Mahatma Gandhi on Government

Government is the best which governs the least?

To me political power is not an end but one of the means of enabling people to better condition in every department of life. Political power means capacity to regulate national life through national representatives. If national life becomes so perfect as to become self regulated, no representation becomes necessary. There is then a state of enlightened anarchy. In such a state every one everyone is his own ruler. He rules himself in such a manner that he is never a hindrance to his neighbour. IN the ideal state, therefore, there is no political power because there is no State, But the ideal is never fully realised in life. Hence the classical statement of Thoreau that that government is the best which governs the least

(Young India. 2/7/1931)

..This means that when people come into possession of political power, the interference with the freedom of people is reduced to a minimum. In other words, a nation that runs its affairs smoothly and effectively without much State interference is truly democratic. Where such a condition is absent, the form of government is democratic only in name

(Harijan. 11/1/1936)



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