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77. An Object-lesson in Ahimsa

During his memorable walking tour of Noakhali District early in 1947 Gandhiji halted for a few minutes at the house of a Muslim villager, Asghar Bhuyan, at Dharampur. Gandhiji was given a warm reception and was garlanded by the Muslim villagers. Children of the house gathered around Gandhiji, who patted them and said: "You are all my friends."

Asghar Bhuyan showed Gandhiji one branch of a tree and said: "You see, Gandhiji, this branch has two kinds of leaves. Is it not strange?" he asked.

Gandhiji gave a laughter and said: "There is nothing strange about it. It is all God's creation. These two diff­erent kinds of leaves of one tree are like Hindus and Muslims of the same soil. But see how they are flourishing side by side in the same tree. They tell us that we should live as brothers in the same soil as these two leaves are living in the same tree."

The Muslim villagers were very much impressed at Gandhiji's answer and said that what Gandhiji said was perfectly right. Hindus and Muslims should live like brothers of the same soil.