Swaraj

Published: 23.01.2009
Updated: 29.08.2012

Swaraj can mean generally self-governance or "home-rule" (swa- "self", raj- "rule") but the word usually refers to Mahatma Gandhi's concept for Indian independence from foreign domination. Swaraj lays stress on governance not by a hierarchical government, but self governance through individuals and community building. The focus is on political decentralization. Since this is against the political and social systems followed by Britain, Gandhi's concept of Swaraj laid stress on India discarding British political, economic, bureaucratic, legal, military, and educational institutions.

Although Gandhi's aim of totally implementing the concepts of Swaraj in India was not achieved, the voluntary work organizations which he founded for this purpose did serve as precursors and role models for peoples movements, voluntary organisations and some of the non-governmental organisations that were subsequently launched in various parts of India.[4] The Bhoodan movement which presaged land reform legislation activity throughout India, ultimately leading to India discarding the Zamindari system, was also inspired by the ideas of Swaraj.

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  1. Mahatma
  2. Self-governance
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