Gandhi's India

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Gandhi's India
Humanities Course
Course CodeGAND
Years of Operation2000-2004
Sites OfferedCLN, JHU
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (2002):

When India achieved independence in 1947, sociologist Will Durant called it "the astonishing phenomenon of a revolution led by a saint." This "saint" was, of course, Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi not only led India to independence but also inspired world leaders around the globe, from Martin Luther King, Jr., to Ho Chi Minh.

Known as a practitioner of a strict moral philosophy of tolerance and non-violence, Gandhi galvanized support among Indians through his hunger strikes, peaceful demonstrations, and periodic imprisonments. But historians sometimes run the risk of allowing the legend of Gandhi to obscure the reality of his life and the complexities of India’s struggles against imperialism.

In this course, students work towards a more nuanced interpretation of India’s anti-colonial movement and Gandhi’s role within it. For example, they trace the rise of British colonialism and the end of the Mughal empire; research the beginnings of the Indian resistance movements and the Indian National Congress Party; and play out the ramifications of an independent and partitioned India. Within this historical context, they look critically at Gandhi and his views of self-determination, nation-building, gender, and religion. Finally, with a fuller understanding of the political, social, and cultural history of this era, students reexamine the legendary Gandhi and his profound influence on world history, both in the East and the West.