Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

I also wanted to meet as many of my provincial

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I also wanted to meet as many of my provincial colleagues as possible to discuss, not only the existing political situation in India, but the world situation as well as the ideas that filled my mind. I thought then that the world was going rapidly toward a catastrophe, political and economic, and we ought to keep this in mind in drawing up our national programs. My household affairs also claimed my attention. I had ignored them completely so far, and I had not even examined my father's papers since his death. We had cut down our expenditure greatly, but still it was far more than we could afford. And yet it was difficult to reduce it further, so long as we lived in that house of ours. We were not keep ing a car because that was beyond our means, and also because, at any moment, it could be attached by Government. Faced by financial dif ficulties, I was diverted by the large mail of begging letters that I re ceived. (The censor passed the lot on.) There was a general and very erroneous impression, especially in south India, that I was a wealthy person. Soon after my release my younger sister, Krishna, got engaged to be married, and I was anxious to have the wedding early, before my 2 55
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enforced departure took place. Krishna herself had come out of prison a few months earlier after serving out a year. As soon as my mother *s health permitted it, I went to Poona to see Gandhiji. I was happy to see him again and to find that, though weak, he was making good progress. We had long talks. It was obvious that we differed considerably in our outlook on life and politics and eco nomics; but I was grateful to him for the generous way in which he tried to come as far as he could to meet my viewpoint. Our corre spondence, subsequently published, dealt with some of the wider issues that filled my mind, and, though they were referred to in vague lan guage, the general drift was clear. I was happy to have Gandhi ji's declaration that there must be a de-vesting of vested interests, though he laid stress that this should be by conversion, not compulsion. As some of his methods of conversion are not far removed, to my think ing, from courteous and considerate compulsion, the difference did not seem to me very great. I had the feeling with him then, as before, that though he might be averse to considering vague theories the logic of facts would take him, step by step, to the inevitability of fundamental social changes. For the present, I thought then, this question did not arise. We were in the middle of our national struggle, and civil disobedience was still the program, in theory, of the Congress, although it had been re stricted to individuals. We had to carry on as we were and try to spread socialistic ideas among the people, and especially among the more politically conscious Congress workers, so that when the time came for another declaration of policy we might be ready for a notable advance.
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  • Fall '16
  • Alan Kolata

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