I have long been an admirer of Gandhi. I’ve read his biography and seen the biographical film several times; but this is the first chance I’ve had to read something he actually wrote himself. This item contains several articles, the first of which is a description of the incredibly foul conditions of that mode of travel and a call for improvement. (If you’ve seen the movie “Gandhi” the scenes of 3rd class rail travel don’t begin to show how uncomfortable and even unhealthy such travel was.) There are several references to the “closet” which apparently means toilet. You don’t want to go there. He mentions that on trips of several days by rail, some people fast so they don’t have to use the ‘closet.’
Next is a discussion of “Swadeshi” which seems to mean adhering to local culture in all ways: food, dress, religion, etc. Points out that adaptation of European customs, dress, etc. is harmful to Indians.
Next is a discussion of “Ahimsa,” which seems to be the foundation for peaceful non-cooperation, even to the point of suffering personal harm. In its negative form, it is simply not harming others, but in its positive form, it calls for the “largest love” and the “greatest charity” including loving one’s enemy. Ahimsa therefore calls for the greatest courage.
Next is a discussion of “The Moral Basis of Cooperation” which seems to relate to loans and danger of borrowing money to buy things which you don’t really need.
Finally, a discussion of national dress and why he wears traditional Indian clothing instead of European dress, an affectation commonly employed by those Indians of higher station.
In summary, this was not as inspiring as some scenes in the movie; actually rather mundane topics for the most part, but shows that raising a nation to greatness requires attention to the small things as well as the great.
I love this book. First stumbled upon it on Gutenberg. Have read it twice and I just downloaded it for my new Kindle. The true story of an orphan with a rough childhood who is informally adopted by Kit Carson. Amazing adventures and escapades. Drannon barely escapes with his life on numerous occasions while serving as a trapper, hunter, indian scout and fighter, wagon train scout and so on. Considering that he never had a formal education, the writing is good and will have you on the edge of your seat often.