29 November, 2020

Keepers Of His Flame

Eschewing 'dynasty', Bapu's global family spreads his word quietly

Keepers Of His Flame

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi may have founded a modern nation-state but was certainly no believer in founding a political dynasty. His political heir, Jawaharlal Nehru, headed a "democratic" royal family, some of his closest followers brought their sons and daughters into politics, but Gandhi said, "I have many sons, some of whom bear the name Gandhi and some bear other names...count how many crores of sons and therefore daughters-in-law such a man is likely to have."

 So strict was he that achievement and dedication rather than birth and lineage would be the route to his heart, so convinced that it was the family of the ashram rather than that of kin which was the ethical model community, that his own blood family, rightfully India's first family, is also India's forgotten family. Their names do not make newspaper headlines, their experiments with their ancestor's truths are unknown. They were, in an act most un-Indian and most progressive, shoved determinedly off centrestage by the man whose name they carry.

Yet the family is extraordinary in its range—from young...



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