the Spirit of Mahatma Gandhi lives through every nonviolent action

Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav

Senior Gandhian Scholar, Professor, Editor and Linguist

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


On The Wrong Track – Mahatma Gandhi



Mahatma Gandhi was very busy during movement, but he was aware to every activity of it. When he saw that there were some mistakes done by people of India, He told to everybody that our movement is going on wrong track. He wrote an article on it in Young India.

Lord Ronaldshay has been doing me the favor of reading my booklet on Indian Home Rule which is a translation of Hind Swaraj. His Lordship told his audience that if Swaraj meant what I had described it to be in the booklet, the Bengalis would have none of it. I am sorry that the Swaraj of the Congress resolution does not mean the Swaraj depicted in the booklet; Swaraj according to the Congress

Means the Swaraj that the people of India want, not what the British Government may condescend to give. In so far as I can see, Swaraj will be a parliament chosen by the people with the fullest power over the finance, the police, the military, the navy, the courts and the educational institutions.

I am free to confess that the Swaraj I expect to gain within one year, if India responds, will be such Swaraj as will make practically impossible the repetition of the Khilafat and the Punjab wrongs, and will enable the nation to do good or evil as it chooses, and not be ‘good’ at the dictation of an irresponsible, insolent, and godless bureaucracy. Under that Swaraj, the nation will have the power to impose a heavy protective tariff on such foreign goods as are capable of being manufactured in India, as also the power to refuse to send a single soldier outside India for the purpose of enslaving the surrounding or remote nationalities. The Swaraj that I dream of will be a possibility only when the nation is free to make its choice both of good and evil.

I adhere to all I have said in that booklet and I would certainly recommend it to the reader. Government over self is the truest Swaraj. It is synonymous with moksha or salvation, and I have seen nothing to alter the view that doctors, lawyers and railways are no help, and are often a hindrance to the one thing worth striving after. But I know that association with a satanic activity, such as the Government is engaged in, makes even an effort for such freedom a practical impossibility. I cannot tender allegiance to God and Satan at the same time.

The surest sign of the satanic nature of the present system is that even a nobleman of the type of Lord Ronaldshay is obliged to put us on a wrong track. He will not deal with the one thing needed. Why is he silent about the Punjab? Why does he evade the Khilafat? Can ointments soothe a patient who is suffering from corroding consumption? Does his Lordship not see that it is not the inadequacy?

of the reforms that has set India aflame but that it is the infliction of the two wrongs and the wicked attempt to make us forget them? Does he not see that a complete change of heart is required before reconciliation?

But it has become the fashion nowadays to ascribe hatred to non-co-operations. And I regret to find that even Colonel Wedgwood fallen into the trap. I make bold to say that the only way to remove hatred is to give it disciplined vent. No man can —I cannot—perform the impossible task of removing hatred so long as contempt and despise for the feelings of India are sedulously nursed. It is a mockery to ask India not to hate when in the same breath India’s most sacred feelings are contemptuously brushed aside. India feels weak and helpless and so expresses her helplessness by hating the tyrant who despises her and makes her crawl on the belly, lifts the veils of her innocent women and compels her tender children to acknowledge his power by saluting his flag four times a day. The gospel of non-co-operation addresses itself to the task of making the people strong and self-reliant. It is an attempt to transform hatred into pity.

A strong and self-reliant India will cease to hate Bosworth Smiths and Frank Johnsons, for she will have the power to punish them and therefore the power also to pity and forgive them. Today she can neither punishes nor forgive, and therefore helplessly nurses hatred. If the Mussulmans were strong, they would not hate the

English but would fight and wrest from them the dearest possessions of Islam. I know that the Ali Brothers, who live only for the honor and prestige of Islam and are prepared any moment to die for it, will today make friends with the hated Englishmen, if they were to do justice to the Khilafat, which it is in their power to do.

I am positively certain that there is no personal element in this fight. Both the Hindus and the Mohammedans would today invoke blessings on the English if they would but give proof positive of their goodness, faithfulness, and loyalty to India. Non-co-operation then is a godsend; it will purify and strengthen India; and a strong India will be strength to the world, as an India, weak and helpless, is a curse to mankind. Indian soldiers have involuntarily helped to destroy Turkey and are now destroying the flower of the great Arabian nation. I cannot recall a single campaign in which the Indian soldier has been employed by the British Government for the good of mankind and yet Indian Maharajas are never tired of priding themselves on the loyal help they have rendered the English! Could degradation sink any lower?



Young India, 8-12-1920


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