SOME PROBLEMS OF INDIA
...Criticism he considered detrimental. Reform, he thought, did more harm than good because it always begins with condemnation. This was disintegrating especially in a country in the position of India where it is most important to restore the lost faith of the individual and the race. All change of value must be growth and could not be superimposed from outside. With his prophetic sense he could see the causes already at work bringing about the changes which so many felt to be necessary. Economic causes prevailed at this period. Very little thought was required to see how the growing poverty would affect purdah, caste, child-marriage as well as other customs.
Some one ventured to oppose him one day, and he turned swiftly saying. "What, you dare argue with me, a descendant of fifty generations of lawyers!" Then he marshalled his facts and arguments and spoke so brilliantly that some of us were convinced that black was white. But if one said to him. "I can't argue with you, Swamiji, but you know that thus and thus is true," to that he always yielded with amazing gentleness. "Yes, you are right." All of this was but a little fun, a little relief from the tension at which he and we with him were kept much of the time.