- Kasturba Gandhi
death_date=death date and age|1944|2|22|1869|4|11|mf=y
Kastürbā Gāndhi (
April 11, 1869– 22 February, 1944), affectionately called "Ba", was the wife of Mohandas Gandhi.
Born to Gokuladas Makharji of
Kasturba married Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) through arrangement. They were both 13 years old. At that time, she was illiterate, and so Gandhi taught her to read and write — a potentially radical move, given the position of women in India at that time.
In 1906, Mohandas Gandhi decided to practice
brahmacharya, and the couple became celibate. Although she stood by her husband, she did not always easily accept his ideas. Gandhi had to work hard to persuade her to see (and agree to) his points of view. Kasturba was deeply religious. Like her husband, she renounced all castedistinctions and lived in ashrams.
Kasturba often joined her husband in
political protests. She traveled to South Africain 1897 to be with her husband. From 1904 to 1914, she was active in the Phoenix Settlementnear Durban. During the 1913 protest against working conditions for Indians in South Africa, Kasturba was arrested and sentenced to three months in a hard labor prison. Later, in India, she sometimes took her husband's place when he was under arrest. In 1915, when Gandhi returned to India to support indigo planters, Kasturba accompanied him. She taught hygiene, discipline, reading and writing to women and children.
Kasturba suffered from chronic
bronchitis. Stress from the Quit India Movement's arrests and ashramlife caused her to fall ill. After contracting pneumonia, she died from a severe heart attack on February 22, 1944. She refused to take penicillin on her own, although some people acused her husband of dening the treatment to her. Some sources acuse her husband of this but are untrue. She died in Mahatma Gandhi's arms while both were still in prison. [ [http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/History/Gandhi/Kasturba.html Manas: History and Politics, Kasturba Gandhi] ] He was never the same after her death.
T. S. Soundram- co-founder of Gandhigram
* "India’s 50 Most Illustrious Women" (ISBN 81-88086-19-3) by Indra Gupta
* "Daughter of Midnight: The Child Bride of Gandhi" (ISBN 1-85782-200-5) by Arun Gandhi
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