Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

For us the choice is abject submission to the power

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For us the choice is: abject submission to the power of the State, spiritual degradation, the denial of the truth that is in us, and our moral prostitution for purposes that we consider base or opposi- 249
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tion with all the consequences thereof. No one likes to go to jail or to invite trouble. But often jail is preferable to the other alternative. XXXVIII THE END OF A LONG TERM THE TIME FOR my discharge was drawing near. I had received the usual remissions for "good behavior," and this had reduced my two- year term by three and a half months. My peace of mind., or rather the general dullness o the mind which prison produces, was being dis turbed by the excitement created by the prospect of release. What must I do outside? A difficult question, and the hesitation I had in answer ing it took away from the joy of going out. But even that was a mo mentary feeling; my long-suppressed energy was bubbling up, and I was eager to be out. The end of July 1933 brought a painful and very disturbing piece of news the sudden death of J. M. Sen-Gupta under detention. He had been made a State prisoner on his return from Europe early in 1932, while he was still on board ship in Bombay. Since then he had been a prisoner or a detenu, and his health had deteriorated. Various facilities were given to him by the Government, but evidently they could not check the course of the disease. His funeral in Calcutta was the occasion for a remarkable mass demonstration and tribute; it seemed that the long-pent-up suffering soul of Bengal had found an outlet for a while at least. So Sen-Gupta had gone. Subhas Bose, another State prisoner whose health had broken down under years of internment and prison, had at last been permitted by the Government to go to Europe for treatment. The veteran Vallabhbhai Patel also lay ill in Europe. And how many others had broken down in health or died., unable to stand the physical strain of jail life and ceaseless activity outside! How many, though outwardly not much changed, had suffered deeper mental derange ments and developed complexes on account of the abnormal lives they had been made to lead! Sen-Gupta's death made me vividly aware of all this terrible, silent suffering going on throughout the country, and I felt weary and de pressed. To what end was all this? To what end? 250
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I had been fortunate in my own health, and in spite o the strains and irregular life of Congress activity, I had, on the whole, kept well. Partly, I suppose, this was due to the good constitution I had inherited, partly to my care of the body. Illness and weak health as well as too much fat seemed to me a most unbecoming state of affairs, and, with the help of exercise, plenty of fresh air, and simple food, I managed to keep away from them. I have cared little for food fads, and have only avoided overeating and rich foods.
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