My Non-violence

My Non-violence


Table of Contents

- Editor's Note
  1. The Doctrine of The Sword
  2. 'One Step Enough For Me'
  3. Our Neighbours
  4. The Frontier Friends
  5. Soldiers
  6. Why Did I Assist In The Last War?
  7. My Path
  8. What of The West?
  9. To American Friends
  10. Compulsory Military Training
  11. From Europe
  12. War or Peace?
  13. Has Non-violence Limits?
  14. My Attitude Towards War
  15. Sword v. Spirit
  16. For Conscience' Sake
  17. Our Choice
  18. Military Programme
  19. Superstitions Die Hard
  20. Theory and Practice of Non-violence
  21. The Greatest Force
  22. A Talk on Non-violence
  23. A Discourse of Non-violence
  24. Our Failure
  25. Qualifications of A Peace Brigade
  26. If I Were A Czech
  27. The Jews
  28. Some Questions Answered
  29. Non-violence and World Crisis
  30. Is Non-violence Ineffective?
  31. China and Japan
  32. A Word in Agony - I
  33. A Word in Agony - II
  34. A Polish Sister's Agony
  35. Conundrums
  36. India's Attitude
  37. On Trial
  38. A Poser
  39. The Hour of Trial
  40. My Advice To Noakhali Hindus
  41. When The British Withdraw
  42. Two Questions From America
  43. Democracy and Non-violence
  44. How To Combat Hitlerism
  45. Both Happy And Unhappy
  46. To Every Briton
  47. Before The Gandhi Seva Sangh
  48. Unrepentant
  49. Khansaheb's Ahimsa
  50. How To Cultivate Ahimsa
  51. What of The 'Weak Majority'?
  52. Is Non-violence Impossible?
  53. Moral Support
  54. What Should A Briton Do and Not Do?
  55. An Interesting Discourse- I
  56. An Interesting Discourse- II
  57. How To Quench It?
  58. Not Mechanical
  59. Some Criticism Answered
  60. To Adolf Hitler
  61. A Deplorable Incident
  62. Criminal Assaults
  63. On Its Trial
  64. 'Scorched Earth'
  65. Inhuman If True
  66. Non-violent Resistance
  67. To Every Japanese
  68. Fasting In Non-violent Action
  69. The 'Quit India' Resolution
  70. Sabotage And Secrecy
  71. Non-violence And Molestation of Women
  72. Non-violent Technique And Parallel Government
  73. Africa and India
  74. White Man's Burden!
  75. How To Canalise Hatred
  76. The Message of The I.N.A
  77. A Message For The I. N. A
  78. I. N. A. Men's Dilemma
  79. Not Lonely
  80. Statement On General Avari's Fast
  81. Fasting In The Air
  82. Press Statement- I & II
  83. Fruits of Violence
  84. For Shame!
  85. The Non-violent Sanction
  86. The Art of Living and Dying
  87. Is Eating Fish Violence?
  88. Religion v. No Religion
  89. Differences
  90. With The Socialists
  91. Sweeper's Strike
  92. Peaceful Strikes
  93. Strikes
  94. Non-violent Strikes
  95. Non-violent Volunteer Corps
  96. Independence
  97. Certain Questions
  98. Atom Bomb and Ahimsa
  99. A Fair Hit
  100. Louis Fischer's Interview
  101. Jews and Palestine
  102. Criminals and Non-violence
  103. Thieving
  104. Nature Cure for Criminals
  105. Honest Business
  106. Compensation for Murder
  107. Heal Thyself
  108. Congress Ministers and Non-violence
  109. Do Not Eliminate Truth and Non-violence
  110. Excessive Praise
  111. Why Armies?
  112. Outside His Field
  113. Women's Ordeal
  114. A Woman's Dilemma
  115. The Travail
  116. The Call
  117. Bad News From Bihar
  118. To Bihar
  119. A Challenge To Faith
  120. A Venture In Faith
  121. The Purpose of The Tour
  122. The Modern Buddha?
  123. On Trusteeship
  124. With A Landholder
  125. Reduction of Landlord's Share
  126. Intellectual and Manual Work
  127. Some Important Questions
  128. Important Questions
  129. Question Box
  130. Military Training
  131. Non-resistance
  132. The Aim of Life
  133. The Message of Asia
  134. Advice To Sind Hindus
  135. How To Combat Himsa?
  136. Weapon of The Brave
  137. Non-violence of The Brave
  138. Rights and Duties?
  139. Who Is A Socialist?
  140. The Root Cause of Partition
  141. The Fundamental Difference
  142. Secular
  143. Non-violence and Free India
  144. How To save The Cow?
  145. Non-violent Labour As Magnet
  146. Press Statement
  147. The Fast
  148. Why Fast?
  149. Curb Anger
  150. Passive Resistance versus Non-violence
  151. Working of Ahimsa
  152. Firm on Non-violence
  153. Death - Courageous or Cowardly
  154. No Limitations
  155. My Fast As A Protest
  156. The Breaking of The Fast
  157. From The Last Post-Prayer Speeches
  158. His Last Will and Testament

About This Book

Written by : M. K. Gandhi
Compiled and Edited by : Sailesh Kumar Bandopadhyaya
First Edition : 3,000 copies, November 1960
ISBN : 81-7229-223-6
Printed and Published by : Navajivan Mudranalaya,
© Navajivan Trust, 1960


Chapter 108: Congress Ministers and Non-violence

Shri Shankarrao Dev writes:
"Many people do not understand why those who call themselves Satyagrahis, resort to the use of the military and the police, the moment they become ministers of Governments. The people feel that this is a breach of both the creed and the policy of Ahimsa. This popular belief seems to be consistent with reason. The inconsistency between belief and action of the Congress ministers and the exploitation of the same by their opponents, both Congress and non-Congress, makes it hard for our workers to stand up to the criticism.
"Generally speaking, Congress Ahimsa has been the Ahimsa of the weak. It was bound to be sc in the present development of the country and this fact is well known to you. You claim that there is a special fire in the Ahimsa of the strong. At the same time you accepted leadership of the weak, in order to make them strong through the use of Ahimsa. And, in spite of their weakness, governmental power has today come into their hands. It is impossible for them today to put down disturbances without the use of the police and the military, and if they tried to do so, they would not only not succeed, but they would not get the co-operation of the people either.
"I did once ask you, whether a Satyagrahi should take high office if it came his way and if he did, how should he promote non-violence? I hold that the person who has made non-violence his creed, should not take office and he will never be happy there. But there can be no such difficulty for those who have accepted Ahimsa only as a policy. Many Congressmen have accepted office and you have permitted them to do so. The question arises as to whether you can expect those who believe in Ahimsa, to act up to it, at least in their personal capacity, during disturbances. Further, having acquired strength through non-violence, how should it be used, in order to bring in a State, where there is need for the least government? If you cannot lighten our path towards the desired goal, Satyagraha will not be considered a full-fledged weapon."
From my point of view the answer is easy. I have been saying for some time, that the words "truth and non­violence" should be removed from the Congress constitution. But whether they are actually removed or not, let us assume that they are and then we shall be able to come to an independent judgment on the Tightness or wrongness of any action. I am convinced that so long as we have to rely on the use of the military and even the police for preserving internal order, we shall continue to remain the slaves of either Britain or some- other foreign power. It matters little then, whether the Government is in the hands of Congress or non-Congressmen. Let us assume that Congress ministers are not pledged to non-violence. Let us further assume that Hindus, Mussalmans and others want military and police protection. If they do, they will continue to receive it. Those ministers, who are wedded to non­violence, must resign, since they would object to the use of the military and the police. The significance of it all is that so long as our people have not the wisdom to come to a mutual understanding, so long will goondaism continue and we shall not be able to generate the true strength of Ahimsa within us.
Now as to how this non-violent strength can be created. I gave the answer to this question in the Harijan of August 4th, in replying to a letter from Ahmedabad. So long as we have not cultivated the strength to die with courage and love in our hearts, we cannot hope to develop the Ahimsa of the strong.
There remains the question as to whether in an ideal society, there should be any or no government. I do not think, we need worry ourselves about this at the moment. If we continue to work for such a society, it will slowly come into being to an extent, such that the people can benefit by it. Euclid's line is one without breadth but no one has so far been able to draw it and never will. All the same it is only by keeping the ideal line in mind that we have made progress in geometry. What is true here is true of every ideal.
It must be remembered that nowhere in the world, does a State without government exist. If at all it could ever come into being, it would be in India; for, ours is the only country where the attempt has, at any rate, been made. We have not yet been able to show that bravery to the degree which is necessary and for the attainment of which there is only one way. Those who have faith in the latter, have to demonstrate it. In order to do so, the fear of death has to be completely shed, just as we have shed the fear of prisons.
New Delhi,

Harijan, 15-9-1946