John Sainsbury: Gandhi's Ghost Haunts Modern IndiaRoundup: Historians' Take
John Sainsbury is a professor of history at Brock University.
A frail man, Anna Hazare, goes on a hunger strike to protest corruption in India. Thousands rally to his cause in New Dehli. The old man is arrested and protests spread nationwide. Rahul Gandhi, scion of the family that dominates the ruling National Congress Party, orders Hazare released. Hazare refuses to leave prison until the government promises to allow his campaign to continue freely. The government buckles and Hazare continues his fast.
For those with long memories or some knowledge of history, the events playing out in India evoke a sense of déjà-vu. They recall the non-violent campaign of Mohandas Gandhi — revered by his followers as “Mahatma” (Great Soul) — to win independence for his country and the erratic response of the ruling British to his methods. (Mohandas Gandhi, it should be noted, shared the name of the powerful Gandhi dynasty, but he was not its ancestor.)
The parallels are stronger given that Hazare was himself a disciple of Gandhian philosophy.
But before we run too far with the idea that history is repeating itself, we need to recognize some differences…
comments powered by Disqus
- Donald Trump Is Wrong on Mosul Attack, Military Experts Say
- Emmett Till memorial sign is riddled with bullet holes and has been repeatedly vandalized
- Posthumous pardons law may see Oscar Wilde exonerated
- Has an Election Ever Been Rigged in U.S. History?
- A short history of white people rigging elections
- Steven Runciman — historian, tease and professional enigma — is the subject of a biography
- Historian Eric Foner: Trump is Logical Conclusion of What the GOP Has Been Doing for Decades
- Ken Burns developing 'The Gene' based on Mukherjee's bestseller
- Does the 'Father' of the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing Narrative Really Want to Recant His Words?
- Max Boot wants to know “what the hell happened to my Republican Party?"