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Timeless Appeal

A Simple Man from India Continues to Influence the World

 

By Lord Meghnad Desai*

What is it about Gandhi that still fascinates the world? Sixty-three years after his death, books still pour out at regular intervals exploring his life and personality. People are supposed to be shocked by revelations about his life. But as always we find that there is nothing any one can expose about Gandhi which he has not already put down in writing with brutal honesty. In terms of frankness about private life, Mahatma Gandhi breached the outer limits of possibility. Yet if the President of the United States, Barack Obama, wants him as his dinner guest—hoping of course that that is not one of Gandhi's fast days or worse yet one of his silent days, then Gandhiji must have 21st century appeal. He was chosen as one of the three most influential persons by TIME magazine on its 20th century issue along with former President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and physicist Albert Einstein. He must have something timeless in his appeal.

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