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Indian Philosophy in EnglishFrom Renaissance to Independence$
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Nalini Bhushan and Jay L. Garfield

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199769261

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199769261.001.0001

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Bhagavan Das, “The Meaning of Swaraj or Self-Government” (1921)

Bhagavan Das, “The Meaning of Swaraj or Self-Government” (1921)

Chapter:
(p.85) 6 Bhagavan Das, “The Meaning of Swaraj or Self-Government” (1921)
Source:
Indian Philosophy in English
Author(s):

Nalini Bhushan

Jay L. Garfield

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199769261.003.0006

This chapter presents an excerpt from Bhagavan Das's 1921 book, “The Meaning of Swaraj or Self-government,” written as a position paper for a meeting of the Indian National Congress. Das was a prominent educator and Sankritist who was active in the Indian National Congress and the Theosophical Society. He lived and taught in Varanasi and wrote on the philosophy of science, political philosophy, and on Vedānta. In his book, Das proposes a definition of swaraj, or self-rule, and its main principles. He also argues why the definition of swaraj should not be delayed further and discusses some current misunderstandings about swaraj; the evils of the parliamentary system of swaraj; the essential nature of true swaraj; the nearest and most likely way to secure the needed qualifications, namely knowledge and philanthropy, of a good legislator; and the functions or duties of the government. Finally, Rai talks about the Indo-British Commonwealth and the prospect of self-government without the British Empire.

Keywords:   swaraj, self-government, Bhagavan Das, Indian National Congress, self-rule, parliamentary system, legislator, Indo-British Commonwealth, British Empire

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