Gandhi’s Harijans: The Misunderstood Sect

By Anmol Kaur Bawa, Symbiosis Law College, Pune.


The term “harijan” is not Gandhi’s coinage. The name was suggested by several untouchable correspondents who contended the usage of the word “asprishya” meaning literally “untouchable” in the pages of “Navjivan”.  Harijan means “man of god”. All the religions of the world describe God pre-eminently as the friend of the friendless, help of the helpless and protector of the weak; hence the word aptly demystifies the condition of the untouchables in India as the most helpless, weak and friendless men in the society and according to Gandhi, they belong to the community of untouchables. (more…)

From Swaraj to “Poorna” Swaraj: Celebrating Gandhi

By Rabia Mohamed Ismail Abdul Rahim, NUALS, Kochi.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

It was on the 6th of July, 1944, that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as “Mahatma” Gandhi was addressed as the “Father of the Nation” for the first time. Subhash Chandra Bose was the first to vest this title on Gandhi on a radio address. And for all the right reasons, the public wholeheartedly accepted this title for their knight in khadi attire. (more…)

Dharma and Gandhian Philosophy of Satyagraha

By Sandhya Shyamsundar, WBNUJS, Kolkata.

Bhishma, in the Mahabharata, states that Dharma changes according to the needs of time and hence develops with society. However, it has certain permanent moral values like truth, compassion, self control and forgiveness which continue to exist. It is in this context that Dharma and its three branches hold relevance in the making of modern nationalist politics. Various eminent political figures have imbibed and showcased the essence of Dharma and its rules, in their political ideologies – Gandhi’s philosophy of Satyagraha being the paramount.

Gandhian thought takes its source from the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Gita. Gandhi was a firm believer in traditional Indian values and an avowed experimenter of those values. From a deep and devout study of Hinduism, he held high the concepts of Truth, Non Violence, Karma and Dharma. Among these, the concept of truth is primary. Truth is what exists; it is reality; it is God– It is Dharma itself. This heavily influenced him in his method of resolving conflict, the method he termed as Satyagraha.