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December 28, 2010

Gandhiji and frugality

Gandhiji was known to be a frugal person. He was fond of recycling things. Many of the letters that were written by Gandhiji were written on the backside if the letter were written on one side and even in the margins. He strongly believed one unit of paper saved is one unit of paper generated.

One anglophile had written a stinker of  petition to Gandhiji. He presented the letter with a flourish to Gandhiji. He was of the opinion that India was better off under the British . He was insinuating that India cannot be ruled by its own people.

Gandhiji quietly read the entire letter without changing his expression. He calmly threw the petition into the waste paper basket. The Englishman was aghast. He said “ Mr. Gandhi   I have spent lot of time on that petition. Don’t tell me that you did not find anything useful”.

Gandhiji calmly replied “True, there is nothing of value in your petition. But on searching I found something of value even in your petition”. Smilingly Gandhiji took out a pin that was used to hold the paper and showed it to the speechless Englishman.

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