MY DEAR MAHATMAJI,
...I shall be grateful if you could let me know your reaction to Pant's
resolution. You are in this advanta¬geous position that you can
take a dispassionate view of things—provided, of course, you
get to know the whole story of Tripuri. Judging from the papers most
of the people who have seen you so far seem to belong to one school—namely,
those who supported Pant's resolution. But that does not matter. You
can easily assess things at their proper value, regardless of the
persons who visit you.
You can easily imagine my own view of Pant's resolution. But my personal
feelings do not matter so much. In public life we have often to subordinate
personal feelings to public considerations. As I have said in a previous
letter, whatever one may think of Pant's resolution from the purely
constitutional point of view, since it has been passed by the Congress,
I feel bound by it. Now do you regard that resolution as one of no-
confidence in me and do you feel that I should resign in consequence
thereof? Your view in this matter will influence me considerably.
* * *
There is one other matter to which I shall refer in this letter—that
is the question of our programme..... For months I have been telling
friends that there would be a crisis in Europe in spring which would
continue till summer. The international situation as well as our own
position at home convinced me nearly 8 months ago that the time had
come for us to force the issue of Purna Swaraj..... For these and
other reasons we should lose no time in placing our National Demand
before the British Government in the form of an ultimatum..... If
you do so and prepare for the coming struggle simultaneously I am
sure that we shall be able to win Purna Swaraj very soon. The British
Government will either respond to our de¬mand without a fight—or,
if the struggle does take place in our present circumstances it cannot
be a long drawn one. I am so confident and so optimistic on this point
that I feel that if we take courage in both hands and go ahead we
shall have Swaraj inside of 18 months at the most.
I feel so strongly on this point that I am prepared to make any sacrifice
in this connection. If you take up the struggle, I shall most gladly
help you to the best of my ability. If you feel that the Congress
will be able to fight better with another President I shall gladly
step aside. If you feel that the Congress will be able to fight more
effectively with a Working Committee of your choice, I shall gladly
fall in line with your wishes. All that I want is that you and the
Congress should in this critical hour stand up and resume the struggle
for Swaraj. If self-effacement will further the national cause, I
assure you most solemnly that I am prepared to efface myself completely.
I think I love my country sufficiently to be able to do this.
Pardon me for saying that the way you have been recently conducting
the States People's struggle does not appeal to me.
* * *
I may say that many people like myself cannot enthuse over the terms
of the Rajkot settlement. We, as well as the Nationalist Press have
called it a great victory—but how much have we gained ? Sir
Maurice Gwyer is neither our man nor is he an independent agent. He
is a Government man. What point is there in making him the umpire?
We are hoping that, his verdict will be in our favour. But supposing
he declares against us, what will be our position? My letter has become
too long, so I must stop here. If I have said anything which appears
to you to be erroneous, I hope you will pardon me. I know you always
like people to speak frankly and openly. That is what has emboldened
me in writing this frank and long letter.
With respectful Pranams,