Prince of Gujarat: The Extraordinary Story of Prince Gopaldas Desai (1887-1951): Rajmohan Gandhi
Book titled Prince of Gujarat: The Extraordinary Story of Prince Gopaldas Desai (1887-1951) authored by Rajmohan Gandhi was released on 7 November 2014.
In this biography, author Rajmohan Gandhi has used letters, rare documents, personal accounts and historical narratives in the book and tried to recreate vivid and moving detail of life and times of a leader of supreme honesty and unalloyed patriotism who also battled against the hierarchies of Indian society.
The writer in the book has described the story of Gopaldas born in 1887 into a clan of princely Patels, Darbar (Prince) of the people of his tiny state in Saurashtra and his active and courageous participation in the struggle for India’s freedom and social justice. He also narrates the story of Gopaldas fight for minority Gujarat’s Muslims, dalit rights and women rights.
About Gopaldas Desai
• Gopaldas Ambaidas Desai also called Darbar Gopaldas Desai was born at Vaso in the present day Kheda district of Gujarat in 1887
• He was a former prince and later ruler of the State of Dhasa in Saurashtra and a noted Gandhian political and social activist
• He is remembered as the first prince in India who gave up his principality to become a freedom fighter against the British Raj
• He along with his wife Bhakti Lakshmidevi Desai better known as Bhaktiba became active freedom fighters from 1922 after which his state was confiscated.
• He was deposed as ruler by the British after he disobeyed the British Resident General's warnings against his involvement in the national movement and extending financial support to Gandhi
• The British then rejected the claims of Gopaldas other three sons and instead appointed Gopaldas brother Chaturbhai as the new ruler
• He died in 1951
About the Author
Rajmohan Gandhi born in 1935 is a biographer and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. He is a research professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. He is also a Scholar in residence at Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar.
His father was Devdas Gandhi, son of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation.
Some of his books include
• Rajmohan Gandhi last book was Punjab: A History from Aurangzeb to Mountbatten, published in 2013
• In 2009 his study, A Tale of Two Revolts: India 1857 and the American Civil War was published in India, the UK and the US
• Ghaffar Khan: Nonviolent Badshah of the Pakhtuns published in 2004
• Revenge & Reconciliation: Understanding South Asian History published in 1999
• Patel: A Life, a biography of Vallabhbhai Patel (1875-1950), Deputy Prime Minister of India, 1947-50
• Eight Lives: A Study of the Hindu-Muslim Encounter (1987)
• The Good Boatman: A Portrait of Gandhi was published in 2009 in a Chinese translation in Beijing
Few books those were awarded
• Mahatma Gandhi, Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire – it received the prestigious Biennial Award from the Indian History Congress in 2007
• Rajaji: A Life, a biography of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1878-1972) – for the book in 2001 he received the Sahitya Akademi Award.
When: 7 November 2014
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