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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 and unlettered. 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, unlettered but astute.
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.
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 Lok Seva Trust and director of the Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon.
In 2005, he commemorated the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Dandi Kooch, by organizing re-enactment of the 241-mile-long walk. He walked the entire stretch and was instrumental in getting the prime minister to declare the route from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, India's historic heritage route.
Tushar currently lives in Mumbai with his wife Sonal and children Vivan and Kasturi.