Home     About     Contact     

Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Spiritual Message’ Turns 80

The Nanga Fakir's Speech, 1931 –  In 1888, when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) arrived in England to study law, hardly anyone came to receive him at the port. He dressed like an average Englishman and went about his business in obscurity. In 1931 this same man arrived again in England to attend the Second Round Table Conference to broker peace between the British government and the Indian Independence Movement. This time huge crowds of people poured in the streets of London to have a glimpse of him, for he was dressed in a loincloth, like the poorest of Indians whom he came to represent. Hundreds would gather to listen to this “Nanga Fakir” (as Mr. Winston Churchill used to call him). The crowds were touched and influenced by the … [Read more...]

Gone in the Air

“My Name is Gauhar Jaan!” The Life and Times of a Musician, by Vikram Sampath (©2010) Rupa Publications, New Delhi, ISBN 8129116185 – In 1857, following the deposition of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the cities along the Ganges one by one slipped into the hands of the British East India Company and three hundred years of Mughal reign in the subcontinent ended. Shifts in fortune, power, patronage, and custom at the eye of the pyramid dripped down the walls of Indian society, north to south; new power structures were erected, and with them new technologies and customs emerged, new histories were written, and new fortunes were made, many of them sealed with blood. It was against this unutterably complex social transformation that a young girl named … [Read more...]