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Day to day with Gandhi - Volume IV
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DAY-TO-DAY WITH GANDHI-IV
7

PREFACE

     This volume begins when Gandhiji is still a prisoner but a patient in the Sassoon Hospital, Poona. Telegrams and letters of sympathy and prayers for his recovery and release as well as the rush of V.I.P.s (non-official of course) show clearly what place he held in the heart of the nation., even after his withdrawal of civil disobedience (in 1922) which had offended a large number of political leaders and laymen.

    There is no wonder that the news of his unconditional release on 5-2-1924 was hailed with historical delight by the whole country. Nobody can give a more faithful idea of this surge of feelings than Sri Mahadevbhai's articles, 'Bapu's Darshan' (page:28), 'That Glorious Event' (page:34) and others. But perhaps Mahadevbhai surpasses even himself when he writes of 'That Memorable Day' (page:41) and other articles following Gandhiji's release.

    That release was, in fact, the most important event since the political recession begun in 1922. What high expectations were aroused in the hope of, and at, his release are best expressed by Lala Lajpatrai—'The Lion of the Punjab', who was himself one of India's tallest leaders: "What shall I say? Come out quickly. We are building upon the hope of your coming out and leading us once again. We have been like children without a Master in your absence. We have been little babies fighting amongst one another." (Day-To-Day with Gandhi Vol.:III,P.305).

    But Gandhiji, as was his wont, would not give any opinion, much less any political lead, before knowing at first-hand the reasons that had prompted the Swarajists to break away from the boycotts of councils etc. of 1921.

    Though his views regarding these boycotts had remained unchanged during his jail-period, he had to face a fait accompli

(continued)


 
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