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Just hit a GOLDMINE!!!



Too bad that I am peppering everyone with these msgs. One of those
prolific days, those of you on this list for the last 4 months know about
(!)  But just hit a Jackpot!! Oh for the web! What would mankind ever do
without the internet!

http://asnic.utexas.edu/asnic/sagar/spring.1994/leah.renold.art.html

I love data, and here is an actual statement made by Mr. M.K. Gandhi
himself:

"During the years of the Indian independence movement, a leading Indian
industrialist, G. D. Birla, was Mahatma Gandhi's most generous financial
supporter... Gandhi's campaigns were made possible by drawing from Birla's
vast financial resources

"Gandhi apparently borrowed the concept of trusteeship from the writings
of the American millionaire, Andrew Carnegie, who had used trusteeship to
promote capitalism over socialism."

"The service that Birla provided amounted to supplying practically every
financial need Gandhi brought to him. Gandhi had other sources of income,
including the assistance of the industrialist Jamnalal Bajaj, as well as
the accumulated donations from multitudes of poor supporters, but Birla
was the major financier. Birla's brothers also contributed to Gandhi, but
sometimes G. D.'s gifting was seen by them as an extravagance.[48] Birla
rarely refused any financial request on Gandhi's part and Gandhi's
requests were numerous. The following request from Gandhi was not
atypical:

'My thirst for money is simply unquenchable. I need at least Rs. 
2,00,000--for khadi, untouchability and education. The dairy work makes
another Rs. 50,000. Then there is the Ashram expenditure. No work remains
unfinished for want of funds, but God gives after severe trials. This also
satisfies me. You can give as you like for whatever work you have faith
in.[49]'

"With Birla's beneficence Gandhi was able carry on his massive political
campaigns, as well as to maintain a semblance of poverty and simplicity in
lifestyle, while enjoying almost limitless financial resources.

"While Gandhi appeared to share the living standards of the typical Indian
villager in his ashram, the annual expenditure of his ashram was 100,000
rupees,[50] a considerable sum in pre-Independence rupees. In a similar
vein, Gandhi was known for his humility in insisting on travelling by
third-class trains.  To get a seat in a crowded third-class car was
difficult, so when Gandhi and his entourage travelled, the entire
third-class car, cars, and sometimes even the whole train was paid for to
ensure Gandhi's comfort.[51] When Gandhi attempted to make a symbolic
action by temporarily moving into an untouchable colony in Delhi, half the
residents were moved out before his visit and the shacks of the residents
torn down and neat little huts constructed in their place. The entrances
and windows of the huts were screened with matting, and during the length
of Gandhi's visit, were kept sprinkled with water to provide a cooling
effect. The local temple was white-washed and new brick paths were laid.
In an interview with Margaret Bourke-White, a photo-journalist for Life
magazine, one of the men in charge of Gandhi's visit, Dinanath Tiang of
the Birla Company, explained the improvements in the untouchable colony,
"We have cared for Gandhiji's comfort for the last twenty years."[52]

"Gandhi put forward the illusory image of poverty and simplicity while he
was actually living very comfortably. We can only speculate whether this
image-making was political posturing on Gandhi's part or whether the
amenities were forced on him by the practicalities of operating a massive
movement. When Gandhi was questioned by the journalist Louis Fischer about
the percentage of his budget which was funded by the rich, Gandhi told him
practically all of it was, adding, "In this ashram, for instance, we could
live much more poorly than we do and spend less money. But we do not and
the money comes from our rich friends."[53] Gandhi was not oblivious to
the expense laid out for him."

"Margaret Bourke-White, having read Gandhi's seemingly revolutionary
writings, was very puzzled to learn that for a quarter of a century Gandhi
had spent much of his time living in G. D. Birla's palatial mansion in
Delhi, where he was later assassinated."

Comment:
-------

By the way, the rest of the material is interesting too. 

One thing is very very very clear: Gandhi had no compunctions in getting
funds from the rich. Only thing: he was honest about it and that is a
great quality to have. That is because he was a Gandhian.

Today, as the Congress MP, Rajjo Singh, himself admitted (see the
newsreport i sent in earlier today), "There should be no need for MPs to
earn money on the sly or be on the payrolls of big companies. MPs can't
even pay their water and electricity bills,'' Singh felt. 

Today, let us become Gandhians and let the MPs get higher salaries, and
let them draw on the funds of businesses and corporations and citizens -
openly and over the table. 

SS

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