On this page as well as in issue no. 7 of our newsletter we encouraged you to raise your voice against the further distribution of the revised edition of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi as this edition carries a number of errors and omissions. Protest letters sent by you and several other students and scholars of Gandhian thoughts, activists and institutions, lead to an immediate stop of the sale of the current version. We're extremely glad that - thanks to the protest of many concerned people and organisations from allover - the Indian Government set up a committee of experts, and follows its advice to reprint the original version. The GandhiServe Foundation says THANK YOU for your contributions!
>>> Read the Report of the Advisory Committee of CWMG (doc)
This email we received on June 21, 2005 from the Friends of CWMG:
The Government Of India has taken a decision to withdraw the revised edition and the CD-Rom of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. This was announced by the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Shri Jaipal Reddy. We do not have yet have the precise nature of the order issued by the Government.
This is a culmination of a long campaign, coordinated by the Friends of The CWMG, in which all of you participated.
The Government of India, after a series of representations to the President of India, The Prime Minister, The Minister of Information and Broadcasting and the Chairperson of the UPA formed a committee to examine the issue and advice it about the possible course of action. This committee was chaired by Shri Narayan Desai, with Shri B.R. Nanda, Shri E.S. Reddy, Shri Anupam Mishra, Shri J.P. Unial as members and Shri P.K. Tripathi as the Member-Secretary.
Some of us met the Committee and made depositions before it during its first meeting at the Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, in May 2005 and subsequently at New Delhi in June 2005. The Government's decision to withdraw the revised edition of the CWMG is based on the recommendation of the Committee.
We are extremely glad that we have succeeded in our mission. This would not have been possible without the support, the suggestions and efforts of many individuals and organisations that came forward to preserve and protect the sanctity of the CWMG. We, on behalf of the CWMG, express our heartfelt gratitude.
We thank you all once again.
Chunibhai Vaidya, Amrit Modi, Jayant Pandya and Tridip Suhrud on behalf of the Friends of CWMG
Read more about the decision: Article by E.S. Reddy (doc) Sify News, May 4, 2005
The History of the Controversy:
We received the following email
on October 26,
Original Message -----
From: Tridip Suhrud
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 11:48
Subject: Deletions and Revisions in the Revised Edition of the
We seek your time and patience for this
rather long e mail. Kindly bear with us.
I on behalf of a group of
independent scholars would like to bring to your notice the Deletions and
Omissions in the Revised Edition (2001) of the Collected Works of Mahatma
The CWMG was commissioned in February 1956. The
control and direction of the series was vested in the Advisory Board, the
original members of which were Shri Morarji Desai (Chairman), Kakasaheb
Kalelkar, Devdas Gandhi, Pyarelal Nayar, Maganbhai P Desai, G
Ramachandran, Shriman Narain, Jivanji P Desai and Shri P M
Following were the members of the Advisory Board as
reconstituted in 1967. Shri Morarji Desai (Chairman), Kakasaheb Kalelkar,
R R Diwakar, Pyarelal Nayar, Maganbhai P Desai, Ramdhari Sinha "Dinkar",
Shri Shantilal H Shah, the Director, Publications Division, and the Chief
Shri Bhartan Kumarappa was appointed the first Chief
Editor, after his death till October 1959 Shri Jairamdas Doulatram worked
as the Chief Editor after which Prof. K Swaminathan assumed the Chief
Editorship from February 1960 till the completion of the project.He was
assisted first by U R Rao and later by Prof. C N Patel who worked as the
Deputy Editor (English).
After an extremely careful process of
selection, verification and translation Vol. 1-90 were published. Vols.
91-97 were published as Supplementary Volumes while Volumes 98-100 were
indices. The CWMG is recognised the world over as the standard reference
work, largely due to the intellectual quality of the editorial precision
that is evident.
The Last Volumes was published in
Subsequently, in 1998 decision was taken by the Ministry of
Information and Broadcasting to not issue reprints of the CWMG as was the
practice hitherto but to prepare a Revised Edition, perhaps with a view to
RECAST and RESTRUCTURE the material and to bring Chronological sequence to
the Supplementary Volumes.
It has not been possible for us to
ascertain what the nature of the Consultative Process was or who were the
members of the New Advisory Board. The Publisher's note to the revised
edition does not mention who was the Chief Editor or who were the members
of the Reconstituted Advisory Board were.
The outcome of this
Revised Edition was a CD-ROM Version (the so called e book) and a new
The Following is the evidence of incompetent and
insensitive Editorial work that has resulted in Omissions and
The Original Edition (OE) carried a preface for each
volume and also list of Acknowledgements and Sources for each volume.
The Revised Edition (RE) in the process of inserting material for
sake of chronology lost sight of the Sources and Acknowledgements specific
to each volume, hence a decision was taken to have a combined list of
Acknowledgements and Sources common for all Volumes. These appear in each
volume and occupy 42 pages. That is in 100 volumes 4200 pages are printed
which have no segregation or intellectual merit.
The Original had
worked out a system of indices of persons and subjects. There were 4000
major entries with 9000 subentries under the various major entries. The
Revised edition has done away with the entire classificatory system and
subentries and classifications have been dropped, making the entire index
For example The entry on Action(s): has 16
subclasification, which bring out the philosophical aspects of Action,
such as ; ahimsa in thought, and faith, and freedom from ego, and
knowledge, and non-action, and predestination, and rebirth...selfless, and
without attachment. The Revised entry had no classification whatsoever,
rendering it useless. Same has happened to large numbers of entries like
Transvaal, Rajkot, The Gita.
There have also been deletions from
the indices itself. The Original had 324 entries under Bhave,Vinoba. The
revised edition has only 175 entries which is spread over two widely
separated sections in the index of names. The first entry is on p. 43 of
vol 100 while the next set of entries are on p. 349 of the same volumes.
Why? Because for the editors Bhave, (Acharya) Vinoba and Vinoba Bhave are
two separate individuals!
Let's take the example of Khan Abdul
Gafar Khan. The original had 382 entries under that name. The new has lost
distinction between Khan Abdul Gafar Khan and his elder brother Dr. Khan
Sahib. The Combined entries under these two names in the Revised Edition
Similar is the case of Adajania, Sorabji, Shahpurji, a
close associate of Gandhiji in South Africa. The Original has 173 entries
while the revised has 26 entries, again the entries are dispersed.
While recasting and rearranging matter in the Revised edition some
very thoughtless errors have been introduced. For example Vol. 74 of the
Revised edition (ADDENDA). See page 462, 463. The letter to Herman
Kallenbach is printed under the title Letter to Prabhudayal Vidyarthi.
Letter to Prabhudayal Vidyarthi is printed under Letter to Mathurdas
Trikamji, while letter to him is under Letter to Pyarelal and Letter to
Pyarelal under Letter to Herman Kallenbach.
We have been able to
identify so far over 500 instances of deletion or misinformation in the
CD-Rom version and over 300 cases of deletion from the print version. For
example 26 letters and documents of Gandhiji from the South African years
are missing from the First Revised Edition. This also includes Gandhiji's
DRAFT WILL AND TESTAMENT (dated June 19, 1909). There are many such
This clearly is unacceptable to any serious student of
Life and Thought of Mahatma Gandhi. This is also indicative of the callous
and insensitive approach of the then I & B ministry and the
Our Plea is simple: There is no need whatsoever
to issue a Revised Edition of the CWMG. The Government must ensure that
the Revised Edition and the CD-Rom Version are withdrawn and the original
CWMG is Re-printed. The GOI must also institute processes whereby no
revisions are introduced in the CWMG in the future. If new material comes
to light, the editors of the CWMG had introduced the practice of issuing
Supplementary Volumes. The same practice should be followed.
hope that you will study this issue and voice your concerns and join us in
appealing to the authorities to re-instate the intellectual integrity of
Tridip Suhrud on behalf of Friends of
We can be contacted at the following numbers:
Suhrud: +91 98240 06160, email: email@example.com
Patel: +91 (0)79 26447812
Prof. Jayant Pandya: +91 (0)79
Comment by Tridip Suhrud, November 30, 2004
strongly encourage everyone concerned about profound research and
authentic material and information on Mahatma Gandhi to join the Friends
of CWMG in their appeal!
The Times of
India Online, October 26, 2004 The Hindu,
October 28, 2004 India Today,
November 29, 2004 (pdf)
and Political Weekly, November 20, 2004 (pdf)