ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Underscoring the Perils of Majoritarianism

Our Hindu Rashtra: What It Is. How We Got Here by Aakar Patel, Westland Books, 2020; pp 368, ₹ 799.

The Call of the Funeral Pyre

Burning the Dead: Hindu Nationhood and the Global Construction of Indian Tradition by David Arnold, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2021; pp 268, $70.

Gandhi and the Re-enactment of Racism

Examining M K Gandhi’s attitude towards South African natives during his sojourn in South Africa, Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed, in their book The South African Gandhi, have accused Gandhi of racism, arguing that Gandhi kept his struggle for British concessions for indentured Indians in South Africa separate from the struggle of Zulu people for freedom from colonial rule, because Gandhi considered the natives racially inferior and called them Kaffirs—a derogatory term used against them by the Whites as well as Indians. However, accusing Gandhi of racism indicates a misrepresentation of his ideas in transition, and the word Kaffir does not connote a racial slur.

Mahatma of the Mountains

Sundarlal Bahuguna, who applied Gandhi’s non-violent tools to fight environmental injustice, holds a special place in independent India’s environmental history.

Ambedkar, Gandhians and the Indian Village

The paper attempts to understand the two competing models of postcolonial modernity on the issue of the village, that is, one representing a Gandhian perspective and the other a liberal Western perspective led by B R Ambedkar. M K Gandhi’s idea of the village was developed through his imagination...

Researching Gandhi’s Ideas on Women

This paper uses this author’s earlier paper from 1988 on M K Gandhi’s ideas on women in order to reinterpret it in terms of contemporary feminist perspectives. It lays bare the theories and methodologies used in the earlier paper and suggests that such reflexive interventions are necessary when assessing the thoughts and practices of figures such as Gandhi, whose ideas have been given new meanings in and through contemporary commentaries. It argues that Gandhi’s perspective on women needs to be situated within his project of structuring a new modernity for the emerging and evolving Indian nation, and should be perceived through the lens of hegemonic masculinity.

V N Datta: ​A Student’s Reminiscence

V N Datta, Professor Emeritus of History, Kurukshetra University, breathed his last on 30 November 2020. He was 94. His long life was what, by any standards, would be judged as happy, fulfilling, and very productive; except for his very last years when an unsuccessful hip surgery kept him...

Gandhi and Saintliness

An integrated reading of Gandhi’s ideas, images, personal life, and political activities, at times inflicts considerable damage to the understanding of his thoughts. George Orwell’s (1949–2000) view of Gandhi as a moral saint and his ideas as “anti-humanistic” is a striking example. Adopting Orwell’s image, the philosopher Susan Wolf (1982), in an influential paper, questioned the very idea of moral saints. His saintly image is an important reason why there is little mention of Gandhi in academic moral philosophy. By showing that the image does not apply to his thoughts, we rescue Gandhi’s moral concepts from the perceived image of a saint.

Seeking Truth and Practising Satyagraha

Tracing Gandhi: Satyarthi to Satyagrahi by Samir Banerjee, Routledge, Oxon and New York and Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, 2020; pp ix + 205, ₹ 995.

Gandhi’s Reflective and Dialogical Approach to Search for the Truth

Gandhi’s search for truth with constant self-introspection led him to admit his own misconceptions and errors. His path of self-reflection and dialogue among different views are the need of the time, to find deliberative ways to resolve conflicts. One’s lifeworld is constituted of a consciously or...

M K Gandhi on Religion and Caste: A Reading List

Not viewing religion as distinct from politics, Gandhi referred to the latter as “applied religion.” However, his religious positioning itself changed throughout the course of his life. What, then, can we make of his views on religion, and potentially, his politics?

Hindi Imposition: Examining Gandhi’s Views on Common Language for India

Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement on making Hindi as a unifying language for the country had stirred up a fresh controversy on the issue of a “single” language. In his tweet, the minister appealed to Indians to work towards making Gandhi and Patel’s dream of one language came true. But, such an assertion about Gandhi is not fully correct. Though he wanted a common language for the country, but that language was Hindustani written in Devanagari and Persian script. The present-day Hindi, however, is markedly different from Hindustani, the admixture of Hindi and Urdu, which Gandhi had advocated.

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