1. The Gandhi the world does not know much about

The Gandhi the world does not know much about

Named 'Kastur' after the scent the world knows as musk, she was the youngest of three siblings in a wealthy family of Kapadias who had well established overseas business in textiles, grain and cotton.

By: | Published: October 13, 2016 12:22 PM

Named ‘Kastur’ after the scent the world knows as musk, she was the youngest of three siblings in a wealthy family of Kapadias who had well established overseas business in textiles, grain and cotton.

Known to the world as Kasturba, wife of a man the world venerated as a prophet of peace, for Kastur the child bride who married the boy next door, Mohandas was self righteous and overbearing husband, says a new book “The Secret Diary of Kasturba”, an imaginary chronicle of the life of Kasturba by Neelima Dalmia Adhar.

Historical facts form the backdrop of this book but there was “no secret diary” maintained by Kasturba”, says Adhar.

The book is written in a diary form with Kastur penning her experiences in Porbandar where she was born on April 11, 1869- six months before the birth of Mohandas Gandhi who was born in neighbourhood on October 2, 1869 and, early life with young Mohandas, her days in Africa and Mohandas’s rise as a mass leader.

As her diary traverses through the years in Porbandar, opposition from the Modh Bania community to Gandhi’s plans to go abroad for studies much against the community’s opposition to such ventures, his work in South Africa, Kastur writes of the horror that she was subjected to by Mohandas when she was told to clean not only own chamber pots every day but also extend the service to other residents whose pots had not been tended to or cleaned properly.

“The persistent putrid stink, the nasty gash on my wrist where Mohandas had grabbed me and dragged me to the gate… Mohandas had become an abusive and cruel husband who had lost all regard for the one person he claimed to have loved the most. I felt suffocated and trapped,” Kastur wrote in the diary imagined by the author.

A bigger shock was yet to come. After she gave birth to their fourth child, Devdas, Mohandas told her that she will have to sleep in a separate bedroom.

“We shall no longer be man and wife,” he apparently told Kasturba. She had understood that as a faithful Hindu wife, she would have to blindly follow in the footsteps of her husband, no matter how much it violated her sensibilities.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was sworn to poverty, celibacy and the cause for India’s freedom; Kastur spent 62 years of her life juggling the roles of a devoted wife, a ‘satyagrahi’ and sacrificing mother who was eclipsed because of a man who almost became God for India’s multitude.

Gandhi was an intolerant father to Harilal, his wayword son, driven to debauchery; Kasturba paid the price for her son’s unending misery, the book claims.

The book, published by Tranquebar Press, tries to tell the world what it meant to Kasturba to be wife of Mahatma Gandhi.

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  1. A
    Oct 15, 2016 at 6:03 pm
    To know what Kasturba actually felt about hi, in reality, read "Earth Ethics of M.K. hi..." (Wise Earth Publishers, 2010) .page 187-188, where the truthfully recorded comments by Kasturba about her marriage to hi can be found. To give you one bit, “I am not like you, modern wives, who wish to lord it over their husbands, ….Such a thing ill-becomes a true Hindu wife….Kasturba gave a long tribute to hi, among it is this: “I thank you for the most perfect marriage in the world, based upon brahmacharya (self-control) and not on ….”Obviously written for shock value and s, another author and publisher try to cash in on hi's fame. Shame! Shame! All the monkeys know your name! The headline, le, and imagination of Neelima D. Adhar, the author, is purposefully and slanderously misleading to the public, who, at this time is seriously ignorant of hi's life and message. Context, dear, is everything. Try to imagine how it was then, and not put the disturbing expectations of your generation and time upon Kasturba! Ever heard of pati vrata? The intense devotion of a wife to her husband as her Guru? Such was Kasturba’s time, and perhaps that of your revered Gmothers. India is losing: in less than 10 years, the intense wealth of milleniums will be gone forever, and women and families in modern India redefined to their western counterparts, in Germany called, ‘Patch work’. Such a distorted imaginative drivel should not be published, Tranquebar Press should also be held responsible for isting in this deliberate play on public scandal and gossip. The entire matter seems to beg a lawsuit, and that too, perhaps for more s? People should seek to serve society truthfully, not distort history to the por mind as per their own misguided directions for using their lives. Take a page from hi, life is sacred, use it with care and consideration. The author should have made some attempt to honestly inform herself before promoting her sick ‘sensibilities’. While she may have a 'right' to write whatever she wants, she should reflect first on how and what effect her views will have. Imagination cannot compete with the reality of Kasturba's life and words, nor with the written record of hi's thought and feelings towards both her and his eldest son.

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