The lesson “How a client was saved” is an excerpt from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s autobiography “My experiments with truth”. In the story we have Parsi Rustomji, Gandhi’s client and co-worker. Despite his illness he would seek Gandhi’s aid.

Once Rustomji got trapped into a very tight corner related to smuggling. He was a large importer of goods from Bombay and Calcutta, and resorted to smuggling. Being on the best terms with the customs officials, no one was inclined to suspect him.

The tight corner

Rustomji immediately rushed to Gandhi and informed him that he had smuggled and he was ill-fated as he would go to jail and be ruined. He seeked help from him to which Gandhi suggested the way to confession.

Being nervous Rustomji asked the proper guidance from Gandhi as he was scared to confess anything. The inquiry revealed that smuggling had been going on for a long period of time and the case would be tried by a jury, and a Natal jury would be the last to acquit an Indian.

Rustomji wanted to be guided by Mr Gandhi’s advice in this case. Gandhi went to Rustomji and advised him to pay the penalty,the authorities fixed, and the odds that would be agreeable because the case laid to Customs Officers.But if they were not, then he must be prepared to go to jail. Gandhi suggested that Imprisonment should be regarded as a penance.

The solution

Gandhi met the Customs Officer and fearlessly informed him of the whole affair. He even assured to place all the books at his disposal and told him how Parsi Rustomji felt.The Customs Officer told that he must be guided by the Attorney General. Gandhi requested them not to insist on dragging Rustomji into the court. He then met with the Attorney- General.

The case against Parsi Rustomji was settled by a compromise by paying a penalty equal to twice the amount he had confessed to having smuggled. Rustomji reduced to writing the facts of the whole case, got the paper framed and hung it up in his office to serve as a everlasting reminder to his heirs and fellow merchants.

Rustomji could not even imagine that what would have happened if he had deceived Gandhi.