Thiruvananthapuram: Shaj Mohan, a Malayali philosopher who had co-written a book, 'Gandhi and philosophy on theological anti-politics', with Divya Dwivedi has courted controversy as it aims at rubbishing BJP’s attempt to assimilate Gandhiji. Through the book, the duo wishes to give Gandhiji a garb of a philosopher using the tools of the philosophy.
The book reveals a materialist, internationalist Gandhiji who develops the ultimate revolutionary political program. Shaj vouches that majority of the country’s great public intellectuals are historians where there is a fear of philosophy which has to be changed. In India the public sphere is dominated by history. The duo says that all the well known public intellectuals are historians. Jean-Luc Nancy, the most important living French philosopher, said of this book in the foreword that this is the new beginning for philosophy everywhere, east or west.
“The philosophers we mention in India are those from centuries ago. In this context to begin philosophy it is essential to look at the most influential thinker from modern India, Gandhi. While philosophically examining Gandhi one must be critical, as philosophy always is. What this critical appraisal reveals is the meaning of our avoidance of philosophy in the public space in India”, said Shaj.
The 41 year old belongs to Edapazhanji in the capital city. Armed with masters in Economics from University of Kerala, Shaj moved to New Delhi where he pursued his second masters in philosophy from St. Stephen’s College. Later, he became an academic there and is currently an independent philosopher where he is a visiting professor in leading international universities. Shaj is the son of Late Nataraja Pillai Ganeshan, a sales tax department official and Meenakshi Ganeshan, a retired official from All India Radio, Thiruvananthapuram. Co-author, Divya Dwivedi belongs to Allahabad and is a writer, historian of Buddhist culture in Asia and teaches philosophy at Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. She is the daughter of Sunitha Dwivedi and senior Supreme Court lawyer Rakesh Dwivedi who had appeared for the Travancore Devaswom Board in the women entry issue in Sabarimala. Recently, Divya had given a lecture on O. V. Vijayan’s English novels at the ‘Under the Greenwood Tree English Club’ in Thiruvananthapuram....