September 29, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

The Man Who Would Be Mahatma

1 min read

Gandhi before IndiaInterview with Ramachandra Guha on Gandhi Before India: Open Magazine

“There’s lots and lots, including the characters—they’re very important. I wrote a piece in the Financial Times times two weeks ago, [‘Gandhi’s Formative Years’, 20 September 2013] which… was about the laws of biographical writing. One of the laws I’ve arrived at through my studies is that a biography is only as good as its portrait of the secondary characters. And the secondary characters of his South African phase are incredibly fascinating in their own right. They shape and mould him too, but they are forgotten. We know about the characters of his Indian phase; we know about his political followers like [Vallabhbhai] Patel and [Jawaharlal] Nehru, his spiritual followers like Mira Behn [Madeline Slade], and his antagonists like [Muhammad Ali] Jinnah and [BR] Ambedkar.

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