The Jamnalal Bajaj Fund of one lakh of rupees that was given last year for the support of lawyers who had suspended practice as a result of the Nagpur resolution is nearly, as it was intended to be, exhausted. The lawyers cannot go back to practice with any show of decency, and I am sure that many will not countenance even the idea of a return when the country is showing such wonderful example of self-sacrifice.
But it would not be proper to leave the lawyers to their own resources. I would therefore certainly suggest to the Provincial Committees that they should take up the burden subject to assistance from the Central Fund, if it was at all found necessary. The rearrangement should be quickly made so as to avoid suspense and delay in the even tenor of national work.
This, however, is the least among the difficulties that surround the lawyer class at the present moment. They are eager to take part in a national awakening. The spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. I still feel that practising lawyers cannot lead. They cannot but weaken a movement which demands complete, almost reckless, sacrifice. The whole cause can be lost if top men weaken at a supreme crisis. But the Congress has purposely opened an honourable door for them. The original draft was perhaps uncertain as to any but full non-co-operators being entitled to sign the volunteer pledge. The conditions for them are easy of fulfillment, being mostly matters of belief. The use of Khadi may cause some little inconvenience at first, but I feel sure that they will not mind it, if otherwise they believe in the requirements of the pledge. And, as among non-co- operators' imprisonment covers a multitude of defects, practising lawyers who go through the fire of imprisonment will by that one fact come to occupy the position of honour which once was theirs. There is also the general resolution appealing to and inviting all including full co-operators to take up such activities as do not admit of any sacrifice or any difference of opinion. I hope therefore that lawyers will, to the best of their ability and opportunity, respond to the country's call in many of the various ways open to them. Where all are expected to help none should be found wanting or indifferent. Non-co-operators on their part instead of priding themselves upon their achievements, should be humble enough to receive all the aid that might be rendered to the country's cause. The spirit of toleration should take the place of intoleration and exclusiveness. It can do no credit to the movement or good to the cause if a man, who has nothing or little to sacrifice, claims, by reason of his putting on Khadi, the right of slighting practising lawyers or others who may be honestly and according to their lights serving the country in various ways. Whatever is offered upon the altar of service to the motherland with a willing heart must be thankfully received.