Gopalkrishna Gandhi was high commissioner for India in South Africa (1996-97) and in Sri Lanka (2000-02), Secretary to the President of India (1997-2000) and Governor of West Bengal (2004-09). He has written a novel, Refuge, on the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, a play in verse, Dara Shukoh, The Essential Gandhi, and Of a Certain Age, his biographical sketches on twenty notable Indians. More recently he has translated the Tamil classic Tirukkural and written Abolishing the Death Penalty.
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, or Rajaji, was famously described by Mahatma Gandhi as his 'conscience keeper'. The eighty-odd largely unpublished letters presented here span the period from the run-up to Independence to its early years, providing deep insight into the struggles and endeavours of Indian public life. Frank, brave, even bitter at times, they reveal the fierce debates, strong differences of opinion and continuous negotiation between the two leaders on matters crucial to the country's future. Introduced and annotated with trademark brilliance by Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the letters offer us a rare glimpse of the lives of two of the tallest Indians of our age, when idealism rode strong but was also challenged.