Parsi Rustomji- a Client of Gandhiji
Parsi Rustomji was a client and co-worker of Gandhiji. He was a large importer of goods from Bombay ( now Mumbai) and Calcutta (now Kolkata). He sought Gandhi’s assistance and pursued his recommendation in the entirety of his official and domestic issues. Notwithstanding when he was sick, he didn’t hesitate to acknowledge Gandhiji’s quack treatment. However, he studiously held back one thing from Gandhiji that he sometimes resorted to smuggling. As he was on the best terms with the customs authorities, nobody was inclined to speculate him.
Rustomji’s Guilt Discovered:
But to use the famous expression of the Gujarati writer “Akho”. Robbery, similar to quick-silver won’t be smothered and Parsi Rustomji proved no special case. One day, with tears moving down his face, he admitted that he had deluded Gandhiji and that his guilt had been found. He argued to Gandhiji to spare him from this predicament as he thought only he could save him at that point. He also felt embarrassed for his wrongdoing and repented.
Gandhiji wished to spare Rustomji by means of confession. Parsi was embarrassed and asked if personal confession before him would get the job done. But, Gandhiji said that, since the government has been wronged, an official confession was necessary. He was nobody to spare him free.
Gandhiji’s Words of Advice to Rustomji
Gandhiji went to meet Rustomji’s counsel. The counsel scrutinized the papers and said that the Natal jury, which tries the case, will rarely acquit an Indian. But he promised to help him. Parsi Rustomji set out to be guided by Gandhiji’s recommendation in the case. Gandhiji advised Rustomji to acknowledge his guilt and pay the penalty. But, if he doesn’t acknowledge it, at that point he should be set up to go to imprison. The disgrace lies more in committing the offence as opposed to going to imprison. Detainment is only a compensation, yet the genuine atonement lies in settling never to smuggle again.
Rustomji’s Reaction to Gandhiji’s Words
After hearing to Gandhiji’s insightful words, Rustomji’s boldness failed him for a minute, since his name and fame were at stake. However, Rustomji, at last, made plans to pass by Gandhiji’s words, 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 begged him not to indict the issue. In the wake of getting his assurance, he then met the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General valued Gandhiji’s total honesty and was profoundly fulfilled. Consequently, the case against Parsi Rustomji was settled by a compromise. He was to pay a penalty equivalent to double the sum he had smuggled.
Finally, Rustomji got the paper framed and hung it up in his office to fill in as a ceaseless reminder to his heirs and fellow dealers. Rustomji’s companions advised Gandhiji not to be taken in by Rustomji’s fleeting repentance But Rustomji told Gandhiji with a firm conviction, “What would have been my fate if I had not told you the truth.” In this manner, Gandhi realized that Rustomji had truly atoned for his guilt for he experienced a positive change in him.
Penance is the main theme of the lesson. The other important themes are honesty, truthfulness, frankness, and self-conscience. We must remember that an offence is an offence whether it is hidden or known. It is a matter of shame to commit an offence. And if ever, some offence has been committed by us, we should have the moral courage and self-conscience to confess it. We should be mentally prepared to face and suffer the consequences also. There is no shame in going to jail for an offence but the shame lies in committing the offence. Going to jail and suffering imprisonment should be taken as penance. Real penance lies in resolving never to commit the offence again. However, if an offender escapes material or physical punishment, he can’t escape. From the punishment of his inner spirit, it will always keep him restless.
The lawyer if consulted by clients or offenders should not give them false hopes but must realize them to resolve and never to commit the offence again. However, reaching a compromise is always better than taking a case to court.
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:
1. Importing goods secretly and illegally = smuggling
2. A person who gets help from a lawyer= client
3. Showed= revealed
4. Closely= intimately
5. A mutual agreement involving some concession on either side= compromise
6. 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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