When ‘unlawful’ keeping of Rs 4 by wife irked Bapu

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Oct 2018 08:36:01



THE act of Kasturba Gandhi of keeping Rs four with her ‘unlawfully’ had irked the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and prompted him to write an article about her lapse, records show.

At a time when the world is set to celebrate his 150th birth anniversary on Tuesday, a 1929 article which appeared in ‘Navajivan’, a weekly newspaper published by Gandhi, reveals his uncompromising stand for truth and ethics.
In the article titled, “My Sorrow, My Shame”, Gandhi had criticised the shortcomings of some inmates, including wife Kasturba at ashram in Ahmedabad.

He also gave an explanation at the outset on why he decided to write this article. “Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that it would be a breach of duty if I did not,” Gandhji pointed out.
The ‘Father of the Nation” said he had not hesitated to count many of the merits of Kasturba in his autobiography, but “she has got weaknesses too which mar these virtues.” Although she had given away all the money considering it to be the duty of a wife, “an ununderstandable, worldly desire still persists” in her, the Mahatma noted. “A year or two back, she (Kasturba) had kept with her one or two hundred rupees which were received as presents from various persons on various occasions,” he wrote.

“The rule (at the ashram) is that she cannot keep anything as hers, even when it is given for her. So this keeping of money was unlawful,” Gandhiji said.

With a tinge of sarcasm, he said his wife’s “delinquency” was detected following the arrival of some thieves at the ashram.
Though Kasturba repented sincerely, it was proved “short lived”, Mahatma said. “Some days back, some strangers presented four rupees. Instead of giving away the money to the office, she kept it with herself.” Referring to the act as “theft” in the article, Gandhi said one of the inmates had later pointed to her about the mistake, leaving her repentant.