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Throughout the piece, Gandhi stays extremely consistent with establishing then reaffirming his core values. Beginning initially in Preface and Foreward, he already points out his potential ineptitude in the English translation of his writing, which speaks to his Hindi/Gujarati speaking core. His value for tradition and orthodox principles and societies is also prevalent when he refers to modern civilization as “Kingdom of Satan” and ancient civilization as “Kingdom of God”.
Gandhi is very patriotic and has immense respect and loyalty for his country, but sometimes that comes with rejection of all aspects of modern society. As seen on page 25, Gandhi is cynical and disapproving of the emergence of railroads and professionals such as doctors for enabling a “consumption based society”. Although these things were largely impactful, they don’t confine within Gandhi’s terms of patience and ancient civilization, which shows that he had very different and orthodox values.
Although some of his values seem skewed in the context of today’s society, it is admirable that he had so much patriotism and love for his country. He refers to all people in the nation as “my countrymen,” even when these same countrymen included people that were adopting violent approaches against British Rule as opposed to Gandhi’s peaceful protests. This again, speaks to the immense loyalty and love that Gandhi had for his county and its people. This patriotism and united belief even extended to religion as he constantly states that Hindus, Mohammedans, etc. are one as Indians. Even when talking about Professor Gokhale, who seemed to have values favoring British Rule, Gandhi emphasizes Gokhale’s good qualities and the way that they have positively benefitted all of Indian society. It is not about having the same viewpoints for him, but rather pure intentions that ultimately provide good lives for his people.
On top of this belief, he greatly values truth. He states, “the only motive is to serve my country, to find out Truth and to follow it,” (page 4). In this sentence, Truth is written with a capital T almost in the same way that people often refer to “God”. It is interesting and revealing that he uses this approach because with just one bit of specific syntax, he reveals a lot about where his values lie. He emphasizes truth even when it means admitting fault. For example, when talking about how India is under British rule, he states “It is truer to say that we gave India to the English than that India was lost” (page 21). By admitting the country’s own faults, he builds his ethos with the reader, and earns great respect.
Loyalty and patience are consistent motifs in all of Gandhi’s writings, and that plays a huge role in revealing to the reader what he was like. He had extremely orthodox values and he believed in ultimately doing good for the country and its people.
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