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Gandhi and his Critics$
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B. R. Nanda

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780195633634

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195633634.001.0001

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Gandhi and the Caste System

Gandhi and the Caste System

(p.18) Chapter 4 Gandhi and the Caste System
Gandhi and his Critics

B. R. Nanda

Oxford University Press

Mahatma Gandhi was accused of acting as an apologist for the caste system in India. In 1932, he resorted to fasting ‘to block an affirmative action’ planned by Britain in favour of the outcastes, the so-called ‘untouchables’. Gandhi tried his best to undermine the centuries-old caste system and to remove the blot of untouchability from Hinduism. When he returned from South Africa, Gandhi was on the periphery of nationalist politics and launched a propaganda against the evils of untouchability. His fasting struck the British officials as a thinly disguised mode of coercion. After he was released from jail, Gandhi embarked on a tour in hopes of informing the Indians about the evils of untouchability.

Keywords:   fasting, caste system, India, Britain, untouchables, Hinduism, nationalist politics, untouchability

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