The Death and Afterlife of Mahatma Gandhi

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Random House India, Jan 30, 2015 - Biography & Autobiography - 348 pages
"The Death and Afterlife of Mahatma Gandhi is an explosive and original analysis of the assassination of the ‘Father of the Nation’. Who is responsible for the Mahatma’s death? Just one determined zealot, the larger ideology that supported him, the Congress-led Government that failed to protect him, or a vast majority of Indians and their descendants who considered Gandhi irrelevant, and endorsed violence instead? Paranjape’s meticulous study culminates in his reading of Gandhi’s last six months in Delhi where, from the very edge of the grave, he wrought what was perhaps his greatest miracle – the saving of Delhi and thus of India itself from the internecine bloodshed of Partition. Paranjape, taking a cue from the Mahatma himself, also shows us a way to expiate our guilt and to heal the wounds of an ancient civilization torn into two. This is a brilliant, far-reaching and profound exploration of the meaning of the Mahatma’s death."

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Prologue PART
Who killed Gandhi?
The event
The postmortem
The memorialization
The repression
The unbearability of patricide
Oedipus in India
Gandhi and AntiOedipus
Arrival in Delhi
An old formula in the capital of new India
The final yajna
Partitioning women
Gandhi at an RSS rally
Saving India

The pollution
The haunting
The guilt
The unbearable modernity of patricide
The Mahatmas endgame
The life and afterlife of the Mahatma
Remembering the Mahatma
Softer than a flower and harder than a stone?
HinduMuslim amity
The art of dying
From repression to redemption? Epilogue
Works Cited

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About the author (2015)

Makarand R. Paranjape is a critic, poet, novelist and public intellectual. He was educated at St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a master’s and PhD in English. Currently Professor, Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, he was the inaugural Erich Auerbach Visiting Chair in Global Literary Studies at the University of Tübingen in Fall 2014. His recent books include Making India: Colonialism, National Culture, and Indian English Literature and Swami Vivekananda: A Contemporary Reader.

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