Short Stories For Everyone
Inspiring incidents from Gandhiji's Life: Selected from the book Everyone's Gandhi
(For the children in the age group of 10 to 15 years)

Gandhiji writing


Gandhi's inspiring short stories selected from the book Everyone's Gandhi

Editor by : Rita Roy

Table of Contents

  1. All for A Stone
  2. A Car And A Pair of Binoculars
  3. My Master's Master
  4. Enter The Monkeys
  5. Premchand Quits His Job
  6. Returning His Medals
  7. Basic Pen
  8. Prisoner No. 1739
  9. Gandhi's White Brother
  10. Who Saw Gandhi?
  11. An Early School
  12. An Unusual March
  13. Spiritual Heir
  14. The Less You Have The More You Are
  15. An Old Goat Talks
  16. The Phoenix Settlement
  17. Gandhi in Amsterdam
  18. Something To Be Shy About?
  19. Gandhiji The Matchmaker
  20. Gandhi's Army
  21. Dandi Snippet
  22. Hiding Something
  23. The Image Maker
  24. Creative Reader
  25. Postcards To The Rescue
  26. A Non-violent Satyagraha 214 Years Ago
  27. Gandhi And Delhi
  28. Gandhiji's Constructive Programme
  29. Gandhi Looks At Leprosy
  30. Baba Amte
  31. They Gave Peace A Chance
  32. From Mahatma To God
  33. Customs Are Out of Fashion
  34. The Man 'Charlie' Wanted To Meet
  35. It Came Naturally To Him
  36. Crossing The Sea of Narrow-Mindedness
  37. Wear Clothes As They Should Be Worn
  38. Education: For Life, Through Life
  39. The Abode of Joy
  40. To Cling to A Belief
  41. The Fruit of A Child's Labour
  42. An Ideal Prisoner
  43. How A Film Became Something More
  44. Gandhi: Beyond India
  45. Gandhi's Life-Saving Medicine
  46. Understanding The Mechanics of Life With Gandhi
  47. The Lokmanya and The Mahatma
  48. Man's Gift To Nature
  49. Gurudev And His Mahatma
  50. One-man Boundary Force
  51. What Does Mahatma Gandhi's Message Mean To Me?
  52. Let's Play Together
  53. Children's Response To Conflict
  54. Beggar By Choice
  55. The Better Half
  56. Uncle Gandhi
  57. The Watch: An Instrument For Regulating Life
  58. Light The Lamp of Your Mind
  59. Gandhi's Bet!
  60. Gandhi Feeling At Home In The Kitchen
  61. What Is Simplicity?
  62. Bapu And The Sardar
  63. The Power of Quality
  64. Gandhi: The Teenager!

Chapter 20: Gandhi's Army

K.S. Narayanaswamy

Have you ever wondered how the hundreds and thousands who went on Satyagraha against the British were fed, clothed and housed? After all, most of them were in no position to earn money when they struggled against the rulers of the land. It was no small problem and the following piece gives some idea of how the nitty-gritty's were managed. This was when Gandhi the nonviolent actually went ahead and set up an "army" in South Africa.
It was October 1913 and a small town called Newcastle in the Natal Province of South Africa was overflowing with a crowd of Indian miners, their wives and children. They were mostly miners from Northern Natal who now had no homes of their own- for they were on strike and had given up the quarters provided by their masters. The strike was in protest against the unfair and crushing tax of three pounds that had been levied on them.
The miners and their families had no worldly goods except the clothes they wore and a few sundry blankets. A middle class Indian who had a small plot of land and a small house came forward to offer shelter. The house became a caravanserai and the kitchen fire knew no rest day and night. More and more people came trudging along the muddy roads in weather that had been bad. Soon the crowd increased to thousands. How were they to be housed and fed? There seemed a way out. Why not turn these pilgrims of faith into soldiers of Satyagraha? Why not take this "army" into the Transvaal and see them deposited in jails or settled at Tolstoy Farm where good Kallenbach would make the necessary arrangements? But the strength of the army was now about 5,000; there was no money for railway fare and the Transvaal border was distant indeed. Gandhiji decided to march on foot.
The miners had their wives and children with them but none of them would go back to the mines. "I had no alternative....," writes Gandhiji of that historic decision. The rules of the march were read out. There was to be a daily ration of only a pound and a half of bread and an ounce of sugar for each "soldier" They were not to keep more clothes than necessary, nor touch any one's property on the way. They were to welcome arrest, bear patiently with abuse, and even flogging.
On 28 October the caravan started on its march and safely reached Charlestown, a small border town of 1,000 people, where only the women and children could be lodged. The rest camped in the open and did their scavenging and sweeping. More labourers arrived from Newcastle and the kitchen was active all the twenty-four hours. The ration now consisted of rice and dal. But there were hungry looks and the organisers had their limitations. Gandhiji was the leader among the cooks and assumed the thankless task of serving the food. There was either too much water in the dal (pulses) or the food was insufficiently cooked but the army gulped it down cheerfully.

From Tours and Marches by M. Chalapathi Rao