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The Collected Works of Mahatma

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1. LETTER TO ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
DETENTION C AMP,

January 27, 1944
ADDITIONAL S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (HOME DEPARTMENT) NEW DELHI
SIR,

Some days ago Shri Kasturba Gandhi told the Inspector-General of prisons and Col. Shah that Dr. Dinshaw Mehta of Poona be invited to assist in her treatment. Nothing seems to have come out of her request. She has become insistent now and asked me if I had written to the Government in the matter. I, therefore, ask for immediate permission to bring in Dr. Mehta. She has also told me and my son that she would like to have some Ayurvedic physician to see her. 1 I suggest that the I.G.P. be authorized to permit such assistance when requested. 2. I have no reply as yet to my request2 that Shri Kanu Gandhi, who is being permitted to visit the patient every alternate day, be allowed to remain in the camp as a whole-time nurse. The patient shows no signs of recovery and night-nursing is becoming more and more exacting. Kanu Gandhi is an ideal nurse, having nursed the patient before. And what is more, he can soothe her by giving her instrumental music and by singing bhajans. I request early relief to relieve the existing pressure. The matter may be treated as very urgent. 3. The Superintendent of the camp informs me that when visitors come, one nurse only can be present. Hitherto more than one nurse has attended when necessary. The Superintendent used his discretion as to the necessity. But when difficulty arose I made a reference to the I.G.P. The result was that an order was issued that a doctor in addition may be present. I submit that the order has been issued in ignorance or disregard of the condition of the patient.She often requires to be helped by more persons than one. Therefore I ask
1 2

Vide the preceding item. Vide “Letter to Ardeshir E. Kateli”, 6-1-1944.

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that there should be no restriction as to the number of the attendants. 4. It would be wrong on my part, if I suppressed the fact that in the facilities being allowed to the patient grace has been sadly lacking. The order about the attendants is the most glaring instance of pin-pricks, besides being in defeat of the purpose for which attendance during visits of relatives is allowed. Again, my three sons are in Poona. The eldest, Harilal, who is almost lost to us, was not allowed yesterday, the reason being that the I.G.P. had no instructions to allow him to come again. And yet the patient was naturally anxious to meet him. To cite one more pin-prick, every time visitors who are on the permitted list come, they have to apply to Government Office, Bombay, for permission. The consequence is that there is unnecessary delay and heart-burning. The difficulty, I imagine, arises because neither the Superintendent nor the I.G.P. has any function except that of passing on my requests to Bombay. 5. I am aware that Shri Kasturba is a Government patient, and that even as her husband I should have no say about her. But, as the Government have been pleased to say that instead of being discharged she is being kept with me in her own interest, perhaps, in interpreting her wishes and feelings, I am doing what the Government would desire and appreciate. Her recovery or at least mental peace when she is lingering is common cause between the Government and me. Any jar tells on her.
I am, etc., M. K. GANDHI From a photostat: G.N. 3926

2. LETTER TO SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY
DETENTION C AMP,

January 27, 1944
THE S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY (HOME DEPARTMENT) BOMBAY
SIR,

I enclose herewith for dispatch a letter 1 addressed to the Government of India, but it need not be dispatched if the Government of Bombay can suo moto deal with the matters referred to therein. As
1

Vide the preceding item. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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the object is to obtain relief as promptly as possible, instructions from the Central Government, if necessary, may be obtained on the phone.
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 3927; also Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch, File No. 76, p. 179

3. TALK WITH RAMDAS GANDHI 1
January 28, 1944
Mr. Ramdas said that Government was taking unnecessary risk in detaining Mrs. Gandhi. The old man (Gandhiji) replied that there was a greater risk in releasing her. In case she was released and if she died, Government would be compelled to release him, which they did not like to risk. Mr. Ramdas said that it was his impression that Harilal, being an irresponsible man, might give in papers anything about the Palace, and hence Government were reluctant to give Harilal frequent interviews. Mr. Gandhi laughed and said:

Perhaps I may take advantage of Harilal’s weakness and ask him to do something for me.
Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch (6), File No. 76-1, 1943-44

4. LETTER TO SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY
DETENTION C AMP,

January 31, 1944
S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY (H.D.) BOMBAY
SIR,

I sent on the 27th instant a very urgent letter 2 addressed to the Government of India. I am still without a reply. The patient is no better. The attendants are about to break down. Four only can work—
This is extracted from a letter dated January 29, 1944, addressed to Secretary, Home Department, Government of Bombay, by the Officer-in-charge, Aga Khan Palace. 2 Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 27-1-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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two at a time on alternate nights. All the four have to work during the day. The patient herself is getting restive, and inquires: “When will Dr. Dinshaw come?” May I know as early as may be—even tomorrow, if possible: 1. Whether Shri Kanu Gandhi can come as full-time nurse, 2. whether Dr. Dinshaw’s services may be enlisted for the present, and 3. whether the restriction on the number of attendants during visits can be removed. I hope it may not have to be said that the relief came too late.1
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 3928; also Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch, File No. 76, p. 215

5. SILENCE-DAY NOTE TO SUPERINTENDENT, DETENTION CAMP 2
[January 31, 1944] 3 She has no particular Ayurvedic physician in mind, but my son
According to Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 228, the addressee’s reply dated February 3, 1944, read: (1) Government have agreed to Kanu Gandhi staying in for the purpose of helping in nursing Mrs. Gandhi on condition that he agrees to be bound by the same regulations as other security prisoners in the detention camp. Government consider that with Kanu Gandhi staying in, the nursing assistance provided should be adequate and they cannot agree to any requests for further assistance. (2) Government have decided that no outside doctors should be allowed unless the Government medical officer considers that it is absolutely necessary for medical reasons. . . . (3) Interviews with near relatives have been sanctioned for Mrs. Gandhi. While Government have no objection to your being present during those interviews, they consider that other inmates should not be present except to the extent demanded by the condition of Mrs. Gandhi’s health. . .” For a joint letter from Dr. Sushila Nayyar and Dr. M. D. D. Gilder to Col. Bhandari for further medical assistance, vide Appendix “Letter form Dr. Nayyar and Dr. Gilder to Col. Bhandari”, 31--1-1944. 2 Pyarelal explains that the letter was scribbled out by Gandhiji at 4 p.m. on “Monday, the silence-day”, and “handed immediately to the Superintendent of the Camp” who had conveyed the following communication from the Government: “Government wants to know whether Mrs. Gandhi has any particular physician in mind and whether she would want one in addition to Dr. Dinshaw Mehta.” 3 ibid
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Devdas suggested the name of Vaidyaraj Sharma of Lahore. Any physician who is admitted will be in addition to Dr. Dinshaw, and that too, if and when the latter has failed to give satisfaction. She has often expressed a desire to be seen by an Ayurvedic physician. If the permission is granted, it should be of a general character. She is losing will-power and I have to judge between a multiplicity of advice so long as I am permitted to have responsibility for her peace of mind, which is about all that is possible at this stage.
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 226

6. LETTER TO VIJAYALAKSHMI PANDIT1
AGA KHAN P ALACE ,

February 1, 1944
THROUGH THE BOMBAY GOVERNMENT
DEAR DAUGHTER,

Your letter2 reached me yesterday about 2 p.m. What can I write to you? The news which I read in the papers was read out by me to Ba. Thereupon with tears in her eyes Ba said: “Oh God (Rama) I am at death’s door and I am not taken away while Ranjit is taken away! What will happen to Sarup?” I did not feel like that. You cannot become helpless. You are a brave daughter of a brave father,and brave sister of a similarly brave brother. The disease of Ranjit was such that he had to go before his time. His body was not meant to suffer jail life. But all these are my imaginations. The fact is that God gives you birth and whenever He likes He takes you up. And this is all for the body. Soul, however, neither takes birth nor dies. You had married a soul named Ranjit. You can never become a widow. You have rightly stated that you will represent all the qualities of Ranjit. May God satisfy this wish of yours. You should look after your body and be engrossed in your duty. It is good that Rita 3 is with you. Please send my blessings to Chand4 and Tara 5 . Also give my blessings to Krishna 6 , Feroze7 and
1 2

Originally written in Hindi, this is a translation by the jail authorities. Dated January 15, conveying the news of her husband’s death 3 Rita, addressee’s daughter 4 Chandralekha, addressee’s daughter 5 Nayantara, addressee’s daughter 6 Krishna Hutheesing, addressee’s sister 7 Feroze and Indira Gandhi VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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Indu 1 . May God bless you. Your letter has been delivered to me against the rules2 . And this will also be delivered against the rules. This is my first letter from jail. Ba has been counting her days in the hope of death.
Blessings to you from us both,

S HRIMATI VIJAYALAKSHMI P ANDIT 2 M UKHERJI R OAD ALLAHABAD
Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch (6), File No. 13-I (5), p. 47

7. LETTER TO SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY
DETENTION C AMP,

February 3, 1944
S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY BOMBAY
SIR,

Shri Kasturba asked me yesterday when Dr. Dinshaw was coming, and whether a vaidya (Ayurvedic physician) could see her and give her some drugs. I told her, I was trying for both but that we were prisoners and could not have things as we liked. She has since been repeatedly asking me whether I could not do something to hasten matters. She had a restless night again. This is, of course, nothing new for her at present. I request immediate orders about Dr. Dinshaw and Vaidyaraj Sharma of Lahore. The latter will be some time coming. But Dr. Dinshaw can come even today if authority is given for calling him in. I must confess that I do not understand this delay when a patient’s life is hanging in the balance and may be saved by timely

1 2

Feroze and Indira Gandhi Allowing security prisoners to correspond only with family members THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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aid. After all, for a patient alleviation of pain is as important as the highest matters of State.1
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 3929, also Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch, File No. 76, p. 229

8. LETTER TO SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY
DETENTION C AMP,

February 7, 1944
S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY (HOME DEPARTMENT) BOMBAY
SIR,

On 29th December, 1943, I sent for dispatch to the addressee a letter 2 addressed to Miss Agatha Harrison of [2] 3 Cranbourne Court, Albert Bridge Road, London. May I know whether that letter was sent to Miss Harrison?
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 3930; also Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch (6), File No. 13-I, p. 21

For the addressee’s reply of even date, vide 2nd footnote of “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 31-1-1944. 2 Vide “Letter to Agatha Harrison”, 29-12-1943. 3 Illegible in the source VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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9. LETTER TO SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY
DETENTION C AMP,

February 7, 1944
SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF

BOMBAY (HOME DEPARTMENT)

BOMBAY
SIR,

In pursuance of the right conferred upon me of making a representation against my detention, I sent one 1 on 24th January, 1944. May I know when I shall be favoured with a reply thereto?
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 3931, also Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch (6), File No. 13-I, p. 23

10. NOTE TO INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF PRISONS, BOMBAY 2
DETENTION C AMP,

February 11, 1944 The responsibility for bringing in a non-allopath assistant would be wholly mine, and the Government shall stand absolved from responsibility for any untoward result following such treatment. I am not sure that I shall accept the advice that such vaidyas or hakims may give. But if I do, and if the prescription is ineffective, I would like to reserve the right to revert to present treatment.
M. K. GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 229

1 Vide “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 24-1-1944. 2 In an introductory note to this, in the source, Pyarelal explains: “In pursuance of the request for an Ayurvedic physician for Shrimati Kasturba Gandhi, Gandhiji had a talk with the Inspector-General of Prisons on the morning of February 11, 1944. He then wrote out the following confirming what he had already told the jail authorities.”

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

11. LETTER TO INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF PRISONS, BOMBAY
Immediate DETENTION C AMP, February 14, 1944
THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF P RISONS P OONA
SIR,

I told you yesterday that Shri Kasturba was so bad during the night that Dr. Nayyar got frightened and awakened Dr. Gilder. I felt that she was going. The doctors were naturally helpless. Dr. Nayyar had, therefore, to wake up the Superintendent who kindly phoned the Vaidyaraj. It was then about 1 a.m. Had he been on the premises he would certainly have given relief. I, therefore, asked you to let him stay at the camp during the night. But you informed me, theGovernment orders did not cover night stay. The Vaidyaraj, however, you said, could be called in during the night. I pointed out the obvious danger of delay but you were sorry, the orders would not allow you to go further. In vain I argued that the Government having given the authority to call in Vaidyaraj on condition that I absolved them from responsibility for any untoward result of the vaidic treatment, they could not contemplate any restriction on the duration of the physician’s stay at the camp so long as it was thought necessary in the interest of the patient. In view of your rejection of my request, I had to trouble the Vaidyaraj to rest in his car in front of the gate so that in case of need he might be called in. He very humanly consented. He had to be called in and he was able to bring the desired relief. The crisis has not passed as yet. I, therefore, repeat my request and ask for immediate relief. I would like, if I can, to avoid the last night’s experience. I do wish that the vexations caused by the delay in granting my requests about the patient’s treatment came to an end. Both Dr. Mehta and the Vaidyaraj were permitted to come in after protracted delay. Precious time was lost making recovery more uncertain than it was. I hope you will be able to secure the necessary authority for the vaid’s stay in the camp during night, if the patient’s condition requires it. The patient needs constant and continuous attention. I am,
Yours, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 3932; also Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch, File No. 76, p. 299 VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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12. LETTER TO INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF PRISONS, BOMBAY
Immediate DETENTION C AMP, February 16, 1944
THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF P RISONS P OONA
SIR,

This is in continuation of my letter1 of the 14th instant. When I asked 2 for Vaidyaraj and took upon myself the responsibility3 of changing Shri Kasturba’s treatment, and absolved the Government physician of all responsibility, I naturally took for granted that the Vaidyaraj would be allowed such facilities as would in his opinion be necessary for carrying out his treatment. The patient’s nights are much worse than her days and it is essentially at night that constant attendance is necessary. The Vaidyaraj considers himself handicapped in his treatment of the case under the present arrangement. In order to be within immediate call, he has been good enough to sleep in his car outside the gate of this camp for the last three nights, and every night he has had to be called up at least once. This is an unnatural state of things and, though he seems to have infinite capacity for suffering inconvenience for the sake of the patient, I may not take undue advantage of his generous nature. Besides, it means disturbing the Superintendent and his staff (in fact the whole camp) once or more often during the night. For instance, last night she suddenly developed fever with rigor. The Vaidyaraj, who had left the premises at 10.30 p.m., had to be called in at 12 midnight. I had to request him to leave her soon afterwards, although he would have liked to have stayed with her longer, because so long as he stayed in, it would have meant keeping the Superintendent and his staff awake which might have been even for the whole night. I would not do this even for saving my life-long partner especially when I know that a
Vide the preceding item. Vide “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 27-1-1944, “Silence-DAy Note to Superintendent Detention Camp”, 31-1-1944 and “Note to Inspector-General of Prisons, Bombay”, 11-2-1944. 3 ibid
2 1

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humane way is open. As I have said already, the Vaidyaraj considers it necessary to be in constant attendance on the patient. He varies the drugs from moment to moment as the patient’s condition requires. Drs. Gilder’s and Nayyar’s assistance is at my disposal all the time—they are more than friends and would do everything in their power for the patient. But, as I have said in my last letter, they cannot help while treatment of a wholly different nature from theirs is going on. Besides, being in its very nature impracticable, such a course would be unjust to the patient, to the Vaidyaraj and to themselves. I, therefore, submit below the following three alternative proposals: I. Vaidyaraj should be permitted to remain in the camp day and night so long as he considers it necessary in the interests of the patient. II. If the Government cannot agree to this, they may release the patient on parole to enable her to receive the full benefit of the physician’s treatment. III. If neither of these two proposals are acceptable to the Government, I request that I be relieved of the responsibility of looking after the patient. If I as her husband cannot procure for her the help she wants or that I think necessary, I ask for my removal to any other place of detention that the Government may choose. I must not be made a helpless witness of the agonies the patient is passing through. The Government have kindly permitted Dr. Mehta to visit the patient at her repeated requests. His help is valuable, but he does not prescribe drugs. She needs the physical therapy given by him which soothes her greatly but she cannot do without drug treatment either. Drugs can only be prescribed by the doctors or the Vaidyaraj. The doctors’ treatment has already been suspended. In the absence of a satisfactory reply to this letter by this evening, I shall be constrained to suspend Vaidyaraj’s treatment also. If she cannot have the drug treatment which she should in full, I would rather that she did without it altogether. I am writing this by the patient’s bedside at 2 a.m. She is
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oscillating between life and death. Needless to say she knows nothing of this letter. She is now hardly able to judge for herself.
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 3933; also Bombay Secret Abstracts, Home Department, Special Branch, File No. 76, pp. 311-3

13. TELEGRAM TO FINANCE MEMBER, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Express Telegram
HONOURABLE F INANCE MEMBER1 NEW DELHI
HAVING READ YOUR STATEMENT 2 ABOUT SALT CLAUSE IN GANDHI-IRWIN AGREEMENT I BEG TO DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO NOTICE THAT WAS ISSUED BY SIR GEORGE SCHUSTER3 EXPLAINING IMPLICATIONS OF THAT CLAUSE. ANY AMENDMENT SHOULD BE IN TERMS OF THAT NOTICE.4

DETENTION C AMP,

February 16, 1944

GANDHI
Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch (6), File No. 13-II, p.5 Sir Jeremy Raisman In the Central Legislative Assembly, on February 14, during a debate on Finance Member’s “Bill to consolidate and amend the law relating to Central Excise duties, as reported by the Select Committee”, T. T. Krishnamachari (Nationalist), moved an amendment for according legislative sanction for the practice which had been in existence ever since Gandhi-Irwin Pact of March 3, 1931, in respect of salt manufactured for domestic purposes. The Finance Member had stated “that the Government did not intend to retract from the Irwin-Gandhi Pact, would be quite willing to meet the desire of the House, if there was no technical difficulty”. He had also added, “that the Government did not intend to levy any duty on salt collected or manufactured for domestic purposes by any person” (The Indian Annual Register, 1944, Vol. I, p. 134). 3 The then Finance Member, for Gandhiji’s subsequent correspondence with him and his successor, Sir James Grigg, in 1934. 4 The addressee’s reply, forwarded through the Government of Bombay by their letter dated February 25, read: “After discussion in the House it was felt best course to leave matters to be regulated as hitherto by notification issued in 1931, terms of which have been scrupulously observed by Government. No amendment was therefore made.”
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14. LETTER TO LORD WAVELL
February 17, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

Although I have not had the pleasure of meeting you, I address you on purpose as “dear friend”. I am looked upon by the representatives of the British Government as a great, if not the greatest, enemy of the British. Since I regard myself as a friend and servant of humanity including the British, in token of my goodwill I call you, the foremost representative of the British in India, my “friend”. 2. I have received in common with some others, a notice informing me, for the first time, why I am detained and conferring on me the right of representation against my detention. I have duly sent my reply 1 , but I have as yet heard nothing from the Government. A reminder2 , too, has gone after a wait of thirteen days. 3. I have said some only have received notices because out of the six of us in this camp, only three have received them. I presume that all will receive them in due course. But my mind is filled with the suspicion that the notices have been sent as a matter of form only, and not with any intention to do justice. I do not wish to burden this letter with argument. I repeat what I said3 in the correspondence with your predecessor, that the Congress and I are wholly innocent of the charges brought against us. Nothing but an impartial tribunal to investigate the Government case, and the Congress case against the Government, will bring out the truth. 4. The speeches recently made on behalf of the Government in the Assembly on the release motion,4 and on the gagging
Vide “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 24-11944 and “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 7-2-1944. 2 ibid 3 In letters to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India; vide “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 15-7-1943 4 On February 8, the Central Legislative Assembly rejected Lalchand Navalrai’s resolution for releasing political prisoners. In his speech, Sir Reginald Maxwell, Home Member, had said that “if Government were asked to release the Congress leaders, they must be assured that the results would be beneficial to India VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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order 1 on Shri Sarojini Devi, I consider to be playing with fire. I distinguishbetween defeat of Japanese arms and Allied victory. The latter must carry with it the deliverance of India from the foreign yoke. The spirit; of India demands complete freedom from all foreign dominance and would, therefore, resist Japanese yoke equally with British or any other. The Congress represents that spirit in full measure. It has grown to be an institution whose roots have gone deep down into the Indian soil. I was, therefore, staggered to read that Government were satisfied with things as they were going. Had they not got from among the Indian people the men and money they wanted? Was not the Government machinery running smooth? This self satisfaction bodes ill for Britain, India and the world, if it does not quickly give place to a searching of hearts in British high places. 5. Promises for the future are valueless in the face of the world struggle in which the fortune of all nations and therefore of the whole of humanity is involved. Present performance is the peremptory need of the moment, if the war is to end in world peace and not be a preparation for another war bloodier than the present, if indeed there can be a bloodier. Therefore real war effort must mean satisfaction of India’s demand. “Quit India” only gives vivid expression to that demand and has not the sinister and poisonous meaning attributed to it without warrant by the Government of India. The expression is charged with the friendliest feeling for Britain in terms of the whole of humanity. 6. I have done. I thought that, if I claim to be a friend of the British, as I do, nothing should deter me from sharing my deepest thoughts with you. It is no pleasure for me to be in this camp, where all my creature comforts are supplied without any effort on my part, when I know that millions outside are starving for want of food. But I

and to war effort” (The Indian Annual Register, 1944, Vol. I, p. 131). 1 On February 7, the Assembly rejected A. C. Datta’s adjournment motion to censure the Government on this order under Defence of India Rules passed on Sarojini Naidu on January 26. Sir Reginald Maxwell who defended the prohibitory order had, in his speech, argued that it was unfair to give freedom of speech to Mrs. Naidu which was denied to her colleagues of the Congress Working Committee.

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should feel utterly helpless, if I went out and missed the food by which alone living becomes worth while.1 I am,
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Correspondence with Mr. Gandhi, p. 118. Also C.W. 10505. Courtesy: India Office Library

15. LETTER TO INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF PRISONS, BOMBAY
DETENTION C AMP,

February 18, 1944
THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF P RISONS P OONA
SIR,

Vaidyaraj Shri Shiv Sharma regretfully informs me that having put forth all the resources at his disposal, he has been unable to produce a condition in Shri Kasturba so as to give him hope of final recovery. As his was simply a trial to see whether Ayurvedic treatment could yield better result, I have now asked Drs. Gilder and Nayyar to resume the suspended treatment. Dr. Mehta’s assistance was never suspended and will be continued till recovery or the end. I want to say that the Vaidyaraj has been most assiduous and attentive in the handling of this most difficult case, and I would have willingly allowed him to continue his treatment, if he had wished to do so. But he would not continue it, when his last prescription failed to bring about the result he had expected. Drs. Gilder and Nayyar tell me that they would like to receive the benefit of the Vaidyaraj’s assistance in the matter of sedatives, purgatives and the like. These have proved effective both from the doctors’ and the patient’s point of view. I hope that the Government will have no objection to the Vaidyaraj continuing to come in for the purpose. Needless to say, under the altered circumstances, he will not be required for night
In his reply dated February 25, Lord Wavell said that the question of issuing notices “will be looked into at once”. He also forwarded a copy of his speech of February 17 to the Legislature which, according to him, stated “his point of view”. For Gandhiji’s comments on the speech, vide “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 9-3-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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duty. I cannot refrain from regretfully saying that had there not been the wholly avoidable delay in granting my request for allowing the services of the Vaidyaraj and Dr. Mehta, the patient’s condition might not have been so near the danger point as it is today. I am well aware that nothing happens outside the Divine Will, but man has noother means of interpreting that Will apart from the results he can see.
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 3934; also Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch, File No. 76, p. 335

16. CABLE TO SHIRINBAI JALBHOY RUSTOMJEE1
Immediate
S HIRINBAI JALBHOY R USTOMJEE BOX 1610, D URBAN S OUTH AFRICA
THANKS. CONTINUE BA THEIR SLOWLY WORK. GOING. LOVE. MANILAL SUSHILA SHOULD

[On or before February 21, 1944]

BAPU
Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch (6). File No. 76-I, 1943-44

This was in reply to the addressee’s cable to Kasturba Gandhi which read: “Regret your serious illness. If you desire Manilal-Sushila’s presence, can arrange their passage. We pray for you and Bapu’s blessings.” The Home Department, Government of India, which communicated the cable to Bombay Government, in a telegram, said: “Following cable for Mrs. Gandhi received from Durban. . . . Please convey urgently to Gandhi with intimation that Government are prepared to give him facilities for reply which you should pass or refer to us, if necessary.” 2 The cable was forwarded by Bombay Government to Home Department, Government of India, on February 21, 1944.

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

17. REQUEST TO GOVERNMENT ON KASTURBA’S FUNERAL 1
[February 22, 1944] 2 1. Body should be handed over to my sons and relatives which would mean a public funeral without interference from Government. 2. If that is not possible, funeral should take place as in the case of Mahadev Desai3 ; and if the Government will allow relatives only to be present at the funeral, I shall not be able to accept the privilege unless all friends who are as good as relatives to me are also allowed to be present. 3. If this also is not acceptable to the Government, then those who have been allowed to visit her will be sent away by me and only those who are in the camp (detenus) will attend the funeral. It has been, as you will be able to bear witness, my great anxiety not to make any political capital out of this most trying illness of my life companion. But I have always wanted whatever the Government did, to be done with good grace which, I am afraid, has been hitherto lacking. It is not too much to expect that now that the patient is no more, whatever the Government decide about the funeral will be done with good grace.
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 233

Kasturba Gandhi died at 7.35 p.m. Pyarelal explains that this was “Gandhiji’s reply taken down by the Inspector-General of Prisons in writing from dictation at 8.07 p.m. on February 22, 1944, in answer to his inquiry on behalf of the Government as to what Gandhiji’s wishes in the matter were”. Vide also “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 4-3-1944. 2 ibid. 3 On August 15, 1942, when Gandhiji lit the pyre on the Aga Khan Palace grounds

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18. LETTER TO ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
DETENTION C AMP,

February 26, 1944
THE ADDITIONAL S ECRETARY HOME DEPARTMENT
SIR,

I have read the speech of the Hon’ble the Home Member in the Assembly on the debate 1 arising out of the ban on Shrimati Sarojini Devi. The speech has reference, among other things, to the correspondence between Shrimati Mirabai and myself and the Government’s refusal to publish that correspondence. The following is the relevant portion of the speech:
She (Shrimati Sarojini Devi) refers, and the point has been raised in this debate, to a letter said to have been written2 by Miss Slade to Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Gandhi’s reply 3 and I have been asked why no publicity was given to that letter. That letter was written and answered long before the Congress leaders were placed in detention. If Mr. Gandhi had wished to give publicity to that letter, he was perfectly free to do it himself. But it was a confidential communication addressed to him, and I do not see any reason why Government should disclose a communication of that nature. I might say that it would not help the Congress case, if it were disclosed. Then it has been said that Mrs. Naidu wishes to defend the Congress from the implication of being pro-Japanese. Government have never at any time, either here or at home, charged the Congress with being pro-Japanese. Well, the allusion to that in the booklet called Congress Responsibility refers to a statement quoted from Pandit Nehru himself. I have not the time to quote it at length but if Hon’ble Members will refer to the quotation given in the Congress Responsibility pamphlet, they will easily find the passage in question.

Assuming that the report is correct, it makes strange reading. Firstly, as to the non-publication by me of this correspondence
Vide 5th footnote of “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 17-2-1944. Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India” sub-title [I} and [J], 5-7-1943. 3 ibid
2 1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

between Shrimati Mirabai and myself, surely the publication wasunnecessary until the charge of my being pro-Japanese was spread abroad. Secondly, why do the Government feel squeamish about publishing “confidential” correspondence when both the correspondents have specially invited publication? Thirdly, I do not understand the reluctance of the Government to publish the correspondence when, according to the Hon’ble the Home Member, the correspondence will not serve the Congress case. Fourthly, the Government seem intentionally or unintentionally to have suppressed the very relevant fact that Shrimati Mirabai wrote to Lord Linlithgow drawing attention to the libellous propaganda in the London Press at the time, containing allegations that I was pro-Japanese, which allegations she invited him to repudiate. Her letter 1 to Lord Linlithgow enclosed copies of the correspondence referred to and asked for its publication. It was written on December 24, long before the Government publication entitled Congress Responsibility which bears the date February 13, 1943, appeared. Fifthly, as to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s alleged statement before the Working Committee, I have already made it clear in my reply2 to the Government pamphlet that it was wholly wrong on their part to make use of the unauthorized notes of the discussions at the Allahabad meeting of the Working Committee, after Pandit Nehru’s emphatic repudiation3 published in the daily Press. It is difficult for me to understand the Hon’ble the Home Member’s speech and the Government’s persistence in making charges and innuendoes against Congress people whom they have put in custody and thus effectively prevented from answering those charges. I hope, therefore, that the Government will at the very least see their way to publish the correspondence referred to, namely,

Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India” sub-title [H], 5-7-1943. 2 Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 5-7-1943, point 17 and Appendix “Concluding Chapters of Congress Responsibility for the disturbances, 1942-43”, after 4-3-1944. 3 ibid. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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Shrimati Mirabehn’s letter to Lord Linlithgow of the 24th December, 1942, together with the enclosures.1
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
Correspondence with Mr. Gandhi, pp. 116-7

19. SILENCE-DAY NOTE TO MANU GANDHI
[February 27, 1944] 2
CHI. MANUDI,

Did you sleep well? Yesterday I drafted a long letter about keeping you and Prabhavati here, but I kept thinking over the matter the whole of last night and could get no sleep. In the end, I saw light. We cannot make such a request. Aren’t we prisoners after all? We must endure our separation. You are a sensible girl. Forget your sorrow. You want to do great service. Stop crying and live cheerfully. Learn what you can after leaving the jail. After all this service that you have given, you are bound to prosper no matter what happens. More after my silence ends. I am your mother. Am I not? It is enough, if you understand this much.
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] Preserve this letter.
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIV
1

Sir Richard Tottenham, in his reply dated March 11, said: “. . . I am directed to say, the Government do not think that any useful purpose would be served by publishing the correspondence in question. So far as the Government are concerned, there is the statement in the Home Member’s speech: ‘Government have never at anytime, either here or at home, charged the Congress with being pro-Japanese.’ They do not see how this can be regarded as ‘Government persistence in making charges and innuendoes against Congress people’. So far as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is concerned, I am again to refer you to para 2 of my letter of October 14, 1943, in which it was made clear that he did not, in his public statement, repudiate the words in the Congress Responsibility pamphlet to which you take exception in paragraph 18 of your letter of July 15, 1943. There can, therefore, be no question of Government’s having made use of that passage after his repudiation of it. 2 According to an entry in the addressee’s diary, the note was received on this date.

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20. SILENCE-DAY NOTE TO MANU GANDHI
AGA KHAN P ALACE ,

February 27, 1944 I feel much worried about you. You are a class by yourself. You are good, simple-hearted and ever ready to help others. Service has become dharma with you. But you are still uneducated and silly also. If you remain illiterate, you will regret it, and if I live long, I too will regret it. I will certainly miss you, but I do not like to keep you near me as that would be weakness and ignorant attachment. I am quite sure that at present you should go to Rajkot. You will get there the benefit of the company of Narandas; such good company you will get nowhere else. You will learn there besides music, the art of working methodically. You will learn Gujarati, too. There may be other benefits also. If you spend at least one year there, your slovenliness will disappear. If you go to Karachi or anywhere else you like after you have become more mature, you will get all that you want. Gurudayalji1 will not be in Karachi for long now. Hence you will get only education there. That also will be useful, of course. Living in the company of so many girls will also do you good. But what you will get in Rajkot you will get nowhere else.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIV

21. LETTER TO ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
DETENTION C AMP,

March 4, 1944
THE ADDITIONAL S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (HOME DEPARTMENT), N EW DELHI
SIR,

In reply to a question in the Assembly, the Hon’ble the Home Member is reported to have said:2
Gurudayal Malik Reginald Maxwell was answering K. C. Neyogi in the Central Legislative Assembly on March 2.
2 1

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The provision for the expenses of Mr. Gandhi and those detained with him in the Aga Khan’s Palace amounted to about Rs. 550 a month.

In my letter1 to you dated 26th October last I remarked as follows:
The huge place in which I am being detained with a big 2 guard around me, I hold to be waste of public funds. I should be quite content to pass my days in any prison.

The Hon’ble the Home Member’s reply quoted above is a sharp reminder to me that I should have followed up the remark just referred to by me. But it is never too late to mend. I, therefore, take up the question now. The expenses on behalf of my companions and me are not merely Rs. 550 per month. The rent of this huge place (of which only a portion is open to us) and the expense of maintaining the big outer guard and an inner staff consisting of Superintendent, jamadar and sepoys have got to be added. And to this a large squad of convicts from Yeravda to serve the inmates and to look after the garden. Virtually the whole of this expense is, from my point of view, wholly unnecessary; and when people are dying of starvation, it is almost a crime against Indian humanity. I ask that my companions and I be removed to any regular prison Government may choose. In conclusion, I cannot conceal from myself the sad thought that the whole expense of thiscomes from taxes collected from the dumb millions of India.
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, pp. 268-9

22. LETTER TO ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT INDIA
DETENTION C AMP,

March 4, 1944
THE ADDITIONAL S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (HOME DEPARTMENT) , N EW DELHI
SIR,

It is not without regret and hesitation that I write about my dead wife. But truth demands this letter.
1 Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 26-10-1943. 2 The letter of October 26, however, has “large”.

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According to the newspapers, Mr. Butler 1 is reported to have said in the House of Commons on 2nd March, 1944:
“...She was receiving all possible medical care and attention, not only from her regular attendants but from those desired by her family....”

Whilst I gratefully acknowledge that the regular attendants did all they could, the help that was asked for by the deceased or by me on her behalf, when at all given, was given after a long wait, and the Ayurvedic physician, was permitted to attend only after I had to tell 2 the prison authorities that, if I could not procure for the patient the help that she wanted or I thought necessary, I should be separated from her, I ought not to be made a helpless witness of the agonies she was passing through. And even then I could make full use of the Vaidyaraja’s services only after I wrote a letter 3 to the Inspector General of Prisons of which a copy is hereto attached. My application4 for Dr. Dinshaw was made in writing on 27th January, 1944. The deceased herself had repeatedly asked the Inspector-General of Prisons for Dr. Dinshaw Mehta’s help during practically a month previous to that. He was allowed to come only from February 5, 1944. Again, the regular physicians Drs. Nayyar and Gilder made a written application5 for consultation with Dr. B. C. Roy of Calcutta on31st January, 1944. The Government simply ignored their written request and subsequent oral reminders. Mr. Butler is further reported to have said:
No request for her release was received and the Government of India believe it would be no act of kindness to her or her family to remove her from the Aga Khan’s Palace.

Whilst it is true that no request was made by her or by me (as satyagrahi prisoners it would have been unbecoming), would it not have been in the fitness of things, if the Government had at least offered to her, me and her sons to release her? The mere offer of release would have produced a favourable psychological effect on her
R. A. Butler, President of the Board of Education, had expressed British Government’s regret at the death of Kasturba Gandhi. 2 Vide “Letter to Inspector-General of Prisons, Bombay”, 16-2-1944. 3 Vide “Letter to Inspector-General of Prisons, Bombay”, 18-2-1944. 4 Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 27-1-1944. 5 Vide Appendix “Letter from Dr. Nayyar and Dr. Gilder to Col. Bhandari”, 31-1-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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mind. But unfortunately no such offer was ever made. As to the funeral rites, Mr. Butler is reported to have said:
I have information that the funeral rites took place at the request of Mr. Gandhi in the grounds of the Aga Khan’s Palace at Poona, and friends and relatives were present.

The following1 , however, was my actual request which the Inspector-General of Prisons took down in writing from dictation at 8.07 p.m. On February 22, 1944. . . . Government will perhaps admit that I have scrupulously avoided making any political capital out of my wife’s protracted illness and the difficulties I experienced from the Government. Nor do I want to make any now. But in justice to her memory, to me and for the sake of truth, I ask the Government to make such amends as they can. If the newspaper report is inaccurate in essential particulars or the Government have a different interpretation of the whole episode, I should be supplied with the correct version and the Government interpretation of the whole episode. If my complaint is held to be just, I trust that the amazing statement said to have been made in America by the Agent 2 of the Government of India in U.S.A. will be duly corrected.3
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, pp. 233-5

Vide “Request to Government on Kasturba’s Funeral”, 22-2-1944. Girija Shankar Bajpai who was reported to have told the American public that “at various times, the Government considered her (Kasturba’s) release for health reasons but she wished to remain with her husband, and her wishes were respected. Furthermore, living on the premises, she has the benefit of care from an eminent doctor living on the premises” (History of the Indian National Congress, Vol. II, p. 776). 3 For the Government’s reply, vide Appendix “Letter from Additional Secretary, Home Department, Governmentof India”, 21-3-1944. Vide also “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 1-4-1944.
2

1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

23. LETTER TO GEN. CANDY
DETENTION C AMP,

March 7, 1944
DEAR GENERAL CANDY ,
1

Pray accept my deep sympathy in your bereavement. I know from my own recent experience what the death of a life-long partner must mean to the survivor.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 2343.

24. LETTER. TO LORD WAVELL
March 9, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I must thank you for your prompt reply 2 to my letter of 17th February. At the outset, I send you and Lady Wavell my thanks for your kind condolences on the death of my wife. Though for her sake I have welcomed her death as bringing freedom from living agony, I feel the loss more than I had thought I should. We were a couple outside the ordinary. It was in 1906 that after mutual consent and after unconscious trials we definitely adopted self-restraint as a rule of life. To my great joy this knit us together as never before. We ceased to be two different entities. Without my wishing it, she chose to lose herself in me. The result was she became truly my better half. She was a woman always of very strong will which, in our early days, I used to mistake for obstinacy. But that strong will enabled her to become quite unwittingly my teacher in the art and practice of non-violent non-co-operation. The practice began with my own family. When I introduced it in 1906, in the political field, it came to be known by the more comprehensive and specially coined name of satyagraha. Whenthe course of Indian imprisonment commenced in South Africa, Shri Kasturba was among the civil resisters. She went through greater physical trials than I. Although she had gone through several
1 2

Surgeon-General, Government of Bombay Vide footnote 1 of “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 17-2-1944.

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imprisonments, she did not take kindly to the present incarceration during which all creature comforts were at her disposal. My arrest simultaneously with that of many others, and her own immediately following, gave her a great shock and embittered her. She was wholly unprepared for my arrest. I had assured her that the Government trusted my non-violence, and would not arrest me unless I courted arrest myself. Indeed the nervous shock was so great that after her arrest she developed violent diarrhoea and, but for the attention that Dr. Sushila Nayyar, who was arrested at the same time as the deceased, was able to give her, she might have died before joining me in this detention camp. My presence soothed her, and the diarrhoea stopped without any further medicament. Not so the bitterness. It led to fretfulness ending in painfully slow dissolution of the body. 2. In the light of the foregoing, you will perhaps understand the pain I felt when I read in the papers the statement made on behalf of the Government, which I hold was an unfortunate departure from truth regarding her who was precious to me beyond measure. I ask you please to send for and read the complaint 1 in the matter which I have forwarded to the Additional Secretary to the Government of India (Home Department). Truth is said to be the first and the heaviest casualty in war. How I wish in this war it could be otherwise in the case of the Allied powers! 3. I now come to your address which you delivered before the Legislature and of which you kindly sent me copy. When the newspapers containing the address were received, I was by the bedside of the deceased. Shri Mirabai read to me the Associated Press report. But my mind was elsewhere. Therefore the receipt of your speech in a handy form was most welcome. I have now read it with all the attention it deserves. Having gone through it, I feel drawn to offer a few remarks, all the more so, as you have observed that the views expressed by you “need not be regarded as final”. May this letter lead to a re-shaping of some of them! 4. In the middle of page two, you speak of the welfare of the“Indian peoples”. I have seen in some Viceregal pronouncements the inhabitants of India being referred to as the people of India. Are the two expressions synonymous?

Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 4-3-1944

1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

5. At page thirteen, referring self-government by India, you say:

to

the

attainment

of

I am absolutely convinced not only that the above represents the genuine desire of the British people, but that they wish to see an early realization of it. It is qualified only at present by an absolute determination to let nothing stand in the way of the earliest possible defeat of Germany and Japan; and by a resolve to see that in the solution of the constitutional problem full account is taken of the interests of those who have loyally supported us in this war and at all other times—the soldiers who have served the common cause; the people who have worked with us; the Rulers and populations of the States to whom we are pledged; the minorities who have trusted us to see that they get a fair deal. . . but until the two main Indian parties at least can come to terms, I do not see any immediate hope of progress.

Without reasoning out I venture to give my paraphrase of your pronouncement. ‘We, the British, shall stand by the Indian soldier whom we have brought into being and trained for consolidating our rule and position in India, and who, by experience, we have found can effectively help us in our wars against other nations. We shall also stand by the Rulers of the Indian States, many of whom are our creation, and all of whom owe their present position to us, even when these Rulers curb or actually crush the spirit of the people whom they rule. Similarly shall we stand by the minorities whom too we have encouraged and used against the vast majority when the latter have at all attempted to resist our rule. It makes no difference that they (the majority) seek to replace it by a rule of the will of people of India taken as a whole. And in no case will we transfer power unless Hindus and Muslims come to us with an agreement among themselves.’ The position taken up in the paragraph quoted and interpreted by me is no new thing. I regard the situation thus envisaged as hopeless, and I claim in this to represent the thought of the man in the street. Out of the contemplation of this hopelessness was born the anguished cry of “Quit India”. What I see happening in this country day after day provides a complete vindication of the “Quit India” formula as defined by me in my considered writings. 6. I note, as I read your speech, that you do not regard the sponsors of the formula of “Quit India” as outcastes to be shunned by society. You believe them to be high-minded persons. Then treatthem as such and trust their interpretation of their own formula
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and you cannot go wrong. 7. After developing the Cripps offer you have said at page sixteen in the middle of the paragraph:
. . . the demand for release of those leaders who are in detention is an utterly barren one until there is some sign on their part of willingness to co-operate. It needs no consultation with anyone or anything but his own conscience for anyone of those under detention to decide whether he will withdraw from the Quit India resolution and the policy which had such tragic consequences, and will co-operate in the great tasks ahead.

Then again, reverting to the same subject you say on pages nineteen and twenty:
There is an important element which stands aloof, I recognize how much ability and high-mindedness it contains; but I deplore its present policy and methods as barren and unpractical. I should like to have the co-operation of this element in solving the present and the future problems of India. If its leaders feel that they cannot consent to take part in the present Government of India, they may still be able to assist in considering future problems. But I see no reason to release those responsible for the declaration of August 8, 1942, until I am convinced that the policy of non-co-operation and even of obstructions has been withdrawn—not in sack-cloth and ashes that helps no one, but in the recognition of a mistaken and unprofitable policy.

8. I am surprised that you, an eminent soldier and man of affairs, should hold such an opinion. How can the withdrawal of a resolution, arrived at jointly by hundreds of men and women after much debating and careful consideration, be a matter of individual conscience? A resolution jointly undertaken can be honourably, conscientiously and properly withdrawn only after joint discussion and deliberation. Individual conscience may come into play after this necessary step, not before. Is a prisoner ever free to exercise his conscience? Is it just and proper to expect him to do so? 9. Again, you recognize “much ability and high-mindedness” in those who represent the Congress organization and then deplore their present policy and methods as “barren and unpractical”. Does not the second statement cancel the first? Able and high-minded men may come to erroneous decisions, but I have not before heard such people’s policy and methods being described as “barren and unpractical”. Is it not up to you to discuss the pros and cons of their policy with them before pronouncing judgment, especially when they are also admittedly representatives of millions of their people? Does it 28
THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

become an all-powerful Government to be afraid of the consequences of releasing unarmed men and women with a backing only of men and women equally unarmed and even pledged to non-violence? Moreover why should you hesitate to know their minds and reactions? 10. Then you have talked of the “tragic consequences” of the “Quit India” resolution. I have said enough in my reply1 to the Government pamphlet Congress Responsibility, etc., combating the charge that the Congress was responsible for those consequences. I commend the pamphlet and my reply to your attention, if you have not already seen them. Here I would just like to emphasize what I have already said. Had Government stayed action till they had studied my speeches and those of the members of the Working Committee, history would have been written differently. 11. You have made much of the fact that your Executive Council is predominantly Indian. Surely their being Indians no more makes them representatives of India than non-Indians. Conversely it is quite conceivable that a non-Indian may be a true representative of India, if he is elected by the vote of the Indian people. It would give no satisfaction even if the head of the Indian Government was a distinguished Indian not chosen by the free vote of the people. 12. Even you, I am sorry, have fallen into the common error of describing the Indian forces as having been recruited by “voluntary enlistment”. A person who takes to soldiering as a profession will enlist himself wherever he gets his market wage. Voluntary enlistment has come to bear by association a meaning much higher than that which attaches to an enlistment like that of the Indian soldier. Were those who carried out the orders at the Jallianwala massacre volunteers? The very Indian soldiers who have been taken out of India and are showing unexampled bravery will be ready to point their rifles unerringly at their own countrymen at the orders of the British Government, their employers. Will they deserve the honourable name of volunteers? 13. You are flying all over India. You have not hesitated to go among the skeletons 2 of Bengal. May I suggest an interruptionin your scheduled flights and a descent upon Ahmednagar and the Aga Khan’s Palace in order to probe the hearts of your captives? We are
1 Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 5-7-1943. 2 The reference is to the Bengal famine.

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all friends of the British, however much we may criticize the British Government and system in India. If you can but trust, you will find us to be the greatest helpers in the fight against Nazism, Fascism, Japanism and the like. 14. Now I revert to your letter of the 25th February. Shri Mirabai and I have received replies to our representations. The remaining inmates have received their notices. The reply received by me I regard as a mockery; the one received by Shri Mirabai is an insult. According to the report of the Home Member’s answer to a question in the Central Assembly, the replies received by us seem to be no replies. He is reported to have said that the stage “for the review of the cases had not yet arrived. Government at present were only receiving representations from prisoners.” If the representations in reply to the Government notices are to be considered merely by the executive that imprisoned them without trial, it will amount to a farce and an eye-wash, meant perhaps for foreign consumption, but not as an indication of a desire to do justice. My views are known to the Government. I may be considered an impossible man—though altogether wrongly I would protest. But what about Shri Mirabai? As you know, she is the daughter of an Admiral1 and former Commander-in-Chief of these waters. But she left the life of ease and chose instead to throw in her lot with me. Her parents, recognizing her urge to come to me, gave her their full blessings. She spends her time in the service of the masses. She went to Orissa at my request to understand the plight of the people of that benighted land. That Government was hourly expecting Japanese invasion. Papers were to be removed or burnt, and withdrawal of the civil authority from the coast was being contemplated. Shri Mirabai made Chaudwar (Cuttack) airfield her headquarters, and the local military commander was glad of the help she could give him. Later she went to New Delhi and saw General Sir Alan Hartley2 and General Molesworth 3 , who both appreciated her work and greeted her as one of their own class and caste. It, therefore, baffles me to understand her incarceration.The only reason for burying her alive, so far as I can see, is that she has committed the crime of associating herself with me. I suggest your
Sir Edmond Slade Commander-in-Chief, India, since March, 1942 3 Lt.-Gen. George Noble Molesworth, Deputy Chief of General Staff, India, 1941-42; Secretary, Military Department, India Office, 1943-44
2 1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

immediately releasing her, or your seeing her and then deciding. I may add that she is not yet free from the pain for the alleviation of which the Government sent Captain Simcox1 at my request. It would be a tragedy if she became permanently disabled in detention. I have mentioned Shri Mirabai’s case because it is typically unjust. 15. I apologize to you for a letter which has gone beyond the length I had prescribed for myself. It has also become very personal and very unconventional. That, however, is the way my loyalty to friends works. I have written without reservation. Your letter and your speech have given me the opening. For the sake of India, England and humanity, I hope, you will treat this as an honest and friendly, if candid, response to your speech. 16. Years ago, while teaching the boys and girls of Tolstoy Farm in South Africa, I happened to read to them Wordsworth’s “Character of the Happy Warrior”. It recurs to me as I am writing to you. It will delight my heart to realize that warrior in you. There will be little difference between the manners and methods of the Axis powers and the Allies, if the war is to resolve itself into a mere trial of brute strength.2
I am, Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, pp. 256-62

25. LETTER TO ARDESHIR E. KATELI
DETENTION C AMP,

March 16, 1944
DEAR KHAN BAHADUR,

You have given me the following memorandum:
Mr. Gandhi may reply to messages from his relatives, and Government will, if he so wishes, inform other correspondents that their messages have been delivered to him.

In reply, I beg to say that unless I can write to senders of condolences irrespective of relatives, I would not care to exercise the
Of the Royal Army Medical Corps For Lord Wavell’s reply, vide Appendix “Letter from Lord Wavell”, 29-3-1944.
2 1

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facility Government have been pleased to give me. As to the other messages, I have no wish in the matter beyond what I have said above. From the newspaper notices of the messages sent to me, I observe that all the messages sent to me have not yet been handed to me. From the memorandum I infer that they will be handed to me in due course. I should perhaps mention that the messages received and given to me during my son Devadas’s presence were handed by me to him.
Yours, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI KHAN BAHADUR KATELI S UPERINTENDENT, D ETENTION C AMP
From a photostat: G.N. 3935, also Bombay Secret Abstracts: Home Department, Special Branch (6), File No. 67, p. 13

26. LETTER TO ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
DETENTION C AMP,

March 20, 1944
THE ADDITIONAL S ECRETARY GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (H.D.) NEW DELHI
SIR,

I have read with painful interest the answer given on behalf of the Government in the Central Assembly about the facilities, medical and otherwise, given to my deceased wife. I had hoped for a better response to my letter 1 of 4th March, 1944, assuming that it was in Government’s hands when the answer was given. Beyond the admission2 that the deceased was never offered release, the statement makes no amends for the misrepresentations pointed out in that letter. On the contrary, it adds one more by stating that “trained nurses were made available. . . .” No trained nurse was asked for or supplied. An ayah, however, was sent in the place of Shri Prabhavati Deviand Shri Kanu Gandhi for whom my wife had asked. The ayah left in less than
Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 4-3-1944. 2 In the Central Legislative Assembly, on March 13, by Sir Olaf Caroe, Secretary, External Affairs, in his reply to K. S. Gupta
1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

a week because she found herself ill-fitted for the work entrusted to her. Only then, and after some further delay and repeated requests about Shri Kanu Gandhi, were the two allowed to come. The facilities have been recited as if they had been granted promptly and willingly. The fact is that most of them, when not refused, were granted as if grudgingly and when it was almost too late. My object in writing this letter is not to make the complaint (though quite legitimate) that the facilities came too late. My complaint is that in spite of my representation of 4th instant, the Government instead of giving the naked truth have seen fit to give a varnished version.1 I am,
Yours, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, pp . 242-3. Also C.W. 10507. Courtesy: India Office Library

27. LETTER TO ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
DETENTION C AMP,

April 1, 1944
THE ADDITIONAL S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT
OF INDIA

(HOME DEPARTMENT)

NEW DELHI
SIR,

I beg to acknowledge your letter 2 of 21st March handed to me on the 27th. As to extra medical aid, I wish to state that the first request for the services of Dr. Dinshaw Mehta was made by the deceased verbally to Col. Advani 3 some time in December last. When repeated verbal requests met with little or no response, I had to make a written request4 , addressed to the Government of
1 In his reply dated March 30, the addressee stated that the “reply given in the Legislative Assembly . . . was substantially correct”. 2 Vide Appendix “Letter from Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 21-3-1944. 3 He was the Government doctor officiating for Col. Bhandari. 4. Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 27-1-1944.

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India, dated January 27, 1944. On the 31st of January, I senta reminder1 to the Government of Bombay (Appendix A), and so did Drs. Nayyar and Gilder in a letter2 addressed to the Inspector-General of Prisons (Appendix B). I wrote3 again on the 3rd of February to the Government of Bombay (Appendix C), who sent a reply 4 (Appendix D) which resulted in Dr. Dinshaw being brought in on the 5th of February last, i.e., after an interval of over six weeks from the date of the first request. And even when permission was granted, restrictions were placed upon the number of the visits and the time he was to take in administering treatment. It was not without difficulty that these restrictions were later relaxed and then removed. As to the reference in the letter under reply to Dr. Gilder, I showed it to him. The result was the attached letter5 addressed by him to the Government which he has asked me to forward (Appendix E). While it shows that Dr. Gilder never expressed the opinion attributed to him, it does not alter the tragic fact that Dr. Dinshaw’s services were held up for over six weeks. The question of calling in a non-allopath was definitely and formally raised before the Inspector-General of Prisons by my son after his visit to this camp early in December last.6 On Col. Bhandari mentioning to me my son’s request to him, I told him that if my son thought that non-allopathic treatment should be tried, the Government should permit it. While the consideration of my son’s request was on the anvil, the patient’s condition began to worsen and she herself pressed for the services of an Ayurvedic physician. She spoke to both the Inspector General of Prisons and Col. Shah several times, again with no result. In despair I wrote 7 to the Government of India on
Vide “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of Bombay”, 31-1-1944. 2 Vide Appendix “Letter from Dr. Nayyar and Dr. Gilder to Col. Bhandari”, 31-1-1944. 3 Vide “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of Bombay”, 3-2-1944. 4 Vide footnote 2 of “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of Bombay”, 31-1-1944. 5 Vide Appendix “Letter from Dr. Gilder to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Governmentof India”, 31-3-1944. 6 Vide “Talk wqith Devdas Gandhi”, 26-1-1944. 7 Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 27-1-1944.
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January 27, 1944. On the 31st of January, the Superintendent of this camp enquired on behalf of the Government, among other things, whether the deceased had any particular Ayurvedic physician in mind to which I replied 1 in writing, it being my silence day (Appendix F). As no relief was forthcoming as a result, and the patient’s condition admitted of no delay, I sent an urgent letter to the Government of Bombay on the 3rdof February (Appendix C). It was on the 11th of February that a local vaidya was sent and on the 12th that Vaidyaraj Sharma was brought in. Thus there was an interval of more than eight weeks between the first request for non-allopathic aid and of actual bringing in of that aid.Before Vaidyaraj Sharma came, I had been asked to give a written undertaking2 (which I gladly did) that I absolved the Government of all responsibility about the result of his treatment (Appendix H). The Vaidyaraj was thus in sole charge of the case for the time being. One would have thought that a physician in sole charge of a patient would have all such facilities of visiting and watching the patient as he considered necessary. And yet there was no end to the difficulties in getting these facilities for him. These have been alluded to in the enclosure3 to my letter 4 of March 4, 1944, and in Appendix G5 . . . All this time the patient was passing through great sufferings and her condition was deteriorating so rapidly that every delay weighed against chances of her recovery. Whether the delays and difficulties experienced by the patient and me were caused by one department of the Government or another, or even by the Government doctors, the responsibility surely rests with the Central Government. I note that the Government have maintained complete silence over the written request (which was reinforced by subsequent verbal reminders) of Drs. Nayyar and Gilder to call Dr. B. C. Roy in consultation, and have not even condescended to give their reasons for not granting the request. Similarly the letter under reply is silent about the discrepancy,

Vide “Silence-Day Note to Superintendent, Detention Camp”, 31-1-1944. Vide “Note to Inspector-General of Prisons, Bombay”, 11-2-1944. 3 Vide “Letter to Inspector-General of Prisons, Bomaby”, 18-2-1944. 4 Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 4-3-1944. 5 Vide “Letter to Inspector-General of Prisons, Bombay”, 14-2-1944.
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pointed out by me in my letter1 dated March 20, 1944, in the Hon. the Home Member’s statement in the Assembly that trained nurses were in attendance. The fact is that they never were. Let me add here that nurses of the deceased’s choice who were permitted were brought after considerable delay, especially Shri Kanu Gandhi. I hope, after a calm perusal of this bare recital of facts and of the relevant copies of correspondence attached hereto, it will be conceded that the claim of the Government of India that “they did everything possible” to ensure that the deceased received all the treatment that I wished during her illness is not justified.Much less can Mr. Butler’s claim be justified. For, he went further when he said, “she was receiving all possible medical care and attention, not only from her regular attendents, but from those desired by her family.” Does not the statement of the Government of Bombay (Appendix D), “Government have decided that no outside doctors should be allowed unless the Government Medical Officer considers that it is absolutely necessary for medical reasons” contradict the above claims? On the question of release, and the report received by the Government of India of a “private conversation” my son had with his mother in this connection, a prisoner can have no “private” conversation with anybody from outside. Therefore, so far as I am concerned, the Government are free to make use of the conversation after verification (usual and obligatory in such cases) by my son. In any case the Government would have been absolved from all blame, if they had made an offer of release and laid on me the burden of deciding what was “best and kindest” for her. As to the arrangement for the funeral, my letter to the Government dated March 4, 1944, embodying my actual request, which the Inspector-General of Prisons took down in writing from dictation, speaks for itself. It, therefore, astonishes me that on “enquiries” made by the Government, they were “informed” that I had “no special preference between the first two alternatives” mentioned in my letter. The information given to the Government is wholly wrong. It is inconceivable that, given the freedom of choice, I could ever be reconciled to the cremation of a dear one being performed in a jail compound (which this camp is today) instead of the consecrated cremation ground. It is not pleasant or easy for me to write about such personal matters to the Government. But I do so in this case for the sake of the memory of one who was my faithful partner for over sixty-two years.
1

Vide the preceding item. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

36

I leave it to the Government to consider what could be the fate of other prisoners not so circumstanced as Shri Kasturba was.1 I am,
Yours, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI

Enclosures: A to H
From a photostat: G.N. 3936; also Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, pp. 237-40

28. LETTER TO ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
DETENTION C AMP,

April 2, 1944
THE ADDITIONAL S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA NEW DELHI
SIR,

This is in continuation of my letter 2 of yesterday’s date to the Government of India. For, after handing the letter to the Superintendent of the camp, on looking at the papers I came upon the following startling statement in The Hindustan Times, 30-3-1944:
New Delhi, Wednesday [March 29, 1944]—Today in the Council of State, Lala Ramsarandas asked whether and when Mahatma Gandhi had asked Government to permit the eminent Ayurvedic physician Pandit Shiv Sharma to take up the treatment of Mrs. Gandhi. The Home Secretary, Mr. Conran-Smith, replying said the first definite request for Pandit Sharma’s services was made to the Government of India on February 9 and was granted on February 10. He understood that Pandit Sharma paid his first visit a day or two later. —A.P.I.

The fact is that Vaidyaraj Shiv Sharma’s name was first submitted to the Government on 31st January, 1944, and not on the 9th February. But my letter of yesterday will show further that the first

1 2

Vide also the following item. Vide the preceding item.

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request for a non-allopathic physician was made early in December 1943. May I look for correction of the statement referred to?1 I am,
Yours, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 242

29. LETTER TO M. G. BHANDARI
DETENTION C AMP,

April 2, 1944
DEAR COL. BHANDARI,

In the Government of India’s letter 2 to me dated March 21 ,1944, there occur these two passages:
3

It was on January 28 that they were first informed that Mrs. Gandhi had asked for the services of Dr. Dinshaw Mehta. . . . If Dr. Dinshaw Mehta was not called in earlier, it was due to the view originally expressed by both Col. Bhandari and Dr. Gilder that his services would not be of any use, but he was summoned as soon as the Government doctors revised that opinion. The arrangements for the funeral were understood here to be in accordance with your wishes. The Government made enquiries on the point and were informed that you had no special preference between the first two alternatives mentioned in your letter4 .

Dr. Gilder has no recollection of his having given the opinion attributed to him.5 I have never expressed indifference as to whether the deceased was cremated in the consecrated public cremation ground or in the jail compound which this camp is. Can you please throw light on the discrepancies?
Yours, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 241 For the Government’s reply to this letter and the preceding one, vide 2nd footnote of “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Governmentof India”, 13-4-1944 2 Vide Appendix “Letter from Additional Secretary, Home Department, Governmentof India”, 21-3-1944. 3 The source, however, has “31”. 4 Vide “Request to Government on Kasturba’s Funeral”, 22-2-1944. 5 Vide also Appendix “Letter from Dr. Gilder to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Governmentof India”, 31-3-1944.
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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

30. LETTER TO LORD WAVELL
April 9, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I have your letter 1 of 28th March received by me on the 3rd instant. Please accept my thanks for it. I take up the general matter first. You have sent me a frank reply. I propose to reciprocate your courtesy by being perfectly frank. Friendship to be true demands frankness even though it may some time appear unpleasant. If anything I say offends you, please accept my apology in advance.2 It is a pity that you have refused to deal with important points raised in my letter. Your letter is a plea for co-operation by the Congress in the present administration, and failing that, in planning for the future. In my opinion, this requires equality between the parties and mutual trust. But equality is absent and Government distrust of the Congress can be seen at every turn. The result is that suspicion of Government is universal. Add to this the fact that Congressmen have no faith in the competence of the Government to ensure India’s future good. This want of faith is based upon bitter experience of the past and present conduct of the British administration of India. Is it not high time that you co-operate with the people of India through their elected representatives instead of expecting co-operation from them? All this was implied in the August resolution. The sanction behind the demand in the resolution was not violence, but self suffering. Anyone, be he Congressman or other, who acted against this rule of conduct had no authority to use the Congress name for his action. But I see that this resolution repels you as it did Lord Linlithgow. You know that I have joined issue on the point. I have seen nothing since to alter my view. You have been good enough to credit me with “intelligence”, “experience”, and “acumen”. Let me say that all these three have failed to make me realize that the effect of
Vide Appendix “Letter from Lord Wavell”, 28-3-1944. According to The Transfer of Power, Vol. IV, p. 898, in his report to the Secretary of State for India, the addressee said: “Gandhi has sent me an ill-tempered letter in reply to mine. I am sending you a copy and am not continuing the correspondence.”
2 1

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the Congress resolution “must be to hamper the prosecution of the war”. The responsibility for what followed the hasty arrests of Congressmen must rest solely on the Government. For, they invited the crisis, not the authors of the resolution. You remind me that you were Commander-in-Chief at the time. How much better it would have been for all concerned if confidence in the immeasurable strength of arms had ruled your action instead of fear of a rebellion! Had the Government stayed their hand at thetime, surely all the bloodshed of those months would have been avoided. And it is highly likely that the Japanese menace would have become a thing of the past. Unfortunately it was not to be. And so the menace is still with us, and what is more, the Government are pursuing a policy of suppression of liberty and truth. I have studied the latest ordinance about the detenus, and I recall the Rowlatt Act of 1919. It was properly called the Black Act. As you know, it gave rise to an unprecedented agitation. That Act pales into insignificance before the series of ordinances that are being showered from the Viceregal throne. Martial Law in effect governs not one Province as in 1919, but the whole of India. Things are moving from bad to worse. You say, “it is clear to me that you had lost confidence in our ability to defend India and were prepared to take advantage of our supposed military straits to gain political advantage.” I must deny both the charges. I venture to suggest that you should follow the golden rule, and withdraw your statement and suspend judgment till you have submitted the evidence in your possession to an impartial tribunal and obtained its verdict. I confess that I do not make the request with much confidence. For, in dealing with Congressmen and others, Government have combined the prosecutor, judge and jailor in the same person and thus made proper defence impossible on the part of the accused. Judgments of courts are being rendered nugatory by fresh ordinances. No man’s freedom can be said to be safe in this extraordinary situation. You will probably retort that it is an exigency of the war. I wonder ! As I visualize India today, it is one vast prison containing four hundred million souls. You are its sole custodian. The Government prisons are prisons within this prison. I agree with you that whilst you hold the views expressed in your letter under reply, the proper place for one like me is a Government prison. And unless there is a change of heart, view and policy on the part of the Government, I am quite 40
THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

content to remain your prisoner. Only I hope you will listen to the request made by me through the proper channels to remove me and my fellow-prisoners to some other prison where the cost of our detention need not be even one tenth of what it is today. As to my complaint1 about Mr. Butler’s statement and later the Home Secretary’s, I have received two letters from the HomeDepartment in reply. I am sorry to say, they have appeared to me highly unsatisfactory. They ignore patent facts, and betray an obstinate refusal to face truth even on a wholly non-political issue. My correspondence with the Home Department continues. I invite your attention to it, if you can spare the time and are interested in the subject. I am glad and thankful that Shri Mirabai’s (Miss Slade’s) case is being considered in the light of what I say2 about her in my letter.
I am, Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI HIS EXCELLENCY THE VICEROY VICEROY’S C AMP
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, pp. 264-6, and Correspondence with Mr. Gandhi, pp. 124-5. Also C.W. 10503. Courtesy: India Office Library

31. NOTE TO MATHURADAS TRIKUMJI
April 10, 1944 You must forget about Paramanand’s daughter. You can have Ghia’s daughter if she is free. I cannot find a girl right away. Moreover, my programme is never certain.
From a copy of the Gujarati : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

1 Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 4-3-1944and 20-3-1944. 2 Vide “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 9-3-1944.

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32. LETTER TO ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
DETENTION C AMP,

April 13, 1944
ADDITIONAL

S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

NEW DELHI
SIR,

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter1 of 30th March, received by me on the 6th of April. It is good proof to show how ill-informed the Central Government were about the whole situation. As to “trained nurses”, I draw attention to the statement made on behalf of the Government that they “were made available for a short period”. That my wife preferred an ayah to a trained nurse is hardly relevant to the consideration whether trained nurses were in fact supplied. Therefore that statement seems to me clearly to demand public adjustment. I hope to have satisfactory reply2 regarding other matters contained in my letter3 of April 1, 1944.
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, pp. 244-5

1 Vide lst footnote of “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 20-3-1944. 2 The Government’s reply dated April 29, read: “The Government of India have read with regret your letters of April 2 and 13. They believe that no impartial judgment would support the complaints you have made against them. At the same time they feel that it is impossible to expect from you in your bereavement a fair recognition of their endeavours to do all that was reasonably possible to meet the requests that reached them and that no useful purpose would be served by continuing the correspondence.” 3 Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 1-4-1944.

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

33. LETTER TO ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
DETENTION C AMP,

April 21, 1944
THE ADDITIONAL S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (HOME DEPARTMENT) NEW DELHI
SIR,

I wrote to you on the 4th March1 requesting the Government to transfer the party of detenus in this camp to a prison where the expense entailed in our detention here may be materially reduced. I request an early decision in the matter.
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 269

34. LETTER TO SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY
DETENTION C AMP,

May 3, 1944
S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY (HOME DEPARTMENT) BOMBAY
SIR,

Shri Jamnadas Gandhi came in yesterday. When I was asked whether I would see him, I had consented so as to cause as little disappointment as possible. For the future, my position is that whilst I would be glad to see any relatives who might secure Government permission, I must not break the rule I have made for myself that I would deny myself the pleasure, so long as the Government restrict
Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 4-3-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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the permission only to relatives and exclude the members of the Ashram or those who stand in the same category. I regard them as equal with my relatives. The Government were good enough to grant such permission during my fast last year1 without any untoward result so far as I know. Can they do likewise during my convalescence2 which bids fair to be protracted? I am, etc .,
M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 3937

35. LETTER TO SECRETARY , HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY
DETENTION C AMP,

7.45 a.m., May 6, 1944
S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY (HOME DEPARTMENT) BOMBAY
SIR,

I have been told by the Inspector-General of Prisons that the party of detenus in this camp is to be discharged at 8 a.m., today. I wish to put on record the fact that by reason of the cremation of the corpses of Shri Mahadev Desai and then my wife, the place of cremation which has been fenced off becomes consecrated ground. The party has daily visited the ground twice and offered floral tributes to the departed spirits and said prayers. I trust that the plot will be
From February 10 to March 3, 1943 According to The Transfer of Power, Vol. IV, pp. 948-9, in a cable dated May 4, 1944, to the Secretary of State for India, the Viceroy reported: “Latest reports show progressive deterioration in Gandhi’s anaemia, blood-pressure and kidney functions, all of which in opinion of Dr. B. C. Roy shared by Surgeon-General Candy, have tendency to produce coronary or cerebral thrombosis. . . . This is a case in which I consider we must be guided by medical opinion. Deterioration in Gandhi’s health appears such that his further participation in active politics is improbable and I have no doubt that death in custody would intensify feeling against Government. . . . I am accordingly instructing Bombay Government to release Gandhi unconditionally at 8 a.m. On Saturday, 6th May, with announcement that release is entirely on medical grounds and am informing all Governors accordingly.” For the British Premier Winston Churchill’s displeasure at Viceroy’s decision, vide footnote 1 of “Letter from Lord Wavell”, 15-8-1944.
2 1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

acquired by the Government with the right of way to it through H. H. the Aga Khan’s grounds so as to enable those relatives and friends who wish to visit the cremation ground whenever they like. Subject to the permission of the Government, I would like to arrange for the upkeep of the sacred spot and daily prayers. I hope that the necessary steps will be taken by the Government in terms of my prayer. My address will be: Sevagram, via Wardha (C.P.)1
I am, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 3938

36. TELEGRAM TO M. M. MALAVIYA2
May 6, 1944
AT ADD A STROKE TWENTY-FIVE YOU TO HAVE YOURS! CUT OFF TWENTY-FIVE YEARS.3

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal. Also Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, p. 14

According to Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 271, the Government’s reply dated July 7, 1944, stated: “ . . . it is legally impossible for Government to acquire the site compulsorily under the Land Acquisition Act. Government considers that the matter is one for private negotiations between you and His Highness the Aga Khan. . . . Your request has been communicated to His Highness the Aga Khan and is now understood to be under his consideration. Government understands that he has no objection, in the mean while, to the relatives of Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Mahadev Desai and any other person suggested by you going through the Palace grounds to the place of cremation. . .” 2 Pyarelal explains that this was in reply to the addressee’s telegram which read: “Thank God. He has heard prayers of vast millions and set you free to breathe fresh air. Have every hope. He will let you live a hundred years to serve motherland and mankind.” 3 Pyarelal says: “The allusion was to Gandhiji’s last speech in the All-India Congress Committee before his arrest in August 1942, when he had said that he would like to live and serve the country for 125 years.” VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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37. TELEGRAM TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI1
P ARNAKUTI, YERAVDA HILL , P OONA ,

May 6, 1944
C HI . R AJAGOPALACHARI BAZULULLAH R OAD MADRAS
YOUR WIRE. PHYSICIAN HEAL THYSELF. LOVE.

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal. Also Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, p. 14

38. TELEGRAM TO DR. KHAN SAHEB
P ARNAKUTI, P OONA ,

May 6, 1944
DR. K HAN S AHEB P ESHAWAR
WIRE
2

BADSHAH’S 3

HEALTH.

LOVE.

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

According to Pyarelal, the addressee “whose health was never too robust” had inquired about Gandhiji’s health and expressed joy at his release. 2 He led the Congress Ministry in the North-West Frontier Province, which resigned on November 7, 1939, along with other Congress Ministries. 3 Addressee’s brother, Abdul Ghaffar Khan

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39. FRAGMENT OF A LETTER
[After May 6, 1944] 1 . . . I had condemned it in my letter to Linlithgow without waiting for evidence. Did you not see it ? In my very first letter 2 written in August the day before Mahadev passed away, I had condemned all violence, including the violence that had taken place. It had been the Government’s design to get me to admit responsibility for the violence which would justify their repression, and show them to be innocent before the world. I did not oblige. Nothing would make me do so. Being in jail how could I be expected to know about it ? So when I heard about Kishorelal, I immediately lodged a protest. You must try to understand this. Think over it. I have not been guilty of the slightest error. None but the Government says that I committed an error. That was a false charge. I had condemned all acts of violence. They wanted me to accept the Government’s version and condemn popular violence and condemn it from the jail. I refused to do that. There is no difference between what I am saying now and what I said in 1942. On the basis of the evidence available today, I have condemned certain acts of violence. When that information was given to me without any evidence, I promptly and unequivocally protested. Did you not read my reply to the Government ? I have not gone back upon it. I believe that all type of killing and burning is bad. So, it taught a lesson at least to those who killed and burnt, did it not ? The fact is that my correspondence was released only after the fast. You should read those letters. I have certainly condemned the violence. But how can I admit without any direct evidence that people resorted to such and such acts ? [From Gujarati]
Manavtana Prahari- Pannalal Jhaveri, p. 35

The letter appears to have been written following Gandhiji’s release from jail on May 6, 1944, when certain instances of mass action during the Quit India Movement were judged in retrospect in terms of violence and non-violence; vide also “Discussion with a Friend”, after 6-5-1944; “Letter to Annada Babu Chowdhary”, 9-6-1944. 2 Vide “Letter to Lord Linlithgow”, 14-8-1942. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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40. DISCUSSION WITH A FRIEND1
[After May 6, 1944] 2
Gandhiji questioned the statement that sabotage could be part of the non-violent programme or that it was derivable from the principle of ahimsa as he understood it. The friend, however, persisted that sabotage had come to stay whether one liked it or not. GANDHIJI: Irresponsible prophesying leads to nowhere. The real question is where we stand, what our attitude towards it is going to be.
FRIEND: Was destruction of Government property violence? You say that nobody has a right to destroy any property not his own. If so, is not Government’s property mine? I hold it is mine and I may destroy it.

There is a double fallacy involved in your argument. In the first place, conceding that Government property is national property— which today it is not—I may not destroy it because I am dissatisfied with the Government. But even a national government will be unable to carry on for a day if everybody claimed the right to destroy bridges, communications, roads, etc., because he disapproved of some of its activities. Moreover the evil resides not in bridges, roads, etc., which are inanimate objects but in men. It is the latter who need to be tackled. The destruction of bridges, roads, etc., by means of explosives does not touch this evil but only provokes a worse evil in the place of the one it seeks to end. 3 To sterilize it needs not destruction but self-immolation of the purest type, which would demonstrate that the authorities might break but would not be able to bend a will that has
The discussion appeared under the title “A Pointer for the Future” by Pyarelal who explains that “a friend” had asked Gandhiji “How is the cutting of telegraph wires contrary to the principle of ahimsa?” And another who met him some time after he left the Aga Khan Palace had posed the problem thus: “There are two schools of thought amongst our youth today. One school holds, and openly says, that as a programme of action ahimsa is played out. It has done its work, which was to awaken the masses, and has set the stage for the final struggle for independence. In this struggle, force of arms cannot be excluded. The other school, while professing belief in ahimsa, says that there is room for modification and further elaboration in its technique. They aver that the next phase of our struggle would be characterized by organized sabotage on an extensive scale.” 2 ibid 3 The rest of the paragraph is from Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, p. 38
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resigned itself to the God of truth.
I agree that the evil is within ourselves, not in the bridge which can be used for a good purpose as well as an evil one. I also agree that its blowing up provokes counter-violence of a worse type. But it may be necessary from a strategic point of view for the success of the movement and in order to prevent demoralization.

It is an old argument. One used to hear it in old days in defence of terrorism. Sabotage is a form of violence. People have realized the futility of physical violence, but some people apparently think that it may be successfully practised in its modified form as sabotage. 1 It lacked the quality of non-violence and could not take the place of full-fledged armed conflict. . . . We have to deal with a power which takes pride in not recognizing defeat. In the early part of the British rule there were powerful risings. In several places the British were actually beaten. But they won in the end. A British statesman used to say, “I do not believe in wooden guns.” National struggles could not be won by “wooden guns”. It is my conviction that the whole mass of people would not have risen to the height of courage and fearlessness that they have, but for the working of full non-violence. How it works we do not yet fully know. But the fact remains that under non-violence we have progressed from strength to strength even through our apparent failures and set-backs. On the other hand, terrorism resulted in demoralization. Haste leads to waste.
You characterized the “Quit India” movement as a non-violent rebellion. Is not non-violent rebellion a programme of seizure of power?

No. A non-violent rebellion is not a programme of seizure of power. It is a programme of transformation of relationship ending in a peaceful transfer of power. . . . It will never use coercion. Even those who hold contrary views will receive full protection under it.2
We have found that a person who has had a schooling in violent activity comes nearer to true non-violence than one who has had no such experience.

That can be true only in the sense that having tried violence again and again he has realized its futility. That is all. Would you maintain also that a person who has had a taste of vice is nearer to virtue than the one who had none? For, that is what your argument amounts to.3
The rest of the paragraph is from Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, p. 38 2 These two paragraphs are reproduced from Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, pp. 38-9. 3 ibid VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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It is no secrecy, if the person concerned is boldly prepared to face the consequences of his action. He resorts to secrecy in order to achieve his object. He can refuse to take any part in subsequent interrogations during his trial. He need not make a false statement.

No secret organization, however big, could do any good. Secrecy aims at building a wall of protection round you. Ahimsa disdains all such protection. It functions in the open and in the face of odds, the heaviest conceivable. We have to organize for action a vast people that have been crushed under the heel of unspeakable tyranny for centuries. They cannot be organized by any other than open, truthful means. I have grown up from youth to 76 years in abhorrence of secrecy. There must be no watering down of the ideal. Unless we cling to the formula in its fulness, we shall not make any headway. I know we have not always lived up to our ideals. There have been grave lapses. Had our instruments been less imperfect, we would have been nearer our goal. But in spite of our temporizing with our ideal, non-violence has worked like a silent leaven among the dumb millions. That does not mean that we can afford to go on like this for ever. We cannot remain static. We must move forward or we shall slide back.
Are you of opinion then, that the August resolution caused a set-back in the struggle for independence; that all the heroism and courage which our people showed in the course of it was useless?

No, I do not say that. In the historical process, the country will be found to have advanced towards freedom through every form of struggle, even through the August upheaval. All that I have said is that the progress would have been much greater, if we had shown the non-violent bravery of my conception. In this sense the sabotage activity has retarded the country’s freedom. I have the highest admiration for the courage, patriotism and spirit of self-sacrifice of people, say, like Jayaprakash Narayan. But Jayaprakash cannot be my ideal. If I had to give a medal for heroism, it would go not to him but to his wife who, though simple and unlearned in politics, typifies in her person the power of satyagraha in its purest form before which even Jayaprakash has to bow. What I have said about the August upheaval is not by way of judgment upon the past—I have consistently refused to condemn it—but as a guidance for the future.
Our people have faith in non-violence but they do not know how to make it

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dynamic. What is the reason for this failure?

By hammering away at it through painful years, people have begun to see that there is a potency in non-violence, but they have not seen it in all its fulness and beauty. If they had responded to all the steps that had to be taken for the effective organization of non-violence and carried out in their fulness the various items of the eighteen fold constructive programme, our movement would have taken us to our goal. But today our minds are confused because our faith in constructive work is so weak. I know, one must push forth undaunted by difficulties.1 Harijan, 10-2-1946

41. ANSWER TO VISITORS
P OONA ,

May 7, 1944 Do not worry about my health or my life which is in the hands of God. He, in His infinite mercy, would do what best pleased Him.2 The Hindu, 8-5-1944

42. TELEGRAM TO T. B. SAPRU
P ARNAKUTI, P OONA ,

May 8, 1944
S IR TEJ BAHADUR S APRU ALLAHABAD
THANKS. GOD TRYING HOPE UTMOST YOU FOR ARE SPEEDY WELL. RECOVERY. BUT DISPOSES.

GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

For a discussion on the same subject with a woman worker and Appa Pant, vide Appendix “discussion on Underground Activities”, after 31-3-1944. 2 According to the report, “these were the words which Gandhiji told all those who asked him about his health”. For the Viceroy’s brief report on Gandhiji’s health, vide “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of Bombay”, 3-5-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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43. TELEGRAM TO AMTUSSALAAM
P OONA ,

May 9, 1944
AMTUSSALAAM C ARE HUMAYUN KABIR 26 AMIR ALI AVENUE C ALCUTTA
PROGRESSING LOVE. SLOWLY. SEE DAILY BULLETINS. GET WELL.

BAPU
From a photostat: G.N. 475

44. TELEGRAM TO FRANK MORAES
P ARNAKUTI, P OONA ,

May 9, 1944
MORAES C ARE “TIMES OF INDIA” BOMBAY
THANKS. READY. PLEASE WAIT A WHILE. WILL WRITE WHEN

GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

45. TELEGRAM TO PRESIDENT, MYSORE STATE CONGRESS 1
[Before May 13, 1944] 2
THANKS BUT INADVISABLE TO GO THERE.

The Bombay Chronicle, 15-5-1944
According to the report, the telegram was in reply to the addressee’s “invitation to Gandhiji to stay at Nandi Hill for recuperation and rest”. It appeared under the date-line “Bangalore, May 13”. 2 ibid
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46. TELEGRAM TO AMTUSSALAAM
BOMBAY,

May 13, 1944
AMTUSSALAAM C ARE P IONEER BANK C OMILLA
SLOWLY CONTINUE LOVE. PROGRESSING. YOUR NO CAUSE WORK
1

ANXIETY. WITH

EXPECT

YOU ENERGY.

EXCELLENT

REDOUBLED

BAPU
From a photostat: G.N. 476

47. TELEGRAM TO ANAND T. HINGORANI
BOMBAY,

May 13, 1944
ANAND HINGORANI S ADAR VILLA F YZABAD R OAD LUCKNOW
NO FORLORNNESS2 YOU PERMISSIBLE. CAN COME GOD AFTER OUR EAR ETERNAL TREATMENT. COMPANION.

BAPU
From a microfilm. Courtesy: National Archives of India, and Anand T. Hingorani

In Bapuke Patra-8: Bibi Amtussalaamke Nam, the addressee explains that she started working at Kasturba Seva Mandir, Borkamata, East Bengal, as soon as she got this wire. Vide also “Letter to Amtussalaam”, 22-5-1944. 2 The addressee had lost his wife. Vide also “Letter to Anand T. Hingorani”, “Letter to Anand T. Hingorani”, 2-6-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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48. LETTER TO POTHAN JOSEPH
PALM BUN, J UHU,

May 13, 1944
DEAR POTHAN JOSEPH,

As you probably know Gandhiji asked the Government to provide him with Dawn while he was in detention. And whenever it came–which was fairly regularly–he perused it carefully. Since our coming here, however, he has been missing it. For, naturally, the Government copy has ceased to come. He has, therefore, asked me to request you to send him a copy of the Dawn regularly. In case it is not the practice of your management to send it free to anybody, he says the subscription should be paid by you out of your capacious pocket. You know well enough that Gandhiji has no money to buy newspapers with. Please send the back-numbers too as from the 1st of May, 1944. The address should be as above until further notice. With regards. Yours sincerely, PYARELAL POTHAN J OSEPH, ESQ. NEW DELHI From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

49. LETTER TO TEJ BAHADUR SAPRU
PALM BUN, J UHU,

May 14, 1944
DEAR SIR TEJ ,

I showed your letter to Gandhiji. He was sorry to learn about your son’s serious illness 1 and he hopes that he will be completely restored to health in the bracing climate of Kashmere. I shall let you

1 The addressee’s third son, Anand, was suffering from paralysis of the whole body excepting the head and the neck after taking anti-rabies injections under medical advice.

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know as soon as he is declared free to undertake public work.
Yours sincerely, PYARELAL SIR TEJ BAHADUR SAPRU 19 ALBERT ROAD ALLAHABAD From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

50. ANSWER TO A FRIEND1
[May 14, 1944] 2 If you had put me this question yesterday, I should have been at a loss for an answer. But today I can say that it is well with me for, during the night, I have got back what I had lost for a while—a living faith in God. He is the Master Physician—the Great Healer.
Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, p. 15

51. NOTE TO ZAVERCHAND MEGHANI 3
[On or after May 14, 1944] 4 I think we have not met after our meeting at Ranpur. I heard your songs today to my fill and was pleased. My stomach becomes empty soon. You need not fear, therefore, that it will become overfull.5 [From Gujarati] Li. Hun Avun Chhun, p. 454

Pyarelal explains that Gandhiji gave this answer during his convalescence at Juhu, where he reached on May 11. Gandhiji was asked “how he was”. 2 From the contents it is presumed that Gandhiji gave the answer before he commenced his 15-day silence at noon on this date. Vide also “Silence-Day Note to Doctors”, 15-5-1944. 3 Zaverchand Meghani (1896-1947); Gujarati poet and author known for his work on the folksongs of Gujarat. 4 According to the source, Gandhiji wrote this note on a silence-day at Juhu after his release from the Aga Khan Palace at Poona. Gandhiji was released on May 6, 1944; he reached Juhu on May 11 and commenced a fortnight’s silence on May 14. 5 The addressee, at Gandhiji’s request, had sung some of his patriotic songs and had probably said that he hoped he had not tired him. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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52. TELEGRAM TO INAYATULLAH KHAN MASHRIQUI1
[On or before May 15, 1944] 2
MY STILL THE SOON LAST STANDS QUESTION AS I GET YEAR’S AND OF BETTER. 4 REQUEST3 I WILL TO BE QAID-E-AZAM READY TO UNDERSTANDING JINNAH DISCUSS AS

HINDU-MUSLIM

The Hindu, 17-5-1944

53. SILENCE-DAY NOTE TO DOCTORS5
May 15, 1944] 6 The oppression was the fancied or real control of the doctors rather than the mind. I believe I have freed myself from the doctors’ control. It does not matter if the freedom is imaginary or imagined. The effect on me is the same. Whatever I may now do will be due either to my weakness or strength. Next fortnight will show us all what is in store for me and us. I am approaching the thing with a detached mind. The difference is this. If I have the strength of mind, what I announced yesterday will abide. If the mind has become weak I do not know to what extent I shall go. If the medicine is the least thing, you are safe and I am safe. About visitors I shall be stricter than the doctors have [advised].
From a facsimile: Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, between pp. 144 and 145 This was in reply to a telegram dated May 9 from the addressee, leader of Khaksars, a militant Muslim organization. The addressee said: “Your release delightful. Pray speedy recovery. Requesting Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah to make appointment for meeting you as soon as possible in response to your last year’s request. Shall accompany him if necessary. Please wire condition for possible interview.” 2 The telegram was reported under the date-line “Lahore, May 15”. 3 Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 4-5-1943. 4 Vide also “Letter to Inayatullah Khan Mashriqui”, 18-6-1944. 5 Pyarelal, describing Gandhiji in his own words as ‘a very fiend of destruction so far as papers and documents. . . were concerned’, explains that this and other such “scribblings” preserved by him “give in part the story of Gandhiji’s tussle with doctors”. 6 From the reference to the fortnight silence which Gandhiji “announced” on May 14, 1944
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54. TELEGRAM TO SUPERINTENDENT, CENTRAL PRISON, AJMER
P ALM BUN , J UHU ,

May 17, 1944
S UPERINTENDENT C ENTRAL P RISON AJMER
JUST ON MY HE HEARD BEHALF WILL BE FROM HE MRS. IN BALKRISHNA JAIL. 1 UP TO GIVE WRITE KAUL PLEASE ME CAUSE HER TELL HUSBAND HIM I ON HOPE HUNGER-STRIKE YOUR

SHOULD

HUNGER-STRIKE.

PERMITTED

FASTING.

GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

55. TELEGRAM TO MRS. BALKRISHNA KAUL
P ALM BUN , J UHU ,

May 17, 1944
MRS. B ALKRISHNA KAUL S REENAGAR R OAD AJMER
HAVE WIRED SUPERINTENDENT. WRITE WHY FASTING.

GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1 Balkrishna Kaul, All-India Congress Committee member, who was undergoing imprisonment from August 1942, began his fast on April 25, 1944. He gave it up in response to Gandhiji’s appeal; vide also “Interview to the Press”, 14-7-1944.

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56. CABLE TO “NEWS CHRONICLE1
PALM BUN, J UHU,

May 18, 1944 News Chronicle
LONDON
HAVING LEARNT FROM AUTHORITIES NO ASSURANCE CAN BE GIVEN ABOUT NON-MUTILATION MESSAGES. REGRET INABILITY COMPLY WITH YOUR REQUEST.

PYARELAL From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

57. LETTER TO ANNADA SHANKAR CHOWDHARI
May 18, 1944 Your letter is very good. You are right and so am I – each in his own way. Therefore, you should do only what appeals to your heart and head. I have learnt now not to blame anybody for his action so long as that action has come from the heart as has yours and many other co-workers’. You know my view. Weigh it and act according to your light. This ought to satisfy you. Don’t expect orders from me especially while I am on a sick-bed. Love.
BAPU
From a photostat : India Office Library and Records. Courtesy : The British Library, London

1

The draft of this is in Gandhiji’s hand. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

58

58. LETTER TO R. R. DIWAKAR
May 18, 1944 Your letter is very good. You are right and so am I, each in his own way.1 Therefore you should do only what appeals to your heart and head. I have learnt now not to blame anybody for his action so long as that action has come from the heart as has yours and many other co-workers’.2 You know my view. Weigh it and act according to your light. This ought to satisfy you. Don’t expect orders from me especially while I am on a sick-bed. Love.
BAPU
From a facsimile: Mahatma—Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Vol. VI, between pp. 328 and 329

59. LETTER TO KUMI T. MANIAR
May 19, 1944 This is my second letter from the bed. The first letter was to Durga3 . I always think about you. I am able to write only today. I wish you would get well. But if you have got to go on suffering, I also wish you freedom from that living death. Life and death are not in the hands of doctors and physicians. God has kept those things only in His hands. So, either way, we should be calm. God will protect the boys. And then, God has given you a sister as strong as Bali4 .
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati : Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

1 In Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, p. 35, Pyarelal explains that some of the underground workers, of whom the addressee was one, had been “forced to the same conclusion” as was expressed in Gandhiji’s advice to them; vide also Appendices “Discussion on Underground Activities”, after 31-3-1944 and “Discussion with Underground Workers”, after 31-3-1944. 2 According to Pyarelal, R. R. Diwakar had reported to Gandhiji: “Possibly my trying to remain outside influenced me in not trying to dissuade workers from evading arrest after they had done some action. It became a part of the technique of dislocation activities to go on doing things without being arrested.” 3 Durga Desai 4 Balibehn Adalaja

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60. LETTER TO V. S. SRINIVASA SASTRI
JUHU ,

May 20, 1944
MY DEAR BROTHER,

Bapa 1 just informs me of your loss. 2 Why should I be the only loser through death of a dear one. My sympathy in abundance, if your philosophy stands in such need. I feel like being in a wilderness. The so-called freedom jars. But God is our help. And so I take heart. With love.
Yours,

LITTLE BROTHER
From a photostat: G.N. 8821; also Letters of the Right Honourable V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, pp. 358-9

61. LETTER TO M. R. JAYAKAR3
JUHU ,

May 20, 1944
DEAR DR. JAYAKAR,

The country expects much from me. I do not know how you feel about this release. I am not at all happy. I feel even ashamed. I should not have fallen ill. I tried hard not to, but failed at length. I feel that they will imprison me as soon as I am declared free from the present weakness. And, if they do not arrest me, what can I do? I cannot withdraw the August resolution. As you have very properly said, it is innocuous. You may differ about the sanction. It is the breath of life for me. I am silent till 29th. Meanwhile shall I send

1 2

Amritlal V. Thakkar, Secretary, Harijan Sevak Sangh The reference is to the death of the addressee’s brother, V. S. Ramaswami

Sastri. This appeared in The Bombay Chronicle, 1-6-1944, with the following note by Pyarelal: “In view of the garbled and unauthorized version in a newspaper, Gandhiji has asked me to release for publication the full text of his letter to Dr. Jayakar. . . . Gandhiji hopes that no deeper meaning would be read into the letter which was not meant for publication and was necessarily brief.”
3

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Pyarelal to you? That, too, depends upon your health. I know you are none too well.1
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhi-Jayakar Papers: File No. 826, p. 1. Courtesy: National Archives of India

62. LETTER TO VIJAYA M. PANCHOLI
JUHU ,

May 20, 1944
CHI. VIJAYA,

From today I am exercising the liberty of writing a few letters.2 I am in Juhu till the 29th at any rate. Then, maybe three weeks, in Poona. The silence will end on the 29th. But do come over here. Perhaps it may be difficult to accommodate you here. I am staying in a hut. You may, therefore, stay somewhere else. I am helpless. In Sevagram all of you could have been accommodated. I am glad that Nanabhai3 has been released. About me it is as you say.
Blessings to all of you from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7148. Also C.W. 4640. Courtesy: Vijaya M. Pancholi

The addressee’s reply dated May 21 read: “Thank you for your letter. It shows the anguish you are feeling. If I can be of the slightest use in helping to ease it, I shall be most happy. Please don’t trouble to send Pyarelal to me. I am now sufficiently well to come and see you at Juhu, if your doctors will permit such a visit. Please let me know what your wishes are.” 2 The Government had laid a condition, while Gandhiji was in jail, that he could not write to anyone besides his family. So he took a vow not to write any letter for twenty-one months. This was one of the “few letters” that Gandhiji wrote after the fulfilment of the vow. 3 Nrisimhaprasad Kalidas Bhatt, Principal, Lok Bharati, Sanosara VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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63. LETTER TO DURGA M. DESAI
JUHU ,

May 20, 1944
CHI. DURGA 1 ,

I may be regarded as crippled for the present. God does not allow even a Mahatma’s pride to last. These lines are for all. Once I start writing letters everyone expects one from me, but before I can satisfy their wish, maybe I will be there. Write to me in detail. Let all those who wish to write do so.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIII

64. LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI
JUHU ,

May 20, 1944
CHI. NARANDAS,

I went carefully through your Annual Report. I have not yet started writing anything. I have written only three letters to invalids. But Daridranarayana is the greatest invalid in the world. You are one of His matchless devotees dedicated exclusively to His service. You celebrate the Rentia Baras2 on the occasion of my birthday and every year you make your plan of service more rigorous. This year the test will be the hardest so far. May you succeed in it. This time, while in jail, I read about Marx and whatever literature I could get about the great experiment in Russia. What a great difference between that experiment and our spinning wheel? There also, as in India, the whole nation is invited to join in the yajna. But the experiments there and here are as different from each other as East from West or North from South.
Wife of Mahadev Desai Sacrificial spinning initiated by the addressee in honour of Gandhiji’s birthday; this was also called Rentia Yajna meaning non-stop spinning beginning on Bhadarva Vad 12, Gandhiji’s date of birth according to Vikram era, usually falling in the second half of September, to October 2. Vide also “Notes”, 12-7-1939.
2 1

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What a difference between our spinning-wheel and their machines driven by steam or electricity? But all the same I prefer the snail-like speed of the spinning-wheel. The spinning-wheel is a symbol of ahimsa, and ultimately it is ahimsa that will triumph. If, however, we who claim to be its votaries are weak, we shall dishonour ourselves and discredit ahimsa. Your activity is excellent indeed. But you should now introduce some new changes in it. There is a science of the spinning-wheel, as there is one of machines. We have still not fully evolved the “technique” of the spinning-wheel. It requires deep study. Just as knowledge without faith is useless, even so faith without knowledge is blind.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8607. Courtesy: Narandas Gandhi

65. LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI
JUHU ,

May 20, 1944
CHI. NARANDAS,

I drafted an article for you while lying in bed. I was afraid that it would have too many corrections, but that did not happen. I didn’t feel like making a fair copy with ink. If you want any changes to be made in the draft, send it back to me. I will think over your revisions and will make a fair draft and send it over to you. We have enough time still. Secondly, you know Manu (Jaisukhlal’s); she has created a very good impression on me. I have not seen any other girl in our family with the same spontaneous spirit of service that she has. The devotion with which she looked after Ba has captured my heart. She would like to remain with me, but I do not wish it. I am a broken reed just now and, therefore, can give her nothing. The others are busy with their work. And what can they give her now? Her education must go on regularly. That can be done only if she is with you. She is not the type of girl whose presence will irritate you. She is simple-hearted. She is dull in her studies, has a good voice, and her health is fairly good. She 63

VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

does not know how to take care of her health. She forgets everything concerning herself while serving. She is obedient. She will do whatever work you give her. I do wish that her knowledge of Sanskrit and Gujarati should improve. I myself taught her the Gita. She can recite it fairly well. Purushottam1 or you can help her to improve her pronunciation still further. Jaisukhlal will pay whatever expenses on her account you think reasonable to ask for. Send me a wire whether or not you can receive her. I intend to send her with the first available escort. If you are inclined to refuse, do not hesitate to say so.2
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] I have not revised this.
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8608. Courtesy: Narandas Gandhi

66. LETTER TO G. L. MEHTA
May 20, 1944
BHAI SHRI GAGAN,

I read your article on Mahadev. May I entrust you with a job for Mahadev as long as you are here? Narayan 3 does not like to attend school or college and whatever he has acquired has been through Mahadev. I cannot, in my present condition, do anything for him. After I get well, I do think, I will be free. As long as I am out [of jail] he wishes to stay with me. It would be nice, if you can spare some time for him. You can teach him economics, Sanskrit, Bengali, etc. If, on reflection, you think it would overtax you, then please do not take it up. I have made this request because I saw in your article your overflowing love for Mahadev. Secondly, Smt. Saudamini4 also kindly offered whatever help I might need. If Chi. Uma5 does not care any more to be nursed as an invalid, by all means let her give some time to me. I will think over
1 2

Addressee’s son Vide also “Silence-Day Note to Manu Gandhi”, 27-2-1944. 3 Also called Bablo, son of Mahadev Desai 4 Addressee’s wife 5 Addressee’s daughter, Uma Randeria

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what she can give. How much time and when, that also I will have to think over. Maybe you two will not be able to spare time. I am only hungry for the company of the good and, therefore, I accept whatever is offered or is available from any source.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIII

67. TELEGRAM TO M. M. MALAVIYA
P ALM BUN , J UHU ,

May 21, 1944
BHARATBHUSHAN MALAVIYAJI BENARES
YOUR JOURNEY. END KIND MONTH. WIRE 1 . TILL DOCTORS TALKING THEN WON’T THROUGH COUNTENANCE MESSENGER SILENCE.2 SUCH AFTER SUGGEST

COMPLETE

GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

68. LETTER TO ASHFAQ HUSSAIN
JUHU ,

May 21, 1944
MY DEAR ASHFAQ,

Your welcome letter. I can write only love letters. Do come when, if at all, I reach Sevagram. I have to be under doctors’ care yet for a while. Love to all friends there.
Yours,

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

Dated May 20, 1944, it read: “If doctors permit, suggest your staying Allahabad two months. Consultation necessary important matter. Wish meet you when your health permits.” 2 Vide also letter to the addressee, “Letter to M. M. Malviya”, 21-5-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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69. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA
May 21, 1944
CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA,

I could just read your letter. At present I am not able to write much. Please, therefore, be content with the little I write. What I write to one of you should be regarded as addressed to all. I do notknow anything about the quarrel between Balvantsinha and Amtussalaam. I think it is good that Munnalal is leaving. It is desirable that he should settle down somewhere. But he is a restless soul and will not do that. God protects him because his intentions are good. What is Parnerkar1 doing? How is his health? Even if I don’t write, those who wish to write to me may do so. I will not be in a hurry to go there. My heart is there, of course. Now I will go over only after it cools down. The silence will end on the 29th. After that I am eager to spend a couple of weeks at Dr. Mehta’s sanatorium. Blessings to all. Why is Shankaran displeased?
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIII

70. LETTER TO CHHAGANLAL GANDHI
JUHU ,

May 21, 1944
CHI. CHHAGANLAL,

I am now able to write a little. I, therefore, write to persons like you. I see nothing wrong in the letter you have written. Keep on writing even though you may make mistakes unintentionally. Many a time we learn to avoid mistakes only by making them. We can only try, it is God Who gives the reward. We must be content with whatever happens. I need not write all this to you. Do not worry about me. Just now I am observing silence which will end on the 29th.
Blessings to all from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 10212. Courtesy: Chhaganlal Gandhi

1

Yashwant Mahadev Parnerkar of Sevagram Ashram dairy THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

66

71. LETTER TO M. M. MALAVIYA
May 21, 1944
PUJYA BHAI SAHEB,

The doctor has permitted me to write such letters. I don’t deserve your love. I know that I am unable to fulfil your wishes1 . The doctors don’t permit my travelling long distances. The fact is I don’t feel as if I am out of jail. Is being released on grounds of health any release at all? Let us see what way God shows me after I am all right.
YOUR YOUNGER BROTHER From a microfilm of the Hindi: M.M.U./XXIII

72. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM
JUHU ,

May 22, 1944
DEAR DAUGHTER,

I got your wire and letter. Pyarelal has replied to them. I have been given permission to write to a few and am, therefore, writing this letter. If your health is good enough, give there2 whatever service you can, otherwise go to Sevagram. I am regaining strength fairly well. My health is certainly better than yours. But who will let me work, and am I a person who will work? Kanti arrived here yesterday. He is all right. He will return to Mysore in a couple of days.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 477

Vide footnote 1 of “Tellegram to M. M. Malviya”, 21-5-1944. Kasturba Seva Mandir, Borkamata; vide also telegram to the addressee, “Telgram to Amtussalaam”, 13-5-1944.
2

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73. LETTER TO GOMATI K. MASHRUWALA
JUHU ,

May 22, 1944
CHI. GOMATI,

Today I feel like writing to you. This letter is for all of you. Vijayabehn and the others came and saw me. Manju too came. I do not worry about Kishorelal1 . He has come into this world to endure joy and sorrow silently. I get news about you, too. I feel satisfied. Tell Durga that she may accept Shantikumar’s 2 invitation and come. Lilavati tells me that she is unhappy there. We should not be unhappy. This is only philosophizing. That she is unhappy is, however, a fact; so let her come here. She will get some peace of mind at any rate. Bablo is here, and that is also one reason why she should come. I am, of course, here too. Let her do what she thinks best. . . .3 Ask her to write to me in detail about her activities.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIII

74. LETTER TO M. R. JAYAKAR
May 23, 1944
DEAR DR. JAYAKAR,

Many thanks for your prompt reply. 4 As soon as the doctors permit me I shall trouble you to come.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhi-Jayakar Papers: File No. 826, p. 3. Courtesy: National Archives of India

1 2

Addressee’s husband Shantikumar N. Morarjee 3 Omission as in the source 4 Vide 2nd footnote of “Letter to M. R. Jayakar”, 20-5-1944.

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75. LETTER TO PRANLAL D. NANJI
By hand with Mathuradas JUHU , May 23, 1944
BHAI PRANLAL,

You certainly have the blessings you ask for. If I could not look at such a matter in a detached spirit, it would be shameful for me to associate myself with the collection of this Fund 1 . But instead I am taking as much interest as I can in its success. How can a Fund, the appeal for which has the signatures of so many wealthy men like you, be anything but a success?
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI P RANLAL DEVKARAN NANJI BOMBAY
From a facsimile of the Gujarati: Pranlal Devkaran Nanji Abhinandan Granth, between pp. 14 and 15

76. LETTER TO PANNALAL JHAVERI
JUHU , B OMBAY, May 23, 1944
CHI. PANNALAL,

I was glad to have your letter. I am permitted to write only a few letters and in brief. I am making use of that facility. I am continuing my unbroken silence. It is good that you restrain yourself from coming now. I shall be happy if you come to Sevagram when I am there. I hope you are well, also Gangabehn. I find that Gangabehn has written a separate letter. I shall not reply to her separately. This letter is for both.
Blessings from

BAPU

[From Gujarati] Manavtana Prahari – Pannalal Jhaveri, p. 34

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77. SILENCE-DAY NOTE TO MATHURADAS TRIKUMJI
[May 23, 1944] 1 I will ask him [the doctor].You also may ask him. If he permits, you may come daily. Do keep troubling me often. [From Gujarati]
Bapuni Prasadi, p. 198

78. SILENCE-DAY NOTE TO MATHURADAS TRIKUMJI
May 23, 1944 What you said in your note is perfectly true. In reply I have to say that I am doing exactly that. I will take no hasty step and am not going to take a blind plunge. For most of the time I observe silence. [From Gujarati]
2

Bapuni Prasadi, p. 200

79. LETTER TO DINKAR
JUHU ,

May 23, 1944
CHI. DINKAR,

I have been granted permission to write a few short letters. Hence this, just for the sake of love. I have persuaded myself to believe that what has happened is nothing but good. As to the question of going deep into the matter, we shall see about it when I am well enough. I am happy to learn that your health is improving. I know, you are weaker in body than I am. You have acted rightly in restraining your desire to come over. These days I am observing unbroken silence.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal In the source, the addressee explain that he visited Gandhiji on the seventh and thirteenth day after his arrival at Juhu on May 11. This note was written when he visited Gandhiji the second time. 2 The reference is to the addressee’s letter dated May 20 in which he had said that it would be proper to take up the question of Hindu-Muslim unity only after Gandhiji had decided the policy of the Congress as regards the Government.
1

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80. LETTER TO DADUBHAI DESAI
JUHU ,

May 23, 1944
BHAI DADUBHAI,

I have your loving letter. My entire life has been full of experiments which have borne fruit. But please don’t worry. I believe that my experiment has been prompted by God. I am quite sure that God will sustain my life as long as He wants to take work from me. You did well in refraining from rushing down here.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

81. LETTER TO RAMESHWARI NEHRU
JUHU ,

May 23, 1944
DEAR SISTER,

I was very glad to get your letter. I am not yet permitted to write much. I am improving slowly. Naturally it will take some time to regain strength. Do come over when you are done with things there, and when I reach Sevagram. I hope your health is all right.
Blessings to both of you from

BAPU S HRIMATI R AMESHWARI NEHRU S RINAGAR KASHMIR
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 8004. Also C.W. 3104. Courtesy: Rameshwari Nehru

VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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82. LETTER TO MOOLCHAND
JUHU ,

May 23, 1944
BHAI MOOLCHADJI,

I got your letter. I find no reason to complain for what has happened. One can only act according to one’s capacity. Your work must be going on smoothly. I am permitted to write just a little.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 843

83. LETTER TO INDRA VIDYAVACHASPATI
JUHU ,

May 23, 1944
CHI. INDRA,

Come over when you wish to. But why should you take the trouble just to see me, when travelling is so difficult these days? I am observing silence which will end on the 29th.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 7206. Also C.W. 4864. Courtesy: Chandragupta Vidyalankar

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84. LETTER TO A. KALESWARA RAO
JUHU ,

May 24, 1944
MY DEAR KALESWARA RAO1 ,

Your letter. Rishis are made of sterner stuff. Let me remain what I am—a striving servant of India and, through her, of humanity.2 Hope you are well.
Yours,

BAPU S HRI A. K ALESWARA R AO NANDIGAM, K RISHNA DISTRICT
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

85. LETTER TO TARA AND RAMNIKLAL MODI
JUHU ,

May 24, 1944
CHI. TARA AND RAMNIKLAL,

Shouldn’t Tara have precedence as in the compound ‘Sitarama’. I am making progress although very slowly.3 God has brought down my pride, which is what I deserved. I used to consider myself healthier than all of you. But I now realize that we are all made of the same stuff! You can see that I have gained enough strength to write this. No one should rush here.
Blessings from

BAPU 17 S HANTINAGAR ASHRAM R OAD S ABARMATI
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal Member of A.I.C.C., also of Madras Legislative Assembly In Reminiscences of Gandhiji, p. 141, Chandrashanker Shukla explains that the addressee, in his letter, had “described Gandhiji as a great rishi of the present age and wished him 116 years of life and activity to fulfil his mission on earth”. 3 Literally: “My cart is moving slowly.”
2 1

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86. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA
May 24, 1944
CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA,

When an inadvertent mistake can wipe out even our own lives, it is no surprise if some pictures fade out. We should derive not only a lesson from this but some consolation also. The rest from Pyarelal’s letter.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4440

87. MESSAGE TO CHINA1
May 25, 1944 My heartiest good wishes to China from which the world expects much. I am sorry that I cannot write Chinese.
The Bombay Chronicle, 26-5-1944; also The Hindu, 27-5-1944

88. LETTER TO KRISHNAVARMA
JUHU ,

May 25, 1944
BHAISHRI KRISHNAVARMA 2 ,

I have told you that I used to go through the Divya Jivan with great care. I have, however, not been able to get anything out of it. A reader cannot undertake an experiment [on its basis]. The journal lacks scientific knowledge. Of course, I know Mahadevprasad verywell. His writings suggested to me that his knowledge was rusting. Please pass on this to him to read. I write this only to tell you that either the two of you should fill the pages of your journal with
The report in The Hindu said: “Six Chinese saw Gandhiji after evening prayers. Gandhiji signed an album of photographs containing some photos of himself which the visitors had brought with them. The Chinese then made a collection among themselves and handed the sum to Gandhiji as their contribution towards the Harijan Fund.” 2 Of the Nature-cure clinic at Malad, in suburban Bombay
1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

knowledge or close down the monthly. I am a votary of nature cure. But the practitoners neither work hard nor go deep into the subject. They do not pursue the science with single-minded devotion. They neither study it [themselves] nor try to co-ordinate [one another’s efforts].
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

89. LETTER TO S. K. VAIDYA
May 25, 1944
BHAI VAIDYA,

It is my keen desire that you should take up some social work with this idea in your mind, if for no other reason, that you are thus identifying yourself with the poor.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 5754

90. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR
[May 26, 1944] 1
MY DEAR AMRIT,

You won’t expect letters from me but love I can send now. Hope you are keeping well. Love.
BAPU
From the original: C.W. 4202. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7838

In the source, the letter appears on top of a letter dated May 26, 1944, from Dr. Sushila Nayyar to Amrit Kaur. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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91. LETTER TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI
JUHU ,

May 26, 1944
MY DEAR C. R.,

I have seen your postcard and letter. It is enough for me to know that you understand my joke 1 all right. Your letter admits that you are worse than I am in physical health. Whilst you are free to come any time you like, I shall not press you to come till I feel I am ready for sustained discussion. Meanwhile you can send me, in writing, whatever you have to say. Just now I pass the time reading some literature I had not read and the correspondence which Pyarelal chooses to show me. I hope Papa2 and Narasimhan3 are flourishing. Love.
BAPU
From a photostat: G.N. 2094

92. NOTE TO GULAM ALI KHAN4
May 26, 1944 I like songs in praise of God. I don’t know much of music; neither have I heard many ustads 5 .
The Bombay Chronicle, 27-5-1944; also The Hindu, 28-5-1944

Vide “Telegram to C. Rajagopalachari”, 6-5-1944. Addressee’s daughter, Namagiri, and son 3 ibid 4 The report in The Hindu said: “Gandhiji wrote this on a slip of paper appreciating the rendering of classical songs and bhajans by Gulam Ali Khan of Lahore.” 5 Maestri
2

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93. LETTER TO E. W. ARYANAYAKAM
JUHU ,

May 27, 1944
MY DEAR ARYANAYAKAM,

I thank God and His instrument Asha that you are alive. She has been your Savitri to deliver you from the jaws of death. God bless you both. Don’t do it again. Even a Savitri has her limits. I see you are in harness again. I am wrong. You were in harness even in your sick-bed. Don’t waste your time in answering this. Love to you.
BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

94. LETTER TO MAGANBHAI P. DESAI
JUHU

May 27, 1944
CHI. MAGANBHAI,

I read your letter1 . Let them acquire it if they want to. After all does it not belong to them? Remember what the poet said in the bhajan 2 : “ I t is useless to sorrow over what God ordains.” Who could be the Divine Preceptor of our world? He also has a Lord over him. But the mantra of worshipping Him is altogether different. “You may enjoy things only after renouncing them, etc.”3
MAGANBHAI DESAI VIDYAPITH AHMEDABAD
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

Which reported that the Government intended to requisition the Gujarat Vidyapith buildings 2 Vide “Ashram Bhajanavali”, 20-12-1930. 3 Ishopanishad, v. 1 VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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95. LETTER TO SAMYUKTA GANDHI
JUHU

May 27, 1944
CHI. YUKTI1 ,

. . . 2 death and disease stalk us right from our birth. They are both. . .3 fruits of our own actions. We should suffer them with patience.
YUKTIBEHN S EVAGRAM
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

96. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM
JUHU ,

May 27, 1944
DAUGHTER,

Your letter is painful reading. I am surprised that you pull on in spite of your illness. It also pains me, for I don’t understand how a worker like you can fall ill. But then you are what you are. Ultimately you are sure to die in harness. You have sent for Munnalal. What for, may I ask? If you stick to the place in spite of all this illness, how much work do you expect to do? A better course would be to go to the Ashram and get well. I write this and yet wonder who am I to guide you.
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] I hope you can decipher my handwriting.
AMTULBEHN
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1 2

Elder sister of Manu Gandhi Omission as in the source THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

78

97. LETTER TO MANU GANDHI
P ALM BEACH, J UHU ,

May 27, 1944 If I were keeping good health, I would not have let you go anywhere but would have given you what I myself could. But I am a broken reed now. After I get well, they will certainly not let me remain free. Your good, therefore, lies in going down to Rajkot as early as you can. I will write to Narandas about your education. The things which Yukti has asked for can be sent to her. You may send for them. In all this overcrowding [in trains] I would not like to send you there even in Abha’s1 company. Please guess what I mean from this. God is sure to look after your well-being. Your services can never go unrewarded. Preserve this.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIV

98. LETTER TO KANTILAL GANDHI
May 27, 1944
CHI. KANTI,

I have done what you wanted. Write a short letter of thanks on behalf of both. Write, in Hindi, saying that you will both try to be worthy of his generosity. Write to this effect, if you don’t mind.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI KANTI GANDHI 1882-4 WESLEY R OAD NEAR BUS S TAND MYSORE
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 7368. Courtesy: Kantilal Gandhi

1

Daughter of Amrita Lal Chatterjee

VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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99. A LETTER
JUHU ,

May 27, 1944 I myself have not seen the papers, but Sushila told me that you obtained Nathubhai’s signature on your bulletin. Nathubhai was the last to come into my life, through Mahadev. But Jivraj and Purushottam Patel had come into it even before you did. They were followed by Deshmukh and then Nerulkar. Dalal is dead. I sent a gentle note of reproach to Nathubhai and asked him why he had not called. If, now, Nathubhai signs as a doctor, you should rope in Deshmukh and Nerulkar too. I know that you were prevailed upon by Dr. Gilder. This protest, therefore, is not addressed to you. It is against that Mayor. The bulletin, of course, is not to be issued. But this is one reason for my blood-pressure. There are other reasons, too, but I will not bother you with them. The pressure, of course, will come down, and then a day will come when I also will go the way Dalal has gone. Despite the different therapies, I and all others will have to go one day under some pretext or other. That is why I tell you that you are welcome to go on torturing me till you have conquered death.
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 2719. Courtesy: Nathubhai Patel

100. LETTER TO GULZARILAL NANDA
[After May 27, 1944] 1
CHI. GULZARILAL,

I read your letter to Pyarelal. Dr. Das visits me from time to time. Dr. Chugh has not impressed me, Dr. Das has. He does not propose to administer any medicine to me. By all means bring over anyone you like from among the names that you suggest. I wish I could have faith in homoeopathy and biochemic medicines, but I don’t. Now I am thinking of taking allopathic drugs to get rid of thehook-worms and the amoebae. Your work seems to be going on well. Can one say that you have completely recovered?
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal
1

In the source, the letter is placed between the letters of May 27 and June 4,

1944.

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101. MESSAGE TO NATIONALIST CHRISTIAN PARTY1
May 28, 1944 I thank you all for having taken the trouble to come to Juhu and offer prayers for my health. If God has any service still to take from me, I am sure that your prayers and that of so many others in many lands will be answered. God bless you all. The Hindu, 4-6-1944

102. A MESSAGE TO FRANK MORAES2
JUHU ,

May 29, 1944 I have complete and categorical replies to all the charges. As soon as I get well, and if I am left free, I shall deal with the questions put.
M. K. GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

103. LETTER TO LORD SAMUEL
P ALM BUN , J UHU , May 31, 1944
DEAR LORD SAMUEL,

My unfortunate illness has prompted the Government to set me at liberty pending, it seems, restoration to health. I take the opportunity of sending you a copy of the letter I wrote to you during detention. The Government would not send you the letter for the reasons you will glean from copies of the correspondence attached hereto.

The report said that this was given, “in writing, to a gathering of about 400 Christians organized by the Nationalist Christian Party . . . when prayers were held for the health of Mahatmaji and for the peace of the world”. 2 The message was communicated over the phone at 9.05 p.m. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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I take this opportunity of thanking you for your kind message of sympathy on my wife’s death.1
Yours sincerely,

BAPU THE R T. H ONOURABLE LORD HERBERT S AMUEL HOUSE OF LORDS LONDON
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

104. LETTER TO BALVANTSINHA
JUHU ,

May 31, 1944
CHI. BALVANTSINHA,

I have your letter. Let me write a few words to you too, since I am writing a little to all those dear to me. You seem tobe well settled there. Satis Babu gets, I hope, the help which you should give him. Take care of yourself. Restrain your desire to visit me.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 1944

105. TELEGRAM TO MANUBHAI PANCHOLI
JUHU ,

June 1, 1944
MANUBHAI GRAM, D AKSHINAMURTI AMBLA, S ONGADH
AM JUHU TILL FIFTEENTH

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1

Kasturba Gandhi had died on February 22, 1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

82

106. LETTER TO BRIJMOHAN BIRLA
PALM BUN, J UHU,

June 1, 1944
DEAR BRIJMOHANJI ,

I have your letter of 29th ult. Bapuji would like you to wait till you hear from him. He proposes to write to Shri Khabardar1 himself and will then let you know. Yours sincerely, SETH BRIJMOHAN BIRLA 8 ROYAL EXCHANCE PLACE CALCUTTA From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

107. LETTER TO HARIHAR VYAS
PALM BEN, J UHU,

June 1, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I have read out your letter to Gandhiji. He says he is unable to advise on the use of a purely communal donation. He suggests that the scope may be made general. Whoever benefits by the donation, the benefit will go to India. If the advice is accepted, he will make suggestions. Yours sincerely, PYARELAL SHRI HARIHAR VYAS J AWAHAR GUNJ J UBBELPORE From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

1

Ardeshir Framji Khabardar

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83

108. NOTE TO RADHAKANT MALAVIYA
[After June 1, 1944] 1 Come to Sevagram as soon as you get the permission. Whatever has to be done will be done after hearing everyone. I am collecting all the information.
From a Gujarati original : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

109. LETTER TO ANAND T. HINGORANI
JUHU ,

June 2, 1944
MY DEAR ANAND,

Since you have written in English I answer likewise. You must cease to grieve. You should summon to your aid all you have read and digested. Here is a true thought 2 a lady has sentme. Inwardly digest it. Vidya3 is not dead. She has gone elsewhere leaving the body which she was inhabiting and taking another suitable to her

The note is scribbled on the addressee’s letter of June 1, 1944. Gandhiji sent with the letter a poem received from Glen E. Snyder of U.S.A. when Kasturba died. The poem, by James Whitecomb Riley (1849-1916), American poet, read: “You cannot say, you must not say That she is dead. She is just away! With a cheery smile And a wave of the hand She has wandered into an unknown land And left us dreaming how very fair It needs must be, since she lingers there; So think of her faring on, as dear In the love of There, as the love of Here; Think of her still as the same, and say She is not dead, she is just away!” 3 Addressee’s wife
2

1

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estate. Of course, you will come when you have finished the course of treatment. I am making slow progress.
BAPU S ADAR VILLA F YZABAD R OAD LUCKNOW
From a microfilm. Courtesy: National Archives of India, and Anand T. Hingorani

110. LETTER TO SAROLA
P ALM BAN , J UHU ,

June 2, 1944
MY DEAR SAROLA,

I did have your wire. Pyarelal acknowledged it, too. You must have got it by this time. I do not know what is going to happen to me on recovery. I cannot guide you from a sick-bed. As yet I am allowed only to tackle light correspondence. All I can say is that you should do such national service as comes your way. How is Dipak?
Yours,

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

111. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR
JUHU ,

June 3, 1944
MY DEAR AMRIT,

Your note in reply to mine1 . Your first letter was never received. Sushila will write to you fully. I am progressing steadily though slowly. You must not worry. If God wants more servicefrom me, He will surely keep me and give me sufficient strength to do His work. How about you? How about Shummy 2 and Beryl? Give me all the

1 2

Vide “Letter to Amrit Kaur”, 26-5-1944. Addressee’s brother, Lt.-Col. Kanwar Shumshere Singh

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details you are permitted to give. Are all the old attendants still with you? Love.
BAPU
From the original: C.W. 4144. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7779

112. LETTER TO SHARDA G. CHOKHAWALA
JUHU ,

June 3, 1944
CHI. BABUDI,

I have your letter. Thanks to your rheumatism, I was able to get news about you. For some time I had given up hopes about you. If Gordhandas1 had not been released, you might not have been alive. It can be said that you owe your life to his labour and care. May you both live long. I am also eager to see you. But let us both observe self-control. When I get well and go to Sevagram, do come over and meanwhile get well completely. You had this serious illness at the wrong time! I am improving. Keep on writing to me. I think Anand 2 must have grown so much as not to be recognized.
Blessings to all three of you from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original: C.W. 10045. Courtesy: Sharda G. Chokhawala

113. LETTER TO KAUSALYA MALHOTRA
JUHU ,

June 4, 1944
CHI. KAUSALYA,

Do you not know Hindi or any other Indian language? You need not unlearn English to be able to learn your mother tongue and write in it. I have read your letter though my prescription holds. If you will

1 2

Addressee’s husband Addressee’s son THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

86

be true to yourself, marry without becoming a doll but for the sake of having a partner to serve the country. With love.
BAPU MISS KAUSALYA MALHOTRA C/ O H. R. M ALHOTRA C HIEF S ECRETARY TO JAMMU AND KASHMIR GOVERNMENT S RINAGAR , K ASHMIR
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

114. LETTER TO MANEKLAL GANDHI
JUHU ,

June 4, 1944
CHI. MANEKLAL,

I got your postcard. You are not far ahead of me in age. You have preserved your health well and it can also be said that you have given good service. May you excel me. I am progressing slowly.1 Manu has gone to Sevagram on account of Yukti. Both the sisters will come from there on the 23rd to catch the boat. To keep Manu with me now will mean ruining her life. Ba, of course, valued her service. I too would welcome it, but I don’t need it. Now she must pay attention exclusively to study.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI MANEKLAL AMRITLAL GANDHI DEVALI THANA KATHIAWAR
From a copy of the Gujarati: C.W. 891. Courtesy: Maneklal Amritlal Gandhi

1

Literally: “My cart is jogging along slowly,”

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115. LETTER TO INDU N. PAREKH
JUHU ,

June 4, 1944
CHI. INDU,

I have your letter. You have decided to do the right thing. You will be steadier when you marry. After all one has to marry, sooner or later. It is no easy task to observe unbroken brahmacharya. Practising abstention after marriage is, however, comparatively easier. Don’t let your health deteriorate. I still cannot work as much as before.
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

116. LETTER TO M. R. JAYAKAR
JUHU ,

June 5, 1944
DEAR DR. JAYAKAR,

I am glad you have returned. I hope to send you in a day or two the papers I had intended to. I propose that we should meet after you have studied the papers.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhi-Jayakar Papers. File No. 826, p. 8. Courtesy: National Archives of India

117. LETTER TO SAILENDRANATH CHATTERJEE
JUHU ,

June 5, 1944
MY DEAR SAILEN 1

I was glad to have your letter. Abha will be with me whilst I am free. She has become very weak but there is no cause for anxiety.

1

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About your difficulty, we shall talk when I am in Sevagram.
Yours,

BAPU
From a photostat: C.W. 10494. Courtesy: Amrita Lal Chatterjee

118. LETTER TO BHAGWANJI P. PANDYA
JUHU ,

June 5, 1944
CHI. BHAGWANJI,

I read the ghaza 1 l sent by you. I can understand it. But it does not have the same effect on my mind as it has on yours. I have read a good deal of Manibhai’s writings. He was my professor. Your ship seems to be sailing fairly well. Do not be eager to come here. The other papers also were shown to me. Send me details of your work.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI BHAGWANJI P URUSHOTTAM HARIJAN ASHRAM WADHWAN C ITY
From the Gujarati original: C.W. 398. Courtesy: Navajivan Trust

119. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA
JUHU ,

June 5, 1944
CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA,

I read your anguish-filled letter. Constant efforts do result in purity. Meditate upon chapters VI and XII 2 . More when we meet. Shankaran is quite distressed and I feel that, if his father is ill, he should be permitted to go. What work was Parnerkar doing?
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4441
1 2

By Mamilal Nabhubhai Dwivedi, Gujarati poet and thinker Of Bhagavad Gita

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120. LETTER TO MIRABEHN
June 6, 1944
MY DEAR MADELEINE,

You will bear with me in addressing you thus. I wonder whether I did right in giving you another name. The moment I feel that I did right I shall resume the old style. Enough to know that the same love that gave you a new name has prompted the withdrawal. I have your letter. I have read yours to Sushila. I see you are getting on. Narandas writes to me that your account having been discontinued, he will take a little time in tracing the amounts received from time to time. There will be no avoidable delay. If you want money badly, I can have a fairly large sum transferred in your name at once. I wrote a short note to the Viceroy and he has sent a firm ‘no’ for the same reasons that determined his actions whilst I was in detention. This is not for publication, only for you, Devdas and company. Love.
BAPU
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

121. LETTER TO PREMI JAIRAMDAS
June 6, 1944
CHI. PREMI,

I was very happy to have your letter. Sushilabehn will write in greater detail. I am glad that you are keeping good health. I was of course worried. What do you propose to do now ? I do often remember Jairamdas. Blessings to Devibehn. Let her write to me. Do not come here.
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Hindi original : C. W. 11058. Courtesy : Arjun Jairamdas

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122. TELEGRAM TO AMTUSSALAAM
BOMBAY,

June 7, 1944
AMTUSSALAAM 105 HARRISON R OAD C ALCUTTA
BAPUJI NEXT WEEK. SEEN ASKS YOUR POSTCARD. HE IS LEAVING SENDS FOR POONA YOU PROCEED SEVAGRAM. BLESSINGS.

S HANTIKUMAR
From a photostat: G.N. 478

123. LETTER TO MANU GANDHI
June 8, 1944
CHI. MANU,

Instead of calling you Manu I should call you Mridulabehn 1 . Even before leaving Bombay you have disobeyed me. At this rate, how much of my advice are you going to follow? You have not earned a single pie yourself. You have a generous father, and so are wasting his money. Do you wish to spoil the baby2 ? But I will not let you do so while I am alive. If you think the silver rattle and cups are all right for you, you may keep them yourself. If you do not want them, give them to someone like you. I myself want that you should keep them as a reminder of your foolishness. I am returning the cup and rattle along with this letter.3
Rama Rama from your unhappy

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIV

1 2

Addressee’s full name Nandini, daughter of Pyarelal’s brother, Mohanlal 3 Vide also “Letter to Jaisukhlal Gandhi”, 12-6-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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124. LETTER TO VITHALDAS
June 8, 1944
BHAI VITHALDAS,

I read your letter. My mind has become confused. If I hear both sides, it might throw some light. But is that possible in my present condition? I would advise you to assume that I have not been released and do what all of you think best. If that is not possible, then I may spare some time, listen to both the parties and give my decision.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: S.N. 9805

125. LETTER TO KANAM GANDHI
June 8, 1944
CHI. KANAM ,
1

I received the plans sent by you. I learnt about your perseverance, as also about the service you are rendering to your grandmother. We can serve our elders even when they are no more. There is likely to be greater purity in such service. My purpose in writing this is, however, different. That you are immersed in study is good, no doubt, but you must realize its limitation, which is this: Spiritual progress is as essential as intellectual progress; so also development of the body. We often tend to forget this. Don’t you forget this. The rest when we meet, although, I am afraid, it will be some time before we can meet.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1

Son of Ramdas Gandhi THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

92

126. SPEECH AT JUHU
June 8, 1944 I thought you were all good men and that you had faith in prayer. But if the report that has reached me is correct, I do not think that you answer to that description. If I am mistaken, you can correct me. You have gate-crashed and broken in. If that is so, I do not wish to have your darshan1 , neither do I wish to give you my darshan. When it rained, I came out and begged to be excused. I thought that none of you were left out. But you were late, though you had come in time for the usual prayers.2 So I was helpless. I thought that if Sarojini Devi had allowed you and if you had come quietly, I would have had no objection. Instead you howled and broke open the gate. I am pleased to see you. But the way you have come here has pained me greatly. I hope you will not repeat this. I do not wish to say any more. I shall be obliged, if you disperse quietly. Even this much speaking is beyond my strength and against the orders of my doctors. But I have spoken because I felt that, unless I gave expression to my anguish, I would not be able to sleep peacefully. You gate-crashed and it hurts me. If you disperse peacefully, my anguish will be lightened. But if you do not remain peaceful and disperse in an orderly manner, I shall have to come back. Those of you who wish to contribute to the Harijan Fund may do so. But you will not expect me to keep standing here. That is beyond my strength.3 The Bombay Chronicle, 9-6-1944

Sight of a person, place or thing considered holy The report said: “Due to the inclement weather Gandhiji went to the usual prayer ground facing the sea, a little earlier than usual, and begged to be excused. It was decided to hold the prayers inside the compound. . . .” The report in The Hindu, 10-6-1944, said: “After waiting for more than an hour, they were told that they could proceed to Mr. Gandhi in batches. But the crowd rushed in. . . .” 3 The report concluded: “After Gandhiji turned back some people made their contributions to the Fund and all of them walked out of the grounds peacefully.”
2

1

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127. LETTER TO T. B. SAPRU
June 9, 1944
DEAR SIR TEJ,

I have your kind letter 1 . I am glad your son is making rapid progress. May the residence in Kashmir bring about complete recovery. The publication of my letter 2 to Dr. Jayakar had become inevitable. You need fear no hasty statement 3 from me till I am declared passable by the doctors. I shall look forward to meeting you in Sevagram. I shall be for a fortnight from 15th instant in Dr. Dinshaw’s sanatorium and may have to go to Panchgani thereafter.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhi-Sapru Papers. Courtesy: National Library. Also G.N. 7576

128. LETTER TO ARUNA ASAF ALI
June 9, 1944 I have been filled with admiration for your courage and heroism. I have sent you messages that you must not die underground. 4 You are reduced to a skeleton. Do come out and surrender yourself and win the prize offered for your arrest. Reserve the prize money for the Harijan cause.
Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, p. 36

Dated June 4, 1944 Vide “Letter to M. R. Jayakar”, 20-5-1944. 3 The addressee had said in his letter that “any statement at this stage . . . might make the task of general reconciliation difficult” and reserved his “suggestions for a personal discussion”. 4 Pyarelal explains: “Aruna Asaf Ali had been suffering from acute dysentery. It had been accentuated by the vicissitudes of her underground life.”
2

1

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129. LETTER TO ANNADA BABU CHOWDHARY
June 9, 1944 Secrecy, in my opinion, is a sin and symptom of violence, therefore, to be definitely avoided, especially if the freedom of the dumb millions is the goal. Hence all underground activity, in my opinion, is taboo. What I, however, say is that even the content of violence and non-violence, whether as policy, or creed, should be judged by every individual worker according to the dictates of his head and heart. And when there is a conflict between the head and the heart, the heart wins. I am not saying anything as the leader of the movement, I must be regarded still as a prisoner with freedom to give opinions, not to issue instructions.
Glimpses of Gandhiji, pp. 74-5

130. LETTER TO MANGALDAS PAKVASA1
June 9, 1944 Don’t you think I have beaten you? You were only able to sign, but I have been able to write two lines also.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 4782. Courtesy: Mangaldas Pakvasa

131. DRAFT LETTER TO THE VICEROY2
JUHU ,

June 10 , 1944 The Committee of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry congratulate His Excellency the Viceroy on the step taken by him in releasing Mahatma Gandhi. Although it is stated that the action has been taken on medical grounds, the
This was written as postscript to Pyarelal’s reply to the addressee who was not keeping well. 2 The draft carries heavy revisions in Gandhiji’s hand.
1

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Committee feel that to ignore the political potentialities of Gandhiji’s release would be a great mistake on the part of the Government. The Committee firmly believe that the situation in 1942 was thoroughly mishandled by the Government of India leading to the arrest of Gandhiji and other leaders and other responsible Congressmen throughout the country. The disturbances were the natural consequence which the Government should have foreseen. The Committee is convinced that had the Government waited and responded to the way of negotiation which was clearly contemplated as can be proved from Gandhiji’s and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s and Panditji’s speeches and statements made at the time and not exhibited a panicky mood showed by the arrests, the history of India would be much different today from what it is. While deploring the past mistakes, the Committee feel that these could be rectified by reviewing the position afresh and making a firm attempt to solve the political deadlock. The Committee is convinced that Mahatmaji is a man of peace and goodwill and that his method is not one of giving advantage to the enemy. The Committee, therefore, feel that a solution is not impossible if the Government were to reciprocate the friendliness of Gandhiji. The Com[mittee] feel that in order to enable the Mahatma to render effective help in the war effort, the first natural action should be the release of the members of the Working Committee and all others who have been interned. It is clear to the Committee [that] Gandhiji is powerless without the backing of the Working Committee. We believe that even the economic development, for which His Excellency the Viceroy has expressed such great sympathy, is impossible unless there is at the centre a Government which can inspire confidence and enthusiasm among the people. Only a National Government could fulfil the above condition. The Com[mittee], therefore, strongly appeal to His Excellency the Viceroy that in the interest of winning the war, the future Indo-British relations and the improvement of the economic condition of India, it is imperative that the Government should take immediate steps to achieve conditions for the establishment of a truly National Government. The Committee also appeal to Mahatma Gandhi and Mr. Jinnah to make fresh efforts to solve the communal deadlock for the purpose of creating an atmosphere for establishment of a National Government.
From a original : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

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132. LETTER TO H. P. MODY1
S UNDER BUN , J UHU ,

June 10, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I send you herewith in two volumes copies of correspondence between the Government of India or the Bombay Government and myself during my incarceration in the palace of H. H. the Aga Khan in Yeravda. The second volume is a copy of my reply 2 to the Government of India pamphlet entitled Congress Responsibility for the Disturbances, 1942-43. The first contains copies of correspondence arising out of the above mentioned reply and on miscellaneous matters of public importance. I had the copies cyclostyled with the help of kind friends. For fear of censorship difficulties I did not try to have the copies printed at any printing press. But lest the Government of India may think that there is anything in the correspondence objectionable from military standpoint, I am circulating for private use only the copies among friends who, I think, should know the nature of the correspondence that took place between the two Governments and me. You are free to show your copy to any friends you like, subject to the precaution that applies to you. You will confer on me a favour, if you will take the trouble of letting me have your reaction upon the correspondence, especially upon the points arising from my reply to the Government of India pamphlet. I have endeavoured to answer every item of importance in the Government indictment. I should like to know the points, if any, which require elucidation.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From the original: H. P. Mody Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Also G.N. 1192, and Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. xxvii In Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, this appears as “Gandhiji’s Prefatory Covering Letter”. 2 Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 15-7-1943. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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133. LETTER TO V. S. SRINIVASA SASTRI
June 10, 1944
MY DEAR BROTHER,

I have your love letter1 delivered through a precious messenger. I agree with you in the main. But I understand you will be in Poona at least up to the 15th. I reach Poona on that date. Could you not postpone your departure for one day? Then we can meet face to face. You are to have with this a parcel2 which will tell its own tale. Love from,
Your little brother, From a photostat: G.N. 8822. Also Letters of the Right Honourable V. S., Srinivasa Sastri, pp. 361-2

134. LETTER TO THORNE 3
GANDHIGRAM, J UHU , June 10 , 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I send you herewith in two volumes copies of correspondence between the Government of India and the Bombay Government and myself during my incarceration in the palace of H. H. the Aga Khan in Yeravda. The second volume is a copy of my reply to the Government of India pamphlet entitled Congress Responsibility for the Disturbances, 1942-43. The first contains copies of correspondence arising out of the above-mentioned reply and on miscellaneous matters of public importance. I had the copies cyclostyled with the help of kind friends. For fear of censorship difficulties, I did not try to have the copies printed at any Printing Press. But lest the Government of India may think that there is anything in the correspondence objectionable from [a]
Vide Appendix “Letter from V. S. Srinivasa Sastri”, 2-6-1944. The reference is, presumably, to the volumes of copies of correspondence between Gandhiji and the Government; vide the preceding item. 3 For a copy of this to H. P. Mody, vide “Letter to H. P. Mody”, 10-6-1944.
2 1

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military standpoint I am circulating for private use only the copies among friends who, I think should know the nature of the correspondence that took place between the two Governments and me. You are free to show your copy to any friends you like, subject to the precaution that applies to you. You will confer on me a favour if you will take the trouble of letting me have your reaction upon the correspondence especially upon the points arising from my reply to the Government of India pamphlet. I have endeavoured to answer every item of importance in the Government indictment. I should like to know the points, if any, which require elucidation.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat : India Office Library and Records. Courtesy : The British Library, London

135. LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI
June 10, 1944
CHI. NARANDAS,

We have had Abha’s tonsils removed. She is better today. The wound still bleeds a little. I have been discussing the matter with Kanaiyo. I have already talked with Abha. I feel inclined to get them married soon, either in Poona or in Sevagram, wherever I am. According to me, it is not necessary either for any of you, or for Amrita Lal and others, to be present. But I should not like to discourage you or Jamna1 , if either of you desires to attend. The same view I hold about Amrita Lal. If both of them fully agree, I will fix the date and the place and inform you. Tell me in time whether or notyou wish to attend. We shall be leaving for Poona on the 15th. Abha will be with us. She will stay with me so long as I remain out.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8609. Courtesy: Narandas Gandhi

1

Addressee’s wife

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136. LETTER TO P. C. JOSHI
JUHU ,

June 11, 1944
MY DEAR JOSHI 1 ,

I had expected a prompt reply to the questions I had raised at our meeting2 . Meanwhile some additional questions have arisen which please, answer when you answer my first questions. 1. What is the meaning of “people” in “people’s war”? Does it mean war on behalf of India’s millions, or the Negroes in East, South or West Africa, or the Negroes of America, or all of them? Are the Allies engaged in such a war? 2. Are the finances of the Communist Party, represented by you, subject to public audit? If they are, may I see them? 3. It is stated that the Communist Party has actively helped the authorities to arrest leaders and organizers of labour strikes during the last two years. 4. The Communist Party is said to have adopted the policy of infiltrating the Congress oranization with a hostile intent. 5. Is not the policy of the Communist Party dictated from outside?3
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Correspondence between Mahatma Gandhi and P. C. Joshi, p. 2

137. LETTER TO MIRABEHN
S UNDER BUN , J UHU June 11 , 1944
CHI. MIRA, 4

This is after much debating for 48 hours within myself and
Puran Chandra Joshi, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India According to the addressee, it was early in June. 3 For excerpts from the addressee’s letter in reply to this, vide Appendix “Letter from P. C. Joshi”, 14-6-1944. 4 In Devanagari
2 1

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sleepless nights over my duty towards you on our differences and towards doctors regarding treatment. It hurt me yesterday when Ammajan told me that you had doubt about my willingness to part with the money that you gave me from time to time. The fact is that you having parted with the money even resented it standing in your name in the Ashram books and insisted on the money being made part of the Ashram funds and the expenses on your account being treated as from the Ashram funds. I felt a delicacy in mentioning that it could be retransferred to you without any deduction. I, therefore, allowed Ghanshyamdas to tell you that you could have the money back whether the condition of the Ashram funds permitted the return or not. So when you told me that you would be glad to have the money, the measure of esteem in which I held you went down. It is due to you that I should not withhold this fact from you. But this is not written to affect your decision. The return of the money is irrevocable. The second thing I want to tell you is the things I have been hearing from reliable sources about Prithvi Singh. They are terribly disturbing.1 He has been using questionable means to extort money. He made, without success, indecent approaches to two girls of Kathiawar. The girl whom he has married was engaged to a person who was her benefactor. Nanabhai who was the person to bring him to me and who testified to his complete change from violence to non-violence has been sadly disillusioned. His profession of non-violence when he came to me and in his letters from the jail appears to have been a deep-laid plot to deceive me and through me some day or other to secure his release from the life of hiding which was worrying him. Thus, my prejudice is deepening. I should love to know from experience that the prejudice has no basis. It is generally believed that the Communist Party is exploiting you through him. I am carrying on correspondence with Joshi. This you can see from Pyarelal. In the circumstances my advice to you is that you should hold your project for a season and judge the situation and watch
Vide also “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 15-7-1943. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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developments. I do not know how Devdas and those who are connected with you will be able to guide you or interest themselves in your activities. Anyway I shall have to let the public know somehow or other that I am not at the back of any of your activities which are being undertaken in spite of my disapproval. This letter is my last warning. I shall trouble you no more. God be your only guide. 1 [P.S.] There is nothing withheld from the office staff. I am keeping a copy of this letter and enclose herewith a typed copy. Please give me a copy of the letter I wrote to you before this.
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

138. TELEGRAM TO P. C. RAY
[On or before June 12, 1944] 2
HOPE CENTURY.
3

YOU

WILL

INSIST

ON

FINISHING

AT

LEAST

A

The Hindu, 14-6-1944

139. LETTER TO MIRABEHN
S UNDER BUN , J UHU , June 12 , 1944
DEAR MISS SLADE,

There is nothing wrong about being formal. “Familiarity breeds contempt.” The letters will not be destroyed. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I wrote after intense prayer. My language failed to transmit the love and the greatest goodwill that prompted it. The only regret is that I dared to be familiar. My love would have been as true as now if I had refused to call you by any other name than
For the addressee’s answer, vide Appendix “Letter from Lord Linlithgow”, 14-1-1943. 2 According to the report, the telegram was received by the addressee, an eminent scientist, on June 12. 3 The addressee, who was ailing, died on June 16.
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Miss Slade. I like the English coldness and correctness. But my regret is superficial. The change is good and substantial. I have given the warning. You have no reason to change your course because of any opinion I express. What I did was to suggest your waiting. But you need not since it does not commend itself to you. Yes, time and action will show what we are and what we meant. I have patience.
Yours ,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

140. LETTER TO JAISUKHLAL GANDHI
June 12, 1944
CHI. JAISUKHLAL,

I wanted to write this letter immediately after Manu’s departure but I could not. Manu disappointed me very much just before she left. I thought she had understood everything and would do as she had promised, but I was wrong. Before leaving, she bought and sent a silver toy and a silver cup for Pyarelal’s brother’s daughter. I was very much pained. I poured out all my pain in my letter 1 to her and returned the things. You must have come to know about all this. Now you will have to be on your guard. I had suggested that she should stay for a year at Rajkot in the hope that that would develop all her fine qualities and cure her weaknesses. But Manu was reluctant. On receipt of an enthusiastic letter from the teacher at Karachi, she was beside herself with joy, and I, therefore, sent her there. I should like to tell you the thoughts which occurred to me about you. You seem to have such a lot of money that you have taught Manu to spend money as if she was more than even a multi-millionaire. I very much appreciate your love for your daughters. But the question is from where you got all this money. You could not have saved it from khadi work. Did you, then, save it from your job there? Is it possible to save so much money in this way? If you have kept accounts, I should certainly like to see them. How can I hide from you the suspicion
1

Vide “Letter to Manu Gandhi”, 8-6-1944.

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that has arisen in my mind? When I got angry, Shantikumarwas present. When I asked him, he told me that you could not have saved so much from the Scindia job. He had no reason to suspect you, as strict care was taken to see that there was no scope for corruption among their employees. Now let me have your reply. Sushila must have written to you about Yukti. Take good care of her. Manu’s eyes are very weak. They can be saved only with great care. Otherwise in a few years’ time she might not be able to read and write.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIV

141. MESSAGE TO BOMBAY KERALEEYA SAMAJ1
June 12, 1944 I am glad you took the trouble of coming to me and giving me a purse for the Harijans. I hope your efforts on behalf of the poor in the country will prosper. God be with you. The Hindu, 14-6-1944

1 The report said: “Over a hundred members of the Bombay Keraleeya Samaj offered prayers . . . for Gandhiji’s speedy recovery . . . and presented him with a purse of Rs. 501. The party was led by Mr. K. Subramaniam.”

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142. SILENCE-DAY INTERVIEW TO JOURNALISTS1
BOMBAY,

June 12, 1944 Amen. So help us God. The contract is that there should be silence on both sides. You may read what you can from the silence.
Another spell of a few minutes’ silence followed and Mahatma Gandhi was asked, how long they could stay there. By a sign of his finger he replied that the interview would last ten minutes. The journalists replied that they had been waiting at Juhu practically all the days since his arrival, and therefore the time of the “silent interview” should be extended. Mahatma Gandhi wrote in reply:

If there is a good singer amongst you, you can take extra time; otherwise what is the use of your wasting time? There is no such thing as silence in journalists.
The reporters were taken aback at the request, but one journalist came to the rescue of the party, and he sang a song, which seemed to have pleased Mahatma Gandhi. Another gentleman, to everybody’s surprise, volunteered to follow up and Mahatma Gandhi wrote:

I would gladly listen to more, but ill though I am, the time is all pledged to the nation2 . The Hindu, 14-6-1944

1 The report said: “Mahatma Gandhi . . . received some thirty journalists at his shack at Juhu this evening. Today was his day of weekly silence and since he was leaving the city for Poona on Thursday, he agreed to ‘see’ Pressmen today. He was seen in his characteristic pose, squatting crosslegged on a mattress, busy writing something. The Pressmen crowded around him and someone passed on a chit to him, stating that the Press was not satisfied with ‘this silent interview’ and that they were eagerly looking forward to the day when he would be completely restored to health and would speak to them again as before. Mahatma Gandhi wrote back on the same chit. 2 The report concluded: “The journalists then pooled some money for Harijan Fund, gave it to Mahatma Gandhi and left the shack.”

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143. LETTER TO H. P. MODY
S UNDER BUN , J UHU ,

June 12/13, 1944
BHAI HOMY MODY,
1

I promised2 to give you a written reply to your very kind letter of 9th instant. Here is my reply. The conferences that are meeting to consider the future, I regard as one of the methods of diverting public attention from the grim realities of the war.3 The future will be decided not by conferences but by the way in which the principal actors behave now. We should, therefore, control the present so that the future may correspond to the present. We shall reap as we sow. The realities are that we allow ourselves to be exploited with our eyes shut and/or open. I feel that I know the way out but I am helpless not merely because I am ill, but principally because the censorship tightens round me like the coil of a snake. I am taxing God to show me how to disengage myself from the coil. I shall take no hasty step. Before I take any step, I shall certainly correspond with H. E. the Viceroy. As to communal unity, I am wedded to it. All I can say is that I shall leave no stone unturned to make my contribution towards a just solution.4 There is a ring of despair running through your letter. I wish I
The salutation and subscription are in Gujarati. The addressee had discussion with Gandhiji on June 9 and 11. 3 The addressee had said in his letter (C.W. 4891): “India is looking on as a distant spectator; even when her representatives are admitted to a conference table, they have to play the role of spokesmen of a subordinate member of the British Commonwealth. . . .” 4 The addressee had stated: “ . . . the issue seems to lie between acceptance of the Muslim demand, and determination to uphold the political integrity of India even at the cost of an indefinite postponement of swaraj ... there is a tendency to underrate the strength of the Muslim insistence on Pakistan, and that there is an increasing number of people who feel that nothing is to be gained by postponing a Hindu-Muslim settlement. . . continuance of the present stalemate would have a certain measure of justification only if there were reasonable grounds for hoping that, by patiently marking time, it would be possible to achieve political unity as well as freedom.”
2 1

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could induce you to share my optimism. Time never runs against a just cause, especially when it is backed by equally just means. Anyway you must not despair of me, even though we may not see eye to eye on things of common interest.
Yours,

M. K. GANDHI S IR HOMY MODY BOMBAY
From a photostat: C.W. 4882. Courtesy: H. P. Mody

144. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR
JUHU ,

June 13, 1944
CHI. AMRIT,

This is merely my love letter, not a business letter. For the latter you will look to Pyarelal and Sushila. I was delighted to receive your letter through Dr. Sen. I may not meet him, for I go to Poona tomorrow. I have also your annual gifts. I am already in your newdhotis. They are too wide for me. But that matters little. They are well woven. The shawl also I prize. I did not know that you had begun to spin wool too. Love to you all.
BAPU
From the original: C.W. 4145. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7780

145. LETTER TO BHAYANKARANAND
June 13 , 1944
DEAR BHAYANKARANAND,

Your letter. Much as I should like to see you, I have no time left. You may come and talk to Pyarelalji. Of course, I have read and heard much about Bengal and other places. The question is how to deal with the situation. We must not lose patience, faith or nerve.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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146. LETTER TO MIRABEHN
June 14 , 1944
DEAR MISS SLADE,

Of course you are to me what you have been always. I have been writing to you so that I may be rid of the fear that has possessed me. Your decision to go to Panditji soothes me. I was and am against haste which often proves to be waste. When I am filled with fear and distrust of wisdom, you should suffer the adopted parent’s warning. Of course I shall dance with joy when I discover that my fears were groundless and my suspicion unjustified. From the foregoing it should be clear to you that I have never doubted your devotion. The change of form in addressing you was necessary because I saw my mistake. My love for you remains wholly unaffected by it. I have already left the rest to time.
Yours ,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

147. LETTER TO KANAM GANDHI
JUHU ,

June 14, 1944
CHI. KANAM,

I have your letter. Your handwriting, I must say, is very shabby. You ought to cultivate tidiness in all respects. You should properly space your words, and use punctuation marks. I hope, you don’t want to forget the Gujarati script altogether. We will certainly play odds-and-evens when we meet. But shouldn’t you play games involving vigorous physical exercise? Your English handwriting also needs improvement. How can one believe in both violence and non-violence? Can one ride two horses simultaneously?
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

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148. LETTER TO BISHOP OF CALCUTTA
GANDHIGRAM, J UHU,

June 15, 1944
REVEREND LORD BISHOP ,

Gandhiji desires me to thank you for your very kind letter. He was deeply touched by it. He had expected to be able to reply to it himself. But he is still not permitted to resume his normal work. Although he could not be reached through correspondence while he was undergoing incarceration he knew that the prayers of so many men of God were with him all the time and that knowledge sustained him. Yours sincerely, PYARELAL THE LORD BISHOP OF CALCUTTA BISHOP’S HOUSE CALCUTTA From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

149. LETTER TO JITENDRA BHATIA1
[After June 15, 1944] 2 During my stay in Juhu the volunteers rendered devoted service. God alone can repay them. The Bombay Chronicle, 21-6-1944

1

Head of the volunteers who had kept guard at Gandhiji’s shack during his stay

in Juhu According to the report, Gandhiji wrote the letter in Hindustani and sent from Poona, where he arrived on June 15. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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150. LETTER TO R. K. PRABHU
P OONA ,

June 16 , 1944
DEAR PRABHU,

I have read your letter to Pyarelal. I want to see you when I have finished the medical treatment and am free for work. I wanted to write to you even before your letter reached me. That was in connection with the book you have written.1 I am now discussing with the Navajivan Trust the whole thing. I shall do nothing in haste and certainly not without meeting you. You are no stranger to me.
Yours ,

BAPU
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

151. LETTER TO MOTICHAND
P OONA ,

June 16, 1944
BHAI MOTICHAND,

I got your gift of grace. I have not brought over all the books in the packet. I have brought with me only one book. But I now see that perhaps I shall not be able to touch any literature. I have not been able to cope with even the material collected by Pyarelal.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 15-7-1943, and also “Letter to R. K. Prabhu”, 19-6-1944 fn.

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152. LETTER TO RAMESHWARI NEHRU
P OONA ,

June 16, 1944
DEAR SISTER,

I have your letter. At present I don’t feel like going to any other place besides Bombay, Poona, Panchgani and places nearby. Of course, I do wish to go to Sevagram when the doctors permit. I shall surely stay with you, if I feel like going to Kashmir. Birlaji told me about the responsibility you are shouldering. May God give you success. I am recovering.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 8005. Also C.W. 3105. Courtesy: Rameshwari Nehru

153. INTERVIEW WITH G. V. MAVALANKAR
P OONA ,

June 16 , 1944
On being requested as to how Mr. Mavalankar should act with reference to the work of the Fund 1 in Ahmedabad, Gandhiji said :

You can as well represent the capitalists as I do, effectively influencing their contributions. You will not be able at the same time to appeal to the masses. The whole conception seems to me to be that the few rich should ensure the declared amount. Only a popular body can collect from the masses.
As to the constitution of the Board he advised the inclusion of some more public workers like Vijayalaxmi Pandit. From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Fund; vide also “Letter to G. V. Mavalankar”, 21-6-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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154. LETTER TO LORD WAVELL
NATURE -CURE C LINIC , 6 T ODDIWALA R OAD , P OONA ,

June 17, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

But for the fact that this letter is along the lines of your pre-occupation, I should not have troubled you with any letter from me. Though there is little cause for it, the whole country and even many from outside expect me to make some decisive contribution to the general good. I am sorry to say, my convalescence threatens to be fairly long. Even if I was quite well, I could do little or nothing, unless I knew the mind of the Working Committee of the Congress. I pleaded1 as a prisoner for permission to see them. I plead now as a free man for such permission. If you will see me before deciding, I shall gladly go wherever you want me to, as soon as I am allowed by my medical advisers to undertake long-distance travelling. I have circulated among friends for private use, copies of the correspondence that passed between the authorities and me during detention. I do feel, however, that in fairness to me Government should permit its publication in the Press.2 My address will be as above till 30th instant.
I am, Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

The Bombay Chronicle, 2-7-1944

Vide “Letter to Lord Linlithgow”, 19-1-1943. In his reply dated June 22, the Viceroy declined both the requests and said: “If, after your convalescence and after further reflection, you have a definite and constructive policy to propose for the furtherance of India’s welfare, I shall be glad to consider it. . . . Since . . . the correspondence . . . has . . . appeared in the Press, I have given instructions for the publication of the whole of political letters written during your detention.” Vide also “Telegram to Private Secretary to Viceroy”, 27-6-1944.
2

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

155. LETTER TO RANCHHODDAS PATWARI
June 17, 1944
BHAI RANCHHODDAS,

I like your letter, although I don’t like your writing to me in English. You certainly know Gujarati and so do I. Why should not we write to each other in our mother tongue? I understand the change in your thinking. 1 I want you to come and see me at Sevagram, after I am all right. I can take quite a good amount of work from you. I had at heart nothing but esteem for you even when you used to write and speak against me because I always knew that you had no personal grudge against me. You believed that I was doing harm to the country, and hence you opposed me thinking it to be your duty to do so. Write to me frankly whenever you wish to.
Vandemataram from

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

156. LETTER TO SURENDRA
[After June 17, 1944] 2
CHI. SURENDRA,

I have your letter. Are you troubled by the menace of dogs? Of jackals? Rabid foxes? Snakes? How is the dwelling? Is the foundation high enough? Does it have a verandah? How many rooms does it have? How is the roofing? What are you reading these days? Do you take any exercise? What work are you doing among the people? I have nothing to say about your not participating in any public activities. It is good that you refrain from coming to me. But don’t hesitate to pay me a visit, if you wish to, when I reach Sevagram. Nathji 3 had met me. He

The addressee had previously opposed Gandhiji’s campaign against untouchability; vide “Letter to Ranchhoddas Patwari”, 11-1-1933. 2 In the source, the letter is placed between the letters of June 17 and 21, 1944. 3 Kedarnath Kulkarni, Kishorelal Mashruwala’s guru VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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will come here. I am here till the 30th. I am keeping fairly well. The two [kinds of] worms1 won’t leave me yet.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

157. LETTER TO INAYATULLAH KHAN MASHRIQUI2
June 18, 1944
I may say at once that nothing has been issued from this office to say that you were coming to see Gandhiji. He certainly endorses your view that Qaid-e-Azam is the man he should try to see. He does not remember the warning you gave him through the late Dr. Ansari. He has no objection to your publishing your letter under reply. But he very much doubts the wisdom of carrying on public correspondence of the nature of your letter. Premature publicity robs such correspondence of its intrinsic value and use, and lays the publisher open to the charge of self-advertisement. From File No. 51/4/44. Courtesy: National Archives of India

158. LETTER TO PREMA KANTAK
June 18, 1944
CHI. PREMA,

I got your letter today. You are as impatient as you have always been. Come over when you wish to. Here I am my own sentry. People respect my wishes and no visitors come. It is only those whom I send for or have given an appointment to, that come. Do not believe any rumour without first referring it to me for verification. Nobody has been able to come and see me regardless of my wishes. If you have any information [about such persons], ask me whether it is true.
1 2

Hook-worms and amoeba; vide “Letter to Gulzarilal Nanda”, after 27-5-1944. This was written by Pyarelal in reply to the addressee’s letter dated June 12 to Gandhiji, which, inter alia, read: “You must be remembering in what exact terms I warned you in 1930 . . . I must avoid coming to see you at Bombay until I have exhausted all efforts to make your meeting with Qaid-e-Azam possible.... I understand that a report was recently issued from your office that I was coming over to see you to discuss the question of Hindu-Muslim understanding.... I still consider Mr. Jinnah the proper man for this unless he totally refuses to meet you. Vide also telegram to the addressee, “Telegram to Inayatullah Khan Mashriqui”, on or before 15-5-1944.

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About Juhu, too, you may ask me whatever you wish to. 1 Nobody holds back your letters. I have come here with the sole intention of meeting Prof. Limaye2 . He can bring along anybody else whom he wishes. These days the Professor himself is ill. I wish to do here what I could not in Juhu. I think it a matter of shame for me that Prof. Limaye should ask for my permission through you. I have the greatest regard for him. I hope you will be satisfied with this much today. I need not write separately about Deshpandeji3 , need I?
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10430. Also C.W. 6869. Courtesy: Prema Kantak

159. LETTER TO BALKRISHNA BHAVE
P OONA ,

June 18, 1944
CHI. BALKRISHNA,

Krishnachandra writes and tells me that just because a man deceived you, you have given up milk at one meal and that you castigated yourself too. Both these things can be done on the right occasion but was it the right occasion in your case? During the last imprisonment I learnt one thing, namely, that one must never be hasty in judging the actions of one’s co-workers, one should put before the person concerned the other side for consideration and then let him judge himself. Think over your action from this point of view. Do not hesitate to write anything to me. My going there keeps on getting postponed. I think I would be lucky, if I could go there by the end of July. I can say that I do not intend to wait much longer after the end of August.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 809. Courtesy: Balkrishna Bhave

Sarojini Naidu had stopped the addressee from meeting Gandhiji at Juhu Prof. V. P. Limaye of Vidhayak Samiti 3 G. A. Deshpande, alias Tatyasaheb, Secretary, Maharashtra Provincial Congress Committee
2

1

VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

115

160. LETTER TO R. K. PRABHU
P OONA ,

June 19, 1944
MY DEAR PRABHU,

I hope you had my letter. Will 28th instant (Wednesday) 5 p.m. suit you? I can’t give you an earlier time.1 I want to take things easy.
Yours,

BAPU
From a photostat: G.N. 9227

161. LETTER TO V. S. SRINIVASA SASTRI
P OONA ,

June 19, 1944
MY DEAR BROTHER,

I hope you had my note 2 addressed to you at Poona. Your letter of 17th does not seem to be a reply to it. Of course, I would love you to come any time you can, i.e., if your health permits. There will be much noise about our meeting and more conjecture, but it is inevitable. I need not think of the past but what of the present? 3 Will not the present which I can see mould the future? Must I not get rid of the present hook-worm and amoeba, if I am to ensure the future good of the body? Think it over and answer the question when we meet unless

Regarding compilation of The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi by R. K. Prabhu and U. R. Rao, published by the Oxford University Press in March 1945. Vide also “Letter to G. V. Mavalankar”, 5-7-1944. 2 Vide “Letter to V. S. Srinivasa Sastri”, 10-6-1944. 3 In his letter, the addressee had said: “You have had great wrongs and they cry aloud for redress. But at this moment the future is more important than the past. While I don’t venture to say that you shouldn’t seek to re-establish yourself, I would beseech you earnestly to attend to the demands of the world’s peace. India’s cause and yours may—who knows—be best served that way.”

1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

you would do otherwise. I am making fair progress in spite of the two enemies. Love.
Yours,

LITTLE BROTHER

[PS.] Will you rather have my letters typed?
From a photostat: G.N. 8823. Also Letters of the Right Honourable V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, pp. 362-3

162. LETTER TO KAMALA DEVI
P OONA ,

June 19, 1944
MY DEAR KAMALA DEVI ,
1

If I had the mischievous intention of teaching you a lesson, I would have given you 26th instant. You did not look up your calendar when you wrote. It is my silence day. But I shall be good. You can come on 27th instant and see me at 5 p.m. With love,
BAPU S HRIMATI KAMALA DEVI 84 NAPEAN S EA R OAD BOMBAY
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

Presumably, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, President, All-India Women’s Conference VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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163. LETTER TO K. M. MUNSHI
P OONA ,

June 19, 1944
BHAI MUNSHI,

We shall meet on the 24th at five o’clock. I am maintaining my progress, although slowly.1
Blessings to all from

BAPU S HRI KANU MUNSHI ADVOCATE 26 R IDGE R OAD BOMBAY
From a copy of the Gujarati: C.W. 7674. Courtesy: K. M. Munshi

164. LETTER TO SHARDA G. CHOKHAWALA
P OONA ,

June 19, 1944
CHI. BABUDI,

I have your letter. I would have allowed you to come for my sake and it would have been a pleasure to see you; but I stopped you for your own sake. Never mind even if you are fit enough to travel from Surat to Bombay. You will improve still further if you observe self-control. And haven’t you learnt self-control from me? I do not remember having ever spoilt you, not even at the time of your wedding. Chokhawala has broad shoulders and is a soldier. Anand is really anand 2 .
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original: C.W. 10046. Courtesy: Sharda G. Chokhawala

1 2

Literally : “My village cart moves at its own speed.” Literally, “joy” THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

118

165. LETTER TO MANU GANDHI
P OONA ,

June 19, 1944
CHI. MANUDI,

I have your lettter. If you behave as you promise, I shall be very happy. I am glad that you did not go to the cinema. Even if I do not write to you, you should write to me regularly. It would be very good if the climate suits Yukti. The weather there is supposed to be good. I am improving day by day.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIV

166. LETTER TO ANAND T. HINGORANI
P OONA ,

June 20, 1944
CHI. ANAND,
1

You must not brood over Vidya’s death nor get disconcerted. If she was the inspiration of your life whilst she was in the flesh, she must be more so having gone to her resting place. That to me is the meaning of the true union of souls. The classic example is that of Jesus and, in modern times, of Ramakrishna. They became greater influences after their death. Their spirit did not die, nor is Vidya’s dead. You must, therefore, leave off sorrowing and think of your duty in front of you. Do not think of running to me whilst you are having your treatment and whilst I am having mine. You will come when I go to Sevagram.2 Love.
BAPU

[PS.] Try to write in Hindustani.
From a microfilm. Courtesy: National Archives of India, and Anand T. Hingorani

This is in Devanagari. Vide also “Telegram to Anand T. Hingorani”, 13-5-1944 and “Letter to Anand T. Hingorani”, 2-6-1944.
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119

167. LETTER TO SHIRLEY HUMPHREY
NATURE CURE CLINIC, TODDYWALA ROAD POONA, I NDIA,

June 20, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

Gandhiji has your letter of the 4th April. I regret to have to say that his present state of health does not permit him to comply with your request. But you will find all the information you want in his My Experiments with Truth published by the Navajivan Press, P. O. Box No. 105, Ahmedabad. Yours sincerely, SHIRLEY HUMPHREY, ESQ. SOLWAY COLLEGE MASTERTON NEW ZEALAND From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

168. LETTER TO VALJI G. DESAI
June 20, 1944
VALJIBHAI,

This certainly reads well.1 But the whole thing deserves to be reconsidered. The writing can be misinterpreted. For instance, what can a man do in the present war? As you say, he cannot remain neutral which means that either he should participate in the war or commit harakiri by plunging into it. Isn’t it? Should he go to jail? The answer is not as simple as we might think. The second part deserves a more serious consideration. Must only the brave grant forgiveness? One seldom comes across brave people. Hence the quotations cited by you, although true, are like
The reference is to a collection of passages, extracted by the addressee from his article “The Quintessence of Gandhism” published in Young India, 22-1-1925. For the passages which the addressee considered as “suitable mottoes to be printed inside the cover page of History of Satyagraha in South Africa”, vide Appendix “Passages from The Quintessence of Gandhism”, before February 1944.
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reciting the Bhagavata before a buffalo, or casting pearls before a swine, or maybe, attaching gold trappings on to an ass! These are but random thoughts as they come to my mind, and I am flinging them at you! It is only for your understanding. Under the circumstances it is best to go on doing our work silently.
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

169. LETTER TO BHAGIRATHI DEVI UPADHYAYA
P OONA ,

June 20, 1944
CHI. BHAGIRATHI,

I was happy to get your letter but was equally unhappy to learn about Haribhau1 . Keep writing to me. I shall be in Poona till the 30th. It would be at least one and a half months before I can go to Sevagram. I am getting better gradually. The doctors say that it will be some time before I regain my full strength. There is not the slightest cause for worry about me. Durgabehn, Narayan and Aryanayakam are with me and, of course, Pyarelal, Sushilabehn and Kanu. Abha was unwell and, therefore, she also is here.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1

Addressee’s husband

VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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170. LETTER TO G. V. MAVALANKAR
P OONA ,

June 21, 1944
BHAI MAVALANKAR1 ,

Pyarelal could not deal with the papers you had sent. He was not attending to our discussion with sufficient care for that. Besides, he has never concerned himself with that subject. So I myself have done what I thought proper in this matter. I could have written more, but I think this much will be sufficient for you. If you think any points need further clarification, please ask me and I will immediately explain. Your two questions regarding the Kasturba Fund could have been drafted differently. But I have not touched them. I wanted to save time. I have made only a slight change regarding copyright, and it is self-explanatory.
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] Maganbhai’s letter is enclosed. According to our understanding, I assume that you yourself will explain the matter to him, won’t you?2
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 1249

171. LETTER TO MAGANBHAI P. DESAI
P OONA ,

June 21, 1944
CHI. MAGANLAL,

I have your letter. The party had gathered at Juhu and it was decided that whatever problems were brought to me should be referred by me to anyone I like from among the list of certain names. The question may, if at all, be referred to me after this. I have accordingly passed on your letter to Dada Mavalankar. If he cannot satisfy you, you can have Rs. 8,000 from me. You are not
1 Speaker, Bombay Legislative Assembly, 1937 to 1945; later Speaker, Central Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha 2 Vide also the following item.

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

to waste any time over it. Herewith find a copy of my letter to Vidyabehn1 regarding the [Gujarat] Vidyapith. It did not occur to me, although it ought to have occurred, to consult you in the matter. Still, I hope you will like my reply.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

172. LETTER TO NRISINHAPRASAD K. BHATT
June 21, 1944
BHAI NANABHAI,

I have your letter. I have also heard a lot from Manubhai 2 and Vijaya 3 . There seems to be some trouble about Prithvi Singh. They have asked for your experience. Do not for a moment think that it is your responsibility. You talked open-heartedly and were, in consequence, deceived. Why then feel hurt about it? How can the world go on, if we do not have such faith? I could understand your pain from what Manubhai told me. Hence this letter. Never mind, if you did not get my earlier letter. Come over to Sevagram, if and when I go there.
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

173. LETTER TO PARACHURE SHASTRI
P OONA ,

June 21, 1944
BHAI PARACHURE SHASTRI ,
4

I have preserved your postcard. I have always been pained that the country cannot fully utilize your learning. I have looked in vain for possibilities. You should yourself find a way through persistent effort. The rest when we meet. It appears almost impossible to reach
Vidyagauri Ramanbhai Nilkanth Manubhai Pancholi 3 Vijaya Pancholi 4 A leprosy patient who came to Sevagram in November 1939, and stayed there till his death on September 5, 1945
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there by the end of July. Bhai Manohar’s 1 tapascharya is incomparable.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

174. LETTER TO HARIBHAU PHATAK
P OONA ,

June 22, 1944
MY DEAR HARIBHAU,

I could not trace your precious letter when Baburao called. I admitted him, being sent by you. He had nothing to say. I found your letter after you had gone. I did not know that there was no Board here. I am more than agreeable that you should take charge. As you know, the whole thing is under the Sangh’s 2 charge. Bapa is arriving here on 1st July. Probably he is here today. I advise your seeing him and showing this letter to him. You need have no delicacy about offering your services. Of course, cases like Baburao’s should be helped, and helped promptly. The collection made here should principally, if not wholly, be used in Poona or perhaps Maharashtra proper. This again should pass through the Sangh who accept my recommendation without demur. This I shall do. Could you come on Sunday at 4.30 p.m.? I do not know whether I ever acknowledged your letter accompanying the sweets you sent. I have not yet tasted them.
Yours,

BAPU
From a photostat: C.W. 2803. Courtesy: Chhaganlal Gandhi

1 Manohar Divan who “dedicated himself to the service of lepers”; vide “Civil Disobedience”, 15-10-1940. 2 Harijan Sevak Sangh

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175. LETTER TO LAKSHMIBAI ABHYANKAR
P OONA ,

June 22, 1944
DEAR SISTER,

Of course, I remember your husband very well. I was struck by his sincerity, and the accuracy with which he approached the subject he had made his own. And only two days ago I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Belvalkar and receiving from him his volumes on the Bhagavad Gita. It gives me, therefore, much joy to be able to send my blessings to your son and to Usha Belvalkar on their forthcoming marriage.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI SMT. LAXMIBAI ABHYANKAR S ARDAR GRIHA BOMBAY
From a copy: pyarelal papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

176. LETTER TO KANCHAN M. SHAH
P OONA ,

June 22, 1944
CHI. KANCHAN,

I waited for you in Bombay. If you had met me there, you could have travelled with me up to Poona. Now I cannot send for you here. If I send for you, why not Amtul Salaam? Why not the other women also who wish to come? Vasumati is pining to come. Even the present number in Panchagani is too large. When I go there you all can have the pleasure of my company to your hearts’ content. I am impatient to go there just for that reason. I hope that you will understand my position and have patience. There are lots of people here to attend on me.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 8268. Also C.W. 7174. Courtesy: Munnalal G. Shah VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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177. LETTER TO GOKHALE
P OONA ,

June 23, 1944
MY DEAR GOKHALE,

I am quite clear that you should try to cure yourself of pleurisy. It is unnecessary to think ahead of four or five months. You will then act according to the circumstances then existing. If I am out, you will write to me.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

178. LETTER TO MANU GANDHI1
P OONA ,

June 23, 1944
CHI. MANUDI,

Your falling ill as soon as you arrived there has shaken me. If you faithfully carry out all that I have told you, you would never fall ill. The decision to study is a good one. But you must not study just to get through the examination. Study whatever you can without straining your eyes. You are impatient as all young people are. But I expect patience from you. The virtues that I have seen in you are not found in all girls. Having regard to them, when I see the smallest drawback in you it seems to me a mountain and something unbearable.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U/XXIV

The addressee had been upset by Gandhiji’s letter to Jaisukhlal Gandhi, vide “Letter to Jaisukhlal Gandhi”, 12-6-1944, and had asked Gandhiji to forgive her.

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179. LETTER TO PRITHVI SINGH
P OONA ,

June 23 , 1944
BHAI PRITHVI SINGH,

I should be betraying you if I did not convey to you something more I have heard about you.1 It appears that you had spread your net beforehand, got Nanabhai to side with you and through him influenced me. When the time came you cast me aside. That is to say, you cast aside nonviolence. You clung to Mirabehn and tried to win me back through her. You cast lustful eyes on two girls but neither of them fell into your hands. The woman whom you have married was to marry her benefactor. But she abandoned him and linked herself to you. Apart from these, there are various small things I am overlooking. I am carrying on correspondence with Nanabhai. I should be extremely happy if you could satisfy me in the above matter. I have nothing to say if you think that there is no need to satisfy me. If you just acknowledge this letter, I shall know that you have received it.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

180. LETTER TO AMRITA LAL CHATTERJEE
P OONA ,

June 24, 1944
MY DEAR AMRITLAL,

Just a line to tell you that I had a long chat with Abha and Kanu. They are both prepared to be married after we descend from Panchgani, if your and your wife’s blessings can be had. Narandas
Vide also “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 15-7-1943. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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and Jamnabehn have given their consent. Narandas won’t be present at the ceremony.1 Kanu is trying to persuade his mother, too, to abstain. I hope you two will also be able to exercise restraint. What is the use of spending money for a sentiment? But if you cannot, you will, of course, come. Please let me know your wishes per return. Write to me at Panchgani 2 , Satara District.Abha and Manu will be with me. Hope you are all well.
Yours,

BAPU
From a photostat: C.W. 10495. Courtesy: Amrita Lal Chatterjee

181. LETTER TO JAISUKHLAL GANDHI
P OONA ,

June 24, 1944
CHI. JAISUKHLAL,

I have your two letters. You did right in giving all the details. I will write about that later. There is no need at all to send Manu to Rajkot. She has come there only with my permission. Let her get well soon and then study. Let her not be impatient to get through the examination. She knows household chores; let her, therefore, busy herself a little in that work. She will have to do it because of the difficulty regarding servants. If she remains ill there, I will conclude that her place is at Sevagram. But if she follows my instructions, I am sure she would never fall ill. If the vaid’s medicine agrees with Yukti, and if he wishes to give some medicine to Manu also, he may do so. Her health is good and it must not be impaired. She must study with due care for her eyes.3
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] I intend showing your letter to Shantikumar. He should know what you have written.4
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIV Vide also “Letter to Narandas Gandhi”, 10-6-1944. Where Gandhiji reached on July 4 3 Vide also letter to the addressee, “Letter to Jaisukhlal Gandhi”, 12-6-1944, and “Letter to Manu Gandhi”, 23-6-1944. 4 ibid.
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182. LETTER TO VIJAYA ANAND
P OONA ,

June 25, 1944
MY DEAR VIJAYA ANAND1 ,

I have your dear letter. You did well in writing to me so frankly as you have done. I have signed 10 albums for you. I hope the Maharaniji is well. Love to you all.
BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

183. LETTER TO V. P. LIMAYE
S EVAGRAM , via WARDHA , 2

June 25, 1944
DEAR ACHARYA LIMAYE,

I have seen a copy of the notice. It reads awful. It gives the occasion3 a public character. Have you seen it? And it advertises the time as 4 to 6. I see that I shall be unequal to it. Not more than half an hour should be given in all. If the questions are the fewest possible, I can wind up the whole thing in a few minutes. Let there be an exhaustive report of the work done sent to me and the questions well beforehand. Let me have also a list of those invited with their addresses and status in the organization. I trust that Prof. Javdekar and Bhagwat are included in the list.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: C:.W. 999. Courtesy: V. P. Limaye

The Maharajkumar of Vizianagaram Permanent address 3 The reference is to Gandhiji’s proposed meeting with the representatives of the Maharashtra Congress on June 29; vide “Speech to Congressmen, Poona”, 29-6-1944.
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184. LETTER TO V. P. LIMAYE
S EVAGRAM , via WARDHA , 1

June 26, 1944
DEAR ACHARYA,

No apology needed. The fault was initially mine. I overrated my strength. And Sushila was not near me to repress my oversanguine nature. What followed was excusable. Of course, whatever happened was unconscious and with the best of intentions. What I am anxious about is that we should make the most of the forthcoming meeting and so ensure efficient previous preparation. I shall be very busy tomorrow. If, therefore, I am unable to see you, you will have full chat with Pyarelal.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: C.W. 998. Courtesy: V. P. Limaye

185. LETTER TO DUNICHAND
P OONA ,

June 26, 1944
DEAR LALA DUNICHAND,

I have read your letter. My advice is that you should not submit to the conditions; it is better to go to prison. As to the Bengal distress, my illness renders me useless.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal. Also G.N. 5594

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186. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR1
[June 26, 1944] 2 Too busy to send you more than my love of which you have as much as you can carry.
BAPU
From the original: C. W. 4200. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7836

187. LETTER TO DINSHAW K. MEHTA
June 26, 1944
BHAI DINSHAW,

I could have only a brief talk with you. But all the time I have been thinking about the nature cure. The result is: This institution should remain as it is, with some modifications, because it is your creation. Do not enlarge its sphere of work. Buy about a thousand acres of land near a village under your supervision. There should be enough space for patients and also provision for the healthy ones to remain so. The rich and the poor should stay in the same way, and food for them should be produced there itself. Almost all the things should be grown there. Treatment through earth, water, light, air and ether should be given. Manage everything in such a way that the poor can get what they require. Such new institutions should come up as you get more workers. The management should be such that the institution is able to meet its expenses. Do not take Government aid so long as power is not in the people’s hands. Convene a meeting of naturopaths and discuss the issue. Take workers from among them. There should be a trust for this and the new institution which will come into being. At least you, Ghanshyamdas and myself should
& 2 The letter was written as postscript to one dated Poona, June 26, 1944, from Dr. Sushila Nayyar to Amrit Kaur, which read: “I went to Bombay yesterday . . . when I returned at night I found that a reply had been received from my ‘Dear Friend’ [M. A. Jinnah]. He has said a firm ‘No’. I must say that though we did not expect much from him, we were not quite prepared for that. Now the end is clear. It is only a matter of weeks. . . .” VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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be among the trustees. You can take any fees you think proper. But take [only] the sum fixed for your personal expense. The rest should be debited to the institution’s account. Define what items can come under nature cure, and write books of general knowledge about them. There is no need to wait for some occasion to arise. So long as I am out and alive, it will be under my supervision. But it should be so planned that it will function even during my absence. I have already started discussing it with Ghanshyamdas. He has agreed to do as I say. Think over this and let me know what changes you would like. You are absolutely free to suggest them. This can be accomplished only if you have your heart and mind in it. I can think only of you in this matter. I wish to forget about it, if you are not convinced. I believe we can get the help we need for the institution.
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

188. TELEGRAM TO PRIVATE SECRETARY TO VICEROY
P OONA ,

June 27, 1944
P RIVATE S ECRETARY TO VICEROY VICEROY’S C AMP
IN VIEW PERSISTENT INQUIRY ABOUT
1

EXCHANGE

RECENT

LETTERS SUGGEST RELEASE THEREOF FOR PUBLICATION.

GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 4

1

The correspondence was released to the Press from New Delhi on July 1,

1944.

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189. LETTER TO V. S. SRINIVASA SASTRI
P OONA ,

June 27, 1944
MY DEAR BROTHER,

The enclosed copies1 speak for themselves. The Viceregal reply does not dishearten me. I had expected nothing else. The reply, however, makes it clear to me that they cannot keep me free after discharge by the doctors. For, I see no way of giving co-operation in the continuing degradation of the people. Even the food relief is only so-called. But we must discuss the whole thing when we meet. Come to Panchgani when and if your health permits. I am in no hurry to make any public declaration. I am simply storing and digesting the information I gather.
Love from

YOUR LITTLE BROTHER
From a photostat: G.N. 8824

190. LETTER TO GAJANAN N. KANITKAR
P OONA ,

June 28, 1944
DEAR BALUKAKA,

Apart from everything else, I plead for pity on me. I have not a moment to spare. I tell you, I have been longing to have your son2 by me to teach me spinning on his improved takli. But I had to give up the attempt. So you should excuse me for old times’ sake. Write out all you have to say. The Congress can’t be compromised by you or me. It will be compromised by the collective activities of its members, if the sum total is discreditable. Do see the distinguished friends you mention. Your work need not be affected by the absence of the contemplated interview with me.
Yours,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: C.W. 971. Courtesy: Gajanan N. Kanitkar
1 Of Gandhiji’s letter to Lord Wavell and his reply; vide “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 17-6-1944. 2 Dhundiraj; vide also “Letter to Dhundiraj G. Kanitkar”, 9-7-1944.

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191. SPEECH TO CONGERSSMEN, POONA1
June 29, 1944
BROTHERS AND SISTERS,

When some of you came to Juhu, doctors forbade me to speak a word to you. And I felt very unhappy. When I came over to Poona I thought I would be able to meet you. Even now I am unwell, but still I meet many people and am able to talk to them. Why not with you then? I had hoped to spend some more time with you, but the doctors have permitted only half an hour. I have promised not to take more than the allotted thirty minutes. Hence I omit all preliminaries. At my request 2 , the Secretary kindly sent me a report of the happenings in Maharashtra since August 9, 1942. Besides the names of those assembled here, he has sent some questions. I have read all these papers carefully. I do not propose to reply to all the questions. This will not be possible within half an hour. You will, therefore, excuse me for confining my remarks only to the main issues. Today I do not meet you in any representative capacity. In terms (the language) of satyagraha, the moment I was imprisoned I ceased to wield the authority reposed in me by the Congress. And if I am now out of prison, it is not because of my strength or yours, but because of my illness. In a satyagrahi, illness is a thing to be ashamed of. This fortuitous release does not restore to me the authority that lapsed with my imprisonment. I discussed my position with some lawyer-friends3 in terms of the law prevalent in the land, and they are of the opinion that what I hold to be true in terms of satyagraha happens to be true legally too. What then is my status today? You who have gathered here occupy certain positions of authority in the Congress. I do not hold any such position. I am not even a four-anna member of the Congress. Iresigned from the Congress some years ago to try out the subtler laws of satyagraha. Nevertheless, I know that I hold a big place in your
About 50 representative Congressmen of Maharashtra met Gandhiji at the Nature-cure Clinic of Dr. Dinshaw Mehta. Gandhiji spoke in Hindustani. The translation given here has been collated with that of The Hindu, 1-7-1944. 2 Vide “Letter to V. P. Limaye”, p. 333. 3 Bhulabhai Desai, V. F. Taraporewala and K. M. Munshi. For their opinion, vide Appendix “Opinion on Gandhiji’s Responsibility”, 6-2-1944.
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hearts, and you would give weight to whatever I might say. What I may say is to be regarded merely as an individual opinion, to be accepted or rejected by you at will. It could have been otherwise, if I were speaking in a representative capacity. Then I would have expected you as disciplined soldiers to carry out my instructions. I thought of many things after reading the documents sent by you. But instead of discussing past happenings, I shall speak only of our present duties. What work I have done and am still doing in India or abroad is rooted in truth and non-violence. I have been experimenting all along with the introduction of truth and non-violence in day-to-day life. Some people believe that truth and non-violence have no place in the practice of politics and public affairs. I do not agree. I have always believed that these weapons are entirely useless, if they are meant only for personal salvation. I would not like to have even beatitude for myself alone. I am no slave of any rigid school. I have no guru. If I discover a guru, I shall bow before him. My religion teaches me the need for a guru and how to honour one. But today my heart is my only guru. I do not propose to give you a religious discourse today. I must say that if you have lost faith in the efficacy of truth and non-violence, I have no remedy for your despondency. Inside the prison I used to read the newspapers and now, when I am out, I hear from people that a sense of frustration has overpowered the country. But I felt no frustration in my heart in the prison and I feel none outside. If Congressmen feel frustrated, it is because they lack faith in truth and non-violence. Examine your hearts. Has your faith dwindled? You are good for nothing, if you are still in the Congress but have no faith in truth and nonviolence. Your being in the Congress would then be a sign of your ignorance. Who are Congressmen? Only those whose names are in its register? The Congress should be a poor organization, if it depended for its strength on the few lakhs of members whose names appeared on Congress rolls. At the Faizpur Congress1 , Deo and Dastane used to stress the point that the work done on behalf of the Congress was beyond description. Huge crowds gathered at Faizpur. But a very small proportion of them was on the Congress rolls. I noticed atFaizpur that not even untouchability had disappeared from the place. A cow could drink water at a well, but not an untouchable. Deo and Dastane did not notice this, but it did not escape my eyes. It has
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In December 1936

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been my endeavour from childhood to identify myself with the masses. I am one of them and not separate or different. That has enabled me to enter their hearts and to understand them. At the Round Table Conference I claimed that I represented the whole of India, those who supported the Congress and also those who had nothing to do with it. Since the Congress claims to serve all, it represents them all. Congress represents to a greater extent the poor, hungry and helpless millions. I shall not discuss today why they lost the lustre in their eyes. I will merely affirm that you represent Congress, and you cannot represent it without subscribing to truth and non-violence. Experience has led me to the firm conviction that our success has been mathematically proportionate to the extent to which we have adhered to truth and non-violence. The phenomenal awakening in the masses during the last 25 years has been entirely due to the purity of our means. And to the extent untruth and violence have crept in, they have hindered our progress. Whatever harm has come our way, it is due to our lack of faith in truth and non-violence. Today I do not wish to sit in judgment upon your actions. I only wish to place my convictions before you. Your faith in me overwhelms me. My fortuitous release has given rise to great expectations. I am doubtful whether I deserve all this confidence. But this much I know that whatever strength I may have is entirely due to my being a votary of truth and non-violence. If I make any suggestions, they are based on my faith in these fundamentals. You want to follow a man like me. You raise minor doubts which trouble me. If you feel frustrated, ask yourself whether your faith in truth and non-violence has ebbed away. If so, you should strengthen it. Dark clouds surround us. The Government is sitting tight. We do not see the way ahead of us. The communal tangle is, of course, there. Many people are cursing me. And yet I suffer from no sense of frustration. Frustration can spring only from one’s own weakness and loss of faith. So long as we do not lose faith in ourselves, it is well with India. My talking to you would have served its purpose, if I am able to drive away your frustration. You will ask me, what about the political deadlock, the communal tangle, the food-scarcity and the like? I have an answer for each of these. But I may not attempt it at this meeting. I am convinced that the sufferings of the people cannot be alleviated until India has real political power. I cannot alleviate the food situation by feeding a 136
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few hungry mouths. I have friendly relations with millionaires, not for personal gain or in order to flatter them, but in order to get a portion of their wealth for the service of the poor. They too know this. But their money cannot serve the hungry millions at present. What is the root cause of this widespread starvation? Under the cover of war, the Government is extorting huge sums. I am of the opinion that if India had been free, there would have been no war with Japan. And if Japan attacked us, we would have defeated it much earlier. I do not want to bring in Japan. I do not want a change of masters. I want to he free from all foreign control. For me the four corners of India are enough for us. If India understands my message thoroughly, freedom can come to us this moment. You must have seen my recent correspondence with the Government. Starvation and destitution are stalking the land. Millions of rupees are being drained out of India. We may not be deceived by the wealth to be seen in the cities of India. That wealth does not come from England or America. It comes from the blood of the poorest. I claim to be an economist though not of the academic sort. I understand the roots of misery and [poverty] of India. Are you going to stamp out India’s starvation by feeding a few hungry mouths? There are said to be 7,00,000 villages in India. Some of them have been simply wiped out. Who has kept count of them? I am a villager. I can recognize at a glance the traces of a ruined village. Where has it gone? Where are the villagers? If anyone raises a doubt about my allegations, I can go round with him and show him the devastation. God will give me the strength for that. The Government reports, though an underestimate, of the thousands who have died of starvation and disease in Bengal, Karnataka and elsewhere are shocking. But this devastation is negligible compared to the wider havoc wrought over India through the centuries. Why this havoc? It is because the blood of the poorest is being sucked; whoever eats a morsel more than he really needs, is sucking the blood of the poor. The money that goes to England and America is not your money, it is the blood of the poorest. I tell you that the pressure from the top crushes those at the bottom. What then is the remedy? All that is necessary is to get off their backs. This is the meaning of non-co-operation with evil. Wehave the mighty weapon of ahimsa. In action, it takes the form of civil disobedience and non-violent non-co-operation. Civil disobedience is a very potent weapon. But everyone cannot wield it.
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For that, one needs training and inner strength. It requires occasions for its use. But non-violent non-co-operation can be practised by everybody. I have already indicated the areas where we could non-co-operate. If we had stuck to non-co-operation, the prevailing mood of frustration would never have arisen. I have been receiving most depressing letters and also stimulating ones. Many Congressmen write to me saying that we must do something. Should we co-operate with the Government in the famine-relief work? The present deadlock, they say, must somehow be ended. Imitating the language of the Government, I would say, where is the deadlock? If the Government does not seek our co-operation, let it be so. The country, no doubt, belongs to us. If we do not co-operate with the Government, it will come to a halt in one day. But we run after the Government. We do so for a mess of pottage, for a monthly salary. The whole country has to suffer because a few fall a prey to the temptation. But we are born to suffer. Our capacity for suffering should not weaken. Many people believe that they are serving the poor by drawing a salary of Rs. 300 a month and contributing Rs. 290 for the welfare of the poor. But this is not correct. One who non-co-operates with the Government, and gives up the remaining ten rupees and prefers to die starving with the poor, renders the greatest service to the poor. I cannot offer you any further guidance today. If you grasp the significance of all that I have said, your way will be clear. I have no strength to get into details. The August resolution is still there. I cannot alter, nor do I wish to alter, a single comma in that resolution. You too cannot do so without sanction from the Working Committee. Remember the last few golden lines of the August resolution. On the arrest of the principal Congressmen on the 9th day of August, 1912, every Congressman became his own leader competent to act as he liked, provided that his action fell within the limits prescribed by truth and non-violence. Today you are in a position to meet and exchange notes. Even this is, in fact, not necessary. No hair-splitting discussions are called for. One step is enough. We must learn resolutely to say ‘No’ when it becomes a duty. Lord Willingdon used to say, ‘You are all yes-men.’ We must give up that tendency. If someone forcibly raises my hand to my forehead, it will not be a salute. And, in fact, despite his raising my hand, he cannot make me salute, if I have the strength to 138
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resist. My hand will involuntarily refuse. No one can force us to do anything against our will. No one can enslave us against our will. [From Hindi]
Maharashtrake Congress Karyakartaonke sath Mahatma Gandhijiki Baatcheet

192. LETTER TO ARUNA ASAF ALI
P OONA ,

June 30, 1944
CHI. DAUGHTER ARUNA,1

I have just read your letter. My whole heart goes out to you. I consider myself to be incapable of asking anybody, much less you, of doing anything that would hurt your pride.2 If you surrender yourself, you would do so to raise yourself and the country with you. The surrender won’t be out of your weakness but out of your strength. This struggle has been full of romance and heroism. You are the central figure. I would love to see you since you are so near. Therefore come, if you at all can. Lest you cannot, this is my advice: I do not want you to surrender unless you feel that it is the better course. I have brought myself to regard secrecy as a sin in the application of non-violence. But it cannot be followed mechanically. I am working for and in the name of the dumb and the downtrodden millions. They are strangers to the art of secrecy as I am. You must, therefore, be the best judge of what is proper. And is that not the final message of the Congress in the closing sentence of the great resolution of 8th August, 1942? Every Congressman is the bearer, in his (or her) own person, of the Congressmessage which he (or she) is
This is in Devanagari. In Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, pp. 40-1, Pyarelal explains: “The upshot of Gandhiji’s discussions with underground workers [vide Appendix “Discussion with Underground Workers”, before 2-6-1944] was that most of the Congressmen who were engaged in carrying on or directing underground activities in various parts of the country came out into the open. Some surrendered themselves to the authorities while others courted imprisonment by offering civil disobedience openly. Achyut Patwardhan and Aruna Asaf Ali could not reconcile themselves to the idea of surrendering to the British authorities.... out of deference to Gandhiji’s judgment, Achyut decided to withdraw from underground activity. But Aruna preferred to continue her outlaw career till the last.... Both Achyut and Aruna came out in the open when the warrants against them were cancelled in the beginning of 1946.”
2 1

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to carry out according to his (or her) own will, remaining within truth and non-violence. My being out does not entitle me to issue any instructions. Apart from the technicality I really do not know how to guide you. God be your sole guide and do as He bids you. This I promise: I will not judge you, no matter what you do. More if we meet.
Much love from

BAPU
From a facsimile: Link, 6-10-1968

193. LETTER TO MRIDULA SARABHAI
P OONA ,

June 30 , 1944
CHI. MRIDU,

Why are you waiting for my letter ? Why should I thus be burdened ? I have already written to you that you may come. But you must not rush. Come with the readiness to stay as long as I ask. Your last letter has been received. It will be answered when we meet, don’t you think ?
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original : C. W. 11229. Courtesy : Sarabhai Foundation

194. LETTER TO PRABHASHANKAR H. PAREKH
[June 1944] 1
BHAI PRABHASHANKAR,

Maganbhai has at last decided to accept whatever judgment I give. But he has told me that I should give my judgment after considering his statement and your reply to him. I have agreed. If you also think it is proper then have a lawyer draft a reply to Maganbhai’s statement and send it to me. Engage a competent lawyer. It would be
1 From the contents it appears that the letter was written in June 1944; vide “Letter to Maganbhai P. Desai”, 21-6-1944 and “Letter to Prabhshanker H. Parekh”, 9-7-1944.

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best if you could have Mavalankar. If you have any papers, send them to me. I hope you have now recovered.
Vandemataram from

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy of the Gujarati : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

195. LETTER TO RAMDAS AND NIRMALA GANDHI
[Before July 1, 1944] 1
CHI. RAMDAS AND NIMU,

Since Ba is not here, who is there gently to rebuke you for not writing at all? Every day I hope that I will see the handwriting of either of you. Just now, I am in a clinic. I feel better. It will take time. Perhaps I may go to Panchgani after the 1st. How are you all getting along?
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI R AMDAS GANDHI TATA ’S OFFICER NAGPUR, C.P.
From the Gujarati original: Mrs. Sumitra Kulkarni Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

196. TELEGRAM TO BRIJLAL NEHRU
July 1, 1944
BRIJLAL NEHRU S RINAGAR (KASHMIR)
RECEIVED TELEGRAM. HAVE NO ANXIETY. WRITING.

GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1 From the reference to Gandhiji being “in a clinic” at the time and his proposed visit to Panchgani “after the Ist”; in June, 1944, Gandhiji was convalescing at Dr. Mehta’s clinic in Poona and thereafter went to Panchgani on Juluy 2.

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197. SPEECH AT POONA1
July 1, 1944
Gandhiji said that when he saw in the papers in the detention camp that he was appointed Chairman of the Trust he was surprised, but he reconciled himself to the position by the thought that the conception behind the proposal to make him Chairman was that he should, on his release, guide the trustees in determining the object of the Fund and regulating its application from time to time. The belief was reinforced by the fact that the chief originator of the idea was Shri Narandas Gandhi who had set up the practice of presenting him with a purse collected chiefly in Kathiawar for the purpose of helping the spread of the hand-spinning movement and allied activities in Kathiawar. Gandhiji, however, could not shoulder the burden of attending meetings of the Trust regularly and guiding its day-to-day work. The real Chairman was Sir Purushottamdas Thakurdas, the Vice-Chairman. While the Fund was taking shape, the tragic death of Kasturba came. The idea of a National Memorial possessed the public, and the originator responded by combining the purse with the Memorial and merging the former in the latter. Thus the present Trust was formed. Kasturba was a simple woman devoted to village life, actually living and serving among villages. The object of the Fund was very properly the welfare of village women and children. It was well that the trustees and the donors should know the whole of his mind on the question of the welfare of women and children in the numerous villages of India. The welfare of his conception encompassed the whole life of the women and children in the villages. It, therefore, included maternity, hygiene and the treatment of diseases, and education. Education meant the basic education of the Hindustani Talimi Sangh. The scope of the Fund, therefore, excludes its use in towns and cities or in education abroad or even in the Universities of India. He said that it would be readily conceded that while the sum of rupees 75 lakhs appeared to be big for the purpose of a Memorial, it was ridiculously small for the scope he had indicated. Gandhiji said that he would be a useless Chairman and guide, if the trustees did not share his idea as to the scope of the Fund. Proceeding, Gandhiji said that there was talk that he had said that the collection should be confined to capitalists and that the general public need take no part in the collection. It was a travesty of truth. The principal men who could move in the matter of organizing country-side collection were behind prison bars. He was himself disabled. He, therefore, expected his rich friends to pull their fullest weight. He could never be guilty of harbouring even the thought that the Congress and other Gandhiji presided over a meeting of trustees of Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Fund. He spoke in Gujarati.
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workers should sit supine. The Memorial was a National Memorial in which everyone, no matter what his politics, was expected to put in his best effort. It would be no Memorial, if the collections were confined to capitalists. Indeed Mridulabehn, who was one of the most active of workers, had come to him for guidance in the matter of collections in Gujarat. An unwarranted but pardonable suspicion seems to have been created by the currency of the conversation he had with Dadasaheb Mavalankar who had come for discussion. Gandhiji had told him that so far as he was concerned his work should be confined to the exercise of his unrivalled influence among the moneyed men. “He is, like me, an ailing man,” said Gandhiji. He would not like him to risk his health in doing the taxing work of house-to-house collection. That could be easily organized by the workers that are still available. It would be a thousand pities, if anyone who had faith in the object of the Memorial avoided paying his quota, or inducing his friends to pay theirs, under the false belief that Gandhiji wishes people other than capitalists to refrain from contributing to the Memorial. Indeed he considered it a good sign that so many millionaires of India were not deterred by any real or imaginary fear of harm from identifying themselves with the Memorial of the dead wife of a detenu condemned by the powers that be. For him, the Chairman, it was a matter of gratification. Gandhiji said that he did count moneyed men among his friends. He knew that critics were not wanting who considered his association with moneyed men a sign of weakness unworthy of a votary of truth and non-violence. The speaker, on the other hand, considered such association as essentially a sign of his non-violence. His many friends knew well the motive for his association with them. He received money from them for many constructive activities, some of which were also supremely humanitarian. They allowed him to put his hands into their pockets for the All-India Spinners’ and Village Industries’ Associations, and for basic education as defined by the Hindustani Talimi Sangh, and other similar causes. So far as he knew, they had nothing to gain by his association with them. His contact with them took place after they had proved their success as businessmen. His mission was to convert capitalists not into mere friends and patrons of the millions of unemployed, but willing sharers of their goods with them. Further he had observed that some had doubted whether the Funds collected would not be used for political ends. He had no hesitation whatsoever in giving the assurance that he had no such idea in view. The All-India Spinners’ Association and the other bodies just referred to by him, even though initiated by the Congress, had no political character about them. This Memorial movement, Mr. Gandhi added, had been initiated not by the Congress or Congressmen, but by non-Congressmen and for a purely humanitarian VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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purpose. In a higher sense, no great act done by an Indian, whether politician or no, could be without political significance. He had in mind the activities of Indians in the field of literature and science and philosophy.1

The Bombay Chronicle, 3-7-1944

198. LETTER TO DINSHAW K. MEHTA
July 3, 1944
BHAI DINSHAW,

I saw the houses. I found them dirty. You must attend to this. How can one bear to see dirty chairs in a hospital? The patients should also be taught how to use them. Your assistant should know about it. The houses of the labourers are not good at all. They should be simple but at the same time good enough for people like us to live in. You saw the lavatory and noticed the stink. Improving this does not involve much expense. Take this up as soon as you come down. There is room for improvement in the kitchen also. Things will not improve till you yourself take it up. I was very much impressed by your management. There is peace all over in the institution. Nobody talks loudly. You are yourself soft-spoken, and you seldom talk. Usually we shout while talking. I hope to write more about the new scheme immediately. I often call to mind Gulbai’s2 services.
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

The report added that during a discussion which followed “Gandhiji’s definition of the object of Memorial Fund was unanimously agreed to .... it was decided . . . to amend the previous resolution on the definition of the aims and objects of the Fund and to restrict it to the welfare and education of women and children in the villages.” 2 Addressee’s wife

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199. LETTER TO GOMATI MASHRUWALA
P ANCHGANI,

July 3, 1944
CHI. GOMATI,

Wrote just this much on the 1st and the invasion of visitors began. Today is the 3rd. I feel quite well here. If the place suits me, I hope to beagain on my feet. Whether or not I recover, I hope to be there in August, assuming of course that no unexpected obstacle prevents me from going there. I was glad that Kishorelal1 discovered the error. I was sure that he would do so. Nobody in the world ever had a more sincere co-worker than him. I at any rate, never had. It was distressing to me to discourage you in your desire to come here but that was the right thing to do. It therefore hurts me that my going to Sevagram is being delayed. I cannot give up the desire to get perfectly well. How can I give it up? I have nothing which I may call my own. Do not we sing every day: ten tyakten bhunjithah? I had specially invited Nathji2 to Poona. We met daily from [June] 20 to July 2. We have never been together for so many days. Both of us were pleased. He stayed in separate quarters. I am always surrounded by a crowd. It would have been difficult for him to observe his rules in the midst of them all. Vasumati and Amtussalaam have badly disappointed me. I placed both of them in Dinshaw’s clinic for treatment, but they did not like it. Now I see the matter with the . . . . 3 eye, and see no reason for disappointment. One is disappointed only if one hopes. Is it not so? There was no reason for . . .4 . My suggestion may have been for their good, but even so, is it not a delusion for me to believe that their good lies in doing what I wish? So they [may do] 5 as they think fit. Send this to them, so that I may not have to write separately to them. I have received Kanchan’s reply. I was glad that she exercised patience. When I arrive there, she should spend with me as much time as possible. I feel like writing separately to her but control the desire.
1 2

Addressee’s husband, Kishorelal Mashruwala Kedarnath Kulkarni, Kishorelal’s religious guide 3 The source is blank at these places. 4 ibid 5 ibid VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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Though I meet fewer visitors, I have a heap of papers to attend to and the treatment I am taking for my health leaves me so little time that I cannot attend to them all. Here is my schedule for today. There is no light here from 11 p.m. to 5.30 a.m. From 7 to 7.30 prayer. At 8, fruit juice and jaggery. Up to 8.30, work. Up to 12.15, walking, massage and bath. At 1.30 eating, reading or asking someone to read out to me. Thereafter upto 3.30 in the water-closet, followed by a siesta and writing of letters (for half an hour). At 4.30, mud-pack and reading or writing, lying in the bed. I started writing this letter thus lying in the bed and it is now 4.45. After finishing this, I wish to attend to nature’s call and so might visit the water-closet. After 5, I will spin. As far as possible, I spin for an hour. A few days ago, I started observing silence while spinning. Today, of course, is my silence day. At 6, I will have some curd and fruit. After that, there will be prayer. I will attend to it, and then go for a walk and after that, hope to work for one hour. The fact is that my capacity for work is still limited. I am using up what little strengthI have gained. It does not seem proper not to use it up in that way. Thus, I act as God prompts me to. If professing to act in the name of God, I am in fact acting through ignorant attachment, it cannot but . . .1 Show this letter to all.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of Gujarati : S.N. 33128

200. INTERVIEW TO STUART GELDER2
July 4, 1944
I saw Gandhi at Panchgani on the 4th July. I told him: “My Editor is anxious to help in solving the political deadlock in India. I went to Delhi and I was disappointed. I hope you will not disappoint me.” I asked: “Supposing you saw the Viceroy, what would you say to him?” He immediately replied:

I would tell him that I sought the interview with a view to help and not to hinder the Allied war-effort. But I can do nothing without
Some words here are illegible in the source. This appeared under the date-line “Panchgani, July 12” as “notes” prepared by Gandhiji for publication in News Chronicle which Gelder represented. The interview was “distributed over three days”; vide “Telegram to S. Sadanand”, 12-71944, and “Statement to the Press”, 12-7-1944.
2 1

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seeing the members of the Working Committee for I believethat my authority under the August resolution ended with my imprisonment. It was not revived by my release. You are not interested in my personal views, but you should be, if I spoke as a representative.
I interrupted and said: “The Viceroy and everybody else is interested to know your mind because of your hold on the masses of India.” He replied:

I am a democrat and I cannot exploit that hold except through the organization in the building of which I had a hand.
But again I interrupted and said: “Before the Viceroy permits you to see the Committee, he would want to know how you would influence the members.” He said:

History does not repeat itself. The conditions of 1942 do not exist today. The world has moved on during the last two years. The whole situation has to be reviewed de novo. The point, therefore, for me to discuss with the Working Committee is to know how they react to the knowledge that I gained since my release. I have to take up the thread that was broken by the Government in 1942. I was first to negotiate and, on failure, to offer civil resistance, if I thought it necessary. I want to plead with the Viceroy. I can do so only when I know the Working Committee’s mind. But I tell you that the common talk among us is that whatever the Viceroy may wish personally, he has no authority in the political sphere. Mr. Churchill does not want any settlement. He wants to crush me, if he has been correctly reported.1 He has never denied the report. The beauty of it, for me, and the pity of it, for him, is that no one can crush a satyagrahi; for, he offers his body as a willing sacrifice and this makes the spirit free.2 The Bombay Chronicle, 13-7-1944

In This Was Bapu, p . 139, R. K. Prabhu explains that while referring to Gandhi-Irwin talks in his address to the Council of the West Essex Unionist Association on February 23, 1931, Churchill was reported to have said: “It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, an Inner Temple lawyer now become a seditious fakir of a type well-known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Viceregal palace while he is still organizing and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King Emperor. I am against these conversations. . . . The truth is that Gandhism and all it stands for will have to be grappled with and finally crushed.” 2 Vide also “Letter to Winston Churchill”, 17-7-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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201. INTERVIEW TO STUART GELDER1
July 4[to6] 2 1944
I saw Mahatma Gandhi on July 4th at Panchgani. I told him: “My Editor is anxious to help in solving the political deadlock in India. I went to Delhi and I was disappointed. I hope you will not disappoint me.” I asked him: “Supposing you saw Lord Wavell how would you begin to talk? What would you say to him?” He promptly replied that he would tell the Viceroy that he had sought the interview with a view to help and not to hinder the Allies, and it was to this end he had asked for permission to see the members of the Congress Working Committee. He said, he had no authority to act in the name of the Congress. According to the canons of satyagraha, when a civil resister was imprisoned, the authority vested in him automatically came to an end. Hence the need for him to see the members of the Working Committee. I said: “The Viceroy might feel, as you swear by the August resolution and by the weapon of civil disobedience, your meeting the Working Committee members may only result in their re-investing you with authority to carry on civil disobedience in the name of the Congress, and the result will be that when you come out of the interview you will hold the pistol on the Viceroy’s head and say: ‘Do this or I start civil disobedience.’ That would make things worse than they are today.” Gandhi replied:

At the back of that is total distrust of my profession that I am, and have always been, a friend of the British. Therefore I can never use the weapon of civil disobedience during the war, unless there was a very grave reason as, for instance, the thwarting of India’s natural rights to freedom.
My next question was: “Supposing the Working Committee was let out of jail tomorrow and the Government refuses to give India what they want, would you start civil disobedience?” Gandhi replied:

If the Working Committee came out, they would take stock of the situation and discuss things among themselves and with me. I can tell you this, that I have no intention of offering civil disobedience today. I cannot take the country back to 1942. History can never berepeated. Even without the authority of the Congress, if I wanted to
1 In the source, the interview appeared as “Second Statement” and followed Gandhiji’s version, vide the preceding item. 2 ibid

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do it, I could start civil disobedience today on the strength of my supposed influence with the masses. But I would be doing so merely to embarrass the British Government. This cannot be my object. But the Working Committee would not sit still while people are suffering. It is my conviction that we cannot meet fully the situation and alleviate the sufferings of the people, unless power and responsibility are transferred from British into Indian hands. Without such transfer, the attempts of Congressmen and others to alleviate the people’s sufferings are most likely to lead to conflict with the Government.
I interrupted and said: “When things are as they are, I cannot believe that they will transfer authority now; that is, Government will not concede the demand for independence while the war is on.” Gandhi replied that there was a difference between what he would ask today and what was asked in 1942. Today he would be satisfied with a national government in full control of civil administration. It was not so in 1942. Such a government would be composed of persons chosen by the elected members of the Central Assembly. “This would mean declaration of independence of India, qualified as above, during the war.” I thought it was a great improvement on the 1942 position. I asked him if the military would control railways and the ports, etc. Gandhi replied that the national government would let the military have all the facilities that it might require. But the control would be that of the national government. Ordinance rule would give place to normal administration by the national government. “Will the Viceroy be there?”, I asked. [Gandhiji replied:]

Yes, but he will be like the King of England guided by responsible Ministers. Popular government will be automatically restored in all the provinces so that both the provincial and the central government will be responsible to the people of India. So far as military operations are concerned, the Viceroy and the Commander-in-Chief will have complete control. But it must be possible for the national government to offer advice and criticisms even in military matters. Thus the portfolio of Defence would be in the hands of the national government which would be genuinely interested in the defence of the country and may render great assistance in the shaping of policies.
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The Allied forces would be allowed to carry on their operations on Indian soil; I realize that they cannot defeat Japan without that.
Gandhi made it clear that the expenses of the Allied operations on the Indian soil should not be borne by India. I asked: “If a national government is formed, would you advise the Congress to participate in it?” Gandhi replied in the affirmative. I asked: “So it means that if a national government is formed, the Congress will join and help the war effort. What would be your position?” [Gandhiji replied:]

I am a lover of peace through and through. After independence was assured I would probably cease to funtion as adviser to the Congress and, as an all-war resister, I would have to stand aside; but I shall not offer any resistance against the national government or the Congress. My co-operation will be abstention from interfering with the even tenor of life in India. I shall work with the hope that my influence will always be felt to keep India peace-minded and brotherhood among all without the distinction of race and colour.
I next asked: “Supposing there is a conflict between the civil and military authorities, how would the dispute be settled? If, for example, civil authorities want to use the railway to carry two thousand tons of food, and the military authorities wanted it for carrying munitions, what would you advise?” Gandhi replied:

As I said before, I would not have to advise on such matters. But supposing I had, I can conceive of the necessity of allowing precedence to the military. But supposing the military wanted to blow off places or practice manoeuvres in disregard of the life of the people, I would say: ‘Hands off.’ The thing is that with mutual trust such difficulties would not arise and if they did, they would be easily adjusted. If there is no trust, I cannot work. I cannot work for Allied victory without trust. If they trusted, a settlement would be easy to achieve. Freedom for India will bring hope to Asiatics and other exploited nations. Today there is no hope for the Negroes, but Indian freedom will fill them with hope.
Finally I asked: “What about the Hindu-Muslim differences?” Gandhi replied:

If the British meant well, there would be no difficulties.
Gandhi said in conclusion:

Most of us believe that whatever the Viceroy may wish personally, he has not the authority in the political sphere. Mr. Churchill does not want a settlement. He wants to crush me, if he has 150
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been correctly reported1 . He has never denied the report. The beauty of it, for me, and the pity of it, for him, is that no one can crush a satyagrahi; for, he offers his body as a willing sacrifice and thus makes the spirit free.
In the course of his explanatory statement, Mahatma Gandhi said that throughout his talks with the British journalist he had emphasized the fact that he was speaking for himself and in no sense involving the Congress in what he said. He added:

I do not know how far today I represent the views of the members of the Working Committee. And about Hindu-Muslim formula which has nothing to do with these two statements, I have not spoken as a Hindu. I have spoken as an Indian first and an Indian last. My Hinduism is my own—I personally think it embraces all faiths. Therefore I have no authority to speak as a representative of the Hindus. That I respond to mass mind and the masses know me instinctively is a fact which cannot be gainsaid but I have not built my case upon it.2 The Bombay Chronicle, 13-7-1944

202. A NOTE
July 5, 1944 This is not Ramachandran’s letter. The signature is altogether different. Let the money be sent here. There are no indications that Harijan will be published.3 But if it is published, you may certainly bring out its Tamil and Telugu editions.
From a copy of the Gujarati : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

203. LETTER TO RAMANATHAN
P ANCHGANI,

July 5, 1944
MY DEAR RAMANATHAN,

I was delighted to have your letter. If any member as such of
Vide 2nd footnote of “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944. Vide also “Statement to the Press”, 12-7-1944. 3 Publication of the journal was suspended on October 24, 1940. It was subsequently revived on February 10, 1946.
2 1

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the A.I.S.A. took part in the movement, it was contrary to the constitution and my direction. The latter was that those who contemplated taking part were to resign. As to sabotage and the like, I have expressed my opinion against them as also against secrecy1 As to the particulars you mention, I would like you to see me at Sevagram, if I reach there and am declared free from the present illness.
Yours,

BAPU
From a photostat: G.N. 9258. Also C.W. 3075

204. DRAFT LETTER TO THACKER & CO. AND OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS2
July 5, 1944 It was after much thought that I declared a trust in connection with my writings. I had observed misuse of Tolstoy’s writings for want of a trust. By curing the defect, I preserved fully the idea lying behind dislike for copyright, i.e., for personal gain for one’s writings. The idea also was to prevent profiteering by publishers or distortion or misrepresentation, wilful or unintentional. I have requested the Navajivan Trust to permit you to publish Shri Prabhu’s compilation with the right for you to multiply editions as long as there is demand for it, provided that the price will be reduced to the minimum, leaving to you a profit of not more than five per cent—one half of which shall be paid to Shri Prabhu as honorarium for his labours. One hundred copies of each edition should be given free of cost to the Navajivan Trust. The Navajivan Trust should have the right to publish a cheaper edition (in English or in any Indian languages) for sale in India including Burma and Ceylon. If, per chance, any profit accrues, it will be equally divided among your firm, Shri Prabhu and the Navajivan Trust.
Samsmarano, pp. 164-5 Vide “Letter to Annada Babu Chowdhary”, 9-6-1944; also Appendices “Discussion on Underground Activities”, after 31-3-1944 and “Discussion with Underground Workers”, before 2-6-1944. 2 This was an enclosure to the following item.
1

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205. LETTER TO G. V. MAVALANKAR
P ANCHGANI,

July 5, 1944
BHAI MAVALANKAR,

I had a talk 1 with Bhai Prabhu. I didn’t get the impression that he had done anything through a selfish motive. I went through the papers submitted by him. I don’t find copies of our communications to him. I will go through them when they arrive. I don’t need them, however, for future use. I am, therefore, sending herewith a draft2 of the letter to be addressed to both the publishing firms. If you approve of it, I will write accordingly. If you wish to suggest changes, you may do so. I have been discussing what to say on the blurbs. If you have any suggestions to make in regard to it, please do so. I have also been thinking about the title of the book on brahmacharya. You would not probably like to waste time in thinking over a matter like this. If you have any suggestions or comments to make regarding the arrangements for the Kasturba Memorial Fund, you may do so. Would you like to make any suggestions regarding the names of the ten trustees? The air here is quite humid. Its magic will be known by and by.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 1719

206. LETTER TO JOHN HAYNES HOLMES
AS AT S EVAGRAM , via WARDHA , 3

July 6, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I was much touched by your letter of 10th May last. Dissolution of my wife’s body has enriched my life. For, I remember only her great merits. Her limitations were reduced to ashes
1 2

On June 28; vide “Letter to R. K. Prabhu”, 19-6-1944. Vide the preceding item. 3 Permanent address VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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with the body. As for me, I am making slow but steady progress. We are all passing through anxious times. Sympathy of friends like you sustains me in my struggle against forces of evil. Mirabehn has gone to the Himalayas for health’s sake.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI DR. J OHN HAYNES HOLMES 10 P ARK AVENUE NEW YORK 16 N. Y.
1

From a photostat: C.W. 10965. Courtesy: S.P.K. Gupta. Also from a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

207. LETTER TO DR. JOSIAH OLDFIELD
AS AT SEVAGRAM,

via WARDHA, 2

July 6, 1944
MY DEAR OLDFIELD,

Your letter revives very old and sweet memories. Of course, you could point out many omissions in my writings. I was not writing an autobiography. I wrote about my experiments with truth. WhateverI deemed necessary for the purpose and recollected, I reduced to writing.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: C.W. 4518. Courtesy: Dr. Josiah Oldfield

1879-1964; American clergyman; founder-member of American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People; Editor of Unity; Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Visiting Professor (under the auspices of the Watumull Foundation) at Banaras Hindu University from October 1947 to January 1948; author of My Gandhi, and books on religion and social subjects 2 Permanent address

1

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208. LETTER TO SAROJINI NAIDU
PANCHGANI, S ATARA DIST.,

July 6, 1944
DEAR MRS. NAIDU,

Bapu was very glad to have your note of the 28th ult. His acquaintance with the late Nawab Yarjung was so slight that he does not feel any enthusiasm about sending the message you have suggested. Bapu has a grouse against you. Sir Radhakrishnan was here yesterday. He said that you were as incorrigible about taking care of your health as ever. When are you going to turn a new leaf in this respect ? How is Padmaja ? With regards, Yours sincerely, PYARELAL

[PS.]
Dear Ammajan, Bapu’s anaemia is better. Bhai forgot to mention it. How are you ? Love. SUSHILA MRS . S AROJINI NAIDU “SUKH NIWAS” RAMKOTE HYDERABAD DECCAN From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar:

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209. LETTER TO MANU S. MASHRUWALA
P ANCHGANI,

[July 6, 1944] 1
CHI. MANUDI,

Are you offended with me? How long will you remain so? And is it right for children to feel offended with their parents?
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 5062. Courtesy: Surendra Mashruwala

210. LETTER TO MANU GANDHI
P ANCHGANI,

July 6, 1944
CHI. MANUDI,

Your letter is good. The work that you have undertaken is fine but it will come in the way of your study. But never mind that. It will save your eyes from harm. Study as much as you can with due care for your eyesight. God has endowed you with capacity for service and, therefore, you get such work unasked. Overcome your habit of thoughtless spending. Take care of everything and use it as a poor person would.
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] To Jaisukhlal later.
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIV

In the source, the letter appears below the one dated July 6, 1944, from Kishorelal Mashruwala to the addressee.

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

211. LETTER TO GIRIRAJ KISHORE1
P ANCHGANI,

July 6, 1944 Just now be content with only my blessings.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 8772

212. LETTER TO R. R. KEITHAHN
P ANCHGANI,

July 7, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I hope you will have a successful gathering. Twenty real votaries of Truth and Love are equal to or rather more than a match for a number of indifferent persons raised to Nth power. Love.
BAPU R EV . R. R. K EITHAHN2 156 BANVARGHATTI R OAD BANGALORE C ITY
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

213. LETTER TO PURUSHOTTAM K. JERAJANI
P ANCHGANI,

July 7, 1944
BHAI KAKUBHAI,

Indeed we have suffered a great loss in the passing away of your father3 . He is relieved of the burden. Although I knew very little about him, I had heard a lot about his love of khadi. The straight and noble
The letter appears below the one from Pyarelal to the addressee. American missionary and social worker in India; the Mysore Government served an externment order on him on August 8, 1944. 3 Kanjibhai Jerajani
2 1

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way to fill the void created by his passing away is to emulate that love of his.
Blessings from

BAPU KHADI BHANDAR BOMBAY
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

214. LETTER TO CHHOTUBHAI
P ANCHGANI,

July 7, 1944
BHAI CHHOTUBHAI,

I like your letter very much because it is so candid. But you have raised questions one would not expect from a man of your intelligence. There are other co-workers like you and I sometimes wonder if my company is stifling their intelligence. All the same, I answer the questions. 1. I have not the least doubt of Russia’s bravery. But I would not weigh it on the scales of non-violence. 2. It does not appear to me that anything that is happening today can be likened to the Dharasana episode. I can understand the hardship resulting from the refusal of the farmers to sell the stocks of grains lying with them to the Government at rates lower than they can afford. But the looting of Government grain stocks cannot be called non-violent whether it is done after serving prior notice or not. I have always considered and still consider salt public property like water and air. I cannot include acts like sabotage of railways, etc., in nonviolence. 3. It is of course not easy to decide on a programme for someone who is bent upon facing bullets in a non-violent way, but it is not impossible. One is not duty-bound to give one’s name. Informing about the action contemplated would suffice. If at the time fixed one finds that no one has come to the spot because the notice, being anonymous, had been thrown away, another notice can be sent. If this is done again and again, one day the tiger is sure to come. However, do not conclude from this that I consider the programme mentioned in the second question non-violent even if carried out after giving 158
THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

prior information. My answer is intended only to clear the difficulty about the third question. 4. The information contained in the cutting is more or less correct. My advice to Raojibhai was not in exercise of a right. One does not advise as a matter of right. One commands. Is that not so ? I lost the right to command from the moment of my incarceration. 5. Post Offices, courts, and so on, today do not belong to the people. Even when they come to belong to the people, they will not be personal property. Even personal property will be property belonging to the people. Out of that, only what the nation has given unto itself or kept for itself would belong to it. I hope this provides you all the explanations you seek. I have not revised the above.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

215. LETTER TO B. S. MOONJE
July 8, 1944
DEAR DR. MOONJE ,

In reply to your letter of the 2nd inst. to Gandhiji, I am to say that you are at liberty to publish your letter of the 27th June to him.
Yours sincerely, From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

216. LETTER TO K. M. MUNSHI
P ANCHGANI,

July 8, 1944
BHAI MUNSHI,

I got your opinion. 1 In the circumstances stated by you, it is not desirable to publish it. I will preserve it with me. Your labour will

1

Vide Appendix “Opinion on Gandhiji’s Responsibility”, 6-2-1944.

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not go in vain; I am already using it for my own purpose. I am enclosing a note for Sarla1 .
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: C. W. 7676. Courtesy: K. M. Munshi

217. LETTER TO GUNOTTAM HUTHEESING
July 8, 1944
CHI. RAJA,

I am simply waiting for the 20th. One need not fear the climate of this place because one can always return to one’s own place, if the climate does not suit one. Death strikes a man but once; cowardice hundreds of times. Moreover you had better pay a visit, if only to fulfil a promise. If you are still hesitant in spite of all this persuasion, you should stay put. It is surprising that Krishna 2 cannottake care of herself. She must stay on for the sake of Indira 3 , else I would have dragged along both of you. Let me have your final decision.
Blessings from

BAPU HUTHEESING BOMBAY
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

218. LETTER TO BHARATI SARABHAI
[After July 8, 1944] 4
CHI . BHARATI,

I have forgotten the talk I had with Pyarelal. But I like your book 5 . It certainly has a beautiful theme. I like best the portrayal of your heart, as presented in the book. I cannot be a judge of the language. I have hardly read a few poems and can appreciate little. I found the language affected. Moreover I certainly wish that your poetic faculty blossoms through the medium of Gujarati. Is there any
1 2

Addressee’s daughter, Sarla Seth Addressee’s wife 3 Indira Gandhi 4 In the source, the letter is placed after the letters of July 8, 1944. 5 The Well of the People, published in 1943

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

dearth of lovers of English? How many lovers can Gujarati boast of?
Blessings from

BAPU B. S ARABHAI AHMEDABAD
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

219. LETTER TO JATINDERNATH
P ANCHGANI,

July 9, 1944
DEAR JATINDERNATH,

I have gone through your letter. It makes me sad. Ill as I am, I am powerless to help much. But taking the recital as true, the question is why did not the two men who were so brutally assaulted resist unto death. Non-violent resistance is possible without inflicting injury onthe injurer. I know this is more easily said than done. But if we are to learn the art of non-violence, we must refuse to be living witnesses of our own degradation. You are at liberty to show this to any friend you like. Mind, I cast no reflection on the living ones. My object is to point the moral.
Yours sincerely,

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

220. LETTER TO SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY
‘DILKHUSHA, P ANCHGANI,

July 9, 1944
S ECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF BOMBAY (H.D.) P OONA
SIR,

I have received your letter1 of 7th instant in connection with the ground in H.H. the Aga Khan’s Palace where Shri Mahadev Desai’s and Smt. Kasturba Gandhi’s bodies were cremated. My purpose is served by the present arrangement for which I thank the Government.
Yours, etc.,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 3939

In reply to Gandhiji’s letter dated May 6, 1944, vide “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 6-5-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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221. LETTER TO PRABHASHANKAR H. PAREKH
P ANCHGANI,

July 9, 1944
BHAI PRABHASHANKAR,

I have your letter. You are in great distress but you are enduring it with courage. From Champa’s 1 letters, I learn that you have been freed [from attending to Dr. Mehta’s finances.] For what work am I appointed an arbitrator? I am not even aware of it. My appointment and continuance as an arbitrator depend only upon the goodwill of friends. May I know what kind of guidance you expect from me? I have no idea what I should do. Without going deep into the matter I should only advise you to give Champa whatever she wants. What is there left for you now? Repeat the Lord’s name in solitude and render as much service as you can.
Vandemataram from

MOHANDAS S HRI P RABHASHANKAR HARCHANDBHAI P AREKH DERA S HERI R AJKOT C ITY KATHIAWAR
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XX

1

Addressee’s daughter, wife of Ratilal, Dr. Pranjivan Mehta’s son THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

162

222. LETTER TO DHUNDIRAJ G. KANITKAR
P ANCHGANI,

July 9, 1944
CHI. DHUNDIRAJ,

I have your letter. My recovery is slower than I had expected; so now I would reluctantly ask you not to come over. It keeps raining all day. Besides, I do not have sufficient accommodation for you. Please ask your father to forgive me.1
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI DHUNDIRAJ GAJANAN KANITKAR HINDMATA MANDIR 341 S ADASHIVPETH P OONA
From a photostat of the Hindi: C.W. 972. Courtesy: Gajanan N. Kanitkar

223. A LETTER
P ANCHGANI,

July 10, 1944 2 As for Bapa’s reference of July 6, I see no discrepancy in my opinion regarding Nanjibhai’s 3 proposed donation and the previous opinion quoted by Bapa. My point is that no donor should arbitrarily keep part or whole of the donation with himself. He may send recommendation about ear-marking. If it satisfies our conditions, the ear-marking may be allowed. If my opinion is held good, the fourth condition is superfluous. Thus while I see no discrepancy in my present opinion and the past, my emphasis has changed. In my weakness, I was anxious to make up the total of 75 lacs somehow. Now I am strong enough to resist that temptation. We shall better serve the object of the Memorial by securing what we can by October 2 next, than by letting donors to
1 2

Vide also “Letter to Gajanan N. Kanitkar”, 28-61944. As Secretary, Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Fund Trust 3 Nanji Kalidas; vide also “Letter to Nanji Kalidas”, 20-9-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

163

fritter away the sum by local earmarkings and keeping the bulk with themselves. In the States, generally, we are likely to experience difficulty in spending money in the villages. I prefer the use of the word ‘villages’ to that of the expression ‘rural areas’. There may be rural area of Calcutta but it may not be composed of villages properly so-called. Santa Cruz is a suburban area but not a village. I hope the distinction I have made is capable of being easily understood. Again our large donors will be townsmen. Their natural-wish will be to spend their donation in their own way and in their own place. This may defeat the purpose of this Memorial. I see the prospect of such questions arising frequently. They will be largely of interpretation. I am most anxious to spare Bapa’s time and trouble. Let him unhesitatingly interpret rulings to the best of his ability and risk difference of opinion with the chairman. In matters of interpretation, Bapa’s shall be final except where he has previously referred any such question to me. I would like Bapa, if he can, to be satisfied with my Gujarati. I know it is difficult in old age to change confirmed habits. I have strong objection to the use of English when the use of the mother tongue or the national language is possible. But here again let Bapa’s wish prevail. He is on the active list. I am on the sick list and have therefore time for indulging in preferences. This letter should be sent to Bapa wherever he may be. It should also be shown to Sir Purushottamdas. If he differs on the question referred to me by Bapa, I should know.1 This opinion was drafted yesterday. It was typed today. Bapa’s bombshell came later. I hope it will not explode.
BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1

What follows is in Gujarati. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

164

224. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR
[July 10, 1944] 1
CHI. AMRIT 2

I better conserve my time and energy for the business before me. I have no news to give you. Play I dare not when there is work which calls me. And I have hardly enough energy to cope with the daily post. Love to all.
BAPU
From the original: C.W. 4201. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7837

225. LETTER TO VANAMALA N. PARIKH
P ANCHGANI,

July 10, 1944
CHI. VANAMALA,

So the fat on your body has proved completely deceptive, hasn’t it? More deceptive even than mine? You have got what you deserved. If you had given up salt, etc., from the beginning, don’t you think you wouldn’t have been obliged to give them up now? But never mind. Rest for four months now and make your body quite strong. Maybe, this ordeal will improve your hearing too. Show this to the doctor. He is no doctor who treats a patient only for one symptom. The root cause of all diseases is generally one. But all this is idle philosophizing intended for your amusement while lying in bed.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 5792. Also C.W. 3015. Courtesy: Vanamala M. Desai

In the source, the letter appears below the one dated July 10, 1944, from Pyarelal to the addressee. Pyarelal said: “By the time this reaches you, you will have seen in the papers the latest bombshell, i.e., Rajaji-Jinnah correspondence which was released yesterday. That ought not to surprise you. Bapu had shown his preparedness for exploring some such formula even as far back as August 4, 1942, when he wrote to C. R. about it. . . .” For the text of C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula, drafted in 1943, side Appendix “C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula”, before 5-8-1942. 2 This is in Devanagari. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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226. LETTER TO ISHVARLAL G. VYAS
P ANCHGANI,

July 10, 1944
BHAI ISHWARLAL,

I have read your letter carefully. Most of the women have been provided for by you and Purbai. That is as it ought to be. If I go to Sevagram, and if you find it convenient and think it necessary, both of you may come and see me there. Workers have no time or money to waste. I, therefore, try to stop most of them. But there are some who need reassurance. And these do come. Orissa has been in my thoughts all the time, but I have deliberately refrained from speaking about it. You have an eternal famine there. Its protector is God. Appealing in my name is not going to be of any particular help.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI ISHWARLAL G. V YAS P URBAI ASHRAM, S ORO P.O . BALASORE DISTRICT
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 5061

227. TELEGRAM TO ZIAUDDIN CHAUDHARI
P ANCHGANI,

[On or after July 10, 1944] 1
ZIAUDDIN C HAUDHARI2 C ARE EMDESSONS KARACHI
RAJAJI’S OFFER SUPERCEDES PREVIOUS WRITING IF CONTRARY.

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

In the source, the telegram is placed among the items of 1944; the date is inferred from the reference to “Rajaji’s offer” which was published on July 10. Vide 1st footnote of “Letter to Amrit Kaur”, 10-7-1944. 2 Sir Ziauddin Ahmed, Member, Central Legislative Assembly, Vice Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

228. LETTER TO MIR MUSHTAQ AHMED
July 11, 1944
DEAR MIR SAHIB,

I am clear that the conditions are derogatory and unacceptable. Detenus who decline to avail of facilities with humiliating restrictions do well. But my opinion carries no authority.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI MIR MUSHTAQ AHMED S AHEB 34 P REM HOUSE C ONNAUGHT P LACE NEW DELHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

229. LETTER TO S. ZAHEERUL MUJAHID
P ANCHGANI,

July 11, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I feel wholly unable to undertake the task1 you have entrusted me with.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

230. LETTER TO P. G. MATHEW
P ANCHGANI,

July 11, 1944
MY DEAR MATHEW,

I am glad you are fixed up at last. Of course, I have not
The addressee had asked for an article on Jinnah from Gandhiji, as he proposed to publish a series of biographies of all prominent Muslim leaders of India. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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forgotten you but I have not written to the people I have not forgotten. I write only when I must. Love.
BAPU P ROF. P. G. M ATHEW S. H. C OLLEGE THEVARA , via ERNAKULAM
From a photostat: G.N. 1544

231. LETTER TO LILAVATI K. MUNSHI
July 11, 1944
CHI. LILAVATI,

I have your letter. I do not know what has appeared in the newspapers. I merely repeated in Ahmedabad what I had said in Bombay. I did not describe my note as a definition in Ahmedabad. There also I described it as a working guide. I cannot yet do my own writing. Your discovery about Kumarappa is excellent. I will keep it in mind.
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original : C. W. 7677. Courtesy : K. M. Munshi

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

232. TELEGRAM TO S. SADANAND1
July 12, 1944
YOUR PRESS3 . “NEWS LISHED. DAYS HIS MY WIRE . THIS MY MEANT REPORT VIEWS OR
2

THANKS. ACCOUNT WAS

APOLOGIZE INTERVIEW I

TO DID

NATIONALIST GIVE 4 PART HOURS FOR

PRESS

FOR

APPEARANCE

EXCLUSIVELY

ANGLO-INDIAN PUBLICATION IS PUBTHREE THOUGH HOPE

UNAUTHORIZED. SHORT COVERING FOR ACCURATE PRESS PERSONAL. MATTER OF

CHRONICLE” TALK 5

INTERVIEW THREE GELDER’S

WHEREOF DURING

CHIEFLY FAIRLY

INSTRUCTION. CORRECTION. PROMOTE FORMULA OPINION ALL BE MY CORRECT

REQUIRES THEY

THROUGH GOOD RAJAJI’S WITH CANNOT INTERPRET SOLE CONGRESS

EARLY MERE NOT

INTERVIEW6 WHETHER OPINION. AND

INACCURACY. COUNTRY’S PUBLICATION CONSISTENT WITH SPIRIT UNITS TO BE TO

SIMULTANEOUS MY

FORMULA7 NATIONAL BE

ACCIDENTAL. INTEGRITY UNDER HELD BUT I

REGARD

RESOLUTION. FORCIBLY OF SATYAGRAHA.

NON-VIOLENCE TOGETHER. SHOULD OF

NATIONAL ARE ALLOWED CONCEPTION FREE

INTERPRETER

SATYAGRAHA

WHICH

HAS HELD FIELD SINCE 1908.

The Bombay Chronicle, 13-7-1944

Managing Editor, Free Press Journal, Bombay According to The Transfer of Power, Vol. IV, p. 1086, the Viceroy’s Private Secretary, E. M. Jenkins, in his letter dated July 13, 1944, to F.F. Turnbull, the Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for India, reported that Sadanand had telegraphed Gandhiji “protesting against communication of his views on important matters to Gelder, a representative of British and Anglo-Indian Press, rather than to Nationalist Press, and adding that Gandhi’s [? Proposal] to Jinnah, if correctly reported, ‘betrayed trust Congress and nation had placed in him’ ” . 3 The reference is to The Times of India, 11-7-1944, in which Stuart Gelder’s cable to News Chronicle had appeared; vide Appendix “Staurt Gelder’s Cable toNews Chronicle”, 12-7-1944. 4 Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944. 5 Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944. 6 Vide the following item and “Interview to the Press”, 13-7-1944. 7 Vide Appendix “C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula”, before 5-8-1942.
2

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233. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
[July 12, 1944] 1 I had not authorized publication of the interview or even the substance. I had said that it should not be published, unless I authorized its publication, and in no case had I ever dremt that the interview would be published, with exclusive rights to any one paper. If it was to be published, it should have been broadcast throughout India. Therefore I had to offer that apology 2 publicly in order to soothe myself and also to show to the Press my appreciation that they have respected my desire to be left alone, and also not to report anything which I had not authorized. I know that some things have appeared in the Press without authority but, generally speaking, I must confess the Press has obliged me by refraining from reporting things that are not authorized. My object in seeing the Press people is purely to advance the cause for which I am living, namely, the freedom of India through truth and non-violence. I do not seek publicity for the sake of it and just now I feel I would serve the cause better by remaining in obscurity, if such things were possible. Therefore I had warned Gelder that he was not to publish anything from me unless I authorized it. He has published 3 what he has, I have no doubt, with the best of intentions, but somehow or other I feel he has not served the cause as well as he might have. I passed nearly three hours with him distributed over three days in order that he might know the whole of my mind. I believed him, and still believe him, to be a well-wisher of India as he is a lover of his own country, and I accepted his word entirely when he told me that he approached me not as a journalist principally but as one desiring to see that the political deadlock was resolved. Whilst I declared my views with absolute freedom, I told him that his first business should be to go to Delhi and, if I could reach the
The statement, though released by Gandhiji, on this date, along with the notes on his interview to Stuart Gelder, vide pp. 347-8 and 349-52 appeared under the date-line “Panchgani, July 13”. 2 In telegram to S. Sadanand, vide the preceding item. 3 Vide Appendix “Stuart Gelder’s Cable to News Chronicle”, 12-7-1944.
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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

Viceregal throne, he should see the Viceroy1 and give him what impressions he had gathered. Having myself failed to get an interview with the Viceroy, I felt that Gelder being reporter of a prominent English daily might be able to serve the cause. Even in South Africa, where I was working in a hostile atmosphere, I was fortunate enough to get journalists and editors to help me when they became impressed by my earnestness and the justice of my cause. I was handling the disabilities of Indians in South Africa. The publication, therefore, at this stage, of an abstract [by Gelder] of two interviews seems to me to be misfired. I, therefore, propose to give you two notes prepared after discussion with Gelder one of which, namely, the shorter one, after his pilgrimage to Delhi he was free to send to his paper, and the other he could discuss privately with anybody who cared to understand me or who Gelder thought, should know how my mind was working You will see after you have read the two notes that he has compressed the two in the report published by him. You will notice also that there are some glaring inaccuracies in the report as published. I want to guard myself against being undrestood as accusing Gelder of wilful distortion. But I have found it times without number during my public life, covering a period of over 50 years, that my statements do not admit of being easily abridged or paraphrased. In 1897, I very nearly lost my life when Reuter sent an abridged summary of a pamphlet2 I had written and distributed in India in 1896. The summary was, I have no doubt, an unconscious distortion of what I had written. Fortunately my life was spared when I was lynched, and I was able to show that the case based against me on the strength of the summary was utterly wrong. Here the abridgement has no such mischievous consequences. I recall the South African incident in order to emphasize my point. All my life I have handled what seemed to be forlorn causes. I have been also a fairly successful journalist, but I did not embark upon that calling for a living. It was a venture in order to advertise the cause I was handling, and I gave this long preface before handing the two statements to fellow-journalists in the hope that they would respondto
1 2

Who, however, declined to see him The “Green Pamphlet”.

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my earnest wish that they would co-operate with me in dealing with the situation which, if properly handled, may yield promising results for mankind. I was ill-prepared for this ordeal that is in front of me. I am in Panchgani trying to rebuild my broken body. The desire not to see statements published at this stage was also prompted by regard for my health. I want to get well quickly and to be in full working order. Since things are so shaping themselves that I might not be able to carry out that wish; the statement being before the public, I have to watch the reaction and deal with misunderstandings. I have kept you, gentlemen, away from me and you have been very kind to me. You have waited in the hope that some day I would satisfy your natural inquisitiveness. I am afraid that you will be perhaps oversatisfied because, if your chiefs still keep you here, you will give me daily summary of reactions in the Press. I do not expect that I shall want to deal with them all, but in so far as there are misunderstandings I will have to remove them, if I possibly can. Throughout this I have emphasized the fact that I was speaking for myself and in no sense involving the Congress in what I said. I do not know how far today I represent the views of the members of the Working Committee. As regards the Hindu-Muslim Formula 1 , which has nothing to do with these two statements, I have not spoken as a Hindu. I have spoken as an Indian first and an Indian last. My Hinduism is my own—I personally think it embraces all faiths. Therefore I have no authority to speak as a representative of the Hindus. That I respond to mass mind and the masses know me instinctively is a fact which cannot be gainsaid, but I have not built my case upon it. As a representative of satyagraha, as I know it, I feel it my duty to pour out my heart to an Englishman who I thought, and still think, is a sympathetic listener. I claim no further authority for my views. I stand by every word that appeared in the two statements I have given to you, but I speak on behalf of no one else than myself. The Bombay Chronicle, 14-7-1944

The reference is to Rajaji Formula; vide Appendix “C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula”, before 5-8-1942.

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234. LETTER TO HORACE G. ALEXANDER
[July] 1 12, 1944
MY DEAR HORACE,

I have your long letter—long for the time and the way in which it had to be sent, not for the subject matter. Some of what you tell me I had known already after coming out, and some of it is startling. All of it is good as coming from you, even the part that I know to be wrong. But that which is wrong does not diminish the importance of what you have said. The defects of your narrative arise from your good nature. I would rather have the latter than have the defects removed at the sacrifice of it. I need not thus have qualified my appreciation of your letter but for the fear of misleading you into the belief that I accept the whole of your version without any deduction. To discuss the deduction is not germane to what I want to say. You know the other side of the picture. The popular fury was pardonable; the vindictive and inhuman retribution wholly indefensible. But I will not take your time over this. Your anxiety that I should offer co-operation at least for the alleviation of hunger, I fully understand. My difficulty is that I cannot, for the very valid reason that the alleviation is only apparent. The Viceroy’s good intentions in the matter are not to be doubted. His promptness in rushing to Bengal on arrival was worthy of the soldier that he is. The agency through which he had and has to work is not designed to carry out the work of alleviation. You are entitled to put your noble work and experience against what I am saying. That only shows that evil by itself and in itself has no life. It requires the prop of good for its sustenance. Hospitals, roads, railways are probably good in themselves but when they are instruments of evil they are to be shunned. They become snares. You will now realize somewhat my meaning. Sufficient to say that at no time has India been so bound down as now. The remedy is liberty consistent with the movements of Allied troops. But there is deep mutual
The source, however, has “June”. The inference here is from the reference to Gandhiji’s attempts “in vain to see the Viceroy or be permitted to see the Working Committee members”; vide “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 17-6-1944. Also Dr. James Vail, Secretary, Foreign Service Section, American Friends’ Service Council, had met Gandhiji in the last week of June. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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distrust.Authority distrusts the Congress and every public body including the Muslim League. Public opinion is flouted at almost every turn. In this state of things voluntary co-operation becomes impossible. I have tried in vain to see the Viceroy or be permitted to see the Working Committee members. Now tell me what to do. I know what not to do. I am praying to God to tell me what to do. You can assist. I had a pleasant union with James Vail. Love to all who think of me. Love.
From a photostat: G.N. 1440

235. LETTER TO MURIEL LESTER
AS AT S EVAGRAM , “ VIA ” WARDHA (C.P.), C AMP P ANCHGANI, [July] 1 12 , 1944
MY DEAR MURIEL,

I have your two dear letters. You are going through wonderful if also frightful experiences. Let us hope it is the darkness before dawn. But we must so work that the hope may be realized. We too are having our own experiences though of a different type from yours. I am working with might and maintain the direction through prayer and fasting. My energy is still very limited. Ba and Mahadev live as inspirations. More from Agatha and Horace to whom I have written at length.2
M. K. GANDHI
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

1 2

The source has “June”, evidently a slip. Vide “Letter to Horace G. Alexander”, 12-7-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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236. LETTER TO SHAMALDAS GANDHI
[After July 12, 1944] 1
CHI. SHAMALDAS,

I do not remember whether I have said anything to you about Bhai Munshi. I had a long talk with him. I have not found anything to justify the attack you made on him in Vandemataram 2 . If there is any truth in the charge, please let me know. He is quite frank with me. I have not been able to read the comments on my talks with Gelder in full, either in English or Gujarati. Do not defend me out of modesty if my views differ from yours. You have full right to guide people according to your understanding.
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original : Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy : Beldevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

237. LETTER TO AGATHA HARRISON
“DILKHUSHA”, P ANCHGANI,

July 13, 1944
MY DEAR AGATHA,

I have your letter of 14th June. Everything I do turns to dust. It must be so, so long as I am ‘untrustworthy’. If I could plead guilty, I would at once mend my way. On the contrary, I know, I have done nothing to forfeit the confidence I used at one time to enjoy among the official circles. You know the attempt I made to see the members of the Working Committee and, failing that permission, to see the Viceroy. Perhaps the chief difficulty is the opinion3 , reported to have been held by Mr. Churchill about me. You know the oft-quoted passages attributed to him. He is said to want to “crush” me “the naked fakir”. The body can be crushed, never spirit. But if the report is true
From the contents, it appears that the letter was written after “The Statement to the Press”, 12-7-1944; vide “Statement to the Press”, 12-7-1944. 2 A Gujarati daily 3 Vide 2nd footnote of “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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and it has never been denied—it gives the clue to all my so-called failures. I can give you this assurance that nothing dismays or disappoints me. If I represent the truth and if I do as God bids me, I know that the wall of distortion and suspicion will topple. Only be patient with me. I feel for you and friends like you.1 Recently I had sent to me a letter written by Henry2 to the Press whilst he was in America. Tell him, if you see him, that it distressed me deeply. I never could have thought that he could believe lies about me without verification from me. Ere this reaches you, you will have known from the Press about the attempt I made to solve the communal tangle in collaboration with Rajaji who has been with me these few days3 . My love to all the friends. I sent a letter to Muriel.
Yours,

BAPU MISS AGATHA HARRISON 2 C RANBOURNE C OURT ALBERT BRIDGE R OAD , L ONDON S.W. 11
From a photostat: G.N 1525

In her letter, the addressee had quoted the substance of a cable sent by C. F. Andrews to Gandhiji some ten years earlier. It read: “When two men meet without conditions, a way of peace may be found.” She had also said: “Uppermost in my mind is another meeting between the Viceroy and you, the result of which might well be ‘a way of peace’. . . . So often during these days my thoughts have turned to you who for fifty years have pioneered in finding a way of settling disputes other than by force. Persistently there comes to my mind a supreme contribution that could be made by you to this sorely tried world. It is this: that in the midst of total war, without bloodshed an honourable way of peace could be found between our two countries. What a disarming thing it would be, a tangible, living proof of the power of non-violence.” 2 H. S. L. Polak (1882-1959); joined Gandhiji at Phoenix Settlement; edited Indian Opinion; founded Indian Overseas Association in London in 1919. In Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 34, Pyarelal explains: “In the letter in question, Henry Polak had made certain remarks about Gandhiji’s attitude in regard to the war and his role in ‘Quit India’ struggle at a time when Britain was in distress. . . .” of the two missions which spoke against the Congress and its political demands in America, H. S. L. Polak, along with S. K. Ratcliffe and T. A. Raman, formed one in late 1943; the second being that of Sir S. Ranganathan, High Commissioner for India in England. 3 The reference is to Rajaji Formula, vide Appendix “C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula”, before 5-8-1942.

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238. LETTER TO G. E. B. ABELL
‘DILKHUSHA’, PANCHGANI,

July 13, 1944
DEAR MR. ABELL ,
1

I had your undated letter enclosing Miss Agatha Harrison’s letter to me for which I thank you. Could I have the courtesy extended to me of sending the enclosed reply2 through the Viceroy’s air-mail bag?
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI G. E. B. ABELL, E SQ. THE VICEROY’S C AMP INDIA
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 33

239. LETTER TO S. SADANAND
‘DILKHUSHA’, PANCHGANI,

July 13, 1944
MY DEAR SADANAND,

Your wire. Though this reply is to you as a journalist, and for publication, the manner of my reply will be on the basis of your claim to be my son, a claim which you have often repeated. You have verbally accepted my amends3 but in action rejected them. Re-read the opening parts of your telegram and you will understand my meaning. If you do, you will make a public acknowledgement of the offence you have given me even in the act of accepting amends. As a pleasing contrast to this, I may tell you that the four reporters whom I had the pleasure of meeting4 yesterday were
Deputy Private Secretary to the Viceroy Vide the preceding item. 3 R. K. Prabhu explains that The Free Press Journal, 12-7-1944, in its reference to the Rajaji Formula, had reported that Gandhiji had been “misled”. When “Gandhiji privately remonstrated against this” with the addressee he “offered some sort of apology”. 4 Vide “Statement to the Press”, 12-7-1944.
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graceful enough to accept my amends and to understand fully its implication. I have a categorical reply for every one of the questions you have asked me. But I very much fear that they are not sincere but meant to advertise your bravery, and newspaper propaganda of an unworthy type. I have read with much pain your writings in your issue of July 12, 1944. They caption a wicked attack upon Rajaji and milder one on esteemed public men. You are doing a great injustice to yourself and shaming your nationalism by attacking Rajaji who, to my knowledge, has no axe to grind, has forsaken everything for love of his country and has risked popularity in pursuing the dictates of his conscience. Let me tell you that Rajaji has not discussed his politics with me. My dissent from his politics, as I understood him in jail, continues. Now that I have been involuntarily and prematurely drawn into political controversy, I shall certainly discuss them with him as I am doing with respect in spite of wide political divergence. Courtesy towards opponents and eagerness to understand their view-points is the ABC of non-violence. But you of all persons should know that they are not likely to deflect me from the straight and narrow path I have chosen to tread. They can but strengthen me in my resolve to follow it, never weaken me. And I should be all utterly unworthy leader or exponent of non-violence, if I could be led astray by eminent leaders or constant companions like Rajaji. In a way the honest mistake made by Mr. Gelder, as his premature publication1 of an abridgement of the notes of interviews with him appears to have been, is a blessing in that the country once again has an opportunity of knowing the measure of my compromising nature. I have no reason to be ashamed of it and I have never considered it a sign of weakness in me but strength. If you will prove a worthy son of mine, you will revise the whole of your policy and use your journalistic gifts so as to serve the country by the way of truth and non-violence. You have had a fair portion of material goods out of your journalistic venture. Now dare to be poor, if need be, and instead of
1

Vide Appendix “Stuart Gelder’s Cable to News Chronicle”, 12-7-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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feeding the public on sensationalism, give them nothing but solid gold. And, if you do not know how to do so, accept a humbler vocation. You will then at least have the credit of ceasing to do mischief. I hope that you will publish this without alteration.1
Yours sincerely, This Was Bapu, pp. 152-4

240. LETTER TO SHUAIB QURESHI
July 13, 1944
MY DEAR SHUAIB,

Your note and message. I have told you my head is on your lap. I do not remember the talks I had with you. Remember I am not like you. I am in the evening of life. If you see [any] conflict between the Rajaji formula2 and our talk tell me and I shall know. I have gone on [the] feeling that there was no conflict. Anyway the Rajaji formula is my last word unless you differ and convince me to the contrary. Am I clear ? Let not your effort be interrupted. Love to you and the whole family.
BAPU
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

R. K. Prabhu explains: “Gandhiji’s letter . . . was . . .published in . . . The Free Press Journal, 19-7-1944, with the following ‘in explanation’ from. . . Sadanand: ‘Gandhiji’s letter to me dated July 13, the telegram to Gandhiji dated July 14 and Gandhiji’s reply dated July 15 are published in these columns. There could not be an earlier publication, as I returned from Delhi only this (18th) afternoon. Gandhiji has honoured me by recalling my allegiance to him, as a son. I claim to be true to that allegiance even today. It is within Gandhiji’s knowledge that, according to my concept, a son may not defend himself against parental chastisement. I see no reason to break the golden rule on this occasion.’ ” 2 Vide Appendix “C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula”, before 5-8-1942. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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241. INTERVIEW TO THE PRESS
P ANCHGANI,

July 13, 1944 Some have said that I have admitted that the August resolution has lapsed. Not only have I never said it, on the contrary, at the Maharashtra Workers’ meeting1 , I made it clear to the friends who had gathered around me at Poona that no comma of that resolution could be altered by anybody except those who passed it, namely, the Working Committee and finally the A.I.C.C. What I have said and what I reaffirm is that my authority under the resolution had undoubtedly lapsed according to my view of the working of satyagraha. The premature publication2 of the interview to Mr. Gelder has led to some confusion in the minds of Congressmen. Let me make it clear that the lapsing of my authority has nothing to do with the normal activities of the Congress. What no one can do in the name of the Congress is mass civil disobedience which was never started and which, as I have said, I cannot at the present moment, even in my personal capacity, start. The “Quit India” resolution I hold to be absolutely innocuous. The Gelder interview notes3 now published are in no way in conflict with the “Quit India” resolution as I have interpreted it and, as the joint author of it, I have every right to interpret it. The question before me and before the All-India [Congress Committee] is how to implement the resolution at the present time, i.e., nearly two years after the passing of the resolution. The Gelder interview notes show the way how it can be done in a perfectly honourable manner. Those who approve of the stand I have taken up will naturally support it. People having difficulty are free to refer to me but their approval of the stand taken by me must not be interpreted to mean suspension of the normal activities of the Congress and, if the Government interfere with those activities, the inherent right of individual civil disobedience is in no way suspended
Vide “Speech to Cngressmen, Poona”, 29-6-1944. Vide Appendix “Stuart Gelder’s Cable to News Chronicle” , 12-7-1944. 3 Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944 and “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944.
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under the statement referred to by me. The statements constitute my individualpersonal effort to end the political deadlock. They are more addressed to the powers that be than to the people. If there is a hearty response, there will be no occasion for civil disobedience, individually or not.
Answering a question put by a reporter whether the Cripps proposals could be compared with his recent statements, Mahatma Gandhi said:

My proposal is wholly different. The Cripps proposals were unacceptable to me for the simple reason that they contemplated almost perpetual vivisection of India and would have created an effective barrier against Indian independence. I want to say this without the slightest disrespect to Sir Stafford Cripps.1 He still remains to me the same friend that he claimed to be when he was here. For me friendships abide in spite of political differences. One fundamental element in my attitude is that I shall never be a party to the sale of the rights of the people of the States for the sake of freedom of the people of British India. At the same time I am no enemy of the Princes. I consider myself to be their friend and, if anybody cares to understand, I am quite prepared to suggest a solution at once honourable to them and to the people. I live for a cause and, if I perish, it is for the cause.
A reporter suggested that it might be that His Majesty’s Government do not, for the duration of the war, entertain any idea for the transference of power, and it was feared that Mr. Jinnah would not be agreeable to accept Mahatma Gandhi’s suggestion because a national government might, in his opinion, consolidate the position of the Hindus in the centre. Mahatma Gandhi explained:

If Mr. Jinnah does not accept my suggestion or if the powers that be do not, I would consider it most unfortunate. That would show that neither of them wants India to be really free at this juncture and give India a full share in winning the war for freedom and democracy. I myself feel firmly that Mr. Jinnah does not block the way, but the British Government do not want a just settlement of the Indian claim for independence which is overdue, and they are using Mr. Jinnah as a cloak for denying freedom to India. I have uttered my warning in the talk I gave to Mr. Stuart Gelder.
Mahatma Gandhi said that it must be the duty of all fair-minded people to break what he called “the diabolical conspiracy to stifle India’s aspiration”. He declared:
1

Vide also “Answers to Questions”, 15-7-1944.

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I have the firmest faith that they may win the war in the trial of brute strength, because brute strength when applied to limitless finances will naturally be supreme, but it will be only a physical victory and lead to another world war. This is the outpouring of a lacerated heart. The Bombay Chronicle, 14-7-1944

242. LETTER TO STUART GELDER
P ANCHGANI,

July 14, 1944
GELDER,

Many thanks for your wire. Englishmen do not know how to treat dysentery. One has to be very careful about diet. When Dr. Nayyar told me about the liberty you had taken about your food, I told her you were bound to get ill. You dare not touch Indian sweets. They are too rich and concentrated. How I wish you would take a course at Dr. Mehta’s health clinic. You will be radically cured. I know that your haste was due to your overzeal and with the best of intentions. You could not be conscious of the discrepancies. I wonder if they are now clear to you. I can forgive the premature publications1 of the interviews, but how can I forgive your giving the exclusive right to The Times of India? You were to send the thing, when the time came, to your paper or if you wished to publish the thing here too, you should have shared it with all. You do not know what abuse 2 has been poured on my poor head.
Yours sincerely, From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1 2

Vide Appendix “Stuart Gelder’s Cable to News Chronicle” , 12-7-1944. Vide 2nd footnote of “Telegram to S. Sadanand”, 12-7-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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243. LETTER TO M. R. JAYAKAR
P ANCHGANI,

July 14, 1944
DEAR DR. JAYAKAR,

Many thanks for your kind letter 1 . Publication of the interview was premature as I have explained in my public statement 2 . Having given the fullest weight to your advice3 , I could not say to the Viceroy more than I did. I am not going to put you to the trouble of coming to Panchgani. If Sir Tej comes as he had said he would, I would like you to join him. In any case now I know your mind.4 I have the lawyers’ opinion5 . I am not making public use of it.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI THE R T. H ON ’BLE, DR. M. R. J AYAKAR MALABAR HILL BOMBAY 8
Gandhi-Jayakar Papers, File No. 826, p. 15. Courtesy: National Archives of India

Dated July 11, 1944 Vide “Statement to the Press”, 12-7-1944. 3 The addressee had suggested to Gandhiji to add in his letter to the Viceroy, vide “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 17-6-1944, the words: “Under altered conditions the resolution of 1942 was not capable of being revived” in order to explain what he would advise the Working Committee, if and when he met them. 4 Jayakar had said: “ . . . having now disclosed your view very clearly, I do not think it will be right to rely upon lawyers’ opinions in confirmation of it.... Mr. Munshi gave me a draft in Poona of a statement to be issued to the Press under the signature of a few lawyers.... you are big enough to announce to the world your own conclusions arrived at independently of any adventitious aids.... India will accept your conclusions with grace and, as an aid to a future settlement, they have a value of their own, which will not certainly be increased but may be diminished by the support of lawyers.” 5 Vide Appendix “Opinion on Gandhiji’s Responsibility”, 6-2-1944.
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244. LETTER TO D. N.. SHIKHARE1
“DILKHUSHA’, PANCHGANI,

July 14, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I am herewith sending you a corrected report of your talk with Gandhiji at Poona on the 28th ultimo. With regard to your request2 in your letter of the 29th ultimo to Gandhiji that he should remove the ambiguity about his attitude towards the Hindu Mahasabha, Shri Savarkar and Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah respectively, I am to say that Gandhiji does not think the latter portion of the report of his interview that is now being sent to you leaves any room for ambiguity. Yours sincerely,

S HRI D. N. SHIKHARE 623/26 SADASHIVPETH DESHMUKHWADI P OONA
From a copy: C.W. 10512

The addressee, a journalist and Editor, Mahatma Magazine, wanted to “embody the correct version of the interview in the biography” of Gandhiji, which he published in 1945. The enclosure to this letter is not traceable. However, the addressee had requested Gandhiji “to write in your own handwriting the most inspiring sentences of yours”, which he quoted: “I believe freedom is coming to India with an incredible velocity. The present moment is the darkest hour before the dawn. To me, mere prayer, if it is sufficiently deep, can bring about the desired change.” 2 The addressee wanted to know why Gandhiji went after Jinnah, and ignored V. D. Savarkar, President, Hindu Mahasabha, when neither of them was pledged to non-violence.

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

245. MESSAGE TO BENGAL PROVINCIAL STUDENTS FEDERATION-I1
July 14, 1944 Fight and you will win through your work even without a message. The Bombay Chronicle, 21-7-1944

246. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM
S EVAGRAM 2 ,

July 14, 1944
CHI. AMTUL SALAAM,

I did not expect a wire from you, but had hoped for a letter today. I hope you reached there safely and did not lose any luggage. Did you make a list of the articles? Did you get a good seat? I hope you have settled down there comfortably. You must have heard from Bhagirathji3 . Write to me about everything in detail. Devote yourself exclusively to the work for which you have gone. Have faith that it will include everything else. If you try to do more, there will be a danger of your losing everything. Write to me and tell me what you did about Nyamat’s4 daughter. I doubt whether by taking her you have done real service to Nyamat or to the girl. I am all right.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 479

This is extracted from a statement to the Press by Arun Das Gupta and Ajit Roy, leaders of the Bengal Provincial Students’ Federation, regarding their interview with Mahatma Gandhi. The statement read: “We, together with some other workers of the Bengal Provincial Students’ Federation, toured Assam in June to help Sjt. Bardoloi and other Congress leaders of Assam in raising the anti-Jap morale of the people. With a letter of introduction from Sjt. Bardoloi we came to see Gandhiji and tell him about conditions in Assam and our work. On the 14th July, we met Mahatmaji. He discussed with us the report of our work in Assam. We told him: ‘For the last two years we have been working for Congress-League unity. We shall work for it all the harder now. A message from you will be invaluable.’ ” Vide also “Message to Bengal Students’ Federation-II”, 17-7-1944 2 Permanent address 3 Bhagirathji Kanodia, businessman of Calcutta 4 An inmate of Sevagram VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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247. LETTER TO SURESH
P ANCHGANI,

July 14, 1944
BHAI SURESH,

I have your blazing letter. I appreciate your feelings and you had better appreciated mine. I speak and act according to my lights. I have never done anything to appease people. Fortunately for me people are pleased by my words. If you will have patience, you will see that what I have said is quite all right. Rest assured that I am not likely to be misled by anybody’s bluff. The one and only one who leads me is God. Yes, one thing is certain, that all the rich men are not the country’s enemies. And my non-violence draws no line between friend and foe. It makes a friend out of a foe.1
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

248. ANSWER TO QUESTON2
P ANCHGANI,

July 14, 1944 I should gladly do so if there is no restraint. I have never, so far as I can recall, been responsible for editing newspapers under restraint or security. If I commit breach of the common law of the land, I am there to be punished as I was in 1922. But I know I cannot expect any such treatment from Government so long as I am distrusted. The Bombay Chronicle, 14-7-1944

Vide also “Speech at Poona”, 1-7-1944. The report said that Gandhiji was “replying to a question on the publication of Harijan” which was discontinued from August 16, 1942, to February 10, 1946.
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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

249. INTERVIEW TO THE PRESS
P ANCHGANI,

July 14, 1944 I have been receiving letters from several provinces complaining of the ill-treatment of detenus. I cannot vouch for their accuracy. I have no means of verifying the accounts. But correspondents who have written are most of them known personally to me and they are not likely to exaggerate. One instance came to my notice only yesterday. It is from Ajmer. The prisoner was fasting. His wife wrote several letters to me asking me to advise her husband to give up the fast. As it was, the prisoner was willing. I telegraphed1 to the Superintendent conveying my advice to the prisoner to desist from fasting. He accepted it and gave up his fast. I now learn that the prisoner was being prosecuted under some jail regulations for having committed the crime of fasting. I know when I was a prisoner in Yeravda that there was some such regulation and I thought that when a prisoner gave up his fast, he would not be prosecuted. I also fasted, and I could also be punished, but I escaped punishment, I suppose, because I was regarded as a celebrity. Assuming that I have been correctly informed, I would plead with the authorities that they should ignore such cases. There would be nothing wrong if they allowed prisoners to fast at will. The most reasonable thing would be to investigate the complaints for which they were fasting and promptly give redress, if the complaints were found justified. These things have been done before. There is no reason why that admirable practice should not be followed now. I plead for humane treatment to prisoners, more especially when they are in detention on mere suspicion or found guilty of crimes created by special ordinances and not under the ordinary law. Other cases that have come to my notice are not of fasting but of alleged ill-treatment in order to break the spirit of prisoners. I dealt with such cases when I edited the Young India and later the Harijan, and in many cases the authorities gave redress. I happen to know that such cases sometimes do not reach the higher authorities. My purpose in bringing this to public notice is to
1

Vide “Telegram to Superintendent, Central Prison, Ajmer”, 17-5-1944.

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seek redress. It is well known that in most provinces prisoners are suffering hardships which are perfectly avoidable. All those who are at all ill or are losing weight should at once be discharged. This will surely not prejudice the war-effort or endanger the peace of the country.1 I have received bitter criticism of my views 2 expressed in the Gelder interview. Some of my correspondents say that under the influence of Moderates and moneyed men, I have betrayed the cause of the country. If for nothing else, for dealing with such criticism, I am glad of the premature publication3 of the interview. I do not want to sail under false colours. The country as well as the Government should know me exactly as I am. I have never concealed the fact that I am a friend of everybody, Moderates, moneyed men, Englishmen, Americans or any other, irrespective of caste, colour or persuasion. My belief and practice are directly derived from my non-violence. My non-co-operation is non-co-operation with evil, not with the evil-doer. Underneath my non-co-operation is my earnest desire to wean the evil-doer from the evil or harm he is doing, so that I can give him hearty co-operation. Again if I associate with the so-called Moderates or with moneyed men, I do so to seek their co-operation in the cause I am handling. But I approach them with an open mind, so that I correct myself where I find myself in the wrong. I have known of no cause that I have espoused that has suffered because of such association. Some critics have suggested that by my present attitude I am lending moral weight to the Allied cause. They forget that my offer, such as it is, is conditioned upon the Allies, in this case the British Government, recognizing full independence, qualified during the pendency of the war. I see, therefore, no conflict between the principles enunciated in August resolution and what I have now suggested. May I suggest to critics that they should wait till the British Government have spoken? The statements made by me were meant in the first instance for the Government. Mr. Gelder sprang a surprise.
1 2

What follows appeared independently in The Bombay Chronicle. Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944. 3 Vide Appendix “Stuart Gelder’s Cable to News Chronicle” , 12-7-1944.

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He has done so with the best of motives. After all, there is a higher Power ruling all the actions of human beings.1
The Hindu, 16-7-1944, and The Bombay Chronicle, 15-7-1944

250. LETTER TO EDITOR-IN-CHARGE, “FREE PRESS JOURNAL”
‘DILKHUSHA’, PANCHGANI,

July 15, 1944
DEAR EDITOR-IN-CHARGE,

I have your wire2 . My letter 3 to Shri Sadanand is a public reply to a public question and is meant for publication. The proper thing was to have waited for my reply before publishing the complaint against me. Delay appears to me to be suspicious. If Shri Sadanand is away, and if direction is considered necessary, in a matter of ordinary course, you have means of taking directions by telephone.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

This Was Bapu, pp. 154.5

251. LETTER TO LORD WAVELL
P ANCHGANI,

July 15, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

You have no doubt seen the authentic copies, now published in the Indian Press, of the statements4 given by me to Mr. Gelder of the
1 The report in The Bombay Chronicle concluded: “Criticisms to Gandhiji’s proposal still pour in here. Gandhijih as replied to them lying full length on a pallet. He was speaking in a feeble voice and those close to him say that he can regulate his voice and he often does so to conserve his energy. Rajaji was a silent listener again today when Gandhiji talked to the Press. At the conclusion of the meeting, Gandhiji humorously said, looking at Rajaji, ‘he would pass whatever his “Sub-editor” passed for publication.” 2 Dated July 14, 1944, it read: “Your letter. Sadanand now at Delhi. Returning latest Tuesday. Will then attend.” 3 Vide “Letter to S. Sadanand”, 13-7-1944. 4 Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944 and 4/6-7-1944.

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News Chronicle. As I have said to the Press, they were meant primarily to be shown to you. But Mr. Gelder, no doubt with the best of motives, gave the interview premature publicity1 . I am sorry. Thepublication will nevertheless be a blessing in disguise, if the interview enables you to grant at least one of my requests contained in my letter 2 of 17th June, 1944.3
I am, Yours, etc.

M. K. GANDHI
The Hindu, 19-8-1944. Also C.W. 10506. Courtesy: India Office Library

252. LETTER TO SHANTIKUMAR N. MORARJEE
P ANCHGANI,

July 15, 1944
CHI. SHANTIKUMAR,

You were not present but Sumati 4 and Jehangirji [Patel] witnessed the beast in me.5 They forgot that beast and understood my love. I am tied to you all by the bonds of love. My unworthiness prevents me from sending for you. But how long can I do without you? I am sure you will wash off Sushila’s pain with love.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 844

Vide Appendix “Stuart Gelder’s Cable to News Chronicle” , 12-7-1944. Vide “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 17-6-1944. 3 The Viceroy’s reply dated July 22, read: “ . . . I do not think, I can usefully comment at present except to repeat what I said in my last letter that if you will submit to me a definite and constructive policy, I shall be glad to consider it.” 4 Addressee’s wife 5 The addressee had been sent by Gandhiji to the dockyard to hand over the gifts and a letter to Manu Gandhi; vide “Letter to Manu Gandhi”, 8-6-1944.
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253. LETTER TO ANANTRAI P. PATTANI
P ANCHGANI,

July 15, 1944
BHAI ANANTRAI,

I have your letter. I had already learnt from Mathuradas 1 that the ‘Castle’2 will have accommodation for me. But it is not my business to run after conveniences. But they pursue me and sometimes I am caught by one of them. I don’t wish to enter into any discussion with you regarding other subjects. Moreover you can always have Nanabhai’s help now that he has been released. I shall not let you compare yourself with Vajalbhai 3 because I was indirectly acquainted with Gagabhai’s4 expertise. I place your father5 above Gagabhai. Besides, as far as my knowledge goes, since Vajalbhai became the divan only in his old age, there cannot be any comparison. Hence I am going to measure you with the yardstick applied in the case of your father.
Blessings from

BAPU BHAVNAGAR
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

Mathuradas Trikumji Addressee’s residence at Panchgani 3 Vajalbhai Gaurishanker Oza, and his father, Gaurishanker Udayshanker Oza, divan of Bhavnagar 4 ibid 5 Prabhashankar Pattani
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254. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS1
P ANCHGANI,

July 15, 1944
QUESTION: Will you kindly explain the exact difference between the Cripps Plan and your own as revealed in the Gelder interview?

ANSWER: My plan contemplates an immediate recognition of full independence for India as a whole, subject to limitations for the duration of the war to meet the requirements of the Allied operations. The Cripps Plan, as I understood it, dealt more with the future than with the immediate arrangements. Moreover, in my opinion, the Cripps Plan meant dismemberment of India, the Indian States being set up as an all-extensive disintegrating factor. But if my plan is considered by British statesmen to be not very different from the Cripps Plan, it should be all the easier for them to accept it.2 What if Mr. Jinnah sticks to a plebiscite of Muslims only in the districts or provinces where the Muslims are in majority?

Neither Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah nor the Muslim League have pronounced their opinion on Rajaji’s Formula 3 . I would deprecate anticipating them. Rajaji is with me. We have agreed for the sake of conserving my limited energy that he should deal with the questions arising from the Formula. For my part I would appeal to the questioners, foreign or Indian, not to forestall the Muslim League.
How do you propose to fix the ratio of the League and Congress in the national government?

I must not be drawn into details. If the indication of my mind affords any satisfaction to the authorities, they should open the gates of the prison, and let those who can speak with authority pronounce upon my proposal or at least let me confer with them. As it is, I do not know that I have not embarrassed them by my sharing my personal opinion with the public before first sharing it with them. The publication4 is premature and not of my seeking.
Sent by the London office of the United Press of India Vide also “Interview to the Press”, 13-7-1944. 3 Vide “ C. Rajagopalchari’s Formula”, before 5-8-1942 4 By Stuart Gelder of News Chronicle, vide Appendix “Stuart Gelder’s Cable to News Chronicle” , 12-7-1944.
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Will you meet Mr. Jinnah personally?

The question arises from ignorance of facts. I am always willing to meet Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah.
What are your views on the Bombay Plan1 ? Do you think crisis like the one which overtook Bengal could be permanently avoided by acceptance of such a plan?

The Bombay Plan is a post-war plan. Anyway, the question should be addressed to the authors2 .
Gandhi-Jinnah Talks, pp. 81-2

255. LETTER TO NANDU KANUGA
[After July 15, 1944] 3
SHRI NANDUBEHN,

. . . 4 The important part was about to be left out. I don’t think there was anything wrong in our people approaching the millionaires in connection with Ba’s Memorial. How can we refuse what theyoffer? Surely we may not hate them. More when we meet.
AHMEDABAD
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

256. LETTER TO NAVIN GANDHI
[After July 15, 1944] 5
CHI. NAVIN6 ,

Aren’t you a lazy fellow? You must be thinking that I am not at all concerned about Manju7 and hence you don’t write to me. However it be, I must have a postcard from you regularly. Sushilabehn talked to me about medical fees. Sushilabehn has already proceeded to Delhi; so I have to think about it. Have you had a talk with the doctors? If you have, write to me in detail so that I can write to them. I did not even dream that the question of fees would come
A fifteen-year plan for the economic development of India Purushottamdas Thakurdas, J. R. D. Tata, G. D. Birla, Ardeshir Dalal, Shriram, Kasturbhai Lalbhai, A. D. Shroff and John Mathai 3 In the source, the letter is placed after the letters of July 15, 1944. 4 Omission as in the source 5 In the source, the letter is placed after the letters of July 15, 1944. 6 Son of Vrajlal A. Gandhi, brother of Jaisukhlal Gandhi 7 daughter of Vrajlal A. Gandhi, brother of Jaisukhlal Gandhi
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up. Anyway you need not worry on that account; it is my concern. Let me have your opinion. Who is there with you now?
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

257. LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI
[On or before July 16, 1944] 1 I have thought over the matter carefully. I think that Sita2 should stay on in Sevagram. She will get the good company of Aryanayakam and Ashadevi, and be educated on the lines of the Talimi Sangh. She will get Gomati’s protection. Gomati is a saintly woman. Kashi 3 and Durga also are there. And so her Gujarati, Sanskrit, Hindi and English will be taken care of. If you do not like this, you can put herin the Parsi school here which I visit daily. Beyond this you cannot go. About you, we shall think later.
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4942

258. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
P ANCHGANI,

July 16, 1944 A correspondent asks me what those who, on being discharged, have been served with restriction orders confining them within certain areas or requiring them to report themselves periodically at police thanas, should do. I regard all such restrictions as degrading and could not myself submit to them. However I know men who, being unable any longer to bear the jail hardships, have preferred the restricted freedom. I must refuse to judge their conduct. Everyone suffers according to his capacity. But it is a serious question for the Government to consider whether it is a necessary part of war-effort to wound the spirit of young men and women, whose only fault is that they love their country’s independence before everything else.
The Hindu, 17-7-1944; also The Bombay Chronicle, 16-7-1944

1 2 3

From the postmark In the source, the letter is placed after the letters of July 15, 1944. Son and daughter of Vrajlal A. Gandhi, brother of Jaisukhlal Gandhi THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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259. LETTER TO TEJ BAHADUR SAPRU
PANCHGANI,

July 16, 1944
DEAR SIR TEJ,

Gandhiji has your letter of the 11th inst. as also the enclosure. Your statement had appeared only in part in the Bombay papers. He was, therefore, glad to get the full text. You must have seen in the Press the statements he has issued including the authorised texts of the two notes of his talks with Mr. Gelder .1 For the present, having thrown a ‘bombshell’ he is being inundated with ‘shell-shocked’ letters, protests, abuse and what not. That was but to be expected. He is eager to have your considered view. He was thankful you remembered him. He reciprocates your kind sentiment. Gandhiji felt very grateful to hear that your son was steadily improving. 2 He hopes that he will be fully restored soon. Yours sincerely,

P YARELAL
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

260. LETTER TO MATHURADAS TRIKUMJI
P ANCHGANI, July 16, 1944
CHI. MATHURADAS,

I can understand your lamentation. But you do not listen to my advice. You are bedridden. If instead of worrying about me you prayed to God, you would recover quicker. Even if that did not happen, you would have peace. I am not an invalid that you imagine me to be. And mentally

Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944. Vide “Letter to Additional, Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 15-7-1943.
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not at all. That is why whatever I do, I do with deliberation and care1 . There was a time when you could understand me from a mere hint. You could explain to others my intentions and my words. Why is it that that is no longer so ? Think about it. The reason lies only in you. If I were as ill as you and did not forget the outside world, I too would be in the same situation. You do not understand Rajaji at all. His modesty and his conduct are worth emulating. I did not lose my alertness during my fast. And when I broke my fast he showed me his draft. I am astonished that you can think him so mean as to take advantage of my weakness. To say that my statement means Pakistan shows ignorance. What can one do if Gelder bruit about it ? Rajaji’s draft had nothing to do with the interview. Contain your anger. Calm youself. And be sure that there is no contradiction in what I have done. As for Paramanand, let me see what is possible. I hope Dilip is calm. Send him to me if he is disturbed. Did your cloak fit ? I am fine.
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

261. LETTER TO JAIKRISHNA P. BHANSALI
P ANCHGANI,

July 16, 1944
CHI. BHANSALI,

Discipline demands that you should ask me. If you do not observe it, who else will? But what guidance can I give you in this matter? If you have faith in yourself, by all means go and relieve the suffering of the people. I must admit, however, that you have excelled me and I derive comfort from the thought that my teaching has proved fruitful. Isn’t he a true teacher who is surpassed by his own pupil? May God increase your strength still further. I keep on reminding myself daily that I must go there as early
The addressee did not like Stuart Gelder publishing the interview; vide Appendix “Stuart Gelder’s Cable to News Chronicle” , 12-7-1944
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as possible in August. The climate here does suit me, of course. Inform everybody. Manilal and Sita are arriving today.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 8365. Also C.W. 7175. Courtesy: Munnalal G. Shah

262. LETTER TO WINSTON CHURCHILL1
‘DILKHUSHA’, PANCHGANI,

July 17, 1944
DEAR PRIME MINISTER,

You are reported to have a desire to crush the simple “naked fakir” as you are said to have described me. I have been long trying to be a fakir and that naked—a more difficult task. I, therefore, regardthe expression as a compliment though unintended. I approach you then as such and ask you to trust and use me for the sake of your people and mine and through them those of the world.
Your sincere friend,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: C.W. 10499. Courtesy: India Office Library. Also This Was Bapu, p. 140

263. LETTER TO LORD WAVELL
‘DILKHUSHA’, PANCHGANI,

July 17, 1944
H. E. THE VICEROY VICEROY’S C AMP
DEAR FRIEND,

I ventured to write to you yesterday2 repeating my previous
In Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book I, p. 32, Pyarelal explains: “This letter to the Prime Minister miscarried. It was the first instance, in Gandhiji’s experience, of an important letter of his failing to reach its destination. A copy was, therefore, sent to Churchill two months later. The only reply it fetched was an acknowledgement with thanks through the Viceroy!” According to The Hindu, 19-7-1945, Gandhiji released this along with a statement to the Press on July 18, 1945. 2 The letter was, however, dated July 15; vide “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 15-7-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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request. I feel that my effort would be incomplete unless I sent the accompanying1 to the Prime Minister. May I seek your help, if you agree, to send the enclosed in the quickest manner possible?
I am, Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: C.W. 10502. Courtesy: India Office Library. Also Gandhiji ’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 11

264. LETTER TO SAROJINI NAIDU
P ANCHGANI,

July 17, 1944
MY DEAR AMMAJAN,

Your precious letter. You must not be angry with poor me. Bear with me for a while. Mists will roll away some time. You are my message. At the Urdu Conference2 you will be all in all. Therefore do not ask me for a formal message. That will landme in a sea of troubles. I have refused to send messages. Let me spare every ounce of energy for the task before us. You should all behave better about the upkeep of the body. Or is that to be reserved for me only?
Love from

S PINNER S HRIMATI S AROJINI NAIDU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

265. LETTER TO ASHFAQ HUSSAIN
July 17, 1944
MY DEAR ASHFAQ ,
3

I never knew that you were a careless reader. Do you not see that if the thing was to be put on the League Committee without the
1 2

Vide the preceding item. The All-India Urdu Congress to be held at Hyderabad on July 22 3 An associate of Mahomed Ali

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President sponsoring it, it should be before the public for discussion? The League and others can now pronounce upon it. Expect to see you at Sevagram.
Yours,

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

266. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
‘DILKHUSHA’, PANCHGANI,

July 17, 1944
BHAI JINNAH,

There was a time when I was able to persuade you to speak in our mother tongue. Today I venture to write in the same. I had already invited1 you while I was in jail. After my release I have not written to you so far. But today I am prompted to do so. Let us meet when you wish to. Please do not regard me as an enemy of Islam and the Muslims here. I have always been a friend and servant of yours and of the whole world. Do not dismiss me. I am enclosing a translation of this letter in Urdu.2
Your brother,

GANDHI

[PS.] Please write in Urdu. Kanu3 writes Gujarati in a beautiful hand.4
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal. Also Hitavada, 1-8-1944

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 4-5-1943. This sentence is reproduced from Hitavada. What follows is in Gandhiji’s hand at the bottom of the Urdu translation of the letter. 3 To whom Gandhiji, presumably, dictated 4 The addressee’s reply of July 24, inter alia, read: “I shall be glad to receive you at my house in Bombay on my return which will probably be about the middle of August. . . . I would like to say nothing more till we meet. I am very pleased to read in the Press that you are making very good progress, and I hope you will soon be all right.”
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267. LETTER TO MANU GANDHI
P ANCHGANI,

July 17, 1944
CHI. MANUDI,

You must overcome your dislike of milk. You should cheerfully take as much as the vaidya wants you to. After having stayed with me, how can you have likes and dislikes? What one should eat, one must like, and what one must not eat, one must not like. If Yukti gets well completely, my faith in vaidyas will be deepened. And, if your vision improves as also your malaria and other complaints are cured, then you may send medicine for me. Your handwriting is improving but it requires a lot of further improvement still. Sushilabehn has left for Delhi. It will, therefore, be some time before you get her letters again. I am glad that Devdas paid a visit there.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIV

268. LETTER TO K. M. MUNSHI
P ANCHGANI,

July 17, 1944
BHAI MUNSHI,

I have your letter. I see no harm in starting a society. However ask Sir Purushottamdas. Consult Mangaldas1 and Mavalankar also.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: C.W. 7678. Courtesy: K. M. Munshi

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269. LETTER TO SHANTIKUMAR N. MORARJEE
P ANCHGANI,

July 17, 1944
CHI. SHANTIKUMAR,

Read the accompanying letter. If such a man can be accommodated in any capacity, please make use of him. I think he is trustworthy. You need not create a special job for him. The letter may be used only if you think that such a man can be of real use somewhere. Do you have in mind any shorthand writer? The Hindi speeches may be published and sold by the Maharashtra Committee.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati : C.W. 4802. Courtesy: Shantikumar N. Morarjee

270. LETTER TO B. G. KHER
P ANCHGANI

July 17, 1944
BHAI KHER,

Why did you run away without calling on me? Do come when you are free and I will forgive you this lapse. Send me yours and other people’s opinion about what I am doing.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI BALA S AHEB KHER EX-MINISTER KHAR, B OMBAY
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 2769

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271. LETTER TO NAGESH V. GUNAJI
PANCHGANI ,

July 17, 1944
BHAI GUNAJI ,
1

If you cannot read, Indu2 will read out this to you. Why should we write to one another in English? It is good that you have had a change of heart about Indu and Bhai Tendulkar. After Doctor’s release, I shall have the marriage solemnized at Sevagram, if you all wish it. Indu knows the conditions attending weddings at Sevagram.
Blessings from

BAPU BELGAUM
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

272. MESSAGE TO BENGAL PROVINCIAL STUDENTS’ FEDERATON- II3
Not for publication
P ANCHGANI,

July 17, 1944 My blessings you have in abundance for all the good work you may have done. My advice to all the workers is that they should learn to regard all good service as in itself a blessing. What is the use of blessings of any man, however great he may be, if there is no real, sustained work? Blessings often deceive receivers into believing that

Nagesh Vasudev Gunaji Indumati, addressee’s daughter, and Dr. A. G. Tendulkar who were married on August 19, 1945. 3 The message was given to Ajit Rai and Arun Das Gupta who stated: “On the 17th, Mahatmaji gave us another interview. We told him that we worked in Assam according to our understanding of the Congress programme. We had called for unity to resist the Japanese, to fight hoarders, to secure food for the people and for relief to Bengal. In response to our request for his blessings, Gandhiji wrote out a message. . . .” Vide also “Message to Bengal Provincial Students’ Federation—I”, 14-7-1944.
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their work is finished. Let these words be an incentive to greater effort. You should keep me in touch with your activities.
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal. Also The Bombay Chronicle, 21-7-1944

273. MESSAGE TO AJIT RAI AND ARVIND DAS GUPTA
Not for publication
P ANCHGANI, July 17, 1944

My blessings you have in abundance for all the good work you may have done. My advice to all the workers is that they should learn to regard all good service as in itself a blessing. What is the use of blessings of any man however great he may be if there is no real sustained work. Blessings often deceive receivers into believing that their work is finished. Let these words be an incentive to greater effort. You should keep me in touch with your activities.
M. K. GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

274. LETTER TO A. KALESWARA RAO
P ANCHGANI,

July 18, 1944
DEAR KALESWARA RAO,

Your illuminating note I have read with eagerness. May I make use of it in my talks or correspondence with Communists? 1 Some of the things you relate are painful. You will give me your reaction to my latest exploit. Your exploitation2 of selections from the

Gandhiji did make use of it in his correspondence with P. C. Joshi; vide “Letter to P. C. Joshi”, 30-7-1944. 2 In Reminiscences of Gandhiji, p. 141, Chandrashanker Shukla explains that the addressee, in his letter, had quoted some passages from the Upanishads corresponding to Gandhiji’s teachings of truth and non-violence. The addressee also published Upanishad Pathamala during the year. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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Upanishads lies in front of me to be picked when I have a few moments.
Yours,

BAPU
SHRI A. KALESWARA RAO

From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

275. LETTER TO SUDHIR GHOSH
‘DILKHUSHA’, P ANCHGANI,

July 18, 1944
DEAR SUDHIR,

I have seen your letter to Pyarelal and Nargisbehn1 too. Do come whenever you have the time and wish to see me. Mr. Elmhirst2 I know. I think I had the pleasure of meeting him once. He visited Sabarmati Ashram when I was not there and then he expressed the opinion that the babul plantation there was the best conceived and most useful. Apart from any other interest I would like to meet him, if he would come and is allowed to come to me. Panchgani may be too early. I expect to be in Sevagram, Deo volente, in the early part of August. You will have the date from the Press.
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers Courtesy: Pyarelal

Nargis Captain Leonard Elmhirst, an agricultural economist and an educationist, who was a close associate of Rabindranath Tagore, and Agricultural Adviser to the Government of Bengal from 1944. He founded Sriniketain, the Rural Development Institute of Santiniketan. Elmhirst was returning to England after completing an assignment “to work out a development plan for harnessing the water resources of Bengal”. In Gandhi’s Emissary, pp. 49-50, the addressee explains: “. . . I thought it would be a good thing if he had a meeting with Gandhiji and conveyed to his friends in the British Government. . . his impression of the state of Gandhiji’s mind and the possibilities of a rapprochement between Gandhiji and the British. The two sessions he and I had with Gandhiji did not give much of an indication about the possible course of Gandhiji’s next political move. . . .”
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276. LETTER TO ROY WALKER
‘DILKHUSHA’, PANCHGANI,

July 18, 1944
DEAR WALKER,

I was delighted to receive your letter1 . I had your booklet also. I glanced through it. Nothing jarred on me. I must confess, I did not read it critically; but I am asking Pyarelal and Khurshed Naoroji to read it carefully and to send you their reactions. I shall look forward to reading your second compilation2 . As to the last paragraph 3 —all I can say is that I am endeavouring to follow God’s guidance. I do not believe in a personal deity, but I believe in the Eternal Law of Truth and Love which I have translated as non-violence. This Law is not a dead thing like the law of a king. It is a living thing—the Law and the Law-giver are one. For those who realize this Truth, the Law-giver becomes a personal deity.
R OY WALKER , E SQ. DICK S HEPPARD HOUSE ENDSLEIGH S TREET LONDON W. C. I
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

Dated May 10, 1944, it requested Gandhiji to comment on The Wisdom of Gandhi in His own Words, a selection of Gandhiji’s sayings, published by the addressee in 1943. 2 Presumably, Sword of Gold, a biography of Gandhiji, published in 1945 3 Which read: “It is with a feeling akin to triumph that those of us who are pacifists in a war-torn Europe hear of your return to physical liberty, for spiritual liberty cannot be limited by any action of the India Office. We pray that you may, for many years to come, continue to be one of the greatest forces for good in the world.” VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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277. LETTER TO SHYAMA PRASAD MUKHERJEE
“DILKHUSHA”, P ANCHGANI, July 18, 1944
DEAR DR. SHYAMA PRASAD,

It was a pleasure to receive your letter of 10th in appreciation of my correspondence with Government. This however I write not merely to acknowledge your letter, but to complain about the opinion you have expressed on Rajaji’s formula on the communal tangle. I had heard that you were in sympathy with the formula if you had not fully endorsed it. Be that as it may I should have thought that regard being had to the relations between us and also yourself and Rajaji, you would have come and discussed the pros and cons before publishing your views. I suppose it is common cause between us that the problem should be solved, the earlier the better. If you have the time and are so minded, we can still discuss the question.1 I expect Rajaji will be with me at Sevagram which D[eo] V[olente] 2 I expect to reach early in August.
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

278. LETTER TO MIRABEHN
P ANCHGANI,

July 18, 1944
CHI. MIRA,

Your best and descriptive letter is before me. Devdas described your grief over my reverting to your original name. I have capitulated. I am having rich experiences of life. I am learning every day. I must not cause dear ones grief when it is avoidable. This was and is avoidable. I know you forgave me long ago. But it is good to ask for forgiveness. My love never suffered any diminution. My fears about you have not left me. I know you have given me your assurances. But I
1 2

Vide “Interview to Shyama Prasad Mookerjee”, 5-8-1944. God willing THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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must inform you of my doubts if I have any. I like your choice of trustees. Panditji is a tower of [a] trustee. Kanaiyalal1 is a good soul. Devdas is a sound businessman and naturally entertains great regard for you. Your money causes me anxiety. I am eager to transfer the sum to you. But I cannot get the proper account. You can understand the difficulty. For donations separate accounts are never kept, so at a given moment it is a difficult process to say what the Ashram’s donations are. That is your case when account was closed. And Narandas has nothing free. I shall overtake that difficulty. I shall take some time. But when you need the money for your adventure you have but to tell me and I shall place a sum at your disposal. Khurshedbehn is here. She is writing. You are following the papers. Love.
BAPU
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

279. LETTER TO KAMALADEVI CHATTOPADHYAYA
July 18, 1944
DEAR KAMALADEVI,

I am late answering your letter of 4th. I am glad you thoroughly realize the virtue of the wheel and the importance of the village programme. Mridula is coming here. Khurshedbehn is already with me. With two such stalwarts by my side, I am not likely to go wrong. My dream is to have India’s women to lead the world of men who have led women up to now.
Yours ,

BAPU
From the original : Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya Papers. Courtesy : Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

1

Kanaiyalal Butail

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280. A LETTER
‘DILKHUSHA’, PANCHGANI,

July 18, 1944 Your wire of 11th instant was received here on 14th, but due to pressure of work on the staff that is here, it was given to me onlytoday. Pressure on my time is answerable for the absence of the promised letter. Evidently I forgot all about the letter I had promised. I am sorry because I know your care and affection for me. This is the treatment I am having: massage for about an hour all over the body and a hot-water bath, lying in a full length tub for about 20 minutes. This is all very soothing for me. Often before entering the tub I have hot-and-cold hip baths for five minutes each. My food, you know, milk, vegetables, fruit and gur. Between three and four, I have an earth bandage—this too, I think, you know. Clean earth is mixed with water and made into a dough. I take a similar bandage before retiring. Horrible medicine I have is bhilama. Boiled in water, strained, mixed with milk, I had it for seven days. There has been an interval of more than seven days. I propose to take it from tomorrow again for seven days. In Poona, I had what is supposed to be a specific against hook-worm. It is called Carbon Tetrachlor Ethylene. I am on the onward march. Dr. Jivraj Mehta is in Panchgani looking after me. Sushila whom you know was with me even in jail. I have sent her to Delhi. The medical report is that anaemia is subsiding and probably the two enemies, hook-worm and entamoeba histolytica, are lying low, not gone altogether. I expect to go to Sevagram, Deo volente, in the early part of August. I am here at least till the end of the month.
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

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281. LETTER TO MRIDULA SARABHAI
P ANCHGANI,

July 18, 1944
RESPECTED MRIDULABEHN,

Your letter has been received. It was read out to Bapu. Respected Bapuji wants me to say that he has no doubt made changes in the translation but such changes will not distort or modify the meaning. Even so, if there are any doubts, somebody who comes can check. As it is, it has been sent after checking. It does not matter if the Congress Committee is not involved. We are concerned only with propaganda. Hence, it is enough if it has been delivered at Poona. It would be good if it could be translated into other languages also. It will not be bad if it is translated into Marathi and published in newspapers. There is after all nothing in it that we should regret. It was and is an open talk. Hence, Shri Audh and you should in consultation decide how best this thing can be propagated. Bapu was pleased to know that Bharatanandji1 would be looking after correspondence with the Government. You are free to come here whenever you choose. Bapu is recovering slowly. Bapu gave an interview to the Press after hearing from you. You will have seen in the newspapers the views that he expressed. What is your opinion ? Regards from

KANU
From the Gujarati original : C. W. 11116. Courtesy : Sarabhai Foundation

282. LETTER TO K. B. JOSHI
‘DILKHUSHA’, PANCHGANI,

July 19, 1944
DEAR JOSHI,

I was wondering why you had not written all these days. I was inquiring about you only the other day. Vaikunthbhai 2 gave me all the information in his possession. I quite agree with you that

1 2

Indian name given by Gandhiji to Maurice Frydman, a Polish engineer Vaikunth L. Mehta, brother of G. L. Mehta

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something should be done and that quickly. Fortunately Vaikunthbhai is wide awake, and I am hoping that something will be done. You will please keep in touch with me but you know our ultimate goal. We have to reach a process whereby everyone can manufacture paper in his own house just as everyone can do spinning in his own house. I know that the problem is difficult; but if we are to serve 40 crores of people, we must be able to devise some such method as I have adumbrated. If I have relaxed the original restriction, it is in order to reach that goal.
Yours,

BAPU S JT. K. B. JOSHI C/ O TULPULE ’S BUNGALOW 1195/3 SHIVAJI NAGAR P OONA 4
From a photostat: G.N. 2761

283. LETTER TO DR. K. C. GHARPURE
P ANCHGANI,

July 19, 1944
DEAR DR. GHARPURE,

I have been having dismal reports about poor Manju 1 . I would esteem it a favour, if you would kindly let me know her exact condition. Dr. Jivraj Mehta being with me, he will help me to understand your report even if it is technical. Dr. Sushila Nayyar is just now not here. I have asked her to go to Poona and be there till Manju can be discharged. She described her talk with you about the surgeon’s fees. I had thought that there would [be] no fees in a case like this. Manjula has no means of her own. Her brothers are budding artists. They can pay with difficulty. But I can understand the other side. I would have written to Dr. Peet if I was at all acquainted with him. You can show this to him, if necessary. I can well understand his needs, if he is a poor army surgeon. I have friends to fall back upon. There need be no hesitation about charging the
1

Sister of Navin Gandhi, vide “Letter to Navin Gandhi”, after 15-7-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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fees. You will please send me the bill in that case. I hope Manjula’s case will end well.1
Yours sincerely, From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy : Pyarelal

284. A LETTER
“DILKHUSHA”, P ANCHGANI, July 19, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I appreciate your very frank letter. I shall return the courtesy by being equally frank. The difference between now and August, 1942 is that at that time I had no knowledge of the response the people both proCongress and anti-Congress would make. Now I know the kind of response they made. The heroism, the suffering and the self-sacrifice of those who took part in the struggle are beyond praise; but weighed in the scales of Truth and Non-violence there were glaring defects in the demonstration and I can only say that India failed to reach her natural goal because of those defects. Whatever may be true of other nations I have no doubt that India can come to her own fully only by truthful and non-violent means. In the face of sabotage and the like the rulers as usual lost their heads and resorted to reprisals unheard of before. I write under correction. I have asked for an impartial tribunal for investigation of the charges against the Congress and countercharges against the Government. Unless I am convinced to the contrary, I shall continue to believe that the mole-hill of popular violence has been shown on behalf of the Government to have been a mountain and the Himalayan violence of the authorities has been generally defended as no more than necessary for the occasion. I must, therefore, refuse to judge popular action by the footrule of Truth and Non-violence unless I can apply the same measure for the
The addressee in his reply dated July 28, 1944, said: “The operation on Miss Manju has been a complete failure. The facial graft that was introduced has sloughed away and as such Miss Manju is no better or worse after the operation. This sometimes happens in grafts. They either take or don’t take. The grafting can, however be repeated after six months.” VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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Governmental action. This is one difference. The second difference is the terrible and progressive starvation of the people. Whether it is due to the wrath of God or the incompetence of the rulers or the universal pressure of the War is not relevant to the elucidation of my reply. I hold that these two causes mark a decisive difference between now and 1942. I would be unworthy of my creed if I failed to make use of all the resources of head and heart that God has vouchsafed to me for discovering a solution of the deadlock. What is that solution submitted by me ? It is nothing less than the present declaration of freedom of India, limited during the War period by the exigencies of the War. This limitation you know. If that offer is accepted then I would be criminally guilty if I did not advise the Congress to accept it. If my proposal reaches full fruition, what is today a war of brute strength against brute strength would be turned into a war for the liberation of the exploited people of the world. Then it would be a war between predominantly moral strength plus minimum of brute strength matched against pure brute strength which is being used for the exploitation of China and the weaker states of Europe. I hope you will now agree with me that my move is not one of political expendiency but a necessary corollary of the creed which I cherish dearer than life. If you have further difficulty about understanding my position, please write again.
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

285. LETTER TO SWAMI ANAND
July 19, 1944
BHAI SWAMI,

I have your letter and also Vaikunthbhai’s. This time I am including my reply to him in your letter. I have to cope with the mail. We are not bent on securing importance, are we? On my part I would suggest that all three of you should continue,1 which would be better than the best.2 If, however, Bapa cannot accept you as you are, you should move out of his clutches. You should manage without
1 2

As trustees of Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust Literally: “sweeter than jaggery” THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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tendering your resignation, if you can. What I mean is that we would have fulfilled our duty, if we earned a good name for the activity. Please write to Nanabhai that he should carry on the work. I am corresponding with Bhai Anantrai.1 His response has been good enough. I expect everything will get along smoothly. Please send me a copy of the decision given by Bapa so that I can guide you. You may come over whenever you are confronted with a problem.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

286. LETTER TO ANAND T. HINGORANI
P ANCHGANI,

July 19, 1944
CHI. ANAND,

Got your letter only today. Vidya was a very virtuous woman. She had a golden heart and a keen urge for sacrifice. Her love was as vast as the ocean. You have to live up to her expectations. I hope to go to Sevagram in August.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Hindi. Courtesy: National Archives of India and Anand T. Hingorani

287. LETTER TO R. R. DIWAKAR
P ANCHGANI,

July 19, 1944
BHAI DIWAKAR,

I have not been able to read the entire material. You already know my views 2 . I would like all to court imprisonment on or before the 9th 3 while doing something or other. But that something should be a
Vide “Letter to Anantrai P. Pattani”, 15-7-1944. About secret and underground activities, vide ”Discussion with a Friend”, after 6-5-1944 and “Letter to R. R. Diwakar”, 18-5-1944; also Appendix “Discussion with Underground Workers”, before 2-6-1944. 3 Of August, the second anniversary day of “Quit India” movement
2 1

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normal activity of the Congress, not satyagraha. Do you get the difference?
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] I am disgusted at our people writing in English.
From a facsimile of the Hindi: Mahatma, Vol. VI, between pp. 336 and 337

288. INTERVIEW TO THE PRESS1
P ANCHGANI,

July 19, 1944 I am glad you have put the question exactly as you have seen it in the critical Press. I confess that I am not able to go through all Press criticisms and, therefore, I find myself at a disadvantage. Your question, therefore, is doubly helpful to me. Let me remind critics at the outset that publicity of the interview2 (to Mr. Stuart Gelder of the News Chronicle) was not of my seeking. As I have already remarked3 , it was meant for the powers that be. I ask for a dispassionate examination of my proposals on their merits. I should not mind a climb down, if it resulted in the attainment of Indian independence. I may say that the favourable war situation had nothing to do with my proposal, if only for the simple reason that in the flush of approaching victory, my proposal was not likely even to receive a hearing. But as a lover of peace, not merely in India, but peace among all mankind, I could not but make a proposal for what it is worth. After all, there is such a thing as world opinion, apart from the opinion of authorities. A united, enlightened, powerful opinion of the world is bound to affect those who are today wielding what appears to be absolute power in waging the war, and experience has taught me that one should not be afraid of being misunderstood or of rejection of one’s
1 The report said: “A journalist suggested to Gandhiji that it had been said by a large section of the overseas Press that he (Gandhiji) had revised his attitude because of the favourable war situation and also because the Congress suffered ‘a heavy defeat’ and that his latest stand was considered as ‘a climb down’.” 2 Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944 and 4/6-7-1944. 3 Vide “Statement to the Press”, 12-7-1944 and “Interview to the Press”, 13-7-1944.

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proposal, if it is sound in itself. The heavy defeat of the Congress I do not feel at all. I have not a shadow of doubt that this passage through fire and suffering by thousands of Congressmen and Congress sympathizers has raised the status of India and the strength of the people. Throughout all my long public life I have not experienced a sense of defeat, heavy or otherwise. I know many Congressmen are labouring under a sense of frustration. Poor men, they do not know the value of self-suffering. But even that frustration is only momentary. Victory, that is, independence of India as a whole, is a certainty. That it may not come in my lifetime is a matter of indifference to me. I can but work for it till the end of my life. Victory will come when God wills it. Only today I wrote to a friend who wanted to know the difference between now and August 1942. From it I quote relevant sentences. I have said the difference between now and August 1942 is that at that time I had no knowledge of the response the people, both pro-Congress and anti-Congress, would make. Now I know the kind of response they made. The heroism, suffering and self-sacrifice of those who took part in this struggle are beyond praise, but weighed in the scale of truth and non-violence there are glaring defects in the popular demonstration. And I can only say that India failed to reachher natural goal at the time because of these defects. Whatever may be true of other nations, I have no doubt that India can come to her own fully by truth and non-violent means. In the face of sabotage and the like, rulers have as usual lost their heads and resorted to reprisals unheard of before. I write this under correction. I have asked 1 for an impartial tribunal for the investigation of charges against the Congress and my counter-charges against the Government. Unless I am convinced to the contrary, I shall continue to believe that the molehill of popular violence has been shown on behalf of Government to have been a mountain and the Himalayan violence of the authorities has been generally defended as no more than necessary for the occasion. I must, therefore, refuse to judge popular action by the footrule of truth and non-violence unless I can apply the same measure for Government action. This is one difference. The second difference is the terrible progressive starvation of the people. Whether it is due to wrath of God or incompetence of the rulers or universal
Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 15-7-1943 and 26-10-1943. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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pressure of war, is not relevant to the elucidation of my reply. I hold that these two causes mark decisive differences between now and August 1942. I would be unworthy of my creed, if I failed to make use of all the resources of head and heart that God has vouchsafed to me for discovering a solution of the deadlock. What that solution is, is submitted1 by me. It is nothing less than the present declaration of freedom of India, limited during the war period by the exigencies of the war. This limitation you know. If the offer is accepted, then I would be criminally guilty if I did not advise the Congress to accept it. If my proposal reaches full fruition, what is today a war of brute strength would be turned into a war for the liberation of the exploited peoples of the world. Then it would be a war between predominantly moral strength plus the minimum of brute strength matched against pure brute strength which is being used for the exploitation of China and the weaker States of Europe. Rajaji’s offer2 has seen the light of day only now, but I had personally subscribed to it when I was fasting in prison camp. It is now sixteen months old. For the rest of the offer, I must carry out the contract between Rajaji and myself. He is to bear the brunt of all criticism that might be made about that offer. Finally I would say to my critics to enter with me into the sufferings not only of the people of India but of those, whetherengaged in the war or not of the whole world. I cannot look at this butchery going on in the world with indifference. I have an unchangeable faith that it is beneath the dignity of men to resort to mutual slaughter. I have no doubt that there is a way out. I am vain enough to think that my malaria was a godsend, and He used Government as His instrument for discharging me. I should be never reconciled to myself if, for fear of hostile criticism or wrath of impatient Congressmen or even possible displeasure of members of the Working Committee, I did not express personal opinion, the acceptance of which, I hold, must result in bringing peace to the world, even out of the present turmoil.3 The Hindu, 22-7-1944
1 Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4/6-7-2944 and “Interview to the Press”, 14-7-1944. 2 Vide Appendix “C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula”, before 5-8-1942. 3 The Bombay Chronicle, 20-7-1944, reported: “Gandhiji made it clear that those who attributed motives to him did not touch him—it was like water on duck’s back. He started the conference by saying: ‘I am empty-headed’ and ended by saying: ‘I hope I have given enough food’, and the Press agreed, ‘he had’.”

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289. TELEGRAM TO STUART GELDER
Express
GELDER C ARE F RANK MORAES GREENFIELDS, C HURCHGATE R ECLAMATION BOMBAY
RECEIVED WIRE WILL IF ATTEND BOTH FURTHER CLIFF’S2 BE WIRES. READ YESTERDAY’S NECESSARY. WHEN PRESS WILL INTERVIEW.1 IMMEDIATELY HOPE YOU CLARIFICATION QUESTION WELL.

July 20, 1944

RECEIVED.

SOON

GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

290. LETTER TO AMIYA CHAKRAVARTY
P ANCHGANI,

July 20, 1944
DEAR AMIYA,

I was delighted to receive your letter. Death leaves no family without His toll. Why should we not treat His messengers as friends and pay the toll with a willing heart? I had to make His acquaintance when I was quite a youth and I learnt to regard Death as a welcome deliverance whether it is a suckling baby or one in prime of life like your brother or an elderly person. I long ago ceased to regard as affliction or punishment the so-called misfortunes. On my return to India I think it was Kakasaheb who recited a verse and reminded me that I was presenting no new thought when I expounded the view just mentioned. From that time onward we have recited at the morning prayer the following verse3 : foinks uSo foin % lainks u So lain%Afoin~ foLej.ka fo".kks%
Vide the preceding item. Norman Cliff of the News Chronicle, London; vide also “Cable to News Chronicle”, 23-7-1944. 3 Meaning: That which goes by the name of adversity is not such; nor is that prosperity which goes by that name. To forget God is adversity, ever to think of Him is prosperity, Vide “Ashram Bhajanavali” subitem 16, 20-12-1930.
2 1

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laEiUukjk;.k Le`fr% A A Hence the puzzle that taxes the philosphers of the West and the East has no worry for me. I know this arises from my ignorance of writings on philosophy. I console myself with the thought that my ignorance is bliss if it promotes my peace of mind. This is my contribution towards assuaging your grief and my answer to the question propounded by you. The second question is simple. Of course, there must be organized resistance to organized evil. The difficulty arises when the organizers of satyagraha try to imitate the organizers of evil. I tried and failed hopelessly. The way of organizing forces of good must be opposite to the evil way. What it exactly is I do not yet know fully. I feel that it lies through perfection, as far as may be, of individuals. It then acts as the leaven raising the whole mass. But I am still groping. I hope I have given you sufficient food for thought for the time being. More when we meet. I hope to be in Sevagram in the beginning of August. Gurudev was an institution. We must feel the loss. Love.
BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

291. LETTER TO HARIBHAU JOSHI
P ANCHGANI,

July 20, 1944
DEAR JOSHI,

I am very sorry to learn about Acharya Javadekar’s indisposition. I hope he will soon recover. I remember Shripad well. He is brave and will go through the mill cheerfully. Please give him my love when you next meet him. If you represent Rajaji correctly, the version is only true so far as it goes. But I will forbear and wait till we meet. Your questions are interesting. I have promised to meet you in Panchgani even if the others cannot join you. Therefore I shall conserve my limited energy till the time of our meeting. But, if you do not mind, I would fix the date of our meeting towards the end of the month. I am not gaining as much as I had expected. Do you mind the delay? I suggest 25th instant at 4 218
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p.m., i.e., if I am here till then. If the place does not finally suit me, I shall have to pass the rest of the month in Poona.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy: C.W. 934. Courtesy: Haribhau Joshi

292. LETTER TO MUNNALAL G. SHAH
P ANCHGANI,

July 20, 1944
CHI. MUNNALAL,

Today I read your letter and application carefully through. The work you are doing is very good. Keep it up. Regard it a sin to fall ill. Please do not minimize the seriousness of that sin because I too have committed it. Holding a belief is one thing and putting it into practice quite another. Let nobody get infected by my shortcomings.Let what is good in me infect people freely. Sadhana can infect us in this sense. Why is Kanchan silent? Tell her to write regularly. The time is drawing nearer for my arrival in Sevagram. Bhai Patil is a gentleman. I intend to write a note to him.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 8471. Also C.W. 7176. Courtesy: Munnalal G. Shah

293. LETTER TO BHANUSHANKAR
P ANCHGANI,

July 20, 1944
BHAI BHANUSHANKAR,

I have both your letters. I have just been able to finish reading the second long one. You could have abridged both the letters and at the same time conveyed more. I do not say this by way of criticism. I see this defect in many writers. I have just pointed it out so that you may try and learn brevity in writing. What you have written is all right. But it is a half truth. This does
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not mean that you have anywhere tried to hide the truth. I have no doubt that you have written what you believe to be the whole truth. But I who know the other side see but half truth in your letter. Just think over this: If we give up all those whom you have criticized, who will be left to work in the Congress? You and I? As a matter of fact you alone can work because I sit with those whom you have criticized. What then is my value? I do not write this to criticize you but to show the defect in your argument. We have to work with the best possible people available. Since we are imperfect ourselves we can make progress only by putting up with imperfect co-workers. Though there is some truth in your criticism, the world has seen the strength of the Congress. That proves that on the whole the achievement of the Congress is not bad. I shall write no more just now. Think over this and, if you still do not see your way, write to me. The world is good, if we are good. Let others do nothing or do something wrong. You go on with your own proper work. There is no time to sit idle.
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

294. LETTER TO R. R. DIWAKAR
P ANCHGANI,

July 20, 1944
BHAI DIWAKAR,

I wrote to you yesterday.1 Pundalik2 is still here, hence the second letter. This shows how these things occupy my thoughts. I think those who are underground should discover themselves and then do whatever they like. It would be better if no militant step is taken as long as I am out.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a facsimile of the Hindi: Mahatma, Vol. VI, between pp. 336 and 337

1 2

Vide “Letter to R. R. Diwakar”, 19-7-1944 Pundalik Katagade. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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295. ANSWER S TO QUESTIONS1
P ANCHGANI,

July 20, 1944
QUESTION:

1. Do you agree with inferences being drawn in London following the publication of your interview 2 that you favour full entry of free Indian government into war against Japan? ANSWER:

Yes.

2. Regarding Pakistan there is a tendency here to interpret your last contact with Mr. Jinnah as indicating your acceptance of Pakistan. Is this so?

Mr. Rajagopalachari’s Formula3 indicates my way of meeting the communal difficulty. I am indifferent whether it is called Pakistan or not.
3. In the event of free Indian government taking control of finance, what policy will you advise regarding Anglo-American capital interest in India?

My advice would be to respect Anglo-American capital interest, which, in the absence of agreement, is not considered by an impartial tribunal inconsistent with Indian national interests.
4. Will you outline your conception of the role of a free India in the post-war world with special relationship to the peoples of the British Commonwealth and the United States of America?

If I have any say in post-war policy, the free national government of India will promote a Commonwealth of all world States naturally including British Commonwealth and America and also, if possible, belligerent States so as to reduce to the minimum the possibility of armed conflict between different States. The Bombay Chronicle, 22-7-1944
The report said that the questions were cabled to Gandhiji from London, on July 18, by Cavalcade, a British news magazine, which claimed that it had “consistently supported the cause of Indian freedom, and added that it was advised by Mr. Pulin Seal, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Indian Congressmen in London, to ask if Gandhiji would give for publication his answers to four questions”. According to the report, Gandhiji “handed over copies of” the questions and answers to the Press on July 21 when he gave a statement; vide the following item. 2 Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944 and 4/6-7-1944. 3 Vide Appendix “C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula”, before 5-8-1942. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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296. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
P ANCHGANI,

July 21, 1944 1 1 have answered the question as a confirmed war resister; and if I became a party to the August resolution and I now suggest what I consider to be a perfectly honourable solution, it is because thereby I expect to promote the war-resistance effort. I dream of a world where there will be no strife between nations and nations. It is possible only if Great Britain, America and Russia contemplate such world peace. I deliberately omit China for, unfortunately China is not able like Russia, Britain or America to stand alone, though much bigger than all these three powerful nations and more ancient. China is still menaced by Japan and needs all the assistance that she can get before she can rise to her full height. I see no chance for the groaning world, unless the three States now demonstrate to the world that they have one mind, that they are not putting forth the effort they are doing for any selfish design, butthat they are truly fighting for all democracies on the face of the earth. My proposal is an acid test, and I have no shadow of doubt that its hearty acceptance by Britain will immediately turn the scales and ensure the defeat of the belligerent powers and fill exploited nations of the earth with hope. You see that I am, therefore, fighting for no small stake.2 The Bombay Chronicle, 22-7-1944

The reference is to the fourth question of the preceding item. The report concluded: “Gandhiji invited questions and the Pressmen fired out a few questions and when they stumbled and seemed to get stuck up, Gandhiji smiled and said that he would lead them on. He could put even mischievous questions, he said, but thought that was not the proper time for it.”
2

1

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297. LETTER TO DWARKADAS SHAH
P ANCHGANI, July 21, 1944
BHAI DWARKADAS SHAH,

I have your letter. An organization which has only Hindu members can hardly be called a national organization. Moreover, those who believe that independence can be achieved through nonviolence, should from today eschew any training based on violence. I myself do not know what will happen after the attainment of independence and therefore believe that that may be true in the case of others too. I feel that this should clear your doubts.
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

298. INTERVIEW TO THE UNITED PRESS OF INDIA1
P ANCHGANI,

July 22, 1944 I am not afraid of the word ‘diarchy’. 2 The arrangement proposed seems to me to be as natural as the present is unnatural. If Allied operations have to continue with India as the base, as they must, my proposal is that they are only feasible and consistent with immediate declaration of India’s independence. But I heartily agree that there must be mutual trust. If it cannot be established, my proposal is valueless. The winter of mutual distrust among the Boers and Britons was overnight turned into a summer of mutual trust after the sanguinary Boer War. In our case, when the victory becomes a mutual interest, mutual trust follows as a matter of course. The Bombay Chronicle, 23-7-1944
The report said that a special representative of the United Press of India “sought elucidation from Gandhiji on the points raised by the British Press, specially the Delhi correspondent of the London Times, on Gandhiji’s proposals that military control shall be in the hands of the Viceroy and the Commander-in-Chief”. 2 The Times correspondent had remarked: “What is proposed in fact is a kind of diarchy in the military field which would be practicable only on the assumption that there is complete identity of aims and; mutual trust, and past events have done nothing to create these.” VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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299. CABLE TO NORMAN CLIFF 1
P ANCHGANI,

July 23, 1944
NORMAN C LIFF F OREIGN EDITOR “NEWS C HRONICLE ” LONDON
YOUR CABLE. I SHARE FULLY BRITISH SORROWS AND SUFFERINGS. MY ONLY EXCUSE FOR INTERVENING IS THAT MY PROPOSALS ARE AS MUCH IN THE INTERESTS OF BRITAIN AS OF INDIA AND I WANT THE POOREST IN INDIA SO FAR AS THEY ARE INFLUENCED BY CONGRESS TO BE ACTIVELY IDENTIFIED WITH THOSE SUFFERINGS. ALREADY ANSWER FIRST QUESTION. “RAJAGOPALACHARI’S LEAGUE PROPOSAL MY SUBMITTED PUBLICLY MUSLIM PRESIDENT WITH

APPROVAL. PUBLIC BODIES ALREADY DISCUSSING FREELY EXPRESSING OPINION.” ANSWER TO TWO “NO QUESTION WHATEVER OF MASS STRUGGLE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT FORMED AFTER MANNER PROPOSED BY ME. ASSUMING GOVERNMENT AND CONGRESS ACCEPT PROPOSAL, IT PRESUPPOSES HEARTY COOPERATION WAR EFFORT WITHOUT INCURRING FINANCIAL LIABILITY.” ANSWER TO THREE. “YOU SHOULD KNOW I CEASED TO BE MEMBER CONGRESS IN NINETEEN-THIRTY-FOUR BUT CONGRESS CONSTITUTION DEFINITELY PLEDGES CONGRESS TO NON-VIOLENCE.” ANSWER TO FOUR. “AUGUST RESOLUTION IS NOBLE DECLARATION OF WHICH I AM PROUD. HOPE CONGRESS WILL NEVER SUPERSEDE IT. CLAUSE RELATING TO SANCTION HAS CAUSED OFFENCE. I HAVE SAID IT WAS NEVER PUT INTO OPERATION BY ME AND AT THIS STAGE I CANNOT DO SO EVEN IF MY POWER IS REVIVED AFTER MY DISCHARGE. IF GOVERNMENT DESIRE CONGRESS CO-OPERATION MY PROPOSAL HONOURABLE BOTH PARTIES AND PROVIDES FOR ALL THAT GOVERNMENT CAN POSSIBLY WANT.” END MESSAGE.

GANDHI
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

An extract from this has been reproduced in “Cable to News Chronicle”, 23-7-1944.

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300. LETTER TO STUART GELDER
“DILKHUSHA”, PANCHGANI,

July 23, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

In terms of your last telegram Gandhiji has asked me to send you his replies to Mr. Norman Cliff’s questions for transmission to the News Chronicle instead of writing them direct to London. I am enclosing too herewith a copy of Mr. Cliff’s wire to Gandhiji, although I now understand that you have received the same also from Mr. Cliff himself. Gandhiji desires me to say that he would like his replies to be sent without any alteration or addition. You may, however, add your comment for purposes of elucidation, if you find it necessary. Gandhiji hopes that you are now on the road to recovery. Yours sincerely, PYARELAL STUART GELDER, ESQ. C/ O FRANK MORAES, ESQ. “GREEN FIELDS” CHURCHGATE RECLAMATION BOMBAY From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

301. LETTER TO S. MOHAN KUMARAMANGALAM
P ANCHGANI,

July 23, 1944
DEAR MOHAN 1 ,

Do come with your friend at 4 p.m. on 28th instant. Your friend may take two snap-shots without any notice to me.

1

Son of Dr. P. Subbaroyan

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I am glad Joshi wants my reply. I have not been idle. I hope to be able to send a reply1 at an early date.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI M. K UMARAMANGALAM S UBBAROYAN C OMMUNIST P ARTY 190 B KHETWADI MAIN R OAD BOMBAY 4
Chief Commissioner’s Office, Bombay, File No. 3001/H/, p. 123. Courtesy: Government of Maharashtra

302. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM
P ANCHGANI,

July 23, 1944
DAUGHTER AMTUL SALAAM,

I have your letters. I no longer have the strength to give orders. I would only advise you to do what you think best. Whenever you wish to come to the Ashram for treatment, you may do so. Serve wherever you like. I do not know what work to take from you. It is my nature to be content with whatever service people give. Those who are content to stay in the Ashram may do so. Those who think they can do better service elsewhere may work outside.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 480

303. LETTER TO MATHURADAS TRIKUMJI
July 23, 1944 Do not get in the least impatient. Observe with detachment whatever happens. . . . Doctors have examined me. There has been good improvement. The climate has agreed with me. But I do not wish to stay on much longer now. Nor is it necessary to do so. I am pining to return to Sevagram. [From Gujarati] Bapuni Prasadi, pp. 201-2
1

Vide “Letter to P. C. Joshi”. 30-7-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

226

304. INTERVIEW TO THE PRESS
P ANCHGANI,

July 23, 1944 1 The Sind Home Minister , in defending the forcible prevention of a member of the Sind Legislative Assembly from exercising his right of attending the Assembly meeting, is reported to have said: “Our information is that, since the release of Mahatma Gandhi, the subversive movement had been restarted throughout India and that leading personalities behind that movement were again trying to direct it.” He referred in this connection to the escape from Karachi jail of three under-trial prisoners concerned in the Marriot Road dacoity case and said, “this is all in pursuance of the policy of reviving the movement.” All the information that I have gathered since my discharge is absolutely contrary to the statement alleged to have been made by the Sind Home Minister. May it be that he is badly served by his informants? Is it not his duty to supply the public with details of the information in his possession? Who are the leading personalities, and what is the subversive movement? If there is any connection between the escape from Karachi jail of the under-trial prisoners and the supposed revival of the so-called subversive movement, the least that is necessary is to mention these names and show the connection. I would not have taken notice of the Sind Home Minister’s statement but for the fact that it is likely to be used by enemies of India’s freedom to frustrate the efforts that I am making for the cause of independence. I am sure the Sind Home Minister is as anxious as I am for India’s freedom, attained through peaceful means. I may add, too, that throughout this anxious period my attempt has been, through the Press and in my talks with Congressmen and others, to show that I am opposed unequivocally to sabotage and the like. I have also stated in explicit terms that I never have had an opportunity of starting civil disobedience and that the authority vested in me by the A.I.C.C. expired on my imprisonment, and could not automatically be revived by my discharge on grounds of ill-health.
1

Haji Muhammad Hashim Gazdar

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Therefore assuming that civil disobedience is described as subversive movement, which I deny, even that cannot be offered by anybody on behalf of Congress. But I have said at the same time that normal Congress activities of a purely peaceful nature must be carried on even if restrictions are imposed upon them. It is up to the authorities, therefore, if they are at all inclined to respond to my advice, not to interfere with such activities as were permissible, say, before August 1942, such as, for instance, monthly flag demonstration, public meetings and the like. The Bombay Chronicle, 24-7-1944

305. INTRODUCTION TO “DRAFT INSTRUCTION FOR CIVIL RESISTERS”
P ANCHGANI,

July 24, 1944 The following is the literal translation of draft instructions1 for the guidance of civil resisters. The draft was in Hindustani and copies were prepared in both Devanagari and Persian scripts. It was prepared on 7th August, 1942, and was placed before the Working Committee and discussed on the 8th of August. The Working Committee was again to have met on the morning of the 9th August. But that was not to be. I was to put before the Working Committee my view of the negotiations which I was to carry on with the Government. They were to cover a period of at least three weeks. The instructions were to see the light of day only on failure of the contemplated negotiations. The object of publishing the draft at present is twofold. It shows how my mind was running at the time. The draft is an additional answer to the adverse suggestions made in the Government indictment about my non-violence. The second and more relevant object is to let Congress workers know how I would have acted at the time. I have come to know that my name was freely used to justify acts of sabotage and the like. I would like every Congressman and for that matter every Indian to feel that on him and her lies the responsibility of freeing India from the incubus of foreign rule.Non-violent suffering is the only way. Freedom of India means
1

Vide “Draft Instructions for Civil Resisters”, 4-8-1942. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

228

everything for us but it means also much for the world. For, freedom won through non-violence will mean the inauguration of a new order in the world. There is no hope for mankind in any other way.
M. K. GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, pp. 285-6

306. TELEGRAM TO MANORANJAN CHAUDHARY1
P ANCHGANI,

July 24, 1944
MANORANJAN C ARE NIRMAL BHATTACHARJI R USTOM MANSION ADENWALLA R OAD , M ATUNGA BOMBAY
WELCOME TWENTY-SEVENTH FOUR AFTERNOON.2

GANDHI
From a copy: C.W. 10514

307. LETTER TO MIRABEHN
P ANCHGANI,

July 24, 1944
CHI. MIRA,

I have your letter. Without yet having any definite statement from Narandas. I have already arranged for transfer to Devdas of Rs. 25,000/- to be placed at your disposal. You are not likely to want more at once. I hope to transfer more as soon as I hear from Rajkot. I got rid of the cold long ago. The weather here has agreed with me. Manilal and his daughter Sita are with me. We leave here for Sevagram on 3rd or 4th. Love.
BAPU
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar
1 2

Of the Bengal Hindu Sabha Vide also “Letter to P. C. Joshi”, 30-7-1944.

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308. LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI
P ANCHGANI,

July 24, 1944
CHI. AMRITLAL,

May you live long and render plenty of service. My blessings to both the sisters. I had read the pamphlets. I shall go through the new ones too. I will start for Wardha on the 2nd of August.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI AMRITLAL NANAVATI 64 A/B 4 TH F LOOR, P ANNALAL TERRACE GRANT R OAD BOMBAY
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10803

309. LETTER TO PREMA KANTAK
P ANCHGANI,

July 24, 1944
CHI. PREMA,

Sushila has left for Delhi. I shall start on the 2nd of August and go direct to Wardha. I do not know whether I will go via Bombay or Kalyan. You may come along with me, or come afterwards whenever you wish to. I am all right.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10431. Also C.W. 6870. Courtesy: Prema Kantak

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

310. TELEGRAM TO T. B. SAPRU1
[July 25, 1944] 2
ARRANGEMENTS FIRST AUGUST. MADE FOR YOU HERE. LEAVING PANCHGANI REACHING SEVAGRAM THIRD.

Gandhi-Sapru Papers. Courtesy: National Library

311. LETTER TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI
P ANCHGANI,

July 25, 1944
MY DEAR C. R.,

It is early morning. I feel your absence. Questions regarding Pakistan crop up. Papers are being sent to you. But that is not enough. Some questions I must answer myself. It is not right that I shouldanswer them without you. I won’t drag you to Panchgani. But I do want you to be in Sevagram when I reach there. I hope to be there on 3rd August. Try to reach there that day and come with the intention of settling down there till my fate is decided one way or the other. Every decision of my fate must necessarily be final just for the time being. It is as wet as when you left. But I am flourishing. And I see that I can like this place if there is a refuge for poor people. It has been built for the rich or the upper middle class. Love.
BAPU
From a photostat: G.N. 2095

1 The telegram is extracted from Pyarelal’s letter dated July 25 to the addressee, which, inter alia, read: “Gandhiji has decided to leave for Sevagram. . . . The stay here had done him good and from the point of view of his health a further stay for a fortnight would have been eminently desirable. But his soul yearned for Sevagram and the doctors saw no good in thwarting his innate nature. Gandhiji has just sent you the following wire.” 2 ibid

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312. LETTER TO LALA DUNICHAND
“DILKHUSHA”, PANCHGANI,

July 25, 1944
DEAR LALA DUNICHAND,

Gandhiji has your letter of the 15th inst. He desires me to thank you for the information you have conveyed to him. He was not ignorant of those facts. He is doing all he can. His statements and interviews in the Press will serve to give you a picture of his present mind. His health is fair only in the sense that it might have been worse. He intends returning to Sevagram on the 2nd of August. Yours sincerely, LALA DUNICHAND, B. A. KRIPANIVAS COTTAGE AMBALA CITY From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

313. LETTER TO NATARAJAN
P ANCHGANI, July 25, 1944
DEAR MR. NATARAJAN,

It was good of you to have sent your letter through Balasaheb1 . I appreciate the kind thought that prompted it. I do not want to send an argumentative letter in reply. All I wish to say is that it is the logical corollary of the Congress resolution to which I was party.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

[PS.]
I have read your letter three times. You know how I value your opinion. It occurs to me that you should invite Rajaji for a private and friendly discussion.
M. K. G
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar
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232

314. LETTER TO B. G. KHER
P ANCHGANI,

July 25, 1944
BHAI KHER,

Herewith letter from Natarajan. Read it. If his suggestion appeals to you, persuade others to accept it. I myself would have explained but, as you know, I have neither the time nor the energy to do so. If you have fully understood Rajaji’s Formula1 , canvass for it earnestly.
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] Pyarelal committed no mistake in that.2 He deliberately told you about it. The thing is not to be kept secret from persons like you. The truth is that it is to be kept secret only from newspapers. The intention is to avoid embarrassment to Churchill.
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 2771

315. LETTER TO KANAM GANDHI
July 25, 1944
CHI. KANAM,

I got your letter today. I shall not be able to always fulfil your expectation of a reply by return of post. You have spoilt your handwriting so much that now it is difficult to read it. Sita’s 3 handwriting is so beautiful that it deserves to be emulated by all of you. No doubt she writes in English but whoever writes a good hand in one script must necessarily write equally well in another. About the injustice to the residents of Sevagram, ask me when we meet. I have had enough of watching the cinema4 all by myself without my compatriots at Sevagram. When I am out and engaged in
Vide Appendix “C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula”, before 5-8-1942. The reference is to Gandhiji’s letter dated July 17 to Winston Churchill; vide “Letter to Winston Churchill”, 17-7-1944. 3 Addressee’s cousin. 4 Gandhiji saw feature film “Ramarajya” at his residence.
2 1

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some good activity I would remember all of you. There was no such thing in the present case. Hence nobody has lost anything by not witnessing the show. On the contrary, I have lost something after having seen the picture. You may ask me what it is. I hope to reach Sevagram on the 3rd.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

316. LETTER TO MRIDULA SARABHAI
P ANCHGANI,

July 25, 1944
CHI. MRIDU,

I have your letter. I have explained everything to Kher Saheb 1 . Hence I am not writing a separate letter to you. Are you coming or not ? We are waiting.
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original : C. W. 11230. Courtesy : Sarabhai Foundation

317. LETTER TO P. G. MATHEW
P ANCHGANI,

July 25, 1944
MY DEAR MATHEW,

I am grieved at your father’s passing away. I can understand your remorse. How can one be angry with one’s father even if he leaves nothing for the one? But let that be. Giving away in charity all that you have come into, will be an adequate penance.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 1543

1

B. G. Kher THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

234

318. LETTER TO C. M. DOKE
P ANCHGANI,

July 26, 1944
MY DEAR CLEMENT 1 ,

I had your sweet letter whilst I was a prisoner. From there I wrote no letters. Ba is ever with me though her body has been consigned to the flames. Though I see this truth through the reason and the heart, world-wide sympathy I have prized. It has made me realize the goodness of God as never before. I was glad to have some account of you from Manilal. He was able to tell me that you had kept up the old tradition. Do tell me all about the whole family—how and what they are doing. As I write this, all the old associations revive and make me glad. With love to you all,
Yours,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat: G.N. 745

319. LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI
P ANCHGANI,

July 26, 1944
CHI. SUSHILA,

I am glad that Manilal and Sita have come. I am still more pleased that you yourself stayed behind. I had thought that that would be beyond your capacity. You have risen higher in my estimation. May God keep you both on a high plane. I have had quite long talks with Manilal, though not to my heart’s content. There wasn’t sufficient time for that. We will talk still more after we reach Sevagram or on our way there.
Son of J. J. Doke who was a close associate of Gandhiji in South Africa; a missionary on the staff of South African Baptist Missionary Society, Lambaland, 1914-21; Head of the Department of Bantu Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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Sita is a very good girl. I have not been able to make friends with her as much as I would wish. But I think, I will be able to do so. She is intelligent. The most important thing is to see that she always remains as healthy as she is today. Good health is the most important blessing of life. Do not worry about her. If you worry about Manilal, I would certainly consider you silly. About myself Manilal will write. There is no cause for worry. I am in God’s hands. He will do what He wants. According to the present plan, I understand that you will arrive after December. The immediate plan is that Manilal and Sita will join me in Sevagram, via Akola, provided of course there are no unforeseen developments.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4935

320. LETTER TO MANJULA M. MEHTA
P ANCHGANI,

July 26, 1944
CHI. MANJULA 1 ,

I have your letter. I feel that whatever is due to Ratilal2 should be paid up. He will use it as he is destined to. How long can we keep a watch over a person who has come of age? I regularly get from Champa letters which are quite sensible. I intend to start from here on the 1st for Sevagram. Do come and see me there when you can. I do not remember having received your letter in jail. Very few letters were delivered to me.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI MAGANLAL P RANJIVANDAS MEHTA , B ARRISTER 82 GHODBUNDER R OAD ANDHERI
From a photostat of the Gujarati; C.W, 1029. Courtesy: Manjula M. Mehta
1 2

Wife of Maganlal Mehta Maganlal Mehta’s brother THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

236

321. LETTER TO BALKRISHNA BHAVE
P ANCHGANI,

July 26, 1944
CHI. BALKRISHNA,

I got your letter and liked it. I like Dinshaw’s temperament. His wife also has a loving nature. Though there is no privacy, his place is very peaceful. It has all the facilities. He knows everything about milk diet and also other methods of treatment. If, therefore, you fully make up your mind, you may go and stay for a year in Poona. Perhaps your health may be completely restored. Even if it is not, you will lose nothing. You will in any case be doing some service there. If you are prepared to see everybody who wants to see you, you may even be able to help some. In the Arogyabhavan your presence will itself benefit the inmates. Think over all these points. As I am soon going over there, we shall reach a final decision after I arrive.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 810. Courtesy: Balkrishna Bhave

322. LETTER TO AMRITLAL V. THAKKAR
July 26, 1944
BAPA,

I have your letter. Why such a decision? May not anyone tender his resignation? But whether you undertake tours or refuse to budge from your Delhi camp, Swami1 is willing to be relieved this moment. But none from amongst Sir Purushottamdas and others is willing to let you go. Swami wants the matter to be entrusted to an arbitrator who should give his award. But should we take such a dispute to an arbitrator? It is a question of difference of opinion. Some people cannot see eye to eye. Yet both the parties or all of them might be doing good work. Under the circumstances, they work separatelyand preserve mutual amity. I am not issuing orders, I am simply comparing notes.
BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal
1

Swami Anand; vide “Letter to Swami Anand”, 19-7-1944.

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323. LETTER TO MANJULA GANDHI
July 26, 1944
CHI. MANJU,

I have your letter. Capitalize on your bhajans and forget all your worries after putting your full trust in God. There is no rule that because you are young in age you cannot acquire jnana. Jnana, that is, atmajnana is not necessarily associated with age. I have seen many an old and erudite fool. On the other hand an unlettered person like Raichandbhai had come to possess atmajnana even at a tender age. I hope to see you on the 1st evening or the 2nd morning. I very much want you to pay me a visit after you are all right.1 Even if I am arrested and taken away, you can stay at the Asharm or you may reconsider your plans.
Blessings from

BAPU

MANJU GANDHI
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

324. INTERVIEW TO THE PRESS
P ANCHGANI,

July 26, 1944 I have read the debate in the Lords’ on the Indian question with attention. I confess, I am disappointed. Lord Munster has correctly summarized2 my proposals. It is the most constructive suggestion that I could conceive. If it is not accepted, even as a basis for a friendly discussion and for permission to be given to see members of the Working Committee, who alone can speak with authority, I must reluctantly come to the conclusion that the British Government do not want a fair solution of what I consider is a deadlock, but what they may not consider as such. However earnest I may be in my efforts to reach a solution, I know I can do nothing, if there is no response from the British
Vide “Letter to Dr. K. C. Gharpure”, 19-7-1944. For excerpts from Munster’s speech, vide Appendix “Lord Munster’s Speech”, 25-7-1944.
2 1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

Government. How I wish that the bogey of communal differences had not been raised in the debate. I have contended, as I contend even now, that differences there must be so long as there is a ruling third party to exploit them. I have spoken what I feel to be the truth. The occasion is too serious for me to hide it. The Bombay Chronicle, 27-7-1944

325. LETTER TO RADHIKADEVI
[After July 26, 1944] 1
DEAR SISTER,

I have your letter. What else can one do but resort to a fast when one is treated as less than human? I do not dare to interfere. Have faith in God and put up with whatever happens.
Blessings from

BAPU S MT. R ADHIKADEVI VISHWANATH P RASAD C HAUBE GOPALPUR BALLIA
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

326. LETTER TO LORD WAVELL
P ANCHGANI,

July [26/] 2 27, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I must admit my disappointment over your letter 3 of the 22nd instant. But I am used to work in the face of disappointment. Here is my concrete proposal. I am prepared to advise the Working Committee to declare that in view of the changed conditions, mass civil disobedience envisaged by the resolution of August 1942 cannot be offered and that full
In the source, the letter is placed after the letters of July 26, 1944. From the reference to “Lord Munster’s Speech”; vide Appendix “Lord Munster’s Speech”, 25-7-1944. 3 Vide last footnote of “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 15-7-1944.
2 1

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co-operation in the war-effort should be given by the Congress,if a declaration of immediate Indian independence is made and a national government responsible to the Central Assembly be formed subject to the proviso that, during the pendency of the war, the military operations should continue as at present but without involving any financial burden on India. If there is a desire on the part of the British Government for a settlement, friendly talks should take the place of correspondence. But I am in your hands. I shall continue to knock so long as there is the least hope of an honourable settlement. After the foregoing was written, I saw Lord Munster’s speech in the House of Lords. The summary given by him in the House of Lords fairly represents my proposal. This summary may serve as a basis for mutual friendly discussion.1
I am, Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 6; also The Hindu, 19-8-1944

327. LETTER TO MANU GANDHI
P ANCHGANI,

July 27, 1944
CHI. MANUDI,

I have your letter. That your weight should go down to 871b. is a matter of shame. It is sinful to read up to 2 o’clock at night. If that is the condition for passing, then I will have none of that kind of education. If you are unable to obey the rules, you will have to come to me. I would rather you remained uneducated than get educated in this way. You are irregular about taking medicine too. What does that indicate?
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XXIV

Vide also “Interview to the Press”, 26-7-1944. For the Viceroy’s reply, vide Appendix “Letter from Lord Wavell”, 15-8-1944.

1

240

THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

328. TALK TO PANCHGANI CITIZENS1
P ANCHGANI,

July 27, 1944
Mahatma Gandhi said that he had been greatly benefited by his stay in Panchgani and his health had considerably improved. The Nawab of Wai who introduced the citizens to Mahatma Gandhi expressed the hope that he would visit the place annually. Mahatma Gandhi talked to the gathering quite informally, and replying to the Vice-Principal of a local European school who said, he had seen Mahatma Gandhi in Charlestown while he was a young boy nearly forty years ago in South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi said, “Oh yes. I remember Charlestown well. Don’t I know Charlestown where I got a good hiding?”2 and burst into laughter. Mahatma Gandhi said that he liked Panchgani better than other hill stations he had visited in India, but referred to the lack of accommodation and said that wealthy people should construct quarters so that the poor could also take advantage of the climate for recuperating their health.

The Bombay Chronicle, 28-7-1944

329. TELEGRAM TO STUART GELDER
Express
GELDER C ARE F RANK MORAES GREENFIELDS, C HURCHGATE R ECLAMATION BOMBAY
SORRY YOU STILL ILL. LET MORAES COME TAKE CHANCE.

July 28, 1944

GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

The report said that “heads of educational institutions, medical practitioners and businessmen” met Gandhiji in the afternoon and “spent nearly half an hour with him”. 2 Vide “An Autobiography—Part II”, Chapter IX. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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330. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM
P ANCHGANI,

July 28, 1944
DAUGHTER AMTUL SALAAM,

I was pained to read your letter. Your duty is to go to Indore. I will issue no order. I do not want any service from you. It would be a different matter if you fell ill and needed some nursing and came to Sevagram. Your duty is to stay outside and do whatever work you know. It is not a question of my being angry. It is a question of my own limitations. You may, therefore, do whatever service you like, but outside Sevagram. Now that your health is all right there is no need at all to go to Sevagram.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 481

331. LETTER TO KUSUM DESAI
P ANCHGANI,

July 28, 1944
CHI. KUSUM,

I have your letter. I hope to reach Sevagram, on the 3rd. I will not go to Bombay. I shall catch the train at Kalyan. You may travel by that train. If you do, meet Shantikumar. I myself am keen, of course.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI KUSUMBEHN DESAI MEHTA P OLE BARODA
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 1851

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332. LETTER TO VIJAYA M. PANCHOLI
P ANCHGANI,

July 28, 1944
CHI. VIJAYA,

I have your letter. I will reach Sevagram on the 3rd. Come over there whenever you wish to. I will wait for your letter. Please reply this letter. Tell Nanabhai that I have received his letter. Tell him that he should certainly come to Sevagram. I am not stopping at Bombay.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 7149. Also C.W. 4641. Courtesy: Vijaya M. Pancholi

333. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
P ANCHGANI,

July 28, 1944 The question most discussed with me by visitors is whether I approve of underground activities. These include sabotage, the publication of unauthorized sheets, etc. It has been suggested to me that without some workers going underground they could have done nothing. Some have contended that destruction of property, including dislocation of communication, provided that safety of human life could be ensured, should surely be counted as non-violence. Examples of other nations as having not hesitated to do all these things and much worse have been cited. My reply is that no nation has, so far as I know, deliberately used truth and non-violence as exclusive means for the attainment of freedom. Judged by that standard, I say unhesitatingly, that underground activities, even though utterly innocent in themselves, should have no place in the technique of non-violence. Sabotage and all it means, including destruction of property, is in itself violence. Though these activities may be shown to have touched the imagination and enthusiasm, I have no doubt that they have harmed the movement as a whole. I swear by the Constructive Programme. Let me recount the
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items of that programme: 1. Communal unity 2. Removal of untouchability 3. Prohibition 4. Khadi 5. Other village industries 6. Village sanitation 7. New or basic education 8. Adult education 9. Uplift of women 10. Service of the so-called aboriginals 11. Education in health and hygiene 12. Propaganda of rashtra bhasha 13. Love of one’s own language 14. Working for economic equality. Unfortunately the workers have not developed in that programme the living faith which I have. I can but re-emphasize the importance of that programme. And, if the whole of India could be converted to take to that programme, we should reach our goal in the quickest manner possible. To the workers who are still underground, I advise: If you share my conviction that underground activity is not conducive to the growth of the spirit of active non-violence, you will discover yourselves and take the risk of being imprisoned, believing that imprisonment, thus undergone, itself helps the freedom movement.1 The Bombay Chronicle, 29-7-1944

Vide also Appendices “Discussion on Underground Activities”, after 31-31944 and “Discussion with Underground Workers”, after 31-3-1944.

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334. LETTER TO SIR EDWARD JENKINS
AS AT S EVAGRAM , C AMP P ANCHGANI,

July 29, 1944
DEAR SIR EDWARD,

I thank you for your letter 1 of 16th July. I am thankful for the enclosure of the letter to Miss Agatha Harrison.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI S IR EDWARD JENKINS THE VICEROY’S HOUSE NEW DELHI
Gandhiji’s Correspondence with the Government, p. 35

335. LETTER TO SHARDA G. CHOKHAWALA
P ANCHGANI,

July 29, 1944
CHI. BABUDI,

I got your clean letter. I hope to reach Sevagram on the 3rd. When will I see you and Anand? Though eager, I am not impatient. Come only after you are completely all right. I did try but I could not find a homoeopath who could convince me. I can put faith only if I see some cases [of successful treatment]. Just now I don’t intend to send for the book you mention. There is no time. But what can your doctor teach me?
Blessings to you all from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original: C.W. 9973. Courtesy: Sharda G. Chokhawala

Which read: “I am dealing with your letter [vide “Letter to G. E. B. Abell”, 13-7-1944] of 13th July to Mr. Abell who is in Simla. I am sending your letter [vide “Letter to Agatha Harrison”, 13-7-1944] to Miss Agatha Harrison through the bag as you wish.” VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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336. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA
July 29, 1944
CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA,

I am worried about Balkrishna. I hope he will get through the present crisis. Will he like to stay at Dr. Mehta’s nursing home in Poona? I don’t know whether or no Dr. Mehta will take up his case.1 Though I am there, I cannot be relied upon.2 I am very busy these days. My pen has strayed into Gujarati, so I will let it go on. I haven’t read the whole of Munnalal’s letter. He seems all right; that is all I can say now. I am happy that Krishnadas3 and Jajuji have been released. I am hoping to hear from them in detail. Mitu 4 must be doing well. What is the matter with Manojna’s5 sister? Ask her to write to me. I have sent Pyarelal to Bombay. He will be back by Saturday.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4442

337. LETTER TO GANGADHARRAO DESHPANDE
P ANCHGANI,

July 29, 1944
BHAI GANGADHARRAO,

I have heard everything from Bhai Pundalik. I have read your account also. I hope that what I am doing will solve the problem. And if any doubt still remains, write to me. You must keep yourself in good health. You have yet to render a lot of service.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 5224

1 2

Vide also “Letter to Balkrishna Bhave”, 26-7-1944. What follows is in Gujarati. 3 Krishnadas Gandhi 4 Aryanayakam’s daughter 5 Wife of Krishnadas Gandhi

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338. TALK TO BOMBAY CONGRESS LEADERS1
P ANCHGANI,

[July] 29/30, 1944 Ninth August is a great day and it is the duty of all to observe it. But that part of the resolution which speaks of mass civil disobedience cannot be brought into force because the authority to put it into force was vested solely in me. Today I see no possibility of mass civil disobedience either according to that authority or according to circumstances. Mass civil disobedience is one thing and the exercise of citizen’s right and civil disobedience in pursuance of it is different. The people have been exercising the right of defensive individual civil disobedience since 1920. People in general may not understand the difference between mass civil disobedience and civil disobedience for the defence of individual citizen’s rights. But it is necessary to know the differences. On such occasions as 9th August, people have to understand the difference, and exercise this right of individual civil disobedience for the defence of civil rights. In such places where it is necessary to take the permission of police for meetings, processions and such common civil rights, permission from the police should be asked for. But, if such permission is not granted, people should exercise their civil right in spite of the refusal.3
2

Chief Commissioner’s Office, Bombay, File No. 3001/HP. Courtesy: Government of Maharashtra

According to the source, this is a summary. The source has “August”, evidently a mistake. 3 In the source, this was followed by a “copy of the draft letter to be addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Bombay, by the leader of the procession on August 9”, which appeared as “approved” by Gandhiji “in pursuance of this policy”, vide Appendix “Draft Letter to the Commissioner of Police, Bombay”, 15-8-1944.
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339. LETTER TO P. C. JOSHI
AS AT S EVAGRAM , C AMP P ANCHGANI,

July 30, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I had duly received your letter1 of 14th June and also your letter of 26th of July sent with Shri Kumaramangalam. Your answer to my first question provokes further question for your reply. I understand that although the chief actors among the Allied powers are by no means inclined towards real democracy, you think that by the time the war ends, their designs will be confounded and that the people all the world over will suddenly find self-expression and overthrow the present leaders. In the peoples, according to answer, I am entitled to include us, other Asiatics and Negroes, for that matter perhaps, also the proletariat of Japan and Germany. If such is your belief, I must confess that I do not share it but I keep myself open to conviction. Meanwhile I suggest that the title ‘people’s war’ is highly misleading. It enables the Government in India to claim that at least one popular party considers this as people’s war. I suggest, too, that Russia’s limited alliance with the Allied powers cannot by any stretch of imagination convert what was before an imperialistic war against that Nazi combine, into a people’s war. Holding the view I do, it is superfluous for me now to answer your argument that “this war has split the world into two camps”. Between Scylla and Charybdis, if I sail in either direction, I suffer shipwreck. Therefore I have to be in the midst of the storm. I suggested a way out. Naturally it has been rejected because the powers that be do not want to relax their grip on India. As I am composing this letter to you, I have read and re-read your argument. Every paragraph offends; for, to me, it lacks reality. Please believe me that my prejudice against your party has nothing to do with my examination of your answer to the first question. Q. 2. Your answer, as far as it goes, I hold to be completely satisfactory. I will not ask you for further proof about your finances. After I have dealt with your answers, I will put my difficulties before
1

Vide Appendix “Letter from P. C. Joshi”, 14-6-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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you. Your answers to the other questions do not admit of a categorical reply. I understand your answers and appreciate them too. If I was free from prejudices, I would have no hesitation in accepting your answers.1 But my difficulty is real and I ask for your sympathy. When I make the admission that I have prejudices, it is an appeal to you to have patience with me and to disarm my prejudices in the best manner you can. I can only give you my assurance that I am ready to see anybody you want me to see, to read anything you want me to read and to examine every argument or fact produced by you as dispassionately as I can. I give you this further assurance that I have not acted upon my prejudice, nor shall I do so, unless the prejudices harden into a confirmed belief that your party represents a force of evil and is really an obstacle in the way of the fight for freedom. I am not likely to have that belief easily and, if I have it, you shall have ample notice so as to enable you to wean me from it. I know your worth. You have very able young men and women, as selfless as I would claim to be. You are all hard working and possess great energy and you impose strict discipline on your workers. All this I prize and admire. I would not easily lose such a force because of any preconceived notions of mine. If I have been inordinately long in dealing with your answers which you sent me so promptly, it was because, as you are aware, I was preoccupied and also because I was examining the evidence that was pouring in upon me unsolicited against your party. 2 I asked them to let me use their names and they have given me the permission. I take the latest first, i.e., Babu Manoranjan Chaudhary. I did not even know that he was coming and when he did ask for an appointment3 , it was in connection with my acceptance of the Rajaji Formula 4 . Butreally he took the greater part of my time to tell me that the communists had done great injury to the national cause. I am using a milder term than
Referring to this, the addressee, in his reply dated September 12, said: “It hurts us more than you can imagine to read that our nation’s leader pleads prejudices as standing in the way of examining slander against a young patriotic party.” 2 In his reply, the addressee said: “Mudslinging at political opponents is an old weapon of those who have lost faith in the people and given up all moral values.” 3 Manoranjan Chaudhary was asked (vide “Letter to Manoranjan Chaudhary”, 24-7-1944) by Gandhiji to meet him on July 27. Dealing with this, Joshi said in his reply that Manoranjan Chaudhary was the agent of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee who was bitterly anti-communist as he had been exposed by the communists. 4 Vide Appendix “C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula”, after 5-8-1942. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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was really used before me. He has left papers which I have not been able to study. And he has also left with me a printed book 1 which I have glanced through personally and it makes bad reading. The printed book can be seen by any deputy you may choose to send. Probably you have seen it yourself.2 The other is Sjt. Kaleswara Rao of Bezwada. He also sent me a long letter from which I quote the salient passages3 (see enclosure 4 ). Add to this the numerous letters I have received from correspondents, known and unknown, all impeaching the party. I understand, too, that Shri Jayaprakash Narayan is also ‘disillusioned’. You have referred me to Mian Iftikharuddin5 and Shaukat Ansari, both of whom I know well and for whom I have great regard. Unfortunately Iftikharuddin is in jail. I have never talked about Communism to Shaukat, because I know him and his wife Zohra apart from their politics. But no general assurance from them will obliterate the evidence that has forced itself upon me and of which I have given you a bird’s-eye view. I will ask you not to dismiss all this evidence as so much prejudice. I would ask you not to be angry with your critics, however ignorant they may be. You will have legitimate cause for anger, if their criticism is malicious and conceived with a hostile intent. Lastly, I ask you to believe me that I want to impress the services of every one of you for the cause of independence to be fought along the lines that I have chalked out for myself and the whole country. And if I am convinced that I am going astray and that yours is the correct method, I would like to be won over by you

War Against the People, by Kalyani Bhattacharya. Joshi alleged that she was not the author, but Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee got it written and paid for its publication. 2 Joshi said that he had not read it but glanced through it. Immediately on receiving it, he had asked the Bengal Committee of Communist Party whether he should answer it in People’s War to which they replied: “Need not bother because it had been withdrawn from circulation as all decent Bengalees who read it felt disgusted over it.” 3 Regarding Kaleswara Rao’s accusation, Joshi asked Gandhiji to call Sundarayya, the Andhra Communist leader, and Kaleswara Rao together and judge or to hold a trial in public with C. Rajagopalachari and Mrs. Sarojini Naidu as judges. 4 Not reproduced here. 5 President, Punjab Provincial Congress Committee

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toyour side and I will sincerely and gladly serve as an apprentice wanting to be enlisted as a unit in your ranks.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Correspondence between Mahatma Gandhi and P. C. Joshi, pp. 17-22

340. INTERVIEW TO “NEWS CHRONICLE”1
[PANCHGANI,

July 30, 1944] 2 Mr. Amery knows better, but it is convenient for him to brush aside my offer 3 by saying that the formula is not even the starting point. Had it not been the starting point, there would not have been all the discussion about my formula that has taken place in the Press.
Asked if he shared the feeling that the British Government is planning to by-pass the political problem by focussing public attention on economic issues, Gandhiji said:

Imagine the economic regeneration of England if she is
1 The report said that this was in answer to the statement made by L. S. Amery, Secretary of State for India, during a debate in the House of Commons on July 28. According to The Indian Annual Register, 1944, Vol. II, p. 308, Amery had said: “ . .. So far as India’s future constitution is concerned . . . an agreed constitution could only be arrived at if the predominantly Muslim provinces were free to adhere or stand out.... Apart from that particular issue . . . one central demand upon which he does not leave any room for ambiguity . . . is the demand for the immediate recognition of India’s independence under a provisional government, in which the only powers reserved to the Viceroy are those which deal with the control of active military operations. All reserve powers indispensable to ensure that the various functions of administration are co-ordinate with war effort and also those indispensable to safeguard the constitutional position for minority elements—all those are to disappear. Well, that is, after all, just the demand upon which the negotiations with the Congress broke down two years ago and were bound to break down. I will only invite the House to read Mr. Gandhi’s statements side by side with those then issued by Congress leaders, to see that, in this respect at any rate, there has been no real advance. Indeed Mr. Gandhi now adds the further stipulation that India is to bear no part of the cost of her own defence. So long as those are the basis for his proposals, they obviously do not form even the starting point for a profitable discussion either with Lord Wavell or with the interned Congress leaders.” 2 The interview appeared as reported under this date-line. 3 Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4/6-7-1944 and “Interview to the Press”, 14-7-1944.

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politically subjected to an extraneous power. I can understand theruthless exploitation of the economic resources of India by a power that has held her in bondage for over 150 years, but that will not be economic prosperity for India. It will spell economic dejection and political degradation. I am amazed that British statesmen who happen to be ruling India today are not satisfied with the mere rejection of a plan conceived in all honesty, but that they should even suggest that the political question should be shelved during the war and that attention should be concentrated on India’s economic salvation1 . The Hindu, 1-8-1944

341. INTERVIEW TO THE PRESS
P ANCHGANI,

July 30, 1944 2 I have noticed this. It has caused me pain as also amazement that the representatives of the British nation, who have a long and distinguished record of heroic fight for political freedom, should divorce the economic development of India from political subjection and give the former preference over the latter. To me it looks like putting the cart before the horse, and I have not yet seen any horse performing the trick of pushing the cart with its nose. It was, therefore, a pleasure to find two noted industrialists, Mr. J. R. D. Tata and Sir Homi Mody, summarily rejecting the idea put forth in the House of Commons and holding out, I suppose, from bitter experience, that the economic development of India was dependent upon the solution of the political deadlock, in other words a proper national government functioning at the Centre. I suppose they had in mind the gigantic concessions that have been made during recent years to British monopolists. They must have had in mind also the strangling of Indian enterprise. What can, therefore, happen without a national government is not the economic development of India, but its exploitation and degradation.
Vide also the following item. According to the report, Gandhiji was alluding to “the House of Commons debate with particular reference to the consensus of opinion . . . that the economic development of India was of greater importance than the solution of the political deadlock”. Vide also the preceding item.
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Members of the House of Commons, not knowing the realities in India, may philosophize and talk of the immediate importance of economic development. I wish they can see what is going on today inIndia. I have no shadow of doubt in my mind that the Bengal famine, as also famines in other parts of India, were man-made and not God-made. I need not impugn the honesty of the rulers who have been sent out to India from Britain. I hold that in spite of all the honesty that the British rulers can summon to their assistance, it is impossible for them to get behind the Indian skin and know the real disease. The consensus of opinion in the House of Commons, therefore, is for me a terrible pointer. It confirms me in my opinion that the “Quit India” resolution was no hasty cry conceived in anger. To put the same in parliamentary language, it demands that India must be now governed by Indians chosen by her own people—not a coterie but the whole mass of the people without distinction of race, creed or colour. It is unfortunate that the House of Commons has once more missed the opportunity of making the issue between the Allied powers and the Axis powers a real issue of democracy versus autocracy, or the exploitation of classes or nations by a class or a nation armed to the teeth. My offer presented that issue in the clearest possible language that I could command. It was presented on behalf of all the exploited nations and races of the earth. It is a great pity that the Lords and the Commons have turned down my offer. The Allies will have their victory, but the exploited races will not feel the glow of it. They will know that the seeds of another and deadlier war will be sown by that very victor. I ask myself the question: ‘Must rivers of blood flow for such an empty victory?’
Asked when he expected to meet Mr. Jinnah, Mahatma Gandhi said:

I expect to meet the Qaid-e-Azam as soon as he wants me, of course, health permitting. The publication of the Formula1 is in pursuit of negotiations for a communal settlement. It is not an idle effort. It is conceived in all sincerity. It is unfortunate that the criticism that has been levelled against it, so far as I can see, has been conceived out of prejudice or careless study of the Formula. Nor is it an offer on the part of any party. It is a contribution from two life-servants of the nation towards the solution of the communal tangle, which has hitherto defied solution. It is in open invitation to all
Rajaji Formula; vide Appendix “C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula”, after 5-8-1942. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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parties to apply their minds to the solution. The Rajaji Formula is intended as a help to all lovers of the country. It is the best we could conceive, but it is open to amendment, as it is open to rejection or acceptance.
Gandhiji told that British Government’s rejection of the offer does not affect the Rajaji Formula in anyway whatsoever. As far as he remembered, Gelder did notthe proposal, and, if he did, he must have got it from Rajaji and not from him.1

In a way the rejection of my offer for the resolution of the political deadlock enables all parties to concentrate their attention on communal settlement. Whilst I had said and repeat that the presence of a third party effectively prevents a solution, it was never meant to convey that I would make no attempt at an honourable solution, even while the third party continued to dominate this land of ours. No one will be more pleased than I, if we can pull through a solution which satisfied all parties.
To a reporter who asked if Mahatma Gandhi would advocate Congressmen going back to jail in view of the British Government’s rejection of his proposals, Mahatma Gandhi said:

Have you ever known any sane person without any cause going to jail, or after discharge going back to jail? But a person who holds his self-respect or his country’s liberty dearer than life itself invites suffering even unto death in defending either and, in that process, if jail comes his way, he welcomes it. The question, therefore, should be addressed to the Government: ‘When do you propose to take back to jail those whom you have released?’ I know that Government are not going to oblige you by answering your question. The Hindu, 1-8-1944

342. LETTER TO SHWAIB QURESHI
P ANCHGANI,

July 31, 1944
MY DEAR SHWAIB,

Your description of the boy brings tears to the eyes. I have a vivid recollection of my struggle with the child. God’s peace on him and you, the parents. So, you see, the Qaid-e-Azam and I are to meet. If the publication of the C. R. Formula was blameworthy, I must share the
1

This paragraph is reproduced from The Bombay Chronicle, 31-8-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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blame equally with him. Anyway you will work away, I know. Love to both.
BAPU S HWAIB S AHEB QURESHI BHOPAL
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

343. LETTER TO REKHDE
AS AT S EVAGRAM , via WARDHA , 1

July 31, 1944
MY DEAR REKHDE,

Your letter makes me sad. Yours is not the only case of its kind. And I am quite helpless. Cases such as yours are inevitable in a national struggle. Values have to be changed. We cannot live the old life and still be in the struggle. I am extremely sorry, I cannot send an encouraging letter to your liking.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

344. LETTER TO JANAKIDEVI BAJAJ
July 31, 1944
CHI. JANAKIBEHN,

If God is kind, I shall arrive there on the 3rd just to see how you are doing. I said “kind” through ignorance. God is always kind. If we do not recognize that kindness, that is our stupidity. We are, however, all subject to His Will, whether willingly or unwillingly. If, therefore, it is His Will, we shall meet on the 3rd. I am glad that Madalasa 2 and Om3 will be there. I will, of course, miss Savitri4 . About

1

Permanent address Addressee’s daughter 3 ibid 4 ibid
2,

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Kamala 1 I needn’t say anything. She is a very busy woman. Now, if I mention more names, I will have to take another slip of paper and, moreover, where is the time.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 3033

345. LETTER TO A. V. THAKKAR
July 31, 1944
BAPA,

This is just to make you laugh, if I can. When there is a clash of temperaments, father-son, husband-wife, friend-friend, do not break off their relationship but live separately. Compared to you, Swami is as meek as a woman. We have among us men who have more than one wife. You have a right to have many wives like Swami. All these days you put up with him. Pull on for a few more years. Little more of life remains. And I have explained how to carry on. You are working with all your strength. But how many tasks can you look after? When the volcano has burst, this memorial seems a very trivial matter. I cannot bear to see people like you sacrificing their all for its sake. But I am keeping silent because I think that the women and children in the villages may gain something from it.
BAPU

[PS.] I hope to reach Sevagram on the 3rd.
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 1193

346. LETTER TO CHIMANLAL N. SHAH
[July 31, 1944] 2
CHI. CHIMANLAL,

What about Amritlal? Do bring Prahlad here if you wish to. How is the new arrangement working? If there is much work in the field,
1 2

Addressee’s daughter-in-law, Kamalnayan’s wife From the G.N. Register THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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some of us should give to it as many hours as we can spare. The work of weeding and so on is easy. Stock the grass, etc., in the godown.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10614

347. LETTER TO KASHIBEHN GANDHI
[July 31, 1944] 1
CHI. KASHI,

I might say, you have now crossed the threshold of old age. You have, however, to live for many more years, not merely for the sake of living but for rendering service. One who lives merely for the sake of living does not truly live; only he who lives for the sake of service can be said to live [truly]. And he who dies in harness also lives [for ever]. Hence give up all worries, and devote yourself to such service as your mind and body permit.
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

348. LETTER TO SHRIKRISHNA SINHA
[July 31, 1944] 2
BHAI SHRIKRISHNA SINHA,

Read the enclosed wire. Do as you think right. I do agree that no time should be given to the collection of the Kasturba purse at the cost of any social service. Whatever can be collected without any great effort should be considered valuable [enough]. I have not replied to the wire. You should do it yourself. Bapa writes and says that you and Anugraha Babu 3 keep indifferent health. Preserve your health. You have yet to render a lot of service. I leave Panchgani tomorrow. God willing, I shall reach Sevagram on the 3rd.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal
1 2

In the source, the letters are placed among those of this date. ibid. 3 Anugrah Narayan Sinha. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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349. MESSAGE TO PEOPLE OF ASSAM1
P ANCHGANI,

July 1944 If the people feel that the present policy of the Government on settlement and immigration is oppressive and anti-national, let them fight it non-violently or violently, if necessary. The Bombay Chronicle, 19-12-1944

350. LETTER TO ARUNA ASAF ALI
[On or before August 2, 1944] 2
PRIYA ARUNA,

You must not discover yourself unless you feel the wrong of secrecy. You must not be displeased if I hold an opinion which does not coincide with yours. I shall not love you the less because I cannot see eye to eye with you. You should be patient with me. Do nothing in a hurry. I have not judged anyone. I have given my opinion about certain acts. You will harm the cause by acting against your judgement.3 See me when you like. Don’t be in a hurry. Don’t be sad. Love.
BAPU
From a copy: K. M. Panikkar Papers. Courtesy: National Archives of India

The report said that Gopinath Bardoloi, ex-Premier of Assam, had “told the United Press [of India] that in view of the seriousness of the problems as a result of the Assam Government policy on the matter vitally affecting the province, it was referred to Mahatma Gandhi in July last when two Congressmen of Assam were sent to Panchgani”. Vide also “Message to People of Assam”, before 16-8-1944. 2 The text of this letter suggests that it was written after Gandhiji’s statement to the Press dated July 28, 1944 (vide “Statement to the Press”, 28-7-1944), and before the addressee’s letter dated August 2, which appears to have been written in reply to this. It read: “If only I could honestly feel that our mode of resistance was wrong, life would become so simple. To be permitted to act under what is known as the willing suspension of disbelief or better still blind discipline would take an enormous load off my shoulders. But you are bent on testing our mettle. We will now go into voluntary inaction for a while.” 3 In her letter dated August 1 the addressee, writing on behalf of her co-workers who were still underground, had written that they were willing to submit to Gandhiji’s orders, suspend their activities and surrender themselves.

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351. INTERVIEW TO “DAILY WORKER”
BOMBAY,

August 2, 1944
You promise all aid to the Allied war effort. 1 How concretely will the character and quantity of the war effort in India and other countries be changed through the establishment of a national government in India?
Q.

Mahatma Gandhi replied that the question required a detailed answer, whereas the basis of his offer was to give moral weight to the Allied cause. This the cause lacked at present. Asked to explain what he meant by “adding moral weight to the Allied cause”, Mahatma Gandhi said:

The Allies are today making brave declarations about democracy and liberty which to me, or, to put it plainly, to the exploited nations, mean nothing. Mere declarations, pleasing to the ear, can give no satisfaction to the sufferers. By “the exploited nations” I mean the Asiatics and Africans. If the Allies are fighting for democracy, their democracy should include all the exploited races of the earth. Facts, as I see them, prove the contrary. Almost all, if not all, parties agree that India was never so much under foreign domination as it is today. A clear acceptance of the Indian demand for independence and the consequent establishment of a national responsible government, subject to the limitations I have mentioned, would immediately change the character of the Allied cause. It will be immediately differentiated from the cause of the Axis Powers, if the latter’s fight can be described as a cause.
What material gain will accrue to the Allies from the recognition of India as an independent country, subject to the provision accepted by you?

I must refuse to descend from the platform I occupy. Surely, if the character of the Allied cause is so radically altered, as I claim it must be by the acceptance of my offer, all else must follow as a matter of course. But whether it does or not, I want the acceptance of my offer to be on the unadulterated moral basis. It should be enough for the Allies to have the guarantee that their military operations will not, in any way, be adversely affected by India being counted as an
1

Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4-7-1944.

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independent nation, not merely in word but in fact. I hold that the effect of the declaration of India’s independence, accompanied by simultaneous sincere action, should, by itself, take the wind out of the sails of the Axis Powers. And I should be surprised if they do not capitulate almost immediately on the declaration. Suppose England was under foreign rule today, like India, and the ruling power was engaged in a war with some other nation or nations, and involved England willy-nilly in the war. Suppose further that the foreign power suddenly declared England independent without the latter having put up an armed fight for freedom, would not every Englishman enthusiastically support the erstwhile foreign ruler, now turned a friendly power? You can now understand what will happen to India if, when Britain is in sight of victory, she were to declare the independence of India. Having said all this to elucidate my answer, I wish to suggest that my offer furnishes a basis for honourable negotiation and release of the members of the Congress Working Committee. A discussion of details and filling in the gaps, deliberately left in my offer, must follow as a matter of course.
The correspondent then told him that the Tory Press in Britain confuses the people by stating that “Gandhi still adheres to the ‘Quit India’ resolution 1 .’’ They exploit the fact that the British people are unaware of the burning anti-Fascist and patriotic content of the resolution. The correspondent asked him to clarify his statement that the resolution was “innocuous2 ”.

The whole of the resolution is a noble document. The ‘Quit India’ slogan is an innocuous and natural cry. The sting was in the sanction clause of the resolution authorizing me to offer mass civil disobedience in the event of the rejection of the national demand. As I have said, my authority has lapsed, and even if it has not, I cannot organize mass civil disobedience at the present moment. Therefore, the resolution should be read without the sanction clause, and I challenge anybody to take exception to a single word in that resolution. ‘Quit India’, read together with the Congress offer that the Allied operations on the Indian soil might continue, means nothing more and nothing less than that the British rule should end in its
1 Vide Appendix “Resolution Passed by All-India Congress Committee”, 8-8-1942. 2 Vide “Interview to the Press”, 13-7-1944.

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entirety, even while the war is going on—if the war is merely for the deliverance of the exploited nations of the earth.
The correspondent next reminded him of his statement that the Cripps offer1 contemplated almost perpetual vivisection of India and asked him what it meant. Mahatma Gandhi smiled and said:

Surely it can mean only one thing. The Cripps offer divided India into Princely India and democratic India. Is not that vivisection?
The correspondent told him that a lot of propaganda was being made in reactionary circles in England, particularly by the Tory Press, to the effect that if Gandhiji’s demand was granted, the minorities would suffer. Mahatma Gandhi replied:

That is a function belonging to the Rajaji Formula2 . I can only say that the Formula contemplates the fullest protection to the smallest minority. If there are any gaps left in it, they will be filled in at the time of mutual discussion that must precede a final settlement. The Bombay Chronicle, 3-8-1944

352. A FOOTNOTE 3
[After August 2, 1944] 4 We do not think Gandhiji would make any such admission. Has he not said that every art would be richer for the artist spinning? Gandhiji would accept the Poet’s offering for what it is worth but he would accept nothing as a substitute for hand spinning.
From a photostat: C.W. 10510. Courtesy: Valji G. Desai

Vide Appendix “British Government’s Proposal : Note by the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs”, 2-3-1942. 2 Vide Appendix “C. Rajagopalachari’s Formula”, before 5-8-1942. 3 This footnote, revised by Gandhiji, appears in K. R. Kripalani’s article “Gandhi and Tagore” in Gandhiji —His Life and Work. It refers to the following passage “ . . . and Gandhiji today would be the first to admit that the Great Sentinel had more than earned his right to his bread and did not need to spin to justify his existence. . . .” The draft of the footnote submitted to Gandhiji read: “Gandhiji would admit nothing of the sort. Gurudev claimed exemption from spinning on the ground of his being a poet, but Gandhiji said: ‘No. Your art will be all the richer if you spin.” For Gandhiji’s foreword to the book, vide “A Word for the Reader”, 29-8-1944. 4 Valji G. Desai had sent the draft of the footnote to Gandhiji on August 2, 1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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353. LETTER TO ACHYUT PATWARDHAN
[After August 2, 1944] 1
BHAI A.,

I have your letter. I do not wish that you should come out in the open until you are convinced at heart. I have only pointed out to the contradiction between non-violence and underground activities and destruction of property. There is no question at all of the Congress control in this matter. I would like to go to the extent of saying that anything done without full understanding will harm the Congress. I shall not be hurt at all if you and other workers do not agree with me.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Hindi : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

354. LETTER TO MIRABEHN
S EVAGRAM , W ARDHA ,

August 3, 1944
CHI. MIR

All your letters were received. Came here today with a large party including S. Kumar2 his wife3 , Dr. J. Mehta4 and Khurshedbehn 5 . I am very well. Yes, you should go slow, make no haste in choosing the soil.6 The Ashram has grown out of all proportion. Love.
BAPU S HRI MIRABAI BUNDRA TEA ESTATE P. O. P ALAMPUR KAGRA VALLEY , P UNJAB
From the original: C.W. 6499. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 9894 This letter was in reply to the addressee’s letter of August 2, 1944 ibid 3 The supersription in this and the other letters of the addressee is in Devanagari script. 4 Shantikumar Morarjee 5 Sumati Morarjee 6 The addressee explains: “This was in connection with the site of a small ashram which I was planning to start on my own, in the north-west of the United Provinces.”
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355. LETTER TO GOPINATH BARDOLOI
August 3, 1944
MY DEAR BARDOLOI,

I have your letter. I have read the papers and I have had long chats with the friends. I will not, because I cannot, give specific instructions. But I would lay down general principles to guide you. There should never be the slightest departure from truth and non-violence. There should be perfect fearlessness. There should be no secrecy, and there should be complete non-co-operation with evil. Thus under the lure of saving starving people I may not co-operate with evil even as I may not pour milk in a poison bowl in the hope of feeding the poor. The Bihar example will mislead if not properly understood. I co-operated and spent the money that was collected. There were two parallel collections. Ours was the biggest and best spent. Today there is no such scope. Do not think of the past except to learn lessons from it. Love.
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

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356. LETTER TO K. SRINIVASAN
August 3, 1944
DEAR SRINIVASAN ,
1

Khurshedbehn who is with me just tells me that you have lost your dear daughter. I am lying down, so she takes this to my dictation.It was like news to me, when she mentioned the tragedy and yet as I think of it I have a fear that I saw the news somewhere and might also have thought of writing to you, and then [some]thing intervened between the thought and the execution of it. Very often such things have happened in my life. Whether I have written to you or spoken to you about the tragedy, my writing to you now need not be superfluous. Having suffered myself in the same manner I can appreciate all the more your grief. Accept therefore the sympathy of a fellow-sufferer in life’s march. Did you ever know that in Sevagram Mahadev was a regular reader of The Hindu and in the detention camp first Pyarelal and then I took Mahadev’s place and often found things in The Hindu which we did not find in the other papers?
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

357. LETTER TO RAMDAS GANDHI
S EVAGRAM ,

August 3, 1944
CHI. RAMDAS,

I have gone through your letter. I hope Usha is all right now. In operations, our calculations do not prove true. Do not be in a hurry to come here. When everything is all right, you may pay a short visit. I arn quite well. Dr. Mehta is here and looks after me. Manilal is still at Akola.
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original: Mrs. Sumitra Kulkarni Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
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Editor, The Hindu THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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358. DISCUSSION WITH D. RAMASWAMI1
S EVAGRAM ,

[On or after August 3, 1944] 2 Re-organization of the villages is a very intricate problem, but if we can find even half a dozen workers of the right type, we can solve it in due time. The time factor is important, but given the right start the thing will grow like a snowball. You have heard of Booker T. Washington. We have to produce better workers than even him in order to achieve our object. As for you, your ambition will be fulfilled if, besides your ability and enthusiasm, you introduce something else in your life, i.e., a living faith in God. Then all insipidity will vanish. A cosmopolitan3 outlook is a necessity but it can never be a substitute for God. God is there, but our conception of God is limited by our mental horizon and by our physical environment. For instance, when you read the Bible, you find that the God of the Hebrews was quite different from the God of Jesus Christ. You are dissatisfied with the prevalent idea about God for the simple reason that those who profess belief in God do not present a living God in their own lives. Unless you have a living faith in God to sustain you, when failure stares you in the face, there is disappointment for you. You may develop a revulsion for the work that you have taken up. You may begin to feel that after all what Dr. Ambedkar said was the right thing and you made a mistake in rejecting the high posts which you had been offered. My advice to you is that you should not leave this Ashram till you have found God. In spite of my limitless failings I am a seeker after Truth and so are my companions in this place. The Ashram, apart from its inhabitants, the sum total of energy that it represents, the principles for which it stands, may enable you to know God to the extent that you may be able to say ‘God is’, just as you can say ‘Truth is’.
RAMASWAMI:
1

I can say that in the sense that Truth is the antithesis of

A young Harijan graduate who gave Gandhiji a report of his work in the villages and sought his help and guidance. Gandhiji was pleased with his report. 2 The discussion took place at Sevagram Ashram. After his release Gandhiji reached there on August 3, 1944. 3 Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase here has “humanitarian”. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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falsehood.

That is good enough. The seers have described God as “ Neti, neti” (‘Not this, not this’). Truth will elude you. The sum total of all that is true is Truth. But you can’t sum up all that is true. Like most of those who have had Western education, you have got an analytical mind. But there are things that can’t be analysed. God who can be analysed by my poor intellect won’t satisfy me. Therefore I do not try to analyse Him. I go behind the relative to the absolute and I get my peace of mind.
R . I have carefully gone through your writings in the Harijan and Young India . Your way of life appeals to me very much. It offers scope for the exercise of individual will. The idea of God introduces a determinism and that limits man. It interferes with his free will.

GANDHIJI:

Is there such a thing as free will? Where is it? We are mere playthings in the hands of Providence.
R.

G.

What is the relationship between God and man, between-Truth and God?

I used to say ‘God is Truth’. That did not completely satisfy me. So I said ‘Truth is God’. He and His law are not different. God’s law is God Himself. To interpret it man has to resort to intense prayer and merge himself in God. Each one will interpret the same in his or her own way. As for the relationship between man and God, man does not become man by virtue of having1 two hands. He becomes man by becoming a tabernacle of God.
When my idea of God itself is not clear, your talk of man becoming a tabernacle of God makes things still more confusing. . . .
R.

G.

Yet it is the true conception Unless we have the realization that the body is the house of God, we are less than men. And where is the difficulty or confusion in conceiving Truth as God? You will concede that we are not tabernacles of Untruth; we are of Truth2 . Everyone who wants to live a true life has to face difficulties in life, some of which appear insurmountable. At that time it is faith in God, that is, Truth alone, that will sustain you. The fellow-feeling which makes you feel miserable because of your brother’s misery is godliness. You may call yourself an atheist, but so long as you feel akin with mankind you accept God in practice. I remember of
1 2

G.

Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase here adds “two feet and”. Gandhiji was then silent for a moment. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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clergymen who came to the funeral of the great atheist Bradlaugh 1 . They said they had come to pay their homage because he was a godly man. If you go back with a living faith in God, in Truth, I have no doubt that your work will flourish. You should feel dissatisfied with everything till you have found Him and you will find Him.2
An Atheist with Gandhi, pp. 28-31; also Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book I, pp. 57-8

359. DISCUSSION WITH A FRIEND3
[On or after August 3, 1944] 4
FRIEND:

If you pray to God, can He intervene and set aside the law for

your sake? GANDHIJI: God’s law remains unaltered but since that very law says that every action has a result, if a person prays, his prayer is bound to produce an unforeseeable result in terms of His law. . . .5 But do you know the God to whom you pray?

No, I don’t.
To whom shall we pray then?

To the God whom we do not know—we do not always know the person to whom we pray.
Maybe, but the person to whom we pray is knowable.

So is God; and since He is knowable, we search. It may take a billion years before we find Him. What does it matter? So, I say, even if you do not believe, you must continue to pray, i.e., search. “Help thou my unbelief” is a verse from the Bible to be remembered. But it is not right to ask such questions. You must have infinite patience, and inward longing. Inward longing obviates all such questions. “Have faith and you will be whole” is another tip from the Bible.
Charles Bradlaugh According to Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, D. Ramaswami had decided to stay at the Ashram for some time and search for God through the service of his fellow-beings. 3 According to the source “a veteran nationalist leader from South India” came to see Gandhiji at Sevagram about the same time as Dr. Ramaswami; vide the preceding item. 4 ibid 5 Omission as in the source
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When I look at nature around me, I say to myself, there must be one Creator, one God and to Him I should pray.

That again is reasoning. God is beyond reason. But I have nothing to say if your reason is enough to sustain you.
Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book I, p. 59

360. LETTER TO USHA GANDHI
[After August 3, 1944] 1
CHI. USHI,

Your letter is very good. But why with a pencil? Now that your tonsils have been removed, won’t you put on some flesh?
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original: Mrs. Sumitra Kulkarni Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

361. MESSAGE FOR TAGORE DAY2
[On or before August 4, 1944] 3 Organizing yourself, you will achieve success. This is the message of Gurudev. Make this message your motto. The Hindu, 6-8-1944

362. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
S EVAGRAM ,

August 5, 1944 Many Congressmen ask me how to celebrate the forthcoming 9th of August. That date was a turning point in India’s fight for freedom. I had intended to spend 9th August, 1942 in peaceful introspection and to inaugurate negotiations for a settlement. But the Government or Fate had decided otherwise. The Government went mad, and so did some people. Sabotage and the like were resorted to
From the contents; vide the preceding item. This was read out at a public meeting held in Hyderabad on August 4 under the Presidentship of Hasan Yar Jung Bahadur. 3 ibid
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and many things were done in the Congress name or in my name. I am aware that I do not represent the Congress mind always. Many Congressmen repudiate my non- violence. The Working Committee is the only body which can legitimately and truly represent the Congress. As an old servant of the country, however, I can advise, and Congressmen are at liberty to treat my advice as instructions. I have already said1 that mass civil disobedience cannot be offered now; but mass civil disobedience is one thing and individual action in defence of self-respect and liberty is wholly another. It is a universal duty for all time, the discharge of which requires no sanction save that of one’s own conscience. In a previous note, I have pointed out when and where the duty arises. But the forthcoming 9th is a special occasion. There has arisen much misunderstanding about the Congress purpose and mind. I must avoid all avoidable risks. Therefore, in all places except in Bombay, my advice is not to disregard special police prohibitions for that day. For Bombay, I have already given advice through the Mayor of Bombay. I need not reiterate the advice here. I have selected Bombay as the most suitable place for the simple reason that it is most easily accessible to me and is the place where the historic meeting of August 1942 was held. Whatever it is to be, it will be a symbolic act. Curiosity is natural and pardonable, but I plead for restraint. The self-imposed curb will be finished if I succeed in carrying conviction to the human family, that every man or woman, however weak in body, is the guardian of his or her self-respect and liberty. This defence avails, though the whole world may be against the individual resister. I have suggested the present symbolic procedure to see whether those who organize the demonstration have co-operation from the local public. Freedom of 400 million people through purely non-violent effort is not to be gained without learning the virtue of iron discipline, not imposed from without, but sprung naturally from within. Without the requisite discipline non-violence can only be a veneer. The second thing that I should like done on the forthcoming 9th August is for those who have gone underground to discover themselves. They can do so by informing the authorities of their
1

Vide “Talk to Bombay Congress Leaders”, 29/30-7-1944.

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movements and whereabouts or by simply and naturally doing their work in the open without any attempt to evade or elude the police. To go underground is to elude the police. Therefore, real discovery is to discover oneself to the party eluded. Nothing should be done unless the conviction has gone home that a particular action is essential for the cause. In the absence of such a conviction, those who see this note may ignore it and should follow what they consider best for the country. What everyone should do on the 9th, whether they have the conviction as to nonviolence or not, or whether they are Congressmen or not, is to carry out on the 9th the whole or any part of the fourteenfold programme reiterated in my recent note1 . Just for example, everyone should spin. Communities should find ways of giving expression to mutual understanding and brotherhood. Hindus and Muslims may organize joint programmes of prayers—God may bless the Quaid-e-Azam and me with wisdom to reach a common understanding in the interest of India. Hindus should visit Harijans and render them the service they may need. The spirit of service and helpfulness should pervade the atmosphere everywhere. I have experienced friendliness from Englishmen and Americans wherever I have met them, whether officials or laymen. I invite their co-operation especially on the 9th. Let them realize that the August resolution was not conceived in hatred. It was an unvarnished statement of the natural right of the people of this land. To those who share my faith I would advise fasting and prayers on the auspicious day. This must not be a mechanical act. It must be done without ostentation, for self-purification and penance. Its uplifting power is capable of being tested by every individual for himself. If the demonstration is carried out in the spirit in which I have conceived it, I have no doubt that it will lead to an early end of the misery of the masses. The Hindu, 7-8-1944

1

Vide “Statement to the Press”, 28-7-1944 THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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363. LETTER TO NAGINDAS T. MASTER
S EVAGRAM ,

August 5, 1944
BHAI NAGINBHAI1 ,

You will see my statement 2 today in the newspapers. First I thought of detailing my entire programme in Bombay in my statement. But I propose to make some changes in the programme. I shall however have them only with your consent. This is very important. So either you may come personally or should send one of your trusted men. Much depends upon the success of the programme. Premabehn will give you this letter. If for some reason you cannot come or you cannot send some representative then send the reply through Premabehn. Premabehn will tell you in brief the changes that I propose to make.
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

364. INTERVIEW TO SHYAMA PRASAD MOOKERJEE3
S EVAGRAM ,

August 5, 1944
Gandhiji says that his association with the Rajaji Formula is personal and is meant to commit nobody but himself. He is, therefore, anxious that people should express their opinion freely and fearlessly. I gathered from our conversation that he welcomed such criticism for he was open to conviction. If he discovered any flaw in the Formula he would have no hesitation in correcting the error. In his opinion the Formula is intended to be just to all. If, therefore, any community was likely to be unjustly affected by the Formula being given effect to, the flaw should be brought to his notice. He was also anxious that people should remember that if an agreement was Mayor of Bombay Vide the preceding item. 3 This was issued to the Press on August 6 by Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Working President, Hindu Mahasabha, who had stated: “I had a long interview with Mahatmaji yesterday in my individual capacity and fully explained why I and those who think like me are so strongly opposing Mr. Rajagopalachari’s Formula from the point of view of India as a whole. The discussion was full and frank. . . . This is not the gist of the whole conversation. That part of it only is given which is necessary to ease the public mind of the fear that any criticism of the Formula would weaken Gandhiji’s influence or position.” This was published with Gandhiji’s approval.
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reached between Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah and himself it would be open to all parties to advocate their points of view before the plebiscite is held and the plan would come into effect only in case of transfer by Britain of full power and responsibility in the governance of India. There was, therefore, ample time for a calm and dispassionate discussion. He also said that the Rajaji Formula was a way of reducing to a concrete form the Congress resolution on self-determination1 and nothing could operate without the consent of all sections. . . . He assured me that he had always welcomed criticism and that he had flourished on it and that his influence could not be weakened by it. Gandhi-Jinnah Talks, p. 83

365. LETTER TO B. R. AMBEDKAR
S EVAGRAM ,

August 6, 1944 2 Thank you for yours of July 31 received yesterday. The Hindu-Muslim question is for me a lifelong question. There was a time when I used to think that when that question was solved India’s political troubles would be over. Experience has taught me that it was only partly true. Untouchability I began to abhor when I was in my teens, But it was a question with me of religious and social reform. And though it has attained a great political importance its religious and social value is for me much greater. But I know to my cost that you and I hold different views on this very important question. And I know, too, that on broad politics of the country we see things from different angles. I would love to find a meeting ground between us on both the questions. I know your great ability and I would love to own you as a colleague and co-worker. But I must admit my failure to come nearer to you. If you can show me a way to a common meeting ground between us I would like to see it. Meanwhile, I must reconcile myself to the present unfortunate difference. The Bombay Chronicle, 3-1-1945
Vide Appendix “A Resolution”, before 9-8-1944. Which inter alia read: “ . . . the Hindu-Muslim problem is not the only communal problem that has to be settled. . . there is a communal problem between the Hindus and the untouchables, which is also awaiting solution. . . . An all-round settlement between the Hindus and other minorities, I am sure, will become necessary if India’s political goal is to be achieved. . . . But, if you are anxious to solve the Hindu-untouchable problem as you are to solve the Hindu-Muslim problem, I shall be glad to formulate points on which a settlement is necessary. . . .”
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366. LETTER TO M. VISVESVARAYYA
August 6, 1944
DEAR SIR VISVESVARAYYA,

It was good of you to send me such a full letter. In the political field one has to receive with as much good grace as is possible knock-out blows. I have therefore regarded it as a school for learning self-control and training in non-violence I should have thought that, having dabbled in the dewangiri of a big Indian State,1 you would not run away from the political field. This is not to lead you into any temptation. You have enriched the life of the country by your unrivalled engineering skill. I have been following too your writings on planned economy. Besides your contribution as a great engineer, what has captivated me is the art you have cultivated of keeping up in old age robust physical and mental energy. I have not forgotten the way in which you used to climb up the Nandi Hill without any effort. I would like you to give the young men and women of the country the secret, as you have known it, of feeling young and vigorous even in old age. It is a rare gift in our country.
M. K. GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

367. LETTER TO S. K. BELVALKAR
August 6, 1944
DEAR DR. BELVALKAR,

I thank you for your letter. Usha2 has misled you if she told you that I had read through your volume on the Gita. I wish I could have found time to do so. What, however, I did tell her was that the volume was before me and from the little time I was able to give to it I found it fascinating and I expected to profit greatly by my study of it. Though I call myself a devotee of the Gita I cannot lay claim to any scholarship. My knowledge of Sanskrit is limited and so is my knowledge of the Hindu scripture. All I can claim is an inexhaustible
1 2

The addressee was Dewan of Mysore State from 1912 to 1918. Addressee’s daughter

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love for them. However, I shall certainly give you my further reaction when I have been able to read through your book. Of course I never thought that you wrote your book with any commercial intention.
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

368. TELEGRAM TO M. R. JAYAKAR
WARDHAGANJ,

August 7, 1944
DR. J AYAKAR WINTER R OAD BOMBAY
SAPRU1 COMING CONVENIENT. WEDNESDAY. PLEASE COME IF

GANDHI
Gandhi-Jayakar Papers: File No. 826. Courtesy: National Archives of India

369. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR
August 7, 1944
CHI. AMRIT, 2

I have your letters. I was glad S. 3 was able to go to Simla and give you some time. She is still in Poona looking after Manjula4 . Did I tell you that Dr. Jivraj Mehta was with me? I must ask him to write to you. He helps in a variety of ways and looks after my body without the slightest fuss. I do not even know that he is doing it. He is supposed to have come merely to keep company. You must not worry. Love to all.
BAPU
From the original: C.W. 4146. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7781 T. B. Sapru The superscription in this and the subsequent letters to the addressee is in Devanagari script. 3 Dr. Sushila Nayyar 4 Vrajlal Gandhi’s daughter who had paralysis of the face following a mastoid operation.
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370. LETTER TO ANASUYABEHN SARABHAI
S EVAGRAM ,

August 7, 1944
CHI. ANASUYABEHN,

I was wondering why I had not received the customary rakhadi from you. Well, I got it today. Has Shankerlal also returned ? What are your plans ? Blessings to all of you. I am all right.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI ANASUYABEHN MARINE DRIVE BOMBAY
From the Gujarati original : S. N. 32769

371. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA
August 7, 1944
CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA,

This is a painful story. There is only one remedy for this, viz., to act as Chimanlal1 advises. You should yourself talk it over with him. Regard me as non-existent. If a difference still remains in your viewpoints, then please accept his. In no case, however, should there be ideological differences. If there is any let me know.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4443

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Chimanlal Shah

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372. INTERVIEW TO UNITED PRESS OF INDIA
S EVAGRAM ,

August 7, 1944
QUESTION: You said in Panchgani: “All my recent declarations are quite consistent with all my previous declarations on the communal problem.” But in the past you had said: “Partition means a patent untruth. My whole soul rebels against the idea . . . . To assent to such a doctrine is for me denial of God (Harijan, 13-4-1940). 1 The partition proposal has altered the face of the Hindu-Muslim problem. I have called it an untruth. There can be no compromise with it. . . . It cannot come by honourable agreement (Harijan, 4-5-1940). 2 I consider vivisection of India to be a s i n . . . . ( Harijan, 24-5-1942) .” 3 Would you kindly enlighten me how they are consistent? The Mahasabhaites seem to argue in the above style and hence clarification is sought.

ANSWER: Though I would avoid answering all questions on the subject before the forthcoming meeting between Quaid-e-Azam and me, I must not postpone answering yours. I know my present attitude has puzzled and pained many people. I have not revised the opinion quoted by you. At the same time that I made the statement you refer to, I was also a party to the self-determination resolution of the A. I. C. C. I hold that the Rajaji Formula gives effect to that resolution. I would however urge critics not to mind my inconsistencies, so-called or real. Let them examine the question on merits and bless the effort if they can. What is your reaction to Mr. Jinnah’s speech 4 ? If Mr. Jinnah does not accept your proposal or your talks with him end in failure, will you withdraw your support to Rajaji’s proposals or will the proposals stand?
Q.

A. I do not believe in dying before my death. I do not approach the forthcoming visit with the expectation of failure. I always hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I would therefore ask you not to anticipate failure. Ask me when failure stares you and me in the face.

Vide “My Position”, 9-4-1940. Vide “Hindu-Muslim Tangle”, 29-4-1940. 3 Vide “Question Box”, 18-5-1942. 4 Presiding over the half-yearly session of the All-India Muslim League Council at Lahore on July 30, M. A. Jinnah spoke at length criticizing Rajagopalachari’s Formula and Gandhiji’s association with it.
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Q. What have you got to say to the Sikhs who have expressed apprehension in the All-Party Sikh Conference at [Amritsar] 1 that you will further surrender to the Muslim League?

A. My Sikh friends are unnecessarily perturbed. I can settle nothing for anybody but myself. The Congress Resolution is a sacred trust and I have no doubt that it will be discharged fully. Brave people are never frightened by bogeys. Let the Sikh friends examine the proposal on merits. And if they find an evident flaw in it, I shall correct it and so, I am sure, will the Quaid-e-Azam if he is satisfied that there is a flaw. Gandhi-Jinnah Talks, pp. 83-4; also The Hindu, 9-8-1944

373. LETTER TO JOACHIM ALVA2
[Before August 8, 1944] 3 You should save every ounce of my energy. You have abundant material from my writings on the Press. . . .4 You should have pity on me. . . .5 I should make no exception. If I do, I shall be done for. Say you have excused me. The Bombay Chronicle, 15-8-1944

374. LETTER TO TEJ BAHADUR SAPRU
[Before August 8, 1944] 6
DEAR SIR TEJ,

I have put P. on an important job. I presume you will reach Wardha in the evening on 8th. Though I have gained much by my stay in P[anch]gani, I must be cautious. Mornings are, therefore,
The source has “Lahore”. The Working Committee of the All-Parties Sikh Conference, which met on August 1, rejected the Rajaji Formula. 2 Editor, Forum 3 The letter was written in connection with the first anniversary of Forum which fell on August 8, 1944. 4 Omissions as in the source 5 ibid 6 Gandhiji had returned to Wardha from Panchgani on August 3, 1944 and had discussions with the addressee on August 9, 1944. From the reference to the addressee reaching Wardha on August 8, it appears that the letter was written before that date. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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devoted to massage. I am at your disposal after 12 on 9th. K. B. has made all arrangements for your stay in Wardha. You will be rec[eived] at the station on 8th and you decide where you will stay. If I have misunderstood your letter, you will please wire. The rest when we meet.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

375. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
August 8, 1944 The question asked is whether my statement contemplates civil disobedience or its avoidance. It asserts a universal right which becomes a duty when there is an attack upon its ordinary exercise. It therefore contemplates civil disobedience if Government wants it. Twenty-five citizens of Bombay sent notices on the 3rd instant to the Police Commissioner of their intention to march in batches of five and offer silent prayers and sing Jhandavandan and Vandemataram at a common gathering place and asked for permission to perform the act. 1 If permission is not granted, there will certainly be disobedience. In order that the public may not know the time or place, the Police Commissioner has been fully informed, while the public has not been. If this extraordinary forbearance is not appreciated and the authorities withhold permission and interfere with the simple symbolic exercise of a public right, the fault would be that of the authorities. The Press and the public have to judge whether, under circumstances such as these, civil disobedience does not become a duty. The Hindu, 10-8-1944

Vide Appendix “Draft Letter to the Commissioner of Police, Bombay”, after 19-8-1944.

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376. LETTER TO RAJA GOVINDALAL SHIVLAL
ASHRAM, S EVAGRAM ,

August 8, 1944
DEAR RAJA SAHEB,

Gandhiji has your letter of 16th inst. Your argument is built partly on fallacy and partly on disregard of facts. Acceptance of the C.R. formula by Gandhiji concedes nothing but the insistent demand of the minorities for self-determination. It carries no other implication. Far from absolving the seceding units from ‘moral obligation’ to give their support to [the] freedom movement, it lays down that the separation can only come after attainment of complete independence with [the] co-operation of those who claim the right to secede. Further, it stipulates the creation of a special machinery for the joint administration of matters of common concern to the two sovereign states such as defence, foreign affairs, railways, currency, economic planning, etc. The provision embodying this arrangement will be an integral part of the charter for separation. Nationalist Muslims are not let down by the formula, since they were parties to the self-determination resolution of the Working Committee that met at

Delhi in April, 1942. The need for them to stand by their principles will be even greater under independence. That will be the real testing time for them.
Yours sincerely,

R AJA GOVINDALAL S HIVLAL S HRI S ADAN 15 NARAYAN DABHAOLKAR R OAD MALABAR HILL BOMBAY-6
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

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377. LETTER TO PRATAP DIALDAS
ASHIRAM, S EVAGRAM ,

August 8,1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I do not know whether I sent you any reply to your letter of 24th July to Bapu. This is just to say that he will thankfully accept the donation of Rs. 10,000/which Shrimati Jasodabai Lokoomal proposes to make. As desired by her it will be equally divided between the Harijan and the Rashtrabhasha cause. He has also accepted your request and you therefore would be free to draw according to requirement for Rashtrabhasha work in Sind from the portion earmarked for [the] Rashtrabhasha cause. I have sent a copy of your letter and Bapu’s directions on that to Shri Shantikumar Morarjee. Yours sincerely,

S HRI P RATAP DIALDAS HYDERABAD S IND
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

378. TELEGRAM TO SHYAMA PRASAD MUKHERJEE
S EVAGRAM , August 9, 1944 DR. S HYAMA P RASAD MOOKERJEE ASUTOSH MOOKERJEE R OAD C ALCUTTA
YOU MAY PUBLISH YOUR LETTER 7TH INSTANT BUT YOUR INTERPRETATION MY REMARKS REQUIRES AMENDMENT. ADVISE AWAITING MEETING. OF

GANDHI
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

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379. LETTER TO GENERAL MANAGER, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
S EVAGRAM ,

August 9, 1944
DEAR SIR,

With reference to your letter of 2nd inst., since the Oxford University Press is not conducted for profit, I should think that a net profit being stipulated for, there should be no objection to a minimum profit. The only inducement to the Navajivan Trust, and for that matter also for me, to have a well-known concern like yours publishing Shri R. K. Prabhu’s compilation can be to acquire the widest publicity possible outside India for it. The Navajivan Press exists only for printing writings like Shri Prabhu’s compilation as cheaply as possible for Indian readers. The object therefore undoubtedly is to publish an edition as cheap as possible and certainly cheaper than yours. Therefore it would be improper to hold over publication of such an Indian edition till your stock is exhausted. If you rely chiefly on Indian sales, I think the contemplated publication by you might be dropped. Labours of the authors will not go unrewarded in any case. I will ask the Navajivan Trust to cover them and publish their compilation whenever they are in a position to do so.1
Yours sincerely,

THE GENERAL MANAGER OXFORD UNIVERSITY P RESS P OST BOX 31 BOMBAY
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

Vide also “Draft Letter to Thacker & Co. and Oxford University Press”, 5-7-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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380. LETTER TO KAILASH NATH KATJU
ASHRAM, S EVAGRAM ,

August 9, 1944
DEAR KATJUJI,

I had your letter of 24th July which I placed before Bapuji. By the time this reaches you you will have seen the summary of Bapu’s recent talk with Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherji—not the United Press summary that has appeared in the Bombay Chronicle of the 7th August, but the authentic and authorised version. . . . Gandhiji cannot and will not be party to an arrangement which implies freedom to wage war against India and imperil her defence. “That would be sin”, and it cannot be had by ‘agreement’. That would be a contradiction in terms. Yours sincerely,

DR. K.N.KATJU 19 E DMONDSTONE R OAD ALLAHABAD
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

381. SPEECH AT SEVAGRAM
August 9, 1944
Gandhiji made enquiries from the Superintendent of Police . . . about local restrictions and he assured him that he would abide by them.

This day is different from the other days Today you pray that God may bless Quaid-e-Azam and me with wisdom to reach a common understanding in the interest of India. Let this be your constant prayer as you go on spinning.1 The Hindu 11-8-1944

Gandhiji was opening the 60-minute non-stop mass spinning in the afternoon.

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382. TRIBUTE TO MAHADEV DESAI1
WARDHAGANJ,

August 10, 1944 August l5 is the second anniversary of Mahadev Desai’s death. Two or three correspondents have administered a gentle rebuke. The following is my paraphrase of the first of their remarks: You have become President of the Kasturba Memorial Fund Trust. Mahadev renounced everything for your sake and even laid down his life for you. He died at a much younger age than Kasturba and yet how much he achieved in that relatively short space of time! Kasturba was verily a sati, but while India has produced many satis, all will admit that it has produced only one Mahadev. If he had not chosen to throw in his lot with you, he might have been living today. His talents would have enabled him to achieve front rank distinction as a savant and man of letters. He might have even been rich, brought up his family in all material comfort and provided his son with the highest education. Instead, he chose to merge himself in you. You regarded him as your son. May I ask what you have done for him? These sentiments seem to me to be natural. The contrast between the two is too striking to be missed. The one was ready to drop off like a fully ripe fruit. The other had yet to ripen and mature. Life still lay before Mahadev as ordinary standards go. He had aimed at living up to a hundred years. The amount of material that he had piled up in his voluminous note-books called for years of patient labour to work up and he had hoped to do all that. In his trunk was found a memo of my talks taken down on the day previous to his final end. Probably, none besides myself can today make them out, and even I don’t know to what use he would have put them. He was a living example of “the wise, who live and work as if they were born to immortality and everlasting youth”. 2 But, if all our dreams could be realized, life would become a phantasmagoria, and there would be utter chaos on
The Gujarati original appeared in Gujarat Samachar, 13-8-1944. This is an “authoritative translation” by Pyarelal. 2 "The wise should devote themselves to learning and worldly welfare as if they were immortal and would never grow old, and follow the path of dharma as if Death had seized them by the hair.” VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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earth. God in His mercy, therefore, has ordained that His will alone should prevail on earth. Mahadev, though an idealist and a dreamer, never allowed his feet to be taken off the firm earth. He, therefore, adorned everything that he attempted. To Mahadev’s admirers, I can only offer this consolation, that he lost nothing by his association with me. His dreams rose above scholarship or learning. Riches had no attraction for him. God had blessed him with high intellect and versatile tastes but what his soul thirsted for was the devotional spirit. Even before he came to me, he had assiduously sought and cultivated the company of devotees and men of God after his heart. One may say that it was in furtherance of this quest that he came to me and, not obtaining full satisfaction even with me, (shall I say) he turned his back upon me in the fullness of youth, leaving behind him his weeping relations and friends, and set forth to seek realization of his quest in the bosom of his Maker. The only fitting service that I can render his memory is to complete the work which he has left behind him unfinished, and to make myself worthy of his devotion—obviously a more difficult task than merely raising a fund for his memorial. It can be fulfilled only through Divine grace. Mahadev’s external goal was the attainment of swaraj; the inner, to fully realize in his own person his ideal of devotion, and if possible to share the same with others.1 The raising of a material memorial to the deceased’s memory is outside my scope. That is a task for his friends and admirers to take up. Does a father initiate a memorial for his son? I was not responsible for the Kasturba Memorial. In my previous statement 2 I have explained its origin. I have become the President of the Committee only in order to ensure the use of the fund in accordance with its object. If friends and admirers of Mahadev similarly set up a committee to raise a memorial fund and invite me to become its president and give guidance for its proper use, I shall gladly accept it.3 A word to litterateurs. They know or should know that he put the charkha above literature. He took delight in spinning for hours. It was a daily duty. He would encroach upon his sleeping hours to finish
The Gujarati here adds: Mahadev did love showing off his erudition. Let no one have any illusion about it. However, he cast it off after coming to me. 2 Vide “Speech at Poona”, 1-7-1944. 3 The Gujarati here adds: “It has been my profession for fifty years.” The paragraph which follows is not found in the Gujarati original.
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his daily minimum of spinning. Why this insistence? Not, I assure them, to please me. He threw in his lot with me after much deliberation. I never knew him do a thing without conviction. He thought with me that the material salvation of India’s teeming but famishing millions was bound up with the charkha. He discovered too that this daily labour with the hand enriched whatever literary work he did. It gave it a reality which it otherwise lacked. The raising of funds is good and necessary. But a sincere imitation of Mahadev’s constructive work is better. The monetary contribution to a memorial fund ought not to be a substitute for the more solid appreciation. The Hindu, 12-8-1944

383. LETTER TO CHIMANLAL SETALVAD
WARDHA ,

August 11, 1944 1 I am writing to you in my mother tongue which I believe you will tolerate. The Congress policy has been definite and determined. With this nothing can be mixed. An independent India cannot entertain any other stranger in its midst. The consent which I have given to a particular scheme depends upon the fact that it is based on a cardinal principle of the Congress.2 I command an influence over the masses and therefore I cannot hide that which I consider against the good of my country. An advantage would be taken of this situation by my opponents and this was not outside the pale of my thoughts. But this fear comes out of the weakness of our forces. To remove this fear, the way lies in freely but respectfully expressing our opinion and only in this way can we conquer and win; this is my respectful opinion. Permit me to tell you that no particular work of mine has resulted in any loss to my country. At least I have never heard that it has. All your writings, I have read with great patience and care but I have always felt that you do not examine my side with patience and care. Your time is occupied mostly in different types of work and this is not beyond my constant thought. In the end it seems to me that the substance of your letters leads
1 2

The Gujarati original is not available. The addressee was against the Rajaji Formula and Gandhiji’s acceptance of it.

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to the inference that India is going to be for very long time under the rule and sway of the English. From your writings this appears to be India’s destiny. But my firm belief is quite the opposite of this. Moreover you crush our spirit and make us appear blind. Our leaders also forget this fundamental difference in our views. This is the reason I believe why you are so pessimistic and we so optimistic. It is my sincere desire that a so-called rash step1 which I propose to take may not result in any loss to the country.
Your younger brother,

M. K. GANDHI S IR C HIMANLAL S ETALVAD MALABAR HILL , B OMBAY
From a copy: File No. 3001/H-P. 129. Commissioner of Police, Bombay

384. LETTER TO DEVDAS GANDHI
S EVAGRAM ,

August 11, 1944
CHI. DEVDAS,

I have been forgetting to write about Dinshawji 2 . In case you have not received a copy of my letter to him, I shall have one enclosed with this. We have to make the trust deed3 on these lines. Ghanshyamdas4 , Mahavir Prasad Poddar, Dinshaw, you and I will be the trustees. Ghanshyamdas was to talk to you about this matter. If he has not spoken to you, consult him before finalizing it. Send me the draft of the document. I believe it can be drafted in Hindi. It will have to be registered.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

The reference is to Gandhiji’s proposed talks with M. A. Jinnah. Dinshaw K. Mehta 3 For the proposed nature-cure clinic; vide “Letter to Mahavir Prasad Poddar”, 17-8-1944. 4 G. D. Birla
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385. LETTER TO JAYANTILAL
S EVAGRAM ,

August 11, 1944
CHI. JAYANTILAL,

I have your letter. Your modesty has vanquished me. If what you say is the whole truth, I have nothing to say. I shall use the money. I shall not disclose your name. You come to Sevagram after I am finished with Jinnah Saheb. We shall talk further. I shall try to understand you.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

386. NOTE TO JAGDISH K. MUNSHI1
[On or before August 12, 1944] 2 1. Division of India is like poison to my mind; because I am also of the view that it is sinful to do so. 2. The Delhi Resolution of April 23 [, 1942] was concerned with

Gandhiji dictated this note in Gujarati to the addressee, eldest son of K. M. Munshi, with the remark: “I intend appointing you as my lawyer and so listen to what I am saying and argue it out with Bapaji.” The Gujarati original however is not available. For K. M. Munshi’s letter dated August 9 to which this was a reply, vide Appendix “Letter from K. M. Munshi”, 9-8-1944. Regarding this note K. M. Munshi writes: “My opposition to the proposed negotiations with Jinnah evidently annoyed Gandhiji. For, before replying to me, he adopted the rather curious method of sending me a message dictated to my son who was staying with him. This was a warning to me. In my long and intimate association with him, such a thing had never happened before, nor after.” 2 From the contents it is obvious that this note was written before the letter to K. M. Munshi dated August 12, 1944; vide the following item. 3 The source says in a footnote that the resolution was passed on April 11, 1942. According to The Indian Annual Register the resolution was communicated to Sir Stafford Cripps on April 2. It was however released to the Press on April 11 after the failure of the negotiations. For the text of the resolution, vide Appendix “A Resolution”, before 9-8-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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self-determination. After this on April 30 1 , Rajaji’s Resolution was turned down and Jagat Narayan’s Resolution2 about not partitioning India was adopted. In my view this was a highly inappropriate and hasty step and due to this alone Jinnah has been able to spread poison in the Muslim masses. 3. I had discussed this matter with Maulana3 also. According to him, in spite of Jagat Narayan’s Resolution, I still retain the authority to discuss the matter with Jinnah because the Resolution of April 2 still stands. 4. Later on when I had negotiations with Jinnah I had asked him whether he would accept help from a foreign Power if he was granted a sovereign State. To this he said: “Yes.” I then asked him if, after securing that help, he would invade India. To this (also) he said: “Yes.” Then I told him: “It would be a sin to do such a thing and I cannot be a party to it.” 5. When Dr. Latif4 mentioned Pakistan I asked him to discuss the question with Maulana; but it was in deference to Maulana’s wish that I discussed it with him. 6. Rajaji’s offer does not seem to have the virulence of his earlier talk and hence I am in agreement with it. According to this offer if there can be a separate treaty regarding Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications, I do not see any harm in giving him the rest. And after this, Pakistan seems to have no meaning at all. 7. It is not that everybody has been in agreement with me about everything from the beginning of [my] life. There is bound to be a difference of opinion and it is good that it is there. But nobody has ever told me that I have done anything in bad faith. Thus it was that I had won over Motilal5 , C. R. Das and others. In spite of difference of opinion they often came to me and shed tears when they saw my
“April 29” according to a footnote in the source. Which read: “The A.I.C.C. is of opinion that any proposal to disintegrate India by giving liberty to any component State or territorial unit to secede from the Indian Union or Federation will be detrimental to the best interests of the people of the different States and provinces and the country as a whole and the Congress, therefore, cannot agree to any such proposal.” 3 Abul Kalam Azad, Congress President 4 Syed Abdul Latif 5 Motilal Nehru
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determination to abide by Truth. From his death-bed C. R. Das had enjoined upon his followers: “Do as this man says. He is a true leader.” I wish to conquer even Jinnah with trust and love. I have no other weapons at all. 8. Jinnah too has complete faith in me. He knows that I have no axe to grind in these negotiations. And he seems to have somewhat softened by my last letter1 , and hence, my only advice can be that at such a time nobody should create any obstacle. Jinnah has hated me since the day I asked him in a meeting to give up English and speak in Gujarati. Sir Chimanlal Setalvad also feels the same way about me from that day and it has not changed to this day. 9. Jinnah is definitely not unselfish. He is prone to be easily led by others because of his vanity. (Just) because I am going to meet him I am not led away by him. I have not accepted everything that he has said. Otherwise it would mean that he has won me round. That is why even when I meet him it will be with some misgivings. 10. Munshi has raised a new cry, and I cannot stop him. And it would not befit me even if I did it. 11. But Munshi very much loves to dominate everywhere and become a leader. I know that everybody hates him for that reason. Everybody believes that even in the Congress he wants to set up his own protagonists. But how can one prevent a person if he is capable of spreading his influence because of his own power? Only the person who has all his teeth intact can crack a betel-nut and so, there is no need to be scared of him. He seems to be much perturbed. Hence, at such a time we should do only that which we feel is correct. If he shows me the statement2 , I shall certainly go through it.3
Pilgrimage to Freedom, Vol. I, pp. 438-40

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 17-7-1944. Vide “Note to K. M. Munshi”, after 14-8-1944. 3 This is followed by the following note, presumably by the addressee: Rajaji’s and Dr. Subbaroyan’s talks would imply the following: (1) Gandhiji and all others believe that the negotiations will most probably break down and maybe we shall have to court imprisonment. (2) Gandhiji feels that if these negotiations do not have the sanction of the people, it would mean that it is his last contribution to politics, and he would have to make his exit for good. (3) All will be released by September 15.
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387. TELEGRAM TO ANIL CHANDRA
Express August 12, 1994
ANIL C HANDRA 32 NANDAN R OAD C ALCUTTA
PROVISIONALLY THIRD SEPTEMBER SEVAGRAM. WRITING.

GANDHI
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

388. LETTER TO K. M. MUNSHI
August 12, 1944
BHAI MUNSHI,

Your letter1 . I have told a few things to Jagdish 2 but I am still writing this reply for your satisfaction. It does not matter if others do not understand me. You are among those who do know me. I am sure you know that, in spite of my accepting Akhand 3 Hindustan on principle, I am the originator of the Congress principle of self-determination. A believer in non-violence, I can maintain the unity of India only if I accept the freedom of every part. The moment I felt that the Pakistan of Jinnah’s imagination was sinful, I started believing in the Congress principle of self-determination, for instance, during my talks with Dr. Latif. I understand what you have written about the Punjab. I shall study whatever comes from there. If I have committed a mistake, it would not take long to put me right. All my statements imply the usual proviso that mistakes, if any, should be provided for. I would certainly find no fault at all if you fearlessly oppose Rajaji’s Formula. Where the intentions are honest, fear of public blame has no place at all. Possibly your statement will not be ready by the time I meet
1 2

Vide Appendix “Letter from K. M. Munshi”, 9-8-1944. Vide the preceding item. 3 Undivided

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Jinnah. But if you have prepared it, do send it. I shall go through it. If it needs to be improved or changed, I shall do so. Have no fear. I shall do nothing in haste. If you have time and if you think it is necessary, meet Rajaji and me. And I think it will certainly be necessary to meet after our interview.
Blessings from

BAPU
From Gujarati: C.W. 7680. Courtesy: K. M. Munshi

389. LETTER TO RAMESHWARDAS BIRLA
August 12, 1944
BHAI RAMESHWARDAS,

I have been wanting since long to write to you but just couldn’t find the time. However, now I must. Jinnah Saheb’s letter may arrive any time now. I have written to him to let me know three or four days in advance. I am under a great deal of pressure that in no case should I put up at Birla House. 1 I have plainly said that I cannot give up staying at Birla House without any reason. The question arises only if for some reason my stay at Birla House is deemed improper. In that case you should not hesitate to tell me. This issue arose in Poona also, and at that time it was agreed that there could be no hesitation from your side. I do not remember if you were present then. I had discussed the matter with Ghanshyamdas. By way of caution and in order to safeguard your interests, it is my duty to ask you now that I will be leaving for Bombay shortly. The other matter is more important though it is not as urgent as the question of where to stay in Bombay. If I am about to be arrested it will give me some satisfaction if I am able to accomplish all that I must before my arrest. I believe that the work of the Talimi Sangh2 is quite valuable, and I wish to arrange for half a lakh of rupees for it. I wish to return the money that was received as donation for Mirabehn. It would only be proper to return it to her. Normally the money for the Talimi Sangh must be drawn from the Satyagraha Ashram funds. There is some money there but Narandas has invested
1 Some friends had argued that it would not be in the interests of the Birla family if Gandhiji were to be again arrested while staying with them. 2 Hindustani Talimi Sangh

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it in constructive work. I can draw upon it but I can only do so at the cost of that work. And as far as possible I don’t want to do that. All told, it may require half a lakh or one lakh. I do not know the exact amount that has to be paid. The amounts that have been coming over the years are registered as charities, and it takes time to trace them out. All the books of the Ashram are lying here and there. To trace out such amounts even from well-maintained ledgers is like seeking a needle in a haystack. Nevertheless I have given instructions that all such accounts should be examined. There is some miscellaneous expenditure too. Something has to be done about that. That will require about half a lakh, though I have not figured out the exact sum. Can you easily provide for all this? You can certainly say ‘no’ without any hesitation. All my undertakings are in the hands of God. If God does not wish that a particular work should be held up, He provides me with the means through someone or another as His agent. Hence, even if I do not get the money I will not be angry with God or with you. Till now I have never cut the tree under which I have taken shelter and with God’s grace I shall not do so in future. I hope all of you are keeping well. I am sending this letter with Chi. Jagdish. He has come here with Bhai Munshi’s letter1 . Nowadays it is difficult to decide what should and what should not be sent by post.
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Hindi original: C.W. 8060. Courtesy: G. D. Birla

390. LETTER TO DR. GOPICHAND BHARGAVA
August 12, 1944
BHAI GOPICHAND,

I have read your letter to Pyarelal. Munshiji had been there and he has posted me with news from there. What you write about Rajaji is not correct. I have already discussed the matter with Rajaji. Whatever be the case, I am not going to meet him 2 with that in mind. To me, Rajaji’s formula is the final
1 2

Vide “Letter to K. M, Munshi”, 12-8-1944. M. A. Jinnah THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

292

thing. If it is proved that there is any fault in it, I can amend it. You at least should not have any fear in your mind. If anybody from Puniab desires to meet me, I shall certainly meet him. For instance people from Bengal were here. Even if I have not been able to satisfy them, at least I have succeeded in removing their feeling of disappointment. In fact my impression is that I have even been able to satisfy them. Even if somebody cannot come here from Punjab, he can certainly write. You will have recovered your health.
From a copy of the Hindi : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

391. TELEGRAM TO M. A. JINNAH
Express August 13, 1944
QUAID-E-AZAM JINNAH MOUNT P LEASANT R OAD BOMBAY
THANKS WIRE JUST AFTERNOON SUITS ME. RECEIVED. NEXT SATURDAY FOUR

GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

392. LETTER TO UMASHANKAR DIXIT
ASHRAM, S EVAGRAM ,

August 14, 1944
DEAR DIXIT,

Gandhiji had your letter of the 10th instant. He would naturally like to know your views, but he has hardly any time left, every available minute being already booked up, to give an appointment before leaving for Bombay. He expects to be in Bombay for only a day or so. In case his stay there is extended you can try to see him in Bombay. In the meantime he would like you to send him your formula. Yours sincerely,

S HRI UMASHANKAR DIXIT 231-234 KALBADEVI R OAD BOMBAY
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393. LETTER TO VALJI G. DESAI
S EVAGRAM ,

August 14, 1944
CHI. VALJI,

I feel relieved that I am able to pay off today this measure of my debt to you. I feel that something still remains to be paid. You are not bound to accept the changes I have suggested. You may accept them if you feel that they are improvements. This will be sent by registered post.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 7499. Courtesy: Valji G. Desai

394. LETTER TO LILAVATI ASAR
S EVAGRAM , August 14, 1944
CHI. LILI,

You are still what you were at the age of fourteen-extremely restless and scared and never satisfied in any situation whatever. Must you go on like this the whole of your life ? Why can you not understand the simple thing that you are engaged in studies and it is your duty to complete them ? The Ashram teaches you to do only limited work of service while carrying on the studies. Try to understand this if you can. Even if you do not understand, you will hear nothing else from me. Think of something else only when you have completed your studies.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI LILAVATIBEHN UDESHI G. E. MEDICAL C OLLEGE LADIES S TUDENTS ’ HOSTEL P AREL, G.I.P. R LY . BOMBAY
From a copy Gujarati original : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

395. NOTE TO K. M. MUNSHI1
[After August 14, 1944] 2
My reluctance to comment on the Rajaji Formula has led to my attitude being misunderstood by many friends all over the country.

On the whole it is my advice that you should maintain peace till the conference to be held between us is over.
BAPU
I cannot approve of the Rajaji Formula. The division of a Hindu and a Muslim area is conditional in the Formula. . . . A partition, on the other hand, will enable the Hindus and Muslims in those provinces to settle down in their respective areas.

The second argument does not seem to support the first One.
My objections to the Rajaji Formula, however, go deeper. . . . The force behind disruptionism is the urge to convert Islam in India into a religio-political party and to dominate the country by overawing the Nationalists into submission. . . . Mr. Jinnah’s recent utterances are too fresh to be forgotten easily. He will accept no alliance on a conditional acceptance of Pakistan as in the Formula, and if any is made it will not last a day after the principle of Pakistan is accepted by the Nationalists.

These objections are not deeply rooted. If you have no better argument, nothing will be lost by remaining silent.3
Pilgrimage to Freedom, pp. 435-6

The addressee had sent the draft of his statement to Gandhiji to “suggest changes if necessary”, along with his letter dated August 14, 1944. The draft, from which only extracts are reproduced here, was in English. Gandhiji’s comments in Gujarati were published along with the English translation. 2 ibid 3 The statement was not issued to the Press. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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396. LETTER TO TARA SINGH1
S EVAGRAM ,

August 15, 1944
DEAR MASTER TARA SINGH,

I thank you for your reasoned letter of the 5th instant. It came into my hands only today. It was received here on the 10th. The post has become very heavy. Even important letters such as yours do not come into my hands immediately they are received. I have not so recovered as to permit my working all hours of the day. This preface is merely to show you the importance I attach to your letter. But nothing is lost by the delay. We shall come to no final terms. The smallest interest will have the same weight as the largest. That is the requirement of my creed. It is a lapse if I do not live up to it. With this assurance, I would leave you for the time being. Pray that both of us may have the strength to do what is wholly right and not to tone down the right for the sake of expedience.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

The Hindu, 8-10-1944

397. LETTER TO KONDA VENKATAPPAYYA
August 15, 1944
MY DEAR VENKATAPPAYYA,

I have your two letters and your three notes. You are truly amazing. I suppose you are much older than I. But your energy never wanes. May it be always thus. How about Savitri? With love,
BAPU
From a photostat: G.N. 3226

Releasing the letter to the Press, Sarmukh Singh Jhabal, a Sikh Congressman of the Punjab, had stated: “Master Tara Singh released his own letter to Gandhiji with regard to the Rajaji Formula, but Gandhiji’s reply has not been published, although it was in Masterji’s hands at the time he released his own letter.”

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398. LETTER TO M. R. JAYAKAR
August 15, 1944
DEAR DR. JAYAKAR,

I am grateful to you for your two letters. The long one is illuminating. I am aware of the dangers. I am not afraid of coming away with empty hands.1 I am doing what I have done all my life. I know you believe in the all-pervading Deity. I ask you to pray that I may be blessed with the strength to do the right thing.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhi-Jayakar Papers: File No. 826. Courtesy: National Archives of India

399. LETTER TO DADACHANJI
August 15, 1944
DEAR DADACHANJI,

I have read your letter to Pyarelalji. You are too lawyerlike for my taste. Your goodness is marred by your lawyer-likeness. You should have mercy on me and mine. We are all overworked and I am an ailing man though in harness. I know the Indo-Burman question but the way is not clear to me. That was all that Pyarelal meant though he could not convey his meaning to you. Can you goad a willing horse? You have owned horses, motors, etc. Just recall your experience of your horses and your friends. Believe me to be more than a willing horse.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1

The reference is to the proposed meeting with M. A. Jinnah.

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400. LETTER TO DAHYABHAI V. PATEL
August 15, 1944
CHI. DAHYABHAI,

I was pressed hard to stay with you but I did not yield. I cannot leave Birla House just because my staying there displeases some. I should certainly like to stay with you and moreover I have never seen your home. But I must do what I think is my duty.1 I am hoping to arrive there on Saturday. It is possible that I might return on Sunday.
Blessings to all from

BAPU S HRI DAHYABHAI P ATEL 68 M ARINE DRIVE BOMBAY

[From Gujarati]
Bapuna Patro-4: Manibehn Patelne, p. 162

401. LETTER TO SHANTIKUMAR AND SUMATI MORARJEE
August 15, 1944
CHI. SHANTIKUMAR AND SUMATI,

We are all arriving there on Saturday. We shall be staying at Birla House. You should both call there, as you are aware what comforts I require at present.2 The rest when we meet.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 848

Vide also “Letter to Rameshwardas Birla”, 12-8-1944 Gandhiji had stayed with the addressees while convalescing at Juhu from May 11 to June 15, 1944.
2

1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

402. INTERVIEW TO DUTY SOCIETY DEPUTATION1
S EVAGRAM ,

August 15, 1944
Mahatma Gandhi was in a cheerful mood talking to the deputationists and was smiling throughout. When asked by the Mahatma, Mr. Ibadat Yar Khan explained to him about the development that has taken place during the last 20 years, specially the establishment of an engineering college and the foundation of a medical college during the term of Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmed, the Vice-Chancellor of the University . . . The deputation also discussed the present political situation with the Mahatma and urged for an honourable settlement between the League and the Congress in the forthcoming meeting of the two great leaders of the Hindus and the Muslims. Mr. Gandhi showed his willingness to concede every reasonable demand of the Mussalmans and said:

I want that myself and the Quaid-e-Azam should be locked up and should not be allowed to come out till we come to some decision to remove this deadlock.
The members of the deputation again requested him to end the deadlock and see India governed by Indians themselves for which he had been trying for such a long time. Gandhiji replied:

I wish to see a free India in my lifetime, for God knows what will happen when I am no more. The Bombay Chronicle, 20-8-1944

403. ADVICE TO ASSAM CONGRESS LEGISLATORS
[Before August 16, 1944] 2
The United Press learns that Gandhiji has advised the Assam Congress legislators who are outside jail to attend the Legislature to register their views on important matters such as land settlement, food, evacuation, etc. Regarding the question of Congressmen co-operating with Government measures with regard to the food problem, Gandhiji is understood to have stated that co-operation [with] Government measures regarding the food problem in the country was impossible.

The Bombay Chronicle, 17-8-1944
Of the Aligarh Muslim University, led by Ibadat Yar Khan and consisting of Mohammed Ashfaq, Amiruddin Alvi and A. M. Safi 2 The report of this and the following item appeared under the dateline: “Gauhati, August 16”. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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404. MESSAGE TO PEOPLE OF ASSAM
[Before August 16, 1944] I have no message of hope for my Assamese brothers and sisters but I send my deep sympathy for them. May God bless you all to come out of the ordeal successfully. The Bombay Chronicle, 17-8-1944

405. LETTER TO SATIS CHANDRA DAS GUPTA
S EVAGRAM ,

August 16, 1944
BHAI SATIS BABU,

Received your letter. Balvantsinha has well apprised me of your work. I am amazed at your tireless efforts. Isn’t it your discovery that cow’s milk is available in so much quantity in Bengal? And that the milkmen are all Muslims! Balvantsinha has become your devotee. I like it. He himself is a goseva enthusiast. He works hard. I have found his knowledge to be haphazard and his outlook is not scientific. He therefore needs guidance. He has strongly refuted this opinion and believes—or had been believing—that I have, maybe unknowingly, done him an injustice. There always has been antagonism between Parnerkar1 and Balvantsinha and it has always caused me trouble. I was not able to take from them as much work as I wanted to because of this antagonism. Now Parnerkar is also there and he has got the work of his liking. He also loves to serve the cow. I happily watch from this distance this confluence of the three and also hope that its outcome will be good. I have a few minutes during which I am dictating this letter. You must have understood the reason for my giving a little background. I shall be satisfied if both of them remain there and you can take full work from them although both are required here. The work of the goshala here goes on but perhaps it is not satisfactory. I do not at all want either of them to leave your work to come here. Nor do I want both of them to come here. I can have no definite programme. God only knows what will happen. I am reaching Bombay on the 19th. Let
1

Yashwant M. Parnerkar THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

300

us see what happens. I hope Hemprabha1 is all right, and Arun2 , too. Amtul Salaam has reached there. She certainly will meet you. She will work under Bhagirathji.
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

406. LETTER TO MAHAVIR PRASAD PODDAR
August 17, 1944
MAHAVIR PRASAD,

I do not know whether Ghanshyamdas has told you about my scheme for nature cure. If my ideas can be implemented, I would have used, to the best of my ability, all my God-given talents. These ideas came to me while I was at Dinshaw’s Arogya Bhavan3 . I shall not give a full account of their evolution. Here I am giving you in short the ideas in their final form. Select a plot of a thousand acres near any village. It will be better if the land is situated in a salubrious region. It does not matter if the village is far away from a town or the railway station. Select two such plots or at least one. Get a layout of the land made right now— even before purchasing the land. Keep in view the following points while making the plan. Have the roads marked out in the plan. One road shall be broad but right now it will not be made motorable, only bullock-carts or horse-driven carriages will ply on it. The plot must be provided with fresh water. There should be a nice swimming-pool, a gymnasium or two to provide facilities for physical exercise. Arrangement should be made to grow fruits, trees, vegetables and foodgrains. There shall be facilities on this land to treat patients by nature-cure methods. Nature cure will include the various methods of mud-pack, treatment with water, such as hip-bath, friction-bath, steam-bath, etc., treatment with light, such as sun-bath, suryanamaskara4 , moon-bath, watching the stars, utilizing all the lights of the rainbow through the medium of cloth, water, glass bottle, etc., treatment with air such as pranayama5 , subsisting on air, etc. In the
1 2

Addressee’s wife Addressee’s son 3 At Poona 4, Name of an exercise; literally, ‘worship of the Sun’ 5 Breathing exercises VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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initial stage, use of modern devices like electricity, etc., will be avoided. This is with a view to initially using mechanical aids to the minimum and developing such devices as the villagers can use easily as also exploring their usefulness. Not only will sick persons be treated in this institution, but even normal persons likely to benefit from nature cure will be admitted to it. We should try to give vigour and vitality to the weak. Children will be admitted to the institution with this view, and efforts will be made to build their health according to the laws of nature. Health will be our prime concern. Special emphasis will be placed on preservation and improvement of health. Thus the aim of this institution will be self-reliance in all respects and its message will be universal. It will tend to become an ideal village with facilities for basic education and village industries like khadi, etc. Initially it will certainly require a lot of money but I cannot think of a better use of money than this. A trust should be constituted for this purpose. I had thought of Dinshaw Mehta, Ghanshyamdas, and myself as trustees; Ghanshyamdas added two more—Devdas and you. I had of course thought of you but I had no idea how far you could go with this. If I accept your name you should free yourself from all other work and devote yourself to this work. Ghanshyamdas believes in nature cure and he can either attract donations or give one himself. Devdas will fulfil this function by becoming Ghanshyamdas’s representative. I will be the guide—since the whole idea is mine. It can be said that I am a devotee of nature cure for the last fifty years. This venture was conceived with the expectation that Dinshaw could be put in charge of fully implementing the ideas. And I shall like very much your joining this provided you can devote the rest of your life entirely to this work. Meet me at the earliest if you find these ideas good enough.
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

302

THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

407. INTERVIEW TO PEGGY DURDIN1
[After August 17, 1944] 2
Does the Viceroy’s rejection3 of your offer in any way lessen the desirability of or urgency for a communal settlement now?
Q.

A. Not in the least. As I have already said in several interviews the simultaneous publication of my offer to the Viceroy and the Rajaji Formula established a wholly unintended connection between the two. The rejection makes the urgency doubly urgent. This I say although I believe that past experience shows that so long as there is a third party dividing communities and interests there is no adjustment possible. This has never meant for me that I should not strive for a settlement even before independence.
Q. From the point of view of non-violence, is it not preferable for a national government to take office after, rather than during, the present war?

A. Not if a national government comes into being even during the war by the spontaneous act of Great Britain or the Allies. For then the war itself will have changed its course and the peace to come will be wholly honourable and calculated to promote non-violence. Would not a strong group of nationalist ministers, Hindu and Muslim, responsible under the present constitution to the Viceroy rather than to the Legislature in point of fact, nullify the Viceregal veto? Would not a common front presented by strong nationalist leaders make acceptance of their programme and plans inevitable? A. No such manipulation can possibly electrify the whole nation. Such an experiment is doomed to failure ab initio. It would lack trust on the part of the British Government in the people of India. I am not clear on your attitude toward mass civil disobedience. Am I right in thinking that you would consider its use justified if your appeal to the Viceroy and the talks with Mr. Jinnah fail? A.
Q. Q.

Mass civil disobedience can only take place if other efforts to

Correspondent of Time and Life . The source had reproduced the interview from The Free Press Journal. 2 The correspondent met Gandhiji in August shortly after the Viceroy’s rejection of Gandhiji’s proposals. Gandhiji’s correspondence with the Viceroy was released to the Press on August 17, 1944. 3 Vide Appendix “Letter from Lord Wavell”, 15-8-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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achieve the object aimed at fail. Here the object is independence. Appeal to the Viceroy was for a settlement. The appeal having failed the case for civil disobedience is complete. Successful negotiations with the Quaid-e-Azam need not affect the case for civil disobedience. But as I have said—for reasons I need not enter into here but which I have already publicly stated—I may not offer civil disobedience at the present moment. Mass civil disobedience is conceived as an entirely effective substitute for a bloody war and is any day far superior to it. But just as wars do not take place just for the sake of war, but only for a cause just or unjust, mass civil disobedience can take place only for a cause wholly just. If I have understood your question correctly, this answer ought to set at rest all your doubts.
By American management of a section of the Burma-Assam Railway and part of the port of Calcutta I think we can say that the war in Burma is being shortened. Would a national government permit such American controls?
Q.

I have already answered the question in my previous public statements. Permission for all such controls is clearly indicated under my offer. Of course, it is only for the purpose of the war.
Q. Would you consider courting rearrest if your proposals or those of yourself and Mr. Jinnah are not accepted?

A.

A. I really do not know future plans. You will believe me when I say that they are in God’s hands.
Q. Non-violence may be relative, not absolute. Some participation in the already existing violence, participation for the purpose of producing real and lasting peace, may be unavoidable and even desirable. Is this a fair statement of the position?

A. It is a fair statement. I cannot challenge it merely because it is likely to lead to dangerous abuse from the non-violent standpoint. Pure unmixed non-violence is impossible as Euclid’s line. I understand your answer to mean that mass civil disobedience presents no solution of the present deadlock. A.
Q.

You are right.

Q. May I quote you as saying that the national government you conceive of would do nothing which, as far as the war in the Far East is concerned, would jeopardize one additional American life or which would lengthen the war for an American soldier—that such a government would on the contrary make every effort to hasten the conclusion of the war against Japan?

A.

You will be safe in using the language as if it was mine. The Hindu, 4-10-1944 304
THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

408. TELEGRAM TO M. A. JINNAH
Express
S EVAGRAM ,

August 18, 1944
QUAID-E-AZAM M. A. JINNAH MOUNT P LEASANT R OAD MALABAR HILL BOMBAY
YOUR YOU NEWS. PHONE WILL AND SOON WIRE. RECOVER. DEEPLY. ANXIOUSLY GRIEVED. AWAIT HOPE FURTHER

GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

409. LETTER TO MRS. K. L. RALLIA RAM
S EVAGRAM ,

August 18, 1944
DEAR SISTER,

Gandhiji had your letter of 4th August and the enclosure. He desires me to thank you for both. He is glad that you wrote. I regret that owing to heavy pressure of work he cannot write himself. Of course all genuine attempts to establish unity have his blessings. Yours sincerely, PYARELAL

MRS. K. L. R ALLIA R AM 5 M ASON R OAD LAHORE , N.-W. RLY .
From the original: Gandhi Papers, File No, 84. Courtesy: National Archives of India

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410. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
August 18, 1944
BHAI JINNAH,

How was it you fell ill all of a sudden? The whole world was looking forward to our meeting. I had entertained high hopes, although, I must admit, I had my own apprehensions. Hence when Fatimabehn1 conveyed to me the news of your illness, I was shaken. I hope God will soon restore you to health, hasten the meeting to which the whole world is looking forward and that the meeting will lead to the welfare of India. I hope Fatimabehn or someone else will keep me informed about your health.
Your brother,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

411. LETTER TO MRIDULA SARABHAI
S EVAGRAM , W ARDHA , C. P., August 18, 1944
CHI. MRIDULA,

I had your telegram. I have replied to it. I hope Kanjibhai will be able to come on Tuesday. It is not right that you keep falling ill. I think you alone are to blame for it. You do not take care of your health and are stubborn. You are thereby wasting your body and you will end up by becoming unfit for work. Had you been a little patient and spent a fortnight at Panchgani, you would have greatly benefited. Had you come to Poona, I would have had you treated by Dinshaw right before my eyes. It is quite likely that you would have learnt a wonderful way to improve your health. I cannot accept your explanation that there was a lot of work to do in Gujarat. Satyagrahis of the front rank should also learn to look after their health. I have not written all this to admonish you but to warn you for the future. Keep me informed
1

Addressee’s sister THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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about your health. If you are well enough to come here, do come. Bring your mosquito-net with you. Then you will have nothing to fear from the climate here. I find the mosquitoes a nuisance, otherwise the air is good. I cannot say when it will be possible for me to meet the Quaide-Azam.
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original : C. W. 11117. Courtesy : Sarabhai Foundation

412. INTERVIEW TO ASSOCIATED PRESS OF INDIA
S EVAGRAM , (WARDHA ),

August 18, 1944 The published correspondence shows that I left no stone unturned to conform to the Viceregal requirements. The final Government reply is positive proof that the British Government have no intention of winning public support. I do not confine myself to the Congress, since its main demand has been backed by almost all political parties. So far as the technical winning of the war is concerned, they have evidently no need for such support. Moral support they seem to despise. Boiled down, the Viceroy’s proposition means that unless all the main parties agree as to the constitution of the future and there is agreement between the British Government and the main parties, there is to be no change in the constitutional position, and the Government of India as at present is to be carried on. The names of the parties given in the Government reply are illustrative only. I have no doubt that on due occasions more will be exhibited as from a conjurer’s bag and who knows how and when the British Government will agree to surrender control? It is as clear as crystal that the British Government do not propose to give up the power they possess over four hundred millions, unless the latter develop strength enough to wrest it from them. I shall never lose hope that India will do so by purely moral means. The problem of food, meanwhile, remains unsolved. Only a
1 1

Vide “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 15-7-1944 and 26/27-7-1944.

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national Government envisaged by me can provide a genuine solution. Any other will be a mirage. It is most unfortunate that at this critical juncture the Quaid-e-Azam has fallen ill and under medical advice cannot see me till he is free from his illness. A proper heart-agreement between us can induce a revision of the firm refusal of the British Government as conveyed through His Excellency’s letter. Let us all pray that the Quaid-e-Azam may be soon restored enough to see me and that God may so dominate our hearts as to lead us to a right solution. I would like to assure all parties to be affected by our solution that we will not come to any terms which will compromise or ignore a single interest. The Rajaji Formula is capable of being amended if it is found to contain flaws as many Hindu and Sikh friends have suggested it does. No solution is likely to last unless, on the face of it, it is right and is acceptable to the people of India as a whole. The Bombay Chronicle, 19-8-1944

413. LETTER TO AMRITLAL SHETH
S EVAGRAM , August 19, 1944
BHAI AMRITLAL,

You have indeed removed my fear by taking a pledge. Even so I continue to have some fear. I have been wanting to write to you these many days, but have not had the time. Why can’t you two warriors meet ? I have not written to Shamaldas. We have a gigantic task before us. I have come to understand from our talks that you have started believing in ahimsa and truth. The strength derived from these two virtues should be organized. It seems to be going waste these days. True ahimsa needs no organization. It is always organized. Chi. Chhaganlal has given me clippings from a Gujarati paper. I enclose the ones which concern you. Can’t newspapers be published without such advertisements ?
Blessings from

BAPU A. J. S HETH
From a copy of the Gujarati : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

414. LETTER TO ANUGRAHA NARAYAN SINHA
S EVAGRAM ,

August 19, 1944
BHAI ANUGRAHA BABU,

In a worthy cause the effort carries its own blessing. Your work is noble, no doubt, still, if you need my blessings, you have them. I hope Shrikrishna Babu and you are in good health. Write to me about Rajendra Babu.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

415. LETTER TO M. R. JAYAKAR
S EVAGRAM , W ARDHA ,

August 20, 1944
DEAR DR. JAYAKAR,

Many thanks for your letter1 of 17th instant [and] good wishes. Do you know for the moment our meeting has been delayed owing to Quaid-e-Azam’s illness?
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

[PS.] Your letter which was marked for express delivery was received only today.
Gandhi-Jayakar Papers: File No. 826. Courtesy: National Archives of India

Which, inter alia, read: “I wish you all success in your efforts, although I feel more or less certain that, between the arrogance of the Government of India and the equal arrogance of the Muslim League leader, your work is very difficult, if not impossible. . . . With all differences of view, I wish you success in your magnificent undertaking.” VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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416. LETTER TO POTHAN JOSEPH
August 20, 1944
DEAR POTHAN ,
1

So your daughter Cookie 2 is to be married on 10th September. May the pair be happy and live long for the service of God and man. Love.
Yours,

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

417. LETTER TO SAROJINI NAIDU
S EVAGRAM , August 20, 1944
MY DEAR BULBUL-E-HIND,

Though I seem to have neglected you, you have not neglected me. Thank you for it. The reason for not sending you even love letters is that work before me has taxed all my time and energy. I have not asked you to come because I have relied only on God’s guidance. I do not know what I am going to say when I face beard the lion. 3 I rely on Him giving me the word. You can fill in the details.
Love to you all.

S PINNER

[P.S.] I have your latest A.R.S.’s letter.
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

Editor of a number of dailies which included The Voice of India, The Indian National Herald, The Indian Daily Mail, The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express and The Dawn 2 Anna 3 The reference presumably is to Gandhiji’s impending meeting with Jinnah

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418. LETTER TO CHIMANLAL N. SHAH
August 20, 1944
CHI. CHIMANLAL,

Shakaribehn1 is very unhappy because of what Sharda 2 had to go through here. I remember Kanu 3 telling me something about it. Please write to me and tell me all that you know about the matter. Shakaribehn says that Lilavati4 and Krishnachandra had displayed an altogether wrong attitude. I should know everything about this in detail. You are a very patient man, but you also have a duty towards the Ashram. It is not your absolute duty to suffer any injustice meted out to Shakaribehn or Sharda. Your duty towards the Ashram is a thing like. . . .5
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10610

419. LETTER TO MATHURADAS TRIKUMJI
August 20, 1944 You have entered the forest.6 May you cross it and live many more years. After all your faith in me is not blind. It is unshakable and will remain so. Mustn’t I become and continue to be worthy of such faith? [From Gujarati]
Bapuni Prasadi, p. 202

Addressee’s wife Addressee’s daughter 3 Son of Narandas Gandhi 4 Lilavati Asar 5 Omission as in the source 6 In the 51st year of one’s life one is supposed to enter vanaprastha, the third of the four ashramas or stages of life.
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420. LETTER TO V. V. NENE
August 20, 1944
BHAI NENE,

I have your letter. I had no knowledge that I would be arrested so soon or arrested at all. I did have a plan but was arrested before it could be announced. And there were to be negotiations first. I cannot say whether or not I would have met Jinnah Saheb.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From the Hindi original : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

421. LETTER TO HUMAYUN KABIR
S EVAGRAM , August 21, 1944
MY DEAR HUMAYUN,

I value your frank letter received today. You deserve a long reply but I must be brief, if I am to reply at once which I am doing. I do not endorse any Pakistan but I do endorse Rajaji’s scheme even if it be called Pakistan. It is a concrete form of the Congress resolution. The Rajaji Formula merely furnishes a basis for discussion. It opens a way to the solution of the communal tangle. Everybody who does not like it is free to oppose it. If you think that it will harm the country you are bound to oppose it. If Muslim opinion dislikes it, it must go. It will go also if Hindus and others oppose it. The Rajaji Formula furnishes a scheme for voluntary acceptance. There is no room for discussion, if it is to be imposed by force. I could be no party to a forcible imposition of a thing even if of my own coining. Here therefore there is no question of ignoring or disregarding nationalist Muslims of any other section. Quaid-e-Azam represents the League. I represent nobody but myself. I did read your contribution to Bharat Jyoti. Your book, I am sorry, I have not been able to touch. You should know that we (Rajaji and I) have reserved the right to oppose even the modified scheme of partition, if it ever goes to the 312
THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

poll. We are not enamoured of it. But if there must be sovereign states, we have said what we will voluntarily endorse. But we would be pleased if the country, i.e., in this case the majority of Muslims concerned reject it jointly with other inhabitants of the areas concerned. So you see that you should come if you can spare the time. It is not too late. Amtul Salaam had a lot to say about you and your wife’s kindness to her. She also told me that you had stolen a Hindu girl for wife1 , that she was extremely devoted to you and that she was able to remain Hindu.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

422. LETTER TO K. G. GOKHALE
S EVAGRAM ,

August 21, 1944
BHAI GOKHALE,2

The question of parole is most difficult. What is good for one need not be good for all. The general rule should be no acceptance of parole. It admits of many exceptions. I must not judge past cases. Membership of Food Committees also presents difficulties. If a person like Gangadhar Rao finds that he can serve the people without compromising national interest, I must refuse to sit in judgment on him. And I have no time to examine his conduct on merits. Post of jail visitor I hold generally to be of little advantage. But I cannot lay down hard and fast rules. I must plead with you to absolve me from advising you personally. You must judge for yourself and act fearlessly. Principles of conduct can be, and have been laid down. Their application is no easy task. Appasaheb’s letter was not shown to me. There was no
1 2

Shanti The superscript and subscription are in Devanagari.

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need. He was asked to deal with your letter. He did according to his light.
Yours ,

M. K. GANDHI K. G. GOKHALE, B. A. PLEADER , M.L.A. C/ O A.V. G HARE, E SQ. ESTATE MANAGER OF S ARDAR R ASTE P. O. T ALIKOT DISTT. B UAPUR
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

423. LETTER TO BARI KHAN
S EVAGRAM , August 21, 1944
MY DEAR BARI1 ,

You have done well in writing to me. I have advice from all quarters. But I have chosen the one Infallible Adviser. I feel secure in His bosom. You should come after I have seen the Q. A. Love.
BAPU BARI KHAN SAHIB 21 ALKAPURI BARODA
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

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Brother of Amtussalaam THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

314

424. LETTER TO KISHORELAL G. MASHRUWALA
BOMBAY,

August 21, 1944
CHI. KISHORELAL,

Your letter and the Government’s action on it have agitated everyone. I could not bring myself to pull up Gomati. When all is said and done she is a well brought up and responsible girl. Still, it is difficult to be patient at such times. So she is coming. Manilal of course will come. It might be all right if Nilkanth were not to come. As for Gomati’s poor brother, why should he be left out ? Without Swami of course everything will seem dreary. But what will you do ? I am hoping you will send back everyone with laughter on their faces. But even if this hope is not realized, I am ready for it. Many sacrifices will have to be made. He will do as He wills. We have to learn the mantra of living by dying.1
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati : Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

425. LETTER TO ABDUR REHMAN
August 21, 1944
BHAI ABDUR REHMAN,

The Nightingale of India has sent on to me the letter you wrote her. I have perused it carefully. As far as I am concerned I have made up my mind that Dominion Status will not be acceptable to me, even if the Congress changes its stand. So long as the Hindus and the Muslims live in fear of each other, we will always have the British as our overlords. It has been my endeavour to give up that fear myself and persuade others to do the same. It is with that very purpose that I am going to meet the Quaid-e-Azam. Let us see what God grants us. . . .2 I have faith in democracy. In non-violence nothing else is
1 For Gandhiji's affirmation, twenty-four years earlier, of his faith in the power of the soul which ‘lives’ by ‘dying’, Vide “Doctrine of the Sword”, 15-8-1920. 2 The letter is demaged here.

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conceivable. It is another matter whether ultimately we accept it or not. For me there is no other way.
From the Hindi original : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladvi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

426. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA
Silence Day, August 21, 1944
CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA,

I do not wish to get work from you beyond your capacity. “Regard me as non-existent” 1 merely means that I shall be in jail or some such situation. There doesn’t seem to be any other way for me. You know yourself the high regard I have for you. So long as I am out, I am with you. I am aware of your faith in me. Chimanlal is the principal manager. His sacrifice is great indeed. You yourself admire his sacrificing his family life and other things. Doesn’t this show that he would not be taking any decision with a view to his own self-interest? I have had a talk with him and in order to save my time he has agreed that if there is any complaint or difference of opinion Jajuji’s 2 decision will be acceptable to all. I hope you will at least agree that when there is a difference of opinion one should not claim that one’s view is always correct. You are right in saying that the work should be divided. But even then sometimes there is a clash of views. In organizations someone’s opinion has to be accepted as final. This should clear all your doubts. However, if there is still anything more you may ask me. You should not get upset at all. Come what may, don’t lose your peace of mind.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4444; also C.W. 5980

1 2

Vide letter to the addressee, “Letter to Krishnachandra”, 7-8-1944. Shrikrishnadas Jaju THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

316

427. LETTER TO NAGINDAS T. MASTER1
August 22, 1944
BHAI NAGINBHAI,

Whatever best you think you should do. I have not thought over it seriously. If you want to do Satyagraha or act against law you must give previous notice. If you do not act [up] to this, it shall not be called a non-violent satyagraha. I am not in favour of [a] mass civil disobedience movement.
From a copy: File No. 3001/H, Commissioner of Police, Bombay

428. LETTER TO ANUPAM N. KAVI
S EVAGRAM ,

August 22, 1944
BHAISHRI ANUPAM,

It is good that you opened my eyes. If you continue to show me my errors in this way I shall correct them. At the moment I feel ashamed neither on account of the Rajkot episode 2 nor the present one. My nature will make me act only in the manner I do.
ANUPAM NANALAL KAVI 129 GREAT WESTERN BUILDINGS BAKEHOUSE LANE F ORT, B OMBAY
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

The Gujarati original is not traceable. On March 3, 1939, Gandhiji had undertaken a fast on “the moral issue of restoring a solemn pact between the Thakore Saheb of Rajkot and its people”. The fast was broken on March 7.
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429. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS1
August 23, 1944
QUESTION : Mahatmaji, you have been during your whole political career a

strong supporter of the integrity of India and an opponent of vivisection. How do you reconcile your present position in giving support to Rajaji’s proposals ?

: There is no change in my views. I am even today as much against vivisection of India as ever before. Rajaji’s formula concedes right of self-determination, but it does not concede Pakistan—an indefinite and undefined expression. As a believer in non-violence I cannot use force in keeping people of a particular area inside India if they want to separate. All I can do is to persuade them.
ANSWER Q. Whatever be the result of your negotiations with Mr. Jinnah, don’t you think that the British statesmen taking advantage of Rajaji’s offer, which has your support, will divide India into two parts and establish two rival federations instead of one and thereby find an additional reason for the continuance of British control ?

A. I do not think the British statesmen will do it, unless they want it themselves and have independently so decided. They know that forty crores of people cannot be kept under permanent bondage. The world forces are moving so fast that whether the British Government will or not India must be free at no distant date. Furthermore, Rajaji’s formula definitely lays down that the exercise of the right of selfdetermination can only accrue after independence. Q. The non-Muslims of the Punjab and of Bengal feel panicky about Rajaji’s formula because they are afraid that under this formula the non-Muslims in the separated areas will be thrown into Pakistan. A. From the reports that I receive it is evident that so far as the Punjab is concerned there is already Pakistan in action. The religious and cultural rights of the non-Muslims they say are denied to them. My informants say that undue restrictions are placed on non-Muslim leaders and their womenfolk cannot even move about freely for fear of molestation. If this is a true picture I don’t think the position will be in any way worse in “Pakistan” if ever it is established. The people of the Punjab and Bengal need entertain no false fears, as I am not going to sell them off. I have no right to do so. No individual can barter away rights of brave people endowed with self1

The questions were asked by Lala Brijlal. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

318

confidence. Today I enjoy the confidence of the people because they believe that their interests are safe in my hands and I cannot betray them. If tomorrow I act against their wishes and interests I shall be stoned by these very people who now trust me. I am rather pained at the nervousness exhibited by the Sikhs who are a brave community. Unless they have lost the chivalrous spirit and bravery which the Gurus infused in them, they need entertain no fear about my coming talks with Mr. Jinnah. I have already explained in my Press statement and I repeat again that nothing will be done by me or us to the prejudice of any section of the Indian population and whatever proposals are agreed to between Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah and myself will be open to confirmation, amendment and rejection by the representatives of various communities and interests. There is no idea of forcing anything on anybody against his will. Q. If Pakistan ever comes into existence don’t you think, Mahatmaji, the existence of a rival independent state in the northwest will be a constant danger to the independence of India ? A. Thirty crores and over of inhabitants living in India have nothing to fear from two crores of Muslims living in the north-west. If the former are so weak as not to be able to defend themselves against two crores in the north-west, then they have no right to ask for independence. I have no doubt in my mind that if India becomes independent, Indians will be able to defend themselves against any outside aggression with the resources at their disposal.
Q. Mahatmaji, all your attempts during the last twenty years or over for bringing about Hindu-Muslim unity have gone in vain and Hindu-Muslim relations today are as much strained as ever before. Don’t you think that India has been put on the wrong track and communal electorates are the bane of the Indian constitution? The Muslim demand for Pakistan and Mr. Jinnah’s propounding of the two-nation theory are the natural sequences of separate electorates and communal reservations and so long as the principle of separate electorates on religious basis continues to disfigure the constitution of our country, there is no chance of the Hindus and Muslims living at peace as members of the great Indian nations ? If you agree with the above contention why don’t you give a right lead to the country by pressing for joint electorates as the basis of political rights ?

A. I do believe that separate electorates have done more harm than good.
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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430. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
S EVAGRAM

August 23, 1944
BHAI JINNAH,

I learn from the newspapers that your fever has gone down. Thank God. But you continue to be weak and the doctors have advised visitors not to insist on appointments just yet. I had your letter yesterday. May Allah grant you early and complete recovery. I don’t want you to hurry for my sake. Only I can fix up my time for other work and for visitors if you inform me the earliest possible date for our meeting. I shall be grateful if you ask someone to intimate this to me through a letter, a telephone call or a telegram.
Your brother,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

431. LETTER TO JHAVERBHAI PATEL
August 23, 1944 1. In the social order of my conception, as much production as possible would be located in the villages, and that too through the power of people’s hands and feet. But this ideal cannot always be realized. We have to accept compromise at some point. Experience alone can decide the limits of such compromise. Every worker can decide the limit for himself; but when he works as a member of some institution he has to submit to the limit accepted by the institution. He helps the institution and accelerates its progress towards its goal if he further narrows the limit accepted by it, as Vinoba has done.1 I cannot go further than this in my reply. But you will perhaps be able, on the basis of this, to formulate in fewer words a policy befitting or supporting my conception. Try to do it and if you frame any such formula, please show it to me. 2. For me, India begins and ends in the villages; that is, what I
Vinoba Bhave had restricted himself to the activities of the Paunar Ashram near Nalwadi.
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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

find possible in one village I would apply to all villages in similar conditions. If I think, and can persuade the institutions concerned to think, about paper-making from this point of view, we might find it easier to reach our goal. If the people of a village can produce energy from some source in the village itself so that they can invent a device whereby, instead of every person making paper, a few hands are able to produce all the paper needed, I would welcome such an invention. If the attempt to produce everything through the power of man’s hands and feet puts such constraints on him that further development of this triple faculties would be completely arrested, I would regard such an arrangement as faulty. By triple faculties I mean those of the body, the mind and the spirit. 3. If I have understood the third question correctly, you will see that it is implied in the second. If you do not, please put it up to me [accordingly]. I have deliberately compressed the language to enable persons like you to solve more easily the problems that arise in the course of their work.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 1357

432. LETTER TO SHAMALDAS GANDHI
S EVAGRAM ,

[Before August 24, 1944] 1
CHI. SHAMALDAS 2 ,

I take it that your letter about Munshiji will yet come. Today I shall write on another subject. Some Gujarati newspapers come here. I hardly read any but others do. One of them is Chhaganlal. He and other readers of the Gujarati newspapers are of the opinion that vulgarity in advertisements displayed in Gujarati papers is frightening. Pyarelalji says that some Urdu and Hindi newspapers surpass Gujarati papers in this respect. Some years ago I had commented on the subject in Harijan. It yielded good results for
From the reference to advertisements in Gujarati newspapers it appears that this was written before the letter to the addressee dated August 24, 1944; vide “Letter to Shamaldas Gandhi”, 24-8-1944 and also “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 24-9-1944. 2 Editor, Vandemataram VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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a time. Later on it became as bad as before. I therefore asked Chhaganlal to give me clippings. One of the clippings of the Gujarati papers he has given me is from Vandemataram. I send it herewith. I have now only a short while to live. God will take as much work from me as He wants. Are these the drumbeats of approaching independence ? Can’t you do without this earning ? Is it only on this condition that you can bring out the newspaper ? Ponder over it and let me know.
From a copy of the Gujarati : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Baladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

433. LETTER TO SITA
S EVAGRAM ,

August 24, 1944
MY DEAR SITA,

What a refreshing thing to hear from you. So you are a practising barrister. I hope with plenty of work! Are you in possession of full health now? I shall certainly read Dr. John’s effort.
Yours,

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

434. LETTER TO SHARDA G. CHOKHAWALA
August 24, 1944
CHI. SHARDA,

I have not heard from you recently. I would say that I have detained you for the sake of your health. I see now that you do not like to come over here. I do not mention here, for want of time, all that I have heard.1 But if your health permits, come over here immediately. You would not be an additional burden wherever I go. I do not know when I shall go to Bombay. But if you wish to meet me there, and then come along with me, you may do so. I hope everyone is all right.
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original: C.W. 10048. Courtesy: Sharda G. Chokhawala
1

Vide “Letter to Chimanlal N. Shah” , 20-8-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

322

435. LETTER TO JIVANJI D. DESAI
S EVAGRAM ,

August 24, 1944
BHAI JIVANJI,

Mridulabehn1 has a good many complaints against Navajivan Karyalaya and the [Gujarat] Vidyapith. She says that when one seeks your help for my work, one always gets a negative reply. The result is, you do not profit from the ideas that occur to workers like her. You attach no value to the help offered by these workers. You behave with absolute confidence in yourself as if whatever you do is beyond criticism or improvement. Since you are involved in these complaints, and since you are one of the founders of these institutions, people generally believe that what the Gandhians do can hardly warrant any criticism. And the Gandhians, on their part, boastfully say to workers like her: ‘Look at our work and our skill in keeping our balance. We are supplying cheap and ennobling literature to the people; and we never sit idle. We have acquired the secret of unremitting work. Now, we do not understand what you critics want to say. You cannot find fault with the work we are doing. We do not work the way you do. It does not suit us. The field for service is very wide. You can do as you please and let us do what we like. So our plea is that we should bear with each other and carry on our work. Moreover, we are always ready to carry out Gandhiji’s wishes.’ Mridulabehn depicts this picture of Navajivan Karyalaya and the Vidyapith and allied institutions. The language is not hers but mine. I have used garish words. Without them I cannot make you see Mridulabehn’s meaning as I understand it. She is sarcastic but not virulent. I have regarded her criticism as friendly. You also should take it in the same spirit and give her whatever help she needs and you can give. She has cited two instances. The reply 2 which I gave to the Government’s allegations has been translated into many languages by the Aundh Press. According to Mridulabehn, a Gujarati translation in simple language and in my style can be rendered truthfully only by those who are called Gandhians. Mridulabehn is particular about this style of language. She tried to
Daughter of Ambalal Sarabhai Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 15-7-1943.
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secure this translation but no one paid any heed. It is getting late and I shall therefore cut my letter short. But this is enough to explain to you what Mridulabehn wants. Please send your reply to me. I gave this letter to Mridulabehn to read. She wants to add two points to it. First, it was my idea to send the material to the Aundh Press. This is right. I thought that due to the scarcity of paper, etc., it would be difficult to sort out things anywhere else. Secondly, she expects mutual understanding between you and her, so that she should not be required to rush to me. This is right so far as it goes. But sometimes it may become unavoidable to come to me. There is no means in the world to bar this road in anticipation.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

436. LETTER TO SHAMALDAS GANDHI
[August 24, 1944] 1
CHI. SHAMALDAS,

I am pleased that you sent your reply by return of post. Congratulations and blessings. I wish you would lead the people along the right path keeping your own hands clean in spite of any number of temptations. Such workers do not starve to death. I am satisfied with the restrictions you have imposed on yourself. I had your telegram too.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1

The source places this letter among those of August 24, 1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

324

437. LETTER TO SATYAVATI
August 24, 1944
CHI. SATYAVATI ,
1

A question has arisen whether I have written in respect of the two points. I think I have. If I am mistaken, here I write again. I don’t believe you can gain anything by violating [the restrictions]2 imposed upon you. If you can, do come over in the cold season wherever I might be. Let us see what happens. I see your letters to Khurshedbehn. Sushilabehn3 arrived here today. Today she told me what was written about you.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

438. LETTER TO TARADEVI NAYYAR
S EVAGRAM ,

August 25, 1944
DEAR SISTER,

I know you want to have Sushila with you for a good many days. Sushila was going there direct. You may as well say that I have made her get down on the way. Her luggage too is lying at Bajajwadi. I need Sushila here. Hence I wish you would let her remain here. What I would like most is all the three of you coming here. Then I shall be able to see you, Pyarelal will be able to see you, and it will be convenient in every way. If you really cannot come, then I shall send Sushila when I conveniently can. Remember that my days are numbered. Hence I would again urge you to come.
Blessings to the three of you,

BAPU
From the Hindi original : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

1 2 3

Granddaughter of Swami Shraddhanand Illegible Sushila Nayyar

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439. LETTER TO R. K. PRABHU
S EVAGRAM ,

August 26, 1944 my dear prabhu, Yours to hand. I have offered what has appeared to me the fairest terms. If the main source of revenue is India, then there is not much in seeking publishers with a foreign fame. I am quite clear that we in India must sell at the lowest price. Will the Oxford Press be satisfied if the Navajivan Trust covers the cost hitherto incurred and let us have what they have printed. I write this subject to confirmation by the Trust. Do not be agitated. Come to see me if necessary.
Yours,

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

440. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA
August 26, 1944
CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA,

I expressed myself in my usual way. What I said1 is for everyone. When the complaints regarding utensils, etc., continue unabated the person in charge of the section takes the blame upon himself. Why should this then upset you? I have even said that if we cannot mend such matters we should either forget about running the Ashram, or accept the rule of living in utmost simplicity. We should not have guests and should be content with whatever activities we are able to carry on. You should have been thoroughly satisfied with what I had said.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4445

1

Vide letter to the addressee, “Letter to Krishnachandra”, 21-8-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

326

441. LETTER TO GANESHSHASTRI JOSHI
August 27, 1944
SHRI VAIDYARAJ JOSHIJI,

Gandhiji has received your letter of the 24th. He has directed me to reply to you. As it is time for postal clearance today I just want to inform you that since yesterday he has been having three to four loose motions a day. He has started using the commode. If you have any other suggestion, please let us know. An examination of the stools indicates that the germs of dysentery are causing the havoc. Yours, SUSHILA NAYYAR From a photostat of the Hindi: C.W. 932. Courtesy: Ganeshshastri Joshi

442. LETTER TO MIRABEHN
S EVAGRAM ,

August 28, 1944
CHI. MIRA 1 ,

Yours of 22nd received yesterday. You are having a bad time. You must take care of yourself. If you feel like coming here, of course you will not hesitate. You will not fear me. I am a changed man I hope. You may look to me to find you Rs. 50,000. Narandas is over head and ears in work. I do not care to trouble him. You can either recall what was received or tell me what is the limit up to which you would spend. Love.
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

1

In Devanagari

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443. LETTER TO G. V. MAVALANKAR
S EVAGRAM ,

August 28, 1944
DADA 1 ,

Raojibhai2 writes to tell me that there has been a terrible calamity in Gujarat. The rains have been excessive. This means that we shall have to start a relief fund. Think over this. Write to me and give details. Let me know if I have to do anything. I read very few newspapers. A single activity takes up all my time.
Blessings from

BAPU DADA MAVALANKAR MAHARASHTRA S OCIETY , E LLIS BRIDGE AHMEDABAD , B. B. & C. I. RLY .
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 1250

444. LETTER TO RAOJIBHAI M. PATEL
August 28, 1944
CHI. RAOJIBHAI,

I have your letter. Keep me informed about the calamity. I have written to Dada and asked him to make inquiries and do what is necessary.3 If my help is required, he may ask for it. Kanjibhai will probably be there. If so, show him this letter. We really miss Sardar. Now all of you must become sardars 4 . I am utterly useless.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI R AOJIBHAI R AVINDRA & C O., P RARTHANA S AMAJ C HARNI R OAD , B OMBAY 4
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 10219. Courtesy: Ravindra R. Patel Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar (1888-1956); Speaker, Legislative Assembly, Bombay; Speaker, Lok Sabha, 1947-56 2 Raojibhai M. Patel 3 Vide the preceding item. 4 Literally, ‘leaders’
1

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445. LETTER TO AMRITLAL T. NANAVATI
August 28, 1944
CHI. AMRITLAL,

Sushilabehn has come and she hunts up the letters addressed to me. In one of them you have asked for a couple of lines from me. If I have not sent them earlier, here they are. Worthy work needs no support. I am already convinced of the value of your work 1 ; why then do you need my support? All of you have a better knowledge of Hindustani than I. Go further ahead.
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI AMRITLAL NANAVATI C HUDA R ANGANARNI KHADKI, K ELAPITH S URAT, B. B. & C. I. RLY .
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10804

446. LETTER TO KANAM GANDHI
[SEVAGRAM , “V IA ” WARDHA , (C.P.)]2

August 28, 1944
CHI. KANAM,

Your letter of August 15 is lying with me. I see that you have tried to improve your handwriting. You should pay still more careful attention to improving it. I will not discuss now the matters you have raised in your letter. I see that much of what you write, you do just for the sake of writing, What you write shows intellectual speculation but not good sense. Good sense is very necessary. Write little, but whatever you write, write after careful deliberation, courteously and with genuine curiosity for knowledge. You are no longer a mere child. I was certainly glad that all of you came here but I was not satisfied with the way you behaved and with what you said. I did not see any courtesy in your behaviour. I saw a good deal of impertinence in your

1 2

Propagation of Hindustani As on the letterhead on which the letter is written

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way of talking. What you said was all superficial. It can be seen even in your letter. If you can get rid of these defects, you will go far.
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original: Mrs. Sumitra Kulkarni Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

447. LETTER TO BALVANTSINHA
August 28, 1944
CHI. BALVANTSINHA,

I have your letter. It is worthy of a sinha1 . Ghanshyamdasji worked according to his capacity and so did Swami. The thing is that we should rest content with whatever anyone offers us or else there is only disappointment in store for us. Is it a small thing that Satis Babu appreciated your merits much more than others? There will never be a cause for disappointment if you work with detachment. We should not sit in judgment on others.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 1946

448. TELEGRAM TO G. V. MAVALANKAR
August 29, 1944
IF GUJARAT FUND, FLOOD FLOOD YOU DISTRESS SITUATION SHOULD COLLECTION. DEMANDS SUSPEND AND CESSATION DEVOTE KASTURBA YOURSELF

BAPU
Sansmarano , p. 156

1

‘Sinha’ means a lion. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

330

449. A WORD FOR THE READER1
AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION 2

Who can accept the propriety of my writing a preface for this venture? But if by doing so, I can help fill the purse for the poor, why need I hesitate? I understand this is not meant to be a presentation volume. The profit from its sale will add to the purse to be presented to me for Daridranarayana. A few words from me by way of a foreword will, they argue, help the sale. This is enough temptation for me. If the book correctly expresses my views on truth and non-violence and kindred matters I am sure its circulation will do good. Looking at the list of contributors3 , I feel they must have done justice to what I stand for.
M. K. GANDHI S EVAGRAM ,

August 29, 1944
From a facsimile: Mahatma, Vol. VI, facing p. 337

450. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
August 29, 1944
BHAI JINNAH,

I have your letter. I got neither a telegram nor a letter by the return of post. That made me impatient and I sent the telegram. Afterwards I got your reply. Thanks. I am glad to learn that you are keeping well. I have fixed my engagements up to the 7th September. I have kept myself free after that date. Hence I can present myself on or after the 9th, whenever you call me.
Yours,

M. K. GANDHI
From the Gujarati original: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal Gandhiji drafted this in Gujarati for a souvenir volume Gandhiji -His Life and Work which was to be published on his 75th birthday. 2 This is in Gandhiji’s hand. 3 Which among others included Albert Einstein, Pearl S. Buck, Verrier Elwin, F. R. Moraes, Marjorie Sykes, J. B. Kripalani, Mahadev Desai, S. A. Brelvi, Maurice Frydman, G. A. Natesan and R. K. Prabhu with an introduction by Jawaharlal Nehru VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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451. NOTE TO CHIMANLAL N. SHAH
August 29, 1944 The foregoing is not enough for my satisfaction. Nor should you be satisfied with this. We should not be so easily satisfied.
BAPU

[PS.] About Munnalal’s objection, I feel that meetings of the permanent ashramites should be called from time to time and a record should be kept of the suggestions made and decisions taken. Is there anything impractical in this?
BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10604

452. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM
S EVAGRAM ,

August 29, 1944
DAUGHTER AMTUL SALAAM,

In my letter of yesterday I forgot to answer a question of yours. Bhagirathji writes to me that the work will not be held up for lack of funds. Everything is fine. Parnerkar is all right.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 482

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

453. LETTER TO V. V. NENE
August 29, 1944
BHAI NENE,

I have your letter. I had no idea that I would be arrested so soon, if at all. I had planned a programme but before it could be released I was arrested. 1 But there were to be negotiations first, isn’t it? I cannot say whether I would have met Jinnah Saheb or not.
Yours,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

454. LETTER TO DR. JAYADEV KULKARNI
August 29, 1944
BHAI KULKARNI,

The same question has been raised by others too. I have answered it. It is impossible for me to be acquainted with all the circumstances. Therefore it is almost impossible for me to answer questions individually. I have, of course, laid down the general rule.
Yours,

M. K. GANDHI DR. J AYADEV KULKARNI 577 M ATHGALI BELGAUM
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1

The reference is to the Quit India movement of 1942.

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455. LETTER TO B. L. RALLIA RAM
August 29, 1944
BHAI RALLIA RAMJI,

Although my reply is delayed, this much I can say with certainty that neither of us will take any step to the detriment of the interests of others.
Yours,

M. K. GANDHI R EV . B. L. RALLIA R AM OFFICE OF THE HONORARY S ECRETARY C/ O Y. M. C. A., L AHORE
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

456. LETTER TO BHAGIRATH KANODIA
S EVAGRAM ,

August 29, 1944
BHAI BHAGIRATH,

Your letter astonishes me. Rajaji can never dupe me. Those who talk thus understand neither Rajaji nor me. Those who say such things would do better to put it in writing. I have never said anything of the kind.
Blessings from

BAPU BHAGIRATHJI KANODIA 8 R OYAL EXCHANGE P LACE C ALCUTTA
From a copy of the Hindi : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

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457. MESSAGE FOR ALL-INDIA STUDENTS’ FEDERATION1
WARDHAGANJ,

August 30, 1944 Conduct your proceedings in your mother tongue, in the national language or if necessary in all the languages of India, but not in a foreign language. And for the sake of Daridranarayana, do spin for at least half an hour every day. If you cannot do these two things kindly return this to me.
The Bombay Chronicle, 2-9-1944, and The Hindu, 1-9-1944

458. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
August 31, 1944 I have seen an Orient Press report to the effect that I have consented to receive the salute of Khaksars on my arrival in Bombay. I may say that I have given no such consent. I am going to Bombay as an individual. I can, therefore, receive no salute. I invite individuals and organizations to devote themselves to silently praying that we may both be wisely guided by the Almighty. I would ask then to avoid all demonstrations. Let the leaders of all communities devise ways and means of cultivating friendly relations with one another. The Hitavada, 1-9-1944

459. LETTER TO V. S. SRINIVASA SASTRI
SEVAGRAM, WARDHA, C.P., August 31, 1944
MY DEAR BELOVED BROTHER,

I had your letter. I wanted to write immediately on receiving it. But overwhelming work delayed my reply till now. I have received all you have been saying. My whole heart goes out to you in your grief.
Lalu Shah, Joint Secretary of the Federation, met Gandhiji to take a message from him to the Students’ Conference to be held on September 2 and 3 in Bombay and discussed with him questions regarding the constructive programme and other aspects of the students’ movement. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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335

But I would beseech you to bear it. You will find in the end that we have not betrayed the country. A society based on non-violence cannot be built except With the free and willing consent of all its component parts. I plead for trust. You should not despair of me. With love,
Yours,

LITTLE BROTHER
T. R. Venkatarama Sastri Papers. Courtesy: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

460. LETTER TO HOOTEN
August 31, 1944
DEAR COL. HOOTEN,

Many thanks for your kind letter. How can I forget you? I recall our many cordial chats about medical work in villages. About the part I have played during this terrible world crisis, my conscience is absolutely clear. With kind regards,
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI C OL . H OOTEN EUROPE HOTEL , G ERARDS C ROSS BUCKS, E NGLAND
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

461. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
August 31, 1944
BHAI JINNAH,

I have your telegram. Thanks. I had written a letter to you on the 29th. You must have got it. As mentioned in it I have already fixed up appointments with various people up to the 7th. I can, therefore, start from here on 8th September at the earliest and reach there on the 9th. I hope the day will suit you. If it does, kindly let me know.
Yours,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

336

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462. LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI
August 31, 1944
CHI. NARANDAS,

A fund of Rs. 75 lakhs is being collected1 . Let its fate be what it will. I do not know how much from it will be made available to you. You who are at the root of this collection should however carry on with your work in your own manner. This means that you should be able to collect money according to your plan. Those who have been always helping you for the Rentia Baras 2 purse should understand this. And if they do, they should send you their contributions this time also as they have been doing in the past. Whenever you feel that such donors require a word from me, you may use this letter. It would certainly pain me if the purpose of the Kasturba Fund is misunderstood and in consequence further expansion of your work is obstructed. I will regard the Fund as having been put to good use only if its work, like your work, spreads throughout the country.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8610. Courtesy: Narandas Gandhi

463. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM
S EVAGRAM ,

August 31, 1944
DEAR DAUGHTER AMTUL SALAAM,

Seven annas had to be paid for your unstamped letter. Why are you in such a great hurry? Such waste is not a sign of our poverty. I do not remember that I failed to address you as ‘Daughter’. I allowed the pen free play. I do not see any difference between ‘Daughter’ and ‘Chi’. It might have made some difference if I had written ‘Behn’. But is there any cure for suspicion? You can do any work without seeking my consent. Then the
For the Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Bhadrapad Vad 12, Gandhiji’s birthday according to the Vikram calendar, which was observed as spinning day
2 1

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question of my displeasure will not arise at all. When you had asked me earlier, I had told you what was proper work for you. The work which you are doing covers the Hindu-Muslim problem too. I waited for the Maulvi you mention. But he never turned up. It was clear you had made a mistake. In spite of it, I had sent word to the Maulvi that he could certainly come. You must have received the letter I sent through Bhagirathji. You can certainly draw Rs. 75 a month for your expenses. Do not ask your brothers for it. If they send anything of their own accord, pass it on to the Ashram.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 483

464. LETTER TO LILAVATI ASAR
August 31,1944
CHI. LILAVATI,

I have your letter. You did a good thing in passing on Ba’s diary for Sushilabehn. I have held it up with me. I want to read it and may even have to make use of it. Sushilabehn says that it has been given as a trust to her. I told her that entrusting it to me would be as good as entrusting it to her. What you write about tile case there is terrible, but such things keep happening. It will be enough if you learn to be alert. More if and when we meet. Find some time, if you can, to meet Mamasaheb1 .
Blessings from

BAPU S MT. L ILAVATIBEHN UDESHI G. S. M EDICAL C OLLEGE , L ADY S TUDENTS ’ HOSTEL P AREL, G.I.P. [RLY .], B OMBAY
From a photostat of the Gujarati: (C.W. 10215. Courtesy: Lilavati Asar

1

V. L. Phadke THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

338

465. LETTER TO SUCHAN
[August 1944] 1
DEAR SUCHAN,

Not only our country but all countries can go on for ever with the help of hand-labour. My swadeshi excludes mill-cloth. Mills can take the country downhill. You should look up the literature on this subject.
Yours,

BAPU P. R. C OLLEGE C OCANADA
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

466. NOTE TO DEVPRAKASH NAYYAR
[August 1944] 2 After discussing everything with Aryanayakum do what you think best.
3

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Hindi: Documents relating to Gandhiji. Courtesy: National Archives of India

467. TELEGRAM TO M. A. JINNAH
S EVAGRAM ,

September 1, 1944
QUAID-E-AZAM JINNAH MOUNT P LEASANT R OAD BOMBAY
YOUR NINTH. WIRE 4 . THANKS. HOPING REACH YOU FOUR O’CLOCK

GANDHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal The letter is placed among those of August 1944. The note is written on a letter of August 1944. 3 E. W. Aryanayakum, Secretary, Hindustani Talimi Sangh 4 Dated August 30, saying that September 7 or any day thereafter would suit the addressee for meeting Gandhiji
2 1

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468. LETTER TO B. G. KHER
September 1, 1944
BHAI BALASAHEB ,
1

Bhai Lalubhai had brought the resolution drafted by students for the students’ conference. His sincere entreaty created a good impression on me. He pressed me hard and somehow exacted a message 2 also. That message is not a message but an invitation to bind the students. I was not very willing to do even that much, nor did I have the time. I did not like the resolution. Pyarelal offered and tried to shorten it. His draft was fairly good but I was not satisfied. He does not get a minute to spare. After the arrival of the Bishop of Rangoon his work has increased a lot. I, therefore, took up the drafting of the resolution in my own hand. I did this on the spur of the moment, but the work was too much. Whatever I have done is enclosed herewith.3 It seems to me that I have compressed a great deal in a short space, multum in parvo. But persons with superficial knowledge of a subject sometimes suffer from such a delusion and are pleased with themselves. I would not be surprised if that is what has happened in the case of this draft, for I have finished it somehow in intervals snatched from a busy schedule. You may, therefore, add anything to or remove anything from the draft. You need not fear that I would feel offended. He is a true co-worker who finds out the shortcomings of his colleague and helps him to correct them in a friendly spirit. The interview with the Bishop shaped very well. The result lies in the hands of God. I hope your study of Urdu is going on. If it was discontinued owing to pressure of work, please resume it. Drop by drop fills the ocean. I am reaching Bombay on the 9th to meet the Quaid-e-Azam. I hope you will have no difficulty in reading and understanding this letter.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 2772
1 2

Premier of Bombay, 1937 to 1939 Vide “Message for All-India Students Federation”, 30-8-1944. 3 The draft resolution is not available.

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469. LETTER TO MANGALDAS PAKVASA
September 1, 1944
BHAI MANGALDAS ,
1

I got your letter and your note. Both are useful. I hope to reach there on the 9th. I shall return at the earliest on the 10th. If you can get time while I am there, please do come and see me. Otherwise write to me at Sevagram and ask for power of attorney of any kind you need. It is a matter of satisfaction that your health is improving, though slowly.
Blessings from

BAPU MANGALDAS P AKVASA 29 DUNGARSINH R OAD MALABAR HILL BOMBAY
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 4687. Courtesy: Mangaldas Pakvasa

470. SPEECH AT A. I. S. A. MEETING-I
S EVAGRAM ,

September 1, 1944 More than two years have passed since we last met. I have come to know a little, that is to say, not the whole of what happened outside [the jail] during these two years. It seemed as though one age had succeeded another, bringing in the process trouble for the whole of India. How could the Charkha Sangh have escaped it? Today, we have once again come together under these circumstances but whatever little work we might yet be able to do would not be enough for us. A large amount of the Charkha Sangh property has either been destroyed or is in Government custody. Besides, many of our colleagues could not be among us today. Here, I am not talking of Congressmen but of those who were especially helpful in the Sangh work and are its trustees. But I have realized that even with these few we can carry on the Sangh work. We are sure of
1

President, Legislative Council, Bombay, 1937-47

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their ability to do it. I have thought a great deal over the subject of khadi during my detention. I shall briefly state the conclusions I have arrived at. The most important discovery I made was that the foundation of the A.I.S.A. was so weak that the Association could be easily wiped out of existence. It had not taken root in the life of the people. The Government could destroy it by imprisoning its leaders. Though some of its activities continued, I saw clearly that the Government could exterminate it at its pleasure. That is to say, my belief that the movement for the revival of the spinning-wheel was indestructible, whatever the circumstances, had been dashed to the ground. The work had not been organized on an imperishable basis. I am not a man to accept defeat easily but it was in the jail that I discovered that we live at Government’s mercy and it hurts me. If it were in my power I would choose to live at no one’s mercy except God’s. True, it is Divine dispensation that no man may live without the goodwill of his fellow-beings but I am not talking of such help. My activities are founded on my own thinking. The Charkha Sangh was also founded on the same principles. In South Africa, I discovered that if India was to survive and progress non-violently, it could only be through the charkha—the charkha alone can be a symbol of non-violence. We may draw strength from other symbols as well but such strength may not lead to the world’s well-being. I realized in jail that there was something wrong in our method of khadi work, which must needs be amended. I had asked India to carry on spinning. I knew how this spinning work was to be carried on. But I did not lay the necessary stress on the requisite outlook and the spirit which was to underlie it. I looked at it from its immediate practical aspect. All my co-workers also laid stress on this practical side. So I suffered it, and also lent my helping hand to it. We have gone far in that direction. But today I cannot continue to ask people to spin in that manner. I contemplated how to work in the future. I even thought of disbanding the Sangh on my own and distributing its property and funds among the people. I saw that our work would be incomplete, so long as we did not carry the message of the charkha to every home. That, I thought, accounted for our being far from our ideal. There are seven lakh villages in India. Thousands of them do not even know what the charkha is. This is our fault and it is because of this fault that 342
THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

we have failed to put khadi work on a sound basis. You must ponder over it. All the thought and study I have been giving to this subject lately make me feel that the work would have to be decentralized if it is to spread far and wide and take permanent root. The above line of thought led to the idea of decentralization and I thought it would be very good indeed if its worth could be proved. I realize that the difficulties in my way are many but then hardly anyone has devoted as much thought and effort to the charkha as I have. This is a rather tall claim and it also smacks of pride, but not to mention it on the right occasion would be false modesty. In the jail too I had no other thought but the charkha. The strength behind all my activities including civil disobedience is derived wholly from the charkha to which I have devoted most of my energy and funds. Most of the ten million rupees of the Tilak Swaraj Fund was also used up for the spinning activity. This brought about a spate of charges against me but I regard them as so many bouquets. For whatever I did, I did after due deliberation and with full knowledge of its consequences. I did not deceive anyone. Nothing was spent on the charkha without convincing the public about it. That is how this institution came into being. After much reflection and study I have arrived at the definite conclusion that, however intense, my sadhana 1 of the charkha has remained imperfect and I must admit that my study too has not been as thorough as it ought to have been. Today, my words have a greater force because I can see these things more clearly. Besides the Charkha Sangh members, as well as sympathizers and those who share my feelings, today’s gathering includes some representatives of the public also. Had we only directed the strength the country displayed during the movement along the right channels, we could have shown how much public support we had. But we failed to do so. The fault is not yours but mine and when I say all this, it is not so much to blame you, as to whip up your intelligence and my own. We plied the charkha but mechanically, not intelligently. Had you yourselves appreciated the full significance of the charkha, you would have given it the same importance as I do. It also has political
1

Spiritual discipline

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significance. It has however no place in the dishonest game of politics. More than any other thing it is the charkha that stands for clean, noble politics. If there is [no] truth in this statement, how can we claim swaraj through the charkha? It certainly does not mean that as soon as the yarn snaps swaraj comes to nought. It is often alleged that workers of the A.I.S.A. and the A.I.V.I.A., if not Gandhiites in general, are unintelligent and lifeless. People repose trust in them. But they (the Gandhiites) are not able to tell the people what exactly are the problems facing the country and how our programme is calculated to resolve these problems and take us to our goal. On the other hand, Marxian literature is fast increasing in the country and Gandhiites are not able to resist the impact of these external forces. We say that we are devoted to non-violence. If so, we must reveal in our lives the force of non-violence. Unless we can reveal its force in our own lives, we will not be true Gandhiites. In fact, there is no such thing as Gandhism. If anything, it is non-violence that deserves to be called an ideology. Every member of the Charkha Sangh should be a living witness of non-violence. If he is a devotee of non-violence or Gandhism, he must be a live wire. Today Gandhism is a word of reproach. It no more connotes something virtuous or praiseworthy. Let us admit we have failed to make non-violence a part of our being. Otherwise we would find the charkha established in every village. I confess that I have failed. Had I been an adept in this art, I would have produced a concrete pattern of reconstructed village life in Sevagram at any rate. But today even if I put the charkha in the hands of the people of Sevagram they do not accept it. We teach them how to use it, tempt them by providing them with work, pay them more wages and serve them in various ways, yet all to little purpose. But my faith in the charkha is unshakable even when I have failed as President of the Sangh. That is why I said that we should admit that we have failed to do what we ought to have done. It is not due to want of sacrifice in us. Amongst us are men and women who have sacrificed much. My head bends low before them. When I think of each of them my heart is deeply moved. My conscience tells me that a country which abounds in persons instilled with such a spirit of sacrifice can never fail. Yet in spite of this sacrifice, we have not yet made our country free. Freedom is coming, perhaps sooner than we believe. But it does 344
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not satisfy me. I even question my own share in it and then console myself with the thought that we have at least tried our best. I do not hold anybody guilty. I am only pointing to the situation as it is. Correct assessment of a situation is also a sign of intelligence. We should not feel satisfied with what we have done. We have tried our best, no doubt. But had we been able to develop the work of the Sangh according to the standard we had set before ourselves, there will not be the despair amongst us which we see today. In that case we would have accomplished forthwith a non-violent swaraj. I lay before you a hard prescription. If you are prepared for it, well and good. But it should not be accepted in ignorance, nor out of foolhardiness. You should examine it thoroughly. If you agree with me you would wind up the A.I.S.A. and distribute all its property and assets among its workers for carrying on the work. The Sangh need not keep even a pice for future activities. All of us should be convinced that the charkha is the symbol of non-violent economic self-sufficiency. If we and the people grasp this significance of the charkha not a pice need be spent on propaganda for the charkha. There would then be no reason to fear Government ordinances either. Nor need we look to the rich for alms. We shall without effort become the centre of hope, and the people will come to us of their own accord. They will not go elsewhere to seek work. Every village will become the nerve-centre of independent India. India will then not be known by her cities like Bombay and Calcutta, but by her 400 millions inhabiting the seven lakhs of villages. The problems of Hindu-Muslim differences, untouchability, conflicts, misunderstandings and rivalries will all melt away. This is the real function of the Sangh. We have to live and die for it. You will argue it is a very big task requiring much intelligence. I tell you that this cannot be acquired by mere study in libraries. We have to develop it by the labour of our hands. This is the idea underlying the Nayee Talim according to which the intellect is developed by the effort put forth by the hands and feet. Books need not be burnt but their importance is only secondary. The charkha has to rank first of all. In the same manner the pursuit of the charkha must become the mainspring of manifold other activities like village industries, Nayee Talim, etc. If we are able to adopt the charkha intelligently we can revive the entire economic life of our villages once more. But we can progress only as far as the strength of our

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members takes us. I do not wish to create a fresh universe, like Vishwamitra, who wanted to take Trishanku to heaven but the poor fellow remained suspended half way. Therefore, we have to work within the limits of our strength with our feet on the hard earth. If we ourselves disband the Sangh the Government will have little left to attach. They could surely not destroy us all, for our strength would have gone up to forty crores. If they want to liquidate us we shall submit to it cheerfully. And what does it matter if a few million among us are done away with? An ocean does not dry up if a few drops evaporate. Nothing can diminish its greatness. Similarly, the more we are suppressed, the more powerful we shall grow. The only condition is that we must recognize the power of non-violence. We must carry on untiring research on the charkha. No doubt we have put in a lot of effort for the charkha and made some improvements in it. We have also manufactured scores of charkhas but now we have to produce an expert, a shastri who is well-versed in the manufacture of machines. We should like him to devise such charkhas as can yield more and better quality of yarn. But even if we fail to find such an expert, I am not going to accept defeat. I will prove my point with the help of reasoning. We should have undying faith in the charkha. When faith materializes it manifests itself through reason. It is not self-luminous. For when faith transcends its bounds and finds another medium to express itself it shines forth all the more. Faith is never lost; in fact it grows and sharpens the intellect. And then faith can challenge reason. It is no use merely making speeches or giving lectures; we must make scientific experiments and declare from the house-tops the results of our experiments. We have been suppressed and we have to work our way up. Let us therefore do away with mutual recriminations, disabuse our minds of any reservations, iron out all the differences and thus simplify our work. We should repose full confidence in our representatives and be frank. We are votaries of truth and should, therefore, not be afraid of speaking the whole truth, for the greater the fear in our hearts, the less we shall be able to speak the truth. That is why the Gita gives the pride of place to fearlessness. I am telling you this on the strength of my inner experience. We should be fearless and not hide anything. Selfishness has already impeded our progress and unless we get rid of it, we would not be able to organize our strength and would thus prove traitors to Mother India. [From Hindi]
Charkha Sanghka Navasamskaran, pp.

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471. SPEECH AT A.I.S.A. MEETING-II
S EVAGRAM ,

September 2, 1944 Yesterday, I was a little hasty while talking to you. Some work was indeed done but later I kept thinking over it. I had undertaken the stupendous task of preparing a draft for you. I even entered silence for the purpose. After much reflection last night and this morning I have prepared a draft which I shall now read out for your consideration. 1. The village is the centre for the charkha, and the Charkha Sangh can realize its highest ambitions only when its work is decentralized in the villages. Keeping this in view, this meeting of the A. I. S. A. resolves that the following changes be implemented in its present methods of work: (a) The largest number of workers whose one passion is the charkha and whom the A. I. S. A. approves should go to the villages. (b) The present sales-depots and production-centres should be curtailed. (c) Training institutions should be developed and teaching courses enlarged. (d) The Sangh should permit any province or district which wants to be independent and self-sufficient to become so. 2. A Standing Committee composed of the members of the A.I.S.A., A.I.V.I.A. and the Hindustani Talimi Sangh should be formed in order to issue necessary directions in the light of the new ideology. The three institutions must realize that their task is to achieve perfect non-violence. Complete swaraj will follow in its wake. The three institutions must be so equipped that the entire government machinery should depend upon them and not vice versa. This means the workers of these three bodies should attain in some measure the quality of a sthitaprajna1 . They must be men of secure understanding. If this is not possible we should stop making tall claims for the charkha. We shall have to lower our ideal and plan our work accordingly. This united body composed, as suggested above, of members of
1

Bhagavad Gita, II, 54-72

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the three Sanghs should so regularize the constructive work that all political activity will be dependent on it. Today our condition is most pitiable. Some workers of the A. I. S. A. complained to me that they do not receive any help from Congressmen. The experience of the last two years is also before us. During my detention, I read a lot of newspapers and was aware of the wretchedness that was apparent in our workers. Now after talking to them it has all become very clear to me. In the jail, I read all the Communist literature [I could get]. It contained nothing new for me. Whenever Maulana Hasrat Mohani visited the Ashram, we used to spend the day in such discussions. Today the Socialists have a number of sincere workers holding university degrees. Those among them who are neutral come to me and ask me to put my philosophy and my faith before the world. I have placed before the world a novel idea which, although it has no long history of its own, represents my achievement based On forty years’ experience. We must admit that we have few degree-holders among us. We have neither much money nor any comparable efficiency. I realize all these difficulties but undaunted I made my way through them cheerfully for seventy-five years. I hope you will be equally fearless. We can make intelligent progress along our chosen path and face the challenge coming our way only if we have this courage. What indicates light is its progressive dispelling of darkness. Absence of light is darkness. It has been the law of the world that light spreads. Darkness then has nowhere to go but cease to be. That is the way of non-violence too. My deep-rooted faith in non-violence gives me the courage to fear nothing—and in spite of impediments my progress has not stopped. This manifestation of non-violence will be clear to you only after my death, not before it. We have been looking up to the Congress because we have been crippled so far. It is true that with the Congress help, our work can be carried on, but then it was I who had introduced the Charkha Sangh Resolution1 in the Congress realizing that the Sangh was to continue
1 The Resolution, passed on September 22, 1925, inter alia, read: “It is resolved that the Congress do now take up and carry on all such political work as may be necessary in the interests of the country, and for this purpose do employ the whole

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longer. But it is our fault that we have not won the confidence of Congressmen sufficiently to make them come to us to help them in village work. If we were capable of doing this, which Congressmen would dare remain outside the Sangh? Nay, the Congress and the Sangh would then have felt one with each other, and the one would have acted as a supplement to the other, i.e., the Sangh would have carried out the Congress constructive programme, and the Congress would have fought the Government in the legislatures. There would then have been no antagonism between the two. Therefore, we have to look at the whole thing from a new angle and a new order of priorities. I have put nothing new before you. It would indeed be a great achievement if you could prove the power of the charkha through your own lives. Today, we are in a strange situation. I have no doubt at all that we have failed to realize the significance of the charkha only because of the inadequate manner in which we have done our khadi work. It cannot be denied that believers in big industry and industrialization are also the friends of India. But the difference between them and me is like that between the two poles. Citydwellers might well follow those who advocate mill production. But if you of the countryside were, even by mistake or oversight, to take to it, the picture of India would be thoroughly changed. Her face would then be altered beyond recognition. Thereby hundreds of millions of our poor people will meet their end while only a few millions will survive. I do aspire to live for 125 years. But I cannot bear the sight of a crore of people living after reducing to ashes 39 crores. What I have tried to do is to serve the most oppressed and the handicapped, and to keep pace with them. It has been our endeavour to do this work through khadi during these years. Not many years ago we began. If you feel that no changes are desirable, well and good, but I will not accept defeat. You should come to a decision after weighing all the pros and of the machinery and funds of the Congress, save and except such funds and assets as are specially earmarked and belong to the All-India Khaddar Board and Provincial Khaddar Boards, which shall be handed over with all existing financial obligations to the All-India Spinners’ Association started by Mahatma Gandhi as an integral part of the Congress organization, but with independent existence and full powers to administer these and other funds for the fulfilment of its object.” For Gandhiji’s speech introducing the Resolution, vide “Speech at A.I.C.C. Meeting, Patna”, 22-91925. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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cons. Who knows when it will be possible for so many of us to meet again? I have laid my heart open before you. If you believe that the charkha is the supreme symbol of our objective and that we have not been able to achieve our objective by the present methods then our mode of working must needs be changed. I do not mean to say that all we did so far was absolutely wrong. Whatever we did, we did with devotion to truth. And that is no small matter. Even with our limited funds, we were able to distribute among our village brethren more than four and a half crores of rupees up to date. The amount we spent in organizing this work was in comparison little. Yet from the standpoint of our objective, the work is not up to the standard. We must not allow ourselves to be weighed down by the commercial aspect of our work. Jawaharlal has sent me a book describing the achievements of the co-operative movement in China. That movement, it seems to me, is nothing compared with what we are doing here. But judged by our own objective we have done little, very little. We have not yet reached the seven hundred thousand villages. We have done only one per cent of what the mills have done. Then what is there to be proud of? That is why I say that if we are not prepared to change our methods we shall be reduced to a mere philanthropic institution. I shall not be ashamed of it. If, on the other hand, we want to uphold our claim for khadi we shall have to live up to it. We should not deceive the public. We must think out ways and means of increasing our strength. If in seeking to change our mode of work you agree that it would be well to close the A.I.S.A. in its present form, rest assured that it would add to your strength. [From Hindi]
Charkha Sanghka Navasamskaran, pp. 9-14

472. LETTER TO METROPOLITAN OF CALCUTTA
S EVAGRAM ,

September 3, 1944
DEAREST FRIEND,

It is now 3.30 a.m. I must write now or the work before me may crowd out this note. I have your clear letter written during your tour in the villages. I 350
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know you will believe me when I tell you that in all I have written about the rulers, I have written as I have felt and never with evil intention. I have never hidden my own people’s failings or errors. I hope I shall never forfeit your friendship. I had a rare time with the Bishop of Rangoon and his chaplain.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI THE METROPOLITAN BISHOP HOUSE C ALCUTTA
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

473. LETTER TO AMRIT KAUR
September 3, 1944
CHI. AMRIT,
1

I have got up very early to write a few important letters. This is one of them. The A. I. S. A. meeting leaves me little leisure during the day. I read no newspapers and very little correspondence. The marvel is I am keeping well in spite of the stress. How I wish you were here. But God’s will be done and it is the best that can happen. No extension to the hospital can be made today. Everything is uncertain and things are expensive. Let your money go to the contemplated Mahadev Memorial Fund. The use may be decided afterwards. You should make your suggestion. Do not worry about the women’s conference. Everything is in the melting pot. Sushila is getting on. Mrs. Swaminathan2 and Mrs. Menon, her relative, are here. Have lovely khadi from Beryl and of course your annual shawls. It has struck four and I must not tarry long with you. Love from us all.
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] You must keep well and not fret or be impatient.
From the original: C.W. 4147. Courtesy: Amrit Kaur. Also G.N. 7782

1 2

The superscription and the subscription are in Devanagari script. Ammu Swaminathan

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474. TELEGRAM TO G. V. MAVALANKAR
September 3, 1944
YOUR YOUR TO GOLDEN CONSCIENCE. LETTER. ASSOCIATION DISTRESSED RULE IS RULE WITH PEOPLE, IS NON-CO-OPERATION, BRINGS NOT YOUR YOU NEED FEARLESSLY BUT REAL IF RELIEF HESITATE. OWN AUTHORITIES FOLLOW

Sansmarano , p. 158

475. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
September 3, 1944 Reference has been made to me from Gujarat1 as to the association by Congressmen with the authorities in relieving distress which has overtaken areas through devastating floods. The Congress, as an organization, is not functioning. The general rule is non-co-operation, while the Government is warring against the Congress. There should be no hesitation about individuals associating, if effective relief can thereby be given to the distressed people. Every case should be judged on its own merits. The test should be, is any initiative and responsibility left with the individuals? The golden rule is to follow fearlessly one’s own judgment even at the risk of its proving erroneous. The Hindu, 5-9-1944

According to The Bombay Chronicle, 7-9-1944, Kanaiyalal Desai, President, Surat District Congress Committee, and President, Gujarat Central Congress Workers’ Committee, had “three hours’ discussion with Gandhiji on the present political situation and relief work in Gujarat. . . . Gandhiji had also made it clear that Congressmen in no circumstances should resort to mass civil disobedience.”

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476. LETTER TO ABDUL MAJID KHAN
September 3, 1944
MY DEAR KHWAJA,

Or shall I call you Khwaja Saheb and be formal? Minister Nurie has broken his journey to tell me about his talks with you and generally about your Majlis. He says you are angry with me for having neglected you. What can be the meaning of my neglecting you? When heart speaks to heart, there is no occasion for speaking. I have been following your writings. Surely you will not want me to waste my time telling you how well you were doing your work !!! All I want to assure you about is that I shall not be faithless to you or the Majlis or Islam. Now do say you are not angry. How are you keeping? Love.
Yours,

BAPU ABDUL MAJID KHAN S AHEB GANDHI ASHRAM C HARKHA S ANGH KHADDAR BHANDAR ALLAHABAD
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

477. LETTER TO CHIMANLAL N. SHAH
September 3, 1944
CHI. CHIMANLAL,

Please give Bhai Baburam1 the fare and food, and also Rs. 10 in addition.
BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10611

1

An inmate of the Ashram who worked under Bharatanand (Maurice Frydman)

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478. SPEECH AT A. I. S. A. MEETING—III
S EVAGRAM ,

September 3, 1944 Today, I will try to explain my thoughts to you more clearly and present them to you in a different frame from what I have said during the last two days. Our work had a very humble beginning. When I started khadi I had with me, apart from Maganlalbhai 1 and others who had elected to live and die with me, Vithaldasbhai2 and a few sisters. Vithaldas was, at that time, fighting for the labourers, but [at my call] he gave up his shop and joined me in this unremunerative work. We had then not the faintest idea as to what the future had in store for us. We have travelled a long way since then and today about two crores of people have come under the influence of the charkha. So far, we have maintained that the charkha has the power to bring us freedom. With its help we have been able to provide the village people with a large amount of money. But can we still hold, as we have always maintained, that swaraj is impossible without the charkha? So long as we do not substantiate this claim the charkha is really no more than a measure of relief, to which we turn because we can do nothing else about it. It would not then be the means of our salvation. Secondly, we have failed to carry our message to the crores of our people. They have neither any knowledge of what the charkha can do for them nor even the necessary curiosity for it. The Congress did accept the charkha. But did it do so willingly? No, it tolerates the charkha simply for my sake. The Socialists ridicule it outright. They have spoken and written much against it. We have no clear or convincing reply to offer to them. How I wish I could convince them that the charkha is the key to swaraj! I have not been able to justify the claim all these years. Now for my third point: non-violence is not something of the other world. If it is, I have no use for it. I am of the earth and if non-violence is something really worth while I want to realize it here on this earth while I am still alive. The non-violence I want is one which the masses can follow in practice. And how else can it be
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realized except in a society which has compassion and other similar virtues as its characteristics? If you go to the house of one who has use for violence you will find his drawing-room decorated with tigers’ skins, deers’ horns, swords, guns and such like. I have been to the Viceregal Lodge, I also saw Mussolini. In the houses of both I found arms hanging on the walls. I was given a salute with arms, a symbol of violence. Just as arms symbolize violence the charkha symbolizes nonviolence, in the sense that we can most directly realize non-violence through it. But it cannot symbolize non-violence so long as we do not work in accordance with its spirit. The sword in Mussolini’s hall seemed to say ‘Touch me and I will cut you.’ It gave a vivid picture of violence. It seemed to ask you to touch it and realize its power. So also we must illustrate the power of the charkha so that a mere look at it may speak to us about non-violence. .But we are bankrupt today. What is our answer to the Socialists? They complain that we have been harping on the charkha for years and yet we have achieved nothing. The charkha was there during Muslim rule also. Dacca was famous for its muslin. The charkha then was a symbol of poverty and not of non-violence. The kings took forced labour from women and depressed classes. The same was later repeated by the East India Company. Kautilya 1 mentions in his Arthashastra the existence of such forced labour. For ages the charkha was thus a symbol of violence and the use of force and compulsion. The spinner got but a handful of grain or two small coins, while ladies of the court went about luxuriously clad in the finest of muslins, the product of exploited labour. As against this, I have presented the charkha to you as a symbol of non-violence. If I did not make it clear to you so far, it was my mistake. You know I am among the maimed and can move but slowly. Yet I do believe that the work done so far has not been a waste. I shall now pass to my fourth point. We have not yet proved that there can be no swaraj without the charkha. It cannot be proved so long as you do not explain it to Congressmen. The charkha and the Congress should become synonyms. The task of proving the superiority of non-violence is a difficult one. We have to fathom its depths if we are to realize its truth. I have
1

Chanakya, the celebrated writer on statecraft

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always supported all that I have said so far. The world is going to put me to the test. It may declare me a fool for my tall talk about the charkha. The task of making the charkha, which for centuries had been a symbol of poverty, helplessness, injustice and forced labour, the symbol now of mighty non-violent strength, of the new social order and of the new economy, has fallen on our shoulders. We have to change history. And I want to do it through you. I hope you follow what I am saying. But if in spite of it you do not believe that the charkha has the power to achieve swaraj, I will ask you to leave me. Here you are at the crossroads. If you continue with me without faith you will be deceiving me and doing a great wrong to the country. I beg of you not to deceive me in the evening of my life. It is I who am responsible for defects in our working so far. The fault is mine because I have remained the head even when I was conscious of its defects. But let bygones be bygones. Do we honestly believe today that the charkha is the emblem of non-violence? How many of us are there who believe so from the depths of our heart? Now we have the tricolour flag. What is it but a piece of khadi of specific length and breadth? You can well have another piece in its place. But behind that khadi cloth lie encased your feelings. It is a symbol of swaraj, a symbol of national emancipation. We cannot forget it. We will not remove it. We are prepared to die for it. So also the charkha should be an emblem of non-violence. What does the charkha, as an emblem of non-violence, signify in the economic sphere? Call it self-sufficiency or what you like. In the name of national reconstruction and self-sufficiency millions are being bled white in Western countries, as also in other countries for their sake. Ours is not a self-sufficiency of that pattern. The charkha is the way to get rid of exploitation and domination. I am not so much concerned with words as with the thing itself. Still, words have a miraculous power. They embody the feelings, which then acquire a definite shape with the aid of language. We are familiar with the controversy in our religion as to whether God has a form or no. The believers in form prefer to worship God through an emblem. So if non-violence is to be pursued as an ideal, the charkha must be acknowledged as its true form and emblem, and kept ever before view. Whenever I think of non-violence 356
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the picture of the charkha comes before me. A nirakaravadi1 would not accept Krishna. He has one foot on the mountain top and the other in the clouds above. But we tread the solid ground. We cannot visualize non-violence in the abstract. So we choose an object which can symbolize for us the formless. That is what the charkha does for me and that is why I worship it. If you can realize this truth, you will understand the force of my argument. Even to Jajuji I had never before spoken with so much conviction. Jerajani says I am being hasty. Unless you understand and imbibe this spirit behind my worship of the charkha you will not gain an understanding of non-violence even for a hundred years. That capacity for nonviolence which I find in the charkha can also be perceived by you only if you approach it with a heart like mine. That is why I say: Follow me or leave me. If you want to come with me, I will give you a scheme and do everything possible. If you have not understood what I mean I am prepared to sit and discuss it with you the whole day. But if you say that you have grasped my meaning when you really have not, you will be deceiving both yourselves and me. Ours is not an association for making profit. We do not seek loaves and fishes. There are a thousand fields in which we can serve the country. Why then remain in charkha work and sail under false colours? Please do not therefore remain with me under an illusion. Let me go my way alone. But if it were found that I was myself suffering from an illusion and that my belief in the charkha was mere idol-worship, either you may burn me to ashes with the wood of the charkha, or I myself would set fire to the charkha with my own hands. If the Charkha Sangh has to go, let us wind it up with our own hands. That will put an end to all our struggle like the sun clearing the mist. Then the charkha which has for the moment put us into a labyrinth of difficulties will be left in the hands of a few who believe in it, and may in their hands prove to be a mighty weapon. If you regard it as sheer folly I certainly have no ambition to run an idiots’ association and thus degrade the country. On the other hand, if you can demonstrate non-violence through the charkha, it will not merely move but sweep forward. You will not then have to worry about keeping it alive. I repeat that you either leave me alone or digest what I say and follow me. I have brought this new idea to you after two years
1

One who holds that the Supreme is formless

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of penitential thinking. I do not know if I have succeeded in conveying my idea to you. If I have been able to carry conviction please do one thing. Those of you who want to remain with me give me in writing that you regard the charkha from today as the emblem of non-violence. You have to make your decision today. If you do not or cannot regard the charkha as the emblem of non-violence and yet remain with me, then you will thereby put yourself in an awkward plight and also drag me down with you. [From Hindi]
Charkha Sanghka Navasamskaran, pp. 14-20

479. LETTER TO CHIMANLAL N. SHAH
3.25 a.m., Silence-day [On or before September 4, 1944] 1
CHI. CHIMANLAL,

I saw yesterday that my point had not been understood. The matter of utensils, etc., was only an instance. It made me see the extent of our imperfections. In my view, in moments of crisis we have not shown the qualities that the inmates of the Ashram should have. Those qualities cannot be cultivated in a day. A handful of you may maintain some order. But how does that help ? What knowledge do women have ? What part can they intelligently play ? Can everybody sacrifice himself in a way that would befit the Ashram ? Can you stand today before India as an embodiment of the Ashram ? Let us realize our weakness. There is something lacking in my training. If that is the case, then we must proceed with that realization. Balkrishna cannot be of much help in this. Jajuji can. Vallabh can. If you want, do discuss it with me. If I have been able to put across my point, you can take a decision without discussing it with me. I shall accept whatever you do. I see no harm since Jajuji has been involved. His guidance would be invaluable. You should not think it shameful to wind up the Ashram. Its winding up may mean building it up. If you wind it up, give thought to my idea
From the reference to the winding up of the Ashram and Gandhiji’s visit to Bombay, it appears that this was written before Gandhiji left for Bombay on September 9, 1944. Silence-day, i.e., the Monday before that, was on September 4. Vide also “Letter to Chimanlal N. Shah”, 16-9-1944.
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of a smaller one. Do not feel perturbed. Have the utmost patience. All of you should read this and think it over. There is no harm if you cannot come to any decision before I go to Bombay.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati : G.N. 10664-A

480. LETTER TO R. K. PRABHU
S EVAGRAM ,

September 4, 1944
MY DEAR PRABHU,

You shall certainly be present at the interview with Mr. Hawkins.
Yours,

BAPU S HRI P RABHU “THE BOMBAY C HRONICLE ” F ORT, B OMBAY
From a photostat: G.N. 9228

481. LETTER TO R. E. HAWKINS
S EVAGRAM ,

September 4, 1944
DEAR MR. HAWKINS,

Do please see me in Bombay. I hope to reach on 9th. You will arrange the time when I reach there.You won’t feel disappointed if I cannot find the time. I should be obliged if we can discover a way out.
Yours sincerely,

M. K.GANDHI THE GENERAL MANAGER THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY P RESS B. I. BUILDING NICOL R OAD BOMBAY
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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482. LETTER TO BIDHAN CHANDRA ROY
S EVAGRAM , WARDHA ,

September 4, 1944
DEAR DR. BIDHAN,

If you do not know my mind as you presume to know my pulse, the fault is wholly yours. If you have not found me forward to initiate political discussions with you, it is due to a delicate consideration for you. I may not take an undue advantage of your kindness in coming to me in your medical capacity. People have a right to expect you to know my mind. I have not accepted the two-nation theory. I have accepted the principle of self-determination underlying it. The second thing has been assured in the formula. Ask any questions you like.
Yours,

BAPU
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

483. LETTER TO SHARDA G. CHOKHAWALA
September 4, 1944
CHI. BABUDI,

Please do come. I will be in Bombay on the 9th. I showed your letter to both. I thought it would please them, and it did.
Blessings to all from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original: C.W. 10049. Courtesy: Sharda G. Chokhawala

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

484. LETTER TO AMTUSSALAAM
September 4, 1944
DAUGHTER,

The silken mosquito-net is not required. I got the jaggery. Jiten Babu 1 has come to get my signature when I am very busy. We shall think later about the rules and so on. Sushila tells me that you have fallen sick. What is to be done now? It won’t do you any good if you insist on staying there.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 484

485. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA
Silence Day, September 4, 1944
CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA,

I have your letter. Why are you wasting so much time over such a trivial matter? You did what seemed to be proper at the time. This should be enough. Your letter is a symptom of an unhealthy mind. Get rid of it.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4446

486. NOTE TO MUNNALAL G. SHAH
[On or after September 4, 1944] 2 Read the letter I have written to Chhaganlal. Think over it and then do what you consider right. It does not matter if you do not include Abha’s3 name just now. I have no objection.
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 8470. Also C.W. 7177. Courtesy: Munnalal G. Shah Jitendra Chakraborty, Secretary of the Bengal Charkha Sangh and Joint-Secretary of the Kasturba Seva Mandir, who had come to get Gandhiji’s approval for the Mandir’s constitution 2 The letter is written below a letter from the addressee dated September 4, 1944. 3 Daughter of Amrita Lal Chatterjee VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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487. TELEGRAM TO NARANDAS GANDHI
WARDHAGANJ,

September 5, 1944
NARANDAS GANDHI R AJKOT
JANAKIDEVI BAJAJ PRESIDING OUR FUNCTION1 . WRITING.

BAPU
From a microfilm: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8611. Courtesy: Narandas dGandhi

488. LETTER TO PRABHASHANKAR H. PAREKH
September 5, 1944
BHAI PRABHASHANKAR,

I have your postcard. Please bear in mind that it is for you to win over Champa2 . You alone know how to do it.
Vandemataram from

M. K. GANDHI S HRI P RABHASHANKARBHAI DERA S HERI R AJKOT 3
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./XX

489. LETTER TO MUNNALAL G. SHAH
[On or after September 5, 1944] 4 Your letter is as usual frank. If I consulted my friends in carrying out my experiments, it could not be said that they were undertaken with God’s permission. Besides, whom can I expect to come with me when I plough in fresh fields? More or less all my
Rentia Baras Day; vide also letters to the addressee, “Letter to Narandas Gandhi”, 6-9-1944 and 10/12-9-1944. 2 Champa R. Mehta, addressee’s daughter 3 The address is in the Devanagari script. 4 The letter is written below a letter from the addressee dated September 5, 1944.
1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

important experiments were started single-handed and co-workers came in later. I know that this experiment is a very dangerous one indeed. But it is also capable of yielding very great results. I can forget about it only when I realize that it is harmful. All of you can attack my reason. But you can strike at my heart only in One way— by repudiating me. If you are convinced that the views you have expressed are correct, it is your dharma to repudiate me and expose me. The examples you have cited from the Shastras are faulty. You form your opinions in haste and change them equally hastily. Whatever you do, do after careful thinking.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G. N. 8469. Also C.W. 7176. Courtesy: Munnalal G. Shah

490. LETTER TO BALKRISHNA BHAVE
[On or after September 5, 1944] 1 All this has been written very frankly. My experiment has not been understood fully. The fact that all my conduct seems to be contrary to the statement2 you have quoted should make you think. But this discussion . . .3
BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 811. Courtesy: Balkrishna Bhave

491. LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI
S EVAGRAM ,

September 6, 1944
CHI. NARANDAS,

I sent you a wire yesterday saying that Janakibehn would arrive there on the Rentia Baras Day. She will of course be accompanied by
1

The letter is written below a letter from the addressee dated September 5,

1944. The reference is to a private statement issued in 1938 regarding the discontinuance of accepting from women such service as would involve bodily contact, vide “To Ashram Inmates”, 2-6-1938. 3 The letter is incomplete. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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somebody. About the fund, do what I have suggested in my letter. 1 I will, however, do whatever I can. Kanaiyo will write more. I am likely to be in Bombay on the 9th.
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] You have entered the sixtieth year of your life, haven’t you? We must all try to live up to a hundred. You have much work to do yet.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8612. Courtesy: Narandas Gandhi

492. LETTER TO VIJYALAKSHMI PANDIT
S EVAGRAM ,

September 6, 1944
CHI. SARUP,

I want to include your name as a trustee for the Kasturba [Memorial] Fund. But I can have your name only if you can give time for it and attend the Trust meetings and you are fully convinced of the object of the Trust, namely, that it will be utilized only for the children and women of the villages of India. Inform me telegraphically. I shall be in Bombay on the 9th and 10th.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1

Vide “Letter to Narandas Gandhi”, 31-8-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

364

493. TALK WITH STUDENTS’ DELEGATION1
September 6, 1944
H. P. MISHRA: We won’t like your seeing Mr. Jinnah as you are likely to be duped and the Hindus are likely to be exploited by Mr. Jinnah at our cost.2 GANDHIJI: I will not ignore or compromise a single interest, be

sure.
Students from Bengal who requested Mahatma Gandhi not to decide on a settlement were asked by the Mahatma:

Have I not done any good for Hindus?
Hari Prasanna Mishra questioned Mahatma Gandhi whether he accepted responsibility for what was going on in Bengal resulting from the Communal Award. To this Gandhiji replied:

How can I?
The Bengal students requested Mahatmaji to leave the communal question to the Sabha and the League.3 Mahatma Gandhi assured the students that he would not do anything without consulting Bengal. Despite these assurances, the students informed Gandhiji of their intention to continue picketing and Gandhiji replied:

If you thus prevent me, I will have to wire Mr. Jinnah that I am arrested and so postpone the meeting.
The Hindu, 9-9-1944, and The Hitavada, 8-9-1944

494. LETTER TO MASTERJI MAHARAJ
S EVAGRAM , W ARDHA ,

September 7, 1944
MASTERJI MAHARAJ ,
4

Thank you for the cheque you have sent for the Kasturba Memorial Fund. I hope to see you some day.
Yours,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 2167

The students, led by Hari Prasanna Mishra, General Secretary of the All-India Hindu Students’ Federation, picketed Gandhiji’s hut in Sevagram. 2 These two sentences are from The Hitavada. 3 ibid 4 One of the gurus of the Radhaswami sect of Hindus VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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495. LETTER TO BAGARJI
September 7, 1944
BHAI BAGARJI,

I send herewith a letter 1 for Masterji Maharaj acknowledging receipt of his cheque. I have written this with the pen you gave me.
Yours,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 2162

496. A CIRCULAR LETTER
S EVAGRAM ,

September 8, 1944
BHAI,

Day before yesterday, that is, on the night of the 6th, Shri Deshpandeji told me that Jajuji is not fit for the post of Secretary as he does not have administrative, that is, management talent although he is a saintly man. He can hold the highest position in a society of saints. In support of his opinion he told me that the Provincial Secretaries or Agents of the A.I.S.A., who have returned from here, have all gone back disappointed and helpless. Therefore, hefears that the A.I.S.A. is going to die under its own weight. If this is true, as head of the A.I.S.A., I have to give it a second thought because my experience is completely contrary to Deshpandeji’s opinion. My experience tells me that true saintliness implies efficiency, and Jajuji is a living embodiment of this truth. I have, therefore, decided to have Jajuji’s administrative talents verified. I have already talked to Jajuji and he also agrees to this. If you have accepted Jajuji as Secretary out of despair and only to please me, you have not been truly faithful to the A.I.S.A. and if Deshpande’s prophecy comes true and the A.I.S.A. comes to nought, in my opinion, it will not be on account of Jajuji but due to your own weakness. How can any secretary, however able, attain success without the whole-hearted co-operation of his subordinates? The A.I.S.A. has no power to compel any one. Its strength lies in the whole-hearted co-operation among all its office1

Vide the preceding item. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

366

bearers, i.e., their mutual love and fellow-feeling. If this is lacking nothing avails. Please, therefore, let me have your true opinion whether Jajuji is unfit for the secretaryship, whether he lacks administrative talents, whether you have reluctantly accepted his candidature. If your answer is in support of Deshpandeji’s statement, please write to me substantiating your objections with concrete instances so that I can decide the course of my duty. Kindly send an early reply.
Yours, From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

497. LETTER TO T. B. SAPRU
ON THE WAY TO BOMBAY,

September 8, 1944
DEAR SIR TEJ,

I have your letter. I am going in hope but without expectation. So if I return empty-handed, I shall not be disappointed. I hope you will find the patient substantially on the ro[ad] to full recovery.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhi-Sapru Papers. Courtesy: National Library, Calcutta. Also G.N. 7575

498. LETTER TO BISHOP OF RANGOON
ON THE TRAIN FOR BOMBAY,

September 9, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I have your kind letter bringing me your good wishes. I am in God’s good hands. I fancy I understand what you mean.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI R T. R EVD . B ISHOP OF R ANGOON HOTEL C ECIL DELHI
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

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367

499. LETTER TO SECRETARY, KASTURBA MEMORIAL FUND
BIRLA HOUSE, BOMBAY,

September 9, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I am enclosing herewith a scheme outlining the curriculum for the education of women for your consideration.
Yours sincerely,

S ECRETARY KASTURBA NATIONAL MEMORIAL F UND C OMMITTEE S CINDIA HOUSE BOMBAY
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy: Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

500. LETTER TO SUDHIR GHOSH
BIRLA HOUSE, BOMBAY,

September 9, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

Gandhiji desires me to thank you for your letter of the 29th August enclosing a letter from Mr. Graham White. You certainly can come to Sevagram with Mrs. Ghosh on Gandhiji’s return after the meeting with Quaid-e-Azam Jinnah. Yours sincerely,

P YARELAL S RI S UDHIR GHOSH TISCO HOTEL JAMSHEDPUR
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

368

THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

501. TALK WITH M. A. JINNAH 1
BOMBAY,

September 9, 1944 It was a test of my patience. . . . I am amazed at my own patience. However, it was a friendly talk. His (Jinnah’s) contempt for your Formula (Rajaji Formula) and his eontempt for you is staggering. You rose in my estimation that you could have talked to him for all those hours and that you should have taken the trouble to draw up that formula. He says you have accepted his demand and so should I. I said, “I endorse Rajaji’s Formula and you can call it Pakistan if you like.” He talked of the Lahore Resolution2 . I said, “I have not studied it and I do not want to talk about it. Let us talk about Rajaji’s Formula and you can point out any flaws that you find there.” In the middle of the talk he came back to the old ghost: “I thought you had come here as a Hindu, as a representative of the Hindu Congress.” I said, “No, I have come here neither as a Hindu nor as a representative of the Congress. I have come here as an individual. You can talk to me as an individual or as the President of the League, whichever way you prefer. If you had agreed with Rajaji and accepted his Formula, you and he would have gone before your respective organizations and pleaded with them to accept it. That is why Rajaji came to you. You would then have placed it before other parties, too, in the same way. Now you and I have to do it.” He said he was the President of the League. Where was the basis for a talk if I was there representing nobody except myself? Who was to deliver the goods? I was the same man as he had found me in 1939. There was no change in me. I almost felt like saying, “Yes, I am the same man and since you think it is no use talking to me, I will go away.” But I resisted the temptation. I told him, “Is it not worth your while to convert an individual? I am the same man no doubt. You can change my views if you can and I will support you whole-heartedly.” “Yes, I

The meeting lasted three and a quarter hours. Gandhiji reported the talk to C. Rajagopalachari. 2 Of March 23, 1940; vide Appendix “Resolution Passed by All-India Muslim League”, 23-3-1940. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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369

know, if I can convert you, you will be my Ali1 ,” he said. 2 He said I should concede Pakistan and he would go the whole length with me. He would go to jail, he would even face bullets. I said, “I will stand by your side to face them.” “You may not,” he said. “Try me,” I replied. We came back to the Formula. He wants Pakistan now, not after independence. “We will have independence for Pakistan and Hindustan,” he said. “We should come to an agreement and then go to the Government and ask them to accept it, force them to accept our solution.” I said I could never be a party to that. I could never ask the Britishers to impose partition on India. “If you all want to separate, I can’t stop you. I have not got the power to compel you and I would not use it if I had.” He said, “The Muslims want Pakistan. The League represents the Muslims and it wants separation.” I said, “I agree the League is the most powerful Muslim organization. I might even concede that you as its President represent the Muslims of India, but that does not mean that all Muslims want Pakistan. Put it to the vote of all the inhabitants of the area and see.” He said, “Why should you ask non-Muslims?” I said, “You cannot possibly deprive a section of the population of its vote. You must carry them with you, and if you are in the majority why should you be afraid?” I told him of what Kiron Shankar Roy had said to me “If the worst comes to the worst, we in Bengal will all go in Pakistan, but for goodness sake do not partition Bengal. Do not vivisect it.” “If you are in majority,” I said, “you will have your choice. I know it is a bad thing for you, but if you want it all the same you will have it. But that will be an adjustment between you and me. It cannot occur while the Britishers are here.” He began to cross-examine me on the various clauses of the Formula. I said to him, “If you want clarification of those things, is it not better to have it from the author of the Formula?” “Oh, no”, he did not want that. I said, “What is the use of your cross-examining me?” He recollected himself. “Oh, no. I am not cross-examining you”, and then added: “I have been a lawyer all my life and my
A cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet. He was among the first to accept the Prophet’s message. 2 According to the source, Gandhiji observed afterwards: “It was a most revealing remark. I was meeting the prophet of Pakistan looking for his Ali!”
1

370

THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

manner may have suggested that I was cross-examining you.” I asked him to reduce to writing his objections to the Formula. He was disinclined. “Must I do so?” he asked. “Yes, I would like you to.” He agreed. In the end he said, “I would like to come to an agreement with you.” I answered, “You remember that I have said that we should meet not to separate till we had come to an agreement. He said, yes, he agreed. I suggested, “Should we put that also in our statement?” 1 He said, “No, better not. Nevertheless that will be the understanding between us and the cordiality and friendliness of our talk will be reflected in our public utterances, too.”2
Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book I, pp. 84-6

502. INTERVIEW TO THE PRESS3
September 9, 1944
“We have had frank and friendly talks and we are resuming our talks on Monday at 5.30 p.m. Tomorrow is the 21st day of Ramzan 4 and, therefore, all Mussalmans have to observe it. And I have, therefore, requested Mr. Gandhi to oblige me not to have a meeting on the 21st day of Ramzan.” Here Gandhiji interrupted and said:

No obliging; willing to surrender.
Mahatma, Vol. VI, p. 341

Vide the following item. After Gandhiji gave this report to C. Rajagopalachari the following conversation took place: RAJAJI : Do you think he wants a settlement? GANDHIJI: I am not certain. He thought he probably did. RAJAJI : Then you will get it through. GANDHIJI: Yes. . . . If the right word comes to me. 3 At the end of the first day’s talks, M. A. Jinnah, on behalf of Gandhiji and himself, dictated this statement. Earlier, in reply to a question by a newsman whether he had brought anything from Jinnah, Gandhiji had said: “Only flowers.” 4 Ninth month of the Hijri year in which Muslims observe fast during daytime.
2

1

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371

503. LETTER TO VICEROY
C AMP “BIRLA HOUSE”, BOMBAY,

September 10, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I wrote1 to you on July 17, 1944, asking you kindly to send a letter of same date addressed to the Prime Minister. May I know whether that letter was sent as requested? I am asking because so far I have had no acknowledgement of my letter.
I am, Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI H. E. THE VICEROY VICEROY’S HOUSE NEW DELHI
From a copy: C.W. 10500. Courtesy: India Office Library, London

504. LETTER TO WANDA DYNOWSKA
BOMBAY,

September 10, 1944
DEAR UMA 2

All I can say about the affliction through which Poland is passing is that no small nation of Europe is to expect any real help from the Allied Powers in spite of their professions to the contrary. You know I proposed a solution. It was summarily rejected. Let us rely upon God, the Rock of Ages. With love,
Yours,

BAPU
From a photostat: G.N. 1206. Also C.W. 5101. Courtesy: Wanda Dynowska

1 2

Vide “Letter to Winston Churchill”, 17-7-1944. ibid. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

372

505. TELEGRAM TO NARANDAS GANDHI
BOMBAY,

September 11, 1944
NARANDAS GANDHI R ASHTRIYASHALA R AJKOT
KAMALNAYAN KEEP HIM NOT COMING LONGER WITH THAN THREE JANAKIDEVI[’S] DAYS. MESSAGE1 .

BAPU
From a microfilm: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8614. Courtesy: Narandas Gandhi

506. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
September 11, 1944
DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

I received your letter2 yesterday at 3.30 p.m. I was in the midst of appointments. I hasten to reply at the earliest opportunity. I have said in my letter to you, it is implied in the Rajaji Formula and I have stated publicly that I have approached you as an individual. My life mission has been Hindu-Muslim unity, which I want for its own sake, but which is not to be achieved without the foreign ruling power being ousted. Hence the first condition of the exercise of the right of self-determination is achieving independence by the joint action of all the parties and groups composing India. If such joint action is unfortunately impossible, then too. I must fight with the assistance of such elements as can be brought together. I am glad, therefore, that you did not break off our talks when I refused to assume or accept a representative capacity. Of course I am pledged to use all the influence I may have with the Congress to ratify my agreement with you. May I remind you that the Rajaji Formula was designed in the first instance for your acceptance, and submission thereafter to the League? It is true that I said an ocean separated you and me in outlook.
1 Vide also telegram and letters to the addressee, “Telegram to Narandas Gandhi”, 5-9-1944; “Letter to Narandas Gandhi”, 6-9-1944 and 10/12-9-1944. 2 Dated September 10; vide Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 10-9-1944.

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373

But that had no reference to the Lahore Resolution of the League. The Lahore Resolution is indefinite. Rajaji has taken from it the substance and given it a shape. Now for the points raised by you: 1. I have already answered this in the foregoing. 2. The constitution will be framed by the Provisional Government contemplated in the Formula or an authority specially set up by it after the British power is withdrawn. The independence contemplated is of the whole of India as it stands. The basis for the formation of Provisional Interim Government will have to be agreed to between the League and the Congress. 3. The Commission will be appointed by the Provisional Government. “Absolute majority” means a clear majority over non-Muslim elements as in Sind, Baluchistan or the Frontier Province. The form of plebiscite and the franchise must be a matter for discussion. 4. “All parties” means, the parties interested. 5. “Mutual agreement” means agreement between contracting parties. “Safeguarding defence, etc.,” means for me a central or joint board of control. Safeguarding means safeguarding against all who may put the common interests in jeopardy. 6. The power is to be transferred to the nation, that is, to the Provisional Government. The Formula contemplates peaceful transfer by the British Government. So far as I am concerned I would like the transfer to take place as early as possible.1
Yours sincerely

M. K. GANDHI

The Hindu, 29-9-1944

507. SPEECH AT PRAYER MEETING
September 11, 1944
Speaking in Hindustani at the end of the prayers at Bombay, on September 11, Gandhiji as usual appealed for contributions to the Harijan Fund. Referring next to the exuberant affection of the crowd on the previous evening he said that after
1 For the addressee’s reply, vide Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 11-9-1944. 2 The Hindustani version is not available. 2

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

years of training such exhibition was a reflection on the good name of Bombay. It was a bad sign. But for the precautions taken on the spur of the moment he and some of the sisters accompanying him might have been hurt and so too Mr. Shantikumar1 . And what is more, in the confusion, the latter might have easily lost the Harijan purse that he was carrying. They knew how jealous he was of every pie belonging to the Harijans. Therefore he requested the public never again to repeat the performance of the day before. Why should the volunteers have to form a cordon around him? He did not want to have any guard. God alone was his guard. He was doing God’s work and he had faith that so long as He required his services He would protect him. Referring to his meeting with Mr. Jinnah, he said, he knew how eager they must be to be acquainted with the progress of the talks. It was a natural eagerness on their part which he would like to satisfy as far as possible consistently with the interest of the cause which they all shared with him in common. All that he could say at the present stage was that Jinnah Saheb and he had met as old friends on Saturday (September 9), and again that day (Monday). He added that they would be meeting again the next day from 10.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5.30 to 7 p.m. This would leave them a little time to attend to other work and to digest the substance of the talks. They fully realized what a heavy responsibility rested on their shoulders. They knew that millions were watching the talks and were anxious that a settlement should be arrived at which would subserve the interests not of any particular group or community, but of the whole of India. Gandhiji said:

Our goal is the attainment of independence for the whole of India. It is for that we pray and are pledged to lay down our lives. Jinnah Saheb and I have only God between us as witness. My constant prayer these days is that He may so guide my speech that not a word might escape my lips so as to hurt the feelings of Jinnah Saheb or damage the cause that is dear to us both. I am sure the same is the case with Jinnah Saheb. He told me today, “If we part without coming to an agreement, we shall proclaim bankruptcy of wisdom on our part.” What is more, the hopes of millions of our countrymen will be dashed to pieces. Today the eyes of all the oppressed people of the world are on us. We therefore are fully alive to our responsibility and are straining every nerve to come to a settlement. But we realize that ultimately the result lies in God’s good hands. You should therefore all pray that He may guide us and give us wisdom to serve the cause of India.
An assurance that he would not sacrifice the interests of a single individual or

1

Shantikumar N. Morarjee

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community was given by Mahatma Gandhi.1 In conclusion, Mahatma Gandhi appealed to the Press to put a curb on their inventiveness and not to give free rein to their imagination. Since neither he nor Mr. Jinnah was opening his lips to anybody, there could be no question of leakage. Gandhi-Jinnah Talks, pp. 38-9, and The Hindu, 13-9-1944

508. LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI
BOMBAY,

September 10/12, 1944
CHI. NARANDAS,

I have your letter. I understand what you say. I like your suggestion. Give on loan to the Kathiawar Khadi Mandal the money not already invested. When a new association is formed, it may make its own arrangement. Make some suggestions regarding the new association. Consult friends there. Janakibehn will not be able to go. Chi. Kamalnayan is going with her message. Do not detain him for more than a day or two. He is sparing time from an extremely tight schedule. I hope your programme will succeed. If the programme does not succeed so well there this time as in the previous years, console yourself with the thought that it is your own venture that has now become a country-wide movement. If, therefore, your little rivulet, which was the source, looks small in comparison, you should not feel bad about it. Whether I will live long enough to see the National Fund put to good use or whether others who follow me will manage it in a worthy manner, is entirely in God’s hands. For us one step is enough.
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] September 12, 1944 On further reflection, I feel that our real money is neither gold nor silver nor copper, but yarn. And at present we have no rival in regard to that. How nice would it be if the quantity this time is much larger than before! I should be happy if in the end you become the
1

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first mint of yarn. Yarn is produced at many places. But not all of them become mints. Think what makes a mint what it is.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8613. Courtesy: Narandas Gandhi

509. TALK WITH M. A. JINNAH 1
September 12, 1944 He drew a very alluring picture of the Government of Pakistan. It would be a perfect democracy. I asked him if he had not told me that democracy did not suit Indian conditions. He did not remember it. He asked me to tell him what he had said. So I told him all that and said that I might have misunderstood him. In that case he should correct me. But when I repeated in detail what he had said, he could not say no. He said, yes, he had said that, but that was with regard to imposed democracy. Then he said, “Do you think it is a question of religious minority with us?” I said, “Yes.” If not, he should tell me what it was. He harangued. I won’t repeat all that here. I asked him what would happen to the other minorities in Pakistan: Sikhs, Christians, Depressed Classes, etc. He said they would be part of Pakistan. I asked him if he meant joint electorates. He knew I was coming to it. He said, yes, he would like them to be a part of the whole. He would explain the advantages of joint electorates, but if they wanted separate electorates they would have it. Sikhs would have Gurumukhi if they wanted and the Pakistan Government would give them financial aid. I asked, “What about Jats?” At first he pooh-poohed the idea. Then he said, “If they want it, they will also have it. They will have separate existence if they want it.” I said, “What about Christians? They also want some place where they are in a majority and where they can rule, as for instance in Travancore?” He said that was a problem for the Hindus. I said supposing Travancore was in Pakistan? He said he would give it to them. He cited the instance of Newfoundland. The rest of the talk was nothing. I am to continue exploring his mind.2
GANDHIJI: Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book I, p. 86

1 2

Gandhiji reported the talk to C. Rajagopalachari. For the discussion which followed with Rajaji, vide the following item.

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510. DISCUSSION WITH C. RAJAGOPALACHARI
BOMBAY,

September 12, 1944
RAJAJI :

Find out what he1 wants.

Yes, that is what I am doing. I am to prove from his own mouth that the whole of the Pakistan proposition is absurd. I think he does not want to break. On my part I am not going to be in a hurry. But he can’t expect me to endorse an undefined Pakistan.
RAJAJI :

GANDHIJI:

settlement. He wants a settlement, but what he wants he does not know. I want to show him that your Formula is the only thing that he can reasonably ask for.
Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book I, pp. 86-7

Do you think he will give up the claim? GANDHIJI: He has to, if there is to be a

511. LETTER TO AHMED NAWAZ JUNG
[After September 12, 1944] 2
JANAB NAWAB BAHADUR,

I have your English letter as also a Hindi translation of the holy Koran. I have with me the Hindi translation by Hasan Nizami Saheb. I shall try to compare both the translations. If you can, please send three more copies.
From the Hindi original: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

512. TELEGRAM TO DR. SHAUKAT ANSARI
BOMBAY,

September 13, 1944
DOCTOR S HAUKAT ANSARI R AJPUR R OAD DELHI
PLEASE LOSS. CONVEY FARID MY CONDOLENCES OVER HIS

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal M. A. Jinnah This draft letter was written ill reply to the addressee’s letter dated September 12, 1944.
2 1

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513. INTERVIEW TO THE PRESS
September 13, 1944
After the morning session of the talks, as Jinnah and Gandhiji emerged . . . the waiting group of reporters asked the usual question: “Anything for us?” The leaders halted and . . . Gandhiji spoke:

I have nothing, but I will go for you. Yesterday you read something in our faces. Here are we both. I would like you not to read anything in our faces except hope and nothing but hope.
At this stage Gandhiji turned to Mr. Jinnah and asked:

Am I right? Have you seen the papers this morning?
“Why bother,” answered Mr. Jinnah.

They have written so much terrible.
Gandhiji turned round to the Pressmen again and said:

You do not know what people who are bent on mischief will do. All of you know both of us. You should leave us absolutely alone or if you can read our hearts and faces you must submit what you have written to one of us. Otherwise you should be asbolutely silent if you want to serve India and humanity. The Bombay Chronicle, 14-9-1944

514. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
September 14, 1944
DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

I have your letter of the 13th instant. 1 I understood from our talks that you were in no hurry for my answer I was, therefore, taking the matter in a leisurely fashion, even hoping that as our talks proceeded and as cordiality increased, mutual clarification would come of itself and that we would only have to record our final agreement. But I understand and appreciate the other viewpoint. We should take nothing for granted. I should clarify your difficulties in understanding the Rajaji Formula and you should do likewise regarding yours, i.e., the Muslim League Lahore Resolution of 1940.
In his letter the addressee had complained that he had not received Gandhiji’s reply to his letter of September 11. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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With reference to the Lahore Resolution, as agreed between us I shall deal with it in a separate letter. Perhaps at the end of our discussion, we shall discover that Rajaji not only has not put the Lahore Resolution out of shape and mutilated it but has given it substance and form. Indeed, in view of your dislike of the Rajaji Formula, I have, at any rate for the moment, put it out of my mind and I am concentrating on the Lahore Resolution in the hope of finding a ground for mutual agreement. So much for the first paragraph of your letter. As to the second, I do hold that unless we oust the third party we shall not be able to live at peace with one another. That does not mean that I may not make an effort to find ways and means of establishing a living peace between us. You ask for my conception of the basis for a provisional interim government. I would have told you if I had any scheme in mind. I imagine that if we two can agree it would be for us to consult the other parties. I can say this, that any provisional government to inspire confidence at the present moment must represent all parties. When that moment arrives, I shall have been replaced by some authoritative person, though you will have me always at your beck and call when you have converted me or I you, or by mutual conversion we have become one mind functioning through two bodies. As to the third point, the provisional government, being the appointing authority, will give effect to the findings of the Commission. This I thought was implied in my previous answer. Rajaji tells me that ‘absolute majority’ is used in his Formula in the same sense as it is used in ordinary legal parlance wherever more than two groups are dealt with. I cling to my own answer. But you will perhaps suggest a third meaning and persuade me to accept it. The form of the plebiscite and franchise must be left to be decided by the provisional interim government unless we decide it now. I should say it should be by adult suffrage of all the inhabitants of the Pakistan area. As to the fourth, ‘all parties’ means you and I and everyone else holding views on the question at issue will and should seek by peaceful persuasion to influence public opinion as is done where democracy functions wholly or in part. 380
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As to the fifth, supposing that the result of the plebiscite is in favour of partition, the provisional government will draft the treaty and agreements as regards the administration of matters of common interest, but the same has to be confirmed and ratified by the governments of the two States. The machinery required for the settlement and administration of matters of common interest will, in the first instance, be planned by the interim government, but subsequently will be matter for settlement between the two governments acting through the agencies appointed by each for that purpose. As to the sixth, I hope the foregoing makes superfluous any further reply.1
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

The Hindu, 29-9-1944

515. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
September 15, 1944
DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

This is in terms of our talks of Wednesday the 13th instant. For the moment I have shunted the Rajaji Formula and with your assistance am applying my mind very seriously to the famous Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League. You must admit that the Resolution itself makes no reference to the two nations theory. In the course of our discussions, you have passionately pleaded that India contains two nations, i.e., Hindus and Muslims, and that the latter have their homelands in India as the former have theirs. The more our argument progresses, the more alarming your picture appears to me. It would be alluring if it was true. But my fear is growing that it is wholly unreal. I find no parallel in history for a body of converts and their descendants claiming to be a nation apart from the parent stock. If India was one nation before the advent of Islam, it must remain one in spite of the change of faith of a very large body of her children. You do not claim to be a separate nation by right of conquest, but by reason of acceptance of Islam. Will the two nations become
For the addressee’s reply, vide Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 14-9-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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one if the whole of India accepted Islam? Will Bengalis, Oriyas, Andhras, Tamilians, Maharashtrians, Gujaratis, etc., cease to have their special characteristics if all of them become converts to Islam? These have all become one politically because they are subject to oneforeign control. They are trying today to throw off that subjection. You seem to have introduced a new test of nationhood. If I accept it, I would have to subscribe to many more claims and face an insoluble problem. The only real, though awful, test of our nationhood arises out of our common political subjection. If you and I throw off this subjection by our combined effort, we shall be born a politically free nation out of our travail. If by then we have not learnt to prize our freedom, we may quarrel among ourselves and, for want of a common master holding us together in his iron grip, seek to split up into small groups or nationalities. There will be nothing to prevent us from descending to that level and we shall not have to go in search of a master. There are many claimants to the throne that never remains vacant. With this background, I shall present you with my difficulty in accepting your Resolution. I. Pakistan is not in the Resolution. Does it bear the original meaning Punjab, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Sind and Baluchistan, out of which the name was mnemonically formed? If not what is it? 2. Is the goal of Pakistan pan-Islam? 3. What is it that distinguishes an Indian Muslim from every other Indian, if not his religion? Is he different from a Turk or an Arab? 4. What is the Connotation of the word “Muslims” in the Resolution under discussion? Does it mean the Muslims of India of geography or of the Pakistan to be? 5. Is the Resolution addressed to the Muslims by way of education, or to the inhabitants of the whole of India by way of appeal, or to the foreign ruler as an ultimatum? 6. Are the constituents in the two zones to constitute “Independent States”, an undefined number in each zone? 7. Is the demarcation to take place during the pendency of British Rule? 8. If the answer to the last question is in the affirmative, the proposal must be accepted first by Britain and then imposed upon 382
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India, not evolved from within by the free will of the people of India. 9. Have you examined the position and satisfied yourself that these “Independent States” will be materially and otherwise benefited by being split up into fragments? 10. Please satisfy me that these Independent Sovereign States will not become a collection of poor States, a menace to themselves and to the rest of India. 11. Pray show me by facts and figures or otherwise how the independence and welfare of India as a whole can be brought about by the acceptance of the Resolution? 12. How are the Muslims under the Princes to be disposed of as a result of this scheme? 13. What is your definition of “minorities”? 14. Will you please define the “adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards” for minorities referred to in the second part of the Resolution? 15. Do you not see that the Lahore Resolution contains only a bare statement of the objective and does not give any idea as to the means to be adopted for the execution of the idea and the concrete corollaries thereof? For instance: (a) Are the people in the regions falling under the plan to have any voice in the matter of separation and, if so, how is it to be ascertained? (b) What is the provision for Defence and similar matters of common concern contemplated in the Lahore Resolution? (c) There are many groups of Muslims who have continuously expressed dissent from the policy of the League. While I am prepared to accept the preponderating influence and position of the League and have approached you for that very reason, is it not our joint duty to remove their doubts and carry them with us by making them feel that they and their supporters have not been practically disfranchised? (d) Does this not lead again to placing the Resolution of the League before the people of the zones concerned as a whole for acceptance? As I write this letter and imagine the working of the Resolution in practice, I see nothing but ruin for the whole of India. Believe me, I approach you as a seeker. Though I represent nobody but myself, I aspire to represent all the inhabitants of India, for I realize in my own person their misery and degradation, which is their common lot, irrespective of class, caste or creed. I know that you have acquired a
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unique hold on the Muslim masses. I want you to use your influence for their total welfare, which must include the rest. In this hastily written letter, I have only given an inkling of my difficulty.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

The Hindu, 29-9-1944

516. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
September 15, 1944
DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

I have yours of the 14th instant,1 received at 9.40 a.m. I woke up at 3 a.m. today to finish my promised letter 2 on the Lahore Resolution. There is no mistake about the date, for I wrote in answer to your reminder of the 13th instant. Independence does mean as envisaged in the A.I.C.C. Resolution of 1942. But it cannot be on the basis of a united India. If we come to a settlement, it would be on the basis of the settlement, assuming, of course, that it accrues general acceptance in the country. The process will be somewhat like this. We reach by joint effort independence for India as it stands. India becoming free will proceed to demarcation, plebiscite and partition if the people concerned vote for partition. All this is implied in the Rajaji Formula. As to the provisional interim government, I am afraid I cannot carry my answer any further than I have done. Though I have no scheme for the provisional government, if you have one in connection with the Lahore Resolution, which also, I presume, requires an interim government, we can discuss it. The Formula was framed by Rajaji in good faith. I accepted it in equal good faith. The hope was that you would look at it with favour. We still think it to be the best in the circumstances. You and I have to put flesh on it, if we can. I have explained the process we have to go through. You have no objection to it. Perhaps, you want to know how I would form the provisional government if I was invited thereto. If I
1 2

Vide Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 14-9-1944. Vide the preceding item. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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was in that unenviable position, I would see all the claimants and endeavour to satisfy them. My co-operation will be available in that task. I can give you full satisfaction about your inquiry, “What I would like to know would be, what will be the powers of such a provisional interim government, how it will be formed, to whom it will be responsible.” The provisional interim government will be responsible to the elected members of the present Assembly or a newly elected one. It will have all the powers less that of the Commander-in-Chief’during the war and full powers thereafter. It will be the authority to give effect to the agreement that may be arrived at between the League and the Congress and ratified by the other parties.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

The Hindu, 29-9-1944

517. LETTER TO P. C. JOSHI
BOMBAY,

September 15, 1944
DEAR JOSHI,

Many thanks for your letter1 . I do not mind the warmth into which you have been betrayed. I must apologize for the offence my language has caused you. You will believe me when I tell you that I wrote in all good faith. I could not come close to the party if I did not disclose even my prejudices. I had expected appreciation for my friendly approach and frankness. Nevertheless I must continue my study of the party and its leaders. I have accepted your advice. I placed your letter in Shri Bhulabhai’s hands and asked him to instruct and guide me.I shall not worry you directly with letters. I shall try to know you through the common friends you mention. Sarojini Devi is with Shri Bhulabhai. Rajaji is with me. I shall show your letter to him when it comes back from Shri Bhulabhai.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Correspondence between M. K. Gandhi and P. C. Joshi, p. 36

Dated September 12, which was in reply to Gandhiji’s letter dated July 30; Vide “Letter to P. C. Joshi”, 30-7-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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518. TELEGRAM TO G. D. BIRLA
BOMBAY,

September 16, 1944
GHANSHYAMDAS BIRLA BIRLAHOUSE BENARES
MY DEFINITE WISH YOU SHORTEN STAY THERE IF SHOULD I WANT GO MUSSOORIE. YOU. YOU WILL

BAPU
From a copy: C.W. 7869. Courtesy: G. D. Birla

519. LETTER TO CHIMANLAL N. SHAH
BOMBAY,

September 16, 1944
CHI. CHIMANLAL,

I read your letter addressed to Manilal. I have some free time today and, therefore, am writing letters. I have written to Sharda and told her that she should not put off her visit for fear of public criticism. Your idea of disbanding the Ashram seems right. We should let ourselves be seen as we are. We are likely to make better progress as individuals after disbanding the Ashram. Even after it is disbanded, those who are one at heart may stay together and jointly take up some activity. Those who wish to stay on in Sevagram may do so. Everybody may leave in an orderly manner and after due thought. Talk and exchange views among yourselves along these lines. I understand what you say regarding me. It should involve no burden on Chhaganlal and Kashi. Neither of them should have to join directly in the cooking. This letter may be read by all concerned. I hope Shakaribehn is perfectly calm. You must have thought about the problem of her training. It must not be neglected.
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] If Lajjavati’s Patel arrives there, send him over here.
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10644

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520. LETTER TO MUNNALAL AND KANCHAN SHAH
September 16, 1944
CHI. MUNNALAL AND KANCHAN,

My return has been delayed. If I had definitely known that I would be staying here so long, I would have brought Kanchan with me. Still, if she had come, God knows what she would have done because I hardly talk with anyone. She would not have been able to serve me either. The chief service is being done by Dinshawji, and the rest by Manilal. From that point of view, therefore, it is all to the good that Kanchan stayed there. Both of you got an opportunity for introspection. I hope you meet Bhai Patil often. His health must have improved.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 8385. Also C.W. 7178. Courtesy: Munnalal G. Shah

521. LETTER TO SHARDA G. CHOKHAWALA
BOMBAY,

September 16, 1944
CHI. BABUDI,

A man had gone to receive you [at the station]. It’s a pity your husband’s younger brother has passed away. May God help both of you and your family to bear [the loss]. The cycle of life and death is bound to go on. If you are refraining from coming for fear of public opinion let me tell you that both of you have passed beyond all this and need not yield to this false sense of shame. Mourning of this kind is futile. It should not come in the way of our routine. You are not going to pay me a visit for pleasure. It is your duty to come to me, especially on an occasion like this. I shall surely be here till Tuesday, if not longer.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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522. LETTER TO KRISHNACHANDRA
September 16, 1944
CHI. KRISHNACHANDRA,

I hope you are at peace. This is a time of severe trial for all of us. Think Over what must be done now, and if possible be ready with the answers before my return.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4447

523. SPEECH AT PRAYER MEETING
September 16, 1944
Gandhiji said that at prayer time there was usually great rush. People came to him to give money for the Harijan Fund and to take autographs. Due to this, children and weak persons experienced considerable difficulty every day. Gandhiji, therefore, said that only those who wanted autographs or who wanted to give him money should stay behind while the rest should leave the prayer ground immediately the prayers were over. Secondly he said that the moment he started moving, everybody rushed after him. This caused trouble. Women and children were put to inconvenience. At Juhu there was a lot of space. Though there was not as much space here, there was enough. There was no need to crowd. If nobody crowded and followed him, people would be able to go away from the prayer ground soon. They would be happy and he would be comfortable. He would also be able to collect money and give autographs at leisure. Thirdly Gandhiji said that the prayers began with a Buddhist invocation followed by two minutes’ silence. The silence was an integral part of the prayer. He found people talking during the silence. When silence was a part of prayer they should close their eyes and contemplate. Nobody should talk. This was the proper behaviour and correct discipline. Everyone should observe this discipline.

The Bombay Chronicle, 17-9-1944

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524. LETTER TO SIR EVAN M. JENKINS
BIRLA HOUSE, MOUNT P LEASANT R OAD , MALABAR HILL , B OMBAY,

September 17, 1944
DEAR SIR EVAN,

I thank you for your letter of 13th instant1 . This is the first time in my experience that an important letter has miscarried. Here are copies of the missing Communications.2 Though the psychological moment has passed, I attach very great importance to my letter which was written in answer to a deep heart searching. Therefore even at this late hour I should like my letter to be sent to the Prime Minister.3
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI S IR EVAN M. J ENKINS , K. C. S. I. VICEROY’S C AMP INDIA
From a photostat: C.W. 10501. Courtesy: India Office Library, London

Intimating that Gandhiji’s letter dated July 17 to the Viceroy had not been received and requesting Gandhiji to send a copy of it as well as the enclosure 2 Vide “Letter to Winston Churchill”, 17-7-1944. 3 G. E. B. Abell in his letter dated September 20 informed Gandhiji that the letter was forwarded to the Prime Minister by “Fast air-mail”. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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525. LETTER TO VISHWAS N. NAIK
BOMBAY,

September 17, 1944
DEAR NAIK,

The matter you refer to has been fixed up. 1 I return Shri Munshi’s letter.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy : Pyarelal Papers. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Courtesy : Beladevi Nayyar and Dr. Sushila Nayyar

526. LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI
September 17, 1944
CHI. NARANDAS,

Your programme seems to have succeeded all right. Send me a report of the work there. How did Kamalnayan acquit himself. A letter from Kamalabai is enclosed. Fix a monthly allowance of Rs. 30 for her, with effect from September.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8615. Courtesy: Narandas Gandhi

527. LETTER PURUSHOTTAMDAS TANDON TO
September 17, 1944
BHAI PURUSHOTTAMDASJI,

Today I have some leisure, so I am going through the file of old letters. Your letter is there. You must have tried a truss for your hernia. How could a man like you get hernia? Or does anyone develop hernia without provocation? I did not mean what you interpret from my telegram. I had
The addressee had requested Gandhiji to write a letter to K. M. Munshi permitting him to appear in the trial of his elder brother Vasant Naik, M.L.A., on September 21, 1944.
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written only about the matter of health. However, the opinion you have sent will prove helpful to me. Our talks are going on. I cannot say what the outcome will be.
BAPU
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

528. LETTER TO PUNDALIK KATAGDE
September 17, 1944
BHAI PUNDALIK,

I have your letter. I do believe that those who have committed mistakes should admit them only if they are convinced that it is their duty to do so, and not because I want them to. The call for observance of duty must come from within. Hence I will not issue a public statement. It would be misunderstood.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Hindi: G.N. 4226

529. LETTER TO CHHAGANLAL JOSHI
[Before September 18, 1944] 1
CHI. CHHAGANLAL,

I got your letter which I have passed on to Narandas for his information. It would have saved me trouble if you had first discussed the matter with him and written to me only in the event of an impasse. And don’t you have there veterans like Nanalal2 and Nanabhai3 ? Why be tired of collecting money? An area which has need for a certain kind of work will always provide funds for the activity. True, there are different ways of working in an area where such need is not felt. However, if a worker wants to collect funds in connection with his work and he enjoys doing it, he also learns through it. If funds were showered on us from above, we would not have known how to use them.
In the source this letter is placed before those of September 18, 1944. Nanalal Kalidas Jasani, Secretary and partner of Dr. Pranjivan Mehta and also member of Saurashtra Harijan Sevak Sangh 3 Nrisimhaprasad Kalidas Bhatt, Principal, Lok Bharati Sanstha, Sanosara
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If Bhagwanji1 gives us work worth Rs. 80 doesn’t it become our duty to pay him an equal amount? Are we not at present using the building of the Kelavni Mandal? Why do they want to evict us from there? If they did, where would you carry on your work? Why not in the Dhedh or Bhangi colony? As for Bhangwanji, he is already used to working in this manner. You seem to feel embarrassed. Come over whenever you wish to. Nothing is definite about me, so you can even come over here. You can accompany me wherever I might proceed from here, in case I am unable to spare any time here. I am returning the letter concerning Wankaner.
Blessings from

BAPU C. J OSHI HARIJAN S EVAK S ANGH , R AJKOT
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

530. LETTER TO MIRABEHN
BOMBAY,

September 18, 1944
CHI. MIRA,

I have your letter from Rewari. Devdas has given me your messages. He adds that your body has become dilapidated. I fear I have to take the blame for it in part, if not wholly. How I wish I could also take the credit of repairing it! Why not take a course at Dinshaw’s or under Shiv Sharma? Both are here at present. S. S. has come specially. I have not begun his drugs but he is here to induce me. I have dismissed all fear about your coming under anybody’s influence. After all we are under God’s guidance. I am handing Devdas another Rs. 5,000 for you. You shall certainly have whatever comes for you in future. I am asking Sevagram to send you the 500.
Bhagwanji Purushottam Pandya of Wadhwan, Kathiawar, who was collecting money for Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust
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Tell me how the cows were saved from the butcher’s hand. I would plead with you to put your body in order before you take up the serious responsibility of building and running an ashram.1 My talks are dragging on. God alone knows the end of them. There is one good thing. I am bearing the strain well. I am keeping fit in spite of the two enemies within—the hookworm and the amoebae. It is good too that we are within stone’s throw of each other. Manilal is attending on me. He is my bed-fellow. Devdas too is here, so is Rajaji. Khurshedbehn is on the office staff and so is Mridula, I expect, temporarily. They are all working full speed—not to mention Pyarelal, Sushila and Kanu. Pyarelal has a shorthand writer and typist. He is a rare man—silent and hard-working. He is from the extreme South. Abha is here for medical examination. There is nothing wrong with her. Manu has come back from Karachi with her father2 . Pyarelal’s mother and baby 3 are too here. And they are all very happy. I have given you a full budget of news. Today is the silence day which I am devoting to clearing arrears. Love.
BAPU
From the original: C.W. 6500. Courtesy: Mirabehn. Also G.N. 9895

531. LETTER TO F. MARY BARR
September 18, 1944
CHI. MARY,4

I have seen your letter to Manilal. You seem to be flourishing there5 . I suppose you are not to be expected to be back in the near future. I do not mind; you are doing good work there as you were doing here. Kamala 6 was with me for a few days in Sevagram. She seems to be quite happy in Khedi and loves her work.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat: G.N. 6084. Also C.W. 3414. Courtesy: F. Mary Barr Vide last footnote of “Letter to Mirabehn”, 3-8-1944. Jaisukhlal Gandhi 3 Nandini, Pyarelal’s brother’s daughter who had lost her mother 4 The subscription and the superscription are in Hindi. 5 South Africa 6 Margaret Jones, an English friend of the addressee who was carrying on the khadi work during her absence
2 1

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532. LETTER TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI
September 18, 1944
MY DEAR C.R.,

Here is my draft reply 1 unrevised. You may add, amend or do what you like with it. The reply should go tomorrow as early as possible.
BAPU
From a photostat: G.N. 2096

533. LETTER TO HERMANN KALLENBACH
BOMBAY,

September 18, 1944
MY DEAR LOWER HOUSE,

You will see I am in Bombay almost daily meeting M.A. Jinnah.2 God only knows what the result will be. I had your wires. Of course, they were withheld from me whilst I was in detention. Manilal is with me in personal attendance. He reminds me of old days. He is very restrained. Though I know he wants me to fix up the Phfinix Trust, he never mentions it. But I have it constantly in mind. Sita4 is in Sevagram. She is a most lovable girl. Devdas too is here for the time being. And how are you faring? Is there the slightest chance of your coming here for a short stay? Manilal says you are too aged to undertake the, for you, fatiguing stay in India. Is Hannah nursing you as devotedly as ever? Love to you all,
3

UPPER HOUSE
From the original : Gandhi-Kallenbach Correspondence. Courtesy : National Archives of India Presumably, to M. A. Jinnah; vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 19-9-1944. For the purport of Gandhiji’s talks and correspondence with Jinnah during this period, vide “Talk with M. A. Jinnah”, 9-9-1944 to “Speech at Prayer Meeting”, 27-9-1944 and Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 10-9-1944 to 27-9-1944; ibid., “Statement on Proposed Fast” ,29-10-1944; and Gandhiji’s letters of November 1944. 3 In the Aga Khan Palace Jail from August 9, 1942 to May 6, 1944 4 Daughter of Manilal Gandhi
2 1

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534. LETTER TO NARANDAS GANDHI
September 18, 1944
CHI. NARANDAS,

I got your letter about Kamalnayan. What you say is correct. Are you still suffering from any after-effects of your fall? I would be happy if you thought of paying a visit to Sevagram some time. What is your opinion regarding the suggestion in Chhaganlal’s letter? I am enclosing a letter from Mirabehn also. Send me your reply to her. I will forward it to her. Follow the suggestion made by her.I am tied up here. I don’t know when I shall be able to get away.
Blessings from

BAPU

Enclosures: 2
From a microfilm of the Gujarati: M.M.U./II. Also C.W. 8616. Courtesy: Narandas Gandhi

535. LETTER TO CHIMANLAL N. SHAH
BOMBAY,

[September 18, 1944] 1
CHI. CHIMANLAL,

Your letter is full of news. I have written a letter to Chokhawala2 advising patience. The arrival of Gokhale is welcome. I am hoping to reach there on 27th October, when I hope to do something for him. There is no need for him to lose heart. Sushilabehn has gained a great reputation. She may succeed with Gokhale too. Where was Govind taking his meals till now?
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10612

1 2

From the G.N. Register Gordhandas Chokhawala, addressee’s son-in-law

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536. LETTER TO SUSHILA GANDHI
September 18, 1944
CHI. SUSHILA,

I got your two letters. The country’s condition is exactly as you describe it to be. But surely God’s hand must be behind this. We shall have performed our dharma if we acquit ourselves creditably in our own field and shed lustre on it. Manilal has devoted himself completely to my service, and is thus paying his filial debt. Do not worry about him. Sita 1 has taken her place in the Nayee Talim school at Sevagram. Sumi2 is with her, as also the daughter of a Bihari gentleman named Lakshmi Babu. The fourth is Ashadevi’s own daughter. There are thus four girls in all. Ashadevi has become their mother. She is a learned woman. According to me this type of education is the best. All these four girls learn with the other children at Sevagram, and also teach them a few things. Do not get frightened at this news. Sita herself voluntarily decided to join this school. But of course it was I who was responsible for putting the idea in Manilal’s and Sita’s minds and luring them on. I would have tried to lure you too, if you had been here. God alone knows, of course, whether you would have yielded or not. Now that you have learnt to drive a car, how can I keep pace with you? By all means go ahead. I have talks with Jinnah Saheb practically daily. Before you get this letter you will have known the result.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4936

1 2

Addressee’s daughters ibid THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

396

537. LETTER TO LAKSHMIDAS P. ASAR
September 18, 1944
CHI. LAKSHMIDAS,

I have your two letters, which are both transparent. Replies for the question of Jajuji1 are coming in from others as well. I shall therefore write nothing for some time. I am thinking about a clarification regarding non-violence. It is not necessary at all to quit the Council2 simply because you cannot manipulate your hand and hence cannot spin. Can we not imagine the possibility of some people who might have lost one hand and therefore cannot spin and yet be the greatest khadi workers of them all? Is there any rule that a person’s hand may not remain unoccupied?
Blessings from

BAPU HARIJAN ASHRAM S ABARMATI
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

538. LETTER TO BHAGIRATH KANODIA
September 18, 1944
BHAI BHAGIRATHJI,

I read your letter to Pyarelal. I never said that Rajaji had betrayed me. He can never betray me. He has never done so. My association with Rajaji is very old. Lately our opinions have come to differ but our love for each other continues to be what it has always been. What Monoranjan Babu writes has only been written in jest. What can I do if people do not appreciate my jokes? You may use this letter in any way you consider necessary.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1 2

Shrikrishnadas Jaju; vide “A Circular Letter”, 8-9-1944. Of A.I.S.A.

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539. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
September 19, 1944
DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

Many thanks for yours 1 of the 17th instant. I am sorry to have to say that your answers omitting 1, 2 and 6 do not give satisfaction. It may be that all my questions do not arise from the view of mere clarification of the Lahore Resolution. But I contend that they are very relevant from the standpoint of a seeker that I am. You cannot expect anyone to agree to or shoulder the burden of the claim contained in the Lahore Resolution without, for instance, answering my questions 15 (a) and 15 (b)2 which you brush aside as not arising by way of clarification. Dr. Ambedkar’s thesis, while it is ably written, has carried no conviction to me. The other book mentioned by you, I am sorry to say, I have not seen. Why can you not accept my statement that I aspire to represent all the sections that compose the people of India? Do you not aspire? Should not every Indian? That the aspiration may never be realized is beside the point. I am beholden to you, in spite of your opinion about me, for having patience with me. I hope you will never lose it, but will persevere in your effort to convert me. I ask you to take me with my strong views and even prejudices, if I am guilty of any. As to your verdict on my policy and programme, we must agree to differ. For, I am wholly unrepentant. My purpose is as a lover of communal unity to place my services at your disposal. I hope you do not expect me to accept the Lahore Resolution without understanding its implications. If your letter is the final word, there is little hope. Can we not agree to differ on the question of “two nation” and yet solve the problem on the basis of self-determination? It is this basis that has brought me to you. If the regions holding Muslim majorities have to be separated according to the Lahore
1 2

Vide Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 17-9-1944. Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 15-9-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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Resolution, the grave step of separation should be specifically placed before and approved by the people in that area.1
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

The Hindu, 29-9-1944

540. SPEECH AT PRAYER MEETING
BOMBAY,

September 19, 1944
In the course of his speech at the prayer meeting, Gandhiji said that he did not know how many Muslim brothers and sisters were there in the audience but there was at least one, namely, Raihanabehn Tyabjee. That was enough for his present purpose. His earnest prayer to all present was that if they had the good of the country at heart and wanted India to be free and independent at the earliest moment they should establish the closest bonds of friendship between Hindus and Mussalmans and members of all other communities. That was the least that every one of them was expected to do and could do. Was there anyone among them who doubted that if they could become one at heart the coming of independence would be accelerated? Ever since his return to India he had been proclaiming that truth from house-tops. That did not mean that they could afford to rest in idleness and freedom would by itself drop into their lap. If that was realized many other things would follow as a matter of course. Referring to his talks with Mr. Jinnah he said that he considered it to be their great good fortune that they—two brothers—were having their friendly talks. He was not at liberty to divulge the nature of their talks. But they could rest satisfied that they were not talking without hope. The day he felt that there was no more hope, he would not hesitate to say so. He wanted them all to fraternize with one another on the Id Day and pray that God may guide them aright. Concluding, he warned the people against putting faith in speculations in which both the foreign and the Indian Press were indulging. Sometimes they found all kinds of prophecies. God was with them. They were not being led by prophecies, but by the spirit of God. The papers published all kinds of guesses and messages were also sent abroad. It would not benefit the people to depend on these reports. It would, in fact, be wrong to believe in them.

The Bombay Chronicle, 20-9-1944

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541. LETTER TO NANJI KALIDAS
BIRLA HOUSE, B OMBAY,

September 20, 1944
BHAISHRI NANJIBHAI,

I read your telegram and letter to Bapa 1 . It has made me unhappy. You had told me clearly that your donation would go to the central fund without any condition. Your letter says that a committee has been formed to manage your contribution and that the money would be in its possession. If it is so, your contribution will not be included in the existing Fund. Then you can use it as your committee thinks proper. But I would urge that an illiterate village woman’s name should not be associated with it. I hope there is some improvement in your health.
Blessings from

BAPU R AJSHRI S ETHSHRI NANJI KALIDAS P ORBANDAR (KATHIAWAR)
From Gujarati: C.W. 8617. Courtesy: Narandas Gandhi

542. LETTER TO B. ORELAND
C AMP BIRLA HOUSE, MOUNT P LEASANT R OAD , MALABAR HILL , B OMBAY,

September 21, 1944
DEAR LIEUT. ORELAND,

I was pleased to receive your letter of 17th instant. I do not remember the pundit mentioned by you. Your question is very appropriate. My interpretation of the Mahabharata is that it is a penetrating study of man and shows that fruits of violence whether used for a good cause or bad are evil. The Pandavas won but an empty victory. Bhishma was right in accordance with the social usage in vogue in those days. He was true to the salt he ate. We would go entirely wrong in estimating the men and women of the Mahabharata
1

Amritlal V. Thakkar THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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according to the modern standard, which need not be considered necessarily higher than in the times of the Mahabharata. The story of the epic has to be read in its setting. Then Bhishma would appear to be a lofty soul.
M. K. GANDHI LIEUT . B. ORELAND 104 F IELD P ARK S.E.A.C. B.A.P.O.
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

543. LETTER TO SITA GANDHI
BOMBAY,

September 21, 1944
CHI. SITA,

I got your letter written in a beautiful hand. We will now be meeting soon. Talk to me then.
Blessings from

BAPU

[PS.] The correct word is not raha but rah 1 .
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 4937

544. LETTER TO CHIMANLAL N. SHAH
September 21, 1944
CHI. CHIMANLAL,

I have your letter. Even if our talks remain inconclusive, I have decided to reach there on the 1st. I shall return after attending to the 2nd 2 . I hope Vallabh Swami undertook the fast after due thought. It has become difficult to fix the proper conditions for fasting.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 10613

1 2

Way or path Gandhiji’s birthday celebrations

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545. A CIRCULAR LETTER
BOMBAY,

September 21, 1944
BHAISHRI,

I am writing this circular in Gujarati since all those to whom I intend to send it know the language. I send with this a list of ten additional trustees. At first I thought I would send the names merely for your information. As my duty becomes clearer to me, I realize that I must function as Chairman without insisting on having my own way. A list of members of the Executive Committee is also attached. I have kept the following considerations in mind in drawing up both these lists. We should include those who understand my method of work best and who have had some experience of village work or who share my point of view regarding village work. I am painfully aware that I have not been able to include as many women as I should have liked to. This Memorial Fund is in memory of an uneducated woman who had been touched by the ideal of service to villages, and it would, therefore, be but fitting that the Board consists wholly of women. I would then feel that my efforts in this field have been fully rewarded. But the time for this has not yet come. Let us all hope that such mature and able women will get trained up for this work. You may, without any hesitation whatever, reject any names in the list which you disapprove of. If you wish, we may elect the additional members at a meeting of the trustees. Kindly send me your opinion at an early date. List of additional trustees: 1. Shri Mangaldas Pakvasa 2. Smt. Ashadevi Aryanayakum 3. Smt. Gosibehn Captain 4. Smt. Raihana Tyabji 5. Smt. Mridula Sarabhai 6. Shri Gulzarilal Nanda 7. Shri Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar 8. Shri Shrikrishnadas Jaju 9. Shri Lakshminarayan Babu (of Bihar) 402
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10. Smt. Janakibehn Bajaj Members of Executive Committee 1. Shri M. K. Gandhi (Chairman) 2. Sir Purshottamdas Thakurdas (Vice-Chairman) 3. Shri Amritlal V. Thakkar 4. Smt. Ashadevi Aryanayakum 5. Smt. Mridula Sarabhai 6. Shri Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar 7. Shri Shrikrishnadas Jaju 8. Shri Devdas Gandhi
I am, Yours,

M. K. GANDHI
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C. W. 4873. Courtesy: N. B. Khare

546. TELEGRAM TO PURUSHOTTAM M. PATEL
September 22, 1944
P URUSHOTTAM MOTIBHAI P ATEL C HAIRMAN , I NDO -BRITISH F RIENDSHIP GROUP BRAUNTON 114
MANY THANKS1 . GOD’S WILL.

GANDHI
From the original: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

547. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
September 22, 1944
DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

Your letter of yesterday 2 (21st instant) so disturbed me that I thought I would postpone my reply till after we had met at the usual time. Though I made no advance at our meeting, I think I see some what clearly what you are driving at. The more I think about the
1

The addressee had wished Gandhiji success in his efforts to achieve unity and Vide Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 21-9-1944.

freedom
2

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two-nation theory the more alarming it appears to be. The book recommended by you gives me no help. It contains half-truths and its conclusions or inferences are unwarranted. I am unable to accept the proposition that the Muslims of India are a nation, distinct from the rest of the inhabitants of India. Mere assertion is no proof. The consequences of accepting such a proposition are dangerous in the extreme. Once the principle is admitted there would be no limit to claims for cutting up India into numerous divisions, which would spell India’s ruin. I have, therefore, suggested a way out. Let it be a partition as between two brothers, if a division there must be. You seem to be averse to a plebiscite. In spite of the admitted importance of the League, there must be clear proof that the people affected desire partition. In my opinion, all the people inhabiting the area ought to express their opinion specifically on this single issue of division. Adult suffrage is the best method, but I would accept any other equivalent. You summarily reject the idea of common interest between the two arms. I can be no willing party to a division which does not provide for the simultaneous safeguarding of common interests, such as Defence, Foreign Affairs and the like. There will be no feeling of security by the people of India without a recognition of the nutural and mutual obligations arising out of physical contiguity. Your letter shows a wide divergence of opinion and outlook between us. Thus you adhere to the opinion often expressed by you that the August 1942 Resolution is “inimical to the ideals and demands of Muslim India”. There is no proof for this sweeping statement. We seem to be moving in a circle. I have made a suggestion. If we are bent on agreeing, as I hope we are, let us call in a third party or parties to guide or even arbitrate between us1 .
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

The Hindu, 29-9-1944

For the addressee’s reply, vide Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 23-9-1944.

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548. NOTE TO SHRIMAN NARAYAN
[September 22, 1944] 1 I have gone through this letter.2 I also listened to what Bhadantji had to say. Your letter seems to have been written in a hurry. You should have waited for Nanavati’s3 reply. It is one’s duty to correct any lapse of memory or mistakes due to haste. I see nothing wrong in what Nanavati tells me. I expect to arrive there on the 1st.
Blessings from

BAPU

[From Hindi]
Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, pp. 300-l

549. LETTER TO AZIZ-UL-HAQUE
[On or after September 22, 1944] 4
DEAR ERIEND,

I am deeply grateful to you for your kind letter and book 5 . I shall read it, I know, with interest.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
From the original: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

According to the source this note is written under a letter dated September 22, from Maganbhai Desai to the addressee, which he had shown to Gandhiji before posting. The letter had sought to clarify the position implied in a letter from the addressee to Bhadant Anand Kausalyayan that the Hindustani Prachar Sabha would conduct examinations only in Urdu. 2 ibid . 3 Amritlal T. Nanavati 4 The letter is written under the addressee’s letter dated September 22, 1944. 5 Man behind the Plough VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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550. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
September 23, 1944
DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

Last evening’s talk has left a bad taste in the mouth. Our talks and our correspondence seem to run in parallel lines and never touch one another. We reached the breaking point last evening but, thank God, we were unwilling to part. We resumed discussion and suspended it in order to allow me to keep my time for the evening public prayer. In order that all possibility of making any mistake in a matter of this great importance may be removed I would like you to give me in writing what precisely on your part you would want me to put my signature to.1 I adhere to my suggestion that we may call in some outside assistance to help us at this stage.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

The Hindu, 99-9-1944

551. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
Id [September 23, 1944] 2
BHAI JINNAH,

I was wondering what I shall send you today. It should be fair on my part to let you and your sister3 share equally the crisp chapatis they make for me. Here is your share. Please regard it as a token of my love and do please help yourself to it.
Id greetings from

M. K. GANDHI
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal The addressee in his reply said: “ . . . I may say that it is not a case of your being asked to put your signature as representing anybody till you clothe yourself with representative capacity and are vested with authority. We stand by, as I have already said, the basic and fundamental principles embodied in the Lahore Resolution of March 1940. I appeal to you once more to revise your policy and programme, as the future of this sub-continent and the welfare of the peoples of India demand that you should face realities.” 2 The letter has been placed among those for September 1944. Id fell on this date. 3 Fatima
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552. STATEMENT TO THE PRESS
BOMBAY,

September 24, 1944 Whoever has given currency to the news about the Sevagram Ashram has not served the cause of truth. The only truth about the news is that the disbandment and transformation of the Sevagram Ashram is under contemplation. No decision has yet been taken. But the suggestion that it has anything to do with my supposed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the Ashram during my incarceration is altogether untrue. On the contrary I have expressed my unstinted admiration for the single-minded devotion with which they carried on the Ashram under those difficult and anxious 21 months. If it is ultimately decided to disband the Ashram it would be for the purpose of raising the activities of the members to a higher level than heretofore. The Bombay Chronicle, 25-9-1944

553. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH1
September 24, 1944
DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

I have your two letters of September 232 in reply to my letters of the 22nd and 23rd. With your assistance, I am exploring the possibilities of reaching an agreement, so that the claim embodied in the Muslim League Resolution of Lahore may be reasonably satisfied. You must, therefore, have no apprehensions that the August Resolution will stand in the way of our reaching an agreement. That Resolution dealt with the question of India as against Britain, and it cannot stand in the way of our settlement. I proceed on the assumption that India is not to be regarded as two or more nations, but as one family consisting of many members
1 2

Gandhiji’s draft is available under G.N. 2056. Vide last footnote of “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 23-9-1944 and Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 23-9-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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of whom the Muslims living in the north-west zones, i.e., Baluchistan, Sind, North-West Frontier Province and that part of the Punjab where they are in absolute majority over all the other elements and in parts of Bengal and Assam where they are in absolute majority, desire to live in separation from the rest of India. Differing from you on the general basis, I can yet recommend to the Congress and the country the acceptance of the claim for separation contained in the Muslim League Resolution of Lahore, 1940, on my basis and on the following terms: The areas should be demarcated by a commission, approved by the Congress and the League. The wishes of the inhabitants of the area demarcated should be ascertained through the votes of the adult population of the areas or through some equivalent method. If the vote is in favour of separation, it shall be agreed that these areas shall form a separate State as soon as possible after India is free from foreign domination and can, therefore, be constituted into two sovereign independent States. There shall be a treaty of separation, which should also provide for the efficient and satisfactory administration of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Communications, Customs, Commerce and the like, which must necessarily continue to be matters of common interest between the contracting parties. The treaty shall also contain terms for safeguarding the rights of minorities in the two States. Immediately on the acceptance of this agreement by the Congress and the League, the two shall decide upon a common course of action for the attainment of the independence of India. The League will, however, be free to remain out of any direct action, to which the Congress may resort and in which the League may not be willing to participate. If you do not agree to these terms, could you let me know in precise terms what you would have me to accept in terms of the Lahore Resolution and bind myself to recommend to the Congress? If you could kindly do this, I shall be able to see, apart from the difference in approach, what definite terms I can agree to. In your letter of 23rd September, you refer to “the basis and fundamental principles embodied in the Lahore Resolution” and ask me to accept 408
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them. Surely, this is unnecessary when, as I feel, I have accepted the concrete consequence that should follow from such acceptance.1
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

The Hindu, 29-9-1944

554. LETTER TO G. V. MAVALANKAR
BOMBAY,

September 24, 1944
DADA,

I read your letter to Bapa. If you can make it possible somehow, please do come to Wardha on the 2nd.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: G.N. 1251

555. TALK WITH M. A. JINNAH 2
September 24, 1944
Jinnah had refused even to discuss Bapu’s proposal, as he (Bapu) was not vested with authority; he represented nobody.

[ JINNAH:] “If you want defence and so many things in common, that means that you visualize a centre?” [ GANDHIJI:] No, but I must say, in practice, there will have to be a body selected by both parties to regulate these things. Then he came to the August (1942) Resolution. He said it was inimical to Muslims. “But don’t you see that it is absolutely a baseless charge? With all the legal acumen that is attributed to you, why cannot you see that it deals with only India and the British rule? It has nothing to do with the Muslims. You can refer the matter to a lawyer of eminence impersonally and take his opinion whether there is anything in it
For extracts from the addressee’s reply, vide Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 25-9-1944. 2 According to the source this report is taken from Pyarelal’s diary which appears to have been based on Gandhiji’s narrative to C. Rajagopalachari, giving “the story of the final breakdown of the talks”. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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which could be considered inimical to the Muslim League or the Muslims.” He said he did not need to do so. “Why should I want another’s opinion when I know it for myself?” I broached the subject that I had fixed up to be at Sevagram on the 2nd October. I would like to leave on the 30th and would be back in four or five days. He said, “Why must we take so long? We had better close up now. I will have everything ready on Tuesday. You will examine the copies1 and I will do so.” He had the introduction also ready and read it out. I said I had nothing to say against it, but if I had a copy I could examine it. He said I could do so on Tuesday. I said all right. He would not have a third party, nor would he produce his own scheme. He condemned the August Resolution. He suggested in so many words that amends should be made, i.e., it should be retracted.
Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book I, pp. 93-4

556. A MESSAGE
September2 25, 1944 I have omitted sending messages to a number of friends but I must associate myself with the Acharya’s cause since we are childhood friends. We have been together since the days of his father. Please let him see this.
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

557. LETTER TO C. RAJAGOPALACHARI
[September 25, 1944] 3
MY DEAR C. R.,

If you are satisfied that my letter of yesterday 4 is the last word you should do the following: 1. You should ask Jinnah to see you. He told me he had nothing against you, etc. If Bhulabhai has thoroughly understood the position he too may see Jinnah. You may both offer to see him together.
The reference is to their correspondence. The source has “August/September”. 3 From the reference to the letter to M. A. Jinnah of September 24, 1944, as “letter of yesterday”; vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 24-9-1944. 4 ibid.
2 1

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2. I attach great importance to the legal opinion on Jinnah’s interpretation of August Resolution. 3. Consider the following letter to Jinnah:
“MY DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

Yesterday’s talk1 leads me to inflict this letter on you for which please forgive me. I see force in your argument that the para5 in my letter of yesterday can be interpreted to touch the League sensitiveness. Please therefore read the following instead: ‘Any member or group from among the Congress or the League members will be free to resort to direct action including C. R. in the course of the campaign of Independence.’ This is however a minor matter. In the context in which the offending paragraph appears, its friendly intention is unmistakable. The main purpose of this letter is to ask you to think fifty times before you throw away my offer. It is an earnest effort to meet essential requirements of the Lahore Resolution. I would like you, before you reject it, to let me address the League Council, indeed even the open session of the League. I ask you not to take responsibility on your shoulders of rejecting my offer. You are too technical when you dismiss my proposal for arbitration or guidance on the ground that I have approached you as an individual and not in any representative capacity. Is it not enough that I have approached you in the spirit of service in the cause of unity? I repeat the suggestion I made you during our talk of yesterday that counsel’s opinion should be invited on your interpretation of the August (1942) Resolution of the A. I. C. C. Rajaji for whose integrity and legal ability you have high regard, agrees with me that the August Resolution is in no way inimical to the Muslims. You are wrong in saying that the Congress is a Hindu or communal organization. Will you be inimical to non-Muslims if the League fought single-handed for the Independence of the whole of India whether considered as one India or two or more?” 4. It may be good to call in Shiva Rao, if you have not done so already.
BAPU
From a photostat: G.N. 2057

1

Vide “Talk with M. A. Jinnah”, 24-9-1944.

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558. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
September 25, 1944
DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

Yesterday’s talk leads me to inflict this letter on you, which I trust you will not mind. Our conversations have come about as a result of your correspondence with Rajaji in July last over his Formula and your consultations with the League Working Committee thereon, and my own letter1 to you suggesting a meeting between you and me. My proposal of yesterday is an earnest effort to meet the essential requirements of the Lahore Resolution. I would like you, therefore, to think fifty times before throwing away an offer which had been made entirely in the spirit of service in the cause of communal harmony. Do not take, I pray, the responsibility of rejecting the offer. Throw it on your Council. Give me an opportunity of addressing them. If they feel like rejecting it, I would like you to advise the Council to put it before the open session of the League. If you will accept my advice and permit me, I would attend the open session and address it. You are too technical when you dismiss my proposal for arbitration or outside guidance over points of difference. If I have approached you as an individual, and not in any representative capacity, it is because we believe that if I reach an agreement with you, it will be of material use in the process of securing a Congress-League settlement and acceptance of it by the country. Is it irrelevant or inadmissible to supplement our efforts to convince each other without help, guidance, advice or even arbitration?
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

The Hindu 29-9-1944

1

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 17-7-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

412

559. LETTER TO M. A. JINNAH
September 26, 1944
DEAR QUAID-E-AZAM,

In view of my letter to you of yesterday, left to myself, I would have refrained from dealing with your letter 1 before our meeting today. But I have deferred to Rajaji’s advice to finish the chain of correspondence. I confess I am unable to understand your persistent refusal to appreciate the fact that the Formula presented to you by me in my letter of the 24th as well as the Formula presented to you by Rajaji give you virtually what is embodied in the Lahore Resolution, providing at the same time what is absolutely necessary to make the arrangement acceptable to the country. You keep on saying that I should accept certain theses, while I have been contending that the best way for us, who differ in our approach to the problem, is to give body to the demand as it stands in the Resolution and work it out to our mutual satisfaction. It is on this plan that I understand Rajaji’s Formula is to be conceived, and it is on the same plan that I have tried to work it out in the course of and as a result of our talks. I contend that either gives you the substance of the Lahore Resolution. Unfortunately, you reject both. And I cannot accept the Lahore Resolution as you want me to, especially when you seek to introduce into its interpretation theories and claims which I cannot accept and which I cannot ever hope to induce India to accept. Your constant references to my not being clothed with representative authority are really irrelevant. I have approached you so that, if you and I can agree upon a common course of action, I may use what influence I possess for its acceptance by the Congress and the country. If you break, it cannot be because I have no representative capacity, or because I have been unwilling to give you satisfaction in regard to the claim embodied in the Lahore Resolution.2
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI

The Hindu, 29-9-1944
Vide Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 26-9-1944. For the addressee’s reply of even date, vide Appendix “Letter from M. A. Jinnah”, 26-9-1944.
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560. LETTER TO KAMALNAYAN BAJAJ
September 26, 1944
CHI. KAMALNAYAN,

I have read your letter. We shall not do it at the time announced, we shall do it in the Ashram. I shall receive the purse at 2 o’clock. We cannot ask for regular permission. No harm will come to those who join. Sometimes it benefits to be ignorant of the law. This is one such instance. Please take things easy. It will be enough if the visiting friends are properly accommodated. All else is in God’s hands.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a copy of the Gujarati: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

561. TELEGRAM TO KISHORELAL G. MASHRUWALA
Express
KISHORELAL MASHURWALA S EVAGRAM WARDHA
GOD BLESS YOU. TAKE FULL REST. REACHING SOON.

BIRLA HOUSE, M ALABAR HILL , B OMBAY,

September 27, 1944

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

562. LETTER TO KASHI GANDHI
Vijayadashami1 , Wednesday, September 27, 1944
CHI. KASHI,

It was by chance that I learnt that today was Dussehra. My purpose in writing this letter is to inform you that Pyarelal’s mother will be reaching there. If she comes, she should be given Ba’s2 room.
1 The tenth day of the bright half of Ashwin or Aso, considered to be an auspicious day 2 Kasturba Gandhi had died on February 22,1944 in the Aga Khan Palace, Poona.

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

If you are there, you may live in my room, that is, occupy the room which Manilal used as his sitting room. If more accommodation is needed after my return, we will arrange for it. Upto Monday, I believe, there will be some ceremony or religious worship going on in Ba’s room. Think over what arrangement should be made for Pyarelal’s mother till then. We will all arrive there on Sunday. Accompanying me will be Sumatibehn, Patel, Shantikumar, Mridulabehn, Khurshedbehn, Jaisukhlal, Kanu, etc., Dr. Jivaraj and another Doctor friend, Mataji and Sharda (Babu).
Blessings from

BAPU
From the Gujarati original: S.N. 33078

563. SPEECH AT PRAYER MEETING1
BOMBAY ,

September 27, 1944
Gandhiji said he was not addressing them in Hindustani as before, because he wanted his words to go straight to the hearts of the audience, most of whom were Gujaratis. He had particularly the women in mind who were not accustomed to Hindustani speech. Referring to the leakage of the correspondence between him and Quaide-e-Azam and its unauthorized publication in a certain section of the Press, he observed that he had warned 2 the Press before against indulging in conjectures, because he felt that would damage the cause. But what had appeared in the Press now was more than a mere conjecture. It seemed that they had somehow managed to get actual copies of the correspondence. Perhaps it was clever on their part, but that did them little credit. Journalism, like every institution, had its own code of ethics and he was not there to pass judgment. All he could say was that he himself had, perhaps, followed a different code of ethics even in the field of journalism. He assured them that the leakage had not occurred from his office, and he had strong reasons for his belief. He had the other day drawn the Quaid-e-Azam’s attention to the leakage, but the Quaid-e-Azam was indifferent. Public men had to cultivate that indifference, or else life would become impossible. But it was for the public not to take relish in such happenings. If the public strongly disapproved all such practices, the Press would not repeat them. It was intolerable that anyone should try to pry into
1 2

This was issued as an “authorized version” of the Gujarati speech. Vide, “Interview to the Press”, 13-9-1944.

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and give publicity to private correspondence without authority. He told them that when the talks were over, he would let them know the result. That stage had been reached yesterday, but as copies of the correspondence were not ready, its actual release had to be postponed till today. Authorized copies of the correspondence had now been sent to the Press with a prefatory statement by the Quaid-e-Azam. Hitherto he had told them that he was not without hope with regard to the outcome of the talks. He had to confess that the result that he was hoping for had not materialized. But he had no sense of disappointment or despondency. He was convinced that even out of that breakdown good would result. Although Quaid-e-Azam and he had known each other fairly well in public life before, they had never come into such close personal contact. Their conversations were carried out with friendliness and cordiality. He wanted all the communities to cultivate the same spirit of friendliness and cordiality in their relations with one another. They should try to convert one another through it. They might ask, “Why was it then that he and the Quaid-e-Azam had failed to convert each other?” His reply was that he had tried his level best to go as far as he could to meet the Quaid-e-Azam’s viewpoint. He had taken incalculable pains to understand him and to make himself understood. But he had failed. He had placed before the Quaid-e-Azam Rajaji’s Formula, but that did not commend itself to him. He had thereupon put forth another proposal of his own in its place, but even that had failed to secure Jinnah Saheb’s approval. In the same way, Jinnah Saheb’s proposal had failed to commend itself to him. If either of them had been weak, they would have possibly come to some sort of agreement, but as responsible men they could not afford to be weak. A helmsman had to be firm and unwavering, or else the ship would founder upon the rocks. Each one of them had tried to convince the other. It was possible that both of them might be in the wrong. But so long as each felt himself to be in the right, he could not let go his hold. The news of breakdown, he knew, would cause grief to the friends of India and might give cause for jubilation to their enemies. He drew their attention to the last sentence in his1 statement in which he had said that it was not the final end of their effort. Although they had been unable to appreciate each other’s viewpoint, the public could help them to do so. They should not lose heart. If there was anyone who had reason to feel disappointed it was he. He had knocked at the Quaid-e-Azam’s door. But he had already observed there was no despondency in him. It was not for a votary The source has “their”. The reference is to M. A. Jinnah’s statement; vide Appendix “M. A. Jinnah’s Statement”, 27-9-1944.
1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

of truth and non-violence to feel despondent if his effort at times failed to yield the result aimed at. Failure should only serve as a spur to further effort. God alone knew what was best for them. It was not for them to question God’s ways. Therefore, instead of feeling despondent, they should regard the breakdown as a challenge to their faith and as an incentive for greater effort for establishing true unity among the various communities.

The Hindu, 29-9-1944

564. LETTER TO SHRIMAN NARAYAN
[After] September [27,] 1 1944
CHI. SHRIMAN,

I got your manuscript2 . I will try to read it. Maganbhai says that what you have written about Hindi-Urdu has caused much confusion. You must have received my letter3 . I will be leaving on the 30th; or may be even earlier,
Blessings from

BAPU

[From Hindi]
Panchven Putrako Bapuke Ashirvad, p. 301

565. TELEGRAM TO VIJAYALAKSHMI PANDIT
Express
VIJAYALAKSHMI P ANDIT 2 M UKERJEE R OAD ALLAHABAD
SEND ING IF FORMAL FURTHER CONVENIENT. NONCOMMITTAL REPLY. REACH ACKNOWLEDGMENT SEVAGRAM SECOND PROMISOCTOBER

September 28, 1944

BAPU
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

Gandhiji’s date of departure was not decided till September 27; vide “Telegram to Kishorelal G. Mashruwala”, 27-9-1944. 2 Of The Gandhian Plan 3 Vide “Note to Shriman Narayan”, 22-9-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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566. LETTER TO M. S. SUBBULAKSHMI1
BOMBAY,

September 28, 1944
DEAR SUBBULAKSHMI,

Rajaji has told me everything about your good work in connection with Kasturba Memorial Fund by using your musical gifts. May God bless you.
Yours,

M. K. GANDHI2
From a photostat: C.W. 10600. Courtesy: T. Sadasivam

567. LETTER TO GIRDHARLAL T. MODI
BOMBAY,

September 28, 1944
BHAI GIRDHARLAL,

Sushilabehn told me about your illness. I wish very much to call on you, but you know how helpless I am. Pyarelalji will tell you more. Get well soon.
Blessings from

BAPU
From a photostat of the Gujarati: C.W. 10213. Courtesy: Jayabehn Modi

1 (b.1916); a renowned Carnatic musician, she received the Magsaysay Award in 1974 for public service through music. 2 The signature is in Tamil.

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568. INTERVIEW TO THE PRESS1
September 28, 1944 It is a matter of deep regret that we two could not reach an agreement. But there is no cause for disappointment. The breakdown is only so-called. It is an adjournment sine die. Each one of us must now talk to the public and put our viewpoints before them. If we do so dispassionately and if the public cooperate, we may reach a solution of the seemingly insoluble at an early date. My experience of the previous three weeks confirms me in the view that the presence of a third power hinders the solution. A mind enslaved cannot act as if it was free. I need not impute base motives to the rulers to prove what seems to me to be an axiomatic truth. Nevertheless, I am going to continue to work for the solution as I have been during these three weeks. The questions for consideration are simple. Has the Rajaji Formula or mine made a reasonable approach to the Lahore Resolution? If they or either of them is such an approach, all parties, and especially the members of the Muslim League, should ask the Quaid-e-Azam to revise his opinion. If Rajaji and I have stultified the Lahore Resolution we should be educated. The chief thing is for the Press and the public to avoid partisanship and bitterness.
To a question on his future plans, whether he proposed to concentrate on a Hindu-Muslim settlement or take up political work, seeking imprisonment if necessary, Mahatma Gandhi replied:

I shall act as my inner voice tells me.
Asked how far the offer he had made had conceded the demand made in the Lahore Resolution of the League, Mahatma Gandhi emphasized that the Rajaji Formula or the formula that he presented conceded the substance of the League demand. He said:

In my opinion, either formula gives as much as can reasonably be expected with due regard to the interests of the whole of India.
In answer to a question whether his offer was to be treated now as withdrawn, he said that so far as he was concerned the offer he had made stood. It was not made in

A Press conference of about 40 Indian and foreign journalists was held at Birla House; Sarojini Naidu, C. Rajagopalachari, Bhulabhai Desai, Nagindas Master, M. Y. Nurie, Dr. M. D. D. Gilder and S. K. Patil were among others present. Gandhiji first read out his statement. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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any bargaining spirit. He said:

I think it is a just solution of the problem and it is in the spirit of the policy which the Congress has consistently adopted in connection with the communal question, namely, self-determination.
A number of questions were put on the representative character of the two leaders who conducted the negotiations and why Mahatma Gandhi prolonged the talks when he was apprised of Mr. Jinnah’s views on the first day of the talks. Mahatma Gandhi answered:

I am a man reputed to have inexhaustible patience and I had no reason to despair of either being converted by the Quaid-e-Azam or in my turn converting him. Therefore, so long as there was the slightest possibility, I clung to the hope that we shall pull through to a solution. Haste in such cases is a most dangerous thing. You should, therefore, conclude that yesterday was really the moment when the public should have been taken into confidence. As for myself, I am entirely satisfied that we have not wasted these three weeks. I have no doubt whatsoever that we know now each other better than ever before.
When you agreed to meet Mr. Jinnah, did you meet him on the basis that he was the sole representative of the Muslims?

I have never admitted that claim, but I have said throughout that the Muslim League is by far the most representative Muslim organization. It would have been folly on my part not to recognize this, but I have always been aware that there is outside the League a large body of Muslims which does not see eye to eye with the League and which does not believe in the two nations theory.
Mahatma Gandhi asserted that the fight for freedom had not been suspended when he approached the Quaid-e-Azam. He said:

My approach to the Quaid-e-Azam was itself a part of the fight for freedom.
Asked if there was any possibility of the two leaders meeting again in the near future, Mahatma Gandhi said:

I hope so. It is for the Press and the public to make it possible and hasten the date. I assure you that we have not parted as enemies, but as friends.
If the Rajaji Formula or his own formula had conceded the substance of the Lahore Resolution, then why not agree to the Resolution itself?

Although the Resolution does not say so, if you study the 420
THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

correspondence, it shows that it is based on the two nations theory and it has been known as the Pakistan Resolution. Further, I had to examine the Resolution in view of the interpretation put upon it by the Quaid-e-Azam in his numerous speeches and statements in elucidation of the Resolution. It is indisputable that the Resolution, while it does not enunciate that theory, is based upon that theory. The Quaid-e-Azam has insisted upon that. Therefore, I urge that apart from the two nations theory, if I could accept the principle of division of India in accordance with the demand of the League, he should accept it. But unfortunately it was just there we split.
Asked about Mr. Jinnah’s views regarding a provisional interim government, he said:

I am not sure that the Quaid-e-Azam puts great weight on the interim government. I gave all the explanation of my conception of an interim government without any reservation. It is quite clear in my letters1 . If I did not go any further, it was because I could not and, even if you cross-examine me any further, I would have to say I could not go any further. But if, as you suggest, the Quaid-e-Azam attached greater weight to it, then it was open to him to put it into concrete form. I would have then taxed myself and spared no effort to accept the proposition or to make some other suggestions.
Mahatma Gandhi was told that those Muslims who did not see eye to eye with the League had no real Muslim backing. He replied:

Therefore, I have said that the League is by far the most representative of Muslim opinion, but I cannot despise the others by simply saying that they have no Muslim backing. What does it matter if they have no more Muslim backing if the opinion represented by a single Muslim, or by a body of Muslims whom you can count on your fingers, is intrinsically sound? The way of approaching a question is not to examine the numerical strength of those behind the opinion, but to examine the soundness of the opinion on merits, or else we will never reach a solution, and if we reach one, it will be a blind solution simply because it is the wish of the largest body. If the largest body goes wrong, it is up to me to say you are wrong and not to submit. The rule of majority does not mean that it should suppress the opinion of even an individual, if it is sound. An individual’s opinion should have greater weight than the opinion of many, if that
1

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 14-9-1944 and 15-9-1944.

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opinion is sound on merits. That is my view of real democracy.
Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought of the idea of formation of provinces on linguistic, cultural and communal basis. He replied that since 1920 he was for provinces on a linguistic basis. As for redistribution on a cultural basis, he did not really know what it meant and he was unable to understand how provinces could be reconstituted on communal lines unless there was a suggestion that there should be inter-migration of the various communities to concentrate in particular areas. It seemed to him to be fantastic and impossible. He said:

We are not inhabiting a country full of deserts and wastelands. We are a densely populated country and I do not see the slightest chance for such redistribution. In that respect the Lahore Resolution is quite sound—where there is an obvious Muslim majority they should be allowed to constitute a separate State by themselves and that has been fully conceded in the Rajaji Formula or my formula. There is not much distinction between them. That right is conceded without the slightest reservation. But if it means utterly independent sovereignty so that there is to be nothing in common between the two, I hold it is an impossible proposition. That means war to the knife. It is not a proposition that resolves itself into a voluntary or friendly solution. Therefore, the Rajaji Formula and my formula have presented certain things to be in common between sovereign States. Therefore, there is no question of one party overbearing the other or the Centre having an overbearing Hindu majority. I think our formula should be critically and sympathetically examined and it would be found that the formula concedes everything that could reasonably be conceded if we consider ourselves to be one family. Children of the same family, dissatisfied with one another by reason of change of religion, if they should separate, then the separation should be within ourselves and not separation in the face of the whole world. When two brothers separate, they do not become enemies of one another in the eyes of the world. The world will still recognize them as brothers.
A journalist said that some of the Nationalist Muslims felt that the Congress through Mahatma Gandhi meeting Mr. Jinnah had put them in a false position and that they might have to change their attitude towards Indian nationalism. Mahatma Gandhi replied that it was an extraordinary suggestion. Nationalist Muslims were nationalists simply because they could not be otherwise. He said:

I am a nationalist, not in order to please anybody, but because I cannot be otherwise. And If I approached the Quaid-e-Azam, I approached him in the common interests of myself and Nationalist 422
THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

Muslims and other Nationalists. Nationalist Muslims, so far as I know, were delighted when I approached the Quaid-e-Azam and were looking forward to a proper solution in the confidence that I would not sell the interests represented by them. Undoubtedly, a Nationalist Muslim represents the nation, but he represents the Muslims also, who are a part of the nation. He would be guilty of disloyalty, if he sacrifices the Muslim interests. But my nationalism has taught me that I would be guilty of disloyalty if I sacrifice the interests of a single Indian.
Asked if there was any difference between his present attitude towards the Muslim League demand and the stand he took in 1942, Mahatma Gandhi said:

There is very great difference. In 1942, Rajaji had not ‘burst’ on the scene as he did at the Aga Khan Palace with a concrete proposition. It reflects very great credit on his persistence. He never takes up a standpoint without the fullest consideration and having taken it up, he follows it to the bitterest end. He had abundant faith in my loyalty and he never gave me up as I have never given him up. When he found me in the Aga Khan Palace and presented the Formula, I did not take even five minutes and I said ‘Yes’ because I saw it in a concrete shape. My mind is narrow. I have not read much literature. I have not seen much of the world. I have concentrated upon certain things in life and beyond that I have no other interest. Therefore, I could not realize the meaning of Rajaji’s stand and I disliked it. But when he came with a concrete formula—I myself a concrete being of flesh and blood—and when he had put something in concrete shape, I felt I could hug it and touch it. Therefore, you see the vast difference between 1942 and today. However, thereby I have not departed from the Congress standpoint in general terms. Congress has accepted self-determination and the Rajaji Formula has also accepted the principle of self-determination and therefore the Formula had become common ground.
Proceeding, Mahatma Gandhi explained that he accepted the principle of sovereign States, consistent with friendliness. He said:

Friendliness suggests that before the whole world we must act as one nation, not united by extraneous circumstances, or united by force of British arms, but united by a greater force, that is, our own determined will.
Gandhi-Jinnah Talks, pp. 42-6, and The Bombay Chronicle, 29-9-1944 VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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569. INTERVIEW TO “NEWS CHRONICLE”1
BOMBAY,

September 29,2 1944
Mr. Gandhi told me today why his talks with Mr. Jinnah failed to produce a solution of the Hindu-Muslim differences.

I could not accept the two nations basis. This was Mr. Jinnah’s demand. He wants immediate recognition of the North-West Frontier Province, Sind, the whole of the Punjab, Bengal and Assam as sovereign and completely independent Pakistan.
He wants Mr. Gandhi to agree to this amputation from the rest of India without consulting the wishes of the inhabitants by plebiscite. He has rejected the Rajagopalachari Formula. I asked Mr. Gandhi what he was prepared to recognize as Pakistan and on what basis there could be any hope of agreement in future. He was frank and precise. He replied:

I want to make it clear that I believe Mr. Jinnah is sincere, but I think he is suffering from hallucination when he imagines that an unnatural division of India could bring either happiness or prosperity to the people concerned. It was my suggestion that provided there was the safeguard of a plebiscite there could he sovereignty for the predominantly Muslim areas, but it should be accompanied by bonds of alliance between Hindustan and Pakistan. There should be common policy and working arrangement on foreign affairs, defence, communications and similar matters. This is manifestly vital to the welfare of both parts of India.
This arrangement, Mr. Gandhi said, could not interfere with the internal life of Muslims who would not be subject in any way to Hindu domination. Such a division would not create an artificial split between people who whatever their religious faiths are descended from a common stock and are all Indians.

Unfortunately, Mr. Jinnah would have none of it and asked me to agree to the principle of two nations entirely separate.
I asked Mr. Gandhi if he had adopted the attitude because he thought he could not ‘sell’ such a division to the country or because he thought it wrong in principle. He replied. Of London, represented by Stuart Gelder The Hindu, 2-10-1944, however reports this interview under the dateline, September 30.
2 1

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Because it is fundamentally wrong in principle. If I had thought Mr. Jinnah’s view was right, even though the whole world were against me, I would have accepted it personally and given him my unquestioned allegiance.
If Mr. Jinnah agreed to your view of division, but insisted there should be no plebiscite or a plebiscite in which only Muslims would vote, would you settle on this basis?

Never. How could I agree in a personal or any other capacity to decide the future of millions of people without their having anything to say about their destiny?
What was your impression of Mr. Jinnah’s attitude on the question of an interim national government which you outlined1 to me in July?

Mr. Jinnah has said that he is deeply interested in independence, but it did not seem to me that he set as great store by it as immediate recognition of the Pakistan he wants. Whereas, you see, my view has been all along that we cannot be free among ourselves until we are free from imperial domination. We have parted as friends. These days have not been wasted. I am convinced that Mr. Jinnah is a good man. I hope we shall meet again. I am a man of prayer and I shall pray for understanding. In the mean time, it is the duty of the public to digest the situation and bring the pressure of their opinion upon us.
Gandhi-Jinnah Talks, pp. 47-8

570. SPEECH AT: PRAYER MEETING2
BOMBAY,

Friday, September 29, 1944
Addressing them at the end of prayers, Gandhiji said that he had been seeing large number of men and women joining in prayers every evening and contributing to the Harijan Fund. He wished to tell them something about Harijans this evening since he would have no opportunity of addressing the people tomorrow in view of his decision to leave for Sevagram tomorrow afternoon. For years he had been working for the removal of untouchability. Wherever he went, he emphasized that untouchability was a curse which required to be removed, root and branch. It was a

Vide “Interview to Stuart Gelder”, 4/6-7-1944. Since it was the eve of Gandhiji’s departure for Sevagram, the evening prayers in the Rungta House compound were attended by a crowd of three thousand— the biggest congregation of the week.
2

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tragedy that this curse still persisted in India. Many Harijans had been coming and seeing him. He was ashamed to find that even in a place like Bombay which claimed to do so much for the downtrodden, Harijans found it difficult to find houses to live in. It was no use merely contributing to the Harijan Fund. The real duty of the people lay in working for the uplift of the Harijans. Gandhiji said:

It is not for you and me to decide who is low or who is high for we are all children of God. The Hindu religion would not survive without the eradication of the curse of untouchability.
Even in the matter of communal unity, concluded Gandhiji, if we treated all as brothers and sisters, the present dark clouds would clear and give place to bright sunshine.

The Bombay Chronicle, 30-9-1944

571. LETTER TO MOHAN KUMARAMANGALAM
BOMBAY,

September 30, 1944
MY DEAR MOHAN,

You have done this very cleverly. But I had better not Say more just now.
BAPU S HRI KUMARAMANGALAM
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

572. LETTER TO M. R. JAYAKAR
BOMBAY,

September 30, 1944
DEAR DR. JAYAKAR,

Many thanks for your kind letter1 . I did what I thought was the best for the country. Of course, you should now express yourself freely on the question. That way only we shall arrive at the truth. I am preparing for my departure and writing this against time. Hence this brief note.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI
Gandhi-Jayakar Papers: File No. 826. Courtesy: National Archives of India

573. LETTER TO K. M. MUNSHI
September 30, 1944
BHAI MUNSHI,

See the enclosed2 and, if you can throw light on it, do so. Homi Taleyarkhan had asked me about this and my reply3 was published in the Jame [Jamshed] 4 . I am writing this in a hurry. Take care of your health.
Blessings from

BAPU
From Gujarati: C.W. 7682. Courtesy: K. M. Munshi Dated September 29, which read: “So your talks have failed. I am not surprised. There could be no meeting-ground between you two. . . . Your efforts have now ended and I suppose I am at liberty now to express my sentiments on the nature and result of your effort if I choose to do so.... It is frankly my opinion that the Muslim League leader has gained more from you than he has lost to you. . . . Your formula is in Mr. Jinnah’s hands and . . . he will use this formula as a bargaining counter with the British Government and also as the starting point in future negotiations with Indian leaders. If at such negotiations Mr. Jinnah revives the Formula . . . you will be powerless to resist it. Therein lies the danger in my opinion. To me . . . Jinnah would prefer a settlement with the British, rather than with his own countrymen. . . .” 2 Not available 3 ibid 4 ibid VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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574. LETTER TO ANAND T. HINGORANI
BOMBAY,

September 30, 1944
CHI. ANAND,

I am leaving for Wardha today. I have your letter. You may come over to Wardha when you want. Be at peace.1
Blessings from

BAPU S HRI ANAND HINGORANI S HARDA VILLA F YZABAD R OAD LUCKNOW, U. P.
From a microfilm of the Hindi. Courtesy: National Archives of India and Anand T. Hingorani

575. LETTER TO HUNDRAJ M. PARWANI
October 1, 1944
DEAR PARWANI,

I had your letter.2 I am powerless. I have no authority. Moreover I do not understand Sind politics.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI S HRI HUNDRAJ MULCHAND P ARWANI BUNDER R OAD KARACHI , S IND
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

A Gujarati daily published from Bombay The addressee, in his letter dated August 1, had suggested that under the extraordinary circumstances prevailing in Sind Province the Congress members of the Sind Legislative Assembly should have resigned.
2

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576. LETTER TO DONALD G. GROOM
S EVAGRAM ,

October 1, 1944
DEAR FRIEND,

I am sure you will be welcome on your terms whenever you return.
Yours sincerely,

M. K. GANDHI F RIEND DONALD G. G ROOM F RIENDS S ETTLEMENT HOSHANGABAD (C. P.)
From a copy: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

577. LETTER TO MOHAMMED ABDULLA
October 1, 1944
DEAR SHEIKH SAHEB 1 ,

I got your telegram at Bombay. I could not spare a minute. I hope your function was a success. Mridulabehn 2 has given me a full report. She has also given me your book on Kashmir. I shall read it when I get the time.
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1 Leader of the National Conference, later Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir State 2 Mridula Sarabhai

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578. LETTER TO JAUHARILAL JHANJHORIA
S EVAGRAM ,

October 1, 1944
BHAI JAUHARILAL

I had sent your letter to Baijnathji1 . I see that you people have to resolve the dispute yourselves. I have already said what I wanted to.
Blessings from

BAPU JAUHARILAL JHANJHORIA OLD TOPKHANA , M AIN R OAD INDORE
From a copy of the Hindi: Pyarelal Papers. Courtesy: Pyarelal

1

Baijnath Mahodaya THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

430

APPENDIX I LETTER FROM DR. NAYYAR AND DR. GILDER TO COL. BHANDARI 1
DETENTION CAMP, January 31, 1944
DEAR COL. BHANDARI,

As you know, Smt. Kasturba Gandhi has been gradually losing ground. Last night she had very little sleep, and this morning she had a bad collapse. She became very short of breath (respiration 48), the pulse was very feeble in volume and tension and 100 to the minute, and her colour was ashy grey. She recovered after about twenty minutes’ treatment. Now—at midday—she is restless, complains of pain in the left chest and back, is cyanotic and dyspnoeic. The pulse rate is 108, the B.P. is 90/50, respiration Under these circumstances we would like to have the help in consultation of Dr. Jivraj Mehta (Yeravda Central Prison) and Dr. B. C. Roy (Calcutta) who have been here in her former illness and in whom she has faith. We might state that the patient’s condition is such that if the help of these doctors is to be of any use it should not be delayed. We might also point out that, as she has to be watched all night and day, nursing has become difficult and the patient herself has been constantly asking for Kanu Gandhi and Dr. Dinshaw Mehta. Yours sincerely, S. NAYYAR M. D. D. GILDER

PS.
Gandhiji’s blood-pressure this morning was 206/110. Gandhi ji’s Corres pondence with the Govern ment, pp. 226-7

1 Vide “Letter to Secreatry, Home Department, Government of Bombay”, 31-1-1944; “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 4-3-1944 and 1-4-1944.

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APPENDIX II LETTER FROM ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA1
NO. III/43-M.S., GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, H.D., NEW DELHI, March 21, 1944
FROM

THE ADDITIONAL SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA HOME DEPARTMENT NEW DELHI
TO

M. K. GANDHI,
SIR,

ESQUIRE

In reply to your letter of 4th March regarding Mr. Butler’s reply to a question in the House of Commons on the 2nd March, 1944, I am directed to say that the Government of India regret that you should feel that they were unreasonable or obstructive about the calling in of special medical attendants. The Government of India were always ready to allow any extra medical aid or consultation which the Government doctors considered necessary, and they do not think that there was any delay in summoning outside aid when the Government doctors decided that it was needed. It was on January 28 that they were first informed that Mrs. Gandhi had asked for the services of Dr. Dinshaw Mehta, and it was not until January 31 that they were told that Dr. Gilder had asked for consultation with certain other doctors. On February 1, the Bombay Government were explicitly informed that any extra medical aid or consultation might be allowed which the Government doctors considered necessary or useful. If Dr. Dinshaw Mehta was not called in earlier, it was due to the view originally expressed by both Col. Bhandari and Dr. Gilder that his services could not be of any use, but he was summoned as soon as the Government doctors revised that opinion. Your letter of January 27, which did not reach the Government of India until February 1, made some reference to your wife’s wish to see an Ayurvedic physician, but no name was mentioned and it was not until February 9 that a definite requestfor the services of Vaidyaraj Sharma was received. The request was then granted within 24

Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 4-3-1944; 1-4-1944 and “Letter to M. G. Bhandari”, 2-4-1944.

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hours and as soon as the Government of India were made aware of the difficulties resulting from his not being accommodated inside the Palace, the necessary permission was given for him to reside there. In the circumstances, the Government of India feel that they did everything possible to ensure that your wife received all the treatment that you wished during her illness. 2. As to the question of release, the Government of India still feel that the course they adopted was the best and kindest. It was reported to them on January 25 that your son, Devadas Gandhi, had asked his mother whether she would like to be released on parole and she had replied that she would not like to leave the Palace without her husband. Government have made no use of this report, since it was the record of a private conversation; but it confirmed them in the view expressed above. The misunderstanding about the statement in America quite wrongly attributed to Sir Girjashanker Bajpai has been cleared up by answers to questions in the Legislative Assembly which you have doubtless seen. 3. The arrangements for the funeral were understood here to be in accordance with your wishes. The Government made enquiries on the point and were informed that you had no special preference between the first two alternatives mentioned in your letter. 4. In these circumstances, the Government of India do not think that Mr. Butler’s reply to the parliamentary question was incorrect in substance. I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient servant, R. TOTTENHAM ADDITLONAL SECRETARY TO
THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

Gandhi ji’s Corres pondence with the Govern ment, pp. 235-7

APPENDIX III LETTER FROM LORD WAVELL 1
March 28, 1944
DEAR MR. GANDHI,

I have your letter of March 9. You will receive a separate reply from the Home Secretary on your complaint about Mr. Butler’s answer to a question in the House of Commons. I can only say that I deeply regret, if you are left with the impressionthat the
1

Vide “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 9-3-1944 and 9-4-1944.

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Government of India have been unsympathetic in the matter of Mrs. Gandhi’s illness. Miss Slade’s case will be examined in the light of what you say about her. I do not think it profitable that we should enter into lengthy argument, and do not propose to answer in detail the points you raise in your letter. But I think it best to give you a clear statement of my views on the future development of India and the reasons for your present detention. The draft declaration of His Majesty’s Government which Sir Stafford Cripps brought to India stated in unmistakable terms the intention of His Majesty’s Government to give India self-government under a constitution of her own devising, arrived at by agreement between the principal elements. I need hardly say that I am in entire accord with that aim, and only seek the best means to implement it without delivering India to confusion and turmoil. Much wisdom and a spirit of goodwill and compromise will be required to arrive at the right solution, but with good leadership, I am sure, a solution can be found. Meanwhile there is much work to be done, particularly in the economic field, in preparing India to take her proper place in the modern world. She must be ready to welcome change and progress in many hitherto-unfamiliar directions and to raise the standard of living of her population. Such work is primarily non-political; it may well hasten a political settlement, but cannot await it. It will give rise to many new and absorbing problems demanding the best abilities that India can bring to bear on them. India cannot be expected to tackle these problems in isolation from the rest of the world, or without the aid that Britain can give and the services of an experienced administration. But it is work in which leaders of all parties can co-operate with the certainty that they are helping the country towards the goal of freedom. I regret that I must view the present policy of the Congress party as hindering and not forwarding Indian progress to self-government and development. During a war in which the success of the United Nations against the Axis powers is vital both to India and to the world, as you yourself have recognized, the Working Committee of Congress declined to co-operate, ordered Congress Ministries to resign, and decided to take no part in the administration of the country or in the war-effort which India was making to assist the United Nations. At the greatest crisis of all for India, at a time when Japanese invasion was possible, the Congress party decided to pass a resolution calling on the British to leave India, which could not fail to have the most serious effect on our ability to defined the frontiers of India against the Japanese. I am quite clear that India’s problems cannot be solved by an immediate and complete withdrawal of the British. I do not accuse you or the Congress party of any wish deliberately to aid the Japanese. But you are much too intelligent a man, Mr. Gandhi, not to have realized that the effect of your resolution must be to hamper the prosecution of the war; and it

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

is clear to me that you had lost confidence in our ability to defend India, and were prepared to take advantage of our supposed military straits to gain political advantage. I do not see how those responsible for the safety of India could have acted otherwise than they did and could have failed to arrest those who sponsored the resolution. As to general Congress responsibility for the disturbances which followed, I was, as you know, Commander-in-Chief at the time; my vital lines of communication to the Burma frontier were cut by Congress supporters, in the name of Congress, often using the Congress flag. I cannot, therefore, hold Congress guiltless of what occurred; and I cannot believe that you, with all your acumen and experience, could have been unaware of what was likely to follow from your policy. I do not believe that the Congress party’s action in this matter represented the real feeling of India, nor that the Congress attitude of non-co-operation represents the opinion of anything like a majority of India. To sum up, I believe that with general co-operation, we can in the immediate future do much to solve India’s economic problems, and can make steady and substantial progress towards Indian self-government. I believe that the greatest contribution that the Congress party can make towards India’s welfare is to abandon the policy of non-co-operation and to join whole-heartedly with the other Indian parties and with the British in helping India forward in economic and political progress—not by any dramatic or spectacular stroke, but by hard, steady work towards the end ahead. I think that the greatest service you could do to India would be to advise unequivocally such co-operation. In the mean time, I regard it as my task, in the interests of India, of which I am a sincere friend, to concentrate all my efforts on bringing this war to a victorious conclusion, and to prepare for India’s advancement after the war. In this task, I feel, I can count on very considerable co-operation from the majority of Indians. Yours sincerely, WAVELL Correspondence with Mr. Gandhi, pp. 122-3

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APPENDIX IV LETTER FROM DR. GILDER TO ADDITIONAL SECRETARY, HOME DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA1
DETENTION CAMP, March 31, 1944 THE ADDITIONAL SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA HOME DEPARTMENT NEW DELHI
SIR,

Your letter of the 21st March to Mahatma Gandhi contains the statement: It was on January 28 that they were first informed that Mrs. Gandhi had asked for the services of Dr. Dinshaw Mehta.... If Dr. Dinshaw was not called in earlier, it was due to the view originally expressed by both Col. Bhandari and Dr. Gilder that his services would not be of any use, but he was summoned as soon as the Government doctors revised that opinion. Surely coupling of my name with that of Col. Bhandari is a mistake! The Government doctors in attendance were Col. Bhandari and Col. Shah. As far as I am concerned, some time in December last, at one of Col. Advani’s evening visits (when he was officiating for Col. Bhandari) Smt. Kasturba Gandhi asked him to allow Dr. Dinshaw Mehta to come in and Col. Advani was good enough to ask my opinion on the advisabiIity of Dr. Dinshaw’s coming. As I had not talked over the matter with my colleague, Dr. Sushila Nayyar, nor with the patient or her husband, I told Col. Advani, I would give him a reply later. At his visit the next morning, I told him my considered opinion that Dr. Dinshaw’s presence would be a great help. When the whole of January had passed and permission for Dr. Dinshaw had not come, Dr. Nayyar and myself sent a gentle reminder in our letter of 31st January. A copy is hereto appended. I might state that though in that letter we had asked for a consultation with Dr. B. C. Roy, no notice seems to have been taken of it or of verbal reminders. You will permit me to draw your attention to another inaccuracy, viz., about the employment of trained nurses. No trained nurse ever came inside the camp. Before the arrival of Smt. Jayaprakash Narayan and Shri Kanu Gandhi, when nursing was

Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 1-4-1944 and “Letter to M. G. Bhandari”, 2-4-1944.

1

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THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

becoming difficult, we were given the services of a woman who had acted as a badli ayah 1 at the mental hospital. She struck work inside of a week and asked the Superintendent for her discharge. I have, etc., M. D. D. GILDER Gandhi ji’s Corres pondence with the Govern ment, pp. 240-1

APPENDIX V DISCUSSION ON UNDERGROUND ACTIVITIES2
WOMAN WORKER : You told us, we should be our own leaders after your arrest. In the absence of the Working Committee, everyone of us was to think for himself or herself. We acted according to our light. Your recent utterances make us feel that we have been let down. GANDHIJI: W. W.

I have blamed no one. But, when a thing is wrong, I must say so.

Will it not cause a set-back?
G.

No, we learn from our mistakes. By correcting them we advance.

W. W.

Some say: ‘If this is your narrow interpretation of non-violence, we shall have none of it. Call it violence or by whatever name you like, we cannot dislodge the Government without sabotage.’
G. It cannot succeed though for some time it may seem to or even actually succeed. But I have said that those who do not believe in my way can say so openly, and courageously try their own method and see if they will succeed better. W. W

We admit that public opinion has veered round to your view. The public has come to feel, whether through enlightenment or fear, that sabotage won’t do. But you cannot expect everyone to become a perfect being, which your method implies.
G. I agree. That is why I launched forth with imperfect men. But whether the people develop the required non-violence or not, I cannot play fast and loose with my principles. W. W. G.

What is the quickest way to reach our goal? Then you do not visualize independence in the near future?

The straightest way, though it may appear to be long.

W. W.

Substitute nurse Vide “Discussion with a Friend”, after 6-5-1944; “Letter to R. R. Diwakar”, 18-5-1944; “Letter to Ramanathan”, 5-7-1944 and “Statement to the Press”, 28-7-1944.
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G.

I visualize it in the nearest future, if my way is followed. You want us to feel indignant and yet sit quiet.

W. W. G.

No, I want you to feel very indignant with yourself. It is no use feeling angry with a snake, the snake will bite. Follow any way that commends itself to you if mine does not, but do not sit still.
W. W. G.

We have not the courage, we can’t get on if we oppose you.

You must develop that courage.. . 1 It is because of this courage to stand alone that I am supposed to represent India’s urge for freedom....2 Swaraj is not for the weak. If you say, you follow me, when you really do not, you are weak. The women worker was nonplussed. Gandhiji noticed her dilemma. Reassuringly he proceeded: “However, you can say, ‘We do not follow your reasoning, but we yield to your experience.’ You can tell your co-workers, ‘We went there. We were not convinced. But we could not convince him either. Therefore, we will follow him as disciplined soldiers.’ But if this course does not appeal to them, it is equally open to them to say, ‘The Mahatma has told us to follow our own reason, if we have no faith in his way.’ That will be equally honourable—perhaps more. I shall then defend them.” Appa Pant, the Rajkumar of Aundh, had been advising and guiding underground workers. He put before Gandhiji his dilemma: “With me truth and non-violence are not a policy but my creed. I know of underground workers who would not willingly hurt a fly. They are patriots to the core. I have to shelter them when they come to me and seek my advice. I want to wean them from secret methods. But, in doing so, I have myself to resort to secrecy. I feel puzzled and perplexed.” Gandhiji replied: “Your attitude is unexceptionable. You cannot jump out of a running train, as it were. No outside agency can give you effective guidance. It must come from within. If you dive within yourself and search prayerfully for an answer, a stage will come when suddenly your eyes will be opened and you will conceive such a disgust for untruth and secrecy that you will go to the underground workers and tell them that they will find you useless as a guide if they want to go their way. They will then see it in your face and understand, and very likely it will be the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.” Mahatm a Gandhi —The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, pp. 39-40

1 2

Omissions as in the source ibid THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

438

APPENDIX VI DISCUSSION WITH UNDERGROUND WORKERS1
As the onslaught of Governmental repression gathered volume and intensity, more and more workers went underground. . . . Some of these friends wanted to meet Gandhiji soon after his release. He sent them word that they could come at their risk. Several of them accordingly came and saw him at Juhu and later at Panchgani. They included R. R. Diwakar . . . Annada Chowdhury . . . Achyut Patwardhan and Aruna Asaf Ali . . . Gandhiji’s advice to them was emphatic. He held all secrecy to be sin. “To the extent to which secrecy has crept in, it has hurt our cause. We have not to think in terms of one or two, we have to think in terms of forty crores. Today they feel lifeless. We cannot revive them by resorting to secret methods. Only by adhering to Truth and Non-violence can we bring back lustre to their lustreless eyes.” Looking at their immediate surroundings, he said to them, they might feel that if some of them had not gone underground, the movement would have suffered. But this was only apparently so. When you come to bigger issues, “you will find that it is only by eschewing all secrecy and working openly that you can advance. . . . Today you may be two, tomorrow you will be twenty, if you come out in open, and so the struggle will go on gathering momentum from day to day.” Mahatm a Gandhi —The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, pp. 34-5

1 Vide “Letter to R. R. Diwakar”, 18-5-1944; 19-7-1944; “Letter to Aruna Asaf Ali”, 30-6-1944; “Letter to Ramanathan”, 5-7-1944 and “Statement to the Press”, 28-7-1944. Only excerpts are reproduced here.

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APPENDIX VII LETTER FROM V. S. SRINIVASA SASTRI 1
SVAGATAM, M YLAPORE, MADRAS , June 2, 1944
MY DEAR BROTHER,

This letter I mean only for you and your trusted friends. Mr. T. R. Venkatarama Sastri, now on his way to Srinagar, will deliver it in person. I must first thank you for your ‘sympathy in abundance’. My philosophy is not so stoical but it needs the human touch. You know, as only a very few do, how in simple words to get to a man’s heart. It takes a big heart to do so. Don’t fear a long political screed from me. I do not see Government arresting you as soon as you are well for another term in jail. You say in your letter to Jayakar, they will do so. If you have reasons to think so, I don’t know them. Listen to my story. It shall be brief. You can fill in the outline. The greatest event to happen in the remaining days of your life will be the World Conference of Peace. You must attend it. If they won’t let you go as the representative of India, you must go still. To the good and true men at the Peace table your name will be sufficient credential. Don’t waste your energy on details. Experts will handle them. Concentrate on the sovereign issues. I. Disarmament of all nations. I would allow the International Authority to have some armed forces. But you won’t. Go ahead. You will have valiant support all over the world. What if you fail? You will have given your evangel to a stricken and listening world. II. Equality of economic as well as political opportunities for all peoples of this principle the implications are too many and too intricate for a single human brain. The comprehending proposition is all you can safeguard. III. Elimination of the colour bar in the British Commonwealth and in the world at large. To fail under this head is to leave a wide door for future wars. Whether India is within or without the Commonwealth, this issue is supreme. At the Peace table one is a citizen of the world. No doubt it would be a giant’s strength to be armed with the Government of

1

Vide “Letter to V. S. Srinivasa Sastri”, 10-6-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

440

India’s authority. Whether they made you the delegation’s leader or not, you would be looked up to as leader. A necessary condition is the end of Section 93 rule and the restoration of popular government. To this end I have been for nearly two years now pleading that: (i) political prisoners and detenus should be released; (ii) general elections should be held, and the Central and local legislatures be put back in power; and (iii) a national government be formed at the Centre of which the personnel should be drawn from elected leaders. I wouldn’t make a fetish of parliamentary legislation during the war or complete control of the country’s defence. Tall order, you say. A keen eye will also see in the sketch gaping defects and crudities. There are wise and strong men among us to look after all that. The Hindu-Muslim rift is there to puzzle, dishearten and paralyse. I despair at the very thought. You see farther and more clearly than most others. I shall, for mypart, abide by your decision—always short of Pakistan, mind you. I am too feeble for active propaganda. The means suggested to these mighty ends may be tested only by the standards of Truth and Non-violence. Smaller standards are utterly, utterly out of place— prestige, consistency, or party prospects. Don’t miss the wood for the trees. Always and at the very core, Your loving brother, V. S. S RINIVASAN Letter s of the Right Honour able V. S. Sriniv asa Sastri , pp. 359-60

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APPENDIX VIII LETTER FROM MIRABEHN TO M. K. GANDHI 1
SUNDER BUN, J UHU,

June 12, 1944
BELOVED BAPU,

I have your letter. I had not realized the position regarding the fund kept in my name, and that my expenses were being drawn. I had the impression that the whole sum was being kept intact and that I was receiving food, clothing, travelling expenses, etc., like some others who gave their whole time to the cause according to their individual capacity. But this was a misunderstanding. So, I will gladly put the matter straight at once. I cannot bear any bargaining in such matters. I, therefore, ask that Rs. 20,000 should be deducted from the total, which should cover the expenses incurred by the Ashram for me during these 20 years. The remainder can be transferred to my name. I had understood that when I had this money, I should be free to do constructive national work without let or hindrance, so long as I made it clear that the scheme of work was entirely my own and without your personal approval. I did not realize that you would feel called upon publicly to express disapproval of my work. You have given me my freedom with one hand and taken it away with the other. To give me my money and freedom, and at the same time to say that as soon as I begin to use them you will publicly disapprove, is to sabotage anything I may try to do. You at the same time sabotage any chance of my being able to prove to you that you are wrong. You have brought up a whole lot of reports and prejudices against Sardarji. I have avoided discussing these matters with you because I could see that everything I said excited you. The result is that you have not understood my position. You have made up your mind that I am completely under his influence. It is you who have tried to urge me to that position, but as you know, I have protested all along. You said I should have to join the Communist Party. I said no. You said as a true Hindu wife I should have to follow him in everything. I said my opinion was the opposite, and that my whole instinct told me that I must resist him wherever necessary and live my own life according to the ideals in which I believe, by which means, he would some day know that I was right. If I had followed his advice, I should not have undertaken my scheme but I knew that I must resist him and I did. My faith in God is my guide. Vide “Letter to Additional Secretary, Home Department, Government of India”, 15-7-1943.
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But now you propose to throttle, by the warning of public disapproval, any attempt on my part to put my ideals into practice. My ideals have not changed in the last few days. I am the same person that I was when we used to talk happily together. Believing, as I did, that everything is finally settled I started the ball rolling. I have put out enquiries regarding co-workers, land, maps and other details. I have explained the scheme (as my personal idea) to many people. Must I now understand if I go on with my plans you will feel called upon to disapprove. The fact that there will be Rs. 20,000 less does not worry me at all. I can start in a smaller way and make up with donations. But the possibility that you might broadcast public or semi-public disapproval of my work, which statement I should feel obliged equally publicly to answer, means that for decency’s sake I must avoid any such catastrophe, and therefore cancel all my projects of work. I would, in that case, take the balance of the money after the deduction of Rs. 20,000, invest it somewhere, and go to live in seclusion until time as you revised your ideas. Yours ever devoted daughter, MIRA From the origin al : Pyarel al Papers . Nehru Memori al Museum and Librar y. Courte sy : Belade vi Nayyar and Dr. Sushil a Nayyar

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APPENDIX IX LETTER FROM P. C. JOSHI1
BOMBAY, June 14, 1944
DEAR GANDHIJI,

Your small chit came as a pleasant surprise that you were so eager to know more about us. . . . I am answering your points in a very brief manner. . . . 1. People in people’s war means all peoples the world over without exception. It, of course, includes India’s millions and also the Negroes wherever they be. . . . This war has split the world into two camps. On the one side . . . Fascists are fighting the war for the imperialist domination of the world. . . . On the other side are the freedom-loving peoples of the world. . . the camp of freedom and democracy. . . fighting Fascism is the only path of national liberation from imperialist domination for us today. . . . The more we unite our patriotic parties, the weaker and more isolated becomes the alien Government and the more irresistible our national and other demands, the greater our capacity to save and serve our people. The more our patriotic parties engage themselves in those tasks which any war-time government should successfully lead, but an alien Government cannot, the more speedily we get the united intervention of all the peoples of the world behind our national demand for national government in the common interest of fighting the common enemy. 2. If you desire to examine the accounts personally, they will present themselves with all the registers where and when you desire. If you decide to appoint a representative, he should besuch whom we also know to be an honest man and notalready prejudiced against us. You will not find our accounts as well kept as by a commercial firm but I am sure you will give us a pass. . . . You will find some anonymous donors, but I believe that you also accept anonymous donors. But to dispel any suspicion that “anonymous” may be code for Government cash, I am prepared to give you (not your representative) the names. . . . If you have yet any doubts left and in any case, I give you some references. . . . Iftikharuddin and his Begum, Shaukat Ansari and Zohra, N. M. Joshi. You can ask Dr. and Mrs. Subbaroyan as to what they think is going to happen to their property when Mohan and Parvati (their children and our comrades) get it, and in fact what they know happens to the property of the whole-time workers of the party. . . . Vide “Letter to P. C. Joshi”, 11-6-1944 and 30-7-1944. Only excerpts are reproduced here.
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3. I know it is easy enough to make such a vile charge but very difficult to prove it. . . . Firstly, I believe, if you find that we are not paid by the Government, you will easily believe that we are not likely to hand over labour leaders to the police. Secondly, our party, except in Ahmedabad and Jamshedpur, is as much the unquestioned leader of the working class as the great Congress is of the Indian people as a whole. . . . We gave up our strike policy because we considered it anti-national in the conditions of today, aiding the Jap aggressors on the one hand and intensifying the economic crisis for our own people on the other. That we successfully prevented the Indian working class from resorting to strikes even in a period of their worsening material conditions is the measure not only of our influence over it but its capacity to understand national interests as its own. 4. There is no question of our “adopting the policy of infiltrating the Congress organization”. We have been in the Congress ever since we were born as a party. . . . Whether our intent is hostile or not, it is for our fellow Congressmen to judge and for us to prove otherwise through our practice. . . . We are inside the Congress on our right, as patriotic sons and daughters of the people who join the common national organization, so that we may be able to fight our hardest and best in realization of the common goal of national emancipation and no slanders can ever provoke us to give up this stand and forgo the glorious privilege. 5. The Communist Party decides its own policy as it understands the interests of its own people and of the peoples of the world. As long as the Communist International was there, we were dubbed as ‘Moscow Agents’. It is rather surprising to come across the same insinuation even after its dissolution. . . . The Communist Party is one great revolutionary brotherhood. It exists in every country of the world. All have the same ideology and are moved by the common aims of fighting for the liberation of their own and all peoples. I can send you the journals and documents of the Communist Parties of Britain, U.S.A., South Africa, Australia, which have nailed down Amery & Co. as slanderers and provocateurs after August 9 and which have unfalteringly demanded the release of the Congress leaders and settlement with India on the basis of a real national government. . . . P. C. JOSHI Corres pondence betwee n Mahatm a Gandhi and P. C. Joshi, pp. 3-16

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APPENDIX X PASSAGES FROM “THE QUINTESSENCE OF GANDHISM”1
Thou shalt fight for the protection of good men and the destruction of wrong-doers and for the establishment of righteousness. The side you take up and the weapons you wield are indeed important but the obligation to fight is perfectly absolute and independent of every other consideration, and the emphasis is all upon this obligation. It may be that you take the wrong side in the conflict. But if you are on the wrong side today, you may turn to the right side tomorrow. But those who sit upon the fence have already qualified for admission into Dante’s Inferno. . . .

II
Thou shalt fight for the right, for . . . ‘Truth alone prevails, not untruth.’ . . . You may not take the wrong side or employ questionable means to attain even a perfectly legitimate end, and still hope to succeed. . . .

III
When you are ready to fight for the right, Gandhiji arms you with the all-conquering and never-failing weapon, namely . . . suffering cum forgiveness. . . . . . . Mankind must have recourse to love and non-violence, if they will escape from the vicious circle of hatred and violence. Two wrongs can never make one right. Violence in response to violence only provokes more violence and so on ad infinitum. For a true theist, the Gandhian is the only position he can take up consistently with his theism. If God is there ever present—present in a more real sense than you or I—as Judge and Defender of the right, the theist, imperfect as he is in knowledge as well as in strength, will think it no business of his to judge his adversary or to punish him for what he thinks to be the adversary’s wrong-doing. . . . Young India, 22-1-1925

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Vide “Letter to Valji G. Desai”, 20-6-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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APPENDIX XI OPINION GANDHIJI‘S RESPONSIBILITY1
February2 6, 1944 We are asked to examine the question whether the authority conferred upon Mahatma Gandhi by the resolution of the A.I.C.C. dated the 8th of August, 1942, to “start a mass struggle on non-violent lines” is still subsisting, apart from the legality or otherwise of the purpose for which the authority was given. The authority conferred by the said resolution must be construed with reference to the circumstances under which and the purposes for which it was given. It appears from the resolution as a whole that the steps to be taken under such authority were conceived by the framers of the resolution to meet the situation which had then arisen. In our opinion, the recitals and the purpose of the said resolution and the circumstances under which the same was passed limit the authority so as to confine it to the immediate circumstances and the purpose which the A. I. C. C. had then in view. The said authority was intended to be exercised for and in the then immediate situation. Before Gandhiji could exercise such authority, he was arrested on the 9th of August, 1942, and was prevented from acting on the resolution by reason of his ceasing to be a free agent. By his being so prevented, the exercise of the authority was rendered impossible and it came to an end. The authority conferred upon him was neither permanent nor recurring and there can be no question of its revival by the recent release of Gandhiji in the present situation. BHULABHAI J. DESAI V. F. TARAPOREWALA K. M. M UNSHI Pilgri mage to Freedo m, pp. 433-4

Vide “Speech to Congressmen, Poona”, 29-6-1944; “Letter to K. M. Munshi”, 8-7-1944 and “Letter to M. R. Jayakar”, 14-7-1944. 2 This seems to be an error; according to the source (p. 91), Gandhiji consulted the lawyers after his release which was on May 6. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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APPENDIX XII STUART GELDER’S CABLE TO “NEWS CHRONICLE”1
Mr. Gandhi is prepared to accept and to advise the Congress to participate in a war-time national government in full control of the civil administration, leaving the Viceroy and the Commander-in-Chief in full control of the British and Indian armies. It would be expected that the establishment of such a government would be accompanied now by a guarantee of Indian independence after the war. Mr. Gandhi has also approved the proposals submitted to Mr. Jinnah by Mr. C. Rajagopalachari, which agree to a solution of the Hindu-Pakistan dispute by a plebiscite and demarcation of the districts where Muslims are in a majority, if the Muslim League will endorse the demand for independence and co-operate with the Congress in the formation of a provisional interim government for the transitional period. Despite the fact that he is still far from well and wishes to be relieved as far as possible from being burdened by dealing with political problems in detail for the time being, I talked with Mr. Gandhi for more than three hours in Panchgani this week. If the Muslim League accepts Mr. Rajagopalachari’s proposals and the Government will now discuss the situation with Mr. Gandhi, the deadlock can be solved and a new page opened in Indian history. Mr. Gandhi pointed out that he had no authority to speak in the name of the Congress without consulting the Working Committee, but there is no doubt whatever that his views and the Hindu-Muslim proposals as endorsed by him would be accepted by them without hesitation. I asked Mr. Gandhi whether he would start civil disobedience, if the Working Committee were released from jail and the Government felt unable to give India what they wanted. He replied: “I have no intention of offering civil disobedience today. I cannot take the country back to 1942. History can never be repeated. Even without the authority of the Congress, if I wanted to do it, I could start civil disobedience today on the strength of my supposed influence with the masses, but I would be doing so merely to embarrass the British Government. This cannot be my object.”

Vide “Telegram to S. Sadanand”, 12-7-1944; “Statement to the Press”, 12-7-1944; “Telegram to S. Sadanand”, 13-7-1944; ”Interview to the Press”, 12-7-1944; 14-7-1944; “Letter to Stuart Gelder”, 14-7-1944; “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 15-7-1944; “Answers to Questions”, 15-7-1944 and “Letter to Mathuradas Trikumji”, 16-7-1944.

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But Mr. Gandhi pointed out, the Working Committee could not sit still while the people were suffering. It is his conviction that the food situation cannot beimproved and suffering ameliorated, unless power and responsibility for civil administration are transferred from British to Indian hands. I told Mr. Gandhi that, with things as they are, I could not believe that the Government would transfer authority now or concede independence during the war. He replied that there was a difference between what he would ask today and what was asked in 1942. Today India would be satisfied with a national government in full control of the civil administration. This was not the position in 1942. Such a government would be formed of people chosen by the elected members of the Central Assembly. This would involve a declaration now of Indian independence after the war. Such a national government would give the military all railway, port and other communication facilities they required, although these would be under the national government’s control. The ordinance rule would give way to a normal civil administration by the government. The Viceroy would remain and have complete control with the Commander-in-Chief of the British and Indian armies. In other affairs he would be like the King of England guided by responsible Ministers. Popular government would be automatically restored in all provinces, so that both the Provincial and Central governments would be responsible to the people of India. The national government would be in the position of offering advice and criticism on military affairs, and the portfolio of Defence would be in the hands of the national government which would be genuinely interested in the defence of the country and would be in the position of being able to give valuable help in shaping policies. Mr. Gandhi realizes that the Allies cannot defeat Japan without carrying on operations on the Indian soil and, therefore, they would continue to do so, but the expenses of these operations should not be borne by India. When I asked Mr. Gandhi, if he would advise the Congress to participate in such a government formed under such conditions and with such stipulations, he replied “Yes”. In view of Mr. Gandhi’s uncompromising pacifism, readers will ask what his position would be under such a government. After independence had been assured by the formation of a provisional government and the declaration of Indian independence after the war, he would probably cease to function as adviser to the Congress. As a teacher and exponent of non-violence, he would have to stand aside, but he would certainly not offer any resistance to the government or to the Congress party participating in such a government. His co-operation would take the form of abstention from interfering with the even tenor of life in India. He would continue to work in the hope that his influence would always be felt to keep India peace-minded VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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and to affect world policy in the direction of real peace and brotherhood among all without distinction of race or colour. I am not in a position at present to write an account of all the details of my conversation with Mr. Gandhi. Last week I visited Delhi to give the Viceroy a complete account of my talk with him in Poona. I am now laying before him a complete report of my recent conversation with Mr. Gandhi. This week, after Lord Wavell had declined to see him in the immediate future, I asked Mr. Gandhi what he would say to the Viceroy if he met him. He replied: “I would tell him that I sought the interview with a view to helping, and not to hindering, the Allied effort. But I can do nothing without seeing the members of the Working Committee, for I believe that my authority under the August resolution ended with my imprisonment. It was not revived by my release.” I pointed out that, before the Viceroy would permit a meeting with the Working Committee, he would want to know how Mr. Gandhi would influence the members. To this, Mr. Gandhi replied that history did not repeat itself. “The whole situation has to be reviewed anew,” he said. “The point, therefore, for me to discuss with the Working Committee is to know how they react to the knowledge I have gained since my release. I have to take up the thread that was broken by the Government in 1942. I was first to negotiate and, on failure, to offer civil resistance, if I thought it necessary. I want to plead with the Viceroy. I can only do so when I know the Working Committee’s mind. “But I tell you that the common talk among us is that, whatever the Viceroy may wish personally, he has no authority in the political sphere. Mr. Churchill does not want a settlement. He wants to crush me, if he has been correctly reported—he has never denied the report. The beauty of it for me, the pity of it for him, is that no one can crush a satyagrahi, for he offers his body as a willing sacrifice, thus making the spirit free.” There was deep disappointment, but no bitterness, in Mr. Gandhi’s voice when he expressed this fear. Mr. Gandhi feels that, if the British Government has good intentions, there would be no difficulty about an agreement. But there is an uneasy feeling among Indians of both extreme and moderate views that whatever the Viceroy may wish personally, Mr. Churchill does not wish a settlement now. It may be ill-founded, but it is of vital importance that Indian opinion should be officially reassured on this point. It was expressed to me in friendly conversation with Mr. Rajagopalachari which was not intended to be an interview. His view that the Congress should have accepted the Cripps offer and co-operated in the war is well-known, and he has been a sincere and outspoken critic of the policy of the Congress and of Mr. Gandhi, while

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remaining a firm advocate of independence. It seemed to me, therefore, that his appealand warning was of such importance and significance that I asked his permission to quote it for publication in the News Chronicle, and he gave his consent. He said: “It seems that the British Government is not now interested in a settlement. They have come to feel that power is the only real thing. Ideals have been put aside and so they are content to drift. They are not planning for the future. They do not know what shape things will take after the war, and so they are not thinking of Indo-British relationship. But, if the war ends on this note, relations between India and Britain will be permanently embittered. It would be a miserable ending for the war, so far as Asia is concerned.” It is quite possible for the British Government to make a friend of Gandhiji. Those who know him intimately would confirm this opinion of mine. It may not be necessary for the British war effort to go out of the way to befriend him; but for the future of Indo-British relationship, which is not unimportant, such befriending is necessary and the present is the psychological moment for it. A victorious Britain would lose nothing by such a gesture, but gain a great deal of permanent value. His mind today leans towards seeing a national government installed in India before the end of the war and advantage should be taken of this. With Mr. Gandhi’s consent, I have discussed my talks with him with some people influential in Indian affairs. They have included staunch supporters of the Congress, some strong critics of its policy and a member of the Viceroy’s Council. Despite their difference in political outlook they all expressed the hope that a meeting between the Viceroy and Mr. Gandhi would be arranged. One of them said to me: “There is no doubt that he is not only ready but anxious to be friendly and they would do well to take his hand now. We are all suffering from a sense of frustration. If a national government is formed and the Muslims will come in under the proposals for a settlement of differences, it will make a tremendous difference to the Indian war effort.” I do not wish to place myself in the position of a political commentator but only a journalist who has discussed the situation fully and intimately with Mr. Gandhi and for what it is worth. I would record my impression that the Government now has a better opportunity than at any time since Sir Stafford Cripps landed in India to put an end to the deadlock and create an India which, instead of being half-hearted or sullenly indifferent, is enthusiastically on the side of Britain. It will not depend entirely on the British Government. The Congress is faced with a great responsibility to make a provisional government work. At least it cannot now be argued that there are no new grounds for a resumption of relations. The Bombay Chronicle, 12-7-1944

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APPENDIX VIII TALK WITH C. RAJAGOPALACHARI 1
RAJAJI : GANDHIJI:

I am afraid, your letter will be misunderstood; it is a naughty letter.

I don’t think so. I meant it seriously.

R . You have touched him on the raw by rubbing in a past utterance of his, of which he is probably not very proud. G. I have taken out the sting by appropriating his remark as an unintended compliment. R. G.

I hope you are right. I am sorry, but I think you are wrong!

Mahatm a Gandhi —The Last Phase, Vol. I, Book One, pp. 31-2

APPENDIX XIV LORD MUNSTER’S SPEECH 2
July 25, 1944 Mr. Gandhi had advanced the following views: Firstly, Mr. Gandhi said, he would never use the weapon of civil disobedience during the war unless for a very grave reason, such as the thwarting of India’s right to freedom. Secondly, he would be satisfied with a national government during the war with full control of the civil administration, composed of persons chosen by the elected members of the Legislative Assembly. Thirdly, the Viceroy would be, like the King of England, guided by responsible Ministers. Fourthly, popular government would be automatically restored in all provinces, that is, provinces at the moment under Section 93. Fifthly, while under national government, the Viceroy and the Commander-in-Chief would have complete control of military operations, there would be a portfolio of Defence in the hands of the national government, which would be genuinely interested in the defence of the country and may render great assistance in the shaping of policies. Sixthly, the Allied forces would be allowed to carry on operations on Indian soil, but the expense of such operations would not be borne by Indians. Seventhly, Mr. Gandhi would advise Congress participation in the national government, if formed. The procedure followed is a little complicated and a little difficult to Vide “Letter to Winston Churchill”, 17-7-1944. Vide “Interview to the Press”, 26-7-1944 and “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 26/277-1944. Only excerpts are reproduced here.
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understand. A few days after Mr. Gandhi published these seven suggestions through the intermediary of the Press, he gave further explanations to Press correspondents, in which he emphasized that his statements constituted his personal effort to end the deadlock, but that if his suggestions are not acceptable to Mr. Jinnah or the powers that be, he would consider it a most unfortunate incident. In clarification—if indeed it be clarification—of his offer to Mr. Jinnah, he stated that his proposals were wholly different from the Cripps offer which, he insisted, contemplated almost perpetual vivisection of India. Frankly, it is difficult to understand if these statements by Mr. Gandhi have, in point of fact, definitely improved the chances of an inter-communal settlement. The main point, so far as His Majesty’s Government are concerned, is that he (Mr. Gandhi) is still clinging to precisely that claim which wrecked the Cripps Mission and put an end to negotiations in April 1942, for he is no more prepared today than he was then, to accept the formation of an interim government with the Viceroy maintaining his existing reserve powers. He demands a so-called ‘interim’ government in full control of the civil administration, with the Viceroy occupying the position of a constitutional monarch as we understand it in this country. Let it not be forgotten that, if an agreement is set up under the present existing constitution, there are still a number of very important questions, not the least of which is the protection of the minorities, to be resolved. All these matters must be settled before the final constitution can be evolved. In this, it will seem that Government have not departed one iota from the pledge they gave some time ago, and which I will repeat now, that the proposals which were taken to India by Sir Stafford Cripps still stand in their entirety. Referring, in conclusion, to the question by Lord Strabolgi, who asked whether the Viceroy was prepared to allow Mr. Gandhi to see the members of the Working Committee, Lord Munster said: “I would refer Lord Strabolgi to the letter which the Viceroy sent to Mr. Gandhi on June 22 last. He said that another meeting between himself and Mr. Gandhi could only raise false hopes. He said that Mr. Gandhi had publicly stated that he adhered to the ‘Quit India’ resolution which he (Mr. Gandhi) regarded as innocuous. The Viceroy did see that as soon as Mr. Gandhi had any definite or constructive policy to put up, he would be very glad to consider it at that time.” The Indian Annual Regist er, 1944, Vol. II, pp. 293-4

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APPENDIX XV LETTER FROM LORD WAVELL 1
NEW DELHI, August 15, 1944
DRAR MR. GANDHI,

Thank you for your letter of 27th July. Your proposals are: 1. That you should undertake to advise the Working Committee: (a) that, in view of changed conditions, mass civil disobedience envisaged by the resolution of August 1942 cannot be offered, and (b) that full co-operation in the war effort should be given by Congress, provided that His Majesty’s Government (a) declare immediate Indian independence, and (b) form a ‘national government’ responsible to the Central Assembly, ‘subject to the proviso that, during the pendency of the war, the military operations should continue as at present but without involving any financial burden on India.’ 2. His Majesty’s Government remain most anxious that a settlement of the Indian problem should be reached. But proposals such as those put forward by you are quite unacceptable to His Majesty’s Government as a basis for discussion, and you must realize this, if you have read Mr. Amery’s statement in the House of Commons on July 28 last. They are indeed very similar to the proposals made by Maulana AbulKalam Azad to Sir Stafford Cripps in April 1942, and His Majesty’s

Vide “Letter to Lord Wavell”, 26/27-7-1944. According to The Transfer of Power, Vol. IV, pp. 1138 and 1191, this reply from the Viceroy was an outcome of hectic correspondence between Delhi and London, and led almost to a direct collision between Churchill and Wavell. The draft reply proposed by the Viceroy contained, among other conciliatory sentiments, the following sentence: “You and Mr. Jinnah have my good wishes for your approaching discussion.” The War Cabinet pruned the original draft and, after considerable give and take, Wavell dispatched the final draft. At one stage, during this heated debate, Churchill telegraphed to the War Cabinet: “I hope the Cabinet will stand firm and not be disturbed by the attitude of the Viceroy. He thinks that because Gandhi wrote a letter to him, he is entitled to reply in terms which do not commend themselves to the War Cabinet. As a matter of fact, he has no right to negotiate with Gandhi at all, considering he was responsible for passing to us the medical opinion on which we were told that he would never be able to take part in politics again. The root of the matter is that, after what Wavell said about Gandhi’s state of health, he has no right to enter upon correspondence with him which cannot fail to wear the aspect of a great parley between the Viceroy and newly released invalid.” Vide also “Letter to Secretary, Home Department, Government of Bombay”, 3-5-1944.

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Government’s reasons for rejecting them are the same as they were then. 3. Without recapitulating all these reasons in detail, I should remind you that His Majesty’s Government at that time made it clear: (a) that their offer of unqualified freedom after the cessation of hostilities was made conditional upon the framing of a constitution agreed by the main elements of India’s national life and the negotiation of the necessary treaty arrangements with His Majesty’s Government; (b) that it is impossible during the period of hostilities to bring about any change in the constitution, by which means alone a “national government”, such as you suggest, could be made responsible to the Central Assembly. The object of these conditions was to ensure the fulfilment of their duty to safeguard the interests of the racial and religious minorities and of the Depressed Classes, and their treaty obligations to the Indian States. 4. It was upon the above conditions that His Majesty’s Government invited Indian leaders to take part in an interim government which would operate under the existing constitution. I must make it quite clear that until the war is over, responsibility for defence and military operations cannot be divided from the other responsibilities of Government, and that until hostilities cease and the new constitution is in operation, His Majesty’s Government and the Governor-General must retain their responsibility over the entire field. So far as the question of India’s share of the cost of the war is concerned, this is essentially a matter for settlement between His Majesty’s Government on the one hand and the Government of India on the other, and existing financial arrangements can only be re-opened at the instance of one or the other. 5. It is clear, in these circumstances, that no purpose would be served by discussion on the basis which you suggest. If, however, the leaders of the Hindus, the Muslims and the important minorities were willing to co-operate in a transitional government established and working within the present constitution, I believe good progress might be made. For such a transitional government to succeed, there must, before it is formed, be agreement in principle between Hindus and Muslims and all important elements as to the method by which the new constitution should be framed. This agreement is a matter for Indians themselves. Until Indian leaders have come closer together than they are now, I doubt if I myself can do anything to help. Let me remind you too that minority problems are not easy. They are real and can be solved only by mutual compromise and tolerance. 6. The period, after the termination of hostilities, for which the transitional government would last, would depend on the speed with which the new constitution could be framed. I see no reason why preliminary work on that constitution should not begin as soon as the Indian leaders are prepared to co-operate to that end. If they VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

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can arrive at a genuine agreement as to the method of framing the constitution, nounnecessary time need be spent after the war in reaching final conclusions and in agreeing on treaty arrangements with His Majesty’s Government. There again, the primary responsibility rests on the Indian leaders. Yours sincerely, WAVELL The Hindu, 19-8-1944

APPENDIX XVI DRAFT LETTER TO THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, BOMBAY 1
For many of us 9th of August, 1942, is a Red Letter Day. Of the resolution of the 8th August we are proud. It is a declaration of India’s hope. Though roughly national, it is international in outlook. Thus it has sanction clause which too the Congress has nothing to be ashamed of. It replaces for its sanction armed force by normal force of self-suffering in the shape of mass civil disobedience. If some Congressmen and others went astray during the days following the 8th of August, 1942, they did so contrary to the resolution. Mahatma Gandhi, the authority appointed by the A. I. C. C. to enforce the sanction, never got the chance of enforcing it. He says, the authority lapsed with his imprisonment and was not revived by his release. He says further that, even if it has not lapsed, he thinks that under the altered circumstances it would be improper to revive the sanction clause. I confess that none of us has a knowledge of the technique of mass civil disobedience. Therefore there is no question of enforcing the sanction. Hence any act my fellow-workers may wish to do on the 9th of August next must not be confused with the sanction clause. This letter would be unnecessary but for the extraordinary powers given to you. Under the ordinance rule, no procession or public meeting can be held without your previous permission. This is an encroachment upon an ordinary civil right. Now on the 9th, as a symbol and token, I propose to organize five parties of five persons each with tricolour flags. They will march, in order to avoid crowds gathering, without notice towards Chowpatty Sands, reach the Lokamanya statue at 5.30 a.m. and stand for five minutes in silent prayer, then recite the resolution in Hindustani and sing the jhandavandan 2 song and disperse. I sincerely hope that you have no objection to this simple ceremony. I shall thank you to let me have your permission.

1 2

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NOTE: Gandhi is expected to issue a detailed circular of instructions to all Congressmen by the 5th. On the 9th, 25 persons are starting in procession, in batches of five from quarters of Bombay, and converging at 5.30 a.m. (time dictated by Gandhi) at Chowpatty Sands and carry out the day’s programme. Police Commissioner’s Office, Bombay, File No. 3001/H. Courtesy: Government of Maharashtra

APPENDIX XVII A RESOLUTION1
The Working Committee have given their full and earnest consideration to the proposals made by the British War Cabinet in regard to India and the elucidation thereof by Sir Stafford Cripps. These proposals, which have been made at the very last hour because of the compulsion of events, have to be considered not only in relation to India’s demand for independence, but more especially in the present grave war crisis, with a view to meeting effectively the perils and dangers that confront India and envelop the world. The Congress has repeatedly stated, ever since the commencement of the War in September 1939, that the people of India would line themselves with the progressive forces of the world and assume full responsibility to face the new problems and shoulder the new burdens that had arisen, and it asked for the necessary conditions to enable them to do so to be created. An essential condition was the freedom of India, for only the realization of present freedom could light the flame which would illumine millions of hearts and move them to action. At the last meeting of the All-India Congress Committee, after the commencement of the War in the Pacific, it was stated that: “Only a free and independent India can be in a position to undertake the defence of the country on a national basis and be of help in the furtherance of the larger causes that are emerging from the storm of war.” The British War Cabinet’s new proposals relate principally to the future upon the cessation of hostilities. The Committee, while recognizing that self-determination for the people of India is accepted in principle in that uncertain future, regret that this is fettered and circumscribed and certain provisions have been introduced which gravely imperil the development of a free and united nation and the establishment of a democratic State. Even the constitution-making body is so constituted that the people’s right to self-determination is vitiated by the A copy of the resolution, passed by the Congress Working Committee, was handed over to Sir Stafford-Cripps on April 2, 1942. The Resolution however was released to the Press on April 11 after the negotiations failed. Vide “interview to Shyama Prasad Mookerjee”, 5-8-1944. VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944
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introduction of non-representative elements. The people of India have as a whole clearly demanded full independence and the Congress has repeatedly declared that no other status except that of independence for the whole of India could be agreed to or could meet the essential requirements of the present situation. The Committee recognize that future independence may be implicit in the proposals but the accompanying provisions and restrictions are such that real freedom may well become an illusion. The complete ignoring of the ninety millions of the people of the Indian States and their treatment as commodities at the disposal of their rulers is a negation of both democracy and self-determination. While the representation of an Indian State in the constitution-making body is fixed on a population basis, the people of the States have no voice in choosing those representatives, nor are they to be consulted at any stage, while decisions vitally affecting them are being taken. Such States may in many way become barriers to the growth of Indian freedom, enclaves where foreign authority still prevails and where the possibility of maintaining foreign armed forces has been stated to be a likely contingency, and a perpetual menace to the freedom of the people of the State as well as of the rest of India. The acceptance beforehand of the novel principle of non-accession for a province is also a severe blow to the conception of Indian unity and an apple of discord likely to generate growing trouble in the provinces, and which may well lead to further difficulties in the way of the Indian States merging themselves in the Indian Union. The Congress has been wedded to Indian freedom and unity and any break in that unity, especially in the modern world when people’s minds inevitably think in terms of ever larger federations, would be injurious to all concerned and exceedingly painful to contemplate. Nevertheless the Committee cannot think in terms of compelling the people in any territorial unit to remain in an Indian Union against their declared and established will. While recognizing this principle, the Committee feel that every effort should be made to create conditions which would help the different units in developing a common and co-operative national life. The acceptance of the principle inevitably involves that no changes should be made which result in fresh problems being created and compulsion being exercised on other substantial groups within that area. Each territorial unit should have the fullest possible autonomy within the Union, consistently with a strong national State. The proposal now made on the part of the British War Cabinet encourages and will lead to attempts at separation at the very inception of a Union and thus create friction just when the utmost co-operation and goodwill are most needed. This proposal has been presumably made to meet a communal demand, but it will have other consequences also and lead politically reactionary and obscurantist groups among different communities to create trouble and divert public attention from the vital issues before the country.

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Any proposal concerning the future of India must demand attention and scrutiny, but in today’s grave crisis, it is the present that counts, and even proposals for the future are important in so far as they affect the present. The Committee have necessarily attached the greatest importance to this aspect of the question, and on this ultimately depends what advice they should give to those who look to them for guidance. For the present the British War Cabinet’s proposals are vague and altogether incomplete and it would appear that no vital changes in the present structure are contemplated. It has been made clear that the Defence of India will in any event remain under British control. At any time defence is a vital subject; during war time it is all-important and covers almost every sphere of life and administration. To take away defence from the sphere of responsibility at this stage is to reduce that responsibility to a farce and a nullity, and to make it perfectly clear that India is not going to be free in any way and her Government is not going to function as a free and independent government during the pendency of the War. The Committee would repeat that an essential and fundamental prerequisite for the assumption of responsibility by the Indian people in the present is their realization as a fact that they are free and are in charge of maintaining and defending their freedom. What is most wanted is the enthusiastic response of the people which cannot be evoked without the fullest trust in them and the devolution of responsibility on them in the matter of defence. It is only thus that even at this grave eleventh hour it may be possible to galvanize the people of India to rise to the height of the occasion. It is manifest that the present Government of India, as well as its provincial agencies, are lacking in competence, and are incapable of shouldering the burden of India’s defence. It is only the people of India, through their popular representatives, who may shoulder this burden worthily. But that can only be done by present freedom, and full responsibility being cast upon them. The Committee, therefore, are unable to accept the proposals put forward on behalf of the British War Cabinet. The Indian Annual Regist er: 1942, Vol. I, pp. 224-5

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APPENDIX XVIII LETTER FROM K. M. MUNSHI 1
BOMBAY, August 9, 1944
RESPECTED BAPU,

I had been to Lahore in connection with a case and returned today. 1. Khizr’s man had contacted me. He himself was out of town. He wishes that no commitments be made with Jinnah regarding the Punjab. He is not concerned with whatever else you may do. He will oppose the partition. He is not a man of daring. Glaney2 , Sir Zafrulla 3 , Sultan Ahmed 4 , are on his side. He will send a messenger to you in a few days. 2. Chhoturam5 and his party are greatly upset. They are preparing against the partition of the Punjab and are against Pakistan. 3. The Hindu leaders too are very much enraged. Your message was conveyed to Sir Tek Chand Bakshi6 by telephone at Dalhousie. He is keeping indifferent health, otherwise he would have come to see you. It is naturally difficult to comprehend from your statements how the Rajaji Formula and Akhand Hindustan can be reconciled. 4. Dr. Gopichand 7 met me here. They will not violate discipline; but their minds are greatly perturbed. They are not satisfied with the written consolation you gave them at Juhu. 5. The Sikhs who were the protagonists of Azad Punjab have now become supporters of Akhand Hindustan, at least for the present. Master Tara Singh sent a message that he would meet me; but did not turn up. He is anxious to meet you. He is possibly nursing a grievance that he was not accorded a proper reception during one of his visits to Wardha. 6. I had talks with Sant Singh and other Nationalist Sikhs also. They do not mind if some final settlement is arrived at. 7. Jinnah had held several secret negotiations and part of their trend has come

Vide “Letter to K. M. Munshi”, 12-8-1944. Sir Bertrand Glaney, Governor of the Punjab 3 Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan 4 Sir Sultan Ahmed, Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council 5 Sir Chhoturam, Minister in the Punjab Cabinet 6 Ex-Chief Justice of the Punjab 7 Dr. Gopichand Bhargava, leader of the Congress Party in the Punjab Assembly
2

1

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to be known: (1) He would start by demanding 50% in the National Government; but would accept 42% in the end. (2) He had discussed five plans for plebiscite, though it is not known what those plans were. 8. As far as possible, I am keeping quiet about the Rajaji Formula. But (my) mind remains perturbed. Friends press me and in most cases misunderstandings arise. My Congress friends hint that I am thus staging a come-back to the Congress. Others say that I am betraying the cause of Akhand Hindustan on your account. Should I say something explicitly or should I maintain silence? According to my humble opinion, (1) Akhand Hindustan is a fundamental principle for me. I am unable to change anything in it. (2) Whatever the Constitution, only the areas having Muslim majority in India should constitute separate units. We cannot reconcile ourselves till the Punjab and Bengal are not partitioned. (3) It does not seem probable that the policy of Hindu-Muslim unity which has been a failure for the (past) 25 years will now succeed. (4) Today, none but the Muslims are honestly welcoming the Rajaji Formula. You are of course powerful. There would be many who, for several reasons, would accept whatever you say. But what is rankling in their hearts would no doubt continue to do so. (5) By supporting the Rajaji Formula you have been able to prove your readiness to arrive at a communal settlement. (6) Jinnah’s ambition of 25 years to determine the future of India in partnership with you is fulfilled. He is now convinced that the British are out to hit at him in the Punjab, and so he is eager to arrive at some settlement. If the settlement arrived at is such that it could be misused or if there is a deadlock, the situation is likely to be worse than it was. I am so disturbed about this thing that I am relieving my burden by expressing myself to you. If, in your opinion, I should publish my viewpoint in the proper form, do kindly let me know. I shall prepare it and send it for your prior approval. Yours respectfully, KANU MUNSHI Pilgri mage to Freedo m, Vol. I, pp. 437-8

APPENDIX XIX LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH 1
September 10, 1944
DEAR MR. GANDHI,

With reference to our talk yesterday, September 9th, I understood from you that you had come to discuss the Hindu-Muslim settlement with me in your individual capacity, and not in any representative character or capacity on behalf of the Hindus or the Congress, nor had you any authority to do so. I naturally pointed out to you
1

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 11-9-1944.

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that there must be someone on the other side with authority holding a representative status with whom I can negotiate and, if possible, come to a settlement of the Hindu-Muslim question, and that for the position you had adopted there was no precedent, and that this raises great difficulties in my way. As you know, I can only speak on behalf of Muslim India and the All-India Muslim League, as the President of the organization which I represent, and as such I am subject to and governed by its constitution, rules and regulations. I think you realize and will admit that the settlement of the Hindu-Muslim question is the foremost and the major hurdle, and unless the representatives of these two nations put their heads together, how is one to make any headway with it? Nevertheless, I explained to you the Lahore Resolution of March 1940, and tried to persuade you to accept the basic and fundamental principles embodied in that resolution, but you not only refused to consider it but emphasized your opposition to the basic position indicated in the resolution, and remarked that there was “an ocean between you and me”, and when I asked you what is then the alternative you suggest, you put forward a formula of Mr. Rajagopalachari, approved of by you. We discussed it, and as the various matters were vague and nebulous, and some required clarification, I wanted to have a clear idea of what it really meant, and what were its implications, and asked you for explanation and clarification regarding the proposals embodied in that Formula. After some discussion, you requested me to formulate in writing my points that I thought required or called for explanation and clarification, and to communicate with you and that you would reply in writing before our next meeting on Monday, September 11th, at 5.30 p.m. I am, therefore, submitting to you the following points which required clarification: 1. With regard to the preamble: in what capacity will you be a consenting party if any agreement is reached between you and me? 2. Clause 1: With regard to “the constitution for free India” referred to in this clause, I would like to know first, what constitution do you refer to, who will frame it, and when will it come into being? Next, it is stated in the Formula that “the Muslim League endorses the Indian demand for independence.” Does it mean the Congress demand for Independence as formulated in the August Resolution of 1942 by the All-India Congress Committee in Bombay or, if not, what is the significance of this term, for you know the Muslim League has made it clear not only by its resolutions but also by its creed, which is embodied in its constitution, that we stand for the freedom and independence of the whole of this subcontinent, and that applies to Pakistan and Hindustan. Next, it is stated that the Muslim League “will co-operate with the Congress in the formulation of a Provisional Interim Government for the transitional period”. I would like to know the basis or the lines on which such a Government is to be set up

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or constituted. If you have a complete and definite scheme, please let me have it. 3. Clause 2: Who will appoint the Commission referred to in this clause and who will give effect to their findings? What is the meaning of “absolute majority” referred to in it? Will the contemplated plebiscite be taken district-wise, or, if not, on what basis? Who will determine and decide whether such a plebiscite should be based on adult franchise or other practicable franchise? Who will give effect to the decision or verdict of the above mentioned plebiscite? Would only the districts on the border which are taken out from the boundaries of the present provinces by delimitation be entitled to choose to join either State or also those outside the present boundaries would have the right to choose to join either State? 4. Clause 3: Who are meant by “all parties” in this clause? 5. Clause 4: I would like to know between whom and through what machinery and agency will the “mutual agreements” referred to in this clause be entered into? What is meant by “safeguarding defence and commerce, communi-cations and for other essential purposes”? Safeguarding against whom? 6. Clause 6: “These terms shall be binding only in case of transfer by Britain of full power and responsibility for the Government of India.” I would like to know to whom is this power to be transferred, through what machinery and agency, and when? These are some of the important points that occur to me for the moment, which require explanation and clarification, and hope that you will let me have full details with regard to the various points that I have raised, in order that I may be better able to understand and judge your proposals before I can deal with them satisfactorily. Yours sincerely, J INNAH The Hindu, 29-9-1944

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APPENDIX XX LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH 1
September 10, 1944
DEAR MR. GANDHI,

I received your letter of September 11 at 5 p.m. today. I note that you have approached me as an individual, and I have already expressed my views about it. Please do not take it that I acquiesce in the position that you have adopted, for which there is no precedent. Nevertheless, I proceeded to discuss matters with you naturally because I am anxious to convert you to my point of view, if possible. I urged you that the only solution of India’s problem is to accept the division of India as Pakistan and Hindustan, as briefly laid down in the Lahore Resolution of March 1940, and proceed to settle the details forthwith. You say the Lahore Resolution is indefinite. You never asked me for any clarification or explanation of the terms of the Resolution, but you really indicated your emphatic opposition to the very basis and the fundamental principles embodied in it. I would, therefore, like to know in what way or respect the Lahore Resolution is indefinite. I cannot agree that Rajaji has taken from it its substance and given it shape. On the contrary, he has not only put it out of shape but mutilated it, as I explained in my speech which I delivered at the meeting of the Council of the All-India Muslim League at Lahore on the 30th of July, 1944. 2. You say the “first condition of the exercise of the right of selfdetermination is achieving independence by the joint action of all the parties and groups composing India. If such joint action is unfortunately impossible, then, too, I must fight with the assistance of such elements as can be brought together”. This in my opinion is, as I have repeatedly said, putting the cart before the horse, and is generally opposed to the policy and declarations of the All-India Muslim League, and you are only holding on firmly to the August Resolution of 1942. In order to achieve the freedom and independence of the peoples of India, it is essential, in the first instance, that there should be a Hindu-Muslim settlement. Of course, I am thankful to you when you say that you are pledged to use all the influence that you have with the Congress to ratify your agreement with me, but that is not enough in my judgement, although it will be a very valuable help to me. I once more ask you, please, to let me know what is your conception of the basis for the formation of a Provisional Interim Government. No doubt it will be subject to agreement between the League and the Congress, but I think in fairness you should at least give me some rough idea of the lines of your conception, for you must have thought it out by now, and I would like to

1

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 11-9-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

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know what are your proposals or scheme for the formation of a Provisional Interim Government, which can give me some clear picture to understand it. 3. You have omitted to answer my question as to who will give effect to the findings of the Commission, and also it is not clear to me what you mean by absolute majority, when you say it means “a clear majority over non-Muslim elements as in Sind, Baluchistan or the Frontier Province”. You have not even replied to my question as to who will decide the form of the plebiscite and the franchise contemplated by the Formula. 4. The answer does not carry any clear idea when you say “all parties means parties interested”. 5. You say “mutual agreement means agreement between contracting parties”, who are the contracting parties once a Provisional Interim Government is established of your conception? Who will appoint the Central or Joint Board of Control, which will safeguard defence, etc., and on what principle, through what machinery and agency, and subject to whose control and orders will such a Central or Joint Board be? 6. You say “the power is to be transferred to the nation, that is, to the Provisional Government”. That is all the greater reason why I would like to know full details of the Provisional Government as contemplated by you and of your conception. Yours sincerely, J INNAH The Hindu. 29-9-1944

APPENDIX XXI LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH 1
September 11, 1944
DEAR MR. GANDHI,

I received your letter of September 14 at 4.45 p.m. today in reply to my letter of September 11 (and not of September 13 as you state, which seems to be a mistake) and I thank you for it. 1. Please let me have as soon as you can your promised letter indicating in what way or respect the Lahore Resolution is “indefinite”. 2. With regard to the provision in the Gandhi-Rajaji Formula that “the Muslim League endorses the Indian demand for Independence”, I asked you in my letter dated September 10, “does it mean the Congress demand for independence, as formulated in
1

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 14-9-1944and 15-9-1944.

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the August 1942 Resolution by the All India Congress Committee in Bombay or, if not, what is the significance of this term?”, to which you replied by your letter of September 11, “The Independence contemplated is of the whole of India as it stands.” Hence I again ask, does it mean on the basis of a United India? I find that you have not clarified the point satisfactorily. As regards the next part of the clause, the Formula proceeds to lay down that “the Muslim League will co-operate with the Congress in the formation of the Provisional Interim Government for the transitional period”. I requested you by my letter of September 10 to let me know “the basis or the lines on which such a Government is to be set up or constituted. If you have a complete and definite scheme, please let me have it” to which you replied by your letter of September 11 under reply that “the basis for the formation of the Provisional Interim Government will have to be agreed to between the League and the Congress.” But that is not meeting my request for clarification, or giving me at least the outlines of such a Government. And that is what I have been asking for. I hope that you do appreciate my point when I am requesting you to let me have rough outlines of the proposed Provisional Interim Government according to the Formula, so that I may have some idea. Of course, I can quite understand that such a Provisional Interim Government will represent all the parties and would be of a character that will inspire confidence at the present moment of all the parties. I can quite understand that when the moment arrives, certain things may follow but before we can deal with this Formula in a satisfactory manner, I repeat again that as it is your Formula, you should give me a rough idea of the Provisional Interim Government that you contemplate and of your conception. What I would like to know would be, what will be the powers of such a Provisional Interim Government, how it will be formed, to whom it will be responsible, and what will be its composition, etc. You, being the sponsor of this Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, should give me some rough idea and picture of it, so that I may understand what this part of the Formula means. In your letter of September 14 in reply to my letter of September 11, you inform me that you would have told me if you had any scheme in mind. “I imagine that if we two can agree it would be for us to consult the other parties”, but that is just the point. Unless I have some outlines or scheme, however rough, from you, what are we to discuss in order to reach any agreement? As regards the other matters which you have further explained, I have noted the explanation, and I do not think I need press you further, although some of them are not quite satisfactory. Yours sincerely, J INNAH The Hindu, 29-9-1944

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APPENDIX XXII LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH 1
September 17, 1944
DEAR MR. GANDHI,

I have your letter of September 15, and I thank you for it. I note that you have for the moment shunted the Rajaji Formula and are applying your mind very seriously to the Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League. It is my duty to explain the Lahore Resolution to you today and persuade you to accept it, even though you are talking to me, as you have often made it clear, in your individual capacity. I have successfully converted non-Muslim Indians in no small number and also a large body of foreigners, and if I can convert you, exercising as you do tremendous influence over Hindu India, it will be no small assistance to me, although we are not proceeding on the footing that you are carrying on these talks in your representative character or capacity, and my difficulties remain until you are vested with a representative status and authority in order to negotiate and reach an agreement with you. You have stated in your letter dated September 11 that the Lahore Resolution is “indefinite”. I, therefore, naturally asked you to please let me know in what way or respect the Lahore Resolution is indefinite, and now I have received your letter of September 15 under reply. The third paragraph of your letter is not seeking clarification, but a disquisition and expression of your views on the point, whether the Mussalmans are a nation. This matter can hardly be discussed by means of correspondence. There is a great deal of discussion and literature on this point which is available, and it is for you to judge finally, when you have studied this question thoroughly, whether the Mussalmans and Hindus are not two major nations in this sub-continent. For the moment, I would refer you to two publications, although there are many more—Dr. Ambedkar’s book and “M. R. T.’s” Nationalism in Conflict in India. We maintain and hold that Muslims and Hindus are two major nations by any definition or test of a nation. We are a nation of hundred million, and what is more, we are a nation with our own distinctive culture and civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of value and proportion, legal laws and moral codes, customs and calendar, history and traditions, aptitudes and ambitions; in short, we have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all canons of international law we are a nation. Now I shall reply to your various points: 1. Yes, the word “Pakistan” is not mentioned in the Resolution and it does not
1

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 19-9-1944.

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bear the original meaning. The word has now become synonymous with the Lahore Resolution. 2. This point does not arise, but still I reply that the question is a mere bogey. 3. This point is covered by my answer that the Mussalmans of India are a nation. As to the last part of your query, it is hardly relevant to the matter of clarification of the Resolution. 4. Surely, you know what the word “Muslims” means. 5. This point does not arise by way of clarification of the text of the Lahore Resolution. 6. No. They will form units of Pakistan. 7. As soon as the basis and the principles embodied in the Lahore Resolution are accepted, the question of demarcation will have to be taken up immediately. 8. In view of my reply to (7), your question (8) has been answered. 9. Does not relate to clarification. 10. My answer to (9) covers this point. 11. Does not arise out of the clarification of the Resolution. Surely, this is not asking for clarification of the Resolution. I have in numerous speeches of mine and the Muslim League in its resolutions have pointed out that this is the only solution of India’s problem and the road to achieve freedom and independence of the peoples of India. 12. “Muslims under the Princes”: The Lahore Resolution is only confined to British India. This question does not arise out of clarification of the Resolution. 13. The definition of “minorities”: You yourself have often said minorities mean “accepted minorities”. 14. The adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards for minorities referred to in the Resolution are a matter for negotiation and settlement with the minorities in the respective States, viz., Pakistan and Hindustan. 15. It does give basic principles and when they are accepted, then the details will have to be worked out by the contracting parties. (a & b). Does not arise by way of clarification; (c) The Muslim League is the only authoritative and representative organization of Muslim India; (d) No. See answer (C). As regards your final paragraph, before receiving clarifications from me you have already passed your judgment and condemned the Lahore Resolution, when you say, “As I write the letter and imagine the working of the Resolution in practice I see nothing but ruin for the whole of India.” I understand that you have made clear to me that you represent nobody but yourself, and I am trying to persuade you and to convert you that this is the road which will lead us all to the achievement of freedom and

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independence, not only of the two major nations, Hindus and Muslims, but of the rest of the peoples of India, but when you proceed to say that you aspire to represent all the inhabitants of India, I regret I cannot accept that statement of yours. It is quite clear that you represent nobody else but the Hindus, and as long as you do not realize your true position and the realities, it is very difficult for me to argue with you, and it becomes still more difficult to persuade you, and hope to convert you to the realities and the actual conditions prevailing in India today. I am pleading before you in the hope of converting you, as I have done with many others successfully. As I have said before, you are a great man and you exercise enormous influence over the Hindus, particularly the masses, and by accepting the road that I am pointing out to you, you are not prejudicing or harming the interests of the Hindus or of the minorities. On the contrary, Hindus will be the greater gainers. I am convinced that true welfare not only of the Muslim but the rest of India lies in the division of India as proposed by the Lahore Resolution. It is for you to consider whether it is not your policy and programme, in which you have persisted, which has been the principal factor of ‘ruin of the whole of India’ and of misery and degradation of the people to which you refer and which I deplore no less than anyone else. And it is for that very reason I am pleading before you all these days, although you insist that you are having talks with me only in your individual capacity, in the hope that you may yet revise your policy and programme. Yours sincerely, J INNAH The Hindu, 29-9-1944

APPENDIX XXIII LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH 1
September 21, 1944
DEAR MR. GANDHI,

I am in receipt of your letter of September 19, and I have already given you my answers to all your questions relating to clarification of the Lahore Resolution or any part of it, and I am glad that you admit when you say it may be that “all my questions do not arise from the view of mere clarification of the Lahore Resolution”, but you particularly emphasize your points 15 (a) and 15 (b). I regret to say it has no relation to the context of the Resolution or any part thereof. You have brought so many matters into our correspondence, which are entirely outside the matter requiring clarification, so I have perforce to deal with
1

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 19-9-1944 and 22-9-1944.

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them. Let me first deal with your letter of September 11. 1. You say, “My life mission has been Hindu-Muslim unity, which I want for its own sake but which is not to be achieved without the foreign ruling power being ousted. Hence the first condition of the exercise of the right of self-determination is achieving independence by the joint action of all the parties and groups composing India. If such joint action is unfortunately impossible, then too I must fight with the assistance of such elements as can be brought together.” 2. The gist of your letters up to date is that you are wedded to this policy and will pursue it. In your next letter of September 14, while you were good enough to furnish me with the clarification of the Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, you were pleased to observe: “I have, at any rate for the moment, put it out of my mind and I am now concentrating on the Lahore Resolution in the hope of finding a ground for mutual agreement.” In your letter of September 15, you say “Independence does mean as envisaged in the A.I.C.C. Resolution of 1942.” It is, therefore, clear that you are not prepared to revise your policy and that you adhere firmly to your policy and programme, which you have persisted in and which culminated in your demand, final policy, programme and the method and sanction for enforcing it by resorting to mass civil disobedience in terms of the August 8, 1942, Resolution, and you have made it more clear again by stating in your letter of September 19 as follows: “As to your verdict on my policy and programme, we must agree to differ. For, I am whollyunrepentant.” You know that the August 1942 Resolution is inimical to the ideals and demands of Muslim India. Then again, in the course of our discussion when I asked you for clarification of the Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, you were pleased to say, by your letter of September 15 as follows: “For the moment I have shunted the Rajaji Formula and with your assistance am applying my mind very seriously to the famous Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League.” We discussed it in its various aspects, as you told me you were open to be persuaded and converted to our point of view. I discussed the Resolution at great length with you, and explained everything you wanted to understand, even though you have emphasized more than once that you are having these talks with me in your personal capacity, and in your letter of September 15 you assured me in the following words with regard to the Lahore Resolution: “Believe me, I approach you as a seeker, though I represent nobody but myself,” and that you were open to conviction and conversion. You had informed me by your letter of September 11 as follows: “It is true that I said an ocean separated you and me in outlook. But that had no reference to the Lahore Resolution of the League. The League Resolution is indefinite.” I naturally, therefore, proceeded in reply to ask you by my letter of September 11 as follows: “You say the Lahore Resolution is indefinite. You never asked me for any clarification or explanation of the terms of the Resolution, but you really indicated your emphatic opposition to the very basis and the fundamental principles embodied in it. I would, therefore, like to know in what way or respect the Lahore Resolution is indefinite,” and I sent you a reminder on September 13, to which you replied by your letter of September 15, not confining yourself really

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to matters of clarification, but introducing other extraneous matters, with some of which I had already dealt, in reply to this letter of yours of September 15, by my letter of September 17 and furnished you with all the clarifications, informing you that you had introduced several matters which could hardly be discussed in a satisfactory manner by means of correspondence. I have already given you all the clarifications you require so far as the Lahore Resolution goes and its text is concerned. You again raise further arguments, reasons and grounds and continue to persist in a disquisition on the point, amongst others, whether Muslims of India are a nation, and then you proceed further to say: “Can we not agree to differ on the question of two nations and yet solve the problem on the basis of self-determination?” It seems to me that you are labouring under some misconception of the real meaning of the word “self-determination’. Apart from the inconsistencies and contradictions of the various positions that you have adopted in the course of our correspondence, as indicated above, can you not appreciate our point of view that we claim the right of self-determination as a nation and not as a territorial unit, and that we are entitled to exercise our inherent right as a Muslim nation, which is our birth-right? Whereas you are labouring under the wrong idea that “self-determination” means only that of “a territorial unit” which, by the way, is neither demarcated nor defined yet; and there is no Union or Federal Constitution of India in being, functioning as a sovereign Central Government. Ours is a case of division and carving out two independent sovereign States by way of settlement between two major nations, Hindus and Muslims, and not of severance or secession from any existing union, which is non-existent in India. The right of self-determination which we claim postulates that we are a nation, and as such it would be the self-determination of the Mussalmans, and they alone are entitled to exercise that right. I hope you will now understand that your question 15(a) does not arise out of the Lahore Resolution or of any part thereof. As to 15(b), again it does not arise as a matter of clarification, for it will be a matter for the constitution-making body chosen by Pakistan to deal with and decide all matters as a sovereign body representing Pakistan vis-a-vis the constitution-making body of Hindustan or any other party concerned. There cannot be Defence and similar matters of “common concern” when it is accepted that Pakistan and Hindustan will be two separate independent sovereign States. I hope I have now given all satisfactory explanations, over and above the matter of clarification of the Lahore Resolution, in the hope of converting you as an individual “seeker”. Yours sincerely, J INNAH The Hindu, 29-9-1944

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APPENDIX XXIV LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH 1
September 23, 1944
DEAR MR. GANDHI,

I am in receipt of your letter of September 22 and thank you for it. I am sorry that you think I have summarily rejected the idea of common interest between two arms, and now you put it somewhat differently from 15(a), when you say there will be no feeling of security by the people of India without a recognition of the natural and mutual obligations arising out of physical contiguity. My answer, already given, is that it will be for the constitution-making body of Pakistan and that of Hindustan, or any other party concerned, to deal with such matters on the footing of their being two independent States. I am really surprised when you say there is no proof of what you characterize as a sweeping statement of mine, that the August 1942 Resolution is inimical to the ideals and demands of Muslim India. The Resolution in its essence is as follows: (a) Immediate grant of Complete Independence [and] setting up immediately of a Federal Central Government on the basis of a united, democratic Government of India with federated units or Provinces, which means establishing a Hindu Raj. (b) That this National Government so set up will evolve a scheme for a Constituent Assembly, which will be chosen by adult franchise, which will prepare a constitution for the Government of India, which means that the Constituent Assembly chosen will be composed of an overwhelming majority of the Hindus, nearly 75 per cent. (c) To enforce this demand of the Congress the August Resolution decides on and sanctions a resort to mass civil disobedience at your command and when ordered by you as the sole Dictator of the Congress. This demand is basically and fundamentally opposed to the ideals and demands of Muslim India of Pakistan, as embodied in the Lahore Resolution, and to enforce such a demand by means of resort to mass civil disobedience is inimical to the ideals and demands of Muslim India, and if you succeed in realizing this demand it would be a death-blow to Muslim India. I see from the correspondence and talks between you and me that you are still holding fast to this fateful resolution. From the very first day of our talks, you made it clear to me, and you have repeatedly said in the course of our correspondence and talks that you have approached me in your individual capacity, and you assured me that you were a seeker of light and
1

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 22-9-1944 and 24-9-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

472

knowledge and that you seriously and earnestly wanted to understand the Lahore Resolution and were open to conviction and conversion. Therefore, in deference to your wishes I made every effort all these days and in the course of our prolonged talks and correspondence to convert you, but unfortunately it seems I have failed. And now you have made new suggestions and proposals by your letter under reply. 1. You say, “I have, therefore, suggested a way out. Let it be a partition as between two brothers, if a division there must be”. I really do not know what this means, and I would like you to elaborate this proposal and give me some rough outlines of this new idea of yours, as to how and when, the division is to take place, and in what way it is different from the division envisaged by the Lahore Resolution. 2. You say, “Let us call in a third party or parties to guide or even arbitrate between us”. May I point out that you have repeatedly made clear to me that you are having these talks as an individual seeker? How can any question of a third party or parties to guide or arbitrate between us arise? Yours sincerely, J INNAH The Hindu, 29-9-1944

APPENDIX XXV LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH 1
September 25, 1944
DEAR MR. GANDHI,

I am in receipt of your letter of September 24, and I thank you for it. You have already rejected the basic and fundamental principles of the Lahore Resolution. 1. You do not accept that the Mussalmans of India are a nation. 2. You do not accept that the Mussalmans have an inherent right of self-determination. 3. You do not accept that they alone are entitled to exercise this right of theirs for self-determination. 4. You do not accept that Pakistan is composed of two zones, north-west and north-east, comprising six Provinces, namely, Sind, Baluchistan, North-West Frontier Provinces, Punjab, Bengal and Assam, subject to territorial adjustments that may be agreed upon, as indicated in the Lahore Resolution. The matter of demarcating and defining the territories can be taken up after the fundamentals above mentioned are accepted, and for that purpose, machinery may be set up by agreement.
1

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 24-9-1944. Only extracts are reproduced here.

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You do not accept the provisions embodied in the Lahore Resolution for safeguarding the minorities. . . . . . . I asked you . . . to give me rough outlines of this new idea of yours as to how and when the division is to take place and in what way it is different from the division envisaged in the Lahore Resolution, and now you have been good enough to give me your amplification, in your letter of September 24 under reply. . . . The terms clearly indicate that your basis is in vital conflict with and is opposed to the fundamental basis and principles of the Lahore Resolution. Now let me take your main terms: (a) “I proceed on the assumption that India is not to be regarded as two or more nations, but as one family consisting of many members, of whom the Muslims living in the north-west zones, i e., Baluchistan, Sind, North-West Frontier Province and that part of the Punjab where they are in absolute majority over all the other elements and in parts of Bengal and Assam where they are in absolute majority, desire to live in separation from the rest of India.” If this term were accepted and given effect to, the present boundaries of these Provinces would be maimed and mutilated beyond redemption and leave us only with the husk, and it is opposed to the Lahore Resolution. (b) That even in these mutilated areas so defined, the right of self-determination will not be exercised by the Muslims but by the inhabitants of these areas so demarcated. This again is opposed to the fundamentals of the Lahore Resolution. (c) That if the vote is in favour of separation, they shall be followed to “form a separate State as soon as possible after India is free from foreign domination”, whereas we propose that we should come to a complete settlement of our own immediately and by our united front and efforts do everything in our power to secure the freedom and independence of the peoples of India on the basis of Pakistan and Hindustan. (d) Next you say, “There shall be a treaty of separation which should also provide for the efficient and satisfactory administration of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Internal Communications, Customs, Commerce, and the like, which must necessarily continue to be matters of common interest between the contracting parties.” If these vital matters are to be administered by some central authority, you do not indicate what sort of authority or machinery will be set up to administer these matters, and how and to whom again that authority will be responsible. According to the Lahore Resolution, as I have already explained to you, all these matters, which are the life-blood of any State, cannot be delegated to any central authority or government. The matter of security of the two States and the natural and mutual obligations that may arise out of physical contiguity will be for the constitution-making body of

474

THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

Pakistan and that of Hindustan, or [any] other party concerned, to deal with on the footing of their being two independent States. As regards the safeguarding of the rights of minorities, I have already explained that this question of safeguarding the minorities is fully stated in the Lahore Resolution. You will, therefore, see that the entire basis of your new proposal is fundamentally opposed to the Lahore Resolution, and as I have already pointed out to you both in the correspondence and in our discussions, it is very difficult for me to entertain counter-proposals and negotiate . . . unless they come from you in your representative capacity. That was the same difficulty with regard to the Gandhi-Rajaji Formula, and I made it clear to you, at the very outset, but the Formula was discussed as you asserted that it had met the Lahore Resolution in substance. But while you were furnishing me with the clarification of this Formula, you shunted it and we confined ourselves to the Lahore Resolution, and hence the question of your representative capacity did not arise regarding this Formula. But now you have, in your letter of September 24, made a new proposal of your own on your own basis, and the same difficulties present themselves to me as before, and it is difficult to deal with it any further unless it comes from you in your representative capacity. I cannot agree with you when you finally wind up by saying: “In your letter of 23rd September, you refer to ‘the basic and fundamental principles embodied in the Lahore Resolution’ and ask me to accept them. Surely, this is unnecessary when as I feel I have accepted the concrete consequence that should follow from such acceptance.” This is obviously far from correct. Why not then accept the fundamentals of the Lahore Resolution and proceed to settle the details? Yours sincerely, M. A. J INNAH The Hindu, 29-9-1944

APPENDIX XXVI LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH 1
September 26, 1944

DEAR MR. GANDHI,

I am in receipt of your letter of September 25. It is entirely incorrect and has no foundation in fact, for you to say that our conversations have come about as a result of my correspondence with Rajaji in July last over his Formula. It is equally baseless to say “and your consultations with the League Working Committee thereon”.
1

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 26-9-1944.

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It was entirely in response to your letter of July 17, 1944, which I received while I was at Srinagar, with a fervent request on your part to meet you, and you ended that letter by saying, “Do not disappoint me.” In my reply, again from Srinagar, dated July 24, 1944, I intimated to you that I would be glad to receive you at my house in Bombay on my return, which would probably be about the middle of August. This was long before the meeting of the Working Committee or that of the Council of the All-India Muslim League, and long before I reached Lahore, and when you arrived here and told me that you were approaching me in your individual capacity, I at once made it clear to you and informed you, both in our talks and by my letter, that the position you had taken up had no precedent for it, and further that it was not possible to negotiate and reach an agreement unless both the parties were fully represented. For, it is one-sided business, as it will not be binding upon any organization in any sense whatever, but you would as an individual only recommend it, if any agreement is reached, to the Congress and the country, whereas it would be binding upon me as the President of the Muslim League. I cannot accept this position. I hope you do see the unfairness and the great disadvantage to me, and it is so simple and elementary for anyone to understand. As regards your proposal of yesterday, which you have simplified in your letter of September 24, I have already sent you my reply. With regard to your suggestion to be allowed to address the meeting of the Council, and if they feel like rejecting your “offer” the matter should be put before the open session, let me inform you that only a member or delegate is entitled to participate in the deliberations of the meetings of the Council or in the open session respectively. Besides, it is a most extraordinary and unprecedented suggestion to make. However, I thank you for your advice. As regards your proposal for arbitration and outside guidance, I have already replied to you, and it is not merely technical but a matter of substance. I fully reciprocate your desire for securing a Congress-League settlement. However, I regret I have failed to convince you and convert you, as I was hopeful of doing. Yours sincerely, M. A. J INNAH The Hindu, 29-9-1944

476

THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

APPENDIX XXVII LETTER FROM M. A. JINNAH 1
September 26, 1944
DEAR MR. GANDHI,

I have received your letter of September 26, and I note that you have written it with Rajaji’s advice. Of course, it is for you to follow such advice as you may choose to do, but I am only concerned for the moment with you. I note that at the last moment you have resurrected the Gandhi Rajaji Formula, although it was shunted all this time and you proceed to say that this Formula gives me virtually what is embodied in the Lahore Resolution. You further say that on the same plan you have tried to formulate your latest proposals, as mentioned in your letter of September 24 and you maintain that either gives me the substance of the Lahore Resolution. In your previous letter you asserted that your Formula gives me the “essence” of the Lahore Resolution. I see a very close family resemblance between the two, and the substance of one or the other is practically the same, only it is put in different language, and I have already expressed my opinion, that in my judgment they neither meet the substance nor the essence of the Lahore Resolution. On the contrary, both are calculated to completely torpedo the Pakistan demand of Muslim India. I have never asked you to accept certain theses nor have I introduced any theories in the Lahore Resolution. Theses and theories are matters for scholars to indulge in. I am very sorry I have to repeat, but I am compelled to do so, that I cannot agree with you that my references to your not being clothed with representative authority are really irrelevant. On the contrary, they have an important bearing, as I have already explained to you more than once. You again repeat that if you and I can agree upon a common course of action, you may use what influence you possess for its acceptance by the Congress and the country. I have already stated from the very beginning that that is not enough, for the reasons I have already given. Your representative capacity comes into play when you are making counter-proposals, and I cannot understand how you can say that it is irrelevant. No responsible organization can entertain any proposal from any individual, however great he may be, unless it is backed up with the authority of a recognized organization, and comes from its fully accredited representative. However, I need not labour this point any more, as I have already explained it in our previous correspondence. If a break comes, it will be because you have not satisfied me in regard to the essence of the claim embodied in the Lahore Resolution. It is not a question of your
1

Vide “Letter to M. A. Jinnah”, 26-9-1944.

VOL. 84 : 27 JANUARY, 1944 - 1 OCTOBER, 1944

477

being unwilling, but in fact, it is so. If a break comes it will be most unfortunate. If one does not agree with you or differs from you, you are always right and the other party is always wrong, and the next thing is that many are waiting prepared, in your circle, to pillory me when the word goes, but I must face all threats and consequences, and I can only act according to my judgment and conscience. Yours sincerely, M. A. J INNAH The Hindu, 29-9-1944

APPENDIX XXVIII M. A. JINNAH’S STATEMENT 1
September 27, 1944 Mr. Gandhi from the very commencement of our talks made it clear that he had approached me in his individual capacity and that he represented no one but himself. However, he assured me that he was really open to conviction and conversion to the Muslim League Lahore Resolution of March 1940. Without prejudice to my objection that in order to reach any settlement, negotiations can only be carried on properly when the other side is also fully represented and vested with authority, in deference to Mr. Gandhi’s wishes I agreed to the task of persuading and converting him to the fundamentals of the Lahore Resolution. I have placed before him everything and every aspect of the Muslim point of view in the course of our prolonged talks and correspondence, and we discussed all the pros and cons generally, and I regret to say that I have failed in my task of converting Mr. Gandhi. We have, therefore, decided to release to the Press the correspondence that has passed between us. Nevertheless, we hope that the public will not feel embittered, and we trust that this is not the final end of our effort. Gandhi -Jinnah Talks, p. 40

1

Vide “Speech at Prayer Meeting”, 27-9-1944. THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

478

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...IRWLE VOL. 6 No. II July 2010 1 Mirror-Writing: Social-realism O.Henry and Prem Chand in the short stories of - Tanweer Jehan All writers are true inheritors and by virtue of their creative power contribute in the very process of inheritance. They take whether consciously or not, what their predecessors pass on to them, through the great treasure house of thought and feeling registered in their works. Then from their space in time and place, the socio-political conditions of the immediate world influencing their creativity and their contribution in turn, impact the lives of people ; individual lives and also certain section or class of society. This becomes more evident in times of political or socio-economic crises in the lives of nations when they are fighting for freedom, civil rights or some major changes are taking place in the social or political structure of society. Writers as social-realists reflect and thus cause changes in the society at a given point in time. This makes their writings more relevant and valuable for the future generations. 19thcentury and early 20thcentury witnessed this paradigm shift across cultures and literature written there around saw it projected with sincerity and firmness of purpose. In this article I take to find the changes that were taking place and how these were faithfully reflected in the short narrative writings of two master narrators, about their respective cultures and socio-political inheritance-O.......

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