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TO EVERY BRITON
Harijan ^ | July 6, 1940 | Mohandas K. Gandhi

Posted on 12/29/2007 11:35:27 PM PST by herecomesthesun

TO EVERY BRITON

In 1896 I addressed an appeal to every Briton in South Africa on behalf of my countrymen who had gone there as labourers or traders and their assistants. It had its effect. However important it was from my viewpoint, the cause which I pleaded then was insignificant compared with the cause which prompts this appeal. I appeal to every Briton, wherever he may be now, to accept the method of non-violence instead of that of war for the adjustment of relations between nations and other matters. Your statesmen have declared that this a war on behalf of democracy. There are many other reason given in justification. You know them all by heart. I suggest that at the end of the war, whichever way it ends, there will be no democracy left to represent democracy. This war has descended upon mankind as a curse and a warning. It is a curse inasmuch as it is brutalizing man on a scale hitherto unknown. All distinctions between combatants and noncombatants have been abolished. No one and nothing is to be spared. Lying has been reduced to an art. Britain was to defend small nationalities. One by one they have vanished, at least for the time being. It is also a warning. It is a warning that, if nobody reads the writing on the wall, man will be reduced to the state of the beast, whom he is shaming by his manners. I read the writing when the hostilities broke out. But I had not the courage to say the word. God has given me the courage to say it before it is too late.

I appeal for cessation of hostilities, not because you are too exhausted to fight, but because war is bad in essence. You want to kill Nazism. You will never kill it by its indifferent adoption. Your soldiers are doing the same work of destruction as the Germans. The only difference is that perhaps yours are not as thorough as the Germans. If that be so, yours will soon acquire the same thoroughness as theirs, if not much greater. On no other condition can you win the war. In other words, you will have to be more ruthless than the Nazis. No cause, however just, can warrant the indiscriminate slaughter that is going on minute by minute. I suggest that a cause that demands the inhumanities that are being perpetrated today cannot be called just.

I do not want Britain to be defeated, nor do I want her to be victorious in a trial of brute strength, whether expressed through the muscle or the brain. Your muscular bravery is an established fact. Need you demonstrate that your brain is also as unrivalled in destructive power as your muscle? I hope you do not wish to enter into such an undignified competition with the Nazis. I venture to present you with a nobler and a braver way, worthy of the bravest soldier. I want you to fight Nazism without arms, or, if I am to retain the military terminology, with non-violent arms. I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. Let them take possession of your beautiful island, with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.

This process or method, which I have called non-violent non-co-operation, is not without considerable success in its use in India. Your representatives in India may deny my claim. If they do, I shall feel sorry for them. They may tell you that our non-co-operation was not wholly non-violent, that it was born of hatred. If they give that testimony, I won’t deny it. Had it been wholly non-violent, if all the non-co-operators had been filled with goodwill towards you, I make bold to say that you who are India’s masters would have become her pupils and, with much greater skill than we have, perfected this matchless weapon and met the German and Italian friends’ menace with it. Indeed the history of Europe during the past few months would then have been written differently. Europe would have been spared seas of innocent blood, the rape of so many small nations, and the orgy of hatred.

This is no appeal made by a man who does not know his business. I have been practising with scientific precision non-violence and its possibilities for an unbroken period of over fifty years. I have applied it in every walk of life, domestic, institutional, economic and political. I know of no single case in which it has failed. Where it has seemed sometimes to have failed, I have ascribed it to my imperfections. I claim no perfection for my self. But I do claim to be a passionate seeker after Truth, which is but another name for God. In the course of the search the discovery of non-violence came to me. Its spread is my life-mission. I have no interest in living except for the prosecution of that mission.

I claim to have been a lifelong and wholly disinterested friend of the British people. At one time I used to be also a lover of your empire. I thought that it was doing good to India. When I saw that in the nature of things it could do no good, I used, and am still using, the non-violent method to fight imperialism. Whatever the ultimate fate of my country, my love for you remains, and will remain, undiminished. My non-violence demands universal love, and you are not a small part of it. It is that love which has prompted my appeal to you.

May God give power to every word of mine. In his name I began to write this, and in His name I close it. May your statesman have the wisdom and courage to respond to my appeal. I am telling His Excellency the Viceroy that my services are at the disposal of His Majesty’s Government, should they consider them of any practical use in advancing the object of my appeal.

NEW DELHI, JULY 2, 1940

Harijan, 6-7-1940


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; Philosophy; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: gandhi; hitler; moonbat; mussolini; nonviolence; satyagraha; worldwarii
Winston Churchill had just taken office as Prime Minister a couple of months earlier. I think Churchill had it right.
1 posted on 12/29/2007 11:35:29 PM PST by herecomesthesun
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To: herecomesthesun

What a true idiot....


2 posted on 12/30/2007 12:30:35 AM PST by Crim (Dont frak with the Zeitgeist....)
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To: herecomesthesun

‘Oo are the Britons?


3 posted on 12/30/2007 12:56:51 AM PST by Choose Ye This Day ("Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: herecomesthesun

Pacifists are always appealing to the wrong side.


4 posted on 12/30/2007 3:12:25 AM PST by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done, needs to be done by the government.)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot

Pacifists always seem to want me to let myself be murdered.


5 posted on 12/30/2007 4:08:12 AM PST by PLMerite ("Unarmed, one can only flee from Evil. But Evil isn't overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper)
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To: herecomesthesun
I venture to present you with a nobler and a braver way, worthy of the bravest soldier.
I want you to fight Nazism without arms, or, if I am to retain the military terminology, with non-violent arms.
I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity.
You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions.
Let them take possession of your beautiful island, with your many beautiful buildings.
You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds.
If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them.
If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.

Like, Wow! Peace brother! Now, pass that duchy

He forget to mention, "Go quietly, No loud chanting! No slogan shouting!"

6 posted on 12/30/2007 4:56:14 AM PST by MrBambaLaMamba (Buy 'Allah' brand urinal cakes - If you can't kill the enemy at least you can piss on their god)
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To: PLMerite

From wiki...

On January 30, 1948, Gandhi was shot and killed while having his nightly public walk on the grounds of the Birla Bhavan (Birla House) in New Delhi. The assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a Hindu radical with links to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha, who held Gandhi responsible for weakening India by insisting upon a payment to Pakistan.


7 posted on 12/30/2007 5:21:00 AM PST by xp38
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To: herecomesthesun

“Your soldiers are doing the same work of destruction as the Germans.” Patent nonsense. Ghandi was an idiot, and the lionization of him and “non-violence” is idiocy. Dangerous idiocy. If India had been trying to get rid of the Russians or the Chinese, they would still be a colony. And millions of Indians would be dead.


8 posted on 12/30/2007 5:51:24 AM PST by RKV (He who has the guns makes the rules)
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To: herecomesthesun
Pacifists are not neutral. They are actively on the side of evil, and need to be dealt with as collaborators.

-ccm

9 posted on 12/30/2007 7:13:21 AM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: ccmay

I wholeheartedly agree.


10 posted on 12/31/2007 1:04:40 AM PST by herecomesthesun ("...and thatís what Iím going to try to do as President again...")
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To: Crim

What these idiots don’t understand is that nonviolence only works on people and governments that have a conscience


11 posted on 01/05/2008 7:51:12 PM PST by Charlespg (Peace= When we trod the ruins of Mecca and Medina under our infidel boots.)
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To: Charlespg

And as vile as these vermin were....even they abidded by the geneva conventions for the most part...there modern counterpart does not...


12 posted on 01/05/2008 8:06:55 PM PST by Crim (Dont frak with the Zeitgeist....)
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