The task which Gandhiji had taken in hand was not only the achievement of political freedom but also the establishment of a social order based on truth and non-violence, unity and peace, equality and universal brotherhood, and maximum freedom for all.
This unfinished part of his experiment was perhaps even more difficult to achieve than the achievement of political freedom. Political struggle involved fight against a foreign power and all one could do was either join it or wish it success and give it his moral support. In establishing the social order of this pattern, there was a lively possibility of a conflict arising between groups and classes, of our own people.
Experience shows that man values his possessions even more than his life because in the former he sees the means for perpetuation and survival of his descendants even after his body is reduced to ashes. A new order cannot be established without radically chaining the mind and attitude of men towards property and at some stage or the other, the ‗haves‘ have to yield place to the ‗have-nots‘.
We have seen, in our time, attempts to achieve a kind of egalitarian society and the picture of it after it was achieved. But this was done, by a large amount, through the use of physical force.In the ultimate analysis, it is difficult if not impossible, to say that the instinct to possess has been rooted out or that it will not reappear in an even worse form under a different guise.
It may even be that, like a gas kept confined within containers under great pressure, or water held by a big dam, once a barrier breaks, the reaction will one day sweep back with a violence equal in extent and intensity to what was used to establish and maintain the outward egalitarian form. This enforced egalitarianism contains, in its bosom, the seed of its own destruction.
The root cause of class conflict is possessiveness or the acquisitive instinct. So long as the ideal that is to be achieved is one of securing the maximum material satisfaction, possessiveness can neither be suppressed nor eliminated but will grow on what it feeds. Nor will it cease to be such – it is possessiveness, still, whether it is confined to only a few or is shared by many.
If egalitarianism is to endure, it has to be based not on the possession of the maximum material goods which cannot be shared by others or can be enjoyed only at the expense of others. This calls for substitution of spiritual values for purely material ones. The paradise of material satisfaction that is sometimes equated with progress these days neither spells peace nor progress.
Mahatma Gandhi has shown us how the acquisitive instinct inherent in man could be transmuted by the adoption of the ideal of trusteeship by those who ‗have‘ for the benefit of all those who ‗have not‘ so that, instead of leading to exploitation and conflict it would become a means and incentive, for the amelioration and progress of society, respectively
1.The unfinished task of Mahatma Gandhi was
(A)fighting against the foreign power
(B) establishment of a peacefully coexistent non-violent society
(C) achievement of political freedom
(D) None of these
2. Select the best option to complete the sentence. Gandhi aimed at _____
(A) establishing a non-violent society
(B) universal brotherhood
(C) achieving political freedom
(D) all the above
3. According to the passage, people ultimately overturn the form of a social order.
(A) which is based on conciliation and rapprochement
(B) which is not congenial to the spiritual values of the people
(C) which is based on coercion and oppression
(D) which does not satisfy their basic needs.
4. According to the passage, which of the following statements is not true?
(A)It is difficult to change the mindset of people towards property.
(B) In an egalitarian society, material satisfaction can be enjoyed only at the expense of others.
(C) A social order based on truth and non-violence alone can help the achievement of
maximum freedom for all
(D)In establishing the social order of Gandhiji‘s pattern, the possibility of a conflict between
different classes hardly exists.
5. In the context of the passage, what is meant by adoption of the ideal of trusteeship?
(A) The privileged class voluntarily renounces the possessive instinct
(B) Substitution of spiritual values by material values by those who live in the paradise of
(C) To equate peace and progress to material satisfaction.
(D) ‗haves‘ to adopt the ideal for the benefit of the society.
6. Choose the most appropriate title for the passage.
(A)The social order of Gandhi’s vision
(B) The renunciation of the possessive instinct
(C)Material values vs. Spiritual values
(D) Class conflicts in an egalitarian society
7. Answer the following questions in the context of the passage. Why does man value his
possessions more than his life?
(A) To get recognition in society
(B) To preserve his name even after death through his possessions.
(C) He has the instinct of possession.
(D) Possessions are essential to lead a comfortable life.
8. Egalitarianism means
(A) violence (B) inequality (C) suppression (D) social and political equality
9. In the context of the passage, which of the following statements is false?
(A) Satisfaction of material needs cannot earn peace and progress.
(B)Conflicts between groups and classes are bound to arise.
(C)The instinct of possession causes conflicts.
(D) The instinct of possession can be rooted out completely.
10. In the passage, the metaphor of ‗paradise‘ has been given for _______
(A) fulfilling spiritual needs
(B) renunciation of material goods.
(C) taking care of material needs
(D) acquisitive instinc