ISBN : 9780199474295
The book seeks to examine Gandhi's understanding of the caste and varna system, and his evolving strategies to abolish it. It argues that in 1915, after returning to India from South Africa, Gandhi had started talking about the positive aspects of caste system and proclaimed his faith in it because he understood that the Hindu masses were not yet ready for radical reform, and that they must be gradually educated before being asked to abandon their faith in the doctrine of the caste system and the practices based on it. In order to substantiate the argument and to exhibit Gandhi's evolving strategy against the caste system, the book employs a close and chronological reading of Gandhi's writings and outlines the continuity and changes in Gandhi's views between 1915 (when he returned to India from South Africa) to 1948 (when he died). The book divides the entire phase into five periods-1915 to 1920, 1920 to 1927, 1927 to 1932, 1932 to 1945, and 1945 to 1948-based on the themes that emerge in his writings during those years. These are on the issues of untouchability, caste, varna, sanatani Hindu, inter-dining, and inter-caste marriage. Within each demarcated period, the book delineates the evolution of Gandhi's views, tracing shifts and turns in the context of political and social development of the time.
Preface by Rajmohan Gandhi
1 Was there Strategy in Gandhi's Approach to Fight Against the Caste System?
2 What did Gandhi Stand for and What did He Hope to Achieve?
3 Gandhi's Evolving Strategy to Abolish the Caste System
4 Gandhi's Evolving Strategy to Abolish the Caste System
5 Critical Analysis: Ambedkar, Gandhi, and Arya Samaj
The Politician: A Response to Arundhati Roy's 'The Doctor and the Saint'
Gandhi's Life: A Chronology
About the Author