Satyagraha Pledge

Satyagraha Pledge

(The Leader, 13-3-1919)

It behoves everyone who wishes to take the satyagraha pledge seriously to consider ail its factors before taking is necessary to understand the principles of Satyagraha, to understand the main features of the Bills Known as the Rowlatt Bills, and to be satisfied that they are so objectionable as to warrant the very powerful remedy of Satyayagraha being applied and, finally, to be convinced of one’s Ability, to undergo every form of bodily suffering, so that the may be set free and be under no fear from any human wing or institution. Once in it, there is no looking back.

Therefore there is no conception of defeat in Satyagraha. Satyagrahi fights even unto death. It is thus not an easy thing for everybody to enter upon it. It therefore behoves a satyagrahi to be tolerant of those who do not join him. In reading imports of Satyagraha meetings, I often notice that ridicule is poured upon those who do not join our movement. That is entirely against the spirit of the pledge. In Satyagraha we expect to win over opponents by self-suffering, i.e., by love.  The process whereby we hope to reach our goal is by so con­ning ourselves as gradually and in an unperceived manner to disarm all opposition. Opponents as a rule expect irritation, violence from one another when both parties are equally bed.

But when Satyagraha comes into play, the expectation is transformed into agreeable surprise in the mind of the party towards whom Satyagraha is addressed till at last he relents and recalls the act which necessitated Satyagraha. I venture to promise that if we act up to our pledge day after day, the atmosphere around us will be purified and those who differ from us from honest motives, as I verily believe they do, will perceive that their alarm was unjustified.

The violationists wherever they may be, will realize that they have in satyagraha a far more potent instrument for achieving reform than violence whether secret or open and that it gives them enough Work :for their inexhaustible energy. And the Government will have no Case left in defence of their measures if, as a result of our activity, the cult of violence is notably On the Wane if it has not entirely died out. I hope therefore that at satyagraha meetings We shall have no cries Of shame, and do language betraying irritation Or impatience either against the Government or our countrymen Who differ from Us, and some of Whom have for years been devoting themselves to the country’s cause according to the best of their ability.