Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Saying “No” to Gandhi and Nehru

Vasanthi Srinivasan
Reader, Political Science, University of Hyderabad, and CASI-New India Foundation Visiting Scholar
Saying “No” to Gandhi and Nehru
Monday, April 27, 2009 - 12:00
CASI, 3600 Market Street, Suite 560 University of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 19104

About the lecture
Hailed by Mohandas Gandhi as his conscience keeper, Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari (1878-1972) had the courage to say “no” to the Mahatma over the Quit India movement. Affectionately known as C.R. and Rajaji, he articulated how the Mahatma’s ideas and practices could be reconciled with the needs of a modern nation state in a manner strikingly different from that of Jawaharlal Nehru. Consequently, he found himself saying “no” many more times than he had done with the Mahatma. Drawing from her recently published work titled Gandhi’s Conscience Keeper, Dr. Srinivasan explores the rationale underlying his opposition to Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar. Probing his ideas regarding Pakistan, “slogan socialism,” Hindi as official language, and linguistic reorganization, she asks whether he was just a retired politician angling for attention or whether his experience reflects the genuine risks of statesmanship in a democratic context.

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