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Showing posts from April, 2014

30. RUMBLINGS OF THE STORM :

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This was my first voyage with my wife and children. I have often observed in the course of this narrative that, on account of child marriages amongst middle class Hindus, the husband will be literate whilst the wife remains practically unlettered. A wide gulf thus separates them, and the husband has to become his wife's teacher. So I had to think out the details of the dress to be adopted by my wife and children, the food they were to eat, and the manners which would be suited to their new surroundings. Some of the recollections of those days are amusing to look back upon.



A Hindu wife regards implicit obedience to her husband as the highest religion. A Hindu husband regards himself as lord and master of his wife who must ever dance attendance upon him.
I believed, at the time of which I am writing, that in order to look civilized, our dress and manners had as far as possible to approximate to the European standard. Because I thought only thus could we have some influence, and witho…

29. 'RETURN SOON' :

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From Madras I proceeded to Calcutta where I found myself hemmed by difficulties. I knew no one there, so I took a room in the Great Eastern Hotel. Here I became acquainted with Mr. Ellerthorpe, a representative of The Daily Telegraph. He invited me to the Bengal Club, where he was staying. He did not then realize that an Indian could not be taken to the drawing-room of the club. Having discovered the restriction, he took me to his room. He expressed his sorrow regarding this prejudice of the local Englishmen and apologized to me for not having been able to take me to the drawing-room.



I had of course to see Surendranath Banerji, the 'Idol of Bengal'. When I met him, he was surrounded by a number of friends. He said: 'I am afraid people will not take interest in your work. As you know, our difficulties here are by no means few. But you must try as best you can. You will have to enlist the sympathy of Maharajas. Mind, you meet the representatives of the British Indian Associa…

28. POONA AND MADRAS :

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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi



Sir Pherozeshah had made my way easy. So from Bombay I went to Poona. Here there were two parties. I wanted the help of people of every shade of opinion. First I met Lokamanya Tilak. He said:


'You are quite right in seeking the help of all parties. There can be no difference of opinion on the South African question. But you must have a non-party man for your president. Meet Professor Bhandarkar. He has been taking no part of late in any public movement. But this question might possibly drew him out. See him and let me know what he says. I want to help you to the fullest extent. Of course you will meet me whenever you like. I am at your disposal.'


This was my first meeting with the Lokamanya. It revealed to me the secret of his unique popularity.


Next I met Gokhale. I found him on the Fergusson College grounds. He gave me an affectionate welcome, and his manner immediately won my heart. With him too this w…

27. THE BOMBAY MEETING

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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi


Part-2.



On the very day after my brother-in-law's death I had to go to Bombay for the public meeting. There had hardly been time for me to think out my speech. I was feeling exhausted after days and nights of anxious vigil, and my voice had become husky. However, I went to Bombay trusting entirely to God. I had never dreamt of writing out my speech.


In accordance with Sir Pherozeshah's instructions I reported myself at his office at 5 P. M. on the eve of the meeting.
'Is your speech ready, Gandhi?' he asked.


'No sir,' said I, trembling with fear, 'I think of speaking extempore.'


'That will not do in Bombay. Reporting here is bad, and if we would benefit by this meeting, you should write out your speech, and it should be printed before daybreak tomorrow. I hope you can manage this?'


I felt rather nervous, but I said I would try.


'Then, tell me, what time Mr. Munshi should co…

26. TWO PASSIONS :

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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi


Part-2.



Hardly ever have I known anybody to cherish such loyalty as I did to the British Constitution. I can see now that my love of truth was at the root of this loyalty. It has never been possible for me to simulate loyalty or, for that matter, any other virtue. The national Anthem used to be sung at every meeting that I attended in Natal. I was unaware of the defects in British rule, but I thought that it was on the whole acceptable. In those days I believed that British rule was on the whole beneficial to the ruled.


The colour prejudice that I saw in South Africa was, I thought, quite contrary to British traditions, and I believed that it was only temporary and local. I therefore vied with Englishmen in loyalty to the throne. With careful perseverance I learnt the tune of the 'national anthem' and joined in the singing whenever it was sung. Whenever there was an occasion for the expression of loyalty…

25. IN INDIA

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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi


Part-2.



On my way to Bombay the train stopped at Allahabad for forty-five minutes. I decided to utilize the interval for a drive through the town. I also had to purchase some medicine at a chemist's shop. The chemist was half asleep, and took an unconscionable time in dispensing the medicine, with the result that when I reached the station, the train had just started. The Station Master had kindly detained the train one minute for my sake, but not seeing me coming, had carefully ordered my luggage to be taken out of the train.


I took a room at Kellner's, and decided to start work there and then. I had heard a good deal about The Pioneer published from Allahabad, and I had understood it to be an opponent of Indian aspirations. I have an impression that Mr. Chesney Jr. was the editor at that time. I wanted to secure the help of every party, so I wrote a note to Mr. Chesney, telling him how I had missed the…

24. HOMEWARD :

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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi


Part-2.



By now I had been three years in South Africa. I had got to know the people and they had got to know me. In 1896 I asked permission to go home for six months, for I saw that I was in for a long stay there. I had established a fairly good practice, and could see that people felt the need of my presence. So I made up my mind to go home, fetch my wife and children, and then return and settle out there. I also saw that, if I went home, I might be able to do there some public work by educating public opinion and creating more interest in the Indians of South Africa. The £ 3 tax was an open sore. There could be no peace until it was abolished.


But who was to take charge of the Congress work and Education Society in my absence? I could think of two men Adamji Miyakhan and Parsi Rustomji. There were many workers now available from the commercial class. But the foremost among those who could fulfil the duties of …

23. AS A HOUSEHOLDER :

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AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH
by Mohandas K. Gandhi


Part-2.



To set up a household was no new experience for me. But the establishment in Natal was different from the ones that I had had in Bombay and London. This time part of the expense was solely for the sake of prestige. I thought it necessary to have a household in keeping with my position as an Indian barrister in Natal and as a representative. So I had a nice little house in a prominent locality. It was also suitably furnished. Food was simple, but as I used to invite English friends and Indian co-workers, the housekeeping bills were always fairly high.


A good servant is essential in every household. But I have a never known how to keep anyone as a servant.
I had a friend as companion and help, and a cook who had become a member of the family. I also had office clerks boarding and lodging with me.


I think I had a fair amount of success in this experiment, but it was not without its modicum of the bitter exper…