GANDHI IN ACTION network

the Spirit of Mahatma Gandhi lives through every nonviolent action

Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav

Senior Gandhian Scholar

Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India

Contact No. – 09404955338, 09415777229

E-mail- dr.yadav.yogendra@gandhifoundation.net;

dr.yogendragandhi@gmail.com

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

 

 

Socialism and Mahatma Gandhi

 

Socialism is an economic system of society. It includes social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of society. A socialist economic system would consist of a system of production and distribution organized to directly satishphy economic demand and human needs. So that goods and service would be produces directly for use instead of private profit. In the early 19th century socialism referred to any concern for the social problems of the capitalism irrespective of the solution to those problems. Mahatma Gandhi delivered his thought many times. Mahatma Gandhi asked, “Is your main difference as to method or do you suspect that socialism is based on violence? G. It is not a matter of suspicion but of fact. Violence need not be physical. Your socialistic system is based on coercion.” 1 Mahatma Gandhi asked, “Let us study our Eastern institutions in that spirit of scientific inquiry and we shall evolve a truer socialism and a truer communism than the world has yet dreamed of. It is surely wrong to presume that Western socialism or communism is the last word on the question of mass poverty.” 2

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Socialism and communism of the West are based on certain conceptions which are fundamentally different from ours. One such conception is their belief in the essential selfishness of human nature. I do not subscribe to it, for I know that the essential difference between man and brute is that the former can respond to the call of spirit in him and can rise superior to the passions that he owns in common with the brute and therefore superior to selfishness and violence which belong to brute nature and not to the immortal spirit of man. That is the fundamental conception of Hinduism, which has years of penance and austerity at the back of the discovery of their truth. That is why whilst we had had saints who have burnt out their bodies and laid down their lives in order to explore the secrets of the soul, we have none as in the West who have laid down their lives in exploring the remotest or highest regions of earth. Our socialism or communism should therefore be based on non-violence and on the harmonious co-operation of labour and capital and the landlord and the tenant.” 3

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I plead for a drastic revision of the whole constitution. We are both labouring under a heavy handicap in that Jawaharlal, who has given us the mantra of socialism, is not in our midst, and I consider him to be the natural wearer of the Congress crown of thorns when I and other elderly men and women have been permitted to take well deserved rest. I feel sure that if he was in our midst, he would have hastened slowly. I suggest your presenting the country with practical socialism in keeping with Indian conditions instead of scientific socialism as your programme has been called. I am glad that the programme you have given me is but draft though prepared by an influential committee appointed for the purpose. It would be wise, if when you settle your programme finally, you will associate with you men who have socialist leanings and have experience of actual conditions.” 4

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Khadi is the only alternative to this and not the so-called socialism, which presupposes industrialism. The socialism that India can assimilate is the socialism of the spinning-wheel. Let the village worker; therefore, make the wheel the central point of his activities.” 5 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Do read the resolution about ‘loose talk’ dispassionately. There is not a word in it about socialism. Greatest consideration has been paid to the socialists some of whom I know so intimately. Do I not know their sacrifice? But I have found them as a body to be in a hurry. Why should they not be? Only, if I cannot march quite as quick, I must ask them to halt and take me along with them. That is literally my attitude. I have looked up the dictionary meaning of socialism.” 6

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “In an age where competition is held to be the law of life, and possession in the largest measure of the world’s goods the sum mum bonus, and when everyone counts oneself free to follow any calling one likes, this attempt to hold up varna as the law of life may well be regarded as an idle dream, and an attempt to revive it as childish folly. Be that as it may, it is my firm conviction that it is true socialism. In the language of the Gita, it is equality of the spirit, without which no other equality is possible. The performance of it, no matter how slight, bodes well both for him who performs it and for the rest of mankind.” 7

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “My concept of socialism implies that people should be self reliant. That is the only way they can be prevented from being exploited. I have been trying to persuade the workers that if the capitalists have their gold and silver, we have our hands and feet. These too are assets. A capitalist will never be able to carry on without labour. Let no one misunderstand that the Sangh is going to serve the purpose of the capitalists, thereby making the workers slaves. On the contrary it proposes to release them from slavery, by making them self-reliant. How can this involve enslaving? I have given deep thought to the whole scheme before putting it before you. This is the only way of reviving the village industries and I am seeking your help for the purpose.” 8

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I listened carefully to Mr. Patwardhan’s speech. He argued ably, but either he was deceiving himself or he was acting simply as an advocate. He said that we had descended from ideals to realism. But has not socialism its ideals and if I told him to remove even a comma from their ideals he would reject my proposition. Do you suppose you will realize complete independence at any time even after fifty generations? The socialist creed goes even further. I suggest we must have a measuring rod. The day humanity ceases to believe in ideals, it will descend to the level of the beasts. Today if you believe in truthfulness and non-violence say so. It does not mean you will be sent per cent truthful. I am not cent per cent truthful.” 9

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “My opposition is to socialism as it is interpreted here in its official programme. I can have nothing to say against the theory or the philosophy of socialism. The programme as it is put here cannot be achieved without violence. The socialists here do not exclude violence under all circumstances whatsoever. They would take to arms openly if they saw there was a chance to usurp power by it. There are in the programme some details into which I need not enter. I wonder if this reply will answer your difficulties. However, you must write about your difficulties more concretely.” 10

Mahatma Gandhi answered, “Q. What are the points of similarity and difference between your point of view and socialism?

 A. There are quite a few similarities. I too desire that everything should be considered as belonging to God. I too believe that all wealth belongs to the people. But the difference lies in that the socialists advocate collective effort, whereas I believe that the beginning should be made at once in our individual conduct. If we have such faith, we should dedicate to society at least our own property. One cannot be a socialist so long as one retains even cowries for oneself. They want to achieve their aim through legislation. Legislation implies coercion. If they are not saying all these things now, it is because that is not within their power. They are virtuous because they are weak. Socialists, that are Communists, want to use force, but they are helpless. But we are believers in democracy.” 11 

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “If you have not read everything pertaining to socialism, then take a decision only after reading something more about it. Socialism is one thing and Jawaharlal is another. There has always been a difference between individuals and ideology.” 12

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “This brings me to socialism. Real socialism has been handed down to us by our ancestors who taught: All land belongs to Gopal, where then is the boundary line? Man is the maker of the line and he can therefore unmake it. Gopal literally means shepherd; it also means God. In modern language it means the State, i.e., the people. That the land today does not belong to the people is too true. But the fault is not in the teaching. It is in us who have not lived up to it.” 13

Mahatma Gandhi answered, “Q. Is there any difference of opinion between you and Jawaharlal in respect of socialism?

 A. There is, but it is a difference in emphasis. He perhaps puts an emphasis on the result, whereas I put on the means. Perhaps according to him I am putting over-emphasis on non-violence, whereas he, though he believes in non-violence, would want to have socialism by other means if it was impossible to have it by non-violence. Of course my emphasis on non-violence becomes one of principle. Even if I was assured that we could have independence by means of violence, I shall refuse to have it. It won’t be real independence.” 14

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “In my view, the key to socialism lies in equal pay for equal work. Everyone’s basic needs are more or less the same. The larger part of the world will always consist of labourers; hence the only way for their uplift is to accept the principle of equal wages. There is no other way but to do so. It is likely that all this may appear to be the talk of someone who lives in a dream world. But unless workers make such dreams come true, their real authority, which is only a dream today, will always remain so. Socialism was not born with the discovery of the misuse of capital by capitalists. As I have contended, socialism, even communism, is explicit in the first verse of Ishopanishad. What is true is that when some reformers lost faith in the method of conversion, the technique of what is known as scientific socialism was born. I am engaged in solving the same problem that faces scientific socialists. It is true, however, that my approach is always and only through unadulterated non-violence. It may fail. If it does, it will be because of my ignorance of the technique of non-violence. I may be a bad exponent of the doctrine in which my faith is daily increasing. The A.I.S.A. and the A.I.V.I.A. are organizations through which the technique of non-violence is being tested on an all-India scale. They are special autonomous bodies created by the Congress for the purpose of enabling me to conduct my experiments without being fettered by the vicissitudes of policy to which a wholly democratic body like the Congress is always liable. Trusteeship, as I conceive it, has yet to prove its worth. It is an attempt to secure the best use of property for the people by competent hands.” 15 

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I have no difficulty in accepting almost all the principles of socialism propounded in the book. I have also read with care the book by Jayaprakash. Can there possibly be any difference between his interpretation and yours? Neither in your book nor in his do I find a clear idea how wills the ultimate revolution in India be brought about. This I could not understand even after discussing it with many others. Only the day before yesterday a report of Meherally’s Madras speech came into my hands and I went through it. It explains fully what the socialists are doing. The object is to start a revolt in every sphere. But a revolt has never been possible without violence. In your book, however, I find nothing of the kind. Have we or have not we acquired strength through peaceful ways such as the civil disobedience or non-violent non-co-operation carried on since 1920? You say that the principles of socialism cannot be fully implemented until we have State power. Supposing, you ask, a powerful land-owner turned a complete socialist, could he well and truly act upon his principles? Assuming that he had no punitive power, could an Indian raja who was a socialist be able to implement socialism? I recollect your having written that socialism cannot be practiced in its entirety until the whole world turns socialist. Does this imply that even if we gain complete independence socialism will not be fully or almost fully implemented? I hope you have understood my point. The purpose behind this question is only to ascertain how far it would be possible for me to accept the socialist principles and the means of their implementation.” 16

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “No. My differences with the socialists are of a different kind. Do not confuse the two. They differ with Subhas Babu on the question of giving an ultimatum to the Government. I do not know who exactly supports him on the point. That is why in spite of my having sharp and even fundamental differences with the socialists my attitude towards them is different. Moreover, we cannot put the socialists and Jawaharlal in the same category. Jawaharlal does not lend his name to any socialist group. He believes in socialism. He mixes with the socialists and consults them. But there is considerable difference between their methods of work. The differences between me and the socialists are widely known. I believe in change of heart and in working for it. They do not. They make fun of the spinning-wheel. But even so the socialists are coming nearer to me every day. Or, you may say that I am moving nearer to them. Or, that we are moving nearer to each other. I cannot say how long it will continue. It is quite likely that one day our ways will part. The same thing happened with Subhas Babu. The Jalpaiguri resolution brought our differences to the fore. There are certainly differences between Jawaharlal and me. But they are not significant. Without him I feel myself a cripple. He also feels more or less the same way. Our hearts are one. This intimate relationship between us has not started with politics. It is very much older and deeper. We shall leave it at that.  Ever since the idea of socialism became popular in India, we have been confronted with the question as to what our attitude should be towards the Princes and millionaires. The socialists say that the Princes and the millionaires should be done away with, that all must become workers. They advocate confiscation of the properties of all these people and say that they should be given the same wages as everyone else from Rs. 5 to eight annas a day or Rs. 15 a month So much for what the socialists say. We too assert that the rich are not the owners of their wealth whereas the labourer is the owner of his labour. He is, therefore from our point of view, richer than the rich. A zamindar can be recognized as the owner of one, two or ten bighas of land. That is to say, of as much as may be necessary for his livelihood. We also want that his wages should not be higher than those of the labourer, that he should maintain himself on eight annas a day and use the rest of his wealth for the welfare of society. But we would not take away his property by force. This is the most important point. We also wish that the Princes and the millionaires too should do manual work and maintain themselves on eight annas a day, considering the rest of their property as national trust.” 17

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I have not studied socialism. I have read no books on the subject; I have read one by Jayaprakash. I have also read one book given by Masani. Sampurnanandji has written a very good book. He sent it to me very lovingly and I read that too. This is all my study of socialism. They say countless books have been written on socialism and communism. I have read nothing at all about communism. I do not know how many of you have read books about it. I believe in socialism and also in communism. I believe in everything, but from my own point of view. I belong to everybody and I belong to none. A believer in non-violence cannot be anybody’s opponent. He would wish to build up the science of non-violence with the help of everyone. His is not the politics of opposing or vanquishing anyone.” 18

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I have claimed that I was a socialist long before those I know in India had avowed their creed. But my socialism was natural to me and not adopted from any books. It came out of my unshakable belief in non-violence. No man could be actively non-violent and not rise against social injustice no matter where it occurred. Unfortunately Western socialists have, so far as I know, believed in the necessity of violence for enforcing socialistic doctrines.” 19

Mahatma Gandhi spoke, “Thus we shall have to give systematic thought to all these matters. We want to make of khadi an integrated way of life. We have to deal with artisans, spinners and weavers. In the sphere of production our aim is to pay equal wages to all. So far we have extorted forced labour from the spinners. This doctrine of paying the lowest wage and taking maximum work for it has been taken from the Artha shastra of Kautilya. We must change this doctrine for a new one. We shall give the same wage to spinners as we give to weavers. Those who produce cotton should also prosper. And yet we want that the burden on the buyer should be light. Thus we wish to create a socialist society. The socialism that India can digest will be of this kind. It will be the socialism of the poor, but of the well-to-do poor. The ideal of khadi is thus the promotion of a wholly socialistic way of life.” 20

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “There is very little difference between your socialism and mine as you subscribe so whole-heartedly to non-violence and the constructive programme.” 21

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “You need not apologize for sending me the book. I must read it. I glanced at it, as it came into my hands. How does it differ from your description of socialism which you say centres round society and its needs and villages which you say centres round the village and its wants? Do you mark any difference? Is not village and its welfare the same as society and its needs? Is not the difference this: socialism includes violence as a measure to achieve it, villagism excludes it?” 22

Mahatma Gandhi gave interview, “L. F. What do you mean by your socialism? G. My socialism means ‘even unto this last’. I do not want to rise on the ashes of the blind, the deaf and the dumb. In their socialism, probably these have no place. Their one aim is material progress. For instance, America aims at having a car for every citizen. I do not. I want freedom for full expression of my personality. I must be free to build a staircase to Sirius if I want to. That does not mean that I want to do any such thing. Under the other socialism, there is no individual freedom. You own nothing, not even your body. L. F. Yes, but there are variations. My socialism in its modified form means that the State does not own everything. It does in Russia. There you certainly do not own your body even. You may be arrested at any time, though you may have committed no crime. They may send you wherever they like. Does not, under your socialism, the State own your children and educate them in any way it likes? G. All States do that. America does it. L. F. Then America is not very different from Russia. G. But socialism is dictatorship or else arm-chair philosophy. I call myself a communist also. L. F. O, don’t. It is terrible for you to call yourself a communist. I want what you want, what Jayaprakash and the socialists want: a free world. But the communists don’t. They want a system which enslaves the body and the mind. G. Would you say that of Marx? L. F. The communists have corrupted the Marxist teaching to suit their purpose. G. What about Lenin? L. F. Lenin started it. Stalin has since completed it. When the communists come to you, they want to get into the Congress and control the Congress and use it for their own ends. G. So do the socialists. My communism is not very different from socialism. It is a harmonious blending of the two. Communism, as I have understood it, is a natural corollary of socialism.  At the same time I believe that some key industries are necessary. I do not believe in armchair or armed socialism. I believe in action according to my belief, without waiting for wholesale conversion. Hence, without having to enumerate key industries, I would have State ownership where a large number of people have to work together. The ownership of the products of their labour, whether skilled or unskilled, will vest in them through the State. But as I can conceive such a State only based on non-violence, I would not dispossess monied men by force but would invite their co-operation in the process of conversion to State ownership. There are no pariahs of society, whether they are millionaires or paupers. The two are sores of the same disease. And all are men “for a’ that”.” 23

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Socialism is a term of the modern age but the concept of socialism is not a new discovery. Lord Krishna preaches the same doctrine in the Gita. One need have in one’s possession only what one requires. It means that all men are created by God and therefore entitled to an equal share of food, clothing and housing. If does not require huge organizations for the realization of this ideal. Any individual can set about to realize it. First of all in order to translate this ideal into our lives we should minimize our needs, keeping in mind the poorest of the poor in India. One should earn just enough to support oneself and one’s family. To have a bank balance would thus be incompatible with this ideal. And whatever is earned should be earned with the utmost honesty. Strict restraint has to be kept over small matters in our lives. Even if a single individual enforces this ideal in his life, he is bound to influence others. Wealthy people should act as trustees of their wealth. But if they are robbed of this wealth through violent means, it would not be in the interest of the country. This is known as communism. Moreover, by adopting violent means we would be depriving society of capable individuals.” 24 

Mahatma Gandhi advice, “Well, then I fail to understand your desire to serve others which you call socialism when you do not do your own personal work in your homes. If you want my advice, I may tell you that students while they are studying should not involve themselves in any ism. They may by all means read about every school of thought, think over it, put as much of it into practice as possible, but they should not endeavour to become leaders. If we want to banish exploitation and violence from our society, we ought to do body-labour and manual work. And naturally it ought to be undertaken by all. Unemployment is rampant in our villages which were [once] regarded as happy and self-sufficient units; this is because of our subjugation and feelings of high and low as also caste distinctions.” 25 

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “My socialism is not of today. I began to live socialism while I was still in South Africa. Even then many laborite socialists, so called, used to come to me with their bedraggled ties of dirty red to invite me to join their ranks. But they remained to join mine instead for they saw that true socialism can be based only on non-violence.” 26

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Since the last two days socialists have been coming to me. I have been socialism in the country; they should forget their internal differences telling them the same things. I say that if they are keen on bringing about, do physical labour and develop character by thoroughly examining their private and public lives. Socialism will not come by occupying positions of power and by delivering speeches from the platform. They must carefully examine every moment of their lives from the time they get up in the morning to the time they retire to bed at night. They must have before them a clear and perfect goal. And if truth and non-violence are not observed scrupulously the socialism which they are trying to bring about would be just shattered and no trace would be left of their existence. The same thing applies to the Congress. If the Congressmen and the Socialists, beautiful both in name and implication, do not follow their principles in action, there will be a revolt in the country and communism will make inroads. I shall not live to see it. But expand your activities in such a way that the future generations do not curse you.” 27  

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “The basis of socialism is economic equality. There can be no Ramarajya in the present state of iniquitous inequalities in which a few roll in riches and the masses do not get even enough to eat. I accepted the theory of socialism even while I was in South Africa. My difference with the Socialists and others consists in advocating non-violence and truth as the most effective means for any reform.” 28

Mahatma Gandhi discussed, “Today the rulers are not foreigners but our own country-men. If we do not work in perfect harmony with them, our newly-won freedom will be in danger. Let all people sit together and find a proper solution to problems on which there are differences. But our greatest defect is that, as soon as we differ from somebody ever so slightly, or a misunderstanding arises, instead of meeting the person concerned and trying to find a solution we take him to task publicly. This creates a great mental gulf between people, leading to antagonism. Parties and isms are only results of such differences. One fruit of this poison we have seen in the coming into existence of Pakistan. Are we not satisfied even with that? You have simply not understood what socialism means. The Russian type of socialism will not suit India at all. Even in Russia their policies have not succeeded completely. Why don’t you try to save the country from the calamity which has befallen it today? So long as this communal virus has not been eradicated, socialism will never come. Note down and remember, all of you, these words of an old man. The people will want to see our work and our sacrifices; they will judge our labour and look for perfection of character in us. But you wish to pay no attention to these things. On the one hand, hundreds of thousands of our brothers and sisters have become homeless. If now you incite the people and exploit this riot to establish new parties or spread your isms, rest assured God will never forgive this terrible crime of betrayal of the country.” 29  

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Some fifty years ago when I used to practice law in South Africa there were many people there who called themselves socialists but in fact they were less socialist than I was. I used to work among the coolies. I had made this work my life’s mission and I lived as the coolies lived. I have always considered myself a servant of the workers and peasants but I have never found it necessary to call myself a socialist. My socialism is of a different kind. Even if everyone forsakes me I shall not be worried. I am your friend and, therefore, I tell you that if a cripple cannot obtain something he needs we should ourselves give up that something. I shall first watch the cripple’s life and his food and only then shall I think of doing something for myself. This is my socialism. If you want to bring about this kind of socialism, then I shall be the first to come forward to help. It is my firm belief that even a king can become a socialist by being a servant of his people.  If we want to make the king as well as the people socialist, how shall we set about it? We can convert others to socialism by setting an example ourselves. It is said that there are two ways of changing the king either by cutting off his head or by depriving him of his throne. My method is to make the king a socialist through love. It is heinous to kill. If you teach thousands of people to kill, the order that you will bring about will not be a socialistic order but an order of murderers. The Viceroy can call himself a Congressman as the speaker calls himself a Congressman. But would the Viceroy be ready to give up his powers if he were asked to do so? Similarly there are many people who call themselves Congressmen but are they indeed Congressmen? Are they true socialists? There are many who have drowned themselves in their wealth and in the pleasures which wealth can buy. In South Africa although the Whites treated me as an enemy, nevertheless many of them came to me as friends. If socialism means turning enemies into friends I should be considered a genuine socialist. This idea of socialism is my own. All the socialists should learn socialism from me. Only then shall we be able to produce dedicated workers and bring about peasants’ rule. I do not believe in the kind of socialism that the Socialist Party preaches. Maybe my preaching to you is a cry in the wilderness, maybe you will not listen to me. There are people who call me names and treat me as a madman. I cannot teach you violence because I do not believe in violence. I can only teach you not to bow your head even if you should lose your life. Therein lays true courage.

Nobody can take away this courage from me. When I die you will all admit that Gandhi was a true socialist? When I talk of trusteeship people call me mad. But there is something in that madness. If you think a little deeply you will understand it. Today I can say with conviction that if there is anyone among all these people who is a socialist it is I. And this gives me the right to say what I am saying. The public life and the private life of a public servant are interrelated. Socialism cannot be established without moral purity. Socialism has been in vogue ever since the time of Lord Krishna. He played with the cowherds. He lived with them, ate with them; he went along with Sudama to cut firewood in the forest for the wife of his preceptor. There are many such instances. He even became the charioteer of Arjuna to show that there was no one high or low for him. He comported with the cowherd maidens freely for there was no impurity in his eyes. Thus what you call socialism, the thing which you think you should learn from Russia or America or England, has been there in our country for a very long time. Jayaprakash is like a son to me and the other leaders of the Socialist Party are all my friends. I humbly want to tell them that if they adopt the kind of socialism I have described the whole country will be with them. I regret I cannot support the theory of socialism you accept, for I know that those who advocate it do not conform to it in their lives. Their precepts and practice vary. It will not do merely to preach. Rama spent fourteen years in exile in the forest and we worship him. But if he had not done so and merely contented himself with saying that a son should obey his father, who would have remembered him today? Today there is murder, plunder and rape in the air. My voice is not heard. People consider me mad. I am expected to teach how to return two blows for one but I cannot do so. All I can say is: ‘Friend, if you want to kill me you may do so, but I will kill no one.’ I pray to God that He may keep me filled with this courage to the end. One who has cultivated such courage cannot be plundered. When Gandhi is dead you will all say Gandhi was a socialist. I say it humbly but with conviction because I have full sixty years’ experience to back it.” 30

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Socialism is a beautiful word and so far as I am aware in socialism all the members of society are equal none low, none high. In the individual body the head is not high because it is the top of the body, nor are the soles of the feet low because they touch the earth. Even as members of the individual body are equal, so are the members of society. That is socialism. In it the prince and the peasant, the wealthy and the poor, the employer and the employee are all on the same level. In terms of religion there is no duality in socialism. It is all unity. Looking at society all the world over there is nothing but duality or plurality. Unity is conspicuous by its absence. This man is high, that one is low, that one is a Hindu, that one a Muslim, third a Christian, fourth a Parsi, fifth a Sikh, sixth a Jew. Even among these there are sub-divisions. In the unity of my conception there is perfect unity in the plurality of designs. In order to reach this state we may not look on things philosophically and say that we need not make a move until all are converted to socialism. Without changing our life we may go on giving addresses, forming parties and hawk-like seize the game when it comes our way. This is no socialism. The more we treat it as game to be seized, the further it must recede from us. Socialism begins with the first convert. If there is one such, you can add zeros to the one and the first zero will account for ten and every addition will account for ten times the previous number. If, however, the beginner is a zero, in other words, no one makes the beginning; multiplicity of zeros will also produce zero value. Time and paper occupied in writing zeros will be so much waste. This socialism is as pure as crystal. It, therefore, requires crystalline means to achieve it.

 Impure means insult in an impure end. Hence the prince and the peasant will not be equalized by cutting off the prince’s head, nor can the process of cutting off equalize the employer and the employee. One cannot reach truth by untruthfulness. Truthful conduct alone can reach truth. Are not non-violence and truth twins? The answer is an emphatic ‘no’. Non-violence is embedded in truth and vice versa. Hence has it been said that they are faces of the same coin. Either is inseparable from the other. Read the coin either way. The spelling of words will be different. The value is the same. This blessed state is unattainable without perfect purity. Harbour impurity of mind or body and you has untruth and violence in you. Therefore, only truthful, non-violent and pure-hearted socialists will be able to establish a socialistic society in India and the world. To my knowledge there is no country in the world which is purely socialistic. Without the means described above the existence of such a society is impossible.” 31 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I have not mixed up socialism with sociology. I must confess I have read very little if anything at all about sociology. Socialism as conceived in the West may go against Indian culture. Then it is faulty but socialism as defined by me in the articles you have read is a living thing and true. It is undoubtedly an economic doctrine but not based on class warfare.” 32

References:

 

  1. DISCUSSION WITH M. R. MASANI AND N. R. MALKANI, May 25, 1934
  2.   To the Students, pp. 204
  3. The Pioneer, 3-8-1934
  4.   LETTER TO NARENDRA DEVA, August 2, 1934
  5.   Harijan, 31-8-1934
  6.   LETTER TO JAWAHARLAL NEHRU, August 17, 1934
  7.   Harijan, 28-9-1934,
  8. The Hindu, 25-10-1934,
  9.   SPEECH AT SUBJECTS COMMITTEE MEETING, A.I.C.C., October 26, 1934
  10. LETTER TO MADELEINE ROLLAND, Before March 22, 1935
  11. Gandhi Seva Sangh ke Dwitiya Adhiveshan (Savli) Ka Vivaran, pp. 59
  12. LETTER TO GANGABEHN B. JHAVERI, August 1, 1936
  13.   Harijanbandhu, 3-1-1937
  14. Harijan, 13-2-1937
  15.   Harijan, 20-2-1937
  16. LETTER TO SAMPURNANAND, July 27, 1937
  17. Gandhi Seva Sangh ke Panchama Warship Adhiveshan (Brindaban, Bihar) ka Vivaran, pp. 30
  18.   Gandhi Seva Sangh ke Chhathe Adhiveshan (Malikanda—Bengal) ka Vivaran, pp. 38
  19.   Harijan, 20-4-1930
  20.   SPEECH AT A. I. S. A. MEETING, October 7, 1941
  21.   LETTER TO C. K. NARAYANSAMY, October 14, 1941
  22.   LETTER TO BHARATAN KUMARAPPA, May 28, 1945
  23.   INTERVIEW TO LOUIS FISCHER, July 17, 1946
  24.   TALK WITH MANU GANDHI, April 15, 1947
  25. ADVICE TO STUDENTS, April 28, 1947
  26. Mahatma Gandhi—the Last Phase, Vol. II, pp. 161
  27. Harijan, 18-5-1947
  28. Harijan, 1-6-1947
  29. DISCUSSION WITH SOCIALIST WORKERS, June 7, 1947
  30. Gandhiji ki Delhi Diary—III, pp. 188
  31. Harijan, 13-7-1947
  32.    LETTER TOMOTWANI, July 26, 1947

 

 

 

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