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Talk To Press Representatives

NAVAGAM,
March 14, 1930

I wish to offer some consolation to the Press representatives present here. I am responsible for the hardships caused by the application of Ashram rules. I have been asking for alms from the people, though I have no right to demand any. Hence, I cannot permit everybody to accompany and live on the alms. We do need the help of newspapers. But this struggle is a unique one. If they have respect for the movement they may help it. No one need write anything for my sake. They may criticize me. From the village people I receive food in measured quantities and no one can accept more than what the rule permits. I request the Ashram inmates and the Press representatives that if they need any item in excess of what is permitted by the rule, they may get it only with my permission. In the last analysis, even the Press representatives have come for public service, have they not?

Hundreds of thousands will follow this batch of seventy eight in whatever they do. People will criticize us if we do not cultivate self-sacrifice. If the people feel the slightest distrust of us, they will condemn ;whole movement. We have, therefore, to treat them with love, not force. The mountain is an assemblage of earth particles sticking together. Similarly, all great accomplishments in the world are the result of homogeneous effort. When the effort is heterogeneous the result is quite different. Because the river Ganga has the power to sanctify all waters, it absorbs all impurity within itself.
If the satyagrahis follow truth in carrying on this struggle, they will show, not merely to India but to the whole world, that ours is a holy war. My speech yesterday was also in the nature of a prayer to all.

People fall ill through their own negligence. The rule for one who ; that he should be left where he falls ill. I am indeed sorry that I cannot try to meet you all. I ask you, therefore, to come and see me when to consult me. The burden of work on me is too heavy to leave me to see you. It is my advice to you that no person should come here without special permission. Only after obtaining previous permission may anyone accompany this batch. Those who desire to come here and see what is happening stay should rather stay where they are and do their duty there. They should persuade everyone to offer civil disobedience and offer it themselves.

Prajabhandhu, 16-3-1930


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