An American in Khadi

An American in Khadi

Product ID: 3200

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Author: Asha Sharma
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 1999
Language: English
Pages: 426
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0140285091


A warm and moving portrait of a remarkable American who made India his home.

Satyanand (Samuel Evans) Stokes is remembered today chiefly for the manner in which he transformed the economy of the Simla Hills of Himachal Pradesh by introducing the Delicious variety of apples into the region. But this was only one of the many facets of a fascinating life, now almost forgotten outside his adopted village.

Stokes arrived in the Simla Hills in 1904, barely twenty-one years of age, to work at the leper home there, having left behind a prosperous family and a promising future in Philadelphia. In his early years he lived a life of absolute poverty, working with the diseased and the dying, and even formed his own order of Franciscan friars. A few years later, though, he chose the life of a householder, marrying a local Pahari girl, and eventually converted to Hinduism.

For the rest of his life he lived by the rules of the local community of Kotgarh, the village he made his own. Through all this he fought injustice and exploitation wherever he saw it, the most notable examples of which were his long and hard campaign against the practice of begar or 'impressed labor' prevalent in the hills, and the active role he played in the freedom struggle which resulted in his being jailed by the British along with other prominent leaders of the Independence movement.

Drawing upon oral history and extensive interviews, upon Stokes' books and journals and the numerous letters he exchanged with his family and friends and luminaries like Gandhi, Lala Lajpat Rai and C F Andrews, the author Asha Sharma has recreated a life of rare integrity and conviction.






A Journey of No Return
The Quest Begins
The Ascetic
Visit Home
The Brotherhood in India
Alternate path
An Inner Struggle
Home At Last-A Family Man
War on Two Fronts
For the Rights of Men – Begar
Joining the Freedom Struggle
The Fight Continues
In Khadi
Following the National Trail
Arrest and Trial
Guest of the British Empire
Debates with Gandhi: Test of Friendship
Johnny Appleseed of the Himalayas
A School in My Garden
Came to Teach and Stayed to learn
The Burdens Increase
Marketing the Fruits of Labour
World War II and After
The Vedantist

Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix III

Notes Bibliography