Why Gandhi is Immortal

Some Thoughts on Translating Chandrakant Wankhade’s Gandhi ka Marat Nahi

Death should mean the end of life. But why is that Mahatma Gandhi continues to live even after his assassination? It is not just his followers who consider him alive, but even those who engineered his murder continue to battle with his living presence in India and abroad. Why are his detractors afraid of Mahatma Gandhi even after putting him to death? Why is it impossible to eliminate Bapu him from the hearts of the common people? Why do thousands across the world continue to regard him a hero in spite of cynical attempts to paint him a pathetic and cowardly villain? What indeed, is the secret of Gandhi’s immortality? These are the questions that Chandrakant Wankhade grapples with in his thought provoking book Gandhi ka Marat Nahi? which I translated in English.

I heard Chandrakant Wankhade speak on Gandhi ka Marat Nahi before I read the book. The Female Education Society, an educational organisation based in Chandrapur, Maharashtra, organised a public lecture on this topic in memory of the Late Adv. Tarachandji Khajanchi in December 2022. Chandrakant Wankhade, a well-known intellectual and activist, was the main speaker, and the grounds of the FES Girls’ High School and Junior College were packed to capacity. The speech left a deep impression on many, and people thronged the stall to buy the book. The idea of translating the book into English was first mooted by Adv. Farhat Baig, after this programme, and it was is on his insistence that I agreed to give this rather difficult task a try.

Mahatma Gandhi’s life and philosophy have been extensively written and commented upon. Every aspect of the Mahatma’s political and personal actions has been dissected by a host of critics, beginning with the Mahatma himself. Therefore, one could well wonder what novel information this book had to offer. At Chandrakant Wankhade’s lecture, and later while translating the book, I was struck by the extensive research that the author had done in order to build a cogent argument on behalf of the Mahatma.

According to Wankhade, Nathuram Godse’s finger was on the trigger, but Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination was engineered by a larger, well-planned conspiracy backed by extremist right-wing discourse and organisation. The killers of Mahatma Gandhi, argues Wankhade, are not the only ones who opposed him Gandhi in his lifetime and their ideological heirs continue to do so to this date. Gandhi has many detractors who critique him through a range of political-ideological lenses. The problem is never with the criticism but with the canards and vicious character assassination that some sections indulge in. This book is a counter-argument to the outright false propaganda, slanderous insinuations, half-truths and malicious allegations that are deployed to attack Mahatma Gandhi.

In spite of countless attempts to render him irrelevant, even today, the Mahatma’s ideals of truth, non-violence, and Satyagraha attract generations from all over the world. It is as if, in spite of their best attempts to physically and politically annihilate him, the Mahatma’s detractors are themselves vanquished. And thus, the question arises – why does the Mahatma not die? Why is Gandhi immortal? Why does a frail old man prevail over his brutal assassins? The answer to this question is what Wankhade seeks to answer.

The original in Marathi Gandhi ka Marat Nahi was published in 2019 and led to much public
discussion and debates. Thereafter, a Hindi translation by Kalpana Shastree Gandhi Kyon Nahi Marte was published in 2022 and was equally well-received. I am glad that my efforts at translation will place the book in the hands of English readers.

I am grateful to Chandrakant Wankhade and his partner, Mayatai Wankhade, with whom I enjoyed many insightful discussions in the course of writing this book. I owe much gratitude to Adv. Farhat Baig, who remained wholeheartedly committed to this project from its inception to completion. I would like to thank friends like Adv. Neeraj Khandewale, Adv. Kishore Ram Lambat and others who have supported this book wholeheartedly.

For Kalyan, without whose encouragement and support this book would not have been possible – thank you for having more faith in me than I do in myself.


  • Paromita Goswami


For those who would like to order the book it is available on line in the following places

  1. Notion Press Store: https://notionpress.com/read/why-gandhi-is-immortal
  2. Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B0D37YR82C