Ramachandra Guha Quotes.

11. "The Constitution of India recognizes twenty-two languages as ‘official’. The most important of these is Hindi, which in one form or another is spoken by upwards of 400 million people."
- Ramachandra Guha, India After Gandhi

12. "Gandhi had come to South Africa to help settle a commercial dispute. He had, without expecting or anticipating it, become an activist for a political cause instead. Many Indians in the colony now knew of him; as did many Europeans. How did he respond to this public acclaim and public disparagement? His autobiography is silent on this score. But that he diligently followed the press for every trace of his name seems clear. In a steel almirah in an archive in Ahmedabad lie many volumes of newspaper clippings from the Natal of the 1890s, doubtless collected by Gandhi himself."
- Ramachandra Guha, Gandhi Before India

13. "In Kathiawar itself, Mohandas Gandhi could never have met or befriended these men, who became, as it were, unwitting agents of a transformative process whereby he moved from orthodoxy to heterodoxy in religion, from lawyering to activism in professional life and from a conservative inland Indian town (Rajkot) to a growing, bustling South African port (Durban). Leaving Bombay in 1888 a small-town Bania with the habits, manners and prejudices of his caste, six years later Gandhi had become a Hindu who befriended Christians and worked for Muslims while organizing political campaigns in – of all places – Natal."
- Ramachandra Guha, Gandhi Before India

14. "The Kingsford–Maitland view of Christianity appealed to Gandhi because it asked not for exaltation of a personal Saviour, but fidelity to one’s conscience. That the principal author was a convinced vegetarian, and that it had nice things to say about his ancestral faith, added to its appeal. The second book that impressed him, Leo Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1893), likewise put salvation in the hands of the individual believer – rather than bishops or Churches – while emphasizing suffering and the simple life."
- Ramachandra Guha, Gandhi Before India

15. "The demographic challenge was as real as the economic one: whereas in 1870 there were five Europeans to every Indian living in Durban, by 1890 the ratio was closer to two to one. The pattern was similar in other towns of Natal, where, again, Europeans constituted about 40 per cent of the population and the Indians a threatening 20 per cent. As Robert Huttenback has written, this ‘increasing urban concentration of Indians particularly frightened and offended many European settlers to whom it connoted both domestic propinquity and increased commercial competition’."
- Ramachandra Guha, Gandhi Before India

18. "Did he approach Gandhi to find out how to proceed? Or did Gandhi ask him in the first place? Jinnah was a Gujarati Muslim, in terms of personal and professional background extremely well qualified to work as a lawyer among the Indians of Natal. That Jinnah wrote to Gandhi to commiserate on his injuries is plausible; that he wrote to ask whether they could forge a legal partnership together in South Africa is not entirely impossible. But we must speculate no more. All we now know is that, a full fifty years before Partition and the independence of India and Pakistan, the respective ‘Fathers’ of those nations were in correspondence."
- Ramachandra Guha, Gandhi Before India

19. "These letters are dated 21 January and 24 July 1897. The contents are unknown, but, from what we otherwise know of the two men’s lives, some speculation may be in order. Could Jinnah’s first letter have been a message of support on hearing of the brutal attack on Gandhi at the Point in Durban? Or might both letters have been explorations of interest in a possible career in South Africa? In 1896, Jinnah returned from London to his home town, Karachi. Soon afterwards, he moved to Bombay. There, like Gandhi some years previously, he found it hard to establish an independent law practice. We know that Gandhi was keen to bring some barristers to Natal to help him, hence his invitation to the Parsi lawyer trained in London, F. S. Taleyarkhan. Jinnah may very well have known Taleyarkhan in London and Bombay, and thus have known of the opportunities across the ocean. Did he approach Gandhi to find out how to proceed? Or did Gandhi ask him in the first place? Jinnah was a Gujarati Muslim, in terms of personal and professional background extremely well qualified to work as a lawyer among the Indians of Natal. That Jinnah wrote to Gandhi to commiserate on his injuries is plausible; that he wrote to ask whether they could forge a legal partnership together in South Africa is not entirely impossible. But we must speculate no more. All we now know is that, a full fifty years before Partition and the independence of India and Pakistan, the respective ‘Fathers’ of those nations were in correspondence."
- Ramachandra Guha, Gandhi Before India

20. "While based in Natal, Gandhi was also drawn into the Indian question in the Transvaal. Here, the ruling race were the Boers, who spoke Afrikaans and were largely of Dutch extraction. When, in the first decades of the nineteenth century, the British took firm control of the Cape, the Boers commenced their ‘great trek’ inland. They established themselves beyond the Vaal and Orange rivers, displacing the Africans and taking control of vast areas of fertile land. Their economy, and their sense of self, was founded on farming, herding and hunting. While the British coveted the coast – which provided access to their jewel in the east, India – the Boers had possession of these inland territories."
- Ramachandra Guha, Gandhi Before India

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