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Gandhi and Godse: why the Mahatma was murdered, rev. edition
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Author : Koenraad Elst
Pages : xv,184p., bibl., ind., 22cm.
Year : 2012
ISBN : 9788185990927, 8185990921
Publisher : Voice of India
Place : New Delhi
Binding : Paperback
Price (Airmail) : INR 290.00
About the book:

It is commonly known that Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead in 1948 by a Hindu militant, only half a year after India had both gained her independence and lost almost a quarter of her territory to the newly-founded Islamic state of Pakistan. Less well-known is assassin Nathuram Godse's motive. Until now, no publication has dealt with this question except for the naked text of Godse's own speech in his defence, pronounced during his trial. It didn't save him from the hangman, but still contains a substantive argumentation against the facile glorification of the Mahatma. Dr. Koenraad Elst compares Godse's case against Gandhi with criticisms voiced in wider circles, and with historical data known at the time or brought to light since. While the Mahatma was extolled by the Hindu masses, political leaders of divergent persuasions who had to deal with him tended to be less enthusiastic, and their views would have become the received wisdom if he hadn't been assassinated. Yet, the author also presents some new arguments in Gandhi's defence from unexpected quarters. Koenraad Elst (Leuven 1959) grew up in a Catholic Flemish family in Belgium. He gave his early interests in Asian traditions a stronger foundation by earning MA degrees at the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) in Sinology, Indology and Philosophy. During a research stay at the Banaras Hindu University, he discovered how misunderstood India's religio-political problems are. Without the benefit of any institutional support, and while raising a family of four, he did original fieldwork for a dissertation on Hindu nationalism and earned his doctorate magna cum laude at the KUL in 1998. His work in political journalism and in fundamental research, laid down in over twenty books and numerous articles, earned him both applause and ostracism. Especially noteworthy are his non-conformistic findings on Islam, multiculturalism and the secular state, the origins of Indo-European, the temple/mosque controversy in Ayodhya, the affinity and hostility between religion and totalitarianism, the alleged dark side of Buddhism, the post-Maoist revival of Confucius, various language policy issues, the institutional future of Belgium, direct democracy and the defence of threatened liberties.
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