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Un-Gandhian Gandhi

Un-Gandhian Gandhi

The Life and Afterlife of the Mahatma

By Claude Markovits

An examination of the life and afterlife of the Mahatma.

Hardback, 185 Pages


October 2004

£70.00, $115.00

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About This Book

This major study reconsiders the creation of the Gandhian legend through the myriad texts and images that helped spread it through both India and the Western world. In revealing how the picture of the Mahatma as saint-as-politician was founded on Indian nationalistic selectivity and limited Western representations of Gandhi, Claude Markovits shows how Gandhi's legend has obscured the facts of his public career. Gandhi's professional role in the public sphere, Markovits argues, was heavily influenced by his long and critical phase of maturation in South Africa, a period often dismissed as the precursor to his celebrated work in India. Markovits proposes that Gandhi's later Indian career, marked by his meteoric rise to prominence, was the result of his own radical self-reinvention as he negotiated the pitfalls of political life in order to create his influential political manifesto. In re-evaluating critical stages of Gandhi's career, and his sometimes ambivalent ideological positions, Markovits confronts the discrepancies between his early and late careers, closely rereading the Mahatma's varying intellectual positions as described both within his own writings and in those by commentators and biographers. Rather than seeing Gandhi as an upholder of traditional Indian values, Markovits stresses the paradoxical modernity of Gandhi's anti-modernism.


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Author Information

Claude Markovits is Director of research at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and is Director of the Centre d'Etudes de L'Inde et de L'Asie du Sud, L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France.


Anthem South Asian Studies

Table of Contents

Preface, Introduction; I. Perceptions of Gandhi: 1. IMAGES OF GANDHI: Gandhian Iconography; Gandhi and the West: The Saint and His Critiques; Gandhi's Image in France; Gandhi on the Screen: Consecration of the Icon; Gandhi in Indian Eyes: Diversity of Perceptions and Practices; 2. THE IMPOSSIBLE BIOGRAPHY OF MOHANDAS K. GANDHI: Gandhi's Biographers; Gandhi as the Limitations of Biography as a Genre; Gandhi as Hiw Own Biographer: The Autobiography; 3. GANDHI'S POSTHUMOUS LIFE: Gandhi in India After 1948: A Disputed Legacy; Gandhism and Its Interpreters; Gandhi ad Political Philosophy; Gandhi, Political Ecology, and Alternative Movements; II: Gandhi in History: 4. BIRTH OF A LEADER: Private Life, Public Life; The Contribution of South Africa; The Emergence of a National Leader in 1915-1920; The Transformation of Gandhi: Towards a New Political Idiom; 5. GANDHI AND INDIAN INDEPENDENCE: Gandhi and the End of Fear; Gandhi as an Organizer; Gandhi's Role in Anti-British Campaigns, 1920-1942; 6. GANDHI AND INDIAN SOCIETY: THE REFORMER AND HIS LEGACY: Gandhi and the Dignity of Manual Labour; Gandhi and the Reconstruction of the Indian Village; Gandhi and the Fight for the Abolition of Untouchability; 7. GANDHI IN THE TIME-FRAME OF INDIAN HISTORY: Between Victorian Intellectual and Neo-traditionalist Hindu; Gandhi and Bourgeois Nationalism; The Nature of Gandhi's Charisma; Gandhi and the Expectations of the Peasantry; 8. GANDHI AND NON-VIOLENCE: Non-violent Resistance: Gandhi's Contribution; From Saryagraha to Non-Violence: A Gandhian Itinerary; Nationalism and Non-violence in India in Gandhi's Lifetime: Myth and Reality; Gandhi and the Pacifists, The Exemplary Nature of Gandhian Non-violence; Conclusion; Select Bibliography; Index

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