Wednesday, October 8, 2008

power knows the truth already

power knows the truth already

Mainstream, Vol XLVI No 42

Contesting Postmodern Notion of Truth through Gandhian Vision of Satya

by Upasana Pandey, 8 October 2008

“Instead of pursuing the truth we should try to pave the way for construction of the truth.”
— F.W. Nietzsche1

“Truth is not something which might be found or discovered, but something that must be created”.
— F.W. Nietzsche2

“We have to live today by what we can get today, and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood”.
— William James3

“It has no relevance for saying or judging what is truth or just”.
— Jean Francois Lyotard4

With the postmodern turn, Truth became a dirty word, and affirmation of truth came to be seen as a sign not of conviction but of one’s pitiable naiveté. Since the ages it has been experimented that Truth never dies, but is made to live as beggar; this proverb reminds us that Truth has always suffered in this world. But no intellectual movement of world history has so beggared the truth as postmodernism has.

If we look into the history of this fateful move, we can easily call F. W. Nietzsche as the father of postmodernism. Nietzsche said that faith in the truth of the Christian and Jewish tradition was merely a distorted or intellectualised version of the frustrated will to the power of the oppressed class. Nietzsche viewed truth with deep suspicion and hostility, seeing it as the origin of nihilism. He wrote: “There is no pre-established harmony between the furtherance of truth and the well-being of mankind. Rather, only the free, unapologetic exercise of power—power as power—over the self, over others—could provide a ground for new human values.” He said the idea of pure knowledge is impermissible because reason and truth are nothing more than the expediency of certain race and species—their utility alone is their truth.5 Nietzsche characterises truth as a mobile army of metaphors and metonyms, that is, sentences are the only thing that can be true or false. Knowledge is a question not of true discovery but of the conclusion of interpretation about the world which are taken to be true. For Nietzsche, truth is not a collection of facts, for there can be only interpretations and there is ‘no limit to the ways in which the world can be interpreted’. Insofar as the idea of truth has an historical purchase, it is the consequence of power, that is, whose interpretation counts as truth. Consequently, Nietzsche rejects the enlightenment philosophy of universal reason and progress. He claimed rather for the illogical as he said: “…illogical is a necessity for mankind and much good proceeds from the illogical. Once one formed truth, it is supposed to eliminate ignorance and error.”

Nietzsche is quite right while making the statement that “Truth is not merely a collection of facts” and “whose truth is considered as truth”; still he could not extend any notion of truth as such. He told us what is not truth, but what is truth he never discussed.

Horkheimer and Adorno made an extension in Nietzsche’s nihilism in their own way. In their famous book Dialectic of Enlightenment they argued that enlightenment rationality is a logic of domination and oppression. The very impulse to control nature through science and rationality is, they argued, an impulse to control and dominate human-beings. In this view enlightenment thinking is inherently an instrumental rationality whose logic leads not only to industrialisation but to the concentration camps. Epistemologically speaking, Horkheimer and Adorno characterised enlightenment thinking as positing an ‘identity’ between thoughts and objects which seek to capture and subsume all that is different from itself.6 They regard enlightenment reason as turning rationality into irrationality and deception as it claims itself as the sole basis for truth. As Best and Kellner put it, “in their [Horkheimer and Adorno’s] interpretation, a synthesis of instrumental rationality and capitalism employed sophisticated modes of mass communication and culture, a bureaucratised and rationalised state apparatus and science and technology to administrate consciousness and needs to ensure social integration so that individual would act in conformity with the system’s dictates.”7

It shows that up to Nietzsche at least truth was something which could be related to a limited group or class of society but Horkheimer and Adorno made it awful and terrible while relating it to rationality and science. It is not possible to comprehend the sense of truth either with the help of the wires of technology or with the rational theorems of mathematics. As Habermas rightly said in his Lazitimation Crisis (1975) while criticising the modern project of enlightenment rationality, science has become the truth of the day and in this technologically organised society science has lost its objective to liberate/emancipate people from the shackles of oppressions, rather it put them into a new bondage and this bondage is instrumental rationality. Now through reason or science people are exploiting others. Rationality these days is limited only up to the science or technology; thus domination and dependence on it is increasing day-by-day and hence it is becoming the Truth of the day. Habbermas has said that this modern society has lost all its traditional basis of legitimaiton. In this society machines will tell us, suggest to us and finally direct us what to do or what not to do. And we are bound to move by that telling of the truth. In this modern era an individual cannot dare to think by his own; rather he has become a silent spectator of these machines and technologies—he has to move accordingly.8

Actually in pre-modern times, truth was by and large a phenomenon set apart from the lowly material world. It was loftier than everyday realities dwelling in some specific sphere of its own; or alternatively it could be thought of as deeper than them, looking exclusively at the heart of things. Getting at the truth thus meant discarding the empirical shells of phenomenon in order to plunk out their vital essences. This view of truth survives well into modernity, but it is only with modernity that truth descends to earth on a dramatic seal, as the mind turns from religious ideals to rational or scientific discourses. 9

THOUGH Horkheimer and Adorno made a valuable contribution and then an extension in Nietzsche’s philosophy of nihilism, yet Foucault has been more influenced by his philosophy and was able to produce the concept of Power regarding Truth and Knowledge. It was the French historian and philosopher’ M. Foucault, who first boldly put truth in sacred quotes, “Truth,” he declared, “is to be understood as a system of ordered procedure for the production, regulation, distribution, circulation and operation of statements… Truth is linked in circular relation with the system of power which produces and sustains it, and to the effects of power which it induces and which extend it.”10

Before going further into the details of the Foucauldian notion of truth and power one point I would like to make clear is that Foucault talks not of Truth per se, but of the ‘regime of truth’, that is, the configurations of knowledge that count as truth under determinate historical conditions. That is why he said, knowledge is not metaphysical, transcendental or universal. Rather it is specific to particular times and spaces. Knowledge is perspectival in character. There can be no totalising knowledge which is able to grasp the ‘objective’ character of the world. Rather we both have and require multiple viewpoints or truth by which to interpret a complex heterogeneous human existence. Knowledge is not regarded as a pure or natural way of understanding. It is implicated in regimes of power. It shows it clearly that Foucault breaks with the central enlightenment metaphor of ‘depth’. He argues against interpretative or hermeneutic methods which seek to disclose the hidden meanings of language. Foucault is concerned with the description and analysis of the surfaces of discourse and their effects under determinate material and historical conditions. In fact Foucault identifies significant epistemological breaks in knowledge across time and rejects any notion of telos or the inevitable direction of human history. The whole Foucauldian discourses of knowledge prove that knowledge has become a new resource of power and thus the Truth of the day. But we know that truth is neither knowledge nor power, it is something else beyond rational knowledge and physical power. Though all can feel it, it is difficult to comprehend. Noam Chomsky remarks somewhere that the conception of an intellectual as one who speaks truth to power is mistaken on two grounds. For one thing, power knows the truth already; and for another thing, it is not power, but its victims, who need the truth most urgently. It comes as no surprise that most of those who are cavalier about the idea of truth these days have no pressing political need. But one might amplify Chomsky’s point by adding that power does not need to be told the truth because it is in some way irrelevant to it.

Similarly, Rorty suggests that the concept of truth has no explanatory power, being at best a degree of social agreement from within a particular tradition. He recommends that we abandon epistemology, recognising ‘truth’ as a form of social commendation; a condition which Foucault described as ‘being-in-the true’.11

In the similar manner, Garden argues that no epistemological position, including modern sciences and postmodernism, is able to give universal grounding for its own truth claims. However, the consequences of adopting a modern or postmodern epistemology are difficult. In Garden’s account, modern truth claims are universalising: they assert their truths for all people for all places, with potentially disastrous consequences in which the bearers of “truth” know best. In contrast, Garden suggests that the consequence of saying that truths are only truths within the language games in which such truth claims discourses and representations of reality.12

All these show that no longer would ‘the true’ be understood, as it had for millennia, as that which is ‘in accordance with fact or reality’. From now on, for a growing and influential sector of the intelligentsia, the true would be posed as a problem to be solved. The prerogative of truth was thus transformed from a right of the oppressed into an object of study for the technical or academic expert. Only the qualified ‘specific intellectual’ or ‘genealogist’ could speak meaningfully of truth— or rather, could investigative the conditions of the possibility of “truth”. What discourses give rise to the appearance of truth? How does “truth”, as a form of power, a system of ‘constraints’, function and manifest itself? How does knowledge, as power, disguise itself as truth, in order to achieve its effects? The trouble is that post-structuralism insists we are entitled to ask only such questions, and so conflates inquiring into ways that the discourse about truth produces particular effects enduring the claim that truth telling as such is impossible.13

Postmodernist critics have ridiculed universal meta-narratives and truths, even while sombrely discussing such weightless metaphysical conceits as episteme, phallologocentrism, difference and “the lack”—the contemporary theorists version of ectoplasm and ether. They have systematically privileged local, particular movements over global and universal ones, without considering the exigencies or needs of actual practice. Unaware of or indifferent to its own internal contradictions and elisions, postmodernism has preached epistemological skepticism and radical historicism all the while remaining innocent of its own social determinations. But the most demanding of all, when it comes to offering us something concrete, something really useful with which to gain traction on the great intellectual social and political problems of our day, the postmodern notion of truth falls silent because all have their own individual/local/contextual approach to truth that truly distinguishes itself; unlike virtually every other intellectual movement or ideology of the past—anarchism, socialism, liberalism, libertarianism, conservatism, communism, fascism—postmodernism offers a theory neither of society nor of politics and the state.14

CONTRARY to all these postmodernist notions of truth, Gandhi’s Truth has its different meaning in the Indian and Oriental context. Gandhi’s truth may be comprehended from three different perspectives—Etymological, Religious and Moral.

Etymologically it is concerned with the origin of the meaning of the term truth, that is, ‘Satya’. The word ‘sat’ is employed in the sense of reality, goodness or praiseworthy action. Steadfastness in sacrifice, penance, and gift is also called ‘sat’, and so many actions for such purpose is called sat. Whatever offering or gift is made, whatever rite is observed, without faith, is called ‘asat’.15 It means from the etymological perspective what reality is, what really can be said, really can be done, in this worldly life, will be called ‘Satya’. It shows only truth is existing. Since only truth is existing and only truth is real, for Gandhi it must be the ultimate objective of our life. Accordingly, “Devotion to this truth is the sole justification for our existence. All our activities should be very breath of our being. When once this state in the pilgrims’ process is reached, all other rules of correct living will come without effort and obedience to them will be instructive. There should be Truth in thought, Truth in speech and Truth in action. To a man who has realised this truth in its fullness, nothing else remains to be known because all knowledge is necessarily included in it.”16

Here we can see that like Foucault, Gandhi is also relating truth with knowledge but in his discussion this knowledge or truth approach is nowhere at all attached with power. Rather, it is concerned with self-controlled/disciplined life-style which will give you a kind of power through which an individual will celebrate salvation instead of exploitation and domination.

For Gandhi, the essence of life lies in its simplicity and truth is the instrument, the medium to achieve it. An individual’s small or big effort is directed by truth only. As such it is the truth, which will make an individual truthful in the real sense of the term. The Upanishads are also making the same statement. According to Mundaka Upanishad, “truth also prevails and not untruth. Truth is the pathway which learned men tread. It is by this path the sages, satisfied in their desires, have obtained salvation in him who is the infinite ocean of truth.”17 Taittiriya Upanishad says: “Speak the truth, observe duty, and do not swerve from truth.”18

The Gandhian conception of truth was equally influenced by all these ancient Indian religious-cum-philosophical writings. Truthfulness is the only way which will make the seeker after truth a truthful person in the real sense of the term. Because truth is the ultimate knowledge. If we once learn how to apply this never-failing test of truth, we will at once be able to find out what is worth reading.19

Hence, in Gandhian philosophy etymologically it shows that only truth exists. Attaining this truth is the ultimate objective of our life. The real essence of life resides in this truth only. One who realises this truth nothing remains to be known because truth is the ultimate knowledge. But one may raise the question: what is the inherent meaning of this truth? In which form should we accept it and how do we obtain it? The religious perspective of truth will satisfy all these queries in its fullest sense.

All the religious texts, scriptures, institutions and gurus are accepting only one existence in this earth, that is, of God. Hence, if truth means a sense of being or to exist then obviously it means God. For Gandhi, “to realise God, to realise the self and to realise truth are three experiences for the same development.”20 In his earlier days Gandhi used to say that God is Truth. It means to know about truth one has to know about God in Gandhian philosophy. For Gandhi, “God is the self-existent all knowing living force, which inheres every other force known to the world. God is even more intangible than others. He is both imminent and transcendent.”21

In Gandhian philosophy the meaning of God is explained in scientific, moral and philosophic perspectives. Like a scientist, who usually propounds his thoughts on the basis of the cause and effect relationship, Gandhi too explains: if our beings are there along with our fathers and grandfathers then we are bound to accept this truth that there does also exist the father of the whole universe. He again illustrates that there is a system in this world through which the whole universe of living being is regulated. This system cannot be abstract and immortal because abstract laws would not be applicable on living beings. And this law and system are nothing but the God himself. He himself is the law and the regulator of those laws. In Gandhi’s words, “I do dimly see the perspective that whilst everything around me is ever changing, in all that change there is a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and regrets. This informing power and spirit is God. And since nothing else I see merely alone. And is this power benevolent or malevolent? I see it as purely benevolent, for I can see in the midst of untruth, truth persists, in the midst of darkness, light persists. Hence I gather that God is Life, Truth and Light. He is Love. He is the Supreme God.”22

In this manner as a scientist he tries his best to define the God within the criteria of the universally accepted definition by keeping aside all community, religion, time and space based definitions.

But it does not mean that the universal-scientific-rational definition of God in Gandhian philosophy is ignoring the importance of the individualistic perspective? Gandhian philosophy even sees God from the moral perspective. For Gandhi, “There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me. But I worship God as Truth only. I have not yet found him, but I am seeking after him.”23

Accordingly, God can be seen from different perspectives. Even for theists its existence is there. “You may call yourself an atheist, but so long as you feel akin with mankind you accept God in practice.”24

While defining God sometimes Gandhi also feels like opportunist thinkers. But Gandhi himself is explaining the reason in the following manner, “God is the indefinable something that we shall follow but do not know. To me God is Truth and Love; God is ethics and morality; God is fearlessness. God is source of light and life and yet He is above and beyond all these. God is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist…he embodies to those who need His touch. He is purest essence. He simply is to those who have faith. He is all things to all man. He is in us and yet above and beyond us…He is long suffering. He is patient but He is also terrible…with Him ignorance is no essence. And withal He is ever forgiving for He always given us the chances to repent. He is the greatest democrat the world knows, for He leaves us ‘unfettered’ to make our own choice between evil and good. He is the greatest tyrant ever known, for He often clashes the cup from our lips and under the cover of the tree will leaves us a margin so wholly inadequate as to provide only might to Himself…Therefore, Hinduism calls it all this sport.”25

Thus, like a spiritual thinker Gandhi assumes God as knowledge, love, compassion, inner-consciousness, logic-reason etc. Not only this, but for him reason and the logical perception of atheists is also another form of God. And ultimately he says. “If it is possible for the human tongue to give the fullest description of God, I have come to the conclusion that for myself, God is Truth.”26 It shows that for Gandhi God can be defined from individualistic, pluralistic and in so many different universalistic perspectives.

BHIKHU PAREKH, in his Gandhi’s Political Philosophy: A Critical Examination, says earlier Gandhi used the term Brahman. But he was somewhat uneasy with its historical association and preferred to use such terms as eternal principle, supreme consciousness or intelligence, mysterious force and cosmic power, spirit or shakti. Later in his life he preferred to call it Satya or Truth and thought that this was its only correct and fully significant description. Following the Indian philosophical tradition, Gandhi used the term Satya to mean the eternal and unchanging, what alone persists in the midst of change and holds the universe together. For a longtime he said that ‘God is Truth’, implying both that truth was one of God’s many properties and that the concept of God was logically prior to that of Truth. In 1926 he reversed the proposition and said that Truth is God. He regarded this as one of his most important discoveries and thought that it crystallised his years of groping. The new proposition implied that the concept of Truth was prior to that of God, and that calling it God did not add anything new to it but only made it more concrete and comprehensible to the human mind. One can say here that like Nietzsche, Gandhi also left God behind the Truth. But unlike him, Gandhi accepted the argument of universally imposed conception of God. Rather by following the norms of the Indian thinkers Gandhi intended to distinguish between the impersonal and personal God, and preferred to call the Nirguna Brahman. Since the term Truth is likely to create confusion, I shall use the more familiar terms cosmic spirit or power.27

For Gandhi the Brahman, Truth or Cosmic Spirit was Nirguna, beyond all qualities including the moral. As he put it, ‘Fundamentally God is indescribable in words.. The qualities we attribute to God with the purest of motives are true for us but fundamentally false.’28 And again beyond the personal God there is Formless Essence which our reason cannot comprehend. The formless essence or cosmic spirit was not a ‘personal being’, and to think that it represented a mistaken and ‘interior’ conception of its nature. Although the cosmic power was without qualities including personality, Gandhi argued that a limited being as man found it difficult to avoid attributing them to and personalising it. First, the human mind was so used the world of qualities that it did not find it easy to think in non-qualitative terms. Second, man was not only a thinking but also a feeling being and the ‘head’ and ‘heart’ had different requirements. The quality-free cosmic power satisfied the head but was too remote, abstract and detached to satisfy the heart. The heart required a being with heart, one who could understand and respond to the language of feeling.29

Even by accepting the above mentioned various definitions and perceptions of truth Gandhian philosophy is also presenting a universally accepted belief of Truth. Accordingly, “what is Truth? A difficult question, but I have solved it for myself by saying that it is what the voice within tells you. How then, you ask, do different people think of different and contrary truth? Well, seeing that the human mind works through innumerable media and that the evolution of the human mind is not the same for all, it follows that what may be truth for one may be untruth for another; and hence those who have made their experiments have come to the conclusion that there are certain conditions to be observed in making those experiments. It is because we have at the present moment everybody claiming the right of conscience without going through any discipline whatsoever that there is so much untruth being delivered to a bewildered world. All that I can do in utter humility is to present to you the point that truth is not to be found by anybody who has not got an abundant sense of humility. If you would swim on the bosom of the ocean of Truth you must reduce yourself to a zero.”30 It means for Gandhi, there is no guarantee that we find the truth in any matter. But continued division in search of truth will make the seeker aware of errors and thus lead him further towards truth.31

What may appear as truth to one person will often appear as untruth to another person. But that need not worry the seeker. Where there is honest effort, it will be realised that what appears to be different truths are like the countless and apparently different leaves of the same tree. Does not God Himself appear to different individuals in different aspects? But Truth is the right designation of God. Hence there is nothing wrong in everyone following Truth according to his light. Indeed it is a duty to do so.32

For Gandhi, unlike Nietzsche, God doesn’t means an absolute power meant for exploitation and domination. But in the real sense of the term he suggested that “the golden rule of conduct … mutual toleration, seeing that we will never all think alike and we shall see Truth in fragment and from different angles of vision. Conscience is not the something for all. Whilst, therefore, it is a good guide for individual conduct, imposition of that conduct upon all will be an insufferable interference with everybody’s freedom of conscience”.33

Thus the etymological and ontological explanations are revealing the physical and eternal meaning of truth. Now one may ask the question: how to achieve this truth which is both at the same time Relative Truth as well as Absolute Truth? For Gandhi life persists within these types of truth because life is the name of dialectics or duality.

Absolute Truth is the ultimate truth to be achieved. It is the eternal reality but it is not easy to achieve it because human mind has its own limited capacity. Relative Truth is the way towards Absolute Truth. But as long as I have not realised this Absolute truth, so long must, according to Gandhi, I hold by the relative truth as I have conceived it. That relative truth must, meanwhile, be my beacon, my shield and buckler. Though this path is narrow and sharp as the razor’s edge, for me it has been the quickest and easiest. Even my Himalayan blunders have seemed trifling to me because I have kept strictly to this path. For the path has saved me from coming to grief, and I have gone forward according to my light.”34

TWO things are coming in mind at the same time. First, it is only the continuous process of practice through which this absolute truth would be achieved. And secondly, the extent to which an individual is relating this absolute truth with the help of relative truth; that is why this relative truth is different for different people. In this way we can say relative truth is the means to achieve the end of absolute truth.

In this way, in Gandhian philosophy we are having both permanent (universal, absolute coherent) control, situational, relational and dynamic conception of truth. Because, Gandhi never assumed that one’s truth is the ultimate truth. A continued selfless devotion in search of truth will make the seeker aware of errors and thus lead him further towards truth.

Though we are having knowledge about different aspects of the meaning of truth, yet it is not easy to realise or internalise this truth in the real sense of the term. Realisation of truth is a continuous process for which the moral values are essentially required. Because for Gandhi “to realise God” is another expression for “to become God” and “to face God”.35

Gandhi used to say: “I am but a seeker after truth. I claim to have found a way to it. I claim to be making ceaseless efforts to find it. But I admit that I have not yet found it. To find truth completely is to realize oneself and one’s destiny, to become perfect. I am painfully conscious of my imperfections and therein lies all the strength I possess, because it is a rare thing for a man to know his own limitations. When the egotism-ego vanishes, something else grows that ingredient of the person that tends to identify itself with God, with humanity, all that lives. Therefore, Gandhi may also say that once the reduction of one’s egotism self is complete, one comes face to face with God, find truth, and realises the universal self, the Self. The way of humanity is essentially the way of reducing egotism.”36

Again in this conception ‘self’ in Gandhian philosophy is considered from two perspectives, one is ‘Universal Self’ and the second is ‘Individual self’. For Gandhi, ‘the universal self’ can scarcely be given experimental meaning without the resource of psychological and social processes of intense identification. They can be facilitated by the practice of yoga, but also by various kinds of voluntary social work as these are now carried out by dedicated people in many countries. Development in psychiatry and psychology favouring reciprocity in the therapist- patient relation helps to make the identification easier.

There is an intimate relationship between a belief in the ultimate oneness of all that lives and the belief that one cannot reach one’s own complete freedom without bringing about the freedom of others, or remove all feelings of pain without relieving the pain of others.

“I do not believe….that an individual may gain spiritually and those who surround him suffer. I believe in advita (non-duality), I believe in the essentially unity of man and, for that matter, of all that lies. Therefore I believe that if one man gain spiritually, the whole world gains with him and, if one man fall, the whole world fall to that extent.”37

At another place he said:

“A drop torn from the ocean perishes without doing any good. If it remains a part of the ocean, it shares the glory of carrying on its bosom a fleet of mighty ships.”38

And an individual self, the seeker after truth, can become a universal self by putting himself last among his fellow-creatures, when egotism-ego vanishes something else grows, that ingredient of the person that tends to identify itself with God, with humanity all that lives. Therefore Gandhi may also say that once the reduction of one’s egotism- self is complete, one comes face to face with God, finds Truth, and realises the universal self, the Self. The way of humility is essentially the way of reducing egotism.

Thus it can be said that Truth is the Sovereign principle. Truth is the ultimate reality. It is the only foundational principle of all thought and action. Though it is ultimate and absolute by nature, even then each and every living being can achieve it. A partial knowledge of this truth will give us the only identity through which human beings are getting dignified recognition. This is the fundamental law of human society from where social creatures are getting the knowledge of collectivism.

Thus the different perspectives of truth in Gandhian philosophy such as the etymological perspective, the religious perspective and the moral perspective, are defining the concept of truth in its own way. If the etymological perspective is giving us the idea of existence of truth by saying that truth is the only reality, religious perspective is giving us the lesson that God is Truth or we can, form moral perspective, say that God, Love, Compassion, Motherhood etc. are the different shades of truth only. Truth is the only universal principle which is prevailing every where. The moral perspective of truth is defining all those different aspects of truth. A seeker after truth will never assume his truth as the ultimate truth and thus will have respect for others’ truth.

Hence, the above discussion proves quite convincingly that the destruction of truth which is going on in the present postmodernist scenario must be stopped urgently. It is the call of the hour to give the accurate meaning to the term of truth and it can be given with the help of Gandhian philosophy because Gandhi tells us that truth can never be created. It can be realised. And it can be realised by those who have realised their own self. And self-realisation is a long process where one has to increase one’s understanding. As understanding strengthens reason which itself develops by the conscious effort of suffering. Therefore Gandhi propounded the philosophy of Satya or Satyagraha. In this account we should rather focus our attention on realisation of Truth. Whether it is relative, contextual, local, individual truth or that of absolute, global, universal truth, these categoriszations are there just to understand the notion of truth. Truth is important, not these categorisations. Individuality or universality is not a matter of discussion. These are the transitory discourse. What we constitute supposed to achieve is realisation of truth. All our efforts must be directed towards that alone.


1. F. W. Nietzsche (1967), The Will to Power, New York.

2. Ibid.

3. William James (1928), Pragmatism, Longsman, New York.

4. Jean Francois Lyotard (1979), The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (trans. Bennigton & B. Massumi) Manchester Press, p. 3-11.

5. F. W. Nietzsche (1967), The Will to Power, New York, p. 515.

6. See, M. Horkheimer and T.W. Adorno (1979), Dialectic Of Enlightenment, London, Verso Press.

7. S. Best and D. Kellner (1991), Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations, Basingstoke and London, Macmillian, p. 218.

8. See, Jurgen Habbermas (1976), Legitimation Crisis, Cambridge, Polity Press.

9. See, Terry Eaglation, “On Telling The Truth”, in Leo Patrich and Colin Leys (eds.), Telling The Truth (2006) Leftword Books, New Delhi.

10. M. Foucaullt (1980), Truth and Power: Power/Knowledge, New York, Pantheon, p. 133.

11. See, R. Rorty (1989), Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Also See R. Rorty (1991), Objectivity, Relativism and Truth: Philosophical Pares, Vol. I, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

12. See, K. Garden and A. Shukur (1994), ‘I’m Bengali, I’m Asian and I’m living Here’ in R. Balland (eds.), Des, Perdesh: The South Asian Presence In Britain, London, Hrust and Company.

13. See, Leo Patrich and Colin Leys (eds.), Telling The Truth (2006), Leftword Books, New Delhi.

14. See, Leo Panitch and Colin Lays (eds.), Telling the Truth, Leftword Books, New Delhi, 2006.

15. Bhagavadgita, 17.26-17.28.

16. Young India, Ahmedabad, Navajivan Publications, November 17, 1921. (Emphasis is mine)

17. Mundaka Upanishad, 111,1.6.

18. Taittiriya Upanishad, 1,11,1.

19. Raghavan Iyer, The Moral And Political Writings of Mahatma Gandhi, p. 163.

20. Arne Naess (1947), Gandhi and Group Conflict: An Exploration of Satyagraha’s Theoretical Background, Oslo, Universities, forlaget., p. 34.

21. M. K. Gandhi (1947), Ramanama, Karachi, p. 76.

22. M. K. Gandhi, In Search Of Supreme, Ahemdabad, Navajivan Publications, Vol. 1, pp. 5-6.

23. M. K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, p. 8.

24. Arne Naess (1947), Gandhi and Group Conflict: An Exploration of Satyagraha’s Theoretical Background, Oslo, Universities, forlaget., p. 24.

25. Ibid., p. 24.

26. M. K. Gandhi, Young India, 31-12-1931, p. 428.

27. Bhikhu Parekh (1989), Gandhi’s Political Philosophy: A Critical Examination, London, Macmillan Press, p. 70.

28. Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol. 50, p. 200. 29. Hind Swaraj, July 29, 1947.

30. R.K. Prabhu and U. R. Rao (1945), The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, London, Oxford University, p. 17.

31. Arne Naess (1947), Gandhi And Group Conflict, p. 28. 32. Ibid., p. 30

33. Ibid., p. 28.

34. M. K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, p. IX (Introduction).

35. Young India, 17-11-1921.

36. Arne Naess (1947), Gandhi And Group Conflict, pp. 38-39.

37. Young India, 4-12-1924, p. 398.

38. Harijan, 23-3-1947, p. 78.

Dr Upasana Pandey is a Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi.

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