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THE SELECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI > Vol. V - THE VOICE OF TRUTH > Part II- Section VI : Art, Literature and Science > On Science


34. On Science

I was wondering where do I come in? There is no place here for a rustic like me who was to stand speechless in awe and wonderment. I am not in a mood to say much. All I can say is, that all these huge laboratories and electrical apparatus you see here are due to the labour, unwilling and forced, of millions. For Tataís thirty lakhs did not come from outside, nor does the Mysore contribution come from anywhere else but this begar-1 world. If we are to meet the villages and to explain to them, how we are utilizing their money on buildings and plants which will never benefit them, but might perhaps benefit their posterity, they will not understand it. They will turn a cold shoulder. But we never take them into our confidence, we take it as a matter of right, and forget, that the rule of Ďno taxation without representationí, applies to them too. If you will really apply it to them, and realize your responsibility to render them an account, you will see that there is another side to all these appointments. You will then find not a little but a big corner in your hearts for them, and if you will keep it in a good nice condition, you will utilize your knowledge for the benefit of the millions on whose labour your education depends. I shall utilize the purse you have given me for Daridranarayan. The real Daridranarayan even I have not seen, but know only through my imagination. Even the spinners who will get this money are not the real Daridranarayan who live in remote corners of distant villages which have yet to be explored. I was told by your professor, that the properties of some of the chemicals will take years of experiments to explore. But who will try to explore villages? Just as some of the experiment in your laboratories go on for all the twenty-four hours, let the big corner in your heart remain perpetually warm for the benefit of the poor millions.

I expect far more from you than from the ordinary man in the street. Donít be satisfied with having given the little you have done, and say ďWe have done what we could, let us now play tennis and billards.Ē I tell you, in the billiard room and on the tennis court think of the big debt that is being piled against you from day to day. But beggars cannot be choosers. I thank you for what you have given me. Think of the prayer I have made and translate it into action. Donít be afraid of wearing the cloth the poor women make for you, donít be afraid of your employers showing you the door if you wear Khadi. I would like you to be men, and stand up before the world firm in your convictions. Let your zeal for the dumb millions be not stifled in the search for wealth. I tell you, you can devise a far greater wireless instrument, which does not require external research, but internal,-and all research will be useless if it is not allied to internal research,-which can link your hearts with those of the millions. Unless all the discoveries that you make have the welfare of the poor as the end in view, all your workshops will be really no better than Satanís workshops, as Rajagopalachari said in joke. Well, I have given you enough food for thought, if you are in a reflective mood, as all research students ought to be.

Young India, 21-7-27, p. 235


A humanitarian industrial policy for India means to me a glorified revival of hand spinning, for through it alone can pauperism, which is blighting the lives of millions of human beings in their own cottages in this land, be immediately removed. Everything else may thereafter be added, so as to increase the productive capacity of this country. I would, therefore, have all young men with a scientific training to utilize their skill in making the spinning wheel, if it is possible, a more efficient instrument of production in Indiaís cottages. I am not opposed to the progress of science as such. On the contrary the scientific spirit of the West takes no note of Godís lower creation. I abhor vivisection with my whole soul. I detest the unpardonable slaughter of innocent life in the name of science and humanity so-called, and all the scientific discoveries stained with innocent blood I count as of no consequence. If the circulation of blood theory could not have been discovered without vivisection, the human kind could well have done without it. And I see the day clearly dawning when the honest scientist of the West, will put limitations upon the present methods of pursuing knowledge. Future measurements will take note not merely of the human family but of all that lives and even as we are slowly but surely discovering that it is an error to suppose that Hindus can thrive upon the degradation of a fifth of themselves or that peoples of the West can rise or live upon the exploitation and degradation of the Eastern and African nations, so shall we realize in the fullness of time, that our dominion over the lower order of creation is not for their slaughter, but for their benefit equally with ours. For I am as certain that they are endowed with a soul as that I am.

Young India, 17-12-25, p. 440


1. Forced Labour