Village and Non-violence
"I expect to convert the zamindars and other capitalists by the non-violent method, and therefore there is for me nothing like an inevitability of class conflict. For it is an essential part of nonviolence to go along the line of least resistance. The moment the cultivators of the soil realize their power, the zamindari evil will be sterilized. What can the poor zamindar do when they say that they will simply not work the land unless they are paid enough to feed and clothe and educate themselves and their children in a decent manner? In reality the toiler is the owner of what he produces. If the toilers intelligently combine, they will become an irresistible power. That is how I do not see the necessity of class conflict. If I thought it inevitable I should not hesitate to preach it and teach it."
(Harijan, 5-12-1936; 64:73.)
"Cast off the cloak of foreign thoughts and ideals, identify yourselves with the villagers. The Western world is giving us destructive knowledge; we want to impart constructive education through non-violence."
(Harijan, 30-4-1938; 67:36.)
"If the worker going to the village has no faith in nonviolence, our work must fail. If he concerns himself with economics alone and disregards ethics and morality, all our efforts are of no avail. Non-violence is the basis on which our work is to be built. It will not do to ignore it. In the initial stages people might achieve something even without it but ultimately the edifice of swaraj will not be raised without the foundation of ahimsa.
(Speech at All India Spinners' Association meeting, Sevagram, 1-9-1944; 78:63.)
"There are some big men who hold this view. They think that the teaching of non-violence has proved disastrous. They believe that the way of the spinning-wheel would only take us back to the medieval ages. They think the same of village industries and Nayee Talim. Could it not be that there was something basically wrong with me which led me to have a misguided view of things all through? However, my views are the same as they have always been."
(A letter, 14-4-1947; 87:278.)
"Whatever effect is produced there will be the fruit of ahimsa. Without ahimsa village uplift seems impossible to me."
(Letter to Manibhai Desai, 11-12-1947; 90:210.)