The period this volume covers confers on Gandhiji the highest honour a subject country could, viz., the Presidentship of its only really representative body, the Indian National Congress. But he had no illusions either about the stupendous tasks that faced him or about the circumstances that brought about his choice for the position.
He was, on the contrary, perhaps more unhappy in 1925 than ever before in his life. This may appear a too sweeping statement, but a hurried glance on his career will justify it. He did go through dark periods in South Africa ; he was stoned by Europeans, he was beaten black and blue by Pathans, and he had to pass through a seemingly hopeless and interminable struggle. But he knew where he was and his colleagues backed him, on the whole, through thick and thin.
Then after his return to India, with the one exception of a serious but very temporary check after the Punjab and Ahmedabad riots, he met with one victory after anotherChamparan, labour strike in Ahmedabad, Kaira Satyagrah, unanimous acceptance by the Nagpur Congress of his scheme in every detail and the glorious year 1921. And before he could feel the impact of his halt at Bardoli in 1922, the Government providentially intervened to give him a much needed rest and total ignorance of conditions in India. It whisked him into jail at the right moment.
It was only after he came out in 1924 and started to gather the lost threads that he began to realize the gravity of the situation in India. But even then he had hopes of a revival. His eyes really opened only in June 1924 at Ahmedabad, when he saw how far dearest and most stalwart colleagues had moved away from him.