On Archiving and Translating Mahatma Gandhi's Works

On Archiving and Translating Mahatma Gandhi's Works

in Interview
Published on: 31 January 2018
In conversation with Dr Tridip Suhrud, Ahmedabad, 2017

Tridip Suhrud is a political scientist and a cultural historian, who has worked on the intellectual history of Gujarat and the Gandhian tradition. He has translated the works of Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Govardhanram Madhavaram Tripathi, Ashis Nandy, Ganesh Devy and Suresh Joshi.


In this interview he talks about the creation of an archive and library around Gandhi's works and modern Indian history, at the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust (SAMPAT) that runs the ashram Gandhi founded. He also discusses the objectives of the Gandhi Heritage Portal, which is to start placing in public domain the archival holdings.


When asked how Gandhi is relevant, Suhrud questions, 'Why should he be? He is dead and gone and with a kind of finality that he remains dead.' The only way to keep him relevant is to ask questions, but he warns that Gandhi will not provide straight answers.


The final segment of the interview is a discussion on the task of the translator—for him translation is a mode of reading and re-reading a text.