Small Collections Box 21
The Reverend H.R. Scott. European missionary in Rajkot 1883-97; at the Surat Mission in 1926-28.
Photocopies given by Ms C. Fookes.
- Correspondence between the Reverend Scott and Mahatma Gandhi. Scott’s letters (from Surat) are dated 12 and 24 February 1926. Gandhi’s (from Ashram, Sabarmati) are dated 16 and 23 February 1926.Scott wrote to Gandhi because he had been reading Gandhi’s “story” in Young India. He was concerned about what Gandhi had said about Christian missionaries in Rajkot standing on a street corner near the High School and pouring abuse on Hindus and their gods. Scott wrote that he was the only missionary in Rajkot during those years. He had never preached near the High School nor had he abused Hindus and their gods.Gandhi replied that he was totally unable to say whether the thing related at the time at Rajkot was true and he had said so in the chapter. But his recollection of the preacher near the High School was vivid. Gandhi added that later experience had shown him many Christian Indians drinking, eating meat and wearing European clothes. He had also heard many missionaries attack Hinduism and its gods. He had read worse in the publications of missionary institutions. However there was then, and had been for some time, a tendency towards toleration of other faiths.
In his retort, Scott said his rule had been to avoid all reference to the Hindu Gods. If, in answer to a question, he cited from the Hindu Sacred Books, he ought not to be accused of abusing Hindus. He accepted that many Indian Christians ate meat and drank liquor. They got no encouragement from the missionaries to do this. Missionaries did their best by both precept and example to make them total abstainers like themselves. 7ff.
- The Reverend Scott to the Director of Public Instruction, Poona dated 14/15 March 1928. Review by Scott of the first part of Gandhi’s Autobiography or Experiments in Truth. 4ff.