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Cover

Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction

Bhikhu Parekh

Publication Date - June 2001

ISBN: 9780192854575

152 pages
Paperback

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $11.95

A balanced introduction to one of the most revered men in history

Description

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 Gandhi's life and thought, Bhikhu Parekh outlines both Gandhi's major philosophical insights and the limitations of his thought. Written with extensive access to Gandhi's writings in Indian languages to which most commentators have little or no access, Parekh looks at Gandhi's 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 Gandhi's principles were limited by his lack of coherent theories of evil, and of state and power. Gandhi's 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, Gandhi's 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.

Features

  • Covers Gandhi's enormous impact on the Indian nation, known before and after his assassination as Mahatma, the Great Soul
  • Outlines both Gandhi's major philosophical insights and the limitations of his thought
  • Extensive access to Gandhi's writings in Indian languages to which most commentators have little or no access
  • Looks at Gandhi's cosmocentric anthropology, his spiritual view of politics, and his theories of oppression, non-violent action, and active citizenship

About the Author(s)

Bhikhu Parekh is Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Politics at the University of Hull.

Reviews

"An excellent intro for first-time western students of Gandhi and India."--Prakash Chenjen, Southern Oregon University

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Religious thought
    3. Theory of man and society
    4. Economic and political thought
    5. Non-violent method of action
    6. Critical evaluation