Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/898

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ed the true correspondence between the Maker and itself.

It was in that religious spirit that I came upon hartal. I wanted to show that it is not a knowledge of letters that would give India consciousness of herself, or that would find the educated together. The hartal illuminated the whole of India as if by magic on the 6th of April, 1919. And had it not been for the interruption of the 10th of April brought about by Satan whispering fear into the ears of a government conscious of its own wrong and inciting to anger a people that were prepared for it by utter distrust of the Government, India would have risen to an unimaginable height. The hartal had not only been taken up by the great masses of people in a truly religious spirit but it was intended to be a prelude to a series of direct actions.

But my critic deplores direct action. For, he says, "it does not work for unity." I join issue with him. Never has anything been done on this earth without direct action. I rejected the word "passive resistance," because of its insufficiency and its being interrupted as a weapon of the weak. It was direct action in South Africa which told and told so effectively that it converted General Smuts to sanity. He was in 1906 the most relentless opponent of Indian aspirations. In 1914 he took pride in doing tardy justice by removing from the Statute Book of the Union a disgraceful measure which, in 1909 he had told Lord Morley, would be never removed, for he then said South Africa would never tolerate repeal of a measure which was twice passed by the Transvaal Legislature. But what is more, direct action sustained for eight years left behind it not only no bitterness, but the very Indians who put up such a stubborn