A correspondent writes :
"A report from New Delhi dated 16th April, published in
The Times of India
of the 18th says that at a prayer meeting held on Tuesday evening
'The machinery and even engineers were all foreign. He had no enmity
with machinery. Mills, he said, could not remove the poverty of
India, but on the other hand had deprived crores of villagers of
their work and practically ruined them. Those Indians responsible
for ruining the villages had become foreigners and as such they
should live in foreign countries.'
can you reconcile this statement with the gentlemen who form the
Board of Trustees of the Kasturba Memorial Fund, the primary aim of
which is to improve conditions in villages. The majority of these
gentlemen are industrialists and owners of mills. Can they, who are
responsible for ruining the villages, and still continue to ruin
them by their mills, be ever capable of sincere help in improving
the condition of villagers?
You have so often talked and written against the curse of black
markets. How many of the trustees of the Kasturba Memorial Fund can
lay their hands on their hearts and say they have not dealt in the
black market either as buyers or sellers?"
This is a fair hit. That mill-owners and such others have joined the
Kasturba Trust is a compliment to my Ahimsa. Though I express my
opinions strongly,, there is no sting in them, nothing personal. I
have no sense of shame in befriending mill-owners whose business, I
hold, should be stopped, not forcibly but by reason. Education of
the public could bring about results which no force can. I must say
in favour of the capitalist class trustees that they never
interfered with the decision of non-capitalist trustees. Indeed,
they have always helped by their knowledge. The combination is good
and beneficial to the Trust. Their sincerity cannot be questioned;
for, they have faith in their capacity and the modern trend.
As to black markets, I do not know that any of the trustees have
black market dealings. But should I discover any, I should think
twice before inviting them to leave the Trust. They have not imposed
themselves on the Trust.