Major-General Gariappa is reported to have said as follows:
of no use under the present circumstances in India and only a strong
army can make India one of the greatest nations in the world."
I fear, like many experts, General Cariappa has gone beyond his
depth and has been unwittingly betrayed into a serious misconception
of Ahimsa, of whose working in the nature of things, he can only
have very superficial knowledge. By reason of lifelong practice of
Ahimsa, I claim to be an expert in it, though very imperfect.
Speaking in absolute terms, the more I practise it the clearer I see
how far I am from the full expression of Ahimsa in my life. It is
his ignorance of this, the greatest duty of man in the world, which
makes him say that in this age non-violence has little scope in the
face of violence, whereas I make bold to say that in this age of the
atom bomb unadulterated non-violence is the only force that can
confound all the tricks of violence put together. It would have
become the General, unaided as he can only now be, by his British
teachers of military science and practice, not to have gone out of
his depth. Generals greater than General Cariappa have been wise and
humble enough frankly to make the admission that they can have no
right to speak of the possibilities of the force of Ahimsa. We are
witnessing the tragic insolvency of military science and practice in
its own home. Should a bankrupt, who has been by the gamble in the
share market, sing the praise of that particular form of gambling ?
New Delhi, 7-11-'47