Page:Mahatma Gandhi, his life, writings and speeches.djvu/56

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challenge of colonial insolence to Indian manhood. There was nothing left but to bare the majesty of their own souls to the storm and defy it to do its utmost. The prison and the gaol were now to be the cells of their own self-discipline. All the forces of darkness in league were powerless to move them from the firm-set purpose of their own hearts. Was spirit greater than matter? Was the body to be nailed to the cross or the soul? Was not Heaven itself beckoning them to the great Heights? In such wise did Mr. Gandhi adjure his countrymen.

The words of the leader awoke a responsive thrill in thousands of intrepid hearts. Like one man they vowed against the registration. Like one man they resolved to face prosecution and persecution, dungeon and death itself. Like one man they resolved to make atonement for the heaped-up humiliations of many years by a supreme and triumphant act of self-vindication which should rivet the eyes of the whole world. The hour of the spirit's rebound when individuals and communities alike cleave through every consideration save that of their own integrity, that hour had come.