GANDHI IN ACTION network

the Spirit of Mahatma Gandhi lives through every nonviolent action

Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav

Senior Gandhian Scholar

Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India

Contact No. – 09415777229, 094055338

E-mail- dr.yogendragandhi@gmail.com;dr.yadav.yogendra@gandhifoundation.net

Mail Address-   C- 29, Swaraj Nagar, Panki, Kanpur-208020, U.P.

 

 

Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya and Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya was born on November 24, 1888. He was a qualified doctor. He knows Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu languages. He started his medical practice in 1906. He was a scholar and congress leader. He published English weekly Janmbhoomi from 1919. He had participated in the freedom struggle. He was sent jail for several times during freedom movement. Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “You know that all my sympathies are with you in your great sorrow. I never knew anything about Sudakshina’s death. Though I cannot recall her features, I well remember her having parted with her bangles with the greatest cheerfulness. Do please come and pass some time with us in the Ashram whenever you can now about Keshu. I did not write on behalf of Maganlal. As Keshu is just now acting as one of the nurses for me, he takes me in his confidence. I do not know that Maganlal even now knows that I am in correspondence with you about him not that he need not know it; but we all remain so busy that, when we do talk, we talk only about things necessary. And as I have nothing to consult him about in the matter of Keshu’s education, I have not discussed with him the plans I am maturing. However, he does know that Keshu wants to increase his knowledge of mechanical engineering. Is there a technical institute in the Mysore State? And, if there is, do you know anything about it? And do you claim yours to be the best in India? Please complete the information by telling me whether you have any such thing as terms during the year or are you open all the year round to receive pupils whenever they come?” 1

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I had expected you to let me have your opinion upon the draft rules for Khadi Service published in Young India. I am anxious to publish them in their final shape as early as possible and set the scheme a-going. The only delay is your considered opinion. You will find the rules in Young India dated 16th September 1926. Wherever blanks have been kept, as for instance about the salary, they have been purposely kept so that everybody may give his own independent opinion.” 2 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya asked me: ‘What is it that has brought you again out of your den? Is it again to coquet with the Swaraj Party because you were in love with Pandit Motilal Nehru? Is it still your lingering love for Motilal that has brought you?’ These are not his exact words. This is the substance of what Dr. Pattabhi said. You will, therefore, take this with some degree of reservation. I told him I would give an explanation of it. It was no lingering love but the burning love for my dear comrade. When he said: ‘You were instrumental in putting this crown of thorns upon my head, you will now have to come and see how many bruises that crown of thorns caused to my head and you will have to come and share some of those bruises,’ I would be guilty of breach of friendship, I would be guilty of breach of duty to the nation, if after having pressed them to take their share at this critical juncture in the history of the country, I had not responded to his call and said: ‘I shall come on the day you fix and I shall leave on the day you ask me.’ (Applause) You now understand why I have come here and you now understand the importance I attach to this resolution, compromised though it is, weaker though it is, than the original resolution.” 3

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, having been for years interested in co-operative banking and being a khadi expert in Andhra, may be presumed to know his figures. He makes the calculation that five million charkhas working for five hours daily can spin enough yarn to replace the whole of foreign cloth to be boycotted. He thinks that there is already that number of wheels lying in India’s homes. But we will take some time to unearth these wheels and make them work. New wheels we cannot make fast enough to meet the demand that a spinning atmosphere will create. The wheel will again require some capital, be it ever so little. When we think of crores of people, even the capital of one rupee per head mounts up to crores. We want to work with as little capital as possible. We want to teach spinning to the largest number available as quickly as possible. This can be done only through the takli. If the average output of a wheel be 300 yards per hour that of the takli will be 100. Therefore to manufacture the amount of yarn that five million wheels will spin, we require takli to work. And if the workers would spin not five but only fifteen million one hour, we need seventy-five million takli to work. Seventy-five million is one fourth the total population of India.” 4 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “With reference to the suggestion of Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya advising purchase of the site and building at Masulipatnam.” 5

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I have your letter forwarded to me in my capacity as editor of Young India. So far as the recommendations about the flag are concerned I would advise you to send them to the Secretary of the Flag Committee appointed by the Working Committee of the Congress. The convener and the Secretary of the Flag Committee is Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, Masulipatnam, S. India.” 6 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I know your hands are fairly full. What I want you to do are without interference with your work to tell me: (1) what are the capabilities in your part of the world of revival in the direction indicated by me? (2) Who can, in your opinion, take charge of the various districts? They must be practically whole timers and yet able, if possible, to pay their way and make the agency self-supporting. This concern should not be run at a loss. (3) Do you want to take up your own district? (4) What is your opinion of khadi bhandars or centres taking up surplus village goods for sale on credit on terms to be mutually agreed? If the answer be in the affirmative, what should be the terms?” 7

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “This is village paper. The ink is village-made, and the pen is made of village reed. Do the villagers manufacture paper there? If so, at what price? I have your full letter. Yes, we must meet. Since you have time, you have to be humble enough to ask for the responsibility you can shoulder work of the highest order, with or without office, whichever is better for your work. In this service of the destitute, there is no room for ceremony. And this business of rice, flour, gur, oil, ghee, etc., is a vast business. You have to revive your knowledge of medicine. There are two ways of doing the thing by compulsion through State organization, or voluntary effort, i.e., organized honesty or non-violence.” 8 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “The young men are not going back unless the life here disquiets them strange food, strange climate. If their friends can find money, I should like the return fares in case of need and some for their bedding. They are under Mirabehn’s charge.” 9

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I enclose herewith a cutting from The Nationalist of Calcutta. Is the report correct? If so, we have no right to offend anyone like this whatever the case we have to be civil in the face of incivility. This is the secret of non-violence. There is nothing indecorous if your association is represented by ten delegates. Think over it and do as you think right.” 10 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Durgabai cannot remain an agent of the Kasturba Committee if she gets into the Constituent Assembly. Can you suggest the names of a few deserving women out of whom we can choose someone in her place? Ashabehn suggests the name of Bharatibehn Ranga. What do you say to it?” 11 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Your Hindi letter is very good. If you go on like this, you will write Hindi better than English. Your pleading is unnecessary for your sincerity is beyond doubt. Now forget all about it. Immerse yourself in khadi work and become of steadfast mind.” 12

 

References:

 

  1. LETTER TO PATTABHI SITARAMAYYA, June 22, 1926
  2.   CIRCULAR LETTER, October 8, 1926
  3. Amrita Bazar Patrika, 29-12-1928
  4. Young India, 24-4-1930 
  5. LETTER TO SHANKERLAL BANKER, May 26, 1931
  6. LETTER TO SECRETARY, CENTRAL SIKH LEAGUE, June 13, 1931
  7.   LETTER TO PATTABHI SITARAMAYYA, December 5, 1934
  8.   LETTER TO DR. PATTABHI SITARAMAYYA December 19, 1934
  9.   LETTER TO DR. PATTABHI SITARAMAYYA, April 8, 1935
  10. LETTER TO DR. PATTABHI SITARAMAYYA, January 13, 1946
  11. LETTER TO DR. PATTABHI SITARAMAYYA, July 27, 1946
  12. LETTER TO DR. PATTABHI SITARAMAYYA, July 30, 1946

 

 

 

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