Ladakh is high on my texts. where I stand largely affects my choice of words.
what is it that we want
to be, where on the map of history, we wish to stand, who we wish to be.
history talks, how we interprete it is a choice that we make.
it was supposed to be tough,
Character can not be replaced with qualification.
To the Moderates
…I ask you to accept my evidence that the country as a whole is sick of the drink curse. Those unfortunate men who have become slaves to the habit require to be helped against themselves. Some of them even ask to be helped. I invite you to take advantage of the wave of feeling that has been roused against the drink traffic. The agitation arose spontaneously. Believe me, the deprivation to the government of the drink revenue is of the least importance in the campaign. The country is simply impatient of the evil itself. In no country in the world will it be possible to carry on this traffic in the face of the united and the enlightened opposition of a people, such as is now to be witnessed in India. Whatever the errors or excesses that were committed by the mob in Nagpur, the cause was just. The people were determined to do away with the drink curse that was sapping their vitality. You will not be deceived by the specious argument that India must not be made sober by compulsion and that those who wish to drink must have facilities provided to them. The state does not cater for the vices if its people. We do no regulate or license houses of ill fame. We do not provide facilities for thieves to indulge their propensity for thieving and perhaps even prostitution. Is it not often the parent of both? I ask you to join the country in sweeping out existence of drink revenue and abolishing the liquor-shops. Many liquor-sellers would gladly close their shops, if the money paid by them were refunded.
What about the education of the children? May be the question asked. I venture to suggest to you that it is a matter of deep humiliation for the country to find its children educated from drink revenue. We shall deserve the curse of posterity if we so not wisely decide to stop the drink evil, even thought we may have to sacrifice the education of our children. But we need not. I know many of you have laughed at the idea of making education self-supporting by introduction of spinning in our schools and colleges. I assure you that it solves the problem of education as nothing else can. The country cannot bear fresh taxation. Even the existing taxation is unbearable. Not only must we do away with the opium and the drink revenue, but the other revenue has also to be very considerably reduced if the ever-growing poverty of the masses is to be combated in the near future.
And that brings me to the existing system of government. The country is the poorer for the reforms. The annual expenditure has grown. A deeper study of the system has convinced me that no tinkering with will do, A compete revolution is greatest need of the time. The word revolution displeases you. What I plead for, however is not bloody revolution, bu a revolution in the thought-world, such as would compel a radical revision of the standard of life in the higher service of the country. I must frankly confess to you that the ever-increasing rate of salaries paid to the higher branches of the Civil Service fairly frightens me, as I hope it would frighten you. Is there any correspondence between the life of the governors and of the governed millions who are groaning under their heels? The bruised bodies of the latter are a standing testimony to the truth of my statement. You now belong to the governing class. Let is not be said that your heels are no softer than your predecessors or your associates. Must you also rule from Shimla? Must you also follow the policy that, only a year ago, you criticized severely? …..I would gladly think that , as I really believe, that you are not responsible for the atrocities that are at present being perpetrated in the name of peace and justice. But you will not let the public or me to day that you are helpless, where you are not hood winked. That, however, would being me to a discussion of our ideals, which I must not enter upon at this moment. If the country can only get your assistance in stopping the drink traffic, you will certainly add to the many services that you have rendered in the past, and, may be, that one step will open your eyes to many other possibilities. (Young India, 8/6/1921)
….It is criminal to spend the income from the sale of intoxicants on the education of the nation’s children or other public services. The government must overcome the temptation of using such revenue for nation-building purposes. Experience has shown that the moral and physical gain of the abstainer more than makes up for the loss of this tainted revenue. If we eradicate the evil, we will easily find other ways and means of increasing the nation’s income. (Mahatma Gandhi. Harijan. 21 September 1947)”
The time has always been hard with me, I think this is the nature of my partnership with time.