A Pathan named Mir Alam used to live in Africa. He used to make and sell mattresses for a livelihood.
Gandhiji. He respected Gandhiji and sought his advice when needed. When Gandhiji
started Satyagraha movement in South Africa, he took part in it.
so happened, that Gandhiji and many other Indians were sent to jail for taking
part in this movement. After some time the government and the satyagrahis agreed
to compromise. There were many who did not like this. Mir Alam too did not
prefer this. He was quite angry with Gandhiji.
a very inhuman and insulting rule in that country. Our people had to seek
permission of the government to stay there and had to register their
fingerprints. They also had to carry them wherever they went.
who did not carry those prints was punished. Such was the law. The Indian there
had launched satyagraha against this law. The compromise offered these people an
option. It said that, those who were willing to have the fingerprints registered
at their will, could do so; those who did not want could be excused.
satyagraha was successful and Gandhiji was released from jail. The other
satyagrahis were also released. A meeting was called to celebrate the success.
the meeting Mir Alam stood up and said, "How can we call it a success? In any
case we will have to seek the permission to stay!"
tried to explain, "People who don't wish to do so would be excused. You don't
have to go for it."
about you?" he asked.
be the first one to do so and I will have the fingerprints taken" Gandhiji said.
have a doubt that you were bribed by the government," he said.
said, "No one will believe it."
right but now I take an oath that I will kill the person whoever goes to seek
said, "I would happily die at the hands of a friend but in no case I would leave
the path of truth."
months passed by after this incident. The date for seeking the permission was
fixed. Gandhiji and other leaders decided to go there ahead of others.
had not forgotten his oath. He thought, "I will see how does he seek the
permission!" Then taking a few friends along with him he blocked the road.
Pathans did not greet Gandhiji when he came there so he greeted them. He asked
Mir Alam, "How do you do?"
fine!" he replied angrily.
scheduled time the group started out to seek the permission. Mir Alam and his
friends followed them. When the office was at a short distance, Mir Alam came to
Gandhiji and asked, "Where are you going?"
register my fingerprints and get the permission. You too can come along if you
wish. Although you need not have your fingerprints registered."
was about to finish his sentence when someone struck his head with a stick.
Gandhiji lost consciousness at the very first stroke but the Pathans kept on
leaders accompanying Gandhiji tried to save him but they were also beaten up by
Pathans tried to run away after beating these people but the people around
caught them and handed them over to the police.
was unconscious when people carried him to a neighbouring house. There they
treated him for the wounds. His lips had ruptured, the teeth were shaken and his
ribs were aching.
regained consciousness, the first thing Gandhiji asked was, "Where is Mir Alam?"
people taking care of him asked him to rest and told that the police had caught
him and his friends.
"No, no! I must get them out!" Then he wrote a letter to the senior Police
officer that he did not wish that his Pathan friends be punished and requested
him to release them.
this request the police released them. But many Britishers objected to it so
they had to arrest them again. Then they were sentenced to six months of
lost his front teeth because of this beating. The gap is like an adornment to
his face, which he received for his truthfulness. This gift from a friend was