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International Affairs and Mahatma Gandhi

Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav

Senior Gandhian Scholar, Professor, Editor and Linguist

Gandhi International Study and Research Institute, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India

Contact No. – 09404955338, 09415777229

E-mail- dr.yadav.yogendra@gandhifoundation.net;

dr.yogendragandhi@gmail.com

Mailing Address- C- 29, Swaraj Nagar, Panki, Kanpur- 208020, Uttar Pradesh, India

 

International Affairs and Mahatma Gandhi

 

I feel that nations cannot be one in reality, nor can their activities be conducive to the common good of the whole humanity, unless there is this definite recognition and acceptance of the law of the family in national and international affairs, in other words, on the political platform. Nations can be called civilized only to the extent that they obey this law. 1

Not being well versed in what is really meant by External Affairs and having to plead my ignorance of what is stated in these Reports of the Round Table Conference on the subject, I asked my friends Mr. Iyengar and Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru to give me a first lesson in what is meant by external affairs and foreign relations. I have got their reply before me. They state that the words mean relations with neighbouring powers, relations with Indian States, relations with other powers in international affairs, relations with the Dominions. If these are external affairs, I think we are quite capable of shouldering the burden and discharging our obligations in connection with External Affairs. We can undoubtedly negotiate terms of peace with our own kith and kin, with our own neighbours, with our own countrymen, the Indian Princes. We can cultivate the friendliest relations with our neighbours the Afghans and across the seas with Japanese; and certainly we can negotiate with the Dominions also. If the Dominions will not have our countrymen to live there in perfect self-respect, we can deal with them. 2

Muslims should speak as Indians and should invite the cooperation of all India including members of all religions For instance the voice of Indian Christians speaking as Christians as apart from other Indians in international affairs must fall flat. This is the lesson of history everywhere, but in India, to my mind, the Khilafat issue emphasizes the lesson which we seem to have forgotten. 3

But I give you a tip. I was not joking when I made a statement some time back in answer to Sir Feroz Khan Noon at San Francisco, that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is my heir. He has got ability, knowledge and close touch with the public here and can interpret India’s mind. I have already, as I wrote to Lord Linlithgow, taken him as my guide in international affairs. He can interpret India’s mind to the outside world as no one else can. 4

 

References:

 

  • Hind Swaraj, Chapter-IV, Satyagraha
  • Indian Round Table Conference (Second Session): Proceedings of Federal Structure Committee and Minorities Committee, Vol. I, pp. 387
  • The Bombay Chronicle, 8-6-1945
  • The Hindu, 1-7-1945
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