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GandhiServe Foundation's Blog – July 2012 Archive (24)

SEEING THE OTHER MAN'S POINT OF VIEW

As I look back upon the talks that I had with him inDelhi in the spring of 1931, two conversations stand out in my recollection. They have always seemed to me a better interpretation of his mind and method than anything else, as showing the way that the idealist and the realist could meet. The first related to his demand, as part of the arrangement to be made on the cessation of Civil Disobedience, for an enquiry into the actions of the Police over the last twelve months. I resisted this on…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 31, 2012 at 12:45 — No Comments

AUSTERITY EVEN IN PRISON

When Gandhi was arrested and lodged in the Yervada Jail in 1930, the Government had fixed a sum of Rs. 150 for the monthly expenses on him in prison. On the 'first day, Major Martin (an Englishman) who was the Superintendent of the jail took a lot of furniture, crockery and cooking utensils to Gandhi. Gandhi enquired "For whom have you brought all this?” Then he asked Major Martin to take everything away. The Major was nonplussed. He thought Gandhi was dissatisfied, with what he had brought.…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 30, 2012 at 12:24 — No Comments

HUNT FOR THE TINY PENCIL

One day, Gandhi was working at his desk, when he suddenly realized that he had to leave at once to be in time for an appointment elsewhere. He started collecting his papers and arranging whatever he had on his desk with great care and method. Suddenly he stopped, and began to scan through everything that was on the desk. It looked as though he was looking for something that he had lost or misplaced. Kaka Saheb Kalelkar, one of Gandhi's associates, who was standing and watching could not help…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 29, 2012 at 20:48 — No Comments

MENDING TORN CLOTHES

The dress that Gandhi wore was the bare minimum. He had a short dhoti, often called a loin cloth, and a shawl which he used to cover his chest and back when necessary. He believed he had no right to wear more when the ordinary villager had nothing more and when the village women often had to make do with one sari. One day, on one of his tours he found a woman draped in a drenched sari. Half of it was draped round her body, and the other half was stretched out and tied to a small tree. There…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 27, 2012 at 11:32 — No Comments

THE COSTLY TELEGRAM

In 1921, the annual Session of the Indian National Congress met at Ahmedabad. Mr. Mavlankar, who later became the Speaker of the Indian Parliament was the secretary of the Reception Committee as well as the Provincial Committee. He had ordered large quantities of hand-spun, hand-woven cloth (khadi) for the decoration of the dais and the delegates' enclosures. The payment for the cloth had to be made in instalments every day. The daily instalment was around Rs. 15,000 from the Bombay…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 25, 2012 at 16:20 — No Comments

THE ECO-FRIENDLY TOOTH BRUSH

One day, in the Yeravda Jail, Gandhi noticed that one of his associates in the ashram, Kaka Kalelkar, was in the habit of breaking off whole little branches of the neem tree even if he needed only four or five leaves. Gandhi said to him: "This is hinsa (violence). Others might not be able to understand, but you can. Even these four leaves should be plucked by us humbly, with due apologies to the tree. You break off whole twigs or branches." "......And then," recalls Kaka Kalelkar, "we…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 24, 2012 at 12:07 — No Comments

GANDHI'S PATENT ENVELOPES

Krishnadas, who was working as Gandhi's secretary during the days of the Non-Co-operation movement, one day found that Gandhi was in a happy mood. He was all by himself, and told Krishnadas as soon as he entered: "Krishnadas, so many telegrams come to me daily and yet not knowing what to do with the forms, I used to tear them. But I was not happy I had to tear them, and I was thinking of what use they could be put to. At last I have hit upon a plan." He took up a form and showed Krishnadas…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 23, 2012 at 11:14 — No Comments

SMALL THINGS I LEARNT FROM HIM

I do not exactly remember the occasions on which I learnt several small things from Gandhiji. I shall just mention what they are: 1. This was perhaps when I met him for the first time in Champaran in 1917. He asked me to copy out a passage from the Indian Year Book on a sheet of foolscap paper. As the paper was larger than I needed I folded it up, made a crease by passing my fingers over it, and began to tear it along the crease. Gandhiji stopped me, and asked me to cut it with a knife.…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 22, 2012 at 12:25 — No Comments

THE STUBBORN GERMAN

In 1934, Agatha Harrison, one of Gandhi's English associates, was touring Orissa with Gandhi. She relates: "Another incident occurred during the tour which I record as being typical of Gandhiji's sense of justice and fair play. Attached to our party was a hefty young German about 18 years old. Gandhiji had given him permission to join him, as he does everyone who is eager to learn more about his way of life. The young man acted as a volunteer and made himself generally useful. It was known…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 21, 2012 at 11:49 — No Comments

GANDHI AND THE GLUTTONOUS CHILD

There was one boy in the family who was inclined to be greedy. He was quite fond of some items of food. When they were around, he would ask for more, again and again. He would not feel satisfied; and if he was not given what he wanted, he would sulk or throw tantrums. Gandhi had tried to reason with him, many times. But there was no effect. "At last, one evening, Bapu (Gandhi) told him that he could have as much as ever he wished to eat, and that no one would stop him or check him. The meal…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 20, 2012 at 11:29 — No Comments

SPARE THE ROD — II

Gandhi believed that "as physical training was to be imparted through physical exercise, and intellectual through intellectual exercise, even so the training of the spirit was possible only through the exercise of the spirit." The exercise of the spirit depended on the life and character of the teacher. He, therefore, did not believe in corporal punishment. One of the boys in the Tolstoy Farm was "wild, unruly, given to lying, and quarrelsome. On one occasion, he broke out most violently. I…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 19, 2012 at 12:10 — No Comments

SPARE THE ROD — I

A boy of about fourteen years, who was among those receiving education in the Phoenix Settlement, was a great source of trouble. He appeared to be instinctively cruel and deceitful, and was guilty of many acts of cruelty to other children as well as to animals. Gandhi tried to deal with the boy with extra affection; tried to persuade him and wean him from his ways. There was no effect. Polak and other associates of Gandhi often complained to Gandhi. One day, the boy flung a cricket bat at…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 18, 2012 at 22:00 — No Comments

GANDHI'S TOY

Pratap was a young child who lived in Gandhi's Ashram at Sabarmati (Gujarat). Gandhi made no distinction between his "immediate family" and the members of the Ashram community. They were all members of his family. He was concerned about their welfare, their habits, their diet, their health, their dress, work and everything else. He was equally concerned with the way they moulded their character or brought up their children. Gandhi had a pocket watch. He kept it on his table. Sometimes when…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 17, 2012 at 12:07 — No Comments

TRAINING ASSOCIATES

All those who have spent some days with Gandhi helping him to deal with his correspondence or the editorial work of his journals or the work of the organizations that he founded for his Constructive Programme (like the Spinners' Association, the Village Industries Association, Harijan Sevak Sangh) have testified to the way Gandhi tried to train them in their work. On the eve of the Non-Co-operation movement Gandhi was keen to spot persons (from his personal secretariat) who could carry on…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 16, 2012 at 11:36 — No Comments

THE EXPANDING FAMILY

On my joining the Ashram, Gandhiji asked me to keep a daily diary. He also asked me to write down a brief history of myself giving names of all the members of the family. I could not make out why I was asked to do this. But, later I discovered that he kept direct contact with the relatives of the workers; he remembered their names and corresponded with them. He thus treated hundreds of workers as members of his family and dealt with them as such.

Read more:…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 15, 2012 at 12:28 — No Comments

A LITTLE DROP, BUT IN TIME, AND IN SILENCE

One of Millie Graham Polak's young friends was trying to qualify for a profession. But she had hardly any money, and was, therefore, passing through a very hard time. Gandhi knew her, too. One day while talking to Gandhi, Millie said: "I am worried about.... I do wish I had a little money to lend her. She absolutely needs shoes and stockings, and does not see how she can get them. Of course, if she can get through this year she will be able to manage, but it is the immediate present that is…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 11, 2012 at 17:18 — No Comments

PARCHURE SHASTRI NURSING A FRIEND AFFLICTED BY LEPROSY

Gandhi was in the habit of taking a brisk walk every evening. He would walk for three or four miles, covering the distance in about three quarters of an hour. Accompanying him on the walk would be some members of the Ashram community, children and some visitors to whom he wanted to talk during the walk, thus saving on the time that he would otherwise have had to find from his heavy schedule of work. The walk was not merely a stint of exercise but also a period of relaxation. Gandhi would be…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 9, 2012 at 12:01 — No Comments

PATIENT'S CONCERN FOR THE DOCTOR AND THE CAPTOR

I was called suddenly to the Sassoon Hospital yesterday night to see Mahatma Gandhi. In view of the profound interest that the matter would have for the public, I venture to make the following statement: Dr. V. B. Gokhale came to me at about 8.45 p.m. just as I was finishing my dinner and told me how the Yervada (prison) authorities had removed Mr. Gandhi to the Sassoon Hospital where he was in charge. He was about to be operated upon for appendicitis. As the case was serious the patient had…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 7, 2012 at 11:53 — No Comments

WHAT GANDHI DID TO PATIENTS

Sir Purushottamdas Thakurdas, a friend of Gandhi's was ill in Bombay in 1945. Thakurdas recalls: "He (Gandhi) had kind enquiries made after my health fairly regularly, and on the very first day after his arrival in Bombay, after the evening prayers, he told his host, Mr. Birla, that he was calling on me. When Mr. Birla said that at about 8.30 p.m., I might not be able to see him, all that Gandhiji said was: 'Anyway I will see him, if he cannot see me.' lid called at my residence with Dr.…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 6, 2012 at 12:17 — No Comments

THE PULL OF PATIENTS

In 1936, Gandhi went to Trivandrum to preside over a meeting to welcome the epoch-making proclamation accepting the right of so-called 'untouchables' to worship at Hindu temples. Mr. S. K. George, a friend and associate of Gandhi, went to call on Gandhi at his residence, but could not see him. He met Shri Mahadev Desai and told him about his wife who was ill at the time. He spoke about it also to Shri G. Ramachandran, another colleague of Gandhi's hailing from Trivandrum, regretting their…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 5, 2012 at 12:43 — No Comments

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