Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/149

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134
AN INDIAN PATRIOT

good against evil. Still, I adopt the phrase because it is well-known, and easily understood, and because, at present, the great majority of my people can only grasp that idea. To me, the ideas which underlie that Gujarati hymn and the 'Sermon of the Mount' would revolutionize the whole of life."

"How did you begin this movement among your people?" I asked. "Well," he replied, "some years ago, when I began to take an active part in the public life of Natal, the adoption of this method occurred to me as the best course to pursue, should petitions fail, but, in the then unorganised condition of our Indian community, the attempt seemed useless. Here, however, in Johannesburg, when the Asiatic Registration Act was introduced, the Indian community was so deeply stirred, and so knit together in a common determination to resist it, that the moment seemed opportune. Some action they would take; it seemed to best for the Colony, and altogether right, that their action should not take a riotous form, but that of Passive Resistance. They had no vote in Parliament, no hope of obtaining redress, no one would listen to their complaints. The Christian churches were indifferent, so I proposed this pathway of suffering, and after much