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Archive for the tag “Gandhi”

The End Of Gandhi’s India?

This year, as the world marked the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth, Indian voters repudiated his legacy by re-electing Prime Minister Narendra Modi. By doubling down on Islamophobia and Hindu nationalism, Modi and his party has rejected Gandhi’s vision of interfaith harmony and political pluralism.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Gandhi’s Unequal Justice In South Africa

During his years in South Africa, Gandhi sought to ingratiate himself with Empire and its mission. In doing so, he not only rendered African exploitation and oppression invisible, but was, on occasion, a willing part of their subjugation and racist stereotyping. This is not the Gandhi spoken of in hagiographic speeches by politicians more than a century later. This is a different man picking his way through the dross of his time; not just any time, but the height of colonialism; not through any country, but a land that was witness to three centuries of unremitting conquest, brutality and racial bloodletting.

Read Here – New Republic

The Indian Volcano

Multiple Indias have always existed in Gandhi’s land of 700,000 villages, but never perhaps in such proximity or with such access to one another, a rising class of conspicuous consumers hoisted through a decade of now faltering growth hard by villages where unemployed men dim boredom with alcohol.

Read Here – New York Times

If Only The Arms Hadn’t Been Chopped…

It’s a nationalist myth that Indian independence was won by militant Congress direct action and that partition was the inevitable price exacted by a pro-Muslim colonial power determined to divide and rule. On the contrary, effective independence was implicit in the progressive constitutional reforms introduced by the Raj in 1909 and 1919, well before Gandhi launched his campaigns of civil disobedience. Congress was knocking at an open door: the real point at issue was how to introduce Westminster-style democracy in a subcontinent so diverse and largely illiterate.

Read Here – The Standpoint

There’s No Place Like India: Foreign Policy

India does not reconcile contradictions so much as inhabit them. Is there one god? Three? Gods? Without number? Yes, yes, and yes. Visitors are instructed to leave their Cartesian logic at passport control. This is contrary to my all-too-binary nature. But after two weeks in Delhi talking to people about the wrinkled, lumbering, battle-scarred pachyderm that is the Congress Party, I have begun to accept that it may be precisely Congress’s capacity to live blithely with contradiction that accounts for its astonishing persistence (that, and the Gandhi family name).

The truth about Mahatma Gandhi: he was a wily operator, not India’s smiling saint

Gandhi has become, in India and around the globe, a simplified version of what he was: a smiling saint who wore a white loincloth and John Lennon spectacles, who ate little and succeeded in bringing down the greatest empire the world has ever known through non-violent civil disobedience. President Obama, who kept a portrait of Gandhi hanging on the wall of his Senate office, likes to cite him.

Read Here – The Telegraph, London

India’s Ultimate Insider Tries for Outsider Status

Last weekend, India’s Congress Party, which has enjoyed power for almost nine years as the majority party in the current UPA coalition government, set down a roadmap not only for its own future but also for that of the world’s largest democracy. At a party convention in the northern city of Jaipur, it appointed the young parliamentarian Rahul Gandhi, 42, the vice-president of the party. Not coincidentally, Gandhi’s mother, Sonia Gandhi, has been president of the Congress since 1998.

Mr. Gandhi’s closely watched, if largely undistinguished, political career is now eight years old. In this period he has served as a general secretary of the party and as the president of the Young Congress, but has never held a post in government. His accession to second-in-command was widely expected, and brought an end to what one commentator described asone of the longest political gestations in Indian history.” It also set him up to become the next prime minister if the current coalition government is voted back into power in next year’s general elections.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Rising Sons (And Daughters) Add Pep To British Politics

British politics often seems dull without a glamorous political dynasty such as the Kennedys, the Bhuttos or our own Nehru-Gandhi family. Britons, of course, retort that they have one of the world’s most famous dynasties in the form of the royal family. It is also seen as a measure of the strength of British democracy that it has not allowed political power to be concentrated in a few hands — at least so far.

But is it all about to change?

Read Here – The Hindu

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