IN MANY places we see that each community harbours distrust against the other. Each fears the other. It is an undoubted fact that this anomalous and wretched state things is improving day to day. The time spirit is ceaselessly working on unchecked, and willy-nilly we have to live together.
I know that there is much, too much
destruct of one another as yet. Many Hindus distrust Musalmanís
honesty. They believe that Swaraj means Musalman Raj, for they argue
that without the British, Musalmans of India will aid Musalman power
to build a Musalman empire in India Musalmans, on the other hand,
fear that the Hindus being in an overwhelming majority will smother
them. Such an attitude of mind betokens impotence on eitherís part.
If not their desire to live in peace would dictate a policy of
mutual trust and mutual forbearance.
There is still too much mutual
distrust and consequent fear. I am not disappointed. The progress we
have made in that direction is indeed phenomenal. We seem to have
covered in eighteen months time to work of a generation. But
infinitely more is necessary. Neither the classes nor the masses
feel instinctively that our union is necessary as the breath of our
Another potent cause of the tension is
the growing distrust even among the best of us.
The leaders distrusted one another.
Distrust never comes from well-defined causes. A variety of causes,
more felt than realized breeds distrust. We have not yet visualized
the fact that our interests are identical. Each party seems vaguely
to believe that it can displace the other by some kind of
maneuvering. But I freely confess that our not knowing the kind of
Swaraj we want has also a great deal to do with the distrust used
not to think so. I am now a confirmed convert.
I can only guess and my guess (as to
the real cause; whether remote or immediate, of the frequent riots
and difference between Musalman and Hindus in North India and of
their absence or infrequency in south India) is that the two
communities quarrel more frequently in the North because they are
more equally balanced than in South. Where riots do take place, they
occur because both think communally and because either fears or
distrusts the other, and because neither has the courage or the
foresight to forgo the present for the sake of the future, or the
communal interests for the sake of the national.