How to combat ideologies of political terrorism by emigres. Hind Swaraj and its contents.

Hindi_Swaraj_SSSPThe book was written in order to show that they were following ‘a suicidal policy.’ He recalled he had come into contact with “every known Indian school of violence.’ I felt that violence was no remedy for India’s ills and that her civilisation required the use of a different and higher weapon for self- protection. Fourthly ‘modern civilisation’ posed a greater threat than did colonialism. They appeared to take it for granted that modern civilisation was an unmixed blessing and colonialism an unmixed evil, forgetting that colonialism itself was a product civilisation. ‘My countrymen therefore ‘think’, states the Preface, ‘that they should adopt modern civilization and modern method of violence to drive out the English, This : ‘it is not the point is further elaborated in the Preface to the second Gujarati edition of 1914: ‘it is not the British that are responsible for the misfortunes of India but we who have succumbed to modern civilisation.The key to an understanding of Hind Swaraj lies in the idea that worldly pursuits should give way to ethical living. This way of life has no room for violence in any form against any human being, black or white. And in 1929 he came back to the same idea: “The Western civilisation which passes for civilisation is disgusting to me. I have given a rough picture of it in Hind Swaraj. Time has brought no change in it. And in 1939. ‘The key to understand that incredibly simple (so simple as to be regarded foolish) booklet is to realise that it is not an attempt to go back to the so called ignorant , dark ages. But it is an attempt to see beauty in voluntary simplicity, voluntary poverty and slowness. I have picture that as my ideal. ‘I would ask you to read Hind Swaraj with my eyes,’ he exhorts the reader, and see therein the chapter on how to make India non-violent. You cannot build non-violence on a factory civilization, but it can be built on self-contained villages.’ Fifthly he wanted to contribute towards the reconciliation of Indians and Britons. This is evident from the ‘exhortation’ to the English. Modern civilisation posed as much a problem for them as it did for the Indians. And the desire for reconciliation can come about ‘only when the root of our relationship is sunk in a religious soil. In Hind Swaraj a conscious attempt is being made to actualise that potential. ‘This is not a mere Finally, Gandhi believed that through Hind Swaraj he would be able to give Indians a practical philosophy, an updated conception of dharma, that would fit them for life in the modern world. Dharma was tied to a hierarchical system of duties and obligations and to the preservation of status. It gave little or no attention to the idea of democratic citizenship. Gandhi felt that the time had come to redefine the scope to include notions of citizenship, equality, liberty, and mutual assistance. ‘This is not a mere  political book,’ he writes. “I have used the language of politics, but I have really tried to offer a  glimpse of dharma. What is the meaning of Hind Swaraj? It means rule of dharma or Ramarajya. What we have to learn from them is desire for the welfare of others. A casual reading may strike the reader as being a rather simple one. This would not be an unwarranted reaction, since Gandhi sought simplicity in all things, including the way he presented his ideas. But first impressions in this case can be, and are, deceptive, for the book contains in compressed form the author’s conception of what modern India to become and how politics may be made into the highest form of the active life. It is therefore a book that needs to be read reflectively.

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