dominated by love 
of self instead of love of country. We have, that is to 
say, been swayed by the spirit of irreligion rather than 
xjf religion. 

I do not know how far the charge of unmanliness 
can be made good against the Jains, I hold no brief 
for them. By birth I am a Vaishnavite, and was taught 
Ahimsa in my childhood. I have derived much reli- 
gious benefit from Jain religious works as I have from 
scriptures of the other great faiths of the world. I owe 
much to the living company of the deceased philosopher, 
Rajachand Kavi, who was a Jain by birth. Thus, 
though my views on Ahimsa are a result of my study of 
most of the faiths of the world, they are now no longer 
dependent upon the authority of these works. They are 
a part of my life, and, if I suddenly discovered that the 


Teligious books read by me bore a diflferent interpreta- 
tion from the one I had learnt to give them, I should 
still hold to the view of Ahimsa as I am about to set 
forth here. 

Our Shastras seem to teach that a man who really 
practises Ahimsa in its fulness has the world at hi's 
feet ; h(j so affects his surroundings that even the snakes 
and other venomous reptiles do him no harm. This is 
said to have been the experience of St. Francis of 

In its negative form it means not injuring any 
living being whether by body or mind. It may not, 
therefore, hurt the person of any wrong-doer, or bear 
any ill-will to him and so cause him mental suffering. 
This statement does not cover suffering caused to 
the wrong-doer by natural acts of mine which do 
not proceed from ill-will. It, therefore, does not 
prevent me from withdrawing from his presence a 
child whom he, we shall imagine, is about to strike. 
Indeed, the proper practice of Ahimsa requires me 
to withdraw the intended victim from the wrong-doer, 
if I am, in any way whatsoever, the guardian of 
such a child. It was, therefore, most proper for the 
passive resisters of South Africa to have resisted the 
evil that the Union Government sought to do to them. 
They bore no ill-will to it. They showed this by helping 
the Government whenever it needed their help. Their 
resisiMnce consisted of disobedience of the orders of the 
Government, even, to the extent of suffering death at their 
hands. Ahimsa requires deliberate self-suffering, not a 
deliberate injuring of the supposed wrong-doer. 

In its positive form, Ahimsa means the largest love, 
the greatest charity. J f I am a follower of Ahimsa, I 


must love my enemy. I must apply the same rules to- 
the wrong-doer who is my enemy or a stranger to me, 
as I would'^io my wrong-doing father or son. TTiiis active 
Ahimsaneceessarily inclutles trut'h and fearlessness. As 
man cannot deceive the loved one, he does not fear or 
frighten him or her. Gift of life is the greatest oi all 
gifts; a man who gives it in reality, disarms all 
hostility. He has pa^ed the way for an honourable 
understanding. And none w\\o his himself subject 
to fear can bestow that gift. He must, therefore, be 
himself fearless. A man cannot then practice Ahimsa 
and be a coward at the same time. The practice of 
Ahimsa calls forth the greatest courage. It is the most 
soldierly of a soldier's virtues. General Gordon has- 
been represented in a famous statue as bearing only a 
stick. This takes us far on the road to Ahimsa. But 
a soldier, who needs the protection of ev»n a stick, is to 
that extent so much the less a soldier. He is the true 
soldier who knows how to die and stand his ground in 
the midst of a hail of bullets. Such'a one was Amba- 
rish, who stood his ground without lifting a finger 
though Durvasa did his worst. The Moors -wjio were 
being pounded by the French gunners and who rushed 
to the guns' mouths with ' Allah ' on their lips, showed 
much the same type of courage, Only theirs was the- 
courage of desperation. Ambarisha's was due to love. 
Yet the Moorish valour, readiness to die, conquered the 
gunners. They frantically wayed their hats, ceased 
firing, and greeted their erstwhile enemies as comrades. 
And so the Soiith African passive resisters in their 
thousands were ready to die rather than sell their 
honour for a little personal ease. This was Ahimsa in 
its active form. It never barters away honour. A. 


ielpless girl in the hands of a follower of Ahimsa finds 
better and surer protection than in the hands of one who 
is prepared to defend her only to the point to which 
his weapons would carry him. The tyrant, in the first 
instance, will have to walk to his victim over the 
-dead body of her defender ; in the second, he has but 
to overpower the defender; for it is assumed that the 
-cannon of propriety in the second instance will be satis- 
fied when the defender has fought to the extent of his 
physical valour. In the first instance, as the defender 
has matched his very soul against the mere body of the 
tyrant, the odds are that the soul in the latter will be 
awakened, and the girl would stand an infinitely greater 
chance of her honour being protected than in any other 
conceivable circumstance, barring of course, that of her 
own personal courage. 

If we ara unmanly to-day, we are so, not because we 

-do not know how to strike, but because we fear to die. 

He is no follower of Mahavira, the apostle of Jairiism, 

or of Buddha or of the Vedas, who, being afraid to die, 

takes flight before any danger, real or imaginary, all the 

while wishing that somebody else would remove the 

•danger by destroying the person causing it. He is no 

follower of Ahimsa who does not care a straw if he kills 

a man by inches by deceiving him in trade, or who 

would protect by force of arms a few cows and make 

away with the butcher or who, in order to do a supposed 

good to his country, does not mind killing off a fe'w 

•officials. All these are actuated by hatred, cowardice 

,and fear. Here the love of the cow or the country is a 

vague thing intended to satisfy one's vanity, or soothe a 

:stinging conscience. 

Ahimsa truly understood, is in my humble opinion a 


panacea for all evils mundane and extra-mundane. We 
can never overdo it. Just at present we are not doing 
it at all. Ahimasa does not displace the practice 
of other virtues, but renders their practice im- 
peratively necessary before it can be practised even in 
its rudiments. Mahavira and Buddha were soldiers, and 
so was Tolstoy. Only they saw deeper and truer into 
their profession, and found the secret of a true, happy, 
honourable and godly life. Let us be joint sharers with 
these teachers, and this land of ours will once more be 
the adode of Gods. 


The following is a lecture delivered by Mr. Gandhi 
at a meeting of the Muir Central College Economic 
Society, held at Allahabad, on Friday, 22nd December, 

Does economic progress clash with real progress? 
By economic progress, I take it, we mean material 
advancement without limit, and by real progress we 
mean moral progress, 'which again is, the same thing 
as progress of the permanent element in us. The 
subject may therefore be stated thus ; Does not moral 
progress increase in the same proportion as material 
progress? I know that this is a wider proposition 
than the one before us. But I venture to think that we 
always mean the large one even when we lay down the 
smaller. For we know enough of science to realize 
that there is no such thing as perfect rest or repose in 
this visible universe of ours. If, therefore, material 
progress does not clash with moral progress, it must 


necessarily advance the latter. Nor can we be satisfied 
with the clumsy way in which sometimes those whc 
cannot defend the large proposition put their case. They 
seem to be obsessed with the concrete case of thirty 
millions of India, stated by the late Sir William Wilson 
Hunter to be living on one meal a day. They say that, 
before we can think or talk of their moral welfare, 
we must satisfy their daily wants. With these they 
say, material progrees spells moral progress. And then 
is taken a sudden jump ; what is true of thirty millions 
is true of the universe. They forget that hard 
cases make bad law. I need hardly say to you how 
ludicrously absurd' this deduction would-be. No one- 
has ever suggested that grinding pauperism can 
lead to anything else than moral degradation. Every 
human being has a right to live and therefore to find 
the wherewithal to feed himself and where necessary tO' 
clothe and house himself. But for this very simple 
performance we need no assistance from economists or 
their laws.. 

' Take no thought for the morrow ' is an injunction 
which finds an echo in almost all the religious scriptures 
of the world. In well-ordered society the securing of 
one's livelihood should be and is found to be the easiest 
thing in the world. Indeed, the test of orderliness in a 
country is not the number of milionares it owns, but 
the absence of starvation among its masses. The only 
statement that has to be examined is, whether it can be 
laid down as a law of universal appUcation that 
material advancement means moral progress. 

Now let us take a few illustrations. Rome suffered 
a moral fall when it attained high material affluence. 
So did Egypt and so perhaps most countries of which 


-we have any historical record. The. descendants and 
jcinsmen of the royal and divine Krishna too fell when 
they were rolling in riches. We do not deny tp the 
Rockefellers and the Carnegies possession of an ordinary 
measure of morality but we gladly judge them indul- 
gently. I mean that we do not even expect them to 
satisfy the highest standard of morality. With them 
material gain has not necessarily meant moral gain. In 
South Africa, where I had the privilege of associating 
with thousands of our countrymen on most intimate 
terms, I observed almost invariably that the greater 
the possession of riches, the greater was their moral 
turpitude. Our rich men, to say the least, did not 
advance the moral struggle of passive resistance 
as did the poor. The rich men's sense of self respect 
was not so much injured as that of the poorest. If 
I were not afraid of treading on dangerous ground, I 
would even come nearer home and show how that 
■possession of riches has been a hindrance to real growth, 
I venture to think that the scriptures of the world are 
far safer and sounder treatises on laws of economics 
than many of the modern text-books. The question we 
are asking ourselves this evening is tiot a new one. It 
was addressed of Jesus two thousand years ago. St. 
Mark has vividly described the scene. Jesus is in his 
solemn mood. He is earnest. He talks of eternity. He 
knows the world about him. He is himself the greatest 
economist of his time. He succeeded in economising time 
and space — he transcended them. It is to him at his best 
that one comes running, kneels down, and asks; 'Good 
Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life ? 
And Jesus said unto him ; ' Why callest thou me good ?' 
There is none good but one, that is God. Thou knowest 


the commandments. Do not commit adultery, Do not 
kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud 
not, Honour thy father and mother.' And he answered 
and said unto him ; ' Master, all these have I observed 
from my youth.' Then Jesus beholding him loved him 
and said unto him ; ' One thing thou lackest. Go thy 
way, sell whatever thou hast and give to the poor, 
and thou shall have treasure in heaven — come, take 
up the cross and follow me.' And he was sad at that 
saying and went away grieved — for be had great 
possession. And Jesus looked round about and said 
unto his disciple : ' How hardly shall they • that 
have riches enter into the kingdom of God' And 
the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus 
answereth again and said unto them, ' Children, how 
hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into 
the kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel- to go 
through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter 
into the kingdom of God !.' Here you have an eternal 
rule of life stated in the noblest words the English 
language is capable of producing. But the disciples 
nodded unbelief as we do even to this day. To him, they 
said as we say to-day : 'But look how the law fails in 
practice. If we sell all and have nothing, we shall 
have nothing to eat. We must have money or we 
cannot even be reasonably moral.' So they state their 
case thus : — And they were astonished out of measure, 
saying among themselves : ' Who then can be saved.' 
And Jesus looking upon them said ; 'With men it is 
impossible, but not with God, for with God, all things are 
possible.' Then Peter began to say unto him ; 'Lo, we 
have left all, and have followed thee.' And Jesus ans- 
wered and said : 'Verily I say unto you there is no man 


that has left house or brethren or sisters, or father or 
mother, or wife or children ftr lanJs for my sake and 
Gospel's but he shall receive one hundredfold, now in 
this time houses and brethren and sisters and mothers 
and children and land, and in the world to come, eternal 
life. But many that are first shall be last and the 
last, first.' You have here the result or rewaid, if you 
.prefer the term, of following the law. I have not taken 
the trouble of copying similar passages .from the other 
non-Hindu scriptures and I will not insult you by 
quoting, in support of the law stated by Jesus, passages 
from the writings and sayings of our own sages, passages 
«ven stron^jer, if possible, than the Biblical extracts 
I have drawn your attention to. Perhaps the strongest 
■of all the testimonies in favour of the affirmative 
answer to the question before us are the lives of the 
.greatest teachers of the world. Jesus, Mahomed, 
Buddha, Nanak, Kabir, Chaitanya, Shankara, Dayanand, 
Ramkrishna were men who exercised an immense 
influence over, and moulded the character of, thousands 
of man. The world is the richer for their having lived 
in it. And they were all men who deliberately embraced 
poverty as their lot. 

I should not have laboured my point as I have 
done, if I did not believe that, in so far as we have made 
the modem materialistic craze our goal, so far are we 
going down hill in the path of progress. I hold that eco- 
nomic progress in the sense I have put it is antagonisict 
to real progress. Hence the ancient ideal has been the 
limitation of activities promoting wealth. This does 
not put an end to all material ambition. We should 
■still have, an we have always had, in our midst people 
who make the pursuit of wealth their aim in life. But 


we have always recognised that it is a fall from the 
ideal. It is a beautiful thing to know that the weal- 
thiest among us have often felt that to have remained 
voluntarily poor would have been a higher state for 
them. That you cannot serve God and Mammon is an 
economic truth of the highest value. We have to make 
our choice. Western nations are to-day groaning under 
the ' heal of the monster god of materialism. Their 
moral growth has become stunted. They measure their 
progress in £. s. d. American wealth has become 
the standard. She is the envy of the other 
nations. 1 have heard many of our countrymen 
say that we will gain American wealth but avoid 
its methods. I venture to suggest that such an 
attempt, if it were made, is foredoomed to failure. 
We cannot be 'wise, temperate and furious' in a 
moment. I would have our leaders teach us to be 
morally supreme in the world. This land of ours was 
once, we are told, the abode of the Gods. It is not 
possible to conceive Gods inhabiting a land which is 
made hideous by the smoke and the din of mill chimneys 
and factories and whose roadways are traversed by 
rushing engines, dragging numerous cars crowded with 
men who know not for the most part what they are 
after, who are often absent-minded, and whose tempers 
do not improve by being uncomfortably packed like 
sardines in boxes and finding themselves in the midst 
of utter strangers, who would oust them if they could 
and whom they would, in their turn, oust similarly. I 
refer to these things because they are held to be 
symbolical of material progress. But they add not an 
atom to our happiness. This is what Wallace, the great 
scientist, has said as his deliberate judgment : — 


In the earliast records which have come down to us from the 
past, we find ample indications that general ethical considerations 
and conceptions, the accepted standard of morality, and the con- 
duct resulting from these, were in no degree inferior to those which 
prevail to-day. 

In a series of chapters he then proceeds to examine 
the position of the English nation under the advance in 
wealth it has made : He says : ' This rapid growth of 
wealth and increase of our power over Nature put too 
great a strain upon our crude civilisation, on our 
superficial Christianity, and it was accompanied by 
various forms of social immorality almost as amazing 
and unprecedented.' He then shows how factories 
have risen on the corpses of men, women and children, 
how, as the country has rapidly advanced in riches, it 
has gone down in morality. He shows this by dealing 
with insanitation, life-destroying trades, adulteration, 
bribery and gambling. He shows how with the advance 
of wealth, justice has become immoral,_ deaths from' 
alcoholism and suicide have increased, the average of 
premature bir:hs, and congenital defects has increased 
and prostitution has become an institution. He con- 
cludes his examination by these pregnant remarks : — 

" The proceedings of the divorce courts show other aspects 
of the result of v/ealth and leisure, while a friend who had been at 
good deal in London society assured me that, both in country 
houses and in London, various kinds of orgies were occasionally to 
be met with, which would hardly have been surpassed in the 
period of the most dissolute emperors. Of war, too, I need say 
nothing. It has always been more or less chronic since the rise of 
the Roman Empire ; but there is now undoubtedly a disinclination 
for war among all civilized peoples. Yet the vast burden of 
armaments taken together with the most pious declarations in 
favour of peace, must be held to show an almost total absence of 
morality as a guiding principle among the governing classes." 

Under the British aegis we have learnt much, but 
it is my firm belief that there is little to gain from 
Britain in intrinsic morality, that if we are not careful. 


we shall introduce all the vices that she has been a 
prey to owing to the disease of materialism. We can 
profit by that connection only if we keep our civiliza- 
tion, and our morals straight, i.e., if, instead of boasting 
of the glorious past, we express the ancien t moral glory 
in our own lives and let our lives bear witness to out 
boast. Then we shall benefit her and ourselves. If 
we copy her because she provides us with rulerSj both 
they and we shall suffer degradation , We need not' 
be afraid of ideals or of reducing them to practice^ 
even to the uttermost. Ours will only then be a truly 
spiritual nation when we shall show more truth than 
gold, greater fearlessness than pomp of power and 
wealth, greater charity than love of self. If we will- 
but clean our houses, our palaces and temples of the- 
attributes of wealth and show in them the atributes of 
morality, we can offer battle to any combinations of 
hostile forces without having to carry the burden of a 
heavy militia. Let us seek first the Kingdom of God 
and His righteousnes, and the irrevocable promise is 
that everything will be added unto us. These are real 
economics. May you and I treasure them and enfotce 
them in our daily life.- 


The following is a paper contributed to the Bombay. 
Provincial Go-operative Conference held on 17 th Septem- 
ber, 1917. 

The only claim I have on your indulgence is that 
some months ago I attended with Mr. Ewbank a 
meeting of mill-hands to whom he wanted to explain 
the principles ot co-operation; The chawl in which 


they were living, was as filthy as it well could be» 
Recent rains had made matters wotse. And I must 
frankly confess that, had it not been for Mr. EwbankV 
great zeal for the cause he has made his oWn, I should 
have shirked the task. But there we we^re, seated on 
a fairly worn out charpai, surrounded by men, women 
and children. Mr. Ewbank opened fire on a man wha 
had put himself forward and who wore not a particu- 
larly innocdbt countenance. After he bad engaged him 
and the other people about hdm in Gujarati conversation^ 
he wanted me to speak to the people. Owing to the 
suspicious looks of tte man who was first spoken to, I 
naturally pressed home the moralities of co-operation. I 
fancy that Mr. Ewbank rather liked the manner in which 
I handled the subject. Hence, I believe, his kind invita- 
tion to me to tax your patience for a few moments upon 
a consideration of co-operation from a moral standpoint* 
My knowledge of the technicality of co-operation is 
next to nothing. My brother, Devadhar, has made the 
subject his own. Whatever he does, naturally attracts 
me and predisposes me to think that there must be some- 
thing good in it and the handling of it must be fairly 
difficult. Mr. Ewbank very kindly placed at my disposal 
some literature too on the subject. And I have had an 
unique opportunity of watching the efifect of some co- 
operative effort in Champaran. I have gone through Mr. 
Ewbank's ten main points which are like the Command- 
ments, and I have gone through the twelve points Of Mr, 
Collins of Behar, which remind me of the law of the 
Twelve Tables. There are so-called agricultural banks 
in Champaran. They were to me disappointing effonts, if 
they were meant to be demonstrations of the success of 
co-operation. On the other hand, there is quiet work in 


the same direction being done by Mr. Hodge, a mission- 
ary whose efforts are leaving their impress on those 
who come in contact' with him. Mr. Hodge is a co- 
operative enthusiast and probably considers that the 
result which he sees flowing from his efforts are due to 
the working of co-operation. I, who was able to watch 
the efforts, had no hesitation in inferring that the 
personal equation counted for success in the one and 
failure in the other instance. 

I am an enthusiast myself, cut twenty-five 
years of experimenting and experience have made 
me a cautious and discriminating enthusiast. Workers 
in a cause necessarily, though quite unconciously, 
exaggerate its merits and often succeed in turning 
its very defects into advantages. In spite oi my 
caution I cotisider the little institution I am con- 
ducting in Ahmedabad as the finest thing in the 
world.. It alone gives me sufficient inspiration. Cri- 
tics tell me thai it represents a soulless soul-force and 
that its severe discipline has made it merely mechanical. 
I suppose both — the critics and I — are wrong. It is, at 
best, a humble attempt to place at the disposal of the 
nation a home where men and women may have scope 
for free and unfettered development of character, in 
keeping with the national genius, and, if its controllers 
do not take care, the discipline that is the foundation of 
character may frustrate the very end in view. I would 
venture, therefore, to warn enthusiasts in co-operation 
against entertaining false hopes. 

With Sir Daniel Hamilton it has become a religion. 
On the 13th January last, he addressed the students of 
the Scottish Churches College and, in orderto point a 
moral, he instanced Scotland's poverty of two hundred 


years ago and showed how that great country was raised 
from a condition of poverty to plenty. " There were two 
powers, which raised her — the Scottish Church and the 
Scottish banks. The Church manufactured the men and 
the banks manufactured the money to give the men a 
start in life. . . . The Church disciplined the nation 
in the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom and 
in the parish schools of the Church the children learned 
that the chief end of man's life was to glorify God and 
to enjoy Him for ever. Men were trained to believe 
in God and in themselves, and on the trustworthy 
character so created the Scottish banking system 
was built." Sir Daniel then shows that it was 
possible to build up the marvellous Scottish 
banking system only on the character so built. 
So far there can only be perfect agreement with 
Sir Daniel, for that ' without character there 
is no co-operation' is a sound maxim. But he 
would have us go much further. He thus waxes 
eloquent on co-operation : " Whatever may be your 
day-dreams of India's future, never forget this that it is 
to weld India into one, and so enable her to take her 
rightful place in the world, that the British Government 
is here ; and the welding hammer in the band of the 
Government is the co-operative movement." In his 
opinion it is the panacea of all the evils that afflict India 
at the present moment. In its extended sense it can 
justify the claim on one condition which need not be 
mentioned here ; in the limited sense in which Sir Daniel 
has used it, 1 venture to think, it is an enthusiast's 
exaggeration. Mark his peroration : " Credit, which is 
only Trust and Faith, is becoming more and more the 
money power of the world, and in the parchment bullet 


into which is impressed the faith which removes moun- 
tains, India will Jfind victory and peace." Here there 
is evident confusion of thought. The credit which is 
becoming the money power of the world has little moral 
basis and is not a synonym for Trust or Faith, which are 
purely moral qualities. After twenfy years' experience 
of hundreds of men, who had dealings with banks in 
South Africa, the opinion I had so often heard expressed 
has become firmly rooted in me, that the greater the 
rascal the greater the credit he enjoys with his banks. 
The banks do not pry into bis moral character : they 
are satisfied that he meets his overdrafts and pro- 
missory notes punctually. The credit system has 
encircled this beautiful globe of ours like a serpent's coil, 
and if we do not mind, it bids fair to crush us out 
■of breath. I have witnessed the ruin of many a 
home through the system, and it has made no 
difference whether the credit was labelled co-operative 
or otherwise. The deadly coil has made possible the 
devastating spectacle in Europe, which we are helpless 
ly looking on. It was perhaps never so true as it is to- 
day that, as in law so in w^r, the longest purse finally 
wins. I have ventured to give prominence to the cur- 
rent belief about credit system in order to emphasise the 
point that the co-operative movement will be a blessing 
to India only to the extent that it is a moral movement 
str'ctly directed, by men fired with religious fervour. It 
follows, therefore, that co-operation should be confined 
to men wishing to be morally right, but failing to do so, 
because of grinding poverty or of the grip of the 
Mahajan. Facility for obtaining loans at fair rates will 
not make immoral men moral. But the wisdom of the 
Estate or philanthropists demands that they should help 


on the onward path, men struggling to bs good. 

Too often do we believe that material prosperity- 
means moral growth. It is necessary that a movement 
which is fraught with so much good to India should not 
degenerate into one for merely advancing cheap loans.- 
I was therefore delighted to read the recommendation 
in the Report of the Committee on Co-operation in India, 
that " they wish clearly to express their opinion that it 
is to true co-operation alone, that is, to a co-operation- 
which recognizes the moral aspect of the question that 
Government must look for the amelioration of the- 
mass^s and not to a pseudo-co-operative edifice, how- 
ever imposing, which is built in ignorance of co-operative- 
principles. " With this standard before us, we will not 
measure the success of the movement by the number of 
co-operative societies formed, bat by the moral condi^ 
tion of the co-operators. The registrars will, in 
that event, ensure the moral growth of existing 
societies before multiplying them. And the Govern- 
ment will make their promotion conditional, not 
upon the number of societies they have registered, but 
the moral success of the existing institutions. This will 
mean tracing the course of every pie lent to the members.- 
Those responsible for the proper conduct of co-operative 
societies will see to it that the money advanced does not 
find its way into the toddy-seller's bill or into the pockets 
of the keepers of gambling dens. I would excuse the 
capacity of the Mahajan if it has succeeded in keeping 
the gambling die or toddy from the ryot's home. 

A word perhaps about the Mahajan will not be out 
of place. Co-operation is not a new device. The ryots 
co-operate to drum out monkeys or birds that destroy 
their crops. They co-operate to use a common 


thrashing floor . I have found them co-operate to protect 
their cattle to the extent of their devoting the best land 
lor the grazing of their cattle. And they have been 
found co-operating against a particularly rapacious 
Ma ha Jan. Doubts have been expressed as to the succees 
of co-operation because of the tightness of the Mahajan's- 
hold on the ryots. I dp not share the fears. The 
mightiest Mahajan must, if he represent an evil force^ 
bend before co-operation, conceived as an essentially 
moral movement. But my limited experience of the 
Mahajan of Champaran has made me revise the accepted 
opinion about his ' blighting influence.' I have found 
him to be not always relentless, not always exacting of 
the last pie. He sometimes serves his clients in many 
ways and even comes to their rescue in the hour of their 
distress. My observation is so limited that I dare not 
draw any conclusions from it, but I respectfully 
enquire whether it is not possible to make a serious 
eflfort to draw out the good in the Mahajan 
and help him or induce him to throw oat the 
evil in him. May he not be induced to join the army 
of co-operation, or has experience proved that he is 
past praying for ? 

I note that the movement takes note of all indi- 
genous industries. I beg publicly to express my grati- 
tude to Government for helping me in my humble 
effort to improve the lot of the weaver. The experi- 
ment I am conducting shows that there is a vast field 
for work in this direction. No well-wisher of India, no 
patriot dare look upon the impending destruction of thff 
hand-loom weaver with equanimity.' As Dr. Mann has 
stated, this industry used to supply the peasant with 
an additional source of livelihood and an insuranc 


against famine. Every Registrar who will nurse 
back to life this important and graceful industry 
will earn the gratitude of India. My humble effort 
consists firstly in making researches as to the possibi- 
lities of simple reforms in the orthodox hand-looms, 
secondly, in weaning the educated youth from the 
craving for Government or other services and the feeling 
that education renders him unfit for independent occupa- 
tion and inducing him to take to weaving as a calling as 
honourable as that of a barrister or a doctor, and thirdly 
by helping those weavers who have abandoned thair 
occupation to revert to it. I will not weary the 
audience with any statement on the first two parts of the 
experiment. The third may be allowed a few sentences 
as it has a direct bearing upon the subject before us. I 
was able to enter upon it only six months ago. Five 
families that had left off the calling have reverted 
to it and they are doing, a prosperous business. 
The Ashram supplies them at their door with 
the yarn thejf^ need ; its volunteers take delivery of 
the cloth woven, paying them cash at the market 
rate. The Ashram merely loses interest on the loan 
advanced for the yarn. It has as yet suffered no loss 
and is able to restrict its loss to a minimum by limiting 
the loan to a particular figure. All future transactions 
are strictly cash. We are able to command a ready 
sale for the cloth received. The loss of interest, there- 
fore, on the transaction is negligible. I would like the 
audience to note its purely moral character from start 
to finish. The Ashram depends for its existence on 
such help as /riends render it. We, therefore, can 
have no warrant for charging interest. The weavers 
ould not be saddled with it. Whole families that 


were breaking to pieces are put together again. The- 
use of the loan is pre-determined. And we, the middle- 
men, being volunteers, obtain the privilege of entering" 
into the lives of these families, I hope, for their and 
our betterment. We cannot lift them without being 
lifted ourselves. This last relationship has not yet 
been developed, but we hope, at an early date, to take 
in hand the education too of these families and not 
rest satisfied till we have touched them at every point.- 
This is not too ambitious a dream. God willing, it will 
be a reality some day. I have ventured to dilate upon- 
the small experiment to illustrate what I mean by co- 
operation to present it to others for imitation. Let us- 
be- sure of our ideal. We shall ever fail to realize it, 
but we should never cease to strive for it. Then there- 
need be no fear of " co operation of scoundrels " that 
Ruskin so rightly dreaded. 


The following communication was made by Mr.- 
Gandhi to the Press from Ranchi, on Sept. 25, 1917. 

I have now been in India for over two years and a 
half after my return from South Africa. Over one 
quarter of that time I have passed on the Indian 
trains travelling third class by clioice. I haVe 
travelled up north as far as Lahore, down south up 
to Tranquebar, and from Karachi to Calcutta. Having 
resorted to third class travelling, among other reasons, 
for the purpose of studying the conditions under 
which this class of passengers travel, I have naturally 
made as critical observations as I could. I have 
fairly covered the majority of railway systems during. 


this period. Now and then I have entered into 
correspondence with the management of the different 
railways about the defects that have come under my 
notice. But I think that the time has come when I 
should invite the press and the public to join in a 
crusade agaiiist a grievance which has too long re- 
mained unredressed, though much of it is capable of 
redress without great difficulty. 

On the 12th - instant I booked at Bombay for 
Madras by the mail train and paid Rs 13-9. It was 
labelled to carry 22 passengers. These could only have 
seating accommodation. There were no bunks in this 
carriage whereon passengers could lie with any degree 
of safety or comfort. There were two nights to be 
passed in this train before reaching Madras. If not 
more than 22 passengers found their way into my 
carriage before we reached Poona, it was because the 
bolder ones kept the others at bay. With the exception 
of two or three insistent passengers, all had to find their 
sleep being seated all the time. After reaching Raichur 
the pressure became unbearable. The rush of passengers 
could not be stayed. The fighters among us found the 
task almost beyond them. The guards or other railway 
servants came in only to push in more passengers. 

A defiant Memon merchant protested against this 
packing of passengers Kke sardines. In vain did he say 
that this was his fifth night on the train. The guard 
insulted him and referred him to the management at the 
tei minus. There were during this night as many as 35 
passengers in the carriage during the greater part of it. 
Some lay on the f^oor in the midst of dirt and some had 
to keep standing. A free fight was, at one tims, avoided 
only by the intervention of some of the older passengers 


■who did not want to add to the discomfort by an exhi- 
bition of temper, 

.On the way passengers got for tea tannin-water 
with filthy sugar and a whitish looking liquid miscalled 
milk which gave this water a muddy appearance. I can 
vouch for the appearance, but I cite the testimony of 
ihe passengers as to the taste. 

Not during the whole of the journey was the com- 
partment once swept or cleaned. The result was that 
every time you walked on the floor or rather cut your 
"way through the passengers seated on the floor, you 
waded through dirt. 

The closet was also not cleaned during the journey 
and there was no water in the water tank. 

Refreshments sold to the passengers were dirty- 
lo oking, handed by dirtier hands, coming out of filthy 
T eceptacles^ and weighed in equally unattractive scales. 
These were previously sampled by millions of flies. I 
asked some of the passengers who went in for these 
dainties to give their opinion. Many of them used 
choice expressions as to the quality but were satisfied 
to state that they were helpless in the matter; they had 
to take things as they came. 

On reaching the station I found that the ghariwala 
would not take me unless I paid the fare he wanted. 
I mildly protested and told him I -would pay him the 
-authorized fare. I had to turn passive resister before I 
could be taken. I simply told him he would have to 
pull me out of the ghari or call the policeman. 

The return journey was performed in no better 
manner. The carriage was packed already and but for a 
friend's intervention I could not have been able to secure 
>even a seat. My admission was certainly beyond the 


authorised number. This compartment was constructed 
to carry 9 passengers but it had constantly 12 in it. At 
one place an important railway servant swore at a 
protestant, threatened to strike him and locked the door 
over the passengers whfim he had with difficulty- 
squeezed in. To this compartment there was a closet 
falsely so called. It was designed as a European closet 
but could hardly be used as such. There was a pipe in 
it but no water, and I say without fear of challenge- 
that it was pestilentially dirty. 

The compartment itself was evil looking. Dirt 
was lying thick upon the wood work and I do not know 
that it had ever seen soap or water. 

The compartment had an exceptional assortment of 
passengers. There were three stalwart Punjabi Maho- 
medans, two refined Tamilians and two Mahomedan 
merchants who joined us later: The merchants related 
the bribes they had to give to procure comfort. One of 
the Punjabis had already travelled three nights and! 
was weary and fatigued. But he could not stretch him- 
self. He said he had sat the whole day at the Central 
Station watching passengers giving bribe to procure- 
their tickets. Another said he had himself to pay Rs. 5' 
before he could get his ticket and his seat. These three 
men were bound for Ludhiana and had still more nights. 
of travel in store for them. 

What I have described is not exceptionaf but nor- 
mal. I have got down at Raichur, Dhond, Sonepur, 
Chakradharpur, Purulia, Asansol and other junction' 
stations and been at the ' Mosafirkhanas ' attached tO' 
these Stations. They are discreditable looking places 
where there is no order, no cleanliness but utter confusion 
and horrible din and noice. Passengers have no benches- 


or not enough to sit on. They squat on dirty floors and 
eat dirty food. They are permitted to throw the leav- 
ings of their food and spit where they like, sit how they 
like and smoke everywhere. The closets attached to 
these places defy description. , I have not the power 
adequately to describe them without committing a 
breach ot the laws of decent speech. Disinfecting 
powder, ashes or disinfecting fluids are unknown. The 
army of flies buzzing about them warns you against 
their use. But a third-class traveller is dnmb and 
helpless. He does not want to complain even though 
to go to these places may be to court death. I know 
passengers who fast while they are travelling just ill 
order to lessen the misery of their life in the trains. At 
Sonepur fjies having failed, wasps have come forth to 
warn the public and the authorities, but yet to no pur- 
posSi At the Imperial Capital a certain third class 
booking ofiice is a Black-Hole fit only to be destroyed. 

Is it any wonder that plague has become endemic 
in India ? Any other result is impossible where passen- 
gers always leave some dirt where they go and take 
more on leaving ? 

On Indian trains alone passengers smoke with im- 
punity in all carriages irrespective of the presence of 
the fair sex and irrespective of the protest of non- 
smokers. And this, notwithstanding a bye-law which 
prevents a passenger from^ smoking without the per- 
mission of^ his fellows in the compartment which is not 
allotted to smokers. 

The existence of the awful war cannot be allowed 

to stand in the way of the removal of this gigantic 

evil. War can be no warrant for tolerating dirt and 

overcrowding. One could understand an entire stoppage 



of passenger traffic in a crisis like this, but never a 
continuation or accentuation of insanitation and condi- 
tions that must undermine health and morality. 

Compare the lot of the first class passengers with 
that of the third class* In the Madras case the first 
•class fare is over five times as much as the third class 
fare. Coes the third class passenger get one-fifth, even 
■one-tenth, of the comforts of his first class fellow ? It 
is but simple justice to claim that some relative propor- 
tion be observed between the cost and comfort. 

It is a known fact that the third class traffic pays 
for the ever-increasing luxuries of first and second class 
travelling. Surely a third class passenger is entitled at 
least to the bare necessities of life 

In neglecting the third class passengers, opportunity 
of giving a splendid education to millions in orderliness, 
sanitation, decent composite life and cultivation of simple 
and clean tastes is being lost. Instead of receiving an 
•object lesson in these matters third class passengers have 
their sense of decency and cleanliness blunted during 
their travelling experience. 

Among the many suggestions that can be made for 
dealing with the evil here described, I would respect- 
fully include this : let the people in high places, the 
Viceroy, the Commander-in-Chief, the Rajas, Maha- 
rajas, the Imperial Councillors and others, who generally 
travel in superior classes, without previous warning, 
go through the experiences now and then of third class 
travelling. We would then soon see a remarkable 
•change in the conditions of third class travelling and 
the uncomplaining millions will get some return for 
the fares they pay under the e>:pectation of being carried 
irom place to place with ordinary creature comforts. 


TAs following introduction was written by Mr. M. K. 
■Gandhi to Dr. P. J. Mehta's " Self -Government Series." 
Pamphlet No. 1, entitled " Vernaculars as Media of 
Instruction in Indian Schools and OoUeges." 

It is to be hoped that Dr. Mehta's labour of love 
-will receive the serious attention of English educated 
India. The following pages were written by him for the 
Vedanta Kesari of Madras and are now printed in theii- 
present form for circulation throughout India. The ques- 
tion of vernaculars as media of instruction is Of national 
importance ; neglect of the vernaculars means national 
suicide. One hears many protagonists of the English 
language being continued as the medium of ins- 
truction pointing to the fact that english Educated- 
Indians are the sole custodians of public and 
patriotic work. It would be monstrous if it were 
not so. For the only education given in this country 
is through the English language. The fact, however, 
is that the results are not at all proportionate to 
the time we give to our education. We have not reacted 
on the masses. But I must not anticipate Dr. Mehta. He 
iis in earnest. He writes feelingly. He has examined the 
pros and cons and collected a mass of evidence in support 
,of his arguments. The latest pronouncement on the sub' 
jeet is that of the Viceroy. Whilst His Excellency is 
unable to offer a solution, he is keenly alive to the 
necessity of impaftmg instruction in our schools 
through the vernaculars. The Jews of Middle 
and Eastern Europe, who are scattered in all parts 


of the wory, finding it necessary to have a common 
tongue for mutual intercourse, have raised Yiddish 
to the status of a language, and have succeeded 
in translating into Yiddish the best books to be 
found in the world's literature. Even they could not 
satisfy the soul's yearning through the many foreign 
tongues of which they are masters ; nor did the learned 
few among them wish to tax the masses of the Jewish- 
population with having to learn a foreign language 
before they could realise their dignity. So they have 
enriched what was at one time looked upon as a mere 
jargon — ^but what the Jewish children learnt from theif 
mothers — by taking special pains to translate into it the 
best thought of the world. This is a truly marvellous 
work. It has been done during the present generation^ 
and Webster's Dictionary defines it as a polyglot jargon 
used for inter-communication by Jews from different 

But a Jew of Middle and Eastern Europe would feel 
insulted if his mother-tongue were now so described. If 
these Jewish scholars have succeeded , within a genera- 
tion, in giving their masses a language of which they 
may feel proud, surely it should be an easy task for us to 
supply the needs of our own vernaculars which are cul- 
tured languages. South Africa teaches us the same lesson. 
There was a duel there between the Taal, a corrupt form 
of Dutch, and English. The Boer mothers and the Boer 
fathers were determined that they would not let their 
children, with whom they in their infancy talked in the 
Taal, be weighed down with having to receive instruc- 
tion through English. The case for English here was a 
strong one. It had able pleaders for it. But English 
had to yield before Boer patriotism. It may be 


observed that they rejected even the High Dutch. 
The school masters, therefore, who are accustomed 
to speak the published Dutch of Europe, are com- 
pelled to teach the easier Taal. And literature of an 
excellent character is at the present moment growing 
up in South Africa in the Taal, which was only a 
few years ago, the common medium of speech between 
simple but brave rustics. If we have lost faith in our 
vernaculars, it is a sign of want of faith in ourselves ; 
it is the surest sign of decay. And no scheme of self- 
•government, however benevolently or generously it 
may be bestowed upon us, will ever make us a self- 
governing nation, if we have no respect for the lan- 
guages our mothers speak. 


At the anniversary celebration of the Social Service 
Leagur, held in Madras on February 10, 1916, Mr 
Gandhi delivered an address on " Social Service, " Mrs, 
Whitehead presided. He said : 

I have been asked this evening to speak to you 
Bbout social service. If this evening you find that I 
am not able to do sufficient justice to this great audience 
you will ascribe it to so many engagements that 1 has- 
tily and unthinkingly accepted. It was my desire that 
I should have at least a few moments to think out what 
I shall have to say to you but it was not to be. How- 
ever, as our Chair Lady has said, it was work we want 
and not speeches. I am aware that you will have lost 
very little, if anything at all, if you find at the end of 
this evening's talk that you have hstened to very little. 

Friends, for Social Service as for any other service 


oji the face of the earth, there is one condition indispens- 
able namely, qualifications, and proper qualifications, oq 
the part of those who want to render social service or any 
other service. So we shall ask ourselves this evening 
whether those of us who are already engaged in this kind 
of service and others who have aspired to render the 
service possess these necessary qualifications. Because 
you will agree with nie that in social service if they 
can mendimatters they cag also spoil matters and in 
trying to do service however well-intentioned that 
service might be, if they are not qualified for that 
service they will be rendering not service but disservicfir 
What are these qualifications ? 

Imagine why I must repeat to you almost the quali- 
fications that I described this morning to the students 
in the Young Mens' Christian Association 'Hall. Be- 
catuse they are ol universal application and they are 
necessary for any class of work, much more so in social 
service at this time of the day in our national life in our 
dear country. It seems to me that we require truth in 
one hand and fearlessness in the other hand. Unless we 
carry the torchlight we -shall not see the step in front 
of us and unless we carry the quality of fearlessness we 
shall not be able to give the message that we might 
want to give. Unless we have this fearlessness I feel 
sure that when that supreme final test comes we shall 
be found wanting. Then I ask you to ask yourselves 
whether those of you who are engaged in this service 
and those of you who want hereafter to be engaged in 
this service have these two qualities. Let me remind you 
also that these qualities may be trained in us in a 
manner detrimental to ourselves and in a manner detri- 
mental to those with whom we may come in contact. 


This is a dangerous statement almost to make, as if truth 
eonld be ever so handkdj and in making that statement 
I would like you also to consider that truth comes not as 
truth but only as truth so-called. In the inimitable 
book Ramayana we find that Indrajit and Lakshman, 
his opponent, possessed the same qualities. But Laksh- 
man's life was guided by principle, based upon religion 
while Indrajit's principle was based upon irreligion, and 
we find what Indarajit possessed was mere dross and 
what Lakshman possessed was of great assistance not 
OE'ly to the side on whose behalt he was fighting but 
he has left a treasure for us to value. What iw^s that 
additional quality he possessed? So, I hold that life 
without religion is life without principle, that life with- 
out principle is like a ship without a rudder. Just as 
our ship without rudder, the helmsman plying at it, is 
tossed about from place to place and never reaches its 
destination, so will a man without the heart-grasp of 
religion whirl without ever reaching his destined goal. 
So, I suggest to every social servant that he must not 
run away with the idea that he will serve his whole 
countrymen unless he has got these two qualities duly 
sanctified by religion and by a life divinely'guided. 

After paying a glowing tribute to the Madras 
Social Service League for its work in certain Pariah 
villages in the city he went on to say :— 

It is no use white-washing those needs which we 
know everyday stare us in the face. It is not enough 
that we clear out the villages which are occupied by our 
Pariah brethern. They are amenable to reason and 
persuasion. Shall we have to say that the so-called 
higher classes are not equally amenable to reason and to 
persuasion and to hygienic laws which are indispensable 


in order to live a city-life. We may do many things 
with immunity but when we immediately transfer our- 
selves to crowded streets where we have hardly air to 
breathe, the life becomes changed, and we have to obey 
another set of laws which immediately come into being. 
Do we do that ? It is no use saddling the municipality 
with the responsibilities for the condition in which we 
find not only the central parts of Madras but the cent- 
ral parts of every city of importance in ' India, and I feel 
no municipality in the world will be able to over-ride 
the habits of a class of people handed to them fron\ 
generation to generation. It can be done only by such - 
bodies as Social Service Leagues. If we pulsate with a 
new life, a new vision shall open before us in the near 
future, I think that these are the signs which will be 
an indication to show that we are pulsating with a new 
life, which is going to be a proper life, which will add 
dignity to our nationality and which will carry the 
banner of progress forward. I, therefore, suggest that 
it is a question of sanitary reform in these big cities, 
which will be a hopeless task if we expect our munici- 
palities to do this unaided by this voluntary work. Far 
be it from me to absolve the municipalities from their 
own responsibilities. I think there is a great deal yet 
to be done in the municipalities. Only the other day I 
read with a great degree of pain a report about the 
proceedings of the Bombay Municipality, and the 
deplorable fact in it is that a large part of the time of 
the Municipality was devoted to talking over trifles 
while they neglected matters of great moment. After 
all, I shall say that they will be able to do very little 
in as much as there is a demand for their work on the 
people themselves. 


Here Mr. Gandhi instanced, two cases where the 
Social Service League had been of immense help to the 
Municipality in- improving the sanitary condition of the 
town, by changing the habits of the people, which had 
become a part of their being. He observed that some 
officials might consider that they could force an unwil- 
ling people to do many things, but he held to that 
celebrated saying that it was far better that people 
should often remain drunkards than that they should 
become sober at the point of the sword. 

Mr. Gandhi then recounted some of his experiences 
in a temple at Kasi (Benares) — the wretched lanes sur- 
rounding it, the dirt to be witnessed near the sanctuary, 
the disorderly crowd and the avaricious priest. These 
evils in the temples, he said had to be removed by Social 
Service Leagues. For making it possible for students to 
fight these conditions, the educational system had to be • 
revolutionised. Now-a-days they were Agoing out of 
their schools as utter strangers to their ancestral tradi- 
tions and with fatigued brains, able to work no longer. 
They had to revolutionise that system. , '■ 

Finally, he preferred to' the railway services and 
the conditions under which third class passengers I 'tra- 
velled. To do social service among the passengers 'and 
instil better habits of sanitation among them, the social 
servants must not go to them in a foreign costume, 
speaking a foreign tongue. They might issuefpamph- 
lets to them or give instructive lessons, and so on. 


The following report of a conservation which a» 
interviewer had with Mr. Gandhi contains his views on 
a varied of subjects of national interest :— 

*' We have lost ^' he said, " much of our self-respect, 
on account of being too much Europeanised. We think 
and speak in English. Thereby, we impoverish our 
vernaculars, and estrange the feelings of the masses. A 
knowledge of English is not essential to the service of^ 
our Motherland," 

Turning to caste, he said " caste is the great 
power and secret of Hinduism." 

Asked where he would stay, Mr. Gandhi replied: 
" Great pressure is brought down on me to settle in 
Bengal : but I hav e a great capital iti the store of my 
knowledge in Guzerat and I get letters from there." 

" Vernacular literature is important; I want to 
have a library of all books. I invite friends for finaH' 
cial aid to form libraries and locate them." 

" Modern civilisation is a curse in Europe as alsa 
in India. War is the direct result of modern civilisa- 
tion, everyone of the Powers was making preparations 
for war." 

" Passive resistance is a great moral force, meant 
for the weak, also for the strong. Soul-force depends 
on itself. Ideals must work in practice, otherwise they 
are not potent. Modern civilisation is a brute force." 

It is one thing to know the ideal and another thing 
to practise it. That will ensure greater dicipline, which 
means a greater service and greater service means 


greater gaio to Goveniment. Passive resistance is a 
highly aggressive tjiing. The attribute of soul is rest- 
lessness ; there is room far every phase of thought. 

" Money, land and women are the sources of evil' 
aad evil has to be counteracted. I need not possess land, 
nor a woman, nor money to satisfy my luxuries. I do 
not want to be unhinged merely because others are 
unhinged. If ideals are practised, there will be less 
room for mischievous activities. Public life has to be 

" Every current has to change its course. There 
are one and a half million sadhus and if every sadhiu did 
his duty, India could achieve much. Jagat Gura 
Sankaracharya does not deserve that appellation be- 
cause he has no more force in him:'' 

Malicious material activity is no good. It finds out 
means to multiply one's luxuries. Intense gross modem- 
activity should not be imposed on Indian institutions, 
which have to be remodelled on ideals taken from Hindu- 
ism . VirtQe as understood in India is not understood in 
foreign lands. Dasaratha is considered a fool in foreign 
lands, for his having kept his promise to his wife. India 
says a promise is a promise. That is a good ideal. Mate- 
rial activity is mischievous. " Truth shall conquer in 
the end." 

" Emigration does no good to the country from 
which people emigrate. Emigrants do not return better 
moral men. The whole thing is against Hinduism. 
Temples do not flourish. There are no opportunities 
for ceremonial functions. Priests do not come, and at 
times they are merely men of straw, immigrants play 
much mischief and corrupt society. It is not enterprise. 
They may earn more money easily in those parts, which 


means that they do not want to toil and remain straight 
in the methods of earning. Immigrants are not happier 
and have more material wants." 

Questioned about the Theosophical Society Mr. 
Gandhi said : " There is a good deal of good in the 
Theosophical Society, irrespective of individuals. It 
has stimulated ideas and thoughts." 


This Address was delivered in the Y,M. O.A, Audi- 
torium, Madras, on the I6th February 1916, the Hon. 
Rev. G. Pittendrigh, of the Madras Christian College, 
presiding : — 

To many of the students who came here last year 
to converse with me, I said I was about to establish an 
institution — Ashrama — somewhere in India, and it is 
about that place that I am going to talk to you this 
morning. I feel and I, have felt, during the whole of 
my public life, that what we need, what any nation 
needs, but we perhaps of all the nations of the world 
need just now is nothing else and nothing less than 
<:haracter-building. And this is the view propounded 
by that great patriot, Mr. Gokhale (cheers), As you 
know in many of his speeches, he used to say that we 
would get nothing, we would deserve nothing unless we 
had character to back what we wished for. Hence his 
founding of that great body, the Servants of India 
Society. And as yon know, in the prospectus that has 
been issued in connection with the Society, Mr. Gokhale 
has deliberately stated that it was necessary to 
spiritualise the political life of the country. You 
know also that he used to say so often that our aver- 


age was less than the average of so many European 
nations. I do not know whether that statement by 
him whom, with pride, I consider to be my political 
Guru, has really foundation in fact, but I do believe 
that there is much to be said to justify it in so far as 
educated India is concerned ; not because we, the 
educated portion of the community, have blundered, 
but because we have been creatures of circumstances. 
Be that as it may, this is the maxim of life which 
I have accepted, namely, that no work done by any 
man, no matter how great he is, will really prosper 
unless he has religious backing. But what is religion ? 
The question will be immediately asked. I for one, 
would answer : Not the religion which you will get 
after reading all the scriptures of the world; it is not 
really a grasp by the braiu, but it is a heart-grasp. It 
is a thing which is not alien to us, but it is a thing 
which has to be evolved out of us. It is always within 
us, with some consciously so ; with the others quite 
unconsciously. But it is there ; and whether . we wake 
up this religions instinct in us through outside assistance 
or by inward growth, no matter how it is done, it has 
got to be done if we want to do anything in the right 
manner and anything that is going to persist. 

Our Scriptures have laid down certain rules as 
maxims of life and as axioms which we have to 
take for granted as self-demonstrated truths. The 
Shastras tell us that without living, according to these 
maxims, we are incapable even of having a reasonable 
perception of relgion. Believing in these implicity for 
all these long years and having actually endeavoured to 
reduce to practice these injunctions of the Shastras, 1 
have deemed it necessary to seek the association of those 


•who think with me, in founding this institution. And 1 
shall venture this morning to place before you the rules 
that have been drawn up and that have to be observed 
by every one who seeks to be a member of that 

Five of these are known as Yamas and the first 
and the foremost is, 


Not truth simply as we ordinarily understand it, 
that as far as possible, vre ought not to resort to a lidj 
that is to say, not truth which merely answers the say- 
ing, " Honesty is the best policy"— ^implying that if it is 
not the best policy, we may depart from it. Bot here 
-truth as it is conceived, means that we have to rule our 
life by this law of Truth at any cost. And in order to 
satisfy the definition I have drawn upon the celebrated 
illustration of the life of Prahlad. For the sake of 
truth, he dared to oppose his own father, and he defend- 
ed himself, not by retaliation, by paying his father back 
in his own coin, but in defence of Truth, 'as he knew it; 
he was prepared to die without caring to return the 
blows that he had received from his father or from 
those who were charged with his father's instruc- 
tions. Not only that : he would not in any way 
even parry the blows : on the contrary, with a smile 
on his lips, he underwent the innumerable tortures 
to which he was subjected, with the result that, at 
last. Truth rose triumphant; not that Prahlad suffered 
the tortures because he knew that some day or other 
in his very life-time he would be able to demonstrate 
the infallibility of the Law of Truth. That fact was 
there ; but if he had died in the midst of tortures, he 
would still have adhered to Truth. That is the Truth 


which I would like to follow. There was an incident 
I noticed yesterday. It was a trifling incident, but I 
think these trifling incidents are' like straws which 
show which way the wind is blowing. The incident was 
this : I was talking to a friend who wanted to talk to 
me aside, and we were engaged in a private conver- 
sation, A third friend dropped in, and be politely ask'ed 
"whether he was intruding. The friend to whom I was 
talking said : "Oh, no, there is nothing private here," 
I felt taken aback a little, because, as I was taken 
aside, I knew that so far as this friend was concerned, 
the conversation was private. But he immediately, 
•out of politeness, I would call it overpoliteness, said, 
there was no private conversation and that he (the 
third friend) could join. I suggest to you that this is a 
•departure from my definition of Truth. I think that the 
-friend should have, in the gentlest manner possible, but 
:StilI openly and frankly, said ; " Yes, just now, as you 
rroperly say, you would be intruding," without giving 
the slightest offence to the person if he was himself a 
:gentleman — ^and we are bound to consider every body to 
be a gentleman unless he proves to be otherwise. But I 
may be told that the incident, after all, proves the genti- 
lity of the nation. I think that it is over-proving the 
case. If we continue to say these things out of polite- 
ness, we really become a nation of hypocrites. I recall 
a. conversation I had with an English friend. He 
was comparatively a stranger. He is a Principal of 
a College and has been in India for several years. 
He was comparing notes with me, and he asked 
me whether I would admit that we, unlike most 
Englishmen, would not dare to say "No" when it was 
"No" that we meant. And I must confess I immediately 


said "Yes"; I agreed -with that statement: — We 
do hesitate to say " No " frankly and boldly, when we 
want to pay due regard to the Sentiments of the person 
whom we are addressing. In our Ashrama we make it 
a rule that we must say " No" when we mean " No," 
regardless of consequences. This then is the first rule. 
Tfien we come to the 


Literally speaking, Ahimsa means non-killing. But 
to me it has a world of meaning and takes me into 
realms much higher, infinitely higher, than the realm to 
which I would go, if I merely understood by Ahimsa 
non-killing. Ahimsa really means that you may not 
offend anybody,you may not harbour an uncharitable 
thought even in connection with one who may<:onsider 
himself to be your enemy. Pray notice the guarded 
nature of this thought ; I do not say " whom you con- 
sider to be your enemy '', but " who may consider him- 
self to be your enemy.'' For one who follows the 
doctrine of Ahimsa there is no room for an enemy ; he 
denies the existence of an enemy. But there are people 
who consider themselves to be his enemies, and he 
cannot help that circumstance. So, it is held that 
we may not harbour an evil thought even in connec- 
tion with such persons. If we return blow for blow, 
we depart from the doctrine of Ahimsa. But I go 
further. If we resent a friend's • action or the so- 
called enemy's action, we still fall short of this doctrine. 
But when I say, we should not resent, 1 do not say 
that we should acquiesce : but by resenting I mean 
wishing thaf some harm should be done to the enemy, or 
that he should be put out of the way, not even by any 
action of ours, but by the action of somebody else, 


or, say, by Divine agency. If we harbour even this 
thought, vre depart from this doctrine of Ahimsa. Those 
who join the Ashrama have to literally accept that 
meaning. That does not mean that we practise that 
doctrine in its entirety. Far from it. It is an ideal 
which we have to reach, and it is an ideal to be reached 
even at this very moment, if we are capable of doing so. 
But it is not a proposition in geometry to be learnt by 
'heart ; it is not even like solving difficult problems in 
higher mathematics ; it is infinitely more difficult than 
solving those problems. Many of you have burnt the 
midnight oil in solving those problems. If you want to 
follow out this doctrine, you will have to do much 
more than burn the midnight oil. You will have to 
pass many a sleepless night, and go through many a 
mental torture and agony before you can reach, before 
you can even be within measurable distance of this goal. 
It is the goal and nothing less than that, you and I have 
to reach, if we want to understand what a religious life 
means, I will not say much more on this doctrine than 
this : that a man who believes in the efficacy of this 
doctrine finds in the ultimate stage, when he is about to 
reach the goal, the whole world at his feet, — not that 
he wants the whole world at his feet, but it must be so. 
If you express your love — Ahimsa — in such a manner 
that it impresses itself indelibly upon your so-called 
enemy, he must return that love. Another thought 
which comes out of this is that, under this rule, there 
is no room for organised assassinations, and there is no 
room for murders even openly committed, and there is 
no room for any violence even for the. sake of your 
country, and even for guarding the honour of preciogs 
ones that maybe under your charge. After" all, that 


would be a poor defence of, the honour. This doctrine 
of Ahimsa tells us that we may guard the honour of 
those who are under our charge by delivering ourselves 
into the hands of the man who would commit the 
sacrilege. And that requires far greater physical and 
mental courage than the delivering of blows. You may 
have some degree of physical power, — I do not say 
courage — and you may use that power. But after 
that is expended, what happens ? The other man 
is filled with wrath and indignation, and you have 
made him more angry by matching your violence against 
his ; and when he has done you to death, the rest of his 
violence is delivered against your charge. But if you 
do not retaliate, but stand your ground, between your 
charge and the opponent, simply receiving the blows 
without retaliating, what happens ? I give you my 
promise that the whole of the violence will be ex- 
pended on you, and your charge will be left unscath- 
ed. Under this plan of life there is no conception of 
patriotism which justifies .such wars as yon witness to- 
day in Europe. Then there is 


Those who want to perform national service, or 
those who Vv'ant to have a glimpse of the real religions 
life, must lead a celibate life, no matter if married or 
unmarried. Marriage but brings a woman closer to- 
gether with the man, and they become friends in a 
special sense, never to be parted either in this life or in 
the lives that are to come. But I do not think that, in 
our conception of marriage, our lusts should necessarily 
enter. Be that as it may, this is what is placed before 
those who come to the Ashratna, I do not deal with 
that at any length. Then we have 


A man who wants to control his animal passions 
easily does so if he controls his palate. I fear this is one 
of the most difScult vows to follow I am just now 
coming after having inspected the Victoria Hostel. I 
saw there not to my dismay, though it should be to my 
dismay ; but I am used to it now. that there are so 
many kitchens, not kitchens that are established in 
order to serve caste restrictions, but kitchens that have 
become necessary in order that people can have the 
condiments, and the exact weight of the condiments to 
which they are used in the respective places from 
which they have come. And therefore we find that for 
the Brahmans themselves there are different compart- 
ments and different kitchens catering for the delicate 
tastes of all these different groups. I suggest to you 
that this is simply slavery to the palate, rather 
than mastery over it. I may say this: unless we 
take our minds off from this habit, and unless we 
shut our eyes to the tea shops and coffee shops 
and all these kitchens, and unless we are satisfied with 
foods that are necessary for the proper maintenance of 
our physical health, and unless we are prepared to rid 
ourselves of stimulating, heating and exciting condi- 
ments that we mix with our food, we will certainly not 
be able to control the over-abundant, unnecessary, and 
exciting stimulation that we may have. If we do not 
do that, the result naturally is, that we abuse ourselves 
and we abuse even the sacred trust given to us, and we 
become less than animals and brutes, eating, drinking 
and indulging in passions we share in common with the 
animals ; but have you ever seen a horse or a cow in- 
dulging in the abuse of the palate as we do.' Do you"I 


suppose that it is a sign of civilization, a sign of real 
life that we should multiply our eatables so far that we 
■do not even know where we are ; and seek dishes until 
at last we have become absolutely mad and run after 
the newspaper sheets which give us advertisements 
about these dishes ? Then we have 


1 suggest that we are thieves in a way. If I take 
anything that I do not need for my own immediate use, 
and keep it, I thieve it from somebody else. I venture to 
suggest that it is the fundamental law of Nature, with- 
out exception, that Nature produces enough for our 
wants from day to-day, and if only everybody took enough 
for himself and nothing more, there would be no 
pauperism in this world, there would be no man dying 
■of starvation in this world. But so long as we have 
got this inequality so long we are thieving. I am no 
socialist and I do not want to dispossess those who have 
got possessions ; but I do say that, personally, those of 
lis who want to see light out of darkness have to follow 
this rule. I do not want to dispossess anybody. I should 
then be departing from the rule of Ahimsa, If somebody 
•else possesses more than I do, let him. But so far as 
my own life has to be regulated, I do say that I darfc 
not possess anything which'^ I do not want. In India 
we have got three millions- of people having to be 
satisfied with one meal a day, and that meal consisting 
-of a chapatti containing no fat in it, and a pinch of 
salt. You and I have no right to any thing that 
we really have until these three millions are clothed 
and fed/ better. You and I, v/ho ought to know^ 
better, must adjust our wants, and even undergo volun- 
tary starvation, in order that they may be nursed, fed 


and clothed. Then there is the vow of non-possession 
w-hich follows as a iiiatter of course. Then I go to 
The vow of Swadeshi is a necessary vow.But you are 
conversant with the Swadeshi life and the Swadeshi 
spirit. I suggest to you we are departing from one of the 
sacred laws of our being when we leave our neighbour 
and go out somewhere else in order to satisfy our wants. 
If a man comes from Bombay here and offers you wares, 
you are not justified in supporting the Bombay merchant 
or trader so long as you have got a merchant at your 
very door, born and bred in Madras. That is my view 
of Swadeshi. In your village-barber, you are bound to 
support him to the exclusion of the finished barber who 
may come to you from Madras. If you find it necessary 
that your village barber should reach the attainments 
of the barber from Madras you may train him to that. 
Send him to Madras by all means, if you wish, in order 
that he may learn his calling. Until you do that, 
you are not justified in going to another barber. 
That is Swadeshi. So, when we find that there are 
many things that we cannot get in India, we must 
try to do without them. We may have to do 
without many things which we may consider necessary; 
but believe me, when you have that frame of 
mind, you will find a great burden taken off your 
shoulders, even as the Pilgrim did in that inimitable 
book, " Pilgrim's Progress." There came a time when 
the mighty burden that the Pilgrim was carrying on his 
shoulders unconsciously dropped from him, and he felt a 
freer man than he was when he started on the journey. 
So will you feel freer men than you are now, immediately 
you adopt this Swadeshi life. We have also 


I found, throughout my wanderings in India, that 
India, educated India, is seized with a paralysing fear. We 
may not open our lips in public ; we may not declare our 
confirmed opinions in public : we may talk about them 
secretly ; and we may do anything we like within the four 
walls of our house, — but those are not for public con- 
sumption. If we had taken a vow of silence I would 
have nothing to say. When we open our lips in public, 
we say things which we do not really believe in. I do 
not know whether this is not the experience of almost 
every public man who speaks in India. I then suggest 
to you that there is only one Being, if Being is the 
proper term to be used, whom we have to fear, and that 
is God. When we fear God, we shall fear no man, no 
matter how high-placed he may be. And if you 
want to follow the vow of truth in any shape or 
form, fearlessness is the necessary consequence. And so 
you find, in the Bhagavad Gita, fearlessness is dfec- 
lared as the first essential quality of a Brahmin. We 
fear consequence, and therefore we are afraid to tell the 
Truth. A man who fears God will certainly not fear 
any earthly consequence. Before we can aspire to the 
poskion of understanding what religion is, and before 
we can aspire to the position of guiding the destinies of 
India, do you not see that we should adopt this habit 
of fearlessness ? Or shall we over-awe our countrymen, 
even as we are over-awed ? We thus see how important 
this " fearlessne ss'" now is. And we have also 


There is an ineffaceable blot that Hinduism to-day 
carries with it. I have declined to believe that it has 
been handed to us from immemorial times. I think that 


this miserable, wretched, enslaving spirit of " untouch" 
ableness" must have come to us when we were in the 
cycle of our lives, at our lowest ebb, and that evil has 
«till stuck to us and it still remains with us. It is, to my 
mind, a curse that has come to us, and as long as that 
curse remains with us, so long I think we are bound to 
consider that every affliction that we labour under in this 
sacred land is a fit and proper punishment for this great 
and indelible crime that we are committing. That any 
person should be considered untouchable because of his 
calling passes one's comprehension ; and you, the 
Student world, who receive all this modern education, if 
you become a party to this crime, it were better that 
you received no education whatsoever. 

Of course, we are labouring under a very heavy 
handicap. Although you may realise that there cannot 
be a single human being on this earth who should be 
considered to be untouchable, you cannot react upon 
your families, you cannot react upon your surroundings, 
'because all your thought is conceived in a foreign 
tongue, and all your energy is devoted to that. And so 
we have also introduced a* rule in this Ashrama : that 
we shall receive our 


In Europe every cultured man learns, not only his 
language, but also other languages, certainly three or 
four. And even as they do in Europe, in order to solve 
the problem of language in India, we, in this Ashrama, 
make it a point to learn as many Indian vernaculars as 
we possibly can. And I assure you that the trouble of 
learning these languages is nothing compared to the 
trouble that we have to take in mastering the English 
langMage. We never master the English langaage : with 


some exceptions it has not been possible for us to do so;; 
We can never express ourselves as clearly as we can in 
our own mother tongue. How dare we rub out of our 
memoiry all the years of our infancy ? But that is 
precisely .what we do when we commence our higher 
life, as we call it, through the medium of a foreign ton- 
gue. This creates a breach in our lifg for bringing 
which, we shall have to pay dearly and heavily. And you 
will see now the connection between these two things,— 
education and untouchableness — this persistance of the 
spirit of untouchableness even at this time of the day in 
spite of the spread of knowledge and education. Educa- 
tion has enabled us to see the horrible crime. But we 
are seized with fear also and therefore, we cannot take 
this doctrine to our homes. And we have got a super- 
stitious veneration for our family traditions and for the 
members of our family. You say, " My parents will die 
if I tell them that I, at least, can no longer partake of 
his crime." I say that Prahlad never considered that 
his father would die if he pronounced the sacred 
syllables of the name of Vishnu. On the cqntrary, he 
made the whole of that household ring, from one corner 
to another, by repeating that name even in the 
sacred presence of his father. And so you and I may 
do this thing in the sacred presence of our parents. 
If, after receiving this rude shock, some of them expire, 
I think that would be no calamity. It may be that 
some rude shocks of the kind mig^t have to be deli- 
vered. So long as we persist in these things which 
have been handed down to us for generations, these in- 
cidents may happen. But there is a higher law of 
Nature, and in due obedience to that higher law, my 
parents and myself should make that sacrifice. 



You may ask : "Why should we use our hands ?" 
asd say "the manual work has got to be done by those 
who are illiterate. I can only occupy myself with read- 
ing literature and political essays." I think we have to 
realise the dignity of labour. If a barber or shoe-maker 
attends a college, he ought not to abandon the profes- 
sion of barber or shoe-maker. I consider that a barber's 
profession is just as good as the profession of medicine. 

Last of all, when you have conformed to these rules, 
think that then, and not till then, you may come to 


and dabble in them to your heart's content, and certaini- 
ly you will then never go wrong. Politics, divorced of 
religion, has absolutely no meaning. If the student- 
world crowd the political platforms of this country, 
to my mind, it is not necessarily a healthy sign of 
national growth ; but that does not mean that you, in 
your student life, ought not to study politics. Politics 
are a part of our being ; we ought to understand our 
national institutions, and we ought to understand 
our national growth and all those things. We may 
do it from our infancy. So, in our Ashrama, every 
child is taught to understand the political institutions 
of our country, and to know how the country is vibrat- 
ing with new emotions, with new aspirations, with 
a new life. But we want also the steady light, the in- 
fallible light, of religious faith, not a faith which 
merely appeals to the intelligence,, but a faith which is 
indelibly inscribed on the heart. First, we want to 
realise that religious consciousness, and immediately we 
have done that, I think the whole department of life is 
open to JHS, and it should then be a sacred privilege of 


students and everybody to partake of that whole life, 
so that, when they grow to manhood and when they 
leave their colleges, they may do so as men properly 
equipped to battle with life. To-day what happens is 
this : much of the political life is confined to student 
life ; immediately the students Iteave their colleges and 
cease to be students, they sink into oblivion, they seek 
miserable employments, carrying miserable emoluments, 
rising no higher in their aspirations, knowing nothing 
of God, knowing nothing of fresh air or bright light 
and nothing of that real vigorous independence that 
comes out of obedience to these laws that I have ven- 
tured to place before you. 


Mr. Gandhi was entertained by the merchants of 
Broach during his visit to the city and presented with an 
address of welcome. Mr, Gandhi replied to the address 
in the following terms : — 

Merchant always have the spirit of adventiure, 
intellect and wealth, as without these qualities their 
business cannot go on. But now they must have the 
fervour of patriotism in them. Patriotism is necessary 
even for religion. If the spirit of patriotism is awakened 
through religious fervour, then that patriotism will 
shine out brilliantly. So it is necessary that patriotism 
should be roused in the mercantile community. 

The merchants take more part in public affairs now- 
a-days than before. When merchants take to politics 
through patriotism, Swaraj is as good as obtained. 
Some of you might be wondering how we can get 
Swaraj. I lay my hand on my heart and say that, 


■when the merchant class understands the sprit of 
patriotism, then only can we get Swaraj quickly. 
Swaraj then will be quite a natural thing. 

Amongst the various keys which will unlock Swaraj 
to us, the Swadeshi Vow is the golden one. It is in the 
hands of the merchants to compel the observance of the 
Swadeshi Vow in the country, and this is an adventure 
which can be popularised by the merchants. I humbly 
request you to undertake this adventure, and then you 
will see what wonders you can do. 

This being so, I have to say with regret that it is 
the merchant class which has brought ruin to the 
Swadeshi practice, and the Swadeshi moveinent in this 
country. Complaints have lately risen in Bengal about 
the increase of rates, and one of them is against Gujarat. 
It is complained there that the prices of Dhotis have 
been abnormally increased aud Dhotis go from Gujarat. 
No one wants you not to earn money, but it must be 
earned righteously and not be ill-gotton. Merchants 
must earn money by fair means. Unfair means must 
never be used. 

Continuing, Mr. Gandhi said : India's strength lies 
with the merchant class. So much does not lie even 
with the army. Trade is the cause of war, and the 
merchant class has the key of war in their hands. 
Merchants raise the money and the army is raised on 
the strength of it. The power of England and Germany 
rests on thier trading class. A country's prosperity 
depends upon its mercantile community, I consider it 
as a sign of good luck that I should receive an address 
from the merchant class. Whenever I remember 
Broach, I will enquire if the merchants who have 
given me an address this day have righteous faith and 


patriotism. If I receive a disappointing reply, I will- 
think that merely a wave of giving addresses had: 
come over India and that I had a share in it. 


Mr. Gandhi wrote the /allowing reply to Mr. Irwin's 
criticism of his dress in the " Pioneer ' ' during the 
Ohamparan enquiry. 

I have hitherto successfully resisted to temptation^ 
of either answering your or Mr. Irwin's criticism of the 
humble work 1 am doing in Champaran. Nor am I 
going to succumb now except with regard to a matter 
which Mr. Irwin has thought fit to dwell upon and 
about which he has not even taken the trouble of being, 
correctly informed. I refer to his remarks on my 
manner of dressing. 

My "familiarity with the minor amenities of 
western civilisation " has taught me to respect my 
national costume, and it may interest Mr. Irwin to know 
that the dress I wear in Champaran is the dress L 
have always worn in India except that for a very short 
period in India I fell an easy prey in common with the 
rest of my countrymen to the wearing of semi-European 
dress in the courts and elsewhere outside Kathiawar. I 
appeared before the Kathiawar courts now 21 years ago 
in precisely the dress I wear in Champaran. 

One change I have made and it is that, having taken- 
to the occupation of weaving and agriculture and having 
taken the vow of Swadeshi, my clothing is now entirely 
hand-woven and hand-sewn and made by me or my fellow 
workers. Mr. Irwiiv's letter suggests that I appear before- 
the ryots in a dress I have temporarily and specially 


adopted in Champaran to produce an efFecti The fact 
is that I wear the national dress because it it the most 
natural and the most becoming for an Indian. I believe 
that our copying of the European dress is a sign of our 
degradation, humiliation and our weakness, and that we 
are committing a national sin in discarding a dress which 
is best suited to the Indian climate and which, for its 
simplicity, art and cheapness, is not to be beaten on the 
face of the earth and which answers hygienic require- 
ments. Had it not been for a false pride and equally 
false notions of prestige, Englishmen here would long 
ago have adopted the Indian costume. I may mention 
incidentally that I do not go about Champaran bare 
headed. I do avoid shoes for sacred reasons. But I find 
too that it is more natural and healthier to avoid them 
whenever possible. 

I am sorry to inform Mr. Irwin and your readers that 
my esteemed friend Babu Brijakishore Prasad, the " ex- 
Hon. Member of Council," still remains unregenerate 
and retains the provincial cap and never walks barefoot 
and " kicks up" a terrible noise even in the house we 
are living in by wearing wooden sandals. He has still not 
the courage, inspite of most admirable contact with me, 
to discard his semi-anglicised dress and whenever he goes 
to see officials he puts his legs into the bifurcated 
garment and on his own admission tortures himself by 
cramping his feet in inelastic shoes. I cannot induce him 
to believe that his clients won't desert him and the 
courts won't punish him if he wore his more becoming 
and less expensive dhoti. I invite you and Mr. Irwin not 
to believe the "stories" that the latter hears about me 
and my friends, but to join me in the crusade against 
■educated Indians abandoning their manners, habits and 


customs which are not proved to be bad or harmfuU 
Finally I venture to warn you and Mr. Irwin that you 
and he will ill-serve the cause both of you consider is- 
in danger by reason of my presence in Champaran if you- 
continue, as you have done, to base your strictures on 
unproved facts. I ask you to accept my assurance that 
I should deem myself unworthy of the friendship and 
confidence of hundreds of my English ftiends and associ- 
ates — not all of them fellow-cranks — if in similar 
circumstances I acted towards them differently from my 
own countrymen. 


The following is an extract from a Gujarati letter 
addressed by Mr, Gandhi, to a Mahomedan corres- 
pondent : 

I never realise any distinction between a Hindu and 
a Mahomedan. To my mind, both are sons of Mother 
India. I know that Hindus are in a numerical majority, 
and that they are believed to be more advanced in know- 
ledge and education. Accordingly, they should be glad 
to give way so much the more to their Mahomedan 
brethren. As a man of truth, I honestly believe that 
Hindus should yield up to the Mahomedans what the 
latter desire, and that they should rejoice in so doing- 
We can expect unity only if such mutual large-hearted- 
ness is displayed. When the Hindus and Mahomedans 
act towards each other as blood-brothers, then alone can 
there be unity, then only can we hope for the dawn of 


The following is the Presidential address to the 
Second Gujarat Educational Conference held at Broach 
in October 20, 1917, specially translated for the " Indian 


The Gujarat Education League that has called us 
together has set before it three objects : 

(1) To cultivate and express public opinion on 
matters of education. 

(2) To carry on sustained agitation on educational 

(3) To take all practical steps for the spread of 
education in Gujarat. 

I shall endeavour to the best of my ability to place 
before you my thoughts on these objects and the conclu- 
sions I have arrived at. 

It must be clear enough to everybody that our first 
business is to consider and form an opinion about the 
.medium of instruction. Without fixing the medium all 
our other efforts are likely to be fruitless. To go on 
educating our children without determining the medium 
is like an attempt to build without a foundation. 

Opinion seems to be divided on the matter. One 
party claim that instruction ought to be imparted 
through the vernacular (Gujarati in this province,'. The 
other will have English as the medium. Both are guided 
by pure motives. Both are lovers of their country. But 
good intentions alone are not sufficient for reaching a 
goal. It is world-wide experience that good intentions 


X)ften take a man to a bad place. It is, therefore, our 
duty to examine on their merits the contentions of both 
the parties and, if possible, to arrive at a final and 
unanimous conclusion on this great -question. That it is 
gresLt no one can doubt. We cannot, therefore, give too 
■much consideration to it. 

It is, moreover, a question which affects the whole 
of India. But every Presidency or Province can come 
to an independent conclusion. It is in no way essential 
that, before Gujarat may move, all the other parts of 
India should arrive at a unanimous decision. 

We shall, however, be better able to solve our diffi- 
culties by glancing at similar movements in other pro- 
vinces. When the heart of Bengal, at the time of the 
Partition, was throbbing with the Swadeshi spirit, an 
attempt was made to impart all instruction through 
Bengali. A National College was established. Rupees 
poured in. But the experiment proved barren. It is 
my humble belief that the organisers of the movement 
had no faith in the experiment. The teachers fared no 
better. The educate.d class of Bengal seemed to dote 
upon English. It has been suggested that it is the 
Bengali's command over the English language that has • 
promoted the growth of Bengali literature. Facts do 
not support the view. Sir Rabindranath Tagore's 
wonderful hold on Bengali is not due to his command 
of the English language. His marvellous Bengali is 
dependent upon his love of the mother tongue. 
"Gitanjali" was first written in Bengali. The great 
poet uses only Bengali speech in Bengal. The 
speech that he recently delivered in Calcutta on the 
present situation was in Bengali. Leading men and 
women of Bengal were among the audience. Some of 


them told me that for an hour and a half, by a ceaseless 
flow of language, he kept the audience spell-bound. He 
has not derived his thoughts from English literature. 
He claims that he has received them from the atmos- 
phere of the soil. He has drunk them from the 
ypanishads. The Indian sky has showered them upon 
him. And I understand that the position of the other 
Bengali writers is very similar to the poet's. 

When Mahatma Munshiramji, majestic as the 
Himalayas, delivers his addresses in charming Hirdi 
the audience composed of men, women and children 
listen to him and understand his message. His know- 
ledge of English he reserves for his English friends. He 
does not translate English thought into Hindi. 

It is said of the Hon. Pandit Madan Mohan 
Malaviaji, who, thcugh a hcuseholder, has, for the 
sake of India, dedicated himself entirely to the country, 
that his English speech is silvery. His silvery 
eloquence compels Viceregal attention. But if his Eng- 
lish speech is silvery, his Hindi speech shines golden 
like the waters of the Ganges under the sunbeams, as 
they descend from the Mansarovar. 

These three speakers do not owe their power to 
their English knowledge, but to their love of the ver- 
naculars. The services rendered by the late Swami 
Dayanand to Hindi owe nothing to the English langu- 
age. Nor did English play any part in the contributions 
of Tukaram and Ramdas to Marathi literature. The 
English language can receive no credit for the growth 
in Gujarati literature i from Premanard's pen as of 
Shamal Chat's and quite recently of Dalpatram. 

The foregoing illustrations seem to afford sufficient 
proof that love of, and faith in, the vernaculars, rather 


tlian a knowledge of English are necessary for their 

We shall arrive at the same conclusion when we 
consider how languages grow. They are a reflectiou 
lof the character of the people who use them. One 
Tv'ho knows the dialects of the Zulus of South Africa 
inows their manners and customs. The character of a 
language depends upon the qualities and acts of the 
people. We shold unhesitatingly infer that a nation 
■could not possess warlike, kind hearted and truthful 
people, if its language contained no expressions 
denoting these qualities. And we should fail to 
make that language assimilate such expressions by 
borrowing them from another language and forcing 
them into its dictionary, nor will such spurious 
importation make warriors of those who use that 
speech, You cannot get steel out of a piece of 
ordinary iron, but you can make effective use of rusty 
steel, by ridding it of its rust. We have long laboured 
tinder servility and our vernaculars abound in servile 
expressions, The English language is probably unrival- 
led in its vocabulary of nautical terms. But if an 
enterprising Gujarati presented Gujarat with a transla- 
tion of those terms, he would add nothing to the langu- 
age and we should be none the wiser for his effort. 
And if we took up the calling of sailors and provided 
■ourselves with shipyards and even a navy, we should 
automatically have terms which would adequately 
express our activity in this direction. The late Rev. J- 
Taylor gave the same opinion in his Gujarati Gram* 
mar. He says : " One sometimes hears people asking 
^whether Gujarati may be considered a complete or 
an incomplete language. There is a proverb, ' As 


the king, so his subjects ; as the teacher, so the 
papil.' Similarly it can ba said, ' As the speaker, so the 
language. ' Shamalbhatt and other poets do not appear 
to have been obsessed with an idea of the incomplete- 
ness of Gujarati when they expressed their different 
thoughts, but they so coined new expressions and 
manipulated the old that their thoughts became current 
jn the language. 

" In one respect all languages are incomplete. Man's 
reason is limited and language fails him when he begins 
to talk of God and Eternity. Human reason controls 
human speech. It is, therefore, limited, to the extent 
that reason itself is limited, and in that sense all langu- 
ages are incomplete. The ordinary rule regarding ■ 
language is that a language takes shape in accordance 
with the thoughts of its wielders. If they are sensible, 
their language is full of sense, and it becomes 
nonsense when foolish people speak it. There is an 
[English proverb, " A bad carpenter quarrels with his 
tools." Those who quarrel with a language are often 
like the bad carpenter. To those who have to deal with 
the English language and its literature, the Gujarati 
language may appear incomplete for the simple reason 
that translation from English into Gujarati is difficult. 
The fault is not in the language but in the people be- 
fore whom the translation is placed. They are not used 
to new words, new subjects and new manipulations 
of their language. The speaker, therefore, is taken 
aback. How shall a singer sing before a deaf man? And 
how can a writer deliver his soul until his readers 
have developed a capacity for weighing the new with 
.the old and sifting the good from the bad. 

"Again some translators seem to think that Gujarat 


they have imbibed with their mother's milk, and 
they have learnt English at school, and that they, 
therefore, have become mastors of two languages, anJ 
need not take up Gujarati as a study. But attainment of 
perfection in one's mother tongue is more difficult than 
effort spent in learning a foreign tongue. An examina- 
tion of the works of Shamalbhatt and other poets will 
reveal endless effort in every line. To one indisposed; 
to undergo mental strain, Gujarati will appear 
incomplete. But it will cease to so appear after a 
proper effort. If the worker is lazy, the language will 
fail him. It will yield ample results to an industrious 
man. It will be found to be capable even of ornament- 
ation. Who dare be little Gujarati, a member of the 
Aryan family, a daughter of Sanskrit, a sister of many 
noble tongues ? May God bless it and may there be in it 
to the end of time, good literature, sound knowledge and 
expression of true religion. And may God bless the 
speech and may we hear its praise from the mothera 
and the scholars of Gujarat." 

Thus we see that it was neither the imperfection of 
Bengali speech, nor impropriety of the effort that was 
responsible for the failure of the movement in Bengal 
to impart instruction through Bengali. We have con- 
sidered the question of incompleteness. Impropriety of 
the effort cannot be inferred from an examination of the 
movement. It may be that the workers in the cause 
lacked fitness or faith. 

In the north, though Hindi is being developed, real 
effort to make it a medium seems to have been confined 
only to the Arya Samajists. The experiment continues 
in the Gurukuls. 

In the Presidency of Madras the movement com- 


menced only a few years ago. There is greater intensity 
pf purpose among the Telugus than among the Tamils. 
English has acquired such a hold of the literary class 
among the Tamils that they have not the energy 
-even to conduct their proceedings in Tamil, The 
English language has not affected the Telugus to that 
extent. They therefore, make greater use of Telugu. 
They are not only making an attempt to make Telugu 
ihe medium of instruction ; they are heading a move- 
ment to repartition India on a linguistic basis. And 
though the propagation of this idea was commenced 
^nly recently, the work is being handled with so much 
energy that they are likely to see results within a short 
-time. There are many rocks in their way. But the 
.leaders of the movement have impressed me with their 
ability to break them down. 

In the Deccan the movement goes ahead. That good 
soul Prof. Karve is the leader of the movement. Mr. 
Naik is working in the same direction. Private institu- 
iions are engaged in the experiment. Prof. Bijapurkar, 
has, after great labour, succeeded in reviving his experi- 
ment and we shall see it in a i short t'me crystallised 
into a school. He had^devised a scheme for preparing 
text-books. Some have been printed and some are ready 
for print. The teachers in that institution- never bet- 
rayed want of faith in their cause. Had the institution 
not been closed down, so far "as Marathi is concerned 
the question of imparting all instruction through it 
would have been solved. •♦ , '' 

We learn from an article in a local magazine by Rao 
Bahadur Hargovindas Kantawala that a movement for 
making Gujarati the medium of instruction has alre'ady 
heea made in Gujarat. Prof. Ga jgar and the'^late Diwan 


Bahadur Manibhai Jushbhai initiated it. It remains for 
us to consider whether we shall water the seed sown by^ 
them. I feel that every moment's delay means so much 
harm done to us. In receiving education through English 
at least sixteen years are required. Many experienced, 
teachers have given it as their opinion that the same 
subjects can be taught through the vernaculars in ten 
years' time. Thus by saving six years of their lives^ 
for thousands of our children we might save thousands 
of years for the nation. 

The strain of receiving instruction through a 
foreign medium is intolerable. Our children alone can. 
bear it, but they have to pay for it. They become unfit 
for bearing any other strain. For this reason our 
graduates are mostly without stamina, weak, devoid of 
energy, diseased and mere imitators. Originality, re- 
search, adventure, ceaseless effort, courage, dauntless- 
ness and such other qualities have become atrophied. 
We are thus incapacitated for undertaking new enter- 
prises, and we are unable to carry them through if 
we undertake any. Some who can give proof of such 
qualities die an untimely death. An English writer 
had said that the non-Europeans are the blotting-sheets 
of European civilisation. What ever truth there may 
be in this cryptic statement, it is not due to the natural 
unfitness of the Asiatics. It is the unfitness of the 
medium of instruction which is responsible for the 
result. The Zulus of South Africa are otherwise inter- 
prising, powerfully built and men of character. They 
a!re not hampered by child-marriages and such other 
defects. And yet the position of their educated class is 
the same as ours. With them the medium of instruc- 
tion is Dutch, They easily obtain command over Dutch; 


as we do over English, and like us they too on comple- 
tion of their education loose their energy and for the 
most part become imitators. Originality leaves them 
along with the mother-tongue. We the English- 
educated class are unfit to ascertain the true measure of 
the harm done by the unnatural system. . We should 
get some idea of it if we realised how little we have 
reacted upon the masses. The outspoken views on 
education that our parents sometimes give vent to are 
thought-compelling. We dote upon our Boses and 
Roys. Had our people been educated through their 
vernaculars during the last fifty years, I am sure that 
the presence in our midst of a Bose or a Roy would not 
have filled us with astonishment. 

Leaving aside for the moment the question of 
propriety or otherwise of the direction that Japanese 
energy has taken, Japanese enterprise must amaze 
us. The national awakening there has taken place 
through their national language, and so there is a fresh- 
ness about every activity of theirs. They are teaching 
their teachers. They have falsified the blotting-sheet 
smile. Education has stimulated national life, and the 
world watches dumbstruck Japan's activities. The 
harm done to national life by the medium being a 
foreign tongue is immeasurable. 

The correspondence that should exist between the 
school training and the character imbibed with the mo- 
ther's milk and the training received through her sweet 
speech is absent when the school training is given 
through a foreign tongue. However pure may be his 
motives, he who thus snaps the cord that should bind 
the school-life and the home-life is an enemy of the 
nation. We are traitors to our mothers by remaining 


under such a system. The harm done goes much further; 
A gulf has bean created between the educated classes 
and the uneducated masses. The latter do not know us. 
We do not know the former. They consider us to be 
' Saheblog.' They are afraid of us. They do not trust 
us. If such a state of things were to continue for any 
length of time, a time may come for Lord Curzon's 
charge to be true, viz., that the literary classes do not 
represent the masses. 

Fortunately the educated class seems to be waking 
up from its trance. They experience the difficulty of 
contact with the masses. How can they infect the masses 
with their own enthusiasm for the national cause ? They 
cannot do so through English. They have not enough 
ability or none for doing so through Gujarati. They find 
it extremely difficult to put their thoughts into Gujarati. 
I often hear opinion expressed about this difficulty. 
Owing to the barrier thus created the flow of national 
life suffers impediment. 

Macaulay's object in giving preference to the Eng- 
lish language over the vernaculars was pure. He had 
a contempt for our literature. It affected us and we for- 
got ourselves and just as a pupil often outdoes the teacher 
so was the case with us. Macaulay thought that we 
would be instrumental in spreading western civilisation 
among the masses. His plan was that some of us would 
learn English, form our character and spread the new 
thought among the millions. (It is not necessary here 
to consider the soundness of this vew. We are merely 
examining the question of the medium.) We, on the 
other hand, discovered in English education a medium 
for obtaining wealth and we gave that use of it predo- 
minance. Some of us found in it a stimulus for our 


patriotism. So the original intention went into the back- 
ground, and the English language spread beyond the 
limit set by Macaulay. We have lost thereby. 

Had we the reins of Government in our hands we 
-would have soon detected the error. We could not have 
abandoned the vernaculars. The governing class has 
not been able to do so. Many perhaps do not know that 
the language of our courts is considered to be Gujarati. 
The Government have to have the Acts of the 
legislature translated in Gujarati. The official addresses 
delivered at Darbar gatherings are translated there and 
then. We see Gujarati and other vernaculars used side 
by side with English in currency notes. The mathemati- 
cal knowledge required of the surveyors is difficult 
enfiugh. But Revenue work would have been too costly, 
had surveyors been required to know English. Special 
terms have, therefore been coined for the use of sur- 
veyors. They excite pleasurable wonder. If we had a 
■trae love for our venaculars we could even now make . 
use of some of the means at our disposal for their 
spread. If the pleader were to begin to make use of 
the Gujarati language in the courts they would save 
their clients much money, and the latter will gain some 
necessary knowledge of the laws of 'the land, and 
will begin to appreciate their rights. Interpreters' 
fees would be saved, and legal terms would become 
current in the language. It is true the pleaders will 
have to make some effort for the attainment of this 
happy result. I am sure, nay, I speak from experience, 
that their clients will lose nothing thereby. There is 
no occasion to fear that arguments advanced in Gujarati 
will have less weight. Collectors and other officials are 
expected to know Gujarati. But by our superstitious 


regard for English we allow their knowledge to become- 

It has been argued that the use we made of English 
for attainment of wealth, and for stimulating patriotism 
was quite proper. The agument however, has no 
bearing on the question before us. We shall bow to- 
those who learn English for the sake of gaining wealth 
or for serving the country otherwise. But we would' 
surely not make English the medium on that account. 
My only object in referring to such a use of the English^ 
language was to show that it continued its abuse as a 
medium of instruction and thus produced an untoward' 
result. Some contend that only English-knowing; 
Indians have been fired with the patriotic spirit. The 
past few months have shown us something quite^ 
different. But even if we were to admit that claim on 
behalf of English, we could say that the others never 
had an opportunity. Patriotism of the English-educated' 
class has not proved infectious, whereas a truly patriotic 
spirit ought to be t?,ll-pervading. 

It has been stated that the foregoing arguments, no 
matter how strong they may be in themselves, are im- 
practicable. " It is a matter for sorrow that other 
branches of learning should suffer for the sake of 
English. It is certainly undesirable that we should 
suffer an undue mental strain in the act of gaining com- 
mand over the English language. It is, however, my 
humble opinion that there is no escape for us from hav- 
ing to bear this hardship, regard being had to the fact of 
our relationship with the English language, and to find; 
out a way. These are not the views of an ordinary 
writer. They are owned by one who occupies a front 
rank among the Gujarati men of letters. He is a lover 


of Gujarati. We are bound to pay heed to whatever 
Prof. Dhruva writes. Few of us have the experience 
he has. He has rendered great service to the cause of 
Gujarati literature and education. He has a perfect 
right to advise and to criticise. In the circumstances one 
like me has to pause. Again the views above express- 
ed are shared with Prof. Dhruva by several prota- 
gonists of the English language. Prof. Dhruva has 
stated them in dignified language. And it is our duty 
to treat them with respect. My own position is still 
more delicate. I have been trying an experiment in 
national education under his advice and gnidance. In 
that institution Gujarati is the medium of instruction. 
Enjoying such an mtimate relation with Prof. Dhruva I 
hesitate to offer anything by way of criticism of his 
views. Fortunately, Prof. Dhruva regards both 
systems, the one wherein English is the medium and 
the other in which the mother tongue is the medium, in 
the nature of experiment ; he has expressed no final 
opinion on either. My hesitation about criticising his 
views is lessened on that account. It seems to me that 
we lay too much stress on our peculiar relationship 
with the English language. I knoVv that I may not 
with perfect freedom deal with this subject from this 
platform. But it is not improper even for those who 
cannot handle political subjects to consider the follow- 
ing proposition. The English connection subsists solely 
for the benefit of India, On no other basis can it be 
defended. English statesmen thdmselves have admit- 
ted that the idea that one nation should rule another 
is intolerable, undesirable and harmful for both. This 
proposition is accepted as a maxim beyond challenge in 
quarters where it is considered from an altruistic 


Standpoint. If then both the rulers and the nation are 
satisfied that the mental calibre of the nation suffers by 
reason of English being the medium, the system ought 
to be altered without a moment's delay. It would be a 
demonstration of our manliness to remove obstacles 
however great in our path, and if this view be accepted, 
those like Prof. Dhruva who admit the harm done to 
our mental calibre do not stand in need of any other 

I do riot consider it necessary to give any thought 
-to the possibility of our knowledge of English suffering 
by reason of t he Vernacular occupying its place. It is 
my humble belief that not only is it unnecessary for all 
■educated Indians to acquire command over English, but 
that it is equally unnecessary to induce a taste for 
acquiring such command. 

Some Indians will undoubtedly have to learn 
English. Prof. Dhruva has examined the question 
with a lofty purpose only. But examining from all 
points we would find that it will be necessary for two 
classes to know English : — 

d) Those patriots who have a capacity for lear- 
ning languages, who have time at their disposal and 
who are desirous of exploring the English literature 
and placing the results before the nation, or those who 
wish to make use of the English language for the sake 
of coming in touch with the rulers. 

(2) Those who wish to make use of their know- 
ledge of English for the sake of acquiring wealth. 

There is not only no harm in treating English as an 
joptional subject, and giving these two classes of candi- 
dates the best training in it, but it is even necessary to 
secure for them every convenience. In such a scheme 


the mother-tongue will still remain the medium. Prof. 
Dhruva fears that if we do not receive all instruction 
through English, but leafn it as a foreign language, it 
will share the fate of Persian, Sanskrit and other lan- 
guages. With due respect I must say that there is a 
hiatus in this reasoni!^. Many Englishmen, although 
they receive their training through English possess a 
high knowledge of French and are 'able to use it fully for 
all their purposes. There are men in India who although 
they have received their training through English have 
acquired no mean command over French and other lan- 
guages. The fact is that when English occupies its pro- 
per place and the vernaculars receive their due, our 
minds which are to-day imprisoned will be set free and 
our brains though cultivated and trained, and yet being 
fresh will not feel the weight of having to learn English 
as a language. And, it is my belief that English thu& 
learnt will be better than our English of to day. And 
our intellects being active, we should make more effec- 
tive use of our English knowledge. Weighing the pros 
and cons, therefore, this seems to be the way that will 
satisfy many ends. 

When we receive our education through tjie mother-- 
tongue, we should observe a different atmosphere in our 
homes. At present we are unable to make our wives 
co-partners with us. They know little of our activity.- 
Our parents do not know what we learn. If we receive 
instruction through the mother-tongue we should easily 
make our washermen, our barbers, and our bhangis, par- 
takers of the high knowledge we might have gained. In 
England one discusses high politics with barbers while- 
having a shave. We are unable to do so even in our 
family circle, not because the members of the family or 


the barbers are ignorant people. Their intellect is as 
well-trained as that of the English barber. We are able 
to discuss intelligently withtljem the events of " Maha- 
bharata," " Ramayana" and of our holy places. For 
the national training flows in that direction. But we 
are unable to take home what we receive in our schools. 
We cannot reproduce before the family circle what we 
have learnt through the English language. 

At the present moment the proceedings of our 
"Legislative Councils are conducted in English. In many 
other institutions the same state of things prevails. We 
are, therefore, in the position of a miser who buries 
underground all his riches. We fare no better in our law 
courts. Judges often address words of wisdom The 
court going public is always eager to hear what the 
Judges have to say But they know no more than 
the dry decisions of the Judges. They do not even 
:understand their counsels' addresses. Doctors receiving 
diplomas in Medical Colleges treat their patients no 
better. They are unable to give necessary instructions 
to their'patients. They often do not know the vernacular 
names of the dififerent members of the body. Their con- 
nection, therefore, with their patients, as a rule, does not 
travel beyond the writing of prescriptions. It is brought 
up as a charge against us that through our thoughtless- 
ness we allow the water that flows from the mountain- 
tops during the rainy season to goto waste, and similar- 
ly treat valuable manure worth lakhs of rupees and 
get disease in the bargfain. In the same manner 
being crushed under the weight of having to learn 
English and through want of far-sightedness we are 
unable to give to the nation what it should receive 
At our hands, There is no exaggeration in this 


•Statement. It is an expression of the feelings that are 
Taging within me. We shall have to pay dearly for our 
continuous disregard of the mother-tongue. The nation 
has suffered much by reason of it. It is the first duty 
of the learned class now to deliver the nation from the 

There can be no limit to the scope of a language in 

which Narasingh Mehta sang. Nandshanker wrote his 

Karangkelo, which has produced a race of writers like 

Navalram, Narmadashanker, Manilal, Malabari and 

others ; in which the late Raychandkavi carried on his 

soul-lifting discourses, which the Hindus, Mahomedans 

.and Parsis claim to speak and can serve if they will ; 

which has produced a race of holy sages ; which owns 

.among its votaries millionaires ; which has been spoken 

by sailors who have ventured abroad ; and in which 

the Barda hills still bear witness to the valouroas deeds 

of Mulu Manek and Jodha Manek. What else can the 

•Gujaratis achieve if they decline to receive their 

training through that language ? It grieves one even 

to have to consider the question. 

In closing this subject I would invite your attention 
to the pamphlets published by Dr. Pranjiwandas Mehta, 
of which a Gujarati translation is now out. I ask you to 
read them. You will find therein a collection of opinions 
in support of the views herein expressed. 

If it is deemed advisable to make the mother-tongue 
the media of instruction, \t is necessary to examine the 
steps to be taken for achieving the end. I propose to re- 
<:ount them, without going into the argument in sup- 
port : — 

(1) The English-knowing Gujaratis should never, in 
their mutual intercourse, make use of English. 


(2) Those who are competent both in English and 
Gujarati, should translate useful English works into 

(3) Education Leagues should have text-books pre- 

(4) Moneyed men should establish schools in 
various places in which Gujarati should be the medium. 

(5) Alongside of the foregoing activity, conferences 
and leagues should petition the Government and pray 
that the medium should be Gujarati in Government 
schools, that proceedings in the Law Courts and Coun- 
cils and all public activities should be in Gujarati, that 
public services should be open to all, without invidious 
distinctions in favour of those who know English, and 
in accordance with the qualifications of applicants for 
the post for which they may apply, and that schools 
should Be established where aspirants for public oflSces 
may receive training through Gujarati. 

There is a difficulty about the foregoing sugges- 
tions. In the councils there are members who speak 
in Marathi, Sindhi, Gujarati and even Kanarese. This- 
is a serious difficulty, but not insurmountable. The 
Telugus have already commenced a discussion of the 
question, and there is little doubt that a re- distribution 
of provinces will have to take place on a linguistic 
basis. Till then every member should have the right 
to address his remarks in Hindi or in his own ver- 
nacular. If this suggestion appears laughable, I would 
state in all humility that many suggestions have at first 
sight so appeared. As I hold the view that our progress 
depends upon a correct determination of the medium of 
instruction, my suggestion appears to me to have 
much substance in it. If my suggestion were adopted 


the vernaculars will gain in influence, and when they 
acquire State recognition, they are likely to sht^ merits 
beyond our imagination. ♦ • ♦ 


It behoves us to devote attention to a consideration 
of a national language, as we have done to that of the 
medium of instruction. If English is to become a 
national language, at cught to be treated as a compulsory 
subject. Can English become the national language ? 
Some learned patriots contend that even to raise the 
question betrays ignorance. In their opinion English 
already occupies that place. His pxcellency the Viceroy 
in his recent utterance has merely expressed a hope that 
English will occupy that place. His enthusiasm does not 
take him as far as that of the former. He Excellency 
believes that English will day after day command a lar- 
ger place, will permeate the family circle, and at last rise 
to the status of a national language. A superficial con- 
sideration will support the viceregal contention. The 
condition of our educated classes gives one the impres- 
sion that all our activities would come to a stand still if 
we stop the use of English. Ard yet deeper thought 
will show that English can never and ought not to be- 
come the national language of India. What is the test 
of a national language ? 

(1) For the official class it should be ^sy to learn, 

(2) The religious, CO mmercial ard political acti- 
vity throughout India should be possible in that 

(3) It should be the speech of the majority of the 
inhabitants of India. 

(4) For the whole of the country it should be 
easy to learn. 



(5) In considering the question, weight ought not 
to be put upon momentary or shortlived conditions. 

The English language does not fulfil any of the 
-conditions above named. The first ought to have been 
the last, but I have purposely given it the first place, 
because that condition alone gives the appearance of 
being applicable to the English language. But upon 
further consideration we should find that for the officials 
even at the present moment it is not an easy language to 
learn. In our scheme of administration, it is assumed 
that the number of English officials will progressively 
decrease, so that in tUe end only the Viceroy and others 
-whom one may count on one's finger-tips will be English. 
The majority are of Indian nationality to-day, and their 
number must increase. 

And everyone will admit that for them English is 
more difficult to be learnt than any Indian language. 
Upon an examination of the second condition, we find 
that until the public at large can speak English, religious 
activity through that tongue is an impossibility. And 
a spread of English to that extent among the masses 
seems also impossible. 

English cannot satisfy the third condition because 
the majority in India do not speak it. 

The fourth, too, cannot be satisfied by English 
because it is not an easy language to learn for the whole 
of India. 

Considering the last condition we observe that the 
position that English occupies to-day is momentary. 
The permanent condition is that there will be little 
necessity for English in the national affairs. It will cer- 
tainly be required for imperial affairs. That, therefore, 
it will be an imperial language, the language of diplo- 


•macy, is a different question. On that purpose its know- 
ledge is a necessity. We are not jealous of English. All 
that is contended for is that it ought not to be allowed 
to go beyond its proper sphere. And as it will be the 
imperial language, we shall compel our Malaviyajis, 
our Shastriars and our Banerjeas to learn it. And we 
shall feel assured that they will advertise the greatness 
of India in other parts of the world. But English can- 
not become the national language of India. To give it 
that place is like an attempt to introduce Esperanto. In 
my opinion it is unmanly even to think that English 
can become our national langu age. The attempt to in- 
troduce Esperanto merely betrays ignorance Then 
which is the language that satisfies all the five condi- 
tions V We shall be obliged to admit that Hindi satisfies 
all those conditions. 

I call that language Hindi which Hindus and 
Mahomedans in the North speak and write, either in the 
Devanagari or the Urdu character. Exception has beep 
taken to his definition. It seems to be argued that 
Hindi and Urdu are different languages. This is not a 
valid argument. In the Northern parts of India 
Musalmans and Hindus speak the same language. The 
literate classes have created a division. The learned 
Hindus have Sanskritised Hindi. The Musalmans, 
therefore, cannot understand it. The Moslems of 
Lucknow have Persianised their speech and made it 
unintelligible to the Hindus. These represent two 
excesses of the same language. They find no common 
piece in the speech of the massess. I have lived in 
the North. I have freely mixed with Hindus and 
Mahomedans, and although I have .but a poor know- 
ledge of Hindi, I have never found any difficulty in 


holding communion with them. Call the language of 
the North what yon will, Urdu or Kiudi, it is the 
same. If you write it in the Urdu character you may 
know it as Urdu. Write the same thing in the Nagiri 
character and it is Hindi. 

There, therefore, remains a difference about the 
script. For the time being Mahomedan children will 
certainly write in the Urdu character and Hindus will 
mostly write in the Devangari. I say mostly, because 
thousands of Hindus use the Urdu character and some 
do not even know the Nagari character. But when 
Hindus and Mahomedans come to regard one another 
without suspicion, when the causes begetting suspicion 
are removed, that script which has greater vitality wilt 
be more universally used and, therefore, become the 
national script. Meanwhile those Hindus and Maho- 
medans who desire to write their petitions in the Urdu 
character should be free to do so, and should have the- 
right of having them accepted at the seat of National 

There is not another language capable of competing 
with Hindi in satisfying the five conditions. BengaH 
comes next to Hindi. But the Bengalis themselves- 
make use of Hindi outside Bengal. No one wonders 
to see a Hindi-speaking man making use of Hindi, no 
matter where he goes. Hindu preachers and Maho- 
medan Moulvis deliver their religious discourses 
throughout India in Hindi and Urdu and even the 
illiterate masses follow them. Even the unlettered 
Gujafrati going to the North attempts to use a few 
Hindi words, whereas a gatekeeper from the North dec- 
lines to speak in Gujarati even to his employer, who 
has on that account to speak to him in broken Hindi.- 


T have heard Hindi spoken even in the Dravid country. 
It is not true to say that in Madras one can go on with 
English. Even there I have employed Hindi with 
effect. In the trains I have heard Madras passengers 
undoubtedly use Hindi. It is worthy of note that 
Mahomedans throughout India speak Urdu and they 
are to be found in large numbers in every Province. 
Thus Hindi is destined to be the national language. 
We have made use of it as such in times gone by. 
The rise of Urdu itself is dbe to that fact. The 
Mahomedan kings were unable to make Persian or 
Arabic the national language. They accepted the Hindi 
Grammer, but employed the Urdu character and Persian 
words in their speeches. They could not, however, 
carry on their intercourse with the masses through a 
foreign tongue. All this is not unknown to the English. 
Those who know anything of the sepoys know that for 
them military terms have had to be prepared in Hindi 
or Urdu. 

Thus we see that Hindi alone can become the 
national language. It presents some diflSculty in the 
case of the learned classes in Madras, For men from 
the Deccan, Gujarat, Sind and Bengal it is easy enough. 
In a few months they can acquire sufficient command 
over Hindi to enable them to carry on national inter- 
course in that tongue. It is not so for the Tamils. The 
Dravidian languages are distinct from .their Sanskrit 
sister in structure and grammar. The only thing com- 
mon to the two groups is their Sanskrit vocabulary to 
an extent. But the difficulty is con fined to the learned 
class alone. We have a rig ht to appeal to their pat- 
riotic spirit and expect them to put forth sufficient effort 
jn order to learn Hindi. For in future when Hindi has 


received State recognition, it will be" introduced as a 
compulsory language in Madras as in other Provinces, 
aad intercourse between Madras and them will then in- 
crease. English has not permeated the Dravidian masses. 
Hindi, however, will take no time. The Telugus 
are making an effort in that direction even now. If 
this Conference can come to an unanimous conclusion 
as to a national language, it will be necessary to devise 
means to attain that end. Those which have been 
.suggested in connection with media of instruction are 
with necessary changes applicable to this question. 
The activity in making Gujarati the medium of instruc- 
tion will be confined to Guzarat alone, but the whole of 
India can take part in the movement regarding the- 
national language. * * * 


We have considered the qHestion of the media of 
instruction, of the national language, and of the place 
that English should occupy. We have now to consider 
whether there are any defects in the scheme of edu- 
cation imparted in our schools and colleges. 

There is no difference of opinion in this matter. The 
Government and public opinion alike have condemned 
the present system, but there are wide differences as to 
what should be omitted and what should be adopted. I 
am not equipped for an examination of these differences, 
but I shall have the temerity to submit to this confer- 
ence my thoughts on the modern system of education. 

Education cannot be said to fall within my pro- 
vince. I have, therefore, some hesitation in dwelling 
upon it. I am myself ever prepared to put down and 
be impatient of those men and women who travelling 
outside their provinces discourse upon those for which 


they are not fitted. It is but meet that a lawyer should 
resent the attempt of a physician to discourse upon law. 
Nor has a man who has no experience of educational 
matters any right to offer criticism- thereon. It is,, 
therefore, necessary for me to briefly mention my 

I began to think about the modern system of edu- 
cation 25 years ago. The training of my children and 
those of my brothers and sisters came into my hands. 
Realising the defects of the system obtaining in our 
schools, I began experiments on my own children. I even 
moved them myself. My discontent remained the same 
even when I went to South Africa. Circumstances com- 
pelled me to think still more deeply. For a long time 
I had the management of the Indian Educational Associa- 
tion of Natal in my hands. My boys have not received 
a public school training. My eldest son witnessed 
the vicissitudes that I'have passed through. Having 
despaired of me, he joined the educational institutions 
in Ahmedabad. It has not appeared to me that he has 
gained much thereby. It is my belief that those whom 
I have kept away from public schools have lost nothing, 
but have received good training. I have noticed defects 
in that training. They were inevitable. The boys 
began to be brought up in the initial stages of my 
experiments, and whilst the different links belong 
to the same chain that was hammered into shape 
from time to time, the boys had to pass through these 
different stages. At the time of the Passive Resistance 
struggle, over fifty boys were being educated under me. 
The constitution of the school was largely shaped by 
ms. It was unconnected with any other institution or 
with the Government standard. I am conducting a 


similar experiment here. A national institution has 
been in existence for the last five months and has 
received the blessings of Prof. Dhruva and other learn- 
ed men of Gujarat. The ex-Professor Shah of the 
Gujarat College is its Principal. He has been trained 
Under Prof. Gajjar. He has as his co-workers other 
lovers of Gujarati. I am chiefly responsible for the 
schema of this institution. But all the teachers con- 
nected with it have approved of it and they have 
dedicated their lives to the work, receiving only mainte- 
nance money. Owing to circumstances beyond ray 
control, I am unable personally to take part in the 
tuition, but my heart is ever in it. My experiment there- 
fore, though it is all that of an amateur, is not devoid 
of thought and I ask you to bear it in mind while yon 
consider my criticism of modern education. 

I have always felt that the scheme of education in 
India has taken no account of the family system. It was 
perhaps natural that, in framing it, our wants were, not 
thought of. Macaulay treated our literaturewith con- 
tempt and considered us a superstitious people. The 
framsrs of the educational policy were mostly ignorant of 
our religion, some even deemed it to be irreligion. The 
scriptures were believed to be a bundle of superstitions, 
our civilisation was considered to be fall of defects. We 
being a fallen natio i, it was assumed that our organis- 
ation must be peculiarly defuctive and so not withstand- 
ing pure intentions a faulty structure was raised. For 
building a n3W sciians the 'framers naturally took count 
of the nearest conditions. The Governors would want 
the h3lp of the lawyers, p hysfcians, clerks. We would 
want the new knowledge. These ideas controlled the 
scheme. Text books were, therefore, prepared in utter 


disregard of our social system, and according to an 
English proverb, the cart was put before the horse. 
Malabari has stated that if we want to teach our 
<:hildren History and Geography we must first give 
them a knowledge of the geography of the home. I re- 
member that it was my lot to have to memorise the 
English counties. And a subject which is deeply inte- 
resting was rendered dry as dust for me. In history 
there was nothing to enthral my attention. It ought to 
be a means to fire the patriotic spirit of young lads. I 
•found no cause for patriotism in learning history iu our 
schools. I had to imbibe it from other books. 

In the teaching of Arithmetic and kindred subjects, 
indigenous methods have received little or no attention; 
They have been almost abandoned and we have lost 
the cunning of our forefathers which they possessed in 
mental arithmetic. 

The teaching of Science is dry. Pupils can make 
no practical use of it. Astronomy which can be taught 
by observing the sky is given to the pupils from text- 
books. I have not known a scholar being able to analyse 
a drop of water, after leaving school. 

It is no exaggeration to say that the teaching of 
Hygiene is a farce. We do not know at the end of 60 
years' training how to save ourselves from plague and 
Buch other diseases. It is in our opinion the greatest re- 
flection upon our educational system that our doctors 
have not been able to rid the country of these diseases. 
I have visited hundreds of homes but have hardly seen 
a house in which rules of hygiene were observed. I 
doubt very much if our graduates know how to treat 
snake-bites, etc. Had our doctors been able to receive 
their training in medicine in their childhood, they would 


not occupy the pitiable position that they do. This isr 
a terrible result of our educational system. All the 
other parts of the world have been able to banish 
plague from their midst. Here it has found a home and 
thousands die before their time, and if it be pleaded 
that poverty is the cause, the Department of Education 
has to answer why there should be any poverty after 
50 years of education. 

We might now consider the subjects which are al- 
together neglected. Character should be the thief aim 
of education. It passes my comprehension how it can be 
built without religion. We shall soon find out that we 
are neither here nor there. It is not possible for me to 
dilate on this delicate subject. I have met hundreds of 
teachers. They have related their experiences with a 
sigh. This Conference has to give deep thought to it. 
If the scholars lost their characters they could have 
lost everything. 

In this country 85 to 90 per cent, of the population 
is engaged in agricultural pursuits. We can, therefore 
never know too much of agriculture. But there is na 
place for agricultural training even in our High Schools.- 
A catastrophe like this is possible only in India, The 
art of hand-weaving is fast dying. It was the agricul- 
turist's occupation during his leisure. There is no provi- 
sion for the teaching of that art in our syllabus. Our 
education simply produces a political class, and even a 
goldsmith, blacksmith or a shoemaker who is entrapped 
in our schools is turned out a political. We should surely 
desire that all should receive what is good education. 
But if all at the end of their education in our schools 
and colleges become politicals ? — 

There is no provision for military training. It is- 


no matter of great grief to me. I have considered it a 
boon received by chance, but' the nation wants^to know 
the use of arms. And those who want to, should have 
the opportunity. The matter, however, seems to have 
been clean forgotton. 

Music has found no place. We have lost all notion 
of what a tremendous effect it has on men. Had we 
known it, we would have strained every nerve to make 
our children learn the art. The Vedjc chant seems to re- 
cognise its effect. Sweet music calms the fever of the 
soul. Often we notice disturbances ib largely attended 
meetings. The sound of some national rhyme rising in 
tune from a thousand breasts can easily still such distur- 
bances. It is no insignificant matter to have our children 
singing with one voice soul-stirring, vitalising national 
songs. That sailors and other labouring classes go 
through their heavy task to the tune of some rhythmic 
expression is an instance of the power of music. I have 
known English friends forgetting their cold by rolling 
out some of their favourite tunes. The singing of 
dramatic songs, anyhow, without reference to timeliness 
and thumping on harmoniums and concertinas harm our 
children. If they were to receive methodical musical 
training, they would not waste their time singing so 
called songs out of tune. Bbys will abhor questionable 
songs even as a good musician will never sing out of 
tune and out of season. Music is a factor in national 
awakening, a,nd it should be provided for. The opinion 
of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswami on this subject is worthy 
of study. 

Gymnastics and body-training in general have 
had no serious attention given to them. Tennis, cricket 
and football have replaced national games. The former,. 


it may be admitted, are games full of interest, but if 
everything western had not captivated us, we should 
not have abandoned equally interesting but inexpensive 
national games, such as Gedidudo, Mot dandia, Khogho, 
Magmatli, Nadtutu, Kharopai, Navnagli, Sat tali and so 
on. Our gymnastics which exercise every limb of the 
body and our Kusti grounds have almost disappeared. 
If anything western is worthy of being copied it is cer- 
tainly the western drill . An English friend rightly re- 
marked that we did dot know how to walk. We have no 
notion of marching in step in large bodies. We are not 
trained to march noiselessly, in an orderly manner in step, 
in twos or fours, m directions varying from time to time. 
Nor need it be supposed that -drilling is useful for 
military purposes only. It is required for many acts of 
benevolence, e.g., there is a fire drill, there is a drill 
for helping the drowned to come to life, and there is a 
stretcher drill. Thus it is necessary to introduce in our 
schools national games, national gymnastics and the 
western drill. 

Female education fares no better than male educa- 
tion. In framing the scheme of female education, no 
thought has been given to the Indian conception of rela- 
tionship between husband and wife, and the place an 
Indian woman occupies in society. 

Much of the primary education may be common to 
both the sexes. But beyond that there is little that is 
common. Nature has made the two different, and a dis- 
tinction is necessary in framing a scheme of education for 
the two sexes. Both are equal, but the sphere of work is 
defined for each. Woman has the right to the queenship 
of the home. Man is the controller of outside manage- 
ment. He is the bread-winner, woman husbands the 


resources of the family and distributes them. Woman is 
her infant's nurse, she is its maker, on her depends the 
child's character, she is the child's first teacher, thus she 
is the mother of the nation. Man is not its father. After 
a time the father's influence over his son begins to wane. 
The mother never allows it to slip away from herself. 
Even when we reach manhood we play like children 
with our mothers. We are unable to retain that relation- 
ship with our fathers. If then the vocation of the two 
are naturally and properly distinct, there is no occasion 
to arrange for an independent earning of livelihood by 
women in general. Where women are obliged to be 
telegraphists, typists and compositors, there is a break 
in well ordered society. A nation that has adopted such- 
a scheme has, in my opinion, come to the end of its 
resources, and has begun to live oh its capital. 

Thus it is wrong on the one hand to keep our 
women in a state of ignorance and degradation. It is a 
sign of weakness, and it is tyrannical to impose men's 
work on her. After cb-education for some years, a 
different scheme for girls is necessary. They ought to 
have a knowledge of the managment of the home, of re- 
gulating the life during the child-bearing period and the 
upbringing of children, etc. To formulate such a scheme 
is a difficult task. This is a new subject in the depart- 
ment of education. In order to explore the unbeaten 
track, women of character and learning and men of 
experience should be entrusted with the task of devising, 
a scheme of female education. Such a committee will 
try to devise means for the education of our girls. But 
we have numerous girls who are married during girlhood.^ 
The number is increasing. These girls disappear from 
the education stage after marriage. I venture to copy 


below the views I have expressed on this phase of 
female education in my preface to the first number of 
the Bhaginee Samaj series : 

" The provision of education for unmarried girls 
■does not solve the problem of female education. Thou- 
sands of girls at the age of 12 become victims of child- 
marriage and disappear from view. They become mother. 
So long as we have not got rid of this cruel wrong, hus- 
bands will have to become their wives' teachers. In 
the fitness of husbands for this task lies high hope for 
the nation. All endeavour for the national uplift is vain 
so long as instead of becoming our companions, our 
better halves and partners in our joys and sorrows, 
our wives remain our cooks and objects of our lust. 
Some treat their wives as if they were beasts. Some 
Sanskrit text and a celebrated verse of Tulsidas are 
respoBsible for this deplorable state of things. 
Tulsidas has said that beast^; -fools, Sudras and 
women are fit to receive bodily punishment. I am a 
devotee of Tulsidas. But my worship is not blind. 
Either the couplet is apocryphal, or Tulsidas following 
the popular current has thoughtlessly written it oflF. 
With reference to Sanskrit expressions, we are haunted 
by the superstitious belief that everything Sanskrit is 
scriptural ! It is our duty to purge ourselves of the 
superstition and uproftt the habit of considering women 
as our inferiors. Their is another body of men who in 
pursuit of their passions decorate their wives from 
period to period 'during twenty-four hours even as 
we decorate our idols.' We must shake ourselves 
free of this idolatry. Then at last they will be what 
Uma was to Shankara, Sita to Rama, Damayanti to 
Nala, they will be our companions, they will discourse 


ivith us on equal terms, they will appreciate our 
sentiments, they will nurse them, they would by their 
marvellous intuitive powers understand our business 
worries as by magic, share them with us and give us the 
soothing peace of the home. Then but not till then is 
-our regeneration possible. To attain to that lofty status 
through girl-schools is highly improbable for a long 
time* So long as we are destined to groan under the 
shackles of child-marriages, so long will husbands have 
to become teachers of their child- wives. It is not 
tuition in the alphabet only that is here contemplated. 
-Step by step th'ey have to be initiated in political and 
social subjects and literary training is not indispensable 
ior imparting such knowledge to them. Husbands who 
aspire after the position of teachers will have to alter 
their conduct towards their wives. If husbands were 
to observe Brahmacharya so long as their wives have. 
not reached maturity and are receiving their education 
under them, had we not been paralysed by inertia, we 
would never impose the burden of motherhood upon a 
girl of 12 or 15. We would shudder even to think of 
any such possibility. 

It is well that classes are opened for married wo- 
men and that lectures are given for them. Those who 
are engaged in this kind of activities are entitled to 
-credit. But it appears that until husbands discharge the 
duty incumbent on them, we are not likely to obtain 
great results. Upon reflection this would appear to be 
a self evident truth.'' 

Wherever we look, we observe imposing structures 
upon weak foundation. Those who are selected as 
teachers for primary schools may, for the sake of 
xourtesy, be so called. In reality, however, it is an 


abuse of terms to call such men teachers. A scholar's- 
childhood is the most important period of life. Know- 
ledge received during that period is " never forgotten. 
And it is during this period that they are helped the 
least, and they are shoved into any so-called school. 

In my opinion, if in this country, instead of devoting 
our pecuniary resources to ornamenting our schools and 
colleges beyond the capacity of this poor country, we 
were to devote them to imparting primary education 
under teachers who' are well trained, upright and sobered 
by age, in hygienic conditions, we should in a short time 
have tangible results. Even if the" salaries of the 
teachers in primary schools were doubled, we could not 
obtain the desired results. Paltry changes are not enough 
to secure important results. It is necessary to alter the 
framework of primary education. I know that this is a 
difficult subject. There are many pitfalls ahead, but its 
solution ought not to be beyond the power of the Gujarat 
Education League. It ought, perhaps, to be stated 
that their is no intention here of finding fault with, 
primary school teachers individually. That they are 
able beyond their capacity to show us results, is a proof 
of the stability of our grand civilisation. If the same 
teachers wer£ properly fitted and encouraged, they 
could show us undreamt-of results. 

It is, perhaps, improper for me to say anything 
about the question of compulsory education. My 
experience is limited. I find it hard to reconcile 
myself to any compulsion being imposed on the nation. 
The thought, therefore, of putting an additional 
burden in the shape of cumpulsory education worries 
me. It appears to be more in keeping with the times 
to experiment in free and voluntary education. Until 


we have come out of the com pulsion stage as the 
rule of life, to make education compulsory seems to 
me to be fraught with many dangers. The experience 
gained by the Baroda Government may help us in 
considering this subject. The results of my examin- 
ation of the Baroda system have been so far unfavour- 
able. But no weight can be attached to them as my 
examination was wholly superficial. I take it for grant- 
ed that the delegates assembled here, will be able to 
throw helpful light on the subject. 

It is certain that the golden way to remove the de- 
fects enumerated by me is not through petitioning. 
Great changes are not suddenly made by Governments. 
Such enterprises are possible only by the initiative of 
the leaders of a nation. Under the Bcitish Constitution 
voluntary national effort has a recognised place. Ages 
will pass away before we achieve our aims, if we 
depended solely upon Government initiative. As in 
England so in India, we have to lead the way for the 
Government by making experiments ourselves. Those 
who detect short-comings in our educational system can 
make the Government remove them by themselves 
making experiments and showing the way. Numerous 
private institutions should be established in order to 
bring about such a consummation. There is one big 
obstacle in our path. We are enamoured of ' degrees.' 
The very life seems to hang upon passing an exami- 
nation and obtaining a degree. It sucks the nation's 
life-blood. We forget that ' degrees ' are required only 
by can didates for Government service. But Government 
service is not a foundation for national life. We see, 
moreover, that wealth can be acquired without Govern- 
ment service. Educated men can, by their enterprise, 


acquire wealth even as illiterate men do by their clever- 
ness. If the educated class became free from the paralyse 
ing fear of their unfitness for business, they should surely 
have as much capacity as the illiterate class. If, there- 
fore, we become free from the bondage of 'degrees,' many 
private institutions could be carried on. No Goverment 
can possibly take charge of the whole of a nation's edu- 
cation. In America private enterprise is the predomi- 
nant factor in education. In England numerous schools 
and colleges are conducted by private enterprise. They 
issue their own certificates. Herculean efiforts must be 
made in order to put national education on a firm found- 
ation. Money, mind, body and soul must be dedicated to 
it. We have not much to learn from America. But 
there is certainly one thing which we can copy from 
that country. Great educational schemes are propound- 
ed and managed by gigantic- trusts. Millionaires have 
given off their millions to them. They support many a 
private school. These trusts have not only untold 
wealth at their disposal, but command also the services 
of able-bodied, patriotic and learned men, who inspect 
and protect national institutions and give financial assist- 
ance, where necessary. Any institution conformmg to 
the conditions of these trusts is entitled to financial 
help. Through these trusts even the elderly peasant of 
America has brought to his door the results of the latest 
experiments in agriculture. Gujarat is capable of sup- 
porting some such scheme. It has wealth, it has learn- 
ing, and the religious instinct has not yet died out. 
Children are thirsting for education. If we can but 
initiate the desired reform, we could, by our success, com- 
mand Government action. One act actually accomplish- 
ed will be far more forcible than thousands of petitions. . 


The foregoing suggestions have involved aa 
examination of the other two objects of the Gujarat 
Education League. The establishment of a trust such 
as I have described is a continuous agitation for the 
spread of education and a practical step towards it. 

But to do that is like doing the only best. It could 
not, therefore, be easy. Both Government and million- 
aires can be wakened into life only by coaxing. Tapasya 
is the only means to do it. It is the first and the best 
step in religion. And I assume that the Gujarat Educa- 
tion League is an incarnati on of Tapasya. Money will be 
showered upon the League when its secretaries and mem- 
bers are found to be embodiments of selflessness and 
learning. Wealth is always shy. There are reasons for 
such shyness. If, therefore, we want to coax wealthy 
men, we shall have to prove our fitness. But although we 
require money, it is not necessary to attach undue impor- 
tance to that need. He who wishes to impart national 
education can, if he is not equipped for it, do so by 
labouring and getting the necessary training and having 
thus qualified himself will, sitting under the shadow of a 
tree, distribute knowledge freely to those who want it. 
He is a Brahmin, indeed, and this dharma can be prac- 
tised by every one who wishes it. Both wealth and 
power will bow to such a one. I hope and pray to God 
that the Gujarat Education League will have immove- 
able faith in itself. 

The way to Swaraj lies t hrcugh education. Political 
leaders may wait on Mr. Montagu. The political field 
may not be open to this Conference. But all endeavour 
will be useless without true education. The field of 
education is a speciality of this Conference. And if we 
achieve success in that direction, it means success all 


The following is an English translation of Mr^ 
Gandhi's Presidential Address to the First Gujarat Poli- 
tical Conference held at Godhra, on November 3, 1917. 

Brothers and Sisters, I am thankful to you all for 
the exalted position to which you have called me. I am 
but a baby of two years and a half in Indian politics. I 
cannot trade, here, on my experience in South Africa. I 
know that acceptance of the position is to a certain 
extent an impertinence. And yet I have been unable to 
resist the pressure your over-whelming affection has 
exerted upon me. 

I am conscious of my responsibility. This Confer- 
ence is the first of its kind in Gujarat. The time is most 
critical for the whole of India. The empire is labouring 
under a strain never before experienced. My views do 
not quite take the general course. I feel that some of 
them run in the opposite direction. Under the circum- 
stances, I can hardly claim this privileged position. 
The president of a meeting is usually its spokesman. I 
cannot pretend to lay any such claim . It is your kind- 
ness that gives me such a unique opportunity of placing 
my thoughts before the Guj arat public. I do not see 
anything wrong in these views being subjected to 
criticism, dissent, and even emphatic protest. I would 
like them to be freely discussed. I will only say with 
regard to them that they were not formed to-day or 
yesterday. But they were formed years ago. I am 
enamoured of them, and my Indian experience of two 
years and a half has not altered them. 


I congratulate the originators of the proposal to 
liold this Conference as also those friends who have 
reduced it to practice. It is a most important event for 
■<5ujarat. It is possible for us to make it yield most 
important results. This conference is in the nature of a 
foundation, and if it is well and truely laid, we need have 
no anxiety as to the superstructure. Being the first 
-progenitor, its responsibility is great. I pray that God 
will bless us with wisdom and that our deliberations 
will benefit the people. 

This is a political conference. Let us pause a 
moment over the word 'political.' It is, as a rule, used 
in a restricted sense, but I believe it is better to give it 
a wider meaning. If the work of such a conference were 
:to be confined to a consideration of the relations between 
the rulers and the ruled, it would not only be incomplete, 
but we should even fail to have an adequate conception 
of those relations. For instance the question of Mhcwra 
flowers is of great importance for a part of Gujarat. If 
it is considered merely as a question between the 
Government and the people, it might lead to an unto- 
ward end, or even to one n ever desired by u?. If we 
considered the genesis of the law on Mhowra flowers 
and also appreciated our duty in the matter, we would, 
very probably, succeed sooner in our fight with Govern- 
ment than otherwise, and we would easily discover the 
"key to successful agitation. You will more clearly 
perceive my interpretation of the word ' political ' in 
the light of the views now being laid before you. 

Conferences do not, as a rule, after the end of their 
deliberations, appear to leave behind them an executive 
body, and even when such a body is appointed, it is, to 
use the language of the late Mr. Gokhale, composed of 


men who are amateurs. What is wanted in order ta 
give effect to the resolutions of swch conferences is men 
who would make it their business to do so. If such 
men come forward in great num bers, then and then only 
will such conferences be a credit to the country and 
produce lasting results. At present there is much 
waste of energy. It is desirable that there were many- 
institutions of the type of the Servants of India Society. 
Only when men fired with the belief that service i» 
the highest religion, come forward in great numbers, 
only then could we hope to see great results. Fortuna- 
tely, the religious spirit still binds India, and if during 
the present age the service of the motherland becomes 
the end of religion, men and women of religion in large: 
numbers would take part in our public life, When 
sages and saints take up this work, India will easily 
achieve her cherished aims. At all events it is incumbent 
on us that for the purposes of this conference we formed 
an executive committee whose business, it would be, to 
enforce its resolutions. 

The sound of Swaraj pervades the Indian^ir. It 
is due to Mrs. Besant that Swaraj is on the lips of 
hundreds of thousands of men and women. What wa3 
unknown to men and women only two years ago, has, 
by her consummate tact and her indefatigable efforts, 
become common property for them. There cannot be 
the slightest doubt that her name will take the first 
rank in history among those who inspired us with the 
hope that Swaraj was attainable at no distant date» 
Swaraj was, and is, the goal of the Congress. The 
idea did not originate with her. But the credit of 
presenting it to us as an easily attainable goal belongs 
to that lady alone. For that we could hardly thank 


her enough. By releasing her and her associates, 
Messrs. Arundale and Wadia, Governmeut have laid us 
under an obligation, and at the same time acknowledged 
the just and reasonable nature of the agitation for 
Swaraj. It is desirable that Government should extend 
the same generosity towards our brothers, Mahomed Ali 
and Shaukat Ali, It is no use discussing the appositeness 
or otherwise of what Sir William Vincent has said 
about them. It is to be hoped that the Government 
will accede to the peoples' desire for their release and 
thus make them responsible for any improper result 
that might flow from their release. Such clemency will 
make them all the more grateful to the Government* 
The act of generosity will be incomplete so long as 
these brothers are not released. The grant of freedom 
to the brothers will gladden the peoples' hearts and 
endear the Government to them. 

Mr. Montagu will shortly be in our midst. The 
work of taking signatures to the petition to be submit- 
ted to him is going on apace. The chief object of this 
petition is to educate the people about Swaraj. To say 
that a knowledge of letters is essential to obtain Swaraj 
betrays ignorance of history. A knowledge of letters is 
not necessary to inculcate among people the idea that 
we ought to manage our own afTairs. What is essential is 
the grasp of such an idea. People have to desire Swaraj. 
Hundreds of unlettered kings have ruled kingdoms in an 
eflfective manner. To see how far such an idea exists 
in the minds of the people and to try to create it where it 
is absent, is the object of this petition. It is desirable that 
millions of men and women should sign it intelligently. 
That such a largely signed petition will have its due 
weight with Mr. Montagu is its natural result. 


No one has the right to alter the scheme of reforms 
approved by the Congress and the Moslem League, and 
one need not, therefore, go into the merits thereof. 
For our present purposes, we have to understand 
thoroughly the scheme formulated most thoughtfully by 
our leaders and to faithfully do the things necessary to 
get it accepted and enforced. 

This scheme is not Swaraj, but is a great step 
towards Swaraj . Some English critics tell us that we 
have no right to enjoy Swaraj, because the class that 
demands it is incapable of defending India ; " Is the 
defence of India to rest with the English alone, " they 
ask, " and are the reins of Government to be in the 
hands of the Indians ? Now this is a question which 
excites both laughter and sorrow. It is laughable, 
because our English friends fancy that they are not of us, 
whilst our plan of Swaraj is based upon retention 
of the British connection. We do not expect the English 
settlers to leave this country. They will be our part- 
ners in Swaraj. And they need not grumble if in such 
a scheme the burden of the defence of the country falls 
on them. They are, however, hasty in assuming that 
we shall not do our share of defending the country. 
When India decides upon qualifying herself for the act 
of soldiering, she will attain to it in no time. We 
have but to harden our feelings to be able to strike. To 
cultivate a hardened feeling does not take ages. It 
grows like weeds. The question has also its tragic 
side, because it puts us in mind of the fact that Govern- 
ment have up to now debarred us from military train- 
ing. Had they been so minded they would have had at 
their disposal to-day, from among the educated classes, 
an army of trained soldiers . Government have to 


accept a larger measure of blame than the educated 
Classes for the latter having taken little part in the 
war. Had the Government policy been shaped different- 
ly from the very commeiiGement, they would have 
to-day an unconquerable army. But let no one be 
blamed for the present situation. At the time British 
Tule was established, it was considered to be a wise 
policy for the governance of crores of men to deprive 
them of arms and military training. But it is never 
too late to m end, and both the rulers arid the ruled must 
immediately repair the omission 

In offering these views I have assumed the pro- 
priety of the current trend of thought. To me, however, 
it does not appear to be tending altogether in the right 
direction. Our agitation is based on the Western model. 
The Swaraj we desire is of a Western type. As a result 
of it, India will have to enter into competition with the 
Western nations. Many believe that there is no escape 
from it. I do not think so. I cannot forget that 
India is not Europe, India is not Japan, India is not 
China, The divine word that ' India alone is the 
land of Karma ' (Action), the rest is the land of Bhoga 
(Enjoyment), is indelibly imprinted on my mind. I feel 
that India's mission is different from that of the others. 
India is fitted for the religious supremacy of the world. 
There is no parallel in the world for the process of 
purification that this country has voluntarily undergone. 
India is less in need of steel weapons, it has fought with 
■divine weapons ; it can still do so. Other nations have 
been votaries of brute force. The terrible war going on 
in Europe furnishes a forcible -illustration of the truth. 
India can win all by soul-force. History supplies numer- 
ous instances to prove that brute force is as nothing 


before soul-force. Pqets have sung about it and Seers- 
have described their experiences. A thirty-year old 
Hercules behaves like a lamb before his eighty-year old 
father. This is an instance of love-force. Love is 
Atman : it is its attribute. If we have faith enough we 
can wield that force over the whole world. Religion 
having lost its hold on us, we are without an anchor ta 
keep us firm amidst the storm of modern civilisation, 
and are therefore being tossed to and fro. Enough, how- 
ever, of this, for the present. I shall return to it at a 
later stage. 

In spite of my views being as I have just described 
them, I do not hesitate to take part in the Swaraj move- 
ment, for India is being governed in accordance witb 
the Western system and even the Government admit 
that the British Parliament presents the best type- 
of that system. Without parliamentary government, 
we should be nowhere. Mrs. Besant is only too true 
when she says that we shall soon be facing a hunger- 
strike, if we do not have Home Rule. I do not want 
to go into statistics. The evidence of my eyes is- 
enough for me. Poverty in India is deepening day by 
day. No other result is possible. A country that ex- 
ports its raw produce and imports it after it has under- 
gone manufacturing processes, a country that in spite of 
growing its own cotton, has to pay crores of rupees for 
its imported cloth, cannot be otherwise than poor. It- 
can only be said of a poor country that its people are 
spendthrifts, because they ungrudgingly spend money in- 
marriage and such other cermonies. It must be a. terri- 
bly poor country that cannot afford to spend enough in 
carrying out improvements for stamping out epidemics 
like the plague. The poverty of a country must contin- 


uously grow when the salaries of its highlyipaid oiBcials 
are. spent outside it. ' Surely it must be India's keen 
poverty that compels its people, during cold weather 
for want of woollen clothing, to burn their precious 
manure, in order to warm themselves. Throughout my 
wanderings in India I have rarely seen a buoyant face. 
The middle classes are groaning under the weight of 
awful distress. For the lowest order there is no hope^^ 
They do not know a bright day. It is a pure fiction to 
say that India's riches are buried under ground, or are 
to be found in her ornaments. What there is of such 
riches is of no consequence. The nation's expenditure^ 
has increased, not so its income. Government have- 
not deliberately brought about this state of things, f 
believe that their intentions are pure. It is their honest 
opinion that the nation's prosperity is daily growing. 
Their faith in their Blue Books is immovable. It 
is only too true that statistics can be made to prove- 
anything. The economists deduce India's prosperity 
from statistics. People like me who appreciate- 
the popular way of examining figures shake their heads^ 
over bluebook statistics. If the gods were to come- 
down and testify otherwise, I would insist on saying 
that I see India growing poorer. 

What then would our Parliament do ? When we 
have it, we would have a right to commit blunders and' 
to correct them. In the early stages we are bound tO' 
make blunders. But we being children of the soil, 
won't lose time in setting ourselves right. We shall, 
therefore, soon find out remedies against poverty. 
Then our existence won't be dependent on Lancashire 
goods. Then we shall not be found spending untoli 
riches on Imperial Delhi. It will, then, bear some 


•correspondence to the peasant cottage. There wi-H be 
some proportion observed between that cottage and our 
Parliament House. The nation to-day is in a helpless 
condition, it does not possess even the right to err. tie 
who has no right to err can never go forward. The 
.history of the Commons is a history of blunders. Man, 
isays an Arabian proverb, is error personified. Freedom 
io err and the duty of correcting errors is one definition 
of Swaraj. And such Swaraj lies in Parliament. 
That Parliament we need to-day. We are fitted for it 
to-day. We shall, therefore, get it on demand. It rests 
with us to define ' to-day.', Swaraj is not to be attain- 
ed through an appeal to the British democracy. The 
English nation cannot appreciate such an appeal. Its 
reply will be ;— " We never sought outside help to 
obtain Swaraj. We have received it through our own 
ability. You have not received it, because you are 
unfit. When you are fit for it, nobody can withhold it 
from you." How then shall we fit ourselves for it ? 
We have to demand Swaraj from our own democracy. 
■Our appeal must be to it. When the peasantry of 
India understand what Swaraj is, the demand will be- 
come irresistible. The late Sir W.W. Hunter used to 
say that in the British system, victory on the. battlefield 
was the shortest cut to success. If educated India 
■could have taken its full share in the war,- 1 am tertain 
that we would not only have reached our goal already, 
but the manner of the grant would have been altogether 
unique. We often refer to the fact that many sepoys 
of Hindustan have lost their lives on the battle-fields of 
France and Mesopotamia. It is not possible for the 
educated classes to claim the credit for this event. It is 
not patriotism that had prompted those sepoys to go to 


the battlefield. They know nothing of Swaraj. At the- 
end of the war they will not ask for it. They have 
gone to demonstrate that they are faithful to the salt 
they eat. In asking for Swaraj; I feel that it is not 
possible for us to bring into account their services. The' 
only thing we can say is that we may not be considered' 
blameworthy for our inability to take a large active- 
part in the prosecution of the war. 

That we have been loyal at a time of stress is no 
test of fitness for Swaraj. Loyalty is no merit. It is a 
necessity of citizenship all the world over. That 
loyalty can be no passport to Swaraj is a self-demons- 
trated maxim. Our fitness lies in that we now keenly 
desire Swaraj, and in the conviction we have reached" 
that bureaucracy, although it has served India with 
pure intentions, has had its day. And this kind of fit-^ 
ness is sufficient for our purpose. Without Swaraj 
there is now no possibility of peace in India. 

But if we confine our activities for advancing 
Swaraj only to holding meetings, the nation is likely to 
suffer harm. Meetings and speeches have their own 
place and time. Bui they cannot make a Nation. 

In a nation fired with Swaraj-zeal we shall observe 
an awakening in all departments of life. The first step- 
to Swaraj lies in the Individual. The great truth, 'As 
with the Individual so with the Universe,' is applicable 
here as elsewhere. If we are ever torn by conflict from 
within, if we are ever going asti;ay, and if instead of 
ruling our passions we allow them to rule us, Swaraj 
can have no meaning for us. Government of self, then, 
is primary education in the school of Swaraj, 

Then the Family. If dissensions reign supreme in 
our families, if brothers fight among themselves, if joint-. 


families, i.e., families enjoying Self-government, become 
divided throughjamily quarrels, and if we are anfit 
even for such restricted Swaraj, how can we be 
considered fit for the larger Swaraj ? 

Now for the Caste. If caste-fellows become jealous 
of one another, if the castes cannot regulate their affairs 
in an orderly manner, if the elders want to usurp power, ' 
if the members become self-opinionated and thus show 
their unfitness for tribal Self-government, how can they 
he-fit for national Self-government ? 

After caste the City Life If we cannot regulate 
-the affairs of our cities, if our streets are not kept clean, 
if our homes are dilapidated and if our roads are crook- , 
ed, if we cannot command the services of selfless 
-citizens for civic government, and those who are in 
-charge of affairs are neglectful or selfish, how sball we 
claim larger powers? The way to national life lies 
through the cities. It is, therefore, necessary to linger 
a little longer on civic government. 

The plague has found a home in India. Cholera 
has been always with us. Malaria takes an annual 
.t:oll of thousands. The plague has been driven out 
from every other part of the world. Glasgow drove 
it out as soon as it entered it. In Johannesburg 
it could appear but once. Its municipality made a 
great effort and stamped it out within a month, whereas 
we are able to produce little impression upon it. We 
cannot blame the Government for this state of things. 
In reality we cannot make our poverty answerable for 
it. None can interfere with us in the prosecution of any 
remedies that we might wish to adopt. Ahmedabad, for 
instance, cannot evade responsibility by pleading 
poverty. I fear that in respect of the plague we must 


shoulder the whole responsibility. It is a matter of 
wonderment that when the plague is working havoc in 
our rural quarters, cantonments, as a rule, remain free. 
Reasons for such immunity are obvious. In the canton- 
ments the atmosphere is pure, houses detached, roads are 
wide and clean, the sanitary habits of the residents are 
■except! onally sound. Whereas ours are as unhygienic as 
they well could be. Our closets are pestilentially dirty. 
Ninety per cent, of our population go barefoot, people 
spit anywhere, perfrom natural functions anywhere and 
are obliged to walk along roads and paths thus dirtied. 
It is no wonder that the plague has found a home in our 

Unless we alter the conditions of our cities, rid our- 
selves of dirty habits, and reform our castes, Swaraj for 
us can have no value. 

It will not be considered out of place here to refer 
to the condition of the so-called untouchables. The 
result of considering the most useful members of society 
as unworthy' of being even touched by us, has been that 
we let them clean only a part of our closets. In the 
name of religion we ourselves would not clean the 
remainder, for fear of pollution, and so, in spite of 
personal cleanliness, a portion of our houses remains the 
dirtiest in the world, with the result that we are brought 
up in an atmosphere which is- laden with disease germs. 
We were safe so long as we kept to our villages. But 
in the cities we ever commit suicide by reason of our 
insanitary h^bjts- 

Where many die before their death there is every 
probability that people are devoid of both religion and 
its practice, I believe that it ought not to be beyond us 
to banish the plague from India, and if we could do so^ 


we shall have increased our fitness for Swaraj, as i(r 
could not be by agitation, no matter howsoever great.- 
This is a question meriting the serious consideration of 
our Doctors and Vaidyas. 

Our sacred Dakorji is our next door neighbour. I 
have visited that holy place. Its unholiness is limit- 
less. I consider myself a devout Vaishnavite. I claim, 
therefore, a special privilege of criticising the condition 
of Dakorji. The insanitation of that place is so great, 
that one used to hygienic conditions can hardly bear to 
pass even twenty-four hours there. The pilgrims are 
permitted to pollute the tank and the streets as they 
choose. The keepers of the idol quarrel among them- 
selves, and to add insult to injury, a receiver has been 
appointed to take charge of the jewellery and costly 
robes of the idol. It is our clear duty to set this wrong 
right. How shall we, Gujaratis, bent on attaining 
Swaraj, discharge ourselves in its army, if we cannot 
sweep our houses clean ? 

The inconsideration of the state of education in our 
cities also fills us with despondency. It is up to us to 
provide by private effort for the education of the masses. 
But our gaze is fixed upon Government, whilst our 
children are starving for want of education. 

In the cities the drink-evil is on the increase, tea- 
shops are multiplying, gambling is rampant. If we 
cannot remedy these evils how should we attain Swaraj 
whose meaning is government of ourselves ? 

We have reached a time when we and our children 
are likely to be deprived of our milk-supply. Dairies in 
Gujarat are . doing us infinite harm. They Buy out 
practically the whole milk-supply and sell its products, 
butter, cheese etc, in a wider market. How can a- 


nation whose nourishment is chiefly derived from milk 
allow this important article of food to be thus exploited ? 
How can men be heedless of the national health, a|id 
think of enriching themselves, by such an improper use 
■of this article of diet ? Milk and its products are of such 
paramount value to the nation that they deserve to be 
■controlled by the municipalities. What are we doing 
about them ? 

I have just returned from the scene of Bakr-Id 
-riots. For an insignificant cause, the two communities 
-quarrelled, mischievous men took advantage of it, and a 
mere spark became a blaze. We were found to be 

helpless. We have been obliged to depend only upon 
■Government assistance. This is a significant illustration 

of the condition I am trying to describe. 

It will not be inopportune to dwell for a moment on 
the question of cow-protection. It is an important ques- 
•tion. And yet it is entrusted to the so-called cow-pro- 
tection societies. The protection of cows is an old 
'Custom. It has originated in the necessity of the condi- 
tion of the country,. Protection of its cows is incumbent 
upon a country, 73 per cent, of whose population lives 
upon agriculture, and uses only bullocks for it. In such 
a country even meat-eaters should abstain from beef- 
eating. These natural causes should be enough justifi- 
cation for not killing cows. But here we have to face a 
peculiar situation. The chief meaning of cow-protection 
seems to be to prevent cows from going into the hands 
<of our Mussalman brethren, and being used as food. 
The governing class seem to need beef. In their behalf 
thousands of cows are slaughtered daily. We take no 
steps to prevent the slaughter. We hardly make any 
attempt to prevent the cruel torture of cows by certain 


Hindu dairies of Calcutta, which subject them to cer- 
tain indescribable practices and make them yield the 
last drop of milk. In Gujarat Hindu drivers use spiked 
sticks to goad bullocks into action. We say nothing 
about it. The bullocks of our cities are to be seen in a 
pitiable condition. Indeed, protection of the cow and her 
progeny is a very great problem. With us it has de- 
generated into a pretext for quarrelling with the Maho- 
medans, and we have thus contributed to a further 
slaughter of cow s. It is not religion, but want of it, to- 
kill aMahomedan brother who declines to part with his 
cow. I feel sure that if we were to negotiate with our 
Mussalman brothers upon a basis, of love, they will 
appreciate the peculiar condition of India and readily 
co-operate with us in the protection of cows. By cour- 
tesy and even by Satyagraha we can engage them in 
that mission. But in order to be able to do this, we 
shall have to understand the question in its true bear- 
ing. We shall have to prepare rather to die than to 
kill. But we shall be able to do this only when we 
understand the real value of the cow and have pure 
love for her. Many ends will be automatically served 
in achieving this one end. Hindus and Mahomedans 
will li-ve in peace, milk and its products will be avail- 
able in a pure condition and will be cheaper than now, 
and our bullocks will become the envy of the world. By 
real tapasya it is possible for us to stop cow slaughter 
whether by the English, Mahomedans or Hindus. This 
one act will bring Swaraj many a step nearer. 

Many of the foregoiiig problems belong to Munici- 
pal Government. We can, therefore, clearly see that 
National Government is dependent upon purity of th& 
government of our cities . 


It will not be considered an improper statement to 
say that the Swadeshi movement is in an insane condi- 
tion. We do not realise that Swaraj is almost wholly 
obtainable through Swadeshi. If we have no regard for 
our respective vernaculars, if we dislike our clothes, if 
our dress repels us, if we are ashamed to wear the sacred 
Shikha, if our food is distasteful to us, our climate is not 
good enough, our people uncouth and unfit for our comp- 
any, our civilisation faulty and the foreign attractive, in 
short, if ev erything native is bad and everything foreign 
pleasing to us, I should not know what Swaraj can 
mean for us. If everything foreign is to be adopted, 
surely it will be necessary for us to continue long under 
foreign tutelage, because foreign civilisation has not 
permeated the masses, It seems to me that, before we 
can appreciate Swaraj, we should have not only love 
but passion, for Swadeshi. Every one of our acts should 
bear the Swadeshi stamp. Swaraj can only be built 
upon the assumption that most of what is national is on 
the whole sound. If the view here put forth be correct, 
the Swadeshi movement ought to be carried on vigor- 
ously. Every country that has carried on the Swaraj 
movement has fully appreciated the Swadeshi spirit, 
The Scotch Highlanders hold on to their kilts even at 
the risk of their lives. We humorously call the High- 
landers the 'petticoat brigade.' But the whole world 
testifies to the strength that lies behind that petticoat 
and the Highlanders of Scotland will not abandon 
it, even though it is an inconvenient dress, and an 
easy target for the enemy. The object in developing 
the foregoing argument is not that we should treasure 
our faults, but that what is national, even though 
comparatively less agreeable should be adhered to, and. 


"that what is foreign should be avoided, though it may 
be more agreeable than our own. That which is want- 
ing in our civilisation can be supplied by proper effort 
on our part. I do hope that the Swadeshi spirit will 
'possess every member in this assembly, and that we 
would carry out the Swadeshi vow in spite of great 
■difficulties and inconvenience. Then Swaraj will be 
■easy of attainment. 

The foregoing illustrations go to show that our 
movement should be twofold. We may petition the 
•Government, we may agitate in the Imperial Council 
for our rights, but for a real awakening of the people, 
internal activity is more important. There is likelihood 
of hypocrisy and selfishness tainting external activity. 
There is less danger of such a catastrophe in the 
internal activity. Not only will external activity, 
without being balanced by the internal, lack grace, but 
it is likely to be barren of results. It is not my 
■contention that we Tiave no internal activity at all, but 
I submit that we do not lay enough stress upon it. 

One sometimes hears it said, 'Let us get the govern- 
ment of India in our own hands, and every thing will 
be all right .' There could be no greater superstition 
than this. No nation has thus gained its independence. 
The splendour of the spring is reflected in every tree, 
the whole earth is then filled with the freshness of 
youth. Similarly when the Swaraj spirit has really 
permeated society, a stranger suddenly come upon us 
will observe energy in every walk of life, he will find 
national servants engaged, each according to his own 
abilities, in a variety of public activities. 

If we admit that our progress has not been what it 
jnight i^ave been, we shall have to admit two reasons 


for it. We have kept our women strangers to theses 
activities of ours, and have thus brought about paraly- 
sis of half the national limb. The nation walks with 
one leg only. All its work appears to be onl-y half or 
incompletely done. Moreover, the learnedi sectiom 
having received its education, through a foreign tongue^ 
has become enervated and it is unable to give th& 
nation the benefit of such ability as it possesses. I nee<fi 
not reiterate my views on this subject, as I have 
elaborated them in my address delivered before th» 
Gujarat Educational Conference, It is a wise decision,, 
that of conducting the proceedings of this Conference in; 
Gujarati, and I hope that all Gujaratis will adhere to- 
the determination and resist every temptation to alter it». 

The educated class, lovers of Swaraj, must freely 
mix with the masses. We dare not reject a single 
member of the community. We shall make progress 
only if we carry all with us. Had, the educated class 
identified itself with the masses, Bakr-Id riots would 
have been an impossibility. 

Before coming to the last topic, it remains for me 
to refer to Qertain events as a matter of duty and- tO' 
make one or two suggestions. Every year the god of 
death exacts his tdll from among our leaders, I do not; 
intend to mention all such occasions of sorrow . But it 
isr impossible to omit reference to the Grand Old Maa 
of India. Who am I to estimate the value of the service- 
rendered to the country by the deceased patriot ? I have 
only sat at his feet. I paid my respects to him when I 
went to London as a mere lad. I was privileged tO' 
carry with me a note of introduction to him, and from 
the moment of presentation I became his worshipper. 
Dadabhai's flawless and uninterrupted service to the. 


country, his impartiality, his spotless character, will 
always furnish India with an ideal servant of his coun- 
try. May God give him peace ! May He grant his 
family and the Nation the ability to bear the loss \ It 
is possible for us to immortalise him, by making his 
character our own, by copying his manner of service 
and by enthroning him for ever in our hearts. May the 
great soul of Dadabhai watch over our deliberations ! 

It is our duty to express our thanks to His Excel- 
lency the Viceroy for having announced the decision of 
the government of India to abolish what is known as 
the Viramgam customs. This step should have been 
taken earlier. The nation was groaning under the weight 
of this impost. Many have lost their calling by 
reason of it. It has caused much suffering to many a 
woman. The decision has not yet been reduced to 
practice. It is to be hoped that it will soon be. 

I have submitted through the Press my experiences 
about the hardships of third class railway travellers. 
They are, indeed, intolerable. The people of India are 
docile, they have received training in silent suffering. 
Thousands, therefore, put up with the hardships and 
they remain unredressed. There is merit in such suffer- 
ing. But it must have its limits. Submission out of 
"weakness is unmanliness . That we tamely put up with 
the hardships of railway travelling is probably proof of 
our unmanliness. These hardships are twofold. They are 
due to the remissness of railway administration as also 
that of the travelling-public. The remedies are also, 
-therefore, twofold. Where the railway administration is 
to blame, complaints should be addressed to it, even in 
Gujarati. The matter should be ventilated in the press. 
Where the public are to blame, the knowing travellers 


•should enlighten [their ignorant companions, as to their 
carelessness and dirty habits. Volunteers are required 
for this purpose. Every one can do his share, according 
to his ability, and the leading men might, in order to 
appreciate the difficulties of third class travelling, re- 
sort to it from time to time, without making themselves 
known, and bring their experiences to the notice of the 
administration. If these remedies are adopted, we should, 
in a short time see great changes. 

An inter-departmental committee recently sat in 
London to consider certain measures about the supply of 
indentured labour to Fiji and the other sister islands. 
The Report of that committee has been published and 
the Government of India have invited the opinion of the 
public upon it. I need not dwell at length upon the 
matter as I have [submitted my views already through 
the press. I 'have given it as my'opinion that the re- 
commendations of the committee, if adopted, will result 
in a kind of indenture. We can therefore only come to 
one conclusion. We can have no desire to see our 
labouring classes emigrating under bondage in any 
shape or form. There is no need for such emigration. 
The law of indenture should be totally Tabolished. 
It is'no part of our I duty -to provide 'facilities for the 
Colonies. '' ■- ^ 

I now reach the concluding topic. There lare two 
methods of attaining desired end : Truthful and 
Truthless, In our scriptures they have been d escribed 
respectively as divine and devilish. In the path of 
Satyagraha there is > always | unflinching adheren ce 'to 
Truth, It is never to be forsaken on any account, not 
even for the sake of one's country. The final triumph of 
Truth is always assumed [for the divine method. Its 


votary does not abandou it, even though at times the- 
path seems impenetrable and beset with difficulties and 
dangers, and a departure however slight from that 
straight "path may appear full of promise. His faith 
even then shines resplendent like the midday sun and 
he does not despond. With truth for sword, he needs- 
neither steel nor gunpowder. He conquers the enemy 
by the force of the soul, which is Love. Its test is not 
to be found among friends. There is neither newness,. 
nor merit nor yet effort in a friend loving a friend. It 
is tested truly when it is bestowed on the so-called 
enemy ; it then becomes a virtue, there is eflFort in it, it 
is an act of manliness and real bravery. We can adopt 
this method towards the Government and doing so, we 
should be in a position to appreciate their beneficial 
activities and with greater ease correct their errors be- 
cause we should draw attention to them not in anger 
but in Love. Love does not act through fear. There 
can, therefore, be no weakness in its expression, A coward 
is incapable of exhibiting Love, it is the prerogative of 
the brave. Following this method we shall not look upon^ 
all Governmental activity with suspicion, we shall not 
ascribe bad motives to them. And our examination of 
their actions, being directed by Love, will be unerring, 
and is bound, therefore, to carry conviction with them. 

Love has its strugglies. In the intoxication of power,, 
man often fails to detect his mistakes. When that 
happens a Passive Resist er does not sit still. He- 
suffers. He disobeys the ruler's laws and orders in a 
civil manner, and willingly incurs hardships caused by 
such disobedience, [e.g., imprisonment and gallows.]; 
Thus is the soul disciplined. Here there is no waste of 
energy, and any untoward results of such respectful 


disobedience are suffered merely by him and his com- 
panions. A Passive Resister is not at sixes and sevens 
with those in power but the latter willingly yield to- 
him. They know that thecp cannot effectively exercise force 
agaitfst the Passive Resister, Without his concurrence 
they cannot make him do their will. And this is the fulV 
fruition of Swaraj, because in it is complete indepen- 
dence. It need not be taken for granted, that such 
decorous resistance is possible only in respect of civi- 
lised rulers. Even a heart of flint will melt in front of 
a Sre kindled by the power of the soul. Even a Nero 
becomes a lamb when he faces Love. This is no exag- 
geration. It is as true as an algebraical equation. This 
Satyagraba is India's special weapon. It has had others 
but Satyagraha has commanded greater attention. It is- 
omnipresent, and is capable of being used at all times 
and under all circumstances. It does not require a 
Congress license. He who knows its power cannot help- 
using it. Even as the eye-lashes automatically protect 
the eyes, so does Satyagraha when kindled automatical- 
ly protect the freedom of the Soul, 

But truthlessness has opposite attributes. The- 
terrible war going on in Europe is a case in point. 
Why should a nation's cause be considered- right and' 
another's wrong because it overpowers the latter by 
sheer brute force ? The strong are often seen preying 
upon the weak. The wrongness of the latter's cause is 
not to be inferred from their defeat in a trial of brute 
strength, nor is the rightness of the strong to be inferred 
from their success in such a trial. The wielder of brute 
force does not scruple about the means to be used. 
He does not question' the propriety of means, if he 
can somehow achieve his purpose. This is not 


Dharma, it is Adharmaj In Dharma, there cannot be 
a particle of untruth, cruelty or the taking of life. The 
measure of Dharma is the measure of love, kindness, 
truth. Heaven itself is no acceptable exchange for 
them. Swaraj itself is useless at the sacrifice of Truth. 
Sacrifice of Truth is the foundation of a nation's destruc- 
tion. The believer in brute force becomes impatient 
aijd desires the death of -the so-called enemy. There 
can be but one result of such an activity. Hatred 
increases. The defeated party vows vengeance, and 
simply bides his time. Thus does the spirit of revenge 
descend from father to son. It is much to be wished 
that India may not give predominance to the worship 
of brute force. If the members of this assembly will 
deliberately accept Satyagraha, in laying down its own 
programme, they will reach their goal all the easier for 
it. They may have to face disappointment in the initial 
stages. They may not see results for a time. But 
Satyagraha will triumph in the end. The brute-force- 
man like the oilman's ox moves in a circle. It is a 
motion, but it is not progress. Whereas the votary of 
Truth force ever moves forward. 

A superficial critic reading the foregoing is likely 
to conclude that the views herein expressed are mutual- 
ly destructive. On the one hand I appeal to the Govern- 
ment to give military training to the people. On the 
other I put Satyagraha on the pedestal. Surely there 
can be no room for the use of arms in Satyagraha, nor is 
there any. But military training is intended for those 
who do not believe in Satyagraha. That the whole of 
India will ever accept Satyagraha is beyond my imagin- 
ation. Not to defend the weak is an entirely effeminate 
idea, everywhere to be rejected. In order to protect our 


innocent sister from the brutal designs of a man we ought 
to offer ourselves a willing sacrifice and by the force of 
Love conquer the brute in the man. But if we have not 
attained that power, we would certainly use up all our 
bodily strength in order to frustrate those designs. The 
votaries of soul-force and brute-force are both sdldiers. 
The latter, bereft of his arms, acknowledges defeat, the 
former does not know what defeat is. He does not de- 
pend upon the perishable body and its weapons, but he 
derives his strength from the unconquerable and im- 
mortal soul. The thing outside the two is not a man, 
for he does not recognise the Dweller within him. If 
he did, he would not take fright and run away from 
danger. Like a miser trying to save his flesh, he 
loses all, he does not know how to die. But the 
armoured soldier always has death by him as a com- ' 
paiiion. There is hope of his becoming a Passive 
Resister, and one has a right to hope that India, 
the holy land of the gods, will ever give the predomi- 
nant place to the divine force, rather than to the 
brute force. Might is right, is a formula which, let us 
hope, will never find acceptance in India. Her formula 
is, Truth alone conquers. 

Upon reflection, we find that we can employ Satya- 
graha even for social reform. We can rid ourselves of 
many defects in our social institutions. We can settle 
the Hindu-Mohammedan problem, and we can deal with 
political questions. It is well that for the sake of facili- 
tating progress we divide our activities according to the 
subjects handled. But it should never be forgotten that 
all are inter-related. It is not true to say that neither 
religion nor social reform has anything to do with poli- 
tics. The result obtained by bringing religion into play 


in the consideration of political subjects will be different 
from that obtained without it. The Hindus can ill afford 
ta neglect 56 lakhs of ignorant Sadhus in considering; 
political matters. Our Mussalman brethren cannot lose 
sight of their Fakeers. In advancing political progress 
the condition of our widows and child marriages must 
have their proper place, and the purdah must tax 
Mussalman wit. Nor can we, Hindus and Muhammedans, 
in considering politics, shut our eyes to scores of 
questions that arise between us. 

Indeed our difficulties are like the Himalayas. But 
we have equally powerful means at our disposal for 
removing them. We are children of an ancient nation.- 
We have witnessed the- burial of civilizations, those of 
Rome, Greece, and Egypt. Our cvilization abides even 
as the ocean in spite of its ebbs and flows. We have 
all we need to keep ourselves independent. V/e have- 
the mountains that kiss the sky, we have the mighty 
rivers. We have the matchless beauties of nature 
and we have handed down to us a heritage of deeds- 
o£ valour. This country is the treasure-house of 
tapasya. In this country alone do people be- 
longing to different religions live together in amity. 
In this country alone do all the gods receive 
their due measure of worship. We shall disgrace our 
heritage, and our connection with the British nation, 
will be vain, if in spite of such splendid equipment, by 
some unique effort, we do not conquer our conquerors. 
The English nation is full of adventure, the religiouft 
spirit guides it, it has unquenchable faith in itself, it is. 
a nation of great soldiers, it treasures its independence, 
but it has given the place of honour to its commerical 
instinct, it has not always narrowly examined the- 


means adopted for seeking wealth. It worships modern 
civilisation. The ancient ideals have lost their hold 
upon it. If therefore, instead of imitating that nation, 
we do not forget our past, we have real regard 
for our civilisation, we have firm faith in its supremacy, 
we shall be able to make a proper use of our connection 
with the British nation, and make it beneficial to 
ourselves, to them and to the whole world. I pray 
to the Almighty that this assembly taking its full share 
•of this great work may shed lustre upon itself, upon 
Gujarat, and upon the whole of Bharatavarsha. 


Mr. Gandhi delivered the following address as 
President of the First All-India Sovial Service Oon- 
Jerenoe held at Calcutta on December 27, 1917. 

Friends, I thank you for the honour you have con- 
ferred upon me. I was totally unprepared for the in- 
vitation to preside over the deliberations of this 
assembly. I do not know that I am fitted for the task. 
Having fixed views about the use of Hindi at national 
gatherings, I am always disinclined to speak in English. 
And I felt that the time was not ripe for me to ask to be 
allowed to deliver the Presidential Speech in Hindi. 
Moreover I have not much faith in conferences. Social 
Service to be effective has to be rendered without noise. 
It is best performed when 'the left hand knoweth not 
what the right is doing. Sir Gibbie's work told because 
nobody knew it. He could not be spoiled by praise or, 
held back by blame. Would that our service were of 
this nature. Holding such views it was not without 


considerable hesitation and misgivings that I obeyed the 
summons of the Reception Committee. You will, there- 
fore, pardon me if you find in me a candid critic rather 
than an enthusiast carrying the qpnference to its goal 
with confidence and assurance. 

It seems to me then that I cannot do better than 
draw attention to some branches of Social Service 
which we have hitherto more or less ignored. 

The greatest service we can render society is to free 
ourselves and it from the superstitious regard we have 
learnt to pay to the learning of the English language. It 
is the medium of instruction in our schools and colleges. 
It is becoming the lingua franca of the country. Our 
best thoughts are expressed in it. Lord Chelmsford 
hopes that it will soon take the' place of the mother 
tongue ii) high families. This belief in the necessity 
of English training has enslaved us. It has unfitted us 
for true national service. Were it not for force of habit, 
we could not fail to see that, by reason of English being 
the medium of instruction, our intellect has been 
segregated, we have been isolated from the masses, 
the best mind of the nation has become gagged and the 
masses have not received the benefit of the new ideas ^ 
we have received. We have been engaged these past 
sixty years in memorising strange words and their 
pronunciation instead of assimilating facts. In the place 
of building upon the foundation, the training received 
from our parents, we have almost unlearnt it. There 
is no parallel to this in History. It is a national 
tragedy. The first and the greatest Social Service we 
can render is to revert to our vernaculars, to restore 
Hindi to its natural place as the National Language 
and begin carrying on all our provincial proceedings 


in our respective vernaculars and national proceedings 
in Hindi. We ought not to rest till our schools 
and colleges give us instruction through the verna- 
culars. It ought not to be necessary even for the 
sake of our English friends to have to speak in English. 
Every English Civil and Military Officer has to know 
Hindi. Most English merchants learn it because they 
need it for their business. The da/ must soon come 
when our legislatures will debate national aflfairs in the 
vernaculars or Hindi as the case may be. Hitherto the 
masses have been strangers to their proceedings. The 
vernacular papers have tried to undo the mischief a little. 
But the task was beyond them. The Patrika reserves its 
biting sarcasm, the Bengalee its learning for ears tuned 
to English. In this ancient land of cultured thinkeirs 
the presence in our midst of a Tagore or a Bose or a 
Ray ought not to excite wonder. Yet the painful fact 
is that there are so few of them. You will forgive me 
if I have carried too long on a subject whicli, in your 
opinion, may hardly be treated as an item of Social 
Service. I have however taken the liberty of mention- 
ing the matter prominently as it is my conviction that 
all national activity suffers materially owing to this 
radical defect in our system of education. 

Coming to more familiar items of Social Service, 
the list is appalling. I shall select only those of 'which 
I have any knowledge. 

Work in times of sporadic distress such as famine 
and floods is no doubt necessary and most praiseworthy. 
But it produces no permanent results. There are fields 
of Social Service in which there may be no renown but 
which may yield lasting results. 

In 1914 choleraj fevers and plague together claimed 


4,649,663 victims. If so many had died fighting 
on the battlefield during the war that is at present 
^devastating Europe, we would have covered ourselves 
with glory and lovers of Swaraj would need no 
further argument in support of their cause. As it is, 
4,639,663 have died a lingering death unmourned 
and their dying has brought us nothing but discredit. 
A distinguished Englishman said the other day that 
Englishmen did all the thinking for us whilst we sat 
supine. He added that most Englishmen basing their 
.opinions on their English experience presented im- 
possible or costly remedies for the evils they investi- 
gated. There is much truth in the above statement. 
In other countries reformers have successfully grappled 
with epidemics. Here Englishmen have tried and fail- 
ed. They have thought along western lines ignoring 
the vast differences, climatic and other, between 
Europe and India. Our doctors and physicians have 
practically done nothing. I am sure that half-a-dozen 
^medical men of the front rank dedicating their lives to 
the work of eradicating the triple curse would succeed 
where Englishmen have failed. I venture to suggest 
that the way lies not through finding out cures but 
through finding or rather applying preventive methods. 
J prefer to use the participle ' applying ' for I have it 
.on the aforementioned authority that to drive out 
plague (and I add cholera and malaria) is absurdly 
simple. There is no conflict of opinion as to the pre- 
ventive methods. We simply do not apply them. 
We have made up our minds that the masses will not 
adopt them. There could be no greater calumny uttered 
against them. If we would but stoop to conquer, 
they can be easily conquered. The truth is that we 


•expect the Government to do the work. In my opinion, 
in this matter, the Government cannot lead ; they can 
follow and help if we could lead. Here, then, there 

lis work enough for our doctors and an army of workers 
to help them. I note that you in Bengal are work- 
ing somewhat in this direction. I may state that a 
small but earnest band of volunteers are at the 

■present moment, engaged in doin^ such work in Chami- 
paran. They are posted in different villages. There 
they teach the village children, they give medical aid 
to the sick and they give practical lessons in hygiene to 
the village folk by cleaning their wells and roads and 
showing them how to treat human excreta. Nothing can 
yet be predicted an to results as the experiment is in its 
infancy. This Conference may usefully appoint a com- 
-mittee of doctors who would study rural conditions on the 
;spot and draw up a course of instructions for the 
-guidance of workers and of the people at large. 

Nothing perhaps affords such splendid facility to 
every worker, wholetime or otherwise, for effective 
service as the relief of agony through which the 3rd 
class railway passengers are passing. I feel keenly about 
this grievance not because I am in it but I have gone to 
it as I have felt keenly about -it. This matter affects 
jnillions of our poor and middle class countrymen. This 
helpless toleration of every inconvenience and insult is 
visibly deteriorating the nation even as the cruel treat- 
ment to which we have subjected the so-called depressed' 
classes has made them indifferent to the laws of personal 
-cleanliness and the very idea of self-respect. What 
else but downright degradation can await those who 
have to make a scramble always like mad animals for 
rseats in a miserable compartment, who have to swear 


and curse before they can speak through the window in 
order to get standing room, who have to wallow in 
dirt during their journey, who are served their food 
like dogs and eat it like thena, who have ever to bend 
before those who are physically stronger than they and 
who being packed like sardines in, compartments have 
to get such sleep as they can in a sitting posture for 
nights together. Railway servants swear at them, cheat 
them. On the Howrah-Lahore service our friends from 
Kabul fill to the brim the cup of the misery of the 
third class travellers. They become lords of the 
compartments they enter. It is not possible for any 
one to resist them. They swear at you on the slightest" 
pretext, exhaust the whole of the obscene vocabulary 
of the Hindi language, They do not hesitate to bela- 
bour you if you retort or in any way oppose them. 
They usurp the best seats and insist on stretching them- 
selves full length even in crowded compartment. Na 
compartment is deemed too crowded for them to enter. 
The travellers patiently bear all their awful imperti-- 
nence out of sheer helplessness. They would, if they 
could, knock down the man who dared to swear at them 
as do these Kabulis. But they are physically no match 
for the Kabulis and every Kabuli considers himself 
more than a match for any number of travellers from- 
the plains. This is not right. The effect of this 
terrorising on the national character cannot but be 
debasing. We the educated few ought to deliver the 
travelling public from this scourge or for ever 
renounce our claim to speak on its behalf or to guide' 
it. I believe the Kabulis to be amenable to reason.- 
They are a God-fearing people. If you know their lan- 
guage, you can successfully appeal to their good sense.. 


But they are spoilt children of nature. Cowards among 
us have used their undoubted physical strength for our 
nefarious purposes. And they have now come to think 
that they can treat poor people as they choose and cou" 
sider themselves above the law of the land. Here is 
work enough for Social Service. Volunteers for this 
class of work can board trains and educate the people to 
a sense of their duty, call in guards and other officials 
in order to remove over-crowding, see that passengers 
leave and board trains without a scramble. It is clear 
that until the Kabulis can be patiently taught to be- 
have themselves, they ought to have a compartment 
all to themselves and they ought not to be permitted to 
enter any other compartment. With the exception of 
providing additional plant, every one of the other evils 
attendant on railway travelling ought to be immediately 
redressed. It is no answer that we have suffered -the 
wrong so long. Prescriptive rights cannot accrue to 

No less important is the problem of the depressed 
classes. To lift them from the position to which Hindu 
society has reduced them is to remove a big blot on 
Hinduism. The present treatment of these classes is a 
sin against religion and humanity. 

But the work requires service of the highest order. 
We shall make little headway by merely :^'thowing 
schools at them. We must change the attitude of the 
masses and orthodoxy. I have already shown that we 
have cut ourselves adrift from both. We do not react 
on them. We can do so only if we speak to them in 
their own language, An anglicised India cannot speak 
to them With effect. If we believe in Hinduism we 
must approach them in the Hindu fashion. We must 


do tapasya and keep our Hinduism undefiled. Pure 
and enlightened orthodoxy must be matched against 
superstitious and ignorant orthodoxy. To restore to 
their proper status a fifth of our total population is a 
task worthy of any Social Service organisation. 

The bustees of Calcutta and the chawls of Bombay 
ibadly demand the devoted services of hundreds of 
social workers. They send our infants to an early 
grave and promote vice, degradation and filth. 

Apart from the fundamental evil arising out of our 
defective system of education I have hitherto dealt 
with evils calling for service among the masses. The 
classes perhaps demand no less attention than the 
masses i It is my opinion that all evils like diseases 
are symptoms of the same evil or disease. They appear 
various by being refracted through different media. 
The root evil is loss- of true spirituality brought 
about through causes, I cannot examine, from this 
platform. We have lost the robust faith of our fore- 
fathers in the absolute efficacy of Saiya (truth) Ahimsa 
{love) and Brahmacharya (Self-restraint.) We certainly 
believe in them to an extent. They are the best policy 
but we may deviate from them if our untrained reason, 
suggests deviation. We have not faith enough to feel 
that though the present outlook seems black, if we 
follow the dictates of truth or love or exercise self- 
restraint, the ultimate result must be sound. Men 
whose spiritual vision has[ become blurred mostly look 
to the present rather than conserve the future good. 
He will render the greatest social service who vviil re-' 
instate us in our ancient spirituality. But humble men 
that we are, it is enough (or us if we recognise the loss 
and by such ways as are open to us prepare the way- 


for the man who will infect us with his power and 
enable us to feel clearly through the heart, things we, 
are to-day unable to perceive through our reason. 

Looking then at the classes I find that our Rajahs 
and Maharajahs squander their resources after so called 
useless sport and drink, I was told the other day that 
the cocaine habit was sapping the nation's manhood 
and that like the drink habit it was on the increase and 
in its effect more deadly than drink. It is impossible 
for a social worker to blind himself to the evil. We 
dare not ape the West. We are a nation that has lo&t 
its prestige and its self-respect. Whilst a tenth of our 
population is living on the verge of starvation, we have 
no time for indulging ourselves. What the West may 
do with impunity is like in our case to prove our ruin. 
The evils that are corroding the higher strata of society 
are difficult for an ordinary worker to tackle. They 
have acquired a certain degree of respectability. But 
they ought not to be beyond the reach of this Con- 

Equally important is the question of the status of 
women both Hindu and Mahomedan. Are they or are 
they not to play their full part in the plain of regenera- 
tion alongside of their husband ? They must be enfran- 
chised. They can no longer be treated either as dolls, 
or slaves without the social body remaining in a condi- 
tion of social paralysis. And here again I would venture 
to suggest to the reformer that the way to women's 
freedom is not through education but through the 
change of attitude on the part of men and corresponding 
action. Education is necessary but it must follow the 
freedom. We dare not wait for literary education to 
restore our womanhood to its proper state. Even without 


literary education our women are as cultured as any on 
the face of the earth. The remedy largely lies in the 
hands of husbands; 

It makes my blood boil as I wander through the 
country and watch lifeless and fleshless oxen with their 
ribs sticking through their skins, carrying loads or 
ploughing our fields. To improve:the breed of our cattle, 
to rescue them from the cruelty practised on them by 
their cow-worshipping masters and to isave them from 
the^slaughter house is to solve half the problem of our 

pfeverty We have to educate the people to a 

humane use of their cattle and plead with the Govern- 
ment to conserve the pasture land of the country. 
Protection of the cow is an economic necessity. It 
can not be brought about by force. It can only 
be achieved by an appeal to the finer feelings of 
our English friends and our Mahomedan countrymen t6 
save the cow from the slaughter-house. This question 
involves the overhauling of the management of our 
Pinjrapoles and cow-protection societies. A proper 
solution of this very difficult problem means establish- 
ment of perfect concord between Hindus and Maho- 
m^ans and an end of Bakr-id riots, 

I have glanced at the literature kindly furnished at 
my request by the several Leagues who are rendering 
admirable Social Service. I note that some have inclu- 
ded in their programme many of the items mentioned 
by me. All the Leagues are non-sectarian and they have 
as their members the most distinguished men and 
women in the land. The possibilities for services of a 
far reaching character are therefore great. But if the 
work is to leave its impress on the nation, we must have 
workers who are prepared, in Mr. Gokhale's words,—' 


-to dedicate their lives to the cause. Give me such 
workers and I promise they will rid the land of all the 
-evils that afflict it. 


Mr. Gandhi published the following reply in the 
''Statesman'' of January 19, 1918 to Mr. Irwin's attack 
on Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi in the columns of the same 
Journal : — 

Mr. Irwin's latest letter published in your issue 
of the 12th instant compels me to court the hospitality 
•of your columns. So long as your correspondent con 
fined himself to matters directly affecting himself, his 
misrepresentations did not much matter, as the real 
facts were as much within the knowledge of the 
Government and those who are concerned with the 
agrarian question in Champaran, as within mine. But 
in the letter under notice, he has travelled outside his 
jurisdiction as it were, and unc hivalrously attacked one 
of the most innocent women walking on the face of 
the earth (and this I say alt hough she happens to be 
my wife) and has unpardonably referred to a question 
■of the greatest moment, I mean, the cow-protection 
question, without taking the precaution as behoves a 
gentleman of ascertaining facts at first hand. 

My address to the Gau-rakshini Sabha he could 
have easily obtained upon application to me. This at 
least was due to me as between man and man. Your 
correspondent accuses me of ' making a united attack 
, on saheb log {theit landlords) who slaughter and eat 
cows daily.' This pre-supposes that I was addressing 
a comparatively microscopic audience of the planters' 


riyats. The fact is that the audience was composed' 
chiefly of the non-raiyat class. , But I had in mind a 
much bigger audience, and not merely the few thousand' 
hearers before me. I spoke under a full sense of my 
responsibility. The question of cow-protection is, iu 
my opinion, as laFge as the Empire to which Mr. Irwin 
and I belong. I know that he is the proud father of a. 
young lad of 24, who has received by his gallantry the 
unique honour of a Colonelcy at his age. Mr, Irwin 
can, if he will, obtalt a greater honour for himself by- 
studying the cow question and taking his full share in 
its solution. He will, I promise, be then much better- 
occupied, than when is' dashing off his misrepresenta- 
tions to be published in the press, and most tmneces-- 
sarily preparing to bring 2,200 cases against his tenants 
for the sake of deriving the questionable pleasure of 
deeming me responsible for those cases. 

I said at the meeting that the Hitadus had no war- 
rant for resenting the slaughter of cows by their Maho- 
medan brethren who kill them from religious conviction,, 
so long as they themselves were a party to the killing- 
by inches of thousands of cattle who were horribly ill- 
treated by their Hindu owners, to the drinking of milk- 
drawn from cows in the inhuman dairies of Calcutta, 
and so long as they calmly contemplated the slaughter 
of thousands of cattle in the slaughter houses of India, 
for providing beef for the European or Christian resi- 
dents of India. I suggested that the first step towards- 
procuring full protection for cows was to put their own 
house in order by securing absolute immunity from ill- 
treatment of their cattle by Hindus themselves, and 
then to appeal to the Europeans to abstain from beef- 
eating whilst resident in India, or at least to procure 


beef from outside India. I ^dded that in no case could 
the cow protection propaganda, if it was to be based 
upon religious conviction, tolerate a sacrifice of->Maho- 
medans for the sake of saving cows, that the religious 
method of securing protection from Christians and Maho- 
medans alike was for Hindus to offer themselves a wil- 
ling sacrifice of sufficient magnitude to draw out the 
merciful nature of Christians and Mahomedans. Right- 
ly or wrongly worship of the aow is ingrained in the' 
Hindu nature and I see no escape from a most bigotted- 
and sanguinary strife over this question between 
Christians and Mahomedans on the one hand and 
Hindus on the other except in the fullest recognition and 
practice by the Hindus of the religion of ahimsa, 
which it is my self-imposed and humble mission in life 
to preach. Let the truth be faced. It must not be 
supposed that Hindus feel nothing about the cow- 
slaughter going on for the European. I know that their' 
wrath is to-day being buried under the awe inspired by 
the English rule. But there is not a Hindu throughout 
the length and breadth of India who does not expect' 
one day to free his land from cow-slaughter. But 
contrary to the genius of Hiuduism as I know it, he- 
would not mind forcing even at the point of the sword 
either the Christian or the Mahomedan to abandon cow- 
slaughter. I wish to play my humble part in prevent- 
ing such a catastrophe and I thank Mr. Irwin for having 
provided me with an opportunity of inviting him and' 
your readers to help me in my onerous mission. The 
mission may fail to prevent cow -slaughter. But there 
is no reason why by patient plodding and consistent 
practice it should not succeed in showing the folly, the 
stupidity and the inhumanity of committing the crime of 


iilling a fellow human being for the sake of saving a 
fellow animal. 

So much on behalf of the innocent cow. A word 
only for my innocent wife who will never even know the 
wrong your correspondent has done her. If Mr. Irwin 
would enjoy the honour of being introduced to her he 
will soon find out that Mrs. Gandhi is a simple woman 
almost unlettered, who knows nothing of the two bazaars 
mentioned by him, even as I knew nothing of them until 
ver3r recently and sometime after the establishment of 
the rival bazaar referred to by Mr. Irwin. He will 
then further assure himself that Mrs. Gandhi has had 
no hand in its establishment and is totally incapable of 
managing such a bazaar. Lastly he will at once learn 
that Mrs. Gandhi's time is occupied in cooking for and 
serving the teachers conducting the school established 
in the dehat in question, in distributing medical relief 
and in moving amongst the women of the dehat with a 
view to giving them an idea of simple hygiene. Mrs. 
Gandhi, I may add, has not learnt the art of making 
speeches or addressing letters to the press. 

As to the rest of the letter, the less said the better. 
It is so full of palpable mis-representations that it is 
difficult to deal with them with sufficient self-restraint. I 
can only say that I am trying to the best of my ability 
to fulfil the obligation, I hold myself under, of promo- 
ting good- will between planters and the raiyats, and if I 
fail it would not be due to want of efforts on my part, 
but it would be largely, if not entirely, due to the 
mischievous propaganda Mr. Irwin is carrying on openly 
and some others sub rosa in Champaran in order to 
nullify the effect of the report published by the 
Agrarian Committee, which was brought into being not 


as Mr. Irwin falsely suggests at my request but by the 
agitation carried on, as your files would demonstrate, by 
Mr. Irwin and his friends of .the Anglo-Indian 
Association. If he is wise, he will abide by his written 
word, voluntarily and after full discussion and delibera- 
tion, given by him at Ranchi.- 


The annual gathering of the Bombay Bhagini 
Samaj was held on Wednesday, February 20, 1918, at 
the Morarji Gokuldas Hall, under the presidency of Mr, 
M, K. Gandhi, The ajmual report of the Santa) having 
been read by the General Secretary, the President 
distributed prizes to the pupils of the female classes, 
and delivered a very informing address on the education 
■of -women, in the course of which he said :— - 

It is necessary to understand what we mean when 
we talk of the regeneration of women; It presupposes 
degeneration and if that is so we should further consider 
what led to it and how. It is our primary duty to have 
some very hard thinking on these points. In travelling 
all over India, I have come to realize that all the 
existing agitation is confined to an infinitesimal section 
of our people who are really a mere speck in the vast 
firmament. Crores of people of both the sexes live in 
absolute ignorance of this agitation. Full eighty-five 
per cent of the people of this country pass their 
innocent days in a state of total detachment from what 
is going on around them. These men and women 
ignorant as they are do their "bit" in life well and 
properly. Both have the same education or rather the 


absence of education. Both are helping each other as- 
they ought to do. If their lives are in any sense incom- 
plete, the cause can be traced to the incompleteness of 
the lives of the remaining fifteen per cent. If my 
sisters of the Bhagini Samaj will make a close study of 
the lives of these 85 per cent of our people, it will 
provide them ample material for an excellent pro- 
gramme of work for the Samaj. 


In the cfesevations that I am going to make, I will 
confine myself to the 15 per cent, abovementioned and; 
even then it would be out of place to discuss the disabili" 
ties that are common both to men and women. The 
point for as to consider is the regeneration of our women 
relatively to our men. Legislation has been mostly the. 
handi-work of men ; and man has not always been- 
fair and discriminate in performing that self-appointed; 
task. The largest part of our effect in promoting the 
regeneration of women should be directed towards 
removing those blemishes which are represented ini 
our Shastras as the necessary and ingrained charac- 
teristic of women. Who will attempt this and how ? 
In my humble opinion in order to make the attempt, 
we will have to produce women pure, firm and self- 
controlled as Sita, Damayanti and Draupadi. If we 
do produce them such modern sisters will receive the 
same homage from Hindu society as is being paid to- 
their prototypes of yore. Their words will have the 
'same authority as the Shastras. We will feel ashamed' 
of the stray reflections on them in our Smritis and will 
soon forget them. Such revolutions have occurred in 
Hinduism in the past and will still take place in the 
future, leading to the stability of our faith. I pray ta 


<jod t hat this Association might soon produce such 
■women as I have described above. 


We have now discussed the root cause of the 

■degeneration of our women and have considered the 

ideals by the realization of which the present conditions 

of our women can be improved. The number of women 

who can realize those ideals will be necessarily very 

iew and therefore, we will now consider what ordinary 

women can accomplish if they would try. Their first 

attempt should be directed towards awakening in the 

minds of as many women as possible a proper sense 

•of their present condition. I am not among those 

who believe that such an effort can be made through 

literary education only. To work on that basis would 

be to postpone indefinitely the accomplishment of 

-our aims ; I have experienced at every step that 

it is not at all necessary to wait so long. We can bring 

home to our women the sad realities of their present con- 

dition without in the first instance giving them any 

literary education. Woman the companion pf man 

gifted with equal mental capacities. She has the right 

to participate in very minutest detail in the activities of 

man and she has an equal right of freedom and • liberty 

with him. She is entitled to a supreme place in her 

■own sphere of activity as man is in his. This ought to 

be the natural condition of. thing and not as a result only 

of learning to read and writf . By sheer force of a 

vicious custom even the most ignorant and v/orthless 

men have been enjoying a superiority over women 

which they do not deserve and ought not to have. Many 

of our movements stop halfway because of the condition 

-of our women. Much of our work does not yield 


appropriate results ; our lot is like that of the penny- 
wise and pound foolish trader who does not employ 
enough capital in his business. 

But although much good and useful work can be 
done without a knowledge of reading and writing yet it 
is my firm belief that you cannot always do without a- 
knowledge thereof. It develops and sharpens one's 
intellect and it stimulates our power of doing good. I 
have never placed an unnecessarily high value on the- 
knowledge of reading and writing. I am only attempting 
to assign its proper place to it. I have pointed out from 
time to time that there is no justification for men to- 
deprive women or to deny to them equal rights on the 
ground of -their illiteracy ; but education is essential 
for enabling women to uphold these natural rights, to- 
improve them and to spread them ; again the true 
knowledge of self is unattainable by the millions who- 
are without such education. Many a book is full of 
innocent pleasure and this will be denied to us without 
education. It is no exaggeration to say that a human 
being without education is not far removed from an 
animal. Education, therefore, is necessary for women 
as it is -for men. Not that the methods of education- 
should be identical in both cases. In the first place= 
our state system of education is full of error and product- 
ive of harm in many respects. It should be eschewed; 
by men and women alike. Even if it were free from 
its present blemishes I would not regard it as proper for 
women from all points of view. Man and woman are 
of equal rank but they are not identical. They are a 
peerless pair being supplementary to one another ; each 
helps the other so what without the one the existence 


of the other cannot be conceived, and therefore it 
follows as a necessary corollary from these facts that 
anything that will impair the status of either of them 
will involve the equal ruin of them both. In framing; 
any scheme of women's education this cardinal truth 
must be constantly kept in mind. Man is supreme in' 
the outward activities of a married pair and therefore it 
is in the fitness of things that he should have a greater 
knowledge thereof. On the other hand home life is- 
entirely the sphere of woman and therefore in domestic 
affairs, in the upbringing and education of children^ 
women ought to have more knowledge. Not that 
knowledge should- be divided into watertight compart- 
ments or that some branches of knowledge should be- 
closed to any one ; but unless courses of instruction 
are based on a discriminating appreciation of these 
basic principles the fullest life of man and woman cannot 
be developed. 


I should say a word or two as to whether English 
education is or is not necessary for our women. I haver 
come to the conclusion that in the ordinary course of 
our lives neither our men nor our women need neces- 
sarily have any knowledge of English. True, English 
is necessary for making a living and for active associa- 
tion in our political movements. I do not believe itt 
women working for a living or undertaking commercial: 
enterprizes. The few women who may require or 
desire to have English education can very easily have 
their way by joining the schools for men. To introduce 
English education in schools meant for women could 
only lead to prolong our helplessness. I have often 
read and heard people saying that the rich treasures of 


English literature should be opened alike to men and 
women, I submit in all humility that there is some 
misapprehension in assuming such an attitude. No one 
intends to closs these treasures against women while 
keeping them open for men. There is none on earth 
able to prevent you from studying the literature of the 
whole world if you are fond of literary tastes. But when 
courses of education have been framed with the needs of 
a particular society in view, you cannot supply the re- 
quirements of the few who have cultivated a literary 
taste. In asking our men and women to spend less time 
in the study of English than they are doing now, my ob- 
ject is not to deprive them of the pleasure which they 
are likely to derive from it, but I hold that the same 
pleasure can be obtained at less cost and trouble it we 
ifollow a more natural method. The world is full of 
many a gem of priceless beauty ; but then these gems 
are not all of English setting. Other languages can 
well boast of productions of similar excellence ; all 
these should be made available for our common people 
and that can only be done if our own learned men will 
undertake to translate them for us in our own 


Merely to have outlined a scheme of education as 
above is not to have removed the bane of child marri- 
age from our society or to have conferred on our women 
an equality of rights. Let us now consider the case of 
our girls who disappear, so to say, from view, after 
marriage. They are not likely to return to our schools. 
Conscious of the unspeakable and unthinkable sin of 
the child marriage of their daughters, their mothers 
cannot think of educating them or of otherwise making 


their dry life a cheerful one. The man who marries a 
young girl does not do so out of any altruistic motives 
but through sheer lust. Who is to rescue these girls ? 
A proper answer to this question will also be a solu- 
tion of the woman's problem. The answer is albeit 
difficult, but it is only one. There is of course none 
to champion her cause but her husband. It is useless to 
expect a child-wife to be able to bring round the man 
who has married her. The difficult work must, there- 
fore, for the present at least be left to man. If I could, 
I would take a census of child wives and wi41-find the 
friends as well as" through moral and polite exhortations 
I wiSr attempt, to bring home to them the enormity of 
their crime in linking their fortunes witrh child wives 
and will warn them that there is no expiation for that 
sin unless and until they have by education made their 
wives fit not only to bear children but also to bring them 
up properly and unless in the meantime they live a life 
■of absolute celibacy. 


Thus, there are m=iny fruitful fields of activity 
before the members of the Bhagini Samaj for devoting 
their energies to. The field for work is so vast that if 
resolute application is brought to bear thereon the 
wider movements -for reform may for the present 
be left to themselves and great service can be done to 
the cause of Home Rule without so much as even a 
verbal reference to it. When printing presses were 
non-existent and scope for speech-making very limited, 
when one could hardly travel twenty-four miles 
in the course of a day instead of a thousand miles 
as now,' we had only one agency for propagating 
our ideals and that was our 'Acts' ; and acts had 


immense potency. We are now rushing to and from 
with the velocity of air, delivering speeches, writing 
newspaper articles and yet we fall short of our accom- 
plishments and the cry of despair fills the air. I, for one^ 
am of opinion that as in old days our acts will have a 
more powerful influence on the public than any number 
of speeches and writing. It is my earnest prayer to your 
Association that its members should give prominence to- 
quiet and unobtrusive work in whatever it does. 


Mr. Gandhi wrote the following letter to the press 
under date, Indore, March 3, 1918 soon after the conclu-r 
sion of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan : — 

At the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan just closing a com- 
mittee consisting of the Hon'ble Rai Bahadur Bishen 
Dutta Shukla, Rai Bahadur Saryoo Prasad, Babu Shiva- 
Prasad Gupta, Babu Purushottan Das Tandon, Babu. 
Gauri Shanker Prasad, Pandit Venkatesha Narayan 
Tiwari and myself, were appointed as a speial committee 
to give effect to certain fesolutions ol the Sammelan. 
One of the instructions given to the committee is to find- 
out six Tamil and Telugu youths of promise and good- 
character who would undertake to learn Hindi with a- 
view to ultimately becoming missionaries for the pro- 
pagation of Hindi among the Tamil and the Telugu 
people. It has been proposed to locate them either at 
Allahabad or at Benares, and to teach them Hindi, 
Expenses of their board and lodging as well as instruc- 
tion will be paid for by the committee. It is expected that 
the course will not take longer than a year at the- 
most and as soon as they have attained a certain standard 


of knowledge of Hindi they would be entrusted with the 
missionary work, that is, the work of teaching Hindi tO' 
the Tamil or the Telugti people as the case may be, 
for which they would get a salary to maintain them- 
selves suitably. The Committee will guarantee such ser- 
vice for at least a period of three years, and will expect 
applicants to enter into a contract with the Committee to 
render the stipulated service faithfully and well for that 
period. The Committee expects that the services of 
these youths will be indefinitely prolonged and that they 
will be able to serve themselves as well as the country. 
The desire of the Committee is to offer liberal payment 
and expect in return absolute faithfulness and steadfast- 
ness. I trust that you agree with the Sammelan that 
Hindi and Hindi alone, whether in Sanskrit form or as 
Urdu, can become the language of intercourse between 
the different provinces. It is already that amongst 
the Muhammadans all over India, as also amongst the 
Hindus except in the Madras Presidency. I exclude 
the English educated Indians who have made English, 
in my humble opinion, much to the detriment of 
the country, the language of mutual intercourse. If 
we are to realise the Swaraj ideal we must find a 
common language that can be easily learnt and that 
can be understood by the vast masses. X^is has always 
been Hindi or Urdu and is so even now as I can 
say from personal experience, I have faith enough in 
the patriotism, selflessness and the sagacity of the. 
people of the Madras Presidency to know that those 
who at all want to render national service or to come 
in touch with the pther Provinces, Will undergo the 
sacrifice, if it is one, of learing Hindi. I suggest that 
they should consider it a privilege to be able to learn a 


langiAge that will enable them to enter into the hearts 
of millions of their countrymen. The proposal set 
•forth is a temporary make-shift. An agitation of great 
potency must arise in the country that would comp&l 
the educational authorities to introduce Hindi as the 
second language in the public schools. But it was 
Sfelt by the Sammelan that no time should be lost in 
popularising Hindi in the Madras Presidency. Hence 
the above-mentioned proposal which, I hope, you will 
be able to commend to your readers. I may add that 
the Committee proposes to send Hindi teachers to the 
Tamil as also to the Andhra districts in order to teach 
Hindi free of charge to those who would care to learn 
lit. I hope that many will take advantage of the pro- 
fered tuition. Those youths who wish to apply for the 
training above-mentioned should do so under cover 
addressed to me care of Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, 
Allahabad, before the end of April. 


When the mill hands at Ahmedahad uent on 
■strike Mr. Gandhi was requisitioned to settle the 
dispute bettveen the mill owners and the workmen. 
Mr, G»ndht 'was guidtng the labourers to a 
successful settlement of their wages when some of 
them betrayed a sense of weakness and despair, 
and demoralisation was apprehended. At a critical stage 
in the crisis Mr. Gandhi and Miss Anasuyabai took the 
vow of fast. Thi,- extereme action on the part of Mr. 
Gandhi was disquieting to friends and provoked some 
bitter commeytts from the unfriendly. In the following 
statement issued from Nadiad under date, March 27, 


i918, Mr. Gandhi exjilains the circumstances whkk 
necessitated this action ;^ 

Perhaps I owe an explanation to the public with 
regard to my recent fast. Some friends consider the 
action to have been silly, others, cowardly and some 
bthers still worse. In my opinion I would have been 
untrue to my Maker and to the cause I was espftusing 
if I had acted otherwise. 

When over a month ago I reached Bombay I was 
told that Ahmedabad millhands had threatened a strike 
and violence if the bonus that was given to them 
during the plague was withdrawn. I was asked to 
intervene and I consented. 

Owing to the plague the men were getting as much 
as 70 per cent, bonus since August last. An attempt to 
recall that bonus had resulted in grave dissatisfaction 
among the labourers. When it was almost too late, the 
millowners offered in the place of the plague bonus 
and for the sake of the high prices a rise of 20 per 
cent. The labourers were unsatisfied. The matter 
was referred to arbitration, Mr. Chatfield, the Collec- 
tor being the Umpire. The men in some mills 
however struck work. The owners thinking that they 
had done so without just cause withdrew from 
the arbitration, and declared a general lockout to be 
continued till the labourers were exhausted into accept- 
ing the 20 per cent, increase they had offered. Messrs. 
Shankerlal Banker, V. J. Patel and I the arbitrators- 
apponted on behalf of the labourers, thought that they 
were to be demoralised if we did not act promptly and 
decisively. We, therefore, investigated the question of 
increase, we sought the millowners' assistance, They 
would not give it. Their one purpose was to organise 


themselves into a combination that could fight a similar 
combination of their employees. One -sided technically 
though our investigation was, we endeavoured to exa- 
mine the millowuers' side, and came to the conclusion 
that 35 per cent, increase was fair. Before announcing 
the figure to the mill hands W3 informed the employers 
of the result of our inquiry and told them that we would 
correct ourselves if they could show any error. The 
latter wouO not co-operate. They sent a reply saying 
as much, but they pointed out in it that the rate of in- 
crease granted by the Government as also the employ- 
ers in Bombay was much less than the one contem- 
plated by us. I felt that the addendum was beside 
the point, and at a huge mseting ana oanced35 per cent, 
for. the millhands' acceptance. Be it noted that the 
plague bonus amounted to 70 per cent, of their wages 
and they had declared their intention of accepting not 
less than 50 per cent, as high prices increase. They 
were now called upon to accept the mean ^ finding the 
mean was quite an accident between the millowners 
20 per cent, and their own 50 per cent. After some 
grumbling, the meeting accepted the 35 per cent, increase 
it always being understood, that they would recognise 
at the same time the principle of arbitration whenever 
the millowners did so. From that time forward, i.e,, day 
after day thousands of people gathered together under 
the shade of a tree outside the city walls, people walking 
long distances in many cases and solemnly repeated 
their determination in the" name of God not to accept 
anything less than 35 per cent. No pecuniary assist- 
ance was given them. It is easy enough to understand 
tTiat many must suffer from the pangs of starvation and 
that they could not, while they were without employ- 


-ment, get any credit. We, who were helping them,, 
came, on the other hand to the conclusion that we 
would only spoil them if we collected public funds 
and utilised them for feeding them unless the able- 
bodied amongst them were ready to perform bread- 
labour. It was a difficult task to persuade men who 
had worked at machines to shoulder baskets of sand or 
bricks. They came, but they did so grudgingly. The 
millowners hardened their hearts. They were equally 
■determined not to go beyond 20 per cent, and they 
appointed emissaries to persuade the men to give in. 
Even during the early part of the lockout, whilst we 
had declined to help those who would not work we had 
assured them that we would feed and clothe ourselves 
after feeding and clothing them. Twenty two days had 
passed by ; hunger and the Millowners' emissaries were 
producing their effect and Satan was whispering to the 
men that there was no such thing as God on earth who 
would help them and that vows were dodges resorted 
to by weaklings. One mo rning instead of an eager and 
enthusiastic crowd of 5 to 10 thou sard men with deter- 
mination written on their faces, I met a body of about 
2,000 men with despair written on their faces. We had 
just heard that millhands living in a particular chowl 
had declined to attend the meeting, were preparing to 
go to work and accept 20 per cent, increase and were 
taunting os (I think very properly) that it was very 
well for us who had motors at our disposal and plenty 
of food, to attend their meetings and advise staunch- 
ness even unto death. What jWas I to do ? I 
held the cause to be just. I believe in God as 
J believe that I am writing this letter. I believe in the 
necessity of the, performance of "one's promises" at 


all costs. I knew that the men before us were God- 
fearing men, but that the long-drawn out lockout or 
strike was putting an undue strain upon them. I had 
the knowledge before me that during my extensive 
travels in India, hundreds of people were found who as 
readily broke their promises as they made them. I 
knew, too, that the best of us have but a vague and. 
indistinct belief in soul-force and in God. I felt that it 
was a sacred moment for me, my failh was on the 
anvil, and I had no hesitation in rising and declaring to 
the men that a breach of their vow so solemnly taken 
was unendurable by me and that I would not take any 
food until they had the 35 pef cent, increase given 
or until they had fallen. A meeting that was up- 
to now unlike the former meetings totally unres- 
ponsive, worked up as if by magic. Tears trickled down 
the cheeks of every one of them and man after man rose 
up saying that they would never go to the mills unless 
they got the increase, and that they would go about the 
city and steel the hearts of those who had not attended 
the meeting. It was a privilege to witness the demons- 
tration of the efficacy of truth and love. Every one im- 
mediately realised that the protecting power of God was 
as much with us to-day as it used to be in the days of 
yore. I am not sorry for the vow, but with the belief 
that I have. I would have been unworthy of the truth 
undertaken by me if i had done anything less. Before 
I took the vow, I knew that there were serious defects 
about it. For me to take such a vow in order to 
aflfect in any shape or form the decision of the 
millowners would be a cowardly injustice done 
to them, and that I would so prove myself unfit 
for the friendship which I had the privilege of 


enjoying with some of them. I knew that I ran the 
risk of being misunderstood. I coald not prevent my 
fast from afifecting my decision. Their knowledge 
moreover put a responsibility on me which I was ill 
able to bear. From now I disabled myself from gain- 
ing concessions for the men which ordinarily in a strug- 
gle such as this I would be entirely justified in securing. 
I knew, too, that I would have to be satisfied with the 
minimum I could get from the millowners and with a 
fulfilment of the letter of the men's vow rather than 
its spirit and so hath it happened. I put the defects- 
of my vow in one scale and the merits of it in the 
other. There are" hardly any acts of human beings which 
are free from all taint. Mine, I know, was exceptionally 
tainted, but rather the ignominy of haying unworthily 
compromised by my vow, the position and indepen- 
dence of the millowners, than that it should be said by 
posterity that 10,000 men ■ had suddenly broken a vow 
which they had for over twenty days solemnly taken 
and repeated in the name of God. I am fully convinced 
that no body of men can make themselves into a nation 
or perform great tasks unless they become as true as 
steel and unless their promises come to be regarded by 
the world like the law of the Medes and Persians, 
inflexible, and unbreakable, and whatever may be the 
verdict of friends, so far as I can think at present, on 
given occasions, I should not hesitate in future torepea t 
the humble performance which I have taken the liberty 
of describing in rhis communication. 

I cannot conclude this letter without mentioning two 
names of whom India has every reason to be proud. The 
millowners were represented by Mr. Ambalal Sarabhai 
who is a gentleman in every sense of the term. He is a 


man of great culture and equally great abilities, He adds 
to these qualities a resolute will. The millhands were 
represented by his sister Anusuyabai. She possesses a 
heart of gold. She is full of pity for the poor. The 
mill bands adore her. Her word is law with them. I 
have not known a struggle fought with so little bitter- 
ness and such courtesy on either side. This happy 
result is principally due to the connection with it of 
Mr. Ambalal Sarabbai and Anusuyabai. 


Mr. M. K. Gandhi addressed the following letter to 
H. B. the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford, soon after the Delhi 
War Conference : — 

Sir, as you are aware, after careful consideration, I 
felt constrained to convey to Your Excellency that I 
could not attend the Conference for reasons stated in the 
letter of the 26th instant (April), but, after the inter- 
view, you were good enough to grant me, I persuaded 
myself to join it, if for no other cause than certainly 
out of my great regard for yourself. One of my reasons 
for abstension and perhaps the strongest, was that Lok. 
Tilak, Mrs. Besant and the Ali brothers, whom 1 regard 
as among the most powerful leaders of public opinion, 
were not invited to the Conference. I still feel that it 
was a grave blunder not to have asked them, and I 
respectfully suggest that that blunder might be possibly 
repaired if these leaders were invited to assist the 
Government by giving it the benefit of their advice at 
the Provincial Conferences, which, I understand, are to 
follow. I venture to submit that no Government can 
afford to disregard the leaders, who represent the large 


masses of the people as these do, even though they may 
hold views fundamentally different. At the same time 
it gives me pleasure to be able to say that the views of 
all parties were permitted to be freely expressed at the 
Committees of the Conference. For my part, I purposely 
refrained from stating my views at the Committee at 
■which I had the honour of serving, or at the Confer- 
ence itself. I felt that I could best serve the objects of 
the Conference by simply tendering my support to the 
resolutions submitted to it, and this I have done without 
any reservation. I hope to translate the spoken word 
into action as early as the Government can see its way 
-to accept my offer, which I am submitting siftiultane- 
ously herewith in a separate letter. 

I recognise that in the hour of its danger we must 
give, as we have decided to give ungrudging and un- 
equivocal support to the Empire of which we aspire in 
the near future to be partners in the same sense as the 
Dominions Overseas. But it is the simple truth that 
our response is due to the expectation that our goal will 
be reached all the more speedily. On that account, even 
as performance of duty automati rally confers a corres. 
ponding right, people are entitled to believe that the 
imminent reforms alluded to in your speech will 
embody the main general principles of the Congress- 
League scheme, and I am sure that it is this faith 
which has enabled many members of the Confer- 
ence to tender to the Government their full-hearted 
co-operation. If I could make my countrymen re- 
trace their steps, I would make them withdraw 
all the Congress resolutions and not whisper 
•" Home Rule " or " Responsible Government " during 
the pendency of the War. I would make India offer 


all her able-bodied sons as a sacrifice to the Empire at its- 
critical moment and I know that India, by this very act,- 
would become the most favoured partner in the Empire 
and racial distinctions would become a thing of the 
past. But practically the whole of educated India has 
decided to take a less effective course, and it is no longer 
possible to say that educated India does not exercise 
auy influence on tRe masses. I have been coming into 
most intimate touch with the raiyats ever since my 
return from South Africa to India, and I wish to- 
assure you that the desire for Home-Rule has 
widely penetrated them. I was present at the ses- 
sions of the last Congress and I was a party to the 
resolution that full Responsible Government should 
be granted to British India within a period to be fixed 
definitely by a Parliamentary Statute. I admit that it 
is a bold step to take, but I feel sure that nothing less.- 
than a definite vision of Home-Rule to be realised in the 
shortest possible time will satisfy the Indian people. I 
know that there are many in India who consider nO' 
sacrifice is too great in order to achieve the end, and 
they are wakeful enough to realise that they must be 
equally prepared to sacrifice themselves for the Empire 
in which they hope and desire to reach their final 
status. It follows" then that we can but accelerate 
our journey to the goal by silently and simply 
devoting ourselves heart and soul to the work of 
delivering the Empire from the threatening danger. 
It will be a national suicide not to recognise this 
elementary truth. We must perceive that if we 
serve to save the Empire, we have in that very act 
secured Home Rule 

Whilst, therefore, it is clear to me that we should 


give to the Empire every available man for its defence, 
I fear that I cannot say the same thing about the finan- 
cial assistance; My intimate intercourse with the 
Taiyats convinces me that India has already donated to 
the Impetjfal Exchequer beyond her capacity. I know 
that, in making this statement, I am voicing the opinion 
of the majority of my countrymen. 

The Conference means forme, and I believe for 
many of us, a definite step in the consecration of our 
lives to the common cause, but ours is a peculiar 
position. We are to day outside the partnership. Ours 
is a consecration based on hope of better future. I 
should be untrue to you and to my country if I did not 
clearly and unequivocally tell you what that hope is. 
I do not bargain for its fulfilment, but you should know 
that disappointment of hope means disillusion. There 
is one thing I may not omit. You have appealed to us 
to sink domestic differences. If appeal involves the 
toleration of tyranny and wrong-doings on the part of 
officials, I am powerless to respond. I shall resist 
organised tyranny to the uttermost. The appeal must 
be tp the officials Ihat they do not ill-treat a 
single soul, and that they consult and respect popular 
opinion as never before. In Champaran by resisting 
an age-long tyranny, I have shown the ultimate 
sovereinty of British justice. In Kaira a population 
that was cursing the Government now feels that it, 
and not the Government, is the power when it is 
prepared to suffer for the truth it represents. It is, 
therefore, losing its bitterness and is saying to itself 
that the Government must be a Government for people, 
for it tolerates orderly and respectful disobedience where 
injustice is felt. Thus Champaran aud Kaira affairs 


are my direct, definite ar.d special contribution to the 
War. Ask me to suspend my activities in that direc- 
tion and you ask me to suspend my life. If I could" 
popularise the use of soul-force, which is but another 
name for love-force in place of brute force, I know 
that I could present you with an India that could defy 
the whole world to its worst. In season and out of 
season, therefore, I shall discipline myself to express in 
my life this eternal law of suffering, and present it for 
acceptance to those who care, and if I take part in any' 
other activity, the motive is two show the matchless 
superiority of that law. 

Lastly, I would like you to ask His Majesty's 
Ministers to give definite assurance about Muhammadan 
States. I am sure you knew that every Muhammadan 
is deeply interested in them. As a Hindu, I cannot be 
indifferent to their cause. Their sorrows must be our 
sorrows. In the most scrupulous regard for the rights 
of those States and for the Muslim sentiment as to the 
places of worship and your just and timely treatment 
of Indian claim to Home Rule lies the safety of the 
Empire. I write this, because I love the English Nation 
and I wish to evoke in every Indian the loyalty of 


The following is the translation of Mr. M. K.- 
Gandhi's address, delivered at a meeting in the District 
of Kaira in July 1918. 

Sisters and Brothers of Kaira ; — You have just 
come successful out of a glorious Satyagraha campaign, 
You have, during it, given such evidence of fearlessness. 


tact and other virtues that I venture to advise and 
urge yoQ to undertake a still greater campaign. 

You have successfully demonstrated how you can 
resist Government with civility, and how you can 
retain your own respect without hurting theirs. I now 
place before you an opportunity of proving that you 
bear no hostility to Government in spite of your 
strenuous fight with them. 

You are all Home Rulers,, some of you are members 
of Home Rule Leagues. One meaning of Home rule is 
that we should become ^ar/wers o/iAc Empire. To-day 
we are a subject people We do not enjoy all the 
rights of Englishmen. We are not to-day partners of 
the Empire as are Canada, South Africa and Australia, 
We are a dependency. We want the rights of English- 
men, and we aspire to as much partners of the Empire 
as the Dominions overseas. We wish for the time 
when we may aspire to the Viceregal office. To bring 
such a state of things, we should have the ability to 
defend ourselves, that is the ability to bear arms and to 
use them. As long as we have to look to the English- 
men for our defence, as long as we are not free from the 
military, sO long we cannot be regarded as equal partners- 
with Englishmen. It, therefore, behoves us to learn 
the use of arms and to acquire the ability to defend 
oursel ves. // we want to learn the use of arms with 
the greatest possible despatch, it is our duty to enlist 
ourselves in the Army. 

There can be no friendship between the brave and 
the efifeminate. We are regarded as a cowardly people. 
If we want to become free from that reproach, we 
should learn the use of arms. 

Partnership in the Empire is our definite goal. 


We should suffer to the utmost of our ability and even 

lay down our lives to defend the Empire. If the 

Empire perishes, with it perish our cherished aspira- 


The easiest and the straightest way, therefore, to win 
Swarajya is to participate in the defence of the Empire. 
It is not within our power to give much money. 
Moreover, it is not money that will win the war. Only 
an inexhaustible army can do it. That army, India can 
supply. If the Empire wins mainly with the help of 
our army, it is obvious that we would secure the righst 
we want. 

Some will say that if we do not secure those rights 
just row, we would be cheated of them afterwards. The 
power acquired in defending the Empire will be the 
power that can secure those rights. Rights won by 
making an opportunity of the Empire's weakness are 
likely to be lost when the Empire gains its strength. 
We cannot be partners of the Empire by embarrassing 
it. Embarrassment in its hour of crisis will not avail to 
secure the rights we needs must win by serving it. To 
distrust the statesmen of the Empire is to distrust our 
own strength, it is a sign of our own weakness. We 
should not depend for our rights on the goodness or the 
weakness of the statesmen. We should depend on our 
fitness, our strength. The Native States are helping 
the empire and they are getting their reward. The 
rich are rendering full financial assistance to Govern- 
ment and they are likewise getting their reward. The 
assistance in either case is rendered conditionally. The 
sepoys are rendering their services for their salt and for 
their livelihood. They get their livelihood, and pzeris 


and honours in addition. All these classes are a part 
of us, but they cannot be regarded as Home rulers, their 
goal is not Home Rule. The help they render is not 
consecrated to the country. 

If we seek to win Swarajya in a spirit of hosti- 
lity, it is possible for the Imperial statesmen to use 
these three forces against us and defeat us. If 
we want Swarajya, it is our duty to help the Empire 
and we shall, undoubtedly, get the reward of their 
help. If our motive is honest. Government will behave 
honestly with us. Assuming for a moment that they 
will not do so, our honesty should make us confident 
of our success. It is not a mark of greatnessito return 
goodness for goodness only. Greatness lies in returning 
good for evil. 

Government do not give us commissions in the 
Army ; they do not repeal the Arms Act ; they do not 
open schools for military training. How can we then co- 
operate with them ? These are valid objections. In not 
granting reforms in these matters, Government are mak- 
ing a serious blunder. The English nation has performed 
several acts of virtue. For these, God's grace be with it. 
But the heinous sin perpetrated by the English adminis- 
trators in the name of that nation will undo the effect of 
these acts of virtue, if they do not take care betimes. If 
the worst happens to India, which may God forbid, and 
she passes into the hands of some other nation, India's 
piteous cry will make England hang her head in shame 
before the world, and curses will descend upon her for 
having emasculated a nation of thirty crores. I believe 
the statesmen of England have realised this, and they 
have taken the warning; but they are unable to alter 


all of a sudden the situation created by themselves. 
Every Englishman upon entering India is trained to 
despise us, to regard himself as our superior and to 
maintain a spirit of isolation from us. They imbibe 
these characteristics from their Indian atmosphere. 
The • finer spirits try to get themselves rid of this 
atmosphere and endeavour to do likewise with the rank 
and file, but their effort does not bear immediate fruit. 
If there were no crisis for the Empire, we should be 
fighting against this domineering spirit. But to sit 
still at this crisis, waiting for commissions, etc., is like 
cutting the nose to spite the face< It may happen per- 
chance that we may idle away our time waiting for 
commissions till the opportunity to help the Empire 
may be gone. 

Even if Government desire to obstruct us in 
enlisting in the army and rendering other help, by 
refusing us commissions, or by delay in giving them, it 
is my firm belief that it is incumbent upon us to insist 
upon joining the army. 

Government at present want five lakhs of men for 
the army. This number they are sure to raise some 
way or the other. If we supply this number, we would 
cover ourselves with glory, we would be rendering true 
service and the reports that we often hear of improper 
recruitment will be a thing of the past. It is no small 
thing to have the whole work of recruiting in our hands. 
If the Government have no trust in us, if their inten- 
tions are not pure, they would not raise recruits 
through our agency. 

The foregoing argument will show that by enlisting 
in the army we help the Empire, we qusilify ourselves 


for Swarajya, we learn to defend India and to a certain 
extent, regain our lost manhood. I admit it is because 
•of my faith in the English nation that I can advise as I 
am doing, I believe that, though this nation has done 
India much harm, to retain connection with that nation 
is to our advantage. Their virtues seem to me to out- 
weigh their vices. It is miserable to remain in subjec- 
tion to that nation. The Englishmen have the great vice 
of depriving a subject nation of its self-respect, but 
they have also the virtue of treating their equals with 
due respect and of loyalty towards them. We have 
seen that they have many times helped those groaning 
Tinder the tyranny of others. In partnership with them 
we have to give and receive a great many things to 
and from each other and our connection with them, 
based on that relationship is likely to benefit the world.' 
If such was not my faith and if I thought it desirable 
to become absolutely independent of that nation, I 
would not only not advise co-operation but would 
<;ertainly advise people to rebel and by paying the 
penalty of the rebellion, awaken the people. We are 
;not in a position to-day to stand on our own legs 
xinaided and alone. I believe that our good lies in 
becoming and remaining equal partners of the Empire 
and I have seen it throughtout India that all Home 
Rulers are of the same belief. 


I expect from Kaira and Gujarat not 500 or 700 
recruits but thousands. If Gujarat wants to wipe her- 
self free of the reproach of " effeminate Gujarat ", she 
should be prepared to contribute thousands of sepoys. 
These must include the educated classes, the Pattidars, 
the Dharalas, Vaghris and all, and I hope they will fight 


side by side as comrades. Unless the educated classes or 
the ' elite ' of the community take the lead, it is idle to 
expect the other classes to come forward. I believe 
that those from the educated classes are above the 
prescribed age, but are able-bodied, may enlist them- 
selves. Their services will be utilised, if not for 
actual fighting, for many other purposes accessory 
thereto, and for treating and nursing the sepoys. I 
hope also that those who have grown-up sons will not 
hesitate to send them as recruits. To sacrifice sons in 
the war ought to be a cause not of pain, but of pleasure 
to brave men. Sacrifice of sons at the crisis will be 
sacrifice for Swarajya. 

To you, my sisters, I request that you will not be 
startled by this appeal, but will accord it a hearty 
welcome. It contains the key to your protection and 
your honour. 

There are 600 villages in the Kaira Districts 
Every village has on an average a population of over 
1,000. If every village gave at least twenty men the 
Kaira District would be able to raise an army of 12,000 
men. The population of the whole district is seven 
lakhs and this number will then work out at 17 per 
cent. — a rate which is lower than the death-rate. If 
we are not prepared to make even this sacrifice for the 
Empire and Swarajya, it is no wonder if we are regard- 
ed as unworthy of it. If every village gives at least 
twenty men they will return from the war and be 
the living bulwarks of their village. If they fall 
on the battle-field, they will immortalise themselves^ 
their villages and their country, and twenty fresh men 
will follow suit and offer themselves for national 


If we mean to do this, we have no time to lose. I 
wish the' names of the fittest and the strongest in every 
village will be seledted and sent up. I ask this of you, 
brothers and sisters. To explain things to you, and to 
clear the many questions that will arise, meetings will 
be held in important villages. Volunteers will also be 
sent out. 


On the publication of the " Report on Oonstitutional 
Reforms " by the Rt. Hon. Mr. ®. S. Montagu and H. 3. 
Lord Ohelmsford, Mr. Gandhi wrote the following letter 
[dated, July 18, 1918) to the Hon, [now the Rt. Hon, Mr. 
V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, who had invited him to give an 
expression of his views on the subject for publication in 
the " Servant of India.'* Mr. Gandhi wrote : — 

After all, our standard of measurement must be the 
Congress-League scheme. Crude though it is, I think 
that we should with all the vehemence and skill, that 
we can command, press for the incorporation into it of 
the essentials of our own. 

I would, therefore, for instance, ask for the 
rejection of the doctrine of compartments. I very much 
fear that the dual system in the Provinces will 
be fatal to the success of the experiment and as 
it may be only the success of the experiment that 
can take us to the next and I hope the final stage. 
We cannot be too insistent that the idea of reservatioa 
should be dropped. One cannot help noticing an 
unfortunate suspicion of our intentions regarding tha 


purely British as distinguished from the purely Indian 
interests. Hence, there is to be seen in the scheme 
elaborate reservations on behalf 'of these interests. 
I think that more than anything else it is neces- 
sary to have an honest, frank and straightforward under- 
standing about these interests and for me personally this 
is of much greater importance than any legislative feat 
that British talent alone or a combination of British and 
Indian talent may be capable of performing. I would 
certainly, in as courteous terms as possible, but equally 
emphatic say that these interests will be held subservient 
to those of India as a whole and that therefore they are 
certainly in jeopardy in so far as they may be inconsis- 
tent with the general advance of India. Thus, if I had my 
way, I would cut down the military expenditure. I would 
protect local industries by heavily taxing goods that 
compete against products of our industries and I would 
reduce to a minimum the British element in our services, 
retaining only those that may be needed for our instruc- 
tion and guidance. I do not think that they had or have 
any claim upon our attention, save by right of conquest. 
That claim must clearly go by the board as soon as we 
have awakened to a consciousness of our national exis- 
tence and possess the strength to vindicate our right to 
t^ie restoration of what we have lost. To their credit 
let it be said that they do not themselves advance any 
claim by right of conquest. One can readily join in the 
tribute of praise bestowed upon the Indian Civil Service 
for their proficiency, devotion to duty and great organi- 
sing ability. So far as material reward is concerned that 
service has been more than handsomely paid and our 
gratitude otherwise can be best expressed by assimilating 
their virtues ourselves. 


No scheme of reform can possibly benefit India that 
does not recognise that the present administration is 
top'heavy and ruinously expensive and for me even law, 
order and good government would be too dearly 
purchased if the price to be paid for it is to be the 
grinding poverty of the masses. The watchword of our 
reform councils will have to be, not the increase of 
taxation for the growing needs of a growing country, 
but a decrease of financial burdens that are sapping the 
foundation itself of organic growth. If this fundamental 
fact is recognised, there need be no suspicion of our 
motives and 1 think I am perfectly safe in asserting that 
in every other respect British interests will be as secure 
in Indian hands as they are in their own. 


It follows from what I have said above that we 
must respectfully press for the Congress- League claim 
for the immediate granting to Indians of 50 per cent, of 
the higher posts in the Civil Service. 


During the debate on the Rowlatt Bills in the Im- 
perial Legislative Council in 1919 Mr, Gandhi toured 
round the country organising an effective opposition to 
the passing of the Bills. Despairing of the efficacy of 
mere Non-official opposition in the Council, Mr. Gandhi 
inaugurated what is known as the Satyagraha Movement 
as the only legitimate weapon in the hands of the people, 
to make their opposition felt . In this conner.tion he pub- 
lished several contributions and spoke on many occasions. 
An attempt is made in the following pages to record them 
in the order of dates. 


[/» commending the Satyagraha Pledge, Mr. M. K, 
Gandhi wrote to the Press under date, February 28, 
1919 :— ] 

The step taken is probably the most tnomentous in 
the history of India. I give my assurance that it has 
not been hastily taken. Personally I have passed many 
sleepless nights over it. I have endeavoured duly to 
appreciate Government's position, but I have been 
unable to find any justification for the extraordinary 
Bills. I have read the Rowlatt Committee's Report. I 
have gone through the narrative with admiration. Its 
reading has driven me to conclusions just the opposite 
of the Committee's. I should conclude from the report 
that secret violence is confined to isolated and very 
small parts of India, and to a microscopic body of 
people. The existence of such men is truly a danger to 


society. But the passing of the Bills, designed to afifect 
the whole of India and its people and arming the Govern- 
ment with powers out of all proportion to the situation 
sought to be dealt with, is a greater danger. The 
Committee ignore the historical fact that the millions in 
India are by nature the gentlest on earth. 

Now lookat the setting of the Bills. Their introduc- 
tion is accompanied by certain assurances given by the 
Viceroy regarding the Civil Service and the British 
commercial interests. Many of us are iilled with the 
greatest misgivings about the Viceregal utterance. I 
frankly confess I do not understand its full scope and 
intention. If it means that the Civil Service and the 
British commercial interests are to be held superior to 
those of India and its political and commercial require, 
ments, no Indian can accept the doctrine. It can but end 
in a fratricidal struggle within the Empire. Reforms 
may or may not come. The need of the moment is a 
proper and just understanding upon this vital issue. No 
tinkering with it will produce real satisfaction. Let the 
great Civil Service Corporation understand that it can 
remain in India only as its trustee and servant, not in 
name, but in deed, and let the British commercial 
houses understand that they can remain in India only 
to supplement her requirements, and not to destroy 
indigenous art, trade and manufacture, and you have two 
measures to replace the Rowlatt Bills. 

It will be now easy to see why I consider the Bills 
to be an unmistakable symptom of a deep-seated disease 
in the governing body. It needs, therefore, to be drastic- 
ally treated. Subterranean violence will be the remedy 
applied by impetuous, hot-beaded youths who will have 
grown impatient of the spirit underlying the Bills and the 


circumstances attending their introduction. The Bills 
must intensify the hatred and ill-will against the State of 
which the deeds of violence are undoubtedly an evidence. 
The Indian covenanters, by their determination to under- 
go every form of suffering make an irresistible appeal to' 
the Government, towards which they bear no ill-will, 
and provide to the believers in the efficacy of violence, 
as a means of securing redress of grievances with an 
infallible remedy, and withal a remedy that blesses those 
that use it and also those against whom it is used. If 
the convenanters know the use of this remedy, I fear no 
ill from it, I have no business to doubt their ability 
They must ascertain whether the disease is sufficiently 
great to justify the strong remedy and whether all 
milder ones have been tried. They have convinced them- 
selves that the disease is serious enough, and that milder 
measures have utterly failed. The rest lies in the lap 
of the gods. 

Being conscientiously of opinion thai the Bills known 
as the Indian Criminal Law {Amendment) Bill No, 1 
of 1919, and the Criminal Law {Emergency Powers) Bill 
No. 11 of 1919, are unjust, subversive of the principle of 
liberty and justice, and destructive of the elementary 
rights of individuals on which the safety of the com' 
munity as a whole aud the Stctte itself is based, we 
solemnly affirm that in the event of these Bills becoming 
law until they are withdrawn, we shall refuse civilly to 
obey these laws and such other laws as a committee to be 
hereafter appointed may think fit and further affirm 
that in this struggle we will faithfully follow truth and 
refrain from violence to life, person or property. 


[Mr. M. K, Gandhi in his speech at Allahabad on 
the llth. March, explained the Saty a gr aha Pledge as 
follows : — "] 

It behoves every one who wishes to take the Satya- 
graha Pledge to seriously consider all its factors before 
taking it. It is necessary to understand the principles of 
Satyagraha, to understand the main features of the Bills 
known as the Rowlatt Bills and to be satisfied that they 
are so objectionable as to warrant the very powerful 
remedy of Satyagraha being applied and, finally, to be 
convinced of one's ability to undergo every form of bodily 
suffering so that the soul may be set free and be under 
no fear from any human being or institution. Once in it, 
there is no looking back. 

Therefore there is no conception of defeat in Staya" 
grab. A Satyagrahi fights even unto death. It is thus 
not an easy thing for everybody to enter upon it. It 
therefore behoves a Stayagrahi to be tolerant of those 
who do not join him. In reading reports of Satyagraha. 
meetings I often notice that ridicule is poured upon those 
who do not join our movement. This is entirely against 
the spirit of the Pledge. In Satyagraha we expect ta 
win over out opponents by self-suffering i.e , by love. 
The process whereby we hope to reach our goal is 
by so conducting ourselves as gradually and in an 
unperceived manner to disarm all opposition. Oppo- 
nents as a rule expect irritation, even violence from 
one another when both parties are equally matched.. 
But when Satyagraha comes into play the expecta- 


tion is transformed into agreeable surprise in the 
mind of the party towards whom Satyagraha is address- 
ed till at last he relents and recalls the act which 
necessitated Satyagraha. I venture to promise that if 
we act up to our Pledge day after day, the atmosphere 
around us will be purified and those who differ from us 
from honest motives, as I verily believe they do, will 
perceive that their alarm was unjustified. The vio- 
lationists wherever they may be will realise that they 
have in Satyagraha a far more potent instrument for 
achieving reform than violence whether secret or open 
and that it gives them enough work for their inex- 
haustible energy. And the Government will have no 
case left in defence of their measures if as a result of 
-our activity the cult of violence is notably on the wane 
if it has not entirely died out. I hope therefore that at 
Satyagraha meetings we shall have no cries of shame, 
and no language betraying irritation or impatience either 
against the Government or our countrymen who differ 
from us and some of whom have for years been devoting 
themselves to the country's cause according to the best 
of their ability. 


[ At the Bombay meeting against the Rowlatt Bills 
on I'ith March, Mr. M. K. Oandhi's speech which was in 
i^ujarati was read out by his secretary. The speech ra n 
as follows : — ] 

I am sorry that owing to my illness, I am unable to 
speak to you myself and have to have my remarks read 
to you. You will be glad to know that Sanyasi Shrad- 
dhanandji is gracing the audience to-day by his presence. 


He is better known to us as Mahatma Munshiramji, 
the Governor of Gurnkul, His joining our army is a 
source of strength to us. Many of you have perhaps 
been keenly following the proceedings of the Viceregal 
Council. Bill No. 2 is being steamrolled by means of 
the OflScial majority of the Government and in the 
teeth of the unanimous opposition from the Non-Official' 
members. I deem it to be an insult to the latter, and 
through them to the whole of India. Satyagraha has 
become necessary as much i to ensure respect for duly 
expressed public opinion, as to have the mischievous 
Bills withdrawn. Grave responsibility rests upon the 
shoulders of the Satyagrahis though, as I have so often 
said, there is no such thing as defeat in Satyagraha, it 
does not mean that victory can be achieved withr 
out Satyagrahis to fight for it, i.e., to suffer for it.. 
The use of this matchless force is comparatively 
a novelty. It is not the same thing as Passive 
Resistance which has been conceived to be a weapon 
that can be wielded most effectively only by the 
strongest minded, and you may depend upon it that six 
hundred men and women who in this Presidency hav& 
signed the Pledge are more than enough for our purpose,, 
if they have strong wills and invincible faith in their 
mission, and that is in the power of truth to conquer 
untruth which Satyagrahis believe the Bills represent. 
I use the word ' untruth ' in its widest sense. We may 
expect often to be told — as we have been told already by 
Sir William Vincent — that the Government will not 
yield to any threat of Passive Resistance. Satyagraha. 
is not a threat, it is a fact ; and even such a mighty 
Government as the Government of India will have to, 
yield if we are true to our Pledge. For the Pledge is. 


not a small thing. It means a change of heart. It is an 
attempt to introduce the religious spirit into politics. 
We may no longer believe in the doctrine of tit for tat : 
we may not meet hatred by hatred, violence by 
violence, evil by evil ; but we have to make a 
continuous and persistent effort to return good for 
evil. It is of no consequence that I give utterance to 
these sentiments. Every Satyagrahi has to live up to 
them. It is a difficult task, but with the help of God 
nothing is impossible. (Loud Cheers.) 


[At the meeting held at the Madras Beach on the 
I8th March, Mr. Gandhi, in responding to the welcome, 
said : — ] 

You will forgive me for saying the few words that 
I want to say just now sitting in the chair.' I am under 
strict medical orders not to exert myself, having got a 
weak heart. I am, therefore, compelled to have some 
assistance and to get my remarks read to you. But 
before I call upon Mr. Desai to read my remarks, I wish 
to say one word to you. Beware before you sign the 
Pledge. But if you do, you will see to it that you shall 
never undo the Pledge you have singed. May God help 
you and me in carrying out the Pledge. 

[Mr, Desai, after a few words of introduction, read 
the following message : — ] 

I regret that owing to heart weakness I am unable 
to speak to you personally. You have no doubt attended 
many meetings, but those that you have been attending 
®f late are different from the others in that at the 
meetings to which I have referred some immediate 


tangible action, some immediate definite sacrifice has 
been demanded of you for the purpose of averting a 
serious calamity that has overtaken us in the shape of 
what are known as the Rowlatt Bills. One of them 
Bill No. I, has undergone material alterations and its 
farther consideration has been postponed. Inspite, 
however, of the alteration, it is mischievous enough 
to demand opposition. The Second Bill has pro- 
bably at this very moment been finally passed by 
that Council, for in reality you can hardly call the 
Bill as having been passed by that august body 
when all its non official members unanimously and 
in strong language opposed it. The Bills require to 
be resisted not only because they are in themselves bad, 
but also because Government who are responsible for 
their introduction have seen fit practically to ignore 
public opinion and some of its members have made it a 
boast that they can so ignore that opinion. So far it is 
common cause between the different schools of thought 
in the country. I have, however, after much prayerful 
consideration, and after very careful examination of 
the Government's standpoint, pledged myself to offer 
Satyagraha against the Bills, and invited all men and 
women who think and feel with me to do likewise. 
Some of our countrymen, including those who are 
among the best of the leaders, have uttered a note 
of warning, and even gone so far as to say that 
this Satyagraha movement is against the best interests 
of the country. I have naturally the highest regard 
for them and their opinion. I have worked-under some 
of them. I was a babe when Sir Dinshaw Wacha 
and Babu Surendranath Bannerji were among the 
accepted leaders of public opinion in India. Mr. 


Sastriar is a politician who has dedicated his all 
to the country's cause. His ; sincerity, his probity 
are all his own. He will yield to no one in the love of 
the country. There is a sacred and indissdluble tie 
binding me to him. " My upbringing draws me to the 
signatiories of the two Manifestoes. It is not, therefore, 
without the grearest grief and much searching of heart 
•that I have to place myself in opposition to their wishes. 
But there are times when you have to obey a call 
which is the highest of all, i.e., the voice of conscience 
even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, 
nay even more, separation from friends, from family, 
from the state to which you may belong, from all that you 
have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the 
law of our being. I have no further and other defence to 
offer for my conduct. My regard for the signatories to 
the Manifesto remains undiminished,^and my faith in 
the eificiency of Satyagraha is so great that I feel 
that if. those who have taken the Pledge will be true to 
it, we shall be able to show to them that they will 
find when we have come to the end of this struggle 
that there was no cause for alarm or misgivings. There 
is, I know, resentment felt even by some Satyagrahis 
over the Manifestoes. I would warn Satyagrahis that 
such resentment is . against the spirit of Satyagraha. 
I would personally welcome an honest expression of 
difference of opinion from any quarter and more so from 
friends because it puts us on our guard. There is too 
much recrimination, innuendo and insinuation in our pub- 
lic life, and if the Satyagraha movement purges it of this 
grave defect, as it ought to, it will be a very desirable 
by — product. I wish further to suggest to Satyagrahis 
that any resentment of the two Manifestoes would be 


but a sign of weakness on our part. Every movement, 
and Satyagraha most of all, must depend upon its own 
inherent strength, but not upon the weakness or silence 
of its critics. 

Let us, therefore, see wherein lies the strength of 
Satyagraha. As the name implies it is in an insistence on 
truth which dynamically expressed means love ; and by 
the law of love we are required not to return hatred for 
hatred, violence for violonce but to return good for evil. 
As Shrima4i Sarojini Devi told you yesterday the 
strength lies in a definite recognition of the tiue religi- 
ous spirit and action corresponding to it, and when once 
you introduce the religious element in politics, you re- 
volutionise the whole of your political outlook. You 
achieve reform then not by imposing suffering on those 
who resist it, but by taking the suffering upon your- 
selves and so in this movement we hope by the intensity 
of our sufferings to affect and alter the Government's 
resolution not to withdraw these objectionable Bills. It 
has, however, been suggested that the Government will 
leave the handful of Satyagrahis severely alone and not 
make martyrs of them. But there is here, in my hum- 
ble opinion, bad logic and an unwarranted assumption 
of fact. If Satyagrahis are left alone, they have 
won a complete victory, because they will have 
succeeded in disregarding the Rowlatt Bills and even 
other laws of the country, and in having thus shown 
that a civil disobedience of a Government is held per- 
fectly harmless. I regard the statement as an unwarrant- 
ed assumption of fact, because it contemplates the 
restriction of the movement only to a handful of men and 
women. My experience of Satyagraha leads me to believe 
that it is such a potent force that, once set in motion, it 


ever spreads till at last it becomes a dominant factor in 
the community in whicb it is brought into play, and if it 
"so spreads, no Government can neglect it. Either it must 
yield to it or imprison the workers in the' movement. 
But I have no desire to argue. As the English proverb 
says, the proof of the pudding lies in the eating. The 
movement, for better or for worse, has been launched. 
We shall be judged not by our words, but solely by our 
deeds. It is, therefore, not enough that we sign the 
Pledge. Our sigtiing it is but an earnest of oUr determina- 
tion to act up to it, and if all who sign the Pledge, act 
according to it, I make bold to promise that we shall 
bring about the withdrawal, of the two Bills and neither 
the Government nor our critics will have a word to say 
against us, The cause is great, the remedy is equally 
great ; let us prove worthy of them both. 


A public meeting of the citizens of Madras was 
held on March 20, 1919, at the Beach opposite the 
Presidency College, Madras, to appeal to the Viceroy to 
•withhold his assent to the Rowlatt Act and to convey to 
Mr. M. K,. Gandhi their profound and respectful thanks 
for the trouble he had taken to visit Madras in order to 
strengthen the^ Satyagraha, movement. Mr. M. K, 
Gandhi did net attend owing to ill-health. Mr. Desai 
read the following message from Mr. M. K. Gandhi. 

Friends. — This afternoon I propose to deal with 
some of the objections that have been raised against 
Satyagraha. After saying that it was a matter of regret 
that men like myself " should have embarked on 
this movement," Sir Wm. Vincent, in winding up 


the debate oh Bill No. 2, said, " they could only hope 
that (the Satyagraha) would not materialise. Mr. 
-Gandhi might exercise great self-restraint in actioUj 
but there would be other young hot-headed men 
who might be led into violence which could not 
but end in disaster. Yielding t-o this threat, how- 
ever, would be tantamount to complete abolition of 
the authority of the Governor-General-in-Council." 
If Sir William's fear as to violence is realised, it 
would undoubtedly be a disaster. It is for every 
Satyagrahi to guard against that danger. I enter- 
tain no such fear because our creed requires us 
to eschew all violence and to resort to truth and 
self-suffering, as the only weapons in our armoury 
Indeed the Satyagraha movement is, among other 
things, an invitation to those who belive in the efficiency 
of violence for redress of grievances to jom our ranks 
and honestly to follow our methods. I have suggested 
elsewhere that what the Rowlatt Bills are intended 
to do and what I verily believe they are bound to fail 
in achieving is exactly what the Satyagraha movement 
is pre-eminently capable of achieving. By demons- 
trating to the party of violence the infallible power 
of Satyagraha and by giving them ample sc&pe for 
their inexhaustible energy, we hope to wean that party 
from the suicidal method of violence. What can be 
more potent than an absolute statement, accompanied 
by corresponding action, presented in the clearest 
terms possible that violence is never necessary tor the 
purpose of securing reforms ? Sir William says that 
the movement has great potentialities of evil. The Hon. 
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya is said to have retorted, 
" and also of good." I would venture to improve upon 


the retort by saying, " only of good." It constitutes an 
attempt to revolutionize politics and to restore moral force 
to its original station. After all, the Government do not 
believe in an entire avoidance of .violence »a, physical 
force. The message of the West, which the Government 
of India, I presume, represent, is succinctly put by Presi- 
dent Wilson in his speech delivered to the Peace Con- 
ference at the time of introducing the League of Nations 
Covenant. " Armed force is in the background in this 
programme, but it is in the background, and if the moral 
force of the world will not suffice, physical force of the 
world shall." We hope to reverse the process, and by 
our action show that physical force is nothing compared 
to the moral force, and that moral force never fails. It 
is my firm belief that this is the fundamental diflFerence 
between modern civilisation and the ancient of which 
India, fallen though it is, I venture to claim, is a living 
representative. We, her educated children, seem to have 
lost faith in this — the grandest doctrine of life. If we 
could but restore that faith in the supremacy of Moral 
Force we shall have made a priceless contribution to 
the British Empire, and we shall, without fail, obtain 
the reforms we desire and to which we may be entitled. 
Entertaining such views it is not difficult for me to 
answer Sir William's second fear as to the complete 
abolition of the authority of the Governor-General-in- 
Council. This movement is undoubtedly designed, 
effectively to prove to the Government that its authority 
is finally dependant upon the will of the people and not 
upon force of arms, especially when that will is express^ 
ed iu terms of Satyagraha. To yield to a clear moral 
force cannot but enhance the prestige and the dignity 
of the yielder. 


It is to such a movement that every man and 
woman in this great country is invited, but a movement 
that is intended to produce fai'«reaching results, and 
which depends, for success, on the purity and the 
capacity for self -suffering of those who are engaged 
in it, can only be joined after a searching and prayerful 
self-examination. I may not too often give the warning 
I have given at Satyagraha meetings that everyone 
should think a thousand times before coming to it, but 
having come to it he must remain in it, cost what it 
may. A friend came to me yesterday, and told me that 
he did not know that it meant all that was ex- 
plained at a gathering of a few Satyagrahi friends 
and wanted to withdraw. I told him that he could 
certainly do so if he had signed without understand- 
ing the full consequences of the pledge. And t 
would ask everyone who did not understand the pledge 
as it has been explained at various meetings to copy 
this example. It is not numbers so much as quality 
that we want. Let me therefore note down the qualities 
required of a Satyagrahi. He must follow truth at any 
cost and in all circumstances. He must make a cons 
tinuous effort to love his opponents. He must be 
prepared to go through every form of suffering, whether 
imposed upon him by the Government which he is 
civilly resisting for the time being, or only those who 
may differ from him. This movement is thus a process 
of purification and penance. Believe me that, if we go 
through it in the right spirit, all this fears expressed by 
the Government and some of our friends will be proved 
to be groundless and we will not only see the Rowlatt 
Bills withdrawn, but the country will recognise in 
Satyagraha a powerful and religious weapon for secar- 
ing reforms and redress of legitimate grievances. 


Afr. M. K. Gandhi published the following under 
date, 2'ird March, during his stay in Madras -. — 

Satyagraha, as I have endeavoured to explain at 
several meetings, is essentially a religious movement. 
It is a process of purification and penance. It seeks to 
secure reforms or redress of grievances by self-suffering. 
I therefore venture to suggest that the second Sunday 
after the publication of the Viceregal assent to Bill 
No. 2 of 1919 (i.e., 6th April) mky be observed as a_ 
day of humiliation and Prayer. As there must be an 
effective public demonstration in keeping with the 
character of the observance, I beg to advise as follows : 
(i) A twenty-four hours' fast, counting from the last 
meal on the preceding night, should be ob- 
served by all adults, unless prevented from 
so doing by consideration of religion or 
health. The fast is not to be regarded, in 
any shape or form, in the nature of a hunger- 
strike, or as designed to put any pressure 
upon the Government. It is to be regarded, 
for all Satyagrahis, as the necessary discip- 
line to lit them for civil disobedisnce 
contemplated in their Pledge, and for al I 
others, as some slight token of the intensity 
of their wftnnded feelings, 
(ii) All work, except such as may be necessary in 
the public interest, should be suspended for 
the day. Markets and other business places 
should be closed. Employees who are 


required to work even on Sundays may pnly 
suspend work after obtaining previous leave. 
I do not hesitate to recommend these two sugges- 
tions for adoption by public servants. For though^it is 
unquestionably the right thing for them not to take part 
in political discussion and gatherings, in my opinion 
they have an undoubted right to express, upon vital 
matters, their feelings ip the very limited manner herein 

(iii) Public meetings should be held on that day in 
parts of India, not excluding villages, at 
which resoultions praying for the with- 
drawal of the two measures should be 
If my advice is deemed worthy of acceptance, the 
responsibility will lie in the first instance, on the various 
Satyagraha Associations, for undertaking the necessary 
work of organisation, but all other associations will, I 
hope, join hands in making this demonstration a 


Under the auspices of Madras Satyagraha Sabha, 
a public meeting was held at the Triplicane Beach on 
30fh March to explain the message ofMr.M. K. Gandhi 
for the observance of the Satyagraha Day : — 

I "am sorry that I shall not be with you for this 
evening's meeting, as I must take the train for Bezwada 
in order to keep my, engagement with our Andhra 
friends. But before my departure, I would like to 
reduce to writing my impressions of the tour through 
the southern part of the Presidency, which I have jnst 


completed, and to answer some criticism and some 
doubts that have been offered by friends. 

I have visited Tanjore, Trichnopoly, Madura, Tuti- 
corin and Negapatam ; and taking the lowest estimate, 
the people addressed must have been not less than thirty 
thousand. Those who have a right to give us warnings, 
to express misgivings and who have just asgreat a love 
of the Motherland as we claim to have, have feared the 
danger that, however well-meaning we may be, and 
however anxious we may be to avoid violence, the 
people who may join the movement under an enthusias- 
tic impulse may not be able to exercise sufficient self- 
control and break out into violence, resulting in needless 
loss of life, and, what is more, injury tb the National 
cause. After embarking upon the movement, I began 
addressing meetings at Delhi. I passed then through 
Lucknow, Allahabad, Bombay, and thence to Madras. 
My experience of all these meetings shows that the 
advent of Satyagraha has already altered the spirit 
of those who attend the Stayagraha meetings. In- 
Lucknow, upon an innocent remark by the chairman as 
to the Manifesto signed by some of the members 
of the Imperial Legislative Council disapproving of 
our movement, the audience cried out ' shame, shame !' 
I drew their attention to the fact that Satyagrahis 
and those who attended Satyagraha meetings should 
not use such expressions and that, the speeches at our 
meetings ought not to be punctuated with either marks 
of disapproval or of approval. The audience immediately 
understood the spirit of my remarks and never afterwards 
made any demonstration of their opinion. In the towns 
of this Presidency as elsewhere, whilst it is true that the 
large crowds have refrained from any noisy demonstra- 


tion out of regard for my health, they have fully under- 
stood the necessity of refraining from it on the higher 
ground. The leaders in the movement have also fully 
understood the necessity for self-restraint. These 
experiences of mine fill me with the greatest hope for 
the future. I never had any apprehensions of the danger 
our friends feared and the various meetings I have 
■described confirm my optimism but I would venture 
further to state that^vsry precaution that is humanly 
possible is being and will be taken to avert any such 
•danger. It is for that reason that our Pledge commits 
the signatories to a breach of those laws that may be 
selected for the purpose by a Committee of Satyagrahis> 
and I am glad that our Sind friends have understood 
their Pledge and obeyed the prohibition of the Hyderabad 
Commissioner of Police to hold their inoffensive proces- 
sion, for it is no part of the present movement to break 
all the laws of the land the breach of which is not 
inconsistent" with the Pledge. A Satyagrahi is nothing 
if not instinctively law-abiding, and it is his law-abiding 
nature which exacts from him implicit obedience to the 
highest law that is the voice of conscience whicti 
over-rides all other laws. His civil disobedience even o' 
■certain laws is only seeming disobedience. Every law 
gives the subject an option either to obey (he primary 
sanction or the secondary, and I venture to suggest that 
the Satyagrahi by inviting the secondary sanction obeys 
the law. He does not act like the ordinary offender who 
not only commits a breach of the laws of the land whether 
^ood or bad but wishes to avoid the congequences of that 
breach. It will seem, therefore, that every ^thing that 
prudence may dictate has been done to avoid any 
untoward results. Some friends have said : " We under- 


Stand your breach of the Rowlatt legislation but as a 
Satyagrahi there is nothing for you in it to break. How 
can you however break the other laws which you have 
hitherto obeyed and which may also be good !" So far 
as good laws are concerned, that is, laws which lay 
down moral principles, the Satyagrahi may not break 
them and their breach is not contempleted under the 
Pledge. But the other laws are neither good nor bad, 
moral or immoral. They may be »seful or may even be 
harmful. Those laws, one obeys for the supposed good 
Government of the country. Such laws are laws made 
for the purpose of revenue, or political laws creating 
statutory offences. Those laws enable the Government 
to continue its power. When therefore a Government 
goes wrong to the extent of hurting the National fibre 
itself, as does the Rowlatt Legislation, it becomes the 
right of the subject, indeed it is his duty, to withdraw 
his obedience to such laws to the extent it may be 
required in order to bend the Government to the National 
will. A doubt has been e.vpressed during my tour 
and my friends have written to me as to the validity 
in terms of Satyagraha of the entrustment of the 
selection of the laws for breach to a Committee. For it 
js argued that it amounts to a surrender of one's cons- 
cieijce to. leave such selection toothers. This doubt 
misunderstands the Pledge. A signatory of the Pledge 
undertakes, so far as he is concerned, to break if neces- 
sary all the laws which it would be lawful for the 
Satyagrahi to break. It is not however obligatory on 
him to break all such laws. He can therefore perfectly 
conscientiously leave the selection of the laws to be 
broken to the judgment of those who are experts in, the 
matter and who in their turn are necessarily subject to 

satyagraha day in madras 459 

the limitations imposed by the Pledge, The worst that 
can happen to any signatory is that the selection may 
not be exhaustive enough for him. 

I have been told that I am diverting the attention 
of the country from the one and only thing that matters, 
namely, the forthcoming reforms. In my opinion the 
Rowlatt Legislation, in spite of the amendments which, 
as the Select Committee very properly says, does not 
affect its principles, blocks the way to progress and 
therefore to attainment of substantial reforms. To my 
mind the first thing needful is to claim a frank and full 
recognition of the principle that public opinion properly 
expressed shall be respected by the Government. I am 
no believer in the doctrine that the same power can at 
the same time trust and distrust, grant liberty and 
repress it. I have a- right to interpret the coming re- 
forms by the light that the Rowlatt Legislation throws 
upon them, and I make bold to promise that if we do 
not gather sufficient force to remove from our path this 
great obstacle in the shape of the Rowlatt legislation, 
we shall find the reforms to be a whitened sepulchre^ 
Yet another objection to answer. Some friends have 
argued : " Your Satyagraha movement only accentuates, 
the fear we have of the onrush of Bolshevism." The 
fact, however, is that, if anything can possibly prevent 
this calamity descending upon our country, it is Satya- 
giraha. Bolshevism is the necessary result of modern 
materialistic civilisation. Its insensate worship of mat- 
ter has given rise to a school which has been brought 
up to look upon materialistic^ advancement as the goal 
and which has lost all touch with the final things of 
life. Self-indulgence is the Bolshevic creed; self-res- 
traint is the Satyagraha creed. If I can but induce the 


Nation to accept Satyagraha if only as a predominant 
factor in life, whether social or political, we need have 
no fear of the Bolshevic propaganda. In asking the 
Nation to accept Satyagraha, I am asking for the 
introduction in reality of nothing new. I have coined a 
new word for an ancient law that has hitherto mainly 
governed our lives, and I do prophesy that if we disobey 
the law of the final supremacy of the spirit over matter, 
of liberty and love over brute force, in a few years time 
we shall have Bolshevism rampant in this land which 
was once so holy. 


On April Z, 1919, Mr. M. K . Gandhi sent the f oh 
lowing message from Bombay to Mr. S. Kasturiranga 
Iyengar, Editor of the Hindu, Madras : — 

Just arrived; having missed connection at Secun- 

Regarding the meeting at Delhi, I hope that the 
Delhi Tragedy will make Satyagrahis steel their hearts 
and the waverers to reconsider their position. I have 
no shadow of doubt that, by remaining true to the 
Pledge, we shall not only secure the withdrawal of the 
Rowlatt Legislation, but we shall kill the spirit of 
terrorism lying behind. 

I hope the speeches on Sunday, the 6th April, will 
be free from anger or unworthy passion. The cause 
is too great and sacred to be damaged by exhibition 
of passion. We have no right to cry out against suffer- 
ings self-invited. Undoubtedly there should be no 
•coercion for the suspension of business or for fast. 


Mr. M. K. Gandhi sent the following letter to the 
Press from Bombay under date ^ih April, 1919 : — 

It is alleged against the Delhi people assembled at 
the Delhi Railway Station (1) that s-me of them were 
trying to coerce sweetmeat sellers into closing their 
stalls ; (2) that some were forcibly preventing people 
from plying tramcars and other vehicles ; (3) that some 
of them threw brickbats ; (4) that the whole crowd that 
marched to the Station demanded the release of men 
who were said to be coercers and who were for that 
reason arrested at the instance of the Railway authori- 
ties ; (5) that the crowd declined to disperse when the 
Magistrate gave orders to disperse. I have read Sanyasi 
Swami Shradhanandji's account of the tragedy. I am 
bound to accept it as true, unless it is authoritatively . 
proved to be otherwise and his account seems to me to 
deny the allegations, 1, 2 and 3. But assuming the 
truth of all allegations it does appear to me that the 
local authorities in Delhi have made use of a Nasmyth 
hammer to crush a fly. On their action, however, in 
firing on the crowd, I shall seek another opportunity of 
saying more. My purpose in writing this letter is merely 
to issue a note of warning to all Satyagrahis. I would, 
therefore, like to observe that the conduct described 
in the allegations 1 to 4, if true, would be inconsistent 
with the Satyagraha Pledge. The conduct described in 
allegations can be consistent with the Pledge, but if he 
allegation is true, the conduct was premature, because 
the Committee contemplated in the Pledge, has not 


decided upon the disobedience of orders that may- be 
issued by the Magistrates under the Riot Act. I am 
anxious to make it as clear, as I can that in this move- 
ment no pressure can be put upon people who do not 
wish to accept our suggestions and advice, the move- 
ment being essentially one to secure the greatest freedom 
ior all Satyagrahis, cannot forcibly demand release of 
those who might be arrested, whether justly or unjustly. 
The essence of the Pledge is to invite imprisonment and 
until the Committee decides upon the breach of the 
Riot Act, it is the duty of Satyagrahis to obey, without 
making the slightest ado, Magisterial orders to disperse, 
etc., and thus to demonstrate their law-abiding nature. I 
hope that the next Sunday at Satyagraha meetings, all 
speeches will be free from passion, anger or resentment. 
The movement depends for its success entirely upon 
perfect self-possession, self-restraint, absolute adherence 
to truth and unlimited capacity for self-suffering Before 
closing this letter, I would add that, in opposing the 
Rowlatt Legislation, Satyagrahis are resisting the spirit 
of terrorism which lies behind it and of which it is a 
moft glaring symptom. The Delhi tragedy imposes an 
added responsibility upon Satyagrahis of steeling their 
hearts and going on with their struggle until the Row- 
latt Legislation is withdrawn. 


The following message from Mr. M. K, Gandhi was 
read at the great meeting in Madras held on the 
Satyagraha Day on (jth April : — 

I do hope that the Presidency that produced beauti- 
ful Valliamma, Nagappan, Narayanaswami and so many 


Others of your Presidency with' whom I was privileged 
to work in South Africa will not quail in the presence 
of sacrifice demanded of us all. I am convinced that 
reforms will be of no avail, unless our would-be partnei's 
respect us. And we know that they only respect those 
who are capable of sacrificing for ideals, as themselves. 
See how unstintingly they poured out treasure and blood 
during the War. Ours is a nobler cause and out means 
infinitely superior, in that we refrain from shedding 
blood, other than our ov/n. 


At the Saiyagraha Demonstrations in Bombay on 
6th April, Mr. M. K, Gandhi referred to the Delhi 
incident and pointed out : — 

We have two authoritative versions of the episode^ 
One was Swami Shradhanandji's stating the peoples' 
version, and the other was Government's, justifying 
the action of the local authorities. The two did not tally; 
they diflfered as to some main partipulars. An impartial 
observer will regard both as partial statements. I beg 
of the popular party to assume for purposes of criticism 
the truth of the official narrative, but there are remark- 
able gaps in it amounting to the evasion of charges 
made against the local authorities by Sanyasi Shradha- 
nandji. His statement was the first in the field, and he 
was on the scene immediately after the shooting incident 
near the Railway Station. If the Government have 
sought the co-operation of the National Leaders lo 
regulate the crowd, there would not have been any need 
for the display or use of military force. Even if the 
official version was correct, there was no justification to 


fire on the innocent people. The people were entirely 
unarmed, and'at the worst what would they have done ? 
In any other place but India, the Police would have been 
deemed sufficient to meet an emergency of the Delhi 
type, armed with nothing more than batons He 
related how in 1917. at Durban, a mob of 6,000 
Europeans bent upon lynching an innocent victim 
threatened the destruction of property worth £ 20, 000, 
including the lives of nearly twenty men, women and 
children, and a dozen Police, though they would have 
been justified in calling Military aid, contended with the 
crowd themselves and succeeded in peacefully dispersing 
it. The Delhi crowd had no such intention of hurting 
any body. It threatened to do nothing except, as alleged, 
it refused to disperse. The authorities could have 
peacefully regulated the crowd; nsteadthey followed 
the customary practice of calling the Military on the 
slightest pretext. He did not want to labour on the 
point. It was enough the crowd hurt nobody and were 
neither overawed nor infuriated. It was a remarkable 
incident that the people were sufficiently firm and self- 
possessed to hold a mass meeting of 40,000 after 
the shooting incidents, and it coverd the Delhi 
people with glory. He has always emphasised that 
the people who took part in the struggle against 
the Rowlatt Act will be self-possessed and peaceful, 
but he has never said that .the people will not have 
to sufFer. Mr. Gandhi further said that to the satyagra- 
his such sufFeringf must be welcome. The sterner they 
were the better. They have undertaken to suffer unto 
death. Sanyasi Shradhanandji has wired sayinsr that 4 
Mahommadans and 5 Hindus have so far died, and that 
about 20, people were missing and 1 3 persons were in 


the hospital, being badly wounded. For Satyagrahis it 
was not a bad beginning. No country had ever risen, 
no nation had ever been made without sacrifice, and we 
were trying an experiment of building up ourselves by 
self-sacrifice without resorting to violence in any shape 
or form. That was a Satyagrahi. From Satyagraha 
standpoint the people s case in Delhi was weak, in that 
the crowd refused to disperse when asked to do so, and 
demanded the release of the two arrested men. Both 
acts were wrong. It was arrest and imprisonment 
they sought for by resorting to civil disobedience. In 
this movement it was open to Satyagrahis to '^disobey 
only those laws which are selected by the Committee 
contemplated in the Pledge. Before being able to offer 
effective civil disobedience, we must acquire habits of 
discipline, self-control and qualities of leadership and 
obedience. Till these qualities were developed and till 
the spirit of Satyagraha has permeated large bodies of 
men and women, Mr. Gandhi said he had advised that 
only such laws as can be individually disobeyed should 
be selected for disobedience, as, while disobeying certain 
selected laws, it was incumbent on the people, to show 
their law-abiding character by respecting all the other 



The Satyagraha Committee advised that, for the 
time being, laws' regarding prohibited literature and re- 
gistration of Nevaspapers may be civilly disobeyed. 
Accordingly Mr. Gandhi, President, and Secretaries of 
the Satyagraha Sabha, Bombay, issued on April 7, the 
following notice to organise, regulate and control the sale 
of these publications : — 

Satyagrahis should receive copies of prohibited 
literature for distribution. A limited number of copies 
can be had from the Secretaries of the Satyagraha 
Sabha. Satyagrahis should, so far as possible, write 
their names and addresses as sellers so that they may 
be traced easily when wanted by the Government for 
prosecution. Naturally there can be no question of 
secret sale of this literature. At the same time, there 
should be no forwardness either in distributing it. It 
is open to Satyagrahis to form small groups of men and 
women to whom they may read this class of literature. 
The object in selecting prohibited literature is not 
merely to commit a civil breach of the law regarding it 
but it is also to supply people with clean literature of a 
high moral value. It is expected that the Government 
■will confiscate such, Satyagrahis have to be as independ- 
ent of finance as possible. When therefore copies are 
confiscated, Satyagrahis are requested to make copies of 
prohibited literature themselves or by securing the assist- 
ance of willing friends and to make use of it until it is 
confiscated by giving readings to the people from it. It 


is Stated that such readings would amount to dissemin- 
ation of prohibited literature. When whole copies are 
exhausted by dissemination or confiscation, Satyagrahis 
may continue civil disobedience by writing out and 
distributing extracts from accessible books. 


Regarding the civil breach of the law governing the 
publication of newspapers, the idea is to publish in every 
Satyagraha centre a written newspaper without register- 
ing it. It need not occupy more than one side of half a 
foolscap. When such a newspaper is edited, it will be 
found how difficult it is to fill up half a sheet. It is a 
well known fact that a vast majority of newspapers 
contain much padding. Further, it cannot be denied 
that newspaper articles written under the terror of 
the very strict newspaper law have a double mean- 
ing. A Satyagrahi for whom punishments provided 
by law have lost all terror can give only in 
an unregistered newspaper his thoughts and opinion 
unhampered by any other consideration than that 
of his own conscience. His newspaper, therefore, if 
otherwise well edited, can become a most powerful 
vehicle for transmitting pure ideas in a concise manner, 
and there need be no fear of inability to circulate a 
hand-written newspaper, for it will be the duty of those 
who may receive the first copies to recopy till at last 
•the process of multiplication is made to cover if neces- 
-sary the whole of the masses of India and it must not be 
forgotten that we have in India the tradition. of impart- 
ing instruction by oral teaching. 


Mr. Gtindhi was arrested at Kosi on his way to> 
Delhi on the morning of the IQth April and served ■with 
an order not to enter the Punjab and the District of Delhi 
and to restrict himself to the Bombay Presidency. The 
officer serving the order treated him most politely, assur- 
ing him it would be his most painful duty to arrest' 
him,, if he elected to disobey, but that there would be no' 
ill-will between them. Mr. Gandhi smilingly said that 
he must elect to disobey as it was his duty, and that ther 
officer ought also to do what was his duty, Mr. Gandhi 
then dictated the following message to Mr. Desai, his 
Secretary, laying special emphasis on his oral message 
that none shall resent his arrest or do anything tainted 
with untruth or violence which is sure to draw the sacred 
cause. The message reads : — 

To my countrymen. It is a matter of the highest 
satisfaction to me, as I hope to you, that I have received 
an order from the Punjab Government not to enter that 
Province and another from the Delhi Government not 
to enter Delhi, while an order of the Government of 
India has been served on me immediately after which, 
restricts me to Bombay. I had no hesitation in saying: 
to the officer, who served the order on me, that I was 
bound in virtue of the pledge to disregard it, which I 
have done, and I shall presently find myself a free man, 
my body being taken by them in their custody. It was 
galling to me to remain free whilst the Rowlatt Legis- 
lation disfigured the Statute Book. My arrest makes 
me free. It now remains for you to do your duty 


which IS clearly stated in the Satyagraha Pledge. 
Follow it, and you will find it will be your 
Kamadhenu. I hope there will be no resentment about 
my arrest. I have received what I was seeking either 
withdrawal of the Rowlatt Legislation or imprison- 
ment. A departure from truth by a hair's breadth, or 
violence committed against anybody, whether English- 
man or Indian, will surely damn the great cause the 
Satyagrahis are handling. I hope the Hindu-Musiim 
unity, which seems now to have taken firm hold of the 
people, will become a reality and I feel convinced that 
it will only be a reality if the suggestions I have 
ventured to make in my communication to tjie Press 
are carried out. The responsibility of the Hindus 
in the matter is greater than that of Muhamma- 
^ans, they being in a minority and I hope they will 
^lischarge their responsibility in the manner worthy 
oi their country. I have also made certain sugges- 
tions regarding the proposal of the Swadeshi vow. 
Now I commend them to your serious attention and you 
-will find that, as your ideas of Satyagraha become 
matured, the Hindu-Muslim unity is but part of Satya- 
graha. Finally it is my firm belief that we shall obtain 
salvation only through suffering and not by reforms 
dropping on us from England, no matter how unstintingly 
they might be granted. The English are a great Nation, 
Ibut the weaker also go to the wall if they come in contact 
.with them. When they are themselves courageous they 
have borne untold sufferings and they only respond to 
courage and sufferings and partnership with them is 
■only possible after we have developed an indomitable 
<:ourage and a faculty for unlimited suffering. There 
is a fundamental difference between their civilisation 


and ours. They believe in the doctrine of violence 
or brute force as the final arbiter. My reading- 
of our civilisation is that we are expected to believe 
in Soul Force or Moral Force as the final arbiter and 
this is Satyagraha. We are groaning under sufferings 
which we would avoid if we could, because we have 
swerved from the path laid down for us by our ancient 
civilisation. I hope that the' Hindus, Muhammadans,. 
Sifths, Parsis, Christians, Jews and all who are born in 
India or who made India their land of adoption will 
fully participate in these National observances and I 
hope too that women will take therein as full a share 
as the men. 


The unregistered newspaper, the "Satyagrahi'*, which 
Mr. Gandhi as Editor brought out in Bombay on the 1th 
April in defiance of the Press Act, was only a small 
sheet of paper sold for one pice. It stated among other 
things : " The editor is liable at any moment to be 
arrested, and it is impossible, to ensure the continuity of 
publication until India is in a happy position of supply- 
ing editors enough to take the place of those who are 
arrested. It is not our intention to break for all time the 
laws governing the publication of newspapers- This 
paper will, therefore, exist so long only as the Rowlatt 
Legislation is not withdrawn." It also contained the. 
following instruction to Satyagrahis : — 

We are now in a position to expect to be arrested at 
any moment. It is, therefore, necessary to bear in mind 
that, if any one is arrested, he should, without causing 
any difficulty, allow hjmself to be arrested, and, if sum- 


moned to appear before a Court, he should do so. No 
defence should be offered and no pleaders engaged in the 
matter. If a fine is imposed with the alternative of 
imprisonment, the imprisonment should be accepted. If 
only fine is imposed, it ought not to be paid; but his pro- 
perty, if he has any, should be allowed to be sold. There 
should be no demonstration of grief or otherwise made 
by the remaining Stayagrahis by reason of the arrest and 
■imprisonment of their domrade. It cannot be too often 
repeated that we court imprisonment, andwe may not 
complain of it, when we actually receive it. When once 
imprisone'di it is our duty to conform to all prison 
regulations, as prison reform is no part of our campaign 
at the present moment. A Satyagrahi may not resort 
to surreptitious practices. All that the Satyagrahis do, 
can only and must be done openly. 


Mr. Gandhi arrived in, Bombay, on the afternoon of 
the l\th April, having been prevented from entering the 
Provinces of Punjab and Delhi. An order was soon 
after served on him reqviiring him to confi^s his activi- 
ties within the limits,, of the Bombay Presidency. 
.Having heard of the ripfs and the gonsequent bloodshed 
■in different places, J}e caused the following message to 
be read at all the meetings that evening:— 

I have not been able to understand the cause of so 
much excitement a«d disturbance .. that followed my 
.detention. It is not Satyagraha. It is worse than 
Duragrttba, .Those who join Satyagraha demonstra- 
tions were boujnd pne.aud all to refrain at, all hazard 


from violence, not to throw stones or in any way 
whatever to injure anybody. 

But in Bombay, we have been throwing stones. We 
have obstructed tramcars by putting obstacles in the 
way. This is not Satyagraha. We have demanded the 
release of about 50 men who had been arrested for 
deeds of violence. Our duty is chiefly to get o