Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/384

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294 EARLIER INDIAN SPEECHES

they were living, was as filthy as it well could be* Recent rains had naade matters worse. And I must frankly confess that, had it not been for Mr. Ewbank's great zeal for the cause he has made his own, I should have shirked the task. But there we were, seated on a fairly worn out charpai, surrounded by men, women and children. Mr. Ewbank opened fire on a man who had put himself forward and who wore not a particu- larly innocent countenance. After he had engaged him and the other people about him in Gujarati conversation, he wanted roe to speak to the people. Owing to the suspicious looks of tdie man who was first spoken to, I naturally pressed home the moralities of co-operation. I fancy that Mr. Ewbank rather liked the manner in which I handled the subject. Hence, I believe, his kind invita- tion to me to tax your patience for a few moments upon a consideration of co-operation from a moral standpoint. My knowledge of the technicality of co-operation is next to nothing. My brother, Devadhar, has made the subject his Own. Whatever he does, naturally attracts me and predisposes me to think that there must be some- thing good in it and the handling of it must be fairly difficult Mr. Ewbank very kindly placed at my disposal some literature too on the subject. And I have had an unique opportunity of watching the effect of some co- operative effort in Champaran. I have gone through Mr. Ewbank's ten main points which are like the Command- ments, and I have gone through the twelve points of Mr. Collins of Behar, which remind me of the law of the Twelve Tables. There are so-called agricultural banks in Champaran. They were to me disappointing efforts, if they were meant to be demonstrations of the success of co-operation. On the other hand, there is quiet work in

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