An Indian Minister or Governor
should use as far as possible only Indian made goods… He and his
family should wear nothing but Khadi, so that India’s poor can
eke out a living. He should also ply the spinning wheel-the
banner of non-violence.
He should learn both the scripts
(Hindi and Urdu), and avoid talking with his colleagues in
English, freely use his regional language instead. Government
communiques, orders and circulars should be issued, if possible
in Hindustani only, which would create a widespread enthusiasm
among the people to learn it and gradually, through such a
natural process, it would become the national language.
He should be completely free from
all prejudices against any caste or creed, and from any
favoritism towards his own relatives and friends. To the
Minister, his own son or brother should rank no higher than any
other ordinary citizen, including the poorest artisan or
His private life should be so
simple that it inspires respect, or even reverence. He should
give one hour to productive physical labour as an incentive to
the people. He should either spin for an hour or increase the
agricultural output of the country by growing cereals or fruits
and vegetables in his compound.
Bungalows and motor cars should be
ruled out of course; if he has to go far or on an urgent
business, he should certainly use a car; but its use should be,
definitely, very limited. I see that a car may perhaps be quite
I wish that he live along with his
colleagues in a compact colony, so that a group feeling is
established easily. His family, too, can thereby cultivate close
personal relationship with those of others Ministers.
The other members of his family,
including children should do the entire household work
themselves, servants should be used as sparingly as possible.
His rooms should not be furnished
with expensive foreign-made furniture such as sofas, cupboards
and chairs, especially at present, when crores of his countrymen
do not have a single cotton mattress to sit upon even a piece of
cloth to wear.
Finally, he should neither drink
Biharni Komi Agman, (Gujarati), pp.
An Indian Governor should, in his
own person and in his surroundings, be a teetotaller. Without
this, prohibition of the fiery liquid is well nigh
He and his surroundings should
represent hand-spinning as a visible token of identification
with the dumb millions of India, a token of the necessity of
‘bread labour’ and organized non-violence as against organized
violence on which the society of today seems to be based.
He must dwell in a cottage
accessible to all, though easily shielded from gaze, if he is to
do efficient work. The British Governor naturally represented
British might. For him and his was erected a fortified
residence-a palace to be occupied by him and his numerous
vassals who sustained his Empire. The Indian prototype may keep
somewhat pretentious buildings for receiving princess and
ambassadors of the world. For these, being guests of the
Governor should constitute an education in what “Even Unto This
Last” equality of all-should mean in concrete terms. For him no
expensive furniture, foreign or indigenous. Plain living and
high thinking must be his motto, not to adorn his entrance but
to be exemplified in daily life.
For him there can be no
untouchability in any form whatsoever, no caste or creed or
colour distinction. He must represent the best of all religious
and all things Eastern or Western. Being a citizen of India, he
must be a citizen of the world. Thus simply, one reads, did the
Khalif Omar, with millions of treasure at his feet, live; thus
lived Janaka of ancient times; thus lived, as I saw him, the
Master of Eton in his residence in the midst of, and surrounded
by, the sons of the Lords and Naobobs of the British Isles. Will
the Governors of India of the famished millions do less?
He will speak the language of the
province of which he is the Governor and Hindustani, the lingua
franca of India written in the Nagari or Urdu script. This is
neither Sanskritzed Hindi nor Persianized Urdu. Hindustani is
emphatically the language which is spoken by the millions north
of the Vindhya Range.
This does not pretend to be an
exhaustive list of the virtues, that an Indian Governor should
represent. It is merely illustrative.
Harijan, 24-8-47, p. 289