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Term Paper - Abhishek Choudhary - Gandhi

Term Paper - Abhishek Choudhary - Gandhi

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Published by: Abhishek Choudhary on Mar 08, 2012
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03/31/2014

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“Is Gandhian technique relevant inContemporary Indian Strategy making?”
 
Term paper for:
Indian Strategic Thought
(Dr. Devika Sharma)
Presented by 
:
 
Abhishek Choudhary
M.A. Political Science(Third Semester)Kirori Mal CollegeCollege Roll no. 510/57402University of Delhi
 
 
 
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS:
“Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi” and “Strategic Thinking” sound a bit
 juxtaposed. Manyscholars have the view that one can either be a strategist or moralist. However, I haveundertaken the task to answer the questions raised on Mahatma
Gandhi’s contemporary
relevance in strategy making.The central question undertaken by me in this term-paper is:
"Is Gandhian TechniqueRelevant in Contemporary Indian Strategy Making?"
The core arguments/assumptions with which I would like to proceed are:
1)
 
Universal Morality 
and
Gandhian
 
notion of morality 
needs to be distinguished.
Gandhian notion, on ‘means justify ends’ interpretation, seems closer to Kantian
Deontological notion of morality. But
when the issue of ‘strategizing’ is concerned,
one cannot deny the pragmatism involved even for the strictest of Idealists.Therefore, I argue
that equating ‘Morality’ with ‘Gandhian Technique’ on strict terms
is wrong. This is not to say that Gandhiji was immoral or
amoral, but that ‘Gandhianmorality’ needs to be seen in
a different context. For instance, Gandhi saw non-violence for the society as necessarily different from that of the individual.
 2)
 
Present Indian scenario should not be equated to the years of colonised India or theyears just after independence of India.
The idea of a ‘colonial subjects’ and‘democratic subjects’
does vary. The notions of 
Satya
(truth),
 Ahimsa
(non-violence),
Sarvodaya
(rise of all),
Dharma
(duty),
Swaraj 
(self-rule), and peace as advocated byGandhiji during British Colonial rule still holds relevance. However, being a freeNation, one needs to reinterpret these and contextualize it.
 3)
 
We need to look beyond the dominant Structural Realist paradigm, especially
offensive realism which calls for ‘absolute power’ in the sense that
promotesmilitarization. This is essentially a Eurocentric approach and ignores the groundrealities of a post-colonial country like India, where developmental needs are of prime importance. After all, guns with empty bellies hardly make any sense.
 4)
 
I will proceed negatively, first by discussing the arguments which posit Gandhiji ashaving negligible relevance, and then by moving on to discuss his relevance in thelight of literature focussing how Gandhi and his ideals are relevant. I will focus onspecific issues of Swaraj, pacifism and nuclear policy.
 

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