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90. Press Fabrications
When ex-Viceroy of India Lord Irwin (later known as Lord Halifax) went out to the United States of America as the- British Ambassador, a writer in Picture Post, the London journal, indulged in the following bit of "story" telling:
"He (Lord Irwin) went to India and remained five years. He met Mohandas K. Gandhi and prevailed upon him' through greater religious fervour than ever India's scrawny little saint could muster." 'You canít argue with Jesus-Christ' commented the Mahatma once, following a long conference from which he had emerged second best.
"During one of Gandhiji's periodic hunger strikes Lord Halifax shrewdly remarked, 'Gandhi is now speaking in a language the Indian people understand. If I were to get in the hallway of the Government buildings at New Delhi, squat on the floor and refuse to eat a bit until the Indian civil disobedience movement came to terms, the trouble would be over in a few days. Of course, before those few could elapse, my Liberal, Con≠servative and Labour colleagues in London would send for me to come home and would have a padded cell waiting for me on my arrival.'"
When Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, well-known Indian journalist, drew the attention of Mahatmaji' to the above, the latter wrote to the former from Sevagram as follows:
"The portion underlined by you is wholly false. So is the statement about Lord Irwin as he then was. Ours was a purely political meeting."