Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Review: Gandhi Before India

Gandhi Before India Gandhi Before India by Ramachandra Guha
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Unlike few of the people I know I still don't feel like giving up on Gandhi and his philosophies. After all as a proud Indian Gandhiji has been father of our nation. The face we see on every note and it every official place. I must have seen the 1982 movies more than 4 times and yet despite reading about Gandhiji here and there along the years there was no light on his years in South Africa. We only know of the incident in the railway and just that but this first part of Gandhi biography does exactly that and focuses on Gandhiji's life before he arrived back in India after spending 20 years in South Africa. I wanted to read this series including India after Gandhi and the 2nd part of Mahatma Gandhi's biography Mr. Guha wrote.

This book starts with M.K. Gandhi's birth, education, and further life in India, England and South Africa, this focuses on his life till around 45 years of age and his day to day work which brought him back to South Africa after leaving once and how slowly and slowly he became people's leader, people's protector, the Mahatma.

This book also illuminate the person and also focuses on the flaws as accepted by Bapu and his strained relationship with his own family and especially his eldest son. The line which hit me most was just a line in one of articles written by Bapu about Non-violence and denying violence he said that today if we decide to use violence to kill an Englishman then after they are gone we would use the same methods to kill an Indian and those are prophetic words because that's what happened. (No spoiler as everybody knows at least this fact that in 1948 he was shot and killed by a coward.)

This book once again let us know about how an Indian born England trained Lawyer failed to setup a practise in Bombay and had to leave for South Africa and slowly and surely he got turned from his profession for far bigger work and how he was able to unite people from all religion and regions from India. And how even in 1906 he spoke about a united and new India where people from all religion all caste will live together. And of course he was trying to live simply so rejected the modern amenities and lived like a Mahatma but even after 71 years of his passing he can still feel the impact he had not only on India but on the entire world.

This is one book which you should read to learn more about the life of the person who gave us our freedom and became our national father. and always remember to just Keep on Reading .

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