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gandhi_collected works vol 98

gandhi_collected works vol 98

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Published by: Nrusimha ( नृसिंह ) on Jan 29, 2009
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06/25/2014

 
VOL. 98: 6 DECEMBER, 1947 - 30 JANUARY, 1948
1
1. GIVE AND TAKE 
1
A Sindhi sufferer writes:
At this critical time when thousands of our countrymen are leaving theirancestral homes and are pouring in from Sind, the Punjab and theN. W. F. P., I find that there is, in some sections of the Hindus, a provincialspirit. Those who are coming here suffered terribly and deserve all the warmththat the Hindus of the Indian Union can reasonably give. You have rightlycalled them
dukhi,
2
 
though they are commonly called
sharanarthis.
Theproblem is so great that no government can cope with it unless the peopleback the efforts with all their might. I am sorry to confess that some of thelandlords have increased the rents of houses enormously and some aredemanding
 pagri.
May I request you to raise your voice against the provincialspirit and the
 pagri
system specially at this time of terrible suffering?
Though I sympathize with the writer, I cannot endorse hisanalysis. Nevertheless I am able to testify that there are rapaciouslandlords who are not ashamed to fatten themselves at the expense of the sufferers. But I know personally that there are others who, thoughthey may not be able or willing to go as far as the writer or I maywish, do put themselves to inconvenience in order to lessen thesuffering of the victims. The best way to lighten the burden is for thesufferers to learn how to profit by this unexpected blow. They shouldlearn the art of humility which demands a rigorous self-searchingrather than a search of others and consequent criticism, often harsh,oftener undeserved and only sometimes deserved. Searching of self ennobles, searching of others debases. The sufferers should learn theart and virtue of corporate life, in which the circumstance of co-operation is ever widening till at last it encircles the whole humanrace. If they do this no sufferer will live in isolation. All of them, nomatter to which province they belong, will hold together and would beconsidering not the welfare of self but that of all. This does not meanthat all of them will live or insist on living at one place, an impossiblefeat at any time, more so today, when lakhs upon lakhs of people havebeen torn from their homes, not knowing where to lay their headsupon. But this humble spirit of co-operation does mean that wherever
1
The Gujarati version of this appeared in
Harijanbandhu,
14-12-1947.
2
 
Vide
“Speech at Prayer Meeting”, 25-11-1947.
 
2
THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI
they are placed, they will feel one with all the sufferers, no matterfrom what strata of society they are drawn or to which province theybelong. Insistence on being accommodated in a particular place of one’s choice there will be none. The sufferers will never grumble.They will disdain to occupy houses belonging to Muslim owners ortenants, whether these places are physically occupied or evacuated. Itis for the Government to decide what they will do with propertyevacuated under abnormal conditions that are prevalent in Indiatoday. The sufferers’ one and only care would be to hold togetherand act as one man. It would be seen that if the idea thus presentedtakes shape and spreads, the problem of accommodating sufferers,otherwise styled refugees, will become incredibly simple and they willcease to be a menace.Moreover, every sufferer who is not a cripple will do his or herfull share of work against bread, clothing and shelter in a becomingmanner. Thus they will realize the dignity of labour and feeldependent upon no one. All will be equal to one another irrespectiveof sex. Some labour will be shared by all, e.g., sanitary work includinglatrine- cleaning and scavenging. No labour will be considered toolow or too high. In this society there will be no room for drones, idlersor loafers. This camp life is any day superior to the city life of dirtand squalor side by side with palaces—difficult to decide which is agreater eyesore between the two.
N
EW
D
ELHI
, December 6, 1947
 Harijan
, 14-12-1947
2. LETTER TO VALJI G. DESAI 
 December 6, 1947 
CHI. VALJI,
I read your article on the cinema
1
just now. It took me sometime to decipher some of the English words which were unfamiliar tome. When you quote from a book, it will perhaps help if you send thebook, too. Alternatively, you may get the article typed or write it in astill clearer hand. I would not be able to translate this article intoGujarati. I myself did not follow all the English words fully. You had
1
The article entitled “Reconstitute Film Censor Boards” appeared in
 Harijan,
14-12-1947.
 
VOL. 98: 6 DECEMBER, 1947 - 30 JANUARY, 1948
3agreed to send the Gujarati and the Hindi translations also. Even if you cannot send the Hindi, send the Gujarati. You may, if you wish,send it directly. I am writing to the people at Ahmedabad not totranslate it into Gujarati. As for your previous articles, I am inquiringabout them.Are you all right?
 Blessings from
B
APU
From the Gujarati original: C. W. 7506. Courtesy: Valji G. Desai
3. SPEECH AT PRAYER MEETING
N
EW
D
ELHI
,
 December 6, 1947 
BROTHERS AND SISTERS,
You heard the
bhajan
and the
 Ramdhun
sung by Subbula-kshmi
1
. She is new to Delhi. Usually she gives music recitals. Oneought to lose oneself while singing
bhajans
and
 Ramdhun.
Todayyou must have realized why people are so keen to hear her. She has amelodious voice. I welcomed her message offering to come and singhere.Today I do not wish to take more than 15 minutes. Yesterday Itook 25 minutes which was too long. I am ashamed of it. I must trainmyself to finish within 15 minutes. Today I intend to take only 15minutes and leave out what cannot be covered within that time.I had a letter from a friend yesterday. I have only been able toread a part of it. I have another letter today which I have not been ableto go through. I must ask to be excused. The letter which I have readin part says that I am too simple a man, that I do not know how theworld’s affairs are run and am apt to be deceived. The correspondentalso explains the nature of the deception and cautions me to becareful. He asks me to see what is happening in Pakistan and suggeststhat we should do the same here. That we should take revenge I do notagree. We cannot burn the houses of the Muslims. However humblethose houses may be they are as dear to their owners as the palaces of millionaires may be to them. It is in these houses that they live. When
1
M. S. Subbulakshmi, eminent exponent of Carnatak music

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