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A Journal of Arts, Humanities & Management
BROAD ISSUE THEME : EDUCATION SPECIAL ON GANDHI
Board of Editors
Susmit Pani, M.A, Ph.D Niranjan Pani, M.Phil, Ph.D Prajna P Panigrahi, M.A, Ph.D Mamata R Behera, M.A, Ph.D
Education for All
DDCE, UTKAL UNIVERSITY, BHUBANESWAR, INDIA
Vol - I, 2008
Prof. S.P. Pani, Director,DDCE, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. Dr. N. Pani, Reader, Public Administration, DDCE, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. Dr. M.R. Behera Lecturer in Oriya, DDCE, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. Dr. P.P. Panigrahi
Lecturer in English, DDCE, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. Copyright : © DDCE, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar Authors bear responsibility for the contents and views expressed by them. Directorate of Distance & Continuing Education, Utkal University does not bear any responsibility. Published by : Director, Directorate of Distance & Continuing Education, Utkal University, Vanivihar, Bhubaneswar – 751007. India. Reach us at E-mail : email@example.com 91-674 -2585312 (O) 91-674 -2581106 ( Fax )
DTP : Laxmipriya Pani, Diptimayee Dalai, Sabita Mallick and Mamata Singh Printed at: inte CAD 442, Saheed Nagar Bhubaneswar - 751 007 Ph.: 0674-2544631, 2547731
On behalf of the Government of Orissa Utkal University is organizing a State Level Seminar on. a non-practical practitioner of ethics and at the best an exceptional individual impossible to emulate. neo-capitalism and the booming service sector is not without concern for quality of life for the majority and respect for local requirements. colleagues and scholars and as such there is a syncretistic treatment to an extent. To-day there is a renewed interest in Mahatma Gandhi. Cinema makers. Articles cover aspects of Literature. In keeping with the renewed interest in Gandhi. Pani iii . Though the treatment of Gandhi is varied. Increasing globalization. almost all the articles come from my academic partners. S. developmental economists. Unlike earlier editorials no value judgement and opinion is expressed on Gandhi. Management and Development. We place on record our deep sense of appreciation for Prof.N. Young politicians are even trying to free Gandhism of the fads and are attempting to carry forward the essence of Gandhi in politics. Education. We look forward to a lively feedback from readers.P. not limited to political movements and he did not create a new religion. He is not limited to India. placing him in new light and focus. World Order and Peace and Thought. environmentalists.. 2008. ‘Search’ chose this theme for the present issue.Misra our Vice-Chancellor for his enthusiastic involvement and support. This special issue of ‘Search’ is being released on this occasion. culture and concerns.EDITORIAL . educators. It seems Gandhi’s influence was underestimated in the past. ‘GANDHIAN PHILOSOPHY AND ITS IMPACT ON MODERN SOCIETY IN THE DIRECTION OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD’. political leaders. The youth in particular no longer reject Gandhi as a theoretician. social activitists. Many essential Gandhian principles are echoed without the use of Gandhi’s name. numerous biographies of Gandhi have appeared. social scientists and a host of others are innovatively using and advocating Gandhian ideals to address the challenges of changing world. In the last decade. We hope the articles would generate enough interest in the readers.... on 20th January. L.
A TRIBUTE TO GANDHI
“All mankind is richer for the life and legacy of Mohandas K. Gandhi. He was a great son of India who struggled for the freedom of his nation and for the spiritual and material well-being of his people. He was an apostle of non-violence who espoused the concept that goodness dwells in all men and who ennobled both his cause and country by his work. But as with all great movers of history, his influence was not confined to India alone. His inspiring profile captivated the world. Here, in America, we observed the dramatic unfolding of the Mahatma’s life with interest and hope. We saw in him the enrichment of individual personality and human dignity by thoughts and ideas generated afar. An American, Henry David Thoreau, provided some of the inspiration on which Gandhi drew. And in turn, this generation of Americans, earnestly seeking to further the civil rights movement, has adopted much of the philosophy and many of the techniques moulded and refined by the Indian leader. Gandhi believed the world could reconcile its differences without resort to hate and violence. Men are brothers to each other, he thought. And our aim must be to help men act more like brothers: to prefer compassion over intolerance, to elevate generosity above greed, to cast out cruelty for justice. Twenty years after his death, with the world still beset by divisiveness and anger, the need for the Gandhian message is greater than ever. One of his favorite Christian hymns was “Lead, Kindly light, amid the encircling gloom”. The light of Mohandas K. Gandhi burns brightly still as a beacon for Indians, for Americans, and for all the world.”
President Lyndon B. Johnson
1. 2. Gandhi And Conflict Resolution: A Rethinking Relevance Of Gandhian Economic Principles: With Reference To Contemporary Indian Economy Under Globalisation. Gita: Gandhi And Non Violence Mahatma Gandhi And World Peace Gandhigiri Revisited : Reflections On Mahatma Gandhi - A Performed Leader Lage Raho Muna Bhai (LRMB) Technique : Icon Of Gandhigiri Gandhi On The First World War Gandhiji’s Visit To Orissa - Its Impact The Invaluable Gift Peoples Gandhi: The Man And The Mahatma Gandhi’s Theories Of Education Gandhian Model Of Extension Education : A Study Gandhi And Marx A Study Of Comparative Political Philosophy English Literature And Mahatma Gandhi: Select Review Of Literature Poetics Of Protest : Gandhi And Indian English Novels Gandhi As An Invisible Force In Raja Rao’s Kanthapura Gandhiji’s Concept of Gram Swaraj : Role and Relevance of Khadi and Village Industries in a Sustainable Economic Order P. K. Nayak Dipak Ranjan Das 1 7
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
A.N. Mishra B. Satapathy N. Pani Charubala Pani Santosh Kumar Sethi Sabita Kar Biraj Mohan Das Suryakant Nath S.P.Pani Sarita Mishra Ganeswar Nayak Geeta Satapathy A. J. Khan Z. Jabeen P. P. Panigrahi
15 24 35 49 55 63 68 71 80 96 122 131 148 152 157 160
“Mira And The Mahatma” By Sudhir Kakar: A Review Priyadarshi Kar Deenabandhu Das
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A Journal of Arts, Humanities & Management
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Ours is a consumerist culture. India will rediscover its own Gandhian heritage of perennial wisdom which it had “loved long since and lost awhile”. The world is getting polarized in this line affecting the human values from macro to the micro level. Darwin concluded that even in the realm of ideas and interest conflict opens up new streams of thought and action. a voice which is irrelevant and meaningless. different from the selfishly consumerist behaviour. Arunachal Pradesh-790001 1 . not satiated by any amount of material possessions and enjoyments. Gandhian way of looking at things and solving the problems through his principles have become a reality. The positive and purposeful living of human beings is thwarted. Conflict has been a constant phenomenon in the history of human race. is to enjoy the good things of life. BOMDILA. ‘War is the father of all things’ declared Heraclitus in his famous aphorism by which he meant that evolution in the universe due solely to its conflicting elements.3 So there is a ceaseless ‘struggle for existence’ giving rise to new varieties. In this context. K. Government College. The ambition of the rich and the poor alike. Self love compels regards for * Reader. buffeted too. How fast we go nuclear is the utmost concern of the nations today. overriding all differences of status and castes. Applying this biological finding to arena of sociology of human behaviour. to such a culture.2 The Hegelian dialectic too does support it. Youth has to grow into maturity. According to biological formula of Darwin. “She lives by attraction. Mutual love enables nature to persist. Man does live by destruction. Nature’s beauty is now at the mercy of the power hungers. the harmonious blend that attracts the elements of nature towards each other and holds them together. In the 19th century the theory of conflict underwent important transformation under Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. of History. until the present age is converted from its youthful folly to the wisdom that voice represents.GANDHI AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION: A RETHINKING P. We live many different histories with our narrow and sectarian individualities and individualist ambitions. We live in the plurality of times. species evolve by a mode of ‘natural selection’ by which nature eliminates the undesirable elements. But he adds. Nayak* The present century we live in is a century of variations. procreating new things in turn. ensuring a correspondingly altruistic social structure as well. Competition sets in motion the conflict which further provokes violence. completely ignores the element of cooperation both in biological and sociological realms. Ours are times in the plural. Dept.1 That discovery will mean a new kind of behaviour pattern. But Darwin in his obsession with struggle. Gandhi admits that there are “repulsions enough in nature”. Gandhi’s life and times will indeed come as a voice from the wilderness. Of course. finding its way out in the theory of competition.
Louis Fischer and Joan Bondurant. Three ‘moderns’ as Gandhi used to say “left a deep impression on his life and captivated him. Calling an enemy a brother. The means. therefore. even as we have extended family laws to form nations a larger family”. said that Gandhi was already influenced by the ideas which were later confirmed by the teachings of these western writers. what the contact with their philosophy did was to strengthen his convictions by giving an authority and sanction to his beliefs. Social transformation of the conflicting parties works miracle in this regard.7 Gandhi believed that a conflict can be creatively resolved only when peace is taken to be a positive concept rather than a negative one. cooperation and harmony rather than conflict and struggle constitute the fundamental law of the universe.others. rather than as universal and ceaseless phenomena. To him. Gandhian dialectic takes man as the centre of reason and provides for a technique of conflict resolution whereby one or both sides of a conflict can resolve the antimony into a reinterpretation. articulated and strengthened. Raichandbhai by his living contact. co-operative and caring for others. Tolstoy by his book The Kingdom of God is Within You and Ruskin by his Unto this Last. but takes it as a product of the faulty system. must develop to change the system itself eliminating any future possibility of conflict. the American writers. With regard to the influence of the three western thinkers. the other English.4 It is under such background that this paper based on both primary and secondary sources has grown up. blaming not the opponent but the situation and seeking to enlist the cooperation of opponent in restructuring it. And goodness in man can be aroused. a creative resolution of conflict is reached at. Gandhiji’s sources of inspiration titling him the apostle of truth and non-violence need special mention here. showing somebody the left if slapped on right cheek. Nations cohere because of the mutual regard among individuals composing them. surely put the opponent into a 2 . and the third American.8 Hence the Gandhian sense of conflict resolution would mean not merely the elimination of maladjustment. but also progressing towards a better and more meaningful readjustment. Some day we must extend the national law to the universe. Gandhi had already in the embryonic stage the ideas and the ideals that these philosophers were preaching. Gandhi does not believe that violence is embedded in human nature.6 To Gandhi. This can lead to what is termed as a ‘creative resolution of conflict’. Of these three. This negative concept of peace is standard western formulation to which Johan Galtung also subscribes when he defines ‘resolution of conflict’ as absence of conflict. he was influenced by Thoreau also. Conflicts occur more as temporary irregularities in the even and ordered flow of life. When violent relationship is transformed into a non-violent one and the energies of the opponents are harnessed to achieve a higher goal. Gandhi does not regard a conflict as an antagonism between two. man is essentially peace-loving.”5 Besides Tolstoy and Ruskin. one was Russian.
Further. no concession to any party. Since nobody represents the absolute truth. and no victory in the sense of triumph of one party over the other. and it will fail in India tomorrow. because this higher realization 3 . It is a sign of savagery to settle disputes by fighting. Against such a backdrop Gandhi rejects the employment of violence as a means in conflict resolution. Thus. Gandhi uses the word in a number of senses so much as it is difficult to identify it with the traditional meaning. entails rejection of violence. If repression succeeds in anything. no one has also the rights to force his opinion on others which. in other words. when persons or groups fight. In other words. This policy has certainly been no success in English hands. In that case it needs to be totally suppressed. these sets of relative truths are to be synthesized so that it becomes an improvement upon each of its constituents which leads towards the absolute truth. And in order to resolve the conflict. it failed in English domestic affairs in the ‘20s and the ‘40s of the last century. but has access to relative truth. He puts “Repression has never worked. Blanche Watson also corroborates Gandhian objectives of non-violence against violence. He wants all people to settle their own quarrels. nobody has an access to absolute truth. it failed in Ireland yesterday.10 Gandhi is not convinced by the argument that there may be party to a conflict which is so corrupt that it does not represent even a single fraction of a truth. it failed in South Africa after the Boer War. It failed in America in 1775. A synthesis is a triumph for both the parties. It is not the less so by asking a third party to decide between you and me. The only thing that a synthesis ensures is an increased hold over the truth. They became more unmanly and cowardly when they resorted to the course of Law. “men were less unmanly if they their disputes either by fighting or by asking their relatives to decide them. I challenge anybody to point me to a single episode in either ancient or modern history.9 If Gandhi’s perception as regard the root of conflict is to be described. He thinks the Hindu-Muslim quarrels have often been due to the intervention of lawyers. it involves a conflict between different sets of relative truths. though not the absolute one itself. conflict resolution should necessarily be achieved through peaceful negotiations. it should be Himsa or Violence. The parties alone know who is right and therefore they ought to settle it”. a non-violent conflict resolution in the Gandhian sense departs from the traditional sense in that there is no sacrificing of position. it is in advertising the cause of the enemy”.transformation. To him. a synthesis is not a compromise as understood in the modern parlance in negotiations. Therefore. the synthesis of the two opposing claims in conflict resolution does not necessarily imply partial surrendering of original claims from both the sides.11 Repression provokes conflict and a solution is never reached at. which proves that repression has even once achieved the end to which it has been directed. Therefore.
Therefore. Thus. And all because sacrifice has been deliberately chosen as the law of his life and the sword of his fray. He has faced an assassin without flinching. They lie scattered in his works and one has to go into the whole lot to present them cohesively.12 Gandhi had never attempted to put his ideas on conflict and its solution in a wellsynthesized manner. It is to be remembered that parties to a negotiation should be unprejudiced to the maximum extent possible and must have complete understanding of the conflict situation in general and of the objectives to be attained in particular. Reason has to be strengthened by suffering and suffering opens the eyes of understanding”. Each stage has to be taken up only after the failure of the preceding one. should proceed with an open mind or heart.of truth makes a victory of the situation which leads to the conflict possible. Jacques Maritain sees in it Gandhi’s ‘real genius’15 and Blanche Watson calls it ‘the law of conscious suffering’.”17 4 . Thrice he has been beaten by mobs. self. And also when he was prescribing his technique for Independent India. in South Africa and in India. The requirement of an un-Gandhian technique which is now prevalent will tend to push the society further away from a desirable social order. on the other hand. The negotiators. but has accepted gladly the punishments imposed upon him as only so many weapons to his hand. “In his work as a reformer he has evaded no penalty.16 Watson attributes. and once left prone in the gutter as one dead. a conflict should not be viewed as a naked confrontation of predetermined objectives from which departures can not be made. “I have found that mere appeal to reason does not answer where prejudices are age-long and based on supposed religious authority. That is why Gandhi adopted his technique against the British without waiting for his ideal society to materialize. he did not have the slightest illusion that such a society was in the offing.suffering becomes the second one. This is a fact that there stands a relation between social structure and techniques of resolving conflicts. Four times. through constructive programmes to build up a non-violent social order. he has been imprisoned.13 Bondurant calls this mechanism of self-suffering as “shock-therapy”14 upon the opponent. prepared to convince and to be convinced. If persuasion through reason or negotiation holds the first stage. His body bears the stripes of the whips with which he has been lashed. a Gandhian solution to this social order first or technique first problem is that while the technique is being practiced. simultaneous efforts should also be made. Stressing upon self –suffering Gandhi writes. his wrists and ankles the marks of the chains with which he has been bound for hours together to the iron bars of his cell. But this should not mean that such a society should be established before this technique is put to practice. He suggests different stages of conflict resolutions with each stage having a separate course of conduct.
it is the concept of human progress and advancement in social. It discards the biological concept of the struggle for human existence as well as the survival of the fittest. mutual help and cooperation in the work for the welfare of our society as a whole. economic and other fields. It should be commonly understood that he was a man and he must be allowed to remain a man. Love of the hater is the most difficult of all. respect. Kasturba. I know how difficult it is to follow this grand law of love. Coercion involves intimidation. non-cooperation can be applied in cases of personal and group conflict also. physical or psychological and Gandhi would not prescribe for such a course which is likely to make the opponent more and more obdurate and less amenable to see the reason in the Satyagrahi.20 On conflict resolution Gandhi never put anything as a diehard theoretician. Gandhi would prescribe for ‘non-violent direct action’ which is characterized by such tools as non-cooperation and civil disobedience as the sphere of conflict may be. Let.’19 Incidence of conflict resolution is also reflected in case of his own personality being understood as an icon or God by his blind followers. “Gandhi warned every one of us against being a blind devotee of Gandhi. He opines that evil can not be cured by evil. Ultimately. the Ahmedabad Mill owners and of course. 5 . ‘It is non-violence if we merely love those that love us. It believes in love.Gandhi also holds a religious view of self-suffering. because this country is given to hero-worship. the British Government.”18 But this is hardly applicable in the light of Gandhian ideas on conflict resolution. an ideal man”. We shall only be adding to the plethora of sects that already exists. that is to say that while civil disobedience can be undertaken only against a governmental authority. nor hate conquered by hate. therefore. For him Satyagraha had deep linkage with the brotherhood of man. If self-suffering fails to resolve the conflict. On the other hand. Clarence Case prefers to put it as “non-violent coercion” rather than “non-violent direct action”. But by the grace of God even this most difficult thing becomes easy to accomplish if we want to do it. the Natal Government in South Africa. Vinoba Bhave puts. We shall only lose by turning him into God. Gandhiji remain what he was. and his successes on all these fronts are hardly questioned. Our good lies in his remaining a man. He goes to deny a contradiction in terms of non-violent coercion and comments that the combination of non-violence and coercion “is not the outcome of a preconceived notion but represents a working arrangement. His opponents at various stages have included even his wife. if we impose godhood upon him no good would come of it and we would have lost a human ideal. Most of the religions advocate self-suffering instead of causing harm to others. It is nonviolence only when we love those that hate us. He himself practised what he propagated and in one sphere or the other he had put into practice all the modes of conflict resolution and that with a fair measure of success.
New York. The Origin of Species By Means of Selection of the Preservation of Savoured Races in the Struggle For Life.23. Gandhi And Non-Violent Resistance.. p. K. And he simply responded to them. C. 15. 21. New Delhi.. Bakshi.12. M. p. K. 1923. Shri Ram Sharma.516-17. Gandhian Direction to the Society at Cross-roads. Gandhi and Social Action Today. Gandhi The Man and The Mahatma. p.530. He was a man of action. Merry Kappen (ed.cit. pp. Bombay. p. 12. 8. p. 2 March 1928. Clarence M. 4. 1985.). Young India. But we believe that suitably getting adopted to the present day circumstances may prove to be one of the most viable techniques of conflict resolution.21 Gandhian device of conflict resolution has not been claimed a basic technique. pp. 18. pp. Watson. He never had the slightest notion of becoming a great man one day. London. a series of crises followed one after the other.3. Gandhi And Anarchy. Young India. 20. 16. Bondurant.1990.28. pp. The Gandhian Way To World Peace. an activist and as such plunged himself into the vortex of social activism.199. Chandigarh. 1991. S. 1958. 17. Karnal Singh (ed. Maritain. 1962. Kenneth Boulcing. References 1. K.530-31. J. Gangal. 11. With the spark of genius that nature had endowed with him. 7.. Man And the State. Chicago. Shankaran Nair. New Delhi. Conflict and Defence: A General Theory.65.6. R. Gandhi. S.cit.cit. Gandhi. 19. Charles Darwin. p. 14. op. 2.66. op.To sum up.71-114. 10. 19 March 1925. 1990. p. Shri Ram Sharma. Blanche Watson. p. Even Gandhi also agreed to at.1951.25. p.cit. England. 6.. op. p. p. he would have made a mark for himself in any sphere of life. 1968. Ibid. 9. p. Conquest of Violence: The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict. Mahatma Gandhi. Karnal Singh. p.). C. M. Patna.304. 6 .55-56. p. It was not merely the circumstances but his inner strength to face them squarely that led to Gandhi’s greatness which placed him ‘at the pinnacle of magnificence’. of incessant efforts towards achieving moral perfection. 1989.. Case.. Reprint. 13.).31. p. 1960. Non-Violent Coercion: A Study in Methods of Social Pressure. op. 1922 (Reproduced.229. New Delhi. 5.11. London. 1995). Gandhi’s life was a saga of sadhana. 3. New Delhi. Shah(ed. He simply attended to what came before him. Joan Bondurant. Ibid.70. Vinoba on Gandhi.
*Head.RELEVANCE OF GANDHIAN ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES: WITH REFERENCE TO CONTEMPORARY INDIAN ECONOMY UNDER GLOBALISATION. But it is a matter of great regret that Gandhism is gradually losing its hold in the country of its origin.sufficiency. Mahatma Gandhi had significantly contributed to different spheres of knowledge and India would be immensely benefited by the real application of some of these ideas in the fields of economics. The people who were inspired by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi to fight for the independence of the country and had sacrificed a lot. ‘The Upanishad’. Efforts should be initiated to understand and apply ‘Gandhism’ in practical fields. Gandhi did not receive any formal training in Economics nor did he study much economics on his own. The Gandhian Economics has all time relevance with remarkable originality and analytical potency of very high order. is setting different memorials in honour of Mahatma Gandhi. there has been an increasing awareness of ‘Gandhism’ throughout the world in modern times. Tolstoy’s ‘The kingdom of God is Within’ ‘The Bible’. Department of Economics. His busy political life left little time for reading. Moreover the number of people who had personally come in contact with Mahatma is on the steady decline. it is possible to gather a consistent body of knowledge in economics from his scattered writings and speeches which is as distinctive as to merit the name ‘Gandhian Economics’.. the tenets of humanism which were championed by Mahatma Gandhi continue to inspire the masses of youth in the countries ranging from materialistic United States to the communist China. Aeronautics College. Since moral considerations weighed heavily with Gandhi in everything he did. of South Africa where Gandhi started his revolutionary career and had experimented with the idea of non-violence. On the other hand. and ‘The Bhagabad Gita’.* The study of Mahatma Gandhi has become a matter of historical importance for the present youth mass. Nevertheless. Dipak Ranjan Das. polity and social affairs. Sunabeda-763002(Orissa) 7 . The basic concepts inherent in Gandhian economics are village self. Gandhi’s economic ideas were fundamentally man-centered and practically based on a set of interrelated concepts characterised by simplicity. few of them survive now. So it is not surprising that his economic ideas are not presented in the form of a scientific or scholarly manner with jargons of economics. his economic ideas were influenced not so much by economic treatises as by his readings of such books as Ruskin’s ‘Unto This Last’. This is a matter of pride for India. The present paper aims at highlighting the relevance of Gandhian economic principles with special reference to contemporary Indian economy under globalization. self-sufficiency and selfreliance. They were also distilled from his valuable experience. The Govt.
It was the only viable basis of stable economy. Instead of rejecting them straightway. into his alternative plan of trusteeship. “at the time Gandhi as formulating his ideas of trusteeship the world has two principal methods of economics: capitalism and communism” Gandhi had seen defects in both. Sabina Sangvi 2 observes. no one will be idle. they form a coherent system and in spirit. 8 . He said “all people having money or property should hold it in trust for the society”. Trusteeship is a synthesis of capitalism and communism by eliminating violence By the concept trusteeship Gandhi meant that capital. operated and managed for the benefit of the society and not for the capitalist’s private gain. appropriate technology etc. post and telegraph and the like. decentralization. It is possible to envisage railways. There will be neither plague nor cholera. Some important concepts of Gandhian economics are given below. strive for man’s welfare by keeping ethics as their essence and social welfare as prime objective. nor small pox.handedness of power and violence both in capitalism and communism and wanted some approach to solve these. The rest would be meant for others in the society. He hoped that capitalist should voluntarily renounce the assets in excess of their requirement to the state or continue to hold them only as ‘Trustees’ of the society.3 Under the trusteeship scheme the rich people would kept for them only that much of wealth which is essential for a good standard of living. and these have elements of inter-dependence so that taken together. Trusteeship would eliminate economic inequality. Both have failed to provide fuller life for everybody. every village must be economically self-sufficient at least in the production of their basic physical needs and for this he needed production by masses instead of mass production by machines.Swadeshi. fully utilize the local resources for becoming self-reliant and these together constituted the ‘Swadeshi’ movement. since a system of localized production and distribution would not suffer from drastic inflation and recessions to which a centralized economy naturally suffers. Men and women will be free and able to hold their own against anyone in the world. In exchange of letters with Nehru he drew a beautiful picture of the ideal village.1 Trusteeship Trusteeship is a revolutionary economic philosophy of Gandhi. co-operative principles. Gandhi conceived a broader view of rural development and asked people to cultivate rural mindedness. bread-labour. As a result trusteeship is born. Village self-sufficiency: To Gandhi. trusteeship.. He was very much fed up with high. “My village will contain intelligent human beings. he tries to incorporate some of the positive features of both. should be owned. no one will wallow in luxury. They will not live in dirt and darkness as animals.
Gradually he will think himself as a trustee rather than owner of the factory. on reading Tolstoy was very much taken up with this idea and made it an integral part of his philosophy. He would want to eat wholesome food and live a natural life. air and water. if every one did physical labour everyday. according to which every human being should earn his daily bread by his own labour. It also emphasizes minimizing our wants to solve economic problem. Resources would be 9 . individuals. he would maintain a sound health.It is true that Gandhi’s concept of trusteeship so far has not been tried. Promotion of rural and small scale industries would be the prime importance. Gandhian socialism requires the capitalists to regard them as trustees of the property. Bondaref first put forward this idea. Gandhi recognized physical labour as a biological necessity. Decentralisation Gandhian economics believe in decentralisation. Co-operative principles Gandhi emphasized the cooperative efforts in the field of agriculture small scale and cottage industries and in other fields of national interest. the small and fragmented holdings of land would be cooperatively cultivated to increase the production and minimise the cost. when a capitalist does physical labour in his own factory he will not only understand the problem of workers. Secondly. Gandhi himself was not sure of its practicability. Planning should be made at the grass root level in which villages. Gandhi. In agriculture. he had not read Tolstoy. but also gradually realize that his income over and above what he earned through his physical labour is not legitimately his. In the decentralised planning means would justify the ends and not ends satisfying the means. it is more than likely that Gandhi would have stumbled on it spontaneously in the course of his political practice. The Russian writer T. It is true that it is difficult to reach so is non-violence”.4 Bread-labour An integral part of Gandhian economics is his concept of Bread –labour. The concept of bread-labour fits into Gandhian thought in the following way. Thirdly. The body needs physical labour almost as much as it needs food. If a man works for his bread. labour would acquire more dignity. This would automatically reduce his wants.M. Tolstoy took it up and gave it wide publicity. but had full faith in it as he wrote “I adhere to my doctrine of trusteeship in spite of the ridicule that has not been poured upon it. and families would play a dominant role. The concept of bread-labour facilitate both. Even if. The small scale and cottage industries too would enjoy all advantages of large scale productions without practically getting into large scale. The subject matter of economic planning would be man and his development.
Gandhi opposed establishment of large scale industries but he was not opposed to establishment of Iron and Steel. but he was in favour of appropriate technology.” 5 He was not against machinery but he was against all machinery designed for the exploitation of the people. It would also strengthen the village economy and stop migration to urban areas. What is waste in one becomes a raw material in the other. India has stepped into the era of globalisation with the introduction of new economic reforms since 1991. he opposed large scale industrialisation. It should enhance the productivity of workers. according to him was one. He wrote “I welcome the machines that lightens the burden of millions of men living in cottages and reduces man’s labour.6 Regarding technology. encouragement to private initiatives and integration of the Indian economy to the world economy. besides fully utilizing or augmenting the existing resources. Adoption of economic reforms or globalization has resulted in the overall economic development of the country. it can be stated that Gandhi was not against technology. He was in favour of appropriate machinery and technology.conserved by avoiding wastage. Technology is essential if it is simple and usable by the masses. The importance on liberalization. He had written that “there is no room for machines that would displace human labour and that would concentrate power in a few hands”. In other words. Having an idea about the Gandhian economic concepts. The growth of selected economic indicators in the post 1990-91 period has been shown in the following table. The decentralized system of production and independent village economy would also be a strategy against foreign invasion. Gandhi was not advocating a stagnant self-sufficient village of the past but a vibrant and dynamic village economy which would not be made subservient to the urban cities. defense industries and other strategic large industries in the grater interests of the country. privatization and globalization has resulted in gradual withdrawal of unnecessary trade and business restrictions. it was the Narasimha Rao Government that gave a definite shape and start to the new economic reforms or globalisation in India. and not replace workers. would keep it need – determined. Machinery and Technology Gandhi was not against machines or technology. It will help to reduce inequalities and leads to realisation of Gandhian socialism. 10 . He favoured widely dispersed cottage and small scale industries using labour intensive technology as a solution to the problems of a labour surplus economy like India. we need to explain the relevance of these principles in the contemporary economic scenario. since industries are not concentrated in a few urban centers. Though some economic reforms were introduced by Rajiv Gandhi Government (198589). which. Appropriate technology. Decentralisation would prevent concentration of economic and political power in the hands of a few.
The growth rate of agriculture has declined. 8. The agricultural growth rate of 3.5 percent (2003-04).4 26. foodgrain production.2 per cent between 1980-97 decelerated to 2 percent in 2006.2 647327 11 . Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is confident of having a 10 per cent growth in the Eleventh Five year plan period.7 In the last four years the rate of growth of GDP has been impressive 7. 9.2 percent (2006-07).5 per cent (2004-05). 9 The number of rural landless families has increased from 35 per cent in 1987 to 55 per cent in 2005.4 264. all have increased.5 189. agriculture provided employment to 72 per cent of the population and contributed 59 per cent of GDP.3 623. How ever by 2001 the population depending upon agriculture came to 58 per cent whereas share of agriculture in GDP went down drastically to 24 per cent and further to 22 per cent in 2006-07. The annual rate of economic growth which was only 0. index of industrial and agricultural production.8 32.3 4388 2005-06 2604532 20734 221. Crores) Source : Economic survey 2006-07 An analysis of the table shows that within 15 years of economic reforms. The 61st round of NSS in 2003 observed that the bottom 51 per cent of rural household hold 2 per cent of land whereas the top 1 per cent hold 15 1990-91 692871 7321 91. There exist a more important part which remain neglected.3 23.) Index of industrial productions (Base 1993-94=100) Index of agricultural production (Base 1981-82=100) Gross Domestic Capital Formation(as percent of GDP) Gross Domestic Savings (as percent of GDP) Foodgrains productions(Million tonnes) Electricity generation(Billion KWH) Forex Reserves (Rs. the national income. Social sectors have also not been able to develop adequately. Era sezhiyan 8 observes “in 1951. That is the agriculture or rural sector on which majority of Indians depend for their livelihood.10 The inequality in rural sector is also quite high.Growth of Selected Indicators Indicators GDP at factor cost at constant prices(Rs.1 176. volume of electricity generation. increased to 8. capital formation. savings.2 per cent in 1996-97 and 9 per cent in 2005-06. Crore) Per capita NDP at constant prices(Rs.4 208.3 33. foreign exchange reserves etc.6 148. the per capita income.0 percent (2005-06) and 9. But actually India is shining only in part.5 per cent in 1991-92 and reached 5 percent in 1992-93. This is resulted in a lowering of per capita income of farmers and increasing rural indebtedness”. News papers say “India is Shining”.
resource depletion etc.e.85 percentage point). The IT sector was a particular beneficiary. The lives of educated and rich had been enriched by globalization. The Approach Paper to Eleventh Plan conceded that the progress implementing the objectives of health have been ‘slow’. 56(China) and 130(Vietnam). and new risks had cropped up for the losers. the socially deprived and the rural poor. globalization has other possible negative effects like loss of economic independence of India.1 million during the same period. poverty eradication etc are also discouraging.percent. The important question is how the deficiencies and harmful effects of globalization can be adequately made up by the application of Gandhian economic principles so that a full-fledged growth can be achieved. Every individual and family in the village would actively engage in cottage. health. 0. The depressing rural atmosphere has lead to suicide of farmers.6 percent in 2004-05. 30(China) and 19 (Vietnam).62 per cent in 1993-94 to 3. Prof.02 million to 13. The proportion of unemployed to the total labour force has increased from 2. Apart from these failure. 2006 that roughly 1 lakh farmers committed suicide during the period 1993-2003. destruction of domestic industries. The absolute number of unemployment has increased from 9. The Maternal Mortality Rate is 407 in India as against 92(Srilanka). fear of dumping.” Thus we observe that globalisation has failed to remove the problems of many important socio-economic sectors. So whether to globalize India or not is not the important question now. The paper says that the rates of Infant Mortality for India is 60 as against 13 (Srilanka). Agriculture Minister Sarad Power informed the Rajya Sabha on May 18. Emphasis on cottage and small industries would ensure maximum employment 12 . The natural resources of the village would be best exploited through small scale and cottage industries without having an adverse impact on environment. Gandhi was of the opinion that Indian villages needed to be viewed with more dignity as they support the Indian economy. The focal point of Gandhian economics is the village as it is the hub of all human activities in India.e.74 percentage point) compared to the pre-reform period (1983-1993. rural and small scale industries. In the ranking of Human Development Index. India ranks 126th as per UNDP report 2006.12 It shows that the poverty eradication measures have been less effective in the post-reform period than in the prereform period. The situation of employment. the ILO Report (2004) stated “ In India there had been winners and losers. On poverty line.11 Health sector is no better. The modalities of applications of Gandhian Economics can be chalked out in the following manner. But India is already hooked on to globalization. About the impact of globalisation on the development of India. 0. Rudder Dutt observed that the average decline in percentage of population below poverty line in the post reform period (1993-2004) is less (i. i. But the benefits had not yet reached the majority. These industries would mostly make use of the renewable sources of energy leading to conservation of non-renewable sources of energy.
Deep & Deep Pub. The system of village Panchayat would coordinate among all the economic activities that operate at the village level. J. 2000-01. health center. 2006-07 Harijan. 1993-94. Govt. post office and other basic requirements in every village. His life and Thought.opportunities and solve the unemployment problem. 8. 5. Moreover this would be truly a democratic body comprising people from different walks of life. 3.Schumacher (1974): Small is Beautiful. Abacus. E. Bombay J. 1999-2000. Nehru (1958): A bunch of old letters.Sethi (1970): Gandhi Today. Improvement of rural economy with provision of all basic facilities will check the rural-urban migration. Oriental Longman.Mehta. Importance to village economy would lead to simultaneous growth of agriculture and industry throughout the country which would help to reduce inequality among the people and disparity among regions.G. The areas in the matter of national importance would be taken care of by the union government at the center. 1996-97.(1985): Gandhian Thought.L. We can thus sum up the findings of the above discussion by subscribing to the view that the evil effects and deficiencies of the ongoing process of globalization can be aptly made up by the application of Gandhian economic principles to ensure a full. South Asian Books.Tendulkar (1951-54): Mahatma. Within the village economy agricultural land would be cooperatively cultivated so that better inter-personal relationship would be established in the rural atmosphere. But these activities needed to be properly coordinated with the help of an agency that is village Panchayat.F. 2. It would give people an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the process of governance in a democratic manner. Vithalbhai Jhaveri & D.D. D. J. 9. 7. Vikas Publising House. 1939 Hiren Mukherjee (1960): Gandhi – A study. New Delhi 13 . London. 10. June 3 . Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (8volumes ).Tendulkar.Kripalini (1961): Gandhi .fledged development of Indian economy whereby the dreams of the father of the nation could be translated into reality.B. This would be the central governing body at the village level enjoying all types of power. Peoples publishing House.G. 4. Co-operative method would also reduce the cost of production. Calcutta. 6. of India: Economic survey 1990-91. References 1. Jai Narain (1987): Gandhiji’s View of Political Power. 2005-06.K. J. There would be school.
(1982): Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule. June 22.K. I bid. 20. 16. June 16. 14. of India : An Approach Paper to the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) S. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.K. I bid. I bid. 19. 15.).Desmukh (ed. (1946) : Harijan. Navajivan Publishing House. 22. (1970): Capital and labour. 13.Trusteeship Concepts. July 28 Planning Commission.Gandhi (1957): From Yervada Mandir. Young India. 14 . 2007 Mainstream. (1983): An Autobiography. 17. Precepts and Practice. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. New Delhi Mainstream. Govt. 18. 21. Ahemedabad. (1960): Socialism of my conception. I bid.11. Navajiban Publilsing House. 2007 M. : (2003) : Alternative Economics. 12. May 8. Deep & Deep Pub. I bid. Navajivan Publising House. 1938. I bid.
Bombay. Sunabeda. The early Europeans who translated the Gita found the reflections of their own religiosity in it and hence believed that it was a copy of the Bible (Urusula King. All Indian schools of philosophical thought and religious practices can and do interpret the Gita in their own lines of thought and seek sanctification from it.Kosambi. p-121). Beside these stalwarts. transcending the barriers of time. in style and in presentation. It was used to justify violence as well as non-violence.D. In modern times great thinkers like Swami Vivekananda. space and personality. The overbearing influence of the text on the thought and actions of Gandhi is clearly discernable from his interpretation of the text. the Gita still continuous to attract the real of versatile commentators like Swami Sivananda.N. Radhakrishnan and many others took it as a sacred duty to offer their commentaries on the Gita. Numerous religious – sanths as well as management wizards in their discourses regularly telecast through the T. New Delhi p. Bhakti Vedanta Prabhupada and others. In volume. The Gita is universally acclaimed for its intense practical nature in addition to the philosophical expounding of the Indian or Hindu philosophical heritage. Tilak. Aeronautics College. Swami Chidbhavananda. Channels lavishly refer to the Gita to substantiate different points of view. Aurobindo. 15 . dominating the Indian political scenario * Principal. Cantos from it were trumpeted to urge people into positive action from a state of inertia. numerous translations and commentaries in different regional languages have been successfully attempted upon with the growth ad development of vernacular literature in the country. Gandhi immensely contributed towards the enrichment of Indian thinking. which witnessed the birth pangs of a free India. It has caught the attention and caused the imagination of a number of thinkers. The Gita is most synthetic in nature of its exposition as well. Gandhi. 1956. In the first half of the twentieth century. Compiled by Arvind Sharma. the Gita is at once a guide book for every men ad women. It is capable of binding itself to multifaceted interpretations and understanding. Consisting of seven hundred verses in lucid Sanskrit. The Gita assumed a special significance during the freedom struggle of India. apathy and inaction.” (D. Mishra* The Bhagavad Gita (Commonly known as the Gita) is one of the best representatives of Indian philosophical and religious textual heritage.GITA: GANDHI AND NON VIOLENCE A. He played the most vital role in her political history and nationalistic upheaval. In the era of post-independent India. New Essays on the Bhagavadgita. It is the most translated and commented upon scripture of Hindu religion. Iconographic Reflections of the Religious and Secular importance of the Bhagavadgita within the image world of modern Hinduism”. through India’s cultural history spread over centuries. 62-63).V. An Introduction to the Study of Indian History. it is definitely more acceptable and intelligible to a vast range of readers than the Vedas and the Upanishads. “The Bhagavadgita still remains powerful in forming the consciousness of upper class Hindus by furnishing the ideological sphere were they fight out their conflicts.
politicians in the history of mankind. 16 . (Ed). A practical – idealist. His wife Kasturabai’s quiet practice of submission to suffering. Vegetarianism. The Writings of Gandhi. The Life of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhis were known for their integrity and for the courage of their convictions. Her austerities. A prolific writer. Gandhi was essentially the destiny of the millions of Indians. official title. Gandhi had many books published even though to himself he was “neither a prolific writer nor a deliberate author”. artistic gifts or the power of oratory. p-30). the gospel of selfless action ad Satyagraha. the influence of his own nurse Rambha and the regular reading of the Ramayana before ill Kaba Gandhi (his father) by a pundit viz. None-the less. pp 15-16). His care for non-violence in thought & action. 1982. 1983. p-8). He defied all expectations. left a permanent impression of uon Gandhi. journalistic & personal. (B. p-19). still remains one of the most distinguished thinker . when the world decides to observe 2nd October. position. Gandhi’s life. Nanda.R. the philosophy of truth and non-violence. His mother Puthibai was deeply religious and orthodox in temperament. The teachings of Mahavira & Vallabhacharya. 1982. practiced out of deference to his parents. pp 19-21). his numerous experiments with new political weapons like satyagraha & his voluminous writings. op. “It is surprising and impressive to find a private citizen without wealth. from the twenties of the last century unto his death. In the years since his assassination Gandhian ideas have acquired an international appeal and have been shared by individuals and by peace movements throughout the world. of attending to his sick father. stature and influence he exerted on others seemed almost to belong to another planet. more so. were attributed to his long experience from a very tender age. it may be. Hence.” (B. taught the lessons of nonviolence and passive resistance to Gandhi (Ibid. an exponent of the Bhagavadgita. discourses and writings on various aspects of contemporary India and the world. Mahatma Gandhi. Oxford. (Louis Fischer. in India and abroad”. his birth date as the International Non-Violence Day. people of the lowest wrong if the society to men of great achievements. Nanda. London. New Delhi. his compassionate mind towards the ailing and the down trodden. Einstein aptly remarked. “Generations to come. A Biography. his utmost faith in Ramanama. will scarcely believe that such a one as this (Gandhi) ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth. Gandhi with his recorded speeches. sincerity of thought and the magical spell of his personal charm. it is worthwhile to attempt an analysis of Gandhi’s interpretation the concept of Non-Violence in the Gita. the songs of Mirabai & the poems of Narasinh Mehta exerted a great influence on the minds of the people of Gujrat in general and on that of the Gandhis in particular. property. his love for nursing the sick. Ladha Maharaj of Bilesvar. made him the most outstanding & dominating figure. her strong will.cit. An era of India’s history of freedom movement is termed as the ‘Gandhian Era’. scientific achievements. though was an inconvenient obligation in London for Gandhi.R. to have influenced so many people.for nearly four decades. In addition to these. (Ronald Duncan. Gandhi had influenced millions of people both in and outside India with his unique personal traits.
(Ibid). Recklessness. New Delhi. The message of supreme forgiveness and non-violence of the “Sermon On The Mount” impressed him. neither the original nor a translated one. Gandhi. “…. The book struck me as one of priceless worth. Publications Division. 62. passive resistance. mind and man are all undone” (M. In the words of Gandhi. krodhat bhavati sammohah sammohat smriti vibhramah smritibhramsad buddhinaso buddhinasat pranasyati. Sir Edwi Arold translated these as: “If one ponders on objects of the sense. (these) verses in the second chapter made a deep impression on my mind. Publication Division New Delhi. 63. 1976. The impression has ever since been growing o me with the result that I regard it today as the book of par excellence for the knowledge of Truth”. Aparigraha. the starting point of a unique discipline of body and mind which transformed his life and personality.K. then the memory all betrayed Lets noble purpose go. from attraction grows desire. Till purpose. passion breeds. and they still ring in my ears. Satya 17 . vol. another book of Sir Edwin Arnold on Buddha. Desire flames to fierce passion. In London Gandhi for the first time read the Gita in Sir Edwin Arwold’s translation of the Bhagavadgita titled The Song Celestial. Ahimsa (non-violence). sangas tesu’pa jayate sangat samjayate kamah kamat krodho bhijyte II. Gandhi was essentially an experimental personality. During the same period Gandhi read the Light of Asia. He titled his autobiography as the Story of My Experiments with Truth. XXXIV. p-27). The two verses of the Gita by which Gandhi was permanently impressed are : dhyayato visayan pumsah. (hence forth Collected Works). Vegetarianism. He later declared. Mahatma Gandhi . p-60). there springs Attraction. So far he had never read the Gita. His young mind tried to unify the teachings of the Gita.it became a mission. ad saps the mind. satyagraha. II. “that renunciation was the highest form of religion appealed to me greatly. (Romainroland. Brahmacharya (celibacy). and Blavatsky’s Key to Theosophy and the Bible. 1972. (non-possession). the Light of Asia & the Sermon on the Mount. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.” (Ibid).
His co-workers like Swami Anand and others requested Gandhi to provide a translation of the whole text of the Gita for a better understanding of his views actions. a permanent infallible guide of his daily life. so has it been regarding my rendering of the Gita. (with Gandhi) whatever their point of departure returned to the teachings of the Gita.8. Hydropathy. non-violence and morality were the summum bonum of Gandhi’s life and work. He wrote. R. non-violence and brahmacharya. (M. Truth and no-violence to Gandhi were like the touch stone of a goldsmith and anything that failed to register its absolute purity on either of it was rejected by him. I owe it to the teachings of the Bhagavadgita. p.25). I turn to the Bhagavadgita and find a verse to comfort me. The writings of Gandhi Oxford 1983.” (M. were all experiments deliberately and consciously carried out by Gandhi in his life time. Osteopathy. for reading and understanding a shastra. Gandhi.op.R. He constantly referred to the verses of the Bhagavadgita to sanctify his views and actions. “I found the right method for reading – for understanding the shastras. He had a simple formula. Nanda. The shastras are not above reason.(Truth). From his childhood he had an interest in questions pertaining to morality. Truth. by regular practice of memorizing one verse every morning. fasting. “Just as acted upon by affection of coworkers like Swami Anand and others”. op. (Ronald Duncan. cit p68). He did not consider the shastras (scriptures) including the Vedas to be absolute. p – 41). with the addition of such notes as you 18 . political weapons and ideologies. He had the whole of the Gita by heart. Delhi.cit. and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. ‘We shall be able to appreciate your meaning of the message of the Gita. which was quite uncommon to the Indians. one of the most practical men of his times and his treatment of the Gita reflects his practical attitude. it is unauthentic. only when we are able to study a translation of the whole text by yourself.44). My life has been full of external tragedies and if they have not left any visible or invisible effect on me. but it was his spiritual reference book. He drove every thought of his mind into its personal implications and practical applications. “(B.24). Hindu Dharma. 1993. and I see not one ray of light on the horizon. op. To Gandhi Gita was not merely a book of ethics or metaphysics. “when disappointments stare me in the face. If any injunction in a shastra is opposed to truth. “All conversations. “When doubts haunt me” wrote Gandhi. ethics and religion. Gandhi cited the verses from the Gita to justify even nonviolence. Nanda.K. Gandhi. dietics. quoted by Louis Fischer. Gandhi recollected the event in the introduction to Anaskti Yoga. We can reject any shastra which reason can not follow. And it was in South Africa he had an opportunity to study books of his interest on morality. penance. the gospel of selfless action. p. while going through his morning toilet. ethics and religion. cit.K. Gandhi Young India. p -98). He judged every aspect of life including the teachings of the Gita by the tests of truth and non-violence. Anasakti (non-attachment). his translation of the Gita and wrote : “ I wrote My Experiments with Truth”. which ever the shastra in which it is found. (B. “The book which was ultimately to form his strongest bond with Hinduism as well as the greatest influence in his life was the Bhagavad Gita. (7.
He was not writing his commentaries on the Gita for the scholarly higher castes. was completed on June 27. Vol.. but for the common people. nor for the men of spiritual merit. They have their own place. Ahmedabad. I felt the force of his remarks. Gandhi had daily delivered discourses on the Gita before the ashramites at the time of their morning prayer. On the basis of his sincere edeavour to enforce the teachings of the Gita in his own life. pp. told him that I would adopt his suggestion when I got the time. XXXII. Gandhi conceded that he was reading his own meaning into the Gita while commenting upon the verses. 90). vol. Gandhi’s’ approach to the treatment of the concept of war and non-violence in Gita illustrated his attitude to all the shastras. particularly the Vaishyas the Sundras and the Women and for those who needed Gita’s consolation to guide them selves through the mental turbulences in life. published by the Publication Division of the Government of India. Prior to translating the Gita.8.K. Gandhi. the inmates of the Ashram. from Gujarati to English. I. Anasakti Yoga (literally. from 24 February 1926 to 27 November 1926. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan published Gandhi’s The Teachings of the Gita.92). which appeared first in Young India on 6. Notes were taken by Mahadev Desai and Punjabibhai. To him. which differed from the traditional views on many important respects. 1930. However. Gandhi never claimed any scholarly understanding of the text or any spiritual or mystic experience being behind his understanding the Gita.90-91). He did not ever hope to replace the existing translations and commentaries. Gandhi boldly justified his claim of authority to offer an interpretation of the Gita. The English translation of Gandhi’s Anasaktiyoga by Mahadev Desai bore the title The Gita According to Gandhi . during his sabbatical years in the Sabarmati Ashram. the Gujrati Version of the Bhagavad Gita rendered by Gandhi with additions of his own commentaries and notes. Collected Works.XLI. The book was published by the Navajivan Publishing House. 1970. in 1969.p. P.1931. nor did he consider them to be inaccurate. op. “This desire (of translating the Gita) does not mean any disrespect to other renderings.” (Ibid. one 19 . from stray verses’ thus spoke Swami Anand to me during the non-cooperation days. But I am not aware of the claim made by the translators of enforcing their meaning of the Gita in their own lives.K. 1929 by Gandhi. Gandhi Interprets The Bhagavadgita by Orient paperbacks. I do not think it is just on your part to deduce “Ahimsa” etc. cit.may deem necessary. Everything written in Sanskrit was not a shastra for Gandhi. These discourses of Gandhi were subsequently published in 1980. Gandhi had translated the Introduction part himself. while he was in the Yeravda prison (Ibid. At the back of my reading there is the claim of an endeavor to enforce the meaning in my own conduct for an unbroken period of 40 years. therefore. an English version of which found its place in the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. These were subsequently edited and published by Narhari Parikh in 1955 under the title Gandhijinu Gitashikshan. Ahmedabad on March 12. the yoga of non-attachment). Earlier to this. under the title M. For understanding the meaning of the shastras in their true perspective.” (M.
offering of animals in sacrifice was permissible.92). in the age prior to that of the Gita. He further says. will serve as a safe guide to any one who reads it with truth and non-violence as his guiding principles. If Gita describes Krishna urging Arjuna to fight it could not be. collected workers. cit. “The shrutis and smritis do not become scriptures merely because they are known by these respectable names. prior to the composition of the Gita. a justification of war or violence.p. xxx in the language of the Gita. Vol-XXXII. p. “It is possible to draw any number of evil ideas” said Gandhi. Gandhi was convinced that by asking Arjuna to fight. He said. But there is not a trace of it in the sacrifice in Gita sense. Xxx Let it be granted that according to the letter of the Gita.p-92). the Vedas.K. It would be like taking up a study of botany without ever having seen plants. “a poet puts a particular truth before the world. the Koran and other scriptures.” (M. While yajna meant offering of animals. without having equipped one self in this manner is the surest way of falling into the slough of Despond. its meaning in total context. one should not stick to its letters but try to understand its spirit. We are able to discover this even on a superficial examination. shastra can only mean. Gandhi believed that the shastras could be misleading for a reader who did not follow the rules of discipline and religious observances. continuous concentration on God is the king of sacrifices xxxx but never animal sacrifice. He argued. if meaning is to be acceptable to reason.Gandhi found the author of the Gita to have extended the meanings of words like Yajna or sannyasa. the utterances of a sthitaprajna (Man of steadfast Intellect) xxx an ordinary person like me will have no other alternative than to serve the people in the light of his experience. Like man the meaning of great writings suffers evolution.314). A poet’s meaning is limitless. But after 40 years of unremitting endeavor fully to enforce the 20 . The Gita.177-78). renunciation of fruit. to Gandhi. To quote Gandhi: “The author (of the Gita) himself extended the meanings of some of the current words. op. “To take up a work like Gita.” (Ibid. it does not necessarily follow that he has known or worked out all its great consequence. however. the Gita attached a different spirit to these words. I have come across people who justified even murder on the authority of these works. The second rule to be followed in determining the meaning of a text in a shastra for Gandhi was that. On examining the history of languages. it is possible to say that warfare is consistent with.” (Ibid pp. from the Bible. Anybody who derives the justification of war or violence or killing from the Gita is not a true Bhakta nor is entitled to interpret a shastra. Whatever goes against the eternal principles of truth etc cannot be religious. we notice that the meaning of important words has changed or expanded. In the Gita. or that having done so he is able always to express them fully. Krishna did not intend to prove that violence was in consistence with renunciation of fruits of action.must have a well cultivated moral sensibility and experience in the practice of these truths.” (Ibid. It is possible that. Gandhi.
it becomes very interesting to study Gandhi’s approach in his treatment of the Gita vis-à-vis his socio political ideologies and his absolute convictions on the concepts of non-violence & truth.K. The Pandavas consisting of Yuddhisthira. To substantiate his convictions. p. Op.” (Ibid). Gandhi. Collected Works. are founded on Gandhi’s own intuition. Since the Gita was his “infallible guide” and the spiritual reference book for his daily conduct. Gandhi did not claim any academic authenticity in favor of his conclusions. The battle between the Pandavas and Kauravas represents the conflict between the Countess Kauravas and Pandavas dwelling within us.95-97). wrote Gandhi and asked. like all other headers of his time. Consequently Gandhi had a wish: “How much better it would have been if the sage Vyasa had not taken this illustration of fighting for inculcating spiritual knowledge. how can he describe an actual event perfectly?” (Ibid) Gandhi believed that Vyasa. even on the authority and sanction of the Bhagavadgita was not acceptable to Gandhi. xxxii. p. the author of the Mahabharata depicted the characters of the epic symbolically. op.teaching of the Gita in my own life.cit. was “embraced by the snake of politics. “Have we ever heard of such a thing actually happening?” (M. To him the Gita was not an aphoristic work but a great religious poem. “(M. logic and experience only. pp. XLI. While analyzing the war setting of the Bhagavadgita. Bhima. Gandhi was not prepared to accept the Mahabharata War in general and the Gita episode in particular as historical events! Violence in any form. that some of the places. 99-100). that wars were not taboo when the Gita was composed and that the battle field of Kurukshetra was only a symbol of the battle between good ad ever which rages in every human heart etc. Collected Works. Gandhi. vol. cit. all born at the same instant”.K. For him politics without religion was “like a corpse. I have. only fit to be burried”. Gandhi was definitely disturbed. vol-xiii. On the other hand were the Kauravas. felt that perfect renunciation is impossible without perfect observance of ahimsa in every shape and form. vol. It is a battle between the innumerable forces of good and evil which became personified in us as virtues and vices. events and persons referred there in might be historical. God having created him so weak. Highly learned people likeShyamji Krishnavarma. “a hundred brothers. Nakula & Sahadeva whose fatherhood has been attributed to the five Gods viz Dharma. Collected Works. Vinayak Damadar Sarvarkar and others refused to accept what Gandhi interpreted. Arjuna. An apostle of nonviolence & a foremost leader of Indian politics.K. Gandhi. (M. when highly learned and thoughtful 21 .221). The hypotheses that Mahabharata is not a historical event. in all humility. Gandhi. Indra and Asvini Kumaras respectively on one side. He questioned the miraculous origin of the principal warriors of the Mahabharata viz the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Vayu. Gandhi argued that. “A man cannot describe even a drop of water seen by him. For. Thus he tried to justify his political actions and ideologies by quoting from different religious scriptures.
so in the Mahabharata virtues ad vices are personified and great moral truths conveyed through those figures. A seer such as Vyasa would never concern himself with a description of mere physical fighting. Vyasa according to Gandhi. by making the victors shed tears of sorrow and repentance & by leaving them with nothing “but a legacy of miseries. Thinking along these lines. It was an accepted and primary duty even before the Gita age. the author of Mahabharata did not think that fighting was wrong. wanted to prove the futility of a war. Collected Works. can be interpreted to yield such a wrong meaning. vol XLI.men read this meaning in the Gita. I have felt that in trying to enforce. The Gita had to deliver the message of renunciation of fruit. 22 . pp 95-97). To Gandhi. does the Gita then prohibit violence all-together ? The answers to these questions are also provided by Gandhi himself in his following statements: “The battlefield described here is primarily the one inside the human body ….” (Ibid). as one of the Upanishads.That matchless remedy is renunciation of fruits of action. To Gandhi for whom on-violence was the paramount political weapon for India’s independence. The epithet may also mean that for a kshyatriya a battlefield is always a field of dharma. Nevertheless. there is no temptation for untruth or himsa. The description of the battle serves only as a pretext. However.” (Ibid. This is clearly broughtout as early as the second chapter. Gandhi.93). Collected Works. in the Gita. the choice of Vyasa to convey great truths of life through a war setting was an error. When there is no desire for fruit.102). one is bound to follow the central teaching of the Gita. But here (in the Gita) the physical battle is only an occasion for describing the battlefield of the human body. and it will be found that at its back was the desire to attain the cherished end. Vyasa. it would have been better for the holy Vyasa to have taken another. p. Gandhi later realized that “just as in Aesop’s Fables and in Panchatantra. round which devotion. knowledge and the rest revolve like planets. when used in the service of God. But it may be freely admitted that the Gita was not written to establish ahimsa. Fighting there well may be.K. vol xxxii. one is bound to follow truth ad ahimsa. more effective illustration to teach sacred truths. Gandhi.K. op at. cit. (M. in ones life the central teaching of the Gita. “The object of the Gita appears to me to be that of showing the most excellent way of self realization…. the authors have created conversations among birds and animals to impart moral teaching. In this view the names mentioned here are not of persons but of qualities which they represent.p. This renunciation is the sun. op. what can we expect of ordinary people? If what we describe as the very quintessence of all shastras. Take any instance of untruth or violence. It is the human body that is described as Kurukshetra as Dharmakshetra. What is described is the conflict within the human body between opposing moral tendencies imagined as distinct figures. 1) why did the author of the Gita take a war like illustration ?2) If the physical battle of the Mahabharata is nothing but an analogical or allegorical piece of destructive literature. ( M. Gandhi’s mind was disturbed with two questions. This is the centre round which the Gita is woven. It does become that.
but nobody observed the contradiction between them and ahimsa. May be it is possible to realize ahimsa in thought but not in action.102). the author of the Gita had tried to show into what darkness of ignorance Arjuna had sunk.But if the Gita believed in ahimsa or it was included is describe less. which means on who has conquered his mind. Gandhi was also convinced that Arjuna was a seeker who observed the disciplines of yama-niyama. op. collected workers. The cause of all spiritual evil is this ignorant attachment to ego & the central teaching of the Gita according to Gandhi is the surrender of all attachments to self. Arjuna simply raised the question of distinction between Kinsmen & others. Arjuna was a Kshyatriya. therefore. not because he was averse to fighting. Arjuna was a kshyatriya. Gandhi. Evil is inherent in action. 23 . Non shri Krishna exhorted the Gita to support violence. In human body. what the Gita propounds on the common sense level is that. Arjuna did not raise. collected works. violence is inescapable because while the eyes wick and nails have to pared. once plunged into battle. In the past Arjuna never hesitated to fight even against his relations. for whom fight to protect the weak and uphold truth was a sacrosanct duty. XLI op. Throughout his discourses on the Gita during the daily prayer meetings at sabarmati Ashram Gandhi emphasized his stand on the setting of the Gita by repeatedly referring to the first chapter of even while analyzing the verses from its other chapters. (M. vol. In case Arjuna had an aversion to fighting by nature Krishna woulde have asked Arjuna to go to Duryadhana and win him oever his heart! But that was not the case. One is not expected to give up the task one has undertaken.K. violence I oe from or author is inevitable. In the battle filed of Kurukshetra Arjuna was despondent. is here being asked to kill (M.K. But a wise man should not read a wrong meaning in it under any circumstances. at pp 100 – 104). But in Kurukshetra he was possessed by a deep affect of inertia arising out of despandency which prevented him from discharging his duties as a Kshyatriya. which according to Gandhi was due to Arjuna reason of relusion arising out of his ignorance ad attachment to ego. Gadhi. though it is violence. one should go on fighting. the question of violence and non-violence. He was kown as gudakesha. Arjuna decided to quit the battle field due to his attachmet to ego and his reason delusion arising out of it A person who believed in fighting and did not regard it as violence. although people believed in ahimsa. Even Gandhi conceded that ahimsa (non-violence) is an ideal which it is impossible to realize to perfection.at p. He was a brahmachari in perfect control of all his senses. wars were not only not taboo. but to kill his Kunsmen (Srajanam) Gandhi refers to the repeated use of the term “Srijanam in the second chapter of the Gita to establish that by putting the word kinsmen (srajanam) repeatedly in the mouth of Arjuna. As a follower of shastras he was aware of the supreme value of on-violence. To Gandhi. who is always vigilant. wahy did the author take a warlike illustration ? When the Gita was written. Thus the illustration of war used in the Gita is not pointers or inadequate. and explaining the real motive of the author of the Gita behind his selecting the war setting of the Mahabharata.
The broad hypothesis is : “ World peace can only be realized through non-violence. Besides there are corruption communalism. But. The basic groundship happens to be “Non-violence”. crisis in the field of energy. problems of language. and to establish an organic relationship between Gandhian principle and world peace. war and conflicts . denial of human rights. Peace is far away so long as these problems exist. II Among the various political ideologies. ethical and moral degradation in private and public life. democratic governance appears to be best because it is this very system which provides maximum opportunities of public progress and development. mounting insecurity and violence. Dept. to examine Gandhi’s views on state and his vision of democracy . a vast number of people suffering from poverty.G. and marginalization. of Political Science. He said “ my life is my message”. to present Gandhi’s interpretation and contribution to the formulation of India’s foreign policy and world-views . All these together pose a grave challenge to the world. gender bias and injustice. Orissa 24 . unemployment. Therefore Gandhism is a mixture of Gandhi’s concepts and practices. terrorism. a crisis that poses challenge to each and every aspect of our life. He *P. nuclear proliferation and global reach of arms. The objectives of this paper are the following : i) ii) iii) iv) v) to state the problems / crises of the modern world . Utkal University. over-militarisation. drug trafficking. to analyse the multi-dimension of Gandhi’s concepts of Non-violence and Truth . hunger. regionalism. The modern world is facing a multi-dimensional crisis . People can themselves decide the mode of their welfare. AIDs . There is no alternative to non-violence”. overdevelopment and underdevelopment resulting in mal-development. Mahatma Gandhi treated his individual life in accordance with his ideas. is the democratic system of governance free from above problems ? Therefore Gandhian philosophy is very much contextual today on this accord. Among the outstanding aspects of this crisis are .MAHATMA GANDHI AND WORLD PEACE Brahmananda Satapathy* The context is the ‘Global Peace’ in the modern world and the text is ‘Gandhian Philosophy’ for its attainment. Added to these are environmental degradation in the forms of abuse and overuse of nature and pollution and growing paucity of resources.
It is the most ancient eternal values and culture of India. Non-violence on account of being permanently present stays to be true. D. the spiritual force. It is co-terminus with life. In this context Gandhi clarified in an edition of young India. It is the moral. “ I have nothing new to teach you …. Non. Soul is the spark of this God of Truth. is violence. abstinence in toto from violence is non violence. In case. To hurt someone. He equated God with Absolute Truth as ultimate reality. It is an active force.” Nonviolence and Truth are two sides of a same coin. purest non-violence is an epitome in having a tendency and presuming towards spiritual or physical benefit unto everyone without selfishness and with pure thought after cool and clear deliberations …. utterance or deeds and not to deprive some one of his life. It has no place for cowardice. He said on this account. Non –Violence is the strongest weapon. Gandhi would not 25 . C. Truth and non -violence are as old as hill. Both are two sides of the same coin. Having decided upon the rightness of a situation.practiced and prescribed non-violence as a remedy against all social evils. it has not with man from the very beginning.” In essence. to think of some evil unto some one or to snatch one’s life under anger or selfishness. Non-Violence Total non –violence consists in not hurting some other one’s intellect. Non-violence is both a means and an end in itself. Both have same value. Besides there has been gradual enhancement in development and proximity in spite of presence of various obstacles and hurdles. the divine spirit which regulates our body and mind. Non-Violence is perpetual From beginning unto now man has been ultimately treading path of nonviolence. The derivation is that Truth stays with permanence and that Truth is permanent. there might have been self-doom by man. Doing at any cost something that one ought to do. It is not a weapon of the weak. Difference consists in approach only. “ rather than saying “ God is Truth”. Non-violence is impossible without bravery / courage/ fearlessness. The ultimate yardstick of violence or non-violence is the spirit behind the action. It is more appropriate to say ” Truth is God.” B. A. speech or action per own thought. the voice of Truth within us. It is the voice of God. It came into existence along with man.violence and Truth both are complementary to each other. The courage of dying without killing. “…. In contrast .
Non. Non-existence of State as cherished by Gandhi is impossible instantly or in near future. Bentham. But this control is not to be achieved by despising or neglecting either the body or mind or soul. Karl Marx. It fosters co-operation and cooperation progress. Means are at least as important as. democratic governance appears to be best. among the existing states. errors. Those who grow out of violence. There must be purity of means .like one to be passive spectator to evil. Non-Violence has individual and social aspects too. G. “ When freedom is menaced or justice is threatened or where aggression takes place we can not and shall not be neutral. There is an inviolable connection between the means and end as there is between the seed and tree. desirable that ends should be good and reasonable.Violence is not utilitarianism F. He wished it to be developed on large scale. Complete unity and integrity of body.Timely and all welfaristic. Trotsky and other. and it is expected that Gandhi’s State is to be non-violent. 26 . The body should be controlled by mind and the mind by the soul – a harmony among three. He called upon the people to continue to develop it in practice throughout life as the basis of life. We can not get a rose by planting a noxious weed. To him. Lenin. lead to a better understanding of his vision of democracy. It is. At the level of imperfect nature of man. III Examination of Gandhi’s view on state may. A non-violent is always ready to face punishment for the maximum benefit of all whereas a utilitarian is not. and often more important than . This is what makes Gandhi distinctly different form Kautilya. ends. But how is the State act non-violently. They give direction to life while the means adopted constitute life itself. Sometimes a confusion is made between the acts of the individuals and those of the state. mind and soul in the individual human being. Progress is difficult to achieve without co-operation. Cooperation is possible only when there is no violence.” E. This is the ideal for Gandhi. This is the essence of Non-Alignment which is different from neutrality. when it represents violence in a concentrated and organized form ? Indeed a non-violent state is a contradiction in terms. even mistakes. The relationship between the two is organic. Machiavelli. of course. and failures aid the growth of the individual. It is All . It could only be called a non-violent stateless society. It the means confirm to the test of truth and no-violence. regulation of mutual relations in society is through non-violence to considerable extent. they will end in violence. perhaps. H.
He believed that state is best which governs least and this is his second best ideal. The state should work in the direction of development of nonviolence at individual. even though there are numerous other things which do not at all depend upon political power. “ The attempt to win Swaraj is Swaraj itself. The discovery was Satyagraha. He stands for the spiritualization and secularization of politics. The policy of apartheid by the White Minority Government made the lives of the 27 . there is tidal waves of violence and other related problems sweeping across the world and seems to be having no respite. Democracy should be intermingled with non-violence in even manner and governmental interference is minimum.But the paradox is that being theoretically the best system of government. In it people will certainly be conscious of their duties. Violence is not sacred. Whatever is gained on the basis of it is impure and temporary. Gandhi is certainly a staunch supporter of democracy. yet in the actual state there is provision for it according to the moral level of its citizens. In case of its absence. people will grow accustomed spontaneously to observe their social obligations without the operation of the State. social and national levels.ethics which are common to all religions. Peace requires peaceful method. to be transcended by better ones. No institutional device is final. IV Gandhi’s experiences in South Africa became his laboratory where he conducted experiments and formulated his worldview. Gandhi believes that politics can remain pure and free of corruption only if and so far it is based on ethical principles. The existing democratic deficit can be overcome by incorporating “ Gandhism in Democracy” . It is a developing ideal and is “ better than the best”. democracy shall be there for namesake only and it would be better for it …. he did so as a transitional device. they must be valiantly non-violent. there is no room for the military and police. Clearly be supporter of dictatorship”. pure or welfaristic from any point o f view. The present democratic systems can overcome the problems most importantly “ violence and terrorism” only when non-violence is accorded supreme status in practice as well as in principle and at social as well as individual plane. While in ideal society. Gandhi said : “ If they are to be truly made democratic. Democracy and violence can never be mutual. community. He held the view that there are certain things which cannot be done without political powers. Whatever political institutions Gandhi accepted. In it. Only such a democracy can be successful in its real goal. This democracy must be such that it should not warrant power of punishment. The basis of democracy is non-violence in toto. the less the necessity of State. Gandhi calls it “ indefinable”. There is no alternative to non-violence. This is the implication of Gandhi’s concept of Swaraj. The more the individuals have imbibed the spirit of non-violence. They must involve with the evolution of the individuals.
But I see nothing grand or impossible about expressing our readiness for universal interdependence rather than independence. Therefore my service of India includes the services of humanity …. Gandhi took the leadership of Indian National Congress and adopted a positive and dynamic stand on international affairs. Isolated independence is not the goal of the world states.” In November 1921 all India Congress Committee (AICC) passed a resolution. Freedom movements in Asian countries drew inspiration. My patriotism includes the good of mankind in general. apartheid and colonialism. I want to make no grand claims for our country. On his return from South Africa. 28 . conveying to the neighbouring countries that the foreign policy of the then Government of India did not represent the Indian opinion and was formulated by the British Government for holding India in subjection rather than protect her border. Gandhi wrote “ An India awakened and free has a message of peace and goodwill to a groaning world. one only has to awaken that good within. He said : “My idea of nationalism is that my country may become free. but a federation of friendly. In the issue of Young India. The better mind of the world desires today not absolutely independent states warring one against another. Let that be our nationalism”. From the beginning of the Non-cooperation Movement. Colonialism was legitimized. interdependent states. Non-cooperation is designed to supply her with a platform from which she will preach the message. drafted by Gandhi. He also said “I do want to think in terms of the whole world. 1 June.millions of the coloured people deplorably miserable. He valiantly fought against racialism. It is voluntary interdependence. that if need be the whole of the country may die so that human race may live. The consummation of that event may be far off. Through his constant experimentation he realized that non-violence was the strongest weapon of the colonized masses and taught them to use it. There is no room for race hatred here. I desire the ability to be totally independent without asserting the independence”. 1921. He was able to induce courage and strength in the weakest of the weak and remorse in the hearts of the cruelest of the cruel and his belief that good exists in all humans. Mahatma Gandhi emphasized the view that free India would have friendly relations with other countries. sympathy and support of the Congress. The historic challenge before him was whether the weak could fight the strong.
the nationalist movement in Afro-Asian countries gained momentum. For India it is one of complete opposition to fascists . The end of the World War II was followed by the Cold War between the two Superpowers.C. Gandhi did not want to embarass Britain when she was engaged in a life-and-death struggle with Nazi Germany. Such a World 29 . I would certainly like to see that dream realized in my life time”.Under his leadership the Congress did not want to limit its outlook to fighting against British imperialism in India and thought of combating imperialism elsewhere in the world.C. Gandhi supported the cause of Poland. and “Universal interdependence rather than independence”. All India Congress Committee reaffirmed its determination to oppose any attempt to involve India in the war without the consent of the Indian people. In this gathering both Gandhi and Nehru stressed the role of Asia and India in the promotion of world peace. In 1927 at its Madras Session the Congress declared that India could not be a party to any imperialist war and in no case should India be made to join a war without the consent of its people. In September 1933 Mahatma Gandhi wrote to Pandit Nehru : “ We must recognize that our nationalism must not be inconsistent with progressive internationalism…. Gandhiji advocated “voluntary inter-dependence” of nations as against their isolated independence”. Realising the futility of war in June 1940. It expressed “the future” peace. Gandhi criticized the aggressive policies of Hitler and Mussolini.C. Gandhi went to the extent of unging Congress to declare that free India would not use any armed force for its defence. I can. passed the resolution.C. The A. stated its commitment to the policy and practice of non –violence. In such a state of affairs. Asian Relations Conference was held from 23 March to 2 April 1947 in New Delhi. Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru propounded their doctrine of international amity and cooperation and resurgence of Afro-Asian countries for the sake of liberation from colonial rule.I. After the outbreak of the Second World War. The AICC in its resolution 1942 under Gandhi subscribed to an idealistic approach to India’s foreign policy. Gandhi declared “I would not like to live in this world if it is not to be one world. therefore go to the whole length with you and say that we should range ourselves with the progressive forces of the world “. In September 1940 the A. Gandhi’s insistence on the application of non-violence in the international arena led to his ideological break with the Congress organization.I. security and ordered progress of the world demand a World Federation of free nations and on no other basis can the problems of the modern world be solved”. Even despite British deception. During the war. India made it categorically clear to keep aloof from all alignments. It may be noted that after the outbreak of the Second World War. it is one of opposition to imperialism. world disarmament and world peace.
Federation was advocated for the sake of the freedom of the member nations. He said : “The west today is pining for wisdom.I still aspire. It has grown in to a gigantic movement having 118 countries as members and completing its 14th Summit. These are : i) ii) iii) iv) v) Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty Mutual non-aggression Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs Equality and mutual benefit and Peaceful coexistence. advancement. Gandhi was in favour of building up of a “World Commonwealth”. because the multiplication of atom bombs means utter destruction not merely of the west but of the whole world. protection of national minorities. from that sin. Gandhi in his speech on 15 September 1931 at the Round Table Conference (Second Session) said : “Time was when I prided myself on being. not merely Asia. a deluge. Panchasheel are five principles of peaceful co-existence signed between India and China in April 1954. Pandit Nehru formulated India’s foreign policy adopting Gandhian prescription. The only possible answer to the atom bomb is non-violence. not in the Empire. as if the prophecy of the Bible is going to be fulfilled and there is to be. As Pandit Nehru used to say “ I would call ours the authentic Gandhian era and the policies and philosophy which seek to implement are the policy and 30 . the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is rightly described “ History’s biggest peace movement. It is despairing of the multiplication of atom bombs. The policy of Non-Alignment reflected the essence of Gandhian prescription and reiteration of ‘Panchasheel’. heaven forbid.to be citizen. but in a Commonwealth. prevention of aggression and exploitation of one nation by another. In fact. I would far rather be called a revel than a subject. particularly the West the message of Love and Truth. It is upto you to deliver the whole world. a British subject. and being called. But I have aspired. Gandhi advised the Asian delegates to convey to the whole world.but not a partnership super-imposed upon one nation by another”.” It stood for ‘Atom for peace’. That is the precious heritage your teachers and my teachers have left us”. It found its expression in the formulation of Panchasheel. I have ceased for many years to call myself a British subject. in a partnership if God wills it an indissoluble partnership .
8. 1973. “Relevance of Gandhism in the Modern Polity”. Meerut. India. Bibliography 1. The ultimate ideal of ‘Non-violence and Truth’ is unrealized and unrealizable . Krishna Publication. He has prescribed basic education for cultivating and nurturing moral life. 31 . 1999. 2.” V Mahatma Gandhi is a practical idealist. The Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. Ravindra Kumar. Gene Sharp. There is no private Gandhi and Public Gandhi. ______. There have been no break in the continuity of our thoughts before and after 1947. An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiment with Truth. He strongly pleaded for liberation and upliftment of women. 1956. 9. He taught “ Earth is our mother and we are her children . Mittal Publications. ______. ______.S. 5. 1968. it would be a peaceful world.” A mother can satisfy the needs of her children but not greed. Ahmedabad. its value consists in pointing out the direction . The Politics of Non-violence Action.. 2002. Novajivan. Martin Luther King Jr. Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi is a postmodernist in the sense that he has harmoniously balanced the multiple identities. must be. was so profound and electrifying that he practised the message and techniques for the liberation of the black people in America. The impact of Gandhian message on Dr.philosophy taught to us by Gandhiji. Sharma. Theory and Practice of Gandhian Non-violence. 2007. M. p. 6 Vols. Mahatma Gandhi did not have a shadow of doubt that the world of tomorrow will be. Hence limitation of human wants. This consciousness should make one strive to overcome the imperfection. Electronic book. Gandhi. Essays on Gandhism and peace. “Basic Principles of Gandhism”. 1950. not in their realization. Electronic book. 6. “The Ideal and Actual in Gandhi’s Philosophy”. Striving after the ideal is the very essence of practising Gandhi’s philosophy.K. He also deserves to be considered as the first public figure who sensed and articulated the common concern in respect of environment. in the book Mahatma Gandhi. 2007. New Delhi. If women are empowered and reign the world. Interactive Multimedia.cit. a society based on non-violence. 7. Santhanam. K. in the book. Interactive Multimedia. Boston. 2007. ______. Satyagraha in South Africa. He is not a pacifist. B. in the book Mahatma Gandhi. 4. 3.
C. 12. “Jawaharlal Nehru: His Approach to Internationalism” in the book S. p. “ . J.602. 19. 1st June 1921. 11. Even if the sacrifice demanded my very life. B. A.C. “Gandhi Through the Eyes of Gita’. Bhubaneswar. 1992. Let those. S..cit. 13. Gandhi in the “Postmodern” Age: Issues in War and Peace. 2002. Pradhan. 1981. who wish . Rachanabali (1) Samalochana O Anubada Sahitya. Iyer “Means and Ends in Politics”. 1992. 16. op. S. Ramachandran. op. Anu Books. Pradhan. the Trumpet of conscience. The Discovery of India. VII. “ There are innumerable definitions of God.Gandhi 32 . Often in my progress I have had faint glimpses of the Absolute Truth.Nehru. op. “Gandhi-From Culture of violence to culture of peace”. Gopal (Ed.). S. 21. 17. R. Selected works of Jawaharlal Nehru.N. But as long as I have not realized this Absolute Truth. Sanford Krolick and Betty Cannon. I am prepared to sacrifice the things dearest to me in pursuit of this quest. 18. But I worship God as Truth only. I have not yet found Him. 1975. I hope I may be prepared to give it. let them share my experiments and share also my conviction if they can. because his manifestations are innumerable …. 2007. Rath.) Jawaharlal Nehru: The Nation Builder and Architect of India’s Foreign Policy. Pathak. Meerut.. in the book Mahatma Gandhi op.B. “Idealistic Cornerstones of Jawaharlal’s Foreign Policy”. op. 2007. 1960.cit. M. and daily the conviction is growing upon me that He alone is real and all else is unreal.N. 15. 1984. 2007.cit.Rath (ed. God. Colorado. Colorado School of Mines. 23. “J. The Gandhian way to world peace. Acharya Bhabananda. but I am seeking after Him.cit. New Delhi. 14.N. 22. Meerut. G. Martin Luther King Jr. 1992. Meerut. Nehru and the evolution of India outlook on international affairs in pre-independence era”. New Delhi.402-21. “The Essence of Gandhi”.10. 1967.cit. op.Byles. so long must I hold by the relative truth as I have conceived it …. Mayur Publications. USA. Young India. 20. Gangal. pp. 2007. D. realize how the conviction has grown upon me .cit.
The buzz word of his performed leadership is ‘participation of people’. Nonviolence and Truth . World is a fan of Gandhigiri exhibited in Lage Raho Munna Bhai. He designed ways and principles to fight India’s freedom struggle. He had high concern for ‘people’ and high concern for work. Economic Idea Gandhi was a practical man. The image of Mahatma Gandhi is people oriented and values and spirit of Gandhisim is people centered. Britain but also people of America. Accordingly he marched ahead.Satyagraha. Gandhi influenced not only people of India.Gandhigiri Revisited : Reflections on Mahatma Gandhi . Utkal University 33 . the vision of Mahatma in areas of socio-economic and political environment are discussed below. Martyr and Champion of ‘nonviolence’. Pani* Mahatma Gandhi is an International icon. So. It’s characteristic. The powerful mantra . In this regard Gandhi’s views as to socio-economic and political ideas are placed below. he could be named as a ‘Team Manager’ as per Blake and Moutons Managerial Grid Theory of Leadership. as designed. And India needs reinventing of Gandhisim to solve encounted multifarious problems and to fulfil the vision of India. That was the underlying principle for which he developed ‘Khadi’ and advocated ‘Swadeshi’ goods. As a performed leader of the world he is well acknowledged and his life became a message to the world. Undoubted. Leadership essentially means influencing people. Utilisation of India’s natural resources was a step towards this direction. Really Gandhi Led people by heart and managed ‘the work’ by mind. Africa. He had a dream of ‘New India’ then.of Gandhigiri helps common man (am admi) to solve social problems. His passion for values and work coupled with his skill provides excellence in shaping word peace and order. India is celebrating 150 years of First War of Indian Independence 1857. It is a fact that he was against machine. As a matter of fact the principles of Gandhism. No doubt spinning would create employability and increase per capita income of the poor peasants. Presently Gandhism revisited in cross borders. As a ground work he championed the cause of ‘indigenous economy’ system. Mahatma Gandhi Led India. Currently affected by terror. Really his championing the cause of village economic independence and sustainable agriculture * Reader in Public Administration. His economy model is based on poverty reduction and rural dynamics. In one word fasion is to rediscover Gandhism. global order is rethinking of non-violence for conflict resolutions. his ideas are key to peace and brotherhood of modern society in this globalization era. was self sustaining and egalitarian economy. DDCE.A Performed Leader N.
Political Ideas Economic development of rural India is dependent on political power to rural India. therefore.. that every village has to be self-sustained and capable of managing its affairs.2002 Aug.25. Gandhinagar Gateway and Zaveri Bazar. 100 injured 42 dead. ‘Empowerment of rural India’ was the vision of Gandhi.2001 Sept. 52 injured 61 dead. Gandhi focused ‘human factor’ which is now the guiding principle in Human Resource Management. Really his dream of ‘Gram Swaraj’ became a reality with the enactment and introduction of Panchayati Raj system .2005 July.2003 Mumbai July. Mumbai Bomb Blasts. Mahatma Gandhi said Independence must begin at the bottom….29. Mumbai Samjhuta Exp.24. Coimbatore Parliament Attack.2005 Oct. Panipat..11.19. This is the underlying principle of Panchayati Raj.12. It is rampant all over the world and particularly in India.2007 May. Panchayati samiti and Zillaparishad.it follows.2007 (Source Times of Searial Blasts.are landmarks in history. 2007) as given in exhibit-1 below : Exhibit -1: Terror Cases in India (1993-2007) May. 161 hurt Shramjeevi Exp. New Delhi Akshardham.14. 53 dead.2007). 92 injured 187 dead.29. 54 injured 34 . Seat reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.2007 Aug. Reservation for women (1/3 of seats). 125 injured 14 dead.. Establishment of Gram Sabha at the village lord.. That provides for Village Panchayat. 257 dead and 1400 injured 58 deal 200 injured 12 killed 34 dead and 81 injured 12 dead. a factor in individual growth and development.. And this dream became constitutional with the 73rd Amendment Act 1992.1998 Dec. Mecca Musjid. State Finance Commission for important of finances of Panchayats...13. India’s track record in cracking terror cases is pathetic (Times of India (29th August. better to say a ‘cancer in modern social order’.18. 700 injured 68 dead. Non-violence Bullet: Shooting of Terrorism Terrorism is a menans in 21st Century.a form of self-governance at village level..2006 Feb. Varanasi New Delhi Train Blasts..1993 Feb.25. Hyderabad Hyderabad India : August29. Side by side he was opposed to industrialization.
The terms means truthful effort. This spreaded to other parts of India. Terrorism is intended to cause death or serious body harm to civilizations : (UN Security Council : 2004). And the foundation of it is faith and courage. In pre-independent India struggle for freedom experienced violence. Gandhi used the technique of ‘fasting’. underdevelopment and poverty and territorial conflicts are major causes of terrorism in India. The ideas are : a) Satyagraha Gandhi opined that ‘I have nothing new to teach the world. Necessarily non-violence was key to Conflict Resolution. Truth is the foundation of Gandhian philosophy. It is pertinent here to present example. It has a wide boundary . Center for Strategic International Studies). Consequently. Truth and nonviolence are as old as the hills. unemployment social conflict (Religious and ethics). tension claimed down though riot was there sparsely. (Walter Laqueur . It resulted in killings of 5000 people and 15000 wounded in Calcutta. High population growth rate. Furthermore people died in Bihar. Further terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence. That is But the this one “Gandhi was against the creation of Pakistan in 1944. This culminated in Unrest and Jinnah declared August 16 as ‘Direct Action Day’. Mahatma Gandhi used the weapon of ‘Non-violence (Ahimsa) to resolve conflict. To ease the Hindu Muslim tension Gandhi warned to take fasting until death. values and ideas. Additionally it may take several forms and magnified the conflicts. 35 . (The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Really it is an undeniable fact that the truth is far more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction (Gandhi). It touches all individuals.) c) Ahimsa Gandhisim’s journey was a destination ‘truth’. b) Truth In Gandhiji’s philosophy ‘Truth is God’ . may causes can be ascribed to terrorism. Towards value. True. Gandhisim : Key Principles Gandhism is a collection of principles.37 people died in terrorist violence during 1994-2005 and 4666 people died in terrorist violence (non-noxalite) during 2002-2006. And globally 9/11 and 7/7 attack in US and UK were more horrifying. It tries to exhibit fear psychosis among the common man. Sometimes it is political goal directed.As such 47.
Presently Congress Party adopted this ‘culture icon’ as the official party uniforms. Even if he renounced the gifts and reduced himself to ‘zero’. Gandhi had strong belief in Gita-righteousness in all walks of life. e) Vegetariasim Gandhi’s teaching of non-violences cools a persons and aggressive attitude. Really Gandhi is small in material and big in spiritual.“Ahimsa is the highest duty. f) Khadi : Mission Indianisation Gandhi adopted Khadi clothes to promote employment opportunities in rural India and to eradicate poverty and to balance social and economic inequality. So to say his swearing of ‘dhoti’ symbolizes his love for common man. We must try to understand its spirit and retrain as far as is humanity possible from violence” (Gandhi). Though fasting is hardship to health yet Gandhi had undertaken this fasting thrice. It is derived from Hinduism. The beginning : Fight Against Discrimination ‘Gandhi visited South Africa in 1893.Muslim Riots Simplicity Simple living and high thinking is the motto of Gandhism. Besides. i) Faith Faith is the one of the main beliefs of Gandhism. True. g) Fasting ‘Fast Unto Death’ was a technic of conflict resolution and a problem solving approach. Side by side Gandhi wanted to develop ‘an identity’ to Indian Culture. d) Brahmacharya or Celibacy It not only purified Gandhiji but calmed aggressive mind. it negates lust and develops a positive control mechanism within self. Further khadi was also a protest movement against violence of economic policy of British Government. Even if we can not practice it in full. He promised to eradicate ‘racial discrimination and finally succeeded. 36 . And in this direction vegetarism food habit is a major aid. While professing simplicity urban living style failed to touch him. Necessarily it is a control mechanism. 1922 1934 1947 h) : Chauri Chura Incident : Communal Award : Hindu . A train incident evoked a softness in Gandhi.
future of nations Ideas on cleanliness. Focus on mother’s education for development of children.a title was given by Rabindranath Tagore. Economic Planner Ideas on Recycling of things. This was exemplified from his ideas on a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) i) j) k) l) m) Birth Control and family planning Vegetarianism and timely food habits. So the other view is ‘Mahatma’ title was given by Nautamial Bhagavanji Mehta on Jan. Principle Centered Leadership). Duty to father.Seven Deadly Sins As noted ‘Mahatma’ title was given to Gandhi by Tagore. as he had the skill of a performed mass leader. Gandhi. love for wife and spiritual purity. lust.. above the regional and parochial factors.Gandhi was then a leader of fragmented Indian-coming from all parts. Seven sins are : Wealth without work Pleasure without conscience Knowledge without character Commerce (Business) without Morality (Ethics) Science without Humanity Religion without Scarifies Politics without Principles. On returning to India in 1915 as a matter of fact he became a true leader of India. He was then known by ‘Mahatmaji’.1915 Mahatmaji was of the view that SEVEN SINS will destroy humanity. Brahmachasya to control self.the second Guru. Necessary he became so. (Stephen R Convey (1990). 37 . Use of home made medicines.21. Simple living Compromising attitude and Nursing and missionary attitude. Scarifies and renunciation of material things. Gandhi : The Home-Maker Mahatma Gandhi was a good home maker also.
As a matter of fact with his magic wand he fought against untouchability. violation of Human Rights.And Gandhi was of the view these sins can be negated by following natural principles and laws. However he excelled in developing rural India. Necessarily ‘attitude to peace’ is vital in the dirty environment of conflicts rippled with religious fundamentalism. He tought that it was a potent weapon to resolve conflict. it is in the minds of men that the defenses of place must be constructed’. Moreover. an employment capacity building. If villages evaporate India will be no where. It is true as Gandhi said all human beings are prone to sinful actions. There by he was not against globalization or global collaborations. More particularly he was a catalyst of social change. His strong convictions caurage and understanding of social life were pointers of changing social structure. Really these are the techniques of ‘Things TO DO’. But he was not favourable to be the slave to naked globalization. Swadeshi. He designed castes called ‘Harijana’ and ‘Girijana’. In one word he dreamed of a sustained village and potential social harmony. He was a great ‘change’ manager. Sarva Dharma Sambhava Social Harmony and Communal Unity. Swaraj. Additionaly 38 . Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. In ‘Hindu Dharma’ Mahatma wrote “The world will live in peace only when the individuals composing it make up their minds to do so’ (Hindu Dharma : Gandhi).000 villages with India.which is practised today. discrimination. Prior to this Gandhi talked of world peace. Gandhian Model :Development initiates Gandhi dreamed of development of individual and quality of life. He identified (approx) 7. For such development Gandhi was of the view that the village development was linked to village industrial development. As such the peace formula comprises of the ideals of Satyagraha. Sarvodaya. But he believed that punishment to such actions are the responsibility of the God. Conflict Resolution : Gandhian Technique of Satyagraha Satyagraha stands for protesting ‘false’ through non-violent ways. as put earlier. poverty and inequality in distribution of economic resources. And for conflict resolution each village should have a village panchayat. Development of village brings empowered people. Unmistakably one can say with his novel problem solving approach and weapon of non-violence he removed Britishers. In this new million Gandhian formula of peace is a potent way to resolve conflicts and violence. Social Reformer Gandhi became a great social reformer. Gandhi approved inter caste marriage.00. Gandhi was a creative leader with his innovative technique of ‘Salt Satyagraha’ and Dandi March. the basic way to fight against injustice. Preamble of the constitution of UNESCO reads ‘since wars begin in the minds of men.
a powerful means ‘Fasting Unto Death’. Trusteeship. non-violence.a vaccine to check religious conflict and awaken creative values. prohibition. mercy to self. as noted above. Breed Labour.a moral and human atom bomb to win over opponents and resolve conflict with love. Nai-Talim Removal of untouchability. National Language 9. Decentralisation of Wealth Political Conflicts Economic Problems (Source : Chhaya Rai : Gandhiji’s Role and Relevance in Conflict Resolution). Communial Unity 6. Adult / Education Further to resolve conflict Gandhiji advised the assimilation of valuesforgiveness. Village Industries 2. social realities and knowledge of good governance are major steps of Gandhian philosophy in furtherance of peace and brotherhood. decentralization of power. Upliftment of women. Basic Education 10. economic inequality and trusteeship are more pointers to peace. sarvodaya. friendliness. Swaraj. So. swadeshi. Upliftment of Women 5. Village Sanitation 4. Exhibit . Satyagraha. Khadi & Village Industries. communal unity. Exhibit-2 given below represents Gandhian Formula and Conflict Resolutions. 39 . truthfulness. Respect towards all Religions. love. The above problem solving approaches also culminated with ‘ Vrata’s enunciated by Gandhiji : They are 1. wealth. village sanitation.his ideas on decentralization of power. Removal of Untouchability 3. Also in the fulfillment of conflict resolution he used. Sarva Dharma Sambhav. Services of Backward Classes 7. Prohibition 8. Ashram.2 Gandhian Formula : Destination Peace Conflict / Problem Moral Crisis Religious Fundamentalism Educational reform Social Disturbance Solutions / Resolutions Nonviolence. Tolerance. Anasakta Karma Sarva Dharma sambhava. service of Backward classes. Democracy of Enlighted majority.
LCD TV. not as every foreign things are good. and economic balance.33 4. He was prepared to accept what are good.Gandhism Cross : Broder Setting Mahatma Gandhi was a global leader and he was the product of globalization. A comparison of development index of China and India are presented below in exhibit 3 to emphasis the cross border co-operation.9 34.4 276.091 9. ‘Culture mix’ is the way of development.3 80. not in India. His leadership came to limlight in South Africa first. Presently India is in the grip of ‘diet coke’. And it provides a comparative dynamics for development. Bu I refuse to be blown off my feet by any" (M.7 47 56 430 0. In Housing Loans burden between 1991 to 2005 is ratio of 40 : 84 and the total consumer war burden is 26 : 93 (Tol : 2006).9 265 46 GDP in $ Trillon GDP per capita Population below $1 / day (%) Population below $2 / day (%) Fony reserves $ Trillions Rice Productivity kg / hectare Wheat Productivity kg/hectare Life Expectancy (years) Underweight children % Infant mortality rate % Maternal Mortality Rate % Public Health Expenditure % of GDP Telephones (Million) Internet Users (Millions) (Source Times of India : 13 January. K.3 Indicators China and India : Widening Differences China 5. 2008).5 8 23 45 1. To illustrate the phenomenon it is to be marked that new trend in consumerism is the indebtness. Cross broder dealings are very old. Despite the debate of plus and minus points of globalization. These are all the effects of globalization and western consumerism to which almost every urban Indians are trapped. Excess of it is threat to culture. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. Gandhi : Hind Swaraj and other writings).8 910 185 India 2. Exhibit .33 2. "I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be staffed .612 6233 4155 72. 40 .9 1.0 3034 2688 63. Gandhiji was not opposed to globalization. Luxury Cars and high end technologies.126 34.
5. And present India has to compete in the technologically advanced countries for survival. LRMB Technique : Icon of Gandhigiri A number of films have been made including ‘Gandhi My Father’ released in July 2007.And it is a matter of knowledge and technology transfer to equip one State with other States of the world. ‘Gandhi My Father’ shooted and premiered in South Africa. This Gandhian idea of ‘self sufficiency’ is the corner stone of India’s foreign policy today. Gandhi pleaded for peasants rights. But with globalization and western culture this value system has changed. In it young generations are imbibed with popular Lage Raho Muna Bhai Techniques of Gandhigiri to solve problems. 6. 7. 41 . But in the name of globalization. we are bartering away these with WTO resolutions. Gandhi was opposing the cutting of tree for industrial purposes. Further a best known film is Lage Raho Munna Bhai. 4. the case of is beyond comparable to China. So cross border economy with self reliance. 9. So Gandhi talked of economic globalization focusing on ‘self sufficiency on most and dependency on some’. 3. As such the cardinal principle of Lage Raho Muna Bhai Techniques of problem solving approach are : 1. the bolywood of Gandhigiri and screened first in UN. And the modern form for it is ‘Green Movement / Chipko movement. India is marching towards economic globalization and India’s growth is sky rocketing. as noted above. Indira Nooyi has became a top ranking Pepsi corporate women. 8. Tolerance Truth Faith Love Non-violence Accommodation Mutuality of Interest Persuation Scarifies And these are the qualities of a performed leader be in in social life or corporate life. Yet. Further Gandhiji was opposed to woman’s outside work as they were the rule maker and director of home affairs. Really Gandhi’s few concepts are prone to ‘close globalisation’. is a must for development of India. 2. Gandhian way.
Nelson Mandela. Further Mahatma Gandhi was great. he will be worshiped as a God when he dies”. Gandhian teachings. which celebrated golden jubilee in 2006. This is a greatest tribute to Mahatmaji while Thabo Mbeki acknowledged that ‘Mahatma Gandhi. (Norman Consins : 1968). but they are purely and simply truth and non-violence. “Mr. not diplomacy as one understands it nowadays. Martin Luther King.2006 : Thabo Mbeki). not bloodshed. truth and non-violence symbolized American Civil Rights Movement. As such a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by few Americans are placed below in Exhibit-4 for appreciation.” “From my background I gained my regulating Christian ideals. moreover influenced leaders of the world such as. Gandhi Jayanti of India. Manmohan Singh. and political movements. One has to go back centuries to find men who appealed as strongly as Gandhi did to the conscience of individual. Gandhi is the greatest Indian since Buddha. From Gandhi I learned my operational techniques. the native son of India and at the sometime a beloved son of ‘South Africa’ as well.4 What They Say : Reflections on Gandhi. as International Day of Non-Violence. October. UN announced on 15th June 2007 to declare 2. it is the only form’. provided the unparallel leadership and example that inspired the triumphant march to freedom and democracy in India in 1947 and in South Africa in 1994” (1st October. Gandhi.” “Gandhi! Gandhi the Beloved! Mahatma! The great Soul of India” ‘All religions belong to Gandhi’ “Is non-violence a form of direct action? I asked Gandhi replied ‘It is not one form.” “Gandhi meant by. Views “The means adopted are not violence. A plethora of books have been written by celebrated authors on life and thoughts of Gandhi. is great and will remain great. Further Mahatma Gandhi’s respect for integrity. Like Buddha. ‘Mahatma’ as insignificant man. Authors Will Durant Martin Luther King JO Davidson Frederick Fisher Welthy Honsinger Fisher Howard Thurman John Gunther Louis Fischer 42 . Exhibit . Khan Abdul Ghaffer Khan etc.Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi Recently during 2006 South Africa observed 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha at Durban in the presence of Prime Minister of India. as a leader had profound impact on life and thoughts of Americans.
Albert Einstein Speak the truth and let a man overcome anger by love. MacArthur Gandhi was essentially a man of peace and inspite of Earl Warren his advanced age was still devoting his entire life to that cause. Edmond Taylor ‘The charkha illustrates a major tenet of Gandhi. but that he himself grew toward. Walter Lippmannn Every-one concerned with a better future for mankind must be deeply moved by the tragic death of Gandhi. who have lifted human character to immortal authority… Vandenberg who made humility and simple truth more powerful than empires. Robert Trumbull The Gandhian concept of soul-force is a mystic one and seems to me the secret of Gandhi’s technique of influence. but in the mass he becomes mighty and powerful like the ocean. Ralph Templin ‘I was one among a multitude of persons who were blessed with Gandhi’s friendship. seemed to me a little clearer after I had actually seen him practicing it at his prayer meeting. E Stanley Jones 43 . Martin. this was his sense of humor. Mahatma Gandhi was honor and esteem in all America as a world leader for peace. even like a drop of water. because in it Gandhi revealed a side of his character that has been little publicized. Joseph W. Herrymon Maurer Mahatma Gandhi was a combination of west and east. John Haynes Holmes The greatness of Mahatma Gandhi was not simply that he freed India. Henry Grady Gandhiji was one of the deathless few across the centuries. This spirit of Mahatma Gadhi will live and grow and his influence will increase with the years. Mahatma Gandhi died by violence as he was staking his life in order to set the examples of non-violence. Like Buddha it was Gandhiji’s urge to liberate man. Dr. if not of his doctrine. When individually considered man is insignificant. Arthur H. Snow Mahatma Gandhi belongs to the coming age of hope… Thus he gave a key to understanding both himself and the age. however was one those prophets who General Doughlas lived far ahead of the time”. Margaret Bourke – white “Gandhiji. Jr. Let him overcome the liar by truth (Buddha). Truth. Edgar P.I remember the last conversation best.
by those of us who are average. but also by sinners. untouchability. Satyagraha is the ‘weapon’ to fight against injustice. largely. Moreover. Jewish-Herman Kallenbach.. alchoholism and struggle for freedom. Simplicity and truthfulness are prime qualities of Gandhians of yesterday. gender sensitiveness . At a later point Gandhi stated “There was a time when people listen to me because I showed them how to give fight to the British without arms who they had no arms …. (Hindu-Muslim riots) and.Mahatma Gandhi is the very embodiment of the democratic process and spirit. 44 . He was a great fighter against poverty. Profiles of Gandhi Gandhi : A Critical Insight Gandhi is synonymous with ‘Without truth Nothing’. the secret of his enormous influence with them and was what made it possible for him to become a national leader. Mussolini. Clare and Harris Wofford Donald Harrington Eleanor Roosevelt Chester Bowles Homer A Jack Norman Thomas Source : Norman Consins (1968). As such Gandhigiri is of omni present. people should arm themselves for self-defence. injustice. Hindu cultural and religious values. You and I have no rights to anything until the millions are fed and clothed better. Controversies are there on this topic as Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Pravin Togadia criticized Gandhi’s ideology on this point of appeasing Muslims. ChristiansHorace Alexander. sex and race factors.but today I am told that my non-violence can be of no avail against the. therefore. Non-violence. Despite his positive contribution to India and world order he was criticized by Jinna and other Pakistanis for neglecting political rights of Muslims. as Gandhi insisted to was average. few were in favour of achieving Indian Freedom at gun’s point. Of all the revolutionaries who have dominated this century’s stage-Lenin. Stalin and Mao-Gandhi alone offered no less important to understand this history than to study the course of fascism and communism. it was. The wit and wisdom of Gandhi is for us to live by and not merely to quote. while world appreciates Gandhi’s non-violence. Gandhi was also a key to the revolutions of our time. Hitler. Gandhians are also Muslims-Khan Abdul Ghafferkhan. today and tomorrow. It crossed border. If ever men achieve a world peace to no single man will it owe a greater debt than to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The wit and wisdom of Gandhi can be lived not only by saints. The people loved him (Gandhi) for his sacrifice and renunciation. ignorance.
Mounting Unemployment.Policies. Tackling of Terrorism Environment and Sustainable Development. To combat illiteracy. It is a fashion now.Obviously his rigid ‘Ahimsa’ attracted criticisms. Dadage. New Delhi. Dutta. Privaisation and Globalisation era ? Can the reinventing in Gandhism focus India as a stronger State in coming days ? References 1. Tackling Population explosion. Education for all. yet fragrance and cool shine are beauty of rose and moon respectively. Gandhi envisioned a ‘Self Sufficient India’. Fundamentals of Gandhism. So Gandhi is back and touched young Indians. Mishra (1995). Social and Economic Imbalance. Presently India is facing crucial challenges. Vinitage. Redefining Legal system and to tackle problems of 3ps. Never setting ‘Sun’-Corruption Pseudo Secularism.unequal distribution of wealth. Rose has thorns. Work and Ideas. Unsafe basic living environment. filtered with circular-lense. New York. Moon has darker side. To put a few are : 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) To empower people. M. S. Undoubtedly there may be darker side of Gandhi. (2002) The Essentials Gandhi : An Anthology of his Writings on his life. Power and Population. A Final Word Gandhi is rediscovered. save India from the challenges India is facing in Liberisation. Gandhigiri is back in India. Louis. In this milieu Gandhigiri is touching the horizon of Indian imagination. Fischer. but the rising side of Gandhi made him ‘world leader’ also in the present new millennium. Livilihood for all. A clear cut division between Rich and Poor. 2. 45 . Mittal Publications. On this commemoration of 150 years of First War of Indian Independence can the vision. Widening cultural divide.
Princeton. Surendra and Goolam Vahed. Gandhism and Gandhians. ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’. M. 12. Principle centered leadership. Simon & Schuster. The Economic and Political Weekly’. 13 August. London. Only we must take care that we are not overpowered by the glamour of the West. 10 Ocober. Ministry of Information and Broad Casting. (2003). 15. 6. New Delhi. The Wasington Post. 2006. Gandhi. New Delhi Publications Divisions. 14 .Gandhi 46 . Sage. Narendra (2002). 10. 5. The Making of a Political Reformer : Gandhi in South Africa : (1893-1914) Manohar. 4. Mohatma. 13. Ganesh S. 11. Batim D. K. 8. Yogesh Chadha. Brenda Wilmoth & K. Gnahdi. October. Inclusive Economics. (1994).org/forum. 16. The Telegraph. Legncy of Gandhi. ‘Gandhism in Business’. Thomas (2006) Gandhi. Stephen R Convey (1990). Bhana. New Delhi. 9.3.transnational. London. Government of India. Lerner. 14. Gupta. 18. Norman Cousins (1968) Profiles of Gandhi. “There is nothing to prevent us from profiting by the light that may come from the West. Gandhi A life www//wikepedia. Richard Falk : Gandhi. Mandela Nelson (2003) Long Walk to Freedom : An Autobiography. Thomson Gale. James Morrison (2003). Gandhian Method and Contemporary Policy. (1929) An Autobiography.2003. The Colleced works of Mahatma Gandhi. The Story of my Experiments with Truth. Pani. 17. Non-violence and the struggle Against War at http:// www. 7.” . John V (1988) Conquest of Violence : The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict. Weber. Roli Books Ltd. Bondurant. Lee Lerner (eds) (2006) Terrosim : Essential Primary Sources. We must not mistake the glamour for true light.2006. West Garden Place.
Lage Raho. LRMB. But the film LBMB is of a different taste and encompassing effect on the minds of people of India as well as of world.Satyagraha. This symbolizes Gandhigiri. non-violence and truth and became a true Gandhian. Films on: Theme Gandhi Recently in July 2007 ‘Gandhi My Father’ a film which displays the conflict between father and son was released. Further it is the first Hindi film to be shown in the United Nations. It is a story of under world don-icon of violence. But ‘Gandhi My Father’ could not solve the problems of Gandhi’s son. Once Gandhi said. And the language they choose is Bombaiya Hindi. The film Gandhi (1982). Muna Bhai provides solutions to problems. In otherwords Gandhigiri became a fashion now. Further in 1998 film ‘Hey Ram’ was produced by Kamal Hasan on the theme of assassination of Gandhi. I could never convince My Muslim friend Mohammed Ali Jinnah and my own son Harilal Gandhi. It is touchy as in the film ‘Bapu’ is used for Gandhi’s name who preached truth and humanism through out the film is a bid to solve problem. Later he was imbided with Gandhigiri. Another film was ‘The Making of the Mahatma’ directed by Shyam Benygal was on the theme of ‘Mahatma Gandhi’s 21 years stay in South Africa. Munna is helped by Circuit and Arshad Wassi played the role. Prior to the latest film a number of films have been released on the life and thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi. Dhenkanal 47 .The Dramatic Plot Sanjay Dutta in the film played the role of Munna Bhai.(carry on Munna Bhai) directed by Rajkumar Hirani was released in 2006 . It touched the popular imagination of the young Indian mass . This film stands for a social transformation through techniques of Gandhism.Lage Raho Muna Bhai (LRMB) Technique : Icon of Gandhigiri Charubala Pani* Lage Raho Munna Bhai. a dialect specific to the Indian city of Mumbai. LRMB (Lage Raho Munna Bhai) has tremendous impact on culture of India. Womens College. LRMB is opposite of goondagiri as it professes Gandhigiri. ‘the greatest regret of my life are two people. Essentially ‘Gandhigiri’ has became a problem solving approach and LRMB techniques revolutionized the impact of Gandhi on society and world order. directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Ben Kingsley was made on life of Gandhi. It is criticized on the ground that Gandhi did not bring independence alone single handedly. * Senior Lecture in Home Science. This film was screened at 2007 Cannes Film Festival and was declared a block buster.
non violence. very often appeared before Munna who sang ‘Raghupathi Raghava Rajaram’ in memory of Gandhi. Simran Loves Sunny (Abhishek Bachchan) and intends to marry him. Power of Gandhigiri : Destination Problem Solving Problem1 : Lucy Singh and Simran are father and daughter. Generally he engaged Munna and Circuit (Goondas) for his nefarious and underworld activities. Here Munna is advised to practice truth first. Meanwhile Jahnasi leaves Munna. Consequently Munna with Jahnavi co-hoasted a radio programme . Lucy is a unscrupulous business man. tolerance are working to solve the problems of dishonesty and unscrupulousness. Circuit and senior citizens help them. mutuality of interest.As story goes Munna is in love with the voice of Jahnavi. Munna wins the contest by kidnapping and by bribing a group of Professors. Munna succeeded in winning the heart of his lover by telling the truth. Jahnavi returns to her sweet heart. Munna is trickled by Lucy. Munna. This is the turning point of Munna’s life. During his study the miracle Bapu’s image appeared before him and offered help and advice to solve problems. It is very hard and difficult on the part of Munna to tell the truth to Jahnavi. Sunny is the son of business magnet Khurana. Muna. a radio jockey. Jahanvi announces a contest on life and belief of Gandhi. In return Munna launches a non-violent protest as advised. Lucky captured the ‘Second Innings House’ through unfair means.Munna and Simron married to Sunny. Lucy recovers from the disease of dishonesty. 48 . His protest is named as ‘Get Well soon Lucy' and asks audience of radio show to send flowers to help. With truth he get the most loved one inspite of his past record of violence. This speaks of ‘high tolerance’ capacity In the final Lucy returns the house and became a fan of Gandhigiri. After that Muna is granted an interview with Jahnvi as a reputed Professor of History and specialist on Gandhian philosophy. accommodation. without being disappointed continues to adopt Gandhigiri. An occasion arises on the Gandhi Jayanti day.Gandhigiri . For this the cheater Munna learned heard and prepared thoroughly on the life and works of Gandhi.) Khurana opposed the marriage as she is mangalik. Later on Jahnavi asked professor Munna to deliver a Lecturer on Gandhi philosophy. Bapu. This is a acid test of Gandhigiri. Jahnavi and other sweet sixty people begin a peaceful satyagraha in front of Lucy’s House. lieing and cheating.as truth. Munna plans to meet her. goondagiri. by Bapu to regain it. faith. Later on the spirit of Gandhigiri (non violence and truth) shapes the life of Munna.to solve everyday problems.when birth day of Gandhi was celebrated.
Tolerance. As such the LRMB Technique Formula is presented below as exhibit 1 for clear understanding. He tells the truth to his father to balance the loss by working as a driver. Exhibit-1: :LRMB Technique: Problem Solving Formula ÿþÿ þÿ ÿ þ ÿ (LRMB Technique Model : Problem Solving Formula developed by Dr N Pani & Dr C Pani ) Truth : First Munna tells truth to Jahnavi and conquer the heart.Problem-2 Victor D’Sowza lost his father’s money in stock market. resolves Simran’s marriage and Munna to succeed as a whole. brings back Jahnavi to Munna. Non-violence : In front of Lucky’s House Satyagraha is arranged to transform Lucy.Tolerance changed Lucy. 49 . Problem-3 A retired teacher who was denied of his due pension gets everything through LRMB technique of non-violence.
Accommodation. Also there are other small sub themes. Mutuality of Interest. As to details of Lage Raho Munna Bhai Table 1 is given below : (Source website) 50 .Muna practices all these values as inspired by Bapu. It is a fact first name of the film was Munna Bhai Meets Mahatma Gandhi. the maker. it solves problems through convincing and it controls social justice related factors governed by astrology. The Making of LRMB Munna Bhai MBBS was a hit. However throughout the film the spirit of Gandhism / Gandhigiri Fashion prevails. Gandhigiri was taught to common man through cinema / visual presentation. Love. The main interest of the film maker is the revival of Gandhism in the nude age of terrorism. Persuation Sacrifies. In fact Gandhism was a forgotten past. Essentially. So the second film on Gandhi by Rajkumar Hirani was given the title of Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Secondly it was retitled as Muna Bhai 2nd innings and finally the name was given as LRMB.Faith. But with LRMB Gandhigiri gets a new momentum. Really Gandhigiri is dry and when it is presented with visual effects it takers are many and effectivity is heart touching.
It seems that LRMB is more similar to the wish of Laurel and Hardy. Universal suitable for all ages. the theme Gandhigiri was also suddenly engulfed everybody. the director was inspired by Harishkesh Mukherjee. Besides financial success it has been rated a ‘Block buster and rated U’. Some uses khadi.Impact of other Films Munna Bhai series takes the prime actors Munna and Circuit. crying and laughing scenes to make the Gandhian philosophy more heart touching to the common man.The director Hirani admits certain facts during interview. love to enemy by presenting flowers become the center stage of life style of young Indian people. LRMB . Eventually Munna’s role becomes a role model for gangsters with simplicity of Bapu and his problem solving messages. Its impact at world forum is so great that UN declared 2nd October as ‘International Day of Non-violence on 15th June 2007. In the process Gandhigiri becomes hot. Also the spirit of LRMB is to metamorphose underworld dons and terrorists to follow non-violence and healthy practices. Cliff Richard). Further certain scenes are copies of other films. Only time will tell its impact on society in future. It was screened also in United Nations on 10th November 2006 with the introduction by UN Under Secretary General. Further while writing the screen play they (Hirani and Abhijat) are trying to insert provocation. Many also did not know the first name of Gandhi. Acceptance Level : High Profile of LRMB Lage Raho Munna Bhai was well accepted in India and other countires as it propagated Gandhism. Gradually Gandhigiri is more practiced by urbanities .97 crores. Sashi Tharoor. As a bollywood film it’s earning is of Rs. Besides in LRMB while in making. 51 . Like the film ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ (1987) an opening line for radio show was same. Increasingly Gandhian philosophies non violent protest. in India. In LRMB Bapu’s image was seen. In LRMB context Satyagraha by Munna and Jahnavi to get back the house is a similar to India’s struggle for freedom. In ‘Oh God’ (1977) God appears as an old man. Mission LRMB : Spread of Truth and Non-Violence It is a fact Gandhi played an important role in making India free and independent with the use of non-violence missile.69. As the film was a hit. some cap and some hands over roses to enemies. That it is true that many people do not know who is Gandhi and what is the implications of Gandhi Jayanti. The reality is the hit of the film. Again the song ‘Pal Pal… Har Pal’ is a copy of the song (Theme for a Dream . Circuit and Munna practice the role of after seeing the Muna Bhai MBBS.
. 12. Due to effect LRMB on 17th July 2007 USCIS had done some favour in accommodating requests. Above all after more than 100. during July. 5. Surendra and Goolam Vahed (2005).S. Navajvan Publishing House. Bonidurant. Bhana. ‘Lage Raho Muna Bhai : Unravelling Brand Gandhigiri 41. 10. Rajmohan (1990) Patel : A Life. years Gandhism survives and showed the way as to journey 'corruption minimization' in free India. Ghosh. 6. 2. Princeton.Gandhigiri Protests : Contemporary Scene The gaining grounds style Gandhigiri is practiced in India and world. Economic and Political weekely December 23-29. Louis Fischer (ed) 2002. Again South Africa celebrated 100th anniversary of Satyagraha in South Africa in 2006.com. Satyagraha in South Africa. New Delhi. Ramachandra Sushri. The Essentail Gandhi : An Authority of his writings on his life work and Ideas. New Delhi. ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai’. 3. ‘Jolly good Bollywood.a LRMB model is to protest the wrongs peacefully. Munnabhai rescues Mahatma. September 23.2006. March 2007. 23. 52 . K. References 1. 9. Hunt. 7. monohar. LRMB techniques are also applied to solve managerial problems and to resolute positive or negative conflicts in this 21st century. James D (1978) Gandhi in London. Lage Raho with Munna Circuit Comic Books Diligent Media Corporation. Conquest of Violence : The Gandhism Philosophy of Conflict . 8. hundreds of flower bouquets were sent to United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Office by the Green Card applicants. Additionally. In U. 4. So Gandhian technique.2007. M. Moreover in India people organized protests on pattern of LRMB in Lucknow and peasants in Vidharva Region. Economic and Political weekly 41 (October 14-20)2006. Gandhi. www//wikipedia. Yogesh Chadha. The Making of Political Reformer: Gandhi in South Africa. (1988). John V. Gandhi was the message and brand Gandhigiri by LRMB (A comedy carrier) is the message now. 1893-1914. Arunabha. Promilla & Co. Gandhi. Ganesh S. 2006. 11. Gandhi of Life. And our Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh declared for establishment of a new Public Service Bill to combat corruptions. The Tribune.
the question of Empire and war were reflected in his response to the First World War.GANDHI ON THE FIRST WORLD WAR Santosh Kumar Sethi* Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution as a thinker of India’s Freedom struggle and of the 20th Century was immense. and that it was more becoming and farsighted not to press our demand while the war lasted. The only source used in this paper is Gandhi’s own writing and speeches.1 All the complexities with which Gandhi was caught. K. Barang. In addition to these he wondered how the Indians could offer any help when they have been near completely disarmed by the British and were being treated as a secondary race if not slaves.B. The First World War broke out shortly after Gandhi had come to an agreement on the Indian question in South Africa. The present paper is a brief attempt to represent Gandhi’s response to the war in his own words. whether to offer any help to the British in view of his principle of non-violence. The limited analysis excludes a review of literature and the points of views of other scholars on this issue. but I did not believe that we have been quite reduced to slavery. College. The two basic issues under focus were Gandhi’s attempts to raise a corps of volunteer for nursing in England in 1914 and later in India attempts for enlistment of Indians as soldiers in the army in 1918. I therefore adhered to my advice and invited *Sr. In Madeira. The First World War was one such event of great importance. It is now generally agreed that Gandhi’s views and thought was a gradual evolution. yet Gandhism was and is still dynamic today. Gandhi heard that the Great war had broken out while he was on his way to England. On arrival in England Gandhi was caught with a dilemma whether to take the side of England or not. “ I knew the difference of status between an Indian and Englishmen. The presentation of his ideas shall be followed up with an analysis. War was declared on 4 August 1914 and Gandhi reached London on 6 August. Department of History. whether the Indians should use the opportunity of the difficult hour of their opponent. I felt then that it was more the fault of individual British officials than of the British system and that we could convert them by love” 2 He added “ I thought that England’s need should not be turned into on opportunity. Gandhi learnt of the outbreak of the First World War on his voyage to England as a preparatory to his eventual departure for India. place of violence and non-violence the debate between the Moderates and Extremists Congress. though fundamentals of Gandhism may have continued without little change. like Satyagraha. Lecturer. Within few days Gandhi had come to terms. It was shaped and influenced by contemporary events. 53 .
those who would enlist as volunteers “. 3 Gandhi had adopted a similar line during the Boer War in South Africa. He recognized the dilemma, never the less. “It was quite clear to me that participation in war could never be consistent with Ahimsa. But it is not always given to one to be equally clear about one’s duty. A votary of truth is often obliged to grope in the dark”. 4 Within four days of his arrival Gandhi had come to a firm conclusion that he should offer his services as a non-combatant. He w rote to the Under Secretary of States on 10 August 1914,“ Owing to the crisis, both Mr. Kallenbach and I are now stranded here and both of us hope shortly to be able to offer our services as non-combatants during the crisis that has over taken the Empire”. 5 About fifty Indians issued a circular on 13 august 1914 calling for placing their services unconditionally during the crisis at the disposal of the authorities.6 As soon as Gandhi made his intension of serving the injured known, he was criticized both by followers and opponents for violating his avowed principle of non violence. Explaining his stand he wrote to Mangalal Gandhi, “ But I found that, living in England, I was in a way participating in the war, London owes the food it gets in war time to the protection of the navy. Thus to take this food was also a wrong thing. There was only one right course left, which is to go away to live in some mountain or cave in England itself and subsist there on whatever food or shelter nature might provide, without seeking assistance from any human being. I do not yet posses this spiritual strength necessary for this. It seemed to me a base thing, therefore, to accept food tainted by war without working for it. When thousands have come forward to lay down their lives only because they thought it their duty to do so, how could I sit still ? A rifle this hand will never fire and so there only remained nursing the wounded and I took it up “. 7 Gandhi never absolved him of the tint of violence. He noted “ those who confine themselves to attending to the wounded in the battle can not be a solved from the guilt of war”. 8 However Gandhi had no narrow and unrealistic vision of Ahimsa “ Ahimsa is a comprehensive principle, …. man can not for a moment live without consciously or unconsciously committing outward Himsa, the very fact of his living …. necessarily involves some Himsa …. He ( a votary of Ahimsa) will be constantly growing in a s elf restraint and compassion but he can never become entirely free from outward Himsa”.9 Explaining his political motive he w rote “ I had hoped to improve my status and that of my people through the British Empire”.10 More than a decade after the incident Gandhi had no qualms over his involvement. He wrote, “even today I see no flaw in that line of argument, nor am I sorry for my action, holding, as I then did, views favourable to the British connection”. 11 Having explained Gandhi’s views in his own words for raising a voluntary nursing corps we may turn to its working. About fifty Indians under his leadership
underwent a training in first-aid and nursing. Soon Gandhi and his companions developed difference of opinion with Col. R.J. Baker over the issue of appointment of section leaders. Conceding that military discipline would not allow any such lever Gandhi claimed a position of primacy and right to consultation in the capacity as Chairman of the Volunteer Corps. He wrote” I assure you that I am most anxious to please you as our Commanding Officer, but I am equally anxious to serve my countrymen many of whom have joined this movement upon my advice”.12 He also wrote to India office calling for discontinuance of direct recruitment by Col. Baker,. For he feared, “ the Corps would loose its national and voluntary character”.13 In view of Gandhi’s illness he had no scope to work actually as a volunteer. Finally the Indian Volunteer Corps went to Netley hospital and offered its services. Gandhi probably had in his mind the objective of organizing the corps and returning to India as and when conditions improved on arriving in India he noted, “ After all, all my work, so far as the organization of crops was concerned, was finished, and that as both of us were ill, we should at once return to India” . 14 Gandhi’s political activities on return to India since January 1915 is well outside the scope of this paper. And as the outline of his activitings is too well known it is not specified here. It is quite interesting to observe that Gandhi seldom commented on the Great War again until 1918. He hardly responded to the international events which the world was experiencing. Gandhi continued to work for India’s freedom struggle through the Champaran and kheda movement. He attended the War Conference on 29 April 1918 and issued the first leaflet of appeal for enlistment in the Army on 22 June 1918. He issued the second leaflet on 22 July 1918. He continued with his efforts for enlistment almost up to the end of the war. After the war political events in India took a different turn and Gandhi’s attention also moved away to other issues and movements which he launched. In the second leg of the paper an attempt is being made to analyze Gandhi’s views on enlistment. Gandhi’s love for the British Empire still remained intact up to the end of the First World War. Noting his love for the Empire he said, “I discovered that the British Empire had certain ideals with which I have fallen in love, and one of those ideals is that even subject of the British Empire has the freest scope possible for his energies and efforts and whatever he thinks is due to his conscience. I think that this is true of the British Empire as it is not true of any other Govt.’s that we see”.15 He still cherished the hope that India would become an equal partner in the British Empire along with Australia and Canada and felt that to be the feeling of Indians. He said ‘travelling all over India I have gathered that her people want to live, as those of Canada and Australia do, as citizens having equal rights with the Government. We want it to obtain our consent for carrying on the war and only then ask us to contribute in men and money. If our intention is
not to leave the empire, it is to our advantage to work with the British as our partners….. Our duty is two fold : to resist injustice and take the necessary steps to end it and at the same time to stand by the Govt. in its hour of difficulty …. we loose nothing by trusting and so I have no hesitation in advising people to join up”.16 As to the motive of the British he was not prepared to conceded a higher tone nor did he feel the Germans to be completely fiendish. He noted, “is the war which England is fighting one for land ? Surely not why, she felt, should Germany be allowed to have her way ? Germany, too, on her part, is fighting for her self respect. She wants to vindicate herself”. 17 And added at another time. “I refused to credit it (Germany) with exclusive fiendishness”.18 As enumerated earlier Gandhi was cognizant of the impossibility of living without violence and thus he was not Prepared to take a stand that he or India had nothing to do the with the First World War. He noted, “under exceptional circumstances war may have to b e resorted to as necessary evil”.19 He supported the cause for participating in the war as it might give the opportunity to participate in a peace talk. He noted, “ there is no speech in which. I have yet said, “Let us go to kill the Germans”. My refrain is, “ Let us go and die for the sake of India and the Empire”, and I feel that supposing that the response to the cal is over whelming and we all go to France and turn the scales against Germans, India will then have a claim to be heard and she may then dictate a peace that will last”. 20 Besides his love for the empire and the possibility of participating in the peace talk Gandhi advocated the creation of an army out of his and the nationalists efforts to join the British for the sake of Swaraj. Fear and timidity was one of the worst enemy of t he Indians and for Gandhi the non-violent Satyagrahi is not one who opts for non-violence out of timidity or lack of capacity. Non-violence was always for Gandhi a weapon of the strong, the brave and the capable. Sayings of Gandhi are appended herewith, in tune with the above. Abroad, terrible blood shed are going on, in the war in the Europe, the British have proved themselves as brave people. We want to be partners of these heros. We shall command respect as such only if, in company with t hem, we make ourselves a heroic people ‘. 21 When the people become physically fit and strong enough to wield the sword, Swaraj will be theirs for the asking …. I know that we are utterly timid. People afraid of even a squirrel had much better think of improving their own condition than of getting Swaraj. Here we have an invaluable opportunity for getting back the capacity to fight which we have lost and we should not miss it . 22
He did not want India to pass from British Empire to a less sympathetic imperialist power. to learn the use of arms and to acquire the ability to defend ourselves …. when they. they must prove their ability in war. He criticized the Govt. gain military experience and acquire the strength to defend ourselves.28 Even though Gandhi pleaded for enlistment he was not uncritical of the British. 26 To sacrifice sons in the war. To the women. for not opening schools for military training. for not granting commissions to Indians in the army. 23 Indians have a double duty to perform. “ The half a million men whom we shall raise will go with love of Swaraj in their hearts. It is no mark of greatness to be good only with t he good lies in returning good for evil. “ If the worst 57 .As long as we have to look to Englishmen for our defense as long as we are not free form the military. “ Besides. my request is that they should not be alarmed by this appeal but should welcome it. 30 Gandhi had yet another reason. it is our duty to help the Empire and we shall undoubtedly get the reward of that help if our motive is honest. 27 If we want Swaraj. it behaves us. But I do say that India must know how to fight. He observed. 29 He added. but it is true a nation that is unfit to fight can’t from experience prove the virtue of not fighting. comeback they are bound to get Swaraj if they have learnt military discipline. the Govt. Nor do they have the strength to fight back docaites should any descend on the village. Similarly Gandhi was conscious of the possible bargaining power that India may gain. for not repealing the Arms Act. I do not infer from this that India must fight. we may even fight the Empire should it play foul with us “. Sacrifice of sons at this hour will be a sacrifice for Swaraj. With that strength. Assuming for a moment that it will not do so. Hence the easiest and straightest way to win Swaraj is to participate in the defense of the empire. half a million others will be roused. so long we can not be regarded as equal partners with Englishmen. therefore. ought to be a cause not of pain but of pleasure to bravemen. Can a nation whose citizens are incapable of self-defense enjoy Swaraj ? 25 We are not entitled to demand Swaraj. It contains the key to their protection and honour. 24 I have seen for myself. If they are to preach the mission of peace. that India has altogether lost the capacity to fight. our honesty should make us confident of our success. we shall learn military discipline as we help the Empire. till we come forward to enlist in the army. will behave honestly with us . it has not a particle of the courage it should have ….
Indians must participate in the war and enlist in large number under nationalist 58 . if not sooner”. Principle of non-violence and compassion does recognize the existence of violence in life and nature. India could aspire for a dominion status like Canada and Australia. He wrote in a letter. The continuance of British Empire was still justifiable. Benerjee to point out how his plea was based on good faith. Under existing circumstances offering services as non combatant even though not free from guilt or tint of war was still justifiable. The unnatural fear of death is ruining the nation”. In his analysis the failure was not due to a unpreparedness to co-operate with the English or to use the difficult hours to our advantage but for simple timidity. “ I simplicity believed that if we were to devote our attention exclusively to recruiting. thus it was best for him to offer services as non-combatant. India’s piteous cry will make England hang her head in shame before the world and a curse will descend upon her for having emasculated a nation of thirty crores”. and she passes into the hands of some other nation. 33 Gandhi’s point of view on the twin issues of our focus may be summerised. Indians were not yet reduced to slavery and it was still open t o them to offer their help to the English in their hour of crisis and aspire to a position of partnership in the British Empire. Ahimsa as a comprehensive principle thus does not exclude violence or war all the time.happens to India. “ I find great difficulties in recruiting but do you know not a man has yet objected because he would not kill. 32 Gandhi was also cognizant of views different from his but the paper excludes an analysis of other views. in a years time. The war motives of the Empire was not wholly justifiable and Germany was also not completely a fiendish power. 31 Gandhi continued with his efforts to t he last even practically without any success. we should gain full responsible Govt. His participation in the voluntary corps was not benefit of political motives.N. One way quote from Gandhi’s letter to S. Under the principle of non-violence one may refuse to hold a rifle or indulge in violence personally but nature would not allow him to remain away from the war. As a leader of corp of volunteer Gandhi did not relinquish his leadership over the group and persisted with his political overtones. which God forbid. The ills of the British Raj was mostly due to individuals and the system had not completely failed and was not irreparable. It was in India’s interest that she does not pass away from British Empire to another imperialist power. They object because they fear to die.
p. Failure any large scale enlistment was due to refusal to fight out timidly and not out at any conviction in the principle of non-violence on the part of Indians. The plea was based on good faith and not an preconditions. K. To participate an equal terms in the peace to follow. He even did not respond to international events an like the Russian Revolution w hen the war was in progress and confind himself to the Indian issues only. New Delhi. To prove their responsibility as they claim equality and partnership. 59 . Notes and References 1. 1966. 262. CWG (The collected works of Mahatma Gandhi) Vol-XII. 1940. Even though he was a votary of non-violence yet he did not refuse to explore the possibility of advancing the cause of Indians through the war. Gandhi. p. p. To conclude Gandhi stated his political philosophy in context of the twin issues of the war. 7. Ibid. Ibid. Gandhi’s principle of non-violence was holistic and not unrealistic as made out commonly.263. To acquire the ability for self defence.527. 6. K.-526. p.leadership for the following reasons. He did not accept the idea that India’s participation in war should be conditional to a guarantee of Swaraj at the end of the war. p. To cure themselves of timidity and to develop as a brave race. could neglect an army under nationalist influence and control. An autobiography. M. Ibid. 4. Ahemadabad.260. p. 2. He did not term the war as a fight for empire and commercial interest. Ibid. Gandhi.531. Gandhi still had faith in the Empire and was uncritical of the forces of imperialism. 5. M. Gandhi’s offer of help did not mean that he was un-critical of the British administration. 3. To create an army of half million holding Swaraj dear to their heart. Ibid. Not withstanding these Gandhi did revise his opinion on many issues subsequently. It was self explanatory that no British Govt.
1918.1918.1918 M.2. 18. M. p. p.06. CWG. p. Ibid.1915.07. 337. CWG.08. 20. 25. 30.10. date 21. Vol-XIV. Gandhi. 438.1918 M. Ibid.1918. p. Vol-XIII.441.1918. date 04. pp. date 01.08. date 14. K.440. date 01. Vol-XIV. Gandhi. p. 31.04. M.8. p.539. p. 24.307. Ibid. p. K. Vol-XV. K. Roberts 25.06.1.1915. K. 28. Vol-XIV. 10. K. date 22. Gandhi. CWG. 441. 27. 26. p. 60 .06. Vol-XV.1.06. p. Ibid Ibid Ibid. 452-53. K. K. 33.443.10. Gandhi. Ibid. p. 11. Gandhi. 477.01. 13. p. date 22. Vol-XV. date 01. M.265 M.1918.509.1918 M.08.2 . 9.1918.1914.15.544 Letter to C. CWG. K. CWG.1914. p. M.08. date 30.1918 Ibid. CWG. 32. 09. CWG. 12.04.1918. Vol-XV. Gandhi. K. date 29. Ibid. Gandhi.07. 17. Vol-XII. 21.1918 Ibid. CWG.3. date 22. p. Vol-XIV. K. p.08. CWG.06. 29. An autobiography. M.463.1918. date 30. 15.1918 M.59. 22. K. Ibid. 19. date 24.06.06. Gandhi. 264. Gandhi. p. 14. Gandhi. p.04. date 06. CWG. 16.1918 M. date 01. p. Ibid Ibid Ibid. date 12. date 10. 23. date 22. p. p. Ibid. p. Gandhi.1918.
5 Gandhiji appealed the women to join the freedom movement. In those meetings he gave emphasis on the Congress policy of non-cooperation. But the Congress leaders were confused as police had clamped section 144 in Cuttack in order to prevent the party from holding this meeting. The wife of professor Mohini Mohana Senapati sang a patriotic song on the occasion. In order to involve the women in his programme he met them in a separate meeting in the Binod Bihari premises of Cuttack. Sarala Devi.3 Gandhiji’s meeting with the women in noteworthy. He visited Orissa for seven times. He was also appealing the people to help Orissa though those columns. gave stress on Harijan upliftment and raising a fund for the section Sarala Devi also appealed the women to donate liberally in the form of money and jewellery for the Harijan Fund.ITS IMPACT Sabita Kar* Freedom Struggle in Orissa is an important aspect of the history of Orissa. Gandhiji was collecting information about the poverty of Orissa due to flood and famine through Takkar Bapa (Amrutlal Takkar). The present work gives picture of his visits in the year 1921. On the report of the latter. Pandit Gopabandhu arranged the meeting on the sands of Khathjuri river.GANDHIJI’S VISIT TO ORISSA . he addressed the women.2 It was decided to hold a meeting on 23 March at Cuttack’s Barabati Premises. a thousand of rupees were collected quickly. he had a meeting with the Marwari and Gujarati merchants of Cuttack regarding the boycott of foreign cloths. 1925 and 1927.6 There was jewellery more than sixty to seventy ‘Bharis’. Ramadevi and Haimavati Devi.4 Haimavati Devi made all arrangements for the meeting. About ten thousand people along with three hundred volunteers welcomed Gandhiji at the station and accompanied him in a procession to the Swaraj Ashram at Cuttack. This meeting was attended by nearly forty women including Sarojini Choudhury.1 At the invitation of Pandit Gopabandhu Dash Gandhiji came to Orissa in March 1921. emptied themselves of all jewellery. Sakhigopal. He reached Cuttack station on 22 March by Puri Express. Hiranmayi Senapati. the students and the lawyers of Cuttack. This meeting is very much significant in the history of Orissa as the Oriya women attended a public meeting for the first time and a leader like Gandhiji’s stature and eminence * UGS College. In addition. He also met the mussalmans of Cuttack on 24 morning. On the same day. It was intensified by the visit of Mahatma Gandhi. he was writing about the famine in Orissa in ‘Navjeevan’. a Gujarati journal and in ‘Young India’ in May 1920. Gandhi felt very happy seeing the attitude of the awakened women. Puri 61 . About fifty thousand people had gathered under the open sky to listen Gandhiji. Some rich women contributed money and those who did not have with them. On the same day.
To dissuade the volunteers from picketing.9 Gandhiji reached Puri on 26 evening.000/.12 Being inspired by Gandhiji. Mahatab conducted the movement at Balasore while Pandit Gopabandhu at Puri and Cuttack.addressed the women of Orissa in a separate meeting. Mahatab had shouldered the responsibility of his boarding and other arrangements. Gandhiji. 25.8 He could not arrange the horsedrawn cart (which was the only one vehicle at Bhadrak owned by a lawyer) due to the pressure of the then Sub-Divisional Officer of Bhadrak. Gandhiji discussed about the then famine condition in Orissa with the leaders and visited some famine affected areas. “A small group of Oriya women who attended that meeting in purdah went on to become active political leaders of Orissa in the next ten years. collections for Tilak Swaraj Fund came to Rs. A large number of Congress workers were imprisoned for boycott and picketing. 62 .Khaddar. 13 April 1921 in the following way – ‘I saw more than what I expected… I they (Orissan people) mean swaraj as food and dress… I food is very much essential for them… He also praised Pandit Gopabandhu’s efforts as a nationalist through these columns.7 Gandhiji reached Bhadrak on 25 morning by passenger train.000/. The students boycotted the schools.10 On 29 March he left for Ganjam. To stop people from drinking alcohol.Charkha’s playing in the state.000/. They boycotted the foreign cloth and government institutions. prostitutes were engaged to throw urine and hot water on the volunteers. colleges and the lawyers-the courts. On 27 he addressed an women folk and a general meeting. volunteers of Swaraj Ashram would stand in front of wine shops in Cuttack and Balasore and picket from six’ o clock in the evening to nine o’ clock in the night. addressed a big gathering in the evening. Kasturba and others had to walk for three miles to reach Bhadrak town. On 30 March Gandhiji reached Berhampur. In his meetings he precipitated on non-co-operation as an instrument to fight against the British government. the people of Orissa took active part in the non-cooperation movement.and there were about 15.membership of Congress reached 40. picketing infront of liquor and opium shops also continued vigorously in the province. There. He expressed his experience on the visit to Orissa in ‘Young India’ dt. By the end of June.11 Throughout the meeting Gandhi urged the people of Orissa to enroll at least one lakh Congress members and collect three lakhs of rupees for Tilak Swaraj Fund. being tremendously inspired by the charisma and oratory of Mahatma Gandhi. he met the businessmen in the morning and lawyers in the afternoon. Along with the boycott of foreign cloth. The Congress activists toured the villages of Orissa to popularise the use of Charkha and handspun. There he came to know about the problems of integration of the Oriya speaking territories and read the related issues. Pandit Gopabandhu accompanied him in his tour.
On 12 and 13 December he visited Khurda. On 19 he reached Cuttack and visited ‘Utkal Tannery’. Mahadev Desai. Boirani.15 Gandhiji met the women of Balasore and spoke in a general meeting. He reached Bhadrak after two-days stay at Balasore. Gandhiji reached Oriss on 5 December 1927. At that time Balasore was very much affected by flood and famine. Gandhiji was always conscious about the poverty of Orissa. He had a two-day programme at Charbatia.13 Intension of Gandhiji was to drag the attention of the industrial people of India to this industry of Orissa. national education. Belaguntha. Reverend Takkar.F. The programme was published in ‘Young India’ dt. spread of Khadi. As his health did not permit. As Gandhiji was feeling uneasy.25 November 1925. Gopabandhu and other leaders of Orissa had intimated the matter to Gandhi. he lied down in the Motor Vehicle and Mahatab himself drove him to the place. He could not attend a general meeting due to blood pressure and took rest for one-day. Through his writings in ‘Young India’ titled ‘Orissara Durdasa’ dt. He had decided to remain one month in Orissa. He was accompanied by Miraben. which was 25 miles distance from Bhadrak. The latter had previously discussed with Gandhiji about the financial crunch of the industry. Jatani. On 14 he reached Balasore. Rambha Banpur and Bolgarh. Khallikote. Mahatab. Others went by bus. he came in the month of December and continued here for about twenty days. Kaka Kalelkar. Orissan leaders like Harekrushna Mahatab.Andrews. Previously Gandhiji had deputed C. cleaning of villages and harijan upliftment. he asked the permission of the ‘Navjeevan’ and ‘Young India’ readers to donate the contributed Malabar Fund for Orissa. Sakhigopal and Puri. and Horace Alexander – three foreign social activists to review the flood and famine condition of Orissa and to collect information about the then Prajamandal movements of Nilagiri and Kanika – two Garjat states. He gave emphasis on constructive works like playing Charkha. Mahatab as the Chairman of the Local Board had repaired it. Gandhiji again came to Orissa in 1927. Till 11 December he visited Chhatrapur. Aska.At the invitation of Madhusudan Das Gandhiji paid a visit to Orissa in August 1925. Godabarish Mishra had arranged the meeting at Banpur. Purusottampur. Polasara. Gopabandhu Das and Niranjan Patnaik were also with him throughout his tour. Two prominent areas of Bhadrak were totally swept away by flood.29 December 63 . The latter had an intension to visit those affected areas and to speed up the Khadi work there too. Sri Satish Dasgupta and few business men of Calcutta had accompanied Gandhiji to Cuttack to watch and restore the financial condition of the tannery. The road was totally swept away in the flood. Rasulkunda.14. a leather industry established by Madhubabu. Kodala.
In each and every step he had consultation with the great leaders like Gandhiji. A grand collection was made for Khaddar. Mahatab had a discussion with Gandhiji about the production of salt in Orissa. Later on Mahatab arranged two letters from the raja of Hindol and Rajamata of Ranpur and his sincere efforts came true in the Mid-December 1947 when the Merger Document was signed by the 26 Princely States of Orissa in the presence of Sardar Patel. rich-poor. During this stay. Hindu – Muslim. In the same year. Gandhiji told Mahatab to arrange at least two Agreement Letters from two Princely States of Orissa.P. Thousands of men and women met Gandhiji and explained their poverty. After three years the salt satyagraha at Inchudi on the sea coast of Balasore in Orissa was considered as the second ‘Dandi’ in the history of Indian freedom struggle and Mahatab had played a vital role in it. he had a discussion with the activists like Gobabandhu and others regarding the different problems of Orissa and other developmental works in the area. The visit of Gandhi was providing boost to the social and national activistsas well as the people to serve the nation.for its maintenance. about one thousand people left Nilagiri. about eighty thousand houses and sixty miles of railway lines were swept away by flood in Balasore. Gandhiji instructed them to be self-reliant by playing Charkha and spinning Khaddar.000/. the Garjat state in protest of the Bethi and Magan and came to Balasore. Instructed by Gandhiji he and his wife established an Ashram at Bhadrak and donated rupees 25. The activists were providing relief to the affected people at one hand and fighting against the inactive policy of the then government on the other. Mahatab begged the assistance of Gandhiji in the merger of Princely States. Gandhiji asked Mahatab to enroll at least 25 volunteers for the purpose. Since 1920 Mahatab had a dream of Greater Orissa (Union of Princely States with the Province). He donated one lakh rupees to All Orissa Spinners Association for the spread of Khaddar.17. Inspired by Gandhian ideology Jivaramji Kalyanji Kothari wished to serve the poor people of Orissa in his own money.16 On 20 December evening Gandhiji addressed a general meeting at Cuttack. Ranpur etc. He pointed out about the poverty of Orissa due to the closure of salt industry.1927. Kanika. V. Till his death he was engaged in constructive works in and around Bhadrak. Another discussion of Mahatab with Gandhiji is notable. another one lakh to Gandhi Seva Sangha for constructive work and Khaddar work in Orissa. In 1927. Gandhiji’s visit created mass awakening and political consciousness among the people of Orissa. He was involving himself in the Prajamandal Movements of some Princely States like. so that he would come to conduct the movement in Orissa. Nilagiri. On 21 he visited the leprosy ashram at Cuttack. 64 . Almost all sections of the people men-women. Dhenkanal Talcher. Menon and other dignitaries of Orissa. Patel and Nehru for conducting the movement.
29. 12. 15.5-11. Jeevan Pathe (Oriya) Cuttack 1984. Ibid. 1997.. p. P.13. Reference 1. 11. Mahatab Gandhiji and Orissa. 4.K.16. p. Ibid.p. 3. Ibid. 65 .. 13. 1994. Pp. 7.K. 16..82. Ibid.53.18 Ibid. Role of Women in India’s freedom Struggle New Delhi. p. Ibid. XXI. No. suppression of alcoholic habits and extension of national education. 17.59. quoted in J..K. The Samaj 9 July 1921.joined the national stream and engaged themselves in constructive works like hand-spinning and hand-weaving.25. Rama Devi Choudhury. 10. p... unpublished thesis Female Uplift in Orissa – 1983-1947p. 6.50. promotion of inter-communal unity. Rajendra Raju.27-28. pp44. H.13. 8. Ibid. H. 14.1&2 edited by Anup Taneja Delhi. Cited in Bina Kumari Sarma “Gandhian movement and women’s Awakening in Orissa”. pp. personal interview.. 5. The Indian Historical review – Vol. H. 27 September 1990. removal of untouchability. Mahatab Sadhanara Pathe. V.K.p. pp. Annapurna Maharana. 9.19-21. Ibid.48. Mahatab-Gandhiji and Orissa. Mahatab-Gandhiji and Orissa p. H. P. 2. p.Das.182. p.
In the mean time Gandhiji. born and silver. *DDCE. A dreadful famine broke out in Orissa in 1920. Gandhiji made an appeal to his countrymen to extend a helping hand to the afflicted. a man in a shabby loin cloth came and stood before Gandhiji. Gandhiji had immense love for Orissa. Under his leadership the Indian movement for independence gathered momentum. When Gandhiji came to know about it. who had been taken aback at this strange conduct. Gandhiji showered admiration on the artisans of Orissa when he saw their wonderful items in an exhibition organized by the ‘All India Charkha Sangha’ and ‘All India Gramodyoga Sangha’. he sent Amrutlal Thakkar to Orissa for an ‘on the spot’ assessment of the situation. The alien English rulers inflicted torture on our people.THE INVALUABLE GIFT Biraj Mohan Das* Our motherland India was under British rule for long years. stopped the stranger. removal of untouchability and spread of cottage industry. On 11 December Gandhiji made a stopover at Bolgarh. Then he lay down at the feet of Gandhiji and saluted him. The idea of freeing India from foreign rule sprouted in their minds. Utkal University. India finally achieved independence on 15 August 1947 under his strong leadership. The people of Orissa were permanent victims to natural calamities of all kinds. The oppression by the foreign rulers gave rise to acute discontent in the minds of the people. As a result of this an agitation swept across the length and breadth of he whole country. Gandhi made his way to India from South Africa at a point when there was a strong need for leaders to steer the agitation. The people in the whole of India fondly called him “Bapu” or “Gandhiji”. holding a piece of straw between his teeth. 66 . Based on Amrutlal’s report. Messages about ‘Khadi’ and ‘fearlessness’ were propagated in the whole of Orissa throughout the month of December in 1927. Afterwards he made frequent visits to Orissa to apprise himself of Orissa’s problems. Gandhiji explained to people about the movement for ‘Swaraj’. Making ‘Padayatra’ to various parts of Orissa. “It will be quite unjust for all of us if we take our meals in peace when our brothers and sisters in Orissa are dying of abject starvation and thirst”. While addressing the Lucknow Congress in 1936. The man stood up after a while and placed that piece of straw on his head and started to retreat. Gandhiji not only expressed his appreciation of the Orissa Artisans but also communicated it to the Indian people. Gandhiji did not fail to notice that the artisans were not deterred by their poverty from producing exquisite handicrafts made of bone. While he was engaged in talking to Dinabandhu Andrews (one of his followers and a social activist). He led the agitation through non-violent means. Gandhiji addressed the Indians inhabiting regions other than Orissa thus. The people of India are in the habit of worshipping him as the “Father of Nation”.
“You should be ready to face excommunication. In 1934. but stopped when Gandhiji said. Gandhiji made a quotable statement.” The stranger promised to keep his words and departed. while Gandhiji was waiting in a camp for a barber to come and shave him during his “Padayatra” across Orissa.you must pay for being fearless. commented Gandhiji. He uttered this with a great sense of delight.” The stranger in reply told Gandhiji that he would be excommunicated from his own society if he did so. “They do not suit you”. “I came to Bolgarh for selling firewood and learnt of your tour. Two bangles. a woman turned up there with a shaving kit and gave him a good shave. I am proud of having had the privilege of seeing you”. Earning livelihood by selling firewood was his vocation. The ornaments she was wearing caught Gandhiji’s attention. He said. He also came to know from him about the practice prevalent among his caste people of eating the flesh of dead animals and drinking ‘tadi’ (a country liquor). He said. The woman said sorrowfully that the ornaments were borrowed to keep appearances. On 19 August 1925 he came to Orissa as a guest of Madhusudan Das. Gandhiji persuaded her to give up wearing ornaments and the woman accepted it gladly. “I do not want your money. Before she left. Gandhiji made it clear that though Orissa was his favourite centre of pilgrimage. Gandhiji was always keen on the progress and prosperity of Orissa and discussed the ways and means of achieving this with the leaders and social activists of Orissa. The stranger said. It was quite shocking for Gandhiji when he learnt that the peculiar conduct of the stranger was all about saluting a person of a higher caste. Gandhiji taught him to be fearless and advised him to live a life of honour and dignity. On the Annual day of ‘Gandhi Seva Sangha’ at Delang in 1938. A similar example can be cited. then this would be the most valuable of the gifts that he had hitherto received. Gandhiji had expressed the opinion that if the person changed conduct as he said he would do. earrings and the glass-bangles were the things she wore. as the untouchables were denied access to this.On enquiry he learnt that the person was an untouchable. Rather I ask you to give me two things: ‘Abstain from eating the flesh of dead animals and drinking liquor and put an end to the practice of saluting a man of higher caste in the manner you did. it is not because of the presence in it of the temple of Lord Jagannath. After listening to him carefully Gandhiji said. she requested Gandhiji to accept her day’s earnings for the cause of charity. “Orissa is the land of love. Gandhiji expressed his displeasure on coming to know that Kasturba and Durga Ben (the wife of Mahadeb Desai) had been inside the temple. Also he refused to go inside the temple because he considered that he too was being barred from entering the temple. Will you give it to me?” Instantly the stranger started to search the foldings around his waste. especially while appearing before a great man like Gandhiji. “I want something from you. if this is a price. If I can do something for Orissa that will be my supreme service to India”. A visit to Utkal Tannery 67 .
the train was not supposed to halt anywhere inbetween during the night. He broke the system of indentured Indian labor in South Africa. He spent years in jail for the national cause. This was indicative of his profound love of and respect for Orissa and her people. He laid the foundations for a national language which would bring men close together regardless of creed.000. and that was the truth. and he opposed the bigotry and dogmatism and the hateful orthodoxy of the caste system with more success than any Indian since Gautam Buddha. He also addressed a meeting at Berhampur. praising Madhu Babu fulsomely.000 untouchables. Against 3. He won respect for Indians and restored the self-respect of men who had humiliated them. In 1946 when he was on his way to Madras in a special train. Gandhiji learnt Oriya script and language during his ‘Padayatra’ across Orissa. and he nursed and tended the sick and the helpless to teach men kindliness and self-scarifies. and that was the truth.000 years of prejudice he raised a crusade for the human rights of 50. Bhadrak and Cuttack. But Gandhiji stopped the train and met the people of Orissa at stations like Balasore. Gandhiji wrote in all the newspapers. “Gandhi won national independence for more millions of people than any other leader of men. He showed the weak and the poor how to struggle without taking life. And all that was the truth. Snow 68 . and once he helped conduct the prosecution against himself after violence occurred in a civil disobedience movement. and with less bloodshed. He fought color and racial discrimination everywhere.gave him a favourable impression about Madhu Babu’s unique endeavour to utilize the workers of Orissa and highlight their skills.” Edgar P.
Shaw is supposed to have remarked that “. say he was a freedom fighter who underwent long terms of imprisonment to make us free. The more moderate ones think that he did not strive enough to bargain with Lord Irwin for Bhagat’s life. Whenever there was some scope for popular militancy Gandhi killed the movement by going for a negotiated settlement/compromise. *Lecturer in History.”1 Was Gandhi too good? Or is he made out to be too good? A close look at the views and impressions of the various segments of the Indian population provides a very varied and contrasting opinion about Gandhi. The ones more in tune with the macho image of the Khalsa. the famous English dramatist and writer. the Forward Bloc. labelled a similar kind of pro-Hindu allegation against Gandhi. Some. Most think he was a saintly person who worked for the liberation of our motherland from the British rule.it shows how dangerous it is to be too good. passive resistance. Almost everyone knows he was popularly known as the Mahatma. G. unfortunately. Sarvoday and soul-force.5 The Muslims. National Defence Academy.PEOPLES GANDHI: THE MAN AND THE MAHATMA Suryakant Nath* On hearing the news of Gandhi’s assassination. Every educated Indian thinks he knows Gandhi.4 The Brahmins of the Hindu Mahasabha variety thought that Gandhi never took up the cause of the Hindus and went out of the way to accommodate the interest of the Muslims.3 The communists think that he was the stooge of the Colonial government and compromised at every possible turn to hoodwink the toiling peasants. Students of social science feel he made their task difficult by introducing phrases like non-cooperation. Bose never got his due in the Congress hierarchy because of the close relations between Nehru and Gandhi and his competitive rivalry with Nehru only alienated him from Gandhi and Congress. satyagraha.. think that the concept of Satyagraha was cowardice and effeminate and did not suit the hardy Punjabis. What else is there to Gandhi? One could ask what more is there to be known about Gandhi? A Punjabi remembers Gandhi as the killer of Bhagat Singh. In spite of being the first state to come under the spell of the British and the first one to experience western renaissance it could not exercise the political clout it ought to have exercised in Indian politics. Pune.B. He was the clever bania from Gujarat who always served the interests of the bourgeoisie and sacrificed the interest of the common man. Some even hold him responsible for the partition killings. 411023 69 .2 A Bengali thinks of Gandhi as one who conspired to keep Subhas Bose out of the Congress hierarchy and forced him to found a new political outfit. a fact for which Gandhi had to pay with his life. who are a little unsure.
His advocacy of all-Indianness was a pretentious clothing and in the long run proved to be detrimental to the Dalit interests. felt betrayed when Gandhi’s followers incorporated the reservation policy in the constitution and converted it into a major plank of vote-bank politics. 6 The British Imperial masters always thought that Gandhi was a shrewd politician and was trying to befool the poor and illiterate masses in the garb of a spiritual Messiah.A vast majority of the Dalits think that Gandhi was superficial in his sympathies towards them . it is also important to remember that many westerners openly acknowledged Gandhi’s greatness and did everything possible to influence the public opinion in their countries.7 The western media became more interested in his experiments with Brahmacharya and with his experiments of self-control with his young female workers rather than the more significant aspects of the freedom struggle and nation-building. Caste Hindus . Gandhi was so rigid. He was of the firm opinion that there should be nothing like Gandhism after him and people should refrain from oppressing others in the name of Gandhism. became a rebel against his father’s generosity and floated the idea which gained more currency that Gandhi could have been a good Father of the Nation but a very bad father to his sons. By curbing pro-Dalit militancy he only made the Dalit interest subservient to the Caste Hindus. He did every possible thing to hurt his father including a conversion to Islam and by becoming an alcoholic. Rather they should follow the ideals which he held dear to his heart.8 His eldest son.9 His wife Ba or better known as Kasturba also had her share of complains against Gandhi. The British masters were scared of his popularity to act silly but it did not refrain them from making provocative statements about Gandhi.12 When pressed for a message by one of the congress Shanti Senas.one who diagnosed the disease but did not prescribe the medicine in right doses. adament or obstinate(determined) that if he decided to do something it was impossible to prevent him from doing that. 70 . To her. Some of his political opponents always complained that through fasts and dharnas he tried to emotionally blackmail them to toe his line. forcing her to be a little more guarded in her views while with Gandhi.11 Nor did he ever believe that there can be something like Gandhism after him. However. Harilal.on the other hand. He gave a name to them but was not genuine in espousing their cause. he is supposed to have said that “my life is my message” conveying the feeling that he lived what he said and there was no gap between his speech and deed. 10 So. Who is the real Gandhi? Gandhi as perceived by one of these or a combination of all these attributes? Gandhi never considered himself to be a political strategist.
So can we ignore Gandhi? Or more appropriately. Many incidents in Gandhi’s life speak volumes about his personality.. In an era when means of mass communication were almost non-existent. 16 Gandhi’s own writings also run in to volumes. Gandhi left very few Indian hearts untouched. Many praise him to the skies. stopping short of virtual deification while others malign him calling him different names and projecting him as a villain of the first order. Illiterate masses who had been at the receiving end of the colonial administration for centuries suddenly found a saviour in Gandhi and promptly attributed mythical qualities which they had been familiar with since the ages. recount a few to get a selective insight in to the great man’s persona. to restore the sullied image of RSS and the Janasangha.But does this suffice enough as our knowledge of Gandhi? There is flood of literature on Gandhi today. the abysmal political situation has some how forced us to rethink the practicability of Gandhian methods in our modern settings.18 It probably weighed heavy on his shoulders where he realised he had to make efforts to live up to the expectations of the masses. The concept of incarnations or Avatarvaad very easily suited Gandhi’s image because his style of austere living. There is practically nothing or no subject on which Gandhi has not said or written. impractical and archaic methods of Gandhi. When all else has failed we are again forced to adopt the once old.13 The more intelligent ones have tried to cash in on the very relevant theme of Gandhian philosophy by Presenting him in a more acceptable package in form of Gandhigiri in the cinematic format to the Gen-next crowd. i. his saintly attire and his belief in the concept of Niskam Karma of the Bhagavat Gita easily endeared him to the masses. or simply M KGandhi and India in the address column. Gandhi was the uncrowned king of pre-independent India.e. We shall however. Gandhi never felt comfortable with the epithet ‘Mahatma’ or the great soul which Rabindra Nath Tagore had coined for him.19 Though he never held any official 71 . Vilification of Gandhi gained much currency during the tenure of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the centre as it had an agenda to serve. Indian masses have always venerated the ascetic way of life and they could easily accept Gandhi as their Messiah. is Gandhism of any immediate relevance today? In the pre-independence days Gandhi’s aura was created more through rumours and ignorance.14 Whether we like him or not.15 Gandhi could mean many things to many Indians.17 They definitely provide an insight into the personality of the Great Man. Gandhi used a very simple language and most of his writings were extempore and do not reflect prior framing or conceptualisation. Many letters used to be addressed to Gandhi from England and America with only Gandhi and Emperor of India.
In a meeting at Cuttack in March 1921. The most intelligent said. after three hundred years. One night. politics again. Not many quite seemed to know who or what he was. Today. he felt restless for two to three days. another mahapurusha (Great man)has come to preach Rajnaitika prema dharma (political doctrine of love). presents a peculiar example of how Gandhi’s name worked wonders in the life of ordinary Indians.21 Thousands joined the Gandhian movement being mesmerised with his personality and saint-like approach to life. But there were curious instances of the power of his name. Congress meant Gandhi and vice-versa. Chaitanya came to preach prema dharma( doctrine of love) in Orissa. Sushila Devi. he confided to his elder brother that he had a strong urge to plunge into the nationalist movement so that he could do some thing for the country. on the same day. his brother did not have any objection from his side. because of this Mahatma.20 Gandhi Baba could work miracles.25 There might have been a thousand such instances of ordinary young men and women joining the Gandhian bandwagon without any conviction or commitment to the Gandhian 72 . a pundit. Gandhi had a fascinating array of vocations attributed to him. The magic of the name of the Congress was to a great extent connected with the Gandhian myth. a close aide of Rama Devi Choudhary. he had certain responsibilities towards the family and so he could not think of joining the nationalist movement even if he had the inclination to do so. a Brahmin or even a devata. The example of a peasant woman.22 She was a widow and did not have any children. For millions of Indians. He narrates in his Mitrasya Chakshusa that after the outbreak of the Quit India Movement in August 1942. But if Chitta wanted to give up studies and join the movement. Gopabandhu Dash introduced Gandhi thus: “Three hundred years ago. Everyone interpreted and appropriated Gandhian messages and ideas according to his or her political and moral vision. He only told him that that since he (his brother) was the eldest child in the family.24 The experience of the famous Oriya educationist and freedom fighter Chitta Ranjan Das of Bagalpur (Jagatsingpur) also makes an interesting reading. He was a mahatma. Our Utkal has always been famous as the land of dharma. His brother did not dissuade him.23 To most rural masses. jumped headlong into the nationalist movement without bothering to care what would happen next or what an uncertain journey it could lead to. Gandhi came in her dreams and the next morning she packed her ornaments in a bundle and left for the nearest Congress worker’s house. Today. is based on Dharma”. Then. a sadhu. Gandhi meant Congress and vice versa. Many who had never ventured out of the safety of their homes and who did not have the slightest of ideas about Satyagraha. he was a man who was working for the good of the country.position in the organisation Gandhi was the undisputed leader of the Congress.
The kind of attitude which many families displayed in providing moral support to young men and women who joined the Gandhian movement also speaks volumes about the magic of Gandhi’s name. Brahmins and the saints. 31 73 . He mentions that Gandhi’s ideas and his personality influenced not only the educated or the ordinary Indians but also the thieves. Gandhian movements had their limitations and inadequacies. an associate of Gandhi. people in the inaccessible countryside formed their opinion about Gandhi or for that matter on any such outside forces or phenomena through rumours.”29 Congress has often been criticised for being an organisation of the bourgeoise or a party of collaborators who repeatedly betrayed the masses. which were internal to mass movements as such. then also. circulation and furtherance of the Gandhian myth. Both had lost the dearest things in their lives and yet both “…brought enlightenment to souls that had lost hope and brought happiness from sorrow. Hear-say accounts and rumours played a very significant role in the creation.30 These may contain some truth. Gandhi’s grand daughter. The businessman was passing through Shingoli. But. resembled Gandhi in their life style came to be popularly known as Gandhi of a particular area. the characters in the epics and the incarnations have been the usual medium for categorising the so-called great men. In an age when communication system was almost non-existent. Those days (Nonco-operation days) even the thieves followed certain norms and they refrained from looting women.philosophy or methods of action. Manu Behn compared Gandhi’s activities at Noakhali with Sri Rama’s adventures in the forest. in his book Bapu As I saw him narrates a very strange incident. many Congress leaders.28 For a nation obsessed with the idea of hero-worship. Many Indians (including thieves and anti-socials) considered Gandhi to be a saint and thought it to be improper to harass his followers. Otherwise.26 Ram Narayan Choudhary. Gandhi might have died for India but for the world he will continue to live forever. one has to take into account the strength and greatness of Gandhi as a person and the Gandhian ideology. From his own experience he cites an example. Gandhi’s name probably did the trick and the robbers spared him. One day a trader/ businessman came to his house and after paying his regards narrated a story of how the very name of Gandhi saved him from the clutches of the thieves. At the sight of the thieves the man started screaming loudly “Bande Mataram” and “Mahatma Gandhi Ki Jai”. But it would be totally unfair to dismiss the organisation as an organisation of the propertied class. thugs and the highway robbers. be it a district or a province. who some how or the other. a hilly terrain in the erstwhile Gwalior state. how can one explain for the fact that Gandhian leadership retained more mass popularity than his radical critics! Gandhi belonged not only to India and his message is relevant for the whole world.27 Depending on their standing in the local Congress hierarchy.
1995. p. 11. committed mistakes and admitted them in public does give us enough lessons in life and inspires us to transform ourselves individually and collectively. Sumit Sarkar. K. Sharat Kumar Mohanty. 4.Gandhi has received so much adulation during his life time and after that we can not possibly add any thing new to eulogize Gandhi or Gandhism. He also envisaged Ram-Rajya along with freedom. In spite of ideological differences. Bose himself admitted that no other Indian leader had absolute command over the masses as Gandhi. During an orientation course for the teachers of higher secondary classes in Chandigarh. who tried to transform the society by ridding it of its weaknesses and evil practices through love. He even went to the extent of comparing Gandhi’s Dandi March with Napoleon’s return from exile from Elba. On many occasions Gandhi described Bose as a true patriot. 3. a man of flesh and blood just like each one of us. During his radio broadcasts from Rangoon. Gandhi not only fought for our independence. References 1. Gandhi. He was a man of action. a practice he would have definitely disapproved of if he had been alive. The very fact that Gandhi was fallible.P. Gandhi and Bose had tremendous respect for each other. We have achieved independence but Ram Rajya is still a distant dream. 1985. Cuttack:2000. Calcutta. There is possibly something wrong in the Indian milieu which creates gods out of ordinary human beings and forces people to forget the very values for which they stand. Attempts are being made not only at the individual level but also at the organised level to him on a high pedestral and garland him with meaningless sweet words. Gandhi never wanted to become an icon of worship.43. who won the hearts of the people all over the world through his deeds and through the power of his ideas. Mahatma Gandhi(o). Centre for Studies in Social Science. Cited in Surjyakanta Das. In stead of following the lead he provided we are busy creating temples for him. we have conveniently forgotten them all and started worshipping him like God. 2. Cuttack. the author had the experience of interacting with the participants as a resource person on 5th and 6th of September 2005 at the State Institute of Education and Technology (SIET). 74 . p. On the other hand. Popular Movements and Middle Class leadership in late Colonial India. Chandigarh. Almost all the participants expressed the feeling that Gandhian ideology of passive resistance did not suit the hardy Punjabis ( Sikhs)who had been accustomed to armed struggle against the Mughals for more than a century. Mita Books. Bose frequently referred to Gandhi as the father of the nation. a revolutionary.153. truth and nonviolence. p. Unfortunately.Bagchi & Co. Gandhi Manisha (O). Grantha Mandir.
5. He also contended that Gandhi was a proponent of the caste system and an antagonist towards progress that would have benefited all of India. General Smuts were all smitten by Gandhi’s personality. p. Ambedkar interpreted Gandhi’s views as conservative.. p. p.cit. In one of the prayer congregations on 29 January 1947 Gandhi said. Grantha Mandir. Cited in Resistance to the soul: Gandhi and his critics by Michael F. site-file://A:\Articles On & By Gandhi. p.Gandhi manipulated the masses by calling them to action when favourable to the bourgeoise and then withdrawing his support if things got out of hand”.7. Grantha Mandir. p. Mahatma Gandhi(o). Grantha Mandir. 10. She dared Gandhi to give up eating these two items himself first to which Gandhi took up the challenge and gave up eating salt and pulses for one year from that very moment . downright archaic and unrealistic. Mita Books. Mahatma Gandhi(o). 95% of the letters which Gandhi received during 1947 were abusive letters and some of them were addressed as Mohammad Gandhi.htm. 11. 1995.R P Dutt believed that “….134. p. Plotkin. 75 .3. p. Mahatma Gandhi(o). p. 8. Kasturba realised her mistake and pleaded with Gandhi to take back his words but Gandhi stuck to his words and both Gandhi and Kasturba gave up eating salt and pulses for one year.. Cited in Suryakanta Das. Gandhi suggested Ba to give up eating of salt and pulses. reactionary. 125.3. Aggressive Bihari Hindus considered him to be very bad Hindu and a Muslim spy. Cuttack. V D Savarkar thought that Gandhi’s methods contradicted the religious outlook of Hinduism and jeopardized Hindu political interests as well. Cited in Suryakanta Das.” Cited in Suryakanta Das. 7. especially the depressed classes. Ibid. Plotkin.10. 1995. site-file://A:\Articles On & By Gandhi. site-file://A:\Articles On & By Gandhi. Gandhi Manisha (O). Sharat Kumar Mohanty. Let him do what he wills of me.152. 9. Ba was cured. Shaw said “ The king should release Gandhi unconditionally as an act of grace unconcerned with policy and apologize to him for the mental defectiveness of his cabinet. Coincidentally. “ I am what God has willed me to be and act as he directs. Plotkin. Ibid. Gandhi himself provided them with enough reasons to do so by making statements like “I am a politician trying my hardest to be a saint”. If he 6. Lord Montague. Cuttack.p. Lord Reading.62. During the Quit India Movement when Gandhi was interned in the Aga Khan Palace. 1995.. Cited in Resistance to the soul: Gandhi and his critics by Michael F.htm. Cuttack:2000. Cuttack.htm. op. Once when Kasturba was bleeding severely and allopathic medicines failed.12. Cited in S K Das.1. p. G B Shaw. He saw Gandhi to be a threat to the existence of Hindus in India and thought that Gandhi’s influence over the Congress hurt the Hindu cause because he gave in to Muslim demands. Cited in Resistance to the soul: Gandhi and his critics by Michael F.
283.so chooses. Mahatma Gandhi(o). p. Gandhi said “ My Mahatmaship is worthless. one heard not only his words but also his thoughts. The story of a poor man from Bengal makes a curious reading. During the tenure of the B J P government at the centre in the late 1990s. p. Manu Behn. Deification of Gandhi started almost around the 1920s.28. 283.htm. p. p. cit. however. many lesser known leaders of the R S S and Janasangha suddenly came to assume national significance.48. Cuttack :2000. A school of historians. Gandhi’s grand daughter compared his days in Noakhali as lord Rama’s days of exile in the forest.11. p. 91. Cited in Suryakanta Das. 19.14. site-file://A:\Articles On & By Gandhi. Gandhi Manisha (O). Gandhi Manisha (O). With a photograph of Gandhi hanging from his neck. Mita Books. p. 14. p. Cited in Suryakanta Das. Sharat Kumar Mohanty.. I believe I am acting as he commands me”.. Mahatma. Although it is widely accepted that the epithet ‘Mahatma’ was coined by Tagore when he addressed Gandhi in one of his telegrams in 1916. Cuttack :2000. Mahatma Gandhi(o).. Ibid. 76 . Sharat Kumar Mohanty. 5. the man came to him and after paying his respects narrated that he was suffering from paralysis and chanting Gandhi’s name religiously had cured him. Sharat Kumar Mohanty. Speaking about Gandhi Savarkar criticized that Gandhi’s continual appeasement of the Muslims endangered the interests of the Hindus. Plotkin. cit. 12. Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara and Lage Raho Munna Bhai were popular as well as critically acclaimed. 20. op.. cit. Cuttack :2000. op. A spurt in films on Gandhi has suddenly revived interest in Gandhian ideas and values. 18. p. Navjivan Publishing house.” Cited in Suryakanta Das.36.18. The entire Gonda tribe worshipped Gandhi as God. Don’t call me Mahatma. p. he can kill me. 1995. Cited in Suryakanta Das. 16. Grantha Mandir. Mita Books. So. Gandhi rebuked the man sternly and asked him to remove the photo immediately. do believe that it was probably first used by someone else. 13. Cuttack. He told him that it was by the grace of God and not Gandhi who had cured him.. Gandhi Manisha (O).286. Rather adopt the ways of truth and non-violence. Gandhi Mera Baap.. Mita Books. 1995. 15. D G Tendulkar. Louis Fisher said “His brain had no blue pencil”. Grantha Mandir. p. 17. Sarojini Naidu told one of Gandhi’s biographers (Vincent Cehan) she had already heard people calling him Mahatma when she met Gandhi for the first time in 1914. Cited in Suryakanta Das.58. op. Ibid. Suryakanta Das also writes that he did not attempt to express his ideas in finished form. p. Cited in Resistance to the soul: Gandhi and his critics by Michael F. Cuttack. p.
it was believed by many that no British jail could keep him imprisoned permanently.43 Rama Devi was wife of a very prominent Gandhian Congress leader. only after the sun set. 30.. Cited in Suryakanta Das. p. And that Gandhi had the miraculous powers to escape from such confinements.Op.Bagchi & Co. Some others had the notion that the Englishmen had chained us like cattle and Gandhi had the magic scissors to cut our chains and make us free.B. Popular Movements and Middle Class leadership in late Colonial India. 1988.51.Bagchi & Co. For example.. 1985. 28. feudal and Indian bourgeoise interests. New Delhi. 1995.p.p. Op. S. Chitta Ranjan Das.144. Sumit Sarkar. p. p.. Popular Movements and Middle Class leadership in late Colonial India. 195-197.18 July 1990.8.28. 1942”.Communist leader S. Personal Interview with Sripati Mahakud. who followed the Gandhian ideals of truth and non-violence in the 1960s came to be popularly known as the American Gandhi. Like the mythical figure of Vasudeva escaping Kansa’s prison when Lord Krisna is born in Mathura. Nabakrusna Choudhary.Pattamundai of Kendrapara district of Orissa were that Gandhi was invincible.Sardesai wrote. 26. K. 2 April 1921.Gopabandhu Rachanavali.72-73. OUP. 1985.P. Jiban Pathe(o).cit. Sumit Sarkar. Cited in Suryakanta Das. Grantha Mandir.1977. Cuttack. thereby hampering the full development of the national-revolutionary forces in the country”. 22.96. 29. The Samaj.102. Louis Fisher cited in Suryakanta Das. Janma Satavarshiki Samiti. 25.)The Indian Nation in 1942. “Storm over Malkanagiri: A Note on Laxman Naiko’s Revolt. When her relatives went to bring her back. “ Gandhi’s action involved innumerable compromises with imperialists. Rama Devi Choudhary. 23. Publications. Martin Luther King.18. the tribal leader from the inaccessible tract. p. Centre for Studies in Social Science. she hid in a bush and left for the Congress worker’s house.pp. K. Vol. Koraput. dt. Gopabandhu Choudhary and sister-in-law of ex-chief minister of Orissa. Op. Cited in Suryakanta Das. 77 . No British bullets could kill Gandhi. Calcutta. Calcutta. 1993. pp. which was three kilometres away. Laxman Naiko.cit. Mitrasya Chakshusa(o).S.P. Centre for Studies in Social Science.cit.1984. came to be popularly known as Gandhi of Malkanagiri.Village-Ainipara.G. 27. 24. Some of the rumours which made the rounds in early 40’s in a remote and inaccessible village like Ainipara in P.p. Grantha Mandir. Cuttack. Biswamoy pati. 31. p.21.VI. Cuttack. Mahatma Gandhi(o). in Gyanendra Pandey (ed.
instructions. education was not limited to metaphysics.Pani* All good theories can be put to practice and all good practices can be theorized. The foundation of education is two fold psycho-physiological and philosophical. world and event beyond the world. India and the rest of the world. political. training and strengthening the powers of body. Philosophy is defined as the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge. The process of acquiring knowledge. mind and culture. Education has also evolved as a science beyond the horizons of humanities. As the study of mind was separated from philosophy. arts and social science. metaphysics and philosophy provided the foundation to education. psychological and behavioral sciences added new dimensions to education. teaching. ethical and religious goals of education have been widened to include social. methods and scope etc. knowledge of the causes and laws of all things and the principles underlaying any sphere of knowledge and reasoning. Philosophy is an attempt in the highest kind of generalization and also includes generalizations on education. investigation or contemplation of the nature of being. For centuries before the advent of modern disciplines like psychology and sociology. The metaphysical.P. refined in judgement and taste. To be educated. economic and other goals of life. The original meaning *Director. both in east and west. understanding. had set the goal of education. 78 . science and abstractions. literature and history and education also did not exclude skill component. Physiological aspects of human body like the human brain and the sensory system were added on. is to be well cultivated. and experienced. Bhubaneswar.GANDHI’S THEORIES OF EDUCATION S. knowledgeable. it’s meaning. cultured. The philosophical foundation of education did not exclude the study of nature. His life and works is such a unique example of putting theories into practice that Einstein predicted that the coming generations would find it difficult to believe that such a man walked with flesh and blood in this world A General Introduction Education is defined as the process of bringing up. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) more popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi is the most striking example of translating great theories into practice and theoritising great practices. assimilation etc now forms an integral part of education. DDCE. it aspired to answer all question that arise in our mind. The ancient Indians had held ‘Sa Vidya Ya Vimukteya’ (Education Liberates) as the highest goal of education. objective. A new dimension was added with advent of psychology. Besides these behavioral studies have also enriched the concept of education. Utkal University. The philosophical foundation. Cognitive aspects of education now stand recognized. Jnana (knowledge) and Vidya (art and skill) always were considered to be two sides of wisdom in India. search for explanation which would lead to a perfect understanding of life.
Man of all the animals is the most dissatisfied and has the highest search for perfection and satisfaction. harmony and development. the claims of man as ethical and religious being and his understanding of laws of God and nature and claims of spiritual longing of mankind spread beyond the known world. Education is also required to assimilate these new lessons and concepts. Education is the only answer to man’s search for complete understanding. cultural synthesis and cultural identity assertion are a new set of challenge for education. both national and regional. “The electronic communications network inevitably creates a universal super – culture. that this enrichment provides by itself the means of further development and that this development can be rapid and infinite”. It includes developmental and democratic goals of life. yet the underlying thought was a complete understanding of the world and beyond.1 Besides the need for continuous enrichment. Riche writes “The great modern idea is that it is possible to enrich collectively and individually all the members of a society through continuous progress in the organization of work. aesthetics. progress. These can be terrestrial. peace. ‘Education being a preparation for life. is a question the next fifty year will have to answer”. men have always cherished utopias. ‘Education is something which makes man self-reliant and self-less’. cosmic.2 Communication technology. physical and emotional being that man is. Progress also aims at perfection and perfect harmony in individual and social life and harmony in nature and even harmony in entire reality beyond earth. What will be the relation between the super culture and more traditional cultures of the past. Education today has new challenges. Today the scope of liberation stands widened.may have been confined to liberation from chain of rebirth and realization of god head. counselors and even godmen have contributed immensely to the science and art of living. the aims of education are one with those of life. how ever unreachable they appear to be. The aim of an individual or a society is dependent on it’s stage of progress and it’s concept of progress. The emphasis has shifted from individual to the social formations and event on the entire mankind and beyond. and conflict etc. Education must provide for the claims of vital. new thinking of the youth and man’s concept of happiness. As a whole education pervade life in it’s entirety and the future of mankind is shaped through education. The scholar may add few observations an education to reflect the multi-dimensional feature of education. diseases. ‘Nothing is more purifying an earth than knowledge’ “Human education means the training one gets from nature” (Veda) (Upanishads) (Bhagavat Gita) (Panini) 79 . Progress must include physical. Modern management masters. it includes liberation from ignorance. communication is another challenge. man is gifted with dreams. leisure. Other challenges include those of mass media. supra-terrestrial and supra cosmic. in it’s processes and instruments. hunger. observed Keneth Building. mental and even spiritual. Added to these living itself has become a new science and an art. ‘Education is for liberation’. development and perfection etc.
(Plato) 80 . that is. it is education that determines the level of prosperity. “Blessed are the men and women whose minds are centred on the acquisition of knowledge. Education develops man power (as) the ultimate guarantee of national self reliance. poverty. greed and hatred” (Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad) “The destiny of India is now shaped in her classrooms. “Aspirations of new India will require a fresh outlook and new measures to tackle its problems of hunger. secularizing and democracy. we believe. the ultimate idea that binds together all earthly existence. who cultivate truthfulness and other similar virtues. for tolerance. (National Policy on Education 1986). On the quality and number of persons coming-out of our schools and colleges will depend our success in the great enterprise of national reconstruction. In sum. (Dayananda Saraswati) Education “stands for humanism. a scientific temper and independence of mind and sprit… furthering the goals of socialism. It stands for the onward march of human race towards even higher objectives”. Education has an articulating role… contribute to national cohesion. This. (D. This is fundamental to our allround development material and spiritual. who possess sweet and amiable tempers. delusion.S. who are engaged in aesthetic work as prescribed by the Vedas”. (Socrates) The ultimate educational quest as reviewed in dialogue is the search for the Good. is no mere rhetoric. for reason. welfare and security of the people. the principal objective of which is to raise the standard of living of our people”.“Education means training of country and love of nation” “Education is the realization of self” (Kauitlya) (Sankaracharya). In a world based on science and technology. Having listed major Indian thinking the scholar may list some major western concepts. Kothari) “In our national perception education is essentially for all. (Jawaharlal Neheru). Education is a unique investment in the present and future”. for the adventure of ideas and for the search of truth. Education is common search for knowledge through critical interplay between teacher and people and dialectics is the best method.
enables one to become social. For education must consider all aspects of life and society. Knowledge will drive the future and as such education assumes tremendous importance for the human society. Society should be interpreted to the child through daily living in the classroom. (Tolstoy) “Philosophy and education renders service to each other. on an attorney one will be able to do what is needed in any situation. His theory of education is built on his practices. Education becomes the laboratory of philosophy. not a priest. unlike the artificial and formal education of society. (Pastalozzi) Natural criterion for pedagogy is freedom and the only method is experience.“No one will doubt that the legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth… the citizen should be moulded to suit the form of government under which he lives”. (Aristotle) Natural education. It is something continuous. not merely a preparation for life. Gandhian theories of education were based on practical aspects. The present discussion endeavours to identify the general principles and aims of education as developed by Gandhi. moral and rational while remaining true to one’s own nature. Gandhi’s Theories of Education Gandhi had a holistic approach to education. Gandhi was not a system builder and he never consciously developed a theory of education. Education leads to no final end. a soldier. Apart from this he always tried his best to be consistent with the central socio – political principles he had enunciated. (Dewey) Today education is considered to be life long and a process of construction of knowledge. a reconstruction of accumulated experience. “Sa 81 . The general principles and aims of education is followed up with a discussion on practical aspects and contemporary issues. which acts as a miniature society. Education is life. which must be directed towards social efficiency. The present century is termed as the knowledge century. Gandhi emphasized the ancient central principle of education. He wrote and partly theoricised education on the basis of practical problems and issues relating to education which he faced. Attainment of complete freedom just not from foreign rule and attainment of self sufficiency by the teeming millions of India were supreme aim of Gandhi and these were equally applicable to education for him. (Russeoue) The art of education must be significantly raised in all its facets to become a science that is to be built on and proceeds from the deepest knowledge of human nature. If one is educated to be a man.
Knowledge includes all training that is useful for the service of mankind and liberation means freedom from all manner of servitude even in the present life. It was the supreme and legitimate goal that Gandhi aspired through manual 82 . He was strongly opposed to the pagan ideal that man of letters should be free from the burden of mundane life. social and education. metal work. but to make the learning of a craft as the central axis of the entire teaching programme. education is that which liberates is as true today as it was before. our rural education ought to be made self supporting. He says. The idea was not simply to introduce handicrafts as a compulsory subject. Through this teaching programme he wanted to disseminate the knowledge of the production processes involved such as – crafts. that education which delays our freedom is to be shunned. The core of Gandhi’s proposal was the introduction of productive handicrafts in the school curriculum. pottery. “useful manual labour. which liberates. Thus. But then it will not be a balanced growth but an unbalanced distorted abortion4. Gandhi’s proposal intended to introduce manual labour in education system. He says. for him manual labour should be given highest priority in all aspects of life physical. So. Education here does not mean mere spiritual knowledge nor does liberation signify only spiritual liberation after death. weaving. and liberation from the chain of births as the highest goal of education. basket making and book binding etc. it is satanic. is the means par excellence for developing the intellect. Gandhi considered manual labour to be important. In real sense. He writes. that looking to the needs of the villages of India. Besides this he had also emphasized physical education and motor development for the development of the intellect. In other way he says. In this way he wanted to implement a programme of social transformation which he originally experimented in South Africa in Phoenix Farm (1904) and Tolstoy Farm (1910)5. . “you have to start with the conviction. it is sinful3. He thought that manual labour was the only tool which can bring prosperity to the country. He accepted the Vishnu Purana’s dictum as the real aim of education and expanded the meaning and scope in relation to contemporary needs. Creating wealth in the villages through agriculture and craft was the only way to raise socio economic status of the country. Education is that. the foundation of Gandhian principles of education is based on the eternal Indian principles of education. leather work. he emphasized God realization. Servitude is of two kinds slavery to domination from outside and to one’s own artificial needs. He realized the theory of Karma yoga as main path of life. intelligently performed. So. which Indians hold for generations. “The ancient aphorism. . which opens the door for all and knowledge. He realized that our education system must prepare the country and our students for creating wealth as vast majority of population depended on agriculture. Simultaneously aim of education for him included the nationalistic goal of political freedom.Vidya Ya Vimuktya”. if it is to be compulsory6. One may develop a sharp intellect otherwise too. “that is true education which leads to freedom . The knowledge acquired in the pursuit of this ideal alone constitutes true study2. He experimented it throughout his life. spinning.
Gandhi drew his theory of manual labour from the writings of Tolstoy and others. Gandhi also drew his theory of manual labour from the Indian concept of Karma Yoga. His characterbuilding concept in education included truth. Craft was central to him as a mechanism of creating employability in students. Character building. He had also emphasised “Sthitaprajna” – equanimity in both favourable and adverse conditions. He realized that school education was a sure passport to the service sector but such a situation would not last in India. He had realized that none of us can live without Karma and as such we must learn to do karma. each acquired skill in physical work and each contributed to increased production. According to him the aim of education is both social and individual. real education consists not in packing the brain with so many facts and figures. He wanted an egalitarian society where all section worked hard for all rural development. paramedical training. He tried to implement his ideals on society and considered these aspects as vital for creating a good society. body and spirit. He wanted to awaken the Indians from inaction to action. Body. He says. There can be debate whether craft is the best mechanism of creating employability. food preservation and agrarian training etc can be achieved. not in passing the examinations by reading numerous books but in developing character8. In this way he advocated for the personality development. development of personality were the socio-ethical aims of education for Gandhi. IT application training. Vocationalisation through industrial training. His 83 . mind and spirit with equanimity should develop. included social aspects of education. Action was always advocated. it must fulfill the terrestrial goal of equipping the pupil with skills which would enable him to earn his living. Thus the agriculture based India should need the hands with practical knowledge. For him education must bake bread. Besides the Bhagvat Gita. He wanted to built a system where each learnt to respect physical work.labour in education system. originality to his pupils7. the living word of the teacher has very little value. Though he was conscious that others had advocated craft education to promote creativity yet that was not his plank. A follower of Bhagvat Gita Gandhi strongly felt that Jnan Yoga does not exclude Karma yoga. He was also opposed to the traditional concept of high caste Brahmin and Khetriyas of leaving all manual work to Vaisyas and Sudras. but with changing times. But there can not be debate on Gandhi’s central concern that education must equip students to earn. On the other hand it would create a lifeless society without work. A teacher who teaches from text books does not impart. Such a system of education was bound to promote a more democratic and more prosperous society. He wanted education to promote morality. behavioural change. which Gandhi enunciated. He wrote. purity. refinement. Ethics was the foundation of Gandhi’s concept of education. fearlessness and integral development of mind. which Gandhi stressed on. if text books are treated as a vehicle for education. Gandhi advocates crafts training as a practical strategy. Crafts as a strategy may work in rural settings. The major concepts.
He advocated knowledge through work. never precede an appreciation and assimilation of our own. To him. He says “I attach for more importance to the cultural aspect of education than to the literacy. For instance. My religion forbids me to be little or disregard other cultures. He strongly advocated a scheme of education. He thought that culture is the real reflection of personality. how you talk. Culture occupied a core place in Gandhi’s system of education. perhaps lovely to look at but nothing to inspire or ennoble. we have been made even to deprecate its study and deprecate its value. The latter is possible even without education. We have almost creased to like it. Inner culture must be reflected in your speech. it will unconsciously imbibe culture from its environment. the way in which you treat your visitors and behave towards one another and your teachers and class10. society and education. 84 . which can train the future citizen to stand independently and for playing his role effectively in society. that no culture has treasures. Education is a means and culture is the end. so that any body might be able to see at a glance that you are the product of this institution. so rich as ours has. In this way he tried to maintain a harmonious relationship between man. An academic grasp without practice behind it is like an embalmed corpse. which draws out the faculties of a student so as to enable him or her to solve correctly the problems of life in every department”9. It should show in the smallest detail of your conduct and personal behaviour. how you sit. The students should imbibe the culture of the country through education. That education alone is of value. how you dress etc.sole aim was to create a society with good social order based on truth and non-violence through proper system of education. He argued that “Nothing can be farther from my thought that we should become exclusive or erect barriers. If the educated still retain some culture that is in spite of their education12. He emphasized on national education which should be “culture based through which the child can learn refinement and knowledge”. Self-supporting aspect of education had taken the central place in Gandhian system of education. We have not known it. For him “Culture” meant refinement of feelings and “education” meant knowledge of literature. It is my firm opinion. But I do respectfully contend. Gandhi had a praise worthy vision of well-balanced society. In our country at any rate. Gandhian ideal of education was culture based. that an appreciation of other cultures can fitly follow. The focal point was that the students should stand independent with earning capacity. present day education and culture have no connection with each other. He should be prepared as an earning unit for the family and a helping hand to society after the completion of his studies. He observes “there is something radically wrong in the system of education that fails to arm boys and girls against social and other evils. as it insists under pain of civil suicide upon imbibing and living my own11. which the girls ought to get from here. Thus. if a child is brought up in a truly cultured family. Culture is the foundation. the primary thing. He realized that the achievement of freedom and upliftment of the people lies in our culture.
so long will there be no upsurge of national life. In this way he tried to develop ideals like dignity of labour and work efficiency as integral parts of intellectual growth. These ideas envisaged that the education should aim at national integration. there is no denying this”15. the object of education is not to be able to earn money. but to improve one self and to serve the country. The Basic Education plan was meant to develop the village along these lines. Mother tongue should be treated as the birth right of our students. put an undue strain upon the nerves of our children. which Gandhi had dreamt is national in character and suited for India. Colonial rule. He states that “I must cling to my mother tongue as to my mother’s breast. That was merely clerk manufacturing education. Real education to Gandhi must lead to selfsufficiency. Gandhi emphasized vernacular medium of instruction. independent. patience and other virtues. He opposed English system of education as it produced man with a little knowledge without working ability. The educational system. Gandhi wanted a political system which would protect the interest of villagers against the ills modernized mass production. he believed that Indian villages were historically self reliant and the great task now was to restore their autonomy and to create the conditions necessary for economic self sufficiency and political dignity in villages. and generous individuals living in a small community16. He says. “Education is just a means. For him. He always favoured education through mother tongue. it remains sterile and sometimes does harm instead of good. made 85 . it must be taken that the money spent on education has been wasted”14. so long as a perfect confluence of education and dharma has not taken place and education has not been brought into relation with conditions in India. He observed “The foreign medium has caused brain tag. in spite of its short comings. had damaged the village economy subjecting it to exploitation by city dwellers. It alone can give me life giving milk”17.Indian villages were capable of becoming such communities. by training children for productive work and by imparting to them attitudes and values conducive to living in a co-operative community13. indeed. If it is not accompanied by truthfulness. Freedom from colonial rule would mean empowerment of the village and its development as a viable community. If this object is not realized. He thought a student with knowledge of agriculture or craft will never feel helpless in battling with the world in general and the country like India in particular. His educational plans fitted nicely in agrarian country like India. self-respecting. firmness. education is to be need based so that unemployment problem could be eradicated. He tried to touch people and disseminate his ideas through the channel of education. Therefore. his conception of national education desired to produce ideal citizen who were industrious. He tried to implement the new system of education at village level. so long as the intolerable burden imposed on the minds of the young by imparting education through a foreign medium has not been lifted. According to him “So long as education in the country is not imparted by persons of integrity and conditions are not created in which highest knowledge will be available to the poorest of Indians. he thought.
86 . Gandhi always advocated for vernacular in place of English. which can bring the knowledge of broad minded and tolerance to the students. Do not mix up religion and ethics. ahimsa being the necessary and indispensable means for its discovery. we must be satisfied with providing our boys and girls with what is next best… I do not believe that the state can concern itself or cope with religious education. Therefore. I believe that religious education must be the sole concern of religious associations. The foreign medium has made our children practically foreigners in their own land”18. He thought that the core ethics of religious education was truth and ahimsa.them crammers and imitators. Even though he knew the importance of English and was aware of it’s rich treasure he felt that it was not favourable under Indian conditions. He strongly recommended for prayer. anything that promotes the practice of these virtues is a means for imparting religious education and the best way to do this. “I regard English as the language of international commerce and diplomacy and therefore considered its knowledge on the part of some of us essential. unfitted them for original work and thought and disabled them for filtrating their learning to the family on the masses. Teaching of fundamental ethics is undoubtedly a function of the state. He was extremely religious and felt that the essence of religion was to live for others. Quran for Muslims and Bible for the Christian students. Religious education never meant for him knowledge of religious books but the observance of fundamental ethics. For him religious education forms a crucial segment of moral instruction in educational institutions. However. But if we can not have religion. We have suffered enough from state aided religion and a state church. According to Gandhi religion played an important role in education. he accorded status of second language to English not in school but in University course. because truth include ahimsa. I believe that fundamental ethics is common to all religions. does not deserve or better. Through religious education he tried to explore the moral issues in education. daily reading of Hindu scriptures for Hindu students. is for the teachers vigorously to practise these virtues in their own person”21. By religion I have not in mind fundamental ethics but what goes by the name of denominationalism. sacrifice and selfdenial. religious instruction of its youth must be held to be at least as necessary as secular instruction. It is true that knowledge of religious books is no equivalent to that of religion. I would certainly encourage it’s careful study among them who have linguistic talents and expect them to translate those treasures for the nation in it’s literature”19. As it contains some of the richest treasures of thought and literature. He says “to use religion means truth and ahimsa or rather truth alone. in my opinion. which is common to all religions. Briefly these ideas can be traced from his writings. He said. He noted that “If India is not to declare spiritual bankruptcy. still does not follow any religion worth the name”20. A society or a group. which depends partly or wholly on state aid for the existence of its religion. The Gandhian concept of religious education was coupled with love and universal brotherhood and there is no difference between religion and morality.
“And this education. elementary composition.”27 Therefore women should be educated from primary stage. their education etc. “Just as preservation of one’s own culture does not mean contempt for that of others. He wrote “women must cease to be our servants and objects of enjoyment as they are at present and become. are dominant in the inner or domestic circle of their life. so that they can discharge their responsibilities well. Gandhi had well thought ideas on women’s education and co-education. enough Sanskrit to be able to understand the drift of the Bhagvad Gita. they should know well the process up to the weaving from cotton.“A liberal education to all should include. He wanted women to be respected and not to be considered as instrument of pleasure. If this is done we will not be crushed under the weight of inertia as we are at present”29. as I have put it. his sphere. will not be merely literacy. Literacy must be only a preliminary to the teaching of the other subjects mentioned above. All our efforts seem utterly futile as long as this is not accomplished”26. A man who undertakes to teach his wife in this manner will have to change his attitude towards her. She must have special knowledge of the management of the home. which men will give to women. On 87 . instead our life companions. on the other hand. In no case will he subject a girl of twelve to fifteen years of age to the agony of bearing children to him. a reverent study of other faiths. “women must learn as part of elementary education at least their own mother tongue. even so should be the case with religion”23. but I do not want to labour this point”22. He further pleaded. Along with this. He thought that early marriage of girls should be banned from the society as this was the sole cause of low attendance in secondary and higher education. These may be taught even without it. Religious instruction can only be imparted through the practice of religion. The women. but requires assimilation of the best that there may be in all other cultures. Gandhi was committed to the upliftment of women through structural and curricular change in education. which constitute. elementary music and child care. He pleaded that the persons responsible for drawing up plans for women’s education to remember that “man rules the outer circle of the married life. care of children. “Teachers who teach under a common administrative system have no right to impart religious instruction according to their own viewpoint”24. not by exhibiting mere learning”25. equal partners in the battle of life. elementary arithmetic. One ought to shudder at the very thought of it. Hindi if it is not their mother tongue. A man will himself be a student with his wife and will observe complete celibacy in his relation with her until she attains maturity. Therefore he must have the greater knowledge of all those activities of life. He said. “It is true that we lack religious education in the country. it will be extended to cover social reform and politics. When a woman receives this education she should have an environment that will shape her character and enable her to see clearly the evils in society and to avoid them”28. sharers in our happiness and unhappiness.
early conception. not much can be done. He has to use his own faculties of observation and thinking and impart his knowledge to the children through his lips. “I ask teachers to cultivate their hearts and establish with the students heart contact. Both men and women were also to be taught good marital relationship. In ancient period. a dissolvent. the tradition of teacher-follower. This had received the highest place in Indian educational heritage. According to him “education of heart could only be done. several activities before reaching reproductive age etc. Gandhi also wanted that teachers should be creative. Gandhi recognized that home management requires training. which can be accepted by all inhabitants of India. an ideal teacher is always truthful and non-violent and all knowledge should be devoted to duty. I have felt that the teacher’s work lies more outside than inside the lecture room. He found Hindi satisfied all the necessary conditions. a processor. “I am quiet clear that you must not inflict corporal or any other punishment on your children or pupils”34. a sign board. He says. which means disappointment and despair”31. ideas and knowledge and skill were passed from one generation to the other mostly through the teachers. constructive and having a good managerial ability to utilize the available resources. the role of teacher was given highest priority in Gandhian concept of education. he says. He also strongly opposed the punishment of students. The teacher can not get this knowledge through musty volumes. one who saves pupil from tyranny of words”30. through the living touch of the teachers”33. Let them help them to erase every word out of their dictionary. He says. students and God. He rejected traditional method of punishment to students. Medium of instruction and national language was a much debated issue in education. with the help of craft”34. child rearing and home management. is an important component of Gandhian education. It even involved educating men on these. He also raised social issues like child marriage. Let them fashion their hearts rather than their brains. The teacher in the Gandhian concept of education has been described as “Lamp-Post. “A teacher is a mother… who can not take place of a mother can never become a teacher. He writes “what we need is educationists with originality. Guru – Shisya Parampara. fired with true zeal. The teacher or Guru should be the epitome of devotion in order to elicit devotion from the students. Gandhi’s ideas on women education would only be translated to reality through educating women on all aspect of reproductive health. so it should be the national 88 . Gandhi laid stress on the ancient ideals of Guru Shisya relationship. To him. who will think out from day to day what they are going to teach their pupils. A child should not feel that it is receiving education”31.the other hand he strongly supported co-education to create balance in society. Gandhi was in favour of a national language. He felt it would foster healthy relation between boys and girls. Unless the teachers are prepared to give all their time outside the classroom to their students. So. for all these extension education and activity was a must.
“If we are to make good our claim as one nation. He says. the vast amount of the so-called education especially in arts. it must go hand in hand with the spread of useful knowledge. For Gandhi. As India is an agrarian country. which at present it is. He opined that without the knowledge of Hindustani it would be impossible for the people to go to other states of India. Gandhi was aware of the fact that the Devanagari script as the only deciding factor and known to the largest part of India. we should remove a great hindrance in the way of realizing the dream. but if you dive deep into the pages of Tulsidas. we must have several things in common. I think that is a book. but in addition to them … it is possible to adopt a common script. for Gandhi literacy campaign must not begin and end with a knowledge of alphabet. He felt that Hindustani to be the window through which one can understand the other. given in colleges are sheer waste and this resulted in unemployment among the educated classes. “The medium of a foreign language through which higher education has been imparted in India has caused incalculable intellectual and moral injury to the nation39. probably you will share my opinion that there is no other book that stands equal to it in the literature of the world in modern languages. He thought that adult education is the best method to promote the spread of literacy and impart useful knowledge. Spread of Hindustani as a national language demanded extension tools also. We have common disabilities. He says “you talk of poverty of Hindi literature. We have a common culture running through a variety of creeds and sub creeds. social. of having a common language”37. That one book has given me faith and hope.language. skilled worker and economically independent. educational and community etc. On the whole it includes all aspects of life such as physical. Last but not the least Gandhian concept of education also includes sex education to boys and girls. alike in literacy. He writes. I am endeavouring to show that a common material for our dress is not only desirable but necessary. Not only he pleaded for a national language but he strongly raised voice for a common script. ignorance and to spread knowledge by selected teachers from masses and selected syllabus. rendering service to the society and technical training which would help in building self supporting skills. “Adult education should have an intensive programme of driving out ignorance through carefully selected teachers with an equally carefully selected syllabus according to which they would educate the adult villagers mind”38. which no other book has given. which can stand any criticism and any scrutiny. 89 . grace. We need also a common language not in suppression of the vernaculars. you talk of the poverty of today’s Hindi. He wanted to eradicate illiteracy. Thus. in metaphor and in religious fervour”36. Gandhi pleaded for adult education to make people self-sufficient.
gives 90 . they must be allowed a sufficient degree of freedom.S. “Long before I undertook the education of the youngsters at the Tolstoy Farm I had realized that the training of spirit was a thing by it self. Few pragmatic concepts were strongly advocated by Gandhiji throughout his life. Gandhiji also believed in the harmonious development of personality and advocated that different types of social culture and physical activities to be undertaken to achieve this end”. they must be prepared to accept the appropriate discipline and training”. He advocated freedom for the child “If children are to find themselves. observes Gandhiji “in his educational philosophy.Patel. if they are to develop their powers to the fullest. idealism and pragmatism. I do not find it at all necessary to load the boys with quantities of books. He himself calls his autobiography “My Experiments with Truth”. By teaching handicrafts to children the teachers can draw out their faculties. All his concepts were based on pragmatic philosophy of education. He tried to explore the child’s education through natural and rural environment like a naturalist. His real attempt was that of rescuing education from the four walls of the class room. the sense of the total responsibility and emphasis on experiment were experimented by him for discovering truth as well as the real implementation of education. the individual initiative. the co-ordination and correlation of the content of the close relationship of education with actual life. He had also given emphasis on idealist concept of education. the method of learning by doing. He advocates that a child should learn from the real experiments of life. He wrote. This is reflected from all his writings as well as from his upbringing and early education.Gandhi also echoed concepts of naturalism. To develop the spirit is to build character and to enable one to work toward a knowledge of God and self realization and I held that this was an essential part of the training of the young and that all training without culture of the spirit was of no use and might be even harmful. He greatly stressed the importance of educating the child in natural surroundings. He tried to correlate education with actual life. but I have even now a clear recollection of the things they taught me independent of books. He minimizes the use of text books “I do not even remember having made much use of the books that were available. M. Some of these are placed below. I do not remember having read any book from cover to cover with my boys”. I remember very little that my teachers taught me from books. I have always felt that the true text books for the pupil is the teacher. Children take in much more and with less labour through their ears than through their eyes. The introduction of a basic craft as the center of education.
which included non-violence and truth. which demanded living for others had to be taught. unscientific attitude etc were dear to Gandhi. Wealth creation for feeding the millions was necessary and each had to acquire the skill of increasing food. let us recall the essentials of his concept of education. from poverty. His concept of liberation was not limited to liberation of the soul from the chain of rebirth or of the spirit from matter. He felt no government to be capable of ensuring universal primary education without community support. Education liberates is the highest ideal for Gandhi. Intellectualism was not the privilege of those who did not worry for bread and better. Religion and culture form the core of education. Before we turn to Gandhi’s concept of extension education. give rise to a theory of education which would suit the needs of the day and satisfy the loftiest aspirations of the human soul40. Ethics and morality is the foundation of education. It included freedom from foreign rule. the essential requirement. economic. removal of untouchability and caste division. cloth and shelter. Above all Gandhi was essentially a nationalist even in his educational thought and as such he wanted an end to the de-nationalism of colonial system of education. from social inequality and such other undesirable bondages. social and even cultural. He recognized the place of English. Home Management also formed a part of his concern. Education was for all and as such manual labour and earning one’s bread through sweat was a must. His vision of Indian Independence was political. For him University and technical education has to be supported by corporate house for they stood to benefit most from it. Practical ethics was the meeting ground and the scriptures taught these highest principles. He stressed on simple basic structures with cleanliness. Religion.due place to the dominant tendencies of naturalism. removal of blind beliefs. 91 . idealism and pragmatism. Religion in the form of denominationalism was not acceptable. This complete independence or purnaswaraj alone could ensure her rightful place in the international community of nation. Gandhi wanted education to be self-supporting. Education was the most important tool for the all round and holistic vision of Gandhi. Social goals of education in terms of women empowerment. Gandhi advocated mother tongue to be best medium of instruction. The essence of national culture also needs to be carried forward through education. which fuse into a unity. to be supported by local community. Education and learning did not shun physical labour.
507-17.291. Gandhi.199. 8. Ibid. M. p. U.References 1. p..mkgandhi. Z. Paris. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. p.. Gandhi. Pani R. Rao.69-70.245.. 20.3/4.K. To The Students. M. Gandhi.org. M. 2002. The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi. p.1949. (Comp).2.... Gandhi.K. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.28. New Delhi: Ashish Publishing House. UNESCO : International Bureau of Education. Gandhi.156.40.. 11. R.K.35.. 1993. Vol. Paris.. 1929. Paris. p.K. 6. pp. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. Vol. 17. 15. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.9. UNESCO : Vol. p.. 5.N. www. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 3..471. p. William. M.88.K. No.21. Gandhi. p. Gandhi. PROSPECTS. M. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. Kumar. Vol. 13.422. 14. The Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi..23. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. p. 10.. Kumar Krishna. Gandhi. Ibid. Gandhi M. 18. 19. M.361. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 16. p. The Hindu Personality in Education.507-17. p. Vol. p. 1977. M. M..K.K... M. Ahmedabad : Navajivan Publishing House. 1987. PROSPECTS. Vol.K. Vol. 21. Vol..343. 9. 92 .K.114. 2.. Prabhu. Gandhi.288. New Delhi: Manohar Publication.6.137.K..85. Morsy (ed). Vol.16. pp.6. Thinkers on Education.R.K. To The Students. Integral Education Thought and Practice. Cenkner. 1994. Vol. UNESCO : International Bureau of Education. pp63-64.K. Kumar Krishna. p.45.. No..K.. Gandhi M. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.18. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. Krishna. Vol.K. Gandhi. 12. 1931. Vo.K. Vo. M. 22. M. 7.. p.85. p. 1976. Vol.41.3/4. Gandhi. 4.66. Gandhi.23. 1993. M.47. Ahmedabad : Navajivan Publishing House. Ahmedabad : Navajivan Publishing House. p.
Gandhi. p. M.207. M. 1990. 37.9. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. M. p. p. p. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 38. Gandhi. Vol.. Cenkner.. Vol. Vol. 27. 29.K. Vol.. Cenkner. 34.23.384. Vol. 39. Gandhi.32. p. Vol.120. Ibid.K.41. Theory and Principles of Education. Vol. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. J.234. M. M. 33.K. M. Gandhi.. M. 28.112.119.. Gandhi... 32. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. Vol. 24. Vikas Publishing House. Vol. 30. “Gandhiji was one of the deathless few across the centuries. p.242-244. Gandhi. M. M. p.. Vol.34. pp. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. p.112.19.. M.65. p.. The Hindu Personality in Education. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.K.14. 188.8.131.524-375. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.Senator Arthur H.K. who have lifted human character to immortal authority … who made humility and simple truth more powerful than empires …” . Gandhi.26. Vol.32-33. Gandhi.291. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. pp.K. p.. 26. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. p.226. M. 31. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.K. 25. Vol. 36. Gandhi. The Hindu Personality in Education. p..322. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi.383.. p.C.K. M. M. Gandhi.K. Vol. William.40.36.158.K.67.K.127-128. Aggarwal.K.14.. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi.K. Gandhi. M...68. True Education. William. Vandenberg 93 . p. pp. Gandhi.K. 35. p. Ahmedabad : 1949.
As noted earlier in the biographical sketch. Gandhi’s experimentations were not necessarily based on new ideas. to disseminating useful information. His uniqueness was his attempt to translate great ideas into practices. Ruskin and Tolstoy *Academic Consultant. Utkal University. yet. such as – love for girl child. it extended to dietary habits. to spreading. Extension education also includes activities related to continuing education. Similarly research in medicine and surgery has to reach medical practitioners and they must apply it. Gandhi’s experimentation were not limited to politics. It is argued here that his ideas on education have enriched the concept and practice of extension education in Indian context. the scholar needs to find out how these get reflected in Mahatma Gandhi’s concepts and ideas on education. It broadly refers to extending. his ideas on education are quiet well defined. Life long education and education for all. extension education is the education outside the organized schools and class rooms. Gandhi drew heavily from writings of Thoreau. Extension education thus involves transfer of knowledge and skill from the laboratories to the practitioners. growth of desired social changes. Bhubaneswar. growth of respect for other religions. It is considered to be an important tool of changing attitudes in life. The findings of the agricultural research should be transferred to the farmers. It is predominantly associated with agriculture and family welfare in Indian context. knowledge and skills outside the organized schools and class rooms. Attitudinal change would contribute to national integration. growth of scientific temperament and increased agricultural prosperity. skill updation of the educated and skilled people. The present attempt is an exploration in this direction. the two international motto of education can be achieved only through extension education. education and even medical treatment. Mahatma Gandhi believed that the activities outside the regular classroom and outside the syllabi to be of greater importance. 94 .GANDHIAN MODEL OF EXTENSION EDUCATION : A STUDY Sarita Mishra* Theory of Extension Education Extension Education is an essential aspect of education. As discussed in the preceding chapters. greater tolerance. This is the fundamental premises on which the scholar links Gandhi with extension education. Such examples can be multiplied. It includes activities where even the best of the educated adults go back to schools and colleges to recharge their batteries. Having broadly outlined various facets of extension education and shades of its meaning. It is an integral part of any educational system. Extension education also includes activities related with transferring the fruits of research to the actual users. All out-reach actions including distance and continuing education are also treated as part of extension education. Management Programme. It involves democratization of educational opportunities and societal changes. DDCE. Though education was not the primary focus of Gandhi’s life. he drew his concepts from a number of sources.
the students were self reliant. He was using a familiar Indian model. a India which was caste ridden and where women were delegated to a lower status. Subsequently. One of the foremost concern of Gandhi was to develop an awareness of dignity of labour and a new attitude to work through the ashram concept of education with a free environment. he did not want merely sup-plantation of the British culture. Disciplined way of life. he wanted sup-plantation of industrial capital driven economy with an Indian economy sensitive to its needs and to its population. In South Africa the vast numbers of indentured labourers were mostly illiterate.e. disciplined way of life and learning 95 . Students were required to live in the home of the teachers. In both the cases the learning atmosphere was informal. This quasi-mythologized image seems to have served an important rhetorical function in Gandhi’s plea for reform in education. In the second part an analysis of experiments carried out by Gandhi and his followers on extension is being dealt. they were expected to participate in all worldly activities associated with the family of the teacher. community based living and learning by doing was the basic principles adopted by Gandhi for his ashram inmates. how Gandhi’s ideas enriched extension education. let us turn to the principal theme i. Gandhi established numerous communities or ashrams in India. He attended to issue of political methods and social transformation through building of ashram schools. It is proposed to deal the theme in two parts. In the first part a selective summary of extracts and views from Gandhi’s writings is being presented. more specially ashrams. From very ancient period education in India has been based on values. Gandhi was drawn into experimentation and into practical aspects of education. virtues and rituals associated with a predominant agrarian society. In the ideal ashram community. that of guru living in his ashram in the company of his disciples. they were expected to work as a team. Gandhi spent more than two decades at South Africa and he was drawn to establishing communities.1 Traditionally in India education was imparted in ashrams or hermitages of saints away from villages and cities. there was an enormous responsibility of making them cognizant of political and human rights. His educational model promised to place modern concept of education and pedagogy within the Indian tradition. it involved learning by doing. Having established these ashrams Gandhi could no longer escape the practical question of education.and from books like Bible and Gita etc. as clues to the theories of extension education. Having portrayed the milieu of Gandhi’s educational thinking. He had also the onerous responsibility of evolving a vision for a India which was largely village based. the teacher was expected to set an example of the life worth living and from this high pedestal of daily existence he was permitted to demand any conceivable form of sacrifice from the students. Sabarmati and Wardha became the most famous all over India. The foundation and strength of our education system also lies in the traditional “Guru Kula Ashrams” culture which Gandhi advocated from the very beginning of his career and in his attempts for upliftment of Indian society. The only instrument was of course education. He also aspired to create a patriotic India.
want of Harijan children are. Gandhian concept of need-based education was considered as a solace to the Indian condition during freedom struggle. The situation in the villages is very alarming and there is a point in quarrelling with the observations made by some of the planners recently that during the last 50 years the face of rural. dairy and animal husbandry and kitchen gardening etc. Most of the textbooks Gandhi felt were dead weight on the children. Gandhi argued that the textbooks did not provide need based learning material. He tried to implement the need based education such as. food for hungry stomach and knowledge for illiterate. “The primary aim of all education is or should be the moulding character of pupils”3. where over crowded and polluted cities would swell with more crime. we will soon face a situation. Though they were good for children of England. “For instance. They were like labs of extension education. milk suppliers and vegetable suppliers and vegetable growers in the neighbouring states of Delhi went on strike pressing their demands on different occasions. He wanted skills to be transferred and learned by each and every member of the society. both the urban and the rural centres suffer. For him. different from those of the others”. sending shock waves all round. The teachers and managers of education have a great responsibility in India to develop instructional material suitable to our needs. Further Gandhi argued that the Indian society is too varied to have a uniform set of textbooks. when the truck owners. Unemployment and poverty stalk every village and stare menacingly at over 40% of Indian population”2. unless enough employment opportunities are created in each of the villages. which facilitated allround change. The education which Gandhi – conceived for the agrarian India was need based. It is a fact that the cities do not produce any of the essential items of food. He advocated that teachers require the books more than the students.through work. Such cities Gandhi felt would breed revolutionaries and promote violence. The ashram established by Gandhi worked as centres. For him though they were not harmful they were hardly useful. agriculture practices. handicraft training. The time demanded employment for the hands. 96 . Gandhian extension education syllabi included various skills for different artisans. they depend on villages and when those items produced in the villages do not reach the urban centres. it has only shrunk because of malnutrition and lack of attention. they were not necessarily relevant for Indians. Life almost came to a stand still besides rising prices in these items which forced the common public to go without vegetables and milk. more slums and more filth. which would help them to earn and educate them about the resources of the country. The teachers utilizing the books have to prepare learning material for his students as per requirement. Most of the books were written by English men who did not care to reflect the Indian environment. Keeping these three requirement in mind Gandhi had planned for need based education which would be a help to the rural Indians and the poor in particular. “We should learn enough lessons from three of the recent developments. India has not improved. in the beginning stages at least.
4 He says “the introduction of manual training will serve a double purpose in a poor country like ours. This could be achieved only through extension education approach. He wanted the members of the family as well as children to be involved 97 . He was also convinced that the British system of education was not a good system and it suffered from many defects.Through this the socio-economic status of the rural India can be raised. it was costly. Thus in this way Gandhi had visualized the need for implementation of skill oriented training in villages. Nothing will demoralize so much as that we should learn to despise labour. they can put their product in market and add wealth to their own and to the nation. examination ridden. His conception of education aimed to reach each and every person of the society as well as the whole family. anti India. To translate these two objectives.5 As millions lived in the villages at a very low level of subsistence. The education of the masses will bring them steps nearer to freedom and it would also lighten up their minds”. they can choose the craft for earning a livelihood. It will pay for the education of our children and teach them an occupation on which they can fall back in adult life. Children lived with their parents in the ashram where tilling and handicraft were the means of livelihood. The system that provided inexpensive and personalized education is ideal for the people of India7. Gandhi insisted teaching should be in their own language and that children must also work in the fields and learn skills. bookish. According to Gandhi “The salvation of India and Indians lay in education. ‘Education for All’ and ‘Whole family Approach’ became Gandhi’s central aim. He stressed “introduction of productive handicrafts in the schools. Elders taught the children the 3R’s (Reading. He argued. Gandhi had evolved “an informal system of education in his ashrams in South Africa. Secondly. if these millions produced some products. It was also beyond the reach of average Indians. the more financially independent the schools were. Such a system must make our children self reliant. Most lived in a hand to mouth situation. despise of labour was dangerous. Gandhi wanted to develop a system of education universally acceptable to India and a system based on the needs of Indians. Through these two extension methods of education Gandhi tried to implement the Basic Education at every village. A starving man will be glad to earn an honest anna during his spare time. He wanted the schools to be self supporting as far as possible. Self-sustenance and independence of schools were twin objectives of Gandhi. Firstly. the more politically independent they could be”6. that was good enough for the children who could pursue their studies in regular schools or colleges later. There were two reasons for this. a poor society such as India simply could not afford to provide education for all children unless the schools could generate resources from within. so on and so forth. He realized that these skill oriented training can only be possible through the free educational atmosphere which is an important aspect of extension education. which resulted in imbibing ‘babu’ type mentality. Writing and Arithmetic’s).
Hence the Gandhian principle of self-sufficiency through extension education addressed the problems of rural mass. medicine making and the like existing side by side with village crafts and also want every home to be a factory with its help the villager can produce articles for his own use and of need be for the market”11. indeed he believed that Indian villages were historically self reliant and the great task now was to restore their autonomy and to create the conditions necessary for economic self sufficiency and political dignity in villages”8. Those who know the full meaning of cooperation will raise no doubts about self-reliance”10. it inspired them to work vigorously towards fulfillment of their wants and desires. All the training programmes which Gandhi dreamt of intended social reform and economic upliftment. then the teachers do not understand what it is. And if they do not easily become self-supporting in my view there is some serious defect in that education. And the teaching of the 3R’s in adult education is not part of our Nayee Talim. His educational ideals and extension methods were suitable for the rural people and village centred India. More specifically. If this is so. If we believe that it is difficult to convince adults about the value of education. He had given emphasis on the earning capacity through training. This provided knowledge and skill for earning ability and productive capacity building. The meaning of adult education is that we will give them. amongst other characteristics. protecting the right of villages to produce what they could without competition with large scale mechanized establishments. through their own language. all round education of a pure and socially useful life. for the education of boys and girls. removal of illiteracy. women’s education and developing earning ability. Self sufficiency aspect of training was highly praiseworthy. then I have to say that this is nothing but an old illusion. These vital conception of extension training programme fitted suitably to the agrarian India and as well as to the 21st century. then adult education must also be self supporting. character building. Self-sufficiency aspect took a core place in Gandhian extension ideal. In my view. selfreliance is the most important characteristic of Nayee Talim. 98 . Basic Education could enhance the productive capacities of village children under such a plan9. We should also forget that complete cooperation should be the basis from the very beginning. it guided them. he stressed on purposeful industrialization which meant. “Indian villages were capable of becoming such communities. He say’s “I do visualize electricity. iron works. ship building. Gandhi contributed to social reform through his movement for removal of untouchability. To him. He noted. The constructive programme as conceived by Gandhiji was an integral part of our fight for freedom.in all educational training programs imparted by ashram schools. “it is my firm belief that if Nayee Talim cannot become self-supporting.
He also adopted a Harijan family and adopted their daughter as his daughter, thus his main aim was to reconstruct the society through his constructive training programme and extension approach where all people of various communities can learn together, live together and earn together. This core concept was vital to Gandhi during freedom struggle and remain vital even for social service sector today. Once he was advised, “No one is listening to you” “So why not stop talking of Khaddar?” He answered “but why should I stop reciting my favourite mantra?” He said in reply – “Khaddar and Khaddar alone is the only passport to the hearts of villagers”. He maintained that for industrializing rural India there was nothing better than the spinning wheel. In September 1925 he was able to persuade Congress to establish an “All India Spinners Association” with a branch in every district. It was to be a part of the Congress organizations but with independent existence and powers12. An “All India Village Industries Association” became a part of the activities of Congress. It’s function was to promote traditional village industries other than hand spinning and hand weaving. He toured all over the country in furtherance of his constructive programme. He was very selective on topics like Khadi, village industries, untouchability, sanitation, prohibition and self-control verses birth control. It was to serve people. He was instinctively aware that it was also a means of retaining his power over them13. Besides Political activities constructive programmes like Khadi, village industries, social reforms were Gandhi’s main concern. The All India Spinners Association served as training ground for workers, political, social as well as constructive14. The principal idea was reflected from his vision for society, which had given shape through extension programmes and activities conducted by Gandhi. Village and agriculture became two pillars of Gandhian extension theory. He wanted that training should be conducted in the villages so as to act as a demonstration for the farmers and artisans. He felt “the poverty of Indian villages was being aggravated by development of modern industry. Not only cotton mills, but rice mills, flour mills, oil mills and sugar factories were leading to the decay of traditional village industries and creating wide spread rural un-employment. Therefore, creating wide spread rural employment through revival of village industries and handicrafts, Gandhi hoped, would meet the needs of people by their own labour. Instead of being robbed of employment and earnings by the encroachments of modern industry, he sought to promote not only hand spinning, hand weaving and handicrafts of all kinds but also hand pounding of rice, hand grinding of corn, oil pressing in the traditional village ghani and production of village made gur in place of factory made sugar.15 The real problem and solution of the country lies in the heart i.e. the villages, he held, “They are calling me to bury myself in them”16. He realized that the role of the villagers was notable in the freedom struggle. And extension training was the only media through which the villagers could learn and earn. He strongly
viewed that the traditional old implements, the plough and the spinning wheel, have shaped our wisdom. We must gradually return to the old simplicity. He believed that multiplication of wants and machinery constrained reaching our goals. For him India’s salvation consisted in unlearning what she had learnt in the last fifty years. The railways, telegraphs, hospitals, lawyers, doctors and such like all have to go and the so called upper classes have to learn consciously, religiously and deliberately the simple peasant life, knowing it to be a life giving true happiness … you can not build non-violence on factory civilization, but you can build it on self contained villages”17. Agriculture should use such techniques which will not deplete the soil and pollute the environment. For this farmers should use eco-friendly production technique by using lesser and lesser amount of fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides. He preferred well irrigation instead of large hydro-electric projects since this lead to exploitation18. Agricultural sector alone can not solve the problem of rural poverty and unemployment. That is why Gandhi stressed the growth of rural industries like khadi, handlooms, sericulture and handicrafts19. He argued that large scale industries make people lazy and help concentration of wealth in the hands of few. On the contrary, rural industries are based on family labour and required less capital. His concentration on village and agrarian industry was noteworthy. This was based on extension principles and learning methods. He said “I If we want to impart education best suited to the needs of the villagers, we should take the vidyapith to the villages”20. Further his suggestion was “The dry knowledge of 3R’s is not even new, it can never be permanent part of the villagers’ life. They must have knowledge given to them which they must use daily. It must not be thrust upon them. They should have the appetite for it. What they have today is something they neither want nor appreciate. Give the villagers village arithmetic, village geography, village history and the literary knowledge that they must use daily ... They will treasure such knowledge and pass on to the other stages. They have no use for books which give them nothing of daily use”21. Gandhian thought of extension education theory revolved around the heart of India i.e. village and agriculture and allied industries. Group learning and adult education has a central place in extension education. For adult learners, the village itself is the class room. Gandhi realized that the adult education is the only tool through which the village people can learn at their door step. He opined “If I had charge of adult education, I should begin with opening the minds of the adult pupils to a greatness and the vastness of their country”. The villager of India is contained in his village. Hindustan is for him a geographical term. Gandhi observed that the villagers were ignorant of the evils of foreign rule. They had not realized that foreigners were ruling them because of their own weaknesses. Thus the first objective was a kind of political education through which villagers realize the need for self-governance or swaraj. He said “My adult education means therefore first true political education of the adult by word of mouth. Of course in all I have written, openness has been assured. Non-violence abhors fear and
therefore secrecy. Side by side with the education by the mouth will be literacy education. This is itself a specialty”22. He urged the congress men to achieve this goal of political and literacy education at the shortest period through adult education. Further his argument was “In my opinion what we have reason to deplore and be ashamed of is not so much illiteracy as ignorance. Therefore, adult education, too should have intensive programme of driving out ignorance through carefully selected teachers with an equally carefully selected syllabus”.23 Gandhi wanted “adult education should include the education of everybody at every stage of life. Further he states that “I must have my eye on the children right from their birth. I will go a step further and say that the work of educationist begins even before that. For instance, if a woman becomes pregnant, Ashadevi will go to her and tell her “I am a mother as you will be. I can tell you from my experience what you should do to ensure the health of your unborn baby and your own. She will tell the husband what his duty towards his wife is and about his share in the care of their expected baby”. Thus the basic school teacher will cover the entire span of life. Naturally, his activity will cover adult education. He says “Adult education of my conception must make men and women better citizens all round. To workout the syllabus and to organize the work of adult education is a more difficult task than preparation of the seven years course for children. The common central feature of both will be the imparting of education through village craft. Agriculture will play an important part in adult education under the basic scheme. Literary instruction must be there. Much information will be given orally. There will be books more for the teachers than for the taught. We must teach the majority how to behave towards the minority and vice versa. The right type of adult education should teach good neighborliness and cut at the very root of untouchability and communal problem24. His conception of adult education not only aims at educating the rural mass but to develop attitudinal change among them. Gandhi had given greater emphasis on informal way of teaching. In his opinion “A teacher who establishes rapport with the taught becomes one with them, learns more from them than he teaches them. He who learns nothing from his disciples is, in my opinion worthless. Whenever I talk with someone I learn from him. I take from him more than what I give him. In this way a true teacher regards himself as a student of his students. If you will teach your pupils with this attitude, you will benefit much from them”25. Gandhi’s Basic Education was concerned with learning from every day life which is the basis of informal educator’s work. It was also an education focused on the individual but reliant on cooperation amongst individuals. Gandhi advocated a family relationship amongst teachers and students. He advocated parental attitude for teachers26. He wanted the teaching should be in informal surrounding. The students should imbibe the skills through informal way of learning. He always looked beyond text book studies and considered them to be of secondary importance. He says “Almost from the commencement, the text books deal, not
with things the boys and girls have always to deal within their homes, but things to which they are perfect strangers. It is not through the text books that a lad learns what is right and what is wrong in the home life. He is never taught to have any pride in his surroundings. The higher he goes, the farther he is removed from his home, so that the end of his education he becomes estranged from his surroundings. He feels no poetry about the home life. The village sciences are all a sealed book to him. His own civilization is presented to him as imbecile, barbarous, superstitious and useless for all practical purposes. His education calculated to win him from his traditional culture. And if the masses of educated youths are not entirely denationalized, it is because the ancient culture is too deeply embedded in them to be altogether uprooted even by an education adverse to its growth. If I had my way, I would certainly destroy the majority of the present text books which have a bearing on and correspondence with the home life, so that a boy as he learns may react upon his immediate surrounding27. Gandhi’s concept of education was also culture based. For him freedom and upliftment of the people lie in its own culture. He was not exclusive. He did not denounce other cultures. He favoured appreciation and understanding of our own culture as the first step, it can be followed up with appreciation and assimilation of other cultures. Gandhi sadly observed that the existing official system of education not only promoted western culture, which had no connection with the surrounding of the students, but went further in denouncing India’s culture. Gandhi did not stop at making students learn about our culture. For him culture involved refinement of feelings, attitudes and behaviour, culture is a matter of practice. Mere academic knowledge about culture was not enough; culture must get reflected in our life. One may be cultured without any literary education and a so-called degree holder may behave in an uncultured manner. Gandhi found that in India culture and education are divorced from each other. Gandhi was advocating a cardinal principle of extension education i.e. extension should link education with culture of the people28. Childcare and pre-school education at home forms an important component of extension education in India and all other under developed and developing countries. This assumes greater significance as large section of our mothers are still illiterate and not aware of healthy practices. Gandhi recognized that child’s education begin much earlier before going to school. Education does not start with learning of alphabets. Gandhi wanted children to develop the following habits and attitudes before going to school. To co-ordinate properly his limbs, senses and mind. To be non-violent i.e. not to beat friend and siblings, kill flies or be violent. To develop healthy habits of cleanliness, body care and food intake etc. To learn to bear with denial of favourite food and toys etc. To pronounce words correctly and form sentences properly.
Gandhi wanted the corporate and industrial sector to finance it for they stood to benefit most out of it. Besides he had moral objections. The products of urbanized schools were likely to live for the cities and the village could hardly gain from them. His answers were as follows: Gandhi advocated minimalism and simple infrastructure which the community must come forward to provide. craft education and production related activities. Gandhi could never support a drunkard educated society. It indirectly meant promotion of sale of liquor and other intoxicants to raise the revenue. The volunteers if possible from village and adjoining area must come forward to teach. The moral and ethical issue of funding education by raising revenue from liquor and other intoxicants. Basic arithmetic. He was not opposed to secondary education but he wanted primary school at every village first. Gandhi identified the complexity of educational puzzle in India. Competing demands for funds for primary. Following were its aspects. health and hygiene should form the core. Literary education should not be emphasized. Gandhi sounds almost like a contemporary educationist. secondary and higher education. The desirability of retaining the rural character of schools. Gandhi’s solution for this puzzle was clear and well directed. If necessary open air classrooms under trees should function. Thus alternate method of financing education was advocated by Gandhi. Gandhi could never reconcile with the argument of raising liquor revenue for education. Lack of resources for universal primary education. alphabetical reading. As far as higher education was concerned. Text books should be avoided for the students and teachers must develop courseware with available local resources. He also felt that there was not much need to provide secondary schools in villages when we have not achieved universal primary education. Though Gandhi was not opposed to modernity he recognized the predominant rural nature of India. As far as secondary education was concerned Gandhi advocated the self-sufficiency principle partly through learning by doing. He never wanted schools to be diverted from the community of the locality. The need and justification of English medium of education at secondary level.To develop basic value judgment of discreaming between good and bad etc. Primary education claim for funds are supreme and always overrides the demands of secondary and higher education. The gain from education could be completely wiped out with increase in consumption of liquor. 103 . To develop basic awareness of geography of surrounding areas.
mother care. The following principles of extension education are reflected in his educational ideal. 104 . Principle of interest and needs. For extension work to be effective and real. He recognized English as an international language and the need for secondary school children to be familiar with it. He even tried to take the skills of a trained midwife to villages. Gandhi’s concept of cow protection was not an echo of Hindu fundamentalism. improvement of the stock. His educational vision covered. Lab to field is a sacred principle of extension. health and hygiene. Gandhi in fact went beyond lab to field. alternate technology. humane treatment of bullocks and formation of model dairies etc. hygiene and medicine to the people. Gandhi’s mantra was not the latest but the most appropriate technology. He felt what is learnt in four years can easily learnt in two years in vernacular medium. agriculture. Mastery over English was only required at higher level. Followers of Gandhi emphasized alternate technology or technology suited to India. Gandhi constantly endeavoured to take lab developments in childcare. It organized exhibitions of village crafts and promoted marketing activities and all these were related to the schools. To be effective. it has to be a synthesis of democracy obtained at the level of the family and more particularly at village level. From the proceeding discussion it is evident that though Gandhi did not use the word extension education he had widely used principles of extension education in formulation of his educational ideas.Gandhi felt that English Medium of instruction at secondary level was uncalled for. health. Village was given greater emphasis by Gandhi. Grassroots principle of organization. rural reconstruction. extension work must begin with the interests and needs of the people. he wanted labs to develop technology appropriate to Indian fields. It worked for invention of more efficient charkha and other instruments used in the villages. He recognized the need for creativity and development of the intellect through craft learning. His concept of cow protection included cattle breeding. Gandhi was focused on the needs of the people. Besides this step he had tried to bring out the leaders through panchayati systems and by formation of groups. employment generation. Gandhi’s promotion of handicrafts was not from pure economic point of view. Gandhi and the congress had established the All India Village Industries Board to promote cottage and village industries. His foremost step was to improve the village through establishment of village schools which should of self reliant.
outing for children. Gandhi realized that the teacher volunteer should be well aware of the village geography. The changed ways must be learnt and all learning must be grafted on what is already known. which were useful. craft education and every other activity. mores and surroundings which will help to provide a suitable learning atmosphere. They worked for few months in champaran and returned back to Bombay. Gandhi was no armchair educator. values. Gandhi always invited master craftsmen to train the school children. Learning by doing and dignity of labour attained wider meaning under Gandhi’s experimentation. Principle of trained specialists. It was not a copy of the west. tabooes. tradition and institutions. He was keen to incorporate those modern aspects. taught there and was involved in every aspect of it.Principle of cultural change. farmers should be encouraged to learn new things by doing and by direct participation. Principle of learning by doing. Principle of Cultural differences. ethos. In order to make extension programmes effective. who are in touch with their respective research institutes. Principle of leadership. Gandhi had evolved a system of education carrying forward the Indian culture. classroom teaching. Craft education for creativity and livelihood and work in the field and in the school were sacred under his system of education. he himself established schools. the approach and procedure must be suited to the culture of the people who are taught. in latrine cleaning. It is obvious that the change agent must know what the villagers know and what they think. Trained specialists have to be engaged. The involvement of leaders in extension programmes is the one single factor that determines the success or failure of those programmes. He himself lead from the front and created a band of leaders to carry forward the work. Simultaneously it was not revivalist or anti-modern. The cascade method of training was utilized by him. He organized volunteers from cities who were educated and skilled in their own field. 105 . In extension work.
No single method is effective under all situations. group learning. The teachings of the 106 . Gandhi had read Ruskin’s ‘Unto This Last’ and immediately put it into practice. Gandhi had taken care to get the whole family involved. Gandhi’s Experiment On Extension Education Experiments on Community learning Gandhi was no armchair thinker of education. He had just settled down in Johannesburg when large number of Indians became ill due to unusual rain. his appeal was never to one class or community. Various communication mediums such as reading material radio. any activity (even political). ever ready to try out new things and ever eager to put theories to practices.Whole family principle. As noted earlier Gandhi had established several communities or ashrams and he carried out educational experiments in these. informal way of teaching and community based training are the methods used by Gandhi for making the education more effective and learner oriented29. there seems to be no acceptable alternative but to let them choose the ends and then aiding them to organise their self help efforts successfully to do the things. Gandhi always drew the entire community. To involve a great number of persons in achieving desired common ends. His objective was to meet Mr. Though Gandhi did not devote enough thought on various mediums of communication. Gandhi. he never set one class against other. his wife and even children lived in the various ashrams in which he lived. he realized the importance using more than one method. Learning by doing. Adaptability principle in the use of extension teaching methods. he never fermented hatred and anger. Phoenix Settlement : In 1903 Gandhi returned to South Africa after a brief sojourn in India. These are also being analyzed here. Chamberlain and advance the Indian cause. All members of the family have to be developed equally by involving all of them. Inspired by Gandhi both during his life time and afterwards numerous experiment on his line of thinking have been worked out. He was highly experimental. Presently an attempt is being made to analyze various experiments carried out by Gandhi. can be used depending on the target group. television and internet etc. Principle of cooperation and participation. Wherever he took up.
1. The atmosphere of the settlement was like that of a school-cum-workshop. gardening. The schemers had to make a living by manual labour. Phoenix settlement was rural based and principles of extension were widely applied. If any member vacated his house or holding. The Indian opinion was soon published from Phoenix being shifted from Durban.a hundred acres of land. that is. the life of the tiller of the soil and the handicrafts man. The original idea was to build mud huts thatched with straw or small brick houses.book as grasped by Gandhi were as follows. The settlers of Phoenix were divided into two classes. a dilapidated cottage and plenty of fruit trees. that a lawyer’s work has the same value as the barber’s. it was not sold but passed to another member. They were given three acres each round the press. containing a fine little spring. in as much as all have the same right of earning their livelihood from their work. The Gandhian conception of extension ideals took its shape from Phoenix settlement. But due to lack of funds structures of corrugated iron were erected by the settlers. Utilization of available resources and selflearning methods were emphasized. some of which bore mangoes and oranges. No land was fenced in and paths and narrow roads divided one holding from another. hygiene and sanitation. that a life of labour. Originally the Phoenix settlement was meant for running the “Indian Opinion”. They were also given training in environmental care. That the good of the individual is contained in the good of all. This community concept of educational experiment has a place amongst great educational attempts. The original members comprised a small group of Indian and European idealists. He had started experimenting his educational philosophy under surrounding of community-based settlement. It was an 107 . is the life worth living. In course of time Phoenix settlement grow up and education became an important component of the settlement30. a newspaper of which Gandhi was the editor. The colony was to be as far as possible self supporting and life’s material requirements were to be reduced to a minimum. The plot was fourteen miles from Durban and two and a half mile from Phoenix station. Gandhi did not take long to put the ideas of ‘Unto this last’ into practice – within ten days he purchased for Rs. The core ideas of education at Phoenix settlement was to create a family – an extended family. a family of resister and a community which lived and acted like a family. the schemers and the paid workers. constructive work etc.000/. There the theoretical and practical aspects of learning had been taken care. Around thirty number of children received literary training with practical knowledge on agriculture and planting. But gradually a number of Satyagrahis joined Gandhi’s cottage with their families and became the follower of Gandhi’s ideals. Gandhi was drawn to these ideas and was ready to translate these newly imbibed ideas into practice. The entire surrounding was equipped with all facilities. spending the whole day on their studies with physical activity like – cooking. The Phoenix settlement thus came into being in the middle of the year 1904.
The main objective of establishing the settlement were to Imbibe the value of self-help. He was not against the literary education but he did not hesitate to sacrifice it for the service of the community. This opened the path for exploring Gandhian ideology and extension philosophy of education31. “When Gandhi was at Johannesburg. He said that proper training in character should be given by the parents at home. He talked to his children only in Gujarati. and Johannesburg twenty-one miles. offered the use of his farm for passive resisters and their indigent families. Water was supplied from two wells as well as a spring. since it was his conviction that those Indian parents who trained their children to think and talk in English from their infancy betrayed their children and their country. Self learning through group activity. Importance given to learning by doing or result demonstration method. The Tolstoy Farm was nearly two miles long and a three-quarter mile broad. Emphasis on skilled training on agriculture. The nearest railway station. Learning through mother tongue. Upon the farm. During the season oranges. Education through the community living. he introduced as much simplicity as could be possible in his household. The use of a farm of 1. Gandhi and Kallenbach named it after Tolstoy”. He believed that the ways of doing and thinking would be reflected in the children. These were the practical learning given to the ashramites at South Africa. Thus Gandhian experiment opened a new vision in educational methods.1910 Hermann Kallenbach. a rich German architect and a close friend of Gandhi. was about one mile from the farm. “they deprived them of the spiritual social heritage of the nation and rendered them to that extent unfit for the service of the country”. Tolstoy Farm : During 1910 the Satyagraha movement in South Africa gathered great momentum “On May 30. apricots and plums grew in abundance.100 acres was given free of any rent or charge. Both Kallenbach and Gandhi were influenced by Tolstoy’s writings. Lawley.extension of Gandhi’s own family. during his talks through conversation. Life long support through economic self-sufficiency. Achievement of individual as well as national goal. He also observed that. Gandhi and Kallenbach now decided to build 108 . environment and physical activity. He himself tried to imbibe the philosophy. He provided training on all aspects. there were nearly one thousand fruit bearing trees and a small house.
Tamil and Dutch. Story telling was the principal method. in his own inimitable manner inaugurated. we can only write with reverence.. to work as teachers.houses on the farm to accommodate the passive resisters. To make the family self supportive. Though a devout Christian. Gandhi himself picked up a bit of Telugu. as time rolls on. He divided the class into two sections. Tamil Nadu. but he likewise gave a realistic presentation of the substance underlying the great world religion. No drug was used and nature cure was adopted. small industries like sandle making and carpentry etc were started. Religious instruction was given by Gandhi. to follow his teaching. There were forty young men. Gandhi was prepared to provide meat to those who wanted it. how present day civilization based as it is on brute force. Only on one occasion Gandhi had punished a pupil with a ruler and repented. assisted some young men. Some satyagrahis came to work and live on the farm. and he has shown. He was to us more than one of the greatest men of the age. however everyone wanted to be a vegetarian. Gandhi was in touch with Tolstoy and was greatly influenced by him. Geography. Life was as simple as humanly possible. A school was started in June for the youngsters. He has endeavoured. The settlers were the South Africans who originally hailed from Gujarat. The men’s quarters were separated from women’s and everyone including married people led a celibate life. Arithmetic and Sanskrit were taught. We firmly believe that. He slept in a open veranda and the boys and girls were spread around him. is a negative of divinity in man and how. Classes were held only in the afternoon from two to five. He explained the virtue of self restraint to his pupils. His experiment of coeducation in Tolstoy farm was daring. Muslims. before 109 . who wrote out the fundamental doctrines of Hinduism and studied books on Islam and Zoroastrianism. as the settlers were engaged in hard physical labour in the morning. They had a common kitchen. 20th 1910 Gandhi paid tribute in the following words : “Of the late Count Tolstoy. Gandhi and Kallenbach. he taught the Gujuratis in Gujurati medium and the rest through English. There were Hindus. Gandhi’s class was heterogeneous in character consisting of people of all ages from 7 to 21 and consisted of both boys and girls. he truly interpreted not only Christianity. Initially settlers lived in tents and unsaturated simple houses not long after. The end of his bodily life but put the final touch to the work of humanity that he. five women and thirty children including five girls32. Parsis and Christians among them. Tolstoy is not dead. his teaching will more and more permeate mankind. so far as possible. two or three elders. On Tolstoy’s death on Nov. general knowledge in History. Purity of thought. He taught his pupils to respect all religions and to live together like blood brothers”. Andhra and North India. he lives through the lives of his innumerable followers throughout the world. word and deed were emphasized and ashramites prepared themselves to became great satyagrahis.
digging pits. In spite of literary education Gandhi never felt the importance for the text books at all. Kallenbach and others. Gandhi had spent time with the students and decided to live amongst them all throughout the day as their father. and if the foundation was firmly laid. he never found it necessary to load the minds of children with a number of text books”. According to Gandhi. in which I occupied the place of the father and that I should so far as possible shoulder the responsibility for the training of the young”. Gujarati through the vernaculars of the students. He thought that the real family upbringing can only be possible through a home atmosphere. Teachers constantly worked with the student. As he says “the true text book for the pupil was the teacher and therefore. Besides character building Gandhi had emphasized literary training in education. true education could be imparted only by the parents and that Tolstoy farm was a family. The teachers were expected to set an example to others by their own conduct and they were always ready to cooperate with the students. He started some classes with the help of Mr. Gandhi considered spiritual training to be very essential part of education of the children in his charge. vocational activities like shoe making. He declared. he must substitute brute force by love in all his actions in the daily work of life33. These ideals made the farm an ideal laboratory for educational experiments. Major emphasis was given on the farm activity. Through the Tolstoy farm Gandhi wanted to explore his ideas of education. cooking and even scavenging had to be done by inmates. Gandhian Tolstoy farm was a family and the students were living with their teacher. culture of the heart. geography. Literary training was given in Hindi. training to all age group and upbringing of the children. training provided to everyone alike. mental and spiritual training. “the spirit was to develop character and enable one to work 110 . so that they could feel the real home atmosphere. The student’s would be benefited only through the education by parents. But the Gandhian vision never distracted from the extension principles. lifting loads. Therefore he remarked “I regarded character building as the proper foundation for their education. Tamil. No work was assigned to students which were not done by teachers. Importance was given on character building. In this way he wanted to make student’s aware about the value of elders and attached greater importance to character building. Only question and answer method was applied for measuring their power of understanding. At Tolstoy Farm the students got physical. The extension principle of whole family approach was put to practice by Mahatma Gandhi.man can realize his manhood. carpentry and gardening etc. All students were involved in the activities like gardening. felling timber. setting examples constantly. He had given stress on the imparting of education through parents. All the children were taught elementary history. I was sure that the children could learn all the other things themselves or with the assistance of friends”. arithmetic. “only this much I knew that under ideal conditions.
Gandhi did not share the common fear that bad would influence the good more than vice-versa. Gandhi believed that when good and bad children were brought up and taught together. tolerance and non-violence are the key principles always emphasized by Gandhi. moral values. Gandhi had also experimented with group approach. Thus the experiment of Tolstoy Farm was an example of the extension principles. self learning. co-operation. These principles also played an important role in character building through education. Through group approach Gandhi promoted learning ability. Truthfulness. it was bound to react on their companions”. Sanitation. sharing the social values Teacher setting an example of good conduct as a group leader. Gardening. non-violence and truthfulness amongst students. tolerance. mental. He doubted very much whether the violent method of corporal punishment would be of any use. good teacher. He utilized the talents of the students and other inmates. character building. The following extension ideals were followed by Gandhi at Tolstoy farm – Community based learning Whole family approach for education Parent’s are the key teacher to their children Character building of students Literary training without the use of text books Self learning through physical activity from cooking to scavenging Vocational training for acquisition of skill Self sufficiency as the key motto Participation. This group experiment took a central place in the Tolstoy Farm. good worker. skilled trainer and as a good parent on the whole Vernaculars of the students were respected Physical. good would lose nothing since if there was anything really good. He considered that “a good discipline for the good children to be taught together along with the bad ones and thrown into their company provided the experiment was conducted under the watchful care of their parents and guardians34. Environment and other aspects were given importance Non-violence became the prime motto for character building 111 . group activity. spiritual training was given through the works assigned to the students Agriculture.towards a knowledge of God and self-realization”.
Gandhi led the Champaran movement which included educational activities besides socio-political work. In my experiment. During these two years Gandhi acquired first hand knowledge on the labourers and India’s agriculture. Only educational aspect is considered here. A thatched hut was erected for the purpose. Within few weeks. About this time Mahadev Desai and Narhari Parikh with their wives had cast their lot with Gandhi. Surendranath and Devadas from the ashram to help in the work. I shall draw upon what is good in it. and others visited various villages of the Champaran district and acquainted themselves with the ground reality. No cut and dried syllabus has yet been prepared because I am going on an unbeaten track. Soman. Gandhi along with J. Experiment at Champaran Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and traveled extensively for two years. Majharlal Haque. He issued a public appeal inviting voluntary teachers. Champaran is situated in the north west corner of Bihar. Avantikabai Gokhale from Bombay. I look upon our present system with horror and distrust. Motihari and Bettiah were the two important towns.Culture and religion of all students were respected Age was not a bar for the studentship Gandhi worked out his philosophy of education and applied a number of extension principle in the Tolstoy Farm. Gandhi also brought Chhotelal. which was conducted by Mahadev Desai. of arithmetic and rudiments of history and geography. a knowledge of simple scientific principles and some industrial training. through that medium. Narhari Parikh. I shall endeavour to avoid the 112 . Ignorance was considered to be principal cause of misery. with Gandak as the major river. He decided to combat this. The idea is to get hold of as many children as possible and to give them an all-round education.B. whilst. Gandhi wrotes thus : “In the schools I am opening. a good knowledge of Hindi or Urdu and. Anandibai Vaishampayan and Shankarrao Deo from Poona offered their services. a third school was opened at Madhubani. Within a week a second school was opened in a village forty miles north-west of Bettiah. Instead of developing the moral and mental faculties of the little children it dwarfs them. children under the age of twelve only are admitted.Kripalani. Gandhi arrived in Champaran from Bombay with his volunteers. and Kasturbai also joined the contingent. Gandhi was well versed with the problems of indentured labour in South Africa. The first school was opened in 1917 in a village of the Bettiah Raj. Kasturbai and Dr. Indigo cultivation was introduced by planters at the fag end of 18th century. A sadhu offered a rent free land of a temple for the school which was opened in 1917. Babasaheb Soman and Pundlik from Karnatak. about twenty miles east of Motihari. About these village schools. Deva took charge of this school. Rajendra Prasad. and Kripalani. learnt about the lamenting condition of indigo cultivators at Champaran. In 1916 Gandhi during the Lucknow sessions of Congress.
When she spoke to them about it. “Look now. wells. They swept the roads. the making of village roads proper. The industrial training is to be designed for the boys and the girls who may come to us for an additional means of livelihood. Here weaving was taught and people were trained in the art of co-operative action by making them keep their huts. Dr. Even the field labourers were not ready to do their own scavenging. Deva used to visit each center on the fixed days. But Gandhi’s men were not the persons to lose heart. cleaned out the wells. The parents were taught to keep their children clean and tidy. The people were not prepared to do anything themselves. These village schools were run most economically.defects of the present system. Dr. one woman took Kasturbai into her hut and said. One of the conditions was that the villagers should provide the teachers with board or lodging. filled up the pools and persuaded the villagers to raise volunteers from amongst themselves. the sinking of wells etc. Instruction will be given to grown up people in hygiene and about the advantages of joint action. The sari I am wearing is the only one I have. Castor oil. Medical relief was a simple affair. The Bhitharwa School was situated in a complete locality. In those days a male labourer’s wage did not exceed ten pice. Gandhi asked Kasturbai to inquire why the village women did not wash their clothes. Sanitation was a difficult proposition. The climate of the place was extremely unhealthy. such as. They even put obstacles and the schools had to be opened 113 . In imparting knowledge to the poor villagers. How am I to wash it? Tell Mahatmaji to get me another sari. That to me is education. The villagers willingly contributed grain and other raw produce. illiterate and ignorant. About 140 children were being taught at the Barharwa village school. and I shall then promise to bathe and put on clean clothes every day”. A number of people availed themselves of the medical aid. And as no school will be manned by teachers who are not men or women of good training. It is not intended that on completing their education they should leave their hereditary occupation but make use of the knowledge acquired in the school to refine agriculture and agricultural life. a female’s did not exceed six and a child’s three. No patient was permitted to take home any medicine but he was treated on the premises of the school. we propose to give free medical aid as far as possible”. penetrate the puradah. there is no bore or cupboard here containing other clothes. But it was not to be so. Literary training is to be used merely as a means to that end. quinine and sulphur ointment were the only drugs provided to the volunteers. Deva gave the villagers practical lessons in hygiene and elementary medicine and treated the patients. roads and villages clean. for the promotion of communal welfare. The chief thing aimed at is contact of children with men and women of culture and unimpeachable moral character. Our teachers will also touch the lives of grown up people and if at all possible. Gandhi wanted the cooperation of the planters.
carrying bricks on their own heads. so he decided to educate the people about it. Gandhi found in Champaran that the problem of agricultural sector could be solved through proper village education. social and personal cleanliness were the aim of the curriculum Hygiene and sanitation became the key motto. This was a greater foundation experiment for modern community development projects and national extension services. Agriculture and Agricultural problems were emphasized Importance given on agriculturist and plantation labourers. People.away from the factories. Gandhi had faced a great problem in finding teachers. He requested the servants of India society to lend the services of their doctors35. He had planned to open primary schools in six villages for the improvement of educational status of the children. Gandhian love for education was reflected in Champaran village. in sanitary surroundings. Primary education of children had been taken care Cooperation from the villagers were facilitated. The following features are key aspects of the experiment. Strict discipline has to be followed by teachers as well as students. After six months of work. who had any complaints to make. other expenses had been taken care of by Gandhi. For this type of work he required doctors and other assistance. so he issued a public appeal for voluntary teachers. Gandhi specifically instructed the teachers not to involve themselves in politics or to concern themselves with grievances against planters. He had requested the villagers to provide free broading and lodging to the teachers. He realized that proper village education made them aware about their problem. Gandhian educative purpose did not exclude environmental aspect of the villagers. Character building. In no time did the workers succeed in erecting a new structure. Bhitharwa School soon after its inauguration was set on fire. Gandhi had also tried to inquire about the economic conditions of the indigo labourers who were very poor. mud and stink and untidy courtyards. the first batch of volunteers was replaced by a new one. 114 . Villagers were also ready to afford foodstuff for the educational purpose. Gandhian experiments also became an example later for all the extension services conducted by government of India for rural development. Educational training was provided through activity. But even them the planters frowned upon Gandhi’s activities. were to be referred to him. There was a ready response and some of them were ladies. The teachers were like voluntary extension workers. Gandhi used to visit the schools by turn and suggest improvements. He had gain experience about the economic condition of the villages.
It’s solitude was inviting. control of palate. It was located on the banks of river Sabarmati and was closed to the Sabarmati jail. Initially people lived in tin sheds and latter permanent houses were built. Maganlal.Environmental care and civic education were given the prime importance Village was the nerve center Community work was given importance. Sabarmati ashram became a semi permanent house of Mahatma Gandhi for the rest of his life. 115 . It was almost fallow without trees. love. agriculture. Gandhi had prepared certain disciplinary rules and regulations for achievement of the national goal. Sacrifice and selflessness was insisted upon for the members of the ashram. They were dedicated to Gandhian philosophy and devoted to truth as their soul principle. Annie Besant. dairy. non-violence. sacrificial spinning. swadeshi. Gandhi also wanted to revive cottage industry and hand spinning with the help of ashramites. and tolerance were the rules for ashramites. Gandhi’s nephew managed the ashram. non-possession. The prime objective was of course nationalist and training of Satyagrahis36. tannery and national education. There were quiet a few permanent residence and education of all was an important component for Mahatma Gandhi in Sabarmati ashram. lived at Sabarmati frequently. non-stealing. the ashramites were always concerned to find out truth from all aspects of life. they were put to carried out certain activities for achieving the objectives such as Following these principles ashramites were engaged in worship. Besides the national goal. It was spread over on large tract. All were based on the extension principles drafted by Gandhiji. physical labour. sanitary service. Almost all great freedom fighters of India including Nehru. social change in terms of attitudes. fearlessness. removal of untouchability. It was on a wider scale and provided more realistic lessons for all. Literary training was not over emphasised Hereditary occupation was given importance Economic aspect were taken care Champaran experiment unlike other Gandhian experiments was not confined to prenicts of an ashram. Within two years due to outbreak of plague it was shifted to Sabarmati. Maulana Azad etc. poverty. They were required to provide service with humility. The following rules were identified by Gandhi for inmates at the ashram. Truth. behaviours thinking and living style. Experiment at Sabarmati: Gandhi founded an ashram at Kochrab near Ahamedabad on 25 May 1915. Patel. chastity.
non-violence. Irrespective of caste. non-stealing. race and class. The following were the features Attainment of national goal was the supreme objective Spreading the values. creed. removal of untouchability and tolerance were attempted. caste. behaviour. thinking and life style was emphasized. Training on social education was emphasized. like – truth. non possession. all were allowed to live in the ashram surrounding and committed to stand against the social evils – untouchability. Later it was considered as a valuable experiment in national education37. creed and age. race. 116 . chastity. Emphasis was given to cottage industry and handloom weaving for self sufficiency Emphasis was given on spiritual. He admitted the untouchable candidate as inmates of the ashram. Ashramites were strict followers of Gandhian principles and thought. control of the palate. agriculture. creed and religion.The Satyagraha ashram at Sabarmati had taken the pride as one of the valuable educational experiment in social education. tannery. dairy. intellectual and physical development Services in the field of sanitary. All were allowed irrespective of caste. but Gandhi had taken risk of living with the ashramites under such conditions. thinking of the individual. Gandhi had a strict instruction on the general principle of non-violence and philosophy of not killing reptiles by all the inmates38. The attitudinal change of the ashramites became a major issue first. Search for knowledge through truth. Truth as the prime principle was followed by ashramites. physical labour. However. sacrifice. selflessness. Social change in through change in attitudes. The surrounding was full of snakes. sacrificial spinning. insistence on truth and devotion to truth was the guiding philosophy. Sacrificing life for the service of country was practiced. Gandhi wanted to take care of environment and wild life. fearlessness. national education were important for all. attitude. swadeshi. To ensure this he wanted to include people from all class. love. Gandhi had never forgotten to implement his philosophy of non-violence in each of the experiment at Sabarmati. On the whole he wanted to achieve national goal by imparting such education and training for attitudinal change of people. The language of the province got the principal place in the ashram and selected as the medium of instruction. After this issue he started training on social education based on extension philosophy which aimed at changing the behaviour.
Education meant not only good. basic and adult education. Education started for him even before a child is born and continues till the death. Gujurati only was the medium of instruction. Vol. Prospects. No. Gandhi Ashram at Tiruchungodi. He had formulated an 18 point porgramme which included the following village industries. uplift of women. Jan-Feb.5. The same breath flows in both the streams. Under. From the above discussion on Gandhi’s theories of extension education and his experiments in extension education. uplift of backward tribes. Paris. education in public health and hygiene. Gujarati. Gandhi Seva Sadan at Porur (Maladwar) and Kasturba Ashram in Trichur etc. Tamil and Bengali were taught as optimal languages. UNESCO : International Bureau of Education. 1993. All India village Industries Association. p. Sarvodaya.507. 117 . Gandhi Niketan at Kallupatti. The national Gujurati School which was subsequently developed as Gujurat Vidyapith. ethical.. organization of kissans. Amongst Indian thinkers he evolved the most complete theory and action plan for extension. Hindustani Prachar Sangh were active in translating the constructive programme into reality. democratic. No. love for the mother tongue.Besides the above Gandhi was associated with the nationalist educational schools established by his followers. propagation of national language. Khadi Vidyalaya at Sewagram. Go-Seva Sangh. All India Khadi and village industries board. Marathi. labour and students and so on. Besides educational experiments carried out ashrams and educational institutions. it is evident that Gandhi was both a theoretician and a practitioner. Kumar Krishna. The programmes recommended by Gandhi were nothing but need based extension. Gandhi and his followers wanted to evolved an institution which could we replicated in Government Schools. 2. English was restricted to first three years of the study only. Gandhi adopted the extension philosophy and strategy for national reconstruction. The special features of the institution included the following. was an important institution with which Gandhi was associated. Gandhi involved himself in hard core extension activities. humanitarian and other high principles but also practicing all these. scientific. References 1. Education for him meant the education of the entire nation and mankind. Harijan Sewak Sangh. Vol. Hindi and Sanskrit were taught as compulsory languages. Gandhi always emphasised on constructive programme. economic equality. Several organizations like All India Spinners Association. The general philosophy and practices as evolved by Gandhi were adopted. There is no theoretical or practical inconsistency in his theories and practices.23. Gandhi Gram at Dindigal. Physical and intellectual aspects of education were empphasised. 2004. rural sanitation.3/4.1. He excelled in both.
No. National Council for Teacher Education. Krishna Kumar..mkgandhi. 22 June. 82. M. Kalyani Publishers. Gandhi : His Life and Thought. p. “Relevance of M. p.... The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 10. 15 Februar. Gandhi M. 8.K.183. Kripilani. pp. www.23. 19. Paris. Govt. p-507.org. 7. Ibid. 2003.1.K. Vol. 1940. PROSPECTS. 17. 1st September 1921.283.mkgandhi.41. Sarvodaya. The collected works of Mahatma Gandhi. p. – 17. Khadi Jagat.org. 15 Feb. Ibid. Ibid.. Gandhi. Publication Division.. Indian Education and it’s Problems.185. Vol. 20. Nanda S.295-6.K.3. M.184. 18. Ibid. M. 24. Views on Adult Education. Kumar Krishna. Bhumali.. p. Gandhi.. Vol. K.org.B..180 – 81. p. www. 11. No.. 9. pp.. Gandhi on Education : Excellent Collection of Quotes.K. 75. Vol. Ibid. 1997.275. Ibid. Jan-Feb. Swachid. P.56.K. 1 December. Gandhi and Modern India. 21. 12. Sir Moon Penderal. J. 1945.. pp. 22. 1942. London-ECU : The English Universities Press.K.K. p. Ibid. Gandhi M. Anil. Gandhi’s ideal of self sufficient village Economy in the 21st Century”. 1993. of India. “A Gandhian Agenda for Universal Education”. 23. 14. Sevagram.3/4. 118 .269. p. 1933. Rangan. Sevak. Talk to Khadi Vidyalaya Students. 4. Harijan. www. Gandhi. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.123.mkgandhi. Views on National Education. Ibid. 13. Gandhi M. Vol. 5. 72. Harijan. vol. UNESCO : International Bureau of Education.K.143 – 144. 2004. 15. 5... 16. 6. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.49-51. Speech at Bhagini Samaj. 33. Government of India.S. Educational Ideas and Ideals of Gandhi and Tagore : A Comparative study. Ahemedabad : 20 Feb. pp.23-26. pp. Bhatnagar.. O. Government of India.G. Educational Ideas and Ideals of Gandhi and Tagore : A Comparative study. O. Mahatma. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. Mani. R. life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Mahatma. 1st September.46-48. Mahatma. 28. pp. D. New Delhi : New Book Society of India. New Delhi : The Publications division.S. Tendulkar.G.25.. 1921. 1951. New Delhi : 1985. Tendulkar..117-118. Mani. 1951. pp. life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.K.206... Vol.K.... pp306-307.” -Stringfellow Barr 119 . www.G..org. Education and Communication for Development.14. – I. Ibid. 34. 27. This was not goody-goody advice but hard political sense. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.S. 35. Vol. Dahama. 30. life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.. R. 1995. Gandhi. Mani. M. Gandhi. 1918. 31. 29. pp123-124. pp. pp. Mahatma. 38.P..K. D.. D. Vol. Educational Ideas and Ideals of Gandhi and Tagore : A Comparative study. 36. 26.S.P..36-44. Ministry of Information and broadcasting. p. Tendulkar.– I. 32. Gandhi M. R. Oxford IBH. Mani R. D. pp211-213.35-36. p. “Mahatma Gandhi once advised us always to assume in our opponents the highest motives capable of explaining their actions. 37.. M. 67-69. New Delhi : The Publications division. Views on National Education. Ibid.mkgandhi. Tendulkar. Educational Ideas and Ideals of Gandhi and Tagore : A Comparative study.G.
we are not clear and firm about the course of our future action.the dominance of money and muscle power in the election. The western democratic equalitarianism is one.We are now more careful for expediency. In 1883 Engel eulogized Marx as the greatest living thinker and compared him to Darwin. Communism is fashionable in some circles and although it indulges in occasional quotations from Marx and Engel. The important problem is how our country shall become powerful and vital sphere of political and economic existence. basically. The presence of rampant corruption . There is general prevalent belief that this political form is suited to the institutional realization of the moral idealism of Gandhian political philosophy. the contemporary philistines failed to organize and appreciate. the attractive personality of the gentle prophet and undaunted leader always evoked a feeling of respect from many quarters . and politically we are committed to that. which he thought.But while Gandhi was generous even to his opponents. There is also the socialistic formulae with the combination of democracy and economic plans. material plenty and righteous distribution. separatism and naxalisnm are eloquent testimonies to the fact that in the post Gandhian India. always conscious of his towering intellectual strength. No philosophy of History can be separated from the impact of the personality of the original creator of the system Gandhi was not an academic theoretician but that does not detract from his importance. Gandhi has influenced people through his pen and his sermons. because of false and perverse consciousness.He believes in the efficacy of logical reason and for over thirty year he labored and toiled persistently to finish his system although the basic insights that he worked in to his theory were felt and perceived by 1848. once more.We have lost faith in our moral values and spiritual norms. old idealism of the prophet is withering away . Hence for us. He was a moral prophet and leader. His passion * Lecturer in History. SKCG Autonomous College. for full employment. Hence intellectually we are confused state. 120 . He was an aggressive personality. it. to discuss the fundamentals of political philosophies. Paralakhemundi. Because of intellectual opaqueness. Marx was a perpetual fighter. above all. Marx was trained in the tradition of German left wing Hegelian metaphysic . but. Marxism because of its success in some countries appears to be assuming the character of a prophetic dispensation. The tremendous moral and spiritual forces which were released by the personality of Gandhi are declining. it is necessary. is inspired by the plans and formulae of Russia and lately new china. There are several creeds and cults engaging our attention.GANDHI AND MARX (A study in comparative political philosophy) Ganeswar Nayak* Our country is passing through a period of grave intellectual crisis . and especially for the intellectuals. growth of terrorism.
Gandhi must have been aware of these insights. 2 The writing of Tolstoy. as if in a process of incessant flux and dynamic motion. 3 According to dialectical materialism of Marx and Engel.for Germanic scholarly thoroughness is apparent in his work and most so in the three volumes of the ponderous Das capital and the gigantic Theories of Surplus value.minded and god fearing life and by persistent endeavor to concretize the standard of Ahimsa in ones life and action. omniscient. nature society and humane brain moved and functioned. Mysticism and faith were anathema to him.Hence Gandhi was spiritual idealist but not a non dualist school. discursive analyses or conceptual categorization. Idealist philosophy.Hence he considered truth and non –violence to be absolutely and categorically binding. timeless reality which could be called Sachidananda or Rama or simple truth. faith and spiritual experience. the more did he approximate to the realization of truth as God His faith in fundamental truth was born not out of syllogistic and demonstrative arguments but out of intuition. but unlike the vedantic exponents of Mayavada.1 Metaphysical Idealism versus Dialectical Materialism Gandhi sincerely and thoroughly believed in an omnipresent. but by inner spiritual experience. 4 Ethical Absolutism versus Ethical Relativism Gandhi accepted spiritual idealism. he believed in the supremacy of ethical absolutism.Both camps idealism and materialism are advancing new arguments and recruiting new propaganda. infinite. according to him. The Gandhian theory of ethical absolutism can be traced to the Vedic concept of the Rita or the doctrine that there are all –governing cosmic and moral ordinance which govern both men and gods. The spiritual truth according to him was to be realized not by logical ingenuity. studies and thought also convinced him of the categorically binding character of the moral value . heavenly. pure. Thus it is clear that Gandhi’ s concept of truth and Non-violence being eternal values and absolutely binding on all persons is completely immune from the charges religion being a reactionary 121 . Holbach. tried to hypostatize the functional products of humane brain and thus exalted mind –born ideas as the Absolute Idea and Demiurges of the world . Epicurus. He inherited the strong faith in the existence of a spiritual real from his Vaisnav family. and felt delight in the application of the dialectical methodology of German philosophy to social science. Hobbes. holier and purer he became. Marx on the other hand was a rationalist. and his studies of Buddha and the Gita deepened and strengthened hiss vision . 5 His personal experience. The main point for critic regarding the choice between Marxism materialism and Gandhian idealism centers on the inscrutable nature of the ultimate reality . He even claimed that the more disciplined. Thus we find synthesis of vedantic metaphysics and Jaina –Buddha ethics in Gandhi. There is no static motionless ultimate reality.He was inspired by the materialistic tradition of Democritus.
he felt that religion results in confusion and mystify issues. the Gandhian theory of ethical absolutism is more suited than the relativism of Marxism.8 But Marx on the other hand denounced religion as opium of the people. but a life of strenuous dynamic pursuit to calling in quest of the God of one’s soul and mankind. Islam and Zoroastrianism. as for example. he was no narrow dogmatic sectarian. In the present technocratic and mechanical phase of humane civilization with its stress on the hedonistic calculus and economic felicity. Although he called himself a Hindu. Like Buddha and Ramakrishna. On the one side we find Buddha. 6 There are no eternal and moral principles and the ethical system is relative to the relations of the production.. The Marxian theory of ethical relativism receives support from researchers of social science. according to him. cults rituals and ceremonies. he had transcended the limited bounds of creeds. 7 He accepted the moral essence of Hinduism which. and nothingfavor or frown. could make them compromise with what they considered vital principles of their life. fear or temptation. the life of Karmayoga could lead to the attainment of moral freedom and spiritual Moksha. was also the inherent essence of all great religions of mankind which.In the spirit of Gita. Both believed in the value of freedom. Thus when Gandhi talked of the religious basis of politics. But in spite of difference between the theoretical standpoints of the two teachers it must be pointed out that in their persona lives and carriers both were fundamentally idealist. according to him. The theory of moral universalism and absolutism. was also inherent essence of all great religions of mankind. accepts the relativism of the moral criteria and regards ethical codes as the products of our social growth. Kant and Gandhi preaching the absolute sanctity of moral norms. Religion as a factor in HistoryGandhi recognized the potency of religion in humane history. he was preaching neither primitivism nor dogmatic scholatismn nor theocratic papalism. Judaism. Gandhi’s conception of Karma yoga is an assertion of the ethics of self –abnegation. Buddhism. and on the other we find historicists. Religion according to Gandhi implied a dominant quest for and experience of the moral values . This question of ethical absolutism versus ethical relativism is indeed fundamental. sociologists and anthropologist standing for relativism of even the most sacred ideas about humane relations. self interest and satisfaction of needs and wants. Both were men of solid character.For strengthening the moral foundations of a humane commonwealth. Marxism on the other hand.gospel or a mask for protecting the interest of the power –holders. is significant for worlds thought . Religion according to Engel contains remnants 122 . Dialectical materialism considers religion to be a reactionary force. are restated by Gandhi.It alone could provide dynamic inspiration to dedicated selfless action . he felt that performed with sense of detachment and disinterestedness. To the end of his life. Christianity.
12 Marx denunciations reminds one of the old Jewish prophet and not modern social analyst. Hence true ethical religion is not opium of the people but nectar of mankind. Gandhi and Marx provide divergent prescriptions for solution of social problems. Religion provides spiritual foundation to our political and social existence. imperialism. The orthodox Russian church supported Czardom . Starting from different metaphycal orientations. the enemy was foreign imperialism. Gandhi sponsored an idealist approach to social problems and regarded the betterment an ennoblement of humane nature as the foundation of social amelioration. The technological-economic interpretation of History incorporates an element of “ determinism and a belief in the final triumph of the proletariat class. 13 Sociology and Economics In one sense Gandhi and Marx may be regarded as polar types. But while Marx remained a leader of the proletariat.It has sought to provide a rational and metaphysical foundation for our moral endeavor and has tried to interpret the meaning of humane existence perpetually exposed to the agonies in a coherent fashion. 9 Marx and Engels preach that religion is an ideology fitted to production relations of time. not by theocratic sanction or supernormal hypnosis.of antiquated anthropomorphic conceptions of primitive period. and communalism and untouchables. according to Marx it was bourgeois Capitalism. abundance and equality. If Gandhi loved to speak of the” dumb million” or the” mute million”. but by suggestion. engaged for a time in the revolutions of 1848. 10 It is also asserted that with the dawn of the society of freedom. and concentrated his intellectual energies on bringing about proletarian solidarity. At that fateful moment religion and transcendental and metaphysic philosophy will not be needed at all . Religion can transform the mind of men. Marx on the other hand. based on utilization of the knowledge of science. He wanted to change the social structure as the prelude to the change of humane nature. 123 . Marx fought against the reactionary policies of Prussian Government. Marx used to condemn capital as the vampire that sucks the blood of the workers. moral persuasion and exalting the inspiring character of religious heroes. Thus religious subservience to the blind force of capital would be replaced by the triumphant victory of positive science. organized and led the first International. had adopted an institutional and sociological approach. men would not need the consolation of religion. Only the true religion accepting the spiritual potentiality of men can provide the morally dynamic impetus to socially and political action. 11 Religion is essential for humane being. The central evils against which Gandhi fought were racialism. the saintly Gandhi in his personal life identified himself with the peasant to an extent far greater than the philosopher Marx could ever think of. These notions of determinism and faith in ultimate victory are in religious tradition.Religion in its institutionalized and historical phase does not contain formulae of compromise with the power that be. According to Gandhi.
who had more then what he barely needs. Gandhi was not tired of repeating that India s‘real capital consisted in her working population. Gandhi believes that roots of the malady are not in the structure of the society but in the psycho component of man. Both Gandhi and Marx are opposed to the capitalistic process of social and economic exploitation. The hedonic. Thus not individual wealth but the individualistic propensity towards the acquisition is central devil. The detailed and specialized division of labor creates minute areas of action and operation and converts man almost into an automation who has lost all aesthic charm in his work.16 The relation between man and his bread is eternal. Hence this division of labor should be replaced by a system which will produce the multi-sided man. Sometimes we find in the Marxist writings the equating of the forces of production with technology. Labor for him becomes a means of worshipping God . It is a laboring class which creates value.Gandhi challenged the foundation of modern civilization. Marx worked out a philosophy of history where in the forces and relations of production were considered the ultimate determinate of transformations of civilization. but their emphasis is on different counts. fascism and the technological instruments of violence . 14 It was equivalent to darkness and disease.How everybody will provided with bread ? If. The individual seeking to better his character my moral techniques is starting point of Gandhian ethics. capitalist society is based on the merciless process of the extortion of surplus value. Gandhi is a moral and spiritual individual. 124 . is a thief. but most often. Tolstoy and Gandhi would be almost agreeing in thinking that capital is stored labor. The capitalist practice of calculation in terms of monetary profit should also be replaced by calculation in terms of labor. Furthermore. but the surplus is appropriated by the exploiters. Similarly Gandhi wanted the end of British regime. materialistic aspects of modern western civilization repelled him. 17 The prophetic role of Gandhi and Marx is brought out in their view on labor. according to the Gandian commentaries on Asteya ( non-stealing)anybody. Marx opposed to the fetishism of commodity which is charteristic of capitalism and which distorts humane relations between lifeless commodities. Both Gandhi and Marx have successes because they busied themselves with providing the solution to this problems. this phase is interpreted in a broad sense. His bred may not determine his thoughts but he must have bred and plenty of that. Marx challenges accumulation in all its shapes. Marx would have said that the people who hold property do not have any inviolable right to it. But Marx views is that organized expropriation of the expropriators by armed proletariat would destroy the the evils of the society. Marx. In Hindu –Swaraj he wrote an almost absolute ruralist 15 But in his later writings he was only opposed to the perversities of modern imperialism.Marxism grew in the context of the western industrial world. according to Marx the capitalist are robbers because they extract surplus unearned profit.Marx exalts the concert physical labor of the workers. Marx states that capital is concealed labor.
18 Increasing perfection of the state through the application of the precepts. it appeals to our youthful sentiments to get the things done. To the atheist. In its exaggerated from. He believed that in the ideal perfectionist society of Ramarajya there will operate the sovereignty of the moral authority of the people and the state as an instrument of concentrated violence would cease to exist. and the Satyagraha. 19 While Gandhi to a certain extent has been influenced by the suffragettes and the Sinn Fein Movements. Philosophy of Freedom Gandhi believes that he literary believed that not a leaf moves without sanction from the divine. Asiatic intellectual may cite the example of Russian revolution and probably of the Chinese revolution as indications of the strength of the combined exploited class under a determined ruthless leadership. Gandhi considered the state as an organization of violence and force. it was the supreme determinant of things and the governor of the movement of the world . According to Marx. both Gandhi and Marx is anarchist. The dictatorship of proletariat as pointed by Lenin would be the highest concentration of state power. Philosophy of Politics In a sense. methods and techniques of non – violent democracy should be immediate goal although the ultimate aim is moral anarchism conceptualized as Ramarajya. In spite of a common hostility to the iniquities. the capitalistic state would be replaced by the proletariat dictatorship. God or Truth being the final reality and omnicompetent being.But divine determinism in Gandhi applied only to the ultimate explanation of things. Any increase in the commodities constituting capita l represents a corresponding extortion of unpaid labor from working class. he would think that capitalistic extortion of surplus is tinged with the blood of the proletariat. Spiritual and moral freedom for Gandhi lay not in the 125 . 20 Gandhi believed that in the ultimate sense. Marx emphasized class –solidarity and propaganda of communist ideology. the Paris Commune of 1871 inspired Marx. True freedom means realization of self or Atma.Although he would not endorse Proudhon’ statement that property is theft. It will build the foundations for the ultimate classless society. Some of us can quote the Bhagavad-Gita with its doctrine of Dharma-yuddha or righteous war to support Marx. Gandhi and Marx enormously differ with regard to their technique of action. There is realism in what Marx says. the state is the child of social exploitation consequent on the growth of commodity production. While Gandhi stressed holy life in an Asrama for training in Constructive programme. Since according to Marx. The communist society will be second phase of communism. a theological determinism can lead to occasionalism. violence and exploitation practiced by the state. this may appear to be an extreme statement. the socialization of the means of production and the end of private appropriation would mean the withering away of the state.
He therefore did not prescribe the Platonic limitation of needs and wants as Gandhi did. In an era of accentuated production of commodity and fashion goods. writ large upon the face of nature. In eastern countries also there is quest for planning. As realist he felt that the expansion of demands is bound to result in minimization of freedom because fresh demands means increasing dependence of others. he always accorded grudging recognition. Gandhi was a champion of simplicity. He stressed the moral bankruptcy of modern civilization and prescribed the sanctity of ethical substance and universal moral will.egoistic assertions of the claims of the selfish. Marx received from the scientific rationalism of the Enlightment movement in France and Germany the belief in the stupendous power of reasons to create better society and happier future for man.In his fury against malady of capitalism. Gandhi thought that a peaceful solution of our problems is not only possible but also the only way to have a real permanent solution. politics and economic thought for his theory of scientific socialism 126 . Conclusion Gandhi was a national liberator. To Gandhi freedom means a totality or a whole. he become blind to the moral aspect of western civilization. and spiritual freedom as the emancipation of the soul were the phases of freedom. heavy industries and the other adjuncts of a scientific and technological and scientific civilization. capital accumulation. a champion of Asian consciousness. Hence we think there is great wisdom in Gandhi’s views that minimization of wants alone can prepare the conditions of Individual freedom and rights. Marx wants radical change in the social structure even by resort to force .Large scale planning would create condition whereby increased production with less amount of work would be possible. in to freedom . vain and lustful empirical ego but in identification with and obedience to the commands of the spiritual being or truth. Marx did represent a reaction against western civilization . 21 Freedom according to Marx means the accentuation of rationality entailing the consequent transmutation of the necessity. Although Gandhi modified his old denunciation of machinery as found in Hind –swaraj. 22 Marx was a child of the scientific and technological civilization of the capitalist west. Gandhiji held that a men who obtains freedom over his passions would not tolerate the social and economic exploitation of his country because the citizens there of are really his own selves.In the name of emancipation of proletariat he thinks it wise to take tooth for tooth and nail for a nail. a saint and moral revolutionary who preached the supremacy of Satyagraha. He on the other hand propounded the use of mechanized power for catering to the needs not of a selfish group but of the entire proletariat collectivity. Marx was a thinking realist a colossal scholar of history. National freedom (swaraj) from the bondage of alien rulers and exploiters. But Marx and Lenin felt that socialism is impossible without mechanization. new wants are being created and men are busy increasing their standard of living. moral freedom from the slavery passions.
Gandhism represents the progressive intensification of social and economic realism . The Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. 9. freedom and culture . vol –I. 103. p20 D. If certain sociological and political constraints were absent.194 V. pp5-8 127 . Agra. But this will mean partial renunciation of the Marxist belief in violence. Socialism and Democracy. Capitalism.Ahemadabad.If the social realism of Marx and ethical idealism of Gandhi can be reconciled. Reference 1. 1947 p. 6. D. But on the eventual realization of Gandhian Ideas of truth and non violence. Gandhi. Gandhi and Stalin. Murihead and S Radhakrishnan (Ed) Contemporary India Philosophy. But by organized campaign of hatred. the angelic saint forgave his opponents and even the men who physically assaulted and killed him . Collected works of Marx and Engels. Bukharin. 2. p. . Fischer. P Verma. p103 Collected works of Marx and Engels. falsehood and conspiracy have to be end. 5. Vol 2 . There is possibility that that Marx dream may be realized at least in some more countries. the cult of armed ideology to be substantially modified. 10. Mohan. 7.built on the foundations of historical materialism and economic of surplus value. 3. 4.It is the task before the philosophical intellectuals individuals to build a comprehensive synthesis based on preservation both of individual moral liberty and common good of society.Marx saw deep but Gandhi’s vision were deeper. 8. 2nd edition. Hindu Dharma . vol 2 p224 Capital (Chigo edition) vol 1 p91 Joseph A Schumpter. Lassalle and Bakunin are integral portions of History of the proletariat revolution. 1959. p7 J . One may not go to the extent of loving the opponent. Marxism and Modern Thought. Force might have been the midwife of every society pregnant with the birth of a new one but in worlds faced with portentous doom of nuclear annihilation. Navjivan. Marxism would be willing to tone down its fanatical attachment to violence. the world will be happier. N. Madison. New York. H. 11. 1959. New York.depends the future humane peace Is it too idealist to hope that we can find a way to synthesize the ethical absolutism with Gandhi with the emphasis of Marx on the immediate and radical solution of the economic problems in favor of exploited class . Indian Political Philosophy. p224 Collected works of Gandhi. His vitriolic pronouncements against Proudhon. 1950 Collected works of Marks and Engels. 1953 Shelling and Revolution.204 L.
The Political Philosiphy of Mahatnma Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi. “The millions of India live in the rural sections of India. To him. Bohm –Bawerk .1893pp66-192 Capital. 16. 21. pp 954-55 Ibid. He carried it to the masses. VP Verma. They are unmindful of the ruin of empires and the massacre of the population of large towns. 13. Nobody else in history was acclaimed by such multitudes of humanity. made them shed their fear. Science and Modern World. N Berdyaev. Sri Aurobindo Life Divine. Ethical studies. Vol.Karl Marx and the close of the system... 17. Evolution of Political of Gandhi. Freedom and the Spirit FH Bradely. Thus the permanent causal efficiency of God is posited un this system. p186 V. 1969. Calcutta. 128 . London. P Verma op cit P263 Malebranche (1638 -1715) was an occasionalist who upheld that God determines bodily movement corresponding to mental process. 14. 20. Hind Swaraj. third volume of capital. The Trinitarian Formulae.12. and it was Gandhi who aroused them. 15. AN Whitehead. Also Gandhi articles collected in Young India(in Hindi)3 vol In his article British rule in India (1853) Marx harped on the stagnating character of village communities. 22. Thus they transformed a self developing social state into never –changing natural destiny and thus brought about a brutalizing worship of nature. 19. Stanley Jones. chapter XXX to XXXIII B Bhattacharya .. and made them conscious of destiny. “ E. Before the advent of Gandhi the nationalist movement was among the intellectuals. 18. due to their traditionalism “barbarian egotism” limited outlook and the contaminating distinction of caste. these villege communities led almost a passive and vegetative sort of existence.
Few noted literary critics have analysed these aspects. Yet. education. screeches and letters. The present paper attempts to analyse works on literary assessment on Gandhi. Gandhi’s contribution to English literature and assessment of Gandhi’s link with English language and literature is a less explored aspect. Echoing the views of many. The present article attempts to fill this gap.S. They are journalistic in nature. Iyenger questions Gandhi’s claim for a place in IndoAnglican literature as a writer. Besides these Iyanger also reflects on Gandhi on the concluding chapter. And as such any review of literature on Gandhi can only be a limited exercise. ethics. It deals with the works on Gandhi and English literature.248). Most were prompted by contemporary political events and queries from critics and followers.R. It attempts to arouse interest amongst scholars of English literature to assess Gandhi as a writer. economics. “Gandhi was no writer. psychology. However he was not opposed to English language and literature. followers. Most of his writings are essays. sociology and literature have written extensively on Gandhi. Gandhi also influenced Bhasa writers and Indo Anglican literature. the writings were not without tremendous literary value.Anglican literature. In this particular work two chapters are devoted to Gandhi. It is well-known that Gandhi was opposed to English rule and for that matter any foreign rule. Patia. properly so called. Recognising the *Head. Bhubaneswar. He continues to inspire contemporary writers. With his voluminous writings in English including translations from Gujurati which he made himself and those of others which he vetted make him one of the most prolific Indian writers in English. An attempt is being made in the following paragraphs to summerise the views of critics. Iyenger is the doyen of Indo. 129 . KIITS University. K. K.ENGLISH LITERATURE AND MAHATMA GANDHI: SELECT REVIEW OF LITERATURE Geeta Satapathy* Introduction There is a plethora of writings on Gandhi. One an Mahatma Gandhi himself and the other on the Gandhi literature. His friends.S Iyenger certainly popularized critical study of Indo Anglican literature. nor was he at any time particularly interested in the art of writing’ but he had to write and talk a great deal (Often in English) as we have to walk or eat or breath” (p. He was the chief authority in the last century with his encylopaedic works on Indo Anglican literature. opponents. and critics during life time and after have equally added to the literature on Gandhi. Gandhi’s link with English is infact manifold. Scholars of various disciplines including politics.R. Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. Biographers and general writers have also contributed a vast literature on Gandhi.
Iyenger quotes extensively from Gandhi’s celebrated Banaras University Speech (Feb. economics. Gandhi was critical not only of foreign rulers but also the Indians themselves. was never less than adequate to the place.251). Iyenger considers Hind Swaraj as the locus classics among Gandhi’s writings. culture. Iyenger also calls the Gandhian period (192048) the phoenix hour of India.248). Thus Iyenger recognizes that Gandhi exercised a tremendous influence on our languages. (pp. Iyenger finds that Gandhi’s reading was selective not voracious yet his mind was receptive and creative. an essayist Iyenger also recognizes Gandhi as a translator of ancient poetry. Dutt etc shaped the Gandhian ideal. and their very bareness constitutes their strength” (p. economic. religion. his style and indeed makes him a great writer. social life language and literature – acquired a more on less pronounced Gandhian hue” (p. Threaou. 1916) to exemplify Gandhi’s powerful and effective style. Dada Bhai Naroji and R. educational and ethical thoughts from Gandhi’s three principal works namely the Hind Swaraj.importance of Gandhi at least in India between two world wars (1919 – 1945) Iyenger notes “life could not be the same as before. mood or occasion. Yet they are Gandhi’s words. Besides establishing Gandhi place or position as a prose writer. Iyenger continues to argue that Gandhi’s personality and his sincerity of purpose puts strength to his words. religion and spirituality. Thus Iyenger concludes “No apology is pleaded therefore for considering Gandhi as a writer and as a formative influence on the writers of his time” (p. It would be out of place here to provide any extensive description of Gandhian thought as identified by Iyenger. argues that Gandhi found echoes of his own conviction in these writers. education. Plato. with no colour. however deceptively or disarmingly bare and simple. Hind Swaraj though written around (1908 – 1909) was the spring of Gandhi’s thought. A new life gushed forward through the new views of India.C. on literatures through his own writings in English and Gujurati and through the writings of others both Indo-Anglican and Vernacular who came under his influence. Referring to Gandhi’s power of convincing his opponents Iyenger endorses the views of Prof. Ruskin. no radiating brilliance. and every segment of our national life – politics. Vivian d Sala Pinto that Gandhi had converted a dragon and this is much more difficult than killing a dragon. “Gandhi had neither the time nor the inclination to cultivate the so called art of writing or speaking in English. economics. However Iyenger’s observation on Gandhian style of writing and speaking needs to be reflected.264).263). Satyagraha in South Africa and Experiments With Truth – An Autobiography. “Evidently Gandhi had anxiously sought corroboration for his inner most convictions in the writings of others so that he might not be misled by himself or mislead his country men” (p. He merely wrote or spoke straight on. Iyenger also 130 .263-64). Iyenger goes on to highlight the Gandhian philosophy of life in all its facets politics. Iyenger at length draws the germs of Gandhian political.249). Iyenger instead of holding that Tolstay. and when we read them today the word seem to be often insipid or anemic. “but Gandhi’s mastery of language. Referring to the security arrangement for the Viceroy Gandhi spoke “why this distrust? Is it not better that even lord Harding’s should die than live a living death?” (p.
272) Iyenger agrees that Gandhi carried forward the new Indian tradition of writing excellently in both Gujarati and English like Rammohan (Bengali and English) and Tilak (Marahati and English). He distrusted machines and conceded that human body is a wonderful machine. his simplicity. But both saw that mastery of the self had to come first and that it would be no easy canter to the goal” (p. Reflecting on Gandhi’s thought and ideals Iyenger insists that Gandhi’s contradiction were reconciled with the practical requirements of a karmayogi. He was critical of fast traveling but used car and train when convenient. or incur the risk of the mad furry of my people”. These. Iyenger.refers to Gandhi’s concluding statement in the great trial of 1922 and he calls it imperishable classic from our quest and struggle for freedom. and Sri Aurobindo’s.272).257).s had an obvious ethical accent. further stresses that though Gandhi was a man of action and a practical man. Iyenger endorses the view of Jawaharlal Nehru that with the death of Gandhi at least a particular sort of light went out. Iyenger points out these to sustain his view that Gandhi was a pragmatist. He writes “there were. Religion of truth was central. Iyenger finds a world of difference between the 131 . Amplitude. indeed. He cites few examples like Gandhi’s hope that Hindustani would become the national language of India but continued to write and speak English. no arm chair thinker and a practical man of action. self mastery and passive resistance. many parallels between Gandhi’s thoughts on Swaraj and Swadeshi. Indian writing and speaking in English since the Gandhian revolution has tended to be wisely utilitarian. (p.268). Further Gandhi was referring to his commitment to nonviolence and the unfortunate incident of Chouri Choura. Iyenger argued that Gandhi erred in denying art’s autonomy and pre-eminence. I would still do the same… I had either to submit to a system which I considered had done inseparable harm to my country. He wanted a change of their heart. although the latter’s had a more pronounced spiritual accent where as the former. “I have no desire whatsoever to conceal from this quote the fact that to preach disaffection towards the existing system government has become almost a passion with me… I knew that I was playing with fire. Iyenger argues that Gandhi was no systematic thinker or system builder. Comparing Gandhi with Sri Aurobindo he finds how both used similar ideas in distinctly different manner. be was primarily a man of God. He wanted English to free India yet he was not opposed to their continued stay. the. With his ideas and actions Gandhi revolutionized our political life and in turn our writing. Yet Gandhi did not lack in fullness (p. richness of phrasing and weight of miscellaneous learning had to give way to a bare and austere. pointedness and clarity was refreshing in contrast to heaviness of earlier Indian writings. I ran the risk and if I was set free.273). As a rule. Though Gandhi was no great scholar. cultivating the virtues of clarity and directness and brevity rather than eloquence and elaboration and exuberance” (p. (p. He was a humanist and a religious man more than a nationalist and a patriot. He had spurts of intuition which were like sparks from the anvil and Gandhi succeeded in expressing them in memorable terms.
Subas Bose on the other hand. Iyenger compares the speech of Ambika Charan Mazumdar with that of Sardar Balalbhai Patel to bringout the difference. Naik like Iyenger is one of the most acclaimed critic of Indo-Anglican literature. the mass including the uneducated. These themes were not limited to political essays. Broadly Naik deals with Gandhi in two parts.K. his actions and ideas. the ordeal of the freedom struggle. the Muslims and a host of other marginalized sections in India’s freedom movement happened largely due to Gandhi. The other attempts to treat the Gandhian period of Indian English writing and the impact of Gandhian theme and style on Indian English writing. It is not necessary here to trace the political career of Gandhi.R.K. purity and even exert in a simple manner without ornamentation. Patel. Naik chooses to christen the period 1920 to 1947 as the Gandhian whirl wind to signify the impact of Gandhi on the Indian English writings. In the present limited survey of literature the whole book is not being taken up. the dalits. English or vernacular. The present review attempt to identify the main streaks of Naik’s understanding. The review is limited to Naik’s views on Gandhi. Surendranath Banerjee etc on one hand and Gandhi. Gandhi also influenced novelists and short story writers of vernacular and Indian English literature. east west relationship. This is not to deny originality of theme in other writers but to assert the overbearing impact of Gandhi. drams. He observes that his followers. R. Iyenger also refers to the vast literature on Gandhi. Naik traces the political career of Gandhi to bring out how he was central to the events (including socio-political) in India. K.S Iyenger is one of the most noted writer of history of Indian English literature.earlier writings of Rammohan Roy. and even cinemas. opponents and writers of various political convictions have responded to Gandhi and his views. Naik feels that 132 . His “A history of Indian English Literature” is an all time classic. Iyenger argues that many followed Gandhi and used short sentences one after another like strokes of painting brush. At length Iyenger analyses the writings of Venu Chitale. Infact no author. The unprecedented awakening. exploited and oppressed became the most compelling themes of Indian English writing. One attempts to treat Gandhi as a English writer. M. Sarojini Naidu. novels. the communal problem and the plight of landless. Naik along with K. Iyenger goes on to argue that Gandhi’s influence was not limited to political essayist of contemporary period. Pyarelal and R. removal of untouchability. Nagarajan. The impact of Gandhian style was immediate and long lasting. Gandhi also raised especially the political prose to a new height. Women participation in public life. Gandhian on Non-Gandhian could ignore Gandhi. the public participation of women.K. poems. Narayan etc. Raja Rao.R. Similarly Iyenger also quotes from Rajaji and Nehru to highlight the impact of Gandhian style and content. Gandhi used words of anguish. Sreshta. Gandhi also used imagery without much intricacy. Malariya. they percolated down to short stories. With this the themes of Indian literature widened. M. down trodden.
the London period 1888 – 91. He ascribed new meanings to ancient Indian thought and his critics assert that Gandhi used the ancient writings of India selectively and out of context to sustain his own views. Though Gandhi claims no originality and Naik tends to agree with him.122). Naik argues that Gandhi’s world view evolved under the influence of the New Testament. by no means an original thinker with a razor sharp mind. Britom in South Africa (1895). ‘John Middle ton Murrey and Gerald Heard held the book as a modern classic while G. journalist and author. Naik points out views on Hind Swaraj varied in extremes. nor a brilliant theoretician” (p. Gandhi’s pamphlets. passive resistance. Gandhi was deeply religious yet tolerant.the nature and content of Indian English writings would have been distinctly different without a Gandhi. During the South African (1893-1915) period Gandhi blossomed out as a disputationist. During the South African period Gandhi’s 133 . non-violence and purity of means were corner stones of Gandhi’s ideology. Quoting selectively from the writings of Gandhi. I have nothing new to teach the world. Before we to trace Gandhi’s impact on Indian English writing. ‘An appeal to every. Gandhi himself asserted (1938) nearly 30 years after writing the book that he saw nothing to alter his views expressed in Hind Swaraj. Gandhi declared “I have presented no new principles. Ruskin’s Unto This Last. Gandhi definitely brew a new drink. Naik tries to bring out the essential views. Infact this is the major theme dominating the entire Gandhian literature.K. women and the marginalized. had a spiritual quest for God realization and above all Gandhi was highly experimental. All I have done is to experiment in both on as vast as a scale I could do”. He wanted to unleash the springs of Indian culture. He identifies the following. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills. Gokhle felt it to be crude and a hastily conceived book which the author would withdraw after he had spent a year in home land. The Gita. He categorizes the writings into three periods. Other accuse him of a shallow understanding of India’s scripture. Gandhi’s real struggle was not merely for political emancipation from the British but from freedom of the bondage of modern machine civilization. Gandhi even found justification for non-violence from Bhagavad Gita ! Naik rightly asserts that doctrines such as soul force. Naik further argues that Gandhi’s views were also shaped largely by the Satyagraha and other political movements. Naik holds Gandhi’s ‘Hind Swaraj’ as his first major work. Naik’s views on Gandhi as a writer can be summarized. the South African period 1893-1915 and the Indian period 1916-48. Gandhi’s principal concern included poverty alleviation. empowerment of dalits. but tried to restate old principles. Thoreau’s Essays on Civil Disobedience. his experiments in community living and his contemporary milieu. ‘The Indian franchise’ (1895) and Grivances of the British Indians in South Africa’ (1896) were fine examples of his vigorous plea for amelioration of the Indian condition. Naik rightly asserts that Hind Swaraj reflects the essential world view of Gandhi. and works of Edward Carpenter and Tolstoy. “Gandhi was no erudite scholar.
The translations of his major books from Gujurati to English does not dilute his claims as a Indo-Anglican writers. Thus problems of analyzing his style remain. his description of the charkha as (not a new invention (but) a re-discovery like the discovery of its own mother by a strayed child). These voluminous and numerous writings definitely place Gandhi as a writer of English language. but the transformation which his character and career underwent in South Africa lent a new vigour to his style without taking away its basic simplicity. He was also forced to provide rather lengthy descriptions and analysis to put across Indian words and thought in the absence of appropriate English equivalence. ‘Satanic Government’. Of course Gandhi was not only transcreating but also enriching the English language and literature in the process. Infact the majority of his writings now placed in the 102. Vallavbhai Patel. and a puckish sense of humour (e. ‘Young India’ 1919 to 1932 and ‘Harizan’ 1933 to 48. The ‘Story of my experiments of truth’ (192728). for it is the expression of a diffident man wholly unsure of himself. All the writings of Gandhi appeared here in serial form.g. ‘The woes of Mahatmas are known only to Mahatmas’) are noteworthy. These difficulties forced Gandhi in no small measure to use Indian words and expressions to a great extent. a happy knack of coining memorable phrases like ‘Himalayan blunder. Kripalini. “In contrast to the opulent rhetoric of earlier stalwarts like Surendranath Banerjee and Pherozshah Mehta. He also continuously wrote short articles and note in English in the columns of ‘Young India and Harijan. Naik. Majority of his English writings were letters and numerous speeches that he delivered. Naik traces the impact of Gandhi on his contemporary writers like Nehru. These translations were mostly corrected and revised by Gandhi himself. Gandhi’s place among modern India English prose writers is as distinctive as his role in the life of modern India has been. transparent and energetic style which eschewed all oratorical flourishes and communicated with the directness of an arrow hitting its mark. Besides these Gandhi wrote extensively in English. His early style of the London period is expectedly drab and colourless. Of the writings of Indian period the following are the major.g. Satyagraha in South Africa (1928).K. With maturity also came a gift for homely analogy (e. Raj Gopalchari. and From Yevarda Mandir-collection of letters from the Yevarda prison (1932). Gandhi and his translators also faced inherent difficulties of translation.B. Discourses on the Gita’ (1930).C. Further it can be argued that Gandhi never wrote in English but translated or revised translations of his work. During the Indian period (1916-48) Gandhi published two well known journals. Most of these were written originally in Gujurati and were translated not by the author but by others. Morarji Desai. (p-125) Such is the assessment of M. 134 . G. ‘Constructive Programme its meaning and place’ (1941) and ‘Key to health’ (1948) etc. J. Other works included. ‘Poem of pity’ (description of the low) and ‘Drain Inspector’s Report’ (apropos of Miss Mayo’s attack on India). J. Mumarappa. Thus Naik argues that these writings cannot be put at par with Hind Swaraj which was translated by Gandhi himself. Gandhi used a spare and simple. volumes of his complete works are in English.style and themes of writing got crystalised.
He did not author any fiction or works of imagination. his sense of humour. Gandhi does not belong to the genere of Indian English writers who intrinsically imbibed the style of English writers. The Gandhi theme continues to inspire film makers. India’s struggle for freedom and for re-generation defined his writings.R. and his coinage of new similies etc have secured an impeccable position in Indo. Gandhi was not a professional writer though he could have made his living through writing and journalism. Roy. M. Savarkar. In the initial years he wrote letters to the editors. The bulk of his spoken and written worlds have been published. the alien language of the rulers. Dange etc. letters in very large number and news paper articles. Shyam Prasad Mookarjee and S. running into over 100 volumes.Anglian literature.Ramchandran and Vinoba Bhave etc. Vivkananda and Aurobindo) in enriching religious and philosophical prose writings in India. In fact today Gandhi’s biographies itself form an important component of the Indo-Anglican biographical literature. It was used to sub-ordinate people and ultimately used to usher freedom. Ambedkar. Most of his speeches have been published. English was his language of public communication and the language in which he penned his thoughts. English which had made the empire also unmade it. V. Similarly those who were opposed to Gandih also contributed to the Indian writings in English. His writings mostly relate to the busy significance of his life and acts.K. fluent and cantankerous. Gandhi participated with others (like Radhakrishnan. some of which were long. autobiography. He found ways to make. short articles mostly on vegetarianism and petitions. Yet he always accommodated English along with other Indian languages as a vital link between Indians and the world. As a whole Naik finds Gandhi to be an epoch making writer. 135 . provides one of the most exhaustive analysis on Gandhi and English. his use of Indian words. Gandhi not only wrote an autobiography but also inspired others to write his biography.N.A.320)2 Sunil Klilnani in his work. Later on his prose included essays. B. Gandhi pointed and structured human relation through the fragile architecture of language. His directness of style. He proved beyond doubt that English though a foreign language in India is capable of portraying the inner most thoughts of Indians. Amongst the opponents of Gandhi Naik enlists Subhash Chandra Bose. Though Gandhi was opposed to modern capitalistic machine driven society and considered mother tongue to be the best medium of instruction at least upto high school level of education. Rhythms of politics. Gandhi was a central figure in the long and uneasy journey of English in becoming an Indian language. intimate. memories. Gandhi more than anybody else exemplified vividly Indian politics in English language for more than half a century. M. Gandhi gave Indian journalism a new life and colour. A free summary of his writing provide an interesting insight into “Gandhi The Writer”. Gandhi began his journey with English like most other children of his time.D.(p. choice of simple words extensive views of Indian (imagery). Gandhi’s life and views are reflected eminently in the Indian literature both English and vernacular.
speaker and writer. promisicuous reader : Gibbon. The articles were always short.early in life unsteadily and uncomfortably. Very soon he got over this fad and was himself again. Indians generally used roat method to learn English just like Sanskrit. After completing school education Gandhi went for some time to a local college but decided very soon to go to England to pursue law. an intellectual of a different class. Every child learns mother tongue first by listening.Anglican writer. In the initial year at London Gandhi was enamoured with the English way of life and tried hard to become an English gentle man. English had definitely opened windows for him though not swept him away. Thus unlike other Indian writers of English like Aurobindo. a spiritualist. In fact right during the sail he had to encounter this problem. He developed into a voracious. His earliest writings were related to vegetarianism. all caught his attention. Latin Greek and literature of Elizabethan or Victorian English. Theosophical pamplets and vegetarian tracts. He was an immigrant. He was definitely interested and keen to go to England. He learnt English in the school from St IV onwards only. In India in contrast most children start writing English. follow it up with speaking and hardly listen to good English. English was awesome and the language of the rulers. In the High School examination the students were required to study subjects like Geography. involvement with marginal vegetarian and religious groups defined the boundaries of his involvement with English as a reader. These two works reflect the worth of Gandhi as an accomplished Indo. written in simple English with a great deal of clarity in ideas and expression. a radical in many ways. Gandhi acquired this necessary competency in English. His law education. Gandhi was definitely not exposed to a dose of classical. Science and Mathematics in English medium. Gandhi’s exposure to English literature was limited to the prescribed texts at the school level. In the initial years in South Africa Gandhi honed his skills by continuously writing letters to the editors and drafting petitions and memorials on behalf of the Indian community. After reaching London Gandhi. All these probably shaped his style to some extent. Like most Indian children of his time Gandhi learnt English almost in the reverse way. Gandhi was not bound at all by the classical English style. During this period in South Africa he wrote two most substantial books Hind Swaraj and Satyagraha. the bureaucrats and of the government. Gandhi was no exception. Gandhi returned to India armed with a law degree and put his skills of English language in drafting legal petitions. a vegetarian and a concerned Indian all rolled into a strange and appealing phenomenon. then by speaking and lastly by writing. It had to be learnt through mother tongue and mostly through translation method. Gujurati was Gandhi’s mother tongue and partially Urdu was spoken around. 136 . was forced to speak English and even experienced public speaking. Gandhi did not go to a University in England. Infact English had opened a new world for him. Though Gandhi wrote occasionally in Gujurati and spoke in Hindi and Gujurati he remained an Indian writer of English language till his death. Gandhi read Bell’s ‘Standard Elocutionist’ and though hesitant Gandhi evolved as a public speaker. At the school level amongst other things he had studied Paradise Lost and Pride and Prejudice.
It was written in Gujurati while sailing back from England to South Africa in 1909. Hind Swaraj was basically a statement of a doctrinal moral argument. Congress stood split between the moderates and extremists in the Surat Congress of 137 . Khadi. However Gandhi no where matches Plato’s fluency. He was hired to help the European lawyers engaged by the traders. Ahimsa. English men also used several Indian words in English. As far as this theme was concerned (political) there is striking resemblance. Gandhi felt dejected. This was one part of the background. This demand he felt is legitimate. Just as Indian words were creeping into English. The work is full of similies. Gandhi with others enriched the process of making English language familiar and easy even to common people through his writings and speeches. Plato’s Republic is a classic example of debating political ideology. Indian words in English. It is not known whether Gandhi ever read Plato’s ‘Republic’. Hind Swaraj was the first book that Gandhi wrote. He coined the expression ‘Hind Swaraj’ taking words from Indian sources and used it in English language. One is tempted to conjure that Gandhi had some exposure to Plato’s ‘Republic’. as Queen Victoria in her proclamation in 1858 had assured the Indians that they would be treated of par with the other subjects of her empire. It was written to guide the political struggle in India. This was not limited to Indians. and Swodeshi etc. In 1893 he sailed for South Africa hired by a Gujurati trader operating in South Africa. His objective was to put across his new ideal. Gandhi finally found a way out. choice of words and linguistic excellence. It was in South Africa between 1893 to 1915 Gandhi evolved as a writer and developed a distinct style as an author. This he did brilliantly with great success. It is interesting to note that Gandhi never repeated the dialogue style in any of his later writings. The other was the scenario in India. It was a refined version of the sophist debates on issues of ethics and philosophy. Gandhi could cut no ice. In this process he was also recognizing that his alternate political ideology and methods did not fit into any existing Indian or English nomenclature. Several nationalists and spiritualists also used many. metaphors and examples to be cited. In course of his life time Gandhi continued with this practice of incorporating several Indian words in his English writings such as Satyagraha. Some of which are startling in their vividness. In fact English was increasingly becoming an Indian language at least in India. Gandhi wrote Hind Swaraj in the form of a dialogue.He almost failed as a lawyer. Gandhi had gone to England to plead with the English leadership that South Africa was a part of the British empire and the Indians should be treated at par with the English in South Africa. The English leaders argued that they are on the verge of granting dominion status to South Africa at par with Canada and Australia and as such they would not interfere in the internal affairs of South Africa. The background of the book is an important consideration. an all time classic in Greek language. Gandhi was not the lone practitioner. Gandhi was not concerned or conscious of literary style. the reverse was also happening. This is not at all to suggest that Hind Swaraj has no literary value.
The book was banned in South Africa for almost 30 years. The political aspects were subordinated to this clash of civilization. He wanted to offer an alternate front. In 1921 Gandhi reprinted the book as Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule. He did not question the patriotism of the moderates but felt the moderates constitutional methods of petitioning and prayer to be ineffective. But he could not accept the violent option. Gandhian thought was a growth and development. In 1924 another edition was published in USA with the title Sermon on the Sea. One such metaphor that Gandhi regretted letter refers to the British parliament. some of which are startling in their vividness. the leaders of the extremist faction were all behind bar. However Gandhi continuously reflected in his writings in Indian Opinion. Gandhi himself said that it is a book which can be put in the hands of a child. Gandhi described the book as a severe condemnation of modern civilization. he had still faith in the British sense of justice and fair play. and paraboles. letters to editors of South African news papers. The book was reissued in1938 in South Africa. As a whole the conflict between India and England was perceived more as a conflict between the eternal India and the modern industrial capitalist western civilization. His early writings during his stay in England as a law student does not touch upon political issues. It is full of examples. He wrote “that which you consider to be the mother of parliaments is like a sterile women and a prostitute”. There was also a sense of dejection with India. Hind Swaraj is the only systematic enunciation of his philosophy. the Morle-MintoReform was too little and absolutely meaningless. metaphors. Hind Swaraj is thus written. Historia Magisteria Vitae. Gandhi was caught between the two factions. Gandhi insisted history is really a record of working of the force of love or of the soul. pamphlets and petitions. It had he advantage of being translated by Gandhi himself and published as Indian Home Rule.December 1907. He agreed with the extremist as far as rejection of moderate method was concerned. It seemed Curzon’s dream of the sad demise of Congress was looming large. similes. He wanted Indians to release themselves from the subjection by 138 . Gandhi’s writings is a polemical critique of one of the central maxims of western historical consciousness. when Gandhi was baffled with two different themes – one of dejection with the English leadership and the other of the Indian crises of moderate – Extremist division. Hind Swaraj was written in Gujurati and published in 1909. ‘Hind Swaraj was the manifestation of the alternate Gandhian ideal. Much of the power of the book is derived from clarity of its argumentation and directness of expression. The several titles that Gandhi tried out reflects his groping for a suitable nomenclature for the alternate movement he was leading. Yet. He consistently refuted the arguments that what had not occurred in history should not occur. Long after Hind Swaraj was written Gandhi insisted that he might change a word or tone down the language but he still stands for the ideal and the spirit of Hind Swaraj.
Gandhi dictated Satyagraha in South Africa while in Yervada Jail 1923-24. Soon after two other papers ‘Young India’ in English and ‘Naba Jiban’ in Gujurati were placed under his editorship. Gandhi left no choice for the judge : either he could execute the law and convict Gandhi or act according to his conscience and resign. Between publication of Hind Swaraj and Satyagraha in South Africa Gandhi continued writing on various issues in journals in English and Gujurati. The book was first published in 1928. He said “I am therefore here to submit not to a light penalty but to the highest penalty. Hind Swaraj remains one of the most illustrious literary work of Gandhi. I do not ask for an extenuating act of clemency. Gandhi was already an established practicing journalist and he joined the fray with enthusiasm. Satyagraha in South Africa was the longest of Gandhi’s book and stands in critical relation to the earlier Hind Swaraj and later autobiography. directness of expression and clarity of thought particularly on the Indians was tremendous. Gandhi started his first paper ‘Satyagraha’ in 1919. He stated “they only object in writing this book is that it may be helpful in our present struggle”. Gandhi succeeded in translating his individual conflict with west into a Universal conflict for Indians. He wanted to impress the followers of civil disobedience movement that Satyagraha was derived not from moral theory or doctrine but from experience and practice. He wrote the book less as a statement of doctrinal moral argument and more a as factual record of his life in South Africa. Even events directly relating to him were not romanticized or layered with emotional reflections. It was translated into English by Valaji Desai. I am aware that I have written strongly about the insolent threat that has come across the seas.another civilization. The sense of language he demonstrated was not continuous across realms.F. Gandhi simply rejected the English model of civilization. He was quite provocative. He wrote ‘sedition’ has become the creed of the Congress. I am here to invite and cheerfully submit to the highest penalty that can be inflicted upon me for what in law is a deliberate crime and what appears to me to be the highest duty of the citizen”. Andrews. Gandhi’s courtroom speeches based on written statements is masterly in its management of words and meaning. He took great pains to avoid exaggerations and melo drama while recounting the political event plain prose. The impact of his simplicity. Gandhi was of course arrested for the article and was also charged. Gandhi successfully used English legal language and etiquette to drive wedge between the meaning of the state and those other whom it rooted. His words was no less than a subtle and effective system of defeating terrorism and organized display of force. I do not ask for mercy. 139 . with the help of Verror Eluin and C. Gandhi returned to India in 1914 and found a flourishing debate on all aspects of life in India conducted through an active political press. but it is high time that the British people were made to realize that the fight has commenced in 1920 is a fight to the finish.
Later on it was translated and corrected by Gandhi. One of the last text he wrote as a book was “Key to health” in 1942. He wrote as the spirit moved him at the time of writing. he had no quarrel with the English people. Gandhi still reflects the story of a young hero exiled from home to London and then to South Africa. spiritual. strengths and the sensibilities not only of his life but of his time. one who returns to his home land to free his people from align rule. This was also written originally in Gujurati translated by Sushila Nayer and revised by Gandhi himself. This provoked the English to react to respond with their own coinage ‘We wish we could’. His most powerful coinage was perhaps ‘Quit India and this was in English. Many have opined that Gandhi followed the form of sequencing of parables as in Bhudhist Jataka tradition. The experiment theme dominates. He never claimed any finality about his conclusions and kept an open mind regarding all resources. Through reading Gandhi one can still catch-hold of the rhythms. it was the story of a quest for freedom and nationhood as well as personal purification and salvation. This is one of the typical examples of the self help manual. His writing were still like a lawyers brief but without the obfusication of legal language. Gandhi developed an unornamented style completely diverged from the prose style of earlier.The dramatization of his own life through his autobiography ‘Satyagraha and life in South Africa and numerous other journalistic writings on him are of tremendous impact. He hardly fell into rheortorical bluster. He wrote of experiments in political. Individual drama was skillfully blended with the historical epic. His speeches and writings were the real magic ward. These new coinages were not limited to use of Indian words in English. All this he does not though any political intrigue. one who fights injustice. It was serialized in English between 1927 to 29. Gandhi had constantly the difficulty of translating words and concepts of Indian language into English. Less than a fortnight before his assassination in January 1948. one who learns spiritual and physical fortitude. new coinages of words were striking. His life was. reading a part of Indian history and even the world history. An autobiography and the story of my experiment with truth was initially written in Gujurati and serealised in journals. and the medium of instruction and was constantly fighting with the English civilization. Gandhi’s English was distinct in more than one way. physical (on his body) and even dietetics field. It means reading life. Few features may be gleaned. Gandhi’s writings in particular are a great literary achievement for it shaped in no small measure modern Indian life including contemporary. Gandhi wrote that “English and Indian scholars of English believe that there is something special in my English” this speciality is not easy to capture. he believed lived by the scientific method of testing trial. Though Gandhi never advocated use of English as the official language. error and constant revision. Indian English writings. loved 140 . humiliation and suffering. vulnerabilities. Reading Gandhi involves more than reading his words. He even claimed that he had no definite plan before him when he started writing. secret plan or through any direct action.
equability and dedicated himself to the service of community and aspired for self realization through the renunciation of fruits of action. study. Gandhi had studied thoroughly Bhagavadgita. love for all and hatred for none.C. (p. good of the individual is contained in the good of all.235). the khadi movement. subtle and profound thoughts of Hinduism. learnt 13 chapters by heart. voluntary poverty. In other wards. Thoreau. therefore achieved universality and is as relevant to day as it was during his life time. non-violence. whatever he had read was. selfhelp. These readings also notified his method of fasting as a means of self-restraint. Plato. Rajchandra taught him the lessons of Brahmacharya. Gokhale and Tilak resulted in Gandhian demand for abolition of the salt tax. Thoreau taught him that poverty is preferable.235). He encouraged the establishment of cottage industries so that the villages may become self sufficient by learning different handicrafts and be thus weaned 141 . simplicity and clarity”.England the land of the English and used English with great skill for translating his goals of life.406)3 “Mahatma Gandhi was not a voracious reader. therefore came to have a unique blending of profundity. honesty. He was for the use of Hindi or Hindustani and regional languages. Dadabhai Naoroji and Romesh Chander Dutt influenced Gandhi. and not extensive. Sharma summarizes the Gandhian thought as follows : “Gandhi had thus picked up all that was good. It was thus a case of intensive. Sharma goes on to hold that R. From Tolstory he imbibed universal love. Whatsoever he happened to go through either came to him by chance or was recommended or presented by his friends. Sharma holds that Tolstoy. Dutt’s Economic History of India. equal status for women and self realization through self restraint and self abnegation. The salutary effect of this selective. thoroughly assimilated and profitably utilized in his day to day life. limited study was that Gandhi never had any confusion or conflict in his mind. Sermon on the Mount.(p. fearlessness. Emerson. It stands for truth. writing of Surdas and Shamal Bhatt also taught him principles of humility and return of good for evil. ideas of Ranade. learnt the doctrine of non-possession. Mar Nadau. Mazzini. simplicity. from Ruskin he learnt that the life of labour is the life worth living. Ruskin. religious tolerance. The result was that. its vision of the soul and it’s charity. decentralization of power. that there is nothing wrong in breaking the law observance of which would be more disastrous. Reading of Edwin Arnold’s. infact. The light of Asia and the New Testament fortified his faith in renunciation as highest form of religion. assimilated it. what has come to be known as Gandhian ideology is nothing but what is good and noble in life? It has. Gandhi and English language are inseparable. it was his infallible guide of conduct. It also advocates a life of brahmacharya and considers fasting to be a necessity as an external deed. revival of village industries and prohibition. practiced it and then preached it. His views. (p. Gandhi accepted Gokhale as his political guru and identified religion with politics. Edward Carpenter. As a student he had hardly read anything outside textbooks. “Thus Tolstoy’s love-force and Thoreau’s idea of civil disobedience formed the base of Gandhi’s passive resistance movement”.
Narayan in Waiting for Mahatma (1955) introduces Gandhi as a character. untouchability. KAAbbas’s Inquilab (1955) K Nagarajun’s Chronicles of Kedaram (1960) Chaman Nahal’s Azadi (1975) deal with pre-independence India and in all these Gandhi is introduced as a character. he influenced the theme and style of Indo-Anglian writers. for some of part of it could not be wholly shaken. Sharma holds that Gandhi’s influence was two fold. they took up themes of untouchability. and yet not quite. Zutshi. Balachandra Rajan. The Indo-Anglian writers being highly educated tended to be sophisticated. The novel eloquently reverberates with concern for common man. Of course Sharma’s claim can be contested. Nayantara Sahgal.away from enchantment of city life. exploitation etc. less designed for the high braw scholar. Kamala Markandaya. (pp. A Husain and Khwaja Ahmad Abbas etc.237-8). Sharma quotes from Bhabani Bhattacharya’s Gandhi The Writer: “Inspired by him (Gandhi). some changed the whole texture of their lives. R. artificial and ornamental in their approach. sincerity and truth. Sharma traces the Gandhian influences on individual authors. Arthur S. orthodoxy. natural. or the effect wore off.236). orthodox people of high caste. Speaking Mulk Raj Ananda Sharma holds that Gandhi converted him to simplicity. The writers drew largely on life for their themes and new horizons opened up before them”. infact modernity and spread of education. Padmini Sengupta and Shanta Rameshwar Rao Gopal amongst writers greatly influenced by Gandhi. (p. Their prose style became less ornamental. etc. economic suppression and deep rooted prejudices and superstitions”. had raised these issues in India for nearly a century. Under Gandhian influences Mulkraj wrote about the poorest of the poor and not about rich. other were only partly affected. Sharma lists Mulk Raj Anand. Mulkraj also introduced Gandhi as a character. these writer adopted a simple. Issues of 142 . the literature of the Gandhian era aimed of appealing not to the class alone.K. proximity to nature and clarity. superstitions. simple. “However under the impact of Gandhian insistence on simplicity.N. Vessu Chitale. Amongst those who were marginally or superficially influenced. slavery. they turned towards the depiction of the life of common man. Sharma further argues that under Gandhi’s influence writers moved their scene from town to the village. R.K. their characters from highly educated to the common men. direct. Bhabani Bhattacharya. class and status. Manhor Malgonkar. the poor and the illiterate. (p.Lall.237). Sharma quotes Jawaharlal Nehru Gandhi influenced millions of people in India in varying degrees. Aamir Ali. Sharma lists K Nagarajun. made him cut meretricious literariness’. particularly in the villages. He was against the use of foreign goods. but the masses as well… There was a reaction against absolute values. Narayan. C. Different people reacted differently’ Sharma feels that Indo-Anglian fiction writers also reacted as above. direct and coherent rather than bombastic and pompous style of writing”. Raja Rao.
Beware”. “Our present theories alone can explain the development of mankind. “Gandhi is a humbug … He is a fool.K. The novelists have handled the situation commendably well.. Gandhi folk. (Mulkraj Anand’s Untouchable (pp. In one breath he says he wants to abolish untouchability.42). characters who find brahmacharya inconsistent with of life and nature. (R. Sharma finds how Indo-Anglican writers were both honest and bold in depicting divergent view points on the controversial topics like brahmacharya and non-violence. (241-2). “These politicians. Dandi March figures in Ananda Lall’s The House of Adampur (1956) K Nagarajun’s Athawar House (1939). Sharma quotes widely to bring this out.” (Raja Rao’s Kantha pura p. He is running counter to the spirit of our age. they won’t leave anyone in peace”. More insidious than Hitler is this intellectual venom that is spreading over vast and ignorant humanity. Raja Rao and others created characters who are sex – obsessed and caught with Gandhian obsession of brahmacharya. “Literature is the mirror of the era”. We live in the twentieth”. boycott. what is this Gandhi Busienss? Nothing but wearing coarse hand made cloth. Too prominent role could have turned the novel into a biography and Gandhi was too important to be given only a minor role. More or less. prohibition etc dear to Gandhi figure prominently in the novels. not fit for a map and bellowing out bhajans and bhajans and mixing with pariahs. the writers of the Gandhian era or those writing about it have tried to lend a semblance of authenticity to their creative works by bringing Gandhi on the scene either personally or by report. And Lalu felt himself lapsing into listlessness.207). women who find their husband’s obsession un-natural. Indo-Anglican writers have also reflected the dissenting voice through their characters. (Raja Rao’s Comorade Kirillor : p. and Mahatma Gandhi is the one enemy of this new dispensation. He is in the fourth century BC with his ‘Swadesh’ and his spinning – wheel. Keeping this in mind. Naryan’s Waiting for the Mahatma p.138-9).communal violence.K. “The Mahatma seemed full of himself. in the other he asserts that he is orthodox Hindu. They find themselves both comfortable and confident by making Gandhi speak his mind directly or by reproducing his speeches. of his spiritual struggle. He is a hypocrite. Naryan.35).31). With a master’s stroke of tact and craftsmanship the two have been beautifully blended”. (Mulkraj Ananda’s the Sword and the Sickle (p. Similarly Sharma identifies several characters in Indo-Anglican fiction write critical of non-violence 143 . which is democracy. Gandhi always remains in the background and in no way disturbs the mainstream of the novel. as it he were being suffocated by the deliberate simplicity of the egoistic confessional talk of self-perfection”. R.
Sharma finds out how Gandhian conceptions of Nonviolence. sublimation of sexuality.4 Sharma finds out Bhabani Bhatacharya publishes his first novel shortly after India attains independence.as a philosophy of life. his action and ideas dominated the Indian life and thinking. freedom against exploitation. and identification with masses etc are taken up by Bhabani in his novels. (p. they refused to accept his views on English”. I do not wish all Indians to give up or forget it… English is the language of the world. Etc. synthesis of rural and urban values. But the superior role of the English language can not go”. self renunciation. “To conclude with Dhananjay’s words from Anant Gopal Sheorey’s latest book on Gandhian theme. Sharma argues that with the passage of time the impact of Gandhi appear to have waned. Sharma of length analyses the novels of Bhabani and traces Gandhian concepts. opposition to mechanization of life. it also dominated the India writing both in English and Vernacular. simplicity and humility. infact. social reawakening. (p. that it has became a function to worship only the form and yet few Gandhites still hold the spirit. role of women. widow remarriage and caste hierarchy. Its international position can not be disputed. created mini Gandhis … 144 . Author’s were equally critical at his promotion of Hindi – Hindustani and regional languages. (p. limitation and in adequacy of mere political freedom. He has. self restraint eradication of social evils. 252).58-59). voluntary poverty. “We have followed Gandhiji in our struggle. fearlessness. Gandhi’s views on machinery is also taken up. The Gandhian spirit dominated Indian mind right upto early years of Indian independence from 1920’s. sterling publishers 1975 (pp. At least for forty years (1920-60s) Gandhi. Sharma quotes Gandhi to set the position right.250). how many of them feel that Gandhi’s advocacy of non violence as life sustaining principle lack deeper understanding. how men break under the weight of the machines. voice against orthodox rituals and superstitions. “I cannot stop the English edition… My relations with west are increasing everyday … I can not cast out English Language from my small store of knowledge. We must now follow him equally loyally in freedom so that his dream of world peace and brotherhood is fulfilled”. Similarly partition as a theme and Gandhi’s point of view figure prommently in many works. Sharma concludes with the following “A review of Bhabani Bhattacharya’s novels thus amply proves that he has had a tremendous influence of Gandhian ideology. self-control. 253). asceticism and aestheticism. Machines were projected as death trap which alters the character of man. and as such. Dusk before dawn (1976). The influence of Gandhi was not limited to Bhabani. Why waste time learning each other’s language when we both speak English? It is so impractical” (Nayantara Saighal – A time to be happy. Imperialistic rule of the Englishman will go because it was and is an evil. how machines needs to be limited and not abolished. simple living celibacy in mind and body. Many reflect a fine understanding of the Gandhian view.
Not only small scale industry need to be encouraged even industrialization and he production have came to stay in the face of population explosion”. pp. M. “what is needed is purely a human approach which concedes co-existence of vice and virtue”. Sunil. 145 . Sharma also identified Bhabani’s rejections also. (p. in brackets refer to the book under review. voluntary poverty.) Book under Review 1. Sharma the Gandhian values that Bhabani supported. 2.256. similies and metaphors and bare style. He was very effective with his simplicity. Srinivasa Iyenger. Bhabani feels that repression of natural instincts is unhealthy. 2007. Naik. conscious study of Gandhi has given him an added advantage over other nonvelists. use of Indian and vernacular words. Being thoroughly familiar with Gandhi’s views on varied subject.Bhabani Bahattacharya seems to have had a sound grounding in Gandhian thought. However. universal love.106). These included concern for mass. ed: Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. published in 1969 at the time of Gandhi’s centenary celebration. 4. directness brevity. Permanent black.. 3. This seems to be a less explored aspect of Gandhian studies. absence of hatred against enemy and conversion through love etc. p. New Delhi 1994.K. 235-256..105). 5th edition 1985. pp. (p. Bhabani accepts self restraints.. Sharma Sudarshan. New Delhi. culminating in his scholarly masterpiece.R. K. An illustrated History of Indian Literature in English. Ed: Amarnath Prasad and Nagendra Kumar Singh. self-help. it is natural for men to he tempted. Reprint – 2005. History of Indian English Literature. Gandhi and English. Bhabani Bhattacharya has been able to touch upon almost all the aspect of Gandhian ideology and in the right perspective too”. political and social stand points also need to be sensitive to the literary aspects.406. Gandhi the Writer. 1982. Khilnani. 2003.848. Reprint. Sterllling Publishing House. Gandihan Ideology in Indian Fiction in English. Further those who study Gandhi from ethical. This special. From the above review it is evident that there is a great scope for studying Gandhi as a writer.320. Sarup and Sons. work is worship. In the same vein Bhabani bhatacharya suggests a synthesis of rural and urban values and sought middle path for the growth of economy. And these included futility of leading a life of abstinence. Sahitya Akademi. p. References (Note : The page nos. Indian Fiction in English Roots and Bloosoms Volume. It is pertinent to observe that without making any conscious effort Gandhi evolved a new style of writing and speaking. Indian Writings In English. Like Bhabani other authors also find merit in Gandhi’s conceptions but rarely accept the whole of Gandian ideals.II.. New Delhi. Where ever it involves quotes from other sources same has been indicated. pp.
P.Venkataramani. Utkal University. The Gandhian philosophy has left lasting impressions upon various aspects and attitudes of Indian life and letters. Christ College.POETICS OF PROTEST : GANDHI AND INDIAN ENGLISH NOVELS A. is constituted of. It is out of this consciousness that fiction. With Raja Rao and R.Narayan he has been regarded as one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the Indian English novel. Mulk Raj Anand was among the few writers to render Punjabi and Hindustani idioms into English.K. which is the most effective expression of our imagination emerges. The Gandhian concepts regarding the caste system. Dept. Naik makes an apt observation : The work of K. Anand drew a realistic and sympathetic portrait of the poor of his country. Bhubaneswar ** Lecturer in English.K. during the ‘Pre and Post-Independence’period of our country. female education. ‘the very web and texture of society as it really exists’ And it seeks creative expression for its new consciousness. Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao would not perhaps have been possible had the miracle that was Gandhi not occured during this period. though in lesser degrees.K. appearing either as a character or as a subject or as a pervasive influence upon the socio-political scene depicted by the writer.(1) The national upsurge created new social and political consciousness among the Indian masses. untouchability. Gandhiji himself was not only a reputed Anglo-Indian prose writer but also a colossus who bestrided almost the entire period of Indian Writing in English. poetry and so on. Indian Writing in English in indebted to Gandhian spirit in more ways than one.G. It is pertinent to note here that the flowering of the novel form in India coincides with the Gandhian movement. Cutttack 146 . Fiction. Called the Zola and Balzac of India.short-story writer. of English. which was at its strongest. and art critic writing in English. as Hazlitt puts it. M.(2) Born into a family of metal workers with an army background in Peshawar. The Gandhian myth may not be present in all the branches of literature but its catalytic effect was felt in all the branches besides novels. Lecturer. drama . Khan* Z. Thus while speaking about Gandhian influence Dr. In this regard Dr.J. Naik rightly observes : The Gandhian whirlwind began to sweep over the length and breadth of the land. M. upsetting all established potential strategies and ushering in refreshingly new ideas and methods which shook the Indian life in several spheres to the core. Jabeen** Indian novelist . non-violence and the like are reflected in the different forms of literature like fiction. Mulk Raj Anand witnessed the bloody reality of colonial rule with the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre * Sr.S.
To his surprise. he set about writing his first novel Untouchable. because I remembered how often waves of fury swept over me to see hundreds of human beings go to jail daily after being beaten up by the police for offering civil disobedience. The idea of untouchability as a social evil obsessed the minds of men in the 1930’s. to Anand was typical of colonial fantasies of India. as this went beyond the oriental conceptions of the ‘natives’ and attempted to depict the complex. Eliot.at Amritsar in 1919. His writings that project the writer as a revolutionary bear the imprint of the post colonial rhetoric that emerged during the phase of independence struggles in the colonized societies across the world. Like most Indians of his generation. The experience had deep impact on the young Anand and he concluded that the notions of ‘Empire’ and ‘Freedom’ were complete opposites : I had grown up in the ferment of a great moral and political movement in which I had learnt that alien authority constricted our lives in every way.(3) Growing up under the Raj and writing against the backdrop of colonial rule and anticolonial resistance.S. Achebe. often contradictory and mostly confrontational impact of colonial rule in India. which. he discovered that. mundane. Disgusted with religious sectarianism. when he firmly asserted that any attempt on his (the writer’s) part to shirk the responsibility is betrayal of his own power and acceptance of mental and spiritual death. communalism and caste system. as George Lamming of the West-Indies upholds that the role of a writer lies in the shaping of national consciousness. His meeting with such writers as T. He initiated revolutionary social action and won many rights for the 147 . Anand became a part of the literary crowd known as the ‘Bloomsbury group’. This led him into student agitation against the British for which he received eleven stripes on his back and was briefly jailed. sees the writer as primarily a teacher and envisages a pedagogic role for a creative writer. Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Gandhi called the untouchables harijans (children of god) and fought almost single-handed for the eradication of the evil of untouchability. the well-known African novelist. everyday life experiences of Indians who were not kings and gods. As an Indian student in London. E. he threw himself into Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement. Forster and John Stratchey left him both impressed and perplexed. Anand was convinced that art cannot be and should not be divorced from its social functions. according to Eliot. Anand had posited this position at least a decade earlier to both of them. Gandhi was an ‘anarchist’ and that Indians should concentrate on cultural aspects of their society and leave the politics of governance to the British! Many of these writers had not visited India and so their impressions were perhaps formed by Rudyard Kipling’s Kim. Anand held A Passage to India to be the best fiction writing on his homeland. London at that time was the centre of the English-speaking intellectual world and Anand had hoped to meet like-minded individuals who would share his anti-colonial liberal views.M. May be for this reason he returned to India briefly in 1929. I can’t say there was no bitterness in my hatred of imperialism. He had wanted to write about ordinary.
While in Ahmedabad. talking first with a Christian missionary and then with a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Anand lived like a disciple and did his share of cleaning the toilets—an act seen as defilement for a caste Hindu. is eighteen. could have created the character of Bakha. Anand revised his book considerably and when Forster read it. Anand. Anand being a typical product of the time has dealt with the problem in vivid artistic terms. ‘strong and able-bodied’. but by the end of the book.. it has gone straight to the heart of its subject and purified. thereby perpetuating the cycle of oppression.Forster : Untouchable could only have been written by an Indian and by an Indian who observed from the outside. Bakha. No European. in the form of the newly introduced flush toilet that will be his saviour. While the system of flush toilet may deprive him and his family of the traditional livelihood they have had for centuries. it may also liberate them in the end by eliminating the need for a caste of toilet-cleaners. his retort to those who complained about the ‘dirt’ in the novel was that the book seems to me indescribably clean.” This idea of Gandhi while appearing to be sympathetic.(5) Gandhi articulates that the plight of untouchability is both a ‘ moral and religious’ issue. one of the powerful critics of the Indian caste system has also suggested that the British domination of India has in fact aggravated the suffering of outcastes like Bakha. a child of modern India. The novel records the events of a single day in the life of Bakha. because he would not have known enough about his troubles. because he would have been involved in indignation and self-pity. also concedes the existence of an untouchable because it assumes the existence of hierarchy of power between the untouchable and other high caste Hindus. Bakha.. The touching occurs in the morning. His treatment of the theme in the novel is of high moral seriousness. The young outcaste. Bakha searching for a salve for the social destiny of the degradation into which he was born. Anand’s novel was published in England with a preface by E. however sympathetic.M. When Anand visited Gandhi in his Ashram in Ahmedabad and showed him the drafts of his novel Untouchable.(4) Untouchable is a chilling expose’ of the day-to-day life of a member of India’s untouchable caste. And no untouchable could have written the book. Gandhi then proceeds to criticize the untouchables 148 . who has started to think himself superior to his fellow outcastes.. who accidentally bumps into a member of a higher caste. After nineteen rejections. he concludes that it is technology. He “ regards untouchability as the greatest blot on Hinduism”—(6) and asserts that it is ‘satanic’ to assume anyone in Hinduism is born polluted. he feels that if the Brahmin “wanted the ashram sweeper to do his work well he must do it himself and set an example. proud. Gandhi then recounts the story of a Brahmin boy and a sweeper in his ashram and attempts to show understanding for the sweeper .neglected strata of society. Gandhi was quite critical because of the excessive influence of ‘Bloomsbury’. and subsequently shadows the rest of the day. a toiletcleaner. During this period.
“ cease to accept leavings from the plates of high caste Hindus. That is not fair!”(9) This suggests.165 Ibid. 3. 5.K. we must destroy caste. Through the poet Iqbal Nath Sarshar.54 Anand M.163 Ibid.89 Ibid. Untouchable (Arnold Publishers) p.7 Ibid.”(8) Anand. For Anand this is far too patronizing and it is for this reason that his fictionalized account depicts a debate between a Gandhitype figure espousing the oneness of humanity and simple living on the land and a poet who poses a modern solution to the problems of untouchability. now the Mahatma is blaming us.flushing toilets ! The rapid movement of life in Untouchable gives it a rich dramatic significance. that they must get rid of their ‘evil habits’ such as “drinking liquor. It is as Bakha says to his father. although an avid follower of Gandhi.114 Ibid. It is a brilliant example of sustained poetic realism. it also has esoteric poetic flights. A History of Indian English Literature (Sahitya Akademi -1982) . 6. 10. that Anand’s view of Gandhi and his political rhetoric cannot be idealized because it too contains elements of oppression. p.118 Anand. has Bakha question the Mahatma’s speech. and a breadth of metaphor uncommon to such a form. M. “but now. pp.by saying that they have to ‘cultivate habits of cleanliness’. In Untouchable Anand displays compassion for the plight of untouchables but never sentimentality. We must recognize an equality of rights. p. A. p.53. 8.173 149 .”(6) They must. Although it employs a low mimetic form of fiction. In many ways the novel records his thinking beyond the limits of Gandhi’s idea of the untouchables as harijan – children of god. p. however clean they may be represented to be. privileges and opportunities for everyone.”(10) He advocates that a change in profession will free the untouchables and the way to achieve this change is through the implementation of a flush system. “ Well. p. he advocates emancipation by purification. 2. Naik. Anand then proceeds to offer his last possible solution to the alleviation of untouchability. “they think we are mere dirt because we clean their dirt.R. Anand takes the chance to express his own Marxist inclinations. p. Yet there is an inherent dichotomy in Gandhi’s rhetoric because the existing system does not allow for the untouchables to become purified primarily because their fundamental existence is rooted in the profession of filth. we must destroy the inequalities of birth and unalterable vocations. p. perhaps.”(7) In essence. Notes 1. as Gandhi says.165 Ibid. 4. Apology For Heroism: A Brief Autobiography of Ideas(KutubPopular. 7. p.9 Ibid. 9. gambling and eating carrion. 1946).
Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. the central figure Swami Yogananda also refers to Gandhi and his spirit in the following words: “Mahatma Gandhi in his homeland has been turned into one of the numerous Gods and placed on a high pedestal.49 Bhattacharya has strong faith in Gandhism and all that it stands for. Apart from having a transparently positive vision of life. Bhabani Bhattacharya etc. Raja Rao depicts the Gandhian Philosophy in simple but subtle terms. The sterling qualities and the resplendent spirit of man cannot be crushed down by adversity. while abroad. explored and expressed artistically in all these fictions. the novel fascinated the common man with the novelty of its exotic form and its capability of representing a changing world in its various dimensions. Hence. backed by the notions of Satyagraha (demands based on truth). He does not preach the ideals of Gandhi. namely R. Hence they are often noticed in his creative works.Narayan. masses having immense faith in the long *Lecturer in English. they have a predominant Gandhian figure or philosophy which clinches the crisis towards an affirmative solution. while India rejects him. Utkal University. His work demonstrates Gandhian values as the epitomes of all virtues. On the other hand. Like Gandhi. the revival of past traditions. the search for a national identity and the increasing awareness of the role of the individual in society. each working in his own defined terrain.K. which is both ethical and universal could reach the reader. DDCE. The ritual-based. Bhubaneswar 150 . I shall have no regrets if the world accepts Mahatma Gandhi with all that he has stood for and fought for.”p. novels of Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao percolated social realism and the reform movements generated by liberalists and humanists. is what Gandhi stood for and also the creative need of Bhattacharya. we have The great stalwarts of prose. a dead image with flowers on his stone feet. he has an affirmative vision of life.GANDHI AS AN INVISIBLE FORCE IN RAJA RAO’S KANTHAPURA Prajna Paramita Panigrahi* The Indian novel in English is a product of an urge for socio-political reforms. Towards the 1920s and 1930s. guiding the characters towards self-purification and the overall task of joining into the mass movement : the struggle for Swaraj. In his least known novel. which ends in idyllic reconcilement of contradict values. Pre and Post –independent crisis are put to test under the microscopic eyes of Bhabani Bhattacharya and are assessed from different angles so that a positive message.. he is more and more a living presence. Set against the backdrop of colonial India. Kanthapura is Raja Rao’s exploration of the real India that breathes and lives in the villages. But Gandhism exists in his novels as a powerful force. tradition-oriented. “ Dream in Hawaii”.
His life and deeds. Moorthy is the mover of action. The villagers remember the Mahabharata war and how Krishna teaches Arjuna the dictum of life and the insight on how to be a man of action. Further. With a belief in the cycle of rebirths. Gandhi (in London) is Rama gone into exile to rescue India(Sita) from tyranny of the British ( Ravana) while Jawaharlal Nehru( Brother Bharat) awaits the return of his leader from the Second Round Table Conference. born in this earth to end the suffering of Indian people under the British rule.Raja Rao sees life as an ever-flowing river and reflecting the reality that is beyond. It also portrays how the village becomes the epitome of satyagraha and the ensuing violence until it is crushed into silence by the ruling power. “Siva is the three-eyed. Kanthapura 18. establishes righteousness (dharma) and destroys the evil. more and more men followed him as they did Krishna the fluteplayer. racial self-consciousness are the different undertones that support a realia level. The novel appears to probe the problems of good and evil. history. Since Gandhi interpreted self -rule as an ideal form of government in the manner of Ramrajya. Khaddar. as portrayed by the village bard. Ramayana and Mahabharata. Jayaramachar. the archetype of the divine rescuer. had begun to fight against the demons and had killed serpent Kali. and swaraj too is three-eyed. folk memory.standing scriptures and values condense into a static village. Thus. that men followed him. we are told that Gandhi goes from village to village slaying the serpent of foreign rule. with the village goddess Kenchamma as the overriding deity. So too our Mohandas began to fight against the enemies of the country…. protecting them all. a devotee of the Mahatma conceived as an incarnation. 151 . The novel suggests a struggle between the conservatism of Gandhi and the socialist aspirations of many of his followers including Moorthy. order and disorder by equating the freedom movement with the age-old epics. Hindu Moslem unity. metaphysics. Gandhi teaches Moorthy how to be a true satyagrahi.” Kanthapura 16. Self-purification.. the villagers are quite hopeful and confident of Gandhi’s victory. a forerunner and apostle of truth and sacrifice. A typical Indian archetype is that of an incarnation of God as the savior of the people in distress. the harikatha man or the otherwise village bard comes to Kanthapura and tells a new kind of tale in which he mingles Hindu mythology with contemporary politics. You remember how Krishna. The novel describes how this remote and otherwise static village is stirred into dynamic activity by the influence and impact of Mahatma Gandhi.his voice was so pure. a veritable avatar of the divine. approximate to those of Lord Krishna. Kanthapura is the name of the south Indian village that symbolizes Hindu India. and in the descent of avatars . Akin to Lord krishna’s slaying of the serpent Kalia. his forehead so brilliant with wisdom. He compares Gandhi to Lord Siva when he says. when he was but a babe of four.
Raja Rao believes that the Indian villagers minds are attuned to myths and mythical exploits of the innumerable gods and goddesses. He will bring us swaraj. there will be a rain of flowers. He did not descend from the top. like a whirlwind that upset most of the things but most of all the working of the people’s mind. suffering. myth. he seemed to emerge from the millions of India. their schools and colleges. Nehru says about Gandhi: “ he was like a powerful current of fresh air that made us stretch ourselves and take deep breaths. Kanthapura 128-129. beginning like a grandmother’s tale of her village. Kanthapura 110. politics and social behavior. And as they enter Ayodhya. Hence. for Ravana will be slain and Sita. Political freedom took a new shape then and acquired a new content. speaking their language and incessantly drawing attention to them and their appalling condition. All that we need is determination and courage to fight the enemy. who looked up to him as a great soul. religion. with the only weapon. Britishers shall be forced to leave India. His immense faith in himself and his values mesmerized millions of Indians in all walks of life. Moorthy is called the Small mountain and they hope that the two mountains shall protect them. their courts of law. non-violence. glorifying and almost deifying him in the process.acquires the status of a saint and avatar. others were only partly affected . the only way. The sacrifices. is replete with examples from history and myths that catch on with the imagination of the innocent minded and tradition-driven people of Kanthapura with hope and enthusiasm. He promised freedom from the alien rule. one can drill the message of a nation’s struggle for independence was to appeal to their mindsets and mingling tradition. their titles and 152 . The villagers call him the big mountain. Different people reacted differently. Gandhi became a spiritual leader of the Indian masses. the leader of the masses. and he will come back with Sita on his right in a chariot of air. or the effect wore off.” With his inimitable political prowess. In the Discovery of India. for some part of it could not be wholly shaken off.They say Mahatma will go to the Red –man’s country and he will get us swaraj. like a beam of light that pierced the darkness and removed the scales from our eyes. women came out of their cocooned existence and joined his clarion call for independence. prolonged fasting which he took upon himself to ensure communal feeling and harmony strengthened him. Indians followed him. This modern Sthalapurana. the mahatma. And Rama will come back from exile and Sita will be with him. and brother Bharatha will go to meet them with the worshipped sandal of the master on his head. change their tones and adapt Gandhian movements in real life to their inherent structures. He called upon his countrymen to boycott all British made goods. And we shall all be happy. Harikathas. Gandhi influenced millions of people in India in varying degrees some changed the whole textures of their lives. Thus. He assured his followers victory and always reverberated that an unarmed and non-violent India could bring the mighty empire to its fall. and yet not quite. one of their names for Lord Siva. Gandhi.
dwelling mostly on his notions of non-violence and abortion of untouchability. Kanthapura. is a piece of mythic land containing within it the memory of the village . Moorthy explains to his villagemen. and through peaceful non-violence. and going through the village roads. And thus the satyagrahis or soldier saints. one of them being an attack against the drink menace. for toddy trees are government trees and toddy booths are to exploit the poor and the unhappy…. Raja Rao goes a step further in mingling the grace and tone of the speech rhythms of his stories . He also persuades them to make to cotton yarn on the spinning wheel and to wear the cloth spun and woven by their own hands. he is the one who blends gandhian philosophy with the everyday activities of the villagers. The people take out prabhat pheris ( morning outings). The toddy shops are picketed to prevent the sale of liquor. Send out love where there is hatred …we are not soldiers -at –arms. say I. one can say that Raja Rao blends history. The people of Kanthapura and the adjoining areas promised in the name of the Mahatma not to drink Toddy or liquor in any form. facts with metaphysics.. Moorthy is his spokesperson. British tax collectors as well.honours.remains primarly a novel about freedom movement. Moorthy tells his village followers that Gandhi says “ spinning is as purifying as praying. British made clothes are to be discarded and destroyed in bonfires. The references to the karma philosophy. 153 . the immortality of the soul and the doctrine of incarnation which are derived from the Bhagavad Gita signify the novelist’s fascination for Vedant. the political and social beliefs of Mahatma Gandhi. were trained to help and motivate the villagers to give up the practice of untouchability. Raja Rao dramatizes the national struggle as a mythic and symbolic event. thus. like getting up at dawn.23.but never be harsh to them nor wicked…. Kanthapura . Kanthapura 129-130. the purer we are. the omnipresence of God. He motivates them to practice ahimsa and speak the truth. and should the need arise if all boycotts failed. we seek to be soldier saints. Mahatma Gandhi doesnot figure in Kanthapura as a character . the greater will be our victory. in the twilight singing religious songs. swaraj would be obtained. in his novel. but his invisibility makes his presence strongly felt.’ Kanthapura. The kanthapura village. Replete with philosophical overtures. Gandhi’s practice of singing bhajans (hymns) at his prayer meetings is widelyaccepted.remember we are not out to fight the white man or the white man’s slaves ….25 In kanthapura. The total withdrawal of Indian support for the British would thus cripple the mechanism . another facet of Gandhian movement Gandhi’ s movement had many facets.but against the demoniac corruption that has entered their hearts. It was also decided not to pay taxes as a protest to impress upon the rulers that the freedom workers held against their rulers. And of the toddy booths that are to be picketed. their elections and elective offices. gathering at the temple. for the victory we seek is the victory of the heart.
His literary art confirms that Indian mindset is more accustomed to the familiar traditional values and myths. the use of harikathas. They are more connected with history than with the here and now.” Edgar P. and that was the truth. And all that was the truth. 2. Bibiography 1. than with the contemporary and factual existence. Kanthapura. He showed the weak and the poor how to struggle without taking life. gives the sleepy villagers something to sit up and listen. He fought color and racial discrimination everywhere. Kanthapura symbolizes India.000 untouchables.P. He broke the system of indentured Indian labor in South Africa. and with less bloodshed. It has the freedom of the romance. He laid the foundations for a national language which would bring men close together regardless of creed. Hence. He spent years in jail for the national cause.edited by Amar Nath Prasad and Nagendra Kumar Singh: Indian fiction in English: roots and blossoms. He won respect for Indians and restored the self-respect of men who had humiliated them.000. Snow 154 . and the comparisons of Mahatma Gandhi with Hindu gods. and he nursed and tended the sick and the helpless to teach men kindliness and self-scarifies. and that was the truth. 1992. Against 3. its capacity to absorb influences and yet remain essentially the same. “Gandhi won national independence for more millions of people than any other leader of men. ( Siv Narayan Dash: Gandhian spirit as role model in the creative writings of Bhabani Bhattacharya…. Kanthapura wakes up from its deep slumber and becomes a part of the great Indian struggle forIindependence.. and he opposed the bigotry and dogmatism and the hateful orthodoxy of the caste system with more success than any Indian since Gautam Buddha.36 Raja Rao. Hence. P. New Delhi: Orient Paperbacks. the broad canvas of the epic.and the symbolism of a fable.. and once he helped conduct the prosecution against himself after violence occurred in a civil disobedience movement. The thread that binds the Indian mind with its culture invariably very strong and thus kindles a joy to be a part of that stream that has been handed over from generations to generations.000 years of prejudice he raised a crusade for the human rights of 50.
Though categorized as a fictitious work. 155 . it is in fact quasi-historical in nature. has many a times courted serious controversy and confusion. Kakar takes the story to another level by weaving together facts gleaned from books. This topic has been handled by quite a few scholars in the past. daughter of a British admiral . and the author. letters. and yet. whom the Mahatma affectionately called Mira. One such character is Navin. Letters exchanged between Gandhiji and his devoted English disciple Madeline Slade. “at the risk of exposing himself. the “highly educated. she left India in 1958 after staying for 35 years and then traverses back in time to the mid-1920s. Kakar entrusts Navin to tell us about “the great modern mytho-historical epic that is Gandhi’s life”. letters written from Mira to Prithvi Singh. Navin in the novel. specialising in Premchand comes to stay in Sabarmati ashram and is immediately commandeered to become Mira’s general guide and tutor. and recollections. Navin. when Mira was first introduced to Gandhiji through her friend and god-father Romain Rolland. These provided Kakar the basis of the story. and an admirable tendency to arrive at a consensus. The story is mainly about Mira or Mirabehn. after the 16th century Indian woman-saint infatuated with Krishna and. a profound interest in engaging with everybody. a Hindi scholar. an uncanny ability to publicly admit one’s mistakes. Mira and the Mahatma. in fact. The book emerged from a collection of letters found in the archives of the Nehru Memorial Museum Library in New Delhi. more comfortable with nature than with people. to the ridicule of our cynical times”. Madeline Slade. among whom the most recent known work is a novel by one of India’s best psychoanalysts and writers—Sudhir Kakar’s book. passionate about Beethoven. searching for that elusive figure in whom she can repose complete trust and love. who was Mira’s Hindi tutor at Sabarmati. The book starts with Navin visiting Mira’s retirement home in Vienna. along with his own imaginary set of characters. disciplined and determined about any task she undertakes. yet curiously naive” narrator of the story. is actually Kakar’s alter ego. diaries. and their relationship spanning for almost two-and-a-half decade. more handsome than pretty young woman. It is a story about an introvert. many of whom are quite obviously based on real people who travelled in and out of Gandhi’s and Mira’s separate worlds. a life characterised by a heartfelt concern for the poorest of the poor. Spectrum Books. simply put his attitude towards sex or his sexual philosophy. Sudhir Kakar himself visited Mirabehn in 1964. through whom Kakar enjoys a ringside view of the swirling events of the 1920s and 1930s.who wished “to hear the call of the Eternal” —gets deeply moved by Gandhi and his philosophy after reading Romain Rolland’s *Executive Editor. a former Ghadar revolutionaryturned-Gandhian .“Mira and The Mahatma” by Sudhir Kakar: A Review Priyadarshi Kar* A topic concerned with Mahatma Gandhi’s “experiments with truth”. Gandhiji. with whom she was madly in love with. New Delhi.
He unearths Mira’s own growing dependence on Gandhi. are gems that Kakar encases in his tale of love and devotion. becomes the reference point for Mira’s slow inroads into the personal space between Gandhi and Kasturba. This daily activity of wifely devotion and duty.biography of Mahatma Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi. with a ferocity which he found very unsettling. In his effort to unveil the man whose inner forces are realised in action. becoming a teetotaler and a vegetarian and learning Urdu. etc. Madeline clung to Gandhi. 1924). where Kakar describes Kasturba mechanically rubbing ghee on her husband’s forehead and feet while Gandhi and Mira are engrossed in their nightly conversations. and finally. later in the book. “The moment I saw his (Gandhi’s) slight figure sitting on his cushion on the floor. the Mahatma. perhaps also because of feelings which her strong need for his physical proximity in turn aroused in him. Gandhi would repeatedly send her away to live and work in other ashrams in distant parts of the country. the cool wrap for his head in summer. for a year. and the intensity with which she adores him often lead to tensions between her. the myriad levels 156 . Gandhi very often tried to redirect Mira from her single-minded concentration on him as a person to the cause they both served. psychoanalyst Kakar piles detail upon detail. Madeline practices the Gandhian way of life herself. as Gandhi put it. impetuously rush back to wherever Gandhi was only to be again banished from his presence. But what is worth noting is that Kakar does not fall into the trap of simplifying this relationship. as she called them. The backdrop and the context of the Mira-Mahatma relationship is often the Sabarmati ashram and later the ashram at Wardha. his growing attraction towards Mira. As Gandhi and Mira grow closer. Kakar used David Attenborough’s recollection of a conversation with Mira to describe her first meeting with the man she would come to love and reverse as her very own personal god. Mira told him. Delving deep into the complex relationship between Gandhi and Mira. Gandhi’s own personal struggles with brahmacharya or celibacy. while Kasturba watches mutely. she plunges into the ashram work and the Indian freedom struggle. and his startling truthfulness in admitting as much in his letters to her. or “spiritual agony”. She would have nervous breakdowns as a consequence of these separations and “struggles of the heart”.. Mira takes over the task of preparing Gandhi’s food. learning spinning. During the 24 years of their association. Deciding to come to Gandhi’s ashram at Sabarmati. and Kasturba. thereby gradually unveiling the man behind the Mahatma. Soon after arrival. In short Mira’s “intimacy and ease of intercourse” with Gandhi. I felt a strong sensation of light coming from his direction. not a savant whose inner life is found in his thoughts. It was a light I felt rather than saw… till it exploded behind my eyes”. rubbing ghee on his feet. Kakar peels away the deadening layers of godliness that have reduced Gandhi to dust and replaces it with the aura of a saint who was also a fine human being. sitting cross-legged on the floor.
In one such letter to her godfather. The book has opened up new vistas for research scholars in understanding Gandhi’s “spiritual struggles” in their psycho-historic perspective. The work has been very masterfully crafted in the methodology of psychoanalytic deconstruction and add new meanings to the topic discussed other similar works like Nirmal Kumar Bose’s My Days with Gandhi. Erikson’s Gandhi’s Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence. an exponent of Beethoven. Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre’s Freedom at Midnight. male.” her head understanding Mahatma’s letters in one way. Mira seems to have been often “saddled with the burden of choice. as well as Gandhi’s other writings. It is indeed impossible to judge success or failure of someone else’s life. the readers find Mira leading a retired life in Austria. when he quotes Gandhi telling Mira. since his standpoints and psychoanalytic insights presented in the book enriches our understanding of Gandhiji’s inner struggles remained his eternal prooccupation. who once said to Prithvi Singh. Kakar underlines it yet again. and the pain and struggle both go through to arrive at their own vision of “truth”. Without drawing conclusions Navin or Kakar wonders: “Was hers (Mira’s) a tragic story whose heroine insisted on seeing it as a romantic quest in which. “You wanted me to encounter”. Sudhir Kakar’s Mira and the Mahatma is indeed a welcome venture. one cannot agree or disagree. At the very end of the novel. “I disbelieve history so far as the details of acts of heroes are concerned. and later she would have an intimate but failed relationship with Prithvi Singh. Kakar ties together with his own set of fictitious letters some like the ones from Madeline to Romain Rolland and the ones to from Madeline to Navin . and her heart reading it differently.at which Gandhi connects with his devoted English disciple. while her Indian. Erik H. who got converted to Gandhism from the revolutionary Ghadar party. she had been rewarded by an exaltation beyond normal human experience?” Yet. not your ideas”. to unfold the inner dynamics of the Mira-Mahatma relationship. after withstanding the perils of the road. I accept broad facts of history and draw my own lessons for my conduct as long as they do not contradict the highest laws of life. * All the quotes are from the work under review. This perhaps is in the spirit of Gandhi. Apart from taking genuine extracts from Mira’s diaries. as also their personal worlds. but I positively refuse to judge men from the scanty material furnished to us by history”. “What people listen to is your life. her letters to Gandhi and his to her. 157 . Kakar) writes. Before coming to India. This seems to be the crux of the novel. Madeline (or rather. servant expressing a desire to leave her and return to India. Mira also had experienced “a violent and passionate disturbance” with a Scottish pianist.
tiny. His idea of society was based on the theory of equality. His concept of state was democratic. He wanted a class less society in which there would be no exploitation – a society which would be much similar to a family having close interdependence among each other. “Our villages are on the verge of destruction owing to disappearance of village industries. Utkal University. This can be possible if we could develop decentralized. Rural industrialization and rural development are essential for ensuring over all economic development of our nation. There is. Bhubanswar – 751 004. equality and social justice. no heavy transport and centralized means of production. Vani Vihar. rather than mass production”. happy and selfcontained villages and village communities. *Registrar. He advocated that everybody should have equal opportunities in life although their capacities would differ. was the vital concern of Gandhi. no law courts. therefore. Orissa. but with limited powers and functions. the Sate must be based n truth and non-violence and must consist of prosperous. Gandhiji valued individual freedom but emphasized that a balance had to be struck between individual freedom and social restrains. A society based on ethical and moral foundations in which truth (Satya) and nonviolence (Ahimsa) would remain as the corner-stones to enable each individual to enjoy full freedom. 158 . Growth of village industries in rural areas contributes to alleviation of poverty of the rural people and provides a new dimension to their occupational pattern. Mahatma Gandhi in appropriate words has said. Inclusion of small scale and other village industries would continue to be the major components of the programme for industrialization. Village Economy : A Self-Sustaining Rural Economic Order Gandhiji believed that a society must follow certain norms of life where mere material well being would not be the only motivating force. In Gandhiji’s concept of Ramarajya – in kingdom of God on earth. There must be proper values in an ideal community. cottage and village industries in rural areas. They can be revived only by a revival of the village industries”. small-scale.GANDHIJI’S CONCEPT OF GRAM SWARAJ : ROLE AND RELEVANCE OF KHADI AND VILLAGE INDUSTRIES IN A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC ORDER Deenabandhu Das* Growth and development of rural industries has been regarded as an integral part of rural development. Development and expansion of cottage and village industries not only help emergence of efficient and decentralized sectors but also create further avenues of employment in a self-sustaining economy. It would be a Stateless society – a society in which there would be no police and military. as Schumacher has said a need for “production by masses. He emphasized that “true economics stands for social justice and for moral values”2.
Gram Swaraj (Village Republic) : The Concept Gandhi laid emphasis on the fact that India lived in villages and that only through their salvation India would regain her glory and prosperity. He emphasized on equality of men and equal distribution of wealth. He believed that India needs an economic system based on self reliance and self respect and must fulfill certain basic human values. as all persons could not be provided with work. There would be decentralized system of planning 159 . Gandhi stressed on equal distribution of national wealth. He favoured the idea of autonomous and self-contained villages in which there would be intimate human relationship and self-rule through village Panchayats having executive. still lack the life of the living flesh … That economics is untrue. Gandhi believed that trusteeship is a peaceful way of liquidating class conflict and establishing class collaboration. The villages should therefore be self-sufficient in the matters of their vital requirements. the means of production of elementary necessities of life must be available to all as God’s air and water and were not to be a vehicle of traffic for exploitation of others”. He favoured the idea of decentralization of production and nationalization of big industries and factories. The economic ideas of Mahatma Gandhi aimed at material upliftment and moral elevation of human life both at the national and individual level. legislative and judicial powers. He used to say that “India’s soul lives in villages”. the economics that permit one country to prey upon another are immoral”. Gandhiji’s emphasis on moral aspects distinguishes his economic ideas from other socialist and materialist philosophers. He therefore argued that in a society. nobody should own or enjoy more than one’s necessity. The rich should utilize their surplus wealth for the benefit of the other poorer classes of the society. villages were the basic units of social organization. a “means of transforming the capitalist order of society into an egalitarian one”. To Gandhi. Gandhi was against the idea of massive and indiscriminate industrialization of the Western variety because that would be harmful to society. Thus. but the greater earnings should be used for the good of the State. His concept of Gram Swaraj or Gram Raj (Village Republic) can be interpreted from his idea of “Soul-force”. Trusteeship is therefore. which ignores or disgraces moral values”.People with greater talents may earn more by utilizing their intellect. Gandhi asserted that “the economics that disregard moral and sentimental considerations are like wax works that being life like. He believed in the infinite goodness of human beings. Thus. Gandhiji said that “economics that hurts the moral well being of any individual or nation are immoral and therefore are sinful. He argued for the concept of State ownership of major means of production and wealth. The fundamental tenets of Gandhi’s concept of trusteeship were based on these assumptions. A firm believer in the quality and divinity of man. Gandhiji said that “in the villages. we may sum up that the structure of Gandhian economy would be labourintensive and not capital intensive.
equality. Gandhi realised6 that “the good of the individual is contained in the good of all”. Gandhi considered khadi as a means of securing even distribution of production and consumption. Khadi was considered to be the key to Swaraj. “Unto This Last”. I shall be prepared to wind up my constructive programme in this sphere”. economy and simplicity and limited wants. He said “If the government can provide full employment to our people without the help of khadi and village industries. Gandhi always stressed on the “human factor in economic development. In order to provide full employment opportunities to the people. Gandhi said. Gandhiji emphasized on spread and expansion of khadi and village industries network in the country. They were regarded as effective means for removal of 160 . It has been said that Gandhiji’s philosophy of Swadeshi has ultimately led to the concept of self-reliance as a major objective of Indian planning. He said that khadi and village industries would remove dullness of mind. Spinning and weaving of hand-woven khadi was regarded as techniques not only for obtaining Swaraj or independence from foreign rule but also as a symbol of unity of Indian people and dignity of labour. but also as a link between the masses and the classes. Because. included village industries as well. the common citizen and the elitists. Village industries along with khadi were considered by Gandhi to ensure selfsufficiency in the village economy. co-operation. Gandhi pioneered the cause of spinning as “the only ready means of driving away penury and making famine of work and wealth impossible”. “Khadi is the central sun around which the other village industries evolve like so many planets. Wearing of khadi was regarded as the beginning of the Gandhian way of socialization and a measure to end the sense of alienation of the educational elite. From Ruskin’s. according to Gandhiji “the supreme consideration is man”. a means of mass education.production and decision-making. He laid much emphasis on khadi as providing relief to the poor masses. Khadi was also a way of discipline and self-sacrifice for each Indian and in the words of Nehru “the very livery of India’s freedom”. And “real planning”. self-reliant village. The planning model based on Gandhian ideology would be built on the economic principles like non-violent ownership (trusteeship) non-violent production or appropriate. non-possession. banish greed and reduce inequality. Gandhi believed that the economic and moral regeneration of India lay mainly in the revival of Charkha (Khadi spirit). technology. Khadi. (Aparigraph). Gandhi believed in the body-labour or bread-lobour theory and emphasized that each man should do bodily or physical labour to satisfy his most essential needs. Gandhi said. Nor khadi will exist without other industries”. non-violent work or bread-labour. Gandhi wrote “consist of best utilization of the entire manpower of India”. Ideas on Khadi & Village Industries Khadi and village industries. This model of Gandhian economy would be founded on a non-violent. Gandhiji believed symbolized economic independence and equality. They have no independent existence. nonexploitative and egalitarian social order guided by the fundamental principle of Sarvodaya (Welfare of all).
The village industries being more labour-intensive. the Gandhian model of development can not be fully side-trucked as stereotype or static. Gandhi argued that village and small-scale industries will lead to decentralization of production and even distribution of vital necessaries of life. Little attention is paid to crores of people from whom the machine snatches away their bread”. but not too late revolutionary changes in social. I have felt inclined to believe that what the great country needs today. it is used to pour wealth in the pockets of the chosen few. economic and political institutions. The appropriateness or relevance of Gandhian economy and development model may be well appreciated from the great Nobel laureate Gunnar Myrdal expressed in Bapu’s birth centenary year. there would be greater opportunities to provide employment to all able and willing people. his love. The machine is well used if it aids man’s labour and simplifies it. is a spiritual leader of Gandhi’s is greatness. eradication of rural poverty and creation of a more equal society. In the perspective of fast-moving changes brought out by scientific progress and technological advancements the world over.D. He believed that village and agro-based industries would help maintaining harmony between men and nature and would avert ecological crises. and fearlessness. Today. attitudes and practices which are now so separately needed”.unemployment and under-employment. “Often when labouring with India’s staggering development problems. more than foreign aid and day-to-day adjustment of policies to meet the recurring emergencies. Gandhi was not against industrialization or use of machines but was opposed to its indiscriminate and large-scale use. he mighty electrify the nation to undertake. He said “We should not substitute lifeless machines for living machines scattered over the seven lakhs villages in India.H. It still holds considerable relevance in the context of growing economy of under-developed and developing countries. Gandhiji’s ideal of Gram Swaraj and village economy can be given a fair trial with necessary modifications to suit to the changing times. He had a Swadeshi mentality and a strong determination to meet all the needs and necessaries of life in the country and within the villages. late. Together with the group of patriots who would come to surround such a leader. Cole10 observed that “Gandhiji’s campaign for the development of home-made cloth-khadar is no more the fad of a romantic eager. Role and Importance of Khadi and Village Industries The role and importance of khadi and village industries ahs been well espoused by Mahatma Gandhi in his ideas and statements expressed in several forums as discussed 161 . development of village economy. but a practical attempt to relieve the poverty and uplift the standard of villages”. self-reliance. His deeper concern for man or “human factor”. appropriate technology and several such ideas needs to be given appropriate thinking in the context of our planning and programmes for development. Gandhi justified that promotion of village industries would eliminate the use of sophisticated machinery and arrest the scope for rapid and indiscriminate industrialization. G. to revive the past.
as it forms an inseparable part of the socio-cultural milieu of the rural society in India”. The Third Plan (1961-66) stressed on “encouraging the further growth of industries in rural areas and in small towns” with the objective of providing “opportunities of income and employment in a dispersed manner all over the country”. “they provide immediate large scale employment. have emphasized on the important role of village and small industries sector and particularly on khadi and village industries in alleviating rural poverty and in fighting rural unemployment. In the context of our national planning. earnings.earlier. village industries should be regarded as a separate sector along with khadi on a distinct footing. the Constitution of India has incorporated appropriate provisions in the Directive Principles of Sate Policy for promoting this cause by the governments at national and sate level. Commenting on the role of cottage. tools and technology. the Planning Commission has appropriately held. the benefit meant for small industries do not flow to khadi and village industries. The importance of khadi and village industries and their role in the economic development of the country has been well emphasized in several industrial Policy Resolutions pronounced by the Union Government from time to time. they offer a method of ensuring among equitable distribution of the national income and they facilitate and effective mobilization of resources of capital and skill. The Industrial Policy Resolutions of 1948 and more particularly of 1956. The First Plan (1950-51) described village industries as a “central place” in the rural development programme. 1977 and of 1980 have made categorical assertion on the importance and need for development of khadi and village industries in appropriate scale and manner. almost all successive Five Year Plans up to the Eighth Plan (1985-90). which might otherwise remain unutilized. The Planning Commission while drafting the First Plan laid due emphasis on VSI sector “not only out of pure economic considerations but also for its social significance. Khadi and village industries have got a distinct role to play and have some distinctive features which require them to be kept at a separate footing different from small scale industries. Subsequently. village and small scale industries. It is a high time to 162 . In recognition of the role and significance of khadi and village industries in the Indian economy. The Sixth Plan (1980-85) also recognized the importance of village and small scale industries and the land document stated that promotion village and small industries will “continue to be an important element in the national development strategy”. “Although khadi and village industries fall in the category of small industries. Village industries have got separate work culture. inputs and investments which necessitate separate policy support and promotional measures like funding and marketing etc. the industrial Policy Resolution of 1956 stated. Although village industries have been kept together with small industries as “VSI sector” in our Industrial Policy Resolutions and Five Year Plan documents. Some of the problems that unplanned urbanization tends to create will be avoided by the establishment of small centres of industrial production all over the country”.
but as a national imperative with potential to face the challenge of mounting unemployment and appalling poverty. their role in meeting many of our national issues and in bringing out rural development.small industries instead of grouping them together in one VSI sector and devise measures for support of each of them on different basis providing a weightage in favour of village industries. methods and strategies for development have emphasized on the relevance of khadi and village industries sector in bringing out rural development and industrializing.6 per cent of the total population live in rural areas and with more than 40% of people living below the poverty line with average per capita agriculture holding being less than 75 decimals. Industrial Policy Resolutions of 1948. Khadi. 1956 of 1977 and of 1980 have in unequivocal terms reiterated the relevance of this sector in the context of our economic growth and social development. In spite of awe-inspiring advancements made by man in science and technology space and cybernetics. and the robust rationale which keeps hem on a distinct and separate footing from other sectors of our developing economy. khadi. In a country as big as the dimensions of a sub-continent where 76. Al our formal mechanisms of planning. Rural industrialization may appear as a possible answer to the problem of unemployment and poverty. village and small scale industries have a greater role to play in achieving the national objectives of maximum economic growth together with social justice and equitable distribution of national wealth and income. the rural economy. In an economy of ours. men’s taste and appreciation for things of artistic value and excellence would continue to go unabated. In the context of our 163 . where both product similar products that would complete with each other”. but indiscriminate industrialization may in its chain bring further hazards of pollution and ecological imbalances. With adoption of appropriate planning policies and strategies for development. Khadi and village industries not only generate grater employment potential in rural areas but the tools and technology applied in such production activities do not give rise to threats of environmental hazards. Khadi and Village Industries : Its Relevance The important of khadi and village industries. and computerization. speak in no uncertain terms about their present relevance. cottage and village industries along with handicrafts have been an inescapable pat of our developing economy since several centuries. especially in areas. since what is good for small scale sector is not necessarily so far khadi and village industries sector. progress in information technology. the importance of khadi and village industries should no more be treated as an ideological obsession or a fad of some few vanishing Gandhians. the prospects of a gainful employment to the rural people would continue to be a distant dream unless appropriate strategies of development are adopted and suitable measures undertaken to accelerate economic growth.
although not very adequately. 8.K. & A. M. 5. in order to maintain its uniqueness and to sustain itself as an important sector in the first growing Indian economy.4. khadi and village industries segment must reorient and revitalize its structure with modern tools and techniques. Simla.: The Harijan. M. The New Economic Policy of liberalization and globalization of Indian economy unleased several changes and challenges to our vast industrial sector hitherto controlled and regulated by policies of protection.national planning beginning with the First Five Year Plan (1951-56) to Sixth Five year Plan (1985-90). 1991. marked a great reversal in important policies and programmes of our government in the context of national planning. 1989. 1947. Navajiban Trust. M. Ahmedabad. 1937.9.: Rural Industrialization. update its processes and technologies and diversify its activities in a greater varieties of products. the khadi and village industries sector would continue to keep its relevance and play a significant role as a major provider of opportunities for work and employment to a large number of people in the rural areas of our countries. Gandhi. 2. (Ed.)(1990): Gandhi. Appropriate backward and forward linkages should be provided for expanding its scope and ambience for enhanced sale and marketing. References 1. of India: The Second Five Year Plan. Indian Institute of Advance Studies. Gandhi.Theory & Practice-Social Impact & Contemporary Relevance. Govt. the role and relevance of khadi. Panandikar. village and small industries has been well recognized plan outlays made for their development. Oct. Nov. S. Industrial Policy Resolution in July. Linking up of our domestic economy to the global economy had led to a stiff international competition with increasing demand for quality and excellence in products and services. Bombay. P. KVIC: Khadi Gramodyog. January. In spite of these changes and challenges in the context of globalization and economic liberalization.K. 7. Gandhi.: Young India. Biswas. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. New Delhi. 6. 1921.K.. 164 . Gandhi. 4. Planning Commission.: The Harijan..A. 3. M.K.C.3.: Autobiography (Story of My Experiment with Truth). March 23. No. However.
At times his philosophy seems more relevant presently than in his own times. Gandhi is being humanized more and more and the essence is now being separated from his fads. Sri Labanam.M. This is the first of its kind in Utkal University. Probably such fear has been disproved. Rath. Half a century and a decade has passed since India's freedom and Gandhi's death. the Government of Orissa is organizing several functions to commemorate these two events. We congratulate the Government of Orissa for having bestowed this honourous responsibility on us. Smt. L. Kolkata. There is a need for de-romanticizing Gandhi and making him more accessible. Our Vice-Chancellor Prof. The entire country is celebrating the 150 years of First War of Indian Independence 1857 and 60th year of India's Independence. UTKAL UNIVERSITY At the outset I have the pleasure of welcoming you all to this State level Seminar on Gandhian Philosophy and its Impact on Modern Society in the Direction of International Peace and Universal Brotherhood being organized by the Utkal University at the behest of Higher Education and Culture and I & PR Department. arbitration and carrying forward the essential truth. ideals and practices have found a new lease of life in contemporary world.N. We consider ourselves singularly formulate for having in our midst great freedom fighters like Maa Annapurna Moharana and Sri Goparaj Labanam. Though it is tempting speak on the theme of the Seminar I shall not intrude upon the responsibility of others. Jai Hind Deenabandhu Das 165 . K. These include the deliberation of Sri Goparaj Labanam. Department of Higher Education. devoted to Gandhi. Nayak. However to set the tone of the Seminar I may be allowed to add few words. Commissioner-com-Secretary. Patra and all other dignitaries and participants to this one day Seminar.N. Many thought that GandhiÆs influence both during era of freedom struggle and post Independent India has been over estimated and even at the cost of side lining contribution of others.WELCOME NOTE BY DR.B. DDCE. Government of Orissa. Patra and Mr. Maa Annapurna Moharana. Automatically with the passage of time Gandhi's place in India's freedom struggle has ceased to be a matter of great debate. And in fact finds truth in his own way the relevance of Gandhian methods of reconciliation. Moharana. Utkal University on this occasion is releasing a special issue at "SEARCH". S. S. I shall not ponder more about these thing. Prof. I look forward along with all of you to a successful academic and cerebral experience. On this memorable occasionUtkal University has organized several talks. I welcome you all and thank all for a patient hearing.M. Prof. being a teacher of Political Science and Public Administration and a specialist on International Studies has been chosen as the Chief Coordinator. The Government in addition to celebrating the memorable contribution of various revolutionary leaders also thought of holding of a Seminar on ô Gandhian Philosophy and its Impact on Modern Society in the Direction of International Peace and Universal Brotherhood and choose Utkal University for organizing the same. I once again welcome Sri R. Einstein once felt that the future would not believe that a man like Gandhi ever lived with flesh and blood and walked. DEENABANDHU DAS REGISTRAR. As a part of this National celebration . Prof. Misra. Humanities and Management. For Gandhi is more than his contemporary times for his ideas. Berkana from the US Consulate. Rath.N. their journal of Arts. Numerous articles of great value and quality find place in the journal. Several papers are going to be presented in this Seminar by distinguished faculty members of the Universities of Orissa and other colleges. Prof. Yet Gandhi refuse to die out from our mind. The young India today does not reject the whole of Gandhi. Gandhi can be innovatively reinvented to meet the challenges of contemporary world. K.
Jyoti Viahr: 768019 (Orissa). This spiritualization of politics and of the political man is. Asteya (Non-stealing). spiritual life based on mutual respect and assistance. conflict and disharmony that afflict contemporary societies and politics throughout the world. he seeks a non-violent. a novel contribution Gandhi to mankind as it tends to provide an effective panacea for eliminating and eradicating the ills and evils of corruption violence. As true religion does not permit toleration of exploitation and injustice on social relationship but encourages to fight against them non-violently. * Lecturer. the individual is required to play his roles as a Satyagrahi for the realization of the goal of truth and Justice n the society and the polity. indeed. Throughout his life. peaceful world. and Brahmacharya (Celibacy) by the Satyagrahi throughout his life. Gandhi emphasizes that every truly religious man must be active in politics and every political actor must become genuinely imbued with ethical and spiritual values of the true religion. While insisting on the adoption of moral means for realization of the ultimate end of life. he is to dedicate his life for the service of all with love and with a sacrificial spirit. and to strive for the establishment of justice and harmony among human beings in the society. and to undertake activities non-violently for realizing it. crime. Civil disobedience. the leader of IndiaÆs Independence Movement. Mahakul* Abstract Mahatma Gandhi is recognised as the preeminent theorist of non-violent. what Gandhi terms as politics. He is also to denote himself to the cause of social reconstruction for the establishment a just social order. Sambalpur University. and an architect of Modern Indian Self-identity (Nehru. Then vows constitute a moral discipline absolutely necessary for the SatyagrahiÆs self-purification leading to selfrealization. demands strict observance of and adherence to five moral vows such as Satya (Truth). Department of Political Science & Public Administration. Self-purification according to him. Gandhi requires the Satyagrahi at the first instance to purify himself. and makes the individual conscious of the spiritual unity of all human beings and their dignity and equality. Such an endeavour for transformation of social relationships in conformity with injustice.GANDHISM AND UNIVERSAL PEACE B. He argues that struggle and resistance are requirements for a self-governing life and the individual in ultimately the pivot on which the entire edifice of GandhiÆs thought revolves. Aparigraha (Non-possession). because GandhiÆs vision of man is the vision of Satyagrahi. He sees these goals as desirable but difficult to get in the modern world. Ahimsa (Non-violence).* Practicing the ethical discipline to the best of his ability. is to be considered by the individual as a religious or dharma is based on justice. a stable and corporative society and a coherent. 1946:36). Hence it is imperative to analyse his vision of man and his roles in the society and the polity. He is to live the life renunciation and sacrifice but not of inertia. 166 .K.
to purify himself. He is physically no more in the world but his teachings and principles of life. otherwise. Ahimsa (Non-violence. Brahmacharya (celibacy). still have relevance in socio-economic. Gandhi believes is greatly influenced by the education he received during the formative years of his life. In the economic sphere. the larger society is union of smaller communities.Gandhi and Universal Humanism Johani Xaxa * Abstract Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi. Sambalpur University Orissa. and political life of the Indians and also that of the world. a disciplined moral life. Satyagraha is a form of struggle against injustice and oppression. for which he stood for his whole life and for which he also scarified his life. The individual's performance of role in the society. human society is its ideal form is the coming together of individual consciences that is mutual toleration. the father of nation was not only a great political leader but also a radical social reformer. therefore prescribed for a scheme of education known as the æNayi TalimÆ in which every child ought to be educated and trained for the realization of his ethical goal in life and also the goal of a just social order. by the successful use of and adherence to the technique of Ahimsa and Satyagraha. In such a society it requires reform the mind of individuals. For Gandhi. consisting of oppressor and oppressed. which he does not need for the sustenance of his life. In practicing these values he should not acquire and possess those maternal things. The individual ought to strive for realization of Truth and Justice. the role of the individual. the basic structure of human society is cofederal. 167 . He. Gandhi believes. Post Graduate Department of Political Science and Public Administration. purify his soul to realize his ultimate goal. Gandhi requires the individual at the first instance. While insisting on the adoption of moral means for realization of the ultimate end of life. It was under his towering leadership that India achieved her independence from the mighty British Rule and that too. According to Gandhi. The ultimate end ought to be realized by the individual not merely in his own life but he also ought to work for its realization in the life of his fellow human beings in the society. For Gandhi. For the possessions beyond the minimum requirement Gandhi prescribe the *Reader. Asteya (Non-stealing) and Aparigrah (Non-possession) by the individual throughout his life. The earning beyond the minimum requirement should be used for the good of community. which would lead. it would distract him from his spiritual quest for truth and involve him in violence and exploitation. As for him God is Truth and Truth is God. æa societyÆ with an absence of a basic consensus. Gandhi believed that the end of the life of the individual is God-realization. according to him. Self-purification according to him demand strict observance of and adherence to five moral vows such as Satya (Truth). He had attached immense significance to these values. is determined by the values of Aparigrapha and Asteya. The contemporary society is a fragmented society.
168 . Gandhian values in the society and in the polity reconciles the goal of spiritual Development of the individual with the obligations of social and political life. As justice in the Gandhian scene. In the political sphere. In fact. and is undertaken not against evil-doer but against his principles policies and actions for which he is responsible and in the process must be ready for self-suffering to removing injustice. where the individuals has equal right over the property. For Gandhi. It. Satyagrahi is characterized by non-violence coupled with fearlessness.institution of Trusteeship. therefore. Gandhi thus lays down the framework of Decentralized Republic Federal Government. seems to be most relevant and essential for the construction and establishment of a just political society by awakening the individuals and making them conscious of their true-self and humanizing and socializing them in spiritual and ethical values as prescribed by Gandhi. 'Satyagraha' as a method of non-violence direct against injustice. non-violence is the means to achieve the end.. is the synthesis of the eternal values of Non-violence. a state-less republic. His nationalism was based on a secular ideology. Thus. He understood the fact that religion is binding foce which all for peace and brotherhood amongst men. which is contrary to globalisation of twenty first century. Gandhiji used to regard every village as a 'republic within the republic'. Freedom and Equity Gandhi lays down its framework in æHind SwarajÆ and calls it as 'Ram Raj' means 'Divine Rule'. that is Truth. Gandhiji was deeply religious but had respect for the religious sentiments of the followers of other faiths. Gandhi had advocated for the establishment of a just socio-political order. Rather he advocated cottage industry. which he defined as Servadharma Sambhav. It is a means not only of achieving self-sufficiency but also of generating large-scale employment in the country. He pleads for localization of production and consumption. as even a labourer has to behave like a trustee in providing his skill. Gandhi had rejected both industrialization and the western way of life. GandhiÆs idea of production is very much rooted in his philosophy of village economy. while. equal respect for all faith.
.. social and economic ideal of Gandhiji was founded on this basic insight of unity.. Gandhiji fought against all forms of apartheid laws as immoral. how can be hate(segregates) any body? Gandhiji found this insight basic to all religions. The political . happiness af all. and the spiritual identity of all beings. The Upanishads declares. Cuttack.. Segregation in one form or other is basically wrong. But he very much wished for their reform in the light of this central insight. He pronounced in unmistakable terms that all religions are dear to him as his own religion i. A satyagrahi is he. No peace is possible in a world divided on ideological grounds... equality... is progressively paving the path for the global understanding and global concern on this planet. But the Philosophy “Neither. segregration. *Lecturer (SS) In Geography. if at all the world is to saved from ruins. segregation there is the cause of conflict. exclusion and opposition. This basic outlook on life and the world is at the root of Gandhian thought. division. All separation. In every field of human concern this exclusion of all exclusions or segregation. All the Gandhian principle can be logically drawn from this doctrine of the essential unity of all beings. airing at in all inclusive ‘all’ (whole). Gandhiji gathered from the Upanishada that where there is division. and the well being of all.Nor” as distinguished from the Philosophy of “Either . where identity of Self of all beings is declared to be the central theme. who holds steadfastly to the truth of essential unity of all beings. Or”. It is untruth. Respect for all religion is the basic note Gandhian out look. the world community. One must try to remove this ignorance by selfeducation if one wants to reap the golden harvest of lasting peace within and without. As often it has been called Sarvodaya. It aims at good of all. Ravenshaw University.e.e. 169 . he who perceives all beings as his self. is due to ignorance. which must be corrected by the balanced judgment of a Satyagrahi. Dalee Sethy* ABSTRACT Gandhian Philosophy is formally described as the Phillosophy of “Neither. Gandhiji emphasis to avoid violence at every step to establish amity. is a proposal for excluding all exclusion.GANDHIAN PHILOSOPHY AND ITS IMPACT ON MODERN SOCIETY IN THE DIRECTION OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD. Nothing is genuine unless it tends to establish universal goodness. the world Government and globalize economic order is what Gandhiji tried to establish in a world torn by strife and dissension. and definitely unspiritual. no animal and plants in exclusion. i.. The latter smacks duality.. Hinduism. must be brought to real practise.Nor”. The concept of world citizenship. The foundational insight is supplied by the Upanishads. unjust. the earth.
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BHUBANESWAR ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF ORISSA In commemoration of 150 years of First War of Independence 1857 and 60 years of Independence. 171 . Organized By UTKAL UNIVERSITY. VANI VIHAR.STATE LEVEL SEMINAR ON "Gandhian Philosophy and its impact on Modern Society in the Direction of International Peace and Universal Brotherhood" 20 January. 2008.
We have honoured guests including Sri Goparaj Labanam. Economy. Literature. 2008. Satyagraha-non-violent resistance. a journal of arts . As many as twenty research papers of prime interest are being presented in this state level Seminar. I place on record our sense of appreciation for the support from Government of Orissa. On behalf of the Department of Higher Education. Ph. Government of Orissa. The first Academic Session is devoted to Gandhi : International Peace & Universal Brotherhood. Gandhi had honed the skill of achieving universal brotherhood and peace. Yet this half is more useful to make oppression uneasy and to allow the conscience to come to forefront and prevail.(JNU) Vice-Chancellor Gandhi belonged to mankind and not to India alone. Annapurna Moharana. A supplement consisting of three additional abstracts are also being published.N. L.N. which can affect social change for which no war is necessary. I am confident that the Seminar would leave its impact in the academia.From the Vice-Chancellor's Desk Prof. humanities and management. noted freedom fighter and social activist of Orissa besides others. his ideal. a noted freedom fighter from Andhra Pradesh and an erudite Gandhian scholar and Smt. It is in fitness that we would be thinking aloud on Gandhi. Many can hold that non-violence is only half of the truth. practices and legacy. Misra. Utkal University in a special issue of "SEARCH ". The Second Academic Session is devoted to Gandhi : Education. Few papers from outside the state of Orissa are also being presented. Gandhi would continue to symbolize a new political weapon. Concerns for conflict resolution . As many as eighteen full papers have been published by DDCE. Notwithstanding the time constraint my colleagues in the Utkal University have succeeded in meeting the challenge. Utkal University deems it a honour to host the one day Seminar on behalf of the Govt. of Orissa. on 20th January. Utkal University is organizing a Seminar on "Gandhian Philosophy and its Impact on Modern Society in the Direction of International Peace and Universal Brotherhood". The Government of Orissa is commemorating 150th anniversary of the First War of Independence 1857 and 60th year of Independence. His quest for peace was not that of an ascetic but of a man of the world. Political Thought and other issues. the globalized economy and the need for democratization of quality life places Gandhi in a unique position. 172 ( L. He symbolizes the flowering of the seeds that were laid by men like Buddha and Jesus. He reflected the best of religion for coming centuries.D. Management. Misra ) . on this occasion.
B.M. Patra Co-ordinators: Prof.M.Mohanty. K.N. Com. Nayak.M.-cum-Secy. L. Vice-Chancellor. Literature. Sahoo.P.G. American Centre.M. Noted freedom fighter from Orissa Sri R. Kolkata Sri. Utkal University Chairman: 173 . Valedictory Function Guests: Mr.. Council.Com. Pradhan & Prof. S. Misra.Deptt.00 P. of Higher Education Prof.Of I&PR and Culture Prof. S. Management. Moulik D. Utkal University Chairman: 11. Inaugural Function Guests: Sri Goparaj Labanam.30 P.00-2. Second Academic Session Theme: Chairman: Gandhi: Education.M. Annapurna Maharana. First Academic Session Theme: Gandhi:International Peace & Brotherhood Chairman: Prof.G. Berkana. Chairman. Brahmananda Satapathy 1.PROGRAM 10.-cum-Secy. IAS. Benudhar Pradhan Co-ordinator:Prof.IAS.30 A.00 A. Noted freedom fighter from Andhra Pradesh Smt. P.K.M.00 P.LUNCH BREAK 2. Economy & Other Issues. Deputy Director.. P. Pani 3. Deptt. Prof.
Students Welare Prof. K. Panda Dy.G. Panda. Moulik D. Kolkata Prof. Sahoo.HONOURED GUESTS Sri Goparaj Labanam Noted Freedom Fighter from Andhra Pradesh ORGANISING COMMITTEE Prof. Deptt. Registrar(Gl.Sc. Deptt. Organising Secretary Noted Historian Director. OAS(S) Smt. A. Govt. D. Patnaik HOD. Benudhar Pradhan Director. Of Pol. Hostels Deputy Director. S. Berkana Warden. Of History Sri Gopinath Mohanty. D.K.N. American Centre. Das . B.C. Mohapatra Mr. I&PR and Culture. PG Central Office Prof. L. Of Prof. P. Nayak. Of AIHC&A Prof. B.P. CDC Noted Gandhian Scholar Sri S. of Orissa HOD. Jena Sri R.B. Pradhan Higher Education. Students' Union Comissioner-Cum-Secretary. Chairman Vice-Chancellor Prof.O. Govt. IAS Advisor. IAS Commissioner-Cum-Secretary.K. Rath A. of Orissa Dr. R. H.) Sri P. P. Deptt. Annapurna Maharana Registrar Noted Freedom Fighter from Orissa Sri H. Pani. Academic Co-ordinator Director.N. Patra Prof. OFS(S) Comptroller of Finance Prof. Padhi Development Officer Prof.G. Chief Host Chairman. Deptt. Deptt. P.C.M. Misra. Council Dr. A. DDCE 174 . Patra Prof. Satapathy..K. Misra HOD. Of Prof.K. S.
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