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GANDHIAN NONVIOLENT STRUGGLE & UNTOUCHABILITY IN SOUTH INDIA: VYKOM 1924-25

Lecture by Mary Elizabeth King, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the United Nations University for Peace; Distinguished Fellow at the Rothermere Institute, University of Oxford; author of many works on nonviolent struggle. 
Prof. King’s recent book--Gandhian Nonviolent Struggle and Untouchability: The 1924-25 Vykom Satyagraha and Mechanisms of Change--radically reevaluates this famous and misperceived struggle. Upper-caste Hindus and others, under Gandhi’s guidance, conducted this campaign in Kerala. It aimed at opening the roads surrounding the local Hindu temple to everyone. Any person or animal could walk on the roads except the “untouchables.” Gandhi planned to eliminate untouchability by converting high caste Hindus through “sheer force of character and suffering.” The Vykom satyagraha has long been perceived as successful, but King’s research shows that the suffering of activists – whether untouchable or caste Hindu – was ineffective in “converting” orthodox upper-caste Hindus in Vykom. She argues that conversion is rarely the mechanism of change in a nonviolent campaign, and she evaluates shortcomings in Gandhi’s leadership.

Details

When:

Thursday, May 5, 2016. 04:30 PM

Where:

Educ313 (Cubberley)

Sponsor:

Department of Religious Studies, Center for South Asia, Peace+Justice Studies Initiative

Contact:

723-3322
lionda@stanford.edu

Admission:

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC