Gandhi Before India by Ramachandra Guha

Gandhi Before India is a Bulk of a book , but Ramachandra Guha’s writing is very lucid and simple , with 688 pages to go I started this book with huge expectations(I pre-Ordered it). I read 150 pages in one day and kept the book aside for few days ,then slowly I completed the book in 1 week .

This is really a wonderful book , but not for every one , seriously If you like Gandhi or Guha then only you will read this book completley and dont even think of comparing this with India after Gandhi . This is purely about Gandhi and through the eyes of researcher who wants to tell the story of Gandhi with facts and records as the guiding light .

Guha’s research is massive and impressive , and in some pages it’s clearly evident , take for example Gandhi never uses telephone in his life but for his sons arrival in South Africa he uses it this Guha Interprets as a father who is longing for his son , the emotional side of Gandhi .

This book Starts with Gandhi’s Ancestors who were Diwans educated and rich then he proceeds to tell about Gandhi’s childhood and that too in very detailed manner .

Then he explains the life of Gandhi in London , the Vegetarian society ,Raychand bhai , His Mother and brothers , his community and each one them played a very very important role in Gandhi’s life . No spoilers !

Then he goes to South Africa and then Returns to India for a short time and then goes back to South Africa . The Marriage the Vow of celibacy every thing is explained in fine detail.

And the Major part of the book is in South Africa . Where Gandhi became ” MAHATMA ” .

How ? that is the book all about , How Gandhi’s life till this point (South Africa) is impacted by the life he seen by then and what are the beliefs and prejudices he have , The friends he made and how he turned ordinary men in to hero’s and how he stood for a noble cause the sacrifices he has to make , you will start seeing him in a new light , trust me on this one this book will make you realize that he was very human and he never wanted to be mahatma , all he tried to do is to fight the injustice in-front of him .

For that he was ready to go to any distance ,ready to make the ultimate sacrifice, always will be the first one to take that blow and pain , he believed in some principles and he went to great lengths to follow them all his life , he was a loving father a caring husband and a great human being .

Gandhi is an enigma , hard to understand difficult to follow , but this book helps you look at the man closer and it explains how Gandhi acquired all the devices and strategies he later used in India . And this book ends when Gandhi finally leaves for India.

1 thought on “Gandhi Before India by Ramachandra Guha”

  1. The eminent historian Ramachandra Guha’s latest book, ‘Gandhi Before India’ will radically alter our understanding and appreciation of one of the greatest human beings to have ever lived. Based on a wealth of new and original research, this magnum opus explores the dramatic and profoundly moving experiments of the iconoclast truth seeker, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.


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