Thus Spake Gandhi

Select quotations by Mahatma Gandhi

India of my Dreams

India, by finding true independence and self-expression through Hindu-Muslim unity and through non-violent means, i.e., unadulterated self-sacrifice, can point a way out of the prevailing darkness. (YI, 6-10-1920, p. 4)


If VOX POPULI is to be VOX DEVI, it must be the voice of honesty, bravery, gentleness, humility and complete self-sacrifice. (YI, 19-11-1925, p. 400)


I believe that nothing remains static. Human nature either goes up or goes down. Let us hope in India, it is going up. Otherwise, there is nothing but deluge for India and, probably, for the whole world….. Will a free India present to the world a lesson of peace, or of hatred and violence, of which the world is already sick unto death? (H, 8-6-1947, p. 177)


If the whole of India accepted this [eternal law of love], India will become the unquestioned leader of the whole world….. I merely wish to suggest that there should be no surrender except to reason. (ibid, p. 181)


New India

I am only hoping and praying..… [that there] will rise a new and robust India, not warlike, basely imitating the West in all its hideousness, but a new India learning the best that the West has to give and becoming the hope, not only of Asia and Africa, but the whole of the aching world.

I must confess that this is hoping against hope, for we are today swearing by the military and all that naked physical force implies….. in spite, however, of the madness and the vain imitation of the tinsel of the West, the hope lingers in me and many others that India shall survive its death dance and occupy the moral height that should belong to her after the training, however imperfect, in non-violence for an unbroken period of thirty-two years since 1915. (H, 7-12-1947, p. 453)


Paradise On Earth

I remember to have read, I forgot whether in the Delhi or the Agra Fort, when I visited them in 1896, a verse on one of the gates, which when translated, reads: 'If there is paradise on early, it is here, it is here, it is here.' That Fort, with all its magnificence at its best, was no paradise in my estimation. But I should love to see that verse with justice inscribed on the gates of Pakistan at all the entrances. In such paradise, whether it is in the Union or in Pakistan, there will be neither paupers not beggars, nor high nor low, neither millionaire employers nor half-starved employees, nor intoxicating drinks nor drugs. There will be the same respect for woman as vouchsafed to men, and the chastity and purity of men and women will be jealously guarded, where every woman, except one's wife, will be treated by men of all religions, as mother, sister or daughter according to her age, where there will be not untouchability and where there will be equal respect for all faiths. They will be all proudly, joyously and voluntarily brad labourers. (H, 18-1-1948, p.526)