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Day to day with Gandhi - Volume VI
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DAY-TO-DAY WITH GANDHI-VI
9

PREFACE

     This Diary covers the period between 20. 2. 1925 and 22.5. 1925, of just about 3 months.

    The political situation is stagnant, if not deteriorating still further.

    But the Diary has the relieving feature of revealing the inner man in Mahatma Gandhi, in greater detail and variety perhaps, than during the rush and bustle of his fighting days. Notwithstanding the stillness of political activity outside and his chagrin at the sight of Hindu-Muslim ill-feelings and riots, he is, if possible, more active than at other times, more determined to regain the lost ground and make his influence more pervasive, 'like waves of the sea silently creeping into the land through inlets and creeks.' Somebody has rightly said that Gandhi is more dangerous when he retires, than when he is fighting in the open arena. Who ever can stop him from carrying on his propaganda for the spinning wheel, for cow-protection, and against the evil drink or untouchability ? But that makes him more than ever before the soul of India, captive but unconquered.

    And what tremendous work he was doing during this 'retire- ment' from active politics. A single quotation from this Diary, an account of a single day's work, as given by Mahadevbhai is a sufficient indication. The reader will forgive its length for the sake of its vivid portraiture :

    "Only today's itinerary, (probably d. 18.3.25) given by way of a specimen will show what kind of a tour this one in South India was. Early at 4.30 a. m. meeting at Paarur ; then to Aalwaai by car, 3 meetings there ; then at 11 a. m. by train to Trichur ; meeting with the Maharaja, procession, and 2 meetings there ; start for Palghat at 3 p. m. by a motor-ride along the roughest possible hilly road; an extremely ill-organised public meeting there, owing to the jostle of the crowds it was 8 p. m. when Gandhiji could reach the rostrum; torrential rain; women's meeting at 9 p. m.; theological debate of pandits from 10 p.m.

(continued)


 
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