Not much is known about the life of Mahatma Gandhi before he came back to India from South Africa. A new book ‘Gandhi; Before India’ by historian Ramachandra Guha throws more light on this aspect. A compilation of information about Gandhi from rarely-used sources, the book is a ‘settling of accounts’ of sorts between the author and Gandhi.
“In the course of my career, I met all sorts of people who were inspired by Gandhi. Gandhi has shadowed me all my life and finally, I decided to write this book. It is the first part of a two or three-series biography of Gandhi,” Guha said during the launch of the book in the city on Friday.
The book, Guha said, is the result of information sourced from various places — like letters written to Gandhi, letters mentioning Gandhi written by officials of the British Raj, government intelligence reports and reflections on Gandhi by various government officials of the time. “The collected works of Gandhi include 97 volumes, but there are so many sources yet unused by biographers,” Guha said while narrating how he found Gandhi-related papers in Israel.
The book details the journey of Gandhi from his birth to his time in South Africa. The author has tried to paint a complete picture of Gandhi as he was viewed by his mentors, his followers, friends and foes.