One of India’s most important men in history was Mahatma Gandhi. In this interpretation I wish to discuss Mahatma Gandhi’s writing’s on India’s Independence. As discussed in “Indian Home Rule” written in 1909. Born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi but known as Mahatma Gandhi lived from the year 1869 to the year 1948. He was the primary leader for India’s independence and one of the most successful users of civil disobedience in history. He was a spiritual and political leader in India, and he used his position and voice to make his country better. Mahatma Gandhi believed in satyagraha or ” resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience. Satyagraha remains one of the most potent philosophies in freedom struggles throughout the world today,” (bio.com) . Gandhi spent most of his life fighting for Indian Liberation from outside influences and he was assassinated trying to stop a Hindu-Muslim conflict by a Hindu fanatic on January 30, 1948. His death was unfortunate but he is remember by the world as one of the most successful spiritual leaders.
Gandhi’s most fundamental criticism of British rule in India lies in the fact modernization that has been incorporated into their society by the British has caused India to turn away from their founding principles and religion. Mahatma Gandhi mentions that his people “should set limit to worldly ambition..’ and ‘make religious ambition be illimitable,” (Strayer, p. 920). This thought reflected his belief that the British concern was merely worldly ambition and that was not what his country should have set their sights upon. In his work, Gandhi defines civilization in his country’s sense and the British’s definition of civilization both of which differed dramatically. Gandhi’s concept of civilization center around a simple lifestyle not dependent on modernization and industrial characteristics. He believed civilization was their past lifestyle before railroads and British imperialism where his people lived in huts and plowed their own land the same way as their previous fathers did. His definition of British civilization was highly diluted and biased when he lists their idea of what it is.
His definition of their civilization mentions “women who should be queens of households, wandering in the streets or slaving away in factories’, men being ‘enslaved by temptations of money and the luxuries that it buys’, and ‘that their business is not to teach religion” (Strayer, p. 920). He goes on to say that their civilization will eventually be self destroyed whereas India’s will just keep continuing. Gandhi reconciles with the idea of India as a single nation even though the obvious religion division between Hindus and Muslims because he is speaking merely on India versus outsiders, not in any way distinguishing India as having separate divisions within itself. Gandhi seeks a future where India is that of its native culture handed down to them. Not in anyway seeking the advice of outsiders, yet instead living as they did in the past and sticking instead to elevate others moral being. With Gandhi’s ideas, he probably met criticisms from India’s increasing nationalist politicians who did not want to go back to the old way of life and who loved the power they gained from the British.
Mahatma Gandhi said that the tendency of Western civilization is to propagate immorality. I think he says that because the history of Western Colonization is that of spreading their culture and way of life wherever they travel, and he feel that their culture is immoral and corrupted. I think it is impossible for colonialism to be moral because more times than not the outsiders were intruding upon the natives and causing a severe disruption to their lifestyles that probably resulted in their demise or downfall. The history of colonialism does not lend itself to being a moral topic.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 04:39, Jul 27, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/mahatma-gandhi-9305898.
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