ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Was Gandhi a Racist?

I would like to compliment Nishikant Kolge for the research embodied in his article “Was Gandhi a Racist? His Writings in South Africa” (EPW, 30 January 2016). I hope the article will enrich the debate on the subject.

The article refers to my work, The African Element in Gandhi, published in 2006. I have argued that Gandhi was initially influenced by racial prejudice but gradually outgrew it, and that there was an evolution in his position on this point even while he was in South Africa. Kolge seeks to depict such a position as representing an “extreme” view. He has sought to counterpose it to the other “extreme” represented by Arundhati Roy and others who hold positions similar to hers. There appears to be a categorical mistake in this counterpositioning.

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