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Indian Home Rule or Hind Swaraj
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* Introduction

inner illumination and the consequent urge to communicate. 'The thing was brewing in my mind', he wrote to his friend Henry Polak a month before the actual writing. 'I, therefore feel that I should no longer withhold from you what I call the progressive step I have taken mentally …After all they [the ideas] are not new but they have only now assumed such a concrete form and taken a violent possession of me. 'The Foreword reflected the same sense of urgency: 'I have written because I could not restrain myself.' Years later he recalled the experience: 'Just as one cannot help speaking out when one's heart is full, so also I had been unable to restrain myself from writing the book since my heart was full' (CW 32: 489).

    Secondly, he wanted to clarify the meaning of swaraj, the concept that provides the theoretical framework of the book. This is done by intro-ducing a distinction between swaraj as self-government or the quest for home rule or the good state, and swaraj as self-rule or the quest for self-improvement.

    Thirdly, he felt it necessary to respond specifically to the ideology of political terrorism adopted by the expatriates. The book was written in order to show that they were following 'a suicidal policy'. He recalled in 1921 how on his 1909 visit to London he had come into contact with 'every known Indian anarchist' there, and how he had wanted to write a book 'in answer to the Indian school of violence'. 'I felt that violence was no remedy for India's ills, and that her civilisation required the use of a different and higher weapon for self-protection' (CW 19: 277).

    Fourthly, Gandhi was anxious to teach the Indians that 'modern civilization' posed a greater threat to them than did colonialism. They appeared to him to take it for granted that modern civilisation was an unmixed blessing, and colonialism an unmixed evil, forgetting that colonialism itself was a product of modern civilisation. 'My countrymen, therefore, think', states the Preface, 'that they should adopt modern civilisation and modern methods of violence to drive out the English'. This point is further elaborated in the Preface to the second Gujarati edition of 1914: 'it is not the British that are responsible for the misfortunes of India but we who have succumbed to modern civilisaion….

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