Four years later, however, Gandhi resigned from the Congress, unhappy with its inability to embrace nonviolence not merely as a politically expedient tactic but as a fundamental duty.From then on, he returned only briefly to active politics, most strikingly in 1942, as the head of an anti-British uprising called the Quit India movement.
Four years later, however, Gandhi resigned from the Congress, unhappy with its inability to embrace nonviolence not merely as a politically expedient tactic but as a fundamental duty.From then on, he returned only briefly to active politics, most strikingly in 1942, as the head of an anti-British uprising called the Quit India movement.Initially, Gandhi hoped to work for political reform as a loyal subject of the British Empire.
It was only then that bumper-sticker homilies Gandhi never uttered—“Be the change you wish to see in the world”—were attributed to him. In recent years, many scholars have asserted that he has much to say about the issues that make our present moment so volatile: inequality, resentment, the rise of demagoguery, and the breakdown of democratic governance.
(Donald Trump tweeted one of these fake quotes during his Presidential campaign, in 2016: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”) As Gandhi disappeared into T-shirts and Apple advertisements, it was easy to forget that this big-eared, cuddly icon of popular culture responded to an unprecedentedly violent and unstable period in human history, beginning with the intensification of imperialism and globalization in the late nineteenth century and continuing through two world wars. In several pioneering books and articles, the Indian thinker Ashis Nandy has presented Gandhi as boldly confronting the “hyper-masculine” political culture of his time, which sanctified “institutionalized violence and ruthless social Darwinism.” Writers such as Ajay Skaria, Shruti Kapila, Uday S.
In 1920, he launched his first nonviolent campaign against the British, and within a few years he had transformed the Indian National Congress, hitherto a party of upper-class Indians, into a vigorous mass movement.
In 1930, he achieved international fame with the Salt March, a protest against a British-imposed tax on salt, which catalyzed civil-disobedience campaigns across the nation.
Prone to committing what he called “Himalayan blunders,” he did not lose his capacity to learn from them, and to enlist his opponents in his search for a mutually satisfactory truth.
Satyagraha, literally translated as “holding fast to truth,” obliged protesters to “always keep an open mind and be ever ready to find that what we believed to be truth was, after all, untruth.” Gandhi recognized early on that societies with diverse populations inhabit a post-truth age.
Activists fighting for the environment, for refugees’ and immigrants’ rights, and against racial discrimination and violence continue to be inspired by satyagraha, Gandhi’s neologism meaning nonviolent direct action.
The aim of satyagraha was to arouse the conscience of oppressors and invigorate their victims with a sense of moral agency.
Known as the Mahatma (an honorific meaning “great soul”), he became famous worldwide as a practitioner of nonviolent resistance.
Guha’s previous volume established how Gandhi, born in 1869 into a family of senior administrators in the princely states of Western India, went to Britain at the age of nineteen, to train as a lawyer—the first time he had travelled outside his home region.