Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Third class in Indian railways” as Want to Read:
Third class in Indian railways
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Third class in Indian railways

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  963 ratings  ·  71 reviews
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.
Kindle Edition, 48 pages
Published May 11th 2012 (first published December 1st 1917)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Third class in Indian railways, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Third class in Indian railways

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  963 ratings  ·  71 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Third class in Indian railways
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm glad I read it, especially for "Ahimsa."
Sidharth Vardhan
A collection of essays in which Gandhi shares his views on different subjects. He appears to be much more human than he is made out when you read him directly - a down-to-earth in search of truth with al intellectual honesty. But his idealism seems to be abstract, too far away from reality; than he is defending some opressive systems like caste system and I, personally, never like politicians who ask sacrifices from innocent masses.

Available on Livrivox.
Anil Swarup
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
How relevant are these writings of Mahatma even today. The cramped and unclean existence in a third class apartment is true of the railways even today even though some improvements have indeed come around. However, what is more remarkable is the conviction with which these articles have been written. This conviction emanates from what he personally experienced. He shares these experiences in an extremely simple manner so that anyone can understand and relate to what he wrote.
Gandhi makes a stro
Gandhi was forty five when he returned to India - the land he had left as a teenager, the land that was now completely alien to him. As the hero of the South Africa he was extended several invitations by the Congress to join the nascent ‘national freedom struggle’. He politely refused them; instead he chose to travel. He travelled extensively throughout the subcontinent, mostly on trains. The main purpose of such a venture, as he had said himself was ‘to get a grasp of the life’ in India.

Roopkumar Balachandran
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gandhian
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 w
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
Six essays, the first of which is ... FUNNY ! Yep, never thought I'd read anything by Gandhi so witty and sarcastic, but there I was, laughing aloud in my seat. (The remaining five are ok)

Quotes :

“On the way, passengers got tea tannin water with filthy sugar… I can vouch for the appearance, but I cite the testimony of the passengers as to the taste.”

“Refreshments sold to the passengers were dirty-looking, handed by dirtier hands, coming out of filthy receptacles, and weighed in equally una
Abhijeet Jain
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Collection of 6 essays by Gandhi, reflecting condition of Indians in the colonial India & his ideology. Essays are filled with Gandhi's wit, also most of them were written when he wasn't famous.

The essay on Indian railways reflects his concern for the fellow Indians & "Ahinsa" essay clears the doubts raised by others on his ideology.

Glad that I read this book.
Shabana Mukhtar
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I knew he wrote, but I had only heard about 'Experiments with Truth'. This one, I just found on Amazon, and liked it instantly.

The first of the six essays, after which the book is named is most hilarious one. Almost entire essay was worth highlighting, I would share only two.

Is it any wonder that plague has become endemic in India? Any other result is impossible where passengers always leave some dirt where they go and take more on leaving.

the Viceroy, the Commander-in-Chief, the Rajas, Maharaj
Jan 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, weekend-reads
This book is a collection of six essays by Gandhi. They are


The first essay is about poverty in India, especially when Gandhi traveled in trains across India. The second essay is about the importance of Indian vernacular languages. The next three essays are about Swadeshi, Ahimsa and Co-operation. In the essay national essay he response to an author about
Sonal Panse
Oct 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Gandhi writes well, and with good sense and humor.

Excerpts -

"In neglecting the third class passengers, opportunity of giving a splendid education to millions in orderliness, sanitation, decent composite life and cultivation of simple and clean tastes is being lost. Instead of receiving an object lesson in these matters third class passengers have their sense of decency and cleanliness blunted during their travelling experience."

"Too often do we believe that material prosperity means moral growt
Feb 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Some great philosophical essays--except for the second-to-last one, in which I had no idea most of the time what Gandhi was even talking about. I especially liked his take on the Indian railway system. Having recently experienced it for myself, I can say with confidence that not much has changed over the last hundred years.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
A collection of six essays of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The book gives Gandhiji’s point of view on the essays. The essay ‘Third Class in Indian Railways’ essay is a realistic one. It seems the conditions of Railways are no different in today’s time too; this is the hard reality of travel. The other topics include Swadeshi, National dress, the moral basis of co – operation, Ahimsa and Vernaculars as media of instruction. The book is a light and a quick read.
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
An apt comparison of India in the early 20th century to the then third class compartments of Indian Railways. This book is about the similarities in the plight of people travelling in the railways to the plight of people in British Ruled India, and how can they use Gandhi's ideology to move above it and also create sustenance and growth for the nation. This book stands true for today's times too.

Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Well, reading a book about what was the situation in India almost a hundred years prior to today was a fascinating, but it's more of a collection of papers written about various topics than anything else.

Read once for sure to have a picture of what pre-modern India looked like. You won't regret even if you skip this.
Jun 11, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting collection of short essays written by Gandhi covering the railways, religion, culture and beliefs. The title essay is about poverty and class. The other pieces are all insights into the mind of a great thinker, activist and human being.
Sung-Gi Kim
Oct 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Quotes from the book

In neglecting the third class passengers, opportunity of giving a splendid education to millions in orderliness, sanitation, decent composite life and cultivation of simple and clean tastes is being lost. Instead of receiving an object lesson in these matters third class passengers have their sense of decency and cleanliness blunted during their travelling experience. Among the many suggestions that can be made for dealing with the evil here described, I would respectfully in
Herman Gigglethorpe
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
No, this book isn't mostly about railroads. It is a valuable and well-written historical source on colonial India, however.

Third Class in Indian Railways is a short essay collection by M.K. Gandhi, everyone's favorite pacifist. The title essay refers to the poor sanitation and treatment of third class cars in Indian railroads, and advocates forcing Maharajas and other wealthy people to experience them once so they will be sufficiently disgusted enough to make reforms.

Vernaculars as Media of Inst
Kushal Srivastava
This is a collection of 6 essays from by Gandhi pre-1917. The title of the book is from the first essay on the prevailing conditions of third class compartments in Indian railways. I used to regularly travel in third class (now days called general class during my undergrad days (2003-2008)) and I can vouch that whatever Gandhi describes in the first essay has not changed a bit. The washrooms are equally horrible (“I say without fear of challenge that it was pestilentially dirty”) , the compartme ...more
Srikumar Krishna Iyer
Nice little book on the views of Mahatma Gandhi on the following topics:

Indian Railways: Plight of the peasants travelling in the third class compartments, which were always overcrowded and dirty too. He stresses on the fact that the rich folks should take some time off and sometimes travel in these classes to understand the pain felt by the poor people.
Mother-tongue as a medium of Instruction: He has stressed on usage of respective mother tongues to be used for educating the mas
Kiran Kumili
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic collection of six published papers of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in 1916 and 1917, over a variety of subjects like 1) His personal experience during his travel in 3rd Class compartment of the then Indian Railways, 2)Importance of Vernacularism and mother tongue in medium of instruction with classic world examples of any country with a rich cultural heritage, 3) His own ideology of Swadeshi movement and its impact on self sustenance of local skill sets and its protection from foreign ec ...more
Historically interesting. Good texture and context of the history behind I've actually read very little by Gandhi, and it's interesting to experience his thoughts in his own words. Like The Communist Manifesto, one wonders what the author would make of the world of today... which is somewhat evolved from the inequities of their time, but also very much the same in many regards.

Gandhi says, for example, that the officials of the Raj (Brit colonial govt) should be required to ride Third Class, wit
Vigneswara Prabhu
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
A Poignant Insight into the Mind of M.K.Gandhi.
Having read the other criticizing biographies and treatise regarding his less than Ideal Lifestyle; His controversial views on Race and Caste; Not to mention his questionable Lifestyle Practices the reader may become biased and can't help but read into some of the references that Sri Gandhi Makes in terms of his life in S.Africa, religion and Governance.

But at the end of the day we can reconcile with the notion, that no Mahatma Gandhi was not the s
This book is basically collection of essays, each of which contains views of Gandhiji on different issues and ideas:

1. Condition of Third Class coaches in Indian Rails
2. Vernacular as media of education
3. Swadeshi
4. Ahimsa
5. Co-operation
6. National Dress

From this list, I found reading of # 3 and 5 very tiresome in a sense that they are either not translated properly or lack proper context. They seem like collection of just abstract sentences. I've previously read Gandhi's view on those two topic
Most of the conditions look the same even now. Be it the Third class in Railways, being a Swadeshi, Banking system.

But certain things look superficial. Like - Was education available for all the Indians 50 years before 1914? Was there an equal opportunity? Isn't India an union of states and did not exist prior to Independence? Also his take on religion wasn't okay with me. Certain things seem glorified than due.

But the period and the audience are both different, nevertheless it was nice reading
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Everything except the chapter on Ahimsa seems to be just. But, the chapter on ahimsa is one of the biggest bullshit piece of words mankind would ever come across. He asks you to love your enemy, love your foes. For god's sake this very proposition is against the very nature of mankind. For example, getting angry is one of the human emotions, part of the human nature. An enemy is someone who is by definition the very cause of distress to you, Distress brings anger. Now would one not get naturally ...more
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The manner of writing is eloquent in this tiny book. Gandhi shares his views on six different topics, including the conditions of traveling 3rd class on India's railways. A short read at 48 pages, each of the topics discussed in the book nonetheless carry with them greater context with which more experienced readers of Gandhi would understand keenly, but also inspire those less familiar with the views and philosophy of Gandhi to reach out to other books written by him.
Keerthi Kiran
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The collection of essays gives an insight into the method to Gandhi's madness. His ideology despite the context in these books is hard to grasp, but the essays provide a glimpse into the basis for some of his convictions. His views on Swarajya, caste, religion, ahimsa, and language are interesting, yet not convincing. These essays do inspire enough interest to study the basis for the complex legacy and ideology of Gandhi.
Sudhanshu Shekhar
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a collection of article/excerpt/dialogue of Mahatma Gandhi on some fundamental topics which relate to our everyday life. It is a smooth flow of thoughts, rather than the careful finesse associated with formal writing. This rawness of expression makes it all the more an attractive read. The vision and thoughts of Mahatma hold good, even a century later on account of being so grounded and practical.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book connects the dots.

How did India, with one of the oldest civilizations (Indus valley civilization) and sophisticated sanitary system ended being an unsanitary country (as it is known now)?

Gandhi, in this book, narrates through his experiences and observations, how the British colonial rule affected this facet of Indian society. It's a must read for anyone interested in Indian history.
Mar 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philosophers, historians, political activists
This book is a collection of letters and short, philosophical treatises by Gandhi. It's more for the Gandhi/philosophy/political-activisism enthusiast than anyone else. If you're looking to learn about Gandhi, I'd recommend reading his autobiography first ("An Autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth") and then continuing on to this if you're still interested.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Why I Am An Atheist: An Autobiographical Discourse
  • Annihilation of Caste
  • Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World
  • बूढी काकी
  • India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy
  • Nationalism
  • The Art of Money Getting: Golden Rules for Making Money
  • Shiksha: My Experiments as an Education Minister
  • Freedom at Midnight
  • रश्मिरथी
  • India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution from Independence to the Global Information Age
  • Gitanjali
  • How to Speak and Write Correctly
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous
  • The Life of Buddha and Its Lessons
  • I've never been (Un)happier: (Penguin Petit)
  • Ambedkar: Towards an Enlightened India
  • சிரம் தர விரும்பு: Siram Thara Virumbu
See similar books…
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India. Employing non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for non-violence, civil rights and freedom across the world.

The son of a senior government official, Gandhi was born and raised in a Hindu Bania community in coastal Gu

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
19 likes · 0 comments
“Gift of life is the greatest of all gifts;” 2 likes
“The question of vernaculars as media of instruction is of national importance; neglect of the vernaculars means national suicide.” 2 likes
More quotes…