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This History To Collected Works Of Gandhi Philosophy Essay

My project is based on the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi (volumes 85 to 96). I shall try and analyze Gandhi's views regarding law and the procedures of the same. I hope to gain a deeper insight regarding his opinions and thoughts about the concepts of law, lawyers, courts, justice and jurisprudence. However the major focus will be to edit the parts that contain these keywords (stated above) and turn them into a series of statements and paragraphs with my interpretation of these statements and paragraphs into a publishable volume. I shall endeavor to complete this project to the best of my ability and analyze the works of Gandhi in the best possible manner.

The collected works of Gandhi consists a collection of the entire works of Mahatma Gandhi. It contains his autobiography along all the articles, letters, etc. he has ever written. The main purpose of this project is to create a combined treatise of all of Gandhi's works that are related to the field of law. The volumes assigned to me mainly contain letters written by Gandhi in his later years to various followers of his. The volumes not only contain his advice to them but also various opinions of his regarding the issue at hand.

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The important part of this project is to ensure that the major works of Gandhi regarding law are covered. It is also necessary to provide proper comments regarding the same. Personal input is highly essential in this project. It is imperative to ensure that the entire works are analyzed and sorted as per the requirements. The focus of the project is not to edit the works but to provide an insight into the law related parts of the works Gandhi. The collected works contain a lifetime's worth works of Mahatma Gandhi, all of his works including his letters, his essay's and also his autobiography. In short we can say that the collected works cover almost the entire life of Gandhi. Thus it becomes possible to get the entire perspective of Gandhi regarding the topic of law from youth to adulthood.

I have chosen this project because of my interest in Gandhi and in law. This project has allowed me the perfect chance to combine these interests into a single project. I have always wanted to study Gandhi's law career in greater detail. I also wished to know about his views regarding the same in greater detail. Gandhi had unique approach during his law career, it is said that he never lied or tried to twist the facts in the courts. This interest's me in a big manner as it is not possible to not lie or twist facts in today's courts. Today lawyers are regarded as lairs; hence it is a bit difficult to believe that Gandhi was actually a truthful and honest person even while practicing law. A major focus of my project is to analyze the viewpoint of Gandhi regarding law and jurisprudence. I shall attempt to analyze the statements made by Gandhi regarding the same.

The collected works of Gandhi is a literary work that has attempted to cover the entire of Gandhi's life in a precise manner. With this project there is an attempt to cover all of his experiences and opinions regarding the field of law and the concept of justice. This project is probably a first of its kind attempt to review the collected works of Gandhi in the perspective of law. The collected works of Gandhi not only contain his experiences at court while practicing law but also the application of his knowledge of law later in life and the advice given by him to his various followers during their times of distress. The collected works attempt to cover almost the entire life of Gandhi due to which the chances of any part of his experiences at bar or any of his opinions regarding the subject of law and justice being accidently omitted are rare. Also due this comprehensiveness of the collected works, it is highly easy to obtain a complete and precise collection of the experiences and opinions of Gandhi in the field of law.

My major reasoning behind choosing this project is my great interest in Gandhi and his philosophies, this project gives me the perfect chance to completely study Gandhi in a much greater detail than before. This project also allows me to combine my passion for law with my interest in Gandhi. This project is not only a perfect chance to combine both of my interests but it will also allow me to gain a greater insight in the field of law. However the principle reason that I have for undertaking this project is simply in order to satiate my curiosity regarding Gandhi and his vivid ideologies. Also I wish to critically analyze whether Gandhi's ideologies were justified and whether they would still be practical and/or applicable in today's world of law.

It is also a major interest of mine to analyze Gandhi's experiences at bar because of his unique views and ideals. His experiences and his ideology have been unique to a great extent because of his moral values like speaking the truth even when practicing in the court. I also wish to find out whether or not this moral stand of Gandhi regarding his practice is valid or not. However inspite of all this my main reason for this project is to gain more knowledge regarding law by analyzing the opinions and experiences of Mahatma Gandhi.

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Methodology :

First of all, I shall read and analyze all the volumes assigned to me then I would try and find all the terms related to law, lawyers, justice, courts, and jurisprudence. The major focus will be to ensure that all these terms are covered without fail. Then I shall try to analyze all the statements containing these specific terms. My focus will also be on reading and understanding all the volumes that have been assigned to me. I shall also refer to the opinions of our Professor Dr. Prasannanshu and that of my classmates who have been assigned the same project as me. I would also request the guidance of my seniors in the method for creation of the project. I would also ask the help of the editorial team of our Law and Language class in editing this project. My attention would be mainly on reviewing the volumes assigned to me and making a proper analysis of the same.

Creating an observation table is an important part of the project. The observation table allows all the data to be organized in an orderly manner without any confusion. It also allows the matter to be presented in a precise format. Also the research done is presented in complete and concise manner because of which it is easy to analyze the observations. The observation table consists of the observations, the source of the observations and the comments regarding the observations. Thus the observation table allows the data to be reviewed in a precise manner without having to worry about needing to find the data or the observations.

An important part of the research methodology is to ensure that all the research material is analyzed properly. The observations need to be precise, concise and analytical rather than critical. It is extremely important in this project that the observations are not judgmental under any circumstances. The purpose of the project is to analyze the viewpoint and the opinion of Gandhi rather than to criticize him. Hence care should be taken that the observations made are not critical of Gandhi's views. However this does not mean that one should not criticize his decisions. One should be careful enough in order to ensure that only his actions and not his views are criticized. It is also essential to ensure that the criticisms are only opinions and not statements meant to insult or show disrespect for Gandhi.

All of my research comes from the collected works of Gandhi. For this project I have analyzed the volumes (volumes 85 to 96) that have been assigned to me. After this I have isolated the phrases which contain the keywords law, lawyers, court, justice and jurisprudence. Then I have sorted these phrases according to their relevance regarding the field of law. After that I have copied these phrases into the observation table. I have mentioned the exact source of each and every phrase in the appropriate column in the observation table. After this I have analyzed the phrases and tried to understand their context, their content and the opinion /viewpoint that Gandhi tried to express. Then I have provided comments on the phrases and my interpretations of the same in the appropriate column in the observation table.

After completing the observation table, I have moved on to the conclusion and the references. The conclusion is another major part of my project in this part I have tried to clarify my comments in the observation table regarding the various phrases in the observation table. I have tried to provide greater insight into Gandhi's views and experiences regarding law in this part of the project. This part of the project basically summarizes the all the observations made by me in the observation table. The conclusion is an essential part of the project; however the references are also an important part of the project. My references are divided into two parts the primary part consists of the references for the research material of the project. The second part contains the exact location of each and every phrase in the observation table. This part of the references is present in the observation table itself.

Lastly an important part of my methodology is to ensure that I do not plagiarize I any form and that I provide due credit to the original author in case of borrowing any statements or opinions.

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S. No.


Include name of the author(s), year, title, publisher and page number, paragraph, line


Include the excerpt that you find interesting for your study


Line 25, page 56, volume 85

What Tulsiramji says is true but we should not regard it as a

rigid law. In the prevailing circumstances your taking a lawyer's help

or writing yourself whatever you wish to write is certainly proper.

Here Gandhi is suggesting that the person take help of a lawyer if needed and also that he should not consider the law to be rigid

Line 12, page 65, volume 85

It reads like a lawyer's reply

Here Gandhi is stating that the reply is like that of a lawyer i.e. it is probably precise and different

Line 31, page78, volume 85

Land laws should be examined. The peasant indebtedness offers

a limitless field for research.

Here Gandhi is criticizing the land laws for their oppressiveness.

Last line, page 82, volume 85

Far greater courage and bravery are

expected of non-violence at this juncture if the law of the Jungle is to

be replaced by the law of love.

Here he has made a comparison between jungle law and the law of love

Line 10, page 92, volume 85

Those who consider the present

condition as oppressive, and find the laws encouraging injustice and

exploitation and depriving of one's liberty, they can definitely resort

to satyagraha.

Here he is advocating his principle of non-violent protest as a means of protesting against injustice

Last line, page 171, volume 85

If the money belongs to

you, you should get an injunction from a court of law.

Here he state that one should not hesitate to go to the courts if one is wronged

Line 4 , page242, volume 85


the law requires it, a formal resignation should be secured from each

one of them.

Here he is attempting to say that if the law is correct, we should follow it

Line 10, page 270, volume 85

The same law

applies to you as to me

Here he is demonstrating the equality of law

Line 16, page 321, volume 85


translated 'love', is the supreme law for human beings.

Here he is preaching the virtues of non-violence

Last line, page104, volume 85

But injustice and the policy of exploitation

among the people too cannot be ignored2

Here he is preaching against injustice

Line 6, page 132, volume 86

If these

hangings are now carried out, it will be cold-blooded, calculated

murder and worse, because it will be done ceremoniously and under

the name of so-called law.

Here Gandhi is writing against oppressive and useless laws

Line 20, page 182, volume 86

Will you give your consent to the bill introduced in the Central Legislature

for retaining caste differences in the Hindu Law?

Here he speaks about a particular aspect of legislative procedures regarding law

Line 3, page 222, volume 86

In your place I would not submit even if I were to die.2 But there

is no one law for everyone.

Here he is showing the discrepancy in law for different people.

Line 12 , page 233, volume 86

Why is there good and evil, happiness and misery? God is and

yet He is not an individual. He is the Law as well as the Law-giver.

Here he sates the supremacy of God by comparing God to the law.

Line 9, page 233, volume 86

We must not draw distinctions between the East and the West.

Everything must be judged on its merits. Thus alone can we do proper

justice to things.

Here he is preaching about equality.

Line 11 , page 66, volume 87

I learnt while studying law and practising it and I have always acted upon the understanding that

a lawyer, having accepted the brief of an untruthful case should give it up as soon as he realizes its untruthfulness,

Here he is stating his belief that a lawyer must be honest

Line 1 , page 345, volume 87

If both of you want to have protection of the law you may have

[the marriage] registered.

Here he implies that if we are right the law will protect us

Line 10, page 71 , volume 88

I believe in the universal law that the exploiter digs

his own grave..

Here he implies that wrong-doers will be punished

Line 7, page 175, volume 88


leading counsel in South Africa with a flourishing practice had told

me that one must proceed on the assumption that every tangible

wrong had a remedy in law and search for it, assured that it would be


Here he is stating that the law is bound to provide redressal if a wrong has occurred

Line 12, page 179, volume 88

In my opinion, justice to be real

justice requires extension of mercy to temper it.

Here he has stated his opinion about the nature of justice.

Line 1, page 283, volume 89

In the Bhagavad Gita comes a sloka3: . . . If everything goes

according to fixed law, then if you pray to God, can He intervene and set aside the law

for your sake?

Here he makes a wonderful comparison between the power of God and the law.

Line 17, page 297, volume 89

Satyagraha is a law of

universal application.

Here he is comparing satyagraha and law

Line 12, page 393, volume 89

Of course you know this fine oath that is

administered to every witness before a law court

Here he talks about the oath administered in courts

Line 10, page 210, volume 89

I do so

wish all political prisoners could be released. It would have a good

effect. What is more, it would be an act of justice though tardy.

Here he talks about the justifiability of releasing the political prisoners.

Line 32, page 64, volume 90

Mankind is at the cross-roads. It has to make its choice

between the law of the jungle and the law of humanity

Here he is making an implicit comparison.

Line 25 , page 156, volume 90

To be killed but never to

kill is the law that govern us, and women should surely excel in this


Here he preaching about non-violence

Line 6, page 50, volume 90

Let justice triumph though the

heavens weep.

Here he is praising the virtue of justice

Line 28, page 299, volume 90

We want even-handed justice

Here he is demanding even justice

Line 19 , page 26, volume 91

Today the Savarnas ride on the backs of the so-called untouchables.

That degrades them both. For it is nature's law that one cannot

degrade another without degrading oneself.

Here he speaks about that law considers all equal.

Line 2, page 199, volume 91

Is a civilization worth the name which requires for its existence

the very doubtful prop of racial legislation and lynch law?

Here he is basically discussing racial discrimination.

Line 27, page 405, volume 91

A strike or any other kind of satyagraha can be undertaken only

when all normal avenues for securing justice are closed and autocratic

ways have taken the place of justice

Here he promotes satyagraha as a means of achieving justice.

Line 23, page 90, volume 92

You had better write it in either Gujarati or Hindi.

It need not be on stamped paper. The thing is not at all meant for

a court of law

Here Gandhi is talking about a lawful agreement

Line 15, page 123, volume 92

They must demand justice and fight for it but with clean


He speaks about how at times we must fight for what is right(justice)

Line 15, page 148, volume 93

Gandhiji said that the resolution was placed by the mover after mature consideration

of every aspect of the complicated issue facing the country and with due regard to

justice to all communities.

Here he believes in treating everyone equally irrespective of community or religion

Line 12, page 90, volume 94

A change of heart can never be brought about by law.

His statement shows that law is not all powerful

Line 12, page 199, volume 94

Either Pakistan or

Hindustan, whichever is established, it must be based on justice and

fair play.

Here he shows that he feel that all processes must be carried out in a just manner

Line 12, page 136, volume 95

In a

Panchayat Raj only the Panchayat will be obeyed and a Panchayat can

work only through the law of its making.

Here he talks about panchayati law.

Line 14, page 166, volume 95

It is an eternal law that anybody who does useful work must get

enough to eat

Here he is stating the philosophy that anyone who works deserves to be fed.

Line 24, page 236, volume 95


Possess no arms nor would I seek the help of a court of law. But I

think they should now restrain themselves.

Here he is stating a personal opinion regarding certain matters.

Line 32, page 362, volume 96

If we remain

good to the end, the Muslims of Pakistan would have to be good too.

That is the law of the world

Here he talks of the principle that if we are good to people then they will be good to us.

Results and analysis:

After studying and analyzing the above observations we come to certain interesting results. We can determine from the above observation table that there are certain thoughts and viewpoints of Gandhi regarding the field of law. We also see that he believes in the supremacy of God and that God is all powerful. He is also a person of high moral values as is evident from his statements. He believes that non-violence and ahimsa are the basic values which one should follow in life. He is also a firm believer of the fact that non-violence is the key to success in life.

Gandhi also feels that true peace may be obtained only if people are wise enough to realize the fact that while God is the ultimate law in the universe, non-violence is one of God's essential principles. Also he states that it is essential that we realize the fact that non-violent struggle i.e. Satyagraha is the way to achieve justice. Thus we can infer that Gandhi was a firm believer of the principles of non-violence and justice.


In conclusion we can say that the philosophies were as great as he was. He was a firm believer of natural law, justice, equality without any distinction and non-violence

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