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Sunday, Oct 17, 2021
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Chemical Reactions In His Experiments With Truth

Lelyveld shows Gandhi, the great experimentalist and contradictor, at a half-awakened state in South Africa, his later self-magnification and an audacious claim to political command

Chemical Reactions In His Experiments With Truth
Photographs Courtesy: National Gandhi Museum
Chemical Reactions In His Experiments With Truth
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

“Oh God”, Gandhi once said, “save me from my friends, followers and flatterers”. It’s remarkable how Gandhi—someone who seems to transmit a clear, direct message, whose life seems to follow a defined parabola, whose place in history we are sure we know—continues to surprise and unsettle. In his own life, he went through a parade of identities, and so too in his afterlife. But it’s not just that each age will have it’s own Gandhi. There is something deeply discomfiting about the life as it was actually lived—before it was tidied up by his self-appointed friends, followers and flatterers into a Life that now apparently requires protection by our politicians.

Gandhi appeared to embody harmony and unity, yet his own life consisted of anything but those qualities—often impulsive, inconsistent, conflictual, fragmented. He would launch political initiatives like satyagrahas and civil disobedience, then abruptly end them; he would establish communities and ashrams, and move on; he...

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