Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

The hadi movement hand spinning and hand weaving

Info icon This preview shows pages 341–343. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The \hadi movement, hand-spinning and hand-weaving, which is Gandhiji's special favorite, is an intensification of individualism in pro duction, and is thus a throwback to the preindustrial age. As a solution of any vital present-day problem it cannot be taken seriously, and it produces a mentality which may become an obstacle to growth in the right direction. Nevertheless, as a temporary measure I am convinced that it has served a useful purpose, and it is likely to be helpful for some time to come, so long as the State itself does not undertake the rightful solution of agrarian and industrial problems on a countrywide scale. Again I think of the paradox that is Gandhiji. With all his keen in tellect and passion for bettering the downtrodden and oppressed, why does he support a system, and a system which is obviously decaying, which creates this misery and waste? He seeks a way out, it is true, but is not that way to the past barred and bolted? And meanwhile he blesses all the relics of the old order which stand as obstacles in the way of advance the feudal states, the big zamindaris and talukdaris, the present capitalist system. Is it reasonable to believe in the theory of trusteeship to give unchecked power and wealth to an individual and to expect him to use it entirely for the public good? Are the best of us so perfect as to be trusted in this way? Even Plato's philosopher- kings could hardly have borne this burden worthily. And is it good 322
Image of page 341

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
for the others to have even these benevolent supermen over them? But there are no supermen or philosopher-kings; there are only frail human beings who cannot help thinking that their own personal good or the advancement of their own ideas is identical with the public good. The snobbery of birth, position, and economic power is perpetuated, and the consequences in many ways are disastrous. Again, I would repeat that I am not at present considering the ques tion of how to effect the change, of how to get rid of the obstacles in the way, by compulsion or conversion, violence or nonviolence. I shall deal with this aspect later. But the necessity for the change must be recognized and clearly stated. If leaders and thinkers do not clearly envisage this and state it, how can they expect even to convert anybody to their way of thinking, or develop the necessary ideology in the peo ple? Events are undoubtedly the most powerful educators, but events have to be properly understood and interpreted if their significance is to be realized and properly directed action is to result from them. I have often been asked by friends and colleagues who have occa sionally been exasperated by my utterances: Have you not come across good and benevolent princes, charitable landlords, well-meaning and amiable capitalists?
Image of page 342
Image of page 343
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern