In 1921, Gujrat University was found in Ahmedabad. A meeting was called for the members of the management board. Mr. Andrews was one of the board members. During the meeting he asked, “Are the harijans being admitted to the university or not?” I replied instantly, “Of course they are!” But some of the board members had a different opinion. They were not in favour of abolishing untouchability.
Even others also started giving excuses. This
issue could not be resolved that day. At last, the matter was taken to
Gandhiji. He too gave the same answer as I had. The issue set a debate all
over Gujarat. Many a rich Vaishnav men from Bombay came to see Gandhiji.
They said to him, “Educating the nation is a religious deed. We will donate
whatever amount of money you need but you would better leave aside the issue
of untouchables. We cannot accept it.” Those people were going to donate
five to seven lakh rupees.
Bapuji told them firmly, “Let us forget about
the donations for a while. If someone would offer me freedom for India at
the cost of observing untouchability, I won’t accept it. The issue of
university funds is negligible compared to it!”