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Mohandas Gandhi: India's Non-violent Revolutionary?
Published by Pluto Press
A critical introduction to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi which clarifies his role in the Indian nationalist movement.
This book covers the life of the most iconic figure of Indian nationalism: Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi remains an inspirational individual for contemporary audiences, and as an apostle of non-violence, he is celebrated in countless books and films. In an age of permanent war, Gandhi's message of non-violent resistance resonates internationally among a new generation. And yet he remains something of an enigma. Talat Ahmed's unparalleled approach locates Gandhi as an activist and revolutionary within the Indian historical context. She engages with contemporary debates around Gandhi's notions of violence and non-violence, direct action, and opportunities for social change, ultimately challenging the deification of Gandhi without airbrushing his role out of the South Asian landscape.Today Gandhi's ideas are championed by anti-capitalists and those seeking to preserve existing society. In these contested legacies his practice of non-violence is often abstracted from the historical context of his life. Ahmed delves into the historical specificity of his struggles against colonialism, offering a rich and nuanced account of his relationship to non-violence as complicated and contradictory, asking how this can inform contemporary struggles.
Introduction 1. Early Life: A National Hero from a Princely State 2. Champion of the Oppressed 3. War and Peace 4. The Left 5. Anti-State Libertarian 6. Eco-Warrior Conclusion
Talat Ahmed teaches History at the University of Edinburgh. She is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and a member of the British Association for South Asian Studies. Her research focuses on the intellectual and cultural history of modern South Asia.
Reviewer: Nicolas Levi
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