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Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
Outlook.com

Bapu's Laxmi

Bapu's Laxmi
Bapu's Laxmi
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
THE inner circle, including Kasturba, shuddered when Gandhi decided to adopt Laxmi, daughter of the harijans Dudabhai and Daniben Dafda. Gandhiji's daughter by choice created a social flutter and consequently history too. Are pentant Ba nurtured the child as a daughter and the Mahatma married Laxmi off to a Brahmin in the ashram itself. Laxmi, the mother of Haridas and the late Kalpana, passed away on January 31, 1984, a day after Gandhiji's 36th death anniversary.

For Laxmi's son Haridas, the memories are in sepia tone, especially after a paralytic stroke in 1993. "My mother told me I was named Haridas by Vallabhai Patel. Ba objected as she thought I would follow in Harilal's footsteps. She preferred 'Purushottam' but Bapuji insisted on Haridas."

Born on April 23, 1934, in the Swaraj ashram at Bardoli, Haridas' recollections of the Mahatma are limited. A walk around the ashram with Ba and Bapuji is resurrected through the family album. One incident is vividly etched. "I had in jest called an ashram friend sala. When Bapuji heard about it, he punished me by...

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