The great soul who is part of the Indian sensibility is the man of the moment. It took only one movie to rediscover him! Lage Raho Munna Bhai may have failed to invite an Oscar but Gandhiji’s ahimsa has found a latter day avatar in Gandhigiri.
Contemporary India is re-discovering Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi like never before. This renewed interest is finding expression in a deluge of books on the Mahatma.
Pacifism and kindliness are suddenly becoming fashionable as people are trying to re-connect with the Gandhi within. For the love of Gandhi The man who scripted India’s bloodless freedom struggle is being invoked especially as we celebrate the centenary of his famous Satyagraha movement.
The mood is retrospective. People who had little or no interest in history or Gandhi’s charismatic leadership are having a rethink. To meet this sudden demand writers are getting prolific, panning every aspect of the much-chronicled Bapu in a modern light.
Mahatma, the muse Leading the pack is Gandhiji’s grandson Rajmohan Gandhi. His book titled Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People And An Empire gives glimpses of Mahatma the man. Great-grand son Tushar Gandhi is also articulating his vision.
His literary offering Let’s Kill Gandhi is about the Mahatma’s assassination and its aftermath.
Gandhi, Gandhism and the Gandhians by Thomas Weber advocates the importance of Gandhian principles while Judith Brown, professor of history at Oxford, probes the convictions and complexities of Gandhi in her tome Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: Prisoner of Hope and Modern India.
Modern icon Historian Mushirul Hasan feels this zeal for Bapu may have something to do with the socio-political void in the country. “Every nation needs an icon or someone who inspires. Gandhi epitomises the values which are difficult to come by today.”
PM Sukumar of Harper Collins credits this sudden interest to Lage Raho... “The movie is so popular that it caught the imagination of the people. But the interest in the film is transient.”
Christopher Kremmer, author of Inhaling the Mahatma, says, “Interest in the Mahatma is not likely to die out early, he was a great man with a talent for conveying his wisdom in a few words.
Such brilliance never dies.” Leading the pack is Rajmohan Gandhi whose book gives glimpses of Mahatma the man.