Clothes for Liberation
Pierre Gonsalves, Clothes for Liberation: A Communication Evaluation of Gandhi’s Swadeshi Revolution, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2010, ISBN 978-81-321-0310-3, p. 164, Rs. 350
The writer, Peter Gonsalves, is an achieved researcher within the subject of media and communication research. He’s professor of social communication sciences on the Pontifical Salesian College in Rome and was even head of division. He began his profession within the media subject whereas working for rural growth in Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra, Ahmednagar – Maharashtra. He was liable for founding ‘Tej-prasarini’, a multimedia manufacturing middle geared in direction of elevating consciousness of the pressing want for pro-life schooling. He promoted a collection of trainer coaching manuals beneath the title “High quality Life Training”, the primary of which was his personal work: Media literacy workout routines (1994). Throughout his profession, he was president of INTERSIG, the worldwide wing of SIGNIS, a world affiliation of communicators for a tradition of peace, and coordinated the institution of an online portal in 5 languages for the Salesian Society of which he’s a member.
Based mostly on his spectacular resume and my rumour data about him, I got down to learn this e-book with excessive expectations. The e-book is the ultimate results of a examine undertaken with the goal of analyzing the communicative influence that clothes had within the life and exercise of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), acknowledged because the “Father of Nation” (India) for his decisive position in galvanizing the plenty and organizing a scientific and efficient however non-violent battle for independence from the oppressive imperial rule of the British. The writer endeavors to make use of the theories of communication introduced by Roland Barthes, Victor Turner and Erving Goffman as a framework for a extra in-depth evaluation of communication that sheds mild on Gandhi’s distinctive sartorial technique for the liberation of freedom. India: the creation of a “style system” by means of the laborious strategy of swadeshi “social drama” whereas he remained the undisputed “efficiency supervisor” of the thirty-year freedom battle (cowl flap).
The e-book is nicely introduced with a foreword by Dr. Keval Kumar, whose pioneering article “Gandhi’s Ideological Clothes” paved the best way for additional examine and analysis into the communicative influence of Gandhi’s clothes, to which this e-book is a solution; a neat checklist of all of the tables, figures, images and abbreviations that seem within the e-book, an illuminating introduction, 4 substantial chapters that kind the guts of the e-book, and a fifth chapter that presents “the Gandhian method to symbolization”. It basically doubles as a conclusion and a springboard for additional analysis. The writer presents six constituent rules of a Gandhian method to symbolization, however doesn’t select to elaborate a lot since he believes that there’s “a considerable physique of analysis and reflection already obtainable” (p. 127, footnote 1). The final pages of the e-book are dedicated to a pictorial historical past of clothes in Gandhi’s life, a succinct however nicely chosen appendix highlighting the influence of Gandhi’s communication, a glossary of Indian phrases, a reasonably detailed bibliography and an index.
The primary chapter makes an attempt to supply an outline of ‘Gandhi the Communicator’. Thus, the totally different points of Gandhi’s communicative exercise are briefly and lucidly introduced. This contains verbal, written in addition to non-verbal communication engaged in by Gandhi throughout his lifetime. Such a presentation helps present a backdrop for the remainder of the e-book and locations the reader within the context of Gandhian communication. Particulars are backed by tutorial analysis; the copious notes on the finish of every chapter testify to this.
The center chapters, i.e. the second to fourth chapters, which kind the guts of the e-book, are fairly demanding to learn and take in, however provide an attention-grabbing perception into Gandhi’s philosophy and lifestyle. Additionally they assist to partially perceive the rationale for Gandhi’s widespread enchantment and effectiveness in communication.
The second chapter is dedicated to the evaluation of Gandhi’s style system primarily based on the concepts of Roland Barthes. Barthes (1915-1980) was a French cultural analyst, structuralist and semiotician. His work Systemth of Trend (The Trend System) serves as a reference for the concepts developed right here. Barthes’ semiotic idea of Denotation, Connotation and Ideology yields startling insights when utilized to the Indian ethos. It helps to grasp how one thing as mundane as clothes might be remodeled into symbols of oppression or liberation. The reader is led to grasp the explanations for Gandhi’s clothes decisions and the influence they’d on the battle for freedom and on the world.
The third chapter examines Turner’s idea of “social drama” and its utility to Swadeshi Revolution began by Gandhi. Turner (1920-1983) developed the science of “comparative symbology” which aimed to investigate symbols over time, each in relation to different symbols in addition to of their influence with all actors concerned whereas remaining grounded in sensible expertise. (p.73). Turner breaks down the construction of the “social drama” into 4 phases: 1) Violation 2) Crises 3) Remedial proceedings and 4) Reintegration. Every of those phases is taken up individually and systematically handled within the context of Gandhi. swadeshi motion. That is to indicate the ability of the symbols chosen by Gandhi and their position in his general communication technique.
The fourth chapter is as attention-grabbing as it’s good. It delves into Gandhi’s private life and supplies perception into Gandhi: the person. Whereas all through the e-book Gandhi is spoken of in connection along with his socio-political exercise, on this chapter the foundations of his socio-political exercise are uncovered. The particular person of Mahatma Gandhi is studied utilizing Goffman’s “dramaturgic mannequin”. The tip result’s a holistic understanding of Mahatma Gandhi’s persona and the impact of that persona on the Indian freedom battle.
The writer deserves reward for producing this glorious and well timed work. He did a very good job utilizing communication theories to investigate and uncover the worth of Gandhi’s symbolic communication by means of clothes. As I discussed earlier, the e-book provides a lot of helpful insights each within the space of communication and in rediscovering Gandhi’s affect. For a communication scholar like me, the e-book was an actual deal with. Not solely did it provide me classes in communication and its utility, however it additionally helped me higher perceive and admire Mahatma Gandhi’s position within the battle for freedom. The communicative dimension of the battle for freedom is often solely talked about in passing, if not solely averted, and due to this fact this work is a refresher in that respect. As for the contents of the e-book, I discovered three typos that fortunately did not trigger a lot confusion. Nonetheless, I additionally found two obvious errors within the references. Apart from these minor flaws, the e-book is great. I warmly suggest this e-book to anybody within the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi in addition to these eager about media research.