There have been cataclysmic
changes in the world. Do I still adhere to my faith in truth and non-violence?
Has not the atom bomb exploded that faith? Not only has it not done so, but it
has clearly demonstrated to me that the twins constitute the mightiest force in
the world. Before it the atom bomb is of no effect. The two opposing forces are
wholly different in kind, the one moral and spiritual, the other physical and
material. The one is infinitely superior to the other which by its very nature
has an end. The force of the spirit is ever progressive and endless. Its full
expression makes it unconquerable in the world. In saying this I know that I
have said nothing new. I merely bear witness to the fact. What is more, the
force resides in everybody, man, woman, and child irrespective of the colour of
the skin. Only in many it lies dormant, but it is capable of being awakened by
It is further to be observed
that without the recognition of this truth and due effort to realize it, there
is no escape from self- destruction. The remedy lies in every individual
training himself for self-expression in every walk of life, irrespective of
response by the neighbours.
Harijan, 10-2-46, p. 8
It has been suggested by
American friends that the atom bomb will bring in Ahimsa as nothing else
can. It will, if it is meant that its destructive power will so disgust the
world that it will turn it away from violence for the time being. This is
very like a man glutting himself with dainties to the point of nausea and
turning away from them only to return with redoubled zeal after the effect
of nausea is well over. Precisely in the same manner will the world return
to violence with renewed zeal after the effect of disgust is worn out.
Often does good come out of
evil. But that is Godís, not manís plan. Man knows that only evil can come out
of evil, as good out of good.
That atomic energy though
harnessed by American scientists and army men for destructive purposes may be
utilized by other scientists for humanitarian purposes is undoubtedly within the
realm of possibility. But that is not what was meant by my American friends.
They were not so simple as to put a question which connoted an obvious truth. An
incendiary uses fire for his destructive and nefarious purposes, a housewife
makes daily use of it in preparing nourishing food for mankind.
So far as I can see, the atomic
bomb has deadened the finest feeling that has sustained mankind for ages. There
used to be the so-called laws of war which made it tolerable. Now we know the
naked truth. War knows no law except that of might. The atom bomb brought an
empty victory to the Allied arms but it resulted for the time being in
destroying the soul of Japan. What has happened to the soul of the destroying
nation is yet too early to see. Forces of nature act in a mysterious manner. We
can but solve the mystery by deducing the unknown result from the known results
of similar events. A slave-holder cannot hold a slave without putting himself or
his deputy in the cage holding the slave. Let no one run away with the idea that
I wish to put in a defence of Japanse misdeeds in pursuance of Japanís unworthy
ambition. The difference was only one of degree. I assume that Japanís greed was
more unworthy. But the greater unworthiness conferred no right on the less
unworthy of destroying without mercy men, women and children of Japan in a
The moral to be legitimately
drawn from the supreme tragedy of the bomb is that it will not be destroyed by
counter-bombs even as violence cannot to by counter-violence. Mankind has to get
out of violence only through non-violence. Hatred can be overcome only by love.
Counter-hatred only increases the surface as well as the depth of hatred.
I am aware that I am repeating
what I have many times stated before and practiced to the best of my ability and
capacity. What I first stated was itself nothing new. It is an old as the hills.
Only I recited no copy book maxim, but definitely announced what I believe in
every fiber of my being. Sixty years of practice in various walks of life has
only enriched the belief which the experience of friends has fortified. It is,
however, the central truth by which one can stand alone without flinching. I
believe in what Max Muller said years ago, namely, that truth needed to be
repeated as long as there were men who disbelieved it.
Harijan, 7-7-46, p. 212
I regard the employment of
the atom bomb for the wholesale destruction of men, women and children as
the most diabolical use of science.
Harijan, 29-9-46, p. 335