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SELECTED LETTERS > SELECTED LETTERS - PART IISatyagrahi in Prison

 

08. Satyagrahi In Prison

[To the same in prison]

I hold that a Satyagrahi prisoner will never quarrel with the authorities as regards his food. He will take what food he gets and thank God for it.

The master of a prisonerís body is the jailer. Therefore so long as food is served politely and is clean and not uneatable, he will accept it and eat it if it is digestible. If it is not, he will throw it away. If he has not touch it with his hands, he will send it back to the kitchen. In recent times rules of health and hygiene are observed to some extent in selecting food for prisoners. But what if they give us only bread and water?

This subject may be discussed with the official in a courteous manner, but we may not fight over it.

We could get many things by unjustified fighting but we may not include in it.

I therefore am of opinion that there should not be any dispute about the vegetable cooked for you. Those who like it may eat it; those who donít may give it back. We should be thankful to God that we get even bread and dal (pulse).

(Written in Yeravda prison on May 4, 1932; translated from Gujarati.)