5. The Test

Gandhiji must have been in second or third grade and was trying to learn English.

Once an education officer came to inspect the school and asked the students to write five English words each. The class teacher was keeping an eye on them. His heart was beating rapidly, fearing that the students might make mistakes. If it happened so, the teacher was to be blamed. The officer would blame the teacher for not doing his duty properly.

Mohandas had miss-spelt the word 'kettle'. The teacher saw it but what could he do? Slowly he went to him and tapped on Mohandas' foot with his shoe. Then he signaled him to copy the student sitting next to him. Mohandas did not know how to copy. He would not even dream of cheating. So he could not understand that the teacher was actually asking him to be dishonest and copy from another student's paper.

The teacher scolded him the next day and said, "You are such a fool! You didn't even get the clue!"

Gandhiji didn't say anything to the teacher but he was sure that it was not a good advice to be followed because it was leading to untruth.