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08. THE VOW OF UNITY
IN THE huge mass meeting of Hindus and Mohammedans held in the Sonapur Masjid compound on Sunday the 6th April, the day of humiliation and prayer, a vow of Hindu0Muslim Unity was proposed to be taken as in the case of Swadeshi proposed at the Chowpaty meeting, and I had to utter a note of warning on the both occasions. At times, in a fit of joyous passion, we are spurred on to certain courses of action for which we have afterwards to repent. A vow is a purely religious act which cannot be taken in a fit of passion. It can be taken only with a mind purified and composed, and with God as witness. Most of what I have said whilst writing about the swadeshi vow applied here. Acts which are not possible by ordinary self-denial become possible with the aid of vows which require extraordinary self-denial. Hence vows can uplift us.
But the object of taking the vow is speedily to bring about by the power of self denial a state of things which can only be expected to come in the fullness of time. How is this possible? Meeting should be called of Hindus I mean the orthodox Hindus where this question should be seriously considered..
Our vow would have value only when masses of Hindus and Mohammedans join in the endeavour. I think I have now made sufficiently clear the seriousness and magnitude of this vow. I hope that on this auspicious occasion, and surely the occasion must be auspicious when a wave of Satyagraha is sweeping over the whole country, we could all take this vow of unity. For this, it is further necessary that leading Hindus and Mohammedans should meet together and seriously consider the questions and then pass an unanimous resolution at a public meeting. This consummation will certainly be reached if our present efforts are vigorously continued. I think the vow may be taken individually even now and I expect that numerous people will do so every day. My warnings have reference to the taking of the vow publicly by masses of men. If it is taken by the masses, it should, in my humble opinion, be as follows:
With God as witness, we Hindus and Mohammedans declare that we shall behave towards one and another as children of the same parents, that we shall have no differences, that the sorrows of the other and that each shall help the other in removing them. We shall respect each otherís religion and religious feelings and shall not stand in the way of our respective religious practices. We shall always refrain from violence to each other in the name of religions.