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 7: Jhaver Patel
Jhaver patel (1907–1984) stands out as a person who made concerted efforts to change the life of the rural poor on Gandhian norms. Rooted in the soil, he developed an international perspective of planning and development on Gandhian ideals.
He left his studies at the college and joined the Gujarat Vidyapith at the age of 22 years. He received the certificate of Gramseva Dikshit from the Vidyapith in 1931 at the hands of Gandhiji, and decided to live according to Gandhian ideology. Gandhi had emphasized the crucial role these young trained people can play in the development of the villages. Young Jhaver absorbed this idea and moulded his life accordingly. He went to Wardha in 1936 and joined J.C. Kumarappa, the noted Gandhian ...