Once in Johannesburg, the Indian people and their supporters arranged a meeting. The hall was over-crowded. Not a single inch was left empty. People were standing in the lobby, in the door and outside. Gandhiji was the chief orator. Wherever he went, people came in large numbers to listen to him.
The meeting came to an end. Gandhiji stepped
down the dais. He talked to some people and then both of us went out. When
we were going out I saw a man standing in the dark. Gandhiji might have also
seen him, for he directly went to him. He talked to him. He was disturbed
for a while, and then he started walking along with him. I was also keeping
pace with them. We crossed a lane. I could not hear what they were talking
about because they were whispering.
At the end of the lane the man handed over
something to Gandhiji and went away. It made him uneasy. When the man left,
I asked, “What did he want? Did he want anything special?”
Gandhiji replied calmly, “Yes, he wanted to
kill me!” “Kill you?” I was shocked. “It’s horrible! Was he out of his
mind?” “No, he thinks that I am deceiving people. Teaming with the
government I am going to harm Indians and yet I call myself their leader.”
“But it’s cruel to think so,” I said rather loudly. “You should have handed
him over to the police. Why did you let him go? He must be mad.” Gandhiji
said, “No, he is not mad, but he has misunderstandings. You saw that after I
talked to him, he gave me this knife and went away. He had brought it to
attack me.” “What if he had attacked you?” Intervening me Gandhiji said,
“Don’t worry. He wished to kill me but he dared not do so. If I were not
good enough as he thinks, I would better die. But there’s nothing to worry
about now. The incident is over. If I had handed him over to the police, he
would have become my enemy, but he is my friend now."