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Tributes to Gandhiji

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  • Lord Pethick-Lawrence

    former Secretary of State

    Universal brother, lover and friend Gandhiji was deeply loved, He will be deeply mourned. He is no longer with us in the flesh, but his spirit endures. What was the secret of his power over the hearts and minds of men and women? In my opinion it was the fact that he voluntarily stripped himself of every vestige of the privilege that he could have enjoyed on account of his birth, means, personality and intellectual pre-eminence and took on himself the status and infirmities of the ordinary man.

    When he was in South Africa as a young man and opposed the treatment of his fellow-countrymen .in that land, he courted for himself the humiliation of the humblest Indian that he might in his own person face the punishment meted out for disobedience. When he called for non-cooperation with the British in India he himself disobeyed the law and insisted that he must be among the first to go to prison. When he declaimed against the adoption by India of Western industrialism he installed a spinning wheel in his own house and laboured at it daily with his own hands. When he set out to combat inter-communal violence he faced death by starvation in an act of penance for the error and sin of the community of which he was himself a member.

    He never claimed to be any other than an ordinary man. He acknowledged his liability to error and admitted that he had frequently-learnt by his mistakes. He was the universal brother, lover and friend of poor, weak, erring, suffering humanity. Let us all do homage to his spirit, not by words alone but by dedicating our lives as he did to the pursuit of truth, the love of our fellow-men, the healing of the wounds of nations.

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