Chapter

Gandhi and the Caste System

B. R. Nanda

in Gandhi and his Critics

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780195633634
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081332 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195633634.003.0004

Series: Oxford India Paperbacks

Gandhi and the Caste System

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Mahatma Gandhi was accused of acting as an apologist for the caste system in India. In 1932, he resorted to fasting ‘to block an affirmative action’ planned by Britain in favour of the outcastes, the so-called ‘untouchables’. Gandhi tried his best to undermine the centuries-old caste system and to remove the blot of untouchability from Hinduism. When he returned from South Africa, Gandhi was on the periphery of nationalist politics and launched a propaganda against the evils of untouchability. His fasting struck the British officials as a thinly disguised mode of coercion. After he was released from jail, Gandhi embarked on a tour in hopes of informing the Indians about the evils of untouchability.

Keywords: fasting; caste system; India; Britain; untouchables; Hinduism; nationalist politics; untouchability

Chapter.  3511 words. 

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