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

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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.

Russian Revolution in Perspective

The October Revolution of 1917 profoundly influenced the course of the Indian freedom movement in multiple ways. It gave “impetus to Indian political aspirations,” widened the base of the freedom struggle by making industrial workers and peasants active participants, and endowed the movement with a progressive outlook. The revolution’s principles resonated deeply among the people and leaders of the Indian freedom movement. In fact, many of the values enshrined in our Constitution, adopted post independence, were inspired by the lofty ideals of the Russian Revolution.

A K Dasgupta on Gandhi and the Economics of Austerity

A K Dasgupta spent his lifetime teaching and researching on the classical, marginalist and Keynesian theories of value and distribution associated with the writings of Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Marshall and Keynes. In the last part of his life he was much attracted to the writings of M K Gandhi as well as the notion of austerity contained in the writings of David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill. The questions Gandhi had raised still continue to be astonishingly relevant. This article briefly explores this literature.

Ethics in Ambedkar’s Critique of Gandhi

Among the political thinkers of modern India, Gandhi and Ambedkar have elicited an intellectual enthusiasm among scholars who remain arrested in debates on the pre-eminence of one thinker over the other. The Ambedkarite critique of Gandhi is centred on the latter’s fast unto death in opposition to the MacDonald Award of separate electorates for Dalits. Formalistic readings of Gandhi are not in the interest of the robust, associative and inclusive intellectual tradition at the core of Ambedkar’s emancipatory project. Ambedkar was a pathfinder who chose critique as a method of ethical persuasion to gently pull in and retain members of caste society in the interlocutory framework of conversation.

Reconceptualising India's Civilisational Basis

Questioning the aggressive pursuit of the urban-industrial versionof development which is resource-intensive and anti-poor, this article proposes a radical rethink of the current development practices as well as a reconceptualisation of our civilisational basis. Ruralisation, an alternative development paradigm, which entails creation of self-sufficient villages and urban republics with attached common pool resources, can be adopted to promote equitable and sustainable local economic development and decentralised governance.

Dialogical Dreams

Debating India: Essays on Indian Political Discourse by Bhikhu Parekh; New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015; pp 374, ₹895.

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