by Shriman Narayan
We have included Gandhiji’s book entitled Satyagraha in South Africa in the Selected Works because of the great significance that ‘passive resistance’ or Satyagraha has assumed in recent years in different parts of the world. Dr. Martin Luther King, the great American Negro leader, was an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, and his movement for civil liberties in the United States was largely modeled on the Satyagraha pattern. Recent events in Czechoslovakia also indicate that non-violent non-co-operation and ‘passive resistance’ could be a potent instrument in facing even external aggression. Satyagraha
is now being regarded by several thinkers in Western countries as ‘a moral equivalent of war’.
Gandhiji originally wrote his experiences of Satyagraha in South Africa in great detail in Gujarati, and the first English edition of the book was published in 1928. It has gone into several editions since then. It is hoped that the book will prove to be of absorbing interest to all those who are deeply interested in the Gandhian technique of Satyagraha as a powerful ‘weapon’ for counteracting social, economic and political injustice and violent suppression of individual and national freedom. As Gandhiji himself observed in the concluding chapter of this publication, “Satyagraha is a priceless and matchless weapon, and that those who wield it are strangers to disappointment or defeat.”
October 24, 1968