True Swaraj

“You are impatient. I cannot afford to be likewise.” ~ Gandhi, Hind Swaraj, Chptr 1

Nonviolence requires patience and Gandhi knew this. In Hind Swaraj, he frequently describes the various movements for a free India not under the categories of violent or nonviolent, but by the kind of energy behind the actions of those who were agitating for home rule, or swaraj: those who had patience and those who were impatient.

Violent means, he emphasizes, have tended to be the chosen form of resistance for those who were feeling impatient. Impatience would not get them far, he argued. By scratching at the surface of those who held such views, he found that what they wanted was to create the same unequal system that the British had set up. Patience would be needed to unite parties riven asunder; to build new institutions that did not imitate the violence of their colonizers; and to empower a democracy based entirely on nonviolent lines. That does not mean refraining from action, it means in fact that there is a lot to do, and violence, impatience, could ruin the great work of art that was true swaraj.

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About Daily Metta

Book cover imageStephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence.

Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.

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