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Political ideas of Mahatma Gandhi

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

Indian Political Thought : M.K. Gandhi

Mohandas K. Gandhi was an influential figure in the history of India and modern Indian political theory who gained international fame for his effective ideologies . Gandhi acknowledged traditional concepts and symbols but without reluctance introduced interpretations and ideas from foreign to Indian culture that shows the importance of Western humanism in his approach .

He compared Western technology on the grounds that the mechanized civilization brought with it the mistreatment of men and the centralization of power. In this regard, he surpassed Tolstoy, whose writings, along with Thoreau and others, he studied while in South Africa. He tried different methods of political action and different types of political programmes. Gokhale's influence on his thought is enthusiastically manifested,

Elements of Indian nationalist political thought as informed by Tilak. These influences are considered in an attempt to redirect Gandhi's religious individualism and his emphasis on indigenous languages ​​and indigenous doctrine. Swadeshi places those duties closest to us in the first place and time: it is "the spirit in us that restricts us to the use and service of our surroundings to the exclusion of the more remote." Humanity is served through service to our neighbor; Our understanding of the world is only the understanding of the people we live with.

This disagreement has major economic implications:

Home-produced things should be preferred. Its extension, the use of exclusion, is another legacy of Tilak. According to Gandhi, reconstruction begins at the local level, and the village is the basis of social planning. Village activity and effort and initiative of an individual are emphasized in his writings and speeches. He consistently favored small-scale organization and the use of simple tools and materials at hand. His campaign to use only hand-spun and hand-woven fabric (khadar) was of great importance to the larger event, and it was the spinning wheel that Gandhi chose as a symbol of social autonomy. His views on land reform were deep, but he did not call for the abolition of private property. He hoped that the trading class could be persuaded to accept the ideal of economic equality: the idea of ​​property placed in trust for the poor would make confiscation by legislative act unnecessary.

Gandhi debated that the accumulation of riches beyond a man's legitimate requirements is similar to theft . This additional wealth must be used for the well - being of the community . Gandhi also asserted on the importance of physical labour for everyone . Constructive work , which he considered an essential part of civil disobedience and other political action , included also the removal untouchability ( which ranked with the spread of khadar as a goal of critical significance to the movement ) , communal unity and basic education through the knowledge of a craft . In learning a necessary craft the young person not only acquires a skill but also strengthens his bonds with the community and thus comes to an understanding of purposes .

While dealing with the political philosophy of Gandhi , it is well established that Gandhi was basically religious as well as the ethical personality . He upheld highest moral standards in politics . As the most crucial strategist in politics , he developed the political methods and campaigned the movements to capture the state's power through the prolonged mass movement . Gandhi avowed on politics that , " For me there is no politics without religion not the religion of the superstitious and the blind , religion that hates and fights , but the universal religion of toleration . Politics without morality is a thing to avoid . " He believed that the politics is the one of media to open the door of service to public and not for exploiting the power for one's selfish purpose . Additionally , he said , " For me politics bereft of religion are absolute dirt , ever to be shunned. Politics concern nations and that which concerns the welfare of nations must be one of the concerns of a man who is religiously inclined , in other words a seeker after God and truth . Therefore , in politics also we have to establish the Kingdom of Heaven . "

Gandhi defined the nature of power as "the possession of power makes man blind and deaf, they cannot see the things that are under their noses and the things that strike their ears." can't hear.

Gandhi defined the nature of power as "the possession of power makes man blind and deaf, they cannot see the things that are under their noses and the things that strike their ears." can't hear.

According to Gandhi, "Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by the arts of love. A power based on love is a thousand times more effective and lasting than the power produced by the fear of punishment."

Gandhiji believed that the right to equal power in the hands of the people is essential for creating a true democracy. He said that “when the people come into the possession of political power, the interference in the freedom of the people is minimized. In other words, a nation which is able to conduct its affairs smoothly and effectively without such state interference. He is really democratic.

Gandhi combined the feature of the Philosopher and politician . Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose , one of the crucial follower and detractor of Gandhi , once he said that Gandhi had to play the roles of a world teacher as well as the Supreme leader of the Indian National Liberation Movement . He additionally believed , often his former role is the role of a world teacher became so prominent that he had to compromise with his other role . The points of Netaji's may or may not be amenable but it appears that in the context of national liberation movement it is true . Gandhi himself admitted to his South African friend that he was religious and not political. There is no place for power politics in their political system. Rather, it is the basis of the politics of cooperation. Politics is the attainment of happiness and upliftment of all. There are two techniques to stabilize people's power

Constant propaganda , publicity Decentralization of power .

The aim is to change the heart of the people. Sarvodaya opposes the ideas of egoism and wealth. There is no scope for class struggle in Sarvodaya. Social good, rationality, and communal harmony are basic philosophies of Sarvodaya. Therefore, Sarvodaya accepts the universalization of self-government. Thus, the political philosophy of Sarvodaya is a powerful intellectual attempt to build a plan of political and social reconstruction on the basis of metaphysical perfectionism.

Gandhi himself acknowledged to his South African friend that his bent of mind was religious and not political . Romain Rolland in his biography of Gandhi written in 1924 , had remarked that if Tilak would not have died Gandhi might have chosen a religious life rather than a political . According to Gandhi , politics itself was his religion . He was opposed to politicizing religion . He was for spiritualizing religion but he was essentially a sophisticated man and never sought this own salvation secluded from the world . Gandhi stated politics had surrounded him like the coil of a snake . He could have thought of avoiding politics , if without politics food and work could be provided to the hungry jobless people of India . He strongly sensed that without involving himself in politics , it is not possible to remove socio - economic

mistreatment and political suppression and thereby moral humiliation of the people of Indian unless he involved himself in politics.

According to Gandhi , this is not just a philosophical dream far from realities of political life . Many great philosophers such as Plato could not reconcile the dichotomy between reality and ideal . Gandhi had a dream of changing the socially , morally degenerate and alienated persons in a manner where individuals can enjoy their freedom in the spirit of unselfishness .

Gandhi contrasted the Western Civilization because , it had been self-indulgent nature in practice, in the sense of self-centered pleasure, pragmatic in the sense of immediate material benefit and individualistic in the sense of egocentric in the respect of sovereign individual oriented. Thereby , the community life is fast waning and civil society could not prepare any method or system to control it. In his political theory Gandhi concentrated on the means of achieving political ends to a degree uncommon in the history of Western thought . If there is a single theme in his philosophy , it is that the character of the means determines that of the results . As one student of Gandhi has mentioned , " It is only when means themselves are understood to be and designed to be more than instrumental , to be , in fine , creative , that the next step will be taken in the evolvement of a constructive philosophy of conflict " ( Bondurant 1958 , p . 232 ) .

Contribution to Indian Nationalism :

Gandhiji had contributed to Indian national movement extraordinary . He made the Indian National Congress a people's congress and the national movement a mass movement . He made people fearless and bold and taught them the non - violent methods for rebellious against the troubles of caste system and unfairness . when he launched his satyagraha movements in distant areas of Champaran ( Bihar ) , Kheda and Ahmadabad ( Gujarat ) instead of towns and cities that had so far remained the hub of the nationalist activities . His political policies brought about drastic change in the Congress that now extended its sphere of influence even in the villages . These three movements projected Gandhi as an emergent leader with different kinds of mobilising strategies . While explaining the growth of Gandhi , Jawaharlal Nehru thus contended , Gandhiji knew India for better than we did , and a man who could command such tremendous devotion and loyalty must have something in him that corresponded to the needs and aspirations of the masses . Besides these local movements , Gandhi led three major pan Indian movements .

The 1919-21 Non - cooperation Movement was the first one that gained considerably with the merger of the Khilafat agitation of the Muslims against the dismantling of the Khalif in Turkey.

The Civil Disobedience movement in which Gandhi reigned supreme.

The 1942 India movement, Pan - Indian campaigns that Gandhi spearheaded.

Satyagraha : called . open rebellion , was the last of the three Satyagraha envisions the probability of conversion , the possibility that a sense of justice may be roused in the antagonist . Satyagraha moves from rational persuasion to the stage of suffering to the stage of nonviolent coercion . This last form , which includes non - cooperation and civil disobedience , is the final resort when the other forms have not succeeded . Civil disobedience , the most radical phase , was understood by Gandhi as a higher obedience , obedience to a transcendent moral law . It can be a perilous tool and readily misrepresented

Gandhi always counselled great caution , as in the instance of the fast , which too drastically limits the alternatives available to the opponent and therefore should be accepted only by those disciplined in the methods of satyagraha .

Satya entails Truth ; Aagraha means insistence . The accurate meaning of this word is insistence on truth . Initially Gandhi denoted to this method of fighting injustice as passive resistance . As he polished the technique over the years he realized that true Satyagrah is to be totally fearless and non - violently militant , and therefore he changed the definition to Truth Force . In the West , Satyagraha is called militant nonviolence . The objective of Satyagraha is to resolve the conflict with a challenger without inflicting physical or emotional injury to him , and with preparedness to suffer physical or emotional injury to oneself . During the course of the conflict , the adversary's essence is not disrupted , and the two sides develop respect and goodwill towards each other after the conflict is resolved . resentment , bitterness and vengefulness during or after the conflict is resolved . Since Truth is relative , the Satyagrahi must be willing to compromise his initial demands to some extent .

Mahatma Gandhi established fundamental ideologies of Satyagraha in the course of his lifelong experiments with Truth and Nonviolence . Anyone wishing to practice Satyagraha must first systematically study various books on and by Gandhi ; take steps to rid oneself of common human weaknesses such as greed , hatred , hubris , selfishness , dishonesty , jealousy , fear , passivity , hypocrisy , and the like ; cultivate truthfulness , love of humanity , faith in the essential goodness of people , simplicity of lifestyle , detachment from sense objects , selfless service of humanity , generosity , infinite patience , willingness to admit one's mistakes , forgiveness , introspection , belief in equality of all human beings , respect for life , determination to fight injustice everywhere and at all times , reluctance to inflict emotional and physical injury on adversaries , and willingness to cheerfully suffer physical and emotional injury . In other words , a Satyagrahi must continually struggle to become an unusually good person .

Satyagraha has stimulated the huge number of people as few ideas have been able to do . In the movement led by Abdul Ghaffar Khan , satyagraha developed Muslim connotations , but its objective remained political independence and social reform .

Gandhi was unwilling to speculate on the nature of a government based on nonviolence , but it is clear that the sense of community provoked in the people by satyagraha would be the basis of the new polity . Gandhi claimed that satyagraha is a socio - economic and political armament which is based on truth and non - violence . This soul - force takes various forms depending upon the situations .

Satyagraha is a means of resistance and conflict . It has different forms . They are :

Civil Disobedience

Non - Cooperation

No Destruction

Hunger strike ( fasting ) -

Hartal ( striking work )

Hijrat ( immigration ) .

The principles , conditions and qualifications of Satyagraha are pertinent to all these forms . Satyagraha when applied as a method for social transformation is a civilized method .

Satyagraha continues from a spirit of love and not hatred , Gandhi ji thought of the idea of Satyagraha in South Africa as a practical way of defending the diminishing rights of his countrymen settled there . He utilised his ' Indian opinion ' in South Africa and the ' Harijan ' and ' Young India ' in India to give publicity to his strategy against the Government , whether in South Africa fighting for vindication of the rights of the coloured people , or in India fighting for the freedom of the motherland , he applied this technique of Satyagraha or soul force or the technique of love and nonviolence ( Bijoyini Mohanty , 1991 ) .

Non violence : Ahinsa is not the uppermost good . It is the essential condition of truth . Truth is supreme among values . Gandhi believed that satyagraha does not permit the use of violence because the absolute truth cannot be known by man , and for this reason he is not competent to punish others . Gandhi stated that non - violence is not just a personal virtue . It is also a social virtue to be cultivated like other virtues . In his opinion , non - violence was the basic precept in his political activities .He used non violence to attain his political objectives . Gandhi has the belief that , the stateless society is the means to the non - violent state ,Gandhiji thought that self - suffering is a vital part of the struggle for the accomplishment of truth through non - violence . Conscious suffering means fighting of one's whole soul against the will of the oppressor .

Ahinsa or non - violence means infinite love . Gandhiji wrote that " Non violence is the first article of my faith . It is also the last article of my creed . " It is the domineering duty of satyagrahi to make boundless activities for the realization of truth through non - violence .

Gandhiji used this method of non - violent resistance not only in fighting the British occupation in India but also in dealing with India's internal problems .

Gandhi defined Ahinsa in two conflicting ways : On the one hand , in its narrow sense , it simply meant avoidance of acts harming others , while in its positive sense , it signified promoting their wellbeing , based on infinite love . Jawaharlal Nehru characterized Gandhian belief of Ahinsa as " a positive and dynamic method of action and it was not meant for those who meekly accept the status - quo " . Ahinsa , in its positive implication , was based on highest moral values , in the selfless self . This was a theory of politics that progressively became the dominant philosophy of a national political movement in which Gandhi governed supreme .

Gandhi perceives : " Strictly speaking no activity and no industry is possible without a certain amount of violence , no matter how little . Even the very process of living is not possible without certain level of violence . What we have to do is to minimize it to the greatest extent possible " ( Gandhi , M. K , 1960 ) However , he had an opinion that people can decrease violence to the highest extent because obliteration is redundant and avoidable . He recommended that people should commit to least violence that is unavoidable for the survival of human life . Gandhi elucidated non - violence as abstaining from " causing pain to , or killing any life out of anger , or for a selfish purpose , or with the intention of injuring it .

According to Gandhi there are five simple maxims in his concept of non - violence . They are :-

  • " Non - violence suggests as complete self - purification as is humanly possible .

  • Man for man the strength of non - violence is in exact proportion to the ability , not the will , of the non - violent person to inflict violence .

  • Non - violence is without exception superior to violence , i.e. , the power at the disposal of a non - violent person is always greater than he could have if he was violent .

  • There is no such thing as defeat in non - violence . The end of violence is surest not a defeat The ultimate end of non - violence is surest victory if such a term may be used of nonviolence . In reality where there is no sense of defeat , there is no sense of victory . "

  • ( Gandhi , M. K , 1935 ) .

Through in these sayings , Gandhi described the nature of non - violence and violence and its necessity to uphold one's life individually and socially . His practice of non - violence necessitates huge moral courage . It has no place for fearfulness or weakness . It is the highest asset of the courageous .

According to Gandhiji , true non - violence assumes the tenure of pure bravery . Gandhi proclaims :

" I do believe that , where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence , I would advise violence "

( Gandhi , M. K , 1920 ) .

He vindicated the use of violence by those who do not know how to defend themselves or honour their families in a non - violent way .

He regarded that physical violence escorted by mental good - will , is better than physical non - violence go with by mental violence . Therefore , the theory of non - violence to Gandhi contains some elements of violence than susceptible submission to wickedness .

Presently , Vinoba Bhave advised that the coercive power of the state be replaced by direct , voluntary action on the part of the people . The Sarvodaya movement , under the leadership of Bhave , held that the good of one man is inseparable from the good of others ; in his efforts to translate this idea into an economic reform program , Bhave appealed the Gandhian theory of the trusteeship of wealth . Millions of acres of land have been turned over to landless farmers , but the revolution has come " from above " and not as the consequence of direct efforts of the people to solve their own glitches .

Criticism of Western civilization :

Gandhiji had highly objected for both western civilisation and western democracies . He challenged the practicalities of modern western civilisation . The stylish , aggressive and dissolute aspects of modern western civilisation resisted him . According to him , the modern civilisation was equal to darkness and disease . He condemned severely western democratic politics because they were plague - ridden with threefold contradiction .

Gandhiji honestly spoke that it was not through democratic methods that Great Britain had conquered India . He also condemned the policy of racialism followed in South Africa and the southern parts of the USA . Gandhi concentrated that non - violence could lead to exact democracy .

Democracy and violence could not be reconciled . As an idea and strategy , swaraj gained unusually in the context of the nationalist articulation of the freedom struggle and the growing democratisation of the political processes that already brought in hitherto socio- economic and cultural differences .

Underlying its role in a highly divided society like India , swaraj was explicated in the following ways :

  • National independence ;

  • Political freedom of the individual

  • Economic freedom of the individual

  • Spiritual freedom of the individual or self - rule .

Although these four explanations are about for different features of Swaraj , they are nevertheless complementary to each other . Of these , the first three are negative in character while the fourth one is positive one in its implication .

While expounding on Swaraj , Gandhiji associated it with swadeshi in which his theory of Swaraj was expressed . If Swaraj was an initial theory of Gandhi's social and political thought , swadeshi was the empirical demonstration of those pertinent social , economic and political steps for a society different from what exists . Gandhi stated that swaraj was not just political liberation ; it means human liberation as well .

He stated that

" mere withdrawal of the English is not independence . It means the consciousness in the average villages that he is the maker of his own destiny , that he is his own legislator through his own representatives " .

He believed that the real swaraj will not emerge by the gaining authority but by the acquisition of the capacity by all to resist authority when. Swaraj is the power of the people to determine their lot by their own efforts and shape their destiny the way they like .

political freedom meant independence within the overall control of the British administration . Even the most militant of the moderates like Surendranth Banerji always supported constitutional means to secure political rights for Indians within the constitutional framework of British India .

Unlike the moderates , the extremists did not care much about the methods and insisted on complete independence , which meant complete removal of the British government from India .

The third other dimension of swaraj is economic freedom of the individual . Economic swaraj stands for social justice it encourages the good of all equally including the weakest , and is vital for decent life . In the opinion of Gandhiji , " India's economic future lay in charkha ( Spinning Wheel ), and Kadhi ( Homespun cotton textile ) . If India's villages are to live and flourish , the charkha must become universal " . Gandhiji argued that for rural civilisation , it is impossible without the charkha and all it implies , i.e. , revival of village crafts " .

Another attribute of swaraj is self - rule . It is perhaps a unique dimension of Swaraj which indicate its qualitative difference with political freedom . As a concept , it signifies a process of eliminating the internal obstacles to freedom . Self - rule as an important element , clearly indicates the importance of moral values which are relative to society .

Gandhian idea of Swaraj as self - rule appears to be based on the philosophical idea of Advaita So Gandhian struggle for swaraj was entrenched in Indian metaphysics and spirituality . He opposed large scale industrialism and mechanization , and condemned western commercialism , imperialism and secularism .

Ideal state :

Notion of ideal state or society explained by Gandhji was a non - violent and stateless society . He disclaimed ' state on ethical , historical and economic grounds . A man is moral when he acts freely and voluntarily . According to Gandhi , the state characterises violence in a concentrated and organized form . The individual has a soul but as the state is a soulless machine ; it can never be dissuaded from violence to which it owes its very existence . Although he considered the state as imbedded in violence , he differed from anarchists .

Unlike anarchists , Gandhi gave more emphasis on moral force and on the realisation of one's own self and his method of establishing a stateless society free from violence . Therefore , in political ideology of Gandhi , there was no place for violence in ideal society . Further , Gandhi also did not want to eliminate the state completely as did the anarchists .

Stateless democracy :

Gandhi's model is a stateless democracy , in which there is a federation of satyagrahi village communities , functioning on the basis of voluntary cooperation and dignified and peaceful co - existence .

Non - existence of state as appreciated by Mahatma Gandhi is impossible instantly or in near future . Even then , it is obligatory on the people , who are living in state organizations , to develop non - violence that is permanently present in their nature and to enhance it progressively up to satisfactory level .

the democratic system should work in direction of the development of non - violence at individual , community , social and national levels . The atmosphere of fear , the decrease of values in life and the problems having harvested intensely cannot be eliminated without developing it .

He acknowledged that his ideal state or society would have representative institutions and government . His ideal society would be a stateless society comprising of self - sufficing , self regulating and self - governing village communities joined together in a voluntary federation , the maintenance of federation involved the necessity of government . Thus his ideal state is principally a non - violent state , and not a non - violent and stateless society as it is generally thought .

Gandhian idea of ideal state was a non violent democratic state where social life would remain self - regulated . In a democratic state everyone is his own ruler . In the opinion of Gandhiji , democracy lies not in the number of persons who vote , but in the sense to what extent masses imbibe the spirit of non - violence , and society service .

In an ideal democratic state , the powers are to be decentralised and equality is to succeed in every sphere of life . Every individual is to be given complete freedom to devote himself to social service according to his capacity . He believed that democratic government was a distant dream so long as

According to Gandhi , State is necessary due to the anti - social propensities of certain individuals and groups . But the functions of the state are to be reduced to the minimum . Similar to Betrand Russel , G.K. Chesterton , G.D.H.Cole and other guild socialists , Gandhiji acknowledged that most of the functions of the state were to be transferred to the voluntary associations in order to have a real self - government in the country . There are certain things which cannot be done without political power , but there are also numerous other things which do not at all depend upon political power , and hence they should be left to the voluntary associations . When people come into ownership of political and economic power , the interference with the freedom of the people is reduced to a minimum .

He commented that , " A nation that runs it affairs smoothly and effectively without much state interference is truly democratic . When such condition is absent the form of government is democratic in name.

Views on state :

Gandhi stated that the state characterizes violence in a concentrated and organised form . Gandhi's critique of the modern state originated from its coercive aspect and its anti - human thrust .

At an elementary level , the mode of operation of the modern state constituted an infringement with his concept of non - violence . In the beginning of 1931 , Gandhi wrote in Young India , " To me political power is not an end but one of the means of enabling people to better their condition in every department of life . Political power means capacity to regulate national life through national representatives .

" There is then a state of progressive Anarchy . In such a state , everyone is his own ruler . He rules himself in such a manner that he is never an interference to his neighbour . the ideal state , there is no political power because there is no state . But the ideal is never fully realised in life .

Gandhiji believes that the state would not accept individual differences and diversity of opinions and attitudes . It would become " Hostile to strong and independent , minded citizens groups and community lest they should become centres of independent initiative and dissent .

In a write - up published in Modern Review in the year 1935 , Gandhi has raised this issue persuasively ; " I look upon an increase in the power of the state with the greatest fear , because although while apparently doing good by minimising exploitation , it does the greatest harm to mankind by destroying individuality , which lies at the root of all progress " . It can be appraised the modern state was not well - matched with the vital moral values associated with humanity .

Voter's qualification :

In the Gandhian democracy , voters will play an important role . Their members are being directly elected . Voters are to have the qualification of manual work .

In numerous reports , it is indicated that Gandhiji appealed for decentralisation of political and economic power through the organization of village panchayats . He held the opinion that by serving the villages , Swaraj ( self - rule ) could be established . He firmly stated that we have to make a choice between India of the villages and India of the cities which are a formation of foreign supremacy . He was positive when he stated that , the dream of Panchayat Raj come into true , the humble and the lowest Indian could be correspondingly the ruler of India with the highest in the country .

The polity of the Panchayat Raj is different from the polity of the mass scale .

This the reason that Gandhiji could not admit the parliamentary democracy which he called " the tyranny of the majority " . Gandhiji was very particular of the inclusion of the topic of the village panchayat in the Constitution as they reflect the people's voice . Gandhi wrote , " I must confess that I have not been able to follow the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly , there is no mention or direction about village panchayats and decentralisation in the foreshadowed constitution . It is certainly an omission calling for immediate attention if ourIndependence is to reflect the people's voice . The greater the power of the panchayats , the better for the people . "

The village panchayat , the basic unit of administration offers possibility for direct popular participation . It gives relief to the weaker sections of the community . The village panchayat functions along democratic lines . Gandhiji imagined a three tier system of rural and local self - government namely - the village , the block , the district level panchayats so as to ensure the participation of the adult female and male members of the village . Gandhiji asserted that the democratic structure of the local institutions should be decentralized to the grass root level so that the lowest group is empowered by partaking in the decision making process .

Gandhi's dream of establishing an ideal non - violent Sarvodaya socio - political and economic order promises the participation of the masses in the dialogue of their own affairs through the three levels of Panchayat Raj system . The economic basically a democratic society which has its own political and economic order envisioned by Gandhiji stood for a moralized and humanized decentralized economic structure with the village as its centre . Although , he has not written any extravagant treatise on economics In this economic structure , he favoured production by the masses rather than mass production . The idea of decentralisation has political implications as well .

Politics as considered by Gandhiji is thoroughly connected with ethics and religion . Gandhiji's very entry in to politics is to spiritualise it . Gandhi's mission in the political area consisted in avoiding violence and to eradicate violence through decentralisation of power from the state . But he had doubts regarding the realization of a fully non - violent state and government for obvious reasons . Gandhiji thought about the prospect of a predominantly non - violent state which is essentially non - violent .Gandhiji upheld that such an end can be achieved only under decentralization . Centralization as a system is inconsistent with the non - violent structure of society . Gandhiji considered government , whatever its external form may be as merely an externalization of the moral level of the individual .

The attainment of political decentralisation depends on economic decentralisation . Decentralisation in the economic sphere infers the central principle of self - sufficiency . It is not absolute self - sufficiency but confined to the basic needs of the people such as food , clothing and shelter . He wanted that people should be independent as regards the satisfaction of the elementary needs .

He visualised of a society free from mistreatment of the weaker sections of the society and also his support of charka and village industries demonstrate his living faith in decentralization of economic power .

Khadi represents the unity of Indian community which provides economic freedom and equality . Main topic of his philosophy of decentralization is oriented towards full employment of human resources of a society and also to provide ample opportunity for manual labour . The promotion of Khadi movement and village industries meant decentralization of both production and distribution of the necessities of life for economic decentralization is principally designed to support the interest of the lowliest of the low and the helpless .

To summarize , the political ideas of Gandhiji has remarkable consistency and continuity . He considered man as exemplifying the spiritual principle in him which is divine . Gandhi was an activist . He worked for the enhancement of society .

According to Gandhiji , the happiness of every individual is the end . He found different types of satyagraha and non violence as the best way to attain the ends . He articulated the noteworthy theories in politics in order to attain his ultimate end of welfare of all . He thought that the state in concentrated form of power structure is more coercive than individual . So he recommended the political power decentralization in the democratic form of governance . Because decentralized democracy gives the possibility to the public contribution and representation . He was not convinced and opposed the notions that religion should be separated from politics . Politics empty of religion is meaningless . He thought that politics offers great opportunities to serve others and such service is an essential attribute of religion . He applied this belief to the pursuit of truth as well , which he considered as God himself .

He believed that violence would spell the fate of mankind . He believed that a non - violent solution of problems of people was not only possible but was the only way to have a real solution . He considered the villages as the centre of Indian economic organisation . His notion of Panchayat raj remained a distant dream , but his arguments for people's participation in governance motivated and also consolidated movements for extending of egalitarianism in India .


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