The Only Diary Written by Kasturba Gandhi, Tushar Gandhi

New Delhi, 12th May 2022: HarperCollins India proudly presents the book by the great-grandson of Kasturba & Mohandas Gandhi, Tushar Gandhi, The Lost Diary of Kastur, My Ba. The only diary written by Kasturba Gandhi, which brings her voice to the foreground of history.

In The Lost Diary of Kastur, My Ba, the reader gets to hear from Kasturba, in her own words, for the first time. Through day-to-day activities, it provides a peek into what it was like to be married to the Mahatma.

A century and a half after her birth, this book finally presents Kasturba as her own person, a woman of substance. Includes rare photos of Kasturba and Mahatma Gandhi.

The book will be published by HarperCollins India and is set to release on 2nd June 2022.

About the Book:

The Lost Diary of Kastur, My Ba Book Cover
The Lost Diary of Kastur, My Ba Book Cover

A couple of years ago, the staff of Gandhi Research Foundation of Jalgaon found a deteriorating and damaged diary at Kasturba Ashram, Indore. It turned out to be a 135-page diary written by Kasturba Gandhi, from January to September 1933. Somewhat like Kasturba, her diary lay forgotten and neglected. This book is a reproduction of the diary, accompanied by a transcription of what she has written in Gujarati, along with an English translation by her great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi.

All her life, Kasturba was considered uneducated. Initially, when Tushar Gandhi spoke about the diary to family members, they refused to believe that there could be such a thing: ‘She was illiterate. She could not write.’ As Tushar read Kasturba’s diary, this assumption was dispelled. It provided a glimpse into who she was—an individual, a companion, and a satyagrahi in her own right.

In The Lost Diary of Kastur, My Ba, the reader gets to hear from Kasturba, in her own words, for the first time. Through day-to-day activities, it provides a peek into what it was like to be married to the ‘Mahatma’. Here was a woman who was witnessing history being made, observing and understanding the process, and participating in it, too. It also tells of her two imprisonments that year, not because she was Bapu’s spouse but because she was offering satyagraha herself. A century and a half after her birth, this book finally presents Kasturba as her own person, a woman of substance.

Author Tushar Gandhi says, “Kasturba was unlettered. She could not write. All her life and post her death Kastur was always dismissed as being uneducated and unable to comprehend the written word. This book is a testament to Kastur Gandhi nee Kapadia dispelling the notion in the form of a well-articulated daily diary. Most of her writing is from the time she was a Satyagrahi imprisoned by the colonial government for her individual acts of defiance, showing us her world not only as Gandhi’s shadow but her own person, in her own words.”

A Page from the Dairy of Kasturba Gandhi
A Page from the Dairy of Kasturba Gandhi

Swati Chopra, Executive Editor, HarperCollins India, says, “Kasturba Gandhi has always been known as the Mahatma’s wife, spouse to a man who towered over contemporary India’s history. Though narratives about Mahatma Gandhi have spoken of her, we have never before heard her speak, in her own voice. This book is perhaps the only such opportunity we will have, given that it is based on a diary she wrote, possibly the only one she ever did. Lost for years, it was serendipitously discovered by her great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi. The book encapsulates the diary pages, written in her own hand, alongside the original Gujarati text and an English translation and contextualization. It includes rare photos of Kasturba and Mahatma Gandhi, and is sure to delight readers everywhere.”

A rare photo of Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi

Preorder your copy of the book now from – Amazon

About the Author:

Tushar Gandhi is the great-grandson of Kasturba and Mohandas Gandhi, grandson of their second son Manilal and daughter-in-law Sushila, and son of Sunanda and Arun Gandhi. He is founder-president of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation, president of the Lok Seva Trust, and director of the Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon. Tushar’s first book, Let’s Kill Gandhi! was published in 2007, with a revised edition in 2021.

Tushar has dedicated his life to preserving, celebrating, and keeping alive the legacy he was born into. In 1996, when he discovered an urn containing Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes lying forgotten in a bank vault in Odisha, he obtained an order from the Supreme Court and immersed the ashes at the Triveni Sangam at Allahabad on 30 January 1997. In 2005, on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the historic Dandi March, Tushar walked the 387-kilometer-long path from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi; this resulted in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declaring the entire path as India’s first historic heritage route.

Tushar Gandhi

Tushar continues to write and speak for all those still struggling for their fundamental human rights. He lives in Mumbai with his wife Sonal, son Vivan and daughter Kasturi, who is named after her great-great-grandmother.

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