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GandhiServe Foundation's Blog (216)

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 11:49am — 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 11:29am — 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 12:10pm — 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 10:00pm — 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 12:07pm — 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 11:36am — 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 12:28pm — 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 5:18pm — 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 12:01pm — 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 11:53am — 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 12:17pm — 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 12:43pm — No Comments

A CUP OF COFFEE FOR THE PATIENT

It was a joke that one heard frequently in Gandhi's Ashrams. If you want to meet Gandhi everyday, and have a few great moments with him you should fall ill, and be in the sick ward or hospital of the Ashram. It was an old habit of Gandhi to go everyday to the sick-room of the Ashram and spend a few minutes with every patient, chatting, supervising, prescribing or administering treatment and so on. He would himself tie bandages or administer enema, or apply mudpacks and so on. A few moments…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 4, 2012 at 11:22am — No Comments

VIGIL AGAINST STRAY DOGS

Leaders from different parts of the country had assembled at Gandhi's Ashram on the eve of the Civil Disobedience Campaign. Lala Lajpatrai of Punjab, Vitthalbhai Patel, and others were among the visitors. Both Lala Lajpatrai and Vitthalbhai Patel, sat down for their meal at the Ashram. But there were a number of stray dogs around. They made it impossible for anyone to eat in peace. So when Lalaji sat down to lunch, Mahatmaji stood guard preventing the dogs from coming near. "During his…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 3, 2012 at 11:35am — No Comments

'CLEANING UP IS MY PROFESSION'

Even for Noakhali, it had been an exceptionally dewy night, and the narrow footpath by which Gandhiji was to proceed had been rendered extremely slippery when on the morning of 19th January he left Badalkot for Atakara. Twice Col. Jiwan Singh, accustomed to difficult marches, lost his foothold and rolled over. Everybody enjoyed the fun as his giant figure sprawled at full length on the ground. Laughingly Gandhi offered him the end of his walking stick to pull himself up the slippery slope.…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 2, 2012 at 12:48pm — No Comments

MAKING SPACE FOR OTHERS

Gandhi was to leave his Ashram at Wardha to go to Bengal. Two third class compartments had been reserved for him and his entourage. When he came to the station, he found that his party could be accommodated in one compartment, and two compartments were not necessary. So he called his grandnephew who was looking after the arrangements for the journey, and asked him to vacate one of the compartments. Kanu replied that both the compartments had been reserved for the party, and the reservation…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on July 1, 2012 at 12:04pm — No Comments

GANDHI WEANS AN INFANT

On one occasion, when Gandhi was released from a term of imprisonment in South Africa, he found that one of his close associates, Ms. Millie Graham Polak, was not well: The Polaks were members of the spiritual community that he was building around his ‘Sadligna'. When Gandhi wanted to know the reason for her being so ill, Mrs. Polak said that she could not get proper sleep at night because of insomnia. One of the contributory causes was also the trouble she was…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on June 30, 2012 at 10:42am — No Comments

I AM NOT A MAHATMA

The Indian National Congress met at Nagpur in December 1920. By then it had become customary to refer to Gandhi as 'Mahatma' Gandhi. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who later became the founder of Pakistan, spoke on a resolution. He spoke in English. In the course of his speech, he referred to Gandhi as Mr. Gandhi, and not Mahatma Gandhi. Maulana Mohammad Ali, a famous Muslim divine and leader of the Khilafat Movement, objected to this, and requested Mr. Jinnah to refer to Gandhi as Mahatma. Many…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on June 29, 2012 at 11:07am — No Comments

A GREAT YOGI

Mr. Pyarelal Nayyar, one of Gandhi's principal secretaries who worked with him for many years, recalls what he noticed of Gandhi's habits of work. "During the days that followed I noticed several things. One was Gandhiji's marvellous capacity to go on working day after day with only three or four hours' sleep — sometimes without any sleep at all. The second was his precision and thoroughness in the minutest details. The third was his meticulous regard for…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on June 28, 2012 at 11:36am — No Comments

UNBROKEN CONTINUOUS AWARENESS

He would change the wooden sandals that he wore only when the impression that his feet made on them became too apparent a depression. If the soles of his slippers (chappals) got worn out, he would get them re-soled, and continue to use them, instead of throwing them away. He never used soap on his body, but used to rub himself clean with a wet towel. He used to get through his shave while soaking himself in the bath tub, and did not use a mirror or brush and…

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Added by GandhiServe Foundation on June 27, 2012 at 11:21am — No Comments

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