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PEACE, NON-VIOLENCE & CONFLICT RESOLUTION > MY NON-VIOLENCE The aim of life

 

131. The aim of life

Gandhiji's weekly silence having commenced, his written message in Hindustani was read out to the congregation after the prayers. It was his earnest prayer that those who were present and those others whom his voice could reach should understand the aim of life. The aim of life was that they should serve the Power that had created them, and on whose mercy or consent depended their very breath, by heartily serving its creation. That meant love, not hate which one saw everywhere. They had forgotten that aim and were either actually fighting each other or preparing for that fight. If they could not escape calamity, they should regard India's independence as an impossible dream. If they thought that they would get independence by the simple fact of the British power quit­ting the land, they were sadly mistaken. The British were leaving India. But if they continued fighting one another, some other power or powers would step in. If they thought they could fight the whole world with its weapons, it was a folly.

A friend had written, continued Gandhiji, that a sort of peace seemed to have been established in the Punjab through military occupation. That peace was the peace of the grave. The people were silently preparing for an open and deadlier fight. Weapons were being collected. After that even the military would find it impossible to control the people. It was his firm conviction that the peace established with the aid of the military or the police would be no peace. True peace would only come when at least one side, if not both, adopted the true bravery that non-violence gave.

Bihar had realized, said Gandhiji, that there was no bravery in killing women and children. It was sheer cowardice. It would be a grand thing if Bihar could manifest the true bravery of silent strength and show thereby the true path of life to the whole world.

Harijan, 6-4-1947