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100 Years ago....

Gandhi sentenced to jail

Mar 18, 1922

Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian nationalist leader, pleaded guilty to three charges of sedition at Ahmedabad today and was sentenced to six years "simple imprisonment" which means that he will not have to do hard labour. Dressed in his customary loin cloth and shawl as he stood in the dock, the scrawny lawyer was unrepentant.

In a long statement he said that preaching disaffection against the existing system of Government in India had "become almost a passion with me". He took all the blame for the recent disturbances at Chauri Chaura, Madras and Bombay, but said that if he was released he would still play with fire.

Non-violence was the first and last article of his faith, he said, and he was there "to submit cheerfully to the highest penalty that could be inflicted". The judge, addressing Gandhi, said it was impossible to ignore the fact that in the eyes of millions of his countrymen he was a great patriot and leader, but his duty was to judge him as a man who admitted that he had broken the law and committed an offence against the state.

Article from "Chronicle of the 20th Century" ISBN 1 872031 80 3

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