Page:Heroes of the hour- Mahatma Gandhi, Tilak Maharaj, Sir Subramanya Iyer.djvu/47

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less he himself consented to remain in South Africa. The prominent Indians guaranteed him a 'practice if he should choose to stay. In response to their wishes he enrolled himself in the Supreme Court of Natal though not without some objection, at first, on the ground of his colour. Thus began for him that long association with South Africa which was destined to have such memorable results.

From a moral point of view the choice that he made to remain in South Africa, to which he had gone only on a temporary professional visit, was the first great act of Mr. Gandhi's public career. A young man with his life before him and every prospect of carving distinction for himself in his own native land is called upon to brush all that aside and devote himself to the uplift of his own countrymen in a far away land amidst circumstances of disgusting humiliation and struggle. How many in Mr. Gandhi's position would have made the same choice? How many would have had the same passivity to surrender themselves to the guiding hand of destiny? How many would have placed service above self? But to men born for great ends such crises of the soul come only to find them pre-