Take a pledge, with God and your own conscience as witness, that you will no longer rest till freedom is achieved and will be prepared to lay down your lives in the attempt to achieve it. I know the British Government will not be able to withhold freedom from us, when we have made enough self-sacrifice. I have not changed in any fundamental respect. Once you realize this you will forget the differences between the Hindus and Muslims, and think of yourselves as Indians only, engaged in the common struggle for independence. I mention this with great pride and pleasure.
The Quaid-i-Azam has said that the Muslim League is prepared to take over the rule from the Britishers if they are prepared to hand it over to the Muslim League, for the British took over the empire from the hands of the Muslims. But it is my conviction that inasmuch as these struggles were fought with the weapon of violence they failed to realize the democratic ideal. Much as the the largely Hindu public assembly that had some governmental functions sympathized with defeating fascism, they balked at seeing their country further pillaged for resources. But my heart is heavy. On 17th October 1939 the Viceroy released a statement in which he announced that the reason Britain was waging a war was to restore peace in the world. I, therefore, want freedom immediately, this very night, before dawn, if it can be had.
God has vouchsafed to me a priceless gift in the weapon of Ahimsa. If in the present crisis, when the earth is being scorched by the flames of Hinsa and crying for deliverance, I failed to make use of the God given talent, God will not forgive me and I shall be judged un- wrongly of the great gift. And there was great outburst of violence throughout the country. Every true Congressman or woman will join the struggle with inflexible determination not to remain alive to see the country in bondage and slavery. The people make no distinction between British imperialism and the British people.
I captured their hearts and when I left finally for India, I left them sad and shedding tears of grief at the separation. I have said that much greater sacrifice will have to be made this time in the wake of our struggle because of the opposition from the Muslim League and from Englishmen. It was the spirit of courtesy, dignity and nobility that inspired us in those days. At a time when I may have to launch the biggest struggle of my life, I may not harbour hatred against anybody. I have yet to say a few words in English also. From riots to protests to government offices being attacked. It has thought always in terms of the whole nation and has acted accordingly.
As a matter of fact, I feel myself to be a greater friend of the British now than ever before. Kasturbai nursed him back to health, but her own health was failing. Overnight Gandhi was arrested, and also many other leaders in various parts in India. If that change does not come about, his conversion goes in vain and our non-co-operation with him will have to continue. I have not changed in any fundamental respect. If, therefore, there is any among you who has lost faith in Ahimsa or is wearied of it, let him not vote for this resolution. Let me, however, hasten to assure that I am the same Gandhi as I was in 1920.
As I view the situation, they are on the brink of an abyss. Overall, the Quit India Movement has majorly impacted and changed history until this day. It is for the same reason that I do not believe in the possibility of establishing world peace through violence as the English and American statesmen propose to do. They can, if they like, swamp the Congress by their numbers, and can steer it along the course which appeals to them. It would hurt me to hear of a single instance of a Mussalman being killed by a Congressman.
Why should you, instead of paying homage to a foreign power, not accept the sovereignty of your own people? The demand for Indian independence had now grown in to a world-wide question. Shall I ask the Japanese to tarry awhile? Churchill did not yield to any of these approaches. You used to feed and cloth me, though I could have provided food and clothing for myself by my labour. I do not want the United Powers to go beyond their obvious limitations. I have traveled all over India as perhaps nobody in the present age has. Thousands were killed and injured in the wake of the 'Quit India' movement. I and my Ahimsa are on our trail today.
Strikes were called in many places. I have given you my message and through you I have delivered it to the whole of India. They were lovers of the Congress. And for me I put my span of life at 120 years. He said to the Government that though he was a judge, he was a Congressman and would openly attend the sessions of the Congress, but that at the same time he would not let his political views warp his impartiality on the bench.
But Mussalmans ask for it, Mr. That will not hurt me. But under the Congress scheme of things, essentially non-violent as it is, there can be no room for dictatorship. Now I hold my wisdom is not such a treasure which I cannot afford to lose; but my honesty is a precious treasure to me and I can ill-afford to lose it. The people say they are disgusted with their behavior. Everybody will be his own master.
Nevertheless, I do feel, as the poor villagers felt about Mysore, that there is orderliness in the universe, there is an unalterable law governing everything and every being that exists or lives. You are right in asking that question. Law and the law-giver are one. In the democracy which I have envisaged, a democracy established by nonviolence, there will be equal freedom for all. I may not hesitate and merely look on, when Russia and China are threatened.