Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

Outside in the government of our country we see much

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Outside, in the government of our country, we see much the same, on a larger, though less obvious, scale. But there the C.W.'s or C.O.'s are known differently. They have impressive tides, and their liveries of office are more gorgeous. And behind them, as in prison, stands the armed guard with weapons ever ready to enforce conformity. How important and essential is a prison to the modern State! The prisoner at least begins to think so, and the numerous administrative and other functions of the Government appear almost superficial be fore the basic functions of the prison, the police, the army. In prison one begins to appreciate the Marxian theory, that the State is really the coercive apparatus meant to enforce the will of a group that con trols the government. For a month I was alone in my barrack. Then a companion came Narmada Prasad Singhand his coming was a relief. Two and a half months later, on the last day of June 1930, our little enclosure was the scene of unusual excitement. Unexpectedly early in the morning, my father and Dr. Syed Mahmud were brought there. They had both been arrested in Anand Bhawan, while they were actually in their beds, that morning. XXVII THE NO-TAX CAMPAIGN IN THE UNITED PROVINCES MY FATHER'S ARREST was accompanied by, or immediately preceded by, the declaration of the Congress Working Committee as an unlawful body. This led to a new development outside the Committee would be arrested en bloc when it was having a meeting. Substitute members were added to it, under the authority given to the acting presidents, and in this way several women became acting members. Kamala was one of them. 171
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Father was in very poor health when he came to jail, and the con ditions in which he was kept there were of extreme discomfort. This was not intentional on the part of the Government, for they were pre pared to do what they could to lessen those discomforts. But they could not do much in Naini Prison. Four of us were now crowded together in the four tiny cells of my barrack. It was suggested by the superin tendent of the prison that father might be kept in some other part of the jail where he might have a little more room, but we preferred to be together, so that some of us could attend personally to his comforts. The monsoon was just beginning, and it was not particularly easy to keep perfectly dry even inside the cells, for the rainwater came through the roof occasionally and dripped in various places. At night it was always a problem where to put father's bed in the little ten-foot by five-foot veranda attached to our cell, in order to avoid the rain. Sometimes he had fever. The jail authorities ultimately decided to build an additional veranda, a fine broad one, attached to our cell. This veranda was built, and it was a great improvement, but father did not profit by it much, as he was discharged soon after it was ready.
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