25th January, 1948.
workers, need of the hour''
was the strongest plank in all the programmes that the Mahatma advocated.
Economist Kumarappa''s thinking - simple fundamental, and suited to a nation
based on the backbone rural India - was very close to Gandhiji''s ideals.
Therefore did Bapu commend this suggestion of the rural social scientist for
sincere workers of the Congress to act as guide and sheetanchor for members
of the party who ran the Government in independent India: Constructive workers
should direct the Ministers by the beacon- light of their example. A well-organised
body of constructive workers will be needed to provide such forceful direction.
The workers'' service to the people will be their sanction, and the merit
of their work will be their charter. The Ministers should draw their inspiration
from this body of workers. The constructive members of the directive body
will have to be drawn from men of renunciation, whose one aim and ambition
will be service to the people. In a political structure of this nature, the
body of constructive workers will form the bulwark of safety for the people
against exploitation. Government run on this basis will give the needed emphasis
to people''s concerns and ensure their welfare, bringing real Swaraj to the
masses. These days laden with heaviness and disillusion, however, seemed
to rein in particularly hard Gandhiji''s horses of idealism. Therefore he
had to lament that Kumarappa''s recipe, excellent in itself, might not be
feasible, in the absence of the kind of true, devoted, constructive workers
in large numbers which it required.
Even as he was planning
ahead for varied duties in the coming month of February, Gandhiji sensed gremlins
of doubt that seemed to issue from somewhere deep inside him. Writing to Jaisukhlal
Gandhi, the Mahatma said, You should come to Sevagram in February. It is
possible I may have to go to Wardha for Jamnalal''s death anniversary (due
on the 11th of February). But it is not certain. It does not seem likely that
I can get away from Delhi. I am dictating this letter immediately after prayer.
There is a heap of letters to be attended to. If God wills, we shall be meeting
in a few days, and ten we can talk about the rest.
Another letter bore these
significant lines: I am a servant of Rama. I will do His work as long as
He wills. I shall have won in my mission, if I am granted a death in which
I can demonstrate the strength of Truth and Non-violence. If I have been sincere
in their pursuit, and acted with God as my witness, I shall certainly be granted
that kind of death. I have expressed my wish at prayer that, should someone
kill me, I should have no anger in my heart against the killer, and that I
should die with Rama Nama on my lips.
On the evening of the
24th, a deputation of Karnataka Congress leaders called on the Mahatma. Gandhiji
gave them an hour of his valuable time. Their discussion was mostly on forming
a Karnataka Province. Bapu was not averse to the idea, given his zeal for
promoting and giving more and more importance to India''s own languages. Earlier,
Gandhiji had deputed to Lahore as his personal representative Dr. Sushila
Nayyar, to meet there Mr. Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Pakistan''s Minister for Refugee
Rehabilitation, and take steps to evolve a viable policy to help abducted
women and other destitutes to find succour in suitable homes. A Lahore message
said she had met the Minister, and held useful talks. Among the messages Bapu
continued to receive, he particularly liked one from the Muslim people of
Junagadh State in Kathiawad. Signed by five of their prominent leaders, it
read,We are happy and jubilant over the breaking of the fast. For all the
days of the fast men, women, and children prayed heartily to Providence to
create conditions which would induce Gandhiji to break the fast. The hearts
of the Muslims go to the Almighty for hearing their prayers. The life of Mahatmaji
was never more precious to humanity in general, and to Muslims in particular,
as at present when the world has not yet emerged safe from convulsions, agony,