Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav
Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India
Contact No. – 09404955338
Messages of Mahatma Gandhi; Part-7
Mahatma Gandhi a different man. He met a lot of persons daily. He had a lot of work and their concerning people. He gave a message everybody time to time. Those messages had a lot of meaning. The person who had gotten it, change his life according to it. Those messages may be useful today. We can solve many problems by help of them.
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to people of Midnapur; “I have made myself acquainted with your condition to the extent it was possible without a local visit. I tender my congratulations for your courage and patience with which you have borne your sufferings. Out of such sufferings will be born a new nation pulsating with life. Earthly possessions are no compensation for loss of liberty. It is a matter of joy that you have preferred deprivations of these to that of your liberty. I hope you will not neglect the duty of manufacturing free salt.”180
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Daridranarayana; “As Daridranarayana is the name given, I trust the performance too will match the name. In the present times if a raja brings out a paper for his subjects he has to be doubly careful. If he considers himself the master, the subjects are brought to ruin, but by regarding himself as their servant he uplifts both himself and the subjects.”181 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Motilal Nehru’s Death; “Motilal’s death should be the envy of every patriot. He died after having surrendered his all for the country and up to the very last thinking only for the country. Let us deserve this hero’s sacrifice by 1 From the contents. Motilal Nehru died at Allahabad on February 6, 1931; each sacrificing, if not all, at least enough to attain freedom, which he was yearning after and which is within easy grasp now.”182
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Press; “My position is worse than widow’s. By faithful life she can appropriate the merits of her husband. I can appropriate nothing. What I have lost through Motilalji’s death is a loss for ever. Rock of ages cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.”183 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Begal; “I have always entertained high hopes of Bengal and have had no cause for disappointment but I know that Bengal has the capacity to do much more if only youth of Bengal uniformly turn to non-violence not merely as a policy but even as the creed and I have never despaired of Bengal doing this notwithstanding warning of some Bengal friends to contrary.”184
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to people of Utkal; “I hope that you all will make sacrifices in the yajna for swarajya according to your mite.”185 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Visitors Delhi; “Mahatmaji came out1 at 1.40 p.m. and was cheered by hundreds of visitors, including a large number of ladies, who were anxious to have his darshan. Mahatmaji put two questions to the crowd assembled. He first asked : How many of you are dressed in khaddar?
Everybody raised his hand. Then Mahatmaji asked : I want only those to raise hands who are dressed in hand-spun and hand-made khaddar. Nearly thirty per cent of the assembled raised their hands. Then he asked them how many were dressed in foreign clothes. Only three hands were raised. He told them : Use khaddar. This is my message. Now go home, all of you. Then with a smile he hurried to his car which drove him to the Viceregal Lodge. The crowd raised shouts of “Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai” and melted away.”186
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Khaddar Pracharini Sabha Delhi; “I notice that people are getting disappointed for want of khaddar. But we must remember that to put on khaddar is a religion to Congressmen, and once we forget this, it would be difficult to boycott foreign cloth. Mill-made cloth is only for those who have not understood the message of khaddar.”187 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Conference of Gujrat; “I congratulate the graduates on the sacrifice they made in the fight but behind that congratulation is entertained a great hope. Graduates might be experiencing perhaps better than I do that the atmosphere is at present full of violence. Without entering into the reasons why it is not widely prevailing, I remined the graduates that they are the special representatives of non-violence and truth. If these two powers are dominant in their minds they might be able to rid the atmosphere of violence to a great extent.”188
“I am glad to meet you. I hope the people of Bhutan will fully understand the message of truth and non-violence and act according to it.”189 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message on Khadi; “People ask me why I am khaddar-mad. There are seven lakhs of villages. A large number of these villages are living in a condition of semi-starvation. There is no employment for them for nearly six months in the year. It is necessary to find for them some supplementary occupation. We must give them an occupation they are used to. Such an occupation is hand-spinning. If hand-spinning is to be introduced in the villages, it is but natural that we should be expected to wear khaddar. Hence it is that I have become khaddarmad.”190 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Hindustani Seva Dal; “Camping for Congress volunteers should mean greater dedication, greater self-purification, greater service of the poor, greater skill in hand-spinning and carding, greater skill in dealing with repairs to various machines required for spinning, ginning, carding, etc.; and above all, greater regard for truth and ahimsa. A Congress volunteer in camp should mean cleaning up of surrounding villages.”191
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to labourers, Karachi; “ I am clear that the movement initiated by Mr. Gajadhar is mischievous and unpractical and therefore must not be encouraged.”192 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Karnatka Provincial Conference; “The resolution on fundamental rights is the most important resolution of the Congress. It shows what kind of swaraj the Congress wants to achieve. That swaraj is the poor man’s swaraj or Ramarajya. Rama symbolized justice and equity, Rama symbolized truth and charity. The resolution insists on religious toleration, which means, that no one will be prevented from discharging his religious obligations, and the State shall favour no religion.
Justice and equity mean the establishment of just and equitable relation between capital and labour, between the landlord and the tenant. The landlord and the capitalist will cease to exploit the tenant and the labourer but will studiously protect his interests. Not that these things will be there as a matter of course as soon as we get the powers. I only mean that they will follow as the natural consequence of truth and non-violence if swaraj is achieved by those means. The question is whether we are following truth and nonviolence. Ramarajya cannot be the result of truth and non-violence
followed as a mere temporary expedient or policy. Ramarajya can only come out of truth and non-violence pursued as a creed. Could a son ever fulfil his filial duties as a policy? Policy is essentially a temporary expedient which one might alter as circumstances altered. It is easy enough to follow truth and non-violence so long as no sacrifice or suffering is involved, but he who adheres to them in all circumstances even at the cost of life follows them as a creed. It is time truth and non-violence were a creed and not policy with us Congressmen.
Let us therefore find out what parts of the resolution we can enforce even now. If we do not enforce the things that can be enforced today, swaraj will be meaningless, for we will not suddenly do after swaraj things which we can do but will not do today. The resolution states that there shall be no untouchability under the swaraj constitution. Have we cast out the canker of untouchability? The resolution says under the swaraj constitution there shall be no facilities for the licensing of liquor and drug shops. Have we cast out the drug and drink evil from our midst? The resolution goes on to say that under swaraj all foreign cloth would be banned from India. But have we given up our infatuation for foreign cloth and become khaddar clad? Similarly under swaraj, according to this resolution, Hindus and Mussalmans and Christians will live together like true blood brothers. Have we cleansed our hearts of distrust and suspicion of one another? Under swaraj, which the resolution pictures, there shall be no hatred or ill-will between the rich and the poor. Have the rich identified themselves with the poor, and have the poor ceased to have ill-will toward the rich? Under the swaraj constitution we want the maximum monthly emoluments of officials not to exceed Rs. 500.
But do those who are getting more today devote the balance to philanthropic purposes? Have our millionaires adjusted their standard of living to this scale of payment? It is difficult to give a decisive reply to these questions today. We are today slowly groping our way towards our ideal of Ramarajya or the Kindgom of Righteousness. This resolution is intended to keep this goal constantly before our eyes and to stimulate our endeavours to attain it.”193
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Indian Pepople; “ Now that I am drawing away from India’s shores, let me appeal to the Indian people to preserve absolutely a non-violent atmosphere during my absence, and let them follow out the constructive programme of Congress—namely, remove the fourfold curse of drink, drugs, foreign cloth and untouchability. Let them revive the village industry of hand-spinning and promote unity among all classes, which is indispensable for India’s freedom. I should like, also, to appeal to Englishmen, including officials, to trust the Congress and Congressmen, if they really believe that power must pass from them to India.”194 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to The Times; “I want the goodwill of every Englishman and every English woman in the mission of peace that has brought me to England.”195
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Indians in the United Kingdom; “You handful of Indians in the British Isles are trustees for the good name of India. So beware! Put your talents in the service of the country instead of converting them into £.s.d. If you are a medical man, there is disease enough in India to need all your medical skill. If you are a lawyer, there are differences and quarrels enough in India. Instead of fomenting more trouble, patch up those quarrels and stop litigation. If you are an engineer, build model houses suited to the means and needs of our people, and yet full of health and fresh air. There is 1 Extracted from Mahadev Desai’s account: “The Birmingham Visit”.
nothing that you have learnt which cannot be turned to account. Do what Kumarappa1, also a Chartered Accountant like you, is doing. There is a dire need everywhere for accountants to audit the accounts of Congress and its adjunct associations. Come to India I will give you enough work and also your hire annas per day, which is surely much more than millions in India get. India will have to go through the fiery ordeal before Englishmen can be made to say : ‘We are sorry, we did not do what we should have done long before.’ A strong nation would not succumb so easily as we might imagine. And as one wedded to nonviolence I should not have England compelled to yield anything without a will. England must be convinced that it is good for her to yield and for India to win her freedom, before she actually surrenders power.
Q. To convince England do you not think you should stay here a little longer?
No, I cannot stay beyond my time. I would cease to have any influence here if I overstayed and the people would cease to respond. The influence that I now exercise is only a temporary influence, not permanent. My place is in India, in the midst of my countrymen, who may be called upon to start another campaign of suffering. In fact, the English people seem to respond today because they know that I represent a suffering people, and when I am suffering with my own countrymen, I would be speaking to them from India as heart speaks to heart.”196
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to F.B. Fisher; “My friends in India, members of the Working Committee of the Congress, have cabled me to return to India, immediately the Conference is over; so I must not go to America. It seems that there 1 The message was conveyed to Bishop Fisher, who was in Chicago, on the telephone. is still a long time before I could give any message to America. Perhaps God thinks that, though I would like to meet friends, I have no reason to go to America.”197 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to America; “Tell America, as the exponent of that liberty we hunger for, not to forget our sad people in her prayers.”198
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Kaira Farmers; “I had a great longing to peep into Gujarat to see the Ashramites and other companions and to console and sympathize with you in your difficulties, but I am afraid that this will not be possible. A satyagrahi cannot even dream of a family or friend nor could he afford to wait to see them or bid farewell when the jail or the like invites him. I believe such is my present condition. If, therefore, it is not possible to see you, believe me it was due to the imperative demand of duty. It seems war stares us in the face, and it would be more grim this time.
Exhorting them to bear the brunt of the fight and not to flinch, Gandhiji asks them to cheerfully sacrifice their lands, goods and cattle and to suffer all sorts of privations and to bear all oppressions, including lathi and bullets. But while enduring all these, Gandhiji appeals to them not to be excited in the least and to pity their persecutor and wish him well. Quoting the famous Gujarati poet Kavi Shamal Bhatt, that “he who returns good for evil has only truly lived”, Gandhiji goes on:
You have drunk at this fountain of love, and perceived the experiences of others. You must therefore see that you do not offend even the farmer who does not stand by you or who is hostile to you. Pity him too, for it is not his fault that he does not see eye to eye with you in matters of duty.
Gandhi says that they conferred upon Mr. Vallabhbhai the title of Sardar and continues: In your hands lies his honour and his strength. Not only this, but the reputation and honour of the whole of India lies in your hands. On the resumption of the struggle, the eyes of India and of the whole world are concentrated upon you. Remember all these, and pray for strength befitting a satyagrahi. Asking the peasants to live harmoniously with their Dharala brethren, Gandhiji concludes: Remember this, and console yourself. Rest assured that all your confiscated lands will be restored to you. This is not a bait. Believe every word of it, when I say that this only is the true foundation of a satyagrahi.”199
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Indian Christian; “I have full trust that in the struggle on which the country is about to embark, Indian Christians, who tender their loyalty to the one whom they call the Prince of Peace, will not be found behind any community in our country in the struggle which is essentially based on peace. I venture to suggest that service in this national struggle is an infinitely greater safeguard for the protection of a minority that has tendered such service than any paper security. I would like to lay stress upon khaddar and prohibition. When in my wanderings I have met thousands of poor Christian fellowcountrymen, I have realized the necessity for them of khaddar as much as for others. I hope, therefore, that every Christian’s home will be adorned by the installation of the spinning-wheel and every
Christian body with khaddar, spun and woven by the hands of our poor countrymen and countrywomen. And then there is the curse of drink. I have never understood how a Christian can take intoxicating drink. Did not Jesus say to Satan 1 The message was given through the Secretary, Nationalist, Christian Party. when he want to seduce him: “Get thee behind me, Satan?” Is not intoxicating drink Satan incarnate? How can a Christian serve both Satan and Christ?”200
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to America; “On the eve of embarking on what promises to be a deadly struggle, I would expect numerous American friends to watch its career and use the influence of the great nation for the sake of oppressed humanity. This Indian struggle is more than national. It has international value and importance. I am convinced that if my countrymen and women retain up to the last the spirit of non-violence, they will have inaugurated a new era upon earth.”201
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Ahmadabad Workers; “You must keep your fair name. Give up liquor, wear only khaddar, live harmoniously. Follow the instructions of Anasuyabehn and Mr. Shankerlal Banker. Educate your children. Do your work righteously. Defend your rights without harbouring any malice against your employers. Give your fullest contribution to the swaraj yajna.”202 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to America; “Even as America won its Independence through suffering, valour and sacrifice, so shall India in God’s good time achieve her freedom by suffering, sacrifice, and non-violence.”203 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message on Sacred Thread Ceremony; “The sacred thread ceremony has lost its significance for me nowadays. Still, if the sacred thread ceremony is deemed essential, it should be performed only after the boy’s attaining maturity. The sacred thread ceremony means entering new life and since then constant endeavour should be made to lead a life of self-control and service.”204
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to C. Rajgopalachari; “No cause for distress. On the contrary, I expect you to rejoice that a comrade of yours has had this God-given opportunity for a final act of satyagraha in the cause of the downtrodden. The date of the fast is not open to reconsideration. Can see you if you get permission.”205 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Great Britain; “Every day of the fast seems to me conclusive evidence of the hand of God in it. Even I with my boundless faith in God and His mercy was not prepared for this great wave of awakening against untouchability. That some of the great temples should have spontaneously admitted the untouchables without restriction is to me a modern miracle. They have only now admitted God. Hitherto, the images which the custodians, falsely and in their pride, thought had God within were Godless.
The Cabinet decision was to me a timely warning from God that I was asleep when He was knocking at the door and waking me up. The settlement2 arrived at is to me but the beginning of the work of purification. The agony of the soul is not going to end until every trace of untouchability is gone. I do not want the British Cabinet to come to any hasty decision. I do not want them for saving my life or for appearing to be right with the world to accept it in a niggardly spirit. If they have not realized the true inwardness of the Agreement, they must summarily reject it, but if they have, they will not alter one word or comma of it, but they will implement every condition that is implied in the great settlement which the so-called untouchables and the so-called touchables have arrived at with all their heart and with God as their witness.
I hope that they and the world will realize that this settlement is, if I may say so in all humility, far superior to the Cabinet decision. There is no pride about it. The Cabinet composed of foreigners, knowing nothing first hand of the Indian conditions or what untouchability could mean, were labouring under a heavy handicap, and even though some Indians had referred this matter to them, they should have declined the responsibility to which they were wholly unequal. I am not saying this from my penitential bed in any carping spirit or spirit of irritation.
I claim to be a true friend of the British nation and also of the Cabinet, and I would be untrue to them, to myself and to my call, if at this moment I suppressed my relevant opinion. I would like finally to assure Britain that so long as life lasts in me, I shall undergo as many fasts as are necessary in order to purify Hinduism of this unbearable taint. Thank God there is not only one man in this movement but, I believe, there are several thousands who will lay down their life in order to achieve this reform in its fulness.”206
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to South India; “It has been a matter of increasing joy, day by day, to find great ancient temples being opened to the so-called “untouchables” and thus becoming purified. This one fact, among many others, has been a great sustaining force during these days of agony of body, mind and soul. But the joy about the opening of the temples has not been unmixed with sorrow, in that the South, where my work on a larger scale amongst “untouchables” began, though in South Africa, has not been as prompt and generous in throwing open the gates of the temples to outcastes. Speaking as a Hindu, striving to find and to live up to the very essence of it, I say, without the slightest hesitation, that God will be installed in the idols of the temples only if they are thrown open unreservedly to outcastes. Today, with human outcastes, God Himself is an outcaste.”207 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Philip Kingsley; “I wish America could trace the Big Finger of God in all the happenings during the past few days in India. It was not man’s doing; it was without doubt God’s grace.”208
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message with an autograph; “to May you recover soon.”209 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to the Daily Herald; “ I am keeping excellent health. My blood pressure is normal. I have now gained three quarters of a pound, thus weighing now 993/4 lb. I had no stroke at all.”210 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Arya Samaj; “I cannot imagine a more effective means of honouring the memory of the great Swami Dayanand than by every Arya Samajist devoting his best energies to the cause of the Harijans so-called depressed classes during this wave of reform.”211
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Begum Ali Imam; “Deepest sympathy in your loss which is also mine. Your dear husband was one of my oldest friends.”212 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Verrier Elwin; “Cleanest air, cleanest water, simplest food and cleanest thinking which really means communion with God, are the four laws–the first three flowing from the fourth. Hence your English saying simple, that is, plain living and high thinking. I should like to simplify that saying–clean thinking and clean living. Boils are a symptom of unclean living in my sense of the expression. Let this then be my message to the brothers1 for a beginning.”213
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to M.M. Malaviya, M.R. Jayakar and Tej Bahadur Sapru; “They should not take hasty steps on my account. They should endorse only that which they feel is right. They as well as I will be doing a wrong thing if later on I had to be persuaded to change my opinion. We should not stand on our honour as far as our duty is concerned. They should therefore cling to what is true, proper and just. If in doing so my body falls, let it be so. Everyone should do what he thinks is proper. My stand is: either agree to referendum after five years or let me die. Anyone who feels that this condition is not proper and is harmful should not accept it.”214 Mahatma Gandhi gave a message for Anti-Untouchabilitty Day; “I hope the message of hope born of the movement for the abolition of untouchability will penetrate Harijan quarters in every village in India on next Sunday which has been fixed by the Central Board for the removal of untouchability. Every Hindu child can do something by way of some little service to his or her Harijan brother or sister in this mass movement of self-purification. I have been listening to discourses of sanatanist friends with respectful attention with a perfectly open mind, and I shall continue to do so as long as they will strive with me with a view to conversion to their interpretation of Hinduism, but the conviction is daily growing upon me that untouchability as it is interpreted and practised today has no sanction whatsoever in the Hindu Shastras taken as a whole, as they must be taken. There can be no doubt that the present interpretation and practice of untouchability is utterly contrary to every canon of morality.
When therefore the evil is banished from our midst, it will be the greatest single act of purification in modern times on thepart of caste Hindus. I, therefore, hope that there will be full response to the programme issued by the Central Board. I would invite the sanatani friends not to stand aloof from this movement on the ground that they cannot reconcile themselves to temple-entry. Service of no human being can be contrary to religious precepts; much less can the service of Harijans be contrary to the Hindu religion which regards them as a part of the Hindu society. There are innumerable acts of kindness that they can perform by way of serving the Harijans who are truly children of God forsaken by us. I have seen a paragraph in newspapers about the fast of one described as Avadhut Swami. It is true that this gentleman wrote to me some letters some months ago. They were, like the many letters that I often receive, long, incoherent and irrelevant. The impression left on me was that the writer of those letters had lost his balance. He said in his letters that he had met me in 1909 or thereabouts. I have no recollection of any such meeting, and I wrote to him to that effect. He never challenged my denial.
I have no knowledge of the notice referred to in the Press message as having been received from him when he is supposed to have met me. At that time years ago, there was no question of fast either. Someone telegraphed me a few days ago saying that Avadhut Swami was fasting and would continue to do so, unless I gave up anti-untouchability propaganda. I wired to the sender of the telegram saying that he should wean the Swami from the fast. The movement that I hold as a part of my living faith cannot be abandoned even if a million people fast to make me give it up. To everyone the living faith comes from God, and God alone can turn him from it.”215
Mahatma Gandhi gave a message to Hari Kirtan Maha Sammelan; “I hope the Harijans would join you in your recitations of bhajans on the occasion of your Sammelan.”216
180. MESSAGE TO PEOPLE OF MIDNAPORE; February 2, 1931
181. MESSAGE TO DARIDRANARAYANA; February 6, 1931
182. The Bombay Chronicle, 9-2-1931
183. MESSAGE TO LIBERTY; Press Message February 8, 1931
184. MESSAGE TO BENGAL; On or after February 10, 1931
185. MESSAGE TO PEOPLE OF UTKAL; February 16, 1931
186. The Hindustan Times, 20-2-1931
187. The Hindu, 24-2-1931
188. The Bombay Chronicle, 14-4-1931
189. The Bombay Chronicle, 6-5-1931
190. The Bombay Chronicle, 6-5-1931
191. The Bombay Chronicle, 9-5-1931
192. The Hindustan Times, 11-5-1931
193. Young India, 28-5-1931
194. The Times, 3-9-1931
195. The Times, 14-9-1931
196. Young India, 5-11-1931
197. The Bombay Chronicle, 19-11-1931
198. MESSAGE TO AMERICA; Before December 28, 1931
199. The Hindu, 4-1-1932
200. The Bombay Chronicle, 4-1-1932
201. The Hindu, 3-1-1932
202. The Bombay Chronicle, 5-1-1932
203. MESSAGE TO AMERICA; January 4, 1932
204. The Bombay Chronicle, 25-4-1932
205. Amrita Bazaar Patrika, 18-9-1932
206. The Epic Fast, pp. 136-7
207. The Hindu, 26-9-1932
208. Mahadevbhaini Diary, Vol. II, p. 95
209. Mahadevbhaini Diary, Vol . II, p.105
210. The Hindu, 21-10-1932
211. The Hindu, 31-10-1932
212. The Bombay Chronicle, 2-11-1932
213. Mahadevbhaini Diary, Vol. II, p. 240
214. Mahadevbhaini Diary, V0l. II, P. 80
215. The Bombay Chronicle, 17-12-1932
216. The Bombay Chronicle, 17-12-1932