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Mahatma Gandhi - A Biography
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life in some detail, and correlation of the story of his life with the evolution of his ideas. Gandhi was no theorist; his principles evolved in response to his own needs, and the enviornment in which he found himself. In fact, it is as difficult to assess the events of his life without understanding the ideas which inspired him, as it is to interpret his ideas on religion, morals, politics, or economics without reference to the context of his own life.

    I know how hard it is for one who has lived through the last forty years, to be completely objective about the events of which Gandhi was the centre, but in assessing and reasessing events and personalities, it has been my endeavour to understand and to interpret in the historical perpective, rather than to unhold or to condemn. How far I have succeeded in his endeavour it is for the reader to judge.

    I am grateful to the Government of India and the Director of the National Archives for permission to examine and use material from contemporary records which have enbaled me, I believe, to present for the first time, a two-dimensional story of Gandhi's relations with the government. Any account of Gandhi's struggles which is wholly, or even largely based on offficial sources is, however, apt to be lopsided. I have therefore used these sources only to illuminate some of the obscurer spots, and to see events in their proper perspective.

    The material for a biography of Gandhi is enormous. It is no easy task to try to sum up his long, rich and varied life in a single volume. I owe a heavy debt of gratitude to authors of numerous works on Gandhi and on the Indian national movement; ackonwledgements have been duly made in the text, the footnotes and in the selected bibliography at the end of the book. I am grateful to the Navajivan Trust for permission to quote from Mahatma Gandhi's writings. I would also like to thank the following for according permission to reproduce brief extracts: Messrs Victor Gollancz Ltd; from W. C. Smith's Modern Islam in India, Messrs Cassell and Company from Vicent Sheean's Lead Kindly Light, Messrs Curtis Brown Ltd., from Nine Troubled Years by Lord Templewood, Oxford University Press, from India: A Re-


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