Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/56

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41
IN SOUTH AFRICA

the object of this journey. It resulted in failure. Perhaps, although, Mr. Gandhi had obtained all kinds of scholarships in the schools which he attended, he did not impress the Administrator with his talent, or, possibly, some hostile influence had been at work. At any rate, the application failed. "No," said Sir Frederick, "you must graduate first—that would have meant four further years of study—then you can come to me, and I will consider it." But another part of his errand was more successful. His uncle, who had followed Karamchand as Dewan Sahib of Porbandar, endorsed the scheme, gave his blessing, and sent him back to Rajkot, able, at last, to realise his dream.

The news of his intended visit to England was received by a section of his friends in Porbandar with intense disapproval. Probably they belonged to the old Conservative school. They overwhelmed him with abuse, told him that he would disgrace the whole clan, threatened him with condign punishment, and, finally, when their abuse and threatenings proved powerless, called a meeting of caste men in Bombay, and excommunicated him. To this day, while he is welcomed in Rajkot, he is outside the caste society of Porbandar and Bombay.