Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

Perhaps i could have convinced them to apply their

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Perhaps I could have convinced them to apply their bright young lives to other ways, ways of serving India and free dom, in which there was no lack of opportunity for daring and self- sacrifice. Often I have thought of them in these afteryears. I never found out their names, nor did I have any other trace of them; and I wonder, sometimes, if they are dead or in some cell in the Andaman Islands. It was December. The second Peasant Conference took place in Alla habad, and then I hurried south to the Karnataka to fulfill an old promise made to my old comrade of the Hindustani Seva Dal, Doctor N. S. Hardiker. The Seva Dal, the volunteer wing of the national movement, had all along been an auxiliary of the Congress, though its organization was quite separate. In the summer of 1931, however, the Working Committee decided to absorb it completely into the Congress organization, and to make it the volunteer department of the Congress. This was done, and Hardiker and I were put in charge of it. On my way to the Karnataka from Allahabad I had gone to Bom bay with Kamala. She was again ill, and I arranged for her treatment in Bombay. It was in Bombay, almost immediately after our arrival from Allahabad, that we learned that the Government of India had promulgated a special ordinance for the United Provinces. They had decided not to wait for Gandhiji's arrival, although he was already on the high seas and due in Bombay soon. The ordinance was supposed to deal with the agrarian agitation, but it was so extraordinarily wide- flung and far-reaching that it made all political or public activity impossible. It provided even for the punishment of parents and guard ians for the sins of their children and wards a reversal of the old biblical practice. I was eager to go back to Allahabad and to give up the Karnataka tour. I felt that my place was with my comrades in the United Prov inces, and to be far away when so much was happening at home was 212
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an ordeal. I decided, however, in favor of adhering to the Karnataka program. On my return to Bombay some friends advised me to stay on for Gandhi ji's arrival, which was due exactly a week later. But this was impossible. From Allahabad came news of Purushottam Das Tan- don's arrest and other arrests. There was, besides, our Provincial Con ference which had been fixed at Etawah for that week. And so I decided to go to Allahabad and to return to Bombay six days later, if I were free, to meet Gandhiji and to attend a meeting of the Working Committee. I left Kamala bedridden in Bombay. Even before I had reached Allahabad, at Chheoki station, an order under the new ordinance was served on me. At Allahabad station an other attempt was made to serve a duplicate of that order on me; at my house a third attempt was made by a third person.
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