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The Story of My Experiments With Truth

The Story of My Experiments With Truth

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Published by mintu

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Published by: mintu on Sep 26, 2008
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by Mahatma Gandhi
BIRTH AND PARENTAGEThe Gandhis belong to the Bania caste and seem tohave been originally grocers. But for threegenerations, from my grandfather, they have beenPrime Ministers in several Kathiawad States.2 1Ramayana, "Balakanda" 2 Vide "Open Letter toKathiawar Princes", August 8, 1921. UttamchandGandhi1, alias Ota Gandhi, my grandfather, musthave been a man of principle. State intriguescompelled him to leave Porbandar, where he wasDiwan, and to seek refuge in Junagadh.There he saluted the Nawab with the left hand.Someone, noticing the apparent discourtesy, askedfor an explanation, which was given thus : "The righthand is already pledged to Porbandar." Ota Gandhimarried a second time, having lost his first wife. Hehad four sons by his first wife and two by his second
wife. I do not think that in my childhood I ever feltor knew that these sons of Ota Gandhi were not allof the same mother. The fifth of these six brotherswas Karamchand Gandhi, alias Kaba Gandhi, and thesixth was Tulsidas Gandhi. Both these brothers werePrime Ministers in Porbandar, one after the other.Kaba Gandhi was my father. He was a member of theRajasthanik Court. It is now extinct, but in thosedays it was a very influential body for settlingdisputes between the chiefs and their fellow-clansmen. He was for some time Prime Minister inRajkot and then in Vankaner. He was a pensioner ofthe Rajkot State when he died.Kaba Gandhi married four times in succession, havinglost his wife each time by death. He had twodaughters by his first and second marriages. His lastwife, Putlibai, bore him a daughter and three sons, Ibeing the youngest.My father was a lover of his clan, truthful, braveand generous, but short-tempered. To a certainextent he might have been given to carnal pleasures.For he married for the fourth time when he wasover forty. But he was incorruptible and had earneda name for strict impartiality in his family as well asoutside. His loyalty to the State was well known. AnAssistant Political Agent spoke insultingly of theRajkot Thakore Saheb, his chief, and he stood up to
the insult. The Agent was angry and asked KabaGandhi to apologize. This he refused to do and wastherefore kept under detention for a few hours.But when the Agent saw that Kaba Gandhi wasadamant, he ordered him to be released.2 My fathernever had any ambition to accumulate riches and leftus very little property.He had no education, save that of experience. Atbest, he might be said to have read up to the fifthGujarati standard. Of history and 1 For thegenealogical table, vide Appendix to AnAutobiography "Geneal ogical Table of Gandhiji".2 Vide, however,"Injustice to Kathiawaris", June 1,1924.geography he was innocent. But his rich experienceof practical affairs stood him in good stead in thesolution of the most intricate questions and inmanaging hundreds of men. Of religious training hehad very little, but he had had that kind of religiousculture which frequent visits to temples andlistening to religious discourses make available tomany Hindus. In his last days he began reading theGita at the instance of a learned Brahmin friend ofthe family, and he used to repeat aloud some versesevery day at the time of worship.

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