BROTHERS AND SISTERS,
Today I may not finish my speech in 15 minutes as usual, as I have much to say.
Today I have come to the prayer meeting because for the first twenty-four hours after
beginning a fast, the body does not feel it or should not feel it. I
began eating at half past nine this morning. People kept coming and
talking to me. I finished eating a little before eleven. So I have
been able to come to the meeting and this is not surprising. Today I
can walk about and sit up and I have also done some work. From
tomorrow there will be some change. Rather than coming here and not
speaking, I might as well sit in my room and think. If I have to
utter the name of God, I can do it there. I therefore feel that I
shall not be coming to the prayer meeting from tomorrow. But if you
do wish to join in the prayer you may come if you feel like it. The
girls will come and sing the prayer. At least one of them will come.
I have told you my programme in case you should feel disappointed at
my not coming.
I had written down yesterday's speech and it has been published in the newspapers. Now
that I have started my fast many people cannot understand what I am
doing. Who are the offenders—Hindus or Sikhs or Muslims? How long
will the fast last? I say I do not blame anyone. Who am I to accuse
others? I have said that we have all sinned. That does not mean that
any one particular man has sinned. Hindus in trying to drive out the
Muslims are not following Hinduism. And today it is both Hindus and
Sikhs who are trying to do so. But I do not accuse all the Hindus
and Sikhs because not all of them are doing it. People should
understand this. If they do not, my purpose will not be realized and
the fast too will not be terminated. If I do not survive the fast,
no one is to be blamed. If I am proved unworthy, God will take me
away. People ask me if my fast is intended for the cause of the
Muslims. I admit that that is so. Why? Because Muslims here today
have lost everything in the world. Formerly they could depend on the
Government. There was also the Muslim League. Today the Muslim
League is no longer there. The League got the country partitioned
and even after the partition there are large numbers of Muslims
here. I have always held that those who have been left behind in
India should be given all help. It is only humanity.
Mine is a fast of self-purification. Everyone should purify himself. If not, the
situation cannot be saved. If everyone is to purify himself, Muslims
will also purify themselves. Everyone should cleanse his heart. No
one should find fault with the Muslims whatever they may do. If I
confess before someone that I have done wrong, then it is a kind of atonement.
I do not say this in order to appease the Muslims or anyone else. I want to appease
myself which means that I want to appease God. I do not want to be a
sinner against God. Muslims also must become pure and live
peacefully in India. What happened was that for election purposes
Hindus and Sikhs recognized the Muslim League. I shall not go into
that history. Then followed the partition. But before partition
became a fact the hearts had already become divided. Muslims were
also at fault here, though we cannot say that they alone were at
fault. Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, all are to blame. Now all of them
have to become friends again. Let them look to God, not to Satan.
Among the Muslims too there are many who worship Satan. Among the
Hindus and the Sikhs many worship not Nanak and other Gurus, but
Satan. In the name of religion we have become irreligious.
Since I have undertaken the fast for the cause of the Muslims, a great
responsibility has come to devolve on them. They must understand
that if they are to live with the Hindus as brothers they must be
loyal to the Indian Union, not to Pakistan. I shall not ask them
whether they are loyal of not. I shall judge them by their conduct.
Then the name of
the Sardar is being mentioned. The Muslims say that I am good, but
the Sardar is not and he must be removed. They say that Jawaharlal
too is good. They say if I join the Government it will be a good
thing. They object only to the Sardar. I must tell the Muslims that
their argument serves no purpose, because the Government is the
whole Cabinet, neither the Sardar nor Jawahar by himself. They are
your servants. You can remove them. Yes, Muslims alone cannot remove
them. But at least they can bring to the Sardar's notice any
mistakes which in their opinion he commits. It will not do merely to
criticize him by quoting some statement or other he might have made.
You must say what he has done. You must tell me. I meet him often
and I shall bring it to his notice. Jawaharlal can dismiss him and
if he does not, there must be some reason. He praises the Sardar.
Then the Government is responsible for whatever the Sardar does.
You too are responsible for he is your representative. That is how
things go in a democracy. Therefore I shall say that the Muslims
must become brave and fearless. They should also become God-fearing.
They must think that for them there is no League, no Congress, no
Gandhi, no Jawaharlal but only God; that they are here in the name
of God. Let them not take offence at whatever Hindus and Sikhs may
do. I am with them, I want to live and die with them. If I cannot
keep you united, my life is worthless. The Muslims thus carry a
great responsibility. They must not forget this.
The Sardar is blunt of speech. What he says sometimes sounds bitter. The fault is
in his tongue. I can testify that his heart is not like his tongue.
He has said in Lucknow and in Calcutta that all Muslims should live
here and can live here. He also told me that he could not trust
those Muslims who till the other day followed the League and
considered themselves enemies of Hindus and Sikhs and who could not
have changed overnight and suddenly become friends. If the League is
still there who will they obey, Pakistan or our Government? The
League's persistence in its old attitude makes him suspect it, and
rightly so. He says that he no longer has faith in the bona fides of
the League Muslims and he cannot trust them. Let them prove that
they can be trusted. Then I have the right to tell the Hindus and
Sikhs what they should do.
The song these girls sang was composed by Gurudev. We sang it during our tours in
Noakhali. A man walking alone calls others to come and join him. But
if no one comes and it is dark, the Poet says, the man should walk
alone because God is already with him. I asked the girls especially
to sing this song which is in Bengali. Otherwise they would have
sung only Hindustani songs. The Hindus and Sikhs should cultivate
this attitude if they are true to their religions. They should not
generate an atmosphere in which the Muslims should be compelled to
flee to Pakistan. Hindus and Sikhs should become brave and show that
even if all the Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan were to be killed there
would be no retaliation in India. I do not want to live to see our
people copy Pakistan. If I am to live I shall ask every Hindu and
every Sikh not to touch a single Muslim. It is cowardice to kill
Muslims and we must become brave and not cowards.
I shall terminate the fast only when peace has returned to Delhi. If peace is restored
to Delhi it will have effect not only on the whole of India but also
on Pakistan and when that happens, a Muslim can walk around in the
city all by himself. I shall then terminate the fast. Delhi is the
capital of India. It has always been the capital of India. So long
as things do not return to normal in Delhi, they will not be normal
either in India or in Pakistan. Today I cannot bring Suhrawardy here
because I fear someone may insult him. Today he cannot walk about in
the streets of Delhi. If he did he would be assaulted. What I want
is that he should be able to move about here even in the dark. It is
true that he made efforts in Calcutta only when Muslims became
involved. Still, he could have made the situation worse, if he had
wanted, but he did not want to make things worse. He made the
Muslims evacuate the places they had forcibly occupied and said that
he being the Premier could do so. Although the places occupied by
the Muslims belonged to Hindus and Sikhs he did his duty. Even if it
takes a whole month to have real peace established in Delhi it does
not matter. People should not do anything merely to have me
terminate the fast.
So my wish is that Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, and Muslims who are in India
should continue to live in India and India should become a country
where everyone's life and property are safe. Only then will India