How a Client Was Saved – Summary
Parsi Rustomji- a Client of Gandhiji
Parsi Rustomji was Gandhiji’s client and coworker. He was a significant importer from Bombay (now Mumbai) and Calcutta (now Kolkata). He sought Gandhi’s guidance and acted on his advice in all of his official and domestic affairs. Regardless of his illness, he never hesitated to recognise Gandhiji’s quack treatment. However, he withheld one thing from Gandhiji that he occasionally resorted to smuggling. Nobody speculated on him because he was on good terms with the customs authorities.
Rustomji’s Guilt Discovered:
However, to use a famous Gujarati saying, “Akho”. Robbery, like quicksilver, cannot be suppressed, and Parsi Rustomji exemplified this. He eventually declared, with tears streaming down his cheeks, that he had deceived Gandhiji and that his guilt had been found. He pleaded with Gandhiji to save him from this dilemma, believing that only he could do so at the time. He also felt sorry for what he had done and was ashamed of himself.
The way Gandhiji wanted to let Rustomji go was for him to admit that he had done something wrong. It made Parsi feel bad so he asked if confessing in front of him would work. He said that because the government had been harmed, an official apology was needed. Nobody would let him go for free.
Gandhiji’s Words of Advice to Rustomji
Gandhiji sought advise from Rustomji’s counsel. The counsel examined the papers and stated that the Natal jury that would decide the case would almost never acquit an Indian. However, he assured him that he would assist him. Rustomji Parsi set out to follow Gandhiji’s advice in this circumstance. Gandhiji counselled Rustomji to accept his guilt and pay the penalty. However, if he refuses to recognise it, he should be arrested. The embarrassment stems more from the criminal action than from imprisonment. While detention is a form of restitution, the true atonement is made by agreeing never to smuggle again.
Rustomji’s Reaction to Gandhiji’s Words
After hearing Gandhiji’s enlightening words, Rustomji’s courage wavered for a moment, since his reputation and fame were on the line. However, Rustomji eventually decided to follow Gandhiji’s teachings and stated, “I am totally in your hands. You may do just as you like.”
Gandhiji Saves a Client
Gandhiji approached the Customs Officer and pleaded with him not to prosecute. Following receipt of his assurance, he met with the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General admired Gandhiji’s entire candour and expressed tremendous satisfaction. As a result, the case against Parsi Rustomji was settled by a compromise. He was ordered to pay a fine equal to twice the amount he had smuggled.
Finally, Rustomji framed the paper and put it in his office as a constant reminder to his heirs and fellow sellers. Gandhiji was urged by Rustomji’s comrades not to be taken in by Rustomji’s brief repentance. However, Rustomji stated emphatically to Gandhiji, “What would have been my fate if I had not told you the truth?” Gandhi recognised that Rustomji had truly atoned for his sins for he noticed a favourable change in him.
The central theme of the essay is penance. Other critical themes are candour, truthfulness, forthrightness, and self-awareness. We must keep in mind that an offence is an offence regardless of whether it is concealed or known. Committing an offence is an embarrassment. And if we have ever committed an offence, we should have the moral bravery and self-awareness to confess it. We need also be mentally prepared to confront and endure the repercussions. There is no guilt in serving time in prison for an offence; the offence itself is the source of shame. Conviction and incarceration should be viewed as penance. True penance consists in making a commitment to never commit the offence again. However, an offender cannot evade material or physical punishment. It would always keep him restless due to the torment of his inner spirit.
If consulted by clients or criminals, the lawyer should not instil false optimism in them, but should instead motivate them to resolve the matter and never commit the offence again. However, striking an agreement is always preferable to litigating a dispute.
Textbook Questions of How a Client Was Saved
Q.No.1 Why had Rustomji’s smuggling offences not been discovered earlier?
Answer: Rustomji’s smuggling offences had not been discovered earlier because he was on best terms with the customs officials; thus, nobody was inclined to suspect him. They used to consider his invoices on trust. Some of them even might have not noticed his smuggling.
Q.No. 2 What did Rustomji consider to be the greatest cause for shame to him?
Answer: Rustomji considered the discovery of his guilt to be his destruction. Going to jail was the greatest cause for shame to him. He pleaded to Gandhiji to save him from this ignominy.
Q.No. 3 What did Gandhiji consider to be a greater cause for shame?
Answer: According to Gandhiji, the greater cause for shame was in committing the offence rather than going to jail. Imprisonment is just a penance, but the real penance lies in resolving never to smuggle again.
Q.No.4 Which words that Rustomji uses to describe his offence show us that he did not consider it to be a moral offence?
Answer: Rustom Ji called his smuggling activities merely ‘tricks of the trade’. These words show that he did not consider smuggling to be a moral offence.
Q.No.5 Who, according to Gandhiji, was the one who would finally decide whether Rustomji was to be saved or not?
Answer: According to Gandhiji, it was the Customs Officer who was to decide whether Rustomji was to be saved or not and the Customs Officer would, in turn, be guided by the Attorney General.
Q.No.6 Gandhiji and the other counsel differed in the way in which they thought the case ought to be handled. How did a Gandhiji and the other counsel hope to settle the case?
Answer: Gandhiji thought that the case shouldn’t be taken to court. It should be kept up to the customs officer to prosecute Rustomji or let him free. The other counsel hoped that the case would be tried by a jury and a Natal jury would acquit Rustomji which seemed quite difficult.
Q.No.7 Gandhiji spoke of two penances. What were they? Which of them did Rustomji not have to do?
Answer: a) Gandhiji spoke of two penances. The first penance was to pay penalty for the crime. The second penance was the imprisonment. But according to Gandhi Ji, the real penance was to resolve never to smuggle again.
b) Rustom Ji did not have to be imprisoned because it would ruin his edifice of name and fame.
Q.No.8 Why did Gandhi Ji have to go to the Attorney General as well as to the customs officer?
Answer: Gandhiji had to go to the Customs Officer as well as to the Attorney General because both of them were employed in the taxation process. Moreover, the Customs Officer was guided by the Attorney General. So, after persuading the customs officer, he had to motivate the Attorney General regarding the guilt.
Q.No.9 Which two qualities of Gandhiji helped him to persuade the Attorney General not to drag Rustomji into court?
Answer. Gandhiji’s persuasiveness and frankness helped him to persuade the Attorney General not to drag Rustomji into court.
Q.No.10 What did Rustomji (a) lose (b) partly save by the settlement of the case.
Answer: Rustomji lost twice the amount of money which he had earned by smuggling. Rustomji partly saved his edifice of name and fame by the settlement of the case.
a) Write the substitute words for:
- Importing goods secretly and illegally = smuggling
2. A person who gets help from a lawyer= client
- Showed= revealed
4. Closely= intimately
- A mutual agreement involving some concession on either side= compromise
- Something different or demanding a special treatment= exception
7. To start legal proceedings against= prosecute
b) Rewrite the sentences using the verb- forms if the words in italics.
1. Rustomji made a resolution never to smuggle again
Ans. Rustomji resolved never to smuggle again.
2. Gandhiji began correspondence with the Attorney – General.
Ans. Gandhi corresponded with the Attorney– General
3. Rustomji had so much confidence in Gandhiji that he had no hesitation in accepting his quack treatment.
Ans. Rustomji had so much confidence in Gandhiji that he did not hesitate in accepting his quack treatment.
4. As Rustomji was on very best terms with the customs officials no one had any suspicions about him.
Ans. As Rustomji was on very terms with the customs officials no one suspected him.
5. Is not my confession before you enough?
Ans. Is not it enough to confess before you?
6. Rustomji told his counsel that he would like to take Gandhi’s guidance.
Ans. Rustomji told his counsel that he would be guided by Gandhi
ii) Use the following words both as noun and verb:
Wrong, Rest, Shame, Promise, Compromise, Fate, Light, Hands, pay, End
1.Wrong (as a noun): We should what is right and what is wrong.
(as a verb): We shall forgive those who have wronged us.
2. Rest (as a noun): We shall take rest for a while.
(as a verb): They rested for a while here.
3. Shame (as a noun): Her face burned with shame.
(as a verb): Her cowardice shamed her.
4. Promise (as a noun): He will not break his promise.
(as a verb): He promised to send me the book.
5. Compromise (as a noun): They settled the matter eventually with the compromise.
(as a verb): At last, they compromised in the matter.
6. Fate (as a noun): It is his fate whatever he obtained.
(as a verb): Your hard-working will fate your destiny.
7. Light (as a noun): The sun gives us light.
(as a verb): He lighted a lamp to show them the path.
8. Hand (as a noun): It is not in our hands to save him.
(as a verb): He handed over the charge to his brother.
9. Pay (as a noun): I have not received the pay for this month.
(as a verb): He paid me the amount.
10.End (as a noun): His end was very sorrowful.
(as a verb): They ended their rivalry.
(iii) Some words are used with one spelling as nouns and another spelling as, ‘verb’ such as, ‘advice’ and ‘advise’ `practice’ and, ‘practise’. Find five more examples of such words. You need not confine yourself to the lesson.
Advice (noun) Advise (verb)
Licence ( noun) License (verb)
device (noun) devise (verb)
Practice ( noun) Practise ( verb)
iv) Match The Following
c) Fill in the blanks in the passage with appropriate phrases chosen from the list below, taking care to use the correct form.
bring to bear, confide in, on good terms with, bring to bear, on trust, inclined to, at stake, at once, deal with, resort to, connive at
Rustomji ………… smuggling quite often. But for a long time, this fact did not, come to light because nobody was ……….. suspect the good Parsi. He was ………… the customs officers and they took his invoices..……….. . Some of them might even have ………… the smuggling. At last, when the crime was discovered, Rustomji’s reputation was ………… He ………… went to Gandhi and ………… him, begging him to save his name. Gandhi decided to ………. the whole matter in a straight forward manner. He asked Rustomji to confess to the crime and resolve never to repeat it. He then met the Attorney-General and ………. the full details of the case. He ………. on it all his force of persuasion to have the case settled by, means of a compromise.
Ans. Rustomji resorted to smuggling quite often. But for a long time, this fact did not come to light because nobody was inclined to suspect the good Parsi. He was on good terms with the customs officers and they took his invoices on trust. Some of them might even have connived at the smuggling. At last, when the crime was discovered, Rustomji’s reputation was at stake. He at once went to Gandhi and confided in him, begging him to save his name. Gandhi decided to deal with the whole matter in a straight forward manner. He asked Rustomji to confess to the crime and resolve never to repeat it. He then met the Attorney-General and bring to bear the full details of the case. He brings to bear on it all his force of persuasion to have the case settled by, means of a compromise.
What do you learn from this lesson? Sum up your thought in 300 words.
Ans. See theme.
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