DEAR MR. GANDHI,
Many thanks for your personal letter of the 19th January, which I
have just received, and which I need not say I have read with close
care and attention. But I am still, I fear, rather in the dark. I
made clear to you in my last letter that, however reluctantly, the
course of events, and my familiarity with what has been taking place,
has left me no choice but to regard the Congress movement, and you
as its authorized and fully empowered spokesman at the time of the
decision of last August, as responsible for the sad campaign of violence
and crime, and revolutionary activity which has done so much harm,
and so much injury to India's credit, since last August. I note what
you say about non-violence. I am very glad to read your unequivocal
condemnation of violence, and I am well aware of the importance which
you have given to that article of your creed in the past. But the
events of these last months, and even the events that are happening
today, show that it has not met with the full support of certain at
any rate of your followers, and the mere fact that they may have fallen
short of an ideal which you have advocated is no answer to the relations
of those who have lost their lives, and to those themselves who have
lost their property or suffered severe injury as a result of violent
activities on the part of Congress and its supporters. And I cannot
I fear accept as an answer your suggestion that "the whole blame"
has been laid by you yourself at the door of the Government of India.
We are dealing with facts in this matter, and they have to be faced.
And while, as I made clear in my last letter, I am very anxious to
have from you anything that you may have to say or any specific proposition
that you may have to make, the position remains that it is not the
Government of India, but Congress and yourself that are on their justification
in this matter.
If therefore you are anxious to inform me that you repudiate or dissociate
yourself from the resolution of the 9th August and the policy which
that resolution represents, and if you can give me appropriate assurances
as regards the future, I shall, I need not say, be very ready to consider
the matter further. It is of course very necessary to be clear on
that point and you will not, I know, take it amiss that should make
that clear in the plainest possible words.
I will ask the Governor of Bombay to arrange that any communication
from you should be sent through him, which will I trust reduce delay
in its transmission.