Seven Social Sins is a list that was first uttered in a sermon delivered in Westminster Abbey on March 20, 1925 by an Anglican priest named Frederick Lewis Donaldson. He originally referred to it as the "7 Deadly Social Evils". It is a common misconception that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the originator of this list as he published the same list in his weekly newspaper Young India on October 22, 1925. Later he gave this same list to his grandson, Arun Gandhi, written on a piece of paper on their final day together shortly before his assassination. The Seven Sins are:
Before Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi published the list in his weekly newspaper Young India on October 22, 1925, an almost identical list had been published six months earlier in England in a sermon at Westminster Abbey by Fredrick Lewis Donaldson. Gandhi wrote that a correspondent whom he called a "fair friend" had sent the list: "The... fair friend wants readers of Young India to know, if they do not already, the following seven social sins," (the list was then provided). After the list, Gandhi wrote that "Naturally, the friend does not want the readers to know these things merely through the intellect but to know them through the heart so as to avoid them." This was the entirety of Gandhi's commentary on the list when he first published it.
In the decades since its first publication, the list has been widely cited and discussed.
Some books have focused on the seven sins or been structured around them:
Many books have discussed the sins more briefly:
They have also been anthologized:
Regarding "politics without principle", Gandhi said having politics without truth(s) to justly dictate the action creates chaos, which ultimately leads to violence. Gandhi called these missteps "passive violence", ‘which fuels the active violence of crime, rebellion, and war.’ He said, "We could work 'til doomsday to achieve peace and would get nowhere as long as we ignore passive violence in our world."
There are many different types of regimes in the world whose politics differ. Based on Gandhi’s Blunder Politics without Principle, a regime type might be more of a root of violence than another because one regime has more principle than the other. Regimes have different types of fighting and aggression tactics, each desiring different outcomes.
This difference affects the actions taken by political heads in countries across the globe. Gandhi wrote, "An unjust law is itself a species of violence." The aggression of one country on another may be rooted in the government's creation of an unjust law. For example, a war of irredentism fought for one state to reclaim territory that was lost due to a law promoting ethnic cleansing.
Principle in one country could easily be a crime in another. This difference leads one to believe that the root of violence is inevitably present somewhere in the world. “Politics without Principle” will inevitably take place throughout time.
This list grew from Gandhi's search for the roots of violence. He called these "acts of passive violence". Preventing these is the best way to prevent oneself or one's society from reaching a point of violence, according to Gandhi.
To this list, Arun Gandhi added an eighth blunder, "rights without responsibilities". According to Arun Gandhi, the idea behind the first blunder originates from the feudal practice of Zamindari. He also suggests that the first and the second blunders are interrelated.
More recently Mohandas Gandhi's list of negative qualities has also been described by his grandson as "Seven Blunders of the World". Examples of description under this heading include:
|title=(help) (profile of Arun Gandhi that gives a list entitled "Mohandas Gandhi's 'Seven Blunders of the World,'" and states that "The last time Arun saw his grandfather, the old man slipped the boy a piece of paper with a list of what have come to be known as Gandhi's 'Seven Blunders of the World' that lead to violence." It also states that Arun Gandhi "would make 'Rights without responsibilities' No. 8 on his grandfather's list of 'blunders.'")