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Chhavi Sachdev
Podcaster and Independent Radio Producer/Reporter
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Chhavi Sachdev
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Friday, 01 February 2019

Gandhi - the man behind the Mahatma

Seventy one years ago, on January 30, 1948, just a few months after India became an independent republic, the chief engineer of the nation's fate, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated after leading a multi-faith prayer meeting. On this episode of The Seen and The Unseen, host Amit Verma talks to author Ramchandra Guha about his new book that details the contradictory, often problematic, sometimes inspiring life of Gandhi from the point when he returned to India from South Africa in 1914 to fight for independence and up to his sudden death.

The naked fakir, the man who inspired Martin Luther King Jr., and brokered India's freedom from colonial rule espoused secular principles and harmony between Hindus and Muslims, but then was also misogynistic and accused of what would now be called sexual harassment. Gandhi fought for the rights of the oppressed, but then stood up for the caste system. He, as Verma says, contained multitudes within himself. In this second of two episodes, you can get to know the man behind the speeches and text books. Who was Mohandas before he became "Mahatma" (Sanskrit for "Great soul"). Who really was the man India calls the Father of the Nation? This podcast is broad ranging, incisive and is really wonderful if you don't want to read through Gandhi's autobiography or his compiled letters and then have to decipher what's going on. Verma is a great interviewer (and thinker) while Guha is an established historian and writer who has researched the events outlined in this podcast deeply and thoroughly. It's interesting to think of Gandhi as an ambitious and smart "Political Superstar", beyond the image we have of him as a self-sacrificing, simple hermit. 

Gandhi - the man behind the Mahatma
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