Letter from Mohandas Gandhi to Charles Andrews
My dear Charlie,
I have your letter of 12th November only today. If it was an airmail letter it should have been received about the 22nd of November. Your letter therefore seems to have gone through the whole circuit of examination before being delivered to me. I shall inquire. I am surprised that there should be any question arising as to whether I could do untouchability work more effectively as a free man than as a prisoner. I should think that it is a self-evident proposition that I could do more effective work as a free man. At the same time I can fully appreciate the Government standpoint. So long as they feel that Civil Disobedience must be put down at any cost and that their plan might be frustrated or checked if I was left free to carry on Civil Disobedience they are bound to keep me under detention unless I would give them an assurance, be it even verbal, that I would not carry on Civil Disobedience propaganda. For my part, however much I may wish to confine myself wholly to untouchability work, I cannot without a full knowledge of the circumstances outside give any undertaking as to my future action. After all Civil Disobedience under given circumstances is as much an article of faith with me as removal of untouchability. I can therefore never say beforehand what will occupy my attention exclusively or for the most part at a given moment and since a civil resister bargains for the punishment he receives for his resistance, he must not fret over it. Therefore and to that extent I am content with my lot. I hope this tells you clearly how I stand.
I hope you got there no alarming report about my little fast over Appasaheb Patwardhan[.] I need not give you the details about the event for you must have seen them in the papers. All I need say is that except for a little weakness there is no ill effect left of the fast. I hope that you are finding no difficulty in understanding and appreciating the temple entry question and the contemplated fast.
I hope that you are keeping your health in spite of the stress.
Dr Ansari is wonderful. If he is there give him our love and tell him that our prayers always ascend to heaven for his complete recovery.
If what you say about the communal decision turns out to be true it is a silver lining to the dark cloud.
Love from us all