Annual Gandhi Lecture: Beyond Racial Binaries, Western Fighters for India’s Freedom, Ramachandra Guha

Event time: 
Friday, October 7, 2022 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Henry R. Luce Hall (LUCE ), 203 See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

The history of Indian nationalism is an active and vigorously contested field. There have been intense debates on the role of the Congress Party and its Gandhian philosophy of non-violence; on the contributions of revolutionaries inspired by Marxism and by religion; on autonomous movements of workers, peasants, and tribals against the colonial state. What these contrasting perspectives share in common, however, is that they see this history in terms of an implacable opposition between the exploitative British and the Indians who resisted them. This talk will go beyond these racial binaries to highlight the fascinating but sadly forgotten story of a group of white renegades, who betrayed their race, religion, and nation to identify fully and completely with the Indian freedom struggle.
Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer who is currently Distinguished University Professor at Krea University. He has previously taught at Stanford University, the Indian Institute of Science, and the London School of Economics. His books include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods (University of California Press, 1989), an award-winning social history of cricket, A Corner of a Foreign Field (Picador, 2002), and a widely acclaimed history of his country, India after Gandhi (Macmillan/Ecco Press, 2007) He is also the author of a two-volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi Before India, 2014, and Gandhi: The Years that Changed the World, 2018, both published by Knopf), each of which was chosen as a book of the year by the New York Times. His most recent book is Rebels against the Raj (Knopf, 2022). His books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Ramachandra Guha