Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav

Senior Gandhian Scholar, Professor, Editor and Linguist

Gandhi International Study and Research Institute, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India

Contact only on mail


Mailing Address- C- 29, Swaraj Nagar, Panki, Kanpur- 208020, Uttar Pradesh, India


Swaraj is self-reliance – Mahatma Gandhi


Mahatma Gandhi wanted Swaraj for India, not independent. It meant complete independent. He wanted to make it self-reliance also. He thought if it is not self reliance, it has no value - An esteemed friend, referring to the Viceregal interview, writes: In my humble opinion, these interviews by non-co-operation leaders are, in

the present circumstances, a political mistake, and may react on the movement. Back of the Punjab and the Khilafat wrongs is the question of Swaraj; and India's Swaraj means the death of the Empire. Such a death may, in happy circumstances, mean its rebirth as a commonwealth of nations. But where is the statesman today, with a free and generous view of world politics, to look beyond British interests to the deeper values of humanity? Victory of the Swaraj movement I conceive in terms of self-reliance, not of snatching some concessions from Lord Reading. As far as I can see, the hope for an escape from further confusion lies in escape from negotiations with the Government and becoming as a Nation strong in the will to suffer. A crucified India will be an India emancipated.

Whilst I do not agree with the writer that the interviews were a political mistake, the statement of our attitude is perfect. Our concern is not with what British statesmen will or will not do. Our business is always of endeavor to keep ourselves on the right track. Our aloofness must not be a sign of our haughtiness or disinclination to explain our view-points to our opponents. We must be prepared to

approach the world, if we are firm in our own purpose. But I recognize, too, the force of the objection that there is danger in these interviews. Not being in the habit of having always a reserve of minimum on which there can be no surrender, we may easily slip.



Young India, 8-6-1921



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