2017 年 17 巻 1 号 p. 39-72
This paper examines the relationship between Gandhi’s first nationalist movement (1919-1922) and his contemporaneous experiments with brahmacarya (sexual celibacy). Although voluminous works have dealt with Gandhi’s political engagements in the first nationalist movement, they have dismissed the significance of Gandhi’s experiments with brahmacarya during the movement; thus they have failed to unravel the reason behind Gandhi’s sudden suspension in response to the Chauri-Chaura riot. In this paper, I explore the development of Gandhi’s core idea of brahmacarya, namely “semen-retention (vīryasaṇgrah),” during 1918 to 1922. In so doing, I show that Gandhi’s purportedly “odd” and “paradoxical” ideas of “nonviolence in violence” (“hiṃsāmāṃ ahiṃsā”) and the “ethics of destruction” (the public burning of foreign clothes) during the movement were intimately linked to Gandhi’s inner psychological tensions created by his repressed manner of brahmacarya. Gandhi kept his “silence” about the massacre of the Moplah riot, which caused 10,000 deaths, but he suddenly responded to the Chauri-Chaura riot, which only caused 23 deaths. This was because only the latter could have made Gandhi aware of his inadequate manner of brahmacarya. What mattered to Gandhi was not the scale of physical violence in the outer-world, but rather the scale of the psycho-physical violence of his sexual desire.