Compiled and Edited by GOPALKRISHNA GANDHI

A Frank Friendship

Gandhi and Bengal: A Descriptive Chronology

With a Foreword by Amartya Sen
And a new preface by Gopalkrishna Gandhi
Translated by

Only for sale in India.


‘I am not able to leave Bengal and Bengal will not let me go.’

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s first visit to Bengal was on 4 July 1896 when he disembarked in Calcutta while on a visit from South Africa. His last visit to Calcutta commenced shortly before 15 August 1947, the day India gained independence.

A Frank Friendship presents a meticulous compilation of newspaper reports, letters, excerpts from contemporary accounts and Gandhi’s own writings, and extensive annotations that bring to light many known and unknown characters and events of the time. It also contains illuminating accounts of Gandhi’s interactions with the greats of Bengal, such as Rabindranath Tagore, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das and Sarat Chandra and Subhash Chandra Bose, which reveal their extraordinary personalities. Through this all, we see Gandhi continuously evolve as a politician and a strategist in the struggle against colonialism, an organizer of mass movements and individual initiatives, mainly his own.

Running through the text, as it does through Gandhi’s thoughts, prayers, decisions and extensive travels, is the pulse of the people of Bengal, a people whose manifold talents and perspectives set them at the heart of renascent India. This thoroughly researched volume, now published in its second edition to mark India’s 75th year of independence, will enable a much fuller understanding of the Mahatma whose life was sited on a contradictory overlap of the empirical and the deeply spiritual.

‘In this thoroughly absorbing book, Gopal Gandhi has put together a splendid collection of historical material and critical analyses of this complex relationship, seen not from the perspective of Bengal but from that of Gandhiji.’—Amartya Sen, in the Foreword to the book

‘Tomorrow we will be free from bondage to the British, but from midnight tonight Hindustan will be broken into two pieces. So tomorrow will be both a day of rejoicing and of mourning.’—Mohandas K. Gandhi, Calcutta, 14 August 1947

ISBN: 9781803092232
Publication Year: 2022
Pages: 620; 170 black-and-white photographs and facsimiles
Rights: India
Size: 7.25" x 9.5"
Format: Paperback
Series: The India List
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Orders will be shipped from Seagull Books, Calcutta.

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