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gandhi_collected works vol 98

gandhi_collected works vol 98

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Published by: Nrusimha ( नृसिंह ) on Jan 29, 2009
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06/25/2014

NEW DELHI,

January 21, 1948

GANDHIJI: I know what is happening there.1

But nothing is to be
gained by our showing cowardice. Someone tells me that in U. P.
Hindus have started growing beards with the notion that thereby they
will become brave. But that is no way to become brave. I read your
Granthsaheb. But I do not do so to please you. Nor shall I seek your
permission to do so. But the Guru has not said anywhere that you
must grow beards, carry kirpans and so on. If the Muslims treat the
Hindus as poison you should not have persuaded me to give up the
fast. If that be so, food to me will be like poison. If I know that it is all
deception then all effort is futile. I had told the Muslims so very
clearly.

The spectacle today is one of supreme bravery. From now on
we will not seek revenge for enmity but we will return it with
friendship. I have given in to your pleading. It is good you have told
me everything. At present there is peace all over Delhi. What security
can I need? But if there is betrayal this cup of orange juice shall be as
poison to me. It is only the third day today. When I am a little bit
stronger you may tell me what you want.

KARTAR SINGH: Afflicted men cannot be balanced men. Everybody cannot be a

Mahatma Gandhi.

GANDHIJI: Mahatma Gandhi is neither an angel nor a devil. He is
a man like you....The slaughter that took place at Shekhupura was
reminiscent of the outrage of Nadirshah2

. The Wah camp at
Rawalpindi presented the same spectacle. It can do no good to dwell
on who has killed more people and where. The Sikhs have shown
great bravery today for which I am grateful. In spite of their terrible
sufferings they have accepted all my conditions for breaking the
fast. This is not a small matter. I am doing all that any individual
can do.

1

Giani Kartar Singh had described the excesses perpetrated on Sikhs in

Pakistan.

2

Shah of Persia who invaded India in 1739, defeated Muhammad Shah and

ordered a massacre in Delhi

VOL. 98: 6 DECEMBER, 1947 - 30 JANUARY, 1948

281

I had three Parsi visitors1

who had come after meeting
Mr. Jinnah and other Pakistani leaders. They told me that
[non-Muslims] no doubt had suffered immense hardships in Karachi
but the people there were also ashamed [of their deeds]. Nobody says
that they are not at fault. Now Mr. Jinnah has proclaimed that anyone
found guilty of criminal actions will be severely punished. A lot of
plundered goods have been seized from the homes of officials. I
assure you that I shall do as much as I can. For I have to do or die.
You will have seen what happened yesterday, but I know that if there is
work that God wants me to do I must do it.

[From Hindi]

Dilhiman Gandhiji—II, pp. 365-7

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