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PEACE, NON-VIOLENCE & CONFLICT RESOLUTION > MY NON-VIOLENCE Non-violence of the brave

 

136. Non-violence of the brave

Gandhiji had no doubt that non-violence was as effective a weapon against communal strife as it had proved in their struggle against the British. The people had followed him then, because they knew they could not face the might of British arms in any other way. It was the non-violence of the weak. That won't serve the purpose in communal strife. For that was required pure non­violence of the brave.

Speaking in the prayer meeting Gandhiji said that while he admitted his impotency regarding the spread of the Ahimsa of the brave and the strong as distinguished from that of the weak, the admission was not meant to imply that he did not know how that inestimable virtue was to be cultivated. Consciousness of the living presence of God within one was undoubtedly the first requisite. Acquisition of this consciousness did not require or mean temple-going. The daily recitation, however, carried with it certain well-defined implications. Assuming that the millions of India daily recited at a given time the name of God as Rama, Allah, Khuda, Ahura Mazda and Jehovah but the recitation was not free from drunkenness, debauchery, gambling on the market or in gambling dens, black-marketing etc., the Ramadhun was a vain and inglorious effort. One with a wicked heart could never be conscious of the all-purifying presence of God. Therefore it was truer (if it was a fact) to say that India was not ready for the lesson of Ahimsa of the strong than that no programme had been devised for the teaching. It would be perfectly just 10 say that the programme just mentioned for the Ahimsa of the strong was not as attractive as that devised for the non-violence of the weak had proved to be. He hoped that at least his hearers who daily attended the prayer meetings would lead the way in expressing in their lives the Ahimsa of the strong.

New Delhi, 22-6-'47

Harijan, 29-6-1947