34 srrsuorx u namely, the members of the Satyagrahasmma rrr Ahmedabad-who are engaged in this exalted enterprise and owe lifelong allegiance to those principles and courses ol action. The numerous levies now fighting in India under the flag of non-co-operation are enrolled only for a single campaign and mty lapse into the common grooves of lite as soon as the British G rvernment has been orought to 1 s knees and consented to change its basis. In the intensive operations of this campaign rt may become necessary to resort to civil disobedience of selected laws and non-payment ul taxes. But wherever the severity of the measures which such action may provoke the authorities to adopt, non-cc-operators are precluded from the slightest infraction ul the commandment as to non- violence. To understand Mr. Gandhr’s view of lrfe, attention mu t D8 fixed on the rules he has laid down for the regulation of his Ahmedabad institution. Its name, Satyagmhasrama, means the hermitage ol the determined practice of truth or the abode ot soul- foroe. The Asmma is still small. Ir has had no real chance of proving its vitality, for ever since its establishment other things have claimed the energies of its founder. But the attainment ol its objects is conditioned by the increase of it numbers and the acceptance by the community at large of these austere ideals as at present exemplified in the lives of a few apostles. No estimate can be formed of the prospective influence ofthe new gospel without Q.!] (‘X·lmlD&DlOLl Ol IDS real U?LZl1IB• Truth in the highest ser se is possible only where the indivrdual enjoys complete freedom. All forms of force or coeraions are thus at once barred. Gompulsion, authority, government, these are an- athema marantha to one who at bottom is a philsophical anarchist. In fact, be describes the essence of his doctrine sometimes as love. sometrmes as truth, sometimes as non-violence (ahrmsa), these forms are in his opinion interchangeable: For organi ed govern- ment in the ideal world, is justifiable. The merit of the British Government is that it governs the least. Even a family and a school must trust entirely to the power of love and moral reasoning. Flagranr. misconduct he deals with by himself fasting for a certain number of days, the guilty party being in- variably brought to a stare of ccntrrtion within that period. Some- times ago he applied this remedy to end a serious strike in a mill, the employers coming to reason for fear of incurring sin. Within the last lew weeks the violence practised by some persons in Bombay in the name of non-co-operation on the occasion ol the Prince of Wales' visit entailed this form of self-chastisement on his part, and by all accounts it had the desired result. Nobody is entitled to possess more than is absolutely necessary for the moment. To hold in excess of the need is to be guilty cl theft. He and his wife have given away all their property-he practised law for many years with success-·and now own nothing
Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/972
This page needs to be proofread.