Gandhi's Conscience Keeper

Gandhi's Conscience Keeper

Drawing upon Rajagopalachari’s voluminous political writings, Gandhi’s Conscience Keeper: C.Rajagopalachari and Indian Politics analyses his views on democracy, free enterprise and market economy, foreign policy and social diversity. It argues that a principled statesmanship that balanced individual freedom and civic virtues lay at the root of his political vision. Courage and moderation were the hallmarks of his approach to politics. He reasoned not from abstract principles but from concrete and particular circumstances about what is feasible and would contribute to all round welfare. At the same time, he was categorical that expediency cannot be the sole criterion in judging what is feasible. Foresight about how things would turn out and a firm commitment to enhancing liberal virtues such as hard work, liberality and law abidingness have a critical role to play. Since these virtues were rooted in ethics and religion, we delve into his retellings of the Hindu epics and select Hindu doctrines to reveal a ‘theocentric liberalism’ at the heart of his political theory and action. The book explores how Rajaji tempered majoritarian democracy with statesmanship, a free economy with civic virtue, realistic patriotism with genuine internationalism and secularism with religiosity drawn from Hindu epics.

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