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TALKING BACKThe Idea of Civilization in the Indian Nationalist Discourse$
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Sabyasachi Bhattacharya

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198075042

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198075042.001.0001

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Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Discourse of Civilization

Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Discourse of Civilization

(p.47) CHAPTER 2 Mahatma Gandhi and the Nationalist Discourse of Civilization

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Gandhi’s ideas on Indian civilization through Hind Swaraj (1909). India, Gandhi said, need not have the expulsion of the British as the aim; it could accommodate them, but not Western civilization. The book was an unusual political tract which subordinated the political agenda to the civilizational discourse. In many respects, the text anticipates Gandhi’s future agenda of action and line of thinking. He anticipated the nationalist ideology of a pluralist reconciliation of diversities over the assertion of a Hindu civilization.

Keywords:   Hind Swaraj, Mahatma Gandhi, Hindu civilization, Western civilization, assimilation

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