Gandhi's Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence

Gandhi's Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence

Gandhi's Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence

Gandhi's Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence

Synopsis

In this study of Mahatma Gandhi, psychoanalyst Erik H. Erikson explores how Gandhi succeeded in mobilizing the Indian people both spiritually and politically as he became the revolutionary innovator of militant non-violence and India became the motherland of large-scale civil disobedience.

Excerpt

As the plane sets down at the Delhi airport before dawn, the newcomer is enveloped in a new world of sights, sounds, and smells which darkly command him to reset all his senses before asking any questions. The faces of Indian friends glow with that special dawn responsiveness which is born of the ability to sleep any time and to awake any time. Kamla and Prem, two strong and warm Punjabis, firmly took Joan and me out of the travel circuit; they and their circle of friends would shelter us against and yet guide us slowly toward unknown depths and heights of experience.

We drove through the still, dark avenues of the imperial capital to the International Center, a modem hospice for scholars. Of modem Mogul style, it overlooks the ancient Lodi Gardens and their huge, sinister domes. Stepping out on the balcony, before trying to catch a bit of sleep—and then to awake in India—we had the almost guilty feeling of seeing India as one dreams it to be. For months we had strenuously read about the "realities" of this subcontinent in order not to be fooled either by ancient images or modern pretenses. But now, only the senses continued to register. Jackals were yapping in the distance and down in the caves of their day-time existence, and some early morning walkers appeared, gliding through the trees like white shadows. There was time, we had to tell ourselves.

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