The PDF file you selected should load here if your Web browser has a PDF reader plug-in installed (for example, a recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader).

If you would like more information about how to print, save, and work with PDFs, Highwire Press provides a helpful Frequently Asked Questions about PDFs.

Alternatively, you can download the PDF file directly to your computer, from where it can be opened using a PDF reader. To download the PDF, click the Download link above.

Fullscreen Fullscreen Off

In this structure (of Swaraj) composed of innumerable villages, there will be ever widening, never ascending circles. Life will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by bottom. But it will be an oceanic circle whose center will be the individual, always ready to perish for the circle of villages, till at last the whole becomes one life composed of individuals, never aggressive in their arrogance but ever humble, sharing the majesty of the oceanic circle of which they are integral unit…therefore the outermost circle (the nation) will not wield power to crush the inner circles, but give strength to all within and derive its own from the center (the individual citizen)…we are all leaves of a majestic tree whose trunk cannot be shaken off its ischolar_mains, which are deep down in the bowels of this earth. The mightiest of winds cannot shake it.

Swaraj can be maintained only where there is a majority of loyal and patriotic citizens for whom the good of the nation is paramount above all other considerations whatever, including their personal profit. Sawraj means a Government by the many. Where the many are immoral and selfish, their Government can spell anarchy and nothing else.

The Kisan or the peasant of India, whether a landless labourer or a laboring proprietor, comes first in my picture of Swaraj. He is the salt of the earth which rightly belongs or should belong to him.

I value individual freedom, but you must not forget that man is essentially a social being. He has risen to his present status by learning to adjust his individualism to the requirements of social progress. Unrestricted individualism is the law of the beast of the jungle. We have to learn to strike the meaning between individual freedom and social restrain. Willing submission to social restrain for the sake of the well-being of the whole society enriches both the individual and the society of which one is a member.

We are inheritors of a rural civilization. The vastness of our country, the enormous population, the situation and the climate of the country have in my opinion, destined it for a rural civilization. Its defects are well known, but not one of them is irremediable.

We must train these masses of men who have a heart of gold, who feel for the country, who want to be taught and led. But a few intelligent, sincere workers are needed, and the whole nation can be organised to act intelligently and democracy can be evolved out of mobocracy.

I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? In other words will it lead to Swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away."