Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/36

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letter to the organisers of the ceremony, in which, after excusing his unavoidable absence, he said:—

It would have given me great pleasure to have been present on the occasion of so well-earned a mark of respect to our able and distinguished fellow-citizen, Mr. Gandhi... Not the less heartily do I wish all success to this public recognition of the good work done and the many services rendered to the community by Mr. Gandhi.

On his arrival in Bombay Mr. Gandhi once more resumed practice, as he then had no intention of returning to South Africa, believing that with the end of the war, a new era had arrived.


Scarcely, however, had he returned from the Calcutta Congress, where, under Mr. Wacha, he did some very useful organising work unobtrusively, when he received an urgent telegram from Natal, peremptorily calling him back to South Africa to draft the memorials to Mr, Chamberlain, whose visit was imminent, to take charge of the work required to secure the removal of existing grievances and to place Indian affairs finally on a higher level. Without a moment's hesitation he obeyed the call of duty, and a new chapter opened in his life. In Natal, he had been able to overcome official prejudice and was high in the esteem of all those heads of departments and ministers with whom his public duties brought him into contact. But when, after heading a deputation to Mr. Chamberlain in Natal, he was called to the Transvaal for a similar purpose, he found all officialdom hostile, and he was refused the right to attend upon Mr. Chamberlain as a member of a deputation of Transvaal Indians; and it was only after the utmost endeavours that he prevailed upon the Indian community to send a deputation that did not include him. Finding that the situation was becoming rapidly worse and being without a trained guide, the Transvaal Indians pressed him to remain with them, and this he at last consented to do, being admitted to practise as an Attorney of the Supreme Court of the Transvaal. In 1903 together with other communal leaders, he founded the Transvaal British Indian Association, of which until his final