A collection of essays by renowned Gandhi scholar Thomas Weber, The Mahatma, His Philosophy and His Legacy provides new insights into Gandhi the individual, philosopher and political campaigner, and how later generations have interpreted his life and message. The volume has been divided into three sections—Gandhi: The Mahatma; Gandhism: His Philosophy; and The Gandhians: His Legacy.
The first section deals directly with the life and times of Gandhi, and covers issues relating to Gandhi’s moral development in South Africa through what he saw as his changing obligations to his family back in India. It looks at those who have been credited with helping Mohandas Gandhi become the Mahatma, such as Francis Deak and the English suffragettes, and those, such as the Blue Serpent Goddess—Nilla Cram Cook—who caused him grief. It also examines Gandhi’s attitude to foreign travel.
The second section explores Gandhi’s philosophy—what were his expectations of individual and social behaviour? What were his views on practical state matters like economics and the necessity of armed forces? What did his detractors think of his insistence on nonviolence? A particularly interesting essay examines the dynamic between Gandhi and Adolf Hitler, two leading but very different world figures of the time.
The final section studies Gandhi’s legacy in India and around the world. The author shows how Gandhian philosophy influenced Western thinkers like Martin Luther King Jr and Gene Sharp. Gandhi’s legacy in India is also examined at some length, with essays on the state of Gandhism and the unabashed usage of the icon that is the ‘Father of the Nation’ for political gains in twenty-first century India.
This volume will be of interest to scholars and students of Gandhi Studies, philosophy and history.
Thomas Weber is an Honorary Associate in the Department of Politics and Philosophy, La Trobe University, Melbourne.
Gandhi: The Mahatma
Gandhism: His Philosophy
The Gandhians: His Legacy