Mahadev Desai(Jan 1, 1892 – Forever)
Mahadev Desai was an Indian freedom fighter, a nationalist writer and most famously known for being the personal secretary of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahadev Desai was born on January 1st, 1892 at Saras, a village in Olpad Taluka of Surat district of the Indian state of Gujarat, where his father Haribhai Desai was a school teacher. The family originally hailed from Dihen in the same district. He lost his mother Jamnaben when he was only seven years old. Gujarat was also the birthplace and home of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the most prominent leaders in the Indian Independence Movement. Desai was a young lawyer in Ahmedabad when he decided to join Gandhi along with Narhari Parikh, Mohanlal Pandya and Ravi Shankar Vyas, and became his most devoted secretary for over 25 years, from 1917 to 1942. The four were the earliest supporters of Gandhi. Mahadev Desai was arrested with Gandhi during all the nationalist revolts. The chief period of interest is the time Gandhi was incarcerated in the Yeravda Jail near Pune, Maharashtra from 1931 to 1934. Desai wrote most of his important works on Gandhi during this period. When arrested during the Quit India movement and sent to the Aga Khan Palace for imprisonment, he died on August 15th, 1942. Gandhi was devastated by Desai death at a young age. Both Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi had seen him as their son, and his death was mourned by supporters of Gandhi across the country. He wrote several books on the non-violent struggles led by Gandhi in India, and a diary called “Day to Day with Gandhi” in 9 volumes. His son Narayan Desai is also a non-violent activist.