A postcard that was written by the Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, has returned to its home.

The postcard has its place in history as a part of the Independence movement in India. In 1938, when the Civil Disobedience movement, led by Gandhi, had gathered momentum throughout the nation, student agitation was at its peak at the CMS College in Kottayam.

This was when the Principal Rev. Philip Lea informed Gandhi about the problems faced by the college authorities in conducting normal proceedings at the campus due to the non-cooperation of the students, and requested Gandhi to intervene and initiate peace.

In his response through the postcard sent on October 16, 1938, Gandhi expressed sadness and deep regret and requested the Principal to forward to him a report of the unruly incidents that occurred at the college.

Subsequently, on the next day, Gandhi released a press statement from Mardan district (at present, in Pakistan), chiding the student leaders for instigating violence on the campus.

“As far as I know, the leaders of the movement do not want the students, even if they wish to participate, to depart in any way from the non-violent way. Obstruction, rowdyism and the like are naked violence. I am credited with influence over students. If I have any, I would ask them to observe non-violence in thought, word and deed. If, however, the forces of violence cannot be controlled by those who are in charge of the movement, it may be a question for them whether in the interest of the movement itself, it is not wise to suspend civil disobedience.”

After the death of Rev. Philip Lea, the postcard was discovered among his correspondence files by his son Dr. John Lea in December 1965. Dr. Lea, who is a professor at the University of Sydney in Australia, arrived here to deliver the Benjamin Bailey Memorial Lecture at the C.M.S. College.

The postcard returned to its home when Dr. Lea handed it over to the college on Friday.


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