Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, author-activist Arun Manilal Gandhi dies at 89

Arun Manilal Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi

Arun Manilal Gandhi (1934-2023)

Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson and author Arun Manilal Gandhi passed away at the age of 89 on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, after a brief illness, in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India.

Arun Manilal Gandhi was born on April 14, 1934 to Manilal Gandhi and Sushila Mashruwala in South Africa’s Durban. Gandhi was married to a nurse, Sunanda, in 1957 until her demise in 2007. Both of them have two children—Tushar Gandhi and Archana. Sunanda and Arun came to USA in 1987 and started the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in 1991 at the Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee.

The couple began the Gandhi Legacy Tour of India in 1997. Arun developed two more tour itineraries – the Gandhi Lifescapes Tour of India and Gandhi Satyagraha Tour of India. Arun Gandhi was also elected to the Board of Trustees of the Council for a Parliament of the World Religions in 2013.

While Mahatma Gandhi’s fifth grandson considered himself to be a Hindu, he expressed universalist views. He worked closely with Christian priests and his philosophy had Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Christian influences. Much like his freedom fighter grandfather, he also believed in the principle of non-violence or ahimsa.

Arun penned several books—A Patch of White and Legacy of Love: My education in the path of non-violence apart from two books on poverty and politics in India and a compilation of Mahatma Gandhi’s Wit and Wisdom. He also co-wrote the book The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur, the Wife of Mahatma Gandhi with his wife Sunanda. In 2014, Gandhi co-wrote a picture book on Mahatma Gandhi titled Grandfather Gandhi with Bethany Hegedus.

Courtesy: Business Today, dated May 2, 2023.