Addressing the concluding session of the Inter-Asian Relations Conference on Wednesday the 2nd of April, 1947, in the Purana Quila at Delhi, Gandhiji said: "You, friends, have not seen the real India and you are not meeting in conference in the midst of real India. Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Calcutta, Lahore are big cities and are, therefore, influenced by the West. If you really want to see India at its best, you have to find it in the humble Bhangi homes of our villages. There are 7,00,000 of such villages and 38 crores of people inhabit them.
"If some of you see the villages, you will not be fascinated by the
sight. You will have to scratch below the dung heap. I do not
pretend to say that they were ever places of paradise. Today they
are really dung heaps. They were not like that before. What I speak
is not from history but from what I have seen myself. I have
travelled from one end of India to the other and have seen the
miserable specimens of humanity with lustreless eyes. They are
India. In these humble cottages, in the midst of these dung heaps,
are to be found the humble Bhangis in whom you find the concentrated
essence of wisdom."
Stating that wisdom had come to the West from the East, Gandhiji
said: "The first of these wise men was Zoroaster. He belonged to the
East. He was followed by Buddha who belonged to East—India. Who
followed Buddha? Jesus, who came from the East. Before Jesus was
Moses who belonged to Palestine though he was born in Egypt. After
Jesus came Mohammed. I omit any reference to Krishna and Rama, and
other lights. I do not call them lesser lights but they are less
known to the literary world. All the same I do not know a single
person in the world to match these men of Asia. And then what
happened? Christianity became disfigured when it went to the West.
I am sorry to have to say that.
"I have told you the story in order to make you understand that what
you see in the big cities is not the real India. Certainly, the
carnage that is going on before our very eyes is a shameful thing.
As I said yesterday, do not carry the memory of that carnage beyond
the confines of India.
"What I want you to understand is the message of Asia. It is not to
be learnt through the Western spectacles or by imitating the atom
bomb. If you want to give a message to the West,, it must be the
message of love and the message of truth. I do not want merely to
appeal to your head. I want to capture your heart.
"In this age of democracy, in this age of awakening of the poorest
of the poor, you can redeliver this message with the greatest
emphasis. You will complete the conquest of the West not through
vengeance because you have been exploited, but with real
understanding. I am sanguine if all of you put your hearts together—
not merely heads— to understand the secret of the message these wise
men of the East have left to us, and if we really become worthy of
that great message, the conquest of the West will be completed. This
conquest will be loved by the West itself.
"The West is today pining for wisdom. It is despairing of a
multiplication of the atom bombs, because atom bombs mean utter
destruction not merely of the West but of the whole world, as if the
prophecy of the Bible is going to be fulfilled and there is to be a
perfect deluge. It is up to you to tell the world of its wickedness
and sin— that is the heritage your teachers and my teachers have