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Day to day with Gandhi - Volume V
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page 8/416

Cover Page
Publisher's Note
start of Book

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     But he possessed a sixth sense that told him what to do and when. He scrapped his beloved non-co-operation programme and wooed the Swarajists by issuing the Joint Statement with Das and Nehru. This might be a soothing balm, but there was a new aggravation — the dissatisfaction of his No-changer friends —of Rajagopalachariar, his staunchest colleague, specially.

     The fourth volume ends there. The prelude was necessary to show the background of the picture—but not his troubles. At the very beginning of this volume, in a letter to Lala Lajpat Rai, he complains, "The situation is as complex as it possibly can be. And the worst of it is that though everybody looks to me to find a solution, I seem to fit in nowhere. My plan seems to so many of my educated countrymen to be hopelessly impracticable, whereas to me it seems to be the only practical plan before the country." ( p. 19 ).

     And yet he persists, because he sees harmony as the one need of the perilous hour. The All Parties' Conference held at Bombay was his next step. It was an attempt to bring all the political parties of India back to the Congress-fold for a common programme acceptable to all.

     And what is the outcome ? The sponsor's dearest lieutenant would naturally take the rosiest view and yet even he, Mahadevbhai, admits : "The immediate object & to raise a ( Common ) public protest ( against the Bengal Ordinance which had clapped so many Swarajists in jail ) had been gained. The far-reaching and comprehensive object has not been achieved", though he hopes that the success of the limited object will lead to the greater.

     That was the situation when he became the President. His feelings are given in an undertone remark to Mahadevbhai : "My state is that of an arja (a Jain nun). Before she is initiated, she is taken out in a gala procession and adorned with the costliest attire and jewels—but because she is to leave the world as a recluse. My Presidentship also seems to be a step to turn me out of political life." (p. 264)


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