Gandhi continues to be a subject of enduring interest for students, scholars, and general readers across the world. In the nearly six decades since his death, a large and diverse range of writing-comparative, expository, dialogical, and biographical-has appeared on Gandhi. This volume puts together different interpretations of the Mahatma's views on myriad issues and, in doing so, it travels beyond existing scholarship.
Presenting contesting positions of renowned scholars on issues critical for understanding Gandhi as a thinker and a historical phenomenon, these essays sweep a wide canvas. Differing views on the impact of traditional ideas and western influences on Gandhi; is negotiations with modernity; his views on modern science and influence over contemporary environmental movements; his idea of truth; his views on women and whether they broke from the thinking of the nineteenth century reformers; and his complex intellectual relationship with the other great champion of India's oppressed classes, Babasaheb Ambedkar, are all discussed in some detail.
The essays focus attention on issues of continuing relevance-tradition, modernity, nation, women, and caste-thereby giving the volume a contemporary flavour. The juxtaposition of standpoints for debates- the leitmotif of the volume-promotes a fruitful preoccupation with an original thinker whose ideas and practices deserve far more than either adoration or dismissal.
This Gandhi reader will interest students and scholars of politics, history, philosophy as well as general readers and admirers of Gandhi.
A. Raghuramaraju is Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Hyderabad, India.
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