The man best known as Gandhi’s longest running companion of 25 years, Mahadev Desai was a lawyer by education and a scholar by disposition. He was responsible for transcribing Gandhi’s words and drafting his letters as well as serving as interpreter and interlocutor. So devoted was he to the Mahatma that he even followed Gandhi to jail. Desai was in many ways far more learned and scholarly than Gandhi, tutoring him on history, literature and politics besides other subjects. Desai wrote his most important works on Gandhi during the time that Gandhi was incarcerated in the Yeravda Jail near Pune, Maharashtra from 1931 to 1934. When arrested during the Quit India movement and sent to the Aga Khan Palace for imprisonment, Desai died on August 15th, 1942 at the young age of 50. Gandhi considered it a tragedy and loss to have lost someone Kasturba and he considered a son. Desai’s death was mourned by Gandhi’s supporters throughout the country.
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