Gandhi by Arnold David Book Review

1205 words 5 pages
South Asia

Gandhi: A Saint Not Without Stains, A Critical review of David Arnold’s Gandhi.

Arnold, David. Gandhi: Profiles in Power. Harlow, England: Longman, 2001.

Gandhi, by David Arnold is a well-written book covering the different aspects of Gandhi’s life in a rather neutral and at the same time critical manner. The author gives the reader an understanding of the actions of Gandhi, his impact, and how the events of his time and upbringing influenced him. Arnold does this without putting Gandhi on a pedestal or presenting him as flawless. The book is more of a study of Gandhi’s life rather than the typical biography.

Arnold analyses and gives an overview of the most common titles given to Gandhi such as a
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The non-cooperation and civil disobedience movements soon followed but were not focused solely on peasant issues, rather on “bringing all classes together in a united struggle against colonial rule” (95). Gandhi was then arrested, for the British government feared the loss of their authority. Furthermore he campaigned for national solidarity in an effort to unite all classes and communities in the pursuit of Swaraj. One of Gandhi’s’ most spectacular and effective campaigns of all was the salt satyagraha movement against the salt tax in March 1930.

As Gandhi began to age he still had a voice in politics but younger leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas. C Bose emerged, who often questioned Gandhi’s ideas. In addition to the fact that they were socialist, Bose believed that Gandhi's non-violence methods were not sufficient enough, therefore promoted violence and Nehru was “unhappy about the way Gandhi” mixed religion with “Indian politics” (197).

Towards the end of his life, Gandhi used his final influences and power to “restore peace and sanity” following the turmoil from the 1947 Partition and independence (223). He believed that although there was “political freedom”, India was still in need of “economic, social and moral freedom“ (224). But his voice and opinions were declining especially among some in the Hindu community. Gandhi’s efforts to “restore Hindu-Muslim harmony” put his life