SELECTED LETTERS > GANDHI -SAROJINI NAIDU CORRESPONDENCELetter from Sarojini Naidu to Gandhiji, July 15, 1920


Letter from Sarojini Naidu to Gandhiji, July 15, 1920

Duke's Hotel,
35 St. James's Place,
London S.W. 1.
July 15, 1920

My dear friend:
I have not written to you for a long time but you have been as usual in my thought and speech. I am in very bad health. But the twin questions of the Punjab and the Khilafat absorb all my energies and emotions: but it is vain to expect justice from a race so blind and drunk with the arrogance of power, the bitter prejudice of race and creed and colour, and betraying such an abysmal ignorance of Indian conditions, opinions, sentiments and aspirations... The debate on the Punjab in the House of Commons last week shattered the last remnants of my hope and faith in British justice and goodwill towards the new vision of India... The discussion in the House was lamentable and indeed tragic. Our friends revealed their ignorance, our enemies their insolence - and the combination is appalling and heart-breaking.
Mr. Montagu has proved a broken reed... I enclose copy of my correspondence with him on the subject of the outrages committed during the Martial Law regime upon women as embodied in the Congress Sub-Committee's report and evidence. I naturally assume that no single statement contained in the evidence has been accepted without the most vigorous and persisting scrutiny. But the general attempt seems to be to discredit the Congress Sub-Committee's findings and to shift the responsibility of such outrages which cannot be denied, to Indian shoulders.. The Skin Game with a vengeance. Speaking at a mass meeting the other day, I said that what we Indians demanded was reparation and not revenge, that we had the spiritual force and vision that ennobled us to transcend hate and transmute bitterness into something that might mean redemption both for ourselves and the British race, but that freedom was the only true reparation for the agony and shame of the Punjab... The specialists think that my heart disease is in an advanced and dangerous state, but I cannot rest till I stir the heart of the world to repentance over the tragedy of martyred India...

With greetings to all my friends, I am, as ever, your loyal and loving friend,

Sarojini Naidu

From: S N 7206 and Young India, August 11, 1920