Reverend Kellas, Principal of the Scottish Church College, came to see Gandhiji yesterday with some members of his staff. The principal question discussed was in connection with the relation between education, religion and the State. Gandhiji expressed the opinion that the State should undoubtedly be secular. Everyone living in it should be entitled to profess his religion without let or hindrance, so long as the citizen obeyed the common law of the land. There should be no interference with missionary effort, but no mission could enjoy the patronage of the State as it did during the foreign regime.
While discussing these matters with Principal Kellas, Gandhiji
incidentally remarked that although we had thrown overboard British
political supremacy, we had not yet been able to throw overboard the
cultural one. In his characteristic style, he said, "We have
discarded foreign power, not the unseen foreign influence." What he
would like the new India of his dream to do was to lay the
foundation of a new life in keeping with its natural surroundings.
In every State in the world today, violence, even if it were for
so-called defensive purpose only, enjoyed a status which was in
conflict with the better elements of life. "The organization of the
best in society," was the aim to which new India should dedicate
herself; and this could be done only if we succeeded in demolishing
the status which had been given to goondaism today.
One of the scientist members of the staff then asked Gandhiji what
scientific men should do if they were now asked by the free Indian
Government to engage in researches in furtherance of war and the
atom bomb ? Gandhiji promptly replied, "Scientists to be worth the
name should resist such a State unto death."