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56. Birds of a feather (?)

[ From: "In the Frontier Province—VI" by Pyarelal ]

The Bar Association of Peshawar utilized Gandhiji's presence in the City by presenting him with an address at the Premier's residence in which they proudly claimed him as one of their confraternity and incidentally also managed to do a little trumpet blowing for themselves by adverting to the splendid services in the political field rendered by leading lights of the profession. Gandhiji, in a witty little speech, while thanking them for the honour that they had done him, observed that he was hardly entitled to that privilege, in the first place because, as they all knew, he had been disbarred by his own Inn, and secondly because he had long forgotten his law. Of late he had more often been engaged in breaking laws than in expounding or interpreting them in the courts of the land. Still another and perhaps, his most vital reason was his peculiar views about lawyers and doctors which he had recorded in his booklet, The Indian Home Rule. A true lawyer, he told them* was one who placed truth and service in the first place and the emoluments of the profession in the next place only. He did not know whether they had all adopted that ideal but if they pledged themselves to render service through their legal acumen in an altruistic spirit he would be the first to pay them his homage.

Harijan, 26-11-1938, p. 351