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Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

27. Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi  

James Casas Klausen

This chapter examines the development of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi’s theory and practice of non-violent resistance with respect to British imperialism in Asia and Africa. It also covers how Gandhi projected himself and conducted campaigns of resistance. Gandhi’s book Hind Swaraj presented Indian self-rule as personal/individual and political/collective and introduced the theory behind non-violent resistance. Gandhi’s autobiography reassessed his early activism, showing why anti-racist criticisms are not unfounded and elaborated his dilemmas in reconciling non-violent theory and practice in nationwide political campaigns. The chapter analyses the Salt Satyagraha to show how Gandhi attempted to resolve the tensions of non-violent resistance on a mass scale, which served as a model for non-violent protests against white supremacy and dictatorship.