WHAT IS a non essential to a Hindu may be an essential to a Musalman. And in all non-essential matters a Hindu must yield for the asking. It is criminal folly to quarrel over trivialities.
No Resort to Force
This (that we do not break one anotherís heads in respect of religious matters) is the only pact that is immediately necessary between the parties, and I am sure that everything else will follow.
Unless this elementary condition is recognized, we have no atmosphere for considering the ways and means of removing mis-understanding and arriving at an honourable lasting settlement.
For political matters a pact or an understanding is certainly necessary. But, in my opinion, the restoration of friendly feeling is a condition precedent to any effectual pact. Are both parties sincerely willing to accept the proposition that no dispute, religious or otherwise, between the communities should ever be decided by an appeal to fore, i.e., violence?
I wish that the so-called alliance between the Musalmans and the Hindus will become a permanent reality based on a frank recognition of enlightened self-interest. It will then transmute the iron of sordid imperialism into the gold of humanitarianism. The Hindu Muslim alliance is intended to be a blessing to India and to the world, for it is conceived in a spirit of peace and goodwill to all. It has adopted non-violence and truth as the indispensable means for achieving Swaraj in India. Its symbol the Charkha, the spinning wheel is a symbol of simplicity, self-reliance, self control, voluntary co-operation among millions. If such an alliance proves a menace to the world, then there is no God, or God is asleep.
I feel that any agreement between the component parts of the nation must be voluntary and must remain so far all time. It must not, if it is conceived in terms of Swaraj, depend for its final ratification or enforcement upon legal enactment. Ratification by our respective organizations must be held to be final and binding. Enforcement must depend upon the honour of the leaders of the respective parties and ultimately, in the absence of reliance on non-violence, on the arbitrament of civil war fought decently or indecently, as the case my be.
It cannot be that party seeks to force a pact by violent means. Even if such a pact were a possibility, it would not be worth the paper on which it might be written. For, behind such a pact, there will be no common understanding. What is more, even after a pact is arrived at, it would be too much to expect that there would never be any communal riots.
I cannot think in terms of narrow Hinduism or narrow Islam. I am wholly uninterested in a patchwork solution.
Union Of Hearts
Communal pacts, whilst they are good if they can be had, are valueless unless they are backed by the union of hearts. Without it, there can be no peace in the land. Even Pakistan can bring no peace, if there is no union of hearts. This union can come only by mutual service and co-operative work.