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SELECTED LETTERS > GANDHI -SAROJINI NAIDU CORRESPONDENCELetter from Sarojini Naidu to Gandhiji, September 2, 1920

 

Letter from Sarojini Naidu to Gandhiji, September 2, 1920

Forum Club,
6 Grosvenor Place,
Hyde Park Corner, S.W.1
2nd Sept. 1920

Dear friend,
How I loved every hour of my brief holiday by the sea and among the peace-enfolded woods and mountains of Wales where the people are so strangely akin to us, with their ardent and simple, mystic and melancholy temperament, quickly responsive alike to sorrow and joy.
But now alas I am once more in London. I have come down from the hills of vision to the whirlpool of action! from the kindly shepherds on the hillside and the friendly women spinning in their cottage doorways to the strife and stress of the daily round. It does not spell tranquillity to one's mind, but might contribute somewhat to the victory of the Indian nation in its struggle!
I send you a full harvest of happenings - by no means the "harvest of a quiet eye"!
First there is my letter to the Secretary of State in reply to the Government of India's telegram to him regarding my charges about the ill-treatment of women during the period of martial law in the Punjab. What an unworthy document and how unconvincing to any sane or sincere mind!
I send you also my letter to the member of the Khilafat delegation, who left yesterday - and my letter to Viceroy which they have taken back with them together with my Kaiser-i-Hind gold medal which was bestowed on me long ago - in King Edward's time.
I am filled with anxiety about the result of the Special Congress but my faith is always stronger than my fear and my hope of tomorrow is always greater than my despair of today... Immediate or apparent failure leaves me undismayed or even disturbed in my inmost self because I am so certain of ultimate and real success. For I believe that all thoughts and endeavours that are born of intense conviction are the guarantee of their own abiding triumph.
I am enclosing a poem that will rejoice your spirit - will you pass it on to be a shining inspiration to India? It is written by my friend the great Irish poet A. E. in honour of that invincible spirit who is dying heroically, hour by hour, the Mayor of Cork: a true satyagrahi.
When the whole of India is animated by such courage, such devotion, such joyous and indomitable martyrdom - then indeed - and only then will Freedom be a word of living significance in the vocabulary of our people.
I am I believe very ill and suffer much pain - but I dare say I shall get better someday.
How glad I am that Sarala Devi has once more found the inspiration and scope to exercise her great gifts in the service of the country; how especially happy I am that she is associated with you in the cause that is the very heart of my heart - the Hindu-Muslim unity.
My younger child is spending her holiday with me, enjoying herself immensely, and proving herself possessed of an almost Bolshevik energy in her denunciations... and her defence of the right attitudes and ideals of life! She is a fierce little patriot, with a passionate, implacable love of freedom.
You have heard, have you not, about my son Mina? Such an excellent piece of good fortune has befallen him - from my point of view - in the Govt. of India's refusal to give him a commission at Sandhurst because he was my son. It is the greatest tribute I have ever had paid me, but Mina does not yet realise, poor child, what a paradox it would have been for my son to be in an army which as Padmaja so aptly says converted Amritsar into a place of tragedy and tears.
I send my love to Mrs. Gandhi, Anasuya and all other friends and comrades.

Your affectionate and loyal,
Sarojini Naidu

From: S N 7235