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97. A Namashudra's Faith

At Dacca an old Namashudra (an 'untouchable'), aged about 70, was brought before Gandhiji during the latter's East Bengal tour in 1925. He was wearing Gandhiji's photograph in his neck and as soon as he saw Gandhiji, he fell at his feet and crying profusely uttered his thanks over and over again for being cured of chronic paralysis. He said that when all other remedies had failed he took to uttering Gandhiji's name and one day found himself entirely cured.

"It is not I, but God who has made you whole," said Gandhiji. But, how could he believe? To him God had appeared in Gandhiji's photograph. It was vain to argue with him. "But, my dear man," said Gandhiji, "will you not oblige me by taking that photograph off your neck?" That he readily did, and quietly walked away with the name of God on his lips and probably convinced that the man who had refused to take any responsibility for having cured him could certainly not be 'The Gandhi Maharaj' who had cured him!