MY DEAR JAWAHARLAL,
I must dictate and save time and give rest to my aching shoulder.
I wrote to you on Sunday about Fenner Brockway. I hope you got that
letter in due time.
Do you know that it was because you were the chief partner in the
transactions referred to that I wrote the articles you have criticized,
except of course about the so-called 'All India Exhibition' ? I felt
a kind of safety that in view of the relations between you and me
my writings would be taken in the spirit in which they were written.
However I see that they were a misfire all round. I do not mind it.
For, it is evident that the articles alone could deliver you from
the self-suppression under which you have been labouring apparently
for so many years. Though I was beginning to detect some differences
in viewpoint between you and me, I had no notion whatsoever of the
terrible extent of these differences. Whilst you were heroically suppressing
yourself for the sake of the nation and in the belief that by working
with and under me in spite of yourself, you would serve the nation
and come out scatheless, you were chafing under the burden of this
unnatural self- suppression. And, while you were in that state, you
overlooked the very things which appear to you now as my serious blemishes.
I could show you from the pages of Young India equally strong articles
written by me, when I was actively guiding the C., with reference
to the doings of the All India Congress Committee. I have spoken similarly
at the All India Congress Committee meetings whenever there has been
irresponsible and hasty talk or action. But whilst you were under
stupefaction these things did not jar on you as they do now. And it
seems to me therefore useless to show you the discrepancies in your
letter. What I am now concerned with is future action.
If any freedom is required from me I give you all the freedom you
may need from the humble, unques¬tioning allegiance that you have
given to me for all these years and which I value all the more for
the knowledge I have now gained of your state. I see quite clearly
that you must carry on open warfare against me and my views. For,
if I am wrong I am evidently doing irrepa¬rable harm to the country
and it is your duty after having known it to rise in revolt against
me. Or, if you have any doubt as to the correctness of your conclu-sions,
I shall gladly discuss them with you personally. The differences between
you and me appear to me to be so vast and radical that there seems
to be no meeting ground between us. I can't conceal from you my grief
that I should lose a comrade so valiant, so faithful, so able and
so honest as you have always been; but in serving a cause, comradeships
have got to be sacrificed. The cause must be held superior to all
such consider¬ations. But this dissolution of comradeship—if
dissolu¬tion must come in no way affects our personal inti-macy.
We have long become members of the same family, and we remain such
in spite of grave political differ¬ences. I have the good fortune
to enjoy such relations with several people. To take Sastri for instance,
he and I differ in the political outlook as poles asunder, but the
bond between him and me that sprung up before we knew the political
differences has persisted and survived the fiery ordeals it had to
I suggest a dignified way of unfurling your banner. Write to me a
letter for publication showing your diffe¬rences. I will print
it in Young India and write a brief reply. Your first letter I destroyed
after reading and replying to it, the second I am keeping, and if
you do not want to take the trouble of writing another letter, I am
prepared to publish the letter that is before me. I am not aware of
any offensive passage in it. But if I find any, you may depend upon
my removing every such passage. I consider that letter to be a frank
and honest document.