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SATYAGRAHA / CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE > Speech at Dabhan
Speech At Dabhan
March 15, 1930
I have come to know that a Headman, a Matadar and a watchman of Kanakapura have submitted their resignations. I hope that you have handed in those resignations willingly and that none of you would not, seeking pardon, withdraw them. When we have once taken a vow, we shall not withdraw them even if we die.
Your Headman has submitted his resignation but his old uncle has registered himself as a volunteer. It is not that only young people can join this struggle. This is a religious as also a nonviolent struggle and even children can take part in it. The names of some women have also been received by me. I have received names even of children below the age of fifteen and I do not hesitate to mention them.
I have received names of many more old men also and they say that it is better to die in jail than outside it, but only out of thoughtfulness I do not take them along with me. On reaching Dandi, we shall call them first and send them first to jail.
I hope that the Headmen and Matadars from the neighbouring villages also will send in their resignations.
Although we claim to practise cow-protection, we should now call it buffalo-protection or service to buffaloes. In this town of Dabhan, there are three hundred buffaloes as against three cows. This suggests that we are ignorant of animals husbandry. In this district, it is difficult to obtain cow's milk or ghee for sick persons or for those who have taken the vow to serve only the cow. Goseva does not mean saving the cows from Muslims or Englishmen—this amounts to cow-slaughter. That is a misinterpretation of the term goseva.
The number of cows sent to Australia to be slaughtered is a hundred times the number that are slaughtered in India by the Muslims. If you desire to see to it that cows are not exported abroad; you should all train yourselves in animal husbandry and act in accordance with that science.
I do not recall the taste of buffalo milk. Hence I cannot distinguish it from cow's milk. However, doctors have testified that buffalo's milk and ghee are not as nourishing as those of the cow and Europeans do not even touch the milk of the buffalo.
Ours is a holy war. It is a nonviolent struggle. Even women and children can take part in it. The soldiers of satyagraha will never do what the ordinary soldiers do. Your village consumes 800 maunds of salt a year, and thus pays money to the Government without reason. The Government appropriates to itself all the taxes you pay without making any return to you. We wish to throw off that burden and hence we demand complete freedom. If you feel strong enough, give up Government jobs, enlist yourselves as soldiers in this salt satyagraha, burn your foreign cloth and wear khadi. Give up liquor. There are many things within your power through which you can secure the keys which will open the gates of freedom.
Navajivan, 30-3-1930