Imagine picking up a newspaper on the First of February, 1948, and reading the following obituary:
Dr Mohandas K. Gandhi of Porbandar, 79, physician, husband of the late Kasturba, and father of sons Harilal, Manilal, Devdas, and Ramdas. Passed away peacefully in his sleep, January 30, 1948.
That’s it. Nothing about the Indian Independence movement, nothing about satyagraha, nothing about a Great Soul. Just a short notice for a good man who worked all his life as a caring doctor.
This is the obituary we would have read had the 17-year-old Gandhi been able to follow what was then in his teenage heart—the desire to become a physician.
The year before Gandhi turned 17, his father—the family’s breadwinner—passed away. In the wake of his father’s death and in light of his family’s newfound need for income, the young Gandhi wanted to study medicine. Gandhi’s older brother, however, informed him that their father had, in fact, intended Mohandas for the bar....