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43. Iqbal's Tribute

Iqbal, the illustrious Muslim poet, was an admirer of Gandhiji, although he did not agree with him on certain issues. He used to say that future generations of Hindus would worship Gandhiji as an Incarnation of Divinity.

In 1921-22 when the Civil Disobedience and Khilafat movements were surging ahead, John Bull, an English paper, published a cartoon ridiculing Gandhiji. A beautiful woman was shown, blindfolded, following Gandhiji on a rock, beyond which was a stormy sea. She was called "Mother India" whom Gandhiji was shown to be leading to inevitable death.

When Iqbal saw this cartoon he wrote under it four lines in Persian and changed the entire meaning of the cartoon. The meaning of these lines was :

"Do not linger on the shores of the sea, for there

The song of life is soft and slow:

Plunge into the ocean and fight the waves

Eternal life is achieved through struggle."