"I see that you have grasped the fundamental difference between passive resistance and non-violent resistance. Resistance both forms are, but you have to pay a very heavy price when your resistance is passive, in the sense of the weakness of the resister. Europe mistook the bold and brave .resistance full of wisdom by Jesus of Nazareth for passive resistance, as if it was of the weak. As I read the New Testament for the first time, I detected no passivity, no weakness about Jesus as depicted in the four gospels, and the meaning became clearer to me when I read Tolstoy's Harmony of the Gospels and his other kindred writings. Has not the West paid heavily in regarding Jesus as a Passive Resister? Christendom has been responsible for the wars which put to shame even those described in the Old Testament and other records, historical or semi-historical. I know that I speak under correction for I can but claim very superficial knowledge of history—modern or ancient.
"Coming to my personal experience, whilst we undoubtedly got
through passive resistance our political freedom, over which lovers
of peace like you and your good husband of the West are
enthusiastic, we are daily paying the heavy price for the
unconscious mistake we made or better still, I made in mistaking
passive resistance for non-violent resistance. Had I not made the
mistake, we would have been spared the humiliating spectacle of weak
brother killing his weak brother thoughtlessly and inhumanly.
"I am only hoping and praying and I want all the friends here and in
other parts of the world to hope and pray with me that this
blood-bath will soon end and out of that, perhaps, inevitable
butchery, will rise a new and robust India—not warlike, basely
imitating the West in all its hideousness, but a new India learning
the best that the West has to give and becoming the hope not only of
Asia and Africa, but the whole of the aching world.
"I must confess that this is hoping against hope, for, we are today
swearing by the military and all that naked physical force implies.
Our statesmen have for over two generations declaimed against the
heavy expenditure on armaments under the British regime, but now
that freedom from political serfdom has come, our military
expenditure has increased and still threatens to increase and of
this we are proud! There is not a voice raised against it in our
legislative chambers. In spite, however, the hope lingers in me and
many others that India shall survive this death dance and occupy the
moral height that should belong to her after the training, however
imperfect, in non-violence for an unbroken period of thirty-two
years since 1915."
New Delhi, 29-11-'47