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.
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.
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.
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.