A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gandhi and Chesterton

At the moment I am reading through Ian Ker's new book published by Oxford University Press G.K. Chesterton: A Biography, which I would highly recommend. Even though I have already mentioned Chesterton's influence on Gandhi in an earlier post, this passage from the book goes into a little more detail, and so I have included it below.

In his Illustrated London News column of 2 October 1909, Chesterton addressed the question of Indian nationalism. 'The test of a democracy is not whether the people vote,' he argued, 'but whether the people rule. The essence of a democracy is that the national tone and spirit of the typical citizen is apparent and striking in the actions of the state.' And he thought that the 'principle weakness' of Indian nationalists seeking independence was that their nationalism was not very Indian and not very national; 'There is a difference between a conquered people demanding its own institutions and the same people demanding the institutions of the conqueror.' The article was read by Ghandi [sic], who was in London at the time to press for freer rights of residence, travel and trade to members of the Indian diaspora in South Africa, where he was then living. He referred to the article in a dispatch he sent to the paper he had founded in Durban, Indian Opinion. This article for some reason did not appear until January of the following year. In the meantime, Ghandi had responded to Chesterton's criticism by completing in ten days, on board the ship that carried him back to South Africa, an extended defence of the virtues of ancient Indian civilization. Written in Ghandi's mother tongue, it was published under the title Hind Swaraj, and also in English under the title Indian Home Rule, in Durban in 1910. Apart from Ghandi's two-volume autobiography and collections of articles and speeches, it was the only book qua book that Ghandi ever published.

UPDATE (April 30, 2015):

Here is an image of the article mentioned above, so that you can read it:


(Note: The date in the image and that referenced in the excerpt from the biography are different, but that is because the American edition of the Illustrated London News normally appeared two weeks later than the English edition.)


Unknown said...

Gandhi (correct spelling)wrote the story of my experiments with truth and many other published articles and essays

Daniel Marshall said...

This is easily resolved. The Story of My Experiments with Truth is the first part of a two-volume autobiography. The second part is, in English, Satyagraha in South Africa. He published a couple of magazines during his lifetime, in which he regularly wrote articles; one was Indian Opinion. His male secretary collected and organized many of these writings by topic, and they were published by Navajivan Press in Ahmedabad. His collected writings run to some fifty volumes. There is a shorter 6-volume Selected Works published in paper by the Navajivan Publishing House.