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67. Navakal Prosecution
[From "Notes"]

The case against Sjt. Khadilkar of Navakal I have headed prosecution. In truth it is persecution. But under a Government run in the teeth of popular opposition, especially when as in our case much of it is suppressed, persecution must be as it is the lot cf every plain-spoken journalist. Sjt. Khadilkar has always believed in calling a spade a spade. And he is an effective popular writer. He has paid the price of popularity based on plain speech. I tender him my congratulations. I know that he is a philosopher. He once told me that he often wrote plays to pay the fines he had at times to pay for his journalistic adventures. He was content to run this paper and through it educate public opinion according to his lights, so long as he could do so without running into debts for paying fines. The unconcern with which he was describing his adventures enhanced the respect I always felt for his ability and constancy of purpose and sacrifice for the sake of the country. I wish that he had not thrown away good money in the counsel's fees. Law courts like every other Government institution are designed to protect the Government in time of need. We have had practical experience of this time without number. They are necessarily so. Only we do not realize it, when popular liberty and Government run in the same direction. When however popular liberty has to be defended in spite of Government opposition, law courts are poor guardians thereof. The less we have to do with them the better for us.

Young India, 4-4-1929, p. 108 at p. 109