South Asia

Organized Panel Session

3 - Alternative Modernity and Religio-Political Philosophy of Gandhi

Saturday, July 7
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Jacaranda II, First Floor

Modernity that is available in the Descartes clearly excludes everything except cognition from its discourse. The excluded non-cognition are subsequently rehabilitated only by scrutinizing them through cognition. This process of both inclusion and subsequent exclusion is governed by violence. Having unleashed this process within the West modernity sought to execute the same outside the West where it met with mixed results. Some part of the non-West gave way to the pressure but some other parts largely remained either unaffected or partly affected. This is evident in modern Indian philosopher like Vivekananda, Aurobindo seeking to synthesize both modernity and spiritualism. This is a strong variance to the western experience where science and spiritualism are not only different but also mutually exclusive. Yet another instance of this variance is the way in which M K Gandhi sought to counter modernity first with Christianity; having sized the extent of the West where one part that is modernity, which according to him is satanic civilisation, is put against the other part namely, Christianity he sought to extend the domain of the non-modern that includes religions from the West, including Christianity and religions from the non-West including Indian religions. In this process, he laid more emphasis on internal criticism to reject social evils like untouchability in Hindu society. So what we have in Asian societies is a scene where pre-modern is in constant battle with modern unlike in the West where the former is excluded by the latter. These issues will be discussed in this paper.

Raghuramaraju Adluru

Indian Institute of Technology Tirupati, India

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