Gandhi's Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth

By M. K. Gandhi; Mahadev Desai | Go to book overview

XIX
THE CANKER OF UNTRUTH

There were comparatively few Indian students in England forty years ago. It was a practice with them to affect the bachelor even though they might be married. School or college students in England are all bachelors, studies being regarded as incompatible with married life. We had that tradition in the good old days, a student then being invariably known as a brahmachari. 1. But in these days we have child-marriages, a thing practically unknown in England. Indian youths in England, therefore, felt ashamed to confess that they were married. There was also another reason for dissembling, namely that in the event of the fact being known it would be impossible for the young men to go about or flirt with the young girls of the family in which they lived. The flirting was more or less innocent. Parents even encouraged it; and that sort of association between young men and young women may even be a necessity there, in view of the fact that every young man has to choose his mate. If, however, Indian youths on arrival in England indulge in these relations, quite natural to English youths, the result is likely to be disastrous, as has often been found. I saw that our youths had succumbed to the temptation and chosen a life of untruth for the sake of companionships which, however innocent in the case of English youths, were for them undesirable. I too caught the contagion. I did not hesitate to pass myself off as a bachelor though I was married and the father of a son. But I was none the happier for being a dissembler. Only

____________________
1.
One who observes brahmacharya, i. e. complete self-restraint. (See note on page 38).

-85-

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Gandhi's Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Gandhi's Autobiography *
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 3
  • Part I *
  • I - Birth and Parentage *
  • II - Childhood 15
  • III - Child Marriage 18
  • IV - Playing the Husband 22
  • V - At the High School 26
  • VI - A Tragedy 31
  • VII - A Tragedy (contd.) 35
  • VIII - Stealing and Atonement 39
  • IX - My Father's Death and My Double Shame 43
  • X - Glimpses of Religion 47
  • XI - Preparation for England 52
  • XII - Outcaste 57
  • XIII - In London at Last 60
  • XIV - My Choice 64
  • XV - Playing the English Gentleman 68
  • XVI - Changes 72
  • XVII - Experiments in Dietetics 76
  • XVIII - Shyness My Shield 81
  • XIX - The Canker of Untruth 85
  • XX - Acquaintance with Religions 90
  • XXI 94
  • XXII - Narayan Hemchandra 97
  • XXIII - The Great Exhibition 101
  • XXIV - Called' — but Then? 103
  • XXV - My Helplessness 106
  • Part II 108
  • I - Raychandbhai *
  • II - How I Began Life 115
  • III - The First Case 119
  • IV - The First Shock 123
  • V - Preparing for South Africa 127
  • VI - Arrival in Natal 130
  • VII - Some Experiences 134
  • VIII - On the Way to Pretoria 138
  • IX - More Hardships 143
  • X - First Day in Pretoria 149
  • XI - Christian Contacts 153
  • XII - Seeking Touch with Indians 157
  • XIII - What It is to Be a 'Coolie' 161
  • XIV - Preparation for the Case 165
  • XV - Religious Ferment 169
  • XVI - Man Proposes, God Disposes 173
  • XVII - Settled in Natal 176
  • XVIII - Colour Bar 181
  • XIX - Natal Indian Congress 185
  • XX - Balasundaram 190
  • XXI - The £ 3 Tax 193
  • XXII - Comparative Study of Religions 197
  • XXIII - As a Householder 201
  • XXIV - Homeward 205
  • XXV - In India 208
  • XXVI - Two Passions 212
  • XXVII - The Bombay Meeting 216
  • XXVIII - Poona and Madras 220
  • XXIX - Return Soon' 223
  • Part III *
  • I - Rumblings of the Storm *
  • II - The Storm 232
  • III - The Test 236
  • IV - The Calm After the Storm 241
  • V - Education of Children 245
  • VI - Spirit of Service 249
  • VII - Brahmacharya — I 252
  • VIII - Brahmacharya — II 256
  • IX - Simple Life 261
  • X - The Boer War 264
  • XI - Sanitary Reform and Famine Relief 267
  • XII - Return to India 269
  • XIII - In India Again 273
  • XIV - Clerk and Bearer 277
  • XV - In the Congress 280
  • XVI - Lord Curzon's Darbar 283
  • XVII - A Month with Gokhale—I 285
  • XVIII - A Month with Gokhale—II 288
  • XIX - A Month with Gokhale—III 291
  • XX - In Benares 294
  • XXI - Settled in Bombay? 299
  • XXII - Faith on Its Trial 302
  • XXIII - To South Africa Again 306
  • Part IV 308
  • I - Love's Labour's Lost? *
  • II - Autocrats from Asia 314
  • III - Pocketed the Insult 317
  • IV - Quickened Spirit of Sacrifice 320
  • V - Result of Introspection 322
  • VI - A Sacrifice to Vegetarianism 326
  • VII - Experiments in Earth and Water Treatment 329
  • VIII - A Warning 332
  • IX - A Tussle with Power 335
  • X - A Sacred Recollection and Penance 338
  • XI - Intimate European Contacts 341
  • XII - European Contacts (contd.) 344
  • XIII - Indian Opinion ' 347
  • XIV - Coolie Locations or Ghettoes? 350
  • XV - The Black Plague — I 354
  • XVI - The Black Plague — II 357
  • XVII - Location in Flames 360
  • XVIII - The Magic Spell of a Book 363
  • XIX - The PhŒnix Settlement 366
  • XX - The First Night 369
  • XXI - Polak Takes the Plunge 372
  • XXII - Whom God Protects 375
  • XXIII - A Peep into the Household 379
  • XXIV - The Zulu 'Rebellion' 383
  • XXV - Heart Searchings 386
  • XXVI - The Birth of Satyagraha 389
  • XXVII - More Experiments in Dietetics 391
  • XXVIII - Kasturbai's Courage 394
  • XXIX - Domestic Satyagraha 398
  • XXX - Towards Self-Restraint 401
  • XXXI - Fasting 404
  • XXXII - As Schoolmaster 407
  • XXXIII - Literary Training 410
  • XXXIV - Training of the Spirit 413
  • XXXV - Tares Among the Wheat 416
  • XXXVI - Fasting as Penance 418
  • XXXVII - To Meet Gokhale 421
  • XXXVIII - My Part in the War 424
  • XXXIX - A Spiritual Dilemma 427
  • XL - Miniature Satyagraha 430
  • XLI - Gokhale's Charity 435
  • XLII - Treatment of Pleurisy 438
  • XLIII - Homeward 441
  • XLIV - Some Reminiscences of the Bar 443
  • XLV - Sharp Practice ? 446
  • XLVI - Clients Turned Co-Workers 448
  • XLVII - How a Client Was Saved 450
  • Part V 452
  • I - The First Experience *
  • II - with Gokhale in Poona 457
  • III - Was It a Threat ? 460
  • IV - Shantiniketan 464
  • V - Woes of Third Class Passengers 468
  • VI - Wooing 471
  • VII - Kumbha Mela 473
  • VIII - Lakshman Jhula 478
  • IX - Founding of the Ashram 482
  • X - On the Anvil 485
  • XI - Abolition of Indentured Emigration 489
  • XII - The Stain of Indigo 494
  • XIII - The Gentle Bihari 497
  • XIV - Face to Face with Ahimsa 501
  • XV - Case Withdrawn 505
  • XVI - Methods of Work 509
  • XVII - Companions 512
  • XVIII - Penetrating the Villages 515
  • XIX - When a Governor is Good 518
  • XX - In Touch with Labour 520
  • XXI - A Peep into the Ashram 523
  • XXII - The Fast 526
  • XXIII - The Kheda Satyagraha 531
  • XXIV - The Onion Thief 534
  • XXV - End of Kheda Satyagraha 537
  • XXVI - Passion for Unity 539
  • XXVII - Recruiting Campaign 543
  • XXVIII - Near Death's Door 551
  • XXIX - The Rowlatt Bills and My Dilemma 556
  • XXX - That Wonderful Spectacle! 560
  • XXXI - That Memorable Week! — I 564
  • XXXII - That Memorable Week! — II 571
  • XXXIII - A Himalayan Miscalculation' 575
  • XXXIV - Navajivan' and 'Young India' 578
  • XXXV - In the Punjab 582
  • XXXVI - The Khilafat Against Cow Protection? 586
  • XXXVII - The Amritsar Congress 592
  • XXXVIII - Congress Initiation 596
  • XXXIX - The Birth of Khadi 599
  • XL - Found at Last! 602
  • XLI - An Instructive Dialogue 605
  • XLII - Its Rising Tide 608
  • XLIII - At Nagpur 612
  • Farewell 614
  • Index 616
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