Gandhiji boarded a train to travel from Durban to Pritoria. He had a ticket to the first class compartment.
the people had cautioned him, "Gandhibhai, this is not India. These peple won't
let us travel in the first class with them." But Gandhiji did not listen to
them. He thought that being a barrister he was entitled to it.
happened in the beginning. The train reached Morrisberg station at 9 O'clock in
the night. A British man alighted the train and came to his compartment.
goodness! Why is this coolie traveling in the first class compartment?"
not utter a word but went down and brought an officer along with him. The
officer too kept staring. Nobody dared say anything. At last the officer said,
"Hey man! Come here. You will have to go to the last compartment!"
told him, "I have a ticket to the first class."
worry! I am asking you to shift to the last compartment."
I have been given this seat from Durban and I would travel in this compartment
answer stunned the man. How could a labourer talk like this to a British
officer? He ordered, "This is not possible! You will have to get down or you
will be thrown out by the guard!"
replied firmly, "Well then! Let the guard do it! I won't get down myself!"
officer got angry and called the guard. The guard clutched Gandhiji's hand and
pushing him down the train threw his baggage too.
neither went to another compartment nor did he touch his baggage. The insult
vexed him very much. He stood there and the train departed.
on the platform all night. The weather was chilling. He had an overcoat in his
luggage but he didn't wish to look at it. What if he went to fetch it from the
baggage and someone insulted him again? He preferred to shiver all night.
shivering he had a lot of thoughts. "Why should I continue to travel on this
train and get insulted again? Should I go back?"
could I leave my job unfinished? It's better to return to India than to stay
here to earn money!"
must help my friend in his job. Should I rather file a case against that British
officer and the guard?"
would I achieve? Would it help the Indians not being called 'labourers'?
thought made him forget the insult.