Mahatma Gandhi : The Great Trial In Ahmedabad (Mar 1922)
Saturday, April 29, 2006
OK, a quick word on this new category that I'm starting with this post. I do not intend to go "comprehensive" on you – you can obviously google the life out of any topic so it would be meaningless to recreate records on this blog for its' own sake. The snippets here are only those readings which have moved me sufficiently to where I have actually transcribed the words verbatim on paper, and which I now wish to archive electronically.
Gandhiji was arrested on March 10, 1922, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years beginning on March 18, 1922. The offence cited was his publication of 3 "seditious articles" in the Young India newspaper. He only served about two years of the sentence, being released in February 1924 after an operation for appendicitis. In my humble opinion, the following famous words spoken at "The Great Trial In Ahmedabad", which are excerpts of his full written statement, give a glimpse into the greatness of the man.
"I do not ask for mercy. I do not plead any extenuating act. I am here, therefore, to invite and cheerfully submit to the highest penalty that can be inflicted upon me for what in law is a deliberate crime and what appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen. The only course open to you, the judge, is either to resign your post, and thus dissociate yourself from evil if you feel that the law you are called upon to administer is an evil and that in reality I am innocent, or to inflict on me the severest penalty if you believe that the system and law you are assisting to administer are good for the people. By the time I have finished with my statement, you will perhaps have a glimpse of what is raging within my breast to run this maddest risk which a sane man can run…..No sophistry, no jugglery in figures can explain away the evidence the skeletons in many villages present to the naked eye. I have no doubt whatsoever that both England and the town-dwellers of India will have to answer, if there is a God above, for this crime against humanity which is perhaps unequalled in history."