Historian and writer Ramachandra Guha said that Mahatma Gandhi may be criticized by many people, but he has some permanent relevant aspects, which critics should pay attention to in today’s time.
In a conversation with sociologist Nandini Sundar at the program ‘The Itineraries of a Historian’ here, Guha said that Gandhi belonged to everyone in his lifetime, he belongs to no one after life. Gandhi is beyond identity politics. He is a universal figure. He is recognized and accepted in many parts of the world. He said that even though many Indians criticize him, there are some permanent relevant aspects of Gandhi. I want some of his critics to pay attention to these aspects, especially in today’s times. Guha said Gandhi had predicted the current environmental crisis more accurately and poignantly than any Indian of modern times.
‘Critics need to look at relevant aspects of Gandhi’
The conversation focused on Guha’s experiences as a historian and author of Gandhi’s biography, as well as his writings on cricket and ecology and the people who influenced him as a writer. It was organized as part of the ‘Suitable Conversations’ series launched by ‘A Suitable Agency’ and Sundar Nursery, a popular heritage garden in Delhi, with the aim of providing the city’s reading enthusiasts access to some of the best writers and litterateurs.
Sharing some old anecdotes, Guha conveyed the importance of primary research. He described how the joy of discovering the hidden and untouched facts and the curiosity to explore the deeply entrenched aspects of the subjects has propelled him forward as a writer.
Gandhi’s identity is beyond politics: Guha
According to Ramachandra Guha, his work on cricket and Gandhi is the result of his own interest. He advised historians to write keeping in mind the wider audience. Guha said it is important for scholars not to associate themselves with any specific political party, school or teacher.
Speaking at the event, Hemali Sodhi, Founder, A Suitable Agency, said, “Over the last few months, A Suitable Agency has partnered with Sundar Nursery for a grand event of Suitable Conversation. ‘Suitable Conversations’ is an exciting series bringing together the opinions of some of India’s foremost writers and rising voices. Manu Pillai, Shreena Bhattacharya, Snigdha Poonam, William Dalrymple and Maya Jasnoff have participated in the previous seasons of this series.
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