I have read your press message regarding the Yeravda Pact, in so far
as it applied to Bengal. It caused me deep grief to find that you
were misled by very deep affection for me and by your confidence in
my judgment into approving of a Pact which was discovered to have
done a grave injustice to Bengal. It is now no use my saying that
affection for me should not have affected your judgment out or that,
confidence in my judgment ought not to have made you accept a Pact
about which you had ample means for coming to an independent judgment.
Knowing as I do your very generous nature, you could not have acted
otherwise than you did and in spite of the discovery made by you that
you have committed a grave error you would continue to repeat such
errors if the occasions too were repeated.
But I am not at all convinced that there was any error made. As soon
as the agitation for an amendment of the Pact arose I applied my mind
to it, discussed, it with friends who ought to know and I was satisfied
that there was no injustice done to Bengal. I corre¬sponded with
those who complained of injustice. But they too, including Ramanand
Babu, could not convince me of any injustice. Of course our points
of view were different. In my opinion, the approach to the question
was also wrong.
A Pact arrived at by mutual arrangement cannot possibly be altered
by the British Government except through the consent of the parties
to the Pact. But no serious attempt seems to have been made to secure
any such agreement. Your appearance, therefore, on the same platform
as the complainants, I, for one, welcome, in the hope that it could
lead to a mutual discussion, instead of a futile appeal to the British
Government. If, therefore, you have, for your own part, studied the
subject and have arrived at the opinion that you have now pronounced,
I would like you to convene a meeting of the principal parties and
convince them that a grave injustice has been done to Bengal. If it
can be proved, I have no doubt that the Pact will be reconsidered
and amended so as to undo the wrong, said to have been done to Bengal.
If I felt convinced that there was an error of judgment, so far as
Bengal was concerned, I would strain every nerve to see that the error
was rectified. You may know that up to now I have studiously refrained
from saying anything in public, in defence of the Pact save by way
of reiter¬ating my opinion, accompanied by the statement that
if injustice could be proved, redress would be given. I am, therefore,
entirely at your service.
Just now, I am absorbed in disbanding the Ashram and devising means
of saving as much as can be for public use. My service will, therefore,
be available after I am imprisoned which event may take place any
day after the end of this month. I hope you are keeping good health.