LINGUIST List 31.2507

Fri Aug 07 2020

Calls: Gujarati; Disc Analys, Gen Ling, Hist Ling, Socioling, Translation/India

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 07-Aug-2020
From: Mrunal Chavda <>
Subject: Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj: A Linguistic Exploration
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Full Title: Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj: A Linguistic Exploration

Date: 03-Oct-2020 - 03-Oct-2020
Location: Gujarat, India
Contact Person: Mrunal Chavda
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Translation

Subject Language(s): Gujarati

Call Deadline: 20-Aug-2020

Meeting Description:

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is one of the greatest communicators of our times. Considered as seminal or foundational work, Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj charts his philosophical ideas which have been explored in great details in many scholarly works. This short tract was written on his return voyage from London to Cape Town on the deck of the ship SS Kildonan Castle in the year 1909. Inscribed on tissue roll, this work was later published in two installments in the weekly multilingual (i.e. Hindi, Gujarati, English, and Tamil) newspaper Indian Opinion, edited by Gandhi. However, his language especially Gujarati needs a rigorous analysis from a linguistic point of view. Such analysis is shadowed by examination of Gandhian ideology. The debate whether India realized Gandhi’s dream of India hovers amongst the Gandhian scholars. The question that Indians replaced Britishers after Independence shadows discussion. Is there any change in the overall lifestyle or is it just a change in the administration or government or the constitution? Hind Swaraj appears to preach what was to be practices to prepare India for the post Independent laborers where human values to dominate over everything else. It was this reason Gandhi promoted the study of regional languages including his own language i.e. Gujarati. Do we not see the reversal of this ideology? Can this text, written and consumed in the first decade of the 20th century, guide India in the digital era? Nearly decade earlier Himanshu Upadhyay noted Gandhi’s intervention on standardizing Gujarati spellings. While the spelling debate may continue parallel, Gujarati linguist, Hind Swaraj, a text in Gujarati requires unanswered questions to be answered. Gandhi’s choice of writing this text in Gujarati reveals an interesting entry-point for engaging into a discourse with modern civilization through Gujarati language and literature. Pioneering such scholarly and philosophical discourse, Gandhi perhaps challenged writings from the Pandit Yug in the Gujarati literature. Gandhi attempts to test this through trial and error which begins with the Hind Swaraj and gradually matures in his autobiography My Experiments with the Truth.

This conference on aims to bring Gujarati Linguistics and Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj on the same platform. Such multiple linguistic perspectives will strengthen our understanding of not only Gandhi’s use of language but also our first language (i.e. Gujarati). This conference on Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj attempts to convey Gandhi’s use of Gujarati language during his times i.e. 1909. He was in South Africa while he published this short tract. In fact, he made the Gujarati language global language in the first decade of the 20th century. This conference aims to investigate the powerful tool, i.e. Gujarati language, against the British who banned the book which resulted into Gandhi translating the same book into English. By rendering his own Gujarati work into English, Gandhi challenged the British on their turf. He explained his vision to the British Administration through the English language and unfortunately, the young Gujaratis today, although familiar with Gandhi, are unaware of the tools Gandhi used to make his vision clear through the Gujarati language.

Call for Papers:

The conference Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj: A Linguistic Exploration invites proposals addressing the above topics to bridge connectivity with Gujarati linguistics and Gandhian scholars.

Please submit your Abstract here:
The abstract should be not more than 250 words. Full Papers should be written between 4000 and 6000 words.

Key Dates:
Abstract Submission:20 August 2020
Acceptance of Abstract: 30 August 2020
Full Paper Submission: 20 September 2020
Acceptance of Full paper: 30 September 2020

Page Updated: 07-Aug-2020