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

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Setting Forth Stages in Gandhi’s Journey

Gandhi and the Contemporary World edited by Sanjeev Kumar, India: Routledge, 2020; pp 252, 995 (hardback).

Sanjeev Kumar continues to render an outstanding contribution to M K Gandhi scholarship. This volume constitutes his selection of 15 essays from 40 presented at an international conference on Gandhi in February 2016 at the University of Delhi. But he has not stopped here. Recently, he organised a series of lectures on Gandhi’s thought by scholars around the world: Bhiku Parekh, Akeel Bilgrami, Faisal Devji and myself. His extraordinary industry is evident in the quality of the choices of this edition, starting with his own introductory chapter appropriately titled “Understanding Gandhi: Why Gandhi Matters Today.”

Kumar’s essay opens with an apt epigraph from Gandhi: “If my faith burns bright, as I hope it will even if I stand alone, I shall be alive in the grave, and what is more, speaking from it.” This recalls the inimitable response of Sarojini Naidu, who quickly grew tired of eulogies for Gandhi that concluded “May his spirit rest in peace.” She rejected such placidity by adamantly insisting on the opposite: “Let every ash from the funeral pyre be dynamic and create in us a power to fulfill his orders with vigor and follow his example” (Sengupta 1974: 328).

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Updated On : 7th Jun, 2021

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