“Pyare­lalji is madly in love with me”

India Today - - COVER STORY -

De­cem­ber 28, 1946, Sri­ram­pur, Bi­har

Sushi­l­aben asked me to­day why I was sleep­ing with Bapu and that I would have to face dire con­se­quences on that count. She also told me to think about my mar­riage with her brother Pyare­lal, to which I said I had no in­ter­est in him and she shouldn’t broach that topic again. I told her I had full faith in Ba­puji and re­garded him as my mother.

Jan­uary 1, 1947, Sri­ram­pur, Bi­har

Pyare­lalji is madly in love with me and is im­plor­ing me to marry him. But I am to­tally against it as I don’t suit him in age, knowl­edge, ed­u­ca­tion and even in looks. When I told this to Bapu, he said Pyare­lal ad­mired my qual­i­ties more than any­thing else. Bapu said Pyare­lal even told him that I am very guni ( vir­tu­ous).

Jan­uary 31, 1947, Nav­gram, Bi­har

The con­tro­versy over the celibacy ex­per­i­ments is tak­ing a se­ri­ous turn. And I sus­pect Am­tus­salam­ben, Sushi­l­aben and Kanub­hai ( Gandhi’s nephew) are be­hind it ( spread­ing ru­mours). I told Bapu so and he agreed with me say­ing he couldn’t fathom why Sushila should be so jeal­ous. In fact, the man­ner in which Sushila spoke to me about it yes­ter­day, I felt she is trum­pet­ing it with all her might. Bapu told me that if I come out un­scathed from this ex­per­i­ment, it would take my char­ac­ter to greater heights, im­part me a big les­son in life and the clouds of con­tro­versy over my head would dis­perse. Bapu said this is the yagna of his celibacy and I was a sa­cred part of it. He said he only prayed to God to keep him pure, give him strength to stand by the truth and make him fear­less. Then he told me even if all desert us, we shall carry out this ex­per­i­ment suc­cess­fully with the bless­ing of God and then tell the en­tire world about this great test.

Fe­bru­ary 2, 1947, Amisha­pada, Bi­har

Bapu saw my diary to­day and asked me to en­sure that it doesn’t fall into the hands of un­known peo­ple be­cause they can mis­use its contents even though we have noth­ing to hide ( about the celibacy ex­per­i­ments). He said this diary will be very help­ful to­wards giv­ing a true ac­count to so­ci­ety in case he sud­denly dies. He said for me too, this diary will prove very use­ful.

Then Bapu told me that if I agreed, I should show the en­tries ( re­cent ones) in the diary to Pyare­lal so that he could im­prove upon the lan­guage and puts facts in chrono­log­i­cal or­der. How­ever, I re­fused be­cause I felt if Pyare­lal sees the diary, its contents would surely reach his sis­ter, Sushi­l­aben, and that could cause a lot of ran­cour.

Fe­bru­ary 7, 1947, Prasad­pur, Bi­har

The at­mos­phere is re­ally get­ting hot about the celibacy ex­per­i­ment. Am­rit­lal Thakkar ( a so­cial worker who was as­so­ci­ated with Gandhi and Gopal Kr­ishna Gokhale) came to­day and brought with him mails which were very “hot” on this is­sue. On read­ing them, I was shaken.

Fe­bru­ary 24, 1947, Haim­char, Bi­har

I was very distressed to­day but Bapu told me he wants to see me smil­ing. He said any other per­son in his place would have gone mad af­ter read­ing the hard- hit­ting let­ters on the is­sue from Kishore­lal Mashruwala, Sar­dar Pa­tel and Dev­das Gandhi but he was un­moved. One more thing. To­day Bapu wrote a strong let­ter to Am­tus­salam­ben say­ing that the el­e­ment of re­gret that his celibacy ex­per­i­ment didn’t start with her was ap­par­ent in her let­ter to him. He wrote that it was a shame that she should re­gret it. He told her that if she could ex­plain, he would want to un­der­stand what she wanted to say. Bapu wrote to her that this was a yagna of shud­dhi ( pu­rifi­ca­tion).

Fe­bru­ary 26, 1947, Haim­char, Bi­har

To­day I be­came very an­gry when Am­tus­salam­ben told me to marry Pyare­lal and told her why doesn’t she marry him if she feels so much for him. I told her th­ese ( celibacy) ex­per­i­ments started with her and now she was jeal­ous of me be­cause my pho­tos ap­pear in news­pa­pers and she

doesn’t like my pop­u­lar­ity.

March 18, 1947, Ma­sudi, Bi­har

To­day Bapu re­vealed a very im­por­tant thing. I asked him whether Sushi­l­aben also sleeps with him naked be­cause when I asked her about it, she said she never took part in the ex­per­i­ments and never slept with him naked. Bapu said Sushila was not speak­ing the truth be­cause she had slept with him in Bar­doli ( in 1939 when she first joined him as his physi­cian) as well as in Aga Khan Palace ( in Pune). Bapu said she also took a bath in his pres­ence. Then he said why should I ask him all this when I al­ready knew about it. Bapu said Sushila was very de­pressed and her mind had be­come very un­sta­ble and there­fore he wouldn’t want to seek her clar­i­fi­ca­tion on all this.

NMML

GANDHI WITH HIS SECRETARYPYARELAL

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