Why does Kobad Ghandy, one of India’s most prominent communist activists and ideologues, do what he does? Why does he keep landing in prison, again and again? What’s he fighting for? What keeps him going?
To discuss Kobad’s life through the prism of his book Fractured Freedom: A Prison Memoir, three schoolmates whose lives took dramatically varying paths were brought together by Roli Pulse, the digital arm of Roli Books, in partnership with Newslaundry.
Kobad, Ishaat Hussain and Gautam Vohra, who were together in Doon School’s class of 1963, talk about their childhood and friendship. They also talk about the evolution of Kobad, who has dedicated his life working for the marginalised and spent a decade in various prisons. The discussion is moderated by Abhinandan Sekhri of Newslaundry.
“I have been to six or seven prisons and the way cases were opening up initially, one after the other, I felt I wouldn’t even get out,” says Kobad. “But I was in general writing in prison for the mainstream, for anything that disturbed me.”
Ishaat believes that whatever Kobad has done was right and "very few of us can really turn around and say and do that with any great conviction".
Narrating the journey of the dramatic years when he was in contact with Kobad, Gautam says, "If I could de-class myself and live with the poor, something I feel I had the guts for, that was something I could sense was not in me but was in Kobad.”
Transcription assistance by Ritika Chauhan.
Listen to the discussion: