VOL. 19 : 29 SEPTEMBER, 1919 - 24 MARCH, 1920
3. LETTER TO SHUAIB QURESHI
You will not consider me discourteous for not having replied tothe letter signed by you and other friends regarding the Ali Brothersand addressed to the Editor,
. The fact is I have beenoverwhelmed with the care of having to edit two important news-papers.
I must confess that I do not like your letter at all. It is alawyer's letter containing quibbles. But even that would not matter. Doyou sincerely take up the position that a Mussulman may never kill aMussulman no matter what crimes the latter may commit? I would notbe surprised if you took up that attitude, for then the rule of theBrahmin law-givers will descend upon you. They have made the lifeof the Brahmin, as they think, absolutely sacred, and, as the othersconsider possible, by providing that no matter what his crime is, aBrahmin may not be killed. It is true that the rule has been observedmore in the breach than in the performance. For, in war, we have nothesitated to kill Brahmins. My quarrel is, therefore, not with a mentalattitude, but with your impressing a Koranic text into service fordefending the position of our friends. I would like, then, to have aletter that would appeal to reason. Before your letter was received, Iwrote to Bari Saheb
saying that, in my opinion, no agitation for therelease of the Brothers was likely to be successful before the TurkishPeace terms were declared. I do not know whether your letter, which Isee is addressed to the Press in general, has been published elsewhere.
. [M.A.] A
ELHIFrom the original pencilled draft : S. N. 6864
The exact date of this letter is not known. It is, however, likely that it waswritten some time towards the end of September 1919.
The reference is to the weeklies
Though thejournals appeared under his full-fledged editorship only on October 7 and October 8,1919, respectively, Gandhiji did a considerable amount of editorial writing for themeven before they passed under his full control.
“Exact from Letter to Abdul Bari”, 27-8-1919.