Speech at the Prayer Meeting on 4th January 1948
“Today there is talk of war everywhere. Everyone fears a war breaking out between the two countries. If that happens it will be a calamity both for India and for Pakistan. India has written to the U.N. because whenever there is a fear of conflict anywhere the U.N. is asked to promote a settlement and to stop fighting from breaking out. India therefore wrote to the U. N. O. however trivial the issue may appear to be, it could lead to a war between the two countries. It is a long memorandum and it has been cabled. Pakistan’s leaders Zafrullah Khan and Liaquat Ali Khan have since issued long statements. I would take leave to say that their argument does not appeal to me. You may ask if I approve of the Union Government approaching the UNO I may say that I both approve and do not approve of what they did. I approve of it, because after all what else are they to do? They are convinced that what they are doing is right. If there are raids from outside the frontier of Kashmir, the obvious conclusion is that it must be with the connivance of Pakistan. Pakistan can deny it. But the denial does not settle the matter. Kashmir has acceded the accession upon certain conditions. If Pakistan harasses Kashmir and if Sheikh Abdullah who is the leader of Kashmir asks the Indian Union for help, the latter is bound to send help. Such help therefore was sent to Kashmir. At the same time Pakistan is being requested to get out of Kashmir and to arrive at a settlement with India over the question through bilateral negotiations. If no settlement can be reached in this way then a war is inevitable. It is to avoid the possibility of war that the Union Government has taken the step it did. Whether they are right in doing so or not God alone knows. Whatever might have been the attitude of Pakistan, if I had my way I would have invited Pakistan’s representatives to India and we could have met, discussed the matter and worked out some settlement. They keep saying that they want an amicable settlement but they do nothing to create the conditions for such a settlement. I shall therefore humbly say to the responsible leaders of Pakistan that though we are now two countries – which is a thing I never wanted – we should at least try to arrive at an agreement so that we could live as peaceful neighbors. Let us grant for the sake of argument that all Indians are bad, but Pakistan at least is a new-born nation which has more ever come into being in the name of religion and it should at least keep itself clean. But they themselves make no such claim. It is not their argument that Muslims have committed no atrocities in Pakistan. I shall therefore suggest that it is now their duty, as far as possible, to arrive at an amicable understanding with India and live in harmony with her. Mistakes were made on both sides. Of this I have no doubt. But this does not mean that we should persist in those mistakes, for then in the end we shall only destroy ourselves in a war and the whole of the sub-continent will pass into the hands of some third power. That will be the worst imaginable fate for us. I shudder to think of it. Therefore the two Dominions should come together with God as witness and find a settlement. The matter is now before the UNO. It cannot be withdrawn from there. But if India and Pakistan come to a settlement the big powers in the UNO will have to endorse that settlement. They will not object to the settlement. They themselves can only say that they will do their best to see that the two countries arrive at an understanding through mutual discussions. Let us pray to God is to grant that we may either learn to live in amity with each other or if we must light to let us fight to the very end. That may be folly but sooner or later it will purify us.”
Satyagraha Truth’s journeys.
“Non-violence is a matchless weapon, which can help everyone. I know we have not done much by way of non-violence and therefore, if such changes come about, I will take it that it is the result of our labors during the last twenty-two years and that God has helped us achieve it… I want you to adopt non-violence as a matter of policy. With me it is a creed, but so far as you are concerned I want you to accept it as policy. As disciplined soldiers you must accept it in toto, and stick to it when you join the struggle.”
Mon mor megher shongi, The peacock that is my heart is a friend like the cloud. Ure chale dhigdhigantherra pane. It wanders to all the corners of the world. Nisheemo shunaeye, and in the dark universe shrabonobarshanesangite brings with it the season of the sraban month and with it the pitter patter sound of rain. Rimijhim rimijhim rimijhim. Mono mor hanshabalakar pakhai jai ure, My heart thus transformed into a swan has now taken flight. Kochito kochito chokito thorito-aloke. Lightning covering heaven and earth. Jhanmanjarir bajai jhanjha rudra anade. My heart sings and melts the broken hearted. Kalo-kalo kalomandre nirjharinee. Black hearts weep for redemption, Dak dey praloy-ahwabhane. That is what time demands Bayu bahe purbasamudra hothae See the winds shake oceans, Uchchalo chalo-chalo tatinitarange waves leaping hither and thither. Mono mor dhai thari matho prabahe, My heart is full and wants to share its riches with the world. Taal-tamalo-araneya, With tender renditions, Khuddha shakhar andolone speaks of Almighty God’s rule universally.
MK Gandhi: “Zionism in its spiritual sense is a noble aspiration, but Zionism which aims at the re-occupation of Palestine by Jews does not appeal to me. I understand the yearning of the Jew to return to the land of his forefathers. He can and should do that in so far as this return can be achieved without English or Jewish bayonets. In that case the Jew who goes to Palestine can live in perfect peace and friendship with the Arabs. The real Zionism which rests in the hearts of the Jews is an aim one should strive and give one’s life. Such a Zionism is the abode of God. The true Jerusalem is a spiritual Jerusalem. And that spiritual Zionism can be realized by the Jew in every part of the world.”