Q. Why should we insist on a Rabindranath or Raman earning his bread
by manual labour? Is it not sheer wastage? Why should not brain
workers be considered on a par with manual workers, for both of them
perform useful social work?
A. Intellectual work is important and has an undoubted place in the scheme of life. But what I insist on is the necessity of physical labour. No man, I claim, ought to be free from that obligation. It will serve to improve even the quality of his intellectual output. I venture to say that in ancient times Brahmans worked with their body as with their mind. But even if they did not, body labour was a proved necessity at the present time. In this connection I would refer to the life of Tolstoy and how he made famous the theory of bread labour first propounded in his country by the Russian peasant Bondaref.