Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, died on Tuesday in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, following a brief illness, according to family sources. The funeral for the 89-year-old author and socio-political activist will take place later today in Kolhapur, according to his son Tushar Gandhi.
Arun Manilal Gandhi was born in Durban on April 14, 1934, to Manilal Gandhi and Sushila Mashruwala. His father worked as an editor, while his mother worked as a publisher for the Indian Opinion. Arun met his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi for the first time when he was five years old, and he didn’t see him again until 1946, when he stayed with Mahatma Gandhi at the Sevagram ashram in India. In 1948, Arun returned to the Union of South Africa, a few weeks before Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in the lawn of the Birla House mansion, now known as Gandhi Smriti, in New Delhi, India, on Friday January 30, 1948.
Although he had followed in his grandfather’s footsteps as an activist, he had rejected his grandfather’s ascetic lifestyle. He released The Gift of Anger: And Other Lessons From My Grandfather Mahatma Gandhi in 2017. In an article, Gandhi chastised the Indian government for funding a film based on his grandfather’s life with $25 million. He moved to the United States with his family in 1987 and attended the University of Mississippi. They eventually relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, where they established a nonviolence institute at Christian Brothers University.