The struggle against the African government had reached its final stage. The government had broken its promise to Gokhale. By disregarding the agreement with Gokhale in the Indian context the African government had made him a very sad and disappointed man. At that time Gandhi was residing in the Phoenix farm in South Africa.
In those difficult and trying times a close friend and follower of Gandhi's Raojibhai Patel asked him, "Bapu! I have roamed the entire city of Durban but I did not see anybody showing any enthusiasm for the Satyagraha. In fact, people went as far as to say that Gandhiji is just taking on the botheration of Satyagraha for nothing." Raojibhai informed Bapu about all the talk that was doing the rounds of the city. In the end he expressed his views in a grave tone by saying, "We really don't have much of mass following to boast of, and start a Satyagraha. How much of following have we been to gather with our collective Satyagrahas till today? It is not sufficient to fight such a powerful government. Have you ever thought of that Gandhiji?" Bapu laughed and said, "That is what I keep calculating day in and day out. You too can calculate and get the exact number. You know all the workers working with you, don't you?" Raojibhai made a list of all the workers. The number turned out to be only forty.
Gandhi then asked Raojibhai, "How are these forty workers in your opinion?" Raoji understood Bapu's line of questioning and replied, "These forty will support you till the very end." Gandhi was touched deeply and after a while he said, "Then, for me these forty will not be there, I shall fight with the government single handed, however mighty be their strength. I will definitely pay them back for the insult that they have caused to Gokhale.