Amid protests against the CAA, NRC and NPR across the country, author and Oxford University professor Faisal Devji has said that “the presence of Mahatma Gandhi is manifest in the leaderless, anarchist movements” led by the people.
Devji, Professor of Indian History at the University of Oxford and Fellow of St Antony’s College, said, “What I find interesting about these protests today are that they are rightly, perhaps, launched in the name of the Constitution and its ideals of equal citizenship. In a way, they are accusing the state of falling short of its own founding document, its own professed ideals. They have effect because they have taken ownership of nationalism. Gandhi is a strange fish in these waters because he was not a statist, he did not like the state. He was an anarchist, philosophically. He called himself that. He wanted a minimal state…. Gandhi’s somewhat marginal presence in these protests either remains unnamed or is there in the form, especially in the anarchistic form, of the protests that are apparently leaderless or, at least, are not fronted by any political party,” Devji said.
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