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To help prepare his community for

resistance to the ordinance, when it


came into effect on January 1, 1907,
Gandhi wrote from shipboard an article
about the principled courage of Wat
Tyler, John Hampden, and John
Bunyan. Tyler had lost his life leading
the fourteenth-century Peasants' Re-
[ 60 ]
Satyagraha in South Africa
volt against heavy royal taxation,
inspiring many farmers to join him
before
his beheading by the lord mayor of
London. He also lauded Oliver
Cromwell's cousin, Hampden, who led
the opposition to Charles I's
extortionist
demands for "ship money" in the
Commons. Imprisoned by that
despotic king for nearly a year,
Hampden's principled opposition
"sowed
. . . [the] seed of the struggle for

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freedom" leading to the English Civil
War,
which brought in Cromwell and real
parliamentary power for the people.39
John Bunyan was "a saintly man,"
whose devout faith made him oppose
the "religious oppression" of the
bishops in his time. Locked up in
Bedford
Prison for twelve years, he wrote The
Pilgrim's Progress, hailed by Gandhi
as "the most beautiful book in the
English language." If enough
Transvaal
Indians also went to jail, the fruit of
their suffering, he assured them, would
be to break their chains, to overcome
tyranny and persecution, and one day
allow them to emerge as free as the
English.
Gandhi's deputation reached
Southampton on October 20, 1906,
and
entrained for Waterloo Station, from

2
which they were driven to the Hotel
Cecil. Dadabhai Naoroji and his Parsi
colleague in Parliament, Sir Muncherji
Bhownaggri, agreed, together with Sir
Henry Cotton and Sir George
Birdwood, to accompany their
deputation to Lord Elgin. Haji Ally, who
suffered badly from rheumatism and
too many cigars, developed a high
fever as soon as they reached London
and was immediately taken to Lady
Margaret Hospital in Bromley, where
Gandhi's old friend Dr. Josiah Oldfield
promised to attend to him every day.
Lord Elgin agreed to receive the
deputation on Thursday, November 8,
1906. The day before, Gandhi and Ally
addressed a meeting in the House
of Commons' Grand Committee Room,
attended by one hundred members
of the Liberal, Labour, and Nationalist
Parties, all of whom were sympathetic.
A resolution supporting the
deputation's objects was unanimously

3
adopted. Upon meeting Elgin, Gandhi
presented his memorial, arguing that
the recently passed ordinance
assumed that every Indian was a
criminal
guilty of dishonest, unlawful actions
and accentuated "colour prejudice in
the most offensive manner. ... it
undoubtedly reduces Indians to a level
lower than . . . Kaffirs [blacks]."40 Elgin
listened patiently to all that the
deputation had to say and was cordial
but unmoved in his reply. Gandhi
then pressed for another minute of His
Lordship's time, urging that a special
commission be appointed to look into
the grievances of the deputation
and requesting a second appointment
in order to correct the misinformation
Lord Elgin had received from the
Transvaal.
Gandhi made the most of every hour
he spent in London, writing to
everyone he knew or could contact,

4
granting interviews to every reporter
he could reach, and visiting every
member of Parliament or official at
Whitehall, who was willing to see him.
He rarely went to sleep before 3:30
A.M. and was up before dawn,
carrying out a more rigorous routine
than he
[ 61 ]
Gandhi's Passion
ever had in South Africa. At thirty-
seven he was physically in his prime
and
drove himself with relentless intensity.