NON-CO-OPERATIONS is an attempt to awaken the masses to a sense of their dignity and power. This can only be by enabling them to realize that they need not fear brute force if they would but know the soul within. (YI, 1-12-1920, p. 3)
Non-co-operation is a protest against an unwitting and unwilling participation in evil....Non-co-operation with evil is as much a duty as co-operation with good. (YI, 1-6-1921, p. 172)
Non-co-operation is not a passive state, it is an intensively active state, more active than physical resistance or violence. Passive resistance is a misnomer. Non-co-operation in the sense used by me must be non-violent and therefore, neither punitive nor based on malice, ill-will or hatred.
Although non-co-operation is one of the main weapons in the armoury of Satyagraha, it should not be forgotten that it is after all only a means to secure the co-operation of the opponent consistently with truth and justice. The essence of non-violent technique is that it seeks to liquidate antagonisms but not the antagonists themselves. In non-violent fight you have, to a certain measure, to conform to the tradition and conventions to the system you are pitted against. Avoidance of all relationship with the opposing power, therefore, can never be a Satyagrahi's object, but transformation or purification of that relationship. (H, 29-4-1939, p. 101)
Ethics of Non-co-operation
There is no instrument so clean, so harmless and yet so effective as non-co-operation. Judiciously handled, it need not produce any evil consequences. And its intensity will depend purely on the capacity of the people for sacrifice. (YI, 30-6-1920, p. 3)
We had lost the power of saying 'no'. It had become disloyal, almost sacrilegious to say 'no' to the Government. This deliberate refusal to co-operate is like the necessary weeding process that a cultivator has to resort to before he sows. Weeding is as necessary to agriculture as sowing. Indeed, even whilst the crops are growing, the weeding fork, as every husbandman knows, is an instrument almost to daily use.
The movement of non-violent non-co-operation has nothing in common with the historical struggles for freedom in the west. It is not based on brute force or hatred. It does not aim at destroying the tyrant. It is a movement of self-purification. It therefore seeks to convert the tyrant. It may fail because India was not ready for mass non-violence. But it would be wrong to judge the movement by false standards. My own opinion is that the movement has in no wise failed. It has found an abiding place in India's struggle for freedom. (YI, 11-2-1926, 59)
I have presented non-co-operation in terms of religion, because I enter politics only in so far as it develops the religious faculty in me. (YI, 19-1-1921, p. 19)
Behind my non-co-operation there is always the keenest desire to co-operate on the slightest pretext even with the worst of opponents. To me, a very imperfect moral, ever in need of God's grace, no one is beyond redemption. (YI, 4-6-1925, p, 193)
....Nothing crooked will have countenance from me. For me, the law of Satyagraha, the law of love, is an eternal principle. I co-operate with all that is good. I desire to non-co-operate with all that is evil... (YI, 18-6-1925, p. 213)
It is not that I harbour disloyalty towards anything whatsoever, but I do so against all untruth, all that is unjust, all that is evil.....I remain loyal to an institution so long as that institution conduces to my growth, to the growth of the nation. Immediately I find that the institution, instead of conducing to its growth, impedes it, I hold it to be my bounden duty to be disloyal to it. (YI, 13-8-1925, p. 277)
My non-co-operation, though it is part of my creed, is a prelude to co-operation. My non-co-operation is with methods and systems, never with men. I may not harbour ill-will even against a Dyer. I regard ill-will as beneath the dignity of man. (YI, 12-9-1929, p. 300)
Some have called me the greatest revolutionary of my time. It may be false, but I believe myself to be a revolutionary, a non-violent revolutionary. My means are non-co-operation. No person can amass wealth without the co-operation, willing or forced, of the people concerned. (YI, 26-11-1931, p. 369)
I am by instinct a co-operator; my very non-co-operation is intended to purge co-operation of all meanness and falsity, for I hold such so-operation is not worth the name. (EF, p. 84)