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The day after he met Elgin, he sent a copy of

the petition he had drafted

and submitted to him to "every Member of
Parliament with a courteous
covering letter."41 His legal training and
growing skills at public relations
allowed him to amplify every action he took to
the largest, most influential
audience, making the most of each precious
moment. He wrote to India's
secretary of state, John Morley as well,
requesting an audience with him,
and was invited to bring his deputation to the
India Office shortly before he
sailed back to Africa. He urged Sir Muncherji
and other friends to establish
a "permanent committee for the South African
Indians" in London so that
the work he had started would not be "frittered
away."42 Indefatigable, inexhaustible,
he pressed on, urging everyone he met to do
whatever was
possible to help him in seeking to redress his
community's many grievances.
Louis Ritch agreed to act as that committee's
permanent secretary and remained
his man in London.
Gandhi wrote to the editor of the Times, urging
that a commission be

appointed to investigate and report on
conditions in the Transvaal, pending
whose report "Royal sanction for the
Ordinance in question" be withheld.
"If the Colonies persist in their policy of
exclusion, they will force on the
mother country ... a very serious problem. ...
'Is India to remain a part
of the British Dominions or not?' He who runs
may read that England will
find it difficult to hold India if her people,
immediately they migrated to
British Colonies, are to be insulted and
degraded as if they belonged to a
barbarous race."43 The importance of this
brief, intense return to London
for Gandhi's strategic thinking and the
evolution of his revolutionary
movement of peaceful protest can hardly be
exaggerated. His mind raced
decades ahead, spinning off ideas of effective
agitation and creating inchoate
organizations to carry forward demands he
and his growing army
of followers would articulate over the next four
He even wrote to Winston Churchill as colonial
under secretary, requesting
a private interview to place the whole position

before him and was
granted an audience shortly before leaving
London. Churchill had answered
a question in the Commons a few days earlier,
arguing that "it is
very desirable to keep the White and Coloured
quarters apart."44 Gandhi
tried to convince Churchill of the inhumanity of
his viewpoint, but the century's
two greatest leaders of India and England
rarely agreed on any issue,
Winston later maligning the Mahatma as a
"fraud" and "scoundrel."
Liberal John Morley, on the other hand, not
only warmly welcomed
Gandhi and his deputation to the India Office
but was so supportive of all
he heard that he swayed Elgin and their
Liberal Prime Minister Campbell-
Bannerman, as well as the rest of Great
Britain's Cabinet to veto the Transvaal
Ordinance. In his half decade at the helm of
London's India Office,
[ 62 ]
Satyagraha in South Africa
Morley labored mightily to open British India's
narrowly despotic administration
to representative and responsible change. But
Morley saw little

value in the idea of appointing another royal
commission, which usually
took so long in gathering evidence that its
report proved hopelessly irrelevant.