As the communal landscape worsened, the political situation was in utter disarray. Mahatma Gandhi found that his former proteges and political wards had little time or use for his advice. He found himself increasingly isolated despite the crowds that always surrounded him. “One calls himself my beta, the other calls himself my chela. Par meri koi nahi sunta,” he lamented. There couldn’t be a more telling line.
Political jostling ruled, with the British playing the leading role. The interim regime’s finance ministry was held by the Muslim League and it did all it could to trip up the government. There were reports of commandos fomenting trouble, ammunition dumps being organised in many regions – all efforts to further fragment India as Independence approached. Even at this stage, Gandhi refused to accept Partition as the only solution.
We are in conversation with Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of the Mahatma, a great chronicler of the Mahatma’s life and a peace activist.