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.

Sushila Nayar

Sushila Nayar

Sushila Nayar (1914–2001) was a close associate, a veteran politician and the personal physician of Gandhi. She remained active all her life in programmes for welfare of the underprivileged, community health, medical education, social change and rural reconstruction.

She studied at Lady Harding College, Delhi, and after Gandhi's assassination, at Johns Hopkins University, USA. She was attracted to Gandhi's ideas and work at a young age. She took part in the Quit India movement of 1942 and was close to Gandhi and Kasturba.

She had met Gandhi as a child when she went to see him with her mother at Lahore. She recounts her pleasant memories, ‘He made me sit in his lap and began playing with me. I liked him at once.’ She ...

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