Download Gandhi in the West: The Mahatma and the Rise of Radical by Sean Scalmer PDF

By Sean Scalmer

The non-violent protests of civil rights activists and anti-nuclear campaigners throughout the Nineteen Sixties helped to redefine Western politics. yet the place did they arrive from? Sean Scalmer uncovers their background in an previous generation's severe struggles to appreciate and emulate the actions of Mahatma Gandhi. He exhibits how Gandhi's non-violent protests have been the topic of frequent dialogue and debate within the united states and united kingdom for a number of a long time. although at the beginning misrepresented through Western newspapers, they have been patiently defined and clarified by means of a faithful team of cosmopolitan advocates. Small teams of Westerners experimented with Gandhian options in digital anonymity after which, at the cusp of the Nineteen Sixties, introduced those easy methods to a much broader viewers. The swelling protests of later years more and more deserted the spirit of non-violence, and the primary importance of Gandhi and his supporters has as a result been forgotten. This booklet recovers this custom, charts its transformation, and ponders its abiding value.

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979–80. For condemnation for publicity stunts: Daily Telegraph, 4 March 1943, cited in ‘Observer’, ‘God’s Englishmen – And India’, Peace News, 12 March 1943. The Morning Post view is ‘Gandhi’s Fads’, Morning Post, 10 September 1931. The Spectator is ‘India’, Spectator, 5 September 1931.  Greenwall, ‘Gandhi Arrives To-day’, Daily Express, 12 September 1931. 59 Meeting the Mahatma 37 It is necessary throughout to view Gandhi as what he really is, and not what he poses as being. 61 Most observers would have been surprised to learn that Gandhi ‘posed’ as someone uninterested in independence or gifted only with political stupidity.

The negative reply also provided a tart response to those who queried his own form of dress when visiting the British Isles: ‘my loin cloth, if you so choose to describe it, is the dress of my principles … I must therefore wear the symbol of my mission’. Gandhi considered it a kind of ‘duty’ to hold fast to such a costume. The greater the aristocratic unease or contention, the less likely therefore was its exceptional withdrawal. The political import of Gandhi’s clothing was recognised by the most sensitive of Western commentators.

The name of ‘Gandhi’ could also function as a metonym of India as a whole. ’ Newsweek magazine’s obituary for the Mahatma agreed that his ‘toothless grin and bony “diapered” body’ had ‘symbolized India itself for 25 years’. ’56 According to these views, the figure of the strange little brown man effectively trespassed upon the cultural pre-eminence of the British Raj itself. ‘India’ was ‘Gandhi’, and ‘Gandhi’ ‘India’. And if ‘Gandhi’ stood for ‘India’, then what hope did the British really have?

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