MY DEAR SUBHASH,
I have yours of 31st March as also the previous one. You are quite
frank and I like your letters for the clear enunciation of your views.
The views you express seem to me to be so diametrically opposed to
those of the others and my own that I do not see any possibility of
bridging them. I think that such school of thought should be able
to put forth its views before the country without any mixture. And
if this is honestly done, I do not see why there should be any bitterness
ending in civil war.
What is wrong is not the differences between us but loss of mutual
respect and trust. This will be remedied by time which is the best
healer. If there is real non-violence in us, there can be no civil
war much less bitterness.
Taking all things into consideration, I am of opinion that you should
at once form your own Cabinet fully representing your views. Formulate
your programme definitely and put it before the forthcoming A.I.C.C.
If the Committee accepts the programme all will be plain- sailing
and you should be enabled to prosecute it unhampered by the minority.
If on the other hand your programme is not accepted you should resign
and let the Committee choose its President. And you will be free to
educate the country along your own lines. I tender this advice irrespective
of Pandit Pant's resolution.
My prestige does not count. It has an independent value of its own.
When my motive is suspected or my policy or programme rejected by
the country, the prestige must go. India will rise and fall by the
quality of the sum-total of her many millions. Individuals, however
high they may be, are of no account except in so far as they represent
the many millions. Therefore let us rule it out of consideration.
I wholly dissent from your view that the country has been never so
non-violent as now. I smell violence in the air I breath. But the
violence has put on a subtle form. Our mutual distrust is a bad form
of violence. The widening gulf between Hindus and Mussalmans points
to the same thing. I can give further illustrations.
We seem to differ as to the amount of corruption in the Congress.
My impression is that it is on the increase. I have been pleading
for the past many months for a thorough scrutiny.
In these circumstances I see no atmosphere of non¬violent mass
action. An ultimatum without effective sanction is worse than useless.
But as I have told you I am an old man perhaps growing timid and over-cautious
and you have youth before you and reckless optimism born of youth.
I hope you are right. I am wrong. I have the firm belief that the
Congress as it is today cannot deliver the goods, cannot offer civil
disobedience worth the name. Therefore if your prognosis is right,
I am a back number and played out as the generalissimo of Satyagraha.
I am glad you have mentioned the little Rajkot affair. It brings into
prominent relief the different angles from which we look at things.
I have nothing to repent of in the steps I have taken in connection
with it. I feel that it has great national importance. I have not
stopped civil disobedience in the other States for the sake of Rajkot.
But Rajkot opened my eyes. It showed me the way. I am not in Delhi
for my health. I am reluctantly in Delhi awaiting the Chief Justice's
decision. I hold it to be my duty to be in Delhi till the steps to
be taken in due fulfilment of the Viceroy's declaration in his last
wire to me are finally taken. I may not run any risk. If I invited
the Paramount Power to do its duty, I was bound to be in Delhi to
see that the duty was fully performed. I saw nothing wrong in the
Chief Justice being appointed the interpreter of the document whose
meaning was put in doubt by the Thakor Sahib. By the way, Sir Maurice
will examine the document not in his capacity as Chief Justice but
as a trained jurist trusted by the Viceroy. By accept¬ing the
Viceroy's nominee as Judge, I fancy I have shown both wisdom and grace
and what is more important I have increased the Viceregal responsibility
in the matter.
Though we have discussed sharp differences of opinion between us,
I-am quite sure that our private relations will not suffer in the
least. If they are from the heart, as I believe they are, they will
bear the strain of these differences.