THERE NEVER can be any conflict between the real interest of oneís country and that of oneís religion. Where there appears to be any, there is something wrong with oneís religion, i.e., patriotism also means good thought and good conduct. To set up a comparison between two synonymous things is wrong.
I hope those in the Union of India
would be worthy of their faiths and would be proud to call
themselves sons and daughters of the same soil, claiming perfect
equality in the eyes of the law. Religion is no test of nationality
they are Indians first and Indians last, no matter what religion
A friend asked me the other day
whether I share the opinion, often expressed, that as between
nationalism and religion, the former was superior to the latter. I
said that the two were dissimilar and that there could be no
comparison between dissimilar. Each was equal to the other in its
own place. No man who values his religion as also his nationalism
can barter away the one for the other. Both are equally dear to him.
He renders unto Caesar that which is Ceasarís and unto God that
which is Godís. And if Caesar, forgetting his limits, oversteps
them, a man of God does not transfer his loyalty to another Caesar,
but knows how to deal with the usurpation. A rehearsal of this
difficulty gave rise to Satyagraha.
Take a homely illustration. Suppose I
have mother, wife and daughter. All three must be equally dear to me
in their own places. It is vulgar error to think that a man is
entitled to forsake his mother and his daughter for the sake of his
wife. He dare not do the converse. And if any of the three oversteps
her limits, the law of Satyagraha comes to his assistance for the
restoration of the equilibrium of the three forces.
The Hindus, the Muslims, the Sikhs,
the Christians, the Parsis and the Jews should be Indians first and
Indians last. Religion is the personal affair of each individual. It
must not mixed up with politics or national affairs.