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Gandhi and RajagopalachariWriting on the position of the depressed classes under Swaraj, Gandhiji remarks: “It is not the quantity that will count when freedom is gained. It is the determination of the few that is going to be the deciding factor”. We very much doubt if Mr. Gandhi has forgotten the status of the depressed classes – why even the Non-Brahmins – under such Swaraj Governments as Nepal and Travancore. “The determination of the few” of whom Mr. Gandhi is one, was not able to gain access to the temple at Cape Comerin. Temples in Non-Swaraj (Pararaj) Governments do not refuse admission at any rate, to those who have undertaken sea voyage.

He further assures that “When Swaraj is attained it will be the reformers who must have the reins of Government in their hands”. Dear Gandhiji, would you kindly tell us which of the reformers would rein? Is it those of the type of Pandit Malaviya who talks of reform and yet wants to retain caste? Is it the type of the Congress reformers who proclaim reform and say they would starve for a week if they see a Brahmin and a Non-Brahmin dining together? Is it the type of the “Swarajist reformers” who roar at the Legislatures that the gods require Devadasis and that is a sin to contract post puberty marriages? Or is the type of your own good self who wants reform and yet advocates Varnashram? It is a surprise that Mr. Gandhi pretends to be unaware of the position of the depressed classes ever since the recorded history of India to the time of the Western interference. The work of the Congress in these forty years and more has not given the depressed classes anything to be sanguine about their condition under Swaraj.

- Revolt, 11 August 1929

The Chota Gandhi

Mr. C. Rajagopalachari in his address at the Srivilliputur Taluk Conference has unfolded some strange and shrewd things. Speaking on the Self-respect movement, he says, “For years I have wanted to see all artificial and imaginary differences between man and man abolished and a homogeneous nation established in our land...There is no one who more earnestly wishes people to be free from superstitions than myself”. Weighty words indeed! What a radical reformer Mr. C. R. has turned into! Can we imagine a greater freethinker than our Chota Gandhi? Let us see what he says further.

“We must bring about reform of customs”, says the ideal reformer, “as rapidly as we can, but let us not imagine that our forefathers were one set all fools and another set all rogues. Their children could not be very wise or good if such were the case”.This logic of Mr. C.R. plainly shows that he is a believer in the law of varnashram. He is of the opinion that fools and rogues cannot beget wise and good people. Apart from the loss to know why the descendants of the Rishis are reduced to the necessity of keeping coffee hotels and laundries without indulging in divine communication with the omnipotent God, as their forefathers are said to have done.

Mr. C.R. is funnier when he suggests the remedy for ‘establishing a homogenous nation’. “I want every one of you who believe in God” says he, “to resolve that from this day forward, every morning, the first thing to do on waking up is to pray that hatred between caste and caste, may disappear and that in beautiful South India the atmosphere of love and patriotism may again nourish us to life. I believe in silent, fervent daily prayer. Our evils are of our own making and prayer purifies us and reaches God”.

We strongly advise him to adopt the same step in his Khadi and Temperance propaganda. Let him not waste his slender frame by straining himself in composing his two lined mottos and undertaking long tours. We ‘pray’, meanwhile for the long life of the most radical reformer. Om! Santhi! Santhi!

- Revolt, 3 November 1929


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