Gandhi, the preeminent leader of Indian
nationalism and the prophet of nonviolence in
the 20th century, was born, the youngest child of his father's fourth wife, on
Oct. 2, 1869, at Porbandar, the capital of a small principality in Gujarat
in western India under British suzerainty. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, who
was the dewan (chief minister) of Porbandar, did not have much in the way of a
formal education but was an able administrator who knew how to steer his way
between the capricious princes, their long-suffering subjects, and the
headstrong British political officers in power.
Gandhi's mother, Putlibai, was
completely absorbed in religion, did not care much for finery and jewelry,
divided her time between her home and the temple, fasted frequently, and wore
herself out in days and nights of nursing whenever there was sickness in the
family. Mohandas grew up in a home steeped in Vaishnavism
(Vaisnavism)--worship of the Hindu god Vishnu (Visnu)--with a
strong tinge of Jainism, a morally rigorous
Indian religion, whose chief tenets are nonviolence and the belief that
everything in the universe is eternal. Thus he took for granted ahimsa
(noninjury to all living beings), vegetarianism, fasting for
self-purification, and mutual tolerance between adherents of various creeds and
sects. (see also ahimsa, or ahimsa)
The educational facilities at Porbandar
were rudimentary; in the primary school that Mohandas attended, the children
wrote the alphabet in the dust with their fingers. Luckily for him, his father
became dewan of Rajkot, another princely state. Though he occasionally
won prizes and scholarships at the local schools, his record was on the whole
mediocre. One of the terminal reports rated him as "good at English, fair
in Arithmetic and weak in Geography; conduct very good, bad handwriting." A
diffident child, he was married at the age of 13 and thus lost a year at school.
He shone neither in the classroom nor on the playing field. He loved to go out
on long solitary walks when he was not nursing his by now ailing father or
helping his mother with her household chores.
He had learned, in his words, "to
carry out the orders of the elders, not to scan them." With such extreme
passivity, it is not surprising that he should have gone through a phase of
adolescent rebellion, marked by secret atheism, petty thefts, furtive smoking,
and--most shocking of all for a boy born in a Vaishnava family--meat eating. His
adolescence was probably no stormier than that of most children of his age and
class. What was extraordinary was the way his youthful transgressions ended.
"Never again" was his promise
to himself after each escapade. And he kept his promise. Beneath an
unprepossessing exterior, he concealed a burning passion for self-improvement
that led him to take even the heroes of Hindu mythology, such as Prahlada
and Harishcandra--legendary embodiments of truthfulness and sacrifice--as
In 1887 Mohandas scraped through the
matriculation examination of the University of Bombay and joined Samaldas
College in Bhavnagar (Bhaunagar). As he had suddenly to switch from his
native language--Gujarati--to English, he found it rather
difficult to follow the lectures.
Meanwhile, his family was debating his
future. Left to himself, he would have liked to be a doctor. But, besides the
Vaishnava prejudice against vivisection, it was clear that, if he was to keep up
the family tradition of holding high office in one of the states in Gujarat,
he would have to qualify as a barrister. This meant a visit to England, and
Mohandas, who was not too happy at Samaldas College, jumped at the proposal. His
youthful imagination conceived England as "a land of philosophers and
poets, the very centre of civilization." But there were several hurdles to
be crossed before the visit to England could be realized. His father had left
little property; moreover, his mother was reluctant to expose her youngest child
to unknown temptations and dangers in a distant land. But Mohandas was
determined to visit England. One of his brothers raised the necessary money, and
his mother's doubts were allayed when he took a vow that, while away from home,
he would not touch wine, women, or meat. Mohandas disregarded the last
obstacle--the decree of the leaders of the Modh Bania subcaste (Vaisya caste),
to which the Gandhis belonged, who forbade his trip to England as a violation of
the Hindu religion--and sailed in September 1888. Ten days after his arrival, he
joined the Inner Temple, one of the four London law colleges. (see also Inns
Gandhi took his studies seriously and
tried to brush up on his English and Latin by taking the London University
matriculation examination. But, during the three years he spent in England, his
main preoccupation was with personal and moral issues rather than with academic
ambitions. The transition from the half-rural atmosphere of Rajkot to the
cosmopolitan life of London was not easy for him. As he struggled painfully to
adapt himself to Western food, dress, and etiquette, he felt awkward. His vegetarianism
became a continual source of embarrassment to him; his friends warned him that
it would wreck his studies as well as his health. Fortunately for him he came
across a vegetarian restaurant as well as a book providing a reasoned defense of
vegetarianism, which henceforth became a matter of conviction for him, not
merely a legacy of his Vaishnava background. The missionary zeal he developed
for vegetarianism helped to draw the pitifully shy youth out of his shell and
gave him a new poise. He became a member of the executive committee of the
London Vegetarian Society, attending its conferences and contributing articles
to its journal.
In the vegetarian restaurants and
boarding houses of England, Gandhi met not only food faddists but some earnest
men and women to whom he owed his introduction to the Bible and the Bhagavadgita,
the most popular expression of Hinduism in the form of a philosophical poem,
which he read for the first time in its English translation by Sir Edwin Arnold.
The English vegetarians were a motley crowd. They included socialists and
humanitarians like Edward Carpenter, "the British Thoreau"; Fabians
like George Bernard Shaw; and Theosophists like Annie Besant. Most of them were
idealists; quite a few were rebels who rejected the prevailing values of the
late Victorian Establishment, denounced the evils of the capitalist and
industrial society, preached the cult of the simple life, and stressed the
superiority of moral over material values and of cooperation over conflict.
These ideas were to contribute substantially to the shaping of Gandhi's
personality and, eventually, to his politics.
Painful surprises were in store for
Gandhi when he returned to India in July 1891. His mother had died in his
absence, and he discovered to his dismay that the barrister's degree was not a
guarantee of a lucrative career. The legal profession was already beginning to
be overcrowded, and Gandhi was much too diffident to elbow his way into it. In
the very first brief he argued in a Bombay court, he cut a sorry figure. Turned
down even for the part-time job of a teacher in a Bombay high school, he
returned to Rajkot to make a modest living by drafting petitions for
litigants. Even this employment was closed to him when he incurred the
displeasure of a local British officer. It was, therefore, with some relief that
he accepted the none-too- attractive offer of a year's contract from an Indian
firm in Natal, South Africa.
Africa was to present to Gandhi
challenges and opportunities that he could hardly have conceived. In a Durban
court, he was asked by the European magistrate to take off his turban; he
refused and left the courtroom. A few days later, while travelling to Pretoria,
he was unceremoniously thrown out of a first-class railway compartment and left
shivering and brooding at Pietermaritzburg Station; in the further course of the
journey he was beaten up by the white driver of a stagecoach because he would
not travel on the footboard to make room for a European passenger; and finally
he was barred from hotels reserved "for Europeans only." These
humiliations were the daily lot of Indian traders and labourers in Natal who had
learned to pocket them with the same resignation with which they pocketed their
meagre earnings. What was new was not Gandhi's experience but his reaction. He
had so far not been conspicuous for self-assertion or aggressiveness. But
something happened to him as he smarted under the insults heaped upon him. In
retrospect the journey from Durban to Pretoria struck him as one of the most
creative experiences of his life; it was his moment of truth. Henceforth he
would not accept injustice as part of the natural or unnatural order in South
Africa; he would defend his dignity as an Indian and as a man. (see also racial
While in Pretoria, Gandhi studied the
conditions in which his countrymen lived and tried to educate them on their
rights and duties, but he had no intention of staying on in South Africa.
Indeed, in June 1894, as his year's contract drew to a close, he was back in
Durban, ready to sail for India. At a farewell party given in his honour he
happened to glance through the Natal
Mercury and learned that the Natal Legislative Assembly was considering a
bill to deprive Indians of the right to vote. "This is the first nail in
our coffin," Gandhi told his hosts. They professed their inability to
oppose the bill, and indeed their ignorance of the politics of the colony, and
begged him to take up the fight on their behalf.
Until the age of 18, Gandhi had hardly
ever read a newspaper. Neither as a student in England nor as a budding
barrister in India had he evinced much interest in politics. Indeed, he was
overcome by a terrifying stage fright whenever he stood up to read a speech at a
social gathering or to defend a client in court. Nevertheless, in July 1894,
when he was barely 25, he blossomed almost overnight into a proficient political
campaigner. He drafted petitions to the Natal legislature and the British
government and had them signed by hundreds of his compatriots. He could not
prevent the passage of the bill but succeeded in drawing the attention of the
public and the press in Natal, India, and England to the Natal Indians'
grievances. He was persuaded to settle down in Durban to practice law and to
organize the Indian community. In 1894, he founded the Natal Indian Congress of
which he himself became the indefatigable secretary. Through this common
political organization, he infused a spirit of solidarity in the heterogeneous
Indian community. He flooded the government, the legislature, and the press with
closely reasoned statements of Indian grievances. Finally, he exposed to the
view of the outside world the skeleton in the imperial cupboard, the
discrimination practiced against the Indian subjects of Queen Victoria in one of
her own colonies in Africa. It was a measure of his success as a publicist that
such important newspapers as The Times of
London and the Statesman and Englishman
of Calcutta editorially commented on the Natal Indians' grievances.
In 1896 Gandhi went to India to fetch
his wife Kasturbai and their children and to canvass support for the Indians
overseas. He met prominent leaders and persuaded them to address public meetings
in the country's principal cities. Unfortunately for him, garbled versions of
his activities and utterances reached Natal and inflamed its European
population. On landing at Durban in January 1897, he was assaulted and nearly
lynched by a white mob. Joseph Chamberlain, the
colonial secretary in the British Cabinet, cabled the government of Natal to
bring the guilty men to book, but Gandhi refused to prosecute his assailants. It
was, he said, a principle with him not to seek redress of a personal wrong in a
court of law.
Gandhi was not the man to nurse a
grudge. On the outbreak of the South African
(Boer) War in 1899, he argued that the Indians, who claimed the full rights of
citizenship in the British crown colony of Natal, were in duty bound to defend
it. He raised an ambulance corps of 1,100 volunteers, out of whom 300 were free
Indians and the rest indentured labourers. It was a motley crowd: barristers and
accountants, artisans and labourers. It was Gandhi's task to instill in them a
spirit of service to those whom they regarded as their oppressors. The editor of
the Pretoria News has left a
fascinating pen portrait of Gandhi in the battle zone:
After a night's work which had
shattered men with much bigger frames, I came across Gandhi in the early morning
sitting by the roadside eating a regulation army biscuit. Every man in (General)
Buller's force was dull and depressed, and damnation was heartily invoked on
everything. But Gandhi was stoical in his bearing, cheerful and confident in his
conversation and had a kindly eye.
The British victory in the war brought
little relief to the Indians in South Africa. The new regime in South Africa was
to blossom into a partnership, but only between Boers and Britons. Gandhi saw
that, with the exception of a few Christian missionaries and youthful idealists,
he had been unable to make a perceptible impression upon the South African
Europeans. In 1906 the Transvaal government
published a particularly humiliating ordinance for the registration of its
Indian population. The Indians held a mass protest meeting at Johannesburg in
September 1906 and, under Gandhi's leadership, took a pledge to defy the
ordinance if it became law in the teeth of their opposition, and to suffer all
the penalties resulting from their defiance. Thus was born satyagraha
("devotion to truth"), a new technique for redressing wrongs through
inviting, rather than inflicting, suffering, for resisting the adversary without
rancour and fighting him without violence. (see also civil
The struggle in South Africa lasted for
more than seven years. It had its ups and downs, but under Gandhi's leadership,
the small Indian minority kept up its resistance against heavy odds. Hundreds of
Indians chose to sacrifice their livelihood and liberty rather than submit to
laws repugnant to their conscience and self-respect. In the final phase of the
movement in 1913, hundreds of Indians, including women, went to jail, and
thousands of Indian workers who had struck work in the mines bravely faced
imprisonment, flogging, and even shooting. It was a terrible ordeal for the
Indians, but it was also the worst possible advertisement for the South African
government, which, under pressure from the governments of Britain and India,
accepted a compromise negotiated by Gandhi on the one hand and the South African
statesman General Jan Christian Smuts on the
"The saint has left our
shores," Smuts wrote to a friend on Gandhi's departure from South Africa
for India, in July 1914, "I hope for ever." Twenty-five years later,
he wrote that it had been his "fate to be the antagonist of a man for whom
even then I had the highest respect." Once, during his not infrequent stays
in jail, Gandhi had prepared a pair of sandals for Smuts, who recalled that
there was no hatred and personal ill-feeling between them, and when the fight
was over "there was the atmosphere in which a decent peace could be
As later events were to show, Gandhi's
work did not provide an enduring solution for the Indian problem in South
Africa. What he did to South Africa was indeed less important than what South
Africa did to him. It had not treated him kindly, but, by drawing him into the
vortex of its racial problem, it had provided him with the ideal setting in
which his peculiar talents could unfold themselves.
Gandhi's religious quest dated back to
his childhood, the influence of his mother and of his home at Porbandar and Rajkot,
but it received a great impetus after his arrival in South Africa. His Quaker
friends in Pretoria failed to convert him to Christianity, but they quickened
his appetite for religious studies. He was fascinated by
writings on Christianity, read the Qu`ran in translation, and delved into
Hindu scriptures and philosophy. The study of comparative religion, talks with
scholars, and his own reading of theological works brought him to the conclusion
that all religions were true and yet every one of them was imperfect because
they were "interpreted with poor intellects, sometimes with poor hearts,
and more often misinterpreted." (see also Qur`an)
Rajchandra, a brilliant young
philosopher who became Gandhi's spiritual mentor, convinced him of "the
subtlety and profundity" of Hinduism, the religion of his birth. And it was
the Bhagavadgita, which Gandhi had
first read in London, that became his "spiritual dictionary" and
exercised probably the greatest single influence on his life. Two Sanskrit words
in the Gita particularly fascinated
him. One was aparigraha (nonpossession),
which implied that man had to jettison the material goods that cramped the life
of the spirit and to shake off the bonds of money and property. The other was samabhava
(equability), which enjoined him to remain unruffled by pain or pleasure,
victory or defeat, and to work without hope of success or fear of failure.
These were not merely counsels of
perfection. In the civil case that had brought him to South Africa in 1893, he
had persuaded the antagonists to settle their differences out of court. The true
function of a lawyer seemed to him "to unite parties riven asunder."
He soon regarded his clients not as purchasers of his services but as friends;
they consulted him not only on legal issues but on such matters as the best way
of weaning a baby or balancing the family budget. When an associate protested
that clients came even on Sundays, Gandhi replied: "A man in distress
cannot have Sunday rest."
Gandhi's legal earnings reached a peak
figure of £ 5,000 a year, but he had little interest in moneymaking, and
his savings were often sunk in his public activities. In Durban and later in
Johannesburg, he kept an open table; his house was a virtual hostel for younger
colleagues and political coworkers. This was something of an ordeal for his
wife, without whose extraordinary patience, endurance, and self-effacement
Gandhi could hardly have devoted himself to public causes. As he broke through
the conventional bonds of family and property, their life tended to shade into a
Gandhi felt an irresistible attraction
to a life of simplicity, manual labour, and austerity. In 1904, after reading
John Ruskin's Unto
This Last, a critique of capitalism, he set up a farm at Phoenix near
Durban where he and his friends could literally live by the sweat of their brow.
Six years later another colony grew up under Gandhi's fostering care near
Johannesburg; it was named Tolstoy Farm after the Russian writer and moralist,
whom Gandhi admired and corresponded with. Those two settlements were the
precursors of the more famous ashrams (ashramas)
in India, at Sabarmati near Ahmedabad (Ahmadabad) and at
Sevagram near Wardha.
South Africa had not only prompted
Gandhi to evolve a novel technique for political action but also transformed him
into a leader of men by freeing him from bonds that make cowards of most men.
"Persons in power," Gilbert Murray
prophetically wrote about Gandhi in the Hibbert
Journal in 1918, "should be very careful how they deal with a man who
cares nothing for sensual pleasure, nothing for riches, nothing for comfort or
praise, or promotion, but is simply determined to do what he believes to be
right. He is a dangerous and uncomfortable enemy, because his body which you can
always conquer gives you so little purchase upon his soul."
From 1915 to 1918, Gandhi seemed to
hover uncertainly on the periphery of Indian politics, declining to join any
political agitation, supporting the British war effort in World War I, and even
recruiting soldiers for the British Indian Army. At the same time, he did not
flinch from criticizing the British officials for any acts of high-handedness or
from taking up the grievances of the long-suffering peasantry in Bihar
and Gujarat. Not until February 1919, provoked by the British insistence
on pushing through the Rowlatt Bills, which empowered the authorities to
imprison without trial those suspected of sedition, in the teeth of Indian
opposition, did Gandhi reveal a sense of estrangement from the British Raj. He
announced a satyagraha struggle. The
result was a virtual political earthquake that shook the subcontinent in the
spring of 1919. The violent outbreaks that followed--leading, among other
incidents, to the killing by British-led soldiers of nearly 400 Indians
attending a meeting at Amritsar in the Punjab and the enactment of martial
law--prompted him to stay his hand. But within a year he was again in a militant
mood, having in the meantime been irrevocably alienated by British
insensitiveness to Indian feeling on the Punjab tragedy and Muslim resentment on
the peace terms offered to Turkey following World War I. (see also Rowlatt
By the autumn of 1920, Gandhi was the
dominant figure on the political stage, commanding an influence never attained
by any political leader in India or perhaps in any other country. He refashioned
the 35-year-old Indian National Congress into an
effective political instrument of Indian nationalism: from a three-day
Christmas-week picnic of the upper middle class in one of the principal cities
of India, it became a mass organization with its roots in small towns and
villages. Gandhi's message was simple; it was not British guns but imperfections
of Indians themselves that kept their country in bondage. His program of
nonviolent noncooperation with the British government included boycott not only
of British manufactures but of institutions operated or aided by the British in
India: legislatures, courts, offices, schools. This program electrified the
country, broke the spell of fear of foreign rule, and led to arrests of
thousands of satyagrahis, who defied
laws and cheerfully lined up for prison. In February 1922 the movement seemed to
be on the crest of a rising wave, but, alarmed by a violent outbreak in Chauri
Chaura, a remote village in eastern India, Gandhi decided to call off mass civil
disobedience. This was a blow to many of his followers, who feared that his
self-imposed restraints and scruples would reduce the nationalist struggle to
pious futility. Gandhi himself was arrested on March 10, 1922, tried for
sedition, and sentenced to six years' imprisonment. He was released in February
1924, after an operation for appendicitis. The political landscape had changed
in his absence. The Congress Party had split into two factions, one under Chitta
Ranjan Das and Motilal Nehru (the father
of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister) favouring the entry of the
party into legislatures and the other under C.
Rajagopalachari and Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel
opposing it. Worst of all, the unity between Hindus and Muslims of the heyday of
the noncooperation movement of 1920-22 had
dissolved. Gandhi tried to draw the warring communities out of their suspicion
and fanaticism by reasoning and persuasion. And finally, after a serious
communal outbreak, he undertook a three-week fast in the autumn of 1924 to
arouse the people into following the path of nonviolence.
During the mid-1920s Gandhi took little
interest in active politics and was considered a spent force. But in 1927 the
British government appointed a constitutional reform commission under Sir John
Simon, a prominent English lawyer and politician, that did not contain a single
Indian. When the Congress and other parties boycotted the commission, the
political tempo rose. After the Calcutta Congress in December 1928, where Gandhi
moved the crucial resolution demanding dominion status from the British
government within a year under threat of a nation-wide nonviolent campaign for
complete independence, Gandhi was back at the helm of the Congress Party. In
March 1930, he launched the satyagraha
against the tax on salt, which affected the poorest section of the community.
One of the most spectacular and successful campaigns in Gandhi's nonviolent war
against the British Raj, it resulted in the imprisonment of more than 60,000
persons. A year later, after talks with Lord Irwin,
Gandhi accepted a truce, called off civil disobedience, and agreed to attend the
Round Table Conference in London as the sole representative of the Indian
National Congress. The conference, which concentrated on the problem of the
Indian minorities rather than on the transfer of power from the British, was a
great disappointment to the Indian nationalists. Moreover, when Gandhi returned
to India in December 1931 he found his party facing an all-out offensive from
Lord Irwin's successor, Lord Willingdon, who unleashed the sternest repression
in the history of the nationalist movement. Gandhi was once more imprisoned, and
the government tried to insulate him from the outside world and to destroy his
influence. This was not an easy task. Gandhi soon regained the initiative; in
September 1932, while still a prisoner, he embarked on a fast to protest against
the British government's decision to segregate the untouchables
(the depressed classes) by allotting them separate electorates in the new
constitution. The fast produced an emotional upheaval in the country; an
alternative electoral arrangement was jointly and speedily devised by the
leaders of the Hindu community and the untouchables and endorsed by the British
government. The fast became the starting point of a vigorous campaign for the
removal of the disabilities of the untouchables whom Gandhi renamed Harijans,
"the children of God."
In 1934 Gandhi resigned not only as the
leader but also as a member of the Congress Party. He had come to believe that
its leading members had adopted nonviolence as a political expedient and not as
the fundamental creed it was for him. In place of political activity he now
concentrated on his "constructive programme" of building the nation
"from the bottom up"--educating rural India, which accounted for 85
percent of the population; continuing his fight against untouchability;
promoting handspinning, weaving, and other cottage industries to supplement the
earnings of the underemployed peasantry; and evolving a system of education best
suited to the needs of the people. Gandhi himself went to live at Sevagram,
a village in central India, which became the centre of his program of social and
With the outbreak of World War II, the
nationalist struggle in India entered its last crucial phase. Gandhi hated
fascism and all it stood for, but he also hated war. The Indian National
Congress, on the other hand, was not committed to pacifism and was prepared to
support the British war effort if Indian self-government was assured. Once more
Gandhi became politically active. The failure of the mission of Sir
Stafford Cripps, a British cabinet minister, who came to India in March
1942 with an offer that Gandhi found unacceptable, the British equivocation on
the transfer of power to Indian hands, and the encouragement given by high
British officials to conservative and communal forces promoting discord between
Muslims and Hindus impelled him to demand in the summer of 1942 an immediate
British withdrawal from India. The war against the Axis, particularly Japan, was
in a critical phase; the British reacted sharply by imprisoning the entire
Congress leadership and set out to crush the party once and for all. There were
violent outbreaks that were sternly suppressed; the gulf between Britain and
India became wider than ever.
A new chapter in Indo-British relations
opened with the victory of the Labour Party in 1945. During the next two years,
there were prolonged triangular negotiations between leaders of the Congress and
the Muslim League under M.A. Jinnah and the British government culminating in
the Mountbatten Plan of June 3, 1947, and the formation of the two new dominions
of India and Pakistan in mid-August 1947.
It was one of the greatest
disappointments of Gandhi's life that Indian freedom was realized without Indian
unity. Muslim separatism had received a great boost while Gandhi and his
colleagues were in jail, and in 1946-47, as the final constitutional
arrangements were being negotiated, the outbreak of communal riots between
Hindus and Muslims unhappily created a climate in which Gandhi's appeals to
reason and justice, tolerance and trust had little chance. When partition of the
subcontinent was accepted--against his advice--he threw himself heart and soul
into the task of healing the scars of the communal conflict, toured the
riot-torn areas in Bengal and Bihar, admonished the bigots, consoled the
victims, and tried to rehabilitate the refugees. In the atmosphere of that
period, surcharged with suspicion and hatred, this was a difficult and
heartbreaking task. Gandhi was blamed by partisans of both the communities. When
persuasion failed, he went on a fast. He won at least two spectacular triumphs;
in September 1947 his fasting stopped the rioting in Calcutta, and in January
1948, he shamed the city of Delhi into a communal truce. A few days later, on
January 30, while he was on his way to his evening prayer meeting in Delhi, he
was shot down by Nathuram Godse, a young Hindu fanatic.
The British attitude to Gandhi was one
of mingled admiration, amusement, bewilderment, suspicion, and resentment.
Except for a tiny minority of Christian missionaries and radical socialists, the
British tended to see in him at best a utopian visionary, at worst a cunning
hypocrite whose professions of friendship for the British race were a mask for
subversion of the British Raj. Gandhi was conscious of the existence of this
wall of prejudice, and it was part of the strategy of satyagraha to penetrate it.
His three major campaigns in 1920-22,
1930-34, and 1940-42 were well designed to engender that process of self-doubt
and questioning that was to undermine the moral defences of his adversaries and
to contribute, together with the objective realities of the postwar world, to
producing the grant of dominion status in 1947. The British abdication in India
was the first step in the liquidation of the British Empire on the continents of
Asia and Africa. Gandhi's image as an archrebel died hard, but, as it had done
to the memory of George Washington, Britain, in 1969, the centenary year of
Gandhi's birth, erected a statue to his memory.
Gandhi had critics in his own country,
and indeed in his own party. The liberal leaders protested that he was going too
fast; the young radicals complained that he was not going fast enough; left-wing
politicians alleged that he was not serious about evicting the British or
liquidating such vested Indian interests as princes and landlords; the leaders
of the untouchables doubted his good faith as a social reformer; and Muslim
leaders accused him of partiality to his own community.
Recent research has established Gandhi's
role as a great mediator and reconciler. His talents in this direction were
applied to conflicts between the older moderate politicians and the young
radicals, the political terrorists and the parliamentarians, the urban
intelligentsia and the rural masses, the traditionalists and the modernists, the
caste Hindus and the untouchables, the Hindus and the Muslims, and the Indians
and the British.
It was inevitable that Gandhi's role as
a political leader should loom larger in public imagination, but the mainspring
of his life lay in religion, not in politics. And religion for him did not mean
formalism, dogma, ritual, or sectarianism. "What I have been striving and
pining to achieve these thirty years," he wrote in his autobiography,
"is to see God face to face." His deepest strivings were spiritual,
but unlike many of his countrymen with such aspirations, he did not retire to a
cave in the Himalayas to meditate on the Absolute; he carried his cave, as he
once said, within him. For him truth was not something to be discovered in the
privacy of one's personal life; it had to be upheld in the challenging contexts
of social and political life.
In the eyes of millions of his
countrymen, he was the Mahatma (the great soul). The unthinking adoration of the
huge crowds that gathered to see him all along his route made his tours a severe
ordeal; he could hardly work during the day or rest at night. "The woes of
the Mahatmas," he wrote, "are known only to the Mahatmas."
Gandhi won the affection and loyalty of
gifted men and women, old and young, with vastly dissimilar talents and
temperaments; of Europeans of every religious persuasion; and of Indians of
almost every political line. Few of his political colleagues went all the way
with him and accepted nonviolence as a creed; fewer still shared his food fads,
his interest in mudpacks and nature cure, or his prescription of brahmacarya,
complete renunciation of the pleasures of the flesh.
Gandhi's ideas on sex may sound quaint
and unscientific. His marriage at the age of 13 seems to have complicated his
attitude to sex and charged it with feelings of guilt, but it is important to
remember that total sublimation, according to the best tradition of Hindu
thought, is indispensable for those who seek self-realization, and brahmacarya
was for Gandhi part of a larger discipline in food, sleep, thought, prayer,
and daily activity designed to equip himself for service of the causes to which
he was totally committed. What he failed to see was that his own unique
experience was no guide for the common man.
It is probably too early to judge
Gandhi's place in history. He was the catalyst if not the initiator of three of
the major revolutions of the 20th century: the revolutions against colonialism,
racism, and violence. He wrote copiously; the collected edition of his writings
runs to more than 80 volumes.
Much of what he wrote was in response to
the needs of his co-workers and disciples and the exigencies of the political
situation, but on fundamentals, he maintained a remarkable consistency, as is
evident from the Hind Swaraj ("Indian
Home Rule") published in South Africa in 1909. The strictures on Western
materialism and colonialism, the reservations about industrialism and
urbanization, the distrust of the modern state, and the total rejection of
violence that was expressed in this book seemed romantic, if not reactionary, to
the pre-World War I generation in India and the West, which had not known the
shocks of two global wars, experienced the phenomenon of Hitler, and the trauma
of the atom bomb. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's
objective of promoting a just and egalitarian order at home, and nonalignment
with military blocs abroad doubtless owed much to Gandhi, but neither he nor his
colleagues in the Indian nationalist movement wholly accepted the Gandhian
models in politics and economics.
In recent years Gandhi's name has been
invoked by the organizers of numerous demonstrations and movements, but with a
few outstanding exceptions--such as those of his disciple the land reformer Vinoba
Bhave in India and the black civil rights leader Martin
Luther King, Jr., in the United States--these movements have been a
travesty of the ideas of Gandhi.
Yet Gandhi will probably never lack
champions. Erik H. Erikson, a distinguished
American psychoanalyst, in his study of Gandhi senses "an affinity between
Gandhi's truth and the insights of modern psychology." One of the greatest
admirers of Gandhi was Albert Einstein, who saw
in Gandhi's nonviolence a possible antidote to the massive violence unleashed by
the fission of the atom. And Gunnar Myrdal, the
Swedish economist, after his survey of the socioeconomic problems of the
underdeveloped world, pronounced Gandhi "in practically all fields an
enlightened liberal." In a time of deepening crisis in the underdeveloped
world, of social malaise in the affluent societies, of the shadow of unbridled
technology and the precarious peace of nuclear terror, it seems likely that
Gandhi's ideas and techniques will become increasingly relevant. (B.R.N.)
간디, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. 1869. 10. 2
포르반다르~1948. 1. 30 델리 뉴델리. 20세기 인도의 위대한 민족주의 지도자,
넷째 아내였던 어머니의 막내 아들로 태어났다.
지배를 받던 서벵골 구자라트 주의 작은 공국(公國)
포르반다르의 데완(dewan：총리)이었던 아버지 카람찬드
간디는 공적인 교육은 많이 받지 못했지만 유능한 행정가로
변덕스러운 군주들과 그들에게 오랫동안 고통당해온 백성과
권력을 쥐고 있는 고집불통의 영국 관리들 사이에서 잘
어머니 푸틀리바이는 신앙심이 매우 깊은 사람이었다.
그의 집안은 힌두신 비슈누를 신봉하는 비슈누파에
기울어져 있었다. 이 파는 비폭력을 중시하고 우주만물이
영원하다는 믿음을 가지고 있으며 도덕적으로 매우 엄격한
인도종교인 자이나교의 경향을 많이 가졌다.
속에서 그는 아힝사(ahimsa：살아
있는 모든 것의 불살생)와 채식주의,
자기 정화의 단식,
그리고 모든 종파의 상호 관용을 배우며 자랐다.
포르반다르의 교육시설은 형편없었다.
아버지가 다른 공국인 라지코트의 데완이 되었으므로
그곳에서 교육을 받았다. 13세에 결혼하여 학교를
공부에서나 놀이 때에나 눈에 띄는 아이가 아니었고 시간이
나면 혼자서 오랫동안 거닐기를 좋아하는 매우 소극적인
1887년 봄베이의 대학입학시험에 간신히 합격한 그는
바우나가르에 있는 사말다스대학에 입학했다.
생각이 있었지만 해부에 대한 비슈누교의 터부와
구자라트에서 고위 관리가 되어야 하는 가문 전통을
고려하여 변호사가 되는 길을 택했다. 이를 위해서는
영국으로 가야 했다. 대학생활이 힘들었던 차에 영국을
시인의 나라, 문명의 중심지'로 생각했던 그는 그곳에
가기를 희망했다. 영국행을 결심한 그에게는 많은 장애가
기다리고 있었다. 경비를 주지 않는 아버지 대신 형에게서
돈을 구했고 어머니에게는 술과 여자, 육식을 금할 것을
맹세했다. 마지막으로 영국여행을 금하는 메드 바니아
카스트 지도자들의 교령(敎令)은 무시해버렸다.
어려움을 넘은 그는 1888년 9월 영국으로 건너가 도착
런던에 있는 이너템플법과대학에 입학했다.
간디는 학업에 열중했으나 영국체류 3년 동안 그의 주요
관심은 학업보다는 개인적이고 도덕적인 문제들이었다.
런던과 같은 거대도시의 생활과 서양의 음식·의복·예절에
적응하는 것은 쉬운 일이 아니었다. 특히 채식주의로 인해
처음에는 상당히 곤란을 겪었지만 곧 채식에 대한 합리적인
근거를 알려주는 책과 식당을 알게 되었고 런던
채식주의협회 집행위원이 되었다.
간디는 채식주의 식당이나 하숙집에서 만난 사람들을
통해 성경은 물론 힌두교의 철학적 시가집 〈바가바드기타
처음으로 접했다. 영국 채식주의자들 가운데는 사회주의자·인도주의자·페이비언주의자·신지학자
등 다양한 사람들이 있었다. 이들은 대부분 이상주의자였고,
그중 몇몇은 자본주의와 산업사회의 악덕을 비판했다.
단순한 생활을 예찬하고 도덕적 가치와 협동의 우월성을
강조하는 그들의 사상은 그의 인격뿐 아니라 궁극적으로는
정치사상에 많은 영향을 주었다. 1891년
7월 인도로 돌아왔다.
어머니의 사망소식을 비롯하여 반갑지 않은 일들만이 그를
기다리고 있었다. 그동안 변호사 인원이 크게 늘어
변호사자격증만 가지고는 직장을 구할 수가 없었다.
고등학교의 시간제 교사직조차 얻기 어려워 그는
라지코트로 돌아와 소송인의 탄원서를 작성해주며
생활했으나 이 일마저도 영국인 관리의 비위에 거슬리자
계속할 수 없었다. 따라서 남아프리카
공화국 나탈의 어느 인도인 회사로부터 1년 기한의 계약
요청을 받아 남아프리카 공화국으로 갔다.
남아프리카 공화국 생활
남아프리카 공화국은 간디에게 완전히 새로운 도전과
기회의 땅이었다. 더반의 법정에서는 유럽인 판사가 그에게
터번을 벗으라고 했지만 이를 거절하고 퇴장했다.
프리토리아로 여행하면서 열차의 1등칸에서 쫓겨나는
모욕을 당했고 마차를 타고 가던 중 유럽인에게 자리를
내어주지 않는다고 백인 마부에게 두들겨 맞기도 했다.
호텔은 유럽인 전용이었기 때문에 들어갈 수 없었다.
굴욕은 나탈의 인도인 노동자와 상인들이 매일 겪는 일로
그들은 꾹참고 지내고 있었다. 그는 훗날 이 여행에서 그의
인생 중에 가장 창조적인 경험을 했다고 고백했다.
진실과 접한 순간이었다. 이때부터 그는 남아프리카
공화국의 질서를 알게 모르게 이루고 있는 모든 불의에 맞서
인도인으로서 그리고 인간으로서 자신의 존엄성을 지키려고
프리토리아에 머무르는 동안 동포들이 처한 상황을 알게
되었고 그들의 권리와 의무를 일깨우려고 애썼다.
남아프리카 공화국에 계속 있을 생각은 아니었다.
1894년 6월, 1년 계약이 끝난 환송파티석상에서 나탈 의회가
인도인의 선거권 박탈을 입법화하려 한다는 기사를 우연히
읽었다. 사람들은 힘없는 자신들을 위해 그가 싸워줄 것을
간청했다. 그때까지 그는 정치에 관심을 보인 적이 없었고
사람들 앞에 서는 것을 매우 두려워해왔다.
그러한 그가 1894년
7월, 하룻밤 사이에 탁월한 정치운동가로 변신했다.
의회와 영국 정부에 보낼 탄원서를 작성하고 수백 명의
서명을 받았다. 결국 입법은 막지 못했지만 언론을 통해
나탈·영국·인도에까지 나탈 인도인의 문제에 대한 관심을
환기시키는 데 성공했다. 더반에 머물기로 작정한 그는
' 나탈 인도국민회의'를 창설하고 인도인의
단결심을 고취시켰다. 또한 인도인에 대한 차별대우의
실상을 외부세계에 널리 알려 런던의 〈타임스〉,
〈스테이츠먼〉·〈잉글리시먼〉이 사설로 다루게 되었다.
1896년 지원을 얻기 위해 인도로 건너가 인도인 지도자들을
만나고 주요도시에서 대중연설을 했다.
그러나 그에 대해
와전된 소식을 들은 나탈의 백인들은 1897년
공화국으로 귀환하는 그에게 린치를 가했다.
영국식민장관은 나탈 정부에 그들을 구속하라고 전보를
쳤지만 그는 개인의 잘못을 법정에서 고치려고 하지 않는
것이 자신의 원칙이라고 말하면서 그들을 고소하지 않았다.
1899년 보어 전쟁이 발발하자 그는 영국 식민지 나탈에서
완전한 시민권을 주장하는 인도인들에게 나탈을 지키는
것이 그들의 의무라고 설득하고 1,100명의 지원자를 모아
간호부대를 만들었다. 그러나 보어 전쟁에서 영국이 승리한
뒤에도 인도인들의 처지는 조금도 달라지지 않았고 1906년
트란스발 정부는 극히 굴욕적인 인도인등록 법령을
제정했다. 인도인들은 그의 지도 아래 그 법령에 대한
불복종과 그로 인한 모든 불이익을 감수하겠다고 맹세했다.
이때에 처음으로 사티아그라하(satygraha：진실에의
이는 적대자들에게 원한과 투쟁,
쓰지 않고 저항해 그것으로 그들의 잘못을 바로잡는다는
투쟁은 그의 지도 아래 7년 이상을 끌었다.
인도인들이 양심과 자존심을 거스르는 법률에
복종하기보다는 생계와 자유를 바쳤다. 1913년,
막바지에 이르렀을 때, 여자들까지 포함하여 수백 명의
인도인이 투옥되었다. 수천 명의 인도인 광산노동자들은
파업을 일으키고 용감하게 감옥으로 걸어들어갔으며 매질과
총살까지도 감수했다. 이러한 희생은 남아프리카 공화국
당국을 최악의 여론 속으로 끌어들여, 영국정부와
인도로부터 압력을 받은 남아프리카 공화국 당국은 간디와
남아프리카 공화국 정치가 얀 크리스티안 스무츠 장군
사이에 맺어진 타협을 받아들였다.
그는 1914년 7월 남아프리카 공화국을 떠나 인도로 갔다.
이후 사태가 보여주듯 그는 아프리카의 인도인 문제를
완전하게 해결하지는 못했다. 그러나 아프리카에서의
인종문제는 그의 감춰진 특별한 능력을 펼칠 수 있는 이상적
포르반다르와 라지코트에서 보낸 어린시절부터의
어머니와 집안의 영향으로 종교적 욕구를 지니고 있었으나
남아프리카 공화국에 도착한 이후 크게 자극을 받았다.
프리토리아에서 퀘이커교도들이 그를 그리스도교로
개종시키려던 노력은 실패했으나 이를 통해 그는 종교연구
욕구가 불타게 되어 톨스토이의 그리스도교적 저술에 깊이
빠졌고, 코란의 번역본을 비롯하여 힌두 경전과 철학서를
읽었다. 여러 종교를 비교연구하고 신학서들을 많이 읽고
학자들과 토론한 결과 간디는 모든 종교는 진실하지만,
빈곤한 지성과 때로는 진실하지 않은 마음으로 해석하고
오역하여 불완전하게 되었다는 결론에 이르렀다.
간디의 정신적 조언자였던 뛰어난 젊은 철학자 라지찬드라는
그에게 힌두교의 미묘함과 심오함을 깨닫게 하여 새로운
삶을 맛보게 했다. 또한 그가 영국에서 처음으로 읽었던 〈바가바드기타〉는
그의 인생에 가장 큰 영향을 주었다. 거기에서 특히
개념이 그를 매료시켰다. 하나는 물질적 욕망을
개념이고 또 하나는 고통이나 기쁨, 승리나 패배에 동요되지
이러한 영향들은 변호사 일에서도 그대로 반영되어,
소송의뢰인들에게 문제를 되도록이면 법정 밖에서
해결하도록 설득했다. 그는 소송의뢰인들을 그의 고객으로
생각하기보다는 친구로 생각했다. 그의 수입은
5,000파운드에 달했으나 그는 돈을 벌고,
별관심이 없어 많은 부분을 공적인 활동에 사용했다.
더반이나 요한네스버그에서 그의 집은 항상 젊은 동료들과
정치동지들이 만나는 장소가 되었다. 또한 근검절약·육체노동
등에 큰 매력을 느꼈던 간디는 농장을 세우기도 했다.
1915~18년 그는 제1차 세계대전에서 영국의 입장을
지지하기는 했지만 정치활동에는 잘 나서지 않았다.
1919년 민중탄압법인 로울라트 법이 제정되자 그는 영국의
지배에 반기를 들기 시작했다. 1919년 봄 그는
사티아그라하투쟁을 선언했고, 곧 봉기가 일어나 펀자브의
암리차르에서 400명에 달하는 인도인이 영국군에게 학살되는
사건이 일어나자 잠시 움츠러들었지만, 1년 안에 다시
투지를 갖고 1920년 가을 그는 인도에서 가장 영향력있는
정치적 지도자가 되었다.
그는 35년 된 인도
국민회의당을 인도 민족주의의 효율적인 정치기구로
바꾸어놓아 대도시의 중산층부터 시골의 작은 마을에
이르기까지 대중조직을 갖추게 되었다.
대한 비폭력 불복종운동을 전개했다. 이는 영국인 공장·입법기관·법원·관공서·학교
등 영국인이 운영하거나 원조하는 모든 기관에서의 거부를
포함했다. 이 운동은 인도 민중이 가지고 있던 외국
지배자에 대한 공포심을 깨뜨렸다. 수천 명이 기꺼이
투옥되었다. 1922년 2월 운동은 절정에 달했으나
차우리차우라에서 발생한 유혈폭동을 보고 그는
시민불복종운동을 중단하기로 결정했다.
그는 1922년 3월
투옥되어 6년 형을 선고받았으나
1924년 맹장염 수술을 받은
뒤 석방되었다. 투옥기간 동안 정치 상황은 바뀌어,
국민회의파는 입법기관에 대한 참여문제를 둘러싸고 두
파로 분열되었고 1920 ~22년의 불복종운동 기간에 이루어졌던
힌두교도와 이슬람교도의 단결도 깨졌다.
종교집단을 화해시키려 노력했으나 실패하자 그는 1924년
가을 3주간의 단식을 단행했다.
1920년대 중반기에 그는 정치활동에 거의 관심을 보이지
않았다. 1927년 영국이 인도인의 참여를 배제한 채
인도통치법개혁위원회를 설치하여 정치적 파고가 일어나자
1928년 12월 간디는 1년 이내에 인도에게 주권을 달라는
충격적인 요구를 내걸고 완전독립을 달성할 때까지
전국적인 비폭력운동을 전개하겠다고 선언했다.
국민회의파의 지도자가 되었다. 1930년
신설에 반대하여 사티아그라하를 시작했다.
대한 간디의 비폭력운동 중 가장 성공적이었던 이 운동에서
6만 명 이상이 투옥되었다. 1년 뒤 간디는 어윈 경과 협상을
맺어 운동을 종결하고 런던의 원탁회의에 인도
국민회의당의 유일한 대표자로 참석하는 데 동의했다.
그러나 권력의 양도 문제가 아닌 인도 소수민족 문제에
의제가 집중된 원탁회의는 독립을 원하는 인도인들에게
실망만 안겨주었다. 1931년 12월 간디가 귀국했을 때 인도
국민회의당은 어윈 경의 후임자인 윌링던 경에게 전례없이
혹독한 탄압을 받고 있었다. 영국정부는 간디를 다시
투옥하고 고립시킴으로써 그의 영향력을 없애려 했으나 1932년
9월 간디는 영국정부의 불가촉천민(不可觸賤民)
분리정책에 항의하여 단식에 들어갔고 이 단식은
간디는 국민회의파가 비폭력주의를 근본적인 신조가
아니라 정치적인 수단으로 여기고 있다고 생각하고 1934년
국민회의파의 지도자 자리에서 사임했다.
그는 이제 '밑에서부터
위로' 국가를 건설하는 '건설적인 계획'을 구상하는 데
집중하여, 인구의 85%를 차지하는 농민을 교육하고,
불가촉천민을 위해 계속 투쟁하고, 국민들에게 가장
적합하게 교육체계를 개선하기 위해 애썼다.
그 자신이 중부
인도의 한 마을인 세바그람에 가서 살았고 이곳은 인도의
사회, 경제적 상황을 향상시키려는 간디 계획의 중심지가
제2차 세계대전이 터지자 인도 민족주의운동은 마지막
국면에 들어섰다. 그는 파시즘을 증오했으며 전쟁 또한
싫어했다. 인도 국민회의당은 자치정부 수립을 조건으로
영국에 협력하고 간디는 1942년 영국에 인도로부터의
즉각적인 철수를 요구했다. 일본과 전쟁이 심각해지자
영국은 간디와 국민회의파를 탄압했고 이에 대항하여
폭동이 발생, 영국과 인도의 관계는 최악의 상태에 빠졌다.
1945년 영국에 노동당이 집권하면서부터
국민회의파, M.A. 진나가 이끄는 이슬람 동맹,
3자협상이 벌어졌으나 협상중인 1946~1947년 힌두교도와
이슬람교도 사이에 유혈충돌이 계속 일어났다.
인내와 신뢰를 호소하는 간디의 말은 아무 소용이 없었다.
1947년 8월 간디의 뜻과는 달리 인도와 파키스탄의
분리독립이 결정되었고 이는 간디의 생애에서 가장 슬픈
일이었다. 양쪽으로부터의 비난을 무릅쓰고 간디는 두
종교의 갈등을 해결하고자 모든 노력을 다했으나 이것은
너무나 어렵고 힘든 일이었다. 모든 노력이 실패로 돌아가자
간디는 단식에 들어갔다. 간디의 단식에 의해
캘커타의 폭동이 가라앉았고 1948년
1월에는 델리에서 휴전이
이루어졌다. 그러나 불과 며칠 뒤인
1월 30일 간디는 나투람
고드세라는 힌두교 광신자에게 암살당했다.
대다수의 영국인들은 간디를 유토피아를 꿈꾸는 몽상가로
여기거나, 가장 나쁘게는,
영국인에 대한 우애를 설교하면서
뒤로는 영국을 쫓아내려고 하는 위선자로 여겼다.
이러한 편견의 벽을 이해하고 있었고 이 벽을 '사티아그라하'로
뚫으려고 했다. 1920~22년, 1930~34년, 1940~42년에 그가 펼친
운동은 영국인들로 하여금 자신들의 도덕성을 의심하게
만들었고 전후에 인도가 독립할 수 있는 한 요소가 되었다.
간디에 대한 비판은 인도인 가운데에서도 정파와 계층,
종교에 따라 다양하게 제기되었다. 그가 너무
급진적이라거나 반대로 영국의 축출과 국내 기득권층의
제거 또는 카스트의 철폐 등과 같은 사회개혁에 진지한
노력을 하지 않는다고 보기도 했고 이슬람교에 편견을
가졌다고 비난하기도 했다. 그러나 온건 정치인과
급진주의자, 테러리스트와 의회정치주의자,
지식인과 농촌의 대중들, 힌두교의 카스트와 불가촉천민,
힌두교도와 이슬람교도, 그리고 인도인과 영국인 사이의
갈등을 조정하고 화해시켰던 간디의 위대한 역할은 최근에
와서 높이 평가되고 있다.
간디는 분명히 정치지도자였지만 그의 생애의 주된 동인(動因)은
정치가 아니라 종교에 있었다. 그가
"30년 동안 열망한
것은 신과 대면하는 것"이었다.
그에게 있어 종교는
형식주의나 교리, 의식,
또는 종파주의를 뜻하지 않았다.
그에게 진리는 개인적인 수도에 의해 발견되는 것이 아니라
사회적이고 정치적인 생활 속에서 도전하며 확인되는
것이었다. 그는 마하트마(Mahatma：위대한 영혼의 소유자)였고,
그는 "마하트마의 고뇌는 마하트마만이 아는 것"이라고
간디는 다양한 성향을 지닌 많은 남녀노소 그리고 서구의
많은 종파의 종교인과 인도의 거의 모든 정파로부터 애정과
충성을 받았다. 그러나 그의 정치 동료들 중에 비폭력을
신조로 받아들이고 그의 길을 끝까지 함께 한 사람은 거의
간디에 대한 역사적인 평가는 아직 이를지 모른다.
주요한 3가지 혁명 즉 식민주의에 대한 혁명,
대한 혁명, 폭력에 대한 혁명의 창시자는 아니라 하더라도
그것을 촉진시킨 인물이었음은 분명하다.
그는 80권이 넘는
방대한 저술을 남겼는데 그의 저술은 놀라울 정도의
일관성을 가지고 있다. 서구의 물질주의와 식민주의에 대한
비판, 산업화와 도시화에 대한 유보,
근대국가에 대한 불신,
폭력에 대한 전면 거부는 1909년 남아프리카 공화국에서
발간된 〈인도의 자치 Hind Swaraj〉에 잘 나타나
있다. 이는 파시즘과 2차례 세계대전의 참화를 아직 겪지
않았던 당시의 유럽과 인도인들에게는 낭만적으로
보였을지도 모른다. 인도 총리 자와할랄 네루의 평등주의와
비동맹주의는 분명히 간디로부터 영향을 받았지만,
비롯하여 간디와 함께 싸웠던 인도 민족주의자들 모두는
간디의 정치·경제적 구상을 전적으로 수용하지는 않았다.
그러나 알베르트 아인슈타인은 원자탄시대의 대량파괴를
구할 수 있는 처방으로 간디의 비폭력을 들고 있다.
사회·경제 문제를 연구한 군나르 미르달은 간디를
모든 분야에서 식견있는 진보주의자"로 평가했다.
위기상황과 선진국에서의 사회적 불안,
기술문명의 폐해, 핵무기에 의한 평화의 위협으로 가득 찬
현대세계에서 간디의 이상과 방법이 지닌 타당성은 점차
올바르게 평가될 것으로 보인다.
B. R. Nanda 글 |
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Gandhi's autobiography, The
Story of My Experiments with Truth, 2 vol. (1927-29, reissued in 1 vol.,
1983), tells the story of his life up to 1921; his Satyagraha
in South Africa, 2nd ed. (1950, reprinted 1972), illuminates the formative
two decades he spent in South Africa. The Collected
Works of Mahatma Gandhi, 90 vol. (1958-84), includes all his writings,
speeches, and letters.
A biography by PYARELAL, Mahatma
Gandhi, 2nd ed., 2 vol. (1965-66), provides a richly documented chronicle of
Gandhi's early and last years written by his former secretary. SUDHIR GHOSH, Gandhi's Emissary (1967), is an autobiographical memoir of Gandhi's
informal agent to the British government in 1945-48. DINANATH G. TENDULKAR, Mahatma,
rev. ed., 8 vol. (1960-63, reprinted 1969), tells the story of Gandhi's life
mostly in Gandhi's own words extracted from his published writings. LOUIS
FISCHER, The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1950, reissued 1983), is based largely
on printed sources but includes the author's vivid personal impressions of
Gandhi and India in the 1940s; BAL R. NANDA, Mahatma Gandhi: A Biography (1958, reissued 1968), is a story of
Gandhi's life as well as a critique of his thought and makes use of unpublished
government records and correspondence of Gandhi. PENDEREL MOON, Gandhi
and Modern India (1969), reflects a British administrator's views on Gandhi
the politician. HENRY S.L. POLAK, HENRY M. BRAILSFORD, and FREDERICK W.
PETHICK-LAWRENCE, Mahatma Gandhi (1949, reissued 1962), is a good introduction for
Western readers. HORACE ALEXANDER, Gandhi
Through Western Eyes (1969); and GEOFFREY ASHE, Gandhi: A Study in Revolution (1968), are sympathetic and analytical
studies. ROBERT PAYNE, The Life and Death
of Mahatma Gandhi (1969), is a well-researched biography, with emphasis on
the personal rather than political aspect.
CHANDRAN D.S. DEVANESEN, The
Making of the Mahatma (1969), covers Gandhi's childhood and youth in detail.
ERIK H. ERIKSON, Gandhi's Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence (1969),
illuminates Gandhi's life and technique by bringing to bear on them the insights
of psychoanalysis. Another psychological biography is E. VICTOR WOLFENSTEIN, The
Revolutionary Personality: Lenin, Trotsky, Gandhi (1967, reprinted 1971).
See also JOSEPH J. DOKE, M.K. Gandhi: An
Indian Patriot in South Africa (1909, reprinted 1967); CALVIN KYTLE, Gandhi: Soldier of Nonviolence, rev. ed. (1982); and GERALD GOLD, Gandhi:
A Pictorial Biography (1983).
ROBERT A. HUTTENBACK, Gandhi in South Africa: British Imperialism and the Indian Question,
1860-1914 (1971), is a study of the Indian community's struggle in South
Africa; a study of Gandhi's role in Indian politics and the nationalist movement
is presented in JUDITH M. BROWN, Gandhi's
Rise to Power: Indian Politics 1915-1922 (1972), and Gandhi and Civil Disobedience: The Mahatma in Indian Politics, 1928-34 (1977).
SUSANNE H. RUDOLPH and LLOYD I. RUDOLPH, Gandhi:
The Traditional Roots of Charisma (1983), which discusses Gandhi's remaining
influence, was originally published as the second part of the authors' The
Modernity of Tradition: Political Development in India (1967). FRANCIS G.
HUTCHINS, India's Revolution: Gandhi and the Quit India Movement (1973), is an
interpretive study. GENE SHARP, Gandhi as
a Political Strategist (1979), is a study of the relation of pacifist
principles to political techniques; and JAI CHAND DEV SETHI, Gandhi
Today (1978), includes an analysis of Gandhian economics.
Among the books containing reminiscences
of Gandhi, the more important are: MILLIE G. POLAK, Mr. Gandhi: The Man (1931); JAWAHARLAL NEHRU, An Autobiography (1936, reissued 1980); SARVEPALLI RADHAKRISHNAN
(ed.), Mahatma Gandhi: Essays and
Reflections of His Life and Work, 2nd ed. (1949, reissued 1977);
CHANDRASHANKER SHUKLA (ed.), Incidents of
Gandhiji's Life (1949); NIRMAL KUMAR BOSE, My Days with Gandhi (1953, reissued 1974); ELI S. JONES, Mahatma
Gandhi: An Interpretation (1948); and VINCENT SHEEAN, Lead,
Kindly Light (1949). JAMES D. HUNT, Gandhi
in London (1978), documents his five visits, with little-known details of
those in 1906 and 1909. WILLIAM L. SHIRER, Gandhi:
A Memoir (1979, reprinted 1982), is based on the author's work as a
journalist in India in the 1930s.
Among the books highly critical of
Gandhi are BHIMRAO R. AMBEDKAR, What
Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables (1945, reissued 1977);
CHETTUR SANKARAN NAIR, Gandhi and Anarchy
(1922); and INDULAL K. YAJNIK, Gandhi As I
Know Him, rev. ed. (1943). MARTIN B. GREEN, The Challenge of the Mahatmas (1978), and Tolstoy and Gandhi: Men of Peace (1983), are the first and the last
books of the author's trilogy on great leaders and their influence. RAGHAVAN N.
IYER, The Moral and Political Thought of
Mahatma Gandhi (1973, reprinted 1978), compares his concepts to those of
Western thinkers. ARNE NAESS, Gandhi and
the Nuclear Age (1965), and Gandhi and
Group Conflict (1974), explore basic principles and assumptions of Gandhi's
philosophical system. GLYN RICHARDS, The Philosophy of Gandhi (1982), explores the relation of his ideas
to Hindu metaphysics and to contemporary philosophy. VED MEHTA, Mahatma
Gandhi and His Apostles (1977), examines the spread of Gandhi's ideas.
There are numerous anthologies of
Gandhi's writings. Selected Writings of
Mahatma Gandhi (1951, reissued 1971), ed. by RONALD DUNCAN; and All
Men Are Brothers (1959, reissued 1980), ed. by KRISHNA KRIPALANI, are
judicious selections for the general reader. The
Words of Gandhi (1982) is an illustrated selection of quotations, collected
and edited by RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH.