In Defence of Nationalism
For me patriotism is the same as humanity. I am patriotic because I am human and humane. It is not exclusive. I will not hurt England or Germany to serve India. Imperialism has no place in my scheme of life. The law of a patriot is not different from that of the patriarch. And a patriot is so much the less a patriot if he is a lukewarm humanitarian. There is no conflict between private and political law.
Young India, 16-3-‘21
Just as the cult of patriotism teaches us today that the individual has to die for the family, the family has to die for the village, the village for the district, the district for the province, and the province for the country, even so a country has to be free in order that it may die, if necessary, for the benefit of the world. My love, therefore, of nationalism or my idea of nationalism is that my country may become free, that if need be the whole of the country may die, so that the human race may live. There is no room for race hatred there. Let that be our nationalism.
Gandhiji in Indian Villages, p. 170
I want India’s rise so that the whole world may benefit. I do not want India to rise on the ruin of other nations.
Young India, 12-3-‘25
An India prostrate at the feet of Europe can give no hope for humanity. An India awakened and free has a message of peace and goodwill to a groaning world.
Young India, 1-6-‘21
It is impossible for one to be inter-nationalist without being a nationalist. Internationalism is possible only when nationalism becomes a fact, i.e. when peoples belonging to different countries have organized themselves and are able to act as one man. It is not nationalism that is evil, it is the narrowness, selfishness, exclusiveness which is the bane of modern nations which is evil. Each wants to profit at the expense of, and rise on the ruin of, the other. Indian nationalism has struck a different path. It wants to organize itself or to find full self-expression for the benefit and service of humanity at large.
Young India, 18-6-‘25
God having cast my lot in the midst of the people of India, I should be untrue to my Maker if I failed to serve them. If I do not know how to serve them I shall never know how to serve humanity. And I cannot possibly go wrong so long as I do not harm other nations in the act of serving my country.
Young India, 18-6-‘25
My patriotism is not an exclusive thing. It is all-embracing and I should reject that patriotism which sought to mount upon the distress or exploitation of other nationalities. The conception of my patriotism is nothing if it is not always, in every case without exception, consistent with the broadest good of humanity at large. Not only that, but my religion and my patriotism derived from my religion embrace all life. I want to realize brotherhood or identity not merely with the beings called human, but I want to realize identity with all life, even with such things as crawl upon earth…because we claim descent from the same God, and that being so, all life in whatever from it appears must be essentially one.
Young India, 4-4-‘29
Our nationalism can be no peril to other nations inasmuch as we will exploit none, just as we will allow none to exploit us. Though Swaraj we will serve the whole world.
Young India, 16-4-‘31
After nearly 50 years of public life, I am able to say today that my faith in the doctrine that the service of one’s nation is not inconsistent with the service of the world has grown. It is a good doctrine. Its acceptance alone will ease the situation in the world and stop the mutual jealousies between nations inhabiting this glob of ours.