Even Gandhi’s Enemies and Critics Cannot Do Without Him

More than 70 years after he was assassinated on January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi still retains a hold on the Indian imagination, even if many of his beliefs and practices have been criticized sharply. He is called racist and also…

Even Gandhi’s Enemies and Critics Cannot Do Without Him

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More than 70 years after he was assassinated on January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi still retains a hold on the Indian imagination, even if many of his beliefs and practices have been criticized sharply. He is called racist and also anti-Dalit—his relationship with Dr Ambedkar, always fraught, has come in for closer scrutiny.

How fair is this criticism and are his ideas still relevant in a world where hate has become mainstream?

Dr Faisal Devji, Professor at St Anthony’s College, Oxford, and author of a book on Gandhi, says, his critics do not take the context of what he said on these subjects into consideration. “He was a lawyer and a politician and his remarks were made in that capacity at that moment,” says Devji, in this interview with Sidharth Bhatia. “He was the first politician to put discussions on caste at the heart of the freedom movement,” says Devji.

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