Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/766

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676 NON-CO-OPERATION

had habitually indulged in violence and intimidation^ The prisons of India to-day hold some of the most in- offensive men and hardly any who are convicted under the law. Abundant proof can be produced in support of this statement as also of the statement of the fact that almost wherever meetings have been broken up, there was actually no risk of violence.

The Government of India deny that the Viceroy has laid down upon the apology of the Ali Brothers the civilised policy of non interference with the non-violent activities of Non-Co-operator?. I am extremely sorry for this repudiation. The very part of the communique reproduced in the reply is in my opinion sufficient proof that the Government did not intend to interfere with such activities. The Government did not wish to be inferred that speeches promoting disaffection of a less violent character were not an offence against the law. I have never stated that breach of any law was not to be an offence against it, but I have stated, as I repeat now t that it was not the intention of the Govern- ment then to prosecute for non-violent activities although they might amount to a technical breach of the law.

As to the conditions of the conference the Govern- ment reply evidently omits to mention the two words " and otherwise" after the words " Calcutta speech'* in my letter. I repeat that the terms " I would gather fro*n the Calcutta speech 'and otherwise" were nearly the same that were mentioned in the resolutions of the Malaviya Conference. What are called th: unlawful activities of the N. C. O. party, being a reply to the no- tifcations of the Government, would have ceased Automatically with the withdrawal of those notifica-

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