Reading <i>Rajas</i> and <i>Tamas</i>

A. Raghuramaraju

in Modernity in Indian Social Theory

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780198070122
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080014 | DOI:
Reading Rajas and Tamas

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This chapter analyses how certain accepted readings and understandings of the writings of contemporary Indian thinkers, notably Mahatma Gandhi, on crucial issues like non-violence, restricted, even closed, rather than opened the scope of understanding them at personal, political, and even metaphorical levels. The writings on communal violence in Gujarat include a parallel between Gujarat and Gandhi. The recent incidents in Gujarat undoubtedly negate what Gandhi stood for, but the same cannot be assumed about the nature of his personality. This chapter examines the reading of Gandhi by people such as Richard Lannoy. One problem associated with Lannoy's interpretation is that he takes into consideration only two kinds of actions in Gandhi: the violent and the non-violent. In Gandhi's axiology, however, there are three kinds of actions — inaction, violent action, and non-violent action corresponding to three gunastamas, rajas, and sattva, respectively.

Keywords: Gujarat; Mahatma Gandhi; communal violence; non-violence; actions; Richard Lannoy; tamas; rajas; sattva

Chapter.  5364 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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