The Cane Of Conscience!

This story is from the life of Gandhiji, not the Gandhiji whom we see in pictures, but Gandhiji as a little boy. At that time, Mohan as he was called, was hardly a saint. He was as naughty as children generally are and as mischievous!

Once he happened to do something bad, really bad. He stole a bit of gold and even lied about it. When his father heard this, he called him. “Mohan,” he said. “I know what you’ve done!” Mohan merely nodded. He dared not even look up.

His father stood up. Slowly he walked to his cupboard. From within he pulled out a cane, a thin, mean-looking stick, the very sight of which sent Mohan into a fit of fear. Then his father rolled up the sleeve of his own Kurta. Lifting the cane up with his right hand, he sent it swishing down right across his own arm.

Mohan cried aloud, “Papa, don’t beat yourself!” “I have to Mohan,” he replied. “After all it is my fault. Had I brought you up well, surely you would not have committed this mistake. So let me take the punishment!” It was a lesson well taught and a lesson well learnt! For, decades later, Gandhiji, the leader of the nation, remembered this, more vividly than anything else he had ever learnt.