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


Editor's Note

Truth and non-violence are the twin pillars on which rested the entire framework of the magnificent edifice of Mahatma Gandhi's glorious life and work, which, according to the eminent scientist Einstein, was so spectacular that "generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth." To the Mahatma, of course, truth and non-violence were the two sides of the same coin. Hence one can under­stand the importance of non-violence in the working of Mahatma Gandhi's Weltanschauung or the philosophy of life.
Propagation of non-violence was no novel or unpre­cedented act of the Mahatma. As he himself has rightly said, "I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could." Verily, Gandhiji was pioneer in the field of applying the talisman of Ahimsa or non-violence, which until then was accepted by saints as a means to attain individual Moksha or salvation from this material world, for the solution of day-to-day problems of the common man. To him life was an undivided whole and it could not be partitioned into water-tight compartments. Therefore, a true revolutionary as he was, he made it a mission of his life to see that the age-old dictum of non-violence gets its rightful place in the community of the future and all the relations and activities of the society are carried on on the basis of this universal doctrine.
To tell the truth, non-violence today has become a more pressing cry of the entire humanity than in any particular phase of the human history. The tremendous advent in the sphere of physical science has created such lethal weapons, before which the extinction of the human civilization, nay, even the species itself is a matter of a few seconds. In the ancient times when science and technology were in their infant stage, men could afford to be violent. But in the mid-twentieth century, when the world has been divided into two warring camps, armed to teeth with the latest models of armaments of total annihilation, the very urge of self-preservation has made it imperative on our part to embrace non-violence. Acharya Vinoba Bhave, the well-reputed protagonist of non-violence in modern India, has rightly remarked that this is an age when we must have to make proper synthesis of Vijnana and Atmajnana, i.e. science and self-knowledge. Not only Gandhians like Vinoba but so many others from all over the world have echoed the same voice and have said that without the guidance of the Spirit the present civilization is like a ship without a rudder. And what is the guidance of Spirit if it is not non-violence, i.e. pure love?
In trying to understand Gandhiji and his non-violence we should not overlook one important aspect of the truth. Gandhiji was no philosopher in the dogmatic sense of the term. He did not cut himself adrift from the daily problems and struggles of the mankind and take refuge in a solitary physical and mental corner to formulate his philosophy of non-violence. His was the unique technique of taking active role in the process of the solution of the everyday problems of the downtrodden and in this process he evolved, like a lotus that blooms petal after petal, his non-violence. Hence in the restricted sense of the term, his was a realistic philosophy and that is why he was not tired of calling himself a practical idealist. Whatever he has uttered in this respect war first experimentally proved by him and therefore it is a negation of truth if one says that the teachings of Gandhiji are meant for the Mahatmas alone and not for the man on the street. To such critics the entire life and work of Gandhiji are glaring testimonies.
It is but natural that such an important subject should be a matter of deep interest for all, who are concerned with the wellbeing of the mankind. The Navajivan Publishing House has rendered a unique service to the cause of non-violence by publishing the two volumes of Non-violence in Peace and War by Gandhiji, being the collection of his speeches and writings from 1921 to his last day. But as the said two volumes run near about 1000 pages, it was felt essential to present the basic thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi on non-violence in a handy single volume and the following pages are the outcome of that effort. The editor knows full well how difficult it is to undertake the job of abridging the writings and speeches of a person, who was not in the habit of using one single word that was not absolutely essential. Moreover he was always conscious of his limitations as an editor. But the urge of producing one such volume for the common reader interested to know the views of the Mahatma on non-violence, has provoked him to undertake this arduous job. While editing strict vigilance has been maintained to see that the author's ideas are not distorted. At a few places only the editor has inserted a word or two of his own for the purpose of maintaining the continuity of thought and correct syntax. But such words have been given within brac­kets, so that they can be distinguished from the writings of Gandhiji. The editor is aware that his efforts are not up to the mark and, therefore, he invites all suggestions for the improvement of the volume.
Before concluding I must make a special reference to the all-out help and co-operation I have received from Shri Jivanjibhai Desai, the Managing Trustee of the Navajivan Trust, without whose active interest in this venture it would not have been possible for me to prepare this volume. I hope that along with me the readers of the present volume would also appreciate his noble effort and sincere endeavour in popularizing the summum bonum of the greatest votary of peace of our age.

Sailesh Kumar Bandopadhaya