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THE SELECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI > Vol. III - The Basic Works > HIND SWARAJ or INDIAN HOME RULE > Discontent and Unrest
03. Discontent and Unrest
Reader : Then you consider the Partition to be a cause of the awakening ? Do you welcome the unrest which has resulted from it?
Editor : When a man rises from sleep, he twists his limbs and is restless. It takes some time before he is entirely awakened. Similarly, although the Partition has caused an awakening, the comatose condition has not yet disappeared. We are still twisting our limbs and are still restless, and just as the state between sleep and awakening must be considered to be necessary, so may the present unrest in India be considered a necessary and therefore, a proper state. The knowledge that there is unrest will, it is highly probable, enable us to outgrow it. Rising from sleep, we do not continue in a comatose state, but according to our ability, sooner or later, we are completely restored to our senses. So shall we be free from the present unrest which no one likes.
Reader : What is the other form of unrest?
Editor : Unrest is, in reality, discontent. The latter is only now described as unrest. During the Congress- period it was labeled discontent. Mr. Hume always said that the spread of discontent in India was necessary. This discontent is a very useful thing. As long as a man is contented with his present lot, so long is it difficult to persuade him to come out of it. Therefore it is that every reform must be preceded by discontent. We throw away things we have, only when we cease to like them. Such discontent has been produced among us after reading the great works of Indians and Englishmen. Discontent has led to unrest, and the latter has brought about many deaths, many imprisonments, many banishments. Such a state of things will still continue. It must be so. All these may be considered good signs but they may also lead to bad results.