Then Gandhi had to be persuaded; then all the leaders of the country had to run to his ashram and say to him, “Just for one man’s failure you cannot punish the whole country.” Then after two or three days he would be ready to take food, and that one man would be condemned by the whole country. He had been punished more than you could have imagined. Wherever he went, people would talk about him: “This is the man for whom Gandhi is fasting unto death.” And if Gandhi died, they would have killed this man, they would not have left this man alive.
One night Gandhi threw Kasturba, who was pregnant, out of the house because she was reluctant to clean the latrine. A pregnant woman, a woman who does not know any other language, in a foreign country, absolutely dependent on him – he closed the door, threw her out, and said, “If you don’t clean the latrine, then this is not your house, then you don’t belong to me. If you cannot follow my discipline, if my own wife fails me, then who else is going to listen to me? In the cold winter Kasturba wept outside and finally decided that she should agree to clean the latrine. Only when she agreed to clean the latrine was she allowed in. Now, you can fail such a man very easily by anything, just by smoking a cigarette, drinking a cup of tea…anything.
He did not allow his children to be educated. He didn’t send them to school. They wanted to go, their mother wanted it also. Naturally she wanted them to be educated, “otherwise who is going to feed them? And their whole life is ahead of them. You are educated, you are a barrister, you earn. And you are a mahatma – even if you don’t earn, you have thousands of worshippers. But your children – don’t you send them even to the primary school?”
He was against the education that was available in the schools, colleges and the universities. Why? – because it creates doubt, it destroys people’s faith; because it teaches people science and technology, which he was against: against things so simple and so essential that you will not be able to believe it – that in the twentieth century a man can be against the telephone!
Now, the telephone does not do any harm to anybody. One can be against nuclear weapons, I can understand – but the telephone, railway lines, trains, airplanes? He was against anything except the spinning wheel – that was the only technology that he accepted. Beyond that, all technology was evil, all science was evil; so why send your children to learn the devilish ways of science, technology, logic, philosophy, and destroy their faith, their belief in God? No. He would not send them.
His eldest son, Haridas, escaped. Seeing the situation – “This man is going to destroy our lives completely” – he escaped, reached a relative’s family and told the whole story, what was happening, and that “I want to go to school.” Just see the situation: the boy has to escape from the home to get into school. Boys escape from school, not to go there…and Haridas had to leave his home and ask some uncle, some faraway relative, “Please help me. At least I would like to matriculate; then I will see later on. But up to matriculation, that much education is absolutely necessary.”