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Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi-VOL018

Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi-VOL018

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Published by tij15
This are the volumes form the revised - erroneous - version of the CWMG as published on the CD-Rom "Mahatma Gandhi - Interactive Multimedia - Electronic Book" in 1999. Page and volume nos. are not identical with the original print version of the 1960's-1990's. The content of this CWMG version is to be credited as "The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (Electronic Book), New Delhi, Publications Division Government of India, 1999, 98 volumes"
Vol 018- May 01, 1919 - September 28, 1919
This are the volumes form the revised - erroneous - version of the CWMG as published on the CD-Rom "Mahatma Gandhi - Interactive Multimedia - Electronic Book" in 1999. Page and volume nos. are not identical with the original print version of the 1960's-1990's. The content of this CWMG version is to be credited as "The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (Electronic Book), New Delhi, Publications Division Government of India, 1999, 98 volumes"
Vol 018- May 01, 1919 - September 28, 1919

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05/13/2011

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Monday, June 16, 1919

We advisedly deferred issuing this leaflet so long, for the reason
that we thought it necessary to make some provision for the supply of
cloth to intending signatories before giving the vow wider publicity.
Mr. Naranji Purushottam has succeeded in securing the co-
operation of Mr. Vithaldas Jerajani, lately manager of the Swadeshi
Co-operative Stores, and has invested his own capital in starting a Pure
Swadeshi Cloth Store, the opening ceremony of which will take place
on Wednesday next. Any person will be able to get at this Store pure
swadeshi cloth woven from yarn spun out of indigenous cotton, wool
or silk. Messrs Narandas and Jerajani have vowed not to charge more
than 5 per cent on cost price as profits. A fixed rate of prices will be
strictly observed. These gentlemen have also vowed not to charge
anything by way of profits on hand-woven cloth out of hand-spun
yarn.

Pure swadeshi cloth within the meaning of our vow, as also cloth
which alone can be called pure swadeshi, but which is not yet available
enough for a large number of vow-takers, will thus be obtainable at
this Store from Thursday next. As this Store is going to be run on
purely patriotic lines, and not on business lines, nothing but cloth
necessary for swadeshi vow No. 1 and No. 2 will be sold at the Store.
Only shops run on these lines and a hearty public response to them
can materially promote swadeshi. We hope other liberal-minded
merchants will copy Mr. Naranji Purushottam’s example, and provide
facilities for these taking the swadeshi vow.
But it must be fully borne in mind that merely opening swadeshi
stores will never satisfy the objects of swadeshi. One great object of
the propagation of swadeshi is to prevent the country’s wealth

1

Described as the second leaflet in the source. For the first leaflet, vide “The

Swadeshi Vow”, 13-5-1919.

VOL. 18 : 1 MAY, 1919 - 28 SEPTEMBER, 1919

113

fromgoing out of it. And this can be attained only if import of
foreign cloth is stopped and more cloth produced at home. The thing
to be borne in mind in this connection is not that swadeshi cloth
produced in the country remains unsold for want of buyers. The fact
is that we do not produce enough cloth to meet our needs. Every man
and woman taking the swadeshi vow must therefore keep one aim in
view, viz., that he or she should produce, or get somebody to produce,
cloth necessary for his or her requirements. If lakhs of men and
women were to do this, much of the money going out of our country
would remain here, and the exorbitant prices of cloth our poor people
have to pay would be saved. In view of these considerations, it is clear
that he helps swadeshi more who produces or helps to produce more
swadeshi cloth, than one who simply rests satisfied with using swadeshi
cloth.

Let us now consider how production of cloth can be increased
in the country. I here are three ways of doing this: (1) by starting
more mills; (2) by purchasing foreign yarn and weaving it on
handlooms; (3) by weaving oneself or getting woven cloth out of yarn
spun by oneself or by someone else in one’s own country.
Now apart from any views against machine-made cloth, it will be
seen that it is no easy thing to start mills as quickly as we would It
certainly takes some time to erect buildings for the mill, to get
machines from abroad and to procure labour. Assuming, therefore,
for a moment that there would be no difficulty in obtaining capital, it
is not possible for us to add to the stock of our cloth by means of
having new mills.

It is no doubt possible to weave cloth from yarn obtained from
abroad, and the second swadeshi vow was devised with the view that it
is far better to use cloth woven in our country out of foreign yarn, and
thus to save some money at least going out of the country, than not to
use swadeshi cloth at all.

But the more I think, the more I see dangers in this. Our
demand for foreign yarn in a quantity sufficient for cloth necessary
for lakhs of men is likely to send up the prices of foreign yarn to such
an extent that the rise will be equal to the wages we have to pay for
labour here, which would mean that we had gone ahead, only to fall
back. If, therefore, we could find some way out, we would not have to
depend on foreign yarn.

This brings us to the third way, viz., to get yarn spun here, and

114

THE COLLECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI

to get it woven on handlooms. This is the royal road, and the surest to
lead us to the goal. If this is adopted by the people, the goal will be
reached with the least possible labour and in the shortest possible time.
This would also provide thousands of men with an independent
calling, and hundreds of thousands of poor women and widows with a
means of livelihood to be pursued in their own homes. The
experiment does not require any very large capital, but it does require
two things to be successful. The first thing necessary is a number of
volunteers. They need not be highly educated or highly intelligent.
Honesty and perseverance are indispensable. Education and
intelligence cannot be had at will, but honesty and perseverance can
be had if one but makes up one’s mind for them. The volunteers can
be useful in two ways: (1) They can learn spinning and/or weaving
and can dedicate some hours of their labour to the country, or (2)
they can find out men knowing spinning and weaving and introduce
them to the public. If a number of such volunteers came forward, we
would within a very short time produce cloth worth thousands of
rupees.

But of more importance than even the volunteers is pure love of
country, a sacrifice of some luxuries which it entails. It will take a long
time, of course, to raise the art of spinning to its original level and to
produce yarn sufficiently fine to weave fine muslin out of it. At the
present moment, numerous men and women can learn the art of
spinning to start with. Spinning fine yarn is a matter of practice and
careful effort. In the meantime, people will have to be satisfied with
what cloth they can get made out of hand-spun yarn. If they are not
ready even for this little sacrifice, it will not be possible for us to fulfil
a great pledge like the swadeshi. We hope to consider this third
method of increasing the stock of our cloth at some more length in
our next leaflet.

M. K. GANDHI

Young India, 18-6-1919

VOL. 18 : 1 MAY, 1919 - 28 SEPTEMBER, 1919

115

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