Page:Forty Thousand Followers of Gandhi in Prison.djvu/6

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


specially in political cases, is almost a thing of the past.

People learn self-reliance.

The soundness of the education imparted in schools is questioned, and hope that the British people will some day grant us Dominion status out of the goodness of their heart, has been given up once and for all. Even the unlettered peasant and the ignorant wage earner has found out for himself that the policy of the Government is one of exploitation throughout, exploitation of the brain, exploitation of the body and of manhood and exploitation of the fruits of labour; and every man, woman and child has grasped the lesson that if we would be free we will have to attain freedom by our own unassisted efforts and in spite of the oppositon of our present Government. The lesson of self-reliance has gone home and the whole nation has been taught that what it would have, it will have to strive for and that nothing is worth having which had not been won by one’s own efforts.

British diplomacy out-manoeuvered.

At the beginning of the Non-co-operation movement, the Government seemed to think it a mad scheme and announced that it was not going to interfere with it, but was going to leave it to die of inanition. They seemed to think that it was such a hopelessly futile scheme that it was not necessary to take any action against it or its advocates, so long as they refrained from preaching or practising violence. This policy they adhered to for nearly a year. But what is the position to-day? Contrary to their expectations they found the movement gaining strength day by day, that at last they became alarmed and had to take most desperate and, what I can safely call, ill-advised action.

Non-violent atmosphere unparallelled.

Remember that we had not departed from our ideal of Non-violence. We had preached it so constant-

4