INDIA: Fast & Win

Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi, a durable ascetic himself, was so impressed with disciple Potti Sriramulu's ability to do without food (29 days on one occasion) that he once said: "If only I have eleven more followers like Sriramulu I will win freedom [from British rule] in a year." Last week Potti Sriramulu, in a record fast, won autonomy, within the Indian constitution, for 22 million Telugu-speaking people. It was not all that he wanted, but it cost him his life.

Holyman Sriramulu made his fast in Madras city, and the objective was to...

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