Mahatma Gandhi

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Hind Swaraj Summary

What is the summary of Hind Swaraj by Gandhi?

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Gandhi wrote Hind Swaraj while on a boat from London to South Africa in 1909. In this tract, written in Gujarati, Gandhi lays out the argument for Indian home rule as a dialogue between an editor and reader. The editor, who is the voice of Gandhi, says that he wants home rule that is not the same as simply adopting an English style of government. He says, "You want the tiger's nature, but not the tiger; that is to say, you would make India English." Instead, the editor wants an Indian style of government. In a striking sentence, the editor says, "That which you consider to be the Mother of Parliaments is like a sterile woman and a prostitute." He says that the English Parliament is sterile because it can't accomplish anything and is like a prostitute because it is led by constantly changing ministers. The editor says that elements of English administration and culture, including railroads, lawyers, and doctors, have only brought ruin to India, not progress. He suggests that all machinery in India become disused as a way of getting rid of the evils of western civilization. The editor also advocates the creation of one nation out of India; as he says, "India cannot cease to be one nation because people belonging to different religions live in it." He wants to create one India with different religions, including Hinduism and Islam.

To free India of English rule, the editor says that India must not resort to violence. As he says, "What we need to do is to sacrifice ourselves. It is a cowardly thought, that of killing others." Instead of using violence, Indians have to resist through what he calls "the force" and goes on to describe "as love-force, soul-force, or, more popularly but less accurately, passive resistance." The editor advocates passive resistance as the highest and most powerful form of resisting English rule and gaining home rule for India.

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In his book Gandhi...

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