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A Gandhian answer to the threat of communism? Sarvodaya and postcolonial nationalism in India

Sherman, Taylor C. (2016) A Gandhian answer to the threat of communism? Sarvodaya and postcolonial nationalism in India. Indian Economic and Social History Review, 53 (2). pp. 249-270. ISSN 0019-4646

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0019464616634875


It is an axiom of early postcolonial Indian history that Nehru and his statist conception of nationalism and of economic development dominated the political and economic life of India. As such, scholars have assumed, Gandhian ideas, especially radically non-statist answers to the problems of development, lost influence in this period. This article explores Gandhian economic thinking, in the form of the Bhoodan Movement and three of the thinkers on sarvodaya economics in the 1950s, Vinoba Bhave, K.G. Mashruwala and J.C. Kumarappa. It goes on to demonstrate the complex relationship that these men and their ideas had with Nehru and various levels of the Indian state. It argues that non-statist ideas remained important in the development of postcolonial Indian nationalism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Author © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: International History
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Sets: Departments > International History
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 14:45
Last Modified: 20 May 2020 03:21

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