Index > Read more about Gandhi - A Photo Biography > New India Digest, No. 86, January-February 2002

New India Digest, No. 86, January-February 2002

This is indeed a timely publication, coming as it does at a time when the world is engulfed in violence, both domestic and international. It is an outstanding narrative of the life and work of one of the "most inspiring figures of the twentieth century", comprising almost 300 photographs carefully selected from the photo-archives of Mahatma Gandhi's biographer Vithalbhai Jhaveri and his great nephew; Kanu Gandhi. Organized in seven sections, the photographs vividly bring alive Gandhiji's personality and work, almost as effectively as did Attenborough's film.

Each section is preceded by a lucid commentary by Peter Rühe, founder of the GandhiServe Foundation, Berlin, who has specialized for some twenty years in the collection, conservation and dissemination of visual material on the Mahatma. While he lovingly delineates Gandhiji's life, he does not seek to gloss over the controversial dimensions of his thought and actions.

The message of truth and nonviolence is more relevant today than ever before. It is worth remembering that in his day and age, Gandhiji faced - and overcame - situations and challenges that must have made his teachings seem futile and meaningless at that time.

This coffee-table publication deserves to be in the library of every Indian university and embassy abroad. It would be one way of keeping alive the ideals and principles of the one Indian with whom India is identified more than by any one else.

Shanti Karuna