Nehru's Appeal: To Preserve and Foster Peace

This appeal, drafted by Nehru, was issued to the people of India as a message by the Cabinet following a special meeting on 15 August 1947. The Hindustan Times, 17 August 1947.

We have pledged ourselves to the service of India and her people and we have taken the oath of allegiance to the Constitution of India. Our first act on assuming charge of the government of free India today is to make earnest appeal to all our people to put an end to violence in every shape and form. We have all to face tremendous problems which affect the well-being of the masses of India. Violence and conflict aggravate these problems and make their solution even more difficult. It is the duty of Government to preserve peace, for all orderly progress and even the normal life of the community depend upon the preservation of peaceful conditions. It is equally the duty of a free people to maintain peace, for their very freedom is limited and even endangered by violent conflict. The present Government is responsible to the people of India. It cannot exist without the consent and goodwill of the people.

We have proclaimed that we as a nation and a people stand for world peace and cooperation among nations. We can only work for that great objective if we have peace in our own country and cooperation among ourselves.

We stand for democracy. The method of democracy is to find peaceful solutions for all problems. That is the way of a free people. By violence and hatred no problem is solved.

We appeal, therefore, with all the earnestness we can command that violence must cease and whatever differences we may have must be resolved by peaceful and democratic methods.

We would venture to extend this appeal to those who live now in Pakistan. For though Pakistan may be separated from India by political boundaries, the essential spiritual unity of the country, like its geographic unity, cannot and should not be broken up. Any injury to one part of the country hurts the other parts.

We are a free people today. Let us act then as free men and women.

Source: SWJN, S2, V4, P. 01

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