You are here:
STUDENTS' PROJECTS > GANDHI - GANGA > Kaka Kalelkar > A Political Prisoner
27. A Political Prisoner
Gandhiji set about the Salt Satyagrah and got into jail in 1930. The government detained him at Yerawada jail as a political prisoner. The government chose me to accompany him and I was transferred there from Sabarmati jail. I stayed there with Gandhiji for about five months. He was in Yerawada jail nearly for eight months. Owing to a dispute with the government he stopped allowing visitors. Each week he would send a lot of letters to people. He wrote hundreds of letters in those days. All the while he would be busy spinning the cotton and thinking about possibilities of improvement in it. He would be immersed in spinning cotton on his spinning wheel. The rhythmic sound of his spinning wheel would give the feeling of listening to the Shlokas (verses) of Mahabharata, written in ‘Anushtubh’ metre. It seemed very sweet and elegant. During those days in the jail he made various kinds of spindles from earthen roof-tiles, pieces of broken earthen pots and bamboo. He had received so many types of spinning wheels too, like ‘Jeev Chakra’, ‘Gandiv’, ‘Bardoli Chakra’ and the ‘Villager’s Chakra’ etc.
He studied all those spinning wheels to assess their positive and negative aspects and then developed a beautiful spinning wheel called the ‘Yerawada Chakra’. He had asked the carding instrument to be brought to his room even before he reached the prison. He used to card the cotton on it and make fine cotton wads for spinning. He used to make the spindles or spinning wheels, card the cotton, make fine cotton wads, spin the yarn, make spools, sew the caps, etc with absolute concentration. In spite of being in jail himself, he thought and cared about his countrymen and their families. He showed deep interest in the personal and domestic life of those who sent him letters. He would offer them proper counsel with a holistic view of their physical, emotional and spiritual health.