MAHATMA GANDHIJI


v The word "Swaraj" is a sacred word, a Vedic word, meaning self-rule and self-restraint, and not freedom from all restraint which 'independence' often means.
v Self-Government means continuous effort to be independent of government control, whether it is foreign government or whether it is national.
v My idea of village Swaraj is that it is a complete republic, independent of its neighbours for its own vital wants, and yet interdependent for many others in which dependence is a necessity.
v Real Swaraj will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few but by the acquisition of the capacity by all to resist authority when it is abused. In other words, Swaraj is to be attained by educating the masses to a sense of their capacity to regulate and control authority.
v As every country is fit to eat, to drink and to breathe, even so is every nation fit to manage its own affairs, no matter how badly.
v Let there be no mistake as to what Purna Swaraj means.... It is full economic freedom for the toiling millions. It is no unholy alliance with any interest for their exploitation.
v I suggest that, if India is to evolve along non violent lines, it will have to decentralize many things. Centralization cannot be sustained and defended without adequate force.
v Rurally organized India will run less risk of foreign invasion than urbanized India, well equipped with military, naval and air forces.
v Centralization as a system is inconsistent with a nonviolent structure of society.
v True democracy cannot be worked by twenty men sitting at the centre. It has to be worked from below by the people of every village.
v The centre of power now is in New Delhi, or in Calcutta and Bombay, in the big cities, it would have to be distributed among the seven hundred thousand villages of India.
v Independence must begin at the bottom. Thus, every village will be republic or Panchayat having full powers. It follows, therefore, that every village has to be self-sustained and capable of managing its affairs even to the extent of defending itself against the whole world.
v The greater the power of the Panchayats, the better for the people.
v If all become self-sufficient, none will be in trouble.
v Village must be self-sufficient in regard to food, cloth and other basic necessities.
v Though our aim is complete self-sufficiency, we shall have to get from outside the village what we cannot produce in the village.
v My purpose is to present an outline of village government. Here there is perfect democracy based upon individual freedom. The individual is the architect of his own Government. The law of nonviolence rules him and his Government.
v Everybody should be able to get sufficient work to enable him to make the two ends meet. And this ideal can be universally realized only if the means of production of the elementary necessaries of life remain in the control of the masses.
v Much of the deep poverty of the masses is due to the ruinous departure from Swadeshi in the economic and industrial life.
v Swadeshi, as defined here, is a religious discipline to be undergone in utter disregard of the physical discomfort it may cause to individuals.
v I would urge that Swadeshi is the only doctrine consistent with the law of humility and love.
v Every human being has a right to live and therefore to find the wherewithal to feed himself and where necessary to clothe and house himself. But for this very simple performance we need no assistance from economists or their laws.
v I am convinced that if India is to attain true freedom and through India the world also, then sooner or later the fact must be recognized that people will have to live in villages, not in towns, in huts, not in palaces. Crores of people will never be able to live at peace with each other in towns and palaces. They will then have no recourse but to resort to both violence and untruth.
v In Europe its cities, its monster factories and huge armaments are so intimately interrelated that the one cannot exist without the other. The nearest approach to civilization based upon nonviolence is the erstwhile village republic of India.
v By political independence I do not mean an imitation of the British House of Commons.
v My swaraj is to keep intact the genius of our civilization. I want to write many new things, but they must be all written on the Indian slate.
v The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment. And if this is the correct view of freedom, our cheif energy must be concentrated upon achieving reform from within.
v I heartily endorse the proposition that any plan which exploits the raw materials of a country and neglects the potentially more powerful manpower is lopsided and can never tend to establish human equality.
v Real planning consists in the best utilization of the whole manpower of India and the distribution of the raw products of India in her numerous villages instead of sending them outside and re-buying finished articles at fabulous prices.
v The States that are today nominally democratic have either to become frankly totalitarian or, if they are to become truly democratic, they must become courageously nonviolent. It is a blasphemy to say that nonviolence can only be practised by individuals and never by nations which are composed of individuals.
v Free India will not be able to accommodate a greater number of public servants. A collector will be his own servant. Our starving millions can by no means afford this enormous expenditure.
v Where the means are clean, there God is undoubtedly present with His blessings.
v Modern civilization is a curse in Europe as also in India. War is the direct result of modern civilization.
v Modern civilization can be summed up by two expressions. One is that it represents ceaseless activity, and the second is that it aims at the annihilation of space and time. Everybody nowadays appears to be preoccupied, and to me that appears a dangerous symptom. They are all so intent upon earning bread and butter that they have no time for anything else. Modern civilization makes them materialistic, makes them concentrate their thoughts upon their bodies and upon the means of multiplying bodily comforts.
v Let us not be deceived with the wealth which is seen in the Indian cities. It does not come from England or USA. It comes from the blood of the poorest people.
v If man will only realize that it is unmanly to obey laws that are unjust, no man's tyranny will enslave him. This is the key to Swaraj.