Gandhi and Indian Critical Tradition in English

Vivek Kumar Dwivedi


Like almost everything that took place in India during the twentieth century, even literary theory in English of the period bears the stamp of Mahatma Gandhi. It may not be easily apparent, but a little research reveals how much Indian literary theory owes in sprit to the Mahatma. Few or none have noticed the fact that without Gandhi even our literary theory and critical understanding would be different. Gandhi taught us a certain attitude which involves self-respect and honour. He made us conscious that we have our own identity and culture which is second to none and that without asserting that identity we would be “enslaved” to the West. This thought has percolated into our literary and theoretical perception. This is what has been variously termed as anti-imperialistic and post-colonial attitude. With the Mahatma nationalistic feelings were aroused and even the critics’ minds were affected by them.

This paper seeks to discuss the connection between Gandhian thought and Indian literary theorist in English.  It also aims to outline the concepts of Indian literary theorists in English that are seemingly influenced by Gandhi. 


Gandhi, Bhabha, Spivak, India, Postcolonial.

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