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Rajmohan Gandhi (1960)
|Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha|
7 August 1935|
New Delhi, British India
|Political party||Aam Aadmi Party|
|Awards||International Humanitarian Award (human rights)|
Rajmohan Gandhi (born 7 August 1935) is a biographer and a research professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US. He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari. He is also a scholar in residence at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar.
His father, Devdas Gandhi, son of Mahatma Gandhi, was the managing editor of the Hindustan Times. Rajmohan Gandhi attended St. Stephen's College, New Delhi, India. His maternal grandfather was C. Rajagopalachari, second Governor General of India, after Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was one of the foremost associates of Mahatma Gandhi.
Academic career and activism
Associated from 1956 with Initiatives of Change (formerly known as Moral Re-Armament), Rajmohan Gandhi has been engaged for half a century in efforts for trust-building, reconciliation and democracy and in battles against corruption and inequalities.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, Gandhi played a leading role in establishing Asia Plateau, the conference centre of Initiatives of Change in Panchgani, in the mountains of western India. Asia Plateau has been recognized in the Indian subcontinent for its ecological contribution. During the 1975-77 Emergency in India, he was active for democratic rights personally and through his weekly journal, Himmat, published in Bombay from 1964 to 1981.
His latest book, A Tale of Two Revolts: India 1857 & the American Civil War (New Delhi: Penguin India, December 2009), studies two 19th-century wars occurring in opposite parts of the world at almost the same time. His previous book, a biography of his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi, Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire, received the prestigious Biennial Award from the Indian History Congress in 2007. It has since been published in several countries.
In 2001, Gandhi received the Sahitya Akademi Award for Rajaji: A Life, a biography of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1878-1972), about his maternal grandfather and a leading figure in India’s independence movement, who became the first Indian Governor General, 1948-50.
His other works include Ghaffar Khan: Nonviolent Badshah of the Pakhtuns (Penguin 2004); Revenge & Reconciliation: Understanding South Asian History (Penguin, 1999); Patel: A Life, a biography of Vallabhbhai Patel (1875-1950), Deputy Prime Minister of India, 1947-50 (Navajivan, Ahmedabad, 1990); and Eight Lives: A Study of the Hindu-Muslim Encounter (SUNY, 1987). One of his earlier books, The Good Boatman: A Portrait of Gandhi, was published in 2009 in a Chinese translation in Beijing. Most recently, Gandhi has published a book titled, Punjab (Aleph Book Company 2013), which is a historical account of undivided Punjab, from the death of Aurangzeb to the Partition.
Before teaching at the University of Illinois, he served as a research professor with the New Delhi think-tank, Centre for Policy Research. From 1985 to 1987, he edited the daily Indian Express in Madras (now Chennai). In 2004. he received the International Humanitarian Award (Human Rights) from the city of Champaign, Illinois, and in 1997, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Calgary, and an honorary doctorate of philosophy from Obirin University, Tokyo. He currently serves as a Jury Member for the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award and Co-chair of the Centre for Dialogue & Reconciliation in Gurgaon.
In 1989, Gandhi unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election against Rajiv Gandhi in Amethi. He served (1990–92) in the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of the Indian Parliament) and led the Indian delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva in 1990. In the Indian Parliament he was the convener of the all-party joint committee of both houses addressing the condition of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- Why Gandhi Still Matters: An Appraisal of the Mahatma’s Legacy
- Understanding the Founding Fathers: An Enquiry into the Indian Republic’s Beginnings
- Punjab: A History from Aurangzeb to Mountbatten
- A Tale of Two Revolts
- Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire
- Ghaffar Khan: Nonviolent Badshah of the Pakhtuns
- Understanding the Muslim Mind
- Rajaji: A Life
- Revenge & Reconciliation: Understanding South Asian History
- The Good Boatman
- Patel: A Life
- Eight Lives: A Study of the Hindu-Muslim Encounter
Rajmohan Gandhi is married to Usha. They have two children, Supriya and Devadatta.
- "Rajya Sabha members biographical sketches 1952 - 2003" (PDF). Rajya Sabha. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
- "Professor Rajmohan Gandhi". Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation. Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Initiatives of Change". www.in.iofc.org. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
- "Life of letters". The Hindu. October 26, 2012.
- "Mahatma's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi joins AAP, will contest from east Delhi". IBN Live. February 21, 2014.
- "Rajmohan Gandhi to lead AAP battle in Delhi East". The Hindu. 2014-02-27.
- "Short Biography -Rajmohan Gandhi". Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- Rajmohan Gandhi's website
- Crossette, Barbara; "In an Impatient Pocket of Rural India, Gandhi Fights for His Political Future", Special to The New York Times Sunday, October 29, 1989
- Gandhi, Rajmohan; Biographical Essay on C. Rajagopalachari
- Appearances on C-SPAN