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Day to day with Gandhi - Volume II
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page 6/400

Cover Page
Publisher's Note
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humanity including women and children, began to cry out, "We don't want this Government." In his charming language Mahadevbhai gives us in this Diary how Gandhiji performed this miracle of bringing about such a sweeping revolution in a country so vast as India.

    Hardly any other Indian might have rendered the British Empire as valuable services as Gandhiji had. Twice in South Africa he had raised, under his personal leadership, Ambulance Corps made up exclusively of Indians in order to serve disabled soldiers in the Boer and Zulu wars. Though his Ambulance Corps were not expected to go to the actual front and face a hail of shots, Gandhiji had many a time freely risked his own life and those of his men by taking them right to the hottest front and bringing the wounded soldiers from there to a place of safety.

    When the 1 st World War of 1914-18 broke out, Gandhiji was in England. There also he had formed a Red Cross made up of Indians. Owing to the extremely heavy work of organising the Corps, he had caught pleurisy there during the bitter cold of those days. Again, during same war, he had taken up
the work of recruitment for the Army in the Kaira District in 1917. The severe strain which he put himself to at that time in scouring the whole district had brought him dysentery of such a severe form that it looked for some days that he would not survive the attack. He had, till then, the faith that the retention of British connection was a sine qua non for India's progress. It was this deep faith which had impelled him to serve the Empire with such costly zeal.

    But even during this period of single-hearted loyalty for the British Empire, he had not failed to offer grim fights against some of the injustices inflicted on India by the Empire. Over and above, the world-famous South Africa Satyagraha, he had offered in India, non-violent fights to stop the indentured labour system, the indigo exaction in Champaran, the revenue enforcement in Kaira and the imposition of the Rowlatt Act.

    Then happened two big events which shook his loyalty to


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