public landing and welcome at the Apollo Bunder, was in the nature of a veritable triumph, marred only by the sudden death of his beloved teacher, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who had sacrificed health and life itself upon the altar of his country’s welfare.
The Government of India marked their appreciation of Mr. Gandhi’s unique services by recommending him for the Kaiser-i·Hind gold medal, which was conferred upon him by the King Emperor amongst the 1915 New Year Honours. To Gokhale he had given a promise to make no public utterance on Indian affairs until at least a year had passed, and he had visited the principal centres of public life in India. This promise, which was faithfully kept, was exacted, because Gokhale, hoping to see in him his own successor, had been somewhat disturbed by the very advanced views expressed by Mr. Gandhi in the proscribed pamphlet, Hind Swaraj, whose pages, we now know, were written to show the basic similarity of civilisation the world over, the superiority of India for the particular Indian phase of that civilisation, and the stupidity of the barriers of luxury erected by the modern industrial civilisation of the West, that constantly separate man from man and make him a senseless machine drudge, and that threaten to invade that holy Motherland that stands in his eyes for the victory of spirit over matter. He had condemned some things of which he had disapproved, in Gokhale’s opinion, somewhat hastily, and the older man had thought that, after an absence from India of so many years, during which he had perhaps idealised certain phases of Indian life, a year’s travel and observation would be a useful corrective. Which of the two, if either, has correctly diagnosed the situation, time alone can show.
Mr. Gandhi, however, made his headquarters at Ahmedabad, the capital of his own Province of Gujarat and here he founded his Satyagrahashram, where he is endeavouring to train up from childhood public servants upon a basis of austerity of life and personal subordination
- For a full account of the Ashram, see appendix.