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Sunday, 25th January, 1948.

''Constructive workers, need of the hour''

Practicality 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, and suffering.