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Books > History > GANDHI ON WOMEN: Collection of Mahatma Gandhi's Writings and Speeches on Women
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GANDHI ON WOMEN: Collection of Mahatma Gandhi's Writings and Speeches on Women
GANDHI ON WOMEN: Collection of Mahatma Gandhi's Writings and Speeches on Women
Description
From the Jacket:

Refuse to be the slaves of your own whims and fancies and the slaves of men. Refuse to decorate yourselves, don't go in for scents and levender waters; if you want to give out the proper scent, it must come out of your heart, and then you will captivate not man, but humanlity. It is your birthright. Man is born of woman, he is flesh of her flesh and bone of her bone. Come to your own and deliver your message again

-M. K. Gandhi

To call them abala is to condemn the inherent strength of women; In my view it is an insult to them. If we pweuse the history …we shall come across marvelous instances of bravery shown by women. They not only exhibited their bravery through arms, but by building up their moral courage they developed immense strength. If women resolve to bring glory to the nation, within a few months they can totally change the face of the country because of the spiritual background (of women).

-M. K. Gandhi

" My feeling is that if men of the Congress can retain their faith in ahimsa and prosecute the non-violence programme faithfully and fully, the women would be automatically converted. And it may be that there shall arise one among them who will be able to go much farther than I can ever hope to do. For woman is more fitted than man to make explorations and take bolder action in ahimsa. For the courage of self-scarifice woman is any day superior to man as I believe man is to woman for the courage of the brute."

-M. K. Gandhi

Foreword

Gandhiji never wrote merely for the pleasure of writing, but always with a purpose and as a guide to action. He always described himself as a man of action. All that he spoke or wrote was meant to be translated into action; and he successfully put it into practice, both in his personal and public life. Every thought, feeling, act of his reflected a life mission; hence the statement "my life is my message".

This quality of his utter honesty and purposefulness has attracted me the most towards him. I must confess that I have not consciously studied his writings, nor am I a 'bhakta' (devotee) of hi, However, I have been able to find answers to my question from him on many occasions in my life.

I realize now that what he spoke or wrote was very India. He used to say. "My ideas are not mine, they are as old as the hills" But he had that receptive, open mind that understood the Indian people, their difficulties, their aspirations. No Indian leader has matched this understanding till now. I believe the source of this deep understanding was his high regard for the people. That is what made him a leader of the masses in its true sense.

He set a unique example amongst Indian leaders by including women among the 'masses' in a most natural way. Women participated in mass movements led by him in a natural course. And this made a big breakthrough in Indian women's lives, for ever. I would say that I would not have been what I am today, if Gandhiji had not made this breakthrough. This fact would apply to every Indian woman of today. His deep faith in women's Shakti (power) came, as he admitted, from his experience of his mother and his wife. He women as human beings, and that is why he perceived women as equal partners in the home and society, not merely as wives and mothers. No wonder he sought the participation of women in the freedom struggles at political. Economic and moral levels.

He was a super strategist, and his strategy to fight for freedom could not ignore women. He had more faith in his women soldiers than the men soldiers, because he really considered women to be superior to men, particularly when the weapons in the struggle were love and non-violence. He believed women to be stronger because their hearts contained, as mothers, qualities of love and peace. No other public leader has ever put such positive confidence in the women of the country. He realized a very strong need for support and participation from women in creating a society based on justice.

Gandhiji did see the exploitation of women in and outside their home. I have always been moved by his statement that no one can be exploited without his/her will or participation. For a long time I would not accept this view but after working for years in SEWA. Our union of Self Employed Women Workers, I find it Gandhiji's most valid statement. Gandhiji had observed his wife and mother quietly resisting their exploitation at home. He learnt the method of satyagraha from them and put it into practice as a major strategy to rebel against exploitation by the British. No fighter planes or tanks can cope with the attacks of love and satyagraha in a fight for justice.

Our demand was just and minimum, i.e. to allow us to earn our living in this market, as we are an integral part of this market for the last 3 generations. As vendors we are providing a useful service to the society, and as our demands were just and minimum we had full support from the general public during our struggle, and therefore the authorities became powerless. I have realized that if I lift a stone to make my point, I lose the public support. It then becomes only an issue of law and order the doors of negotiations are closed and the just cause is lost. Also, as we shift our method from non-violence to violence the local anti-social elements creep in, and our just demands are lost. In settling demands of the poor especially, the general public support is very essential.

In SEWA. All our struggles are in the open. We always inform out opponents of our plans before we take any action. We never cheat or dupe our opponents. I think this way we have been able to establish our credibility in the hearts not only of the public but also of our opponents. Once in a struggle of agricultural workers when we were beaten up by the police our opponents came to the hospital to take care of those who had been injured. One of them donated his blood to one of the injured women workers. In fact our opponents put more confidence in SEWA's reporting than what their own staff reported to them.

Our demand was just and minimum, i.e. to allow us to earn our living in this market, as we are an integral part of this market for the last 3 generations. As vendors we are providing a useful service to the society and as our demands were just and minimum we had full support from the general public during our struggle and therefore the authorities became powerless. I have realized that if I lift a stone to make my point, I lose the public support. It then becomes only an issue of law and order the doors of negotiations are closed and the just cause is lost. Also, as we shift our method from non-violence to violence, the local anti-social elements creep in and our just demands are lost. In settling demands of the poor, especially, the general public support, is very essential.

In SEWA, all our struggle are in the open we always inform our opponents of our plans before we take any action. We never cheat or dupe our opponents. I think this way we have been able to establish our credibility in the hearts not only of the public but also of our opponents. Once, in a struggle of agricultural workers when we were beaten up by the police, our opponents came to the hospital to take care of those who had been injured. One of them donated his blood to one of the injured women workers. In fact, our opponents put more confidence in SEWA's reporting than what their own staff reported to them.

Once the demand is made, we stick to it at any cost. Therefore we demand only that which is just. No haggling in settling the demands. I think, this approach very well blends into the women's way of demanding. Once convinced, the women would not bend or bow down, and also needy women remain very firm and ready to suffer the consequences, on their stand. They cannot be very easily bribed by the opponents.

We have also seen that SEWA women, though tradition-bound, have been able to come out of the restrictions based on caste and religion during the times of crisis. During the recent riots in our State, the local SEWA leaders in their streets actually stopped the men of their own family from doing violence and protected the families of the minority community in the mohalla community in the mohalla (neighbourhood) from communal attacks. By working and saying prayers together for a decade in SEWA, they are developing respect for each other's religion and a need to remain together in their fight against poverty. Once, one Devilal came to me in great agitation complaining that his wife (a SEWA member) had the audacity to stop him from what he was wanting to do, viz. to throw stones. As he became more violent, the wife went to the police with the request that her husband should be arrested. "I will tell the police (who is my friend) to arrest her because she is a bad woman", Devilal thus threatened her. She said, "You may call me by had names, I am not afraid."

Chandaben is a local SEWA leader, and often has to go to the police to take up causes of her members, so Chandaben is not a popular person in the police department. Often she has to face humiliations of all kinds. But she says "I enjoy this suffering. These insults do not hurt me they are my pride! I feel stronger when I suffer for my sister" Didn't Gandhiji speak similar words in relation to the humiliations he faced from the British authorities? Each one of us has experienced that a tremendous strength generates from a struggle for justice. 'By participating in struggles, we have been gradually able to liberate ourselves from Purdah and such social taboos…' says Karimabibi, SEWA Vice President.

Actually it is the process of development that excites and enriches us all in SEWA. Often we have debates among ourselves on matters of moral values. e.g. a member engaging in theft. As a union, we inform the employer of the theft and return the stolen goods to the employer with an apology. It is a hard pill to swallow for us but there cannot be any compromise on such matters. Whatever is immoral is immoral. When our demand is just our method to demand also has to be pure and straight because what is there to hide if our demand is just? The strengthens our case in the eyes of the employer, the court and the public.

Gandhiji wanted to build a new society in free India-a society based on social justice and peace. He asked "Freedom for whom? What does freedom mean to millions of people who are so poor and backward?" For him, freedom was a birthright for every nation, as well as every human being. He always included women in his 'human being'. In his vision of social change, a moral character of high order was very important. All along, his most concerted efforts were on re-building of human beings.

Gujarat is the land of Gandhiji and in Ahmedabad Textile Labour Union he experimented his principle of trusteeship. He called it 'a laboratory of human relations'. I worked in this union for 17 years dealing with women's problems. It is here that I look lessons on trade union work, settling disputes by conciliation and co-operation, the theory of demand that it always has to be minimum and just. Here I learnt the methods of civil disobedience in our struggles, and in these struggles realized women's strength in fighting for justice. And thus SEWA was born.

'We may be illiterate but we are knowledgeable in the ways of the world.

Son: Because the boy has to earn money when he grows up, therefore he must study well.

Mother: You are wrong, my son. Women also make an earning for the family. And, there is a lot to learn in housework-house-cleaning, cooking, laundry. By doing housework you will develop various skills of the body and will feel self reliant. In good housework you need to use your eyes, hands and brain therefore these activities are educative and they build your character. Men and women both need to be educated equally in housework because the home belongs to both.

I feel indeed most thrilled and elevated by Gandhiji's writing of primer. Viz., Balpothi, where the mother teaches the son!

I said to Vinabehn Majumdar that I should not write this Foreword as I am not a Gandhian scholar. At her insistence, I have tried to put down some of the ideas that attracted me to Gandhiji, or where I found substance for his ideas in my own life and work. I do believe that writings of Gandhiji will provide an important support to the women's movement in India, if not in the whole world. I am very happy that the Centre for Women's Development Studies thought of putting this volume together, and that the Navajivan Trust agreed to bring it out as a joint publication. If my stray thoughts encourage some readers who are unfamiliar with Gandhiji's view on women to study this volume carefully, I shall be amply rewarded.

Preface

Contemporary history of academic interest in problems of women's status, roles and other issues presents many paradoxes in India. On the one hand, there is an increase, even explosion, of research and publications on women's problems, especially since 1975-because of the International Women's Decade, the fillip given to research on women by the publication of the Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India and the adoption of specific research programmes in this area by the Indian Council of Social Science Research and several other agencies-national and international. On the other hand, several critical areas-which in our opinion could provide basic clues to the paradoxical situation facing women in this country-have clues to the paradoxical situation facing women in this country-have continued uninvestigated. The economic marginalization of the overwhelming majority of women, identified by the Committee on the Status of Women in India, has attracted a great deal of attention from social scientists and even a few policy makers during the last decade. But the failure of political equality to introduce any new trends in women's situation in society or in the political process has hardly attracted a similar kind of interest. The whole issue of power relations within the family the community the economy and the State. Though recognized as a major problem affecting women alongwith large masses of the people, has not really been seriously examined.

Another significant area that has been neglected by scholars in general is the interconnection between the women's question and the whole process of social upheaval that accompanied the birth of the Indian nation. The role of political ideology and that of the national leadership in accepting gender equality as a fundamental principle of the Indian political system continue to be presented in simplistic terms without any serious investigation.

If the acceptance of gender equality was ideologically as complete as many commentators would like us to believe then many things, which have happened in the four decades since independence would make no sense. One may of course say that the rise of revivalist and fundamentalist movements which threaten the fragile structure of women's right is not something unique to India but is part of a global phenomenon. But this does not help to explain why the history of such efforts in independent India presents such a chequered history – why some moves were rejected by the Government in office while others succeeded.

The national debate on the Muslim Women's (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Bill earlier this year demonstrated in a very vivid manner how thin is the understanding of either the political roots or imperatives of gender equality, or the close connection between women's rights to equality and the health of the Indian political system.

Another neglected area in our scholarship is the exploration of the views of Indian thinkers on the women's question Mahatma Gandhi's contribution to the philosophy of non-violence is widely known, even outside India. But Mahatma Gandhi's views on women's rights and role in the process of social revolution are little known even to scholars inside the country. The few inadequate collection of Gandhi's writings on women represent the biases and the assumptions of the compilers in their selection.

Gandhi's attitude to women has generally been projected either as a part of his humanism or as a patriarchal compromise, which did not really overcome the restricted views about women's roles which was widely prevalent in his generation. In our opinion neither of these positions is based on a really critical examination of Gandhi's ideas about women and their potential role in revolution. Nor do such studies examine the evolution of Gandhi's ideas over time, and the connection between shifts in his position with his understanding of the political imperatives of the Indian freedom struggle.

Most objective analysts of Gandhi agree on his role as an outstanding political strategist. In the evolution of his strategy for mass mobilization and his vision for a future India, where did the women's question fit in? To what extent did he succeed in communicating his ideas to other leaders. To his followers and to women? To what extent was the confusion, the compromises and the reaction even among Gandhi's followers in later years the result of his failure to articulate fully all that he had thought? To what extent was he himself unable to escape the attitudinal constraints of his background and generation? Or was this failure also rooted in political strategy?

The Centre for Women's Development Studies undertook to compile a comprehensive collection of Gandhi's writings on women in the hope that it will stimulate much more critical research in these areas than we have observed so far. We arranged the writings in chronological order to show that his views were not static but evolved through different stages of his political career and different phases in the Indian struggle for freedom. We offer this to all those who are interested in the Indian revolution, and other who accept the women's question as basically a political one. We hope this volume will help to stimulate closer intellectual collaboration between these two groups who now remain very far apart.

We also hope this will help to stimulate some self-criticism and self-evaluation amongst all those who regard themselves as the inheritors of the Gandhian legacy.

Lastly we hope the volume will provide some assistance to those activists who are seeking for new strategies to mobilize women and men to work for a different kind of social order at the local, national or international level.

Our thanks are due to Pushpa Joshi who patiently worked through the massive collection of Gandhi's writings to compile this volume, to Leela Dubey who suggested the idea of a thematic index, the Navajivan Trust for agreeing so readily to bring it out as a joint publication and to Ela Bhatt for writing the Foreword. I must also thank all other colleagues who contributed to the preparation of the volume through discussions, typing proof reading etc.

Contents

Foreword iii
Preface ix
1Deeds Better Than Words 3
2Brave Women 4
3Women's Education 4
4When Women Are Mainly Will Men be Effeminate? 5
5Brave Women of Britain 6
6Brave Women of England 6
7Boycott Indians 7
8Brave Women 7
9Finger Prints From Women 8
10Women Prisoners Hair 9
11Speech At Tamil Ladies Meeting 9
12Letter To Maganlal Gandhi 9
13Help From Three Women 10
14Rambhabai Sodha 10
15Indian Wives 10
16Who is Entitled To enter Transvaal? 11
17The Women's Resolution 12
18 Speech At Vrededorp Meeting12
19The Marriage Question 12
20The Last Satyagraha Compaign: My Experience 13
21Speech on Indian Women's University 14
22Speech at Second Gujarat Educational Conference 14
23Speech at Opening of Gokhale Library Umreth 16
24Address at All-India Social Service Conference 17
25Speech at Bhagini Samaj. Bombay 17
26Letter to Mohandas Nagji 17
27Speech At Ras 21
28Speech at Ladies Protest Meeting Bombay 22
29Speech at Women's Meeting Bombay 22
30Speech at Foundation Laying of Vanita Vishram. Ahmedabad 24
31 Speech on Swadeshi At Women's Meetings. Nadiad26
32Speech at Women's Meeting. Dohad 31
33A Shameful Sin 33
34How To Remove the Blot 34
35Spinning Wheel in Vijapur 35
36Speech at Women's Meeting. Rajkot 36
37Speech AT Bhagini Samaj 36
38Widows Outpouring 38
39Speech at Women's Meeting. Amritsar 40
40Women's Meeting 41
41Request to Gujarati Women 41
42Scenes on the Way 42
43Speech at Meeting of Mill-Hands. Ahmedabad 43
44 Speech at Ahmedabad44
45Manianwala And Neighbouring Places 45
46More Thoughts About Widows 45
47Khilafat And Swadeshi 47
48 Duty of Women48
49Women's Role 49
50How The Viceroy Discharges His Trust 50
51 Speech At Women's Meeting. Dakor52
52 Speech at Women's Meeting. Ahmedabad55
53Speech at Public Meeting. Broach 57
54Speech at Women's Meeting. Poona 58
55 Speech at Women's Meeting. Belgaum58
56 To Women59
57Speech at Women's Meeting, Allahabad 60
58Speech at Women's Meeting. Patna 61
59Speech on Non-Co-Operation. Calcutta 62
60Behold The Women 62
61How to Finance the Movement 62
62Speech at Merchants Meeting. Calcutta 63
63Speech at Women's Meeting. Calcutta 63
64Speech to Post Graduate and Law Students. Calcutta 64
65Speech at Patna 64
66Rawalpindi Sisters 64
67Speech at Public Meeting. Bombay 66
68Speech at Rajahmundry 66
69In Andhradesh 67
70To Gujaratis 67
71Speech at Women's Meeting. Kathlal 68
72 In Andhradesh 68
73English Learning 69
74Speech at Public Meeting in Wadhwan 70
75Women's Sacrifices 71
76To Women 72
77Speech on Role of Teachers. Bombay 73
78In Praise of the Charkha 75
79 Speech at Meeting of Muslim Women. Bombay 76
80Position of Women 77
81To The Women of India 79
82Of Tamil Women 81
83Plague Spots of Lucknow 81
84 Tamil Sisters Again 82
85Women's Meeting 83
86From The Way to save the Cow 83
87Fallen Sisters 84
88Our Fallen Sisters 87
89Speech At Madras 88
90Speech at Women's Meeting. Madras 89
91To Women 89
92Pitfalls in Swadeshi 92
93What Will Bombay Do 92
94 Convocation Address93
95Women's Part 93
96Women of Gujarat 95
97People's Spirit 97
98 Women's Contribution98
99Need For Fearlessness 98
100 Poona's Courage100
101Message to Bombay 101
102Message to Bharati 101
103Sisters of Karnatak 102
104Renunciation Personified 103
105The Late Mrs. Ramabai Ranade 106
106Family Quarrel 106
107Chhop or Spinning Competition 108
108 The Purdah and the Pledge108
109Letter to Gangabehn Vaidya 109
110Infanticide of Girls 110
111Speech at National Education Conference 110
112Speech at National Education Conference 112
113Message to Gunasundari 112
114 Speech at Women's Conference. Sojitra113
115Women in Conference 115
116Women's Conference 115
117Speech in Reply to Welcome Address. Porbunder 116
118A Women's Objection 116
119An Oasis in the Desert 117
120Speech in Reply to Municipal Address. Quilon 117
121Speech at Ashram. Pudupalayam 118
122Speech at Women's Christian College. Madras 119
123All About Travancore 121
124Speech at Women's Meeting. Bombay 122
125Upholders of Dharma 123
126Our Unfortunate Sisters 123
127Reply to Women's Address, Noakhali 124
128Speech at Women's Meeting 125
129Speech at Women's Meeting 125
130Fallen Sisters 126
131Speech at Women's Meeting 127
132On the Eve 127
133Patriot's Wail 128
134Widow Remarriage 129
135Letter to Kalishanker Chakravarti 130
136Silent Service 131
137Letter to Jayantilal 132
138Restrictions on Women in Menses 132
139Enforced Widowhood 132
140 Suppressed Humanity 134
141Curse of Child Marriage 135
142Widow Remarriage 136
143Defending Child Marriage 137
144Note To B. Agra 140
145Sorrows of Girl Wives 140
146A Catechism 141
147Prostitution of Ideals 141
148Talks to Ashram Women 142
149Talks to Ashram Women 145
150 Talks to Ashram Women145
151Talks to Ashram Women 146
152Speech At Meeting of Women, Banaras 147
153Speech at Women's Meeting. Sonepur 147
154Letter to Ashram Women 148
155Letter to Ashram Women 148
156Tear Down The Purdah 149
157Letter to Ashram Women 150
158Untouchability. Women and Swaraj 151
159Letter to Ashram Women 152
160Letter to Ashram Women 153
161Letter to Ashram Women 153
162Letter to Ashram Women 154
163Letter to Ashram Women 155
164An Appeal to Indian Humanity 155
165Letter to Sharadabehn Kotak 156
166Letter to Gopaldas 158
167Letter to Manilal And Sushila Gandhi 158
168Letter to Ashram Women 159
169Two Scales 159
170Letter to Ashram Women 161
171Speech at Mahila Samaj. Bangalore 161
172Letter to Ashram Women 161
173Speech at Civic and Social Progress Association. Bangalore. 162
174Letter to M. Chengiah Chetty 163
175A Letter 164
176Letter to Mirabehn 164
177Letter to N. Sethuraman 165
178Letter to Anandibai 166
179Letter to Mirabehn 166
180Letter to Balwantrai Mehta 167
181Speech at Pachaiappa's College. Madras 168
182Speech to Women. Madras 169
183Speech at St. Thomas Mount. Madras 171
184Speech at Conjeevaram 171
185Speech at Women's Meeting, Trichinopoly 172
186Speech at Women's Meeting. Karaikudi 173
187Speech At Public Meeting Karaikudi 174
188Speech at Siruvayal 176
189Speech at Public Meeting. Paganery 176
190Speech at Women's Meeting. Madura 178
191Speech at Tirumangalam 179
192Speech at Women's Meeting. Rajapalayam 179
193An Indignant Protest 180
194Speech at Women's Meeting. Coimbatore 181
195Speech at Public Meeting. Coimbatore 183
196Letter to Ashram Women 184
197Letter to Ashram Women 184
198Speech at Women's Meeting, Colombo 185
199Whole Time Workers Essential 186
200Speech AT Public Meeting. Jafna 187
201Speech at Indians' Meeting. Jafna 187
202Letter To K.S. Karanth 188
203Speech AT Women's Meeting. Berhampur 189
204Letter to Ada Rosengreen 190
205Letter To Ashram Women 190
206What Should A Hindu Widow Do? 191
207A Sister's Difficulty 192
208Letter To Girw Ardhar 194
209Speech on Resolution on Nehru Report 194
210The Function of Women 195
211Speech at D.J.S. College Hall. Karachi 196
212Speech at Women's Meeting. Sukkur 197
213 Speech at Women's Meeting, Padidan197
214 Prohibition in America 197
215Letter To Horace G. Alexander 198
216Women And War 199
217To Gujaratis Resident In Barma 199
218Helpless Condition of Women 200
219A Few Questions. 201
220Widows And Widowers 202
221A Husband's Duty 203
222Service To Women 204
223Loose Thinking 205
224The Hindu Wife 206
225Letter To A 207
226Letter To Ashram Women 208
227Letter To Mathuradas P. Gandhi 208
228Letter To Ashram Women 209
229Letter To Ashram Women 210
230Women And Ornaments 211
231Position of Women 214
232Speech in olpad Taluk 215
233The True Spirit 216
234Speech At Navsari 217
235To The Women 218
236Speech At Vasana 220
237Interview To Free Press of India 220
238Statement To The Press 221
239Letter To Mahadev Desai 221
240To The Women of India 222
241Message To B.P.C.C. Bombay 224
242To The Women 224
243Letter To Raihana Tyabji 226
244 Letter to Narandas Gandhi226
245Speech At Gujarati Women's Conference. Dandi 227
246Speech At Dandi 228
247 Speech At Umber229
248Special Task Before Women 231
249How To Do The Picketing 234
250Message To America 235
251Draft Letter To Viceroy 236
252Draft of Appeal To Women of Gujarat 237
253Rashtriya Stree Sabha 238
254Women's Appeal To Viceroy 238
255Extracts From Speech At Olpad 238
256Picketing 239
257Gift From A Parsi Girl 240
258Speech At Surat 240
259 Letter To Gangabehn Vaidya 241
260Letter To Kashinath Trivedi 242
261Interview To The Press 243
262Letter To Viceroy 243
263Speech At Public Meeting. Allahabad 244
264Letter To Vasumati Pandit 245
265Letter to Chhaganlal Joshi 245
266Letter To Ramabehn Joshi 246
267Speech at Delhi 246
268A Twentieth Century Sati 247
269Opinion Unchanged 249
270Letter To Premabehn Kantak 250
271A Woman's Sacrifice 250
272A Martyr 251
273Speech At Women's Meeting, Bombay251
274Letter To Lilavati Savardekar 253
275Interview To "John Bull" 253
276Myself, My Spinning Wheel And Women 253
277Speech At Women's Reception 255
278Speech At Chatham House Meeting 256
279Speech At Meeting of Women's Indian Council 256
280Speech At Meeting 257
281Speech At Meeting In Lausanne 257
282Speech At Women's Meeting, Rome 258
283Women As The Stronger Sex 258
284Women And Militarism 259
285Letter To Lilavati Asar 260
286Letter To Ashram Women 260
287Letter To Sharda C. Shah 260
288Letter To Vidya R. Patel 262
289Letter To Premabehn Kantak 263
290Letter To Ashram Women 263
291Letter To Premabehn Kantak 265
292A Letter 267
293Letter To Dudhibehn V. Desai 267
294Letter To Pushpa S. Patel 267
295Letter To Ashram Girls 268
296Letter To Ashram Girls 268
297Letter To Premabehn Kantak 269
298Letter To Sharda C. Shah 271
299Letter To Sumangal Prakash 271
300Brahmacharya Or Chastity 272
301Education 273
302Letter To Premabehn Kantak 275
303A Letter 277
304What Women Should Do In A Difficult Situation 277
305Discussion with Mahadev Desai 279
306A Letter 280
307Letter To Kasturba Gandhi 281
308Letter To Mahalakshmi M. Thakkar 282
309Letter To Janakidevi Bajaj 283
310Letter To Sharda C. Shah 283
311Letter To Jaishankar P. Trivedi 284
312Letter To Women Prisoners 284
313Letter To Sitala Sahay 285
314Letter To Vasumati Pandit 285
315Interview To Women 286
316Letter To Manibehn Patel 286
317Speech At Women's Meeting. Palghat 286
318Interview to Members Of Gandhi Seva Sena 387
319Speech At Women's Meeting. Bombay 387
320Speech At Women's Meeting. Ahmedabad 288
321Speech To Jyoti Sangh Members. Ahmedabad 290
322Speech AT Women's Meeting. Ajmer 290
323 Women And Varna 291
324 Letter To Bhagwanji P. Pandya292
325Answers To Questions 293
326Helpless Widows 295
327Letter To Moolchand Agrawal 396
328For Women Reformers 396
329Letter To Amritlal V. Thakkar 298
330Infanticide of Girls 298
331Women in the Smritis 299
332Speech AT The Concluding Session of the Twelfth
Gujarati Sahitya Parishad. Ahmedabad 301
333Message To the All-India Women's Conference 302
334Enforced Widowhood 302
335Curse of Drink 303
336Message To Travancore Women's Conference. Quilon 304
337Letter To Amrit Kaur 305
338Woman's Special Mission 305
339Message To All-India Women's Conference 306
340Students Shame 307
341The Modern Girl 310
342Discussion With Representatives of Municipalities And Local Boards 311
343Swaraj Through Women 312
344What Is Woman's Role? 313
345Address To Bengal Women Workers 316
346 Women And Their Work 317
347Men And Women 318
348Economic Independence of Women 318
349A Widow's Difficulty 318
350 Interview To American Visitor319
351Letter To V.S. Srinivasa Sastri 320
352Woman's Role 320
353Implications of Constructive Programme 321
354Letter To Premabehn Kantak 322
355Message To All-India Women's Conference 322
356Note To Premabehn Kantak 322
357Women 323
358Message To All-India Women's Conference 324
359Criminal Assaults 324
360Indira Nehru's Engagement 327
361Talk To Members of Mahila Ashram 328
362Discussion With Representatives of Hindustani Talimi Sangh 329
363Speech At Sevagram 329
364Speech At Sevagram 330
365A Note 330
366Speech AT Borivali Camp 331
367Letter To Sushila Sharma 331
368Letter To Lalmansingh 332
369A Thought For The Day 332
370Letter To Kusum 333
371Discussion With Congress Workers 333
372Talk With People 334
373Discussion With Congress Workers 334
374Speech At Kasturba Memorial Committee Meeting 335
375Answers To Questions At Constructive Workers' Conference. Madras 336
376Speech At Women's Meeting, Madras 337
377Speech At Golden Rock 338
378Speech AT Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust Women Agents' Meeting, Uruli-Kanhan 338
379Question Box 340
380Kasturba Smarak Trust 341
381What About Women? 341
382Speech At Seksaria College of Commerce 342
383Speech At Prayer Meeting 343
384Speech AT Women's Meeting 343
385Speech To Women 344
386Speech At Prayer Meeting 344
387Speech At Prayer Meeting 345
388A Women's Dilemma 346
389Speech At Women's Meeting 347
390Speech At Prayer Meeting 348
391No Dowry And No Child Marriages 348
392Advice To Muslim Women 349
393Letter To Nirmal Kumar Bose 349
394Discussion With Women Workers 351
395Talk With American Journalists 351
396Talk With Women Workers 352
397Talk With Women Workers 353
398Speech At Prayer Meeting 354
399Talk With Muslim Women 355
400Speech At Prayer Meeting 356
401A Letter 357
402Talk To A Woman Relative 357
403Talk With Women Workers 358
404A Letter 359
405Message To Chinese Women 359
406Speech at Women's Meeting 360
407Speech At Prayer Meeting 360
408Speech At Prayer Meeting 361
409Fragment of A Letter 361
410Speech At Prayer Meeting 362
411Fragment Of A Letter 362
412Fragment of A Letter 363
413Discussion At Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust Meeting 364
414Speech At Prayer Meeting 364
415Speech At Prayer Meeting 367
416A Message 368
Appendices
Appendix I 369
Appendix II 371
Appendix III 372
Appendix IV 373
Appendix V 375
Thematic Index 383

GANDHI ON WOMEN: Collection of Mahatma Gandhi's Writings and Speeches on Women

Item Code:
IDF556
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Edition:
2002
Publisher:
Navajivan Publishing House
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8172293143
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English
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Pages:
386
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Weight of the Book: 664 gms
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GANDHI ON WOMEN: Collection of Mahatma Gandhi's Writings and Speeches on Women

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Refuse to be the slaves of your own whims and fancies and the slaves of men. Refuse to decorate yourselves, don't go in for scents and levender waters; if you want to give out the proper scent, it must come out of your heart, and then you will captivate not man, but humanlity. It is your birthright. Man is born of woman, he is flesh of her flesh and bone of her bone. Come to your own and deliver your message again

-M. K. Gandhi

To call them abala is to condemn the inherent strength of women; In my view it is an insult to them. If we pweuse the history …we shall come across marvelous instances of bravery shown by women. They not only exhibited their bravery through arms, but by building up their moral courage they developed immense strength. If women resolve to bring glory to the nation, within a few months they can totally change the face of the country because of the spiritual background (of women).

-M. K. Gandhi

" My feeling is that if men of the Congress can retain their faith in ahimsa and prosecute the non-violence programme faithfully and fully, the women would be automatically converted. And it may be that there shall arise one among them who will be able to go much farther than I can ever hope to do. For woman is more fitted than man to make explorations and take bolder action in ahimsa. For the courage of self-scarifice woman is any day superior to man as I believe man is to woman for the courage of the brute."

-M. K. Gandhi

Foreword

Gandhiji never wrote merely for the pleasure of writing, but always with a purpose and as a guide to action. He always described himself as a man of action. All that he spoke or wrote was meant to be translated into action; and he successfully put it into practice, both in his personal and public life. Every thought, feeling, act of his reflected a life mission; hence the statement "my life is my message".

This quality of his utter honesty and purposefulness has attracted me the most towards him. I must confess that I have not consciously studied his writings, nor am I a 'bhakta' (devotee) of hi, However, I have been able to find answers to my question from him on many occasions in my life.

I realize now that what he spoke or wrote was very India. He used to say. "My ideas are not mine, they are as old as the hills" But he had that receptive, open mind that understood the Indian people, their difficulties, their aspirations. No Indian leader has matched this understanding till now. I believe the source of this deep understanding was his high regard for the people. That is what made him a leader of the masses in its true sense.

He set a unique example amongst Indian leaders by including women among the 'masses' in a most natural way. Women participated in mass movements led by him in a natural course. And this made a big breakthrough in Indian women's lives, for ever. I would say that I would not have been what I am today, if Gandhiji had not made this breakthrough. This fact would apply to every Indian woman of today. His deep faith in women's Shakti (power) came, as he admitted, from his experience of his mother and his wife. He women as human beings, and that is why he perceived women as equal partners in the home and society, not merely as wives and mothers. No wonder he sought the participation of women in the freedom struggles at political. Economic and moral levels.

He was a super strategist, and his strategy to fight for freedom could not ignore women. He had more faith in his women soldiers than the men soldiers, because he really considered women to be superior to men, particularly when the weapons in the struggle were love and non-violence. He believed women to be stronger because their hearts contained, as mothers, qualities of love and peace. No other public leader has ever put such positive confidence in the women of the country. He realized a very strong need for support and participation from women in creating a society based on justice.

Gandhiji did see the exploitation of women in and outside their home. I have always been moved by his statement that no one can be exploited without his/her will or participation. For a long time I would not accept this view but after working for years in SEWA. Our union of Self Employed Women Workers, I find it Gandhiji's most valid statement. Gandhiji had observed his wife and mother quietly resisting their exploitation at home. He learnt the method of satyagraha from them and put it into practice as a major strategy to rebel against exploitation by the British. No fighter planes or tanks can cope with the attacks of love and satyagraha in a fight for justice.

Our demand was just and minimum, i.e. to allow us to earn our living in this market, as we are an integral part of this market for the last 3 generations. As vendors we are providing a useful service to the society, and as our demands were just and minimum we had full support from the general public during our struggle, and therefore the authorities became powerless. I have realized that if I lift a stone to make my point, I lose the public support. It then becomes only an issue of law and order the doors of negotiations are closed and the just cause is lost. Also, as we shift our method from non-violence to violence the local anti-social elements creep in, and our just demands are lost. In settling demands of the poor especially, the general public support is very essential.

In SEWA. All our struggles are in the open. We always inform out opponents of our plans before we take any action. We never cheat or dupe our opponents. I think this way we have been able to establish our credibility in the hearts not only of the public but also of our opponents. Once in a struggle of agricultural workers when we were beaten up by the police our opponents came to the hospital to take care of those who had been injured. One of them donated his blood to one of the injured women workers. In fact our opponents put more confidence in SEWA's reporting than what their own staff reported to them.

Our demand was just and minimum, i.e. to allow us to earn our living in this market, as we are an integral part of this market for the last 3 generations. As vendors we are providing a useful service to the society and as our demands were just and minimum we had full support from the general public during our struggle and therefore the authorities became powerless. I have realized that if I lift a stone to make my point, I lose the public support. It then becomes only an issue of law and order the doors of negotiations are closed and the just cause is lost. Also, as we shift our method from non-violence to violence, the local anti-social elements creep in and our just demands are lost. In settling demands of the poor, especially, the general public support, is very essential.

In SEWA, all our struggle are in the open we always inform our opponents of our plans before we take any action. We never cheat or dupe our opponents. I think this way we have been able to establish our credibility in the hearts not only of the public but also of our opponents. Once, in a struggle of agricultural workers when we were beaten up by the police, our opponents came to the hospital to take care of those who had been injured. One of them donated his blood to one of the injured women workers. In fact, our opponents put more confidence in SEWA's reporting than what their own staff reported to them.

Once the demand is made, we stick to it at any cost. Therefore we demand only that which is just. No haggling in settling the demands. I think, this approach very well blends into the women's way of demanding. Once convinced, the women would not bend or bow down, and also needy women remain very firm and ready to suffer the consequences, on their stand. They cannot be very easily bribed by the opponents.

We have also seen that SEWA women, though tradition-bound, have been able to come out of the restrictions based on caste and religion during the times of crisis. During the recent riots in our State, the local SEWA leaders in their streets actually stopped the men of their own family from doing violence and protected the families of the minority community in the mohalla community in the mohalla (neighbourhood) from communal attacks. By working and saying prayers together for a decade in SEWA, they are developing respect for each other's religion and a need to remain together in their fight against poverty. Once, one Devilal came to me in great agitation complaining that his wife (a SEWA member) had the audacity to stop him from what he was wanting to do, viz. to throw stones. As he became more violent, the wife went to the police with the request that her husband should be arrested. "I will tell the police (who is my friend) to arrest her because she is a bad woman", Devilal thus threatened her. She said, "You may call me by had names, I am not afraid."

Chandaben is a local SEWA leader, and often has to go to the police to take up causes of her members, so Chandaben is not a popular person in the police department. Often she has to face humiliations of all kinds. But she says "I enjoy this suffering. These insults do not hurt me they are my pride! I feel stronger when I suffer for my sister" Didn't Gandhiji speak similar words in relation to the humiliations he faced from the British authorities? Each one of us has experienced that a tremendous strength generates from a struggle for justice. 'By participating in struggles, we have been gradually able to liberate ourselves from Purdah and such social taboos…' says Karimabibi, SEWA Vice President.

Actually it is the process of development that excites and enriches us all in SEWA. Often we have debates among ourselves on matters of moral values. e.g. a member engaging in theft. As a union, we inform the employer of the theft and return the stolen goods to the employer with an apology. It is a hard pill to swallow for us but there cannot be any compromise on such matters. Whatever is immoral is immoral. When our demand is just our method to demand also has to be pure and straight because what is there to hide if our demand is just? The strengthens our case in the eyes of the employer, the court and the public.

Gandhiji wanted to build a new society in free India-a society based on social justice and peace. He asked "Freedom for whom? What does freedom mean to millions of people who are so poor and backward?" For him, freedom was a birthright for every nation, as well as every human being. He always included women in his 'human being'. In his vision of social change, a moral character of high order was very important. All along, his most concerted efforts were on re-building of human beings.

Gujarat is the land of Gandhiji and in Ahmedabad Textile Labour Union he experimented his principle of trusteeship. He called it 'a laboratory of human relations'. I worked in this union for 17 years dealing with women's problems. It is here that I look lessons on trade union work, settling disputes by conciliation and co-operation, the theory of demand that it always has to be minimum and just. Here I learnt the methods of civil disobedience in our struggles, and in these struggles realized women's strength in fighting for justice. And thus SEWA was born.

'We may be illiterate but we are knowledgeable in the ways of the world.

Son: Because the boy has to earn money when he grows up, therefore he must study well.

Mother: You are wrong, my son. Women also make an earning for the family. And, there is a lot to learn in housework-house-cleaning, cooking, laundry. By doing housework you will develop various skills of the body and will feel self reliant. In good housework you need to use your eyes, hands and brain therefore these activities are educative and they build your character. Men and women both need to be educated equally in housework because the home belongs to both.

I feel indeed most thrilled and elevated by Gandhiji's writing of primer. Viz., Balpothi, where the mother teaches the son!

I said to Vinabehn Majumdar that I should not write this Foreword as I am not a Gandhian scholar. At her insistence, I have tried to put down some of the ideas that attracted me to Gandhiji, or where I found substance for his ideas in my own life and work. I do believe that writings of Gandhiji will provide an important support to the women's movement in India, if not in the whole world. I am very happy that the Centre for Women's Development Studies thought of putting this volume together, and that the Navajivan Trust agreed to bring it out as a joint publication. If my stray thoughts encourage some readers who are unfamiliar with Gandhiji's view on women to study this volume carefully, I shall be amply rewarded.

Preface

Contemporary history of academic interest in problems of women's status, roles and other issues presents many paradoxes in India. On the one hand, there is an increase, even explosion, of research and publications on women's problems, especially since 1975-because of the International Women's Decade, the fillip given to research on women by the publication of the Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India and the adoption of specific research programmes in this area by the Indian Council of Social Science Research and several other agencies-national and international. On the other hand, several critical areas-which in our opinion could provide basic clues to the paradoxical situation facing women in this country-have clues to the paradoxical situation facing women in this country-have continued uninvestigated. The economic marginalization of the overwhelming majority of women, identified by the Committee on the Status of Women in India, has attracted a great deal of attention from social scientists and even a few policy makers during the last decade. But the failure of political equality to introduce any new trends in women's situation in society or in the political process has hardly attracted a similar kind of interest. The whole issue of power relations within the family the community the economy and the State. Though recognized as a major problem affecting women alongwith large masses of the people, has not really been seriously examined.

Another significant area that has been neglected by scholars in general is the interconnection between the women's question and the whole process of social upheaval that accompanied the birth of the Indian nation. The role of political ideology and that of the national leadership in accepting gender equality as a fundamental principle of the Indian political system continue to be presented in simplistic terms without any serious investigation.

If the acceptance of gender equality was ideologically as complete as many commentators would like us to believe then many things, which have happened in the four decades since independence would make no sense. One may of course say that the rise of revivalist and fundamentalist movements which threaten the fragile structure of women's right is not something unique to India but is part of a global phenomenon. But this does not help to explain why the history of such efforts in independent India presents such a chequered history – why some moves were rejected by the Government in office while others succeeded.

The national debate on the Muslim Women's (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Bill earlier this year demonstrated in a very vivid manner how thin is the understanding of either the political roots or imperatives of gender equality, or the close connection between women's rights to equality and the health of the Indian political system.

Another neglected area in our scholarship is the exploration of the views of Indian thinkers on the women's question Mahatma Gandhi's contribution to the philosophy of non-violence is widely known, even outside India. But Mahatma Gandhi's views on women's rights and role in the process of social revolution are little known even to scholars inside the country. The few inadequate collection of Gandhi's writings on women represent the biases and the assumptions of the compilers in their selection.

Gandhi's attitude to women has generally been projected either as a part of his humanism or as a patriarchal compromise, which did not really overcome the restricted views about women's roles which was widely prevalent in his generation. In our opinion neither of these positions is based on a really critical examination of Gandhi's ideas about women and their potential role in revolution. Nor do such studies examine the evolution of Gandhi's ideas over time, and the connection between shifts in his position with his understanding of the political imperatives of the Indian freedom struggle.

Most objective analysts of Gandhi agree on his role as an outstanding political strategist. In the evolution of his strategy for mass mobilization and his vision for a future India, where did the women's question fit in? To what extent did he succeed in communicating his ideas to other leaders. To his followers and to women? To what extent was the confusion, the compromises and the reaction even among Gandhi's followers in later years the result of his failure to articulate fully all that he had thought? To what extent was he himself unable to escape the attitudinal constraints of his background and generation? Or was this failure also rooted in political strategy?

The Centre for Women's Development Studies undertook to compile a comprehensive collection of Gandhi's writings on women in the hope that it will stimulate much more critical research in these areas than we have observed so far. We arranged the writings in chronological order to show that his views were not static but evolved through different stages of his political career and different phases in the Indian struggle for freedom. We offer this to all those who are interested in the Indian revolution, and other who accept the women's question as basically a political one. We hope this volume will help to stimulate closer intellectual collaboration between these two groups who now remain very far apart.

We also hope this will help to stimulate some self-criticism and self-evaluation amongst all those who regard themselves as the inheritors of the Gandhian legacy.

Lastly we hope the volume will provide some assistance to those activists who are seeking for new strategies to mobilize women and men to work for a different kind of social order at the local, national or international level.

Our thanks are due to Pushpa Joshi who patiently worked through the massive collection of Gandhi's writings to compile this volume, to Leela Dubey who suggested the idea of a thematic index, the Navajivan Trust for agreeing so readily to bring it out as a joint publication and to Ela Bhatt for writing the Foreword. I must also thank all other colleagues who contributed to the preparation of the volume through discussions, typing proof reading etc.

Contents

Foreword iii
Preface ix
1Deeds Better Than Words 3
2Brave Women 4
3Women's Education 4
4When Women Are Mainly Will Men be Effeminate? 5
5Brave Women of Britain 6
6Brave Women of England 6
7Boycott Indians 7
8Brave Women 7
9Finger Prints From Women 8
10Women Prisoners Hair 9
11Speech At Tamil Ladies Meeting 9
12Letter To Maganlal Gandhi 9
13Help From Three Women 10
14Rambhabai Sodha 10
15Indian Wives 10
16Who is Entitled To enter Transvaal? 11
17The Women's Resolution 12
18 Speech At Vrededorp Meeting12
19The Marriage Question 12
20The Last Satyagraha Compaign: My Experience 13
21Speech on Indian Women's University 14
22Speech at Second Gujarat Educational Conference 14
23Speech at Opening of Gokhale Library Umreth 16
24Address at All-India Social Service Conference 17
25Speech at Bhagini Samaj. Bombay 17
26Letter to Mohandas Nagji 17
27Speech At Ras 21
28Speech at Ladies Protest Meeting Bombay 22
29Speech at Women's Meeting Bombay 22
30Speech at Foundation Laying of Vanita Vishram. Ahmedabad 24
31 Speech on Swadeshi At Women's Meetings. Nadiad26
32Speech at Women's Meeting. Dohad 31
33A Shameful Sin 33
34How To Remove the Blot 34
35Spinning Wheel in Vijapur 35
36Speech at Women's Meeting. Rajkot 36
37Speech AT Bhagini Samaj 36
38Widows Outpouring 38
39Speech at Women's Meeting. Amritsar 40
40Women's Meeting 41
41Request to Gujarati Women 41
42Scenes on the Way 42
43Speech at Meeting of Mill-Hands. Ahmedabad 43
44 Speech at Ahmedabad44
45Manianwala And Neighbouring Places 45
46More Thoughts About Widows 45
47Khilafat And Swadeshi 47
48 Duty of Women48
49Women's Role 49
50How The Viceroy Discharges His Trust 50
51 Speech At Women's Meeting. Dakor52
52 Speech at Women's Meeting. Ahmedabad55
53Speech at Public Meeting. Broach 57
54Speech at Women's Meeting. Poona 58
55 Speech at Women's Meeting. Belgaum58
56 To Women59
57Speech at Women's Meeting, Allahabad 60
58Speech at Women's Meeting. Patna 61
59Speech on Non-Co-Operation. Calcutta 62
60Behold The Women 62
61How to Finance the Movement 62
62Speech at Merchants Meeting. Calcutta 63
63Speech at Women's Meeting. Calcutta 63
64Speech to Post Graduate and Law Students. Calcutta 64
65Speech at Patna 64
66Rawalpindi Sisters 64
67Speech at Public Meeting. Bombay 66
68Speech at Rajahmundry 66
69In Andhradesh 67
70To Gujaratis 67
71Speech at Women's Meeting. Kathlal 68
72 In Andhradesh 68
73English Learning 69
74Speech at Public Meeting in Wadhwan 70
75Women's Sacrifices 71
76To Women 72
77Speech on Role of Teachers. Bombay 73
78In Praise of the Charkha 75
79 Speech at Meeting of Muslim Women. Bombay 76
80Position of Women 77
81To The Women of India 79
82Of Tamil Women 81
83Plague Spots of Lucknow 81
84 Tamil Sisters Again 82
85Women's Meeting 83
86From The Way to save the Cow 83
87Fallen Sisters 84
88Our Fallen Sisters 87
89Speech At Madras 88
90Speech at Women's Meeting. Madras 89
91To Women 89
92Pitfalls in Swadeshi 92
93What Will Bombay Do 92
94 Convocation Address93
95Women's Part 93
96Women of Gujarat 95
97People's Spirit 97
98 Women's Contribution98
99Need For Fearlessness 98
100 Poona's Courage100
101Message to Bombay 101
102Message to Bharati 101
103Sisters of Karnatak 102
104Renunciation Personified 103
105The Late Mrs. Ramabai Ranade 106
106Family Quarrel 106
107Chhop or Spinning Competition 108
108 The Purdah and the Pledge108
109Letter to Gangabehn Vaidya 109
110Infanticide of Girls 110
111Speech at National Education Conference 110
112Speech at National Education Conference 112
113Message to Gunasundari 112
114 Speech at Women's Conference. Sojitra113
115Women in Conference 115
116Women's Conference 115
117Speech in Reply to Welcome Address. Porbunder 116
118A Women's Objection 116
119An Oasis in the Desert 117
120Speech in Reply to Municipal Address. Quilon 117
121Speech at Ashram. Pudupalayam 118
122Speech at Women's Christian College. Madras 119
123All About Travancore 121
124Speech at Women's Meeting. Bombay 122
125Upholders of Dharma 123
126Our Unfortunate Sisters 123
127Reply to Women's Address, Noakhali 124
128Speech at Women's Meeting 125
129Speech at Women's Meeting 125
130Fallen Sisters 126
131Speech at Women's Meeting 127
132On the Eve 127
133Patriot's Wail 128
134Widow Remarriage 129
135Letter to Kalishanker Chakravarti 130
136Silent Service 131
137Letter to Jayantilal 132
138Restrictions on Women in Menses 132
139Enforced Widowhood 132
140 Suppressed Humanity 134
141Curse of Child Marriage 135
142Widow Remarriage 136
143Defending Child Marriage 137
144Note To B. Agra 140
145Sorrows of Girl Wives 140
146A Catechism 141
147Prostitution of Ideals 141
148Talks to Ashram Women 142
149Talks to Ashram Women 145
150 Talks to Ashram Women145
151Talks to Ashram Women 146
152Speech At Meeting of Women, Banaras 147
153Speech at Women's Meeting. Sonepur 147
154Letter to Ashram Women 148
155Letter to Ashram Women 148
156Tear Down The Purdah 149
157Letter to Ashram Women 150
158Untouchability. Women and Swaraj 151
159Letter to Ashram Women 152
160Letter to Ashram Women 153
161Letter to Ashram Women 153
162Letter to Ashram Women 154
163Letter to Ashram Women 155
164An Appeal to Indian Humanity 155
165Letter to Sharadabehn Kotak 156
166Letter to Gopaldas 158
167Letter to Manilal And Sushila Gandhi 158
168Letter to Ashram Women 159
169Two Scales 159
170Letter to Ashram Women 161
171Speech at Mahila Samaj. Bangalore 161
172Letter to Ashram Women 161
173Speech at Civic and Social Progress Association. Bangalore. 162
174Letter to M. Chengiah Chetty 163
175A Letter 164
176Letter to Mirabehn 164
177Letter to N. Sethuraman 165
178Letter to Anandibai 166
179Letter to Mirabehn 166
180Letter to Balwantrai Mehta 167
181Speech at Pachaiappa's College. Madras 168
182Speech to Women. Madras 169
183Speech at St. Thomas Mount. Madras 171
184Speech at Conjeevaram 171
185Speech at Women's Meeting, Trichinopoly 172
186Speech at Women's Meeting. Karaikudi 173
187Speech At Public Meeting Karaikudi 174
188Speech at Siruvayal 176
189Speech at Public Meeting. Paganery 176
190Speech at Women's Meeting. Madura 178
191Speech at Tirumangalam 179
192Speech at Women's Meeting. Rajapalayam 179
193An Indignant Protest 180
194Speech at Women's Meeting. Coimbatore 181
195Speech at Public Meeting. Coimbatore 183
196Letter to Ashram Women 184
197Letter to Ashram Women 184
198Speech at Women's Meeting, Colombo 185
199Whole Time Workers Essential 186
200Speech AT Public Meeting. Jafna 187
201Speech at Indians' Meeting. Jafna 187
202Letter To K.S. Karanth 188
203Speech AT Women's Meeting. Berhampur 189
204Letter to Ada Rosengreen 190
205Letter To Ashram Women 190
206What Should A Hindu Widow Do? 191
207A Sister's Difficulty 192
208Letter To Girw Ardhar 194
209Speech on Resolution on Nehru Report 194
210The Function of Women 195
211Speech at D.J.S. College Hall. Karachi 196
212Speech at Women's Meeting. Sukkur 197
213 Speech at Women's Meeting, Padidan197
214 Prohibition in America 197
215Letter To Horace G. Alexander 198
216Women And War 199
217To Gujaratis Resident In Barma 199
218Helpless Condition of Women 200
219A Few Questions. 201
220Widows And Widowers 202
221A Husband's Duty 203
222Service To Women 204
223Loose Thinking 205
224The Hindu Wife 206
225Letter To A 207
226Letter To Ashram Women 208
227Letter To Mathuradas P. Gandhi 208
228Letter To Ashram Women 209
229Letter To Ashram Women 210
230Women And Ornaments 211
231Position of Women 214
232Speech in olpad Taluk 215
233The True Spirit 216
234Speech At Navsari 217
235To The Women 218
236Speech At Vasana 220
237Interview To Free Press of India 220
238Statement To The Press 221
239Letter To Mahadev Desai 221
240To The Women of India 222
241Message To B.P.C.C. Bombay 224
242To The Women 224
243Letter To Raihana Tyabji 226
244 Letter to Narandas Gandhi226
245Speech At Gujarati Women's Conference. Dandi 227
246Speech At Dandi 228
247 Speech At Umber229
248Special Task Before Women 231
249How To Do The Picketing 234
250Message To America 235
251Draft Letter To Viceroy 236
252Draft of Appeal To Women of Gujarat 237
253Rashtriya Stree Sabha 238
254Women's Appeal To Viceroy 238
255Extracts From Speech At Olpad 238
256Picketing 239
257Gift From A Parsi Girl 240
258Speech At Surat 240
259 Letter To Gangabehn Vaidya 241
260Letter To Kashinath Trivedi 242
261Interview To The Press 243
262Letter To Viceroy 243
263Speech At Public Meeting. Allahabad 244
264Letter To Vasumati Pandit 245
265Letter to Chhaganlal Joshi 245
266Letter To Ramabehn Joshi 246
267Speech at Delhi 246
268A Twentieth Century Sati 247
269Opinion Unchanged 249
270Letter To Premabehn Kantak 250
271A Woman's Sacrifice 250
272A Martyr 251
273Speech At Women's Meeting, Bombay251
274Letter To Lilavati Savardekar 253
275Interview To "John Bull" 253
276Myself, My Spinning Wheel And Women 253
277Speech At Women's Reception 255
278Speech At Chatham House Meeting 256
279Speech At Meeting of Women's Indian Council 256
280Speech At Meeting 257
281Speech At Meeting In Lausanne 257
282Speech At Women's Meeting, Rome 258
283Women As The Stronger Sex 258
284Women And Militarism 259
285Letter To Lilavati Asar 260
286Letter To Ashram Women 260
287Letter To Sharda C. Shah 260
288Letter To Vidya R. Patel 262
289Letter To Premabehn Kantak 263
290Letter To Ashram Women 263
291Letter To Premabehn Kantak 265
292A Letter 267
293Letter To Dudhibehn V. Desai 267
294Letter To Pushpa S. Patel 267
295Letter To Ashram Girls 268
296Letter To Ashram Girls 268
297Letter To Premabehn Kantak 269
298Letter To Sharda C. Shah 271
299Letter To Sumangal Prakash 271
300Brahmacharya Or Chastity 272
301Education 273
302Letter To Premabehn Kantak 275
303A Letter 277
304What Women Should Do In A Difficult Situation 277
305Discussion with Mahadev Desai 279
306A Letter 280
307Letter To Kasturba Gandhi 281
308Letter To Mahalakshmi M. Thakkar 282
309Letter To Janakidevi Bajaj 283
310Letter To Sharda C. Shah 283
311Letter To Jaishankar P. Trivedi 284
312Letter To Women Prisoners 284
313Letter To Sitala Sahay 285
314Letter To Vasumati Pandit 285
315Interview To Women 286
316Letter To Manibehn Patel 286
317Speech At Women's Meeting. Palghat 286
318Interview to Members Of Gandhi Seva Sena 387
319Speech At Women's Meeting. Bombay 387
320Speech At Women's Meeting. Ahmedabad 288
321Speech To Jyoti Sangh Members. Ahmedabad 290
322Speech AT Women's Meeting. Ajmer 290
323 Women And Varna 291
324 Letter To Bhagwanji P. Pandya292
325Answers To Questions 293
326Helpless Widows 295
327Letter To Moolchand Agrawal 396
328For Women Reformers 396
329Letter To Amritlal V. Thakkar 298
330Infanticide of Girls 298
331Women in the Smritis 299
332Speech AT The Concluding Session of the Twelfth
Gujarati Sahitya Parishad. Ahmedabad 301
333Message To the All-India Women's Conference 302
334Enforced Widowhood 302
335Curse of Drink 303
336Message To Travancore Women's Conference. Quilon 304
337Letter To Amrit Kaur 305
338Woman's Special Mission 305
339Message To All-India Women's Conference 306
340Students Shame 307
341The Modern Girl 310
342Discussion With Representatives of Municipalities And Local Boards 311
343Swaraj Through Women 312
344What Is Woman's Role? 313
345Address To Bengal Women Workers 316
346 Women And Their Work 317
347Men And Women 318
348Economic Independence of Women 318
349A Widow's Difficulty 318
350 Interview To American Visitor319
351Letter To V.S. Srinivasa Sastri 320
352Woman's Role 320
353Implications of Constructive Programme 321
354Letter To Premabehn Kantak 322
355Message To All-India Women's Conference 322
356Note To Premabehn Kantak 322
357Women 323
358Message To All-India Women's Conference 324
359Criminal Assaults 324
360Indira Nehru's Engagement 327
361Talk To Members of Mahila Ashram 328
362Discussion With Representatives of Hindustani Talimi Sangh 329
363Speech At Sevagram 329
364Speech At Sevagram 330
365A Note 330
366Speech AT Borivali Camp 331
367Letter To Sushila Sharma 331
368Letter To Lalmansingh 332
369A Thought For The Day 332
370Letter To Kusum 333
371Discussion With Congress Workers 333
372Talk With People 334
373Discussion With Congress Workers 334
374Speech At Kasturba Memorial Committee Meeting 335
375Answers To Questions At Constructive Workers' Conference. Madras 336
376Speech At Women's Meeting, Madras 337
377Speech At Golden Rock 338
378Speech AT Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust Women Agents' Meeting, Uruli-Kanhan 338
379Question Box 340
380Kasturba Smarak Trust 341
381What About Women? 341
382Speech At Seksaria College of Commerce 342
383Speech At Prayer Meeting 343
384Speech AT Women's Meeting 343
385Speech To Women 344
386Speech At Prayer Meeting 344
387Speech At Prayer Meeting 345
388A Women's Dilemma 346
389Speech At Women's Meeting 347
390Speech At Prayer Meeting 348
391No Dowry And No Child Marriages 348
392Advice To Muslim Women 349
393Letter To Nirmal Kumar Bose 349
394Discussion With Women Workers 351
395Talk With American Journalists 351
396Talk With Women Workers 352
397Talk With Women Workers 353
398Speech At Prayer Meeting 354
399Talk With Muslim Women 355
400Speech At Prayer Meeting 356
401A Letter 357
402Talk To A Woman Relative 357
403Talk With Women Workers 358
404A Letter 359
405Message To Chinese Women 359
406Speech at Women's Meeting 360
407Speech At Prayer Meeting 360
408Speech At Prayer Meeting 361
409Fragment of A Letter 361
410Speech At Prayer Meeting 362
411Fragment Of A Letter 362
412Fragment of A Letter 363
413Discussion At Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust Meeting 364
414Speech At Prayer Meeting 364
415Speech At Prayer Meeting 367
416A Message 368
Appendices
Appendix I 369
Appendix II 371
Appendix III 372
Appendix IV 373
Appendix V 375
Thematic Index 383
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