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42. A Versatile Diplomat
Mohmed Ali Jinnah was the chief of Home Rule League’s Bombay branch and I was the secretary. He used to be very friendly with me. I had been in jail with Gandhiji for about a year. Hence it was but natural that he would enquire about Gandhiji. His monk like life style had impressed me deeply and I had so much to talk about him. But Jinnah fancied him differently. He said to me, “You don’t know him. He is a great revolutionary but he is a greater diplomat too. See how cleverly he is leading the struggle with this government. First he establishes a fellowship with the people and then tries to eliminate their sorrow.
He gathers strength by setting about the movement and then keeps the struggle going. While the struggle is on its prime, something goes amiss; then he steps in to appease the people as well as the government and establishes peace. After a lapse of time, he again finds something to start the agitation. He sets about the struggle, stops it, and again flares it up. He teaches people how to continue the struggle. The government has the power and the people don’t have enough strength. That is why Gandhiji continually sets about the movement, holds it back and then lets it flare up again, so as to train the people for the struggle. He is not a monk like you think him to be. He is, in fact, a versatile diplomat.