Harilal Gandhi


Harilal Gandhi

Harilal Mohandas Gandhi (Devanagari: हरीलाल गांधी), (1888-18 June 1948) was the first son of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The troubled relationship between Harilal and his father is the subject of the film and play "Gandhi, My Father".

Early life

Harilal had always wanted to go on to higher studies, including becoming a barrister as his father had been. His father was firmly opposed to this, and disallowed him from pursuing it, believing that receiving this Western styled education was not helpful in the struggle against British rule over India. [ [http://www.hindu.com/mag/2007/07/22/stories/2007072250130200.htm The Hindu : Magazine / Cinema : The Mahatma and his son ] ] Eventually Harilal rebelled against his father's decision. He renounced all family ties in 1911 and embarked upon a tragic, lifelong path of self-destruction, depicted clearly in the film, Gandhi, My Father.

He became a Muslim convert, an alcoholic, and an embezzler; accounts of his arrests, public drunkenness, a prostitute, and destitution became commonplace. When Harilal converted to Islam, he adopted the name "Abdullah Gandhi", but later again converted back to Hinduism. This decision did not bother his father, who believed that all religions were as one, but his mother felt that he should not be publicly displaying this back-and-forth behavior. [ [http://www.hindu.com/mag/2007/07/22/stories/2007072250130200.htm The Hindu : Magazine / Cinema : The Mahatma and his son ] ]

Harilal assisted his father to overthrow the British control of India, practicing non-violent resistance.fact|date=January 2008

"I was a slave of my passions when Harilal was conceived," said his father.

Harilal was married to Gulab Gandhi. They had five children, two of whom died at an early age. Nilam Parikh, the daughter of Ramibehn, who was the eldest of Harilal's children has written a biography on him "Gandhiji's Lost Jewel: Harilal Gandhi".

Final years

Harilal spent the latter part of his life as an alcoholic and depressedFact|date=December 2007. He appeared at his father's funeral in such derelict condition that few recognized him. He died from liver disease on June 18, 1948 in a municipal hospital in Bombay.

Gandhi, My Father

The film adaptation of "Gandhi, My Father", was released on August 3, 2007 and directed by Feroz Abbas Khan and produced by Anil Kapoor. It depicts the stormy relationship between him and his illustrious father. Harilal is portrayed by Akshaye Khanna. Khan's play, "Mahatma vs. Gandhi", [http://www.ferozkhan.com/fz_mahatmasynopsis.htm] while different from this film, had a similar theme. [ [http://www.hindu.com/mag/2007/07/22/stories/2007072250130200.htm The Hindu : Magazine / Cinema : The Mahatma and his son ] ]

Further reading

*"" [https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no49306.htm] by Chandulal Bhagubhai Dalal.
*"Gandhiji's Lost Jewel: Harilal Gandhi" by Nilam Parikh, grand daughter of Harilal Gandhi
*"Mahatma Vs Gandhi" by Dinkar Joshi

References

External links

*Chatterji, Shoma A. " [http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Jul222007/enter2007072114311.asp In the name of the father] ." "Deccan Herald", 22 July 2007.
* [http://www.kincafe.com/family-tree/mahatma-gandhi/ Gandhi Family Tree]


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