Gandhian Nonviolent Struggle and Untouchability in South India : The 1924 - 25 Vykom Satyagraha and the Mechanisms of Change
    Gandhian Nonviolent Struggle and Untouchability in South India : The 1924 - 25 Vykom Satyagraha and the Mechanisms of Change (English, Hardcover, Mary Elizabeth King, Bhikhu Parekh)

    Gandhian Nonviolent Struggle and Untouchability in South India : The 1924 - 25 Vykom Satyagraha and the Mechanisms of Change  (English, Hardcover, Mary Elizabeth King, Bhikhu Parekh)

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    • Language: English
    • Binding: Hardcover
    • Publisher: Oxford University Press
    • ISBN: 9780199452668, 0199452660
    • Edition: 2015
    • Pages: 368
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    In the 1920s, in the south Indian village of Vykom, a nonviolent struggle sought to open to everyone the roads surrounding the Brahmin temple there. For centuries, any person or animal could walk those roads but not the so-called untouchable Hindus, whose use of the roads would 'pollute' the high castes. From April 1924 to November 1925, Gandhi waged a satyagraha to put an end to this blatant discrimination.

    Gandhi believed that the Vykom struggle would eliminate severe practices of untouchability, unapproachability and unseeability, as the nonviolent activists would 'convert' the high castes 'by sheer force of character and suffering'. Within a decade of the Vykom campaign, a narrative emerged that corroborated Gandhi's beliefs and cited the success of the satyagraha as testimony to his methods. This mythic narrative has persisted to this day, yet fresh evidence presented by King shows that Gandhi's confidence was misguided and the volunteers' suffering was ineffective in 'converting' the upper-caste orthodoxy. This book for the first time explores what actually happened at Vykom, including its controversial settlement. Correcting misunderstandings, it addresses the rarity of conversion as a mechanism of change and evaluates shortcomings of Gandhi's leadership.

    About the Author

    Mary Elizabeth King is Professor of peace and conflict studies for the UN - affiliated university for peace, main campus, Costa Rica and Distinguished Fellow of the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, UK.
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    Book Details
    • Publication Year
      • 2015 January
    • Table of Contents
      • List of Figures and Maps         
        Foreword by Bhikhu Parekh       


        Chapter 1: Travancore Society - Early Stirrings of Organized Opposition Against Caste    
        Chapter 2: The Ezhava Community Awakens 
        Chapter 3: The Satyagraha 
        Chapter 4: The Maharani Regent and Travancore Governmental Change
        Chapter 5: The Settlement     
        Chapter 6: The Vykom Compromise - Gandhi's Role and Broader Implications
        Chapter 7: Impact of Vykom on a Tool in International Theory
        Chapter 8: An Historic Campaign Holds Contemporary Lessons

        Appendix I: Timeline
        Appendix II: Mechanisms of Change
        Select Bibliography
        About the Author

    • Authored By
      • Mary Elizabeth King
    • Foreword By
      • Bhikhu Parekh
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