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111. A British Nurse's Taunt

Recounting the life in the Yeravda Jail after his release in 1924, Gandhiji gave to the outside world several interest­ing little known facts about the happenings behind the prison bars. He wrote :

My very efficient English nurse, whom I loved to call 'Tyrant', because she insisted in all loving ways on my taking more food and more sleep than I did, with a smile curling round her lips and insidious twinkle in her eyes, gently remarked after I was safely removed to a private ward escorted by the house surgeon, and herself : "As I was shading you with my umbrella I could not help smiling, that you, a fierce boycotter of everything British, probably owed your life to the skill of a British surgeon handling British surgical instruments, administering British drugs, and to the ministrations of a British nurse. Do you know that as we brought you here, the umbrella that shaded you was of a British make ?"

The gentle nurse as she finished her last triumphant' sentence evidently expected my complete collapse under her loving sermon. But happily I was able to confound her self-assurance by saying, "When will you people begin to know things as they are? Do you know that I do not boycott anything because it is British ? I simply boycott all foreign cloth because the dumping down of foreign cloth in India has reduced millions of my people to pauperism."

I was even able to interest her in the Khaddar move­ment. Probably she became a convert to it.