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Conceived, debated and written in the shadow of our new wartorn millennium, this work brings together an impressive and varied group of scholars across the disciplinary divide to rethink Gandhi’s legacy and nonviolent ethics.
What traction do peace and Gandhi have in these violent times when religious fundamentalisms of various kinds are competing with the arrogance and unilateralism of imperial capital? In what possible registers can Gandhian moral vernaculars-ahimsa, stayagraha, sarvodaya-address the ravages of our contemporary world?
In rethinking Gandhi’s relevance in the new world order, the contributors approach Gandhi, not purely as an ‘Indian’ figure, but as an activist-thinker whose transcultural nonviolent ethics of the everyday eminently translates across a range of political sites. The volume also gives us vignettes of Gandhi’s more eccentric aspects-his vegetarianism, his fasts and medical practice, and his experiments in communal living. Without deifying Gandhi, the volume sensitively explores the sheer worldliness and embodied nature of Gandhi’s thought, practice and legacy.
Debjani Ganguly is Head of the Humanities Research Centre in the Research School of Humanities, Australian National University, Canberra. She is literary and cultural historian and has published in the areas of postcolonial studies, global Anglophone writing, theories of world literature, caste and dalit studies, cultural histories of mixed race, the cosmopolitanism of Gandhian thought, and Indian literary criticism. Her recent publications include Caste and Dalit Lifeworlds ( Orient Blackswan, 2005), Edward Said: The Legacy of a public Intellectual (co-ed, MUP, 2007) and Pigments of the Imagination (Journal of Intercultural Studies, special issue, co-editor, 2007)
John Docker is Adjunct Professor in the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National Univeristy, Canberra. Since the publication of 1942: The Poetics of Diaspora (Continuum, 2001), he has researched and written on monotheism and polytheism and most recently, ion genocide in relation to the Enlightenment and to colonialism. He has recently published Is History Fiction (University of Michigan press, 2005), co-authored with historian Ann Curthoys, and The Origins of Violence.