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In the Field and in the Academy: An Outsider's Observations

By Thomas Weber

I FIRST WENT TO India in 1975 as a young person with a strong interest in the country and its most famous son. I returned in 1979 specifically to find Gandhi and have been back on Gandhi quests about a dozen times since. I have now spent something over three years of my life there, much of it at Gandhi ashrams or in the Gandhi archives of various libraries, or talking to old Gandhians, many of whom I had the privilege of calling friend before they passed away. Hopefully this gives me some small claim to make comments on the status of what may be termed “Gandhism” in India. And, as an outsider, I have no political axes to grind or profit to make from taking any particular stand.

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