Quote attributed to Indira Gandhi about work and credit =?windows-1252?Q?=96_?=request Times of India search

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 15 17:43:40 UTC 2013

ADSLers: On the Wombats mailing list a request was made to trace a
quotation attributed to Indira Gandhi: "My grandfather once told me
that there were two kinds of people, those who do the work and those
who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less
competition there."

This message includes a request to search ProQuest "Times of India".
This newspaper is part of the ProQuest Historical Newspapers
collection. But it is not included in the small "core" collection of
ProQuest newspapers that I can readily access.

All branches of The New York (City) Public library, for example, have
access to a robust collection of ProQuest Historical newspapers that
includes "Times of India". The "information poor" have access to none
of the ProQuest Historical Newspapers databases.

Here is some background on the quotation. Currently, the earliest
strong match I've located appeared in 1947. The words were attributed
to "some philosopher" in a passage written by a Catholic priest in a
Texas newspaper.

[ref] 1947 December 18, Kerrville Mountain Sun, "Catholic Church by
Father Kemper: Election Tonight", Section 2, Quote Page 4, Column 5
and 6, (NArch Page 12), Kerrville, Texas. (NewspaperArchive)(The word
"advise" is used instead of "advice" in the original page image)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Vox populi supreme lex! Let's see if the voice of the people is the
supreme law! Or is it the small active minority who do things in a
democracy? Some philosopher divided mankind into two divisions; those
who accomplish things, and those who take the credit. His advice is to
join the former group, since there is less competition.
[End excerpt]

Currently, the earliest connection to Indira Gandhi I've located was
published in a circa 1966 book. This match was found in Google Books
and is only visible in snippets. I have not verified it on paper yet.

Title: Indira Gandhi: Call to Greatness
Author: B. K. Desai
Year: 1966
GB Page: 71
(Google Books snippet view; data may be inaccurate; must be verified
on paper; WorldCat agrees with 1966 publication year)(The passage
contains a misspelling: "become the Congress President" is "become the
Congress Prisident" in the original page image)


[Begin extracted text]
"I prefer to do anything on the quiet rather than boast about it, and
I agreed to become the Congress President because I honestly believe
that this is a job to be done". Then she pointedly recalled her
grandfather Motilal's advice to her; "there are two kinds of people,
those who do the work and those who take the credit. Belong to the
first category. Since not only do things get balanced, but there is
also much less competition".
[End extracted text]

Here is a good match in an interview with Indira Gandhi published in
the New York Times in 1968. The wording differed slightly from the
quotation provided in the original inquiry.

[ref] 1968 October 16, New York Times, India's 'Tough' Prime Minister
by Enid Nemy, Quote Page 42, Column 5, New York. (ProQuest)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
"There has never been any advice spoken to me that I heeded much," she
says. "What influenced me more were the lives of the people I lived
with—my father and my mother. That didn't need words."

She continues thoughtfully: "My grandfather once told me that there
are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the
credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much
less competition there."
[End excerpt]

If you are willing to help and you have access to ProQuest "Times of
India" or some other database with Indian newspapers and/or magazines
in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s then please perform a few queries to
search for the quotation. If you desire simple tips on formulating the
search query please contact me off-list.

Thanks, Garson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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