Hind Swaraj.doc

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Political Science
POL 1201
Elizabeth Beaumont

Hind Swaraj 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 Marx ◦ 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 religious teachings: ◦ 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 of truth-seeking. ▪ 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 subsequent months Personal Ethics and conscience • His philosophy of civil disobedience and home rule are closely linked to his view of personal ethics ◦ 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
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