37. The Push

In Pretoria, Gandhiji used to go for a walk every evening.

He used to walk along the footpath. President Kruger's home was there on the same road. It was a simple house. The guard only indicated that the house belonged to some officer.

Gandhiji walked by the same road every day. He used to walk in front of the house daily and the guard would see him doing so. No one said anything to him.

One day, the guard might have been changed. Seeing Gandhiji, he thought, "Why should this black labourer walk along this footpath and that too in front of the President's house? He has to be scolded."

Without saying or asking anything he went to Gandhiji and pushing him kicked him down the footpath.

Gandhiji was dumbfounded by this attack. He got up and was about to talk to the guard when a horse rider came there and said, "Gandhiji, I have seen everything. If you want to complain against him, I will bear a witness."

The horse rider was an Englishman and Gandhiji's friend.

Gandhiji replied, "No brother! It will be of no use! He is treating me the same way he treats my other countrymen."

The friend said, "No, no! We should teach such people a lesson!"

Gandhiji said, "All Englishmen insult us by calling labourers! Why should this ignorant guard be blamed?"

Then the Britisher admonished the guard and made him say sorry to Gandhiji.