A hundred years ago November 2, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (November 2, 1921): Non-Co-operation

Mahatma Gandhi writes in “Young India”: There is no doubt that non-co-operation is an education which is developing and crystallizing public opinion. And as soon as it is organised enough for effective action, we have Swaraj. We cannot organise public opinion in a violent atmosphere. Just as those who have been forced by the Moplahs to recite the Kalima are no Musalmans, even so those who call themselves non-co-operators from fashion or compulsion are no non-co-operators. They are a hindrance and no help. Our tyranny, if we impose our will on others, will be infinitely worse than that of the handful of Englishmen who form the bureaucracy. Theirs is a terrorism imposed by a minority struggling to exist in the midst of opposition. Ours will be a terrorism imposed by a majority and therefore worse and really more godless than the first. We must therefore eliminate compulsion in any shape from our struggle. If we are only a handful freely holding the doctrine of non-co-operation, we may have to die in the attempt to convert others to our view, but we shall have truly defended and represented our cause.

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