Mahadev Desai, the typical unsung hero of India’s freedom struggle was Gandhiji’s personal secretary for 25 years starting from 1917 to 1942, till his death. He was more than a personal secretary. Renowned anthropologist Verrier Elwin who stayed in Sabarmati ashram called him Plato to Gandhi’s Socretes and adds ‘’ ‘He was a home and foreign secretary combined who made all arrangements in the office, guest house and kitchen. He looked after many guests and must have saved 10 years of Gandhiji life by diverting him from unwanted visitors. Mahadev’s task was to make Gandhi real to millions. He made him, perhaps the best known man in the world, certainly the most loved, through his words describing the life of Mahatma.” Raj Mohan Gandhi similarly describes him eloquently , waking up before Gandhiji in the early morning before Gandhiji and going to sleep long after the Master after noting every minute details in the diary.
He travelled with Gandhiji to Champaran, to Dandi from Sabarmati ashram, to London for the second Round Table Conference. He was there with him when Quit India Movement was announced and went with the Master to jail in Aga Khan Palace. There in Gandhi’s lap he breathed his last. He was the shadow that followed the Master till his last breath. He edited Navjivan, He was a prolific writer in English, Gujarati and Bengali.
Source: Information Brochure of Commemorative Postage Stamp issued by Department of Posts.