The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi
[ Encyclopedia of Gandhi's Thoughts ]

The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi

(Encyclopedia of Gandhi's Thoughts)

Compiled & Edited by :
R. K. Prabhu & U. R. Rao

Table of Contents

An Introduction
  2. TRUTH
  4. FAITH

About This Book

Compiled & Edited by : R. K. Prabhu & U. R. Rao
With Forewords by: Acharya Vinoba Bhave & Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
I.S.B.N :81-7229-149-3
Published by : Jitendra T. Desai,
Navajivan Mudranalaya,
Ahmedabad - 380 014,
© Navajivan Trust, 1960


Chapter-85: Communal Harmony

IF NOT during my life-time, if know that after my death both Hindus and Mussalmans will bear witness that I had never ceased to yearn after communal peace.

(YI, 11-5-1921, p. 148)

My longing is to be able to cement the two [Hindus and Muslims] with my blood, if necessary.

(YI, 25-9-1924, p. 314)

I have the same love for the Mussalman as for the Hindu. My heart feels for the Mussalman as much as for the Hindu. If I could tear it open, you would discover there are no compartments in it, one reserved for the Hindu, another for the Mussalman and so on.

(YI, 13-8-1921, p. 215)

Meaning Of Unity
[Hindu-Muslim unity] has been my passion from early youth. I count some of the noblest of Muslims as my friends. I have a devout daughter of Islam as more than daughter to me. She lives for that unity and would cheerfully die for it. I had the son of the late Muezzin of the Jama Masjid of Bombay as a staunch inmate of the Ashram.

(H, 30-4-1938, p. 99)

[Hindu-Muslim unity] consists in our having a common purpose, a common goal and common sorrows. It is best promoted by co-operating to reach the common goal by sharing of one another's sorrows and by mutual toleration.

(YI, 25-2-1920, p. 3)

Hindu-Muslim unity means not unity only between Hindus and Mussalmans, but between all those who believe India to be their home, no matter to what faith they belong.

(YI, 11-5-1921, p. 148)

Love is the basis of our friendship as it is of religion. I seek to gain Mussalman friendship by right of love. And if love persists even on the part of one community, unity will become a settled fact in our national life.

(YI, 20-10-1921, p. 333)

One Family
The golden way is to be friends with the world and to regard the whole human family like members of one family. He who distinguishes between one's family and another's mis-educates the members of his own and opens the way for discord and irreligion.

(H, 17-11-1946, p. 402)

Communal Riots
The lawlessness [of communalism] is a monster with many faces. It hurts all in the end, including those who are primarily responsible for it.

(H, 15-9-1940, p.284)

If one side ceases to retaliate, the riots will not go on.

(H, 14-7-1946, p. 219)

To retaliate against the relatives of the co-religionists of the wrong-doer is a cowardly act.

(H, 17-11-1946, p.408)

There must arise in Islam as well as Hinduism men who, being comparatively pure in character, would work among such men

(GOONDAS).(YI, 29-8-1924, p. 181)

We would convert and control the hooligan elements.

(H, 7-4-1946, p. 74)

There is no room for GOONDAISM in any religion worth the name, be it Islam, Hinduism or any other.

(H, 5-1-1947, p. 478)

Respect For Religions
Each must respect the other's religion must refrain from even secretly thinking ill of the other.

(YI, 7-5-1919)

No propaganda can be allowed which reviles other religions.

(YI, 29-5-1924, p.180)

To revile one another's religion, to make reckless statements, to utter untruth, to break the heads of innocent men, to desecrate temples or mosques is a denial of God.

(YI, 25-9-1924, p. 313)

The key to the solution of the [communal] tangle lies in every one following the best in this own religion and entertaining equal regard for the other religions and their followers.

(H, 4-1-1948, p. 497)

In trying to explore the hidden treasures of ancient culture, I have come upon this inestimable boon that all that is permanent in ancient Hindu culture is also to be found in the teaching of Jesus, the Buddha, Mohamed and Zoroaster.

(WGC, p. 131)

Hinduism has absorbed the best of all the faiths of the world and in that sense is not an exclusive religion. Hence it can have no quarrel with Islam or its followers.

(H, 28-9-1947, p. 349)

The sword is no emblem of Islam. But Islam was born in an environment where the sword was, and still remains, the supreme law... The sword is yet too much in evidence among the Mussalmans. It must be sheathed if Islam is to be what it means-peace.

(YI, 30-12-1926, p. 458)

Islam distinctive contribution..... is its unadulterated belief in the oneness of God and a practical application of the truth of the brotherhood of man for those who are nominally within its fold.

(YI, 21-3-1929, p. 95)

Islam means peace. The peace cannot be confined to the Muslims. It must mean peace for the whole world.

(H, 22-8-1940, p. 294)

The days of forcible conversion are gone.

(YI, 30-12-1926, p. 148)

It is the transference of allegiance from one fold to another and the mutual denying of rival faiths which gives rise to mutual hatred.

(YI, 6-1-1927, p. 1)

There is nothing in the Koran to warrant the use of force for conversion.

(YI, 29-9-1921, p. 307)

Just as we do not break one another's heads in respect of civil matters, so may we not do even in respect of religious matters.

(YI, 29-5-1924, p. 176)

I am convinced that the masses do not want to fight, if the leaders do not. If therefore the leaders agree that mutual rows should be, as in all advanced countries, erased out of our public life as being barbarous and irreligious, I have no doubt that the masses will quietly follow them.

(ibid, p.182)

It [arbitration] is an age-long method and a civilized method.

(H, 24-5-1942, p. 166)

Mutual toleration is a necessity for all time and for all races.

(YI, 25-2-1920, p. 3)

Honest public opinion should make it impossible for grieved parties to take the law into their own hands and every case [of dispute] must be referred to private arbitration or to law courts....

(YI, 5-6-1924, p. 188)

Music Before Mosques
Where the Hindus have long been deliberately observing the custom to stop music before mosques, they must not break it. But where they have been playing music without interference, the practice should continue. Where trouble is apprehended and facts are disputed both communities ought to refer the matter to arbitration.

(YI, 18-9-1924, p. 312)

The Cow
The Hindu's religion consists in saving the cow, but it can never be his religion to save the cow by a resort to force towards a non-Hindu.

(ibid, p. 311)

... It would be unwise... and improper for a Hindu majority to coerce by legislation a Mussalman minority into submission to statutory prohibition of cow slaughter.

(YI, 29-1-1925, p. 38)

My advice about the adoption of the scripts (Hindi and Urdu) by Hindus and Muslims is based on the unitary method.

(H, 1-2-1942, p. 27)

The Services
It will be fatal to good government if we introduce there [in Government departments] the communal spirit.

(YI, 29-5-1924, p. 182)

Minorities are entitled to t he fullest justice. Efficiency and merit alone should count...

(H, 27-7-1947, p. 50)

The unity we desire will last only if we cultivate an yielding and charitable disposition towards one another.

(YI, 11-5-1921, p. 148)

Toleration is the only thing that will enable persons belonging to different religions to live as good neighbours and friends.

(H, 3-11-1946, p. 383)

Nationalism is greater than sectarianism. And in that sense, we are Indians first and Hindus, Mussalmans, Parsis and Christians after.

(YI, 26-1-1922, p.62)

The state is bound to be wholly secular... All subjects will thus be equal in the eye of the law. But every single individual will be free to pursue a religion without let or hindrance so long as it does not transgress the common law.

(H, 31-8-1947, p. 297)

Equal Citizenship
The minorities must be made to realize that they are as much valued citizens of the State they live in as the majority to look to for justice.

(H, 7-9-1947, p. 310)

If the Hindu majority treasure their religion and duty, they will be just at all cost. They will overlook the limitations or mistakes of the minority who have no one but the majority to look to for justice.

(H, 31-8-1947, p. 298)

You should treat the Muslims as equal citizens. Equality of treatment demands respect for the Urdu script.

(H, 26-10-1947, p.383)

No oppression should be felt by the minorities, however small they may be. There is need for the gentlest handling of all such questions [as language, script]

(ibid, p. 387)

My one aim with respect to the Hindu-Muslim question is that the solution will be complete only when the minority, whether in the Indian Union or Pakistan, feels perfectly safe, even if they are in the minority of one.

(H, 14-9-1947, p. 323)

Hindu and Sikh women should go to the Muslim sisters and establish friendship with them. They should invite them on ceremonial occasions and be invited. Muslim girls and boy should be attracted to common schools, not communal. They should mix in sports.

(H, 25-1-1940, p. 536)