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Reading Gandhi

Reading Gandhi
¥3248
Item Code: NAT984
Author: O.P. Gauba
Publisher: National Publishing House
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 8121403227
Pages: 200
Cover: HARDCOVER
Other Details: 10.00 X 6.50 inch
weight of the book: 0.47 kg
About The Book

Reading Gandhi by Dr. O.P. Gauba is intended to be a study in the interpretation of Gandhian political philosophy. It examines the nature and relevance of political thought, approaches to interpretation, particularly textual and contextual approaches, followed by an indepth study of the significance of Hind Swaraj, concept of Satyagraha, Gandhian critique of modern civilization, alternative vision of modernity, his views on nationalism, communal unity, regeneration of women, removal of untouchability, and the vision of ideal social order.

It also introduces Gandhian thought on ends and means, politics and ethics, truth and non-violence, rights and duties, vision of a classless society, doctrine of trusteeship, concepts of Sarvodaya, Swaraj and secularism in the context of Indian as well as Western political philosophy. Finally, it includes the comparative study of Gandhi and Ambedkar, Gandhism and Marxism, Gandhism and Neo-Marxism, Gandhism and Rawls's theory of justice, with a critical appraisal.

Each argument is based on Gandhi's own writings or the standard writings on Gandhi. Each chapter is written as an independent essay, in a reader-friendly style. Intricate concepts are elucidated through explanatory diagrammes, flow charts and comparative charts. On-the-spot definitions of difficult terms, historical references and some prominent quotations are given in boxes. It is hoped that this book will gain a unique place in the existing literature on Gandhian social and political thought

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About The Author

The author of this book, Dr. O.P. Gauba studied at D.A.V. College, Dehradun where he obtained B.A. degree in Philosophy, English Literature and Hindi Literature and M.A. degrees in Sociology and Political Science (from Agra University). In 1977 he was awarded Ph.D. degree in Political Science from Delhi University on 'The Concept of Social Justice with special reference to the Indian Constitution'. He taught undergraduate, Hons. and postgraduate classes in Delhi University from 1967 to 2004. Presently he is working as a full-time writer and lexicographer. His prominent published works include : An Introduction to Political Theory (MacMillan), Political Theory and Thought, Social and Political Philosophy, Dimensions of Social Justice, Constitutionalism in a Changing Perspective, Encyclopedia of Political Thinkers (English-Hindi), Enclyclopedia of Political Science (English-Hindi) and Conceptual Dictionary of Political Science (English-Hindi), apart from the present book.

Preface

The present work is intended to be a study in the interpretation of Gandhian political philosophy. Gandhi was a man of strong convictions but an open mind. A mind is like a parachute, as the proverb goes, it functions only when open. Gandhi changed his attitude toward some issues for practical reasons, without compromising on his convictions.

Gandhi was a visionary, yet he was not a prophet. He could not have predicted the spectacular technological progress and excellence in diverse, modern professions achieved by the contemporary India. Yet his urge for moral regeneration of India, and of the whole world, has become more relevant today.

Opposition to technology and modern professions was the most controversial part of Gandhian thought. He even criticized parliamentary government, opposed urbanization and pleaded for the revival of village republics. However, on closer reading, it will be found that Gandhi criticized the so-called modernization of India because it was leading to moral degeneration. He did not obstruct India's social policy and the march toward material progress. He even accepted the continuance of existing heavy industries but tried to dilute their impact on India's moral life by enunciating his doctrine of trusteeship. In short, Gandhi had strong convictions, but he was not dogmatic. He advocated the curbing of overindulgence, and opposed the spread of consumer culture in order to maintain high moral standards of social behaviour.

Today India has attained the pride of place in the realm of technology and modern professions; it is heading towards vast urbanization and fast globalization. Gandhi would stop us to rethink, not to tell us to go back but to take account of the moral decline which has crept into our life along with our progress. His message is quite clear. If our material progress is being achieved at the expense of moral progress, it is high time to stop and review the situation. If material progress is accompanied by moral downfall, it would be self-defeating. It would be like going in for body-building and contracting a deadly disease at the same time. And mind you, this message is not only for India but for the whole world.

Rethinking on these lines has now started in the West also. Post-behavioural revolution in political science in America (1969) heralded a new concern with values. Exponents of critical theory at Frankfurt have been warning against the unbridled growth of technology which is becoming a source of domination over human beings, and the rising consumer culture which is depriving us of our genuine freedom. Growing popularity of post-materialism in the West shows a trend toward rethinking after attaining the goal of material prosperity. Other contemporary philosophies like feminism, environmentalism, communitarianism and theories of justice also contain moral agenda for the programme of social reconstruction. In the face of moral decline of society triggered by the blind race for materialism, it is necessary to recall the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi at every step of our progress. Gandhian prescriptions give us critical insights into our way of life. Our obssession with fast life, fast progress and fast success (resulting in fast death also) can be checked if we pause and ponder over the Gandhian message.

Gandhi led a simple life. He stood for plain living and high thinking. He wrote on complex issues in a simple style. I have tried to elucidate and evaluate his thought in a reasonably simple way. The present study examines the nature and relevance of political thought, approaches to interpretation, particularly textual and contextual approaches followed by a suitable strategy for interpretation of the classics. Then it undertakes an indepth study of the significance of Hind Swaraj, concept of Satyagraha, Gandhian critique of modern civilization, and his alternative vision of modernity. It also highlights his views on nationalism, communal unity, regeneration of women, removal of untouchability, and the vision of ideal social order.

It also introduces Gandhian thought on ends and means, politics and ethics, truth and non-violence, rights and duties, vision of a classless society, doctrine of trusteeship, concepts of Sarvodaya, Swaraj and secularism in appropriate contexts. It places Gandhian social and political thought in the perspective of Indian as well as Western political philosophy. Finally, it includes the comparative study of Gandhi and Ambedkar, Gandhism and Marxism, Gandhism and Neo-Marxism, Gandhism and Rawls's theory of justice. It incorporates a critical appraisal of Gandhian thought in the relevant contexts. Each argument is based on Gandhi's own writings or the standard writings on Gandhi. Each chapter is written as an independent essay, in a reader-friendly style. Intricate concepts are elucidated through explanatory diagrammes, flow charts and comparative charts. On-the-spot definitions of difficult terms, historical references and some prominent quotations are given in boxes. It is hoped that the present study will prove immensely helpful in understanding Gandhian social and political thought.

**Contents and Sample Pages**









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