Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

Often it is difficult to know which is the right path

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Often it is difficult to know which is the right path; it is easier sometimes to know what is not right, and to avoid that is something after all. If I may quote, with all hu mility, the last words of the great Socrates: "I know not what death is it may be a good thing, and I am not afraid of it. But I do know that it is a bad thing to desert one's post, and I prefer what may be good to what I know to be bad." The years I have spent in prison! Sitting alone, wrapped in my thoughts, how many seasons I have seen go by, following one another into oblivion! How many moons I have watched wax and wane, and the pageant of the stars moving along inexorably and majestically! How many yesterdays of my youth lie buried here! Sometimes I see the ghosts of these dead yesterdays rise up, bringing poignant mem ories, and whispering to me: "Was it worth while?" There is no hesi tation about the answer. If I were given the chance to go through my life again, with my present knowledge and experience added, I would no doubt try to make many changes in my personal life; I would en deavor to improve in many ways on what I had previously done, but my major decisions in public affairs would remain untouched. Indeed, I could not vary them, for they were stronger than myself, and a force beyond my control drove me to them. It is almost exactly a year since my conviction; a year has gone by out of the two years of my sentence. Another full year remains, for 353
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there are no remissions this time, as simple imprisonment carries no such deductions. Even the eleven days that I was out in August last have been added on to the period of my sentence. But this year too will pass, and I shall go out and then ? I do not know, but I have a feeling that a chapter of my life is over and another chapter will begin. What this is going to be I cannot clearly guess. The leaves of the book of life are closed. POSTSCRIPT BADENWEILER, SCHWARZWALD, October 25, 7935 IN MAY LAST my wife left Bhowali for further treatment in Europe. After her departure there were no more visits to Bhowali for me, no more fortnightly outings and drives on the mountain roads. I missed them, and Almora Jail seemed to be drearier than before. News came of the Quetta earthquake, and for a while all else was forgotten. But not for long, for the Government of India does not allow us to forget it or its peculiar ways. Soon we learned that Rajen- dra Prasad, the Congress president, and the man who knew more about earthquake relief work than almost any other person in India, was not permitted to go to Quetta and help in relief. Nor could Gand hi ji or any other public man of note. Many Indian newspapers had their securities confiscated for writing articles on Quetta. Everywhere the military mentality, the police outlook in the As sembly, in civil government, in bombing on the Frontier.
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  • Fall '16
  • Alan Kolata

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