But the Prime Minister’s reply was only a reiteration of the earlier proposal to have separate constituencies for the oppressed classes and decision on it. And therefore, Gandhi
entered into a fast in the prison and it became a historic event. (September 20, 1932.)
Attempts were afoot to influence the government to change their decision. Congress leaders and leaders of other parties and organizations began an attempt to see that Gandhi did not enter into the fast. Gandhi’s words that the depressed or oppressed classes, whom he called the harijans, were god’s own people and he considered himself a harijan. He would not compromise on his views on them. He would not allow them to be treated as a separate entity in the society. The practice of untouchability was an evil, and any attempt at perpetuating the nasty practice had to be fought against. And he began his fast as decided earlier.