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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
Outlook.com

The Other Mrs Gandhi

A grandson attempts to bring Ba out from the shadows

The Other Mrs Gandhi
The Other Mrs Gandhi
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Mahatma Gandhi's assertion that he was cured of his "stupidity" and learnt the lesson of non-violence from his wife's determined resistance and quiet submission notwithstanding, historians and biographers have tended to treat Kasturba, Gandhi's wife for 60 years, as an addendum to the text of the Mahatma's life. She is the eternal camp follower, a footnote in history.

In the story of Gandhi as told by himself and the literature of Gandhiana, Kasturba rarely occupies centrestage. Yet, Arun Gandhi, telling the story of his grandmother, argues that the making of the Mahatma could not have been possible without Ba. She was a foil to Gandhi - the turf where he practiced what he went on to preach.

This immensely readable tale is told from the vantage point of Kasturba. Born into a wealthy orthodox Vaishnava family in Rajkot in 1869, married at the age of 13, Kasturba's story is one of constant cultural dislocation. From Porbundar to Pretoria, to a mud hut in the Natal, to ashrams in Sabarmati and Wardha, seeing her family jailed, accompanying them and finally...

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