Guha explored Gandhi's life in his latest book 'Gandhi before India'.
While talking to IBN18 Network's Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Guha said, ".. middle class because he is a bania, middle rank because he was a very mediocre student. He was not lousy, he was not good."
"He was earnest, very hardworking but he was not undistinguished. The person who found these marksheets by the way and to whom I owe a lot was a Gujarati school teacher who found the old marksheets in the cupboards of Kathiawar High School in Rajkot.
"He says in the end of his analysis, he says it is well said that Mahatma Gandhi made heroes out of clay and his first and most successful experiment was with himself, because he was a rather mediocre, ordinary student," said Guha.
He said it was Gandhi's failure at the Bombay bar that helped him develop techniques of non violent resistance.
"...South Africa and before that failure in Bombay. He fails when he comes back from London 1892-93, then he comes back again in 1901 after six years in South Africa, he says enough I am going to go back and make it as a lawyer. He fails a second time. That of course was one of the most productive failures of history.
"His failure at the Bombay bar allowed him to become an activist in South Africa and there of course he developed his techniques of non violent resistance, his philosophy of inter-faith harmony," said Guha.
"His interest in ending caste and gender inequality and many other things. His skills as a propagandist, an editor and of course the Indian national movement would have been different; we can't say how it would have been, if Gandhi had succeeded in the bar in Bombay," he said.
--IBNS (Posted on 02-10-2013)