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 146: Press Statement

I regret to have to report to you that last night some young men brought to the compound a bandaged man. He was reported to have been attacked by some Muslims. The Prime Minister had him examined and the report was that he had no marks of stabbing, which he was said to have received. The seriousness of the injury, however, is not the chief point. What I want to emphasize is that these young men tried to become judges and executioners.
This was about 10 p.m. Calcutta time. They began to shout at the top of their voices. My sleep was disturbed but I tried to lie quiet, not knowing what was happening. I heard the window panes being smashed. I had lying on either side of me two very brave girls. They would not sleep, and without my knowledge, for my eyes were closed, they went among the small crowd and tried to pacify them. Thank God, the crowd did not do any harm to them. The old Muslim lady in the house endearingly called Bi Amma and a young Muslim stood near my matting, I suppose, to protect me from harm.
The noise continued to swell. Some had entered the central hall, and began to knock open the many doors. I felt that I must get up and face the angry crowds. I stood at the threshold of one of the doors. Friendly faces surrounded me and would not let me move forward. My vow of silence admitted of my breaking it on such occasions and I broke it and began to appeal to the angry young men to be quiet. I asked the Bengali grand-daughter-in-law to translate my few words into Bengali. All to no purpose. Their ears were closed against reason.
I clasped my hands in the Hindu fashion nothing doing. More window panes began to crack. The friendly ones in the crowd tried to pacify the crowd. There were police officers. Be it said to their credit that they did not try to exercise authority. They too clasped their hands in appeal. A lathi blow missed me and everybody round me. A brick aimed at me hurt a Muslim friend standing by. The two girls would not leave me and held on to me to the last. Meanwhile the Police Superintendent and his officers came in. They too did not use force. They appealed to me to retire. Then there was a chance of their stilling the young men. After a time the crowd melted.
What happened outside the compound gate I do not know except that the police had to use tear gas to disperse the crowd. Meanwhile, Dr. P. C. Ghosh, Ananda Babu and Dr. Nripen walked in and after some discussion left. Happily, Shaheed Saheb had gone home to prepare for tomorrow's proposed departure for Noakhali. In view of the above ugly incident, which no one could tell where it would lead to, I could not think of leaving Calcutta for Noakhali.
What is the lesson of the incident? It is clear to me that if India is to retain her dearly-won independence all men and women must completely forget lynch law. What was attempted was an indifferent imitation of it. If Muslims misbehaved, the complainants could, if they would not go to the ministers, certainly go to me or my friend, Shaheed Saheb. The same thing applies to Muslim complainants. There is no way of keeping the peace in Calcutta or elsewhere if the elementary rule of civilized society is not observed. Let them not think of the savagery of the Punjab or outside India. The recognition of the golden rule of never taking the law into -one's own hands has no exceptions.
My Secretary, Dev Prakash, in Patna, wires: 'Public agitated Punjab happenings. Feel statement necessary impressing duty of public and the Press.' Shri Dev Prakash is never unduly agitated. There must be some unguarded word by the Press. If that is so, at this time when we are sitting on a powder magazine, the Forth Estate has to be extra-wise and reticent. Unscrupulousness will act as a lighted match. I hope every editor and reporter will realize his duty to the full.
One thing I must mention. I have an urgent message calling me to the Punjab. I hear all kinds of rumours about recrudescence of trouble in Calcutta. I hope they are exaggerated, if not quite baseless. The citizens of Calcutta have to reassure me that there would be nothing wrong in Calcutta and that peace, once restored, will not be broken.
From the very first day of peace, that is August 14th last, I have been saying that the peace might only be a temporary lull. There was no miracle. Will the foreboding prove true and will Calcutta again lapse into the law of the jungle? Let us hope not, let us pray to the Almighty that He will touch our hearts and ward off the recurrence of insanity.
Since the foregoing was written, i.e. about 4 o'clock, during silence, I have come to know fairly well the details of what has happened in various parts of the city. Some of the places which were safe till yesterday have suddenly become unsafe. Several deaths have taken place. I saw two bodies of very poor Muslims. I saw also some wretched-looking Muslims being carted away to a place of safety. I quite see that last night's incidents so fully described above, pale into insignificance before this flareup. Nothing that I may do in the way of going about in the open conflagration could possibly arrest it.
I have told the friends who saw me in the evening what their duty is. What part am I to play in order to stop it? The Sikhs and the Hindus must not forget what the East Punjab has done during these few days. Now the Muslims in the West Punjab have begun the mad career. It is said that the Sikhs and the Hindus are enraged over the Punjab happenings.
I have adverted above to an urgent call for me to go to the Punjab. But now that the Calcutta bubble seems to have burst, with what face can I go to the Punjab? The weapon which has hitherto proved infallible for me is fasting. To put an appearance before a yelling crowd does not always work. It certainly did not last night. What my word in person cannot do, my fast may. It may touch the hearts of all the warring elements in the Punjab if it does in Calcutta. I, therefore, begin fasting from 8-15 tonight to end only if and when sanity returns to Calcutta.
I shall, as usual permit myself to add salt and soda bicarb to the water I may wish to drink during the fast.
If the people of Calcutta wish me to proceed to the Punjab and help the people there, they have to enable me to break the fast as early as may be.