Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi Part 2

Monday, July 27, 2020

There is no need to introduce Mahatma Gandhi, as he is such a brilliant sunshine in the history of India that one can identify him from a small hint about him. 
Born on 2nd October 1969 in Porbandar, Gujarat. He not only help India to win freedom but he is also a philosopher in himself, who tried to guide us on many issues. 
His guiding  lights in his life were many but some of the important ones are listed below:-
  • 'The Kingdom of God is Within You' - by Leo Tolstoy
  • 'Unto this Last' - by Ruskin Bond (brought magical spell in Gandhi's life)
  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale (a moderate leader) - His 'Political Guru' from whom he learnt value of life and ethics.
  • Gita, Upnishad, Bible, Buddha, Sukrat and Prophet Muhammad were also guided him throughout his life.
In this part we wil learn remaining topics on the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi.


For the first time he mentioned Swaraj in Indian Opinion on November 3, 1905 but the first comprehensive view on 'Swaraj' was put forward by him in 'Hind Swaraj', which remained throughout his life with slight modification in detail.
According to him people's Swaraj had four dimensions as called as 'Square of Swaraj' as follows:-

I. Political

By political Swaraj he meant transfer of power from British imperial government to Indian hands.
But he also stressed that mere transfer of power from British Yoke to Indian hands will not be beneficial until, it also gain sovereignty based on 'Perfect democracy'.

II. Social 

In social aspect of his Swaraj all social distinctions wither away and the justice should be prompt, perfect, cheap and easily accessible to everyone.
He also stressed on the freedom of worship, speech and the press.
According to him every community would be on par with every other.

II. Economic 

One of the primary focus of Gandhi's Swaraj was alleviation of the misery fo the 'Daridranaryan' or the extremely poor section of the society. 
In Economic aspect of Swaraj he considered removing peoples out from all forms of poverty, destitution, deprivation and exploitation.
Once in the 'Young India' he said that:-
The Swaraj of my dream is the poor man's Swaraj.

IV. Moral Facets

By this form of Swaraj he meant self restraint and self rule/discipline. According to him realisation of Swaraj will not be completed until everyone performs his duties and observe morality in his life with self discipline and without any pressure.
He also considered Swaraj as 'Ram Rajya' but in no way it meant 'Hindu doctrine' in any form. 
By Ram Rajya' I do not mean Hindu Rajya, By Ram Rajya I mean Divine Rajya or the 'Kingdom of God'. - Mahatma Gandhi


By the term Sarvodaya, Gandhiji meant welfare of all secured by conscious effort of everyone of the community. This is the new social order developed by goodwill and cooperation. By Sarvodaya society, he meant a society in which there is no distinction between caste or creed, without any kind of exploitation and in which there is full scope of development for all.
He also emphasised that in Sarvodaya society there must be no distinction between 'Intellectual work' and 'Labour intensive work' and everyone must treat each other equal with full of opportunities for all without any favour.
This kind of Sarvodaya society (idealistic in nature) is possible only in state where there is minimum governance or society free of any state or stateless society.
Gandhiji was a practical realist, he knows that such an ideal society is not possible to be formed immediately, hence he proposed that till the society is not ready to accept such an ideal society, we should incorporate some of the important ideals of Sarvodaya in the existing society and continue with that.

On the eve of, 2nd Round-Table Conference (1931), while-going for it, Mahatma Gandhi said that he would work of creating such an India, in which the poorest shall feel that it was their country in whose making they had an effective voice, an India in which all communities were living in perfect harmony. There should be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of intoxicating drinks or drugs; women would enjoy the same rights as men. All interests not in conflict with the interest, of the dumb millions would be scrupulously respected, whether foreign or indigenous.[post_ads_2]


Gandhiji was very critical of intoxicating drugs and drinks  such as alcohol, opium, ganja, toddy etc. He considered taking them as more worse than the practice of thieving or prostitution.
He even said that if he became dictator of India for one hour, the first thing he would do was the prohibition of all kinds of intoxicating drugs and drinks.
He considered that alcohol and intoxicants will never be good for healthy life as well as these ruin the family life.
Gandhiji was very critical of Abkari Tax (Tax on alcohol) and considered it as sinful, hideous and immoral source of revenue. 
He also cleared that what is good for England is not necessarily good for India. He also argued that it is possible to prohibit alcohol in India.
Following these thoughts of Gandhiji, the constitution makers put it in Directive Principles of State Policy(DPSP), which lays responsibility on the state to ban the manufacture, sale and consumption of intoxicating drugs and drinks, which are injurious to health. (under Article 47)
He was very clear that drinking is deleterious for the development of the Indian society. 

Ideas on Socialism

Gandhiji was not a doctrinaire socialist advocating state ownership of the property.
He himself used to say that he was not a socialist in it's strict contemporary term but that his type of Socialism is Village Socialism. He considered socialism in a different way and proposed the Concept of 'Trusteeship', which is in between the socialism and capitalism.
The Gandhian Socialism can be seen as the village socialism, in which is proposed Panchayats and gave him full power of decision making for the development of the Panchayats (not only in political term but economic term also).
He used to say that 'State Socialism' is bound to lead to dictatorship. This theory was proved absolutely true in many cases across the world as well as in India (when Indira Gandhi went very close to dictatorship by following 'State Socialism').

Despite Gandhiji's opposition and warnings, Indian Government's economic policy till 1991 remained almost socialistic in nature, which led to havoc in the Indian economy. Even the so called socialist nations like China, absolved from socialistic nature of economy and become pseudo capitalistic in nature, but India remained sluggish in this approach, hence it lost the race.