LACS
Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

Then realizing perhaps that he had gone too far he

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Then, realizing, perhaps, that he had gone too far, he said that he could not, of course, commit anybody officially, and the suggestion he had made was a personal one. I was diverted by Sir Grimwood's diplomatic and roundabout ap proach to the proposal he had made. The idea of my associating myself with the Government as a Minister was unthinkable for me; indeed, it was hateful to me. But I have often yearned, then as well as in later years, for a chance to do some solid, positive, constructive work. De struction and agitation and nonco-operation are hardly normal activi ties for human beings. And yet, such is our fate, that we can only reach the land where we can build after passing through the deserts of conflict and destruction. And it may be that most of us will spend our energies and our lives in struggling and panting through those shifting sands, and the building will have to be done by our children or our children's children. I occupied myself with many activities and sought thereby to keep away from the problems that troubled me. But there was no escape from them, no getting away from the questions that were always being formed in my mind and to which I could find no satisfactory answer. Action now was partly an attempt to run away from myself; no longer was it a wholehearted expression of the self as it had been in 1920 and 1921. I came out of the shell that had protected me then and looked round at the Indian scene as well as at the world outside. I found many changes that I had not so far noticed, new ideas, new conflicts, and 94
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instead of light I saw a growing confusion. My faith in Gandhiji's leadership remained, but I began to examine some parts of his program more critically. But he was in prison and beyond our reach, and his advice could not be taken. From 1923 onward I found a great deal of solace and happiness in family life, though I gave little time to it. I have been fortunate in my family relationships, and in times of strain and difficulty they have soothed me and sheltered me. I realized, with some shame at my own unworthiness in this respect, how much I owed to my wife for her splendid behavior since 1920. Proud and sensitive as she was, she had not only put up with my vagaries but brought me comfort and solace when I needed them most. Our style of living had undergone some change since 1920. It was much simpler, and the number of servants had been greatly reduced. Even so, it was not lacking in any essential comfort. Partly to get rid of superfluities and partly to raise money for current expenditures, many things had been sold off horses and carriages, and household articles which did not fit in i with our new style of living. Part of our furniture had been seized and sold by the police. For lack of furniture and gardeners, our house lost its prim and clean appearance, and the garden went wild.
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  • Fall '16
  • Alan Kolata

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