Excerpts from ‘The story of my experiments with truth’
– M K Gandhi / Chapter XXXV / IN THE PUNJAB (opening part)
“Sir Michael O’Dwyer held me responsible for all that had happened in the Punjab, and some irate young Punjabis held me responsible for the martial law. They asserted that, if only I had not suspended civil disobedience, there would have been no Jallianwala Bagh massacre.”
I am shocked at this revelation by ‘the man’ himself. Thank god I am quoting this ‘word by word’ from his book itself. I feel even if a minuscule number of Punjabis at that time believed that Jallianwala Bagh massacre had anything to do with a decision taken by Mr. Gandhi, regarding suspension of civil disobedience movement, it is really very scary. Even if this decision’s impact was just 5% in creation of that situation, it could lay a massive responsibility on the boney shoulders of an adamant M K Gandhi for the murder of thousands innocent people.
Some of them even went to the length of threatening me with assassination if I went to the Punjab.
Not surprising at all, because that is how the end actually came for him, though from a different quarter.
But I felt my position was so correct and above question that no intelligent person could misunderstand it.
Thoroughly conceited attitude
I was impatient to go to the Punjab. I had never been there before, and that made me all the more anxious to see things for myself. Dr. Satyapal, Dr. Kitchlu and Pandit Rambhaj Dutt Chowdhari, who had invited me to the Punjab, were at this time in jail. But I felt sure that government could not dare to keep them and other prisoners in prison for long. A large number of Punjabis used to come and see me whenever I was in Bombay. I ministered them with a word of cheer on these occasions, and that would comfort them. My self confidence of that time was infectious.
My Reaction: I could never talk about my own self-confidence as ‘infectious’