Glimpse into Gandhi's early days

Oct 01, 2012, 10:29 IST | Fiona Fernandez

It's tough to find a title that looks at the life of Mahatma Gandhi, differently.

One that isn’t reminiscent of a rehashed version of your class 8 History textbook. As part of their centenary year in India, Oxford University Press has re-issued Mahatma Gandhi’s, My Early Life, first published in 1932.

On the eve of his 143rd birthday, this book, which was written initially, by Gandhi while in jail, was arranged and edited by his secretary, freedom fighter and nationalist writer, Mahadev Desai. Lalitha Zachariah, a Gandhi scholar, has annotated this edition. Sourav Chakravarthy’s line drawings add depth and liveliness to every chapter. A master stroke, this, to draw in the young, impatient reader.

One of the earliest books to be developed by OUP in India, the original is a concise version of Gandhi’s autobiography. It looks at his teenage aspirations, confessions, his pursuits in London as well as his austere choices in South Africa, all of which are a window into his transition from Mohandas to the Mahatma.

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