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Radical Philosophy Review

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2003

Radical Theories and Religion

Fred Dallmayr
Pages 29-48

Ghandi and Islam
A Heart-and-Mind Unity

In this essay, Fred Dallmayr examines the role played by Hindu-Muslim relations in India’s struggle for independence. He documents Gandhi’s long involvement in “the Muslim question” and his promotion of a “heart unity” that sees inter-communal harmony as a precondition for genuine independence. This contrasted sharply with the formal constitutional approach of prominent Muslim leaders, a contrast heightened by Gandhi’s occasional “Hindu” rhetoric, his response to the 1921 Mappila rebellion in Kerala, but most importantly, a procedural differentiation with Muslim leaders over “separate-but-equal” vs. liberal constitutionalist positions. The lessons from this investigation lead Dallmayr to conclude that a “heart-and-mind” unity has substantial salience for a cooperative approach to contemporary inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts.

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