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Gandhi’s autobiography is famous for the austerity of its narration, and its veracity. Less known are his autobiographical observations made, almost incidentally, in the course of his speeches and writings. This book culls out , mainly from The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi some of those pertaining to his life as a young man. They tell the extraordinary story of the householder and lawyer, very fallible, vulnerable, but ready to self-correct and eager to learn from peers and those who he acknowledged as shapers of his life. The book ‘Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: Restless as Mercury: My Life as a Young Man’ edited by Gopalkrishna Gandhi seeks to complement The Story of my Experiments with Truth.
Gopalkrishna Gandhi read English Literature and History at Delhi University. He has been in administrative positions in Tamil Nadu and in Delhi, as a member of the Indian Administrative Service. He was secretary to the Vice President of India (1985-1987), Joint Secretary to the President of India (1987-1992) and Secretary to the President of India (1997-2000). He was High Commissioner for India in South Africa, Lesotho, Sri Lanka, and Ambassador of India in Norway and Iceland. He was Governor of West Bengal from 2004 to 2009.
The University of Natal, South Africa, conferred a Doctorate of Laws honoris causa on him in 1999, and the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, a Doctorate of Letters honoris causa in 2001. The University of North Orissa conferred on him a Doctorate of Literature honoris causa in 2012. The University of Calcutta conferred on him a Doctorate of Literature, honoris causa in 2019.
He received the Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Award of the University of Mysore in 2016, the Lal Bahadur Shastri Award in 2016 and the Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award in 2018. A monthly columnist for The Hindustan Times (New Delhi) and The Telegraph (Kolkata) , he writes from time to time for The Hindu (Chennai) as well.
Dr. Khilnani is the Avantha Professor and Director, King’s India Institute. He has a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from King’s College, Cambridge. He is the author of the book The Idea of India.