Gandhi’s Many Influences and Collaborators

Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 35 (2):360-69 (2015)
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Abstract

In Gandhi's Printing Press, Isabel Hofmeyr introduces readers to the nuances of the newspaper in a far-flung colony in the age when mail and news traveled by ship and when readers were encouraged by Gandhi to read slowly and deeply. This article explores the ways in which Thoreau's concept of slow reading influenced Gandhi and Hofmeyr herself. She discusses the community that surrounded Gandhi and the role it played in supporting the newspaper. Yet, I argue, the role of women of all races as well as Coloured and black South African men in leading, modeling, and shaping the movement of resistance to pass laws and other racist legislation might have been integrated more into the main narrative. Gandhi's newspaper, Indian Opinion, reported on the pass law protests of the African women of Bloemfontein, and Abdurahman's APO newspaper (popular in the Coloured community) reported on Gandhi's protests. Indian Opinion included speeches given by John Dube, and it often praised Dube and the work at Ohlange and reprinted stories from the black press. I offer these remarks to supplement Hofmeyr's fascinating account by providing additional information in portraying the newspaper in its historical and social context.

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Gail Presbey
University of Detroit Mercy

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