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78. An Invitation to commit Harakiri

An English correspondent sent Gandhiji a cutting of an article headed 'Cheer Up', printed in Britannia, (15-2-'29). The article contained detailed figures of Britain's conquered people, mercantile marine, her exports, and boasted, "Ours, the greatest mercantile marine ever known, carries more than a million pounds worth of machinery annually to India, from which country British shareholders, creditors and officials draw some thirty million pounds a year!

The correspondent had written the following foot­notes :

"If Mr. Blinking Gandhi saw this lot, he'd probably cut his throat on one of his own spinning wheels."

On this letter this was Gandhiji's comment:

"I have decided not to cut my throat yet for a while. I want to see the spinning wheel produce the whole of the billion yards of cloth that 'the greatest mercantile marine the world has ever known' carries to India from England. Only India has to wake from her torpor."