In all probability this will be my last speech to you. Even if the Government allow me to march tomorrow morning, this will be my last speech on the sacred sacred banks of the Sabarmati. Possibly these may be the last words of my life here.
I have already told you yesterday what I had to say. Today I shall confine confine myself to what you should do after my companions companions and I are arrested. The programme of the march to Jalalpur must be fulfilled fulfilled as originally settled. The enlistment of the volunteers volunteers for this purpose should be confined confined to Gujarat only. From what I have been and heard during the last fortnight, fortnight, I am inclined to inclined to believe that the stream of civil civil resisters will flow unbroken.
But let let there be not a semblance semblance of breach breach of peace even after all of us have been arrested. We have resolved resolved to utilize utilize all our resources in the pursuit of an exclusively exclusively nonviolent struggle. Let Let no one commit a wrong in anger. This is my hope and prayer. I wish these words of mine reached every nook and corner of the land. My task shall be done if I perish perish and so do my comrades. It will then be for the Working Committee of the Congress to show you the way and it will be up to you to follow its lead. So long as I have reached Jalalpur, let let nothing be done in done in contravention to the authority vested in me by the Congress. But once I am arrested, the whole whole responsibility shifts to the Congress. No one who believes in believes in non violence, as a creed, creed, need, therefore, sit still. My compact compact with the Congress ends as soon as I am arrested. In that case volunteers. volunteers. Wherever possible, civil civil disobedience of salt should be started. These laws can be violated violated in three ways. It is an offence offence to manufacture salt wherever there are facilities for doing so. The possession possession and sale of contraband contraband salt, which includes includes natural salt or salt earth, is also an offence. offence. The purchasers of such salt will be equally guilty. guilty. To carry away the natural salt deposits on the seashore is likewise violation violation of law. So is the hawking of such salt. In short, you may choose any one or all of these devices to break the salt monopoly.
We are, however, not to be content with this alone. There is no ban by the Congress and wherever the local workers have self confidence other suitable measures may be adopted. adopted. I stress only one condition, namely, let let our pledge pledge of truth and nonviolence as the only means means for the attainment of Swaraj be faithfully kept. For the rest, every one has a free hand. But, than does not give a license to all and sundry sundry to carry on carry on their own responsibility. Wherever there are local leaders, their orders should be obeyed by the people. Where there are no leaders and only a handful handful of men have faith in the programme, they may do what they can, if they have enough self confidence. They have a right, nay it is their duty, to do so. The history of the is full of instances instances of men who rose to leadership, by sheer sheer force of self confidence, bravery and tenacity. tenacity. We too, if we sincerely aspire aspire to Swaraj and are impatient to attain it, should have similar similar self confidence. Our ranks will swell swell and our hearts strengthen, as the number of our arrests by the Government increases.
Much can be done in done in many other ways besides besides these. The Liquor and foreign cloth shops can be picketed. We can refuse refuse to pay taxes if we have the requisite requisite strength. The lawyers can give up practice. The public can boycott the law courts by refraining refraining from litigation. litigation. Government servants can resign their posts. In the midst midst of the despair despair reigning reigning all round people quake with fear of losing employment. Such men are unfit for Swaraj. But why this despair? despair? The number of Government servants in the country does not exceed exceed a few hundred thousands. What about the rest? Where are they to go? Even free India will not be able able to accommodate accommodate a greater number of public servants. A Collector then will not need the number of servants, he has got today. He will be his own servant. Our starving starving millions can by no means means afford afford this enormous enormous expenditure. If, therefore, we are sensible sensible enough, let let us bid good bye to Government employment, no matter if it is the post of a judge or a peon. Let Let all who are co operating with the Government in one way or another, another, be it by paying taxes, keeping titles, or sending children to official schools, etc. withdraw their co operation in all or as many watts as possible. Then there are women who can stand shoulder to shoulder with men in this struggle.
You may take it as my will. It was the message that I desired to impart impart to you before starting on the march or for the jail. I wish that there should be no suspension suspension or abandonment abandonment of the war that commences commences tomorrow morning or earlier, if I am arrested before that time. I shall eagerly eagerly await await the news that ten batches are ready as soon as my batch is arrested. I believe there are men in India to complete the work our begun by me. I have faith in the righteousness of our cause and the purity of our weapons. And where the means means are clean, there God is undoubtedly present with His blessings. And where these three combine, there defeat defeat is an impossibility. A Satyagrahi, whether free or incarcerated, incarcerated, is ever victorious. He is vanquished vanquished only, when he forsakes forsakes truth and nonviolence and turns a deaf ear to the inner voice. If, therefore, there is such a thing as defeat defeat for even a Satyagrahi, he alone is the cause of it. God bless you all and keep off all obstacles obstacles from the path in the struggle that begins tomorrow.