I was reading the news and I saw these news articles about an elderly Gandhi sleeping with naked girls.

So, I wanted to confirm and found many sources. However I was unable to find the original copies of the books.

Gandhi called for his 18-year-old grandniece Manu to join him – and sleep with him. "We both may be killed by the Muslims," he told her, "and must put our purity to the ultimate test, so that we know that we are offering the purest of sacrifices, and we should now both start sleeping naked."

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    @Oddthinking he doesn't answer whether "young girls" as opposed to adults 18 and over were involved. "History of Celibacy" discussed a 16 year old being involved. books.google.com/…
    – DavePhD
    Apr 12, 2016 at 11:23
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    @DavePhD: As I have commented below, the age of consent in India at the time was 12 years old. It is less than 18 in most places now. Defining adult as 18 years old seems arbitrary here.
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 13, 2016 at 13:55
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    @DavePhD: I guess I am getting a bit lost about what the claim is. When the OP says "under-age", what is meant? The age of majority seems arbitrary when he could have legally had intercourse with younger girls. The age of consent, as you say, is strictly only relevant if he did have intercourse with them. If he truly remained celibate, then the ages are largely irrelevant. If he was doing it as a test - i.e. something that he could have failed, it seems unethical to do it with women who were too young to consent, but that's not the question.
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 13, 2016 at 14:20
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    @Oddthinking the "under-age" was just added in the last 2 hours, so the claim is changing. I don't know the law at the time well enough to say whether having intercourse with someone else's 16 year old wife was legal or not. This isn't about intercourse. This is about taking away someone else's 16 year old wife using power and authority to have her instead sleep with Gandhi (but not having intercourse).
    – DavePhD
    Apr 13, 2016 at 14:30
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    The question appears to have been shifting beyond the quoted claim, and those made in the reference, so I have edited it back to keep in on-topic here. In particular: There is no claim about "under-age", which is just as well because it is unclear. No-one is alleging his actions (if his story is true) were illegal. There is no claim of lack of consent (intercourse or just sleeping).
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 14, 2016 at 0:47

1 Answer 1


Yes, Gandhi slept with girls naked as a part of sexual experiments on attaining celibacy when he was 70 years old. The girls were Manu (Gandhi's grandniece), Abha (wife of Gandhi's nephew Kanu) and Sushila Nayar (younger sister of Gandhi's personal secretary Pyarelal).

In his 70s, in the sunset of his life, Gandhi embarked on a new set of sexual experiments in which several women partook, among them Manu and Abha, his “two walking sticks”, and Sushila Nayar, his personal physician and sister of his secretary Pyarelal. In the midst of raging communal violence, which Gandhi characteristically attributed to his own personal shortcomings, he decided to test his resolve – by going to bed naked with one or the other of the women. Source: The Sexuality of a Celibate Life

Also referring to the diaries by Mridula Gandhi or Manuben which is mentioned here, here and here, there is further confirmation from one of the participants that Gandhi's sexuality experiments took place.

Bapu has told his followers during the morning prayer that he was carrying out celibacy experiments with me. Then he explained to me why he spoke about it. I felt very relieved as it will stop tongues from wagging. I told myself I don't care now. Let the world say whatever it wants. Source: Excerpts from Manuben diaries

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    Were you able to find any info on if he did this with minors?
    – Dudey
    Apr 13, 2016 at 12:03
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    @Wally Abha said "He first asked me to sleep next to him when I was sixteen" but that she kept her clothes on until 18 and doesn't remember if he had his clothes on when she was 16. books.google.com/… She was already married by age 16.
    – DavePhD
    Apr 13, 2016 at 13:30
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    Be careful: "minors" is a cultural term. The age of consent in India at the time was 12.
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 13, 2016 at 13:52
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    "Minor" was defined to be under 18 at the time. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majority_Act_(India)
    – DavePhD
    Apr 13, 2016 at 14:09

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