"There is no doubt in my mind that in
the majority of quarrels the Hindus come out second best. My own
experience but confirms the opinion that the Musalman as a rule is a
bully, and the Hindu as rule is a coward. I have notices this in
railways trains, on public roads, and in the quarrels which I have
had the privilege of setting. Need the Hindu blame the Musalman for
Quarrels must break out so long as the
Hindus continue to be seized with fear. Bullies are always to be
found where there are cowards. The Hindus must understand no one can
afford them protection if they go on hugging fear.
Running away for fear of death,
leaving one’s dear ones, temples or music to take care of
themselves, is irreligion; it is cowardice. It is not manly, it is
unmanly. Non-violence is the virtue of the manly. The coward is
innocent of it.
The remedy against cowardice is not
physical culture but the braving of dangers. So long as the parents
of the a middle class Hindus, themselves timid, continue to transmit
their timidity by keeping their grown-up children in cotton wool, so
long will there be the desire to shun danger and run no risks. They
will have to dare to leave their children alone. Let them run risks
and even at times get killed in so doing. The puniest individual may
have a stout heart. The most muscular Zulus cower before English
lads. Each village has to find out its stout hearts.
Cure of Cowardice
It is common cause between the
correspondent and myself that the average Hindu is a coward. How is
he to be turned into a brave man? Is he to become brave by muscular
development or by developing the bravery of the soul? My
correspondent says, ‘The world has no place for the weak’. He means,
I imagine, ‘physically weak’. If so, the proposition is unsound.
There are many animals physically stronger than man and yet man
lives. Many muscular races have died out and some of them are even
now in the process of dying out. the proposition should therefore
be, so far as man is concerned, ‘The world has no place for the weak
Non-violence Vs. Violence
Fear of man argues want in faith in
god. Only he trusts to his physical strength who has no faith or
very little faith in God’s omnipresence. The Hindu must cultivate
either of these two faiths in God, or faith in one’s physical might.
If he does neither, it will spell the ruin of the community.
The first, viz, reliance on God and
shaking off the fear of man, is the way of non-violence and is the
The second, viz, reliance on one’s
physical might, is the way of violence. Both have a place in the
world. It is open to us to choose either. One man can not try both
at the same time, if all the Hindus and Musalmans both elect the way
of violence, we had better cease to talk of winning Swaraj in the
immediate future. Armed peace means not a little fighting that will
end with the breaking of a few heads or of a dozen temples. It must
mean prolonged fighting and rivers of blood.
Cowardice Behind Riots
These cases (of cowardice) have
nothing to do with the inveterate enmity between the Hindus and
Musalmans. Where there are fools there are bound to be knaves, where
there are cowards there are bound to be bullies, whether they are
Hindus or Musalmans. Such cases used to happen even before the
outbreak of these communal hostilities. The question here therefore
is not how to teach one of the two communities a lesson or how to
humanize it, but how to teach a coward to be brave.
If the thinking sections of both the
communities realize the cowardice and folly at the back of the
hostilities, we can easily end them. Both have to be brave, both
have to be wise. If both or either deliberately get wise, theirs
will be the way of non-violence. If both fight and learn wisdom only
by bitter experience, the way will be one of violence. Either way
there is no room for cowards in the society of men, i.e., in a
society which loves freedom. Swaraj is not for cowards.
Cowardice should no place in the
According to the teaching of the Gita,
the first requisite for spiritual conduct is fearlessness. I want
you to make a firm resolve to shed all fear. Without fearlessness
all other virtues are turned into dust. Attainment of truth or
non-violence is impossible without fearlessness.
Fearlessness does not mean arrogance
or aggressiveness. This in itself is assign of fear. Fearlessness
presupposes calmness and peace of mind. For this it is necessary to
have a living faith in God.
It is shame to both the Hindus and
Musalmans that the Hindus should have to run away from their homes
as they have done. It is a shame for the Muslims because it is out
of fear of the Muslims that the Hindus have run away. Why should a
human being inspire another with fear? It is no less a shame for the
Hindus to have given way to craven fear. I have always said that man
should fear none but God.
The verses of the Shrimad Bhagwadgita
describe the characteristics of one who attained knowledge and
brought his senses under full control. The lesson of Bhagwadgita is
meant not for those who have for-saken the world, but for every
householder, irrespective of his birth and state. Everybody’s duty
should be to attain the state described therein, and this can only
be done if life is built rock of fearlessness.
Anatomy of Fear
Fear is thing which I dislike; why
should one man be afraid of another? Man should stain in fear of god
alone, and then he can shed all other fears.
The more I go about in these parts,
the more I find that your worst enemy is fear. It eats into the
vitals of the terror stricken as well as the terrorist. the latter
fears something in his victim. It may be his different religion or
his riches he fears. The second kind of fear is otherwise known as
greed. If you search enough, you will find that greed is a variety
of fear. But there has never been and will never be a man who is
able to intimidate one who has cast out fear from his heart. Why can
no one intimidate the fearless? You will find that God is always by
the side of his fearless. Therefore, we should fear Him alone and
seek His protection. All other fears will then by itself disappear.
Till fearlessness is cultivated by the people there will never be
any peace in these parts for the Hindus, or for the Musalmans.
In it writing by a Musalman) the
writer has rightly contended that a man of God is never afraid to
die or to lose his possessions for the sake of his self-respect or
religion. God has given us life and can take it away. That teaching
is universal and applied to all, Hindu as well a s Musalman. Those
who have in God their sole refuge cast all fear. Then there can be
lasting friendship between the two. I have been trying all these
days to din this lesson into the ears of my listeners. There was a
time when Musalmans Also l listened to me, but now things seem to
have changed and even among Hindus there are not many who will
follow my advice. But I feel sure, lasting peace can come only when
men of whatever community refuse to surrender to any fear save the
holy fear of God.
Only when the Hindus and Muslims shed
their fear and mutual suspicion can real unity of heart come. There
should not be any cause for hostility because their hearts are one.
Atmosphere of Hatred
The fact is that when blood boils,
prejudice reigns supreme; man, whether he labels himself a Hindu,
Musalman, Christian or what not, becomes a beast and acts as such.
I would like to observe the laws of
the game. Just as there is such a thing as honour among thieves,
there should surely be honour between combatants. One hears so often
of children and old men being butchered, women being outraged. If
men must become beasts, there might even then be some decency
The recent happenings are due. I am
sure, to the atmosphere of hate that pervades the land today. If we
remain calm in the midst of the storm, then only will we grow in
It grieves me to sense the existing
hatred and spirit of revenge. I warn you that unless you calm and
purify your hearts, you will light such a fire throughout the land
as will consume us all. I remind you of the story of the Mahabharata
which is not a history of India but of man. It is the story of fight
between the worshippers of Rama, the embodiment of good, and Ravan,
the embodiment of evil. they fought the Pandavas and the Kauravas
blood brothers, and what was the result? While evil was certainly
defeated, only seven of the evictors remained to tell the tale. This
is the state of the country today.