By Isabel Hofmeyr
At a similar time that Gandhi, as a tender attorney in South Africa, begun fashioning the tenets of his political philosophy, he used to be absorbed by means of a likely unrelated firm: making a newspaper. Gandhi’s Printing Press is an account of the way this venture, an obvious footnote to a large occupation, formed the fellow who may turn into the world-changing Mahatma. Pioneering writer, experimental editor, moral anthologist—these roles exhibit a Gandhi constructing the characteristics and abilities that might later outline him.
Isabel Hofmeyr provides a close learn of Gandhi’s paintings in South Africa (1893–1914), while he was once the some-time owner of a printing press and introduced the periodical Indian Opinion. the talents Gandhi honed as a newspaperman—distilling tales from a number of resources, circumventing shortages of type—influenced his spare prose kind. working out of the colonized Indian Ocean global, Gandhi observed firsthand how an international empire relied on the fast transmission of data over sizeable distances. He sensed that verbal exchange in an industrialized age was once changing into calibrated to technological tempos.
yet he spoke back by way of slowing the velocity, experimenting with modes of interpreting and writing excited by physically, no longer mechanical, rhythms. Favoring using hand-operated presses, he produced a newspaper to think about instead of experiment, yet one more more likely to excerpt Thoreau than function simply glossed headlines. Gandhi’s Printing Press illuminates how the focus and self-control inculcated via gradual analyzing, imbuing the self with wisdom and moral values, advanced into satyagraha, truth-force, the cornerstone of Gandhi’s progressive proposal of nonviolent resistance.
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Additional info for Gandhi's Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading
30 The ﬁgure of the journalist is an important analogue in this regard, and Gandhi was to encounter several Indiatrained journalists in South Africa keen to help or hinder his project. 31 37 p r i n t i n g c u l t u r e s Printing Encounters The encounter of these two printing frontiers—British print capitalism and print laborism, on the one hand, and Indian diasporic print formations, on the other—produced its own vocabularies and terminology. The phrase “colonial and Indian printing” divided the empire into three printing zones, one implicitly the metropolis, the other two the dominions and British India.
A ﬁnal factor that dramatically extended the scale of satyagraha was the £3 tax. This annual payment applied to indentured workers who did not reindenture themselves at the end of their contracts and stayed on in South Africa rather than returning to India. Its abolition had long been a demand of “colonial-born” Indians and was ﬁnally taken up by Gandhi in September 1913. Widespread strikes on both sugar plantations and mines in Natal followed, with Gandhi leading some of these striking workers across the border to the Transvaal to court arrest.
He also had to manage an enterprise that was distributed between Durban and Johannesburg, 365 miles inland, where Gandhi was mostly based. While never the editor of Indian Opinion, Gandhi was the senior statesman of the operation and a key writer whose work, despite Nazar’s pleas, did not always arrive on time. As the man on site, Nazar also had to manage labor relations, a tricky task in an environment where deadlines routinely ran over schedule and workers were called upon to do considerable amounts of overtime.
Gandhi's Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading by Isabel Hofmeyr