Gandhi, one of world recognized advocates of non-violence approach to life, is known all over the world. Satyagraha is one of central concepts of Gandhi’s philosophy. This concept stands for love and truth, which make the core of his philosophical and political credo.
Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule, published in 1909, is one of the most famous books by Mahatma Gandhi.
Thoughts and ideas given in the book make the core of Gandhi’s religious, political and social credo. In this book he describes struggle of Indian people with the domination of British Empire, which had finally resulted in the achieving ofIndependence. The book contains a description of Gandhi’s vision of Indian people and Indian civilization in general. Â Swaraj, or Indian home rule, Gandhi describes as the highest form of democracy. He states that Swaraj is a unique achievement of Indian civilization and gives arguments to support this theory. In Swaraj freedom and justice form a unique combination, which guarantees freedom and liberation for all people.
In his Hind Swaraj, Gandhi (1997) explains the difference between freedom and independence. As he states,
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. (p.39).
Only Swaraj can give true social, religious and political freedom according to Gandhi. Swaraj helps to achieve a healthy balance between justice and freedom. This is achieved with the help of non-violence principle, which makes the core of Swaraj. Right understanding of Gandhi’s philosophy is impossible without turning to religious origins of his teaching. Despite the term Satyagraha can be used in both, political and domestic context, right understanding of this term can be achieved only if we apply religious background. Satyagraha is used to achieve peace either on individual or collective level. It can describe either peace within one’s soul of peace inside the country. Gandhi connected Satyagraha with Ahimsa, or non-violence to all living beings. Â Gandhi declared non-violence in all parts of human life including politics. He rejected all forms of violence, including domestic, economic and political ones.
He used Non-violence or Ahimsa as one of the political principles.
He stated that all conflicts and problems could have been solved using the principle of Satyagraha. He insisted on Satyagraha as on the main way of conflict resolution. Using this approach people must try to understand the position of other side. After understanding is achieved it becomes possible to solve problems in a peaceful way. If such principle is applied in everyday life, any difficulties can be resolved. He stated that Satyagraha principle can be applied in three kinds of everyday situations. These situations are self, work and family.
Gandhi states that non-violence makes the core of Indian civilization and he also states that it should be the core for any other world civilization.
Civilization is that mode of conduct which points out to man the path of duty.
Performance of duty and observance of morality are convertible terms. To observe morality is to attain mastery over our mind and our passions. So doing, we know ourselves. The Gujarati equivalent for civilization means good conduct (p.43).
Gandhi proves in his books that violent attempts to establish the right state order finally result in nothing but other tyranny regimes. Modern rule ruins morality and spirituality of people. Only Swaraj can help to avoid this problem.