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My Interview With Comrade Lenin



This is the story of 1919. I had come back to Russia, from Germany. I stayed at the palatial building of the former Sugar-king. Moulana Barkatullah could establish his head quarter at this place. He was in very good relation with the Russian Foreign Office. When there was, scarcity of food in the city we were right royally feasted. My Indian friends who had started on this journey with, me from Berlin could also come and gather here. One evening we received a phone-call from Soviet Foreign Office. I was told that someone was coming and that I should hand over my pamphlets to the man. This I did. Next morning was the day when I with my friends were to meet Comrade Lenin at the Kremlin.Prof. Vosnesensky took us to the ancient Imperial Palace of Moscow. We passed through the guards. We went upstairs. We entered a big room ‘with a big table at which was sitting the famous Red, Leader Comrade Lenin. I being at the head of the party entered first and Proceeded towards the figure sitting right before me .To my astonishment the man or the hero stood up suddenly, went to a corner and fetched a small chair and put the chair near his office chair. And as I arrived by his side he asked me to sit down. For a, moment I thought in my mind, where to sit, asking myself, should I sit on this small chair brought by Mr. Lenin himself or should I sit on one of the huge easy chairs covered with Morocco leather. I decided to sit on that small chair and sat down, while my friends, Moulana Barkatullah and others, took their seats on richly upholstered chairs.


Comrade Lenin asked me, in what language he was to address me-English, French, German or Russian. I told him that we should better speak in English. And I presented to him my book of the Religion of Love. To my astonishment he said that he had already read it. Quickly arguing in my mind i could see that the pamphlets demanded by the Foreign Office a day earlier were meant for Lenin himself. Mr. Lenin said that my book was “Tolstoyism” . I presented to him also my plan of having notes repayable not in gold or silver but in more necessary commodities such as wheat, rice, butter, oil, coal, etc. We had quite a long conversation. Mr. Lenin had a few words to say to all of us. So much so that Lenin also asked a couple of questions of a servant of Moulana Barkatullah who remained standing a bit far. Prof. Vosnesensky also did not sit



It was after this interview that the foreign office decided that I must accompany His Excellency Mr. Surits, the first Russian ambassador to the court of Afghanistan. My job was to introduce Mr. Surits to King Amanullah Khan. Of course, the official position of the ambassador needed not any introduction of some private character. But it was thought that as I was a personal friend of the King I could better plead personally on behalf of Red Bear.


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