Gandhi Versus the Empire

By Haridas T. Muzumdar | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
GANDHI'S MESSAGE TO THE NATION

In the dead of night on the 9th of April, 1930, several of Gandhi's close associates and co-workers visited the obscure little village of Dandi and woke him up from his slumber. They had heard rumors about the Mahatma's impending arrest and wanted to receive final instructions from him. Much against his will Gandhi dictated a message to the nation. His amazingly scrupulous care for the minutest detail was revealed to the present writer during the one-hour conversation the Mahatma held with this select inner group. The present writer was privileged to be one of the half a dozen of the inner circle to whom the Mahatma gave his "Message to the Nation." The Message was dictated in Gujarati; an English version of it appeared in Young India, May 8, 1930, three days after Gandhi's arrest. The present translation, slightly different from the one appearing in Young India, is the writer's own, based upon the text of the Gujarati Message:

At last the long expected hour seems to have come.

In the dead of night my colleagues and companions have roused me from deep slumber and requested me to give them a message. I am dictating this message at the insistent request of friends, even though I have not the slightest inclination to do so.

Of messages given by me there has been no dearth. Of what avail would this message be if none of the previous ones evoked a proper response? But information received until this midnight leads me to the belief that my message

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