IT IS easy enough to dig out a few
criminals from their hiding places and hand them over to the police,
but it does not protect society against the repetition of them. It
is necessary to remove the causes by undertaking a thorough process
to reform. There must arise in Islam as well as in Hinduism men who
being comparatively pure in character, would work among such men.
We would not then try to shift blame
for ugly happenings on the hooligan elements. We could convert and
control the hooligan elements too.
There is not a man, however cruel and
hard-hearted, but would give his admiration to a brave man. A goonda
is not the vile man he is imagined to be. He is not without his
(‘A goonda does not understand
reason.) But he understands bravery. If he finds that you are braver
than he, he will respect you.
What I detest is the match between the
goondas of both the parties. Any peace based upon such a trial of
strength will turn to bitterness in the end. The way to get rid of
the Hindu cowardice is for the educated portion to fight the goondas.
We may use sticks and other clean weapons. My Ahimsa will allow the
use of them. We shall be killed in the fight. But that will chasten
both the Hindus and the Musalmans. That would remove the Hindu
cowardice in a moment. As things are going, each party will be the
slaves of their own goondas. That means dominance of the military
power. England fought fort the predominance of the civil power and
won and lived. Lord Curzon did much harm to us. But he was certainly
brave and right when he stood out for the predominance civil
authority. When Rome passed into the hands of the soldiery, it fell.
My whole soul rises against the very
idea of the custody of my religion passing into the hands of goondas.
Confining myself, therefore, for the present to the Hindus, I must
respectfully but earnestly warn the thinking. Hindus against relying
upon the assistance of goondas for the protection of their temples,
themselves and their wives and children. With the weak bodies they
have, they must determined to stand at their post and to die
fighting or without fighting. It would have been a glorious death
for Jamanlalji and his colleagues, if they had died in the act of
securing peace. It will be a glorious death fort Dr. Moonje or me,
when we defend temples single-handed. That were bravery of the
The goondas came on the scene because
the leaders wanted them.
Goondas do not drop from the sky, nor
do they spring from the earth like evil spirits. They are the
product of social disorganization, and society is therefore
responsible for their existence. In other words, they should be
looked upon as a symptom of corruption in our body politic. To
remove the disease we must first discover the underlying cause. To
find the remedy will then be a comparatively easy task. So far we
have not even attempted a proper beginning. But it is never too late
to mend. It is enough that we are at last alive to the necessary of
it. We have now to follow it up with prompt action. Let everyone who
is interested make a prompt beginning in his own neighbourhood.
I deprecate the habit of procuring
moral alibi for ourselves by blaming it all on the goondas. We
always put the blame on the goondas. But it is we who are
responsible for their creation as well as encouragement. It is
therefore not right to say all the wrong that has been done is the
work of the goondas.
It would be wrong and misleading to
underestimate the trouble by calling it the work of goondas.
It (the habit of taking refuge behind
moral alibis by blaming it all on the goondas) is a dangerous
It is the cowardice or passive
sympathy of the average citizen or the “man with the stake” that
gives the so-called goondas the power to do the mischief.