"Who has not hoped
To outrage an enemy's dignity?
Who has not been swept
By the wish to hurt?
And who has not thought that the impersonal world
Deserves no better than to be destroyed
By one fabulous sign of his displeasure?"
"The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility."
"Violence commands both literature and life, and violence is always crude and distorted."
I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence....I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonour. But I believe that nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment. Forgiveness adorns a soldier...But abstinence is forgiveness only when there is the power to punish; it is meaningless when it pretends to proceed from a helpless creature.... But I do not believe India to be helpless....I do not believe myself to be a helpless creature....Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
It is not right, my fellow-countrymen, you who know very well all the crimes committed in our name, itís not at all right that you do not breathe a word about them to anyone, not even to your own soul, for fear of having to stand in judgement on yourself. I am willing to believe that at the beginning you did not realize what was happening; later, you doubted whether such things could be true; but now you know, and still you hold your tongues. Eight years of silence; what degradation! And your silence is all of no avail; today, the blinding sun of torture is at its zenith; it lights up the whole country. Under that merciless glare, there is not a laugh that does not ring false, not a face that is not painted to hide fear or anger, not a single action that does hot betray our disgust, and our complicity. It is enough today for two French people to meet together for there to be a dead man between them. One dead man did I say? In other days France was the name of a country. We should take care that in 1961 it does not become the name of a nervous disease. Will we recover? Yes. For violence, like Achillesí lance, can heal the wounds that it has inflicted. Today, we are bound hand and foot, humiliated and sick with fear; we cannot fall lower... Thus the day of magicians and fetishes will end; you will have to fight, or rot in concentration camps. This is the end of the dialectic; you condemn this war but do not yet dare to declare yourselves to be on the side of the Algerian fighters; never fear, you can count on the settlers and the hired soldiers; theyíll make you take the plunge. Then, perhaps, when your back is to the wall, you will let loose at last that new violence which is raised up in you by old, oft-repeated crimes. But, as they say, thatís another story: the history of mankind. The time is drawing near, I am sure, when we will join the ranks of those who make it.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."