Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav
Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India
Contact No. – 09415777229, 094055338
ANSWERS OF QUESTIONS GIVEN BY MAHATMA GANDHI
Mahatma Gandhi gave answers of many questions on July 14, 1933. Those questions and answers are here. I have been asked whether I will again start Harijan work after going to jail. In answer to this I can only say that I will have to see what kind of imprisonment it is. No matter what it is, I will try to see whether it is possible to continue Harijan work. Our struggle was started in 1920. We have expanded its scope through the Lahore and Karachi resolutions. I hope that the struggle will continue till we attain independence. I have one foot in Yeravda and one here. It is for you to see that our struggle continues. This is an informal meeting. Here nobody, not even the Acting President, has the right to call off the movement. Whatever I say here is also by way of advice. If you want to withdraw the struggle you should call the Congress Committee. If you allow me to write to the Viceroy my role will be that of a negotiator. I will have to get the approval of the Congress for whatever conditions I wish to propose. Independence will be a long way from any settlement that may be reached. It is not in the hands of the British to give us freedom. We will have to achieve it with our own strength. At the moment those who know are of the view that reforms will be introduced by the end of 1935. But before we attain independence we will have to fight and risk our lives for it. Every satyagrahi will have to chalk out his own programme for civil disobedience. Even thirty crores can offer individual civil disobedience, each one being his own leader. Or under the leadership of one person, a hundred men can get together and offer individual civil disobedience. In individual civil disobedience a man’s strength or enthusiasm can never be curbed. It is irrelevant what my position is. Under the constitution I have the full right to carry on civil disobedience. It is possible that I may be jailed before the All-India Congress Committee meets. Will it befit me or any one of you to obey the order when I come to know that I cannot talk with you more freely or an order is passed imposing some sort of ban on me? That is what I meant when I said in my speech that we are under constant restraint.
QUESTION: What is the position of the dictator of the Congress in individual civil disobedience?
ANSWER: One who offers individual civil disobedience need not ask permission from any dictator. Everyone becomes his own leader. There is no need for any head in individual civil disobedience. There is no need for any orders either.
Q. If any taluka wishes to sacrifice itself, can it do so?
A. Certainly. I wish that every taluka would do so. There is no need for any orders from the Congress for it. But that taluka should do so in the name and under the patronage of the Congress. I am not itching to write to the Viceroy. If you do not permit me I will not do so. The condition of releasing the prisoners of Garhwal and Meerut is not essential for a settlement.
Q. Can a person who is going to offer civil disobedience after a few months give his approval to your suggestion of individual civil disobedience?
A. This is a delicate question. A person can give his assent but he should be faithful to the country and himself. From their childhood I have taught my children to rebel against myself. I don’t expect that one who gives his vote today will be in jail the next day. As long as he lives it is not proper for a satyagrahi to say that the organization is without a guide. Anyone who tries to appear brave is usually not truly brave. I don’t consider as honourable conditions which do not protect the common public. The Congress will not order any farmer to pay land revenue. It will of course commend those who will go to jail or suffer other hardships.