2022-04Thematic Section
National Imagination and Topology of Cultural Violence: Gandhian Recontextualization of “Violence” and “Peace”


Violence, as a concept, has shaped most of human history and discourse. Over the centuries, the concept has gone through dynamic evolutions and should be understood in relation to diverse agents such as nation, nostalgia, and culture. Modern society’s tendency to impede and constrain overt forms of violence has paved the way for covert forms to exist in socio-cultural spheres. Cultural violence is one such realization where aggression gets exercised covertly through heterogenous mediums such as language, regulations, mass media, and most importantly cultural practices. Its topological structures can be traced in national imagination and a sense of cultural nostalgia originating out of it, that ultimately formulates cultural “otherness.” In Gandhian philosophy, the absence of physical aggression is insignificant, if not complemented with the eradication of violence from the cultural and intellectual strata. Gandhi’s critique of exclusive nationalism and narrowness is reflective of a distinct kind of cultural topology that generates structural violence and with the due course of history it gets legitimacy to exert power over the cultural binary it constructed. The fundamental questions of the paper are associated with assessing the role of national imagination and cultural imperatives in germinating the structures of violence in culture, exclusive nationalism, and Gandhian reconsideration of peace in the context of covert violence in the material and intellectual realms.


violence, cultural topology, nationalism, imagination, Gandhi, peace

How to cite:

Das, Atish, and Manhar Charan. “National Imagination and Topology of Cultural Violence: Gandhian Recontextualization of ‘Violence’ and ‘Peace’.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 6, no. 4 (2022):  63-77. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2022.0035.


Atish Das
Department of Humanistic Studies, Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005, India

Manhar Charan
Department of Humanistic Studies, Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005, India


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