Often it takes an outsider’s captivation to shine a distinct light on a phenomenon that is unfolding around us in a seemingly slow and hence almost unnoticeable manner. Michiel Baas, an urban anthropologist who is currently engaged with the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, has written a richly-nuanced account of the manner in which male bodies are being reshaped in middle-class India. Though trained as an academic, he has consciously made his narrative non-fiction work,
Gandhi Encounters Raychandbhai During an Emotionally Fraught Period
The contemporary obsession with self-improvement traces back to ancient antecedents, as far back for instance, as an Egyptian genre called the ‘Sebayt’ or ‘teaching’ published around 2800 B.C. Correlating current trends with historic parallels, like in the character formation of Mohandas Gandhi drawn from the historian Ramachandra Guha’s illuminating volumes on the leader’s life, we might be both comforted and surprised that Gandhi himself, especially in the early years,
In the historian Ramachandra Guha’s extraordinarily-researched, brilliant chronicle of Gandhi’s life, one gets a fascinating glimpse of his life inside prisons. After all, the nation’s leader often courted arrest for willfully defying unjust laws. For a man who was renowned for being frenetically active, and constantly surrounded by friends, colleagues and followers, one wonders how he spent his time in confinement, which lasted for weeks, months or even years.
After each arrest, Gandhi was prepared to martyr every aspect of himself