This is the hitherto-untold story of Gandhi's greatest friend and benefactor, Dr Pranjivan Mehta (1864–1932). It was to Mehta that Gandhi first revealed his newly-found philosophy of life in a London hotel in July–September 1909. According to Gandhi's own admission, his seminal work, Hind Swarajya, first published in the Gujarati columns of the Indian Opinion, on 11 and 18 December 1909, was a faithful record of the conversations he had had with Mehta earlier in the year, recollected and recorded in the tranquillity of the voyage back to South Africa, between 19 and 22 November 1909. Mehta was the first person who recognized in Gandhi both the mahatma and the future liberator of India. He encouraged and enabled Gandhi to return to his native land in January 1915. Himself a versatile man, Mehta, throughout his life, provided Gandhi with great material and moral support. Gandhi said in 1925 that Mehta's was a personality which deserved to be widely known. This book is a belated and modest attempt to fulfil Gandhi's wish.

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