Unit 9 - Gandhi_On_Non_Violence - On Non-Violence by...

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On Non-Violence , by Mohandas Gandhi, from Selections from Gandhi , (2nd Ed., edited by N.K. Bose, Navajihan Publishing, 1957 in Assent/Dissent, ed., J.P. White, (Kendall- Hunt, 1984), pp. 73-76. Up to the year 1906, I simply relied on appeal to reason. I was a very industrious reformer. I was a good draftsman, as I always had a close grip of facts, which was the necessary result of my meticulous regard for truth. But I found that reason failed to produce an impression when the critical moment arrived in South Africa. My people were excited and there was talk of wreaking vengeance . I had then to choose between allying myself to violence or finding some other method of meeting the crisis and stopping the rot, and it came me that we should refuse to obey legislation that was degrading, and let them put us in jail if they liked. Thus came into being the moral equivalent of war. I was then a loyalist, because I implicitly believed that the sum total of the activities of the British Empire was good for India and for humanity . . . . The disillusionment came in 1919 after the passage of the Black Rowlatt Act and the refusal of the government to give the simple elementary redress of proved wrongs that we had asked for. And so, in 1920, I became a rebel. Since then the conviction has been growing upon me that things of fundamental importance to the people are not secured by reason alone but have to be purchased with their suffering. Suffering is the law of human beings; war is the law of the jungle. But suffering is infinitely more powerful than the law of the jungle for converting the opponent and opening his ears, which are otherwise shut, to the voice of reason. Nobody has probably drawn up more petitions or espoused more forlorn causes than I, and I have come to this fundamental conclusion that if you want something really important to be done you must not merely satisfy the reason, you must move the heart also. The appeal of r eason is more to the head, but the penetration of the heart comes from suffering. It opens up the inner understanding in man. Suffering is the badge of the human race, not the sword. Nonviolence
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Unit 9 - Gandhi_On_Non_Violence - On Non-Violence by...

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