The great soul Gandhiji was born on October 2nd.Whatever and howmuchever said about Gandhiji is incomplete.He knew the pulse of people.For all his movements people initially opposed but eventually most of them agreed to his principles.He had the will to stop riots by just fasting.We all should try to adapt his sayings into our lives.
If many had done that earth would be like heaven.He rightly said “Be the change that you wishto see in this world.”
Some rare happenings in his life………..
Gandhiji and General Smuts
General Smuts expressed his respect for Gandhi and his gentle but powerful methods.
When Gandhi sent a pair of sandals he had made while in jail to his main adversary, Smuts, the General is quoted as saying “I have worn these sandals for many a summer since then even though I may feel that I am not worthy to stand in the shoes of so great a man”.Smuts kept those sandals in showcase.
Gandhiji’s Human touch
A few weeks prior to Independence Day of 1947, an emissary of Pandit Nehru and Sardar Patel was sent to Gandhi at Calcutta, who was working for peace and harmony among the Hindus and Muslims. The emissary went with a letter from Pandit Nehru and Sardar Patel.
Gandhi served him food and opened the letter from Nehru and Patel. They had written: “Bapu you are the father of the nation. 15th August 1947, will be the first Independence Day and we want you to come to Delhi to give us the blessings.” Gandhi said: ” How stupid!. When Bengal is burning, Hindus and Muslims are killing each other and I hear their cries of the agony in the darkness of Calcutta, how can I go to Delhi with the glittering lights?” These words are the heart-rending words of Gandhi.
He said “I have to live here for the establishment of peace in Bengal and if need be, I have to give up my life for ensuring that there is harmony and peace.” The emissary started for his return journey in the morning.
Gandhi gave a dry leaf fell from the tree above him. Gandhi picked it up and put it on his palm and said: ” My friend, you are going back to Delhi. What gift can Gandhi give to Pandit Nehru and Sardar Patel? I am a man without power and wealth. Give this dry leaf to Nehru and Patel, as my first Independence day gift.” And when he was saying this, tears came from the eyes of the emissary. And with a sense of humour Gandhi said: ” How the great is God? He did not want Gandhi to send that dry leaf. He made it wet. It is glistening with laughter. Carry this leaf as a gift full of your tears.”
That was Gandhi’s human touch.
Women in Champaran
Gandhi had sent a team of workers to study and report on the problems of the Champaran district. Gandhi felt report was incomplete without women’s problems. Since women of Kasturba Gandhiwere very shy Gandhi deputed Kasturba Gandhi and Avantikabai Gokhale to visit Champaran to report on women’s agony. The women of Champaran would not first meet them and even open their doors.
At sunset Kasturba Gandhi knocked one door and told the women inside: ” We are moving your town from sunrise to sunset. We are now thirsty. Will you not offer us a glass of water ?” A door was then slightly opened. A woman’s hand peeped out with a glass of water on her palm. Kasturba drank water and then said: ” Sister we have seen your hand. We have seen the glass of water on your palm. But we want to see the women behind this hand.”
The woman inside broke down. She said: “Three women of our household share only one untorn saree and as one woman has gone out with that saree how could others open the door for you and expose our semi-naked bodies?” Kasturba told the weeping woman: “Close the door. The doors of your heart are opened.” Kasturba and Avantikabai, touched by the reply, returned to Gandhi with this heart-rending report about women in Champaran. It steeled Gandhi’s determination not to rest till the honour of these women were restored.
Gandhiji and his dressing
Gandhiji, during his visit to Madurai stayed in the residence of Sri Ramji Kalyanji, who respectfully invited him to his house, on 21.09.1921. During his stay there at night he was mentally agitated and worried to think of the various farmers and poor people on his way dressed in scarce cloths that is only a small towel like dhothi around the waist and were shivering with cold, while he was wearing long turbans khurtha and dhoties.
So overnight he took a decision that he should be a model to everyone and to dress in a simple manner like the peasants and poor people he witnessed in his journey to Madurai and he carried out this from the very next day itself. On 22-09-1921 (the next day) morning all were shocked to see him in his new pattern of dress and Gandhiji explained them about his decision and he followed this throughout his life. Then he attended the meetings in Madurai (The place now called as Gandhi Pottal) at 0700 hrs, explaining the reason for his new mode of dress therein. Then he attended the meeting at Karaikudi and returned to his destination.
Gandhiji and Chaplin
You must have seen Charlie Chaplin, the great humourist, on the screen. On the screen, he makes you laugh but when he returns home he cries in anguish. Once Byron wrote: “If I laugh at any mortal things, it is that I may not weep.” Gandhi went to see Charlie Chaplin in a small house in a slum district of London. After their meeting was over, Gandhi asked Charlie Chaplin: “Would you like to see the demonstration of our prayers?” He said: “There is no room for you.” Gandhi said: “You sit on the sofa, we will sit down on the floor”, and he offered the prayers, Charlie Chaplin wrote. “Gandhi and his men did not feel embarrassed to sit on the floor in front of me but I literally felt embarrassed to sit on the sofa and look down upon Gandhi and his colleagues.”
Gandhiji and Peace
Gandhi received an acknowledgement of his mission for peace through a letter from Lord Mountbatten on 26 August 1947. In his letter Mountbatten wrote:
“My dear Gandhiji,
In the Punjab we have 55
Thousand soldiers and large scale
Rioting on our hands. In Bengal
Our forces consist of one man, and
There is no rioting.
As a serving officer, as
Well as an administrator, may
I be allowed to pay my tribute to
The One Boundary Force,
Not forgetting his Second in
Command, Mr. Suhrawardy?
You should have heard
The enthusiastic applause which
Greeted the mention of your name
In the Constituent Assembly on
15th of August when all
of us were thinking so much of you..
Yours very sincerely,
Mountbatten of Burma”
Gandhiji and World Countries
Gandhiji is also the most used Indian face in the world of philately. It is said that 80 countries have issued about 250 stamps on the Mahatma. Of them, and not considering India, the U.S. was the first country to issue Gandhi stamps, on January 26, 1961. The set of two stamps was released as part of the “Champions of Liberty Series”. Congo was the next, in 1967.
Gandhiji and Giving
Mahatma Gandhi went from city to city, village to village collecting funds for the Charkha Sangh. During one of his tours he addressed a meeting in Orissa. After his speech a poor old woman got up. She was bent with age, her hair was grey and her clothes were in tatters.
The volunteers tried to stop her, but she fought her way to the place where Gandhiji was sitting. “I must see him,” she insisted and going up to Gandhiji touched his feet. Then from the folds of her sari she brought out a copper coin and placed it at his feet. Gandhiji picked up the copper coin and put it away carefully.
The Charkha Sangh funds were under the charge of Jamnalal Bajaj. He asked Gandhiji for the coin but Gandhiji refused. “I keep cheques worth thousands of rupees for the Charkha Sangh,” Jamnalal Bajaj said laughingly “yet you won’t trust me with a copper coin.”
“This copper coin is worth much more than those thousands,” Gandhiji said. “If a man has several lakhs and he gives away a thousand or two, it doesn’t mean much. But this coin was perhaps all that the poor woman possessed. She gave me all she had. That was very generous of her. What a great sacrifice she made. That is why I value this copper coin more than a crore of rupees.