S. S. Pilsana
20 Decemher 1931
Dear Friend and Brother, I had your cable.I shall duly get the letter referred to by you.
You will please write to Tolstoy's daughter2 and satisfy her as to Bolshevism. General Moris and Madame Moris were extraordinarily kind to us all. We felt as members of a family immediately we reached their house. Mussolini is an enigma to me. Many of the reforms he has made attract me. He seems to have done a great deal for the peasantry. Of course the iron glove is there. But allowing that force is the basis of Western society, Mussolini's reforms deserve an impartial study. His care of the poor people, his opposition to over urbanization, his attempt to bring about co-ordination between capital and labour seem to me to demand very careful attention. I would like you to enlighten me on these matters. My own fundamental doubt of course abides in that these reforms are forced. But that is true even of democratic institutions. What strikes me is that behind Mussolini's ruthlessness is the motive of serving his people. Even behind his bombastic speeches there is a ring of sincerity and burning love for his people. It also seems to me that the bulk of the Italians like Mussolini's iron rule. I do not want you to trouble to answer this at once. Do please take your own time. Needless to say I do not propose to write publicly just now about these matters. I have simply put these things before you as one knowing infinitely more than I do of them.
And now about your projected visit to India. I feel that if you came during the cold season i.e. between January and March, you could easily bear the climate and probably even benefit by it. Of course you could fly but I would advise the ocean route. If you will seriously consider the proposal, a tentative programme can be submitted to you. With deep love.
M. K. GANDHI
1. This telegram has not been found.
2. The reference is to Soukhotin Tolstoy, whom Gandhi met in Rome on December 13, 1931.