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 120: A Venture In Faith

Early in the morning on Wednesday last Gandhiji announced to his party an important decision. He had decided to disperse his party detailing each member, including the ladies, to settle down in one affected village and make himself or herself hostage of the safety and security of the Hindu minority of that village. They must be pledged to protect with their lives, if necessary, the Hindu population of that village.
He was going to bury himself in East Bengal until such time that the Hindus and Mussalmans learnt to live together in harmony and peace. He would deprive himself of the services of all his companions and fend for himself with whatever assistance he could command locally.
That evening he explained his idea further to the party. A discussion followed in which Shri Thakkar Bapa and Shrimati Sucheta Kripalani also took part. His Ahimsa would be incomplete, he argued, unless he took that step. Either Ahimsa is the law of life or it is not. A friend used to say that the Ahimsa Sutra in Patanjali, Ahimsa pratishthayam tatsannidhau vairatyagah ( अहिंसा प्रतिष्ठायां तत्संन्निधौ वैरत्यागः। ) was a mistake and needed to be amended and the saying Ahimsa paramo dharmah ( अहिंसा परमो धर्मः। ) ought to be read as Himsa paramo dharmah ( हिंसा परमो धर्मः। ) in other words, violence, not non-violence was the supreme law. If at the crucial moment he lost faith in the law of non-violence, he must accept the deceased friend's amendment which appeared to him to be absurd.
"I know the women of Bengal better than probably the Bengalis do. Today they feel crushed and helpless. The sacrifice of myself and my companions would at least teach them the art of dying with self-respect. It might open too the eyes of the oppressors and melt their hearts. I do not say that the moment my eyes are closed theirs will open. But that will be the ultimate result, I have not the slightest doubt. If Ahimsa disappears, Hindu Dharma disappears."
"The issue is not religious but political. It is not a movement against the Hindus, but against the Congress," remarked one member of the party.
"Do you not see that they think that the Congress is a purely Hindu body? And do not forget that I have no water-tight compartments such as religious, political and others. Let us not lose ourselves in a forest of words. How to solve the tangle—violently or non-violently—is the question. In other words, has my method efficacy today?"
Another member asked whether it was right to invite people to return to their villages under the prevailing conditions which involved a considerable amount of risk. Gandhiji's reply was that there was no harm in asking them to return to their villages if the Muslims of that village collectively guaranteed their safety and their guarantee was backed by one good Hindu and one good Mussalman, who would stay with them in that village and protect them by laying down their lives, if necessary. If there was that much guarantee, the refugees ought to return to their homes and face whatever risk there might be. If they had not the courage to live on these terms, Hinduism was doomed to disappear from East Bengal. The question of East Bengal is not one of Bengal alone. The battle for India is today being decided in East Bengal. Today Mussalmans are being taught by some that Hindu religion is an abomination and therefore forcible conversion of Hindus to Islam a merit. It would save to Islam at least the descendants of those who were .forcibly converted. If retaliation is to rule the day, the Hindus, in order to win, will have to outstrip the Mussalmans in the nefarious deeds that the latter are reported to have done. The United Nations set out to fight Hitler with his weapons and ended by out- Hitlering Hitler.
"How can we reassure the people when the miscreants are still at large in these villages?" was the last question asked of him.
"That is why," replied Gandhiji, "I have insisted upon one good Mussalman standing security along with a good Hindu for the safety and security of those who might be returning. The former will have to be provided by the Muslim Leaguers who form the Bengal Government."
In a letter to a friend he wrote from Dattapara: "The work I am engaged in here may be my last act. If I return from here alive and unscathed, it will be like a new birth to me. My Ahimsa is being tried here through and through as it was never before."

Harijan, 24-11-1946