Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/626

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536 NON-CO-OPERATION

which reforms can be achieved and religion can fye conserved. If it is a question of religious honour, whether I am one or among many I must stand upon my doctrine. Even if I should die in the attempt, it is worth dying for, than that I should live and deny my o#n doctrine. I suggest that it will be wrong on the part of any one to seek election to these (Jouicils. If once we feel that we cannot co-operate with this Government, we have to commence from the top. We are the natural leaders of the people and we have acquired the right and the power to go to the nation and speak to it with the voice of non-co-operation. I therefore do suggest that it is inconsistent with non-co-operation to seek election to the Councils on any terms whatsoever.

LAWYERS AND NON-CO-OPERATION I have suggested an nher difficult matter, viz., that the lawyers should suspend their practice. How should I do otherwise knowing so well how the Government had always been able to retain this power through the instru- mentality of lawyers. It is perfectly true that it is the lawyers of to-day who are leading us, who are fighting the country's battles, but when it comes to a matter of action against the Government, when it comes to a matter of para- lysing the activity of the Government I know that the Government always looks to the lawyers, however fine fighters they may have been, to preserve their dignity and their self-respect. I therefore suggest to my lawyer friends that it is their duty to suspend their practice and to show to the Government that they will no longer retain their offices, because lawyers are considered to be honorary officers of the courts and therefore subject to their dis- ciplinary jurisdiction. They must no longer retain these honorary offices if they want to withdraw co-operation

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