What the hell is this? What is Gandhi thinking? Does he want Indian soldiers to march in lines towards Pakistani lines without firing even a bullet and be decimated in hordes? Did he even understand the implications of what he is saying? He is saying the General to practice non-violence but even he doesn’t know how to do it?
Gandhi: I have been receiving numerous complaints concerning the police and the army personnel. They take bribes and are biased in favour of their own community. If the seed itself is rotten what will become of the plants and the foliage? Not even thorns will then grow. The army and the police are potent limbs of the country. It is a pity that following the partitioning of the country the army also had to be partitioned on communal lines. But it is the duty of policemen not to show caste and communal bias. They must bravely serve the country. It is the duty of every armed force to protect the minority community. Pakistan will not heed my word, but if you the Generals of the army of the Indian Union listen to me and help me, I shall believe we have truly gained freedom in a non-violent way. Let us make ourselves worthy of such freedom. In the swaraj gained in such a wonderful way, the personnel of the army and the police must always remain pure and above board. What a wonderful example of this unity is set by Netaji, the founder of the Indian National Army; “Let every Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Parsi and others think that India is their country and work unitedly for it.” He has proved this unity before us all.
Cariappa: Pakistan has no use for non-violence. How then can we win their hearts and prove the efficacy of ahimsa?
Gandhi: Violence can only be overcome through non-violence. This is as clear to me as the proposition that two and two make four. But for this one must have faith. Even a weapon like atom bomb when used against non-violence will prove ineffective. This applies to true non-violence. But very few people have grasped this eternal truth. Faith by itself also will not do. It must be supplemented by knowledge. Training in ahimsa is not to be had like training in the use of weapons in military training colleges and institutions. It requires purity of heart and soul-force. The difficulty we find in pitting non-violence against violence only shows our inner weakness. A short time ago, even Mr. Jinnah had clearly stated that in political disputes violence must be eschewed. If Mr. Jinnah meant what he said then the violence that today engulfs us can be brought to an end in no time. And if Pakistan does not stop violence, the violent killings can still be stopped if Hindus in the Union have faith in non-violence. A votary of non-violence will not allow the slightest hint of violence to enter his heart. How then can his conduct be violent?
Cariappa: If we have to have an army at all it must be a good one. I would like to remind them in my own way of the need for and the value of non-violence. Tell me, please, how I can put this over, i.e., the spirit of non-violence to the troops without endangering their sense of duty to train themselves well professionally as soldiers. I am a child in this matter. I want your guidance.
Gandhi: Yes you are all children, I am a child too, but I happen to be a bigger child than you because I have given more thought to this question than you all have. You have asked me to tell you in a tangible and concrete form how you can put over to the troops you command the need for non-violence. I am still groping in the dark for the answer. I will find it and I will give it to you some day.