A Letter to a Hindu

Leo Tolstoy

Translated by Mahatma Gandhi

Renard Press



ISBN: 9781913724016


Publication date: 17 November 2020



Dated the 14th of December 1908, A Letter to a Hindu was a letter written by Leo Tolstoy to Tarak Nath Das, a Bengali revolutionary and scholar, in response to a request for support for India’s separation from British rule, which argued that the Indian people should seek to free themselves from British rule through non-violent protests and strikes, and other forms of peaceful resistance.

The letter soon gained international attention after it was published in the Free Hindustan, and it came to the attention of the young Mahatma Gandhi. Drawing on a variety of sources, cultures and teachings, Tolstoy’s letter was instrumental in forming Gandhi’s views on non-violent resistance – as Gandhi himself acknowledges in his introduction: ‘To me, as a humble follower of that great teacher whom I have long looked upon as one of my guides, it is a matter of honour to be connected with the publication of his letter’.