SELECTED LETTERS FROM SELECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA
To Jawaharlal Nehru
To Jawaharlal Nehru
November 13, 1945
My dear Jawaharlal,
Our talk of yesterday's made me glad. I am sorry it could not be longer. I feel it cannot be finished in a single sitting, but will necessitate frequent meetings between us. I am so constituted that, if only I were physically fit to run about, I would myself overtake you, wherever you might be, and return after a couple of days' heart to heart talk with you. I have done so before. It is necessary that we understand each other well and that others also should clearly understand where we stand. It would not matter if ultimately we might have to differ so long as we remained one at heart as we are today. The impression that I have gathered from our yesterday's talk is that there is not much difference in our outlook. To test this I put down below the gist of what I have understood. Please correct me if there is any discrepancy.
(1) The real question, according to you, is how to bring about man's highest intellectual, economic, political and moral development. I entirely agree.
(2) In this there should be an equal right and opportunity for all.
(3) In other words, there should be equality between town dwellers and the villagers in the standard of food and drink, clothing and other living conditions. In order to achieve this equality today people should be able to produce for themselves the necessaries of life i.e. clothing, food-stuffs, dwelling and lighting and water.
(4) Man is not born to live in isolation but is essentially a social animal independent and inter-dependent. No one can or should ride on another's back. If we try to work out the necessary conditions for such a life, we are forced to the conclusion that the unity of society should be a village, or call it a small and manageable group of people who would, in the ideal, be self-sufficient (in the matter if vital requirements) as a unit bound together in the bonds of mutual co-operation and inter-dependence.
If I find that so far I have understood you correctly, I shall take up consideration of the second part of the question in my next.
I had got Rajkumari to translate into English my first letter to you. It is still lying with me. I am enclosing for you an English translation of this. It will serve a double purpose. An English translation might enable me to explain myself more fully and clearly to you. Further, it will enable me to find out precisely if I have fully and correctly understood you.
Blessings for Indu.