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Lecture 4

RE321 Lecture 4: Lesson 4 – Gandhi’s Mid-Life and the Emergence of His Poltiical Thought, (1)- Swaraj
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Department
Religion & Culture
Course Code
RE321
Professor
Alexander Damm

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Lesson 4 Gandhi’s Mid-Life and the Emergence of His Political Thought, (1): Swaraj
Introduction
At age of 40 reached mid-life and was living in South Africa (year 1909)
in South Africa, gandhi perceived twin problems of modernity and colonialism
Indian Nationalism and Swaraj before Gandhi
Indian nationalist definition of Swaraj = Idias politial idepedee
some nationalists advocated peaceful protests against British rule using petitions
others in congress advocated more direct forms of actions like strikes and boycotts of British goods
Gandhi’s Experience in South Africa (13-1914): Roots of a New Definition of Swaraj
Gadhis uderstadig of Saraj is differet tha hat it as for most indian nationalists like Gokhale and Sarvarkar
Gandhi had two frustrations w the South African society in which he lived : colonialism and modern civilisation
Colonialism
Great Britain practiced colonialism use of colonies to advance its economic and cultural interests
Indians have been frustrated w exploitative character of colonialism
Britais oder iilisatio – industry, science, culture, tech and secularism highest good and had to be imposed upon non-
European ppl
Gandhi disturbed by Asiatic Law Amendment Act which required Indians to carry pass cards that identified the and restricted
their movements in their colony
Believed India should always remain a British dominion but should have their own greater political Swaraj
Modern Civilisation and its lack of Religion
unease w growing sense of modern civilisation
believed that modern civilidation hurt ppl directly AND was a driving force of British colonialism
o e.g. Britais oder idustries eeded ra aterias like otto ad si,lk, tea, tobacco bneeded cheap sources of
such materials in colonies
modern civilisation had major problems
o embraced science and were rejecting religion as superstitious
o modernity was forgetting that religion was chief source of human happiness
o aka alienation from religion
Gandhi’s Understanding of Swaraj : An overview of Hind Swaraj
What is Swaraj
primarily a religious principle
a way of life ore traditioal a of life pratiig oes religio
political autonomy that grows out of such life
PRACTICE OF RELIGION
o most basic and pervasive element of Swaraj
o religion denotes aspiring to Truth
o ethically oriented
CAPACTIY TO TAKE CARE OF ONESELF
o Self-reliance, capacity to take care of oneself is essential
o Protects person from exploitation and violence
o It is natural haraterizes traditioal siple a of life
o It is liberating can reflect more on Truth once free from luxury
CONSCIENTOUS SERVICE
o A attitude grouded i loe for others that sees their good ad oes o good as iseparale
MANUAL LABOUR
o Production of goods in natural ways that do not try to transcend natural, limitations of the body
o Implies a respect for limitations upon humans
LIFE IN VILLAGES
o It is ethical
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Description
Lesson 4 Gandhis Mid-Life and the Emergence of His Political Thought, (1): Swaraj Introduction At age of 40 reached mid-life and was living in South Africa (year 1909) in South Africa, gandhi perceived twin problems of modernity and colonialism Indian Nationalism and Swaraj before Gandhi Indian nationalist definition of Swaraj = Indias political independence some nationalists advocated peaceful protests against British rule using petitions others in congress advocated more direct forms of actions like strikes and boycotts of British goods Gandhis Experience in South Africa (1893-1914): Roots of a New Definition of Swaraj Gandhis understanding of Swaraj is different than what it was for most indian nationalists like Gokhale and Sarvarkar Gandhi had two frustrations w the South African society in which he lived : colonialism and modern civilisation Colonialism Great Britain practiced colonialism use of colonies to advance its economic and cultural interests Indians have been frustrated w exploitative character of colonialism Britains modern civilisation industry, science, culture, tech and secularism highest good and had to be imposed upon non- European ppl Gandhi disturbed by Asiatic Law Amendment Act which required Indians to carry pass cards that identified the and restricted their movements in their colony Believed India should always remain a British dominion but should have their own greater political Swaraj Modern Civilisation and its lack of Religion unease w growing sense of modern civilisation believed that modern civilidation hurt ppl directly AND was a driving force of British colonialism o e.g. Britains modern industries needed raw materias like cotton and si,lk, tea, tobacco bneeded cheap sources of such materials in colonies modern civilisation had major problems o embraced science and were rejecting religion as superstitious o modernity was forgetting that religion was chief source of human happiness o aka alienation from religion Gandhis Understanding of Swaraj : An overview of Hind Swaraj What is Swaraj primarily a religious principle a way of life more traditional ay of life practicing ones religion political autonomy that grows out of such life PRACTICE OF RELIGION o most basic and pervasive element of Swaraj o religion denotes aspiring to Truth o ethically oriented CAPACTIY TO TAKE CARE OF ONESELF o Self-reliance, capacity to take care of oneself is essential o Protects person from exploitation and violence o It is natural characterizes traditional simple way of life o It is liberating can reflect more on Truth once free from luxury CONSCIENTOUS SERVICE o An attitude grounded in love for others that sees their good and ones own good as inseparable MANUAL LABOUR o Production of goods in natural ways that do not try to transcend natural, limitations of the body o Implies a respect for limitations upon humans LIFE IN VILLAGES o It is ethical o Ensures employment for all o Reduces risk for social abuses RENUNCIATION o Fashion, luxuries and unnecessary conveniences o Recognizes that nothing material contributes to genuine happiness and inhibits happiness weakening physical health Currently India lacks Swaraj Gandhi recognized that most Indians had not been exposed to Britains modern civilisation they lived in rural india o Already led lives of Swaraj This Swaraj was insufficient Many western educated Indians who were not practicing swaraj and instead buying into values of colonial Britains modern civilisation Britain maintains its rule over india because so few Indians practice genuine Swaraj o Value Britains modern civilisation western consumer goods, professions in law, scientific medicine, industry; disregard for religion The English have not taken India; we have given it to them. They are not in India because of their strength, but because we keep them) India can restore Swaraj to restore genuine Swaraj demands two methods : directed outwards at the British authorities + directed inwards at Indians PRACTICE SATYAGRAHA (NONVIOLENT RESISTENCE) o method directed outwards at the British authorities o denotes non-violent resistacne to any pressure to do something against Truth o entails suffering method of securing rights by personal suffering reverse resistance by arms o enhances swarajj o logic for means-end only a non-violent or loving means to an end could produce a guinely non-violent end PRACTICE SARVODAYA (WELFARE OF ALL) o Directed inwards at Indians o W
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