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In Gandhi’s FootstepsThe Life and Times of Jamnalal Bajaj$
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B. R. Nanda

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195663433

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195663433.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Ancestry
In Gandhi’s Footsteps

B. R. Nanda

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the ancestry of Jamnalal Bajaj. It first describes Wardha, in central Maharashtra, where the Marwaris migrated from their native Rajasthan, and where Mahatma Gandhi decided to settle in the 1930s. The Marwaris were known for their successes in commerce, and one of these migrant Marwari merchants was Bachhraj, a successful moneylender and owner of a cotton bale business. The discussion takes a look at Bachhraj’s family before introducing Jamnalal Bajaj, his adopted grandson. It also examines Jamnalal’s brief education and subsequent marriage to the nine-year-old daughter of Seth Girdharilal Jajodia. Finally, the chapter reveals that Seth Bachhraj was prone to outbursts of temper, and that one such bout of Bachhraj’s temper led Jamnalal to depart for Hardwar and Rishikesh in order to become a sanyasi.

Keywords:   ancestry, Jamnalal Bajaj, Seth Bachhraj, Marwari merchant, Wardha, Mahatma Gandhi, sanyasi

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