Monday, December 11, 2006


The following an excerpt from THE STORY OF MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH By Mahatma Gandhi, PART 2-CHAPTER VIII

...The train reached Maritzburg, the capital of Natal, at about 9 p.m. Beddings used to be provided at this station. A railway servant came and asked me if I wanted one. "No," said I, "I have one with me." He went away. But a passenger came next, and looked me up and down. He saw that I was a "coloured" man. This disturbed him.

Out he went and came in again with one or two officials. They all kept quiet, when another official came to me and said, "Come along, you must go to the van compartment." "But I have a first-class ticket," said I.

"That doesn"t matter," rejoined the other. "I tell you, you must go to the van compartment." "I tell you, I was permitted to travel in this compartment at Durban, and I insist on going on in it." "No, you won"t," said the official. "You must leave this compa rtment, or else I shall have to call a police constable to push you out." "Yes, you may. I refuse to get out voluntarily." The constable came. He took me by the hand and pushed me out. My luggage was also taken out. I refused to go to the other compartment and the train steamed away. I went and sat in the waiting room, keeping my hand-bag with me, and leaving the other luggage where it was. The railway authorities had taken charge of it.

It was winter, and winter in the higher regions of South Africa is severely cold. Maritzburg being at a high altitude, the cold was extremely bitter. My over-coat was in my luggage, but I did not dare to ask for it lest I should be insulted again, so I sat and shivered. There was no light in the room. A passenger came in at about midnight and possibly wanted to talk to me. But I was in no mood to talk.

I began to think of my duty. Should I fight for my rights or go back to India, or should I go on to Pretoria without minding the insults, and return to India after finishing the case ? It would be cowardice to run back to India without fulfilling my obligation. The hardship to which I was subjected was superficial-only a symptom of the deep disease of colour prejudice. I should try, if possible, to root out the disease and suffer hardships in the process. Redress for wrongs I should seek only to the extent that would be necessary for the removal of the colour prejudice.

So I decided to take the next available train to Pretoria...

To read more go to this link:

1 comment:

Mudit said...

A seeker of truth has to learn one thing, and that is.. how to be infinitely passive, patient and waiting.
Truth happens to you whenever you are open..
One prays, one hankers, longs, meditates, but one waits for truth to reveal itself.
One prepares oneself, but one can not do anything with the truth.
When you are ready and ripe, truth happens.