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.
Chapter 4: Raihana Tyabji
Raihana Tyabji (1901–1975) belonged to an elite Muslim family, and her life is a saga of transition from the life of luxury to simplicity and austerity. Her grandfather, Badruddin Tyabji, was the first Indian Judge on the original side of the Bombay High court and the third President of the Indian National Congress. Raihana was the daughter of Badruddin Tyabji's eldest daughter Ameena who worked for girls' education and participated in the freedom struggle. Raihana's father, Abbas Tyabji, was the chief judge of the erstwhile Baroda state. When he was appointed on the Commission to enquire into the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre, he came to know of the cruelty and the atrocities committed by the British government. Consequently he gave up his position, ...