Like many a great person, Rajaji also
could foresee the future. Even when he was in prison in 1921, he wrote
in his diary; "Freedom will come; but immediately thereafter or even for
a long time it may not bring the people happiness or a good government.
As soon as freedom comes, there will be a scramble for electedplaces; in
its wake will come corruption, injustice and the wickedness caused by money
and an inefficient administration. The life of the people will be like
hell. Many will feel that the older regime, which was comparatively more
just, efficient and honest, was better. What we get from our independence
will be only freedom from indignity andslavery. Our future lies in making
our youngsters good citizens by giving them from early days an education,
which is likely to create good conduct, righteousness and mutual love.
If that is not done, it is certain that they will be crushed under the
wickedness of injustice and wealth."
Many of Rajaji's ideas deserve serious
Rajaji had something interesting to
say about celebrating birthdays. He felt that in our country we went too
far in the matter of celebrating the birthdays of grown-up persons. Suppose
we admire a leader we celebrate every birthday of his-the fifty- second,
the fifty-third, the fifty-fourth and so on. Is this quite necessary? Suppose
we celebrate his 50th birthday, his 60th birthday, his 70th birthday and
so on. We shall be honoring him once in ten years. Is this not enough?
It is different withchildren. There is nothing wrong in observing it every
year for a little one. But there is certainly no propriety in observing
the birth anniversaries of our grown-up leaders every year as we may do
for children. We do go too far in declaring holidays. We seem to think
that the best way to show respect for a great person or a great event is
to give up work on that day. The folly is self-evident.
Rajaji never sought fame. He did not
attach any importance to it. He knew that he was not exceptionally popular;
he knew that quite often those who agreed with his views were very few.
Once somebody mentioned this to him. Rajaji replied,"Our ancient sages
did not give up their firm belief in their ideals just because they did
not have many followers".
Some persons once went to Rajaji to
discuss with him about the celebration of Gandhis birth centenary. Rajaji
said, "But we do not see Gandhiji in the political, social or economic
spheres in the country. In this state of affairs you are thinking of celebrating
the Gandhi birth centenary. You are brave men!" There was a touch of humor,
but the pain in his mind was obvious.