Gandhi the Artist

Daniel Raveh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Daya Krishna, one of the most original voices of contemporary Indian philosophy, writes that “Gandhi is as rare as…a Shakespeare or a Michelangelo” (1999). Mohandas K. Gandhi himself writes that “Jesus was, to my mind, a supreme artist” (1924). And Tridip Suhrud, Gandhian and Gandhi scholar, speaks of “Gandhi’s striving to lead the life of a ‘supreme artist’ ” (2018). The question raised in this article is this: If Gandhi was an artist, then what is his artwork? In reply, the author suggests that Gandhi himself is the artwork of Gandhi the artist. To substantiate this contention, Gandhi is depicted first as a “hunger artist,” in dialogue with Franz Kafka’s 1924 story of the same name, and second as a “death artist” crafting (determining, choosing) his death. Here the author draws on Ramchandra Gandhi, the Mahatma’s grandson and an intriguing philosophical voice, and examines Judah L. Magnes’s 1939 letter to Gandhi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-360
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hindu Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Daya Krishna
  • Franz Kafka
  • Judah L. Magnes
  • Mohandas K. Gandhi
  • Ramachandra Gandhi
  • Tridip Suhrud
  • hunger artist


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