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News from GandhiMedia

Dear co-member,

Today I have two news items from GandhiMedia you might be interested in:

1) Now the GandhiMedia database has been made available for subscription and purchase. Interested institutions and individuals can purchase an annual subscription or get perpetual access to the database through subscription agents in Germany, Italy and India. Optionally, the database can also be purchased offline (on hard disk) and incorporated in existing databases, intranets etc. Read…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 24, 2012 at 1:47pm — No Comments

I WANT YOU, NOT YOUR MONEY

I saw Gandhiji for the first time in London in 1909, in an English suit and a top hat. A party was given to a friend who had completed his education in England, and I was invited to it. Gandhiji too was there. When he was asked to speak, he got up and said: 'Why do you give him a party? What has he done? He has merely completed his studies. Let him go to South Africa and work there.' That was the tone of his speech even in those days. The next time I saw him at Kanpur in 1916 in the simple…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 16, 2012 at 10:16am — No Comments

DISCRIMINATION BY THE VICTIMS OF DISCRIMINATION

"When Gandhi was in South Africa, he was liable to the same restrictive laws (as the natives and the coloured). So, to protect him, my brother granted him a Certificate of Exemption. I remember an incident which occurred when my brother had invited him one night to dinner. The natives, serving at the table, protested at being called upon to attend to an Indian, and it was only after it had been explained to them that Gandhiji was a great man, just like a native chief, that they were prepared…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 15, 2012 at 11:23am — No Comments

STAMPEDES OF DONORS

"Travelling with Gandhiji is a remarkable experience. I accompanied him on his tour in Bengal, Assam and Madras in the cold weather of 1945-46. Everywhere the enthusiasm of the people for him was unbounded. In some cases it was beyond control, and people stopped his train and demanded darshan (auspicious glimpse) even at odd hours of the night before they would let the train pass. On the night that we were travelling from Wardha to Calcutta, he was so tired with the noise and the shouting…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 14, 2012 at 11:12am — No Comments

MEETING OLD CRONIES

Atakara was only miles from Badalkot. But it took full one hour to reach it. A very old couple lived in its neighbourhood. They were anxious to meet Gandhiji, but were too infirm to walk the distance. When Gandhiji came to know of it, he said he would visit them in their hut. He went there in the evening. The old man was deaf. Gandhiji affectionately patted him on the cheek as he came up. The old woman, too, came with two necklaces of camphor beads. She handed one of them to her old man,…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 13, 2012 at 11:54am — No Comments

ILLUMINATION AND POOR MAN'S COPPERS

During his tour to campaign against untouchability, Gandhi wanted to address a meeting at Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu). He and Dr. Rajan were driving down from Kerala. As they approached the town, they found that the roads and lanes were chock full of people. It took them a long time to reach the place of the meeting. Night had fallen, and the dais from which Gandhi was expected to address the meeting could be seen from quite some distance, illumined with coloured bulbs, tubelights, and twinkling…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 9, 2012 at 11:39am — No Comments

STRANGE COINCIDENCE

The love and veneration of the crowds and their anxiety not only to see him but to touch his feet created serious problems wherever Gandhi went. Once, when Gandhi arrived from Sindh, one of his associates, Kaka Kalelkar, found that Gandhi's legs and feet bore the marks of nails, and were bruised, and bleeding at many places. Gandhi explained to Kaka Kalelkar that he had sustained the injuries while wending his way through crowds. Kalelkar had to wash Gandhi's feet in warm water, and apply…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 8, 2012 at 10:55am — No Comments

GANDHI EXORCISES SUPERSTITION

In 1924 severe communal riots broke out in Delhi. Gandhi went on 21-day fast to appeal to the consciences of both the communities and to persuade them to put an end to fratricidal strife. Thousands of people from the town and the neighbouring areas used to throng to the house where Gandhi was staying, to share the ordeal and the agony, and if possible to have a darshan (glimpse) of the fasting Mahatma. On some days his health caused grave anxiety. Doctors did not want him to bear the strain…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 7, 2012 at 12:56pm — No Comments

I OWN NOTHING

While at the Woodbrooke Settlement of the Quakers, in 1931, Gandhi told J.S. Hayland of how "one night many years before that time, he had made the resolve that never again, so loog as be lived, would he call anything his own; but that he would hold everything as belonging to the community. He told me of the vast resources at his command, and of the eagerness of his followers to do anything he might desire." "Yet, I own absolutely nothing," he declared. "And from the night's decision there…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 6, 2012 at 11:25am — No Comments

A LIE TO SAVE A LIFE ?

One day I said to Mr. Gandhi: "But supposing Mr. Quinn does come here and is hiding in our house, and some of his enemies come to the door asking for him. Am I supposed to say: 'Mr. Quinn is hiding in the cupboard,' or should I try to put them off by some subterfuge?" "What do you think you should do?" asked Mr. Gandhi. "I am inclined to think I should try and put them off." Gandhi: "And if they asked you point-blank if Mr. Quinn were in your house, what then?" "I believe I should be…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 4, 2012 at 11:35am — No Comments

COURAGE IN THE 'COOLIE'

Soon after one of Gandhi's English Associates, Muriel Lester, arrived in India, she was at dinner with an English Civil Servant who was the Magistrate of the District. The English Magistrate, seeing I had only just arrived in India, said one night at dinner: Do you want to know what Gandhi has done for India? Ten years ago, if a coolie had suddenly crossed my path and frightened the horse I was riding, I would probably have sworn at him and shouted: "Get out of my way — you!" He would have…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 3, 2012 at 12:07pm — No Comments

GANDHI AND THE DACOITS

The veneration that Gandhi's name evoked was evident even among dacoits and robbers who plied their trade in dense forests. The Singoli area of Gwalior State was a thick jungle, and it was dangerous to pass through it without an armed guard. One day a goldsmith went to one of Gandhiji's associates, Shri Ram Narain Chaudhari, and expressed his deep gratitude. Chaudhari could not recall doing anything for which the goldsmith should have felt grateful to him. So Chaudhari wanted to know why the…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on August 2, 2012 at 11:42am — No Comments

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 12:45pm — 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 12:24pm — 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 8:48pm — 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 11:32am — 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 4:20pm — 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 12:07pm — 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 11:14am — 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 12:25pm — No Comments

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