By Promod Puri
While Mahatama Gandhi’s nonviolence activism got him international fame and many followers, an important part of his personal life and preferences has been revealed in a very unknown small book by Mr Kris Tangri.
Kris Tangri in his ’90s lives a retired life in Victoria, Canada, after a very successful academic career in Canadian and American universities.
Kris reveals in his book that during his university days in India, he fell in love with a fellow student who was the grand daughter of Gandhi. The romance went for quite some time and finally the couple agreed to get married.
But according to Kris that was not acceptable to Gandhi, for the only reason, he figured out that he was Punjabi getting into Gujarati family, which never happened before. Otherwise, Kris in his young days was quite handsome, educated, intelligent and belonged to reputable and established Punjabi Khatri Hindu family. He had all the required qualifications to be accepted by Gandhi and his family, but he was not a Gujarati.
Despite, the initial no to this proposal, the couple were adamant and the engagement ceremony was performed. At this point, Gandhi came with a condition that marriage could only take place if the couple did not see each other for next seven years as a test of their everlasting love for each other.
Well, the destiny had it’s own plan, Kris was to leave for Europe for higher studies, and while abroad, due to lack of fast communications, he lost his contact with the person he loved. Gandhi’s scheme worked and his grand daughter in the meantime got married, which Kris learnt when he came back to India.
Well that was Mahatama Gandhi known for his universal fight against racism and prejudice, but in his personal life he was just a Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.