Making of the Mahatma

by: Sarang, Parthiv, Nitesh, Aathirai, Manish, Amrita, Sanchana
Instructors: Gauri Bharat, Jigna Desai
31 August 2017

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This exercise was intended to find meanings associated with the built environment that formed a part of the illustrious life of Mahatma Gandhi, during his stay in Ahmedabad; those that are popular, written in the pages of history or those that were marginalized in the due course of the test of time. One such place with a less-known past that forms a very important link indeed, in the history of India’s independence, is the Kochrab ashram. It was in this colonial bungalow, gifted to him by Jivanlal barrister, that the first ashram was set up by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, after his return to India from South Africa. It was in this Ashram that the seeds were sown for Gandhi to become a Mahatma; his spiritual as well as political ideologies matured. While the ashram at Kochrab itself survived only a mere two years, Gandhi spent most of that time touring the

nation. Nevertheless, the ashram witnessed many revolutionary incidents that put Gandhi’s ideologies to test. Despite such ideological foundations laid by this Ashram,  it hasn’t stayed in the memories of generations hence. It’s significance has also only been summarily acknowledged by biographers and by Gandhi himself, in ‘My Experiments with Truth’. 

The task was, therefore, clear from the beginning. It was to re-ignite the significance of this Ashram in the memories of people today and tomorrow. How better to do this than to make it a part of Gandhi’s own autobiography, as a befitting addendum! It may not be one of the many leads of the story but it certainly deserves to be explained.

This exercise was intended to find meanings associated with the built environment that formed a part of the illustrious life of Mahatma Gandhi, during his stay in Ahmedabad; those that are popular, written in the pages of history or those that were marginalised in the due course of the test of time. One such place with a less-known past and forms a very important link, indeed, in the history of India’s independence, is the Kochrab ashram. It was in this colonial bungalow, gifted to him by Jivanlal barrister, that the first ashram was set up by Mohandas Karamchand