Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

Meanwhile congress was an unlawful organization and

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Meanwhile, Congress was an unlawful organization, and the British Government was trying to crush it. We had to meet that attack. The principal problem which faced Gandhiji was a personal one. What was he to do himself? He was in a tangle. If he went to jail again, the same question of Harijan privileges would arise and, pre sumably, the Government would not give in, and he would fast again. Would the same round be repeated? He refused to submit to such a cat-and-mouse policy, and said that if he fasted again for those privi leges, the fast would continue even though he were released. That meant a fast to death. The second possible course before him was not to court imprison ment during the year of his sentence (ten and a half months of this remained still) and devote himself to Harijan work. But at the same time he would meet Congress workers and advise them when necessary. 256
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Mohandas K. Gandhi Satyendranath Blsi
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Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore, the poet. Tagore was born on the same day, month, and year as Nehru's father Tara{ Das
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A third possibility he suggested to me was that he should retire from the Congress altogether for a while, and leave it in the hands of the "younger generation," as he put it. The first course, ending, as it seemed, in his death by starvation, was impossible for any one of us to recommend. The third seemed very undesirable when the Congress was an illegal body. It would either result in the immediate withdrawal of civil disobedience and all forms of direct action and a going back to legality and constitutional ac tivity, or in a Congress, outlawed and isolated, now even from Gan- dhiji, being crushed still further by Government. Besides, there was no question of any group's taking possession of an illegal organization which could not meet and discuss any policy. By a process of exclu sion we arrived thus at the second course of action suggested by him. Most of us disliked it, and we knew that it would give a heavy blow to the remains of civil disobedience. If the leader had himself retired from the fight, it was not likely that many enthusiastic Congress work ers would jump into the fire. But there seemed no other way out of the tangle, and Gandhi ji made his announcement accordingly. We agreed, Gandhi ji and I, though perhaps for different reasons, that the time was not yet for a withdrawal of civil disobedience and that we had to carry on even at a low ebb. For the rest, I wanted to turn people's attention to socialistic doctrines and the world situation. I spent a few days in Bombay on my way back. I was fortunate in catching Uday Shankar there and seeing his dancing. This was an un expected treat which I enjoyed greatly. Theaters, music, cinema, talk ies, radio and broadcasting all this had been beyond my reach for many years, for even during my intervals of freedom I had been too engrossed in other activities. I have only been once to a talkie so far, and the great names of cinema stars are names only to me.
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