20th January, 1948.
peace through love, not arms
his prayer meeting on the evening of the 18th, Bapu said in a dictated
message read out by Dr. Sushila Nayyar, I have terminated my fast.
The kindness I have received from the people of Delhi, including the
refugees, I shall never forget. I experienced the same love in Calcutta.
We must never, under any circumstances, treat anyone as an enemy.
We have all to live in harmony. If we in India hope to be friends
with the whole world, there is no reason why we should be enemies
of the Muslims in our own land. I am not a prophet, but God has granted
me the power of reason and a heart. My reason and my heart tell me
that if, for some reason, we are unable to forge friendship between
Hindus and Muslims, not only here but in Pakistan and in the whole
of the world, we shall not be able to keep our free India for long.
It will pass into the hands of others, and we will become a slave
people again. Pakistan too will become a slave country, and the freedom
we have gained will be lost.
have showered blessings on me today, and assured me that Hindus, Sikhs,
and Muslims will live as brothers, and under no provocation become
enemies of each other. This is not a small thing. It means that from
now on, our endeavour will be to see that the peoples of Pakistan
and India remain friends. The spirit behind my fast must be preserved.
What happens in Delhi will happen in the whole of India. And what
happens in India will happen in Pakistan. Have no doubt about it.
So long we were heading towards Satan. From now on, I hope we shall
begin to move towards God. We must pledge that once our face is turned
towards God we shall never turn it away. When that happens, India
and Pakistan will unitedly be able to serve the world and make it
nobler. I do not wish to live for any other purpose. May God grant
good sense to us and to all in the world. May He awaken and draw us
all to Him, so that India and the world may be happy. May God who
is Truth, guide us as He visibly guided us during all these six days.
The doctors and
the members of his entourage fussed over him. Millions rejoiced. On
Monday, Bapu''s day of silence, he was back to work from early morning
as though he had not undergone a strenuous fast at all! Letter after
letter he patiently dictated. They restressed the fundamentals of
proper living as always. God has seen us through this penance.
Everyone has to stand face to face with God; else there is perdition.
Observe restraint.Stay on there, and do whatever service you
can.God is always present in all good work. Such were the words
he used to urge the people to feel the presence of living God, to
have faith in themselves, and to live for others every moment of their
Referring to the
numerous letters and telegrams he was receiving, Bapu said in his
written speech for the evening prayer meeting, In this great country
of ours, there is room for all. The condition of keeping me in your
midst is that all communities live at peace with one another, not
by force of arms, but in love, than which there is no better cement
in the whole world.
Tuesday was another
day of steady work as the Mahatma strove to come quickly back to his
routine and catch up with items that had fallen behind during his
Doctors B. C.
Roy, Jivraj Mehta and Sushila Nayyar, who examined Bapu later in the
morning, said in their bulletin,Though Gandhiji looks better and
is cheerful, his internal systems are not yet functioning normally.
Therefore, his convalescence is likely to be prolonged. It is essential
during this period that he should be kept free from worries and mental
strain as far as possible.
It was a significant
prayer meeting in the evening on the lawns of Birla House. In his
speech, Gandhiji said,If the people of Delhi and the refugees here
stand firm, then whatever may happen outside, I am certain that they
will be able to save India as well as Pakistan.
A loud explosion
interrupted the peace of the evening. Manu Gandhi, on the dais, was
shocked and was seen trembling as she moved closer to the Mahatma,
along with others. Gandhiji spoke to her, Why do you get so scared?
Some military personnel might have been taking training. What will
you do if someone really comes to kill us? Resuming his speech in
his low voice, he called for the audience to calm themselves and sit
down in proper order.
A crude bomb made
of a slab of guncotton directed at his life had caused the explosion
about 70 feet away from where Bapu was speaking. A young refugee from
the Punjab, Madanlal, about 20 years of age, was arrested by the authorities.
The Mahatma continued his speech unperturbed. He was not one to be
scared by violence.