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When I first went off to India, it was at a time of widespread and massive rioting. It is not surprising that the British Government Foreign Office told me that it was necessary to keep my researches unhindered by irrelevant matters and myself unclouded by suspicion and that I had to satisfy these conditions by keeping rigorously aloof from both political controversy and propaganda in my writings and from political leaders in my travels. The undertaking along these lines which I was asked to give was faithfully kept during all the years of my personal contact with the Orient. Not only did I refuse to write a single page that could be regarded as other than non-political but I also refused tempting offers of personal interviews with men like Gandhi. Yet such is the perversity of human character that in the end and to my disgust, because I did all physical exploring in my own unconventional way, I was an object of unfortunate misunderstanding to both sides!

-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 6: The Profane and The Profound > # 209

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