Gandhi Comes Alive

Associates of Gandhi

Gandhiji's Associates in India
  • Alexander Horace

    Member of The British Society of Friends. He first met Gandhi at Sabarmati Ashram in 1928. Thereafter, he spent much of his time with Gandhi. He has also authored a book- Gandhi Through Western Eyes.

    Amrit Kaur, Rajkumari (1889-1964)

    Rajkumari Amrit Kaur belonged to the royal family of Kapurthala State. She came under the influenced of Gandhi and became one of his followers. She participated in Salt Satyagraha and Quit India Movement. Her main fields of activity were female education and upliftment of the Harijans. She was president of All India Village Industries Association. In free India, she became Health Minister.


    Bibi Amtulsalam hailed from prominent Muslim family of Patiala. She was influenced by Gandhi. In 1930-1931, she visited him for the spiritual guidance. Gandhi was concerned because she suffered from delicate health. She worked with Gandhi for Hindu-Muslim unity. She was also well versed in the Sikh religious scripture and could recite Guru Granth Sahib.

    Andrews C. F. (1871-1940)

    Gandhi's associate from South Africa days. Andrews, a British Missionary, came to India to teach at St. Stephen's College Delhi. He took great interest in Vishwabharati University founded by Tagore; his devoted services in the cause of Indian people which won him the name 'Deenbandhu' (brother of poor). He was deeply attached to Gandhiji.

    Ansari, M. A. (1880-1936)

    Doctor by profession. He went to England for higher studies where he developed relations with leading Indian Leaders. On his return to India, he took active part in politics. He held the high post in Congress Party. Gandhiji used to stay with him whenever he visited Delhi. He was instrumental in setting up Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi.

    Azad, Abdul Kalam (1888-1958)

    Maulana Azad was a journalist and he edited Urdu weekly Al Hilal. He participated in Khilafat Movement and join Indian National Congress. Twice he was elected president of the party in 1923 and 1940 respectively. He was a foremost Nationalist Muslim Leader. In free India, he held the post of Education Minister.

  • Bajaj, Jamnalal (1882-1942)

    A businessman. Jamnalalji was treated as the fifth son of Gandhiji. He was elected chairman of the Reception Committee of the Nagpur session of Indian National Congress. He worked as the treasurer of Congress Party throughout his life. He was particularly interested in the Constructive Programme of Gandhi and Upliftment of Harijans.

    Banker, Shankerlal

    Publisher of Young India; secretary of All India Spinners Association. Shankerlal came in close contact with Gandhi during the Ahmedabad Textile Mill Workers' strike.

    Bhave, Vinoba (1892-1982)

    Vinoba met Gandhi in 1916 and became his ardent follower. Gandhi sent him to Wardha in 1923 to start an ashram on the lines of Sabarmati Ashram. Vinoba participated in all the movements of Gandhi and served prison terms frequently. He started his Bhoodan Movement after India became independent. He wanted each village to became self-sufficient in food and clothing.

    Birla, G. D.

    HA businessman, Gandhi was the dominant influence in his life. Gandhi's sincerity and search for truth impressed Birla. In 1931, he attended Round Table Conference with Gandhi as the representative of Indian Business Community. He used his good offices to create an atmosphere of cordiality between India and England.

    Bose, Subhash Chandra (1897-1945)

    Also known as Netaji, Bose went to England to complete Indian Civil Service. He came fourth in rank. But he did not opt for the service and return to India. On 16th July, 1921, he had a meeting with Gandhi. Gandhi directed him to C.R. Das. He started his political career under C. R. Das and actively participated in the Swarajist movement. Depoted to Mandalay for his nationalist activities. Elected president of Indian National Congress twice in 1938 & 1939, but resigned from the Congress because of his differences with Gandhi. He founded Forward Bloc in 1939. Government imprisoned him in his own house in Calcutta. On January 27, 1941, he escaped from detention and went to Germany. In Germany, he organised Indian National Army.

  • Chandiwala, Brijkrishna

    Co-worker of Gandhi; author of 'At the Feet of Bapu'.

    Chowdhrani, Sarladevi (1872-1945)

    A social worker and educationist. She was niece of Rabindranath Tagore. She edited Bharati, through its pages she advocated Hindu-Muslim Unity. She opened Laxmi Bhandar for popularising Swadeshi goods. She married Rambhuj Chowdhari. In 1919, she came in contact with Gandhi and was one of the few women in the Punjab who raised their voice against the tyranny of General Dyer. She remained an ardent Congress worker till her death.

  • Das, C. R. (1870-1925)

    Das came in forefront of the National Movement in 1917 when he was invited to preside over Bengal Provincial Conference. During Nagpur Congress, he supported Gandhi's programme of Non-co-operation and renounced his lucrative practice at the Bar. He was the founder of the Swaraj Party along with Motilal Nehru.

    Desai, Bhulabhai (1877-1946)

    Bhulabhai Desai joined Annie Besant's Home Rule League and was the member of Liberal Party. He helped Sardar Patel in the 'No Tax' Satyagraha campaign in Bardoli in 1922. In 1930, he joined Congress Party. In 1932, he participated in Civil Disobedience Movement and was sentenced to a year's imprisonment. He was the leading Counsel in the INA trial.

    Desai, Mahadev (1892-1942)

    Mahadevbhai joined Gandhi as his secretary in 1917. He participated in all the freedom struggles launched by Gandhi and courted arrest a number of times. He accompanied Gandhi in 1931 for the Round Table Conference. He was arrested for the last time during 1942 Quit India Movement. He died in Aga Khan Palace while serving his sentence. He was a prolific writer. His diaries are source material for understanding Gandhi's life and ideals.

    Desai. Valji

    A lecturer of English in Gujarat College, Ahmedabad. He resigned from service and joined Gandhiji as a constructive worker. He translated Satyagraha In South Africa and other works of Gandhi. He was one of the members of Gandhi's Ashram.

  • Gandhi, Maganlal K.

    Son of Khushalchand Gandhi. Arrived in South Africa with Gandhiji in 1903. He was in charge of Indian Opinion during the absence of his brother, Chhaganlal. One of the pioneer settlers of Phoenix. Simultaneous with Gandhi's departure from South Africa, Maganlal also left for India. When Gandhi founded Satyagraha Ashram first at Kochrab and then at Sabarmati; Maganlal became the manager of Satyagraha Ashram at Sabarmati till he died in 1928. (Refer Associates in South Africa also.)

    Gandhi, Narandas

    Son of Gandhi's cousin, Khushalchandbhai. Younger brother of Chhaganlal Gandhi and Maganlal Gandhi. After his brother Maganlal died, he became the manager of ashram.

    Gokhale Avantikabai

    She was one of the earliest co-workers of Gandhi. She worked with Gandhi in Champaran, Bihar , for the social upliftment of the indigo workers. Later on, spinning wheel became a constant companion of Avantikabai and every time on Gandhi's birthday, she would present him with a piece of cloth woven by her.

  • Harrison, Agatha

    Daughter of Methodist missionary of England. She first came to India in 1928 as a member of Whitley Commission on Labour. C. F. Andrews introduced her to Gandhi in 1931 in London, when he came to attend the Round table Conference. Gandhi asked her to work for the mutual understanding between India and Britain. Agatha Harrison fulfilled Gandhi's wishes.

  • Iyengar, Kasturi Ranga (1859-1923)

    A journalist and a freedom fighter. He published the newspaper 'Hindu' from Madras and became its editor in 1905. Under his guidance, the paper became a powerful weapon in the national cause.

  • Jairamdas, Daulatram

    Gandhi's co-worker from Sindh.

    Jaju, Shrikrishnadas (1882-1955)

    Close associate of Gandhi. He left his lucrative practice as an advocate in 1921 and actively worked with Gandhi for spread of Khadi Movement. Social reformer and fighter for women's emancipation. He was president of Gramodyog Sangh and secretary of Charkha Sangh. He also worked actively for Bhoodan & Sampatdan movements.

    Jaykar, Dr. M. R.

    Barrister; member Bombay Legislative Council, worked with Gandhi in 1919 on Congress enquiry into Punjab repression; federal court judge, 1937-1939; Vice Chancellor, Poona University.

    Joshi, Chhaganlal

    He came in contact with Gandhi in 1920. He was involved in the Constructive work in Ashram. He was also a teacher in Ashram school.

  • Kalelkar, Dattatreya Balkrishna

    Educationist, writer and constructive worker . He was awarded Padma Vibhusan award for his services to the Nation.

    Kantak, Premabehn

    A disciple of Gandhi from Maharashtra. She was a teacher in Sabarmati Ashram school. She was in charge of Girls Hostel in Sabarmati Ashram. When Sabarmati Ashram closed down, Premabehn settled in Saasvad, near Poona. Where she continued her work in the service of poor villagers.

    Khan, Abdul Gaffar Khan (Badshah Khan)

    He was known as 'Frontier Gandhi' . He started his political career in 1919 when he opposed the Rowlatt Bills. He attended Nagpur session of Congress and took leading part in Khilafat Movement. He was influenced by Gandhi's Constructive Programme. The theory of truth and non-violence had their influence on Gaffar Khan's political aims and plans. In North-West Frontier Province, he raised volunteers known as Khudai Khidmadgar (Servants of God). They were also known as Red Shirts.

    Kripalani, J. B. (1888-1982)

    He was professor of English and History. Kripalani came in contact with Gandhi in 1917 during Champaran Satyagraha. He served as General Secretary of the Congress from 1934-1945. He took part in all the movements since 1921 and was imprisoned number of times.

    Kumarappa, J. C. (1892-1957)

    He associated himself with Gandhiji and conducted a Rural survey in Gujarat. He taught in Gujarat Vidyapith in 1929-1931; edited Young India during the absence of Gandhi. In 1934, he became secretary of All India Village Industries Association. Kumarappa interpreted the economic ideas of Gandhi in a scientific spirit. He also played leading role in the formulation of basic education. He wrote number of books in Gandhian economics.

  • Lajpatrai, Lala (1865-1928)

    He was also known as 'Punjab Kesari'. He presided over the special Congress Session in Calcutta in 1920. Later, he joined Swaraj Party founded by C. R. Das and Motilal Nehru. On October 30, 1928, he led anti-Simon Commission protest in Lahore. He received lathi-blows and died on November 17,1928. He was a prolific writer.

    Lester, Muriel

    Founded Kingsley Hall in London's East End, where Gandhi stayed during his trip to attend the Round Table Conference. Lester has also written a book Entertaining Gandhi and Gandhi-World Citizen.

  • Malaviya, Madan Mohan (1861-1946)

    Educationist, Social reformer and nationalist. Malaviya made his maiden speech at the Calcutta Congress in 1886. President of Indian National Congress in 1909 & 1918. Member, Central Legislative Assembly. Founded Banaras Hindu University in 1915. He had high regard for Gandhi.

    Mashruwala, Kishorelal

    Constructive worker and close associate of Gandhi; Editor of weekly Harijan; author of the book Gandhi and Marx.

    Mavlankar Ganesh V. (1888-1956)

    Lawyer, Parliamentarian and Congress leader from Ahmedabad; elected speaker of Bombay Legislative Assembly in 1937 and of Central Legislative Assembly in 1946. He was also a speaker of Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament).

    Mehta, Pherozshah (1843-1915)

    He dominated the public life of Bombay for a long time; one of the founders of Bombay Presidency Association and thrice Chairman of the Bombay Municipal Corporation. He was member of the Bombay Legislative Council. One of the pioneer founders of the Indian National Congress in 1885 and was elected President in 1895 & 1902.

    Mehta, Dr. Pranjivan

    M. D., hailing from the family of jewelers, his association with Gandhi began when he received Gandhi on his arrival in England for the first time as a student. He rendered financial help to Gandhi in his activities from the days of the Phoenix Settlement till his death in 1933.

    Mehta, Raichandbhai

    Gandhi's guide. He was jeweler by profession, connoisseur of pearls and diamonds. He had a wide knowledge of religious scripture. He was known as Shatavadhini (one having the faculty of remembering or attending to hundred things simultaneously). Gandhi had great regard for his intellect and knowledge. In his moments of spiritual crisis, Gandhi would consult Raichandbhai.

    Menon, ( nee Faering) Esther

    Esther Faering came to India in 1916 as a member of Danish Missionary Society in South India. Entrusted with educational work, she visited Sabarmati Ashram in1917 and was drawn to Gandhi. Her mission did not approve of her contacts and correspondence with Gandhi, to whom she had become attached to as a daughter. Later, in 1919 she resigned and became inmate of ashram for sometime. Gandhi's letters to her over a period of nearly 20 years were published in 1956 under the title 'My Dear Child'.

    Mirabehn (Madeleine Slade)

    Daughter of British Admiral, she belonged to an aristocratic British family. She was introduced to Gandhi by Romain Rolland. She came to India in 1925 and joined Sabarmati Ashram. Gandhi gave her the Indian name 'Mira' in view of her devotion to him. Mirabehn accompanied Gandhi to the Round Table Conference. As a fellow prisoner with Gandhi in Aga Khan Palace Jail, she shared the sorrow of deaths of Mahadevbhai & Kasturba. After her release from prison, she started an ashram, near Rishikesh. She was deeply attached to Gandhi. In 1956, she left India and settled in a Village in Austria.

    Morarji, Shantikumar Narottam

    Gujarati businessman of Bombay. Morarji was the partner of Scindia Steam Navigation Company. He took keen interest in Gandhi’s activities. Gandhi stayed in his beach hut in Juhu, Bombay, during one of his convalesces . He also helped by sending his ship to transport the refugees during Partition.

    Munshi, K. M.

    Lawyer, politician and author; founder of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan; Governor of U.P from1952-1957.

  • Naidu, Sarojini (1879-1949)

    A great poetess and a nationalist leader. Sarojini was the first Indian woman President of Indian National Congress. A trusted and loyal associate Gandhi. Sarojini took active part in the Salt Satyagraha. She accompanied Gandhi to the Round Table Conference in London. During Quit India Movement, she was imprisoned in Aga Khan Palace along with Gandhi. In free India, she became the first Governor of U.P.

    Naoroji, Dadabhai (1825-1917)

    Statesman, often called ‘The Grand Old Man of India‘. Dadaji trice presided one Congress sessions in 1886,1893 & 1906. Enunciated, for the first time, Congress goal as one of Swaraj or independence. He was member of the British Committee of the Congress in London.

    Narayan Jayaprakash

    He participated in Civil Disobedience Movement in 1932 and was put in the Nasik Jail. On release from the Jail, he organised the Congress Socialist Party in 1934. He also took leading part in Quit India Movement in 1942. He married Prabhavati, daughter Brij Kishore Prasad, a leader from Bihar.

    Nayyar, Sushila

    A doctor by profession. Sushila Nayyar was younger sister of Gandhi's secretary, Pyarelal. While studying at Lady Harding College, Delhi; she would visit Wardha ashram during vacations and contribute to the constructive programme. She became personal physician of Kasturba and Gandhi and accompanied them in their sojourns. Sushila was imprisoned with Kasturba, Gandhi and Mahadevbhai in Aga Khan Palace jail in 1942. After India attained independence, she took charge of the health minister. In Wardha, she started the Kasturba Memorial Hospital.

    Nehru, Jawaharlal (1889-1964)

    An architect of India. Gandhi named him as his political heir. He was General Secretary of Indian National Congress in 1923; President of Lahore session of the Congress in 1929. He took active part in the Civil Disobedience movements of 1930 & 1942. He was imprisoned several times for defying British orders. He headed the interim government in 1946. He was first Prime Minister of independent India.

    Nehru, Motilal (1861-1931)

    An eminent lawyer, Motilal gave up his lucrative practice for the national cause. He donated his ancestral home to house the office of the Indian National Congress. In 1928 he formed Swaraj Party along with C.R. Das. He supported Independence Resolution of the Congress passed at Lahore in 1929. In 1930, he supported the Civil Disobedience Movement and was subsequently arrested. He was later released on the grounds of ill health. He died soon after in 1930.

  • Parchure, Shastri

    A scholar, he had deep knowledge of Vedas. He was one of the ashram in-mates. He died of Leprosy.

    Parekh, Narhari

    In 1917, Narharibhai joined Sabarmati Ashram as a teacher in Ashram school. He was the first principal of Gujarat Vidyapith. He along with his wife was actively involved in Champaran Satyagraha. In 1947, he edited Mahadev Desai's Diaries.

    Patel, Maniben

    The only daughter of Sardar Patel, Gandhi had taken charge of her social education. She graduated from Gujarat Vidyapith in 1924. She devoted her life to the constructive work and also took part in various political movements initiated by Gandhi. Gandhi and Kasturba treated her like their daughter.

    Patel, Sardar Vallab bhai (1875-1950)

    Patel was also known as ‘Iron man’ of India . After qualifying as a lawyer, he started his practice in Ahmedabad. He met Gandhi in 1916 and was instantly overwhelmed by his honesty and sincerity. Gandhi made him his lieutenant in 1981 during Ahmedabad labour strike. He took leading part in Nagpur Flag Satyagraha in 1923 and Bardoli movement in 1928. It was at Bardoli that Gandhi conferred on him the title of 'Sardar' upon him. In 1931 he was elected President of Indian national Congress. From 1935-1940 he was Chairman of the Parliamentary Sub-Committee of Indian National Congress. He took active part in Individual Satyagraha in 1941 and Quit India Movement in 1942. He was imprisoned in Ahmednagar Fort. He served as Home Minister in Interim Government in 1946. He became Deputy Prime Minister of Independent India.

    Pattani, Sir Prabhashanker (1862-1937)

    Dewan of former Bhavnagar state; member of India Council from 1917–1919.


    Daughter of prominent Bihar leader Brijkishorebabu, she married Jayaprakash Narayan. When Jayaprakash Narayan went to USA for his higher education, she stayed with Gandhi in his ashram and contributed to the constructive work of Gandhi

    Prasad, Rajendra (1884-1963)

    Educationist and Lawyer, Rajendra Prasad was the first President of India. Like many young men, he too came under Gandhi's influence and gave up his lucrative practice in 1933 to take part in the Non-Cooperation Movement. He was President of Indian National Congress in 1934.He was also included in interim Government in 1946. He was unanimously elected President of the Constituent assembly, which drafted the Constitution of India.

    Pyarelal (1899- )

    SPyarelal participated in all the freedom movements from 1920 onwards. He was secretary to Gandhi, after Mahadev Desai's demise. He was a noted journalist and author. he has written several books on Gandhi. Chief amongst them is 'The Last Phase' & 'The Early Phase' describing the life of Gandhi.

  • Rajgopalachari, C. (1879-1972)

    Rajagopalachari was the Supreme Nationalist Leader from South India. Popularly known as 'Rajaji'. He was influenced by Gandhi. He participated in all the freedom movements. He held important position in Indian National Congress. He was the first Governor General of India after Lord Mountbatten. He was a powerful speaker.

    Rolland, Romain (1866-1944)

    The great French author and thinker. He obtained Nobel Prize in literature in 1915. He described Gandhi as 'another Christ'. After attending Round Table Conference, Gandhi spent few days with Romain Rolland in Villeneuve, Switzerland.

  • Sapru, Tej Bahadur (1875-1949)

    A lawyer & Politician. Member of U.P. Legislature. He was also a Secretary of Indian National Congress in 1910. At the Imperial Conference in 1923, he passionately pleaded for granting Civil Rights & privileges to Indians abroad.

    Sarabhai Ambalal

    A leading mill owner of Ahmedabad. He took great interest in Gandhi’s work.

    Sarabhai Ansuyaben

    Sister of Ambalal Sarabhai, she took active part in Gandhi’s activities. She went against her brother and sided the mill workers in the dispute between mill workers and mill owners.

    Sarabhai, Mridula

    Daughter of Ambalal Sarabhai. Mridula became prominent worker in freedom movement in 1927. She was influenced by Gandhi and participated in the Salt Satyagraha in 1930 and Rajkot Satyagraha in 1938. She played a commendable role in the restoration of abducted women during the Partition of India in 1947.

    Shashtri V. S. (1869-1946)

    He became President of Servants of India Society in 1914 after Tilak’s death; elected to the Viceroy’s Legislative Council in 1916;Member, India’s delegation to the League of Nations in 1921; appointed Agent General of the Indian Government in South Africa; delegate to the India-Briton Round Table Conference held in London in 1930 and India-South Africa Round Table Conference held in Cape Town in 1932. He was revered friend of Gandhi.

    Spiegal, Dr. Margarate (Amla)

    A German lady, who lived in the ashram for sometime. She was also a teacher at Shantineketan.Gandhi named her Amla.

    Swami Anand

    His early association with the revolutionaries of Bengal in 1907 , was the beginning of his entry into freedom movement. He worked with Tilak's newspaper 'Kesari'. In 1917, Swami met Gandhi in Ahmedabad; there he was entrusted with the publication of Navjivan & Harijan. He was co-worker and friend of Mahdev Desai & Narhari Parekh. He took active part in all the national activities. In 1928 he worked as Sardar Patel's secretary/assistant in Bardoli Satyagraha. Later he worked with adivasis (tribals) of Bordi. In 1947, he worked amongst the refugees of Sialkot and Hardwar.

  • Tagore, Rabindranath (1861-1941)

    A great nationalist, highly gifted poet of Indian Renaissance. In 1901 he founded a school at Shantiniketan, near Calcutta which later became an international institution called Vishwa-Bharati. He was awarded Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. He relinquished knighthood in protest against Jallianwala Baug massacre in 1919. He was a sincere friend of Gandhi.

    Thakker, Amritlal V. (1869-1951)

    He was also known as 'Thakkar Bapa'. He was co-worker of Gandhi. He founded Harijan Sevak Sangh. He worked for the upliftment of tribal and backward classes. He was member of the Constituent Assembly and trustee of the Gandhi National Memorial Fund.

    Tilak, Bal Gangadhar (1856-1920)

    Also known as 'Lokmanya.' For the first time in 1897, he mooted the idea of complete independence for India from British rule. He started two newspapers the 'Kesari' & the 'Maharatta'. Through his newspapers, he propagated nationalism. Gandhi first met Tilak in 1896. British found him a dangerous and had him arrested in 1897. Again in 1908, he was tried for Sedition and was deported to Mandalay Jail in Burma. He died in Bombay on August 1, 1920, paving way for Gandhi to take the leadership of freedom movement.

    Tyabji, Abbas (1853-1936)

    One of the inmates of Ashram, taught spinning / weaving in the Ashram. He was Nationalist Muslim leader of Gujarat; formerly, a judge of Baroda High Court. He was one of the commissioners appointed by the Punjab Sub-committee of the Congress to report on the Punjab disorders. He was the main leader of Salt Satyagraha in 1930.

    Tyabji, Raihana

    Daughter of Abbas Tyabji. She was disciple of Gandhi. She also used to teach Urdu to Gandhi. Born in Muslim family, she was a devout Krishna bhakt (devotee). She had melodious voice. Gandhi always asked her to sing Krishna bhajans in his prayer meetings.

  • Zakir, Hussain (1897-1969)

    A nationalist and educationist. Gandhi nominated him as the Chairman of the Education Committee. He was founder and Vice Chancellor of Jamia Milia University. He was also Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. From 1957-1962 , he was the Governor of Bihar. In 1962 , he was elected Vice President of India and in 1967 , he became President of India.