Rajaji hated sloth- even when he was
kept in prison, he converted it into a school. He gave of his knowledge
to his co-prisoners. He would recount the stories of the Ramayana and the
Mahabharata to them. Not only did he seriously study many a book in prison,
but he wrote some books too. It was in prison that he wrote his book on
the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates. It became a famous work.
Many a time when there were quarrels
between the prisoners and the officials of the goal and the situation became
tense, Rajaji would step in as peacemaker. So even the prison officials
had greataffection and regard towards Rajaji.
A feeling has grown that politics means
competition and hatred. But the way Rajaji conducted himself in politics
was remark- able.The well-known leader Satyamurty and Rajaji belonged to
opposite groups in politics. Still whenRajaji was giving up the Presidentship
of the provincial congress committee, he tried hard to see that Satyamurty
was greatly surprised by knowing this thing. He freely praised Rajaji and
said, "I never knew that Rajaji had a heart of gold!"
Satyamurty was the only leader who
had not courted arrest even sometime after Gandhiji began the Non Co-operation
Movement in 1930. All other leaders of Madras were in goal. Rajaji went
straight to Satyamurty, though he was his political opponent. He told him,
"All other leaders of Madras have gone to goal. It is a question of the
prestige of Madras. So you must also participate in the Satyagraha now."
Satyamurty agreed. Both of them picketed before a shop selling foreign
cloth and courted arrest. That was the first stretch of prison life to