30 January,2023 10:55 AM IST | Mumbai | Nasrin Modak Siddiqi
Ashraf Engineer with Tushar Gandhi
What about the Mahatma*s life has never been discussed, we ask? "His life is an ocean and no matter how many times you dip into it, there is always a lot left to be explored," says veteran journalist and brand communication strategist, Ashraf Engineer while exclusively speaking to us about a new podcast series.
On the Mahatma*s death anniversary today, Engineer*s news commentary podcast, All Indians Matter is launching a six-part, in-depth limited series, Gandhi-The Final Years in conversation with peace activist Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of the Mahatma. Based on Tushar*s book, Let*s Kill Gandhi and on the chronicles of Gandhiji*s personal secretary Pyarelal Nayyar*s series Mahatma Gandhi: The Last Phase, the series narrates the most dramatic of his extraordinary journey and also the most significant for a nation about to be born. "They marked his greatest triumphs but also his greatest tragedies. His end was India*s beginning and that*s why these years are so important," explains Engineer.
Interestingly, the first episode starts with the Quit India Movement of 1942, where Tushar uses cricket analogies to explain Gandhi*s relationship with the British at the time. Everything from the smallest meeting to Gandhi*s imprisonment and beyond, is discussed in such detail that one is intrigued to read up more on Bapu - delightedly, like in the case of Munna*s character in Munnabhai MBBS. Both Engineer (through research) and Tushar have a hefty grip on Gandhi*s life as well as current politics and it shows when they highlight how similar the challenges of today - of sectarian division, a crumbling rural economy, inequality, and caste - are to the days leading to India*s independence and partition. "There are chilling similarities between the recent events and the last years of Gandhi*s life - it is important to draw the parallels and tell that story because a nation that forgets its history is doomed to repeat the same mistakes that were made back then," elaborates Tushar.
This third in the series on the Mahatma, [Murder of the Mahatma (January 2021) and Kastur: In Gandhi*s Shadow, His Guiding Light (February 2022)] highlights how perceptive the Mahatma was of the challenges India would face today: communalism, environmental degradation, power concentrated in the hands of a few industrialists and politicians, and the unravelling of the rural economy. Aditya Kuber, co-founder of IdeaBrew Studios, which manages the podcast, says, "Everyone knows about Gandhi in a broad sense but very few know the minute details of his life, his philosophy and the true depth of his work. That*s what this series offers, and it continues to be among our most heard podcasts."
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