MK Gandhi Swaraj, National Movement and Subaltern Perspective Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

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MK Gandhi: Swaraj, National Movement and Subaltern Perspective | Sociology

Subaltern Perspective

  • Gramscian term which means subordinate group
  • Viewpoint of the masses unrepresented
  • Masses against the elites in political and social movements
  • Fight for themselves with the society, against others ideology and behaviours
  • “Makers of their own History”


  • Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi
  • Born 2nd October, 1869
  • Porbandar, Gujarat
  • Lawyer, Political activist
  • Led the National Movement
  • Called himself a philosophical anarchist
  • He was a very religious man and had his perspectives about polity, economy and about the society as a whole
  • Varna system supporter
  • Truth, Satyagraha and Non violence
    • Satyagraha as a moral weapon a non-violent device
    • Truth - it can be attained through nonviolence
  • Self-realization through truth which is the ultimate goal of life


  • An Autobiography: The Story of my Experiments with Truth
  • The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Sarvodaya
  • Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule
  • On Non-Violence
  • All Men are Brothers
  • My Experiments with Truth
  • Conquest of Self, etc.


  • An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
  • The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
  • A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.
  • There is no God higher than truth.
  • Hate the sin, love the sinner.

Swaraj or Home Rule

  • Self-rule and self-restraint
  • Can be achieved through educating the masses
  • Releasing oneself from the bondage
  • Involves self-purification
  • Power of the people to put in their own efforts to shape the destiny according to themselves

Theory of Oceanic Circle

  • Gram swaraj
  • Decentralization
  • Power to move from cities to villages
  • Units in a circle not a pyramid
  • Centre is the individual
  • Power autonomous yet interdependent
  • Villages as building blocks of democracy
  • Self-elected panchayats in villages


  • Set up All India Anti-Untouchability League, 1932
  • Weekly publication ‘Harijan’ in 1933 earlier called as Young India

Led Various Indian Nationalist Movements

  • Champaran Satyagaraha, Bihar
    • First Civil Disobedience Movement
    • 1917
    • Champaran district farmers were obliged to grow Indigo on th of their land
    • Fought for the rights of the farmers
  • Ahmedabad Mill Strike, 1918
  • Kheda Satyagarah, 1918
    • First non-cooperation movement
  • Rowlatt Satyagraha, 1918
    • First mass strike
  • Dandi March, 1930
    • Salt satyagarha
    • Tamil Nadu, Malabar, Bengal, Assam, etc.


Q. 1. Relationships of domination and subordination in a society in which class division is not as developed as industrialized world. This reflects which perspective?

1. Subaltern

2. Capitalist

3. Feminist

4. Conflictist

Answer: 1

Q. 2. According to Gandhi, Swaraj meant

a. Independence

b. Self-rule

c. Self-restraint

d. self-realization


1. a only

2. b and c

3. b and d

4. a and b

Answer: 2

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