Thursday, January 31, 2008


Views differ. Randeep Ramesh quotes Rudrangshu Mukherjee, one of those who say that Gandhi's ideas have been irrelevant to modern India:
India today has repudiated everything he stood for. He did not want industrialisation, he did not want a strong centralised state, he did not want violence or religious intolerance. Yet this is India today. He is at best an icon, respected but not relevant.
But Ramin Jahanbegloo is more positive (The modern Gandhi):
Gandhi was very conscious of the fact that the cultivation of an "enlarged pluralism" requires the creation of institutions and practices where the voice and perspective of everyone can be articulated, tested and transformed. This indeed is a vision of modernity, offering fruitful insights that may help us to confront the dilemmas of the new century: among them how to create a sense of global citizenship, how to turn inter-faith dialogue into a means of civic and moral self-understanding, and how to realise the potential of non-violence to heal a torn world. To reap the harvest of these ideas, we must sow the seeds - and the seeds are in Gandhi. In this respect, this moral and intellectual figure - sixty years after his death on 30 January 1948 - retains the disturbing capacity to unsettle fixed categories, shake inherited conceptual habits, and challenge us to see the world in a fresh light.

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