Can Gandhi be considered a systematic thinker? While the significance of Gandhi’s thought and life to our times is undeniable it is widely assumed that he did not serve any discipline and cannot be considered a systematic thinker. Despite an overwhelming body of scholarship and literature on his life and thought the presuppositions of Gandhi’s experiments, the systematic nature of his intervention in modern political theory and his method have not previously received sustained attention. Addressing this lacuna, the book contends that Gandhi’s critique of modern civilization, the presuppositions of post-Enlightenment political theory and their epistemological and metaphysical foundations is both comprehensive and systematic. Gandhi’s experiments with truth in the political arena during the Indian Independence movement are studied from the point of view of his conscious engagement with method and theory rather than merely as a personal creed, spiritual position or moral commitment. The author shows how Gandhi’s experiments are illustrative of his theoretical position, and how they form the basis of his opposition to the foundations of modern western political theory and the presuppositions of the modern nation state besides envisioning the foundations of an alternative modernity for India, and by its example, for the world.
Anuradha Veeravalli is an Assistant Professor at the University of Delhi. Her teaching and research focus on issues regarding science, religion and politics and the relation between them through a consideration of their epistemological presuppositions in a comparative perspective.
’Anuradha Veeravalli provides us with a provocative study of Gandhi’s political theory. Gandhi is seen as a systematic thinker who rejects the many dualisms that dominate much modern political thought. The author not only knows her Gandhi very well but also demonstrates a keen command of Western political thinkers. In this book, Gandhi takes on not only British colonialism but also the Enlightenment and the modern nation state.’ Ronald Terchek, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland, USA