'My struggle is not merely political. It is religious and therefore quite pure'How did Gandhi reconcile his political career with his religious beliefs? Why was he so revered in his own lifetime and ever since? And what gave him such belief in his own destiny to liberate his country and change the world?This fresh and original interpretation of one of the twentieth century's most extraordinary personalities shows for the first time how Gandhi's religious beliefs, political career and personal behaviour form a coherent whole. Tidrick revealingly examines Gandhi's ideas about the relationship between sexual control and power, and the bizarre and scandalous behaviour that resulted, and explores his interest in new religious and philosophical thinking. Drawing on material neglected by earlier biographers, the portrait which emerges does not show the secular saint of popular myth but a difficult and self-obsessed man driven to pursue the world-changing destiny he believed was marked out for him. Gandhi's conception of his personal destiny grew out of the religious influences to which he was exposed as a student in London and developed in the context of the Indian independence struggle. Throughout a long and turbulent career he strove to balance the demands of the spiritual discipline he imposed on himself with the necessity (as he saw it) of his personal leadership of the independence movement and the claims of practical politics. Penetrating and provocative, Gandhi: A Political and Spiritual Life shows how he maintained an unswerving belief that his success or failure was of crucial significance not only for India but for the world and the significance this has on our understanding of the man behind the myth.
A Political and Spiritual Life