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The Mahatma and Modern India Author(s): Judith M. Brown Source: Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 3, No.

4, Gandhi Centenary Number (1969), pp. 321-342 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/311930 Accessed: 22/08/2010 06:23
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Modern Asian Studzes III,

4 (I969),









CENTENARY celebrations of the birth of any prominentman attract assessments of his character,careerand influence.Nothing could be more understandable, particularly in the case of M. K. Gandhi,who was by commonconsentone of the greatestleadersAsia has produced in an era of colonialnationalisms and decolonization, who in his own life time was called a saint and a machiavellian politician,and who has becomein independent Indiaboth a nationalmythand an embar rassment. Accounts of the importance of Gandhiin modernIndia tend to fall into two maincategories. Thereare thosewho dismiss him, often regretfully,as an idealist whose utopian plans for a democracyof villagecommonwealths and a non-violent societyhave collapsed in the face of economic and political necessity and the machinationsof unscrupulous politicians. In the wordsofJayaprakash Narayan,'If you considerthe politicalideologiesattainingin India today, you svould find that somehowone who is called the Fatherof the Nation is completely missingfrom all of them'.l Such pessimism assesses Gandhias if he had been solelya dispenser of blue-prints for a bravenew world, and fails to see him as a dynamic leader whose greatestinfluence flowedfromthe type of movementhe led and the techniques he used, ratherthan fromthe peculiarlypersonalidealshe held. On the other hand, thereare thosewho hail him as the Fatherof India and try to drawdirectcausalconnexions betweenhisidealsand manyof the major changeswhich have occurredin India since I947 particularlythe oicial abolitionof Untouchability and the institution of panchayat raj. Butthisis the perspective of the biographer. It underrates the complexities of politicsand societyand theirinteraction, and turnsa blind eye to the innumerable crosscurrents which make up the main streamof Indiansocialand politicalactivity. Bearingin mind these types of analysesand their weaknesses, I have limitedthe scopeof this articleto two objectixles. Firstly,I trace some of the main ideas Gandhiput forward,discussinfluences which coincidewith or militateagainsttheseideas, and investigate theirfate in modernIndia. I conclude that generallyit is fruitlessto look for the Mahatma'sinfluencein contemporaryIndia in terms of direct 1 p. Mason(ed), IndiaandCeylon: Unity andDiz)ersity, London,I967, p. 295.

pp..morepositivepartof my argument-that to see the influenceof Gandhion India'sdevelopment it is morefruitful to look at his leadership of the nationalmovement. 2 I0. Writingto someonehe had met in Londonin I906 and I909 when the idealsof HindSwaray were formingin his mind.W. New Delhi.For in such cases. 8-68. it showedthat a recentvisit to Englandhad finally persuadedGandhi that western civilization. despitethe myth of the Mahatma. W. Butthatform of Government is an impossibility today. and his ideas changedconsiderably in the courseof his life.322 JUDITH M.Indiamustpassthrough the throes of Parliamentary Government and. 9. I stillretain theposition heldby mein London.seeing thatit is so. The precisenatureof the indigenous governmentGandhi favouredfor India changed with the years.This may seem a rathernegativeundertaking. particularly thosehe described as truth and non-violence. I naturally support a movement whichwill securethe best type of Parliamentary Government.. 4 Gan&i to Florence Winterbottom. W.2 Writtenin I909.3 As a corollaryhe turnedagainstthe parliamentary formsof government and the powerof the executivewhich appeared to accompany such civilization. C. viz. for it is in this spherethat Gandhians like Narayan feel most bitterly that India has deviated from the paths Gandhi indicated.HindSwaraj. but by I9I8 he believedthat someformof electedgovernment on parliamentary lineswas necessary as an interimstage of politicaldevelopment.). he discussedthis apparentinconsistency You have reminded me of what I usedto say in London. and resisted theirimposition on India under the Britishraj. I4.with its factoriesand machinery. 3889. One importantarea of discussion must be the natureand powerof the government. But at the root of all his laterthoughtwerethe beliefsset out in his booklet. but it clears the groundfor the second. and haveaskedme howI reconcile [thiswith]myactivity in connection withtheHomeRule movement. . noise and violence.was depriving man of quiet and the powerto cultivatethosespiritual qualitieswhich lie at the heartof Gandhian philosophy. p. Vol.4 2 Hind Swaraj reproduced in full in fAe Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi..I0. C. Vol. pp..his ideals are only one of many contributory and competing factorsin modernIndia. they are cited below as C.. 3 Indian 0y7inion. than to searchfor Gandhian'legacies' in solutions to social and politicalproblems. At firsthe envisaged a benevolent autocracy. that benignautocracy wasthe bestformof Government. (The Collected Works are in processof publicationby the Government of India. Vol.Gandhiwas not a systematic politicalphilosopher. BROWN 'legacies'.mass communications.in which he was manifestly posverful. X I }Sebruary I9I8. X OctoberI909..

what he called thatsuchan idealwasunattainable Butrealizing 'enlightened anarchy'.I96I.p. I963. Philosophy 7 V. 36.. I 99-20 I . in Formsof Government'. of the Congress this he advocatedthe disbanding and the devolution into a socialserviceorganization.THE MAHATMA AND MODERN INDIA 323 His ideal by I93I was the witheringaway of the state.Chairman proclaimed that ing Committee.6 of powerare of Gandhi's plansforthe decentralization The culmination In in a documentdated 30 JanuaryI948.of which the bottomtier shouldbe the villagepanchayat.5 of power.. I hold that thesevillage republicshave been the ruinationof India. completedecentralization The end to be soughtis human happinesscombinedwith full mental and moral growth.JawaharlalNehru. This end can be achieved under decentralization.In the wordsof the foremost exponentof this streamof thought. 50. I57-8. Agra.withoutsocialfreedomand a socialiststructure of scciety and the State. dom.8 of any proposalto constructan Indian Besidesuch radicalcriticisms polity on the basisof the village unit. quotedin S. 6 Harijan. What is the village but a sink of localism.he insistedthat in the immediatefuturethe main characterand the istic of the state should be the least possiblegovernment.London. 'Politicalfreebut they were stepsonly wereno doubt essential. as a politicalgroup.. a I am glad the and communalism? den of ignorance. Abid Husain. The love of the intellectualIndian for the village communityis of course infiniteif not pathetic.Bombay. in reality.narrow-mindedness has discardedthe village and adopted the individual Draft Constitution as its unit. Politics andSociety Philips . the day of his assassination. pp. The Way 5 Gfoung India. Varma. therewere also the implications of Congress plans for a socialistsociety. 8January Ig42.7 But after Indian independencewhen leaderswere forging a new constitution it becameabundantlyclear that Gandhi'sideal was only of the Draftone strandin currentthought. independence. with the non-violentstructure as a systemis inconsistent Centralization of society. pp... (ed). The Political I 959.'Tradition In India.. Tinker.2 July I 93 (2nd edition). in the right direction. 37. and Experiment 8 H. ibid. of Mahatma Gandhi andSarsodaya.Dr Ambedkar. its transformation of authorityto three tiers of elected national servants. H.. pp. P. neitherthe countrynor the individualcould of Gandhi andJ%ehru I. C.

I9 November I949.9Implicitin suchplanswas the increaseof statepower to redistribute wealth. Calcutta.government regulatessocial customs. AfterPartition large areas of the country were badly disorganizedby communal violence and the influx of refugees. to complainthat the 'constitutioll is a miserable failure.Moreover. who had spent so much effiort decrying the so-called unbridled power of the British raj. It was not only the ideologyof Nehru and the socialists whichjostled with Gandhianideals for prominencein independentIndia's new government.The spiritof Indianculturehas not breathedon it: the Gandhismby which we swearso vehementlyat home and abroaddoes not inspireit. too. and devolutionon the grandscalewouldprobably have resulted in politicalchaos. say. Nehru. London.Philies op.and to providethe sanctionof forcebehindlegislative reformof certainsocial practices. p. 'Traditionand Experimentin Forms of Government'.It is ironic that Gandhi. I59. it determinesthe size of landholdings. For a study of Nehru's socialist anddemocratic beliefs. E. it regulatesand initiatesindustrialenterprise as svellas performing the traditional rolesof the tax-collector and the policeman. 24nJutobiography.J%ehru and Democracy.The structure of government which India inheritedfrom the departingraj was essentiallyauthoritarian. .Agra.1:).and deep into people'sprivatelives.324 JUDITH M. Smith. leaderswho had spent most of their lives in conflictwith the raj for controlof government werenaturally reluctantto relinquish authority to villagecommunities when unfettered powereventuallycamewithin theirgrasp.P. quoted by H. found himself at the end of his life in uneasyalliancewith futureIndianrulers who plannedfar greaterinterference in society. government controlhas reachedout fromDelhi and the State capitalsinto nooksand crannies of publiclife wherethe Britishnever ventured. and particularlysince the establishment of the Planrling Commission. it interestsitself in methodsof agriculture. BROWN developmuch'.and envisagedwider governmental powersthan the Britishhad ever daredto contemplate.see. p. It is just a piece of legislationlike.cit. It was left to the premier of the U.'l° Since I950.I 958. I66. By this time Gatldhiwas dead.. In theory anyway.it orderswhen childrenshallattendschool. 9 J. the MotorVehicles Act. 10 Address to University Convocation. too.it rationsand distributes foodon occasion. Tinker. to organizeresources and production. Therewereseverepractical problems. conferring large powerson the central and state governments. Out of this conflict of ideals and political necessityemergedthe federalconstitution of India. I936.and needed firm administrative control.

7Che Government andPolitics of India(2nd edition).village development forgeson without the help of newpanchayats. I967 p. Government is cvery-whereand inescapable. . I962.London. But Mehta himself insistedthat it was not dogmaticadherence to Gandhianidealswhich promptedthis reform.'ll But amidstthis growthof government powerhas been one development which at frst sightlooksexplicitlyGarldhian in originand substance. as it is still in its earlystagesand the evidenceis piecemeal. This entails the devolutionof muchpoweroverlocal concerns and substantial fundsto a three-tiered structure of electedbodiesat the levels of village. 94. desigrled largely to increasefood production. H. In some areas-Sood productionand the generallevel of village prosperity has increasedrapidly. crucial to economic development.As a reportfromRajasthan in I960 commerlted. London.rather it was administrative necessity. and it was hopedthat the devolution of somerealpowerto local communities via panchayat rajwouldremedythis. I967.see K. 13 G. villagerswerewillingto spendcommunal moneyon schools. p. But the improvemerlt of irrigationand other amenities.l4 but these are perhapsexceptional.Philips. whichare evenlookeddownon by villagers 11W. as in partsof Gujaratwhere the goahead Patidarcaste is strong. p. Blossoms zntheDust. pp. Nair..Democracy andEconomzc Change znIndia. dispensaries androadswhichwould benefitthem all. Rosen.p.THE MAHATMA AND MODERN INDIA 325 'The little Snger has become the whole hand.czt. 94-7 15 Report of a Study 7Ceam onDemocratic Decentralization znRajasthan. I6s Tinker.l3 So far politicalcommentators and anthropologists have been unable to produceany comprehensive pictureof the actualworking of thisnew structure. the irlstitution of panchayat raj.(Revisededition).rarely benefited the whole village. I83.. The chairmanof the team which produced the reportj BalwantrayMehta. cit. Morris-Jones. was a former Gandhian workerfrom Gujarat. The breakthrough towards panchayat raj came with tlle publicationin I957 of the Report of the Team for theStudy of Communaty Projects andJfifational Extension Service.I5 In otherplaces. quotedin Rosen.and throughhim a direct connexionbetween Gandhi'sideals and panchayat raj can be traced. and consequently panchayats foundit difficultto decidehow to allocatefunds. 'Tradition and Experimentin Forms of Government'. developmerlt block and district.Berkeley and Los Angeles. op.had not succeededin their object.l2 The C:ommunity Developmentprojects of the early I950S. of. 8 14 For two successful panchayats in Bihar.9512 E].

p. Bailey.l6 The fate of panchayats reallyseemsto dependon the stateof the individualvillagein the first place whetheror not thereare interested local leaders) whetherthere is a dominant castewillingto use it constructively. 96 17 H. Panchayat raj demonstrates at the local level how democracycan most cruelly divide in a complicatedand diversesociety. Similarly. I70-8. or whetherthereare competingcastesor warringfactionswhich use the panchayat as a new arena for their traditionalbattles ratherthan as an agency for selfgovernment and an instrument of development.cit. with no need for towns 16 Nair. I963..they increaseexistingdivisionsand rivalries by providing further prizesfor the successful. His vision was self-sufficient village communities producing the Ilecessities for simple. the end product. and thoughtheoretically they work in cooperation with the electedpanchayat. I 68. Althoughpower has been devolvedto villagelevelsits accompaniment is an armyof development officers and workers fromvillage level upwards.just as instalmentsof constitutional reformdid at a higherlevel in the last fortyyearsof the Britishraj.rurallife.It was only put into practice when it coincided with overridingpolitical and economicpressures towardsa similar goal. and even then. Cit. Bombay. Tinker.Philips .I7 In such casesthey do nothirlg to promotevillage harmony. Experimentin Forms of Government'. I 84. G. It is also debatablewhether pa1achayat rajis workingin a way which is really consonantwith Gandhi'svision. Orissa in I959. see F.Politics andSocial Change. Gandhienvisaged a harmonious. Virtuallyidenticalis the fate of Gandhi'shopes for the economic future of India.326 JUDITH M BROWN as somewhatirrelevantgovernment creations. is often distorted fromthe Gandhian ideal by the necessities of politicalcontrol and the powerof existingsocialgroups. For a case where the traditional councilcontinuedto rule the villageand the statutory panchayat was merelyan instrument of liaisonwith the administration. pp. 'Tradition and 0p.ideals and plans which some commentators liketo seeas hls 'legacy' to India. pp. op.Quite the reverse. there is danger that theirpresencemay makelocal autonomyinto a sham.ButinthiscaseGandhi's ideal was only one strandin a conflictof differing ideals and political necessities. non-violent societyand stateif central power was devolvedto the localities but in many placespanchayats are at the mercy of castes or factions disputinglocal supremacy. A discussion of the natureand extentof statepowerin modernTnclia is important becauseit seemsto be typicalof the fate of so manyof the ideals Gandhiwished India to reflect.. These bring the prestige and authority of government with them.contemporary 15anchayat raj.

pp.l8 This clashed with the plans of other Indian leaders for a prosperous India able to hold its own as a modern. The Second Plan. What could have been more inimicalto the Gandhianideal thanNehru'spronouncement. 22 Harijan. as he explainedin I939.op.However. But the Third Plan commentedcurtly that under the Second Plan 'the resultsobtainedin respectof both For a surveyof Gandhi'seconomicideal. 20 Ibidz pps409-I6 21 Ibid..22 In practicethe naivetyof Gandhianeconomics has givenway to the Five Year Planswith emphasis on rapidindustrialization.You have to be rural-minded beforeyou can be non-violent and to be rural-minded you have to have faithin the spinningwheel.p.. Rural economy.London. quotedin Rosen. the governmenthas subsidizedcottage industries. Nehru. particularlystressedthe developmentof heavy industriesin order to make India independentof foreignsuppliesof producergoods. . 1960. 39-46.. . eschewsexploitation altogether. 4 NovemberI939. and I am convincedthat the rapidindustrialization of India is essential .and exploitation is the essenceof violence. for example.cit. 23 Papers relating to theFormation of theSecond Five-Lear Plan.He wrote: It can hardly be challengedthat.op. 4I2.even within the frameworkof internationalinter-dependence. and consequentlyable to accumulatecapital and reducethe foreigndebt. .20 At the heart of the differencewas Gandhi'svision of a non-violentsociety. industrialized nation.p. I 955..unless it is highly industrialized and has developedits powerresources to the utmost.in deferenceto Gandhianideals and the clear need to increaserural incomes. 44. 4I4.p.' ?19Such a clash obviouslyembarrassed Indianleadersat the height of the natioralistmovement. 18 Op. Cit. but non-violence. 19J.and a whole section of Nehru's TheDiscoveay of Indiais devotedto reconciling the two views. . I 26. iFor Nehruit was a questionof makingIndia politicallyand economically strong.cit. SheDiscovery of India(paperback impression of 4th edition). 'I am all fortractors and big machinery. . in the context of the modern world. p. quotedin Husain.23 Such reasoning would have been anathema to Gandhiansimplicity. see Husain. no countrycan be politicallyand economically independent.THE MAHATMA AND MODERN INDIA 327 with their factoriesand their endlesspossibilities for exploitingthe poor.2l ForGandhithe overriding necessity wasnot suchconventional strength.

J%ehru andDemocracy.Former op.24 In one area of economicpolicy. Gandhi'sideal village was a communityof peasantscultivatingtheir ownland and producing theirownfood. particularly the powerof the dominantlandholdingcastes in each area. 6I.28 The corollaryto 'ceilirlg'legislation.Nehru'ssocialist visionincludedruralequality.p. 62.and gradually local governments began to enact so-called'ceiling'legislation againstlargelandholders.once againsocialconditions.while his industrialplans needed a sourldagricultural base to supportthe industrial sectorof the economy.cit.. There in I955-6. 26 . conspiredto defeat the ideals of Gandhianand socialistplanneralike. once part of Hyderabad. in an attempt to lessen rural inequality and to provide incentivesfor productive peasantcultivators. For a discussion of the conflictsbetweenNehru and the judiciary.only 549 officially possessedmore than the 'ceiling' legislation allowedwhenit waspassed. pp. I33-4. B R OWN production and employment werenot commensurate with the expenditureincurred'. but as early as I928 Nehru had mootedtho limitationof landholdingby law. Gandhiwouldhave preferred the methodto be moralpersuasion.although thiswasknown to be an area of large estates.freefromlandlords who might subjectthem to a ruralequivalentof the industrialexploitation he so decriedin towns.cit. op..26 by the end of the Second Flve Year Plan all intermediatetitles in land were abolished. 27 Nair. which was corlcerned to protect the propertyrights of individuals.. I75 25 Smith. however. see ibid.as an example. as in many other parts of India.953 landholders. Take Raichurdistrict.25 Wherl Corlgress cameto powerit determined to abolish zemindari and othertitlesin land which came betweenthe government and the peasant. landholdersredistributed their lands among their familiesand relatives a legal dodge which doubtlessaccounts for the easewith whichsuchlegislation passesthroughlocal legislative assemblies even thoughthey oftencontainlargegroupsof landholding representatives.328 J UDI TH M .27 In Andhraas a whole.has similarlybeen ineffiective in many places. However.Gandhi'sideas did partially coincidewith those of Nehru and the more socialistleadersof Congress that is.Bothlinesof thoughtpointedto some limitationof the great zemindariestates existirlgin parts of India.the legislativeprotectionof formertenants.p. I35-4I. p. the problem of landlordismand landholding.pp. 24 ROsen.. out of 2 I 3.and to enforce maximum limitson landholding. Despiteconsiderable opposition fromthejudiciary.and consequent additionsto the Indianconstitution. 28 Ibid.

W.cst. Similarexamples are given in Bailey.. X967.manipulated of tenancylaws to evict their terlantsand turn them into provisioIts demonThis hits the low castesparticularly. laws to alterthe balarlce well-intentioned So far only the fate of Gandhis political and economicideals has It would be a valid criticismto say that after all been corlsidered. labourers.op.CIam opposedto the ofthesystem.castepresented devoteda rrast two distinctproblems -the rlatureof caste divisionsin general. certainlycontraryto the interltions share their lands among their relativesthere is less surplusland for temporarytenants to work. I3. 74-5.30 have.. 8g-go.ForGandhi. and the particularissue of Untouchability.there have been courts or from a distant government. in formulating Gandhi was not primarilyinterestedor instrumental to evaluate plans.. irl this case stratingthat poweraccruesto thosewho alreadypossess the local dominantlandowllingcastes. Building 31 NI. Vol. Weiner. p.'he wrote.National SheIndian in a NewJ%ation. able to make life uncomfortable circle of the village) is greaterthan belief in protectionthroughthe Moreover.'Thesebeing my views.Forfearof the powerful arevoluntary Butsuchsurrenders in the immediate landlordnearby. pp29 lfairnop. tenants often surrender in nameonly. 32 Bharat . Clearly it tleeds more than of powerin ruralIndia. * * investedwith a religious moralreform. Sevak.Party landholders fromOrissacf powerful and London. throughtheircontrol of Gujarat in the Kairadistrict the Patidars land titles and used some of the of the recordkeepers. and people who formerlyearned their living by taking on temporarytenuresharrebeen degradedto the some powerfullandlordslike Moreovera positionof day labourers.THE MAHATMA AND MODERN INDIA 329 their lands.3l agricultural it.29 tenancy protectionlaws which are eXectsof 'ceiling' and unforeseen As landholders of the legislators. C. apparentlywithout compulsion. Chicago .a topic to which Gandhi interestedSo let us turnto castesupremely amountof time and energy. and a readyagentforsocialand .'32 onforthedestructiorl whicharebeingcarried movements and on intermarriage At this stage he still upheld the prohibitions 64450 Ibid. pp.-he in South Africaand afterhis returnto India in I9I5* He wrote in a naturalinstitution in I 9 I 6 that castewas'a perfectly Marathimagazine meaning.andthatit wouldbe fairer andeconomic constitutions on moderrlIndia in an area of life in which he was his influence. legislation vitiatingtenancyprotection OctoberI9I6. pp.cit. pp. 64* Congress.To take the more general questionfirst: Gandhis attitudeto the institutionof caste developed up a strictHinduin the Vaishnava overthe years Brollght considerably withoutquestionduringhis time acceptedcastedivisions tradition. 30I-3.

of. see D. K. Dalton.As early as I907 he condemned the practicewithouthesitation. Heimsath.Yarnashramadharma.. Varnashrama was a cooperative societywith its members divided into occupationalgroups.I964. W. I 962. and an even stronger feelingamongstthe educated that the practiceof Untouchability shouldbe prohibited if India was to stand on equal terms as a modernnation with westerncountries. Vol. though not betweenmembers of differentcasteswithin each of the four great divisions.he came out against all restrictions on intermarriage and interdining.but all of equalstatus:and it was thisideal of casteto which Gandhiadhered for the rest of his life.. Fora surveyof the socialreform movemerlt. Mason.33In upholdingvarnashrama as opposedto the current practice of caste distinctions. 'If it were provedto me that this is an essentialpart of Hinduism. 69. I59-8I. Somewhere in the intervening years.Within the spectrumof the early social reformmovementthere were many shadesof opinion.each fulfillingtheir own functions. what he called varnashrama. I3. however. Speechby Gandhion I May I9I5. Prabhuis M. 435. was undoubtedlyof great importancein making these ideas acceptable in India. particularly as the spreadof educationand communications helped to weakenparochialisms of all kinds. H. Ahmedabad. I for one would declare myself an open rebel against Hinduismitself. C. pp.rangingfromthe most timid to the most radical. EheHindu. . and in I946 it was announcedthat no couplescould be marriedat his Sevagramashram urllessone of them was an Untouchable. W.Gandhi was compromising between the claims of orthodoxy and reform.2I April I907.In I93X. whose activitieswere reportedin mirlute detail during the national movement. C. Princeton. cit. 'The GandhianView of Caste. The personalexampleof Gandhi.33o JUDITH M. 3 May I9I5. and Caste after Gandhi'.mostclearly between I9I6 and I926 he had begun to distinguish betweencaste as actuallyfound in India. 6.34 and in I9I5 wrote.includingthe distinctions and loyaltiesof caste.. and his ideal of caste.Indian J%ationalismandHindt4 Social Reform. Gandhito ChhaganlalGandhi. . p. By the I9XOS there was a body of opinion which called for the entire abolitionof caste. BROWN interdiningbetweenpeople who belongedto differentvarnas.35 Thereareseveral strands in Indianthoughtfromthe laternineteenth centuryonwards which tie up with Gandhi'sattitudeto caste. Gandhi. K.'. But 33 For the development of Gandhi'sview of varnashrama (also called varnadharma and varnashramadharma). see C. A collectionof Gandhi'swritingson caste compiledby R. Vol. But in his attitude towards Untouchabilitythere was no element of compromise. p.P.36 But graduallythe radicalbegan to predominate. 34 36 36 .

specialseatswere allottedto themin the Lok Sabhaand StateLegislative Assemblies. Congressretainedtheir allegiance. op. and thiswasreinforced by the I 955 Untouchability OXences Act. 56-73 38 For the scope of the Constitution and the UntouchabilityOffencesAct. I34. applicable to the wholeof India. But what of actual practice?Untouchability is sanctionedby the traditionof generations. But Gandhi's greatfastleadingto the PoonaPactscotched this plan. see M. Tinker (ed).38 On the positiveside. 41 The Maharsof WesternIndia are one of the clearestexamplesof a group deliberatelytradingon the new benefitsavailableto them if they admit to being .cit. p. I.Chicagoand London. Cohn (ed).it cannotbe abolishedby the strokeof a legislator's pen. 3I2-I5. Galanter. I 87.39 Althoughthe problemof the erstwhileUntouchablesis essentiallyan economic one. SocialWelfare in India. R.But in villagesthereis still plentyof evidencethat Untouchability is as real a statusas ever it was. M. At orlepoint it looked as if the Untouchables under Dr Ambedkar's leadership wouldtryto finda solutionto theirproblem through political separatism. TheModernity of Tradition. Chicago.Princeton. 80.pp.scholarships wereprovided for Untouchables in schoolsand colleges. and S. 4I7. Leadership andPolitical Institutions in India.'Leadership and Castein a BombayVillage'. pp.THE MAHATMA AND MODERN INDIA 33I Congress socialism and the actualparticipation of lowerand Untouchable castesin civil disobedience alsocontributed to a radicalapproach. Structure andChange in Indian Society. Orenstein.except whereUntouchables live in casteblocs or keep their traditional occupations. as a ritualstatusgiven to certainoccupational groups. makingformerUntouchability a statusin which men have a substantialvested interest. 39 H.I967.37 Consequentlyin the I 950 Constitution Untouchable statuswas abolished. 40 For the case of the Chamars whose traditionally degradingleatherwork has becomeextremely profitable.4lClearly despite Gandhi's 37 A. In towns this happensmore rapidly. H.Milton Singerand Bernard S.I959.Mahatma Gandhi's Contributions.40 Even the protective discrimination given to ex-Untouchables in educationand government has backfired. pp. Moreover. New York. I964. p. an embeddedattitudeand social habit hard to root out.'ChangingLegal Conceptions of Caste'. and a certain percentage of government jobs werereserved for them. but only as those groupsfind new occupationsand increasingprosperity to free them fromtheirdegradedstatusand give them in eXecta new statusto replacethe old..but was committedto abolishing Untouchability when it came to power. Nair. Rudolph. Political Development in India.I968. such is the complexity of Indiansocietythat sometimes the very prosperity which should undermineold ritual distinctionsbecomes an incentive for retainingcommunalidentityand degradedstatus. L. see L. Parkand I. Instead. Muzumdar.

3I 6-22. Operatingwithirlthe new systemof massfranchise politicianshave to find appropriate methods of courtingpoliticalsupport.since these distinctionscover so many areas of life and vary in differentregions. Smith.Realizingthispolitical potential.Indiaas a Secular State. pp. One thing that Mahars. 42 M. political scientistsand anthropologists have studied the modernpoliticalrole of caste in considerable detail. See H.a categorywhich includessome low castes as well as ex-Untouchables. Betaille.M:ason. Srinivas.I 963.42 However. 43 I28.Untouchablestatus persistsand is even being artificially prolonged in modernIndia. (ISt Indian edition). I38-9. II7-20. pp. I966. op. As in the case of the latter. some low castes like the Lingayatsof Mysore.332 J UDI TH M . in some placesnow claim vigorously that they have among them ex-Untouchables who are eligible for governmentbenefits. Princeton. One way is throughthe reservation of jobs and seatsin legislatures for 'backward' classes.Even Christians and Muslims. but in someunforeseen waysit has servedto reinforce them. 89. have disturbedold balances of power. Educational arldeconomicdevelopment.This process of changeand modernization might be expectedto weakencaste ties.'The Futureof the Backward Classes:The Competing Demandsof Statusand Power'.Berkeley& Los Angeles. firstfrom an imperialto an Indian raj and then down throughState to jianchayat. . It is difficult to generalize about the power and importance of caste distinctionsas a whole comparedwith the specificissue of Untouchability. R.Bombay. pp.and the castegroupwith its local leaders and supra-village networksis a ready made instrumentfor political mobilization if politicians callcapture itsloyalty. and despitevirtuallyrevolutionary legislation.cit.. N.But it seems that graduallythe ritual importanceof caste is weakeningas education spreadsand as the endogamouscircle begins to sviden. B ROWN campaignagainstUntouchability. A.and with them the meansof obtainingcorresponding politicalinfluence. see D. For a discussion of the diEcultiesinvolved in findinga suitablecriterionof 'backwardness'. caste and sub-castegroups are finding new areas of activity in public life which make norlsense of Gandhianideals of a harmonious society of interdependent groups. and the devolution of power. India'sEx-Untouchables. I7I. provided new opportunities for social and economicadvancement.are determinedto retain the status of 'backward' for the politicaland economicadvantagesit now affiords them thoughiIl fact theireconomicpositionhas so improved that they llo longerdeserve the title 'backward'. though the ritual implicationsof caste may weaken.I965. SocialChange zn Modern India.p. Isaacs.theoretically castelesscommunities. E.43 In another waypoliticalchange has throwncaste groupsinto prominence.

but merely a tiny group of devoted Gandhians.46But though the factors which 'dilute' the power of caste in politics are increasing. Cit.pp. under the leadership of the welfare Jayaprakash Narayan. even though many of their ideas are virtually impossible to enact.p. they believe that the future of India lies with village communities and the end of partzrpolitics and factional strife.op.see Varma.O. In State level politics alone there are several distinct patterns of caste activity. have since I952 toured the country. The harmonious ideal of is still an ideal and no reality.op. 88-I03* cit. 'The Politicsof Untouchability: pp. But they have caught the public imagination by sourldinga note of simplicity and tradition in a period of rapid change and deviation from traditional paths. led by Vinoba Bhave.'Mobilityin the Caste System'. and at variety to be found in diffierent diffierentlevels of political life.India'. theJatavsof Agra. and where they have been influential they have often been distorted in practice by social conditions.44In other cases groups of castes form political alliances to preserve or better their position. Others.op. of the Sarvodaya 47For a discussion 46 pp. I98.45 Sometimes caste loyalties are only one of a number of means which politiclans use to attract votes: economic. M. cultural and social loyalties and interests are also called into play. movement. Some.Rudolphs.47Their political power in terms of numbers and institutionsis minimal.. They are present as a constant reminder of the heroic days of the 44 E. and where it operates it increases bitterness in politics hence the derogatory use of the word 'casteism' in contemporary Indian political jargon. ibid. op. Gandhi's varnashrama The cases on which this discussion has so far centred make it clear that Gandhi's ideals have often left little mark on Indian society and politics. askingfor gifts of larld and goods to form the basis oScooperativevillage communities on the Gandhian model. B7hat is left by the Mahatma in modern India is not a social and political reformation. the Nairsof Kerala. preach the doctrines of Sarvodaya. 227-35 haveadmittedlowercasteKolisto the statusof of Gujarat 45 Recentlythe Rajputs Sabhain orderto capturepowerfrom and alliedwith themin the Gujarat Kshatriya Congress. caste is certainly a live issue and a powerful weapon. of all.M.. Like Gandhi..Rosen. 26-7.THE MAHATMA AND MODERN INDIA 333 emerges from the recent voluminous literature on that role is the great regions. Srinivas.Singerand Cohn. the Patidar-dominated from the simple form of political The Vanniyarsof Madrashave progressed stagewheremanynon-caste activityin overtlycastepartiesto thismoresophisticated factorseompetefor theirpoliticalloyalty. A CasefromAgra.g. Sometimes whole castes go consciously into politics as organized groups.. 77. N. . among different castes. cit. Lyneh.cit. In a strange way they provide a focus for much of the current political discontent in India..

as .particularlyat critical momentsin the movement. though on occasion not evena Congress member.It was this potentialwhich Gandhibeganto releasein I920. andarea standing critique of anyIndiangovernment. BROWN nationalist movement.areasand communities whoseaims might be very differentif their politicalpotentialwas ever released.since for long periodshe would retire almost completelyfrom politics. he becamethe acknowledged leaderandsymbolof the anti-British agitation.The concretepreparation for the government of independent India was done by the Nehrusand Patelsof the nationalmovement. The Congressesheld at Calcutta and Nagpur in I 920 completelyreversedthe earlierCongress policy of cooperating in the Montagu-Chelmsford constitutionalreforms. sophisticatedworld of the professional politicians werevast groups. His strength. As such. Gandlli'srole as a leader can be describedas essentiallythat of a mediatorbetweenvariousgroupsand forces.and it is his leadershipwhich has left indeliblemarkson contemporary India ratherthan his specificplans for socialand politicalreform.he heldtogether a groupof politicalleaders. and the way he usedthem. The reason for this dramatic revision lay in the politicalforcesGandhicontrolled.nor even a full time politician. predominantly Hindus of high caste. Gandhiwasnot a formulator of constitutions or a plannerof economies. Gandhiprovided the inspirationand the dynamic leadership.mediatingbetweentheirdiverseideologies and aims.His very riseto powerin I920 was basedon this mediatory function. Standing outside this tiny.In the firstplace. and devote himselfto the serviceof the Untouchablesand to filling India with spinningwheels.They alone were equippedby their educationto fencewith the raj in westernstyleinstitutions for politicalpower:they alone had the qualiScations which would makethem the beneSciaries of the concessions of place and powerin government serviceand the LegislativeCouncilswhich were the heart of their politicaldemands. They were the creatorsof a party machineand the architectsof the new state. But surelyit is to the daysof the nationalist movement that we must turn if we are to see the influenceof Gandhion modernIndia? To look for directcausallinks betweenhis ideals and what is happening in contemporary politics and society is really to pose the wrong questions.334 JUDITH M. who came fromthe three Presidencies which had been longestunder Britishinfluence. and one could rightlyask what their directlegacy was to modernIndia in termsof policiesand institutions.Congress fromits inceptionuntil I920 had been the preserveof educated groups.

49 BombayPresidency Police. I9I5-20: his emergenceas a leader and the transformation of politics'(Cambridge Ph.Jayakar toB. U. S. was acutely awarethat his followerswere faced with a critical decisionby Gandhi'sincreasing power.JayakarPapers. while Gandhiforhis partmediatedbetweenthemand his own supporters so that the older politiciansretainedinfluence. Chronological Correspondence File No. Tilak.Gujaratand the Hindi-speaking parts of C. 50 M. par. M. reserving the right to ourselves to expressour diffierences amongstourselves whenever a properoccasionarrives. 4 I 4-72 . in the nationalmovement. SecretAbstractof Intelligenceof I920..According to a contemporary report. 2. I2II..49 The Presidency politiciansrealizedtheir predicament and many of them turnedto Gandhiat the end of I920 ratherthan slide into obscurity. BombayPresidency.to close up our rarlks and oXera united frontto the Government underthe guidanceof the only man-Mahatma Gandhi who can be somewhatof a leader to us. The timeis ripefor us all now..lay in the support of sections of the Muslimcommunity. in the weeksbeforehe died.50 But preciselybecauseof the increasingdiversityof those who had begun to participate in politicswith their own particular aims under 48 For an analysis of votingpatternsin the Calcuttaand NagpurCongresses and an investigation of the sources of Gandhi's power. dissertation.. Poona.P.one of 'Tilak'slast coherentutterances duringhis final illness' was 'that Gandhishouldbe regardedas a politicalpowerand not be lightly thwartedor opposedby the Nationalists lest they shouldfind themselves in a minorityand lose their lead in politics .but rather that this novel supportmade him the most dangerousopponent and the most powerful potential ally in the politicalsituationof Ig20.in the supportof representatives from regionswhich had previouslyplayed a peripheralpart in politics-Bihar. SerialNo. .-and in the supportof merchantgroupswhose loyaltieshad previously lain with the raj.27 August. pp.THE MAHATMA AND MODERN INDIA 335 shownin thevotingpatterns at Calcutta andNagpur.'Gandhiin India. under the present circumstances. .seeJ. It was not that Gandhicompletelyswampedthe older style politicians.'. I2.P. Moonje. B.One Bombaypoliticianput the situation neatly: We have expressedour diSerencesas regardsthe programmeof Nonco-operation to MahatmaGandhirecentlyand he has concededProvincial autonomy so far as it agreed with the fundamentalprinciples of his Non-co-operation and thus we are now in a positionto workout the programmeas it may suitus best.48 Even B.sJanuary Ig2I.if not leadership. I 968 ). the Punjab. . rousedto activityin the Khilafat movement. S.R.D. Brown. G.

when Gandhiwas tryingto ride both Hindu and Muslimhorses. MontaguPapers. He did this by deliveringarl ultimatumto the Muslims: they could have his mediationand a potentialHindu allianceon his termsonly. This was silentlyaccepted. He explained the choice of this name by sayingthatjust as ordinarylaw was suspended in the use of Martiallaw.She Economic Weekly.Mostspectacular wastlle refusal of the Muslimcommunity afterthe brief rapprochement with Congresson the Khilafat issue. cit..SomeHindusas well turnedagainsthim. pp.The Governor of Bombayreported this incident: He informedthe KhilafatCommitteethat in orderto carry out his programmeit would be necessary that arlinternalcommitteeof two or three of which he shouldbe the dictator(he used this word) shouldbe formed.3 June I 96I.25 June Ig20. Congress had deferreda decisionon non-cooperation over the Khilafatissue until the specialsessionin September. and the members of the Hindu Mahasabha. Montagu. Kothari. particularly those under the influenceof SubhasChandraBose.523 (25). conciliation and compromise.Mss. in which conflictinggroupsand interestsfind expression.There were those who refusedto accept both. 52 R.and Gandhi's unenviabletask was to keep the Muslimssufficiently happy and under his controlso as not to alienatethe Hindusby wild speechesor actions. where Nehru continued Gandhi'smediatoryactivitiesafter the Mahatma'sdeath. if they desiredhis co-operation.EUR. India Office Library. .D. One writerhas gone so far as to call the modernCongress an entire party systemirl itself. in favour of himselfand his 'committee'. BROWN Both the mediationand the dictatorialtendencywere presentfrom then throughoutGandhi'scareer. 64.52 This processcould be seen until recentlynot only in the central Congressparty. so in the case of the KhilafatCommittee its powerof action and criticism should be suspended pro tem. Oneoftheearliest examples of thisoccurred in June I920 at a meetingof the Xl-India Khilafat Conference.'The Party System'.5l 336 JUDITH M.But on the whole the Hindu politicians preferred to stick togetherunder Gandhi and preservea unitedanti-British front in a Congress which became a coalition of different interests. S. otherwise he wouldretire. quoted in Rosen. At the local level Congress success in retaining 51 Sir George Lloyd to E. his mediationbetweenthe differentgroupshad on occasion to be dictatorial.. but alsoin the localities.Gandhi'sleadership. and he proposedthat this should be styled the Martial Law Committee of the Khilafat Movement. despiteGandhi'sinsistencethat his life's workwas to bring together Hindus and Muslims. op.

I92I. 469-72.53 The inclusive. For example.and to provide them with meansof expression and roads to power.too.and rarelybetweenthe politiciansand the masses. village not a singlepersonvoted afterGandhihad visitedthe district the previousday. 54 V. high caste groups who had moved easilyin politicssincethe late nineteenth century. London. The legendof the Mahatma's success in makingmasspoliticalcontact makesthis sound like-heresybesidethe dogmasof Indian nationalist history. synthesising nature of Congresshas undoubtedlycontributedto the comparativestability of Indian politics in the two decades since independence. As more work is done on the actual mechanicsof Gandhi's politicalleadership it becomesclearthat this is an over-simplification. Chirol.ModernIndia owes much to the Mahatmafor this. on its poweras the Government partyto mediatebetweenlocal groups. and by the mediatory qualitiesof his own leadership.op..and the successful workingof elected. pp.54Occasionslike this doubtlessmultipliedwith the yearsas he becamea truly all-Indiafigure. parliamentary forms of government-phenomena rare in the post-independence historyof Asian and Africanstates. But it was between the politiciansand those whomone mightcall ruraland smalltown elitesthat Gandhiactedas politicalmediator. becausethe nature of Congress was very largely determinedby his ideal of it as the voice of all India. It is quite true that Gandhimovedwith easein the club-rooms of the IndianBarsand the politicalassociations of the professional politicians.during the I920 electionsin one U. 20I-2.and the tradersand professionalmen of small towns his appeal became more overtly political:while at the highestlevelsof politicalparticipation he could couch demandsin the language of legislatures arld constitutions. In a secondway Gandhiwas a mediatorduringthe nationalmovement-between the educated. It 53 Weiner.P.THE MAHATMA AND MODERN INDIA 337 powerand insuringunity has restedvery largely.cit.But generallyspeakingto the really poor and illiterateGandhi'smessageand appealwas social and religious. and that from I920 onwardshe harnessed togetherthe Seelings of the massesand the ambitionsof an elite.To the moreprosperous peasants.and the widersocial groupswhich have movedinto politicssince the FirstWorldWar. as well as in the markettownsand villages.and of coursethere were occasionswhen Gandhihad direct politicalinfluenceon ordinary villagerswith no claimsto the statusof an elite group. .IndiaOldand New. D pp. It is often said that Gandhiwas instrumental in creatingmasspolitical awareness and participation in India.interpreting the different groupsto each other.

'GandhiIn India.and had attendedCongress. In Biharin I920 this middlegroupconsistednot only of small town pleadersbut also of Muslim religiousleaders.workingthroughthe infantpoliticalassociations they had begun.Bettiah.while his most importanthelperswere either Patidarsthemselvesor lawyers from Gujarati towns. BROWN was between these latter groups that Gandhi acted as a political mediator. Home Political. I963. Lewis. and association with themwas not politicalcontactwith the masses.who had been a memberof the BiharLegislative Council. Misra(ed). Of the four main peasantleaderswhom Gandhiused. In Champaran. the most prominentwas the son of a prosperous Brahmincultivatorwho had personalgrievancesto vent againstthe planters.The only one of the groupwho had hithertohad much real political experiencewas Braj KishorePrasad. AmongGandhi's helperswerealso business men fromlocal townswho realizedthat if Gandhi'scampaignagainst the planting community was successful it mightincreasetheirown powerand prosperity in the area. In everycase Gandhiused a middlegroupbetweenthe masses and the politicians in the role of politicalsub-contractor. most of whom were lawyers. 56 J. 207-I0. Nos.particularly the GujaratSabha. Government of India. B. thoughhe movedthroughthe villages. .particularly the maulvis. 29 April I920. September I 920.the GujaratPolitical Conference and the local branchesof the Home Rule League.Similarlyin the Kaira satyagraha of I9I8 Gandhi'sworkwas not with the poorestpeasants.56 The same patternof leadershipappearsin the Rowlatt satyagraha of I9I9 and in the rlon-cooperation movementbegun in I920. 57 Searchlzght. who were interested in the Khilafatcause.55 Clearlysuch mer belongedto a ruraland urbanelite. his key men were a small group of professional men from Bihar towns. B. Bihar. Among them was Rajendra PrasadfromChaprawho was to becomeone of Gandhi'schiefhenchmen in Bihar.but with the prosperous Patidarcommunityof this districtof Gujarat. Vallabhbhai Patel was the foremostof these associates. This processcan be tracedin Gandhi'scareerright from the time when he launchedhimselfinto Indian politicswith the Champaran satyagraha of I9I7. H. Tirhut Division.to the Commissioner.57 In Maharashtra the policereported that the ordinaryvillagersunderstood virtuallynothing of what was said at non-cooperation meetings.Select Documents onMahatma Gandhi's Movement inChamparan I9I7-I8. Brown. see undatedletterfrom W. pp.but that village officialslike the 55 For a description of Gandhi's associates in Champaran.A.Both Patidar and lawyer. 339-43.Subdivisional Officer. M.338 JUDITH M. I oo-3. I9I5-20'. pp.

60 bannerof a Kshatriya From I9I7 onwardsGandhimediatedbetweenthe small groupsto whompoliticshad becomea naturalactivityoverseveraldecadesand a widerspreadof groupswho beganto be activein politicsfor the first time.particularly this is the very recentindicationthat in some places the rural elites in politics or challenged mobilizedby Gandhiare now beingdisplaced by groupsfrom below them in social and economicranking groups who were barelytouchedby Gandhi'sleadership..58 did not createmasspoliticalawareleadership But thoughGandhi's glibly suggestedwithout a detailedstudy of the ness as is sometimes mechanicsof that leadership.59 tural castes.often educatedin Englandor qualifiedat the EnglishBar are giving way to. pp I°5-I° 59 Weiner. of the dayswhenpoliticswerestillthe preserve werethe politicalleaders of an urban elite. I2 November. . I49I BombayPresidency Poona. powerful ruralelitestakingactive part in politicsfor the firsttime.THE MAHATMA AND MODERN INDIA 339 would dependon did.op. patels and shrofs theirbidding. forexample. cit. of adult suffragehastenedthe proeessof expandingpolitical 61The introduction participation.his kind of political sub-contracting both in significantly extendedthe rangeof real politicalparticipation in the changing This has been reflected townsand in the countryside. wherethe highcaste. of politics urbane. or at the very leastsharepowerwith. agriculin local politics. or at leastneedingthe assistance of.the Patidarswho followedhim from I9I8 home territory made up the local Congresswere in I962 onwardsand effiectively alliance under the defeated in Kaira district by a Bariya-Rajput Sabha. As he did so he traineda new kind of leader who has risento The Nehrusand Patels prominence in the years since independence.. 60 Ibid.pp.by the mid I g30stherehad occurred who were the earliestleaders decline in the power of the Brahmins. SecretAbstractof Intelligenceof I920.fluent in English.in the face of non-Brahmin and participants An interestingcorollaryto the Lingayats.In the Mahatma's of Gujarat.educacomposition of somelocal Congress ted few have had to give way to.casteswhiehthengainedmorepowerthroughthe institution 58 (2I). par. parties.6l India's comparativelysmooth transitionfrom Police. In a dramatic Belgaum.This new style of leaderis betterequippedto represent understandthe rural groups whose power has increasedsince the and to deal with local partybossesthan introduction of adultsuffrage. the late PrimeMinisterShastriwho had neverleft India until he took and up ofiice. 234-5. and villagers'behaviour talatis. men like Kamarajwho until recentlyspokeno English. and shiftedpowereven more quicklyto the dominantruralcastesin ofpanchayat the regions.

I look upon myself as an orthodoxHindu and my attackproceedsfromthe desireto rid Hinduismof its defectsand restore it to its pristineglory. Gandhiappearedboth in outwardappearance and in his attitudesand arguments to be far more traditionallyIndian. These statements of mine may have verbalsimiIarity with the occasional attacksof Christians. His egalitarian ideasowed muchto his westerneducation.at firstowedmuchto examples of nationalism andheroism fromoutsideIndia. but a call to returnto the originaltenetsof Hinduism. but.and madeCongress the sobermorning-dress affair that it once was. BROWN elitistpoliticsto a stage of far widerparticipation in politicalactivity owesmuchto Gandhi's abilityto interpret betweendifferent groups and to trainnew leaders who couldtap a widerrangeof support thaxltheir predecessors. 204. Thisshift in the balance of powerto the countryside isone of the mainthemesdealt with in Rosen. in their attacks. W. and a goodIndian. . 68 Speechby Gandhion 20 February I9I8. This is a political dividend of very great value to an ex-colonial territory whereviolencecan so easilyeruptfromthe bitterness of social.62 In somewhat the sameway Gandhi's ideal of an Indiannation.But in many ways he reinterpreted traditionallyIndian ideas to justitr moremodernor westernattitudes. I4.and not a departure fromHindu tradition..stressing that varnashrama was a purification of corruptHindupractice.34° JUDITE M. One of the mostobviousexamples of this was his attitudetowards castedivisions. p. cit.and similarly interpreted the more modern in tertns of the traditional.op. He drewheavilyon the lives of nationalist raj. In SouthAfricahe set himselfthe task of uniting the Indian communityand educatingits members in the qualitieshe thought made nations great. using his writingsand the columnsof Izadiaza Opinion in particular.there is no commorl groundbetweenus. C. In a thirdspherealsoGandhi's rolewasthat of mediator in matters of socialand politicalideology. Indeed this was part of his strengthas he stretchedout to groupsnot yet involved in the sophisticated game of western-style politics. Vol. Similarlyhe emphasized that his criticismof the contemporary treatment of womenin India was not an attackon Hinduismfromoutside.seek to strikeat the roots of Hinduism.but he took carealwaysto clothethese ideasin traditional forms.Compared with an oldergeneration of politicians who owed much of their politicalthinkingto educationon Englishliberallines. economicand regionaldivisionsif those divisionsare reflected in a monopolyof politicalpower. apartfrom this similarity. The Christians.

I 57-249. pp.W.g. educated and illiterate. I22. 7.. I74-6. 8. g September I905. Leader') Indian Opinion. p. 8.W.his writirlgs Indianon the traditionally examples. danger of Hindu raj.village communities he builtup structure was part of the ideological new kindof exposition of sstyagraha. for officialrecognition 67 This processof using traditionin the service of modernityis workedout in by the Rudolphsin a sectionof their some detail in relationto Gandhi'sleadership recent book. Opinion.and his stressfell increasingly on vernahis emphasis and swaleshi..W.Vol. but Gandhi'srestatement in overtlyIndian.but it might also emphasizethe difEerences betweenthe regionsof India and the claimsof theirvariousvernaculars and use.28 entitled 'Egypt's Famous 64 A course ofarticles +April I 908.. might bring educatedand uneducatedtogether. p. I99.C. . IndianOpinion. I 8 AprilI 908. pp.W. Vol. an article in Invdian 63 E. iEtudolphsF ap.It removedthe stingof the chargethe Britishhad representing alwayslaid againstthem. I75 March I 908. C. pp.. hencehis use of wordslike swaraj This and the wearingof khadi. I0.THE MAHATMA AND MODERN INDIA 34I KamalPasha. entitled.W. pp.. arldexhorted his audience in the beliefthatnations and Florence Nightingale. by stressing the in the movement to unifythe groupswho participated whichBritish ruleandinfluence to the divisions traditional in opposition Even in the mundanemattersof dress had causedor exacerbated. 6I-2.cit.64 and Mustafa leadersfromoutsideIndia.by dressing speak a vernacular.like Massini63 to followmenas diverseas OliverCromwell. 22 July I905. that they were 'denationalized'. the traditionaland the Hindu also involveddangers. Literallyand metaphorically clothedthe leadersof modernIndia in the robesof tradition. 40-I.. Vol. I22 and Indian Vol. was fraughtwith uncertainties.appearingto iron out the differences Gandhi poor. Vol5. Opinion. truth or soul force.R7-8. 4 April Ig08. C.Vol. C.even Hindu. George Washington By the time he returned were as great as the peoplethey contained..W.67 C.65 western farlesstowards wereorientated to India. cular education.. pp. a groupof over-educated nothingbut themselves. 27 July Ig07.terms of nationhood and independence importance to the leadersofthe and symbols was of greatpsychological nationalmovement. I 87-8. I 66-7.Gandhi broughtthem closer to the rest of the between rich and population.W. a passagein HindSwsraj. roundhis conceptof the supremacy were Much of that ideologyand the resultingpersonalidiosyncracies of westernpoliticalideals rejectedin India. 7.. 65 Indisn Opinion. C.The 66 Of coursestressing of the nationalmovementhelped to alienateMuslims increasingly Hindu character and to push them into demandsfor a Pakistanwhere they would be free from the It also. C.66 and exhortingthem to the leadersin khadi and language. It also helped babus.and thus eased India'spassageinto the modernworld. p. however. Vol. I I April I 908. 5. Use of vernaculars. 'The TraditionalRoots of Charisma:Gandhi'. 27 July I907. numerousreferencesas in Indisn Opinion.

This can be seen in microcosm in the fate of satyagraha and its political applicationin non-violentpassive resistance. 68 For evidence of this change. VIII.70 Political.cit. The samedistortionof the Gandhianoriginalcan be seen in the threatsof politicalleadersto fast to death when they have been unableto get theirway throughthe normalconstitutionalchannelsof politics. Military interventionin Goa. andpoliticalstrifehasbecomemorebitterandincreasingly erupts irlto open violence. Societyand politicsarefartoo complexto reflectthe idealsof one manj eventhoughhe was one of the greatest leadersIndia has produced and at timesevenseemedto personify the Indiannation. I960.68 Within India since Nehru's death the coalition he held togetheris splitting up. op.cit. . 37.Weiner. Moreover. H.as well as a superblyadaptabletechniquefor conductingand resolving conflicts.in response to the needs of the day. Political Studies. This above all was Gandhi'smessageto India. and not accordingto an ideologyfashionedin the early I9OOS by one who had no experience of the pressures of administrativeand economicnecessityin a vast under-developed country. which Gandhihopedwouldneverbe usedin an India whichhad won swaraj. BROWN In discussingMahatmaGandhi'sinfluenceon modernIndia it is misleadingto studyhis idealsand to try to see them as legaciesleft to his country. But in modernIndia the ideal has gone by the boardboth in external relationsand in internal politics.342 JUDITH M.'Mahatma Gandhi Political Philosopher ?'.Only the collusion of idealswithsocialand economic pressures can produce radicalchange in traditional societies:wherethe ideal alone is present. see the figuresfor the increasein government expenditure on defencesince I962.forgedby the politicians of the '60s and '70s. the technique of satyagraha. 69 W.69 has become a method of last ditch political blackmail.thoughthisis a temptingway to celebratehis centenary. 250-I. and whosemainconcernwas to rousehis countrymen to a visionof an independent destiny.economicand social pressures have conspiredto distortthe Gandhian original.in practiceit is eitherforgottenor distorted.op. Morris-Jones.pp. but ratherbecausehe bridgedthe gap betweenthe old orderand the new. p. the resort to satyagraha by people hoping to get certaintowns and areas includedin theirown linguisticprovinces. 30.g. p..The Mahatmawas not the Fatherof the Nation in the sense that he bequeathedto it a blue-printfor a new order. 70 E. and wars with China and Pakistanhave ended an era of nonviolence in foreignaffairsand of the diplomacyof non-alignment. Rosen. and are being. Vol. It was for him the manifestation of a consuming visionof a non-violent world. Solutionsto the problemsof modern India have to be...

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