Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

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. He tried to mollify him, "I have written and told the Government that at least 300 rupees a month should be spent on an honoured guest like you. I have every hope the Government will agree." Gandhi saw that the Major had not understood him. So, he explained "That is all good. But after all, the money would come from the Indian Treasury, would it not? I do not want to increase the burden on my country. I hope that my boarding expenses will not come to more than 35 rupees a month." If his health had not been so bad, he would have eaten 'C' class food. "But, to my shame, fruit is a sheer necessity. So is goat's milk." So all the furniture and utensils that the Major had brought were sent away. And in their place came an austere iron cot and mattress, 'C' class utensils — plate and bowl and tumbler made with a metal that was an alloy of tin. In an adjoining room was placed a high stool with a chamber pot. And Gandhi slept in the open space within the yard.
Source: Kaka Saheb Kalelkar : Stray Glimpses of Bapu, Navajivan
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