Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

In those days he was collecting funds for jtfiadi

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In those days he was collecting funds for Jtfiadi work, and he would say frequently that he wanted money for Daridranarayan, the "Lord of the Poor," or "God that resides in the poor"; meaning thereby, presumably, that he wanted it to help the poor to find employment and work in cottage industries. But behind that word there seemed to be a glorification of poverty; God was especially the Lord of the poor; they were His chosen people. That, I suppose, is the usual religious attitude everywhere. I could not appreciate it, for poverty seemed to me a hateful thing, to be fought and rooted out and not to be encouraged in any way. This inevitably led to an attack on a system which tolerated and produced poverty, and those who shrunk from this had of necessity to justify poverty in some way. They could only think in terms of scarcity and could not picture a world abundantly supplied with the necessaries of life; probably, ac cording to them, the rich and the poor would always be with us. Whenever I had occasion to discuss this with Gandhij i, he would lay stress on the rich treating their riches as a trust for the people; it was a viewpoint of considerable antiquity, and one comes across it fre quently in India as well as medieval Europe. I confess that I have al ways been wholly unable to understand how any person can reasonably expect this to happen, or imagine that therein lies the solution of the social problem. The Legislative Assembly and the provincial councils had long ceased to interest anyone, except the handful who moved in their sacred or bits. They carried on in their humdrum way, providing some kind of a cloak a torn and tattered affair to the authoritarian and despotic nature of the Government, an excuse to some people to talk of India's parliament, and allowances to their members. A rude awakening came to the Assembly one day when Bhagat Singh and B. K. Dutt threw two bombs from the visitors' gallery on to the floor of the house. No one was seriously hurt, and probably the bombs were intended, as was stated by the accused later, to make a noise and create a stir, and not to injure.
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They did create a stir both in the Assembly and outside. Other ac tivities of terrorists were not so innocuous. A young English police officer, who was alleged to have hit Lala Lajpat Rai, was shot down and killed in Lahore. In Bengal and elsewhere there seemed to be a re crudescence of terrorist activity. A number of conspiracy cases were launched, and the number of detenus people kept in prison or other wise detained without trial or conviction rapidly increased. In the Lahore conspiracy case some extraordinary scenes were en acted in the court by the police, and a great deal of public attention was drawn to the case because of this.
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