In this work an attempt has been made, by assembling together passages from writings and speeches of Mahatma Gandhi, to give the reader an idea of the part which he expects a completely free and independent India of his conception to play in her own domestic affairs as well as in her relations with the rest of the world.
On 15th August, 1947, India will have finally shaken off the yoke of foreign rule which for the past century and a half had held her soul in bondage and well-nigh ruined her materially, morally and spiritually. In the process of achieving her independence, however, her unity has been broken in many places and her soul has been badly bruised, owing to internecine quarrels, and the shape of 'Swaraj' that is emerging is not at all what her patriotic sons and daughters had ardently longed for and struggled for all these decades. It is quite natural, therefore, that Gandhiji, the Father of Indian Independence, should feel little inclined to enthuse over the Independence that is drawing; and cry out, like the Vedic seer, 'Lead us from darkness unto Light'.
Gandhiji has refused to subscribe to the fantastic theory that the Muslims of India are 'a separate nation'. 'My whole soul rebels against the idea that Hinduism and Islam represent two antagonistic cultures and doctrines,' he has said. 'To assent to such a doctrine is for me a denial of God. For I believe with my whole soul that the God of the Quran is also the God of the Gita, and that we are all, no matter by what name designated, children of the same God. I must rebel against the idea that millions of Indians who were Hindus the other day changed their nationality on adopting Islam as their religion.' He refuses to believe that India will remain for ever partitioned, either geographically or Spiritually, in the manner that is being sought to be done at present. 'India does not become two nations,' he says, 'because it has been cut up into two sovereign States.' He lives in the hope and will work in the hope that with the removal of the most serious obstacle in the way of her unity-the wedge driven by her alien rulers - and the healing of the wounds recently inflicted on her, the India of his dreams will yet emerge into reality in the not distant future.
The compiler of the present work, cognizant of the onerousness of the task before him and of his own shortcomings, is fully aware of the risks involved in trying to convey to the readers a conception of 'India of Gandhiji's dreams' which may fall short, far short, of the picture which the master artist has drawn in the immortal pages of Young India and Harijan and in other collections of his writings and speeches. The compiler expresses the hope that he may not have deviated far from the correctness as well as comprehensiveness of that picture, inasmuch as the attempt to redraw the picture, on a reduced scale, has bee; made in Gandhiji's own words. For whatever shortcomings there still remain in the present work the compiler tenders his profuse apologies both to Gandhiji and to the reader.
1. India of my Dreams 2. The Meaning of Swaraj 3. In Defence of Nationalism 4. Democracy in India 5. India And Socialism 6. India And Communism 7. The Curse of Industrialism 8. Class war 9. Strikes 10. Choice Before Labour 11. Rights or Duties 12. The Problem of Unemployment 13. Daridranarayan 14. 'Me Gospel of Bread Labour 15. Sarvodaya 16. Theory of Trusteeship 17. Non-violent Economy 18. The Way to Equal Distribution 19. India's Record of Non-violence 20. The Sarvodaya State 21. Satyagraha and Duragraha 22. The Tillers of the Soil 23. Back to the Village 24. Every Village a Republic 25. Panchayat Raj 26. Village Industries 27. What the Government can Do 28. Village Exhibitions 29. The Music of the Spinning Wheel 30. The Mill Industry 31. The Gospel of Swadeshi 32. Cow Protection 33. Co-operative Cattle-Farming 34. Village Sanitation 35. Village Health 36. Village Diet 37. The Village Worker 38. All-Round Village Service 39. A Call to Youth 40. The Nation's Health, Hygiene and Diet 41. Drink and Drugs 42. Urban Sanitation 43. Evil Wrought by the Foreign Medium 44. My Own Experience 45. India's Cultural Heritage 46. The New Education 47. Basic Education 48. Higher Education 49. Ashram Ideal of Education 50. National Language and Script 51. Provincial Languages 52. Hindi in the South 53. A Code for Students 54. Regeneration of Indian Women 55. Women's Education 56. Birth-Control 57. Sex Education 58. Children 59. Communal Unity 60. Varnashrama Dharma 61. The Curse of Untouchability 62. Religious Tolerance in India 63. Proselytization 64. Problems of Administration 65. Reorganization of Provinces 66. The Problem of Minorities 67. An Indian Governor 68. The Press 69. Peace Brigades 70. Indian National Congress 71. India, Pakistan and Kashmir 72. Foreign Settlements in India 73. India and World Peace 74. The Message of the East 75. Obiter Dicta