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SATYAGRAHA / CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE > Speech at Nadiad
Speech At Nadiad
I have visited Nadiad often and made many speeches here, but never before did I see such a huge mass of men. Bound by the chains of slavery, we are being crushed at present, and we want of shake them off. I am sure you have come here today not for my sake or for the sake of my troop of eighty, but because you hunger for complete freedom. Since I left Ahmedabad, on my way here large numbers have showered their blessings on me and my mission. The showers have swelled into a flood, as it were. You, too, are witnessing the same thing.
Vallabhbhai's services to Kheda District have been many and various. At the time of the floods he saved thousands of men. That Vallabhbhai is now behind the prison bars. I too have done some work in this district. You have, therefore, a threefold duty to discharge. The imprisonment of Vallabhbhai is your imprisonment. Arresting him in Kheda is arresting Kheda itself. Of course by imprisoning Vallabhbhai the Government has honoured him, but you it has insulted. What is to be your reply to this insult? Your reply can only be winning complete freedom. How could you do that? Only by following my path. That is as clear as the rule of three.
I wish all Government servants to give up their jobs. What is Government service worth after all? A Government job gives you the power to tyrannize over others. And what do you earn in the job? By dint of independent labour a man can earn thousands if he chooses to do so. The local Headman has resigned his post. But is that enough? Nadiad produced Goverdhanram and Manilal Nabhubhai. It has been a city of men of letters. Are there any heirs of these learned men now? What is the duty of the students in this city of learned men? And the duty of their sisters and mothers? It is up to you all to give a reply to these questions. You all have to enlist yourselves as volunteers. As soon as I get behind the bars or as soon as the All-India Congress Committee gives a call, you should come forward to offer ourselves as volunteers. As soon as the Committee gives a call, you should come forward to offer yourselves for being jailed. Then alone shall I believe that Nadiad has made its contribution to our struggle.
Nadiad is thirty-one thousand strong. You spend three hundred and ten thousand rupees on cloth year after year. Instead of letting this wealth flow out of the city, what a gain it will be if you keep it in your homes! You will then have obeyed the most beautiful law of nature. That is the simple calculation I ask the heirs of Goverdhanram and Manilal to make. If they do not do so, they would be bringing disgrace to the good name of Nadiad. Will not Nadiad, the pride of Gujarat, do even this much? May God grant you the strength to do it.