“The Story of My Experiments with Truth” is an autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi. This book covers life journey of Mahatma Gandhi since his childhood to 1921. It was originally written in Gujarati and later translated to English.
There are few facts that one needs to know about “The Story of My Experiments with Truth”
1. “The Story of My Experiments with Truth” written initially in weekly installments and published in his journals “Navjivan” and “Young India” from 1925 to 1929.
2. Book later translated to English by Mahadev Desai in 1940.
3. Book is divided into 5 parts based on timeline.
4. First Part narrates about Gandhi’s childhood, education and his experiments with smoking, eating meat, drinking and other subsequent events, his learning and experiences after that. Gandhi got married at age of 13 with Kasturba Gandhi.
He has written in book about his early marriage –“It is my painful duty to have to record here my marriage at the age of thirteen…I can see no moral argument in support of such a preposterously early marriage.”
5. Second Part talks about Gandhi’s improving relationship with wife, enjoyment of living close to his family and his work. He accepted an offer from a Muslim Indian firm to provide advice on a lawsuit, as work-load was less over there. Later he traveled to South Africa for work and ended up working there for about 20 years.
6. Third Part tells about Gandhi’s experience in South Africa, Boer War and his visit to India. For the first time Gandhi realized his popularity in India when he published his pamphlet “Green Pamphlet” on difficulties of Indians in South Africa. Later he sailed back to South Africa.
7. Fourth Part narrates situation of World War I. Gandhi returned to India and met people who was fighting for freedom of India. He was already famous personality among Indians and in the world due to Boer War. Later people given him Title “Mahatma”. While Gandhi accepted the love and admiration of people, he also insisted that all souls were equal and did not accept the implication of religious sacredness that his new name carried.
8. Fifth and Last part narrates his active involvement in freedom fighting. British court sentenced Gandhi six years of Jail imprisonment for rebelling. Court hesitated to give him harsh punishment due to his fame but Gandhi requested heaviest possible sentence. Such compliance to accept imprisonment conformed to his philosophy of “Satyagraha”.
9. He wrote most of his autobiography while serving his sentence.
10. “The Story of My Experiments with Truth” designated in “100 Best Spiritual Books of the 20th Century”.
“Mahatma Gandhi” is only Indian till now to grab title-“Time Person of the Year”. He got this title in 1930. World observes “International Day of Non-violence” on his birthday 2nd October every year.
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