Nvc and the Legacy of Gandhi Nonviolence –Ahimsa and Satyagraha – positive meaning, transcending any inner limitations to opening our hearts



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XVIII. STUDENTS

Students are the hope of the future. In the heyday of non-co-operation they were invited to leave their schools and colleges. It is from these young men and women that the future leaders of the nation are to rise. Unfortunately they are acted upon, by every variety of influence Non-violence offers them little attraction. A blow for a blow or two of one is an easily understandable proposition. It seems to yield immediate result though momentary. It is a never-ending trial of brute strength as we see in time of war among brutes or among human beings. Appreciation of non-violence means patient research and still more patient and difficult practice.

But I am myself a fellow student, using the word in its broader sense. My university is different from theirs. They have a standing invitation from me to come to my university and join me in my search. Here are the terms:

1. Students must not take part in party politics. They are students, searchers; not politicians.

2. They may not resort to political strikes. They must have their heroes, but their devotion to them is to be shown by copying the best in their heroes, not by going on strikes, if the heroes are imprisoned or die or are even sent to the gallows. If their grief is unbearable and if all the students feel equally, schools or colleges may be closed on such occasions, with the consent of their principals. If the principals will not listen, it is open to the students to leave their institutions in becoming manner till the managers repent and recall them. On no account may they use coercion against dissentients or against the authorities. They must have the confidence that, if they are united and dignified in their conduct, they are sure to win.

3. They must all do sacrificial spinning in a scientific manner. Their tools shall be always neat, clean, and in good order and condition. If possible, they will learn to make them themselves. Their yarn will naturally be of the highest quality. They will study the literature about spinning with all its economic, social, moral and political implications.

4. They will be khadi-users all through and use village products to the exclusion of all analogous things, foreign or machine-made.

5. They may not Impose Vande Mataram or the National Flag on others. "they may wear National Flag buttons on their own persons but not force others to do the same.

6. They can enforce the message of the tricolour nag in their own persons and harbour neither communalism nor untouchability in their hearts. They will cultivate real friend- ship with students of other faiths and with Harijans as if they were their own kith and kin.'

7. They will make it a point to give first aid to their injured neighbours and do scavenging and cleaning in the neighbouring villages and instruct village children and adults.

8. They will learn the national language, Hindustani, its present double dress, two forms of speech and two scripts, so that they may feel at home whether Hindi ,Urdu is spoken and nagari or urdu script is written.

9. They will translate into their own mother tongue every thing new they may learn, and transmit it in their weekly rounds to the surrounding villages.

10. They will do nothing in secret, they will be above board in all their dealings, they will lead a pure life of self- restraint shed an fear and be always ready to protect their weak fellow-students, and ready to quell riots by non-violent conduct at the risk of their lives. And when the final heat of the struggle comes they will leave their institutions and, if need be sacrifice themselves for the freedom of their country.

11. They will be scrupulously correct and chivalrous in their behavior towards their girl fellow-students.





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