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20. PROPAGANDA OF VILIFICATION
Members of one community, when talking about those of the other, at times indulge in terms so vulgar that they but accentuate the strained relations between the two. In Hindu society, we do not hesitate to indulge in unbecoming language when talking of Mahomedans and vice versa.
Fear has become a part of the national character. Non-co-operators will make a serious mistake if they seek to convert people to their creed by violence. They will play into the hands of the Government, if they use the slightest coercion towards anybody in the course of their propaganda.
To what pass some of us have come in our blind zeal for our respective faiths. We refuse to see anything wrong in ourselves. When such becomes the normal state of a majority of people belonging to a particular faith, that faith is dying. For nothing based on a lie can persist for any length of time.

Studies in Distortion
I have before my volumes of Agakhani literature which I have not yet had the time to study carefully, but I am assured that it is a distortion of Hinduism. I have seen enough of it to know that it describes H.H. the Agakhan as a Hindu avatar. It would be interesting to learn what the Agakhan himself thinks of all this literature. I have many Khoja friends. I commend this literature to their attention.
But the worst form is that preached by a gentleman of Delhi, I have read his pamphlet from cover to cover. It gives detailed instructions to preachers how to carry on propaganda. It starts with a lofty proposition that Islam is merely preaching of the unity of God. This grand truth is to be preached, according to the writer by every Musalman irrespective of character. A secret department of spices is advocated whose one business is to be to pry into the privacy of non-Muslim households. Prostitutes, professional singers, mendicants, government servants, lawyers, doctors, artisans, are pressed in to the service. If this kind of propaganda becomes popular, no Hindu household would be safe from the secret attention of disguised misinterpreters (I cannot call them missionaries) of the great message of the prophet of Islam. I am told by respectable Hindus that this pamphlet is widely read in the Nizam’s dominions and that the methods advocated init are extensively practiced there.
As a Hindu, I feel sorry that methods of such doubtful morality should have been seriously advocated by a gentleman who is a well-known Urdu author and has a large circle of readers. My Musalman friends tell me that no respectable Musalman approved of the methods advocated. The point, however, is not what the respectable Musalmans think. The point is whether a considerable number of Musalman masses accept and follow them. A portion of the Punjab press is simply scurrilous. It is at time even filthy. I have gone through the torture of reading many extracts. These sheets are conducted by Arya Samajists or Hindu and Muslaman writers. Each vies with the other in using abusive language and reviling the religion of the opponent. these papers, have, I understand a fairly large circulation. They find place even in-respective reading rooms.
I have heard it said that the Government emissaries are at the back of this campaign of calumny. I hesitate to believe it. But even assuming the truth of it, the public of the Punjab should be able to cope with the growing disgrace.
The language in some parts is simply revolting. I cannot disfigure these pages by reproducing it. I have also been favoured with a life, by a Musalman, of Swami Dayananand. I am sorry to say it is largely a distortion of the great reformer. Nothing that he did has escaped the author’s venom.

Role of the Press
The newspaper man becomes a walking plague. He spreads the contagion of lies and calumnies. He exhausts the foul vocabulary of his dialect and injects his virus into the unsuspecting and often receptive, minds of his readers.
The newspaper cutting in which partition is preached describes Hindus as practically untouchable. Nothing good can come out of Hindus or Hinduism. To live under Hindu rules is a sin. Even joint Hindu Muslim rules are not to be thought of. The cuttings show that Hindus and Muslims are already at war with one another and that they must prepare for the final tussle.

League Propaganda
If newspaper reports are to be believed, responsible Ministers in Sindh and other equally responsible Leaguers almost all over are preaching violence in naked language. Nakedness is itself a virtue as distinguished from hypocrisy. But when it is a hymn of obscenity, it is a vice to be shunned, whether it resides in a Leaguer or any other person. Any Muslim who is not in the League is a traitor says one. The Hindu is a Kafir deserving the fate of such, such, says another.
The Muslim League may call Hindus names and declares India to be Dar-ul-Harb, where the law of Jehad operates, and all Muslims who co-operative with the Congress as Quislings fit only to be exterminated. But we must not cease to aspire, in spite of this wild talk, to befriend all Musalmans and hold them fast as prisoners of our love.
By “Muslim” I mean the Muslim League. For, not all the Muslims are Muslims are Muslim Leaguers. The Muslim Leaguers have today raised the slogan that ten crores of Indian Muslims are in danger of being submerged and swept out of existence, unless they constitute themselves into a separate State. I call that slogan scaremongering, pure and simple. It is nonsense to say that any people can permanently crush or swamp out of existence one-forth of its population, which the Musalmans are in India.
Others said that some Muslim officials are being kept here in order to keep all Muslims in India loyal to Pakistan. Some said that the Muslims looked upon all the Hindus as Kafirs. Learned Muslims have told me that this is wholly in correct. The Hindus are as much followers of inspired scriptures as the Muslims, the Christians and the Jews.
As Urdu magazine published in the Union a verse to the effect that everyone is taking of the Somnath temple today. But in order to avenge the happenings in Junagadh, a new Gaznavi will have to come from Ghazni. This has deeply hurt me. How can any Muslim worth the name in the Union entertain such thoughts? Why should he not be proud to associate himself with the act of renovation of Somnath? I hope that no true Muslim will be pledged my life of secure safety for the Muslims in the Union. I will not swerve from my pledge, because I believe in returning amongst the Sunni Musalmans. The suspicion or fear of their having set the Hindus and Musalmans by the ears is always entertained, because both have quarreled so often. It is this habit of quarrelling that needs to be abandoned if we want to have Swaraj and retain it.
You may be certain that they (the disturbances) will end. If the British influence were withdrawn, they would end much quicker. While the British influence is here, both parties, I am sorry to confess, look to the British power for assistance.
The British officials should know what the people are whispering. Many believe that their hand is in the riots. I must refuse to believe the serious charge unless it is established beyond doubt.

Our Weakness
It is sign of weakness- not of fitness for Swaraj to go to the foreign ruling power to arbitrate between us or to enforce the peace between us at the point of the bayonet.
Largely, or I should say half and half, I the British attitude towards the communal question is an obstacle in my path. There has been consciously or unconsciously that the policy of divide and rule working here as in India. the British officials have something coquetted with one party, sometimes with another. Of course, if I were a British official, I would probably do the same and take advantage of dissensions to consolidate the rule. Our share of responsibility lies in the fact that we fall easy victims to the game.

Obstacle to Unity
I am firmly of opinion that there is no unity whilst the third party is there to prevent it. It created the artificial division and it keeps it up. In its presence both Hindus and Muslims and, for the matter, all seemingly conflicting or disgruntled interest and elements will look to it for support and will get it. Their interest is greater than the independence of their country. No one need throw my other statement in my face viz., that there is no independence without unity. I do not withdraw a word of it. It is an oblivious truth. From its contemplation I have discovered the formula of inviting the British power to withdraw. Their withdrawal does not by itself bring independence. It may induce unity or it may lead to chaos. There is also the risk of another power filling in the vacancy if it is there. If, however, the withdrawal is orderly and voluntary, the British not only gain a moral height but secure the ungrudging friendship of a great nation. I wish all conflicting elements and interest will make a combined effort to rid India of foreign domination. If they do not, any understanding with them will be like a house built on sand.
But it is from the frustration of every effort made to bring about unity by me, among many others, that has arisen the for me logical step that not until British power is wholly withdrawn from India can there be any real unity, because all parties will be looking to the foreign power. For the time being it is British, but it may be French, Russian, Chinese, even then it would be the same thing. I have, therefore, come to the conclusion that real heart unity, genuine unity, is almost an impossibility unless and until British power is withdrawn and no other power takes its place, that is to say, when India not only feels but is actually independent without a master in any shape or form, Nevertheless, I shall try and welcome every effort for peace, well knowing that it is likely to be fruitless.

Freedom a Prerequisite
As for communal unity, the third party being removed, unity will follow as day follows night. Unity will not precede but will succeed freedom.
I have not asked the British to hand over India to the Congress or to the Hindus. Let them untrust India to Goa or, in modern parlance, to anarchy. Then, all the parties will fight one another like dogs, or will, when real responsibility faces them, come to reasonable agreement. I shall expect non-violence to arise out of that chaos.
Time is a merciless enemy, if it is also a merciful friend and healer. I claim to be amongst the oldest lovers of Hindu-Muslim unity and I remain one even today. I have been asking myself why every whole hearted attempt made by all, including myself, to reach unity has failed, and failed so completely that I have entirely fallen from grace and am described by some Muslim papers as the greatest enemy of Islam in India. It is a phenomenon I can account for only by the fact that the third power, even without deliberately wishing it, will not allow real unity to take place. Therefore, I have come to the reluctant conclusion that the two communities will come together almost immediately after the British power comes to a final end in India. If independence is the immediate goal of the Congress and the League, then without needing to come to any terms, all will fight together to be free from bondage.

National Government
When the bondage is done away with, not merely the two organizations but all parties will find it to their interest to come together and make the fullest use of the liberty in order to evolve a national government suited to the genius of India. I do not care what is called. Whatever it is, in order to be stable, it has to represent the masses in the fullest sense of the term. And, if it is to be broad based upon will of the people, it must be predominantly non-violent. Anyway, up to my last breath, I hope I shall be found working to that end, for I see no hope for humanity without the acceptance of non-violence. We are witnessing the bankruptcy of violence from day to day. There is no hope for humanity of the senseless, fierce, mutual slaughter is to continue.