Back | Next
PHILOSOPHY > THE MIND OF MAHATMA GANDHI > India's Mission
Resort To Soul Force
That Indians are not a nation of cowards is proved by the personal bravery and daring of her martial races, whether Hindus, Mussalman, Sikh or Gurkha. My point is that the spirit of fighting is foreign to India’s soil and that probably she has a higher part to play in the evolution of the world. Time alone can show what is to be her destiny. (YI, 22-6-1921, p. 199)
I want to see God face to face. God, I know, is Truth. For me the only certain means of knowing God is non-violence—AHIMSA-love. I live for India’s freedom and would die for it, because it is part of Truth. Only a free India can worship the true God.
India’s destiny lies not along the bloody way of the West, of which she shows signs of tiredness, but along the bloodless way of peace that comes from a simple and godly life. India is in danger of losing her soul. She cannot lose it and live. She must not therefore lazily and helplessly say, ‘I cannot escape the onrush from the West’. She must be strong enough to resist it for her own sake and that of the world.
India has an unbroken tradition of non-violence from times immemorial. But at no time in her ancient history, as far as I know, has it had complete non-violence in action pervading the whole land. Nevertheless, it is my unshakable belief that her destiny is to deliver the message of non-violence to mankind. It may take ages to come to fruition. But so far as I judge, no other country will precede her in the fulfillment of that mission. (H, 12-10-1935, p. 276)
On India rests the burden of pointing the way to all the exploited races of the earth. She won’t be able to bear that burden today if non-violence does not permeate her more than [it does] today. I have been trying to fit ourselves for that mission by giving a wider bend to our struggle. India will become a torch-bearer to the oppressed and exploited races only if she can vindicate the principle of non-violence in her own case, not jettison it as soon as independence of foreign control is achieved. (H, 19-5-1946, p. 134)
Land Of Duty
…. Everything in India attracts me. It has everything that a human being with the highest possible aspirations can want. (YI, 21-2-1929, p. 60)
India And The World
India must learn to live before she can aspire to die for humanity. (YI, 13-10-1921, p. 326)
...My ambition is nothing less than to see international affairs placed on a moral basis through India’s efforts. (YI, 26-12-1924, p. 421)
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. If, therefore, India was strong and able, India would send out to the world her treasures of art and health-giving spices, but will refuse to send out opium or intoxicating liquors although the traffic may bring much material benefit to India. (YI, 12-3-1925, p. 88)
I would like to see India free and strong so that she may offer herself as a willing and pure sacrifice for the betterment of the world. The individual, being pure, sacrifices himself for the family, the latter for the village, the village for the district, the district for the province, the province for the nation, the nation for all. (YI, 17-9-1925, p. 321)
I am humble enough to admit that there is much that we can profitably assimilate from the West. Wisdom is no monopoly of one race. My resistance to Western civilization is really a resistance to its indiscriminate and thoughtless imitation based on the assumption that Asiatics are fit only to copy everything that comes from the West.
India has a far nobler mission viz., to establish friendship and peace in the world. Peace cannot be established and peace in the world. Peace is being broken, as we all see, even while conferences are being held. (H, 17-11-1946, p. 404)
Lesson Of Tolerance
Is the [Indian] Union to be a theocratic State and are the tenets of Hinduism to be imposed on non-Hindus? I hope and promise, a land to which all Asiatic and African races look, indeed, the whole world.
A truly independent Free India is bound to run to the help of its neighbours in distress, for instance, Afghanistan, Ceylon and Burma. The rule also applies to the neighbours of these three and thus by implication they become Indias neighbours too. And thus, if individual sacrifice is a living sacrifice, it embraces the whole of humanity. (H, 23-3-1947, p. 78)
India And Asia
All eyes rest on India, which has become the hope of Asia and Africa, nay, of the whole world. If India is to realize the hope, it has to stop the fratricide and all Indians have to live like friend and brothers. Clean hearts are the first condition to that happy state. (H, 26-10-1947, p. 388)