Real swaraj [freedom] is self-rule or self-control.
The way to it is satyagraha:the power of truth and
In my opinion, we have used the term
“swaraj” without understanding its real
significance. I have endeavoured to explain
it as I understand it, and my conscience
testifies that my life henceforth is dedicated
to its attainment.
Hind Swaraj, 19091
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948) was called “Mahatma” (“Great Soul”) because of his extraordinary achievements as leader of the Indian movement for independence. Gandhi was not primarily a theorist but a reformer and activist. When pressed for a treatise on his philosophy, he protested that “I am not built for academic writings. Action is my domain.”2 Yet he was guided by values and ideas that remained remarkably enduring throughout his life. Chief among them were his unique concepts of freedom and power, or, to use his terms, of swaraj and satyagraha. As seen from his statement quoted above, these were closely connected ideas, related to each other as means to end. He did, as he promised in 1909, devote his life to the pursuit of swaraj and he redefined the concept by insisting that individual freedom and social responsibility were no more antithetical than self-realization and self-restraint. In his pursuit of freedom he transformed our conception of power through his practice of nonviolence