Written in 1909 Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule by Mohandas K. Gandhi still holds its own important place in the struggle of India against imperialism and has message for humanity as well.
The moral, civilized message of Hind Swaraj by Gandhi Ji is worth appreciable and as a book it serves as a good role model for revolutionaries seeking to maintain their own optimism and civilization while fighting with imperialist. These lines which I will quote are quiet moving-“India can fight like Italy only when she has arms. You have not considered this problem at all. The English are splendidly armed; that does not frighten me, but it is clear that, to pit ourselves against them in arms, thousands of Indians must be armed. If such a thing be possible, how many years will it take? Moreover, to arm India on a large scale is to Europeanize it. Then her condition will be just as pitiable as that of Europe. This means, in short, that India must accept European civilization, and if that is that we want, the best thing is that we have among us those who are so well trained in that civilization. We will then fight for a few rights, will get what we can and do pass our days. But the fact is that the Indian nation will not adopt arms, and it is well that it does not.”
These beautiful lines gives us idea to maintain sanity even during revolution.
In quiet emphatic manner, Gandhi Ji has also very well argued very well that India will never be free unless it rejects Western civilization itself. In the entire text he is deeply critical of western civilization, claiming, “India is being ground down, not under the English heel, but under that of modern civilization.” He speaks about civilization not just in relation to India, though. He also argues that “Western civilization is such that one has only to be patient and it will be self destroyed.” It is a profound repudiation. Not only is western civilization unhealthy for India, but western civilization is by its own virtue unhealthy. As Gandhi Ji puts it, some “want English rule without the Englishman … that is to say, [they] would make India English. And when it becomes English, it will be called not Hindustan but Englishtan. This is not the Swaraj I want.”
In nutshell, GANDHI’s Hind Swaraj (HS) is surely a foundational text for any understanding of the man and his great mission.
Overall, I enjoyed reading of Hind Swaraj as book and the lessons drawn from this small but effective book are definitely inspiring.