[Its Meaning & Place]

constructive programme

[Its Meaning & Place]

Table of Contents

About This Book

Written by : M. K. Gandhi
First Edition : 1941
Total : 1,30,000 copies
ISBN : 81-7229-067-5
Printed and Published by : Jitendra T. Desai
Navajivan Mudranalaya,
© Navajivan Trust, 1941



The constructive programme may otherwise and more fittingly be called construction of Poorna Swaraj or complete Independence by truthful and non-violent means.
Effort for construction of Independence so called through violent and, therefore, necessarily untruthful means we know only too painfully. Look at the daily destruction of property, life and truth in the present war.
Complete Independence through truth and non-violence means the independence of every unit, be it the humblest of the nation, without distinction of race, colour or creed. This independence is never exclusive. It is, therefore, wholly compatible with interdependence within or without. Practice will always fall short of the theory, even as the drawn line falls short of the theoretical line of Euclid. Therefore, complete Independence will be complete only to the extent of our approach in practice to truth and non-violence.
Let the reader mentally plan out the whole of the, constructive programme, and he will agree with me that, if it could be successfully worked out, the end of it would be the Independence we want. Has not Mr. Amery said that an agreement between the major parties, translated in my language, any agreement *after* communal unity which is only one item in the constructive programme, will be respected? We need not question his sincerity, for, if such unity is honestly, i.e., non-violently, attained, it will in itself contain the power to compel acceptance of the agreed demand, On the other hand there is no such thing as an imaginary or even perfect definition of Independence through violence, For, it presupposes only ascendancy of that party of the nation which makes the most effective use of violence. In it perfect equality, economic or otherwise, is inconceivable.
But for my purpose, which is to convince the reader of the necessity of following out the constructive programme in the non-violent effort, the acceptance of my argument about the ineffectiveness of violence for the attainment of independence is not required. The reader is welcome to the belief that Independence of the humblest unit is possible under a scheme of violence, if this effort enables him also to admit that it is a certainty through the complete execution of the programme by the nation.
Let us now examine the items.