Gandhi Versus the Empire

By Haridas T. Muzumdar | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
THE URGENCY OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

"With reference to the imminent civil disobedience some pertinent questions have been put by friends as well as by critics. These need answering." With this introduction Mahatma Gandhi takes up five questions addressed to him, bearing on the why and the wherefore of his attempt to inaugurate Civil Disobedience ( Young India, February 20, 1930).


SOME QUESTIONS

Q. Surely you are not so impatient as to start your campaign without letting the authorities know your plans and giving them an opportunity of meeting you and arresting you?

A. Those who know my past should know that I hold it to be contrary to Satyagraha to do anything secretly or impatiently. My plans will be certainly sent to the Viceroy before I take any definite step. A Satyagrahi [i.e., a devotee of Soul Force] has no secrets to keep from his opponent or so-called enemy.

Q. Did you not say even at Lahore [less than two months ago] that the country was not prepared for Civil Disobedience, especially the no-tax campaign on a mass scale?

A. I am not even now sure that it is. But it has become clear to me as never before that the unpreparedness, in the sense that a non-violent atmosphere is wanting,

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