“Let the world say what­ever it wants”

India Today - - COVER STORY -

Novem­ber 10, 1943, Aga Khan Palace, Pune To­day Bapu, suf­fer­ing from anaemia, fainted while tak­ing a bath with Sushi­l­aben. Then Sushi­l­aben held Bapu with one hand and wore her clothes with the other and brought him out.

De­cem­ber 21, 1946, Sri­ram­pur, Bi­har

Tonight, when Bapu, Sushi­l­aben and I were sleep­ing on the same cot, he em­braced me and pat­ted me. He put me to sleep with great love. He em­braced me af­ter a very long time. Then Bapu praised me for re­main­ing in­no­cent ( of sex­ual urges) de­spite sleep­ing with him. But this isn’t the case with the other girls. Veena, Kan­chan and Lilavati ( other as­so­ciates of Gandhi) told me that they won’t be able to sleep with him.

Jan­uary 1, 1947, Kethuri, Bi­har

Sushi­l­aben is im­plor­ing me to marry her brother Pyare­lal. She told me she would help me be­come a nurse only if I agreed to her pro­posal for her brother. But I ticked her off on this and spoke to Bapu about it. Bapu told me Sushila is not in her senses. He said till re­cently, she used to bathe be­fore him naked and also sleep with him. But now he has to lean on me. He said I must re­main clean and have pa­tience ( with the celibacy ex­per­i­ment).

Fe­bru­ary 2, 1947, Dashd­haria, Bi­har

Bapu has told his fol­low­ers dur­ing the morn­ing prayer that he was car­ry­ing out celibacy ex­per­i­ments with me. Then he ex­plained to me why he spoke about it. I felt very re­lieved as it will stop tongues from wag­ging. I told my­self I don’t care now. Let the world say what­ever it wants.

AP

GANDHI WITH ABHA( LEFT) AND DR SUSHILA NA­YAR AT BIRLA HOUSE IN DELHI, 1947

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