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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Writing the Life of Manilal Mohandas Gandhi
Author:Dhupelia-Mesthrie, UmaISNI
Periodical:Journal of Natal and Zulu History
Geographic term:South Africa
biographies (form)
About person:Manilal Gandhi (1892-1956)ISNI
Abstract:Manilal Gandhi was the second son of Mohandas (later Mahatma) and Kasturba Gandhi. Unlike his father, who spent just over two decades in South Africa, Manilal spent close to five decades of a life (which spanned sixty-four years) in South Africa. Most of these years, in particular, were lived at Phoenix Settlement in the Inanda countryside on the communal farm that Gandhi had started in 1904. For thirty-six years of his life (1920-1956) Manilal was editor of the newspaper 'Indian Opinion' which his father had had a crucial hand in establishing in 1903. This Gandhi, however, is relatively unknown in South Africa. To remedy that the present author wrote his biography, published in 2004. She now reflects on the writing of the biography, its objectives, the sources used, the reception of the book and especially its portrayal in the media in South Africa and in India. This reflection provides an opportunity for the historian to examine the practices of biographical writing but also to cast some understanding on what Judith Brown (1989) referred to as the 'Gandhi phenomenon' that hit India in the 1920s but which continues to manifest itself worldwide despite the fact that the Mahatma died almost six decades ago. Notes, ref., online sum. [Journal abstract]