The act of Martyrdom. Freedom fighters also known as Satyagrahis of the Bardoli Satyagraha in 1928.

220px-Gandhi_and_Sadar_Patel_Bardoli_SatyagrahaThe Bardoli Satyagraha in Gujarat in 1928 commemorated the beginnings of the freedom struggle for independence from Britain.  It was organized by Sardar Vallabhai Patel. The women Satyagrahis gave this honor to Vallabhai Patel for his bravery in fighting avaricious British landlords. He led the protest of the farmers to protect their homes by making sure that the British would never find out whose property belonged to whom. Their attempt to forcibly take over farmers was rebuked during a raid when British policemen entered the village and found them to be empty because their inhabitants remained hidden in jungles. The policemen had to leave empty handed, their mission thwarted as there was no one to negotiate the transfer of deeds. The raid was unsuccessful and Satyagraha gained popularity all across the nation. The Satyagrahis peacefully protested authoritarian British laws, and called for India’s independence. Many thousands were beaten, tortured and arrested.

A discussion with Micah Alpaugh author of Non-Violent Protest and the French Revolution. Arbiters of popular sovereignty. From an audio broadcast of Against the Grain, moderated by CS Song.


Key Elements Explained

1. Popular sovereignty and democracy to the parisienne masses to discover new forms of popular sovereignty leading to elections. The French revolution obtained popular sovereignty from the established order for all mankind.

2. The French Revolution was run primarily through petitions. Signatures were used in the republican campaign of 1791 to remove the monarchy.  However, the parisienne masses met with resistance and violence ensued.

3. The mass protests influenced national politics and women’s peaceful protests succeeded in bringing the King back.

4.  The infamous September massacre involved the storming of the Bastille.  The Reveillon riots of April brought down Reveillon’s mansion which violated the community.   In 1792 practice dethroned the French Monarch.

5. However, the removal of the Girondins the radical aspect in 1793, took place with almost no protest and involved no violence where all will united for the best course to take.

6. The revolt adopted a conciliatory tone with authority believing it to be the best voice.  For the first time in the modern history the general will by Rousseau wanted no violence and routinely fraternized.  This general will proved in the long term to become part of non-violence of Gandhi which is Satyagraha or adherence to truth. Truth became the symbol of popular sovereignty in the fight to depose the British Empire. The revolt succeeded though not entirely.

7.  These non-violent processes established voting blocks which subsequently and successfully wrote the French Constitution within which the Rights of Man is symbolic of resistance to oppression.

8. Edmund Burke, founder of modern conservatism in the United States disapproved of the French revolution for not including tradition. In its stead, it opened up new forms of sovereignty such as direct democracy.

9. Non-violent protest has become a tradition that passed the torch from Gandhi to King and then to Nelson Mandela.  Non-violence was held to be their ideal and preferred method.

10. Nelson Mandela adopted a conciliatory attitude to the harsh Apartheid.  He began by mandating democracy as the right to combat scourges. His was a fight against evil not to be mistaken for political power and ambition. He did occasionally advocate violence but as with the French masses practiced restraint.  In this Mandela has no rival having spent 27 years in a solitary jail cell.

11. Direct or representative democracy?  The French revolution brought about the only example of direct democracy. It successfully advocated civilization as an antidote to tyranny.  To be followed by the famous Gandhi, who said that such a civilization would be a very good idea.


GANDHI AND CHURCHILL: A Dialogue On Power. Satyagraha and Victimhood.

GANDHI: If I had been still alive at the time of your death, Sir Winston, I should have found it difficult to say very much that was favourable in your behalf. I hope you will at least appreciate the frankness of this confession.

CHURCHILL: Not only its frankness, Mr. Gandhi, but its justice. After all, I had no kind words to offer in your behalf upon your death.
GANDHI: Nor indeed during my life. I fear I never struck you as being much better than, as you put it, “a half-naked fakir.”
CHURCHILL: That, sir, is a misquotation. What I really said was rather more severe. I called you a “seditious fakir.”
GANDHI: Well, I do not take it unkindly that you should have called me either “half-naked” or “seditious.” For, indeed, both were true of me: I was a revolutionary in a loincloth and am not insulted to have you say so. But that you should call me a “fakir”- a monk. I know what insult you intended by this. You intended to deny me the honour of sharing your own calling – that of a statesman.
CHURCHILL: Exactly so. Though why you should feel insulted by this I’m sure I don’t understand. It was just as much a statement of fact as that you were “seditious.” A monk, a mystic, a visionary – you might have been any of these. But a statesman-never!
GANDHI: I hope you will explain this to me, Sir Winston. A statesman is one who leads people, is he not? You must admit that many people followed where I led – in fact, many more, I think, than ever followed you.
CHURCHILL: A great many children followed Stephen of Vendome on the Children’s Crusade. This did not make Stephen a statesman. For similar reasons of religious delusion, many millions followed you into a collective act of rebellion and folly for which your country is still paying the price of disunity and poverty. No sir, a statesman is not simply any Pied Piper who can beguile a crowd into following at his heels. That is far too simple. He is essentially a man who pursues realistic goals with a realistic appreciation of power.
GANDHI: I shall leave to one side the question of who bears the responsibility for both India’s disunity and her poverty. I doubt this is a matter that any British politician could pursue very far without embarrassment. But surely, Sir Winston, you must give me credit for understanding how to wield power. Else how should I have managed to arouse so many millions to the struggle for independence?
CHURCHILL: You did that, of course, by playing freely upon their religious sensibilities, by indiscriminately stirring their moral passion.
GANDHI: But if this is a transgression, you clearly stand condemned of it yourself. After all, it was your gift of eloquence that inspired the British to their heroic war effort. My fasting and preaching was but the Indian counterpart of your magnificent BBC broadcasts. It seems to me we both stirred our people’s moral passion, for we both knew that a people’s moral passion is the greatest source of political power.
CHURCHILL: Ah, but I spoke of a “realistic appreciation of power.” The difference between us is that I knew where moral fervour must be bounded by political necessity: I knew where the compromise must be struck between principle and practice, between the ideal and the possible. But you – you were an ethical inebriate: you spoke of “love” and “truth” and you went flat out for them – as a drunken man might leap off a housetop trying to embrace the moon, never caring what sacrifice of life or limb or simple self-respect it may cost. Why, in the name of “love,” you would have denied your people proper defence against the Japanese! There are always cowards and simpletons around to cheer on such folly. But in my eyes, you were simply another sorcerer’s apprentice of the human conscience. If I may quote myself: “The human race cannot make progress without idealism…”
GANDHI: I know there will be a “but” in this somewhere.
CHURCHILL: Indeed there will: “but idealism at other people’s expense, and without regard to the ruin and slaughter which fall upon millions of humble homes, cannot be regarded as its highest or noblest form”. Painful as it may seem to a man of your “saintly” sensitivities, politics is the art of choosing among lesser evils for the sake of greater goods.
GANDHI: And what was the obliteration bombing of “millions of humble homes” in Dresden and Hamburg deed for which you bear the primary responsibility? Was this a lesser evil or a greater good?
CHURCHILL: A great, a regrettably great, but still a lesser evil; a strategy that helped crush the enemy and end the war all the sooner. And so to save many innocent lives.
GANDHI: I wonder that you do not see how deeply warped must be any concept of “statesmanship” that forces so good a man as yourself to order the mass killing of innocent hundreds of thousands in Dresden and Hamburg – and this in defence of innocence! What you are saying, Sir Winston, boils down to the oldest of political clichés: the end justifies the means. But how can we talk any longer of ends and means as if they were separable rather than an indivisible spectrum of causes and effects? MINT politics, which I called satyagraha [nonviolent resistance – literally, “soul force”], insisted that to divide ends from means, even when this is done by a good man, is the beginning of evil and ultimately of political disaster.
CHURCHILL: Well and good. But should I then have stinted in waging war against Hitler and by so doing have risked defeat? You know what Nazism meant. You know the risks we ran.
GANDHI: I know that Britain went to war to preserve the freedom of Poland and I know that Poland along with all the rest of Eastern Europe – is not free today. Similarly, I know the Americans went to war to overthrow the genocidal terror of Nazism and I know they finished by annihilating Japanese cities with atomic bombs.
CHURCHILL: Eastern Europe need not have suffered its fate, had my wartime counsels not been ignored.
GANDHI: You mean Eastern Europe might have been saved from total Russian domination by restoring a few selected bits of it to British and American domination. Just as you were quite willing to save India from Japanese domination – provided we agreed to accept indefinite British domination.
CHURCHILL: Do you deny these would have been lesser evils?
GANDHI: But when shall we have done with seeking to calibrate and balance goods and evils with such impossible precision! Moral rights and wrongs are not, simply so many onions and potatoes to be weighed up in a scale. To what last, least perceptible discrimination between the vile and yet more vile does this weighing of evils extend? You yourself called communism “a ghoul descending from a pile of skulls”. Yet you allied with “Russian barbarism” to fight Hitler. You even said, “if Hitler invaded hell, I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” Apparently your “statesmanship” excludes not even an alliance with hell.
CHURCHILL: All this only proves that you were never a politician. You wanted perfection. You wanted moral purity. But the world is a mixed bag. There is evil in it, all too much evil. We must have the courage to be practical; which means, we must be prepared at times to weigh blood against blood, crime against crime.
GANDHI: I must protest, Sir Winston! How can you call me a political purist? Who would know better than I the perverseness and weakness of men? How many times did I fast to atone for my Himalayan miscalculations of human goodness? Of course there must be suffering and perhaps death wherever there is human conflict. But we shall never have the foresight or judgement to make careful predictions and discriminations your sort of statesman deals in. We think we have chosen a means which is a “lesser evil”- but it perversely generates an end we did not foresee and which is ten times worse than the evil we sought to elude. So I insist: what we really know of good and evil lies here before us in our immediate action. We must be good and do good now, not later. “The only guide to a man is his conscience.” These are your own words.
CHURCHILL: Then what would you have had me do when the enemy was at our gates? Advise my people not to defy him?
GANDHI: The enemy at your gates in 1940 was the product of a long catalogue of vengeful and selfish actions in the 20 years before 1940 – and further back than that. A catalogue to which your own people contributed heavily. Hitler was a monster of your own making.
CHURCHILL: An observation I made myself many times. I shall not dispute that. But you avoid my question: when he was at the gates, what should I have done then? Surrender? Should I have let him crush our liberty, destroy our dignity, our very souls?
GANDHI: I presume you speak symbolically, Sir Winston. It was, after all, not you who resisted the Nazis. It was the British people as a whole –  as you yourself said: they were the lionheart, you were but the roar. Suppose Hitler had occupied your country. Occupation does not imply surrender. Could Hitler have destroyed the souls or dignity of the British people, with their proud Dunkirk spirit? The British who occupied India could not destroy our souls or dignity. Were not your gallant people prepared to fight on the beaches, in the streets?
CHURCHILL: If it came to that, yes. But we would not have fought nonviolently as you desire. That would have been useless.
GANDHI: You say that, despite the victory we achieved over Britain by nonviolence?
CHURCHILL: You did not achieve that victory from my government, remember!
GANDHI: But we would have, you know. Even you we should have “weaned from error by patience and sympathy” – or forced into compliance by sheer dogged resistance. And out of our nonviolent struggle you see what has come: we have freed ourselves and we have made you a better, prouder people, because we avoided as far as possible bloodshed and hatred and so forced you to recognise the criminality of your position in India.
CHURCHILL: Our criminality indeed! Of course, you can never admit what Britain brought to India. But my father was right when he said, “Our rule in India is, as it were, a sheet of oil spread out and keeping free from storms a vast and profound ocean of humanity”. And but for your revolutionary precipitousness, the Raj should have matured toward greater justice and enlightenment.
GANDHI: How typical of you, Sir Winston! Such patrician generosity. So long as the downtrodden whether they were your own British working classes or our Indian masses – were willing to ask politely, wait patiently and accept with thanks, then of course you could be magnanimous with them, like a good father rewarding his children for their obedience. You could give social insurance and generous measures of self-rule. Never all the underprivileged wanted, but something more-than they had. But let them once demand their rights and reach to take what was rightfully theirs – as your workers did in the General Strike – and there was no open hand, only a clenched fist.
CHURCHILL: You are deucedly clever at steering a conversation into irrelevant detours. I seem to remember your suggesting that your satyagraha could have been used successfully against Hitler. And your proof, amazingly enough, is that it worked against us in India. This is a very crooked argument, Mr. Gandhi. There is simply no comparison between the British Raj in India and the Nazi Reich in Europe. There is all the difference between them that lies between a not quite cloudless day and a starless midnight.
GANDHI: Of course you British prefer to flatter yourself on that score. You conveniently forget Amritsar and the Rowlatt Act, don’t you? I think it almost fills the British with pride now to say that nonviolence worked against them; it surely would never have worked against other, less humane, less sportsmanlike people like the Germans. But of course it did! You recall the success of the Norwegian teachers against Hitler.
CHURCHILL: An exceptional situation.
GANDHI: Every situation is an exception. For every situation is unique. How many such “exceptional situations” have men failed to recognise because of their blind commitment to armed force?
CHURCHILL: All that you say again proves you are no politician. For you cannot see the most obvious realities. I saw the horror and brutality of Nazism and knew that our flawed society and those of France and America-yes, even that of Russia – were better. We fought through to victory and we survived. Imperfect, yes. But amid our imperfections the ideals that Hitler would have ruthlessly blotted out survive. Satyagraha would have saved nothing from Hitler. War saved something. And intelligent diplomacy-in the Twenties and Thirties-would have saved everything, just as it can save everything now, if the Western nations can keep their heads and their nerve. What you fail to see is the way in which power can serve principle. But principle divested of power is doomed.
GANDHI: What you fail to see is that there are sources of power as yet untapped in men – the power of their love and their ideals. And this power is not incompatible with intelligent diplomacy. Remember, Sir Winston, your country never dealt with a diplomat so courteous and yet so cunning, and ultimately so successful against you, as this “seditious fakir.” Indeed, my argument is that the power of love and idealism alone can generate intelligent diplomacy, by which I mean open communication and fair bargaining. What would a little love and honesty have done in 1919 to prevent 1939?
CHURCHILL: And what would a little air parity have done in 1937 to prevent 1939?
GANDHI: But must you always see power as a weapon? Is it not sufficiently clear that this kind of power – military power – can really no longer “serve principle”? This policy of deterrence your Western societies now cling to involves you in a commitment to genocide, the very crime for which you punished the Nazis at Nuremberg. And if you should ever unleash that power, there will be neither principles nor people left in your societies. The technicians have, I fear, rendered your Realpolitik obsolete.
CHURCHILL: Not at all, sir. The weapons change, but not the ancient principle: si vis pacem, para bellum. In 1953 1 said, “when the advance to destructive weapons enables everyone to kill everyone else, nobody will want to kill anyone at all.” This is what deterrence amounts to, and what it requires is that we arm and remain armed as never before in history.
GANDHI: You can still believe that politics proceeds on the basis of such rational calculation – you who have seen madmen like Hitler rise up on the stage of history, you who saw relatively sane men blunder into catastrophe in 1914! When I hear you speak like this, I wonder that you can call me a mystic and a dreamer. I seem to hear the eloquent voice of a hopeless romantic: “the Byronic Napoleon,” as my biographer Louis Fischer called you. You are someone whose politics belongs to the distant past, to the day of your great ancestor, Marlborough, when wars could be surgically neat and world affairs could be pursued like a sport among generals and gentlemen. But that is all over, you know. Ours is the age of the masses and of massive violence, a revolutionary age that requires a revolution in our conception of power. And this, for all my failures and miscalculations, is what I offered as a pioneer of nonviolence: a revolution in the meaning of power which called for “the vindication of truth by the infliction of suffering not on the opponent but on one’s self.”
CHURCHILL: And when I hear you speak, I hear an even more distant voice – the voice of untold numbers of prophets and visionaries, none of whose inspiration would have been preserved but for the grim resolution, the hard sense and the steadfast responsibility of the statesmanship that has always stood between civilised life and the barbarian at the gates.
GANDHI: I see, then, we can finally agree on very little. But you know, Sir Winston, though we never spoke to one another in all our lives, I believe there was between us, through our life and work, the greatest dialogue of our time.
CHURCHILL: On that we can agree.
Theodore Roszak  was professor emeritus of history at California State University, East Bay.

Katherine Mayo’s “Libelous Insult To All That Was Indian.” From Her Propagandist Book “Mother India.” Approximately around 1925.

English: Pandit Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi durin...

English: Pandit Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi during the All-India Congress Committee session, Bombay, August 8, 1942, when the “Quit India” resolution was adopted, calling for the immediate dissolution of British rule. The following morning, British authorities arrested Gandhi and Nehru, along with other top Indian political leaders. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Katherine Mayo’s “Libelous Insult To All That Was Indian.”

CHAPTER I – THE ARGUMENT From her book, “Mother India.”

The area we know as India is nearly half as large as the United States. Its population is three times greater than ours. Its import and export trade–as yet but the germ of the possible–amounted, in the year 1924-25, to about two and a half billion dollars.[1] And Bombay is but three weeks’ journey from New York.

[1. Review of the Trade of India In 1924-25, Department of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Calcutta, 1926, p. 51.]
Under present conditions of human activity, whereby, whether we will or no, the roads that join us to every part of the world continually shorten and multiply, it would appear that some knowledge of main facts concerning so big and today so near a neighbor should be a part of our intelligence and our self-protection.

But what does the average American actually know about India? That Mr. Gandhi lives there; also tigers. His further ideas, if such he has, resolve themselves into more or less hazy notions more or less unconsciously absorbed from professional propagandists out of one camp or another; from religious or mystical sources; or from tales and travel-books, novels and verses, having India as their scene.

It was dissatisfaction with this status that sent me to India, to see what a volunteer unsubsidized, uncommitted, and unattached, could observe of common things in daily human life.

Leaving untouched the realms of religion, of politics, and of the arts, I would confine my inquiry to such workaday ground as public health and its contributing factors. I would try to determine, for example, what situation would confront a public health official charged with the duty of stopping an epidemic of cholera or of plague; what elements would work for and against a campaign against hookworm; or what forces would help or hinder a governmental effort to lower infant mortality, to better living conditions, or to raise educational levels, supposing such work to be required.

None of these points could well be wrapped in “eastern mystery,” and all concern the whole family of nations in the same way that the sanitary practices of John Smith of 23 Main Street concern Peter Jones at the other end of the block.

Therefore, in early October, 1925, I went to London, called at India Office, and, a complete stranger, stated my plan.

“What would you like us to do for you?” asked the gentlemen who received me.

“Nothing,” I answered, “except to believe what I say. A foreign stranger prying about India, not studying ancient architecture, not seeking philosophers or poets, not even hunting big game, and commissioned by no one, anywhere, may seem a queer figure. Especially if that stranger develops an acute tendency to ask questions. I should like it to be accepted that I am neither an idle busybody nor a political agent, but merely an ordinary American citizen seeking test facts to lay before my own people.”

To such Indians as I met, whether then or later, I made the same statement. In the period that followed, the introductions that both gave me, coupled with the untiring courtesy and helpfulness alike of Indians and of British, official or private, all over India, made possible a survey more thorough than could have been accomplished in five times the time without such aid.

“But whatever you do, be careful not to generalize,” the British urged. “In this huge country little or nothing is everywhere true. Madras and Peshawar, Bombay and Calcutta–attribute the things of one of these to any one of the others, and you are out of court.”

Those journeys I made, plus many another up and down and across the land. Everywhere I talked with health officers, both Indian and British, of all degrees, going out with them into their respective fields, city or rural, to observe their tasks and their ways of handling them. I visited hospitals of many sorts and localities, talked at length with the doctors, and studied conditions and cases. I made long sorties in the open country from the North-West Frontier to Madras, sometimes accompanying a district commissioner on his tours of checkered duty, sometimes “sitting in” at village councils of peasants, or at Indian municipal board meetings, or at court sessions with their luminous parade of life. I went with English nurses into bazaars and courtyards and inner chambers and over city roofs, visiting where need called. I saw, as well, the homes of the rich. I studied the handling of confinements, the care of children and of the sick, the care and protection of food, and the values placed upon cleanliness. I noted the personal habits of various castes and grades, in travel or at home, in daily life. I visited agricultural stations and cattle-farms, and looked into the general management of cattle and crops. I investigated the animal sanctuaries provided by Indian piety. I saw the schools, and discussed with teachers and pupils their aims and experience. The sittings of the various legislatures, all-India and provincial, repaid attendance by the light they shed upon the mind-quality of the elements represented. I sought and found private opportunity to question eminent Indians–princes, politicians, administrators, religious leaders; and the frankness of their talk, as to the mental and physical status and conditions of the peoples of India, thrown out upon the background of my personal observation, proved an asset of the first value.

And just this excellent Indian frankness finally led me to think that, after all, there are perhaps certain points on which–south, north, east and west–you can generalize about India. Still more: that you can generalize about the only matters in which we of the busy West will, to a man, see our own concern.

John Smith of 23 Main Street may care little enough about the ancestry of Peter Jones, and still less about his religion, his philosophy, or his views on art. But if Peter cultivates habits of living and ways of thinking that make him a physical menace not only to himself and his family, but to all the rest of the block, then practical John will want details.

“Why,” ask modern Indian thinkers, “why, after all the long years of British rule, are we still marked among the peoples of the world for our ignorance, our poverty, and our monstrous death rate? By what right are light and bread and life denied?”

“What this country suffers from is want of initiative, want of enterprise, and want of hard, sustained work,” mourns Sir Chimanlal Setalvad.[2] “We rightly charge the English rulers for our helplessness and lack of initiative and originality,” says Mr. Gandhi.[3]

[2. Legislative Assembly Debates, 1923, Vol. VI, No. 6, p. 396.]
[3. Young India, March 25, 1926, p. 112. This is Mr. Gandhi’s weekly publication from which much hereinafter will be quoted.]
Other public men demand:

“Why are our enthusiasms so sterile? Why are our mutual pledges, our self-dedications to brotherhood and the cause of liberty so soon spent and forgotten? Why is our manhood itself so brief? Why do we tire so soon and die so young?” Only to answer themselves with the cry: “Our spiritual part is wounded and bleeding. Our very souls are poisoned by the shadow of the arrogant stranger, blotting out our sun. Nothing can be done–nothing, anywhere, but to mount the political platform and faithfully denounce our tyrant until he takes his flight. When Britain has abdicated and gone, then, and not till then, free men breathing free air, may we turn our minds to the lesser needs of our dear Mother India.”

Now it is precisely at this point, and in a spirit of hearty sympathy with the suffering peoples, that I venture my main generality. It is this:

The British administration of India, be it good, bad, or indifferent, has nothing whatever to do with the conditions above indicated. Inertia, helplessness, lack of initiative and originality, lack of staying power and of sustained loyalties, sterility of enthusiasm, weakness of life-vigor itself–all are traits that truly characterize the Indian not only of today, but of long-past history. All, furthermore, will continue to characterize him, in increasing degree, until he admits their causes and with his own two hands uproots them. His soul and body are indeed chained in slavery. But he himself wields and hugs his chains and with violence defends them. No agency but a new spirit within his own breast can set him free. And his arraignments of outside elements, past, present, or to come, serve only to deceive his own mind and to put off the day of his deliverance.

Take a girl child twelve years old, a pitiful physical specimen in bone and blood, illiterate, ignorant, without any sort of training in habits of health. Force motherhood upon her at the earliest possible moment. Rear her weakling son in intensive vicious practices that drain his small vitality day by day. Give him no outlet in sports. Give him habits that make him, by the time he is thirty years of age, a decrepit and querulous old wreck–and will you ask what has sapped the energy of his manhood?

Take a huge population, mainly rural, illiterate and loving its illiteracy. Try to give it primary education without employing any of its women as teachers–because if you do employ them you invite the ruin of each woman that you so expose. Will you ask why that people’s education proceeds slowly?

Take bodies and minds bred and built on the lines thus indicated. Will you ask why the death rate is high and the people poor?

Whether British or Russians or Japanese sit in the seat of the highest; whether the native princes divide the land, reviving old days of princely dominance; or whether some autonomy more complete than that now existing be set up, the only power that can hasten the pace of Indian development toward freedom, beyond the pace it is traveling today, is the power of the men of India, wasting no more time in talk, recriminations, and shiftings of blame, but facing and attacking, with the best resolution they can muster, the task that awaits them in their own bodies and souls.

This subject has not, I believe, been presented in common print. The Indian does not confront it in its entirety; he knows its component parts, but avoids the embarrassment of assembling them or of drawing their essential inferences. The traveler in India misses it, having no occasion to delve below the picturesque surface into living things as they are. The British official will especially avoid it–will deprecate its handling by others. His own daily labors, since the Reforms of 1919, hinge upon persuasion rather than upon command; therefore his hopes of success, like his orders from above, impose the policy of the gentle word. Outside agencies working for the moral welfare of the Indian seem often to have adopted the method of encouraging their beneficiary to dwell on his own merits and to harp upon others’ shortcomings, rather than to face his faults and conquer them. And so, in the midst of an agreement of silence or flattery, you find a sick man growing daily weaker, dying, body and brain, of a disease that only himself can cure, and with no one, anywhere, enough his friend to hold the mirror up and show him plainly what is killing him.

In shouldering this task myself, I am fully aware of the resentments I shall incur: of the accusations of muck-raking; of injustice; of material-mindedness; of lack of sympathy; of falsehood perhaps; perhaps of prurience. But the fact of having seen conditions and their bearings, and of being in a position to present them, would seem to deprive one of the right to indulge a personal reluctance to incur consequences.

Here, in the beginning of this book, therefore, stands the kernel of what seems to me the most important factor in the life and future of one-eighth of the human race. In the pages to come will be found an attempt to widen the picture, stretching into other fields and touching upon other aspects of Indian life. But in no field, in no aspect, can that life escape the influences of its inception.

“Slave Mentality””SLAVE MENTALITY” Beginning and end of Chapter 2.

“Let us not put off everything until Swaraj[1] is attained and thus put off Swaraj itself,” pleads Gandhi. “Swaraj can be had only by brave and clean people.”