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23. RESTORATION OF PEACE
WAR RESULTS when peace fails. Our efforts must always be directed towards peace. But it must be peace with honour and a fair security for life and property. On these two conditions alone will the refugees return. Of course, if they develop enough courage, they will return without any safeguard. Today I have suggested one Hindu and one Muslim standing surety on none but god and their own strength of spirit for their defence. If they did that, all the goondas in Noakhali will feel the change in the atmosphere and behave decently.I know what I am saying. I come from Khatiawad, a province notorious for its bandits. I know that they are not beyond redemption. Nor do I believe that goondas are responsible for all that has happened.
"No" (They should not have only Muslims on the Peace Committees as the Hindus had played no part in breaking the peace’.) The Hindus must be there to play their part, else the Peace Committees will be a farce.
The reality has to be faced and a determined effort made by everyone of you to root out the least trace of the feeling of hostility and make it possible for your Muslim neighbours to live in brotherly love once more.

Real Penitence
True repentance, with the consequent reparatory action, alone can restore abiding peace between the two sister communities.
Contemplate on what internal strife means to forgive and forget what has happened and to bear to malice in your hearts for all the tragic and bestial happenings of Noakhali, Bihar and Punjab.
The riots are a matter of great shame and sorrow. But the shame of the sin can be turned to good account by adequate repentance. All the religions that I have studied are full of instances proving the maxim; “The greater the sinner the greater the saint.” For the poignancy of the pain, of the guilt enhances the joy that a guiltless life bring with it. I wish that the maxim can be proved true in the reformed life of the people of Hilsa. You will be replied by physical dirt. Surely the repulsion caused by mental dirt which the insanity of the Hindus of Hilsa meant is much greater than the pain caused by any physical dirt however great. I am wondering how I can awaken genuine repentance in the hearts of the Hindus of Hilsa. It has been suggested to me that, I settled down in Hilsa and went from house to house, I would be able to effect that desired transformation. Although there is truth in the remark, I must own my physical weakness and consequent inability to follow the advice. You are none the better for my confession. I hope, therefore, that my remarks will penetrate the hearts of the large audience and that you will invite Muslim sufferers to return.

Change of Heart After Riots
What does it matter, if you know everything but do not know how to live in brotherliness with your neighbours.
If some people have committed grievous mistakes in their dealings with their neighbours, they should repent and ask their pardon of God. If he granted it but the world did not, even then it did not matter to a man who had learnt to depend on God; such punishment nobly borne serves to elevate a man. In a book of sayings of the Prophet I have found that a man should never leave an error uncorrected. If they did, they will be hauled up on the Day of Judgement and find no favour in the eyes of god.
It is effective substitute for martial law which deals with the symptoms but not with the disease itself. The parties if they bring about peace, will be dealing with the disease.

Peace Committee
The Central Peace Committee should consolidate results so far achieved. They have to see that poor Muslims are rehabilitated, just as the Hindus have to be rehabilitated in the areas from which they have been evacuated. Local peace committees should be set up in each mohalla; and they must find at least one Hindu and one Muslim of clean heart to work together. These committees must tour the areas under their jurisdiction. They should work to create the feeling of friendliness wherever it is lacking. For the purpose of rehabilitation, they will have to go into details. Food, shelter and clothing have to be found for the evacuees returning to women co-operate in this manner to consolidate their good feelings, which the parties are to co-operate. For, now that all the parties concerned have come to an agreement with regard to the division of India two Dominions, there is no longer any reason to quarrel and they can join hands in the task of restoring peaceful conditions.
Let the Premiers of the two divisions of Bengal meet often enough and jointly devise means to preserve peace in the two States and to find enough healthy food and clothing for the inhabitants and enough work for the masses in East and West Bengal. When the masses, Hindu and Muslim, see their chiefs acting together and working together honestly, courageously and without intermission, the masses living in the two States will take the cue from the leaders and act accordingly.
How can real peace be established? You may feel pleased that peace appears to have returned to Delhi. I cannot share the satisfaction. The Hindus and the Muslims have become estranged from one another. They used to fight in the past too. Today they have become so embittered that they feel as if they have been old enemies. I call this feeling weakness. They must shed it. Then alone can they become a great military power, or if they followed my way, they can become a great, non-violent and invincible power. In other case, the first condition is the shedding of all fear.
The only way to get near each other is that each must forget the mistakes of the other party and magnify its own. I recommend it to the Muslims, as, I do to the Hindus and the Sikhs, with all the force at my command. Enemies of yesterday can become friends of today provided they make a clean breast of their guilt. The policy of tit for tat is not conducive to friendship.

Establishment of Communal Peace
We have to be correct in our behavior irrespective of what others do. I am not unaware of the sufferings of the Hindus and the Sikhs in Pakistan. But knowing that, I want to overlook them. Otherwise, I will go mad. I will not be able to serve India. We are to look upon the Muslims in the Union as our blood-brothers.
Surely, they should feel as safe among us as we ourselves. This cannot happen until we learnt the art of magnifying our own faults and minimizing those of our neighbours. All eyes rest on India, which has become the hope of Asia and Africa, may, of the whole world. If India is to realize the hope, it has to stop the fratricide and all Indians have to live like friends and brothers. Clean hearts are the first condition of this happy state.
I look forward to the day when all enmities will be forgotten and all hatred buried underground, and all those who have been driven away from their hearts and homes will return to them and resume their avocations in perfect security and peace as before. My heart will then dance with joy. I will never give up that hope so long as I live.

Restoration of Mutual Trust
The citizens of Delhi and the refugees have a heavy task in front of them. Let them seek occasions for meeting together as often as possible in perfect mutual trust. It was a soul-stirring sight for me to meet Muslim sisters in large numbers yesterday. Girls in my party told me that the sisters were sitting in Birla House uncertain whether they could come to me. They were in purdah, most of them. I asked them to be brought in and they came. I suggested that they would not have the purdah before their fathers or brothers. Why should they think me less? And off went the purdah without exception. This is not the first time that the purdah has disappeared before me. I mention the incident to illustrate what genuine love, as I claim mine to be, is able to do.
Hindu and Sikh women should go to the Muslim sisters and establish friendship with them. They should invite on ceremonial occasion and be invited. Muslim girls and boys should be attracted to common schools not communal. They should mix in sports.
Not only should there be no boycott of Muslims, but they should be induced to resume their previous occupations. Delhi is poorer for the disappearance of the exquisite workmanship of the Muslims. It is a miserable and miserly thing for the Hindus and the Sikhs to wish to take away from their means of livelihood. On the one hand there should be no monopoly, and on the other, there should be no attempt at deprivation. In this great country of ours there is room for all.

Conditions for Peace
The peace Committees that have been formed must not go to sleep as many committees unfortunately do in all countries in India live at peace with one another, not by force of arms but that of love than which there is no better cement to be found in the world.
All breach of communal peace in any corner of India should make us and our Government hand our heads in shame.

Reparations
All I can say is that not one single case of maltreatment of Muslims by Hindus having been reported to me has remained without investigation by me. This has been my practice since the days of the Khilafat. I have not always not always succeeded in finding the truth or in giving satisfaction to the aggrieved parties that I had done my best. The Bihar charge is too vague to be answered more fully. If a particular instance were mentioned, I should be able to say what I had done about it. But supposing that I had failed in duty to do justice, supposing further that I did not “feel equally keenly about Hindu injustice to Muslims”, would that justify indifference about Bihar? I have said that there is nothing like Bihar in all the previous cases of Hindu-Muslim clashes, assuming of course that the allegations made were true. All I have asked is that full justice and reparation should be made through a tribunal admittedly impartial. My proposal in the case of Bihar should be applicable to all such cases.
I am interested in education of truth, not in the punishment of the guilty. But I am sorry I cannot forgo the suggestion for compensation. Compensation has been asked because it is alleged that the authorities failed to do their duty. The question of compensation has, naturally, to be referred to the proposed tribunal.