Colonialism, Tradition and Reform: An Analysis of Gandhi's Political Discourse

Bhikhu Parekh’s Colonialism, Tradition and Reform An Analysis of Gandhi’s Political Discourse discusses a number of topics related to Gandhi’s political and social activity, and the emergence of independent India. His primary argument is that Ghandi utilized both the resources of Hindu tradition such as sati (widow burning in order to ashes on her dead husband’s pyre) and a unique moral and political authority to formulate his political discourse. His approach also borrowed from Western political philosophy, but adapted to the local social-political context. Finally, it is clear that Gandhi’s approach drew from a long line of eminent Indian thinkers who influenced Gandhi’s views on the essence and causes of India’s apparent decline. These disparate influences combined to give Ghandi a new view, based on a form of self-criticism and moral philosophy. Together, he used his understanding of Hinduism with these other approaches to create a compelling and new approach to political activism.