Understanding Gandhi is a collection of interviews of six of Mahatma Gandhi's closest associates—J.B. Kriplani, Raihana Tyabji, Dada Dharmadhikari, Sushila Nayar, Jhaver Patel and Sucheta Kripalani. The interviewees reflect on Gandhi's ideas in the light of changes that took place in India after Independence.

These interviews have been conducted by Fred J. Blum (1914–1990), an academician and consultant to the US Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, whose lifelong commitment was to understand Gandhi's approach to social, economic and spiritual issues.

The book provides glimpses of Gandhi's ideas and working relationship with his colleagues who came from a wide range of backgrounds, professions and geographical regions. It also brings out the thoughts of Gandhi and his followers on several important issues such as Satyagraha, non-violence, Brahmacharya, spirituality, and fasting. This blend of an intimate knowledge of Gandhi and the reflective hindsight gives the book a unique vantage point that promotes a holistic understanding of Gandhian thought and philosophy.

Introduction

Introduction

Why Gandhi

The world awakes everyday to new horizons opened by technology and new discoveries made by science; it also awakes to painful realization that various divides within and among the societies are not getting narrow. Amidst political unrest, economic inequality and social discrimination human race seeks some rays of hope, and one such ray is the life and work of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

Leaders like Gandhi constitute the moral capital of humanity, and persons as well as societies all over the world draw strength from his ideas and work especially during crises. Plays like ‘Mahatma vs Gandhi’ and films like ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’ and ‘Gandhi, My Father’ never fail to attract critics as well as ordinary people. Courses in Gandhian Studies have become popular in ...

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