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Mira and The Mahatma

 
Sudhir Kakar (Author)
Synopsis It is 1925 and India’s struggle for independence is in disarray, impeded by factionalism among in leaders and rising incidents of communal disharmony across the country. Meanwhile, having withdrawn himself from active politics, Bapu – Mahatma Gandhi – is in the Sabarmati ashram in Gujarat, immersed in what he considers the most important undertaking of his life: the creation of an ideal community that is dedicated to the highest standards of self-discipline, tolerance and austerity. Into this world comes Madeline Slade, the daughter of a British admiral, who has set her heart on being Bapu’s greatest disciple. Thus begins an extraordinary association between two individuals driven by distinct passions. For Gandhi, true spirituality lies in ‘self-rule’ – a mastery of the self that liberates the being from all forms of craving, physical and emotional – and total dedication to practical work in service of society; Mira, as Gadhi renames Madeline, believes that the path to ultimate truth and perfection is complete surrender to the human embodiment of the Eternal Spirit, and this she perceives in Gandhi himself. It is not long before Mira’s all-consuming desire to serve Bapu translates into a desperate need to be close to him at all times and clashes head-on with the exacting moral and spiritual codes he has laid down for himself and those around him. And as the self-doubting Mahatma, seeking to distance himself from Mira yet loath to let go of her love, wrestles with his inner phantoms, Mira’s life begins to take another dramatic turn… In his bold, fictionalized exploration of this complex and tumultuous relationship, Sudhir Kakar displays once again his skill at handling delicate material with remarkable sensitivity, instinctive empathy and high imagination.
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About the author

Sudhir Kakar

Sudhir Kakar is a distinguished writer and psychoanalyst based in Delhi. He has taught at several leading universities in India, Europe and the United States. His many honours include the Goethe Medal, the Boyer Prize of the American Anthropological Association and the Bhaba, Nehru and ICSSR National Fellowships as well as fellowships with the Institutes of Advanced Studies, Princeton and Berlin. His many books, translated into languages round the world, include The Inner World; Shamans, Mystics and Doctors; Tales of Love, Sex and Danger; The Analyst and the Mystic; The Colours of Violence; Culture and Psyche; The Indian Psyche and The Ascetic of Desire.

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Bibliographic information

Title Mira and The Mahatma
Author Sudhir Kakar
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 067005805X
length vi+267p., 22cm.
Subjects History