Wednesday, 28 December 2016

JP's introduction to 'Civil Disobedience' - Dharampal

Dharampal 'Civil Disobedience' - Introduction by JP
"A point that emerges clearly from the discussion is that the primary source of inspiration behind Gandhiji’s science of satyagraha was India’s age-old traditional ruler-ruled relationship of which Gandhiji was well aware. In view of his explicit acknowledgement in Hind Swaraj of his debt to that tradition, it is rather surprising that none of his biographers or commentators, while they ranged far and wide in search of the origins, gave any attention to Gandhiji’s own words. 
May be the reason has been that no trace having been left of the old tradition except for the observant eyes of one like Gandhiji (think of the case of the small principality in Saurashtra which he mentions in the Hind Swaraj), nor there being any historical evidence available of the ‘nation at large’ having ‘generally used passive resistance in all departments of life’ or of our ceasing ‘to cooperate with our rulers when they displease us’, Gandhiji’s sweeping remarks were taken as examples of his ‘usual’ idealisation of the past. But Shri Dharampal’s findings show that Gandhiji, though not a student of history, had a much deeper insight into it than most historians. Undoubtedly it was this intuitive quality that was one of the secrets of his extraordinary success as a leader of the people."

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