The Meaning of Unity
Need for Heart Unity
For me, the only question for immediate solution before the country is the Hindu-Musalman question. I agree with Mr. Jinnah that Hindu-Muslim unity means Swaraj. I see no way of achieving anything in this afflicted country without a lasting heart unity between the Hindus and Musalmans of India. I believe in the immediate possibility of achieving it, because it is so natural, so necessary for both, and because I believe in human nature. The Musalmans may have much to answer for. I have come in closer touch with even what may be considered a Ďbad lotí. I cannot recall a single occasion when I had to regret it. The Musalmans are brave; they are generous and trusting the moment the suspicion is disarmed.
Hindu-Muslim unity will be a very cheap and tawdry affair, if it has to depend upon mere reciprocation. Is a husbandís loyalty depend upon the wifeís or may a wife be faithful because the husband is a rake? Marriage will be a sordid thing when the partners treat their conduct as matter of exchange, pure and simple. Unity is like marriage. It is more necessary for a husband to draw closer to his wife when she is about to fall. Then is the time for a double outpouring of love. Even so, it is more necessary for a Hindu to love the Moplah and the Musalman more, when the latter is likely to injure him or has already injured him. Unity to real must stand the severest strain without breaking. It must be indissoluble tie.
And I hold that what I have put before the country in the foregoing lines is a simple, selfish idea. Does Hindu love his religion and country more than himself? If he does, it follows that he must not quarrel with ignorant Musalman who knows neither country nor religion. The process is like that of the world-famed woman who professed to give up child to her rival instead of dividing it with the latter a performance that wwould have suited the latter admirably.
We must trust each other always, but in the last resort we must ourselves and our God.
Pre-requisite of Freedom
We all now realize, as we have never before realized, that with that unity we cannot attain our freedom, and I make bold to say that without that unity the Musalmans of India cannot render the Khilafat all the aid they wish. Divided, we must ever remain slaves. That unity therefore, cannot be a mere policy to be discarded when it does not suit us. We can discard it only when we are tired of Swaraj. Hindu Muslim unity must be our creed to last for all time and under all circumstances.
Nor must that unity be a menace to the minorities the Paris, Christians, Jews or the powerful Sikhs. If we seek to crush any of them, we shall some day want to fight each other.
While we are all engaged in trying to quench the fire of communal strike in our country, we must not forget our countrymen abroad. I refer to the Indian case which is being fought with such unity and gallantry by the Indian delegation before the U.N.O. What has pleased me immensely is Ispahani Sahebís and Zaffarulla Sahebís speeches reported in the Press today. They told their audiences in plain language how Indians are being discriminated against in South Africa and treated as outcastes. The Hindus and the Muslims in India have no different opinions on the question of the Indians overseas, which goes to prove that the two nation theory is incorrect. The lesson I have learnt from this, and what I want you also to learn from what I said, is that love is the highest thing. If the Hindus and Muslims can speak with one voice abroad, they can certainly do so here if they have love in their hearts. To err is human. It is also human to mend oneís ways. To forgive and forget is always possible. If we can do that today and speak with one voice here as they did abroad, we will surely win through.
Source: From the book, 'Gandhi and Communal Problems'