Mahatma Gandhi's celibacy or Brahmacharya experiments in the later years of his life are well known and have been documented by his grand niece Manuben (Mridula Gandhi). In fact, her adoration for Bapu assumes bizarre proportions towards the end. When Gandhiji's secretary Pyarelal made overtures to her with help from his sister Dr Sushila Nayar, manuben is believed to have said in February 1947: "I see pyarlelalji as my elder brother and nothing else. The day I decide to marry my guru, my elder brother or my grandfather, I shall marry him. Don't force me on this any further."

Who else could this guru, elder brother or grandfather have been apart from Bapu? Manuben's diaries write about other women associates of the Mahatma like Dr Sushila Nayar who was also his personal physician, as also Bibi Amtussalam. She records the jealousy which erupted among some of them over who would be a part of Gandhiji's Brahmacharya Experiments. Manuben's February 24, 1947 entry is revealing. Written in Bihar, it says ""Today Bapu wrote a strong letter to Amtussalamben saying that the element of regret that his celibacy experiment didn't start with her was apparent in her letter to him."

This shows that open as Gandhiji was with his Brahmnacharya experiments, there was some jostling among his women associates as to who would be included in them. Others like Jawaharlal Nehru found Gandhiji's views to Brahmacharya in marriage unnatural and abnormal.

Gandhiji had considered taking up vows of Brahmacharya or celibacy for a long period. Finally in 1906, he decided to formally take up Brahmacharya when he was in South Africa.

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