Gandhi Versus the Empire

By Haridas T. Muzumdar | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
THE DISCIPLINE OF THE NON-VIOLENT ARMY

How were the non-violent soldiers of India's freedom to conduct themselves? An answer to this question has been furnished by Gandhi in his article on "Some Rules of Satyagraha" in Young India, February 27, 1930.


SOME RULES OF SATYAGRAHA

Satyagraha literally means insistence on truth. This insistence arms the votary with matchless power. This power or force is connoted by the word Satyagraha. Satyagraha, to be genuine, may be offered against parents, against one's wife or one's children, against rulers, against fellow citizens, even against the whole world.

Such a universal force necessarily makes no distinction between kinsmen and strangers, young and old, man and woman, friend and foe. The force to be so applied can never be physical. There is in it no room for violence. The only force of universal application can, therefore, be that of Ahimsa or love. In other words, it is Soul Force.

Love does not burn others; it burns itself. Therefore a Satyagrahi, i.e., a civil resister, will joyfully suffer even unto death.

It follows, therefore, that a civil resister, whilst he will strain every nerve to compass the end of the existing rule, will do no intentional injury in thought, word or deed to the person of a single Englishman. This necessarily brief explanation of Satyagraha will perhaps enable the reader to understand and appreciate the following rules.

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