Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/81

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
66
AN INDIAN PATRIOT

Africa, naturally Natal was up in arms. Indignation meetings were held, and Mr. Gandhi was denounced in very forcible, if not very refined, terms. He was charged with besmirching the good name of the Colony that had entertained him. These are the actual words, as they were uttered by a prominent doctor and Colonist, before a large gathering of citizens in Durban, and published in the "Natal Advertiser." They form a good example of what was being said everywhere:

"Mr. Gandhi," he affirmed, "had accused the Colonists of Natal of having dealt unfairly with Indians, and of having abused and robbed and swindled them (a voice: “You can't swindle a coolie.”) He (the Doctor) quite agreed with that. Mr. Gandhi had returned to India and dragged them in the gutter, and painted them as black and filthy as his own skin." (Applause.) Evidently feeling was at white heat.

In the midst of his work, while Mr. Gandhi was arranging a meeting in Calcutta, he received a cablegram from Natal asking him to return at once, as Parliament was about to sit. This was in November, 1896. He returned to Bombay immediately, booked his passage by the first available steamer and