Mahatma Gandhi is the most influential Indian of the twentieth century whose shadow continues to loom large over the country even sixty years after his death. He struggled and dreamt of a India free not only from the yoke of the British rule but also free from the evils of poverty, illiteracy, untouchability with all its citizens enjoying equally the fruits of freedom and prosperity.
Many of his revolutionary ideas, termed as idiosyncrasies then, are fashionable concepts followed by today’s generation. And the resurging popularity of ‘Gandhigiri’ is proof of Gandhi’s continuing relevance in the twenty-first century.
This book offers a fascinating peep into the mind and ideas of Gandhi and his dream for a vibrant and prosperous modern India.
It is a happy idea to place before the world and the country at the
present moment when we are entering upon a new era a picture
of the India of Mahatma Gandhi’s dreams. The freedom which
we have won is throwing upon us the responsibilities of making
or marring the future of India. It is in no small measure the achievement of Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership. The matchless
weapon of truth and non-violence which he has used is needed the world to cure it of many of its ills. We are aware how
imperfect have been the instruments that had to be used by
gandhiji, and yet history will record that our object has been
with the least possible sacrifice which any other country similarly situated could have been called upon to make. As the
weapon has been unique, the opportunities which the
achievement of freedom offers are equally unique. In our hour of victory and rejoicings we cannot afford to ignore either the leader
who has led us or the undying principles which have inspired
him. Freedom is only the means to a greater and nobler end, and the achievement of India of Mahatma Gandhi’s dreams
will be the fitting consummation of all that he has worked for and stands for. At this juncture we need to be reminded of the basis.
and fundamentals of his teachings. A book, which places before the reader not only those basic and fundamental principles, but also indicates how we can help to fulfil them through our freedom
establishing a polity and social life, and through the
instrumentality of a constitution and the dedication of the human which this vast country will now throw up to work
without any external fetters or internal inhibitions, will be
welcomed by all. Shri R. K. Prabhu has proved his skill in making a selection of the most telling and significant passage from Mahatma Gandhi’s writings and I have no doubt that this volume
useful addition to the literature on the subject.
In this work an attempt has been made, by assembling together passages from writings and speeches of Mahatma Gandhi, to give the reader an idea of the part which he expects a
completely free and independent India of his conception to
play in her own domestic affairs as well as in her relations with the
rest of the world. On 15th August, 1947, India will have
finally shaken off the yoke of foreign rule which for the past
century and a half had held her soul in bondage and well-nigh
ruined her materially, morally and spiritually. In the process of achievement her independence, however, her unity has been
broken in many places and her soul has been badly bruised, owing to internecine quarrels, and the shape of ‘Swaraj’ that is
merging is not at all what her patriotic sons and daughters had ardently longed for and struggled for all these decades. It is quite natural, therefore, that Gandhiji, the Father of Indian independence, should feel little inclined to enthuse over the independence that is drawing; and cry out, like the Vedic seer,
lead us from darkness unto Light’.
Gandhiji has refused to subscribe to the fantastic theory that the Muslims of India are ‘a separate nation’. ‘My whole soul rebels against the idea that Hinduism and Islam represent two antagonisticcultures and doctrines,’ he has said. ‘To assent
to such a doctrine is for me a denial of God. For I believe with my whole soul that the God of the Quran is also the God of the
Gita that we are all, no matter by what name designated, children of the same God. I must rebel against the idea that millions of Indians who were Hindus the other day changed their nationality on adopting Islam as their religion.’ He refuses to believe that India will remain for ever partitioned, either geographically or spiritually, in the manner that is being sought to be done at present. ‘India does not become two nations,’ he Says, ‘because it has been cut up into two sovereign States.’ He lives in the hope and will work in the hope that with the removal of the most serious obstacle in the way of her unity— the wedge driven by her alien rulers—and the healing of the wounds recently inflicted on her, the India of his dreams will yet emerge into reality in the not so distant future.
The compiler of the present work, cognizant of the onerousness of the task before him and of his own shortcomings, is fully aware of the risks involved in trying to convey to the readers a conception of ‘India of Gandhiji’s dreams’ which may fall short, far short, of the picture which the master artist has drawn in the immortal pages of Young India and Harijan and in other collections of his writings and speeches. The compiler expresses the hope that he may not have deviated far from the correctness as well comprehensiveness of that picture, inasmuch as the attempt to redraw the picture, on a reduced scale, has been -made in Gandhiji’s own words. For whatever shortcomings there still remain in the present work the compiler tenders his profuse apologies both to Gandhiji and to the reader.
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