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 48: Unrepentant

"Two English friends, who admire you, say your appeal to every Briton cannot have any effect just now. It is impossible to expect the man in the street to do a complete vole face with any degree of understanding — indeed it is impossible for the understanding to do, as you say, without a heart-belief in non-violence. The time to mould a new world on your lines will be after the war. They realize your way is the right one, but they say it needs endless preparation and instruction and big leadership — none of which they possess. Regarding India they say the attitude of the present authority is deplorable. Long ago India should have been declared as independent as Canada, and her people should be allowed to work out their own constitution. But what they are extremely perplexed about now is that you want absolute independence straightaway, and the next step you will take is 'no further help to Britain in the prosecution of war, surrender to Germany, and opposition to her by non-violent means'. You must explain what you mean in more detail so as to remove this misunderstanding. This is an honest reaction."
The appeal was intended, to produce the effect now. It could not come out of a mathematical calculation. If the conviction could have come, action was an easy matter. The mass mind responds under pressure. That the appeal has not produced the intended result shows that either my word has no power or that God has a purpose of which we have no knowledge. The appeal has come from an anguished heart. I could not suppress it. It was not written for the moment. I am quite sure that it enunciates a truth of eternal value.
If the ground is not prepared from now, there may be no time left after a dismal termination of the war for evolving a new order. Whatever the order, it will be in response to a conscious or unconscious effort from now. Indeed the effort began before my appeal. I hope that it has stimulated it, perhaps given it a definite direction. I suggest to the non-official leaders and moulders of British opinion, if they are convinced of the truth of my position, to work for its adoption. Compared to the big issue raised in my appeal, the question of Indian independence pales into insignificance. But I hold with the two Englishmen that the British government's attitude is deplorable. The two friends are wholly wrong in the deduction they have drawn from the assumed recognition of India's independence. They forget that I am out of the picture. Those who are responsible for the Working Committee's last resolution have meant free India's co-operation with Britain. With them, there is no question of surrender to Germany or non-violent opposition.
But I must not here tarry on Indian independence and its implications, tempting though the subject is.
The cuttings and correspondence before me say that the Congress rejection of my advice to abstain from preparation for military defence of India precludes me from making the appeal to Britain or from expecting a favourable response. The argument is plausible, but only plausible. The critics say that, if I have failed with my people, I have no right to expect Britain whilst she is in the midst of a life and death struggle to listen to me. I am a man with a mission. India's millions have never tasted the bitters of war as the British have. Britain, if she is to fulfill her declared purpose, needs a radical change in her policy. I feel that I know the change that is needed. My inability to persuade the Working Committee is irrelevant to the theme under discussion. There is no analogy between India's case and Britain's. I am, therefore, wholly unrepentant. I maintain that in issuing my appeal I have acted wholly as a lifelong friend of Britain.
A writer, however, retorts: "Address your appeal to Hitler." In the first place, I did write to Herr Hitler. My letter was published in the press some time after I addressed it. In the second place, there can be no meaning in my appeal to Herr Hitler to adopt non-violence. He is marching from victory to victory. I can only appeal to him to desist. That I have done. But to Britain, which is just now on the defensive, I can present the really effective weapon of non-violent non-co-operation. Let my method be rejected on merits, not by bringing inapt analogies or untenable argument. The issue raised by me, I venture to think, is of universal importance. The usefulness of the non-violent method seems to be granted by all the critics. They gratuitously assume the impossibility of human nature, as it is constituted, responding to the strain involved in non-violent preparation. But that is begging the question. I say, “You have never tried the method on any scale. In so far as it has been tried, it has shown promising results."

Harijan, 21-7-1940