To You, dear reader, is our first acknowledgement. Your thoughts upon this work are eagerly sought, and for you, it is done. Please use the ‘comments’ to provide your feedback.
This work has only been possible due to the grace of truth and love in all aspects of our lives and through all people and agencies of support and seeming adversity. Ever present in Nature, this grace asks nothing from us, yet we mention it only as we hope to be of service.
We thank the people at Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram, Mr. Amrut Modhi, and Navajivan Press, Mr. K. Rawal, for their kind assistance, permissions and license (during the time it was necessary) to use the extensive quotations and photographs of Gandhiji included herein. We deeply appreciated the kindness and helpful assistance given to scholars at the Gandhi Sabarmati Ashram.
We are grateful to Medha Patkar and the Narmada Bachao Andolan for the photographs of her and the N.B.A. herein. We thank also Dr. Vandana Shiva and her organization for the photograph of her.
This book has been a family project. As a mother, it is difficult to speak of the devotion and teamwork of one’s family. Mother’s feel so close to their children that to separate oneself from them in order to give objective acknowledgement even, seems almost unnatural, for we work as one. Nonetheless, without the help of my daughter Anni and son, Linkesh, also known as Lincoln, this work would not have happened. Their unceasing efforts, support, and respect for this project is why it is here today. While she was with us, Anni poured over its pages, making corrections, and gave beautiful suggestions, which have been incorporated. Over the years, both children listened endlessly and critically to innumerable renditions of each chapter, as bedtime reading.
We lived for 12 years in an ‘ashram’ setting in South India. Drawn to the opportunity to live-out the community ideals that I had researched and studied from Gandhi, it was an eye-opening experience as to not only human nature in all its positives and negatives, but to the role of a vision of ideals in personal and community social life. Indian culture could highlight a ‘Gandhi’ or a ‘Mother Theresa’ and, at the same time, change little in its perceptions of social ordering, position and place. Gandhi’s ideals of human equality perhaps find a more apt home in the Yankee traditions of New England, USA and south eastern Canada, infused with that stellar edict for social life: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’
For their invaluable feedback, moral support and suggestions, I thank my beloved advisors and dear friends, Dr. Joseph Elder of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Dr. Patricia S. Weibust
from the University of Connecticut.
Our gratitude also goes to our international panel of unnamed moral supporters, readers and proofreaders, who have been invaluable to us in this project, we will remember you.
There are many whose humble presence in this undertaking goes seemingly unnoticed: librarians, paper-makers (the trees, the birds, the bees! the oceans of air and water), printers, taxi and bus drivers, cooks (not often enough), and you, the reader who makes it all worthwhile. Our reflection upon this endless intricate web of interdependence, shows us that it is incumbent upon us to acknowledge the whole of the Creation, the stream of life, here with us, today, yesterday and tomorrow, we thank you, we are deeply grateful.
We all stand on the shoulders of other minds to broader thinking and richer understanding, whose light from the ideal has lit our path, transcending personality, culture, time, and place. To these we offer our silent and grateful thanks.