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Friday, 16th January, 1948.

''Results must not be our concern''

At 11 a.m. today, the ailing but resolute Mahatma had completed four days of the ordeal he had imposed on himself by his indefinite fast undertaken to drive home essential principles of public morality and religious harmony which he held far dearer than his own life. He was physically examined by Doctors B. C. Roy, Jivraj Mohta, and M.D.D. Gilder.

Practically all the top members of the Union Cabinet were in Birla House, and meeting him frequently, as the Mahatma lay on his bed. A Sikh deputation called on him and assured him of their sincere cooperation and heartfelt prayers both for his proclaimed goals and for him to reach a successful end to his ordeal and return swiftly thereafter to good health.

Gandhiji made light of his deteriorating physical condition, ever sporting a broad smile, and telling anxious callers, Do not worry about me. I am in excellent hands, those of the Almighty. He insisted on continuing with his correspondence work. Among the important letters he dictated today was one to Mira Behn. To this devoted English associate and disciple he said. I got your letter. Evidently when you wrote it you had no knowledge of this, my greatest fast. Whether it will ultimately prove so or not, is neither your concern nor mine. Our concern should be with the action itself, and not with the result of it.

To Prema Kantak, who favoured the Congress Socialists, went this dictated letter, I have received the tilgur you sent, (a sweet of gingelly and jaggery) on Sankranti day itself. Because of the fast I could not myself partake of it. I had it distributed among all those present. I also read with pleasure your poem describing the significance of tilgur. I would never slight a religious celebration which is used to strengthen pure sentiments. But celebrations which involve conspicuous enjoyment displease me. Continuing, he wrote it is true that the Congress Working Committee is selected from among members who belong to the majority in the party, but it does not always happen that the majority elects the President from its own ranks. A wise Committee would certainly select a capable and upright man from among the minority if they found one. In this way alone, would democracy succeed in the end. As far as I know, Jayaprakash Narayan''s views and policies are not harmful to the country''s interests, but his method is. If, however, he becomes President, he must follow the Congress policy. I have explained how my mind is working. But this does not mean that anybody should give up his views and act contrary to his own convictions out of deference to me, or to anybody more important than I am. It would be a suicidal policy to take every decision by a majority vote. But in matters involving no moral principle, there is always room for give and take... The Congress is still a political body, and will remain so in the future. When however, it holds political power, it still is one of the parties, no matter how big. Those who hold perfect faith in ahimsa should therefore not hold any office in the Government. In order to explain these matters fully, I would have to write a treatise. I am sure you do not expect me to do so on the fourth day of this fast! But the fact that I am able to dictate this long letter shows that this fast is causing me the least pain. Blessings from, Bapu.

Lying on his cot, Gandhiji insisted on speaking to his prayer meeting audience by addressing his words into a microphone placed close to him.

Babu complimented Pandit Nehru''s Cabinet for reversing an earlier stand of its, and agreeing to release to Pakistan a sum of Rs. 55 crores as per the terms of an original Partition-related agreement.

The Mahatma said, The Cabinet deserves the warmest thanks of the whole country. And I know that all the nations will acclaim this gesture as one which only a large-hearted Cabinet like ours can rise to do. This is no policy of appeasement of the Muslims. The present gesture is one of unmixed goodwill, born out of my fast.