Links to some other interesting posts on Mahatma Gandhi's life, thoughts, works and salient role played in the Freedom of India:
1) For the Main Post titled "Honouring Mahatma Gandhi & the Martyrs of Cellular Jail, Andaman & Nicobar Islands": (please click here)
2) The Charkha or the Spinning Wheel - Bardoli Charkha and Peti Charkha
3) Prominent Events of Mahatma Gandhi's life depicted on a 5 silver coin set issued by the New Zealand Mint
4) Commemorative Postage Stamp of Rs.100/- issued on Mahatma Gandhi on Khadi Cloth for the first time ever by India Post.
5) 100 Years of Return of Mahatma Gandhi to India in 1915: i) Commemorative postage stamps issued by India Post ii) Commemorative coins of Rs.10/-
8) A visit to Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad: A photo-journey.
In the words of Satyajit, "there is so much positive energy here that even today one can feel the spiritual presence of Mahatma Gandhi all around the ashram and the impact that he had on India's Freedom Struggle which left a lasting impression on the world."
"Pledge for Freedom" - Gandhiji lived here from 1918 to 1930. This was the heart "hriday" of the ashram, hence Kakasaheb Kalelkar aptly named it "Hriday Kunj". Many national and international leaders came here to meet Gandhiji. It was while living here that Mohandas Gandhi came to be known as Mahatma Gandhi. From here, Gandhiji set out on the Dandi March, vowing not to return to the ashram until India became free".
Gandhji is shown on this First Day Cover working on a Charkha.
A Charkha is a device for spinning thread or yarn from natural or synthetic fibres. He believed that "the spinning wheel represents to me the hope of the masses.... It was the friend and solace of the widow. It kept the villagers from idleness. For the Charkha included all the anterior and posterior industries - ginning, carding, warping, sizing, dyeing and weaving. These, in turn, kept the village carpenter and blacksmith busy." He further believed "I believe in the spinning wheel. It has two main aspects - terrible and benign. In its terrible aspect, it is calculated to bring about the only boycott we need for an independent National existence..... in its benign aspect, it gives a new life and hope to the villager."
He further believed "For every minute that I spin, there is in me the consciousness that I have added to the nation's wealth".
Gandhiji was very keen to improve the"Charkha" technologically in order to improve its productivity. He annoumced a competition for designing of a more efficient Charkha which was required to be simple in operation, cheap to manufacture and be able to produce yarn of good quality in greater quantity. While he was lodged in Yerwada jail and later at the agha Khan Palace, Pune, he himself worked on a portable design of the Charkha, which could be easily carried anywhere.
A miniature sheet of two stamps - the "Bardoli Charkha" (traditional one) and the "Peti Charkha" (portable one) showing Gandhiji working on the Peti Charkha that he had designed.
This Special Cover brought out by India Post bears an image of Mahatma Gandhi at left and his favourite Charkha Rs.5/- stamp. If one runs a finger through the texture of this special cover, one gets the feel of a Khadi cloth
A Rs.100/- Stamp brought out in 2011 on Khadi Cloth for the first time ever showing a Charkha, Mahatma Gandhi's profile and one of his quotes - Be True - MK Gandhi."
The Miniature Sheet brought out on the occasion, shows Gandhiji spinning on a Charkha at the Sabarmati Ashram
(At Sabarmati Ashram there exists today a Museum which also has a gallery titled "My life is my message" with more than 250 photographs of some of the most vivid and historic events of Gandhiji's life... The Museum has around 40,000 books mentioning Gandhiji's life, works, teachings, Indian Freedom Movement etc. and hundreds of periodicals. There are about 35,000 letters to and from Gandhiji and about 9,000 pages of manuscripts of his articles which were published in "Harijan", "Harijansevak" and "Harijanbandhu")
An image of the Museum building as it exists today
"Any new guest who arrived would first be met by Ba. She would welcome him with great affection. "Where had he come from?" "had he eaten?"..... She would also often tell the ashram inmates" "Don't put up with any discomfort".
It quotes Gandhiji as saying " It was from my wife that I learned the lesson of ahimsa.....I had always tried to make her bend to my wishes. On the one hand, she would firmly refuse to do so and on the other, patiently bear with all the hardships that I would inflict on her in my obstinacy. It was her peaceful opposition that opened my eyes. I felt ashamed of myself and was rid of the foolish notion that it was my birth-right to rule over her."
"The Prarthana Bhoomi (prayer ground) provided the vital force for Gandhiji's ideals and actions. Members of the ashram began their day by gathering here to pray. In the evening, they returned to pray and take stock of the day's activities. This spot was witness to Gandhiji's many tribulations, the dilemmas he pondered over and the important decisions he made"
"Gandhiji was always prepared to learn from others, both young and old. He acknowledged Gokhale as his political guru. Before Gandhiji returned in 1915 from South Africa with the intention of staying in India, Gokhale had made Gandhiji promise that he would express no opinion on public questions for one year.
Of this he writes in his autobiography, ' For one year I am to do nothing. Gokhale took from me a promise that I should only travel in India for one year and form or express no opinion on public questions during that time. I fully intend to keep this promise.' "
After his return from South Africa in 1915, when Gandhiji set up the Sabarmati ashram, his mentor Gopal Krishna Gokhale advised him to embark on a "journey to discover India". He travelled all over the country from Calcutta (present day Kolkata) and Shantiniketan in Bengal to Kanpur and to Rangoon (present day Yangon) in Burma and to Rishikesh acquainting himself of the plight of Indians everywhere.
Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away. sd/- M.K. Gandhi."
"If blood be shed let it be our own. Let us cultivate the calm courage to die without killing."
Gandhiji believed - "I say through violence we cannot obtain even what is rightfully ours. There is only one way to obtain our rights, which I have explained and which everyone liked. It has been asked what are one's rights and what one must do to obtain them. I say that people have no rights. He who does not have duties has no rights either. It means that all rights arise out of one's duties. Therefore, there are no rights. It is merely that I fulfil certain duties and I get results of performing them. These results are my rights"
- spoken at Birla House, New delhi during the Evening prayer meeting. Original speech in Hindi. Duration: 45 seconds.
During the Champaran Satyagrah, Gandhiji asked Kasturba to tell the poor women of the Bhitiharya village to wear clean clothes.
One of the women took Ba to her hut and said, "Look for yourself. There is neither a cupboard nor any other place to keep clothes. This sari that I am wearing is the only one I have. How am I to wash it even if I want to? Go and tell the Mahatma to get us clothes so that we may bathe every dayand wear clean clothes."
When Ba recounted this to Gandhiji, he realised the reality of India's poverty.
It was at Champaran that the transformation of Mohandas Gandhi into the "Mahatma" ("Great Soul)", began to take place. This is the story of Gandhiji's first "Satyagrah"and the Champaran Movement began a new chapter in India's Freedom struggle.
The Centenary of the Champaran Satyagrah was commemorated by India Post on 13.05.2017 with the issue of three stamps:
Above him is the Order of the government of Bihar and Orissa titled "Mr Gandhi charged with Disobeying notice" (Orders reserved). To his side isa group of three farmers ploughing/tilling their fields freely as a result of Mahatma Gandhi's successful Stayagrah campaign at Champaran. The three stamps issued individually are:
The challenge came in revolutionary articles Gandhiji wrote in "Navjivan" and "Young India".
Extracts: "this British Empire, which is based upon organised exploitation of the physically weaker races the the Earth and upon the continuous exhibition of brute force cannot live."
"We want to overthrow the government".
(At Sabarmati Ashram, Mahatma Gandhi had formed a tertiary school that focussed on manual labour, agriculture and literacy in order to advance his efforts for the nation's self-sufficiency).
Gandhiji wrote to the Viceroy:
The essence of lying is in self-deception, not in words; a lie may be told by silence, by equivocation, by the accent on a syllable, by a glance of the eye attaching a peculiar significance to a sentence; and all these lies are worse and baser by many degrees than a lie plainly worded.
Toynbee - a British historian, philosopher of history, research Professor of International history at the London School of Economics and the University of London was of the view-
Thoreau - an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor and historian opined -
Some old memorable photographs which can be seen at the Sabarmati Ashram:
This photo is captioned - "Mohan at the age of 14, Rajkot -1883"
This photograph is captioned "Indian Ambulance Stretcher-Bearer Corps during the Zulu Rebellion
This photograph bears the caption "With Kasturba, Johannesburg - 1014"