Gandhi and globalization: … As A20 arrives in Quebec City, consider novelist Pankaj Mishra’s observations during a review of a recent biography of the Mahatma.

Many of his more Westernized followers, like Nehru, despaired at his seemingly quixotic rejection of the Industrial Revolution, his partiality for small, self-sufficient villages, his distrust of overcentralized nation-states. … he felt it important for a conquered people to look for fresh identity and dignity in its own traditions. India, he believed, must find its own way. To attempt to beat the West at its own game, as Japan was then doing, was already to admit defeat.

… Disappointingly, he doesn’t go into the manifold ways Gandhi’s distrust of modernity has found echoes among many political and environmental movements around the world. Gandhi’s opposition to the railways seemed absurd in the early 20th century. But his argument that the railways encouraged grain owners to sell their wares in the dearest markets and thereby undermine local small-scale economies would make sense to the anti-globalization protesters of today.

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