by Shri B. R. Nanda

GANDHI - A Pictorial Biography


Shri B. R. Nanda

Table of Contents

About This Book

This is the first pictorial biography of Gandhi in which the narrative-concise, readable and incisive is illustrated with contemporary photographs and facsimiles of letters, newspaper reports and cartoons, adding up to a fascinating flash-back on the life of Mahatma Gandhi and the struggle for Indian freedom led by him. There is a skilful matching in this book of text and illustrations, of description and analysis and of concrete detail and large perspective. This pictorial biography will revive many memories in those who have lived through the Gandhian era; it should also be of interest to the post-independence generation.

About Author

Shri B. R. Nanda - former Director, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. His full-scale biography of Mahatma Gandhi has been published in India, Britain and the U.S.A. and translated into French, Spanish, Italian and several other languages

Chapter-17 : Round Table Conference

Gandhi at the RoundTable Conference David Low on the RoundTable Conference Gandhi in Lancashire
1. Gandhi at the RoundTable Conference in London.
2. David Low on the RoundTable Conference, 1931.
3. Gandhi in Lancashire, September 1931

On August 29, 1931, Gandhi sailed for England in theSS Rajputana to attend the Second Round Table Conference, He went as the solerepresentative of the Indian National Congress. All the delegates were nominees of theBritish Government; they had a sprinkling of able individuals, but most of them were drawnfrom the princely order, the landlords, the titled gentry and the leaders of communalgroups and vested interests.
What with its composition and what with its procedure, which theBritish Government controlled, the conference side-tracked its energies into secondaryissues and particularly the communal problem. Gandhi was prepared to give a "blankcheque" to Muslims and other minorities to remove their legitimate fears, providedthey were willing to press the national demand for freedom. Most of the Hindu delegateswere not ready for this gesture, and the Muslim nationalists were not represented at theconference.
Gandhi pleaded for an honourable and equal partnership betweenBritain and India, held not by force but "by the silken cord of love" He foundthe odds against him. There was a financial crisis and a change of government in Britain;in the new Ministry, the Conservatives were heavily represented. The British public waspreoccupied with domestic issues; for it, the financial crisis was a more urgent issuethan the niceties of an Indian Constitution. Inevitably, even if imperceptibly, there wasa change in emphasis. Sir Samuel Hoare, the new Secretary of State, told Gandhi that hesincerely believed that Indians were unfit for complete self-government.