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22. COMMUNAL CRIME AND TRUTH
Expose Wrong doing
From my earliest childhood I had learnt to dislike the wrong, never the wrong-doer. Therefore, even if the Muslims have done any wrong, they still remain my friends, but it is my duty to tell them that they have done wrong. I have always applied that rule in life with regard to my nearest and dearest. I hold this to be the test of true friendship.
I never said or did anything to please others. I have always taught that one should do one’s duty irrespective of the reaction it may have no others. A man who always does what he believes to be right never fears anyone.
As a Satyagrahi, I stand by truth and it will be wrong on my part to hide suspicion or simply nurse a grievance in my heart. I cannot serve the Hindus and the Muslims of Bengal without the Chief Ministers help, and I hope this will not be withheld. In the same way, I will not put my Ahimsa in my pocket and not advise the true path of the Hindus and the Sikhs in the Punjab if I am to be their friend.

Why this Secrecy?
I confess that the question (why, when mutual slaughter between brother and brother is going on, should the names of the respective communities be withheld?) has often occurred to me. There seems to me to be no reason for this hush-hush policy save that it is a legacy from the autocracy which, let us hope, the national government have displaced. Those who ought not to know who stabs whom. And those who should know are kept in the dark. I am sure that there are many Hindus and Muslims, and even members of other communities, taking pride in being Indians first and last without ceasing to be devoted followers of their own religions and who love to do their best to dissuade blind fanatics from making mischief. I know many such. They have no means of ascertaining facts expect through the Press. Let darkness be exposed to light. It will be dispelled quicker.
How I wish that all those who call themselves the sons of the soil will think well and act bravely a very difficult performance at the moment when newspapers give gruesome details about senseless arson and murder.
It is unfortunate that the Interim Government has inherited a bad tradition and , therefore, we do not know who killed whom. It was a the dead of “the members of a certain community.”

Duty of Newspapers
I am sorry that there is poison administered to the public by some newspapers. Newspapers today have almost replaced the Bible, the Koran, the Gita and the other religious scriptures. It is wrong but the fact has to be faced. Such being the case, I hold it to be the duty of news paper men to give nothing but facts to their readers.
I have a suggestion to make to the Dawn and All the newspaper, whatever their hue, that they should avoid all exaggeration. In order to give effect to the suggestion, they should appoint a Joint Board to which all reports about communal trouble would be submitted and even passed on to responsible ministers and, when necessary, given publicity. My suggestion can find favour only if the editors realize their duty to the public and are anxious that a peremptory stop should be put to all communalism. Division having become settled fact, it is surely time that the country is allowed to settle down to the constructive work of feeding and clothing the ill-fed and ill-clad millions. the editors have a weighty part to play in the noble task. To foment trouble is ignoble.