Moral Dimensions of Swaraj

Table of Contents

Moral Dimensions of Swaraj:

Ram Raj (a concept of Ideal State):

Gandhi treated Swaraj as a synonym of Ram Raj. Profoundly non-doctrinaire in his approach to religion and as much a Christian, a Mohammedan and a Jew, as a Hindu in his religious beliefs, he did not consider Ram Raj in a purely Hindu mythological sense of the term. Accordingly, he said, “By Ram Raj, I do not mean Hindu Raj. I mean by Ram Raj Divine Raj, the Kingdom of God”. Later elaborating the concept, he said, “Ram symbolized justice and equity, Ram symbolized truth and charity”. Thus, Ram Raj for Gandhi stood for some lofty moral principles and if Gandhi used Ram Raj as a synonym of Swaraj he meant thereby that lofty moral precepts, a sense of idealism and spiritualism, divine qualities and virtues should inspire the conduct of individuals and the political, social and economic systems under Swaraj.

Dharma Raj (Performance of Duties):

Gandhi also laid stress on the performance of duty. As a matter of fact, the performance of duty follows as a natural corollary of morally sanctified conduct. Hence, Gandhi said, “Performance of duty and observance of morality are convertible terms”. Besides, as per Gandhi, a true civilization that Swaraj must aim at and performance of duty are interrelated or as he said, “Civilization is that mode of conduct which points out to men in the path of duty”. Hence, the swaraj of Gandhi presupposes sincere performance of one’s duty. Gandhi not only treated Ram Raj as a synonym of Swaraj, but he also considered Swaraj and Dharm Raj as synonyms. But, when he thought of Dharma Raj he had not only in mind a kingdom of God or a Government based on high moral principles but also a political and a governmental system where each individual perform his swadharma or the duty assigned to him by the society. Hence Swaraj understood in the sense of Dharma Raj also signifies the performance of the duties of one’s station. Under such a system, the emphasis shall be more on duties rather than rights. As a matter of fact, when individuals perform their duties, rights will automatically accrue to them, “as natural corollaries”.

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