I have been asked whether the brother or other relatives of the late Rajabali should demand compensation from the Government for his murder. The deceased himself would not have considered such a death a loss. He would have held that such a murder, if allowed to go unavenged, would ultimately put an end to further murders and was therefore beneficial. To demand even the smallest compensation for the death of such a man is bound to wash away to some extent the good that it might do. How can the spirit of the deceased tolerate this? I find much substance in this argument. Murder cannot be avenged by accepting compensation for it. The proper way to avenge murder is not to answer murder with murder. Those who hold this view will not demand money for murder or commit murder in retaliation. Avenging murder with murder will only lead to an increase in murders. We can see it clearly today. It may satisfy the individual but I am certain that is can never bring peace to society or advance it.
The question can certainly arise what an individual can do in a society where murder for murder is the rule. The answer would lie not in precept but in setting an example. And only those have a right to set an example who have the right to avenge, namely, the relatives of Rajabali. In the end the decision has to be theirs. I have only pointed out the way of ahimsa as I have understood it.
In Madras there is a little girl of five years called Aruna.3 Last January when I was in Madras she watched me spin and was seized with the desire to do so herself. The atmosphere in which she is being reared has a spinning bias, but her cultured parents have been averse to forcing anything on her. They were content with what they were
able to make her do by suggestion and example. When Aruna evinced enthusiasm for spinning they were very pleased to give her encouragement. The result was that in a single day Aruna had prepared a sliver and brought it to me. Then when she saw me spin that sliver her joy knew no bounds. I explained to her the defects of the sliver and her parents helped her to remove them. Since then she has been making slivers and spinning quite well. Thus this five-year- old girl learnt two things at the same time : to clean and card cotton and make slivers and also to give to others the produce of her labour. When children take money from their parents to give it to others all the merit goes to the parents. A child truly gives when it gives what it has earned with its own labour, be it slivers or some other thing.
I preserved your article Arunani Puni till today. My first reading of it was cursory but interesting at it is, I do not consider it fit for publication. I see a mother\u2019s love in every single line, yet I would not call it literature. I cannot claim to know much about literature.
Besides, your article is, however unconsciously, laden with praise for me; no one is likely to gain from the publication of such an article. I therefore refrained from publishing it but preserved it because I had a mind to draw a lesson from it\u2014 how much a child can accomplish if it is led along the right way. You will find it inH a r i j a n .1 You might not have a copy and I can understand that as a mother you would value it, hence I am returning the article.
Giving a severe castigation to the unruly crowd that had indulged in window smashing and would have smashed in the roof too if they could, in the afternoon, Gandhiji remarked that it augured ill for the independence to come.3 The Working Committee which was holding its meeting in their city was considering how to win Independence for the people of India in the shortest time. It was not labouring for a change of masters. If the masses wanted to enjoy independence, they had first to learn the secret of observing voluntary discipline. Otherwise discipline would have to be imposed upon them by the powers that be. That would not be independence but its negation. Every people got the Government they deserved. If they indulged in hooliganism, so would the Government and its officials in the name of law and order. The result would not be freedom or independence but a balancing of anarchies, each trying to keep the other in check. Voluntary discipline was the first requisite of corporate freedom. If the people were well-behaved the Government officials would
Extracted from Pyarelal\u2019s \u201cWeekly Letter\u201d. The occasion was the inauguration of the change from English to Marathi as the medium of instruction. Those attending included Ravi Shanker Shukla, Premier of C.P., and the Vice- Chancellor of the Nagpur University.
outside and the crowd was so unmanageable and undisciplined that the time and venue of the function had to be shifted and it was held in the open instead of in the College hall.
Use your Facebook login and see what your friends are reading and sharing.
Now bringing you back...
Please enter your email address below to reset your password. We will send you an email with instructions on how to continue.