Mohan’s Swadeshi and Hindu-Muslim Unity and His Political Ideology

The Biography of Famous Personalities of India will tell you about the controversies, the dark sides of a person that you may have never heard of.

Mohan’s Swadeshi and Hindu-Muslim Unity and His Political Ideology

Swadeshi and Hindu-Muslim Unity

Malaviya supported the Swadeshi movement and pleaded for protection to some industries. He asserted that it was sacred of Indians to promote the Swadeshi movement. He believed that the Swadeshi was the only remedy for the economic maladies of the land. He took up the cause of Swadeshi in right earnest and made a serious effort to establish Swadeshi manufacturing centres at Prayag and other places.

Malaviya, contended that Swadeshi was the greatest ‘dharma’ and that millions would get employment if people took a vow not to purchase foreign cloth. During the course of the Civil Disobedience Movement, he kept the fire of the movement burning by organising Swadeshi Movement.

The cause of Hindu-Muslim unity was as dear to Malaviya as socio-religious reform. Though a staunch advocate of Sanatan Dharma, he believed in universal brotherhood. He did not harbour any distinction of colour, caste or creed in his heart. Hindus, Muslims and untouchables were all dear to him and he worked hard for the welfare of all of them. Though a very staunch Sanatan Dharmist, he was once invited to preside over the Arya Samaj Conference also. Even the Christian and Muslim organisations had invited him to preside over their meetings and guide their deliberations. M.A. Jinnah, the architect of Pakistan, held Malaviya in very high esteem.

He was essentially a constitutionalist by temperament and conviction. In politics, he stood for gradual reforms and pleaded the efficacy of three Ps-prayer, petition and protest. He had abiding faith in the policy of ‘Responsive Co-operation’ which implied opposition to the policies of the government which aimed at oppression and repression. He regarded Swadeshi as a religious duty and one of the effective means of saving the natives from hunger and starvation.

Though, he believed in Sanatan Dharma, he was adorned and admired by Christians and Muslims alike. The reason being that he had equal respect for all religions and stood for universal brotherhood. On one hand, he tirelessly strove for the reorganisation of the Hindus but on the other hand, he was not less concerned for bringing about Hindu-Muslim unity. All eyes turned towards him whenever there was a crisis and he was quick enough to respond to the call of the nation.

His Political Ideology

The study of English language and literature helped Malaviya to a large extent to broaden his vision and outlook and to take up public and political work in a spirit of sympathy and co-operation. Malaviya’s early experience in the field of journalism made him bold and fearless and led him to adopt a balanced and cautious approach in his public life.

His short stay at the Bar (Council) offered him an opportunity to have faith and confidence in the British sense, of justice and trained him in the art of persuasion and sweet-reasonableness. His study of the Shastras and the Scriptures had inculcated in him, a spirit of religious tolerance and universal brotherhood and led him to believe in the peaceful and non-violent methods of struggle for the freedom of India.

He was a great champion of liberty and defender of the rights of all human beings. As a journalist, he always ran the risk of official displeasure and fought tirelessly for the freedom of the press. As a lawyer he accepted briefs of political cases and pleaded for the liberty of the individual.

As a political leader fighting for the country’s cause, his struggle involved suffering and sacrifice. Malaviya regarded freedom of expression to be the greatest of all liberties. He was not in favour of penalising every expression of opinion. He held that liberty of opinion denotes liberty to propagate one’s opinion by speech or by writings. That implied freedom of the press.

He admitted that journalism was still the best means of educating popular opinion or mobilising support for movements. His comments and criticisms were always practical and constructive. According to Malaviya, the main objective of the Swadeshi movement was to bring about improvement in the economic condition of the country and to save the people from hunger and starvation. Malaviya viewed the concept of Swadeshi in a broader perspective.

Malaviya laid stress upon the propagation of Swadeshi. He appealed to the people to ensure that not an inch of foreign cloth was purchased or sold. He called upon Sadhus, students, women and others to propagate and popularise Swadeshi. He was convinced, Swadeshi would strengthen Indians love for Indian things.

In the beginning of his political career, Malaviya was opposed to the policy of boycott. He opposed the boycott of Government schools and colleges in the national interest. As a constitutionalist, he was opposed to the boycott of legislatures as well. With the passage of time, a growing erosion of his faith in the British Government and in the efficacy of the policy of three Ps – prayer, petition and protest was clearly discernible.

He felt that temper of the nation demanded more stricter measures for the achievement of the ultimate goal. He cautioned the Government that failing negotiations, the people would be driven to think of adopting every possible and legitimate method to get rid of the existing system of Government. He, therefore, gradually started pleading for non-co-operation, boycott, passive resistance, non-allegiance to the Government, non¬payment of taxes, resort to arms and even open war. With the passage of time, he regarded these methods as constitutional.

He exhorted the people to organise and carry out a complete boycott of the Simon Commission throughout India. He addressed several meetings in support of the boycott of the Commission. He joined the Civil Disobedience Movement and courted arrest in 1930. He also rendered help to the sufferers of the 1942 arrest Quit India Movement. He also supported the boycott of Courts.

Malaviya believed in the philosophy of divine immanence and on that basis he pleaded for the universal practice of liberty, equality and justice. Malaviya was also a votary of justice. It implied equality before law, irrespective of caste, creed or sex, and absence of a stringent law of a discriminative character. He stood for the rule of Law. He felt that the security and liberty of the people lay in the rule of Law.

Malaviya exhorted the people to devote their time and energies in promoting national unity, fostering public spirit and developing intellectual, moral and economic resources of the country. He contended that beside agitation for political reforms, it was essential to foster public spirit and create mass awakening. He argued that for the growth and development of the country educational and industrial activities were also essential. He stressed the necessity of physical culture.

It goes to Malaviya’s credit that he did not deviate from the Moderate line of thinking even while he attacked the Government on several burning issues. He regarded the Swadeshi movement to be more positive and potential than the Boycott movement. He pleaded for liberty, equality and justice through the press and the legal platform ever since he entered his political career. He was convinced that for want of liberty, equality and justice, India could never stand on its feet and occupy an honourable place in the comity of free nations. He regarded the grant of self-determination to India as a panacea for the solution of its problems.