‘Gandhi’ (1982) – Movie Speech where Gandhi advocates policy of nonviolence

Mr. Gandhi Advocates Policy of Nonviolence

Gandhi: I want to welcome you all. Every one of you. We have no secrets. Let us begin by being clear about General Smuts’ new law: All Indians must now be fingerprinted, like criminals, men and women. No marriage, other than a Christian marriage, is considered valid. Under this Act, our wives and mothers are whores, and every man here is a bastard.

Kahn: He has become quite good at this.

Gandhi: And our policemen, passing an Indian dwelling — I will not call them homes — may enter and demand the card of any Indian woman whose dwelling it is. Understand, he does not have to stand at the door. He may enter.

Muslim Audience Member #1: I will not allow it.

Muslim Audience Member #2: I swear to Allah: I’ll kill the man who offers that insult to my home and my wife. And, let them hang me.

Audience Member #3: I say, talk means nothing! Kill a few officials before they disgrace one Indian woman! Then, they might think twice about such laws!

Audience Member #4: In that cause, I would be willing to die!!

Gandhi: I praise such courage. I need such courage because in this cause I, too, am prepared to die. But, my friend, there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill. Whatever they do to us, we will attack no one, kill no one, but we will not give our fingerprints — not one of us.

They will imprison us, and they will fine us. They will seize our possessions, but they cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.

Audience Member #5: Have you been to prison?! They beat us and torture us! I say that we should —

Gandhi: I am asking you to fight! To fight against their anger, not to provoke it. We will not strike a blow, but we will receive them. And through our pain we will make them see their injustice, and it will hurt — as all fighting hurts. But we cannot lose. We cannot. They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me. Then, they will have my dead body — not my obedience.

We are Hindu and Muslim, children of God, each one of us. Let us take a solemn oath, in His name, that come what may we will not submit to this law.

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Filed under Mahatma Gandhi, Warrior of Light

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