HIST 174F

Gandhi and Making of Modern India

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour (when scheduled). Designed for juniors/seniors. Examination of life and ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, known world over as prophet of nonviolence and principal architect of Indian independence movement. Gandhi was also spiritual thinker, social reformer, critic of Western modernity, interpreter of Indian civilization, staunch supporter of Indian syncreticism, voluminous writer, and forerunner, not only in India, but of many great social and ecological movements of our times. Focus on Gandhi's idea of "satyagraha," resistance to oppression through truth ("satya") and nonviolence ("ahimsa"), and his nonviolent campaigns against colonial rule, before moving to broader assessments of his life and thought, his critiques of modernity and industrial civilization, and his relationship to Indian nationalism. Discussion of feminist, Dalit (low-caste), Marxist, and modernist critiques of his ideas, and reflections on his place in modern India and global circulation of his ideas over last six decades. P/NP or letter grading.

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