Gandhi, the freedom fighter and educator: A Southern Theorist



Interdependence, peace, education, non-violence


The concept of Southern Theory is a response to Northern sociological theory, which is considered to be incomplete because it does not consider global dynamics, which would include the life-experiences of people of the South and the impact of socio-cultural changes brought about by colonialism and globalization. Raewyn Connell introduced the term Southern Theory to emphasize the intellectual power and political relevance of social thought emanating from formerly colonized countries. The term Southern Theory can be confusing, overarching theories that incorporate new ideas that would represent the experiences of unequal development are imperative in a globalized world. The ideas of non-violence and moral togetherness that Gandhi represented are discussed in this paper along with his education experiments and theories. Being radical, his educational ideas were not accepted in India after independence because the country needed to “catch-up” with the development of industrialized countries after centuries of colonial subjugation. But his profoundly different ideas of achieving social/political change through non-violence, and his ideas on education for working towards a social order free from exploitation and violence, represented local needs and a new way of looking at society and education.

Author Biography

Ratna Ghosh, McGill University

Professor Ratna Ghosh

Distinguished James McGill Professor and Sir. William C. Macdonald Professor of Education,

Department of Integrated Studies in Education,

McGill University, Montreal, Canada