Gandhi and his times

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Lipi Prakashan, 1982 - Biography & Autobiography - 310 pages

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Review by: Chidananda Dhavaleshwar
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Social Work
RCUB Vijayapur
‘Gandhi and His Times’ is a book about Gandhi about his politics and philosophy, and about the struggle he waged against the British to secure independence for India. Author says that Gandhi was so enamoured of weapon of satyagraha throughout his political career he kept up a studied opposition to the activities of large number of revolutionaries who did not share his philosophy of non violence, but who scarified, and were ever ready to sacrifice, their lives for country. To substantiate his point the author examine in detail the sacrifice of Bhagat singh and says that instead of seeking his cooperation Gandhi denigrated his role, and thus lost great opportunities for winning an early freedom for India.
Manmath Nath Gupt has made an earnest attempt to capture some of the Gandhin approaches and the struggle to Independent India. He has widely covered many seminal phenomenon’s like Passive resistance and Sathyagraha, Indian culture and non-violence, his view on world wars, Gandhi’s first national movement, Gandhi and revolutionaries, salt sathyagraha Gandhi-Irwin pact, the Karachi Congress, the round table conference and after, Individual sathyagraha, Hindu-Muslim problems and Pakisthan and the final failures. It is practically not feasible to capture the all the points in my review of the voluminous writing of Manmath where he discusses his idea of Gandhian approaches. But here is a sincere attempt to unfold the book in my review.
As Manmath Nath shows, the outcomes of Gandhi’s campaigns in South Africa , as he himself said, found his “vocation in life.” Soon after returning to India in 1915, Gandhi set forth what he called the “four pillars on which the structure of swaraj” — self-rule — “would ever rest”: an unshakable alliance between Hindus and Muslims; universal acceptance of the doctrine of nonviolence, as tenet, not tactic; the transformation of India’s thousands of villages by spinning and other self-sustaining handicrafts; and an end to the evil concept of untouchability. Manmath Nath shrewdly examines Gandhi’s noble but doomed battles to achieve them all.
When it comes to Gandhi non-violence is both an end and means, his idea of passive resistance is unique for the reason that India was the only country to get out the colonial clutches through non-violence. This philosophy is composed of the tree main elements: Truth, Nonviolence, and Self-suffering. The three are inextricably fused together, but, if one can be considered more basic than the others, then that one would be, not nonviolence but truth. This much is suggested by the term Gandhi coined to describe his philosophy: satyagraha, meaning literally 'the firm grasping or holding on to truth'. But, in Gandhi's usage, 'truth' has a wider connotation than it has in English. 'Satya' derives from the Sanskrit 'Sat' which means being and, also, abiding, actual, right, wise, self-existent essence, as anything really is, as anything ought to be.
Gandhi-Irwin Pact, agreement signed on March 5, 1931, between Mohandas K. Gandhi, leader of the Indian nationalist movement, and Lord Irwin (later Lord Halifax), British viceroy (1926–31) of India. It marked the end of a period of civil disobedience (satyagraha) in India against British rule that Gandhi and his followers had initiated with the Salt March(March–April 1930). Gandhi’s arrest and imprisonment at the end of the march, for illegally making salt, sparked one of his more effective civil disobedience movements. By the end of 1930, tens of thousands of Indians were in jail (including future Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru), the movement had generated worldwide publicity, and Irwin was looking for a way to end it. Gandhi was released from custody in January 1931, and the two men began negotiating the terms of the pact. In the end, Gandhi pledged to give up the satyagraha campaign, and Irwin agreed to release those


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Passive Resistance and Satyagraha

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