Close to 150 years after he was born, how relevant is Mahatma Gandhi? In India, he is revered as the Father of the Nation; his face still adorns currency notes, postage stamps and government offices; streets and welfare schemes continue to be named after him but has he been reduced to a mere symbol? Do his values, message and sacrifice have any meaning for us in the twenty-first century?
In Why Gandhi Still Matters, the Mahatma’s grandson and award-winning writer and scholar Rajmohan Gandhi, appraises Gandhi and his legacy by examining some of his most famous (and often most controversial) ideas, beliefs, actions, successes and failures. He analyses Gandhi’s commitment to democracy, secularism, pluralism, equality and non-violence, his gift to the world of satyagraha, the key strategies in his fight for India’s freedom, his opposition to caste discrimination, and his equations with Churchill, Jinnah and Ambedkar, as also his failings as a human being and family man. Taken together, the author’s insights present an unsentimental view of aspects of Gandhi’s legacy that have endured and those that have been cast aside by power-hungry politicians, hate groups, casteist organizations, venal industrialists, terrorists, and other enemies of India’s promise.