Remembering Gandhi on his birth anniversary

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Bako Exists. Imagine.
– Labhshankar Thakar’s Poems, Atul Dodiya’s Paintings
Translated by Arundhati Subramaniam and Naushil Mehta

“Bako Exists. Imagine.” is a text-based work consisting of twelve paintings and an installation with nine wooden cabinets. These poetic episodes are based on a fiction, written in Gujarati by the major contemporary poet Labhshankar Thakar.

Bako is a boy who meets Bapu — Mahatma Gandhi — in his sleep. In fact, they meet each other only in their sleep, and they talk. This is a kind of fantasy which allows and evokes childhood memories. There is no fence of age between this old man and the young boy. They joke, they laugh, they talk of the abstract.

Atul Dodiya, “Erase It”, 2011. Oil, acrylic, watercolour, oil bar and marble dust on canvas, 60 x 90”

See some of the other paintings here.

Gandhi and Indian Nationalism
– Sucheta Mahajan and Tushar Gandhi

Anek Dhara, a public policy platform, organised a webinar on Gandhi and Indian Nationalism. The speakers discussed how the use of religious symbols, non-violence, and tolerance of diverse faiths were integral to Indian Nationalism then and the issues concerning nationalism in practice today.


Gandhi and Poetry
– K Satchidanandan

A simple, fluid conversation between Gandhi occupied with his charkha, and a personified Poem standing at his door, this poem is a reminder of what power lies in words to make connections with daily struggles of the people. Gandhi’s injunction to the Poem to speak for the common people or else retreat into silence, remains ever pertinent.

Tribute to Gandhi

In 1994-1995, Sahmat a organised a yearlong series of events that invoked Gandhi’s quest for a secular India, a sovereign nation, and universal compassion. These activities, and others that followed, formed a context for reconsidering and re- evaluating Gandhi and the national movement.

Singing Gandhi’s India
– Lakshmi Subramanian

This book by Lakshmi Subramanian takes a closer look at Gandhi’s ideas about music, his understanding of it as public expression and its use in nationalist politics. It gives an insight into the way a range of religious, congregational hymns and prayers became an aural canon of political communication which was an integral part of social mobilisation and nationalist politics.

Read an extract from the book here.

‘Mahatma Gandhi and the Concept of Nation’
– Newsclick Team

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, eminent historian Prof. Irfan Habib delivers a talk on ‘Gandhi and the National Question’ as part of the lecture series organised by the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust in Delhi.

Understanding the Marxism in Gandhi’s fight against imperialism
– Akeel Bilgrami and Uday Mehta

[Gandhi] certainly did not have a socialist alternative that was supposed to follow upon a transcending of capitalism in the way that Marx did; instead he wanted to pre-empt capitalism in India (not unlike Marx in his very late phase when he was focused on the peasant communes in Russia) and to do so by repudiating the mentality, the cognitive outlook, that lay behind it. This required a deeper reflection about what the corrosive moral and political effects of that mentality are. Hind Swaraj, among other things, is a harshly worded reflection about just that.

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