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Joseph Lelyveld the NY Times correspondent, lights up “Great Soul Mahatma Gandhi And His Struggle With India” with the angles that are perhaps yet to be visited

Before you are indulged into the “Great Soul Mahatma Gandhi And His Struggle With India, understand that this is not any other biography on Gandhi that Joseph Lelyveld has drafted. “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi And His Struggle With India” by Joseph Lelyveld is a highly original book on the life of the mahatma that deepens our sense of achievements and failures. His extraordinary struggle gets a brilliant new reconsideration. The book deals with his struggles on two continents, of his fierce enthusiasm, his unfulfilled hopes and his ever-evolving legacy, which even after six decades of his death, is admired by Indians and people the world over. Gandhi is still routinely called “the father of the nation” in India, but it is hard to see what remains of him beyond what Lelyveld calls his “nimbus.” His notions about sex and spinning and simple living have long since been abandoned. Hindu-Muslim tension still smolders just beneath the uneasy surface. Untouchability survives, too, and standard-issue polychrome statues of Ambedkar in red tie and double-breasted electric-blue suit now outnumber those of the sparsely clothed Mahatma wherever Dalits are still crowded together. Gandhi saw most of this coming and sometimes despaired. The real tragedy of his life, Lelyveld argues, was “not because he was assassinated, nor because his noblest qualities inflamed the hatred in his killer’s heart. The tragic element is that he was ultimately forced, like Lear, to see the limits of his ambition to remake his world.” It is a meditation on the interlinked puzzles of Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi's strange personal disciplines, the communalistic passions of the two societies where Gandhi worked (South Africa and India), his improbable achievements against vast odds, and the ultimate failure of his ideals. Here is an eccentric who achieved mass followings; a near-naked vegetarian and celibate who, by force of will, made masses of people temporarily abjure the primitive passion of communal enmity; and an icon who is worshiped globally while the hatreds he opposed flourish. Lelyveld, who worked in both South Africa and India as a New York Times reporter, focuses on Gandhi's opposition to race, class, and caste oppression in the two societies. He weaves a dense fabric of social analysis, biographical detail, and psychological speculation; zooms out for context and in for anecdotes; shifts between past and present tenses; and scrambles the chronology to find patterns across time. The book tries to reenter one's understanding of Gandhi away from the themes of Indian nationalism and nonviolent political action and toward the issue of social justice, which remains sorely unresolved in both countries where Gandhi worked And your link to get it all is at www.rightbooks.in/product_details.asp?pid=9789350290583&Great%20Soul%20Mahatma%20Gandhi%20And%20His%20Struggle%20With%20India that RightBooks.in has placed for you.

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