Head, Department of Political Science, Lucknow Christian Degree College, Lucknow..
BIRTH AND INTRODUCTION
Ø Also called the “Father of the Indian Nation” was born on 2nd October, 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat in a conservative Hindu family.
Ø After the completion of his studies in law in England, he went to South Africa to attend legal matters of his client.
Ø In South Africa he was involved in a struggle against the racist-white minority government to uphold the human rights and the dignity of the non-whites.
Ø In the course of his struggle in Africa from 1893 to 1914, he evolved the technique of Satyagraha for resisting injustice.
Ø Writers like Thoreau, Ruskin and Tolstoy also influenced the moral and political philosophy of Gandhiji.
Ø He learnt the principle of civil-disobedience from Thoreau.
Ø After his return from South Africa in 1915, he undertook the tour of the country on the advice of his “political Guru”, Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
GANDHIJI’S VIEWS ON SWARAJ
Ø Gandhi defined Swaraj as a self-rule and self-restraint or autonomy of the moral self.
Ø Swaraj meant more than just political independence or political democracy.
Ø the aim of Indian freedom struggle was not a mere transfer of political power from British rulers to Indian leaders, who would then be operating the same modern western system of government.
Ø Swaraj will not be Purna Swaraj until the poor are enabled to enjoy the necessities and amenities of life i.e. Ramrajya.
Ø Swaraj is a complete independence of alien control. It includes political, economic, moral and social upliftment and independence of all.
Ø In India Swaraj will come with the implementation of following factors:
· Decentralized participatory democracy
· Social equality
· Economic decentralization
· Spiritualization of politics
· Proper education to the masses
· Democratic Swaraj
Ø He later added parliamentary democracy and constitutional government also in the list.
Ø In democratic Swaraj, spinning – wheel will be the master machine.
Ø Swaraj will not be Purna Swaraj until the poor are enabled to enjoy the necessities and amenities of life.
GANDHIJI’S CONCEPT OF SATYAGRAGHA
Ø Satyagraha is a way of moral-political action for attaining Swaraj. It is the weapon of the non-violent struggle.
Ø It is something more than a method of resistance to particular legal norms. It became an instrument of struggle for positive objectives and for fundamental change.
Ø It is “a war without violence” or “Non-violent direct action”.
Ø It is a force which is born out of Truth and non-violence relies on soul-force.
Ø It is considered superior than body force, brute force and force of arms.
Ø Satyagraha is a technique developed by Gandhi in order to solve political, social, economic conflicts in a peaceful manner; Gandhiji was convinced that no conflict could be solved permanently by violence.
Ø Gandhiji used it in South Africa against the policy of apartheid and later used if in India for the purpose of achieving independence.
Ø Satya, Ahimsa, self-suffering, strength, restrain in one’s actions and non-attachment are the principles on which Satyagraha is based.
Ø Acting on the basis of relative truth the satyagraha seeks to resolve basic conflicts and ensure social harmony through the nonviolent path.
Ø Ahimsa is the means to the discovery of truth.
Ø Acting on the basis of relative truth the satyagraha seeks to resolve basic conflicts and ensure social harmony through the nonviolent path. Ahimsa is the means to the discovery of truth.
Ø Ahimsa – According to Gandhi Ahimsa have various aspects.
· Negative form of Ahimsa means not injuring to others whether in body or mind. Not hurt the person of any wrong doer or any ill will to him.
· Positive form of Ahimsa means the largest love, the greatest charity, good intention to others, even love to enemy.
· This active Ahimsa includes truth and fearlessness.
Ø Refusal to do harm to others is a negative test of moral practical truth.
Ø Its positive test is action to promote the welfare of others. Self-suffering is the test of positive Ahimsa.
Ø Self-suffering by satyagraha is not out of their cowardice or weakness. It is based on higher form of courage.
Methods of Satyagraha
Ø Mahatma Gandhi adopted several methods while using Satyagraha as a means of resistance to the authority of the state
i.e. the British Raj.
· Political actions – pledges, prayers, fasts.
· Non-cooperation – boycott, strikes, Hartal.
· Civil-disobedience – picketing, non-payment of taxes, defiance of specific laws.
Ø Gandhi believed that the British rule depended on the cooperation of the people of India.
Ø The British rule will not last even for a single day, if people become fearless and refuse to cooperate with the unjust and tyrannical British government.
Ø The Non-Cooperation Movement of 1921 failed to achieve the goal of Swaraj within one year. But it made some salutary contributions to the Indian national Movement.
Ø In 1921, the congress, which was a party of the educated middle class, became a highly organized party with a mass base. From 1921, uniform slogans were given throughout the country and the people followed a common ideology and policy under the leadership of the congress. Khadi became the official uniform for all congress men.
Ø Thus, Gandhiji converted the national government into a highly revolutionary one and made it extremely popular.
Ø The Civil Disobedience Movement was launched by Gandhiji on 6th April 1930 by breaking the salt Act at Dandi. The civil disobedience movement was a total success and had paralysed the British government.
Ø In 1942 the Quit India Movement started and Gandhi gave the battle cry of “do or die”. He asked the people to be ready to make any sacrifice for the attainment of independence.
Ø The Quit India Movement was a tremendous psychological victory for the people of India. It created an intense and widespread anti-British feeling in India.
Ø According to Gandhiji, Satyagraha can be successfully followed by those who are physically weak but morally strong.
Ø In Gandhi is words “The injunction, “Love your enemy” is not only the noblest idealism, it is also the most practical politics”.
TO BE CONTINUED……….