How best to End Imperial Rule and Gain Home Rule
• When Gandhi begins his efforts in the early 20th century, there have been violent anti-
imperial and independence efforts in various colonized countries, some inspired by
◦ Few have been outstanding successes, and European countries still control
much of the non-west
• Among the voices beginning to call for Indian independence, most believe violent war
of independence is necessary
• Gandhi is trying to offer a new alternative
Indian Home Rule
• In this and other writing, Gandhi developed a powerful theory of -- and movement for -
Indian Self-Rule or democracy bases on civil disobedience
• Begins suggesting 3 overlapping sets of ideas about what good "swaraj" would involve
◦ philosophical principle and political practices
▪ satyagraha and non-violent resistance that achieved some reforms from
the white government.
◦ personal principles and practices
▪ selflessness or self-denial, including vows of chastity and poverty
◦ economic principles and practices:
▪ rejection of modern technology and civilization in favor of tradition and
physical labor, simplicity, and self-sufficiency
Satyagrapha: Soul Force/Truth Force and Civil Disobedience
• Gandhi had read Socrates, Thoreau, and his philosophy of civil disobedience was
inspired by their political theories as well as by a range of western and eastern
◦ Gandhi conceptualizes his theory as a type of truth-seekings
▪ He had earlier translated Socrates' Apology into Hindi, and titled it "The
Soldier of Truth." He understood his philosophy as sharing the core goal
▪ He called this new theory "satyagraha" roughly "holding fast to the truth"
which he describe as a type of "soul force" and "truth force"
◦ Gandhi conceptualizes his theory as a theory of "passive resistance"
▪ Thoreau's theory of civil disobedience focused on individual, personal
acts of "friction" against a system of injustice, such as refusing to pay
taxes or fright in the Mexican-American War.
▪ Gandhi's theory focused on collaborate, organized acts of resistance
grounded on an ethical ideal of ahimsa (no harm) or non-violence
▪ He emphasized that this precept was deeply rooted in the three
faiths that originated in India -- Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism
The Salt March
• Gandhi's most famous use of "passive resistance"
• 250 mile march across the sea to protest British policies, which forbid Indians from
collecting their own salt (requiring them to buy it)
• 90,000 marchers, including the entire Indian National Congress; were arrested in
Personal Ethics and conscience • His philosophy of civil disobedience and home rule are closely linked to his view of
◦ He thinks of Satyagraha as "soul force" and from emerging from "the force of
truth or love" that is natural in the world
◦ He descr