Excerpts In neglecting the third class passengers, opportunity of giving a splendid education to millions in orderliness, sanitation, decent composite life and cultivation of simple and clean tastes is being lost Instead of receiving an object lesson in these matters third class passengers have their sense of decency and cleanliness blunted during their travelling experience Too often do we believe that material prosperity means moral growth I believe that our copying of the European dress is a sign of our degradation, humiliation and our weakness, and that we are committing a national sin in discarding a dress which is best suited to the Indian climate and which, for its simplicity, art and cheapness, is not to be beaten on the face of the earth and which answers hygienic requirements Had it not been for a false pride and equally false notions of prestige, Englishmen here would long ago have adopted the Indian costume I am sorry to inform Mr Irwin and your readers that my esteemed friend Babu Brijakishore Prasad, the ex Hon Member of Council, still remains unregenerate and retains the provincial cap and never walks barefoot and kicks up a terrible noise even in the house we are living in by wearing wooden sandals He has still not the courage, in spite of most admirable contact with me, to discard his semi anglicised dress and whenever he goes to see officials he puts his legs into the bifurcated garment and on his own admission tortures himself by cramping his feet in inelastic shoes I cannot induce him to believe that his clients won t desert him and the courts won t punish him if he wore his becoming and less expensive dhoti.
Collection of 6 essays by Gandhi, reflecting condition of Indians in the colonial India his ideology Essays are filled with Gandhi s wit, also most of them were written when he wasn t famous.
The essay on Indian railways reflects his concern for the fellow Indians Ahinsa essay clears the doubts raised by others on his ideology.
Glad that I read this book.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Was A Major Political And Spiritual Leader Of India And The Indian Independence Movement In India, He Is Recognized As The Father Of The Nation A British Educated Lawyer, Gandhi First Employed His Ideas Of Peaceful Civil Disobedience In The Indian Community S Struggle For Civil Rights In South Africa Upon His Return To India, He Led Nationwide Campaigns For The Alleviation Of Poverty, For The Liberation Of Women, For Brotherhood Amongst Differing Religions And Ethnicities, For An End To Untouchability And Caste Discrimination, And For The Economic Self Sufficiency Of The Nation, But Above All For Swaraj The Independence Of India From Foreign Domination He Famously Led Indians In The Disobedience Of The Salt Tax On The Kilometre Miles Dandi Salt March In , And In An Open Call For The British To Quit India In He Was Imprisoned For Many Years On Numerous Occasions In Both South Africa And India He Dedicated His Life To The Wider Purpose Of Discovering Truth, Or Satya He Tried To Achieve This By Learning From His Own Mistakes And Conducting Experiments On Himself He Called His Autobiography The Story Of My Experiments With Truth Six essays, the first of which is FUNNY Yep, never thought I d read anything by Gandhi so witty and sarcastic, but there I was, laughing aloud in my seat The remaining five are ok Quotes On the way, passengers got tea tannin water with filthy sugar I can vouch for the appearance, but I cite the testimony of the passengers as to the taste Refreshments sold to the passengers were dirty looking, handed by dirtier hands, coming out of filthy receptacles, and weighed in equally unattractive scales The compartment itself was evil looking Dirt was lying thick upon the wood work, and I do not know if it had ever seen soap or water The closets attached to these places defy description I have not the power adequately to describe them without committing a breach of laws of decent speech At Sonepur, flies having failed, wasps came forth to warn the public and the authorities, but yet to no purpose At the Imperial Capitol, a certain third class booking office is a Black Hole fit only to be destroyed Is it any wonder that plague has become endemic in India Any other result is impossible where passengers always leave some dirt where they go and take on leaving.
This book is a collection of six essays by Gandhi They are 1 THIRD CLASS IN INDIAN RAILWAYS2 VERNACULARS AS MEDIA OF INSTRUCTION3 SWADESHI4 AHIMSA5 THE MORAL BASIS OF CO OPERATION6 NATIONAL DRESSThe first essay is about poverty in India, especially when Gandhi traveled in trains across India The second essay is about the importance of Indian vernacular languages The next three essays are about Swadeshi, Ahimsa and Co operation In the essay national essay he response to an author about his dressing style.
Gandhi was forty five when he returned to India the land he had left as a teenager, the land that was now completely alien to him As the hero of the South Africa he was extended several invitations by the Congress to join the nascent national freedom struggle He politely refused them instead he chose to travel He travelled extensively throughout the subcontinent, mostly on trains The main purpose of such a venture, as he had said himself was to get a grasp of the life in India.
During these jaunts, it is believed he made very elaborate entries on his first impressions of India When I picked up this book free ebook lying in some corner of the net I was hoping to find his journal entries during these travels But as it turned out this book is a compilation of six essays media articles speeches between 1915 1918, after the major chunk of his travels were done.
Enriched by his travels, and the success at Champaran, he started giving shape to his ideas on a social, cultural and a political level These essays were his initial arguments, where he is still somewhat ambivalent, where he still comes across considering their pros and cons than being conclusive about them These ideas would later gather momentum, evolve much powerfully to eventually enter the national consciousness as the core Gandhian values.
The first essay is actually about the travel in third class in Indian trains He describes the hopeless conditions of the third class in India and as always with Gandhi, makes a case for their improvement These passages are perhaps one of the earliest documentation of reverse culture shock by an Indian Consider this one, and imagine the comment section if the following passage for published in an Indian web portal Not during the whole of the journey was the compartment once swept or cleaned The result was that every time you walked on the floor or rather cut your way through the passengers seated on the floor, you waded through dirt.
The closet was also not cleaned during the journey and there was no water in the water tank.
Refreshments sold to the passengers were dirty looking, handed by dirtier hands, coming out of filthy receptacles and weighed in equally unattractive scales These were previously sampled by millions of flies I asked some of the passengers who went in for these dainties to give their opinion Many of them used choice expressions as to the quality but were satisfied to state that they were helpless in the matter they had to take things as they came.
Subsequent essays are values one usually associates with Gandhi Ideas like vernaculars and The Moral Basis of Co operation are just of historical relevance now Few others, like the chapter on Ahimsa are perhaps still valid The one titled Swadeshi is penetrative where he espouses how religion and politics in India are inseparable which is true, contrary to liberal opinion even to this day Gandhi s arguments are times warped, at times too vague but it does reflect something unique for that time one man observing the world, preparing a ground report, and suggesting solutions.
The writing is typically colonial replete with waxing and waning of humility and excessive consideration Personally, as far as the ideas are concerned, nothing written was new to me I was looking to find a personal voice, something direct that would reflect on the writer himself But Gandhi writes in a very impersonal tone Even in the article National Dress where he defends against personal attacks Irwin who had criticized Gandhi for choice of desi clothes against European attire he remains rather circumspect.
What the book reaffirms to me is what Naipaul had written long back about Gandhi No one, no one had understood India like Gandhi had.
As an aside here s Gandhi writing about Banks and credit system in 1917 See if it rings any bells The credit which is becoming the money power of the world has little moral basis and is not a synonym for Trust or Faith, which are purely moral qualities After twenty years experience of hundreds of men, who had dealings with banks in South Africa, the opinion I had so often heard expressed has become firmly rooted in me, that the greater the rascal the greater the credit he enjoys with his banks The banks do not pry into his moral character they are satisfied that he meets his overdrafts and promissory notes punctually The credit system has encircled this beautiful globe of ours like a serpent s coil, and if we do not mind, it bids fair to crush us out of breath I have witnessed the ruin of many a home through the system, and it has made no difference whether the credit was labelled cooperative or otherwise The deadly coil has made possible the devastating spectacle in Europe, which we are helplessly looking on.
The entire book, first published in an Indian Lahore, is now available for free online Suggested for light reading may be as a break in between heavy books Obviously for readers interested in Pre independent India and Gandhi.
I knew he wrote, but I had only heard about Experiments with Truth This one, I just found on , and liked it instantly The first of the six essays, after which the book is named is most hilarious one Almost entire essay was worth highlighting, I would share only two Is it any wonder that plague has become endemic in India Any other result is impossible where passengers always leave some dirt where they go and take on leaving.
the Viceroy, the Commander in Chief, the Rajas, Maharajas, the Imperial Councillors and others, who generally travel in superior classes, without previous warning, go through the experiences now and then of third class travelling We would then soon see a remarkable change in the conditions of third class travelling and the uncomplaining millions will get some return for the fares they pay under the expectation of being carried from place to place with ordinary creature comforts.
Other essays were okay too, but not as good as first one I particularly like the tone of the narrative, cuz I like to write the same sarcastic and cynic way These essays give a glimpse of the man himself, a side of him that I was unaware of.
It is a short read I would say it is a must read, the first essay at least.
Third Class in Indian Railways is the essays and letters written by Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1917 The six essays are 1 Third class in Indian Railways2 Vernaculars as Media of Instruction3 Swadeshi4 Ahimsa5 The Moral basis of Co operation6 National DressNot much have changed about the hygienic condition in the railways Gandhi mentions about bribes given by the passengers and their behaviour He finally asks that the fares paid by third class passengers were not offered even 1 10th of what the first class passengers enjoy Apart from other essays I liked Ahimsa, Swadeshi, the moral basis of Co opreation and the National Dress his dress been mocked by Irwin the fitting reply he had given I like to quote from his book I do not believe that religion has nothing to do with politics The latter divorced from religion is like a corpse only fit to be buried Swadeshi We, the educated classes, have received our education through a foreign tongue We have therefore not reacted upon the masses We want to represent the masses, but we fail Swadeshi Well, India is a country of nonsense It is nonsensical to parch one s throat with thirst when a kindly Mahomedan is ready to offer pure water to drink And yet thousands of Hindus would rather die of thirst than drink water from a Mahomedan household Swadeshi There is a verse in the Bhagavad Gita, which, freely rendered, means, masses follow the classes Swadeshi Our Shastras seem to teach that a man who really practises Ahimsa in its fulness has the world at his feet he so affects his surroundings that even the snakes and other venomous reptiles do him no harm This is said to have been the experience of St Francis of Assisi Ahimsa Ahimsa requires deliberate self suffering, not a deliberate injuring of the supposed wrong doer Ahimsa I believe that our copying of the European dress is a sign of our degradation, humiliation and our weakness Reply to Mr Irwin s criticism of his dress in the Pioneer A collection of essays in which Gandhi shares his views on different subjects He appears to be much human than he is made out when you read him directly a down to earth in search of truth with al intellectual honesty But his idealism seems to be abstract, too far away from reality than he is defending some opressive systems like caste system and I, personally, never like politicians who ask sacrifices from innocent masses.
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His inimitable sense of humour is also evident in his writings as he has no qualms in admitting that India is a country of nonsense.