Gandhi, Freedom, and Self-rule

Front Cover
Anthony Parel
Lexington Books, 2000 - History - 164 pages
This volume presents an original account of Mahatma Gandhi's four meanings of freedom: as sovereign national independence, as the political freedom of the individual, as freedom from poverty, and as the capacity for self-rule or spiritual freedom. Gandhi taught that human well-being, both for the individual and for the collective, requires the simultaneous enjoyment of all four of these aspects. Gandhi drew his ideas on the subject from both Eastern and Western sources. Thus they make an important contribution to the ongoing debate in both the East and the West on the scope and nature of freedom. They provide a vantage point from which to assess the adequacy of the reigning theories of liberalism in the West--such as the Western divisions of rights from duties and individual political freedom from spiritual freedom. Likewise, they throw useful light on the dangers inherent in the ascendant Indian ideology of hindutva (Hindu-ness), which concentrates on national independence and economic freedom and subordinates the freedom of the individual. In this volume, seven leading Gandhi scholars write on the four meanings of Gandhian freedom, engaging the reader in the ongoing debates in the East and the West and contributing to a new comparative political theory.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Is There a Gandhian Definition of Liberty?
Gandhian Autonomy in the Late Modern World
Gandhis Originality
Gandhi and Human Rights In Search of True Humanity
What Is Swaraj? Lessons from Gandhi
Gandhi and Hindutva Two Conflicting Visions of Swaraj
Gandhi Guide to a Better Human Future
About the Contributors

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 15 - Whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test: Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him.
Page 6 - We, believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life, so that they may have full opportunities of growth. We, believe also that if any government deprives a people of these rights and oppresses them, the people have a further right to alter it or to abolish it.
Page 5 - In effect it means this : that we want English rule without the Englishman. You want the tiger's nature, but not the tiger; that is to say, you would make India English. And when it becomes English, it will be called not Hindustan but Englistan. This is not the Swaraj that I want.

About the author (2000)

Anthony J. Parel is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Calgary. His recent publications include The Machiavellian Cosmos (1992) and Gandhi: Hind Swaraj and Other Writings (1997).

Bibliographic information