Rajmohan Gandhi

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Rajmohan Gandhi
Gandhi in 1960
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha[1]
In office
ConstituencyUttar Pradesh
Personal details
Born (1935-08-07) 7 August 1935 (age 88)[2]
New Delhi, British India
Political partyJanata Dal
Other political
Aam Aadmi Party
SpouseUsha Gandhi
Parent(s)Devdas Gandhi
Lakshmi (née Rajagopalachari) Gandhi
RelativesMahatma Gandhi (grandfather)
Kasturba Gandhi (grandmother)
OccupationBiographer, journalist
AwardsInternational Humanitarian Award (human rights)
WebsiteOfficial website

Rajmohan Gandhi (born 7 August 1935)[2] is an Indian biographer, historian, and research professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US. His paternal grandfather is Mahatma Gandhi, and his maternal grandfather is Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari. He is also a scholar in residence at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar.

Early life[edit]

Rajmohan Gandhi was born 7 August 1935 in New Delhi, to Devdas and Lakshmi Gandhi. His father was the managing editor of the Hindustan Times. Rajmohan Gandhi attended St. Stephen's College. His maternal grandfather was C. Rajagopalachari, the last Governor General of India (succeeding Lord Louis Mountbatten), who was one of the foremost associates of Mahatma Gandhi.


Academic career and activism[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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.[3] Asia Plateau has been recognized in the Indian subcontinent for its ecological contribution. During the 1975–1977 Emergency in India, he was active for democratic rights personally and through his weekly journal, Himmat, published in Bombay from 1964 to 1981.[citation needed]

His 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 Biennial Award from the Indian History Congress in 2007.[citation needed] It has since been published in several countries.[citation needed]

In 2002, Gandhi received the Sahitya Akademi Award for Rajaji: A Life, a Biography of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1878–1972), about his maternal grandfather, a leading figure in India's independence movement.[4]

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.[5]

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.[4] In 2019 he was a contributor to A New Divan: A Lyrical Dialogue Between East and West (Gingko Library).


In 1989, Gandhi unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election from Janata Dal against Rajiv Gandhi in Amethi.[6] 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.

On 21 February 2014, he joined the Aam Aadmi Party.[7] He contested the 2014 general election from the East Delhi constituency and lost.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Rajmohan Gandhi is married to Usha. They have two children, Supriya and Devadatta.[9]


  1. Why Gandhi Still Matters: An Appraisal of the Mahatma’s Legacy
  2. Understanding the Founding Fathers: An Enquiry into the Indian Republic’s Beginnings
  3. Punjab: A History from Aurangzeb to Mountbatten
  4. A Tale of Two Revolts
  5. Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire
  6. Ghaffar Khan: Nonviolent Badshah of the Pakhtuns
  7. Understanding the Muslim Mind
  8. Rajaji: A Life
  9. Revenge & Reconciliation: Understanding South Asian History
  10. The Good Boatman
  11. Patel: A Life
  12. Eight Lives: A Study of the Hindu-Muslim Encounter
  13. Modern South India: A History from the 17th Century to Our Times


  1. ^ "Rajya Sabha members biographical sketches 1952 - 2003" (PDF). Rajya Sabha. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Professor Rajmohan Gandhi". Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Initiatives of Change". www.in.iofc.org. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b See "Discussion of Modern South India: A History from the 17th Century to Our Times" Archived 25 September 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Life of letters". The Hindu. 26 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Statistical Report on General Elections, 1989 to the Ninth Lok Sabha" (PDF). Election Commission of India. p. 265. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Mahatma's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi joins AAP, will contest from east Delhi". IBN Live. 21 February 2014. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Rajmohan Gandhi to lead AAP battle in Delhi East". The Hindu. 27 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Short Biography -Rajmohan Gandhi". Retrieved 22 February 2014.

External links[edit]