“Very Inspirationl and humbling”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“Not a great read.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Not a great read.”Mohit Chauhan wrote this review Friday, February 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The editorial description of the book went
"This is a biography of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). He led the fight for Indian independence from British rule, who tirelessly pursued a strategy of passive resistance, and who was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic only a few months after independence was achieved."
The editorial description is notable in light of facts of history that took place around independence of India - for one thing Gandhi desperately wished to visit the newly partitioned land of Pakistan in west, to make efforts to bring peace where millions were being murdered; the then premier Liaqat Ali Khan issued a flat warning to the effect that he could not guarantee security of any sort to Gandhi who was seen as leader of Hindus by Muslim League officially, even though the people then living in the new nation did not all perceive it that way (in fact people of North West Frontier Province were extremely upset about not being included in India so much so the Viceroy's tour was cut short, and their leader - called Sarhad Gandhi, "Gandhi of frontier", due to his following Gandhi and his ways, was jailed by Pakistan government almost all his life); consequently Gandhi could not visit the region so recently a part of India and now torn with so much violence against Hindus, amounting to an exodus and a massacre both. Government of India could not ignore the warning and declaration by Liaqat Ali Khan about safety of life of Gandhi, and he was pleaded not to carry on his intention (whether he actually was denied a visa as most Indian dignitaries and artists can be summarily through the history of six odd decades of Pakistan is not the question) and he went east to Bengal instead, where he was successful in bringing peace within Indian borders.
Pakistan meanwhile attacked India in the northern state of Kashmir and Jinnah pretended it was all tribal hordes, and atrocities by attackers included rapes and murders of nuns in a convent; and while this was going on, Pakistan also demanded a larger share of the treasury while flatly refusing to share the debts of India before partition (you pay what India owes, give us share of what India had) and logically as well as strategically (paying huge sums to those that are attacking you is extreme folly for any sort of statesmanship, surely?) it was obvious to see why the Indian parliament, cabinet, everyone was in agreement that such demands were ridiculous.
Gandhi insisted, however, in giving in to the demands made by Pakistan, no matter how dishonourably they behave. When it was clear this would not be done he was unhappy and went on yet another fast for clearing of his soul. Naturally the government of India gave in.
Meanwhile refugees from west had been pouring in from Pakistan and their horrendous stories were becoming known in various corners of the nation where they could find a place to rest - refugees from west went everywhere, where ever they could, from Amritsar in Punjab to Delhi, U.P., Mumbai, Bangalore, name it. One such refugee camp near an army training school town near Mumbai a volunteer helping in the camp, a local person, went from anger to determination of not letting this continue, and he went and shot Gandhi after bowing down to him in reverence first.
Epithets ascribed to this man, a lonely person who hardly ever talked to anyone even within his family, range from crazy to fanatic to Hindu fanatic. The last is merely a convenient tool to use this man's background to crucify a tremendous culture with a very ancient tradition that is identified with India, something convenient for those that would destroy this open wide and deep treasure trove of a tradition that is a democratic faith, an inclusive culture, a tolerant and secular religion, a tremendous source of knowledge of mind and spirit.
An equal parallel would be to call John Wilkes Booth a "Christian fanatic", killers of Kennedys "American fanatics", the popes who ordered murder of Elizabeth I "Catholic fanatics", and so forth.
What could one call the people in US that attacked people and shops and so forth belonging to those that looked Asian, not only innocent of the 911 attacks but often not even of Islamic faith, then? The first person to be so murdered was a Sikh, wearing his faith's attire, taken by the killer to be a 911 attacker. What sort of fanatic should one call him, the killer who did not know the difference? Ignorant is merely accurate, but to parallel an acccusation of the sort in the editorial description one would have to find something more fitting.
So much for the official description of the book. Facts in short are more along the lines of following:-
This is a biography of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). He led the fight for Indian independence from British rule, who tirelessly pursued a strategy of passive resistance, and who was assassinated by a loner crazed by the harrowing tales of refugees, only a few months after partition which accompanied independence, along with the separated part Pakistan attacking India, demanding share of treasury and refusing to share debts, while Gandhi insisted (and was followed) in his wish that those demands be met, attacks by Pakistan continuing nevertheless. Pakistan had incidentally refused to allow Gandhi to enter the new country for a peace tour to attempt to stop the massacres, declaring the government of Pakistan could not guarantee security of Gandhi's life if he visited, since the Muslim League (- which carried out a massacre of a few thousand with knives in Calcutta in 1946 on a day named Action Day by Jinnah before Gandhi broke and agreed to the demand of partition of India into a separate nation for Muslims) called Gandhi a "Hindu leader". ”
“Must read if you are looking for an unbiased view on the Mahatma.. Personally feel his autobiography gives a much better perspective on the man himself and his thoughts..”Vishal Bhardwaj wrote this review Tuesday, July 20, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“What a life...”Fred Suriya wrote this review Sunday, July 4, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very Inspirationl and humbling”Terri A wrote this review Thursday, May 29, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book talks about Gandhi's thoughts, minds and beliefs. In fact, it reviews the life of true Gandhi.”Soussan M wrote this review Friday, February 8, 2008. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An inspiring book on how a man-yes just a man- can change the destiny of the world,just by believing in the humanity of his opponents,expressing them in simple words and following it in actions.
Highly recommended for somebody who is interested in Human in general .”
“I greatly value this book. It is my campanion, guide.
It is not only about Mahatma, it is about life, its values and relationships.
Author has done great contribution by wrting such a wonderful book about a great man and making non-violence understandable and practicable.”
“Its the only book on Gandhi which treats him like a human being with strengths and weaknesses, not like a demi god (or for a very few a scoundrel) he is generally made out to be.
The only other writer with a balanced view on Gandhi was Nehru in his references in his Autobiography and in Discovery of India.
This is one book I would recommed to everyone with interest in Gandhi, or Indian independence movement.”
“This is a good book...not sure how to rate it though it since it's the only book I've ever read about Gandhi and I haven't even finished it yet. It pretty much follows the course of his life with a few historical and analytical interjections. I'm glad to know more about Gandhi now that I've read it (most of it). ”Viney M wrote this review Saturday, November 10, 2007. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No