Aug 8, 2017

Third Class In Indian Railways - Book Review

Third Class in Indian Railways is the essays and letters written by Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1917. The six essays are :

1.       Third class in Indian Railways
2.      Vernaculars as Media of Instruction
3.      Swadeshi
4.      Ahimsa
5.       The Moral basis of Co-operation
6.      National Dress

Not much have changed about the hygienic condition in the railways. Gandhi mentions about bribes given by the passengers and their behaviour. He finally asks that the fares paid by third class passengers were not offered even 1/10th of what the first class passengers enjoy.

Apart from other essays I liked Ahimsa, Swadeshi, the moral basis of Co-opreation and the National Dress (his dress been mocked by Irwin) the fitting reply he had given.

I like to quote from his book:

I do not believe that religion has nothing to do with politics. The latter divorced from religion is like a corpse only fit to be buried. (Swadeshi)

We, the educated classes, have received our education through a foreign tongue. We have therefore not reacted upon the masses. We want to represent the masses, but we fail. (Swadeshi)

Well, India is a country of nonsense. It is nonsensical to parch one's throat with thirst when a kindly Mahomedan is ready to offer pure water to drink. And yet thousands of Hindus would rather die of thirst than drink water from a Mahomedan household. (Swadeshi)

There is a verse in the Bhagavad Gita, which, freely rendered, means, masses follow the classes. (Swadeshi)

Our Shastras seem to teach that a man who really practises Ahimsa in its fullness has the world at his feet; he so affects his surroundings that even the snakes and other venomous reptiles do him no harm. This is said to have been the experience of St. Francis of Assisi. (Ahimsa)

Ahimsa requires deliberate self-suffering, not a deliberate injuring of the supposed wrong-doer. (Ahimsa)

I believe that our copying of the European dress is a sign of our degradation, humiliation and our weakness..( Reply to Mr. Irwin's criticism of his dress in the Pioneer)


  1. Sounds interesting. I've read books about Gandhi but have never read any of his own writings - one day I really must. You've chosen some excellent quotes. :)