A WEEK WITH GANDHI by Louis Fischer


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Irrevocable and complete political withdrawal"" -- this is the basis on which Gandhi stands and which made it impossible to come to terms with the proposition presented by the Cripps' mission. Louis Fischer, famous international reporter, was permitted a week in the guest house near Gandhi's headquarters, and daily interviews with the great Indian leader. He kept virtually a stenographic report of his conversations, livened with personal comments, swift pen pictures of Gandhi and his followers, as he encountered them that week last June. One follows the workings of Gandhi's mind, which -- as Fischer says -- is the reason for misapprehension only too often, for Gandhi thinks and speaks simultaneously, and sometimes subsequent statements seem to contradict previous ones, while actually he has simply shared his process of reasoning to a point with his hearers. The most striking evidence of this during Fischer's stay was his expansion of his basic position to indicate that he had, reluctantly, reached a point of accepting the inevitability of India continuing to be a military base for United Nations. He supplemented other much quoted statements, too; for instance, that dealing with him negotiations with Japan, once India was free -- which he said he would like to think possible but realised would not be possible. He and Nehru agree in feeling that religious differences will be merged, once freedom is granted, that Pakistan is only a bargaining card with England, and so on. Exciting reading, as yet another facet of this trapic, complex problem. Fits into pattern with Mitchell and Raman.

Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce