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Gandhi (Brief Insight)by Bhikhu Parekh
Synopses & Reviews
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the few men in history to fight simultaneously on moral, religious, political, social, economic, and cultural fronts. During his time as a lawyer in South Africa he developed his strategy of non-violence: the idea of opposing unjust laws by non-violent protest. He led the Indian National Congress party in three major campaigns against British rule, each culminating in his arrest.
In Gandhi, a short introduction to Gandhis life and thought, Bhikhu Parekh outlines both Gandhis major philosophical insights and the limitations of his thought. Written with extensive access to Gandhis writings in Indian languages to which most commentators have little or no access, Parekh looks at Gandhis cosmocentric anthropology, his spiritual view of politics, and his theories of oppression, non-violent action, and active citizenship. He also considers how the success of Gandhis principles were limited by his lack of coherent theories of evil, and of state and power. Gandhis view of man as ascetic allows no room for expressions of the cultural, artistic, or intellectual. Furthermore, he was so hostile to modern civilization that he was unable to appreciate its complex dialectic or offer a meaningful narrative.
Nevertheless, Gandhis life and thought had an enormous impact on the Indian nation, and he continues to be widely revered--known before and after his assassination as Mahatma, the Great Soul.
Book News Annotation:
Parekh (emeritus, political theory, U. of Hull, UK) offers a biography of Mahatma Gandhi, India's best known spiritual and political leader during the country's struggle for independence and champion of nonviolence and civil disobedience. The author discusses Gandhi's life and work and his thoughts on religion, human nature, nonviolent resistance, and society. Numerous photographs also are included. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Gandhi's life and thought had enormous impact. Here is a balanced introduction to one of the most revered men in history. Written with extensive access to Gandhi's writings in Indian languages, which most commentators have little or no access, Bhikhu Parekh outlines both Gandhi's major philosophical insights as well as the limitations of his thought.
Gandhi (18691948) was one of the few men in history to fight simultaneously on moral, religious, political, social, economic, and cultural fronts—and to succeed in his struggle. Bhikhu Parekh offers a brief but focused look into Gandhis life and thought, outlining his major philosophical insights, cosmocentric anthropology, spiritual view of politics, and theories of oppression, nonviolent action, and active citizenship. He also considers how Gandhis success was limited by his lack of coherent theories of evil and of state and power, and how his hostility to modern civilization impeded his appreciation of its complexity.
About the Author
Bhikhu Parekh is Professor Emeritus of Political Theory at the University of Hull (England). His publications include Gandhi's Political Philosophy, Crisis and Change in Contemporary India, The Decolonization of Imagination, and Critical Assessments of Jeremy Betham.
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History and Social Science » Asia » India » Gandhi