It is a befitting tribute to Gandhi to reflect on his work Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule and its practical applications during its centenary year. One who scrutinises Gandhi's philosophy and methods will see their seeds in his work Hind Swaraj.1 That is why this booklet is often hailed as Gandhi's ‘seminal work'. Though Gandhi wrote this book keeping in mind mainly the Indians, his concept of Swaraj is not confined to the Swaraj of India alone. In fact, the ideas presented in this book constitute the foundation of Gandhi's philosophy of life. It may be said that it is on the foundation of Hind Swaraj that the whole edifice of Gandhi's theory of life is built. The values presented in this booklet are eternal and transcend geographical boundaries. Also, while this booklet is a severe condemnation of modern western civilization and its institutions, it also presents Gandhi's concept of an alternative way of life based on moral values, and spirituality.
Records show that Hind Swaraj gave rise to a lot of controversies. Discussions and debates were aplenty at the theoretical level. It is to be noted that several experiments were also undertaken by people of idealistic orientation to put the Hind Swaraj insights into practice. The Community of Ark in Southern France, for example, is an attempt to apply the Hind Swaraj perspectives on nonviolence as a way of alternative living.