For so long I wanted to read the vision of our Nations’ father -Gandhiji. Whenever he talked to Nehru on issue of India After Independence,he used to refer this work to him . The renewed interest in ‘Non-violence’ & ‘Satyagrah’ as tools for protest, all around the globe, increased my desire to read it. And I bought this thin vision document, which costs around Rs50 in general plus add the import charges. It was a dumb decision on my side.
Later, I came to find the whole book on internet – Open for everyone to read. [check — http://www.mkgandhi.org/hindswaraj/hindswaraj.htm ]
They have whole collection of his work if you are interested.
This is less of book review, more of personal take on it.
The book is written in the form of conversation between the Editor of newspaper Indian Opinion & its’ readers. It is a compilation of the conversations Gandhi Ji had with the readers. It is divided into separate topics which concerns the future of Home Rule system in India. Gandhi ji answers the questions rattling the mind of the common Indian. Through this conversation he starts to present the picture of his vision to the readers. How he imagine the Indians should live their life under their own rule. The topic goes from meaning of Swaraj to England,Civilization,Condition of India, How to become free, till his conclusion of Home Rule/Swaraj.
Please read the online version if you want to know what actually is written – it will hardly take an hour to go through it.
Now about my views on it. First of all, I would like to point that when I read some persons’ vision – I try to accept all the arguments presented. It helps me understand and have a peak at what the person wanted to convey. Like when I read Mein Kampf by Hitler, I understood his point against Jews as he saw it. The historical time period & conditions do play a role here. And it never means I concur with them .
It’s important to go through all the mud to find the gold dusts in it. There are many lessons from Mein Kampf also. And so I wanted to find some shreds of silver in Hind Swaraj.
Initially, I agreed to his problem with the profession of Lawyers in the society. But then a small conversation with friend bounced me on the other side. The point which was interesting is that – I find similarity in tactics used to resolve inter-office disputes in the corporate. They don’t need any lawyer, they use the established hierarchy & it is solved amiably most of the time. As I understand, he thought that going to lawyers for every conflicts make the conflict permanent in the psyche. There is no scope for inter-party compromise or solution, like self-handling the solution without violence, keeping in line with natural laws & social norms. And the lawyers do suck/depend on quarrels of people for there work. Don’t they?
However, Judiciary is the only governance body which is trusted by the people. His vision for other democratic body has failed today(in some way). Moreover, his prescription would have helped breed more narrow-mindedness & tunnel vision decisions. Imagine Khap Panchayat & Westernization.
I found his problem with Doctors was misplaced. Also the Problem with Machinery of any kind was back-ward looking.Though, I found his methods of protest i.e. Passive Resistance was a watershed in raising voice.
I would like to leave the criticism. Now about the silver linings.
Acc. to me, Gandhi Ji wanted Indians to be dependent on their Soul force to achieve their goals.
The first basic pushing force is sexual(from lizard brain) in nature, so he was for maintaining chastity for life.
The second is money, (from rational mind), which is being used in contemporary world to make people work hard. It has been mixed with the sexual motivation is also being used in a way so as to make people crave for healthy bodies.(Don’t you agree?).
The last one, which is hardest to follow & is independent ,in a way ,is the path of soul. And I can bet that you will agree on this. If you don’t then why the hell books like ‘ Monk who sold his Ferrari’ became so famous. So many management books I have read – with repeated suggestion of self-actualized motivation for living ones life. And as a creative(self-claimed :P) I know how much will-force is required when you make something just for the sake of it.
If you can conquer it than you can conquer the direction of your life & head it anywhere you like. Gandhi Ji wanted each individual to be a self-actualized fountain in him/herself. I found his idea being individualistic to its core; each bonded together in a complex mesh of Hindu(People of India not religious) way of life. Each empowered by the strong will of soul force, healthy body & sharp mind.
Even the visualization of each person being a fountain making ripples in the vast sea of humanity. Each ripple touching, reflecting, penetrating other ripples. The image is so awesome.
Actually, I wanted to find some Business model or Organization model in this work. And to tell you the truth I have formed a picture of it, though its still hazy. Also, the new buzz words disrupting the Organization/Systems like Cooperatives,Share economy, peer-to-peer economy, open models,e.t.c are in some way have adopted his ideas. I tried fitting disruptive entrepreneurs, new technology, social networks and creative innovators in his model – few areas did overlapped with his vision. The new internet technology base may make his vision a possibility in some way or other.
The whole idea of reading Gandhi Ji’s work is to get to the roots of his arguments. And then growing it for contemporary world adding the new innovations as fertilizers.
I will read more of his works & his vision in future. How can Gandhi Ji’s vision be completely ignored, rejecting it as Utopian??
His ways of passive resistance revolutionized the means of Protest all around the world. There is much more one can learn from him.
After all, isn’t it the desire of humans to achieve Utopia, how may impossible that dream be.
P.S – The views are personal as per my rationalization & understanding of his works. One can always differ from them. Also I desire to fit his model into the contemporary models of development,business & productivity. When I read this post – I find some points are not so clearly presented – sorry for that. I visualize the ideas, I am still learning to put them on paper & clearly convey the image to others.