Mahatma Gandhi is hailed across the world as an advocate of humanity and nonviolent struggle, but the struggles of the woman who accompanied him closely throughout his life, his wife Kasturba Gandhi, remains untold.
Jagadamba is a playtext in which Kasturba speaks from her heart about the different facets of her life. The text reflects her difficult marriage, the selfless immersion of Gandhi in politics and its repercussions on their family, their troubled sons, and, most importantly, her own desires and hopes.
The text was originally conceived in the Marathi language for actress Rohini Hattangadi, this play charts the journey of a simple girl who went on to become “Jagadamba,” or the “Universal Mother,” as the wife of the Mahatma.
Her introduction goes like this:
“Wives of great men have hard lives, often lived in negation of values they hold most dear. Jagadamba is the personal feelings of a devoted wife who had held her own in a life made mentally, physically, and morally turbulent by her husband’s ideas and political work.”