Gandhi was the creator of a radical style of politics which has proved effective in fighting insidious social divisions within
India and, at times, elsewhere in the world. How did this new form of politics come about? David Hardiman shows that it was
based on a larger vision of an alternative society based on mutual respect, lack of exploitation, non-violence and ecological
harmony. Politics was just one of the many directions in which Gandhi sough to activate this peculiarly personal vision and
its practice involved experiments in relation to his opponents, who ranged from representatives of the British raj to Indian
advocates of violent resistance, form right-wing religious leaders and upholders of caste privilege to communists, socialists
and Dalits. Hardiman examines Gandhi's ways of conducting his conflicts with all these and working towards their resolution.
A key issue in Gandhi's life and legacy was his programme for women, and despite inconsistencies and limitations and failures
in his personal life, he provides a beacon for posterity because of the uncompromising honesty of his politics and moral activism.
Jayaprakash Narayan, Medha Patkar, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Petra Kelly are among figures inspired by Gandhi
and he influenced a series of new social movements - by environmentalists, anti-war campaigners, feminists, and human rights
activists among others.