While Gandhi is often credited with liberating India from the British, with pure non-violence and force of character, the claim that he procured India freedom, let alone `bina khadak, bina dhaal', has recently been disputed at multiple levels (eg, by Ambedkar, British premier Atlee etc.). We raise a more fundamental question here. Did Gandhi even want India to be liberated from British control? Turns out, that until late 1929, Gandhi would not even posit independence as his stated goal. He would largely be satisfied with his nebulous concept of Spiritual Swaraj, or more simply, Swaraj, which he would define in many different ways, depending say on the weather of the day in question. In contrast the revolutionaries had declared independence as their only goal starting from at least 1907 if not earlier. It was immense public pressure from the rank and file of Congress that pushed Gandhi to the August pulpit of 1929 December, Lahore Session of Congress, from where he proclaimed independence as the goal of Congress. He stayed with his lofty goal only for a month, after which he replaced the same with a certain eleven-point demand. The contemporary analogue is the one of promising a temple at Ram Janmabhoomi, and watering it down to a Ram museum instead. From January 1930 onwards, independence for Gandhi became what the demand for Ram Mandir at Ram Janmabhoomi is for BJP, RSS since early nineties, one to adorn manifestos, but never to seek to attain through mass movements. Until the Quit India movement, Congress did not call any mass movement with the stated demand for independence. And, even during his Quit India phase, Gandhi seems to have rediscovered his independence-creed only for a period of at most six months, starting February to August 1942. Even this happy discovery was an outcome of a sequence of global events, outside his control, and his interpretation of them.
Gandhi’s betrayal of India is far more insidious than merely his inability to demand independence. All the mass movements that he called brought humongous sufferings on the masses, only to be withdrawn or suspended after accomplishing either nothing or minor concessions that only selectively furthered the ends of the Gandhian wing of Congress. Subhas Bose had correctly summed up Gandhi’s independence activism (on 11 July, 1942): ``Gandhi, while talking of independence, always keeps the door open for a compromise with the British….. Every show of strength and defiance that Gandhi puts up, is always followed by an attempt at a compromise.’’ pp. 284-285,  His mass movements in fact provide manuals of how leaders can exploit national aspirations to advance their own political fortunes. No mass movement can succeed without the sustained participation of all or most sections of the society. But, Gandhi repeatedly sought to exclude peasants and workers from his mass movements, either through explicit verdicts, or by choosing specific agendas they cannot identify with. His drive to exclude them continued even when they attempted to join through political strikes or by refusing to pay rents. He did not hesitate to crush peasant leaders who rose from below, even when or may be exactly when, they sought to connect the peasant movements they led to the independence struggle. He thought them unfit for the big league. His political maneuvers provide lessons in how to deflect demands for acquiring stated goals. One wonders if this is why he is still hailed as the guiding force for the entire nation by today’s politicians.
A question that often arises is since Gandhi could betray Indian freedom movement so egregiously why could he not be replaced by those who would be driven by nationalist rather than personal goals. The answer - the system was heavily stacked against the rise of exactly those leaders. Gandhi was heavily endowed with money-power, courtesy a section of the Indian big business for reasons described next. He used this money power to suppress more principled opponents within Congress. Outside Congress, he extended political cover to the British government while they let loose a reign of terror on political and peasant revolutionaries. He allowed only those leaders to grow who lacked both values and individual political bases, like Patel and Nehru. Patel was a partner in all the compromises of Gandhi that we describe, and led the executions of most of these. While Nehru joined forces with Gandhi in his political crimes, he added several, less visible but equally damaging ones, of his own. His motives and support system were somewhat different from Gandhi’s and Patel’s and best dealt with separately in pieces on left compromises. The most effective resistance that Gandhi faced originated from Subhas Bose. He was unique in that he could reach the highest echelon of Congress despite his revolutionary proclivities and explicit opposition from Gandhi. He was certainly blessed with extraordinary ability, courage and a constitution unbending on values. But, many who showed as much promise early on were nipped in the bud through joint operations by eminent Congress leaders like Gandhi, Nehrus (Motilal and Jawaharlal) and the British state . The political and peasant revolutionaries belong in this latter class.
We throw light on one human face, Baba Ram Chandra, in this category. He was contemptuously flung aside by the Congress political elite (Gandhi, Nehrus) and crushed by the British Government. There were many more like him. Bose differed from all of them in that he took up direct revolutionary methods only after leaving India and sought to displace the British through political means before. So the British had less of a pretext to finish him off. Besides, through accident of birth, he had one protection that the bulk of the other political and peasant revolutionaries did not – he was born in an influential, elite family in a politically aware province with strong revolutionary consciousness. As a result he was endowed with a certain reach in the elite community that the British and the urban, political elites like Gandhi and Nehrus could not ignore. Academically bright, and his family not being financially constrained, he received the best possible education, which equipped him with the tools to deliver the message that the British and Indian elite could not cast aside. So he was, in some ways, a traitor to his class, therefore hated perhaps more, immensely feared too, but never shown the same contempt that was the fate of the peasant revolutionaries. There were only a few like him as only a few betray their privileged class that promised them a life of comfort, albeit mediocre accomplishments, to choose a life of uncertainty in pursuit of a mission (among the revolutionaries only Madan Lal Dhingra and Aurobindo Ghosh belonged to Bose’s equivalent elite class, Dhingra took up arms at a young age and could therefore be hanged, Ghosh was also associated to violence early on and removed from politics under a certain curious combination of events). He fell too, but not before he could deliver India to the threshold of freedom. Bose would also recur throughout our articles as a studied contrast to Gandhi.
We dissect each mass movement that Gandhi called, as also the events leading to them. The analysis, that relies on stated positions and correspondences of business magnates and Gandhi, contemporary accounts, both Indian and British, clearly reveals that Gandhi’s betrayals of national aspirations were at the behest of Indian big business. He called mass movements, withdrew them, and decided Congress positions on key issues in accordance with their interests. Big business was obviously colluding with the British Government, its motives for the same needs to be clearly understood. Big industrialists have always grown all over the world through cooperation of existing regimes, the ruling regime (British) was unlikely to change any time soon in India possibly through elections. Indian industry depended on British for machinery, technical knowhow and British controlled markets outside India e.g., Britain, Hong Kong, China, East Africa. Many mills had substantial number of Europeans in their board of directors’ pp. 160-166 . A certain loyalty and goodwill for the British is therefore expected in big industrialists. Besides, owing to cooperation over multiple generations, they knew well how they could function in tandem with the British rulers, they would be wary of a new regime that represented a complete break from the past. Some of the big Indian industrialists competed with English industrialists residing in India. They hoped to stop Britain from bestowing undue favors on the latter in lieu of securing political advantages for Britain. Next, prolonged and militant mass movements typically disrupt business environment and reduce profit. Indian industrialists were also worried about the contemporary international developments that violently overthrew both the existing regimes and the mercantile community that supported them, e.g., the Bolshevik revolution of Russia. So, they discouraged mass movements.
Although Indian big businesses colluded with the British because of the abovementioned reasons, the nature of the collusion differed among them. By early 1920s, which is when Gandhi’s large scale mass movements started, there were two categories of Indian big business. The first had by then long cooperated with the British, commanded substantial amount of influence with them, and received substantial amounts of government contracts. They were openly allied with the British, and interacted minimally with the Congress. Tatas, Thakurdas etc. constitute examples in this category. The second category was still not in the big league, but was hoping to get there. Rather than competing with those already entrenched in British good books, they sought to build their influence through an alternate route. They contributed heavily to Congress and acquired enough influence with Gandhi and his immediate coterie (the leadership of the Congress Right Wing) to be able to influence their choices.
They used this influence to reduce the meaningful opposition of Congress to the British government, and thereby curried favors with the latter. They also helped acquire some minimal concessions using which Gandhi could retain the support of the Congress rank and file. They served as emissaries and intermediaries between British Government and Gandhi. This is the set that damaged the mass movements maximally. G. D. Birla and Jamnalal Bajaj are examples of this category. This is the set that will recur in this article. As the prestige and import of Congress increased in India, the size of the second set increased. As a note by the Intelligence Bureau, Government of India, Home Department, submitted on 28 February, 1944 attests: ``Big business wants to exploit the prestige and credit of the Congress for its own advantage, as the Birlas do by their close association with Gandhi.’’ p. 768,  During the first civil disobedience movement of 1931, Purushottam Thakurdas supported Congress, albeit reluctantly, though he (along with others) refused an encore during the second civil disobedience. From mid-1930s, even the Tatas were supporting Congress, and during the Quit India movement, both Tata and Birla played both sides (Britain and Congress), by lending support to the repressive actions of the British government, and simultaneously helping out Congress, financially and even otherwise. Every such decision was entirely driven by considerations of profit, and had very little to do with patriotism. Business knows no patriotism.
The business section that threw in their lot with Congress, at least roughly speaking, preferred Gandhi to any other Congress leaders; because in the early 1920s he was probably the safest bet for them among then towering leaders (eg, C. R. Das). Freedom movement was already in full swing by 1915, the time when Gandhi returned to India, and was fast assuming a militant character (starting from the partition of Bengal in 1905). The movements that Gandhi espoused were much more conducive to business interests, than an extremist revolutionary one which was bound to appear should there be a vacuum. Note that the Non-Cooperation movement provided proof positive that Gandhi would much rather call off a mass movement than let it assume a militant character. He also showed during this movement that he would choose the programme to suit specific business interests. Thus, by funding him, Indian industrialists could secure business advantages through their political influence on him at minimal risks, and ensure that the dominant faction substantially relied on entreaties, negotiations, compromises and deals with the British even while conceding substantial advantages to the latter. Second, they found his concept of trusteeship, whereby industrialists can retain their fortune after cosmetic social service, as opposed to socialist redistribution of wealth, enormously reassuring p. vii .
A business magnate who would recur in our articles is G. D. Birla. It is therefore important to point out that nothing that he did was unique to him, but was rather representative of the actions of his category of Indian big business that we have identified. He casts his long shadow on our articles, more than others, because he gained the maximum influence on Gandhi by remaining in his shadow for the longest time , and also because his correspondences with Gandhi are the easiest to access courtesy his publication of the same. A short introduction to him is pertinent at this point. G. D. Birla started his independent business unit as a broker working closely with Englishmen p. XIV, . His ancestors made their fortune through opium trade between India and China facilitated by the British pp. 62-63, . Birlas earned most of their money from jute for which Britain was the biggest market. They had several cotton mills too. The pro-British sentiments of G. D. Birla are best gauged from his own writings: ``Sensible Indian men and women realize their need of British help; they want British friendship. The question therefore is how to secure this, bearing in mind the Government’s position and prestige on the one hand, and the position of the self-respect of the Indian people on the other ’’ p. 164, . On 4th October, 1931, when he was unable to influence the Congress policy to his liking, in a letter and a conversation with a British businessman, Sir Edward Benthall, Birla declared that `for the last ten years of his life, he had been taking up an attitude of opposition, which was more often than not of a bitter nature, because it was the only way in which he could put pressure to bear on the subjects he had in mind, but that, henceforward he desired to work in collaboration and was willing to drop all hostility.' In the same conversation, Sir Edward Benthall reports that Birla appeared even ready to concede non-discrimination of British interests in India p. 81, .
His stated goal was to obtain a rapprochement between Gandhi and British – on July 3, 1937, G D Birla wrote to C Rajagopalchari, a permanent member of the Gandhi coterie: ``The more I discuss Bapu with Englishmen and vice versa, the more I believe that it is a tragedy that these two big forces in the world cannot combine. I think it would be a service to the world when they do. And this conviction cheers me up.’’ p. 193, . Birlas competed with Canny Scots and Dundee on jute and therefore needed to cooperate with the British government to stop them from extending undue favours to Dundee. Indeed, while G D Birla praised the English at multiple instances pp. 185, 193, 229-230,  , he described ``large trading houses that had made fortunes through the colonial trade’’ as also ``Canny Scots, who monopolised the jute trade at both ends, from Bengal fields and Hooghly mills to Dundee’’ as ``powerful opponents’’ of India pp. 230-231, . Birla won over Gandhi in many different ways. He regularly donated to Gandhi – this can be seen from the correspondences he reproduced in his book pp. 7-16, 32-34, 88, 98, 101, 118, 170, 201, 226, 263 . Dr. Rajendra Prasad, who was a close associate of both Gandhi and Birla, wrote in the foreword to Birla’s book that he ``always stood for us during our struggle for freedom, and helped us, whenever required, by contribution’’ and ``Gandhiji in fact never hesitated to draw on their [Birlas] resources when it was necessary to do so, nor did they [Birlas] ever hesitate to put their resources at his disposal’’ . Gandhi and his coterie regularly stayed at Birla houses in different parts of India. Gandhi’s correspondences were regularly directed to and from Birla houses p. 130, p. 144 . Gandhi’s secretary Mahadev Desai met British representatives (Mr. Laithwaite, Viceroy’s secretary) at Birla house p. 243, . He was assassinated in Birla house in Delhi. His staunch follower Vallabhbhai Patel also died in Birla house p. X1X, . Gandhi and his coterie (e.g., C. Rajagopalachari, Rajendra Prasad) had several personal conflicts of interests with Birla. Gandhi’s son, Devdas Gandhi, who was also C. Rajagopalachari’s son-in-law, worked as an editor in Birla’s Hindustan Times between 1935-1950. Rajagopalachari got to know Birla through Gandhi, and by 1930, considered Birla close enough to ask him for help to find employment for his eldest son in law, Varadarajan. Rajagopalachari served as a trustee of Birla’s trust Krishnarpan, which was engaged in charitable work. Birla had provided a personal loan of Rs. 45,000 to Rajendra Prasad in 1936, when his family was experiencing financial troubles – it was transacted through Jamnalal Bajaj, yet another businessman and a member of the Congress Working Committee to avoid criticism from Rajendra Prasad’s political colleagues’ pp. 163-164, . GD Birla was widely accepted as an insider in the Gandhi camp – a Gandhi-man in his own words p. 162, , p. 259, . He served as Gandhi’s unofficial emissary to the British. As, Dr. Rajendra Prasad writes, ``He [Birla] also proved himself to be a trusted exponent of Gandhiji’s viewpoint to many Britisher’s as far as Gandhi’s political program was concerned. One can see from the book how he undertook visit after visit to England on his own and utilised the opportunities for keeping those in places of authority there well informed about the way Gandhiji’s mind was working. He never claimed to act as an appointed agent on behalf of Gandhiji and yet having studied and understood his philosophy and his programme, he took upon himself to convey its implications to those that counted. And it may be said that he succeeded in no small measure in this self-appointed role.’’ p. vi . Using his influence on Gandhi and his coterie, Birla would push Gandhi away from mass movements and towards the negotiation table again and again, pp. 35, 37 , with a great degree of success. He was opposed to Indian revolutionaries like other industrialists. He had defended the repressive Rowlatt Act introduced to contain the revolutionaries as ``For the Rowlatt Act was merely the taking of emergency reserve powers `in case’.’’ p. 235, . On 30th June, 1935, he told Sir Henry Craik that if the British does not arrive at a settlement with Gandhi, ``a revolution of the bloody type may become an inevitable factor. And this would be the greatest calamity not only to India but to England. Tories may say this would be India’s funeral. I say it would be a funeral for both.’’ p. 132, . He has written that he urged Viceroy Linlithgow to arrive at a common position with Gandhi on ``terrorists’’ and get rid of ``terrorism’’ altogether pp. 164, 174, .
We start our journey back in time with the ideological betrayals perpetrated by Gandhi, starting from 1909 up to the end of the Non-cooperation movement in February, 1922, that is, on how he fudged with the concept of Swaraj during this entire period. He thereby displayed his unquestionable gift of ideological flexibility, which some may uncharitably connote as opportunism. This is exactly the trait that endeared him to a section of Indian Big Business that would tilt towards him right after the movement. Inspired by his creativity on definitions, we have named our article as one that we consider most suited for his autobiography.
In our subsequent pieces, we will wade into his actions during the Non-Cooperation movement and on how they drew a section of Indian big business. We will subsequently dwell on the period leading up to the Lahore declaration for independence in 1929 December, move on to the two civil disobediences and the ensuing betrayal, and end then the period leading to the Quit India phase (1939-42). We will show the impact of Indian big business on Gandhi, their facilitations of his umpteen collusions with the invading power that he was claiming to fight.
We need to understand the past collusion between Indian big business and the British in the pre-independence era and its facilitation of Gandhi’s betrayals, because our present is a continuation of our past, and the betrayals are likely being repeated as we speak. It is also true that every country needs big business. The moral of our voyage into the not too distant past is to emphasize that big business will be motivated by one and only consideration: profit. In pursuance of that goal, it would undermine national objectives without any prick of conscience. That has happened in the past, is happening now, and will happen in the future too. The state needs to however resist such undue influences. Indian state is however a mercantile one, and so it crawls when asked by big business (currently both Indian and global) to bend. So perhaps fundamental alterations in the state are necessary. It can start with termination of undue deification of the wealthy and the powerful, and increase in vigilance on improbity by citizenry.
Section A: Pre-Return Era (1909-1915)
While still in South Africa, Gandhi had expounded on his view of independence. By this time, he had already developed a reputation as a man who fought for the rights of Indians in South Africa and a loyal servant of the British Empire too. In an article in Indian Opinion on 08/08/1908, he wrote about his concept of freedom, stating, ``that is the point of the campaign. All Indians, high or low, should understand what their freedom really consists in. Indians who feel the urge to be free and learn to have no fear of privations in gaol or of any suffering will achieve swarajya this day. They become free from then on.'' pp. 40-41, . In other words, Gandhi's concept of freedom was the freedom to suffer happily – a state that none of the colonial oppressors had ever denied to the oppressed. Where Rahul Gandhi found poverty a state of mind, his eminent predecessor in the Congress found freedom only to be a state of mind. As Neeti shataka says, `मनसिच परितुष्ठे कोऽर्थवान् को दरिद्रः'.
Elaborating further on this, Gandhi wrote in the conclusion of his book, Hind Swaraj in 1909, ``to them [the British] I would respectfully say: `I admit you are my rulers. It is not necessary to debate the question whether, you hold India by the sword or by my consent. I have no objection to your remaining in my country, but although you are the rulers, you will have to remain as servants of the people. It is not we who have to do as you wish, but it is you who have to do as we wish. You may keep the riches that you have drained away from this land, but you may not drain riches henceforth. Your function will be, if you so wish, to police India; you must abandon the idea of deriving any commercial benefit from us. We hold the civilization that you support to be the reverse of civilization. We consider our civilization to be far superior to yours. If you realize this truth, it will be to your advantage and, if you do not, according to your own proverb, you should only live in our country in the same manner as we do. You must not do anything that is contrary to our religions. It is your duty as rulers that for the sake of the Hindus you should eschew beef, and for the sake of Mahomedans you should avoid bacon and ham.........We consider your schools and law courts to be useless. We want our own ancient schools and courts to be restored. The common language of India is not English but Hindi. You should, therefore, learn it. We can hold communication with you only in our national language.
We cannot tolerate the idea of your spending money on railways and the military. We see no occasion for either. You may fear Russia; we do not. When she comes we shall look after her. If you are with us, we may then receive her jointly. We do not need any European cloth. We shall manage with articles produced and manufactured at home. You may not keep one eye on Manchester and the other on India. We can work together only if our interests are identical. ” pp. 306-307, 
Paraphrasing, Gandhi would allow the English to rule (``police’’ in his words), if they reverted India to the Paleolithic age, and follow Indian civilization in India, as he understood it. His version of Indian civilization is one that relies on articles produced and manufactured at home, and does not have railways, European cloths, military and modern schools and law courts. He also had no problem with the British ruling India for eternity, if they would stop looting India. How he planned to stop the looting of India without any means to stop the British is unclear, or dictate to those who held power is unclear.
On the question of whether he wanted independence, Gandhi had this to say in his Hind Swaraj
EDITOR: Supposing we get Self-Government similar to what the Canadians and the South Africans have, will it be good enough?
READER: That question also is useless. We may get it when we have the same powers; we shall then hoist our own flag. As is Japan, so must India be. We must own our navy, our army, and we must have our own splendour, and then will India’s voice ring through the world.
EDITOR: You have drawn the picture well. In effect it means this: that we want English rule without the Englishman. You want the tiger’s nature, but not the tiger; that is to say, you would make India English. And when it becomes English, it will be called not Hindustan but Englistan. This is not the Swaraj that I want. p. 255, 
Was Gandhi but only a product of his time? No, because, Indian revolutionaries envisioned a freedom that would require the extinction of British rule in India, and political freedom was a prerequisite for any other meaningful advance of the Indian nation. Many of them, like Madan Lal Dhingra joyously embraced death in attempts to attain their goals. Starting from around 1900, the revolutionaries, they sought complete severance from the British:
- Quoting Aurobindo Ghosh [before 1907], ``Political freedom is the life-breath of a nation. To attempt social reform, educational reform, industrial expansion, the moral improvement of the race without aiming first and foremost at political freedom, is the very height of ignorance and futility. The primary requisite for national progress, national reform, is the habit of free and healthy national thought and action which is impossible in a state of servitude’’. p. 266, .
- Enraged by the executions of revolutionaries like Khudiram Bose, Kanai lal Dutta, Satinder Pal, Pandit Kanshi Ram. In 1909, Madan Lal Dhingra, a stripling lad of six and twenty, exacted revenge upon the British by assassinating Curzon Wylie on July 1, 1909. He pronounced, `` and I maintain that if it is patriotic in an Englishman to fight against the Germans if they were to occupy this country, it is much more justifiable and patriotic in my case to fight against the English. I hold the English people responsible for the murder of 80 million of Indian people in the last fifty years, and they are also responsible for taking away ₤100,000,000 every year from India to this country. I also hold them responsible for the hanging and deportation of my patriotic countrymen, who did just the same as the English people here are advising their countrymen to do. And the Englishman who goes out to India and gets, say, ₤100 a month, that simply means that he passes a sentence of death on a thousand of my poor countrymen, because these thousand people could easily live on this ₤100, which the Englishman spends mostly on his frivolities and pleasures. Just as the Germans have no right to occupy this country, so the English people have no right to occupy India, and it is perfectly justifiable on our part to kill the Englishman who is polluting our sacred land. I am surprised at the terrible hypocrisy, the farce, and the mockery of the English people. They pose as the champions of oppressed humanity—the peoples of the Congo and the people of Russia—when there is terrible oppression and horrible atrocities committed in India; for example, the killing of two millions of people every year and the outraging of our women. In case this country is occupied by Germans, and the Englishman, not bearing to see the Germans walking with the insolence of conquerors in the streets of London, goes and kills one or two Germans, and that Englishman is held as a patriot by the people of this country, then certainly I am prepared to work for the emancipation of my Motherland. Whatever else I have to say is in the paper before the Court I make this statement, not because I wish to plead for mercy or anything of that kind. I wish that English people should sentence me to death, for in that case the vengeance of my countrymen will be all the more keen. I put forward this statement to show the justice of my cause to the outside world, and especially to our sympathizers in America and Germany.''  . From the gallows, Dhingra said that: ``I believe that a nation held down by foreign bayonets is in a perpetual state of war. Since open battle is rendered impossible to a disarmed race, I attacked by surprise. Since guns were denied to me I drew forth my pistol and fired. Poor in wealth and intellect, a son like myself has nothing else to offer to the mother but his own blood. And so I have sacrificed the same on her altar. The only lesson required in India at present is to learn how to die, and the only way to teach it is by dying ourselves. My only prayer to God is that I may be re-born of the same mother and I may re-die in the same sacred cause till the cause is successful. Vande Mataram!", pp. 79-80, .
Section B: First World War (1915-1919)
Gandhi returned to India from South Africa in 1915, at the start of the First World War, This was the time when Rashbehari Bose and other revolutionaries were seeking to oust British from India through the Hindu German conspiracy. In 1914, the Ghadar revolters declared on their newspaper (also called Ghadar) in 1914, the motto, ``Angrezi Raj Ka Dushman' (an enemy of the British rule). "Wanted brave soldiers to stir up rebellion in India. Pay-death; Price-martyrdom; Pension-liberty; Field of battle-India". . Continuing in the same vein, the Amulya Sarkar pamphlet of 1916 p. 99, , p. 43, , records, ``Political independence is not possible without the expulsion of the greedy and selfish foreigners from the country. They cannot be driven out without the subversion of the established Government by means of arms and munitions required for a national rising. Men and money are the two important requisites. The whole thing in a nutshell is that the confederacy should for a national rising, vigorously work together men, money and arms, and to organize these people into a sacred military band for the future struggle. Therefore, organisation is the chief thing to which the confederacy must pay supreme attention."
This was also the time when Gandhi recruited Indian soldiers for the British Empire, arguing that the defeat of the British Empire meant a disaster for the Indians themselves and that their future lay in a partnership with the British Empire. In his own words: ``Not only did I offer my services [in organizing ambulance corps] at the time of the Zulu revolt but before that at the time of the Boer war, and not only did I raise recruits in India during the late war, but I raised an ambulance corps in 1914 in London’’ pp. 172, . In 1915, when Gandhi was in London, he first raised ambulance corps for the British from the Indian students who were studying in London (and adjoining areas). He even exhorted them, congratulating them on duty well done. He declared, too, that despite the dictum of two doctors, he felt that if he had been allowed to take his part even now, the work itself would have cured his weakness! When the Ambulance Corps was formed, it had been a matter of great joy to him that so many students and others came forward and willingly offered their services. Men such as Colonel Kanta Prasad, and Mr. Turkhud, and Mr. Parikh were none of them expected to do the work of hospital orderlies at Netley, but nevertheless they had cheerfully done it. Indians had shown themselves thereby capable of doing their duty (speech in London on 14/12/1914, account comes from a Reuters' dispatch), pp.323, .
He started supporting violence directly in 1918, when the allies were desperately in need of new manpower for the war. Lord Chelmsford, Viceroy of India, invited Indian leaders like Gandhi to a War conference on 29/04/1918 to urge them to help procure more manpower for the Allies. Gandhi promised JL Maffey, Secretary to the Viceroy on 30/04/1918 that he would be able to recruit a large number of Indians for serving as soldiers if he was given relief regarding a Kaira trouble: ``Further I desire relief regarding the Kaira trouble. Relief will entirely disengage me from that preoccupation which I may not entirely set aside. It will also enable me to fall back for war purposes upon my co-workers in Kaira and it may enable me to get recruits from the district. I suppose I must give you something of my past record. I was in charge of the Indian Ambulance Corps consisting of 1,100 men during the Boer Campaign and was present at the battles of Colenso, Spionkop and Vaalkranz. I was specially mentioned in General Buller’s dispatches. I was in charge of a similar corps of 90 Indians at the time of the Zulu Campaign in 1906, and I was specially thanked.’’ pp. 10-12,  Gandhi, in his second letter to JL Maffey, on 30/04/1918, promised: ``I would like to do something which Lord Chelmsford would consider to be real war work. I have an idea that, if I became your recruiting agent-in-chief, I might rain men on you.’’ pp. 12, 
Gandhi started his recruiting campaign shortly. On 22/06/1918, Gandhi spoke thus at Nadiad: SISTERS AND BROTHERS OF KHEDA DISTRICT, You are all lovers of Swaraj; some of you are members of the Home Rule League. One meaning of Home Rule is that we should become partners in the Empire. Today we are a subject people. We do not enjoy all the rights of Englishmen. We are not today partners in the Empire as are Canada, South Africa and Australia. We are a dependency. We want the rights of Englishmen, and we aspire to be as much partners in the Empire as the Dominions overseas. We look forward to a time when we may aspire to the Viceregal office. …..Partnership in the Empire is our definite goal. We should suffer to the utmost of our ability and even lay down our lives to defend the Empire. If the Empire perishes, with it perish our cherished aspirations. Hence the easiest and the straightest way to win Swaraj is to participate in the defense of the Empire. It is not within our power to give much money. Moreover, it is not money that will win the war. Only an army inexhaustible in number can do it. That army India can supply….. We shall not succeed in becoming partners in the Empire by trying to embarrass it. Embarrassing it in its hour of crisis will not help us to secure the rights which we must win by serving it. To distrust the statesmen of the Empire is to distrust our own strength; it is a sign of our own weakness….. It is my firm belief that even if the Government desires to prevent us from enlisting in the army and rendering other help by refusing us commissions or by delay in granting them, it is our duty to insist upon joining the army….. The Government at present wants half a million men for the army. ...... I expect from Kheda and Gujarat not 500 or 700 recruits but thousands. If Gujarat wants to save herself from the reproach of effeminacy, she should be prepared to contribute thousands of sepoys. …. There are 600 villages in Kheda district. Every village has on an average a population of over 1,000. If every village gave at least twenty men, Kheda district would be able to raise an army of 12,000 men. The population of the whole district is seven lakhs and this number will then work out at 1.7 per cent, a rate which is lower than the death rate. ….If every village gives at least twenty men, on their return from the war they will be the living bulwarks of their village. If they fall on the battle-field, they will immortalize themselves, their village and their country, and twenty fresh men will follow their example and offer themselves for national defense. ‘’ pp. 83-87, 
Incidentally, Vallabhbhai Patel was an important member of Gandhi’s recruitment campaign p. 87, , Part V, Recruiting Campaign, .
Section C: Swaraj entered the charter of demands Non Co-operation movement as an after-thought (1919-1920)
The massacre of unarmed Indians perpetrated in Jalianwala Bagh on 3 April, 1919, that shook all of India, could not inspire Gandhi to call for independence either. He did not conceive his celebrated 1921 Non-Co-operation movement due to the massacre either. But, he envisioned this movement in support of the demand of the Indian Muslims to reinstate the Islamic Khilafat regime in Turkey. He first floated the idea of his celebrated 1921 Non-Co-operation movement in the Khilafat Conference of November 23, 1919. He has written in his auto-biography: ``Mere boycott of foreign cloth cannot satisfy us, for who knows long it will be, before we shall be able to manufacture Swadeshi cloth in sufficient quantity for our needs, and before we can bring about effective boycott of foreign cloth? We want something that will produce an immediate effect on the British. Let your boycott of foreign cloth stand, we do not mind it, but give us something quicker, and speedier in addition'- so spoke in effect Maulana Hasrat Mohani [in the Khilafat Conference]. Even as I was listening to him, I felt that something new, over and above boycott of foreign cloth, would be necessary. ….I could not hit upon a suitable Hindi or Urdu word for the new idea, and that put me out somewhat. At last I described it by the word 'non- co-operation,' an expression that I used for the first time at this meeting. As the Maulana was delivering his speech, it seemed to me that it was vain for him to talk about effective resistance to a Government with which he was co-operating in more than one thing, if resort to arms was impossible or undesirable. The only true resistance to the Government, it therefore seemed to me, was to cease to co- operate with it. Thus I arrived at the word non-co-operation. I had not then a clear idea of all its manifold implications. I therefore did not enter into details. I simply said: ' The Musalmans have adopted a very important resolution. If the peace terms are unfavourable to them - which may God forbid - they will stop all co-operation with Government. It is an inalienable right of the people thus to withhold co-operation. We are not bound to retain Government titles and honours, or to continue in Government service. If Government should betray us in a great cause like the Khilafat, we could not do otherwise than non-co-operate. We are therefore entitled to non-co-operate with Government in case of a betrayal.' But months elapsed before the word non-co-operation became current coin. For the time being it was lost in the proceedings of the conference.’’ (Part V, Chapter 36, the Khilafat Against Cow Protection, ). So, initially, the Non-cooperation movement was nothing but the Khilafat movement.
Let alone Swaraj, Gandhi initially staunchly resisted the inclusion of the demand for redressal of the injustices to Punjab in his proposed Non-Cooperation movement. He has written in his own autobiography: ``There was a suggestion from some quarters that the Punjab question should be tacked on to that of the Khilafat wrong. I opposed the proposal. The Punjab question, I said, was a local affair and could not therefore weigh with us in our decision to participate or not in the peace celebrations. If we mixed up the local question with the Khilafat question, which arose directly out of the peace terms, we should be guilty of a serious indiscretion. My argument easily carried conviction.’’ p. 256, . Historian Judith Brown provides further details: ``the following day [on 24/11/1919] Gandhi faced further opposition before the public meeting [on the Khilafat question in Delhi] opened, over which he was to preside. This time his main opponents were Swami Shraddhandand, Hasrat Mohani and Shankarlal Banker, who wanted to link the Khilafat question with the actions taken under martial law by officials in the Punjab. … Thus only, they urged, could Hindu co-operation be ensured. Gandhi maintained his veto. The opposition then said that the principle of deciding by a majority vote had been admitted at the meeting on the 23rd and should apply to this question as well. Gandhi replied by a categorical statement of his intention to resign the whole campaign if any attempt was made to call for votes or even if any amendment to his decision was suggested. This threat cowed his opponents into submission.’’ pp. 147-148, .
It was only later that Gandhi added redressal of the injustices to Punjab to his goals for the Non-cooperation movement, and primarily to enthuse the Hindus. Judith Brown has recorded, ``In November 1919 he refused to link the Punjab and Khilafat issues: but in June 1920, after the publication of the report of the official enquiry into the Punjab incidents, he reversed this decision and became supreme advocate of the two causes, as the apparent failure of constitutional political protest on both issues played into his hands.’’ p. 168, .
But, Swaraj was nowhere in the demands of the Non-Co-operation movement until 1920, September, 1920, to be specific.
A special Congress Session was invoked to consider the proposal to launch the Non-Cooperation movement between September 4-9, 1920, Calcutta. The draft of the non-cooperation resolution that Gandhi prepared proposed that Congress must launch a Non-cooperation movement only to obtain redress of the Khilafat grievance and Punjab wrong. The demand for Swaraj was added to it at the suggestion of other eminent Congress leaders p. 9, Vol. 2,  primarily because the proposal did not evoke much response without Swaraj. Judith Brown provides details, ``His [Gandhi’s] resolution advised a boycott of the elections to the reformed councils, boycott of foreign goods, refusal to serve in Mesopotamia or attend government functions, gradual boycott of government schools, colleges and courts, and surrender of titles and honorary offices. Various amendments were at once suggested, including one by C. Vijiaraghavachariar and Motilal Nehru who, with C. R. Das, wanted the demand for Swaraj to be incorporated into the resolution: to this Gandhi agreed.’’ p. 193, .
Thus, Swaraj entered the charter of demands for the Non-cooperation only as an afterthought and because of the insistence of other Congress stalwarts.
Section D: The plethora of definitions of Swaraj during the Non-Cooperation Movement: 1920-1922
Perhaps, to dilute the impact of the inclusion of Swaraj in the Non-Co-operation resolution, Gandhi defined Swaraj in various ways, at various times eg, p. 88, , leaving it to his sweet discretion to choose between the various definitions, according to his convenience. The definitions contained everything under the sun except independence aka complete severance of ties with British, the maximum any of these definitions sought was Dominion Status.
We verbatim reproduce the different definitions of Swaraj that Gandhi provided:
``I take the reader’s leave to put before him the various definitions of Swaraj which I keep formulating in my mind.
(1) Swaraj means rule over one’s self. One who has achieved this had fulfilled his individual pledge.
(2) We have, however, thought of Swaraj in terms of some symbol or image. Swaraj, therefore, means the complete control by the people of the country’s imports and exports, of its army and its law courts. This is the meaning of the pledge taken in December. Such Swaraj may or may not have room for the British connection. If there is no solution of the Punjab and the Khilafat issues, there will be no room for such connection.
(3) But then it is possible that sadhus as individuals enjoy Swaraj even at present, and that, even when we have a parliament of our own, people may not feel that they are free. Swaraj, therefore,
means easy availability of food and cloth, so much so that no one would go hungry or naked for want of them.
(4) Even under such circumstances, it may happen that one community or section seeks to suppress another. Swaraj, therefore, means conditions in which a young girl could, without danger, move about alone even at dead of night.
(5) These four definitions will be found to include many others. Nevertheless, if Swaraj has infused – and it ought to infuse – a new spirit in every one of the classes which make up the nation, it will mean total disappearance of the practice of treating Antyajas as untouchables.
(6) End of the Brahmin-non-Brahmin quarrel.
(7) Complete disappearance of the evil passions in the hearts of Hindus and Muslims. This means that a Hindu should respect a Muslim’s feelings and should be ready to lay down his life for him, and vice versa. Muslims should not slaughter cows for the purpose of hurting Hindus; on the contrary, they should on their own refrain from cow-slaughter so as to spare the latter’s feelings [no litigation to stop their cow-slaughter though]. Likewise, without asking for anything in return, Hindus should stop playing music before mosques with the purpose of hurting Muslims, should actually feel proud in not playing music while passing by a mosque.
(8) Swaraj means that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Jews should all be able to follow their own faith and should respect those of others.
(9) Swaraj means that every town or village should be strong enough to protect itself against thieves and robbers and should produce the food and cloth that it requires.
(10) Swaraj means mutual regard between the princes or zamindars on the one hand and their subjects on the other, that the former should not harass the latter and the latter, in their turn, should give no trouble to the former.
(11) Swaraj means mutual regard between the rich and the working class. It means the latter working gladly for the former for adequate wages.
(12) Swaraj means looking upon every woman as a mother or sister and respecting her to the utmost. It means doing away with the distinctions of high and low, and acting towards
all with the same regard as for one’s brother or sister.
It follows from these definitions that in Swaraj (1) the Government will not trade in liquor, opium and things of that kind; (2) no speculation can be permitted in food grains and cotton; (3) no person will break a law; (4) there can be no room at all for willfulness, which means that a person cannot act as a judge when he is himself charged with something, but should let the charge be examined in a duly established court in the country.” pp. 88-89, .
In fact, in support of the Khilafat agitation, on 18-8-1921, Gandhi went to the extent of redefining Swaraj for the Muslims, and wanted to postpone related activities if that would allow the re-installation of the Khilafat in Turkey: ``To the Mussulmans Swaraj means, as it must mean, India’s ability to deal effectively with the Khilafat question. The Mussulmans therefore decline to wait if the attainment of Swaraj means indefinite delay or a programme that may require the Mussulmans of India to become impotent witnesses of the extinction of Turkey in European waters. It is impossible not to sympathize with this attitude. I would gladly recommend immediate action if I could think of any effective course. I would gladly ask for postponement of Swaraj activity if thereby we could advance the interest of the Khilafat.’’ p. 105, , p. 14, .
Then again Gandhi advocated Dominion Status with membership in the British Commonwealth without, however, revoking his articulation of the spiritual Swaraj . For example, on 19/01/22 he said, ``Swaraj means Full Dominion Status. 'I'he scheme of such Swaraj shall be framed by representatives duly elected in terms of the Congress constitution. That means four anna franchise. Every Indian adult, male, female, paying four annas and signing the Congress creed will be entitled to be placed on the electoral list. These would elect delegates list, who would frame Swaraj constitution. This shall be given effect to without any change by the British Parliament". p. 468, , p. 63, , so, his Swaraj would deny franchise to anyone who did not subscribe to the `Congress creed', in other words, his creed.
Generously put, Gandhi therefore was ideologically flexible in an extreme degree, more realistically, at least until 1922, he had no ideology pertaining to independence. Yet, this was not the most significant of his betrayals. The most diabolical part of Gandhi’s movements was the betrayal of the weak and the disadvantaged strata of the society, the ``dumb millions’’ who Gandhi supposedly championed, at least as per his stated positions. Tune on to the next part for one human story in the Mahatma’s big canvas of the Non-Cooperation movement.
 Papers by Command, Volume 8, Great Britain, Parliament, House of Commons, https://books.google.com/books?id=FdgOAQAAIAAJ&pg=RA2-PA43&lpg=RA2-PA43&dq=Political+independence+is+not+possible+without+the+expulsion+of+the+greedy+and+selfish+foreigners+from+the+country.+They+cannot+be+driven+out+without+the+subversion+of+the+established+Government+by+means+of+arms+and+muniti
 ``Bande Mataram: Collected Writings of Aurobindo Ghosh'', Vols 6-7
 Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh and Dikgaj, ``Mahatma Gandhi's war on Indian Revolutionaries'' http://www.dailyo.in/politics/mahatma-gandhis-war-on-the-indian-revolutionaries-british-nehru-mountbatten-sardar-patel/story/1/5359.html
 Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Duty of the Educated, 08/08/1908, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL009.PDF
 Ghadar Newspaper motto, 1914 (all editions). Chronicled in MC Agarwal, ``Freedom Fighters of India,''
 Lord Rowlatt, ``Seditions Report', 1918
 Judith Brown, ``Gandhi’s Rise to Power’’
 Margaret Halbeck and Gita Piramal, India's industralists, Vol. 1, https://books.google.ca/books?id=xcbBEHHI-90C&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=birla+opium+trade&source=bl&ots=0gHtj2eKzv&sig=sKooj9c_Gh676HG1V5TbV2cfIV4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SFtkVd7lHNesyASN-4GYAw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=birla%20opium%20trade&f=false
 T. R. Sareen ``Subhas Chandra Bose and Nazi Germany’’, German Foreign Office Records No. 350084-85.
 MK Gandhi, ``Autobiography: My Experiments with Truth’’,
 Sir C. Sankaran Nair, ``Gandhi and Anarchy'', 1922.
 Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi's letter to JL Maffey, Secretary to the Viceroy, 30/04/1918 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL017.PDF.
 Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh, Dikgaj, ``Netaji’s Modernism Versus Gandhi’s Spiritual Swaraj’’ http://www.dailyo.in/politics/mahatma-gandhi-subhas-chandra-bose-socialism-british-raj-independence-nehru/story/1/4164.html
 Definitions of Swaraj, 14/08/1921, Vol. 24, Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, http://www.gandhiashramsevagram.org/gandhi-literature/mahatma-gandhi-collected-works-volume-24.pdf
 D. G. Tendulkar, Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Vol II, New Delhi, 1969, Bombay, 1951-1954
 Nirmal Kumar Bose, Selections from Gandhi, Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, April, 1957
 Nicholas Mansergh, Constitutional Relations Between Britain And India, The Transfer of Power 1942-7 Volume 4, The Bengal Famine and the new Viceroyalty, 12 June, 1943-31 August 1944
 Subhas Chandra Bose, Congress President, Speeches, Articles and Letters, January 1938-May 1939, Bose Collected Works, Vol. 9
 Reginald Massey, ``Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the Forgotten Indian Martyrs’’, Abhinav Publications.
 Old Bailey Proceedings online, http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/print.jsp?div=t19090719-55
 Suniti Kumar Ghosh ``the Tragic Partition of Bengal’’
 G D Birla in the Shadow of the Mahatma
 Medha M. Kudayisya ``the Life and Times of G D Birla’’
 C. Markovits, ``Indian Business and Nationalist Politics''
 Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi's appeal in a speech in Nadiad, 22/06/1918. http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL017.PDF
 -ibid, Malaviya Conference, 19/01/1922 http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL025.PDF
 – ibid, Indian Home Rule, http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL010.PDF