My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW DELHI , Sunday—Before leaving Lahore, the city of charm, we got up early enough so that I had a talk with the governor, made a brief visit to the art museum and called on Doctor and Mrs. Waheed.

As I think back over this visit, I realize the great problems that face a new government, but also realize that this is a people determined to make their government successful. The religious side, which plays so great a part, is something I do not well understand because I have been brought up on the feeling that church and state are better separated. Nevertheless, the principles of Islam seem to be along the line that one would desire for any government.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Begum Liaquat Ali Khan for her kind invitation and to all the women, in every place I went to, who wanted to show me all there was to see and who were kindness itself. The government was most kind and hospitable, but above all I owe a special debt of gratitude to Begum Husain Malik, who met me on my arrival, went with me every place and saw me off. She is a very lovely person, and how she manages to fulfill her manifold duties and bring up her three small children so well is one of those wonderful achievements one marvels at. She helps both her husband and her father, and yet she gave us every minute of her time to see that everything was properly arranged for me, that the program as planned worked out well and that any necessary changes were made. Her executive ability and her great tact and kindness are things I shall never forget. I only hope that Begum Malik and some of the other women and men who were kind to me will come to the United States so that I can show them in a very humble way how much I appreciate what they did for me.

In New Delhi our first night was spent at the government house. I was deeply touched to have the Prime Minister and his sister, Madame Pandit, as well as our Ambassador and Mrs. Bowles meet me. Many other women and other members of the government were there, too, and after greeting them I had a brief press conference in the airport. Ambassador and Mrs. Bowles stayed for a quiet lunch with us, and then Madame Pandit and the protocol officer came to settle the trips which I will make while here.

It is very exciting to be in India after reading my father's letters of many years ago, which told of his trip under very different circumstances 89 years ago. Meeting people from here and reading books about it are not quite the same as seeing with one's own eyes. It is really a joy to feel that I have accomplished something I have talked about and hoped for, but really did not ever expect to see. My impressions are becoming very well crystalized in my mind as I go forward on this trip, and it is certainly most interesting to see the difference that a landscape takes on when it is peopled by so many more inhabitants than one would see at home in the same area of space.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New Delhi (India) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 3, 1952

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.