The Peacemakers: India and the Quest for One World

The Peacemakers: India and the Quest for One World
Manu Bhagavan
Harper Collins, 2012

The tragic assassination of Mahatma Gandhi need not have destroyed the huge support for a politics of nonviolence that he had helped to create in India and in progressive circles around the world. Manu Bhagavan recounts how Jawaharlal Nehru (Gandhi’s successor and the prime minister of India) and Nehru’s sister, Madame Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, sought to create “one world” that would be free of empire, exploitation, and war. This proto-spiritual progressive vision was derailed by the Cold War and by China’s anger at India for providing security for the Dalai Lama. It was likely also derailed by the narrow political focus of Nehru and his inability to build a powerful grassroots movement in India capable of overcoming either the corrosive psychological and ethical corruption of the ethos of global capitalism or the legacy of hatred between Muslims and Hindus. It’s a fascinating story.

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