Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/549

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the limitations imposed by the Pledge. The worst that can happen to any signatory is that the selection may not be exhaustive enough for him.

I have been told that I am diverting the attention of the country from the one and only thing that matters, namely, the forthcoming reforms. In my opinion the Rowlatt Legislation, in spite of the amendments which, as the Select Committee very properly says, does not affect its principles, blocks the way to progress and therefore to attainment of substantial reforms. To my mind the first thing needful is to claim a frank and full recognition of the principle that public opinion properly expressed shall be respected by the Government. I am no believer in the doctrine that the same power can at the same time trust and distrust, grant liberty and repress it. I have a right to interpret the coming re- forms by tba light that the Rowlatt Legislation throws upon them, and I make bold to promise that if we do not gather sufficient force to remove from our path this great obstacle in the shape of the Rowlatt legislation, we shall find the reforms to be a whitened sepulchre* Yet another objection to answer. Some friends have argued : " Your Satyagraha movement only accentuates the fear we have of the onrush of Bolshevism." The fact, however, is that, if anything can possibly prevent this calamity descending upon our country, it is Satya- graha. Bolshevism is the necessary result of modern materialistic civilisation. Its insensate worship of mat- ter has given rise to a school which has been brought up to look upon materialistic advancement as the goal and which has lost all touch with the final things of life. Self-indulgence is the Bolshevic creed, self res- traint is the Satyagraha creed. If I can but induce the

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