Mahatma Gandhi and Prema Kantak: Exploring a Relationship, Exploring History

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9780198082934: Mahatma Gandhi and Prema Kantak: Exploring a Relationship, Exploring History

An important feminist thinker, writer, and activist, Prema Kantak's contributions to Indian feminist thought and the nationalist movement have been largely neglected in scholarly studies. Kantak, a one-time resident of Gandhi's ashram, forged a special, life-long bond with the Mahatma, and was hugely influenced by his thought and persona. She rose to prominence as a feminist writer with strong, radical convictions and also as a forceful proponent of Gandhian political and social ideals in Maharashtra.

This volume brings together rare Gandhi-Kantak correspondence that provides many new insights not only into this unique relationship and Kantak's life and radical thought, but also into the complexities of Gandhi's political and social ideas-especially his understanding of the role of women in the nationalist movement. Their correspondence, marked by loving devotion on the one hand and encouragement and nurturing on the other, is replete not only with an unusual mix of Kantak's naivete, hero-worship, and self-doubt, but also reveals interesting facts about a much-deliberated and oft-researched topic-Gandhi's relationship with his women followers.

Together with original translations of Kantak's writings and a comprehensive Introduction that explores various dimensions of this deeply-personal relationship, their divergent thinking, as well as the political climate in Maharashtra during the nationalist period, this volume is a timely addition to the body of work on neglected figures in Indian feminist history as well the Gandhi corpus.

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About the Author:


Meera Kosambi is a prominent Indian sociologist and is the author of several books and articles in the fields of urban sociology and women's studies in India. She retired as Director, Research Centre for Women's Studies, SNDT University for Women, Mumbai.

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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. An important thinker, writer, and activist, Prema Kantak`s (1906-1985) contribution to the feminist discourse and Gandhian activism in India is largely unknown. Kantak, a onetime resident of Gandhi`s ashram, forged a special, lifelong bond with the Mahatma and was hugely influenced by his views and persona. Bringing together personal correspondence between Gandhi and Kantak as well as original translations of her fiction and nonfiction writings, this book explores a unique Gandhi-Kantak relationship and reflects the complexities of Gandhi`s political and social ideas?especially his understanding of the role of women in the nationalist movement. The correspondence, marked by loving devotion on the one hand and encouragement and nurturing on the other, is replete not only with an unusual mix of Kantak`s hero-worship and self-doubt alternating with self-assurance but also opens up a new window to a much-deliberated and oft esearched topic?Gandhi`s relationship with his women followers. Translated, edited, and with a comprehensive introduction by Meera Kosambi, the book retrieves the life, career, and writings of Prema Kantak whose iconic status has thus far been obscured. Printed Pages: 368. Bookseller Inventory # 71095

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