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Archive for July, 2009

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  • This does not mean he was insincere. [..] Gandhi was totally committed to a united, independent India. He wanted an end to the callous treatment meted out to dalits and low caste groups. He wanted women to be treated with respect, free to marry or not and to have financial independence, and he desperately wanted Hindu-Muslim unity to be the defining feature of a composite Indian nationhood. However, he was a reformer, not a revolutionary. This was a reformism rooted in social conservatism that did not seek the overthrow of capitalism but its taming. In this sense the enigma of Gandhi is not so perplexing or extraordinary. In relation to conservative, elite social forces Gandhi did offer a programme of mass action and political activity that drew in wider layers of activists. But in relation to achieving the world of social harmony without inequality that he aspired to, his strategy proved sorely lacking in failing to understand how to direct the mass action he helped to initiate.

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