Harilal Gandhi

Harilal Gandhi

Harilal Gandhi
Harilal Gandhi in 1910
Born 1888
Died 18 June 1948 (aged 60)
Mumbai, India
Religion hindu
Spouse(s) Gulab Gandhi
Children five children
Parent(s) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Kasturba Gandhi

Harilal Mohandas Gandhi (Devanagari: हरीलाल गांधी), (1888 – 18 June 1948) was the eldest son of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • Gandhi's Letters 2
  • Gandhi, My Father 3
  • Further reading 4
  • References 5

Early life

Harilal wanted to go to England for higher studies and hoped to become a barrister as his father had once been. His father firmly opposed this, believing that a Western-style education would not be helpful in the struggle against British rule over India.[2] Eventually rebelling against his father's decision, in 1911 Harilal renounced all family ties

Harilal married to Gulab Gandhi and they had five children, two of whom died at an early age. Nilam Parikh, the daughter of Ramibehn, who was the eldest of Harilal's children, wrote a biography on him, titled Gandhiji's Lost Jewel: Harilal Gandhi.

He appeared at his father's funeral in such derelict condition that few recognized him. He died from liver disease on 18 June 1948 in a municipal hospital in Bombay, Union of India.[3]

Gandhi's Letters

In June 1935, Mahatma Gandhi wrote a letter to Harilal, accusing him of raping Harilals deceased wife's sister who is a child widow. He also urged him to give up "alcohol and debauchery". In the letter, Mahatma Gandhi stated that Harilal's problems were more difficult for him to deal with than the struggle for Indian republic.

Gandhi, My Father

The troubled relationship between Harilal and his father is the subject of the film and play Gandhi, My Father. The film adaptation was released on 3 August 2007 and directed by Feroz Abbas Khan and produced by Anil Kapoor. Harilal is portrayed by Akshaye Khanna. Khan's play, Mahatma vs. Gandhi,[4] while different from this film, had a similar theme. There is also a Marathi play named Gandhi virudh Gandhi.

Further reading

  • Harilal Gandhi: What Life[5] by Chandulal Bhagubhai Dalal
  • Gandhiji's Lost Jewel: Harilal Gandhi by Nilam Parikh, grand daughter of Harilal Gandhi


  1. ^ *Gandhi Family Tree
  2. ^ The Hindu : Magazine / Cinema : The Mahatma and his son
  3. ^ http://www.exoticindiaart.com/book/details/IDJ821/
  4. ^ http://www.ferozkhan.com/fz_mahatmasynopsis.htm
  5. ^ https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no49306.htm