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Mahatma Gandhi and one World
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page 40/46

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     A general belief is current among historians and political scientists that Gandhi was a "nationalist" leader, by which is meant that he tried to promote the interests of the rising bourgeoisie in India. Those who are generous sometimes concede the point that he might have been concerned about the interests of the masses, but the way in which he worked with the Indian National Congress actually led to the promotion of the interests of the upper classes. Moreover, he was afraid of violence, and scotched the revolutionary zeal of the masses whenever their resistance tended to break out into violence. Indeed, violence is natural in the revolt of the masses against the classes. In opposing violence, Gandhi did not in fact intend to promote the interests of the former in opposition to those of the latter.

    This is a point of view which is, however, very far from correct.

    As early as 1909, Gandhi once defined his idea of Indian freedom in a book entitled Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule. In it he wrote, "By patriotism I mean the welfare of the whole people, and if I could secure it in the hands of the English, I should bow down my head to them. If any Englishman dedicated his life to securing the


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