‘Treat Harijans as your brothers’, Mahatma Gandhi's advice to students | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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From the Archives: ‘Treat Harijans as your brothers’, Mahatma Gandhi's advice to students

Sep 30, 2023 04:14 PM IST

One student said that as their fathers were government servants, they were afraid to join the anti-untouchability movement, not political work.

Among those that interviewed Mahatma Gandhi were a group of young high school students who informed Gandhiji that they wanted to serve Harijans but their fathers would not allow them to do. Gandhiji laughingly asked them to fight them, but he added: – “How can you fight them!" He asked: – What do you generally do when you want your things done!. You cry. Is it not!

Mahatma Gandhi seen collecting funds for Harijans in Assam, January 1946. Assam was unsure about her own political future; the air was also thick with communal polarisation. When the British Cabinet Mission plan created a political imbroglio, Gandhi sided with Assam and asked the people to remain steadfast. ()(Courtesy: National Gandhi Museum) PREMIUM
Mahatma Gandhi seen collecting funds for Harijans in Assam, January 1946. Assam was unsure about her own political future; the air was also thick with communal polarisation. When the British Cabinet Mission plan created a political imbroglio, Gandhi sided with Assam and asked the people to remain steadfast. ()(Courtesy: National Gandhi Museum)

The students laughingly said: "Yes." Gandhiji: – Then cry and weep (laughter)

One student said that as their fathers were government servants, they were afraid to join the anti-untouchability movement, not political work.

ALSO READ: ‘Banish untouchability from hearts’, appeals Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhiji: "But this is not political work" and added that Government servants could do many things, to contribute to the funds, engage in their houses untouchables, bring up the Harijan boys and girls and there was no politics in that".

How can we serve them in schools? asked another.

Gandhiji: “In schools you can- not do anything. You go there to learn. Do not bother your little heads there but out of school hours, you can do”.

Q:-How!

Gandhiji: “Where the untouchables are living, mix with them, pray with them and see their quarters are kept clean, take broom and sweep and teach them to be clean. Show by your own life that you do not observe Untouchabilty, show them that you love them. Treat them as your blood brothers”.

Concluding, Mahatma Gandhi said: – You are too young. Day by day you will learn better the knack of doing the right.”

The students were satisfied and thanked Gandhiji and offered him yarn garlands and withdrew.

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