Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 18, 2015 | 11.20 AM IST “It seems politics is not for a man like me,” Mahatma Gandhi had said after inquiring into an instance of Hindu-Muslim riots. The year was 1924 and the place Kohat, then in the North-West Frontier Province, now in Pakistan. Riots had broken out between the Hindus and Muslims. Various parts in India were witnessing such riots, starting with the Moplah Rebellion in Malabar (now Kerala) in 1921. Gandhiji was worried that Hindu-Muslim unity, which was an “incessant aspiration” to him, was breaking apart. In September 1924 he fasted for 21 days in Delhi in an attempt to restore harmony. The following year the Congress decided to conduct an inquiry into the Kohat riots, and Gandhiji and Maulana Shaukat Ali was entrusted with the job. The inquiry found that bribery and coercion had been used by Muslims to convert Hindus. The two who had been good friends since 1918 differed on the issue. Ali was not ready to say that money and coercion was involved, and his friend Gandhiji was disappointed. “I learnt much that was quite new to me. A veritable fire was raging within me,” Gandhiji said on his return to his ashram. However, he did not stop there. “I wish I could wind up all outer work and tie myself down to the Ashram. How long can a man live in this filthy political atmosphere? It seems politics is not for a man like me.” But fate would want him to not quit and lead the struggle for independence. “We have got to do what we must,” he would later tell. (Quotes taken from Patel: A Life written by Mr. Rajmohan Gandhi) Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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