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 goldsmith was thanking him. The goldsmith then related to him how he had been surrounded by dacoits in the Singoli hills. He had greeted them with Vande Mataram. He showed them his khadi clothes, and told them he was Gandhi's man. The dacoits then left him alone, and withdrew into the jungle. On another occasion Chaudhari himself was passing through the jungle in the company of some peasants. A gang of armed dacoits advanced towards them. The peasants shouted 'Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai'. Hearing this slogan, the armed gang retreated, and refrained from molesting the group.
Source: R.N. Chaudhari, Bapu As I Saw Him
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