Lahore, Friday, April 22, 1921

“Mahatma Gandhi ki jai” on the Mind

“NEW India” in a recent issue wrote:-- “One of the worst disservices done by Mr. Gandhi to India is the demoralisation of Indian youth, by encouraging in them irreverence and discourtesy, as he has done by his campaign against schools, parents and teachers. By his home training, the Indian boy was very courteous. Now he behaves like a western street-boy, has no gratitude for services done to him or to his country, and takes a pleasure in silly insult presumably thinking that his elders will be troubled by it. When Lady Willingdon attended a lecture at Gokhale Hall, an impudent small boy, whose treble voice showed his youth, yelled at her, “Mahatma Gandhi ki jai.” So the lads outside Gokhale Hall last night called out the same silly words as Mrs. Besant and Mr. G.S. Arundale passed.” May we recall in this connection another Madras story. When Lord Carmichael was Governor of Madras, he visited a school. When accompanied by the Headmaster, who was not an Indian, his lordship entered a class-room, the boys greeted him with shouts of “Bande Mataram”. The Headmaster looked very angry and the assistant master, taking the hint from his chief, began jotting down the names of boys whom he regarded as “ring-leaders” as soon as the Governor’s back was turned. A few minutes later, Lord Carmichael re-entered the class-room accompanied by the Headmaster and silently walking to the black-board wrote on it the words “Bande Mataram”, and addressing the boys said that he was happy they had greeted him in that way. He added that it would be his endeavour to so govern the presidency that his presence might evoke within them their noblest aspirations. That was some years ago. And when Mrs. Besant was under restraint in 1917, there were demonstrations in her favour accompanied with shouts of a similar nature. Evidently, they did not displease her then!

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