Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan Moderating Revolution V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, Toussaint Louverture, and the Civility of Reform In early autumn in 1869 in British India, two men were born who devoted their lives to the articulation of emergent political subjectivities in what would become, in 1947, independent India. The story of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political agitator credited with having brought the British Raj to its knees through satyagraha, has been immortalized, inspiring 20th century civil rights movements around the world. The story of V.S. Srinivasa Sastri, diplomat, renowned writer and orator, leader of the Indian Liberal Party, and, at ten days his senior, Gandhiâs âconscience-Â eeperâ (Ramanan 24), is largely forgotten.1 If Gandhi, known as the âMahatma,â is the epic revolutionary hero of Indiaâs anticolonial resistance, the David to Winston Churchillâs Goliath, then Sastri is the moderate footnote who countered the romance of Gandhian civil disobedience with the civility and pragmatics of reform. Whose story is better suited to âthe politicohistorical presents within which we now live and writeâ (Scott 57)? This essay returns to David Scottâs 2004 argument that postcolonialists have for too long uncritically utilized a Fanonian âlonging for total revolutionâ (6) as the template through which
The Comparatist – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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