Gandhi Wanted to Marry 50 Year old Niece of Tagore

Ahmedabad: Name: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Nickname: Bapu, saint, Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Born: October 2, in 1869. Place of birth: Porbandar, Gujarat.

Mohandas Gandhi, the father’s name and mother’s name Kramchandra was Putlibai.

The youngest of his family, had an older sister and two older brothers. Some shocking facts of Gandhi have been revealed in many books which have been published since Gandhi’s death on January 30, 1948.

Many different books have claimed relationships of Gandhi with various women. However, the relationship which is the most authentic is that of Gandhi and Sarala Devi. It’s been revealed that Gandhi and Sarala Devi wanted to marry each other despite being Sarala being 29 years younger.

Sarala Devi was the niece of Rabindranath Tagore.

A writer described by her husband as “a goddess” has been revealed as the most dangerous temptress ever faced by Mahatma Gandhi, the champion of non-violence who led India’s struggle for independence.

At the age of 50, Gandhi, a married father of four, came perilously close to succumbing to a temptation that threatened both his family, and his life’s work, after falling passionately in love with the beautiful Saraladevi Chaudhuri, three years his junior.

The revelation has come in a biography of the political and spiritual leader, written by his grandson, Rajmohan Gandhi. “I wanted to capture the real man in my book, so I couldn’t leave out this episode of my grandfather’s life,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.
Although Gandhi’s friendship with the writer – a niece of the Nobel prize-winning poet, Rabindranath Tagore – was known at the time, the full extent of his romantic entanglement has not been revealed until now.

Gifted, well-informed and driven, Saraladevi was 29 when Gandhi first saw her, in 1901, conducting an orchestra as it played a song she had written for Congress, the party that eventually led India to independence. But it was not until she was 47, and married to a newspaper editor, Rambhuj Dutt Chaudhuri, that Gandhi fell for her, while staying at the couple’s house in Lahore.

Chaudhuri was in jail for his part in the struggle against the British, and soon after he arrived, Gandhi – by now dedicated to personal celibacy – wrote in a letter: “Saraladevi’s company is very endearing… She looks after me very well.” Within months he was thinking of their relationship in terms of a “spiritual marriage”, according to his grandson – who admits he is unsure what his grandfather meant by this.

Gandhi had been married at 12 to another child, Kastur Kapadia. Their marriage was troubled since, as a young man, Gandhi wanted an intellectual equal, yet Kastur was not only illiterate, but resisted his attempts to educate her.

Clever and cultivated, Saraladevi seemed to provide Gandhi with the companionship he craved. Over the next few months his followers expressed unease at the time he spent talking to her.

“Gandhi was clearly dazzled by her personality and seemed to fantasise that providence desired them to shape India to a new design,” writes his grandson in Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, his People and an Empire.

In letters, Gandhi told Saraladevi that he often dreamt of her, and he echoed her husband’s compliment that she was a “great shakti”, or goddess.

Not everyone appreciated the spiritual benefits of Gandhi’s entanglement with a woman who was not his wife. His son Devadas – Rajmohan’s father – urged him to pull back.

In the summer of 1920, Gandhi told the heartbroken Saraladevi that their relationship must end because the solely “spiritual marriage” he had imagined for them had become impossible. Gandhi and Saraladevi did not break off all communication, but neither mentioned the other in their autobiographies.

Rajmohan remembers as a child overhearing conversations between his parents about Gandhi’s infatuation. “It was referred to as an old man being saved from disaster,” he said.

But today, he takes a rather different view of the affair. “Looking back, it was rather a wonderful episode. He was looking for alternative ways of living his life, as we all do from time to time, and struggling, and finding his way. I think this story helps us know him a little better.”

Via: The Telegraph

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