59. To Dr. Kailas Nath Katju1
Gudiatham (South India),
September 1, 1927
My weakness of body is my excuse for dictating this letter. But for that weakness I would have gladly written myself. I thank you for your letter and the first instalment of your contribution to Khadi. Your letter is so good and is likely to influence others. If you have no objection, I would like to publish that part of it which relates to Khadi. But please do not hesitate to refuse permission, if you would on any account not like the publication of the letter, whether with or without your name.
As for the black alpaca chapkan concerned, give me an order and I can have for you one made of very fine black Khadi. It looks as good as alpaca. You may not know that in Madras many advocates and Vakils wear Khaddar chapkans even when they do not use Khadi for other articles of dress and as it so happens, the Khaddar chapkans, the poor practitioners find to be suitable because of their comparative cheapness. In your case I may not think of cheapness at all. If you give the order, I am not going to secure for you the cheapest but the most expensive and the most elegant.
Now a word about personal spinning. I quite agree with you that love of Khaddar need not include personal spinning. But love of the starving millions does, for two reasons: First, because, personal spinning renews our daily bond with them. Secondly, by personally spinning each known member of society creates a spinning atmosphere which makes it easier for workers to induce the unwilling, because unbelieving, villagers to take to hand-spinning. I would like to add a third reason which I know you would not despise. Every yard of well-spun yarn adds to the wealth of the country, be the addition ever so infinitesimal. You know what the lawyers do, so often whilst awaiting their turn in the law courts. They either play with their pencils or with their paper-tape or worse still open out their little penknives and fidget with the edges of the desks at which they are sitting. I wonder if I could induce you to take up the little takli which could be made of silver, gold or ivory if you like, and put in a delicate little cylinder. Takli - spinning is easily learnt. Will you take to it? It will be, I know, laughed at in the beginning; then it will cease to attract notice one way or the other and if you could go through the two stages and persist, it will be copied by others. I hope you do not resent my saying all this to you. You have given me an inch with hearty goodwill and you must not be surprised if I now ask for more.
Yes, indeed, I demanded great sacrifices from lawyers. But looking back to 1920 and 21, I feel that I asked for nothing very extraordinary and I feel that I had a right to demand the largest measure of sacrifice from those to whose profession I once belonged.
The little ones now consider themselves, to be too big to sit in my lap. Please, however, tell them that whenever I meet them again, I am going to make them pay for still remembering me.
I am passing your cheque for Rs. 100/- to the Treasurer of the All-India Spinners' Association.
Yours sincerely,
From a photostat: S.N. 13275

1 Kailas Nath Katju-was Eminent Jurist and Congress Leader; Governor of Orissa, August 1947 to June 1948; Governor of West Bengal, 1948. Later on Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.