Gandhi, Marx & the ideal of an ‘unalienated life’: An Interview with Akeel Bilgrami

Jipson John and Jitheesh P.M. in Frontline:

According to Akeel Bilgrami, liberalism and liberal politics have their own limitations and cannot save us from the savagery of capital. In this way, he intellectually provokes us to go beyond liberalism and reimagine an alternative political vocabulary. His philosophy rejects the ideology of capitalism and envisions an alternative as the way forward for humanity. This alternative is, of course, Left-centric and socialistic in perspective, and Bilgrami sympathises with the Left politics in his home country and others.

His writings and philosophical ideas on the themes of secularism, modernity, Marxism and Gandhi have produced new perspectives on these and contributed significantly to our intellectual debates. His highly influential essay “Gandhi, the Philosopher” provides a fresh reading of Mahatma Gandhi. Bilgrami unearths the integrity in Gandhi’s ideas, contrary to the popular notion of inconsistency and fragmentation in Gandhi. As a philosopher, Bilgrami, despite being an atheist, does not completely reject the scope of religion having a critically instructive role in our time. As he says, “religion is not primarily a matter of belief and doctrine but about the sense of community and shared values that it can sometimes provide in contexts where other forms of solidarity—such as a strong labour movement—are missing, and it sometimes provides a moral perspective for a humane politic as it did in the liberation theology movement in Central America.”

More here.  And part two of the interview is here.