This is a great book on two great men, written by one, who in his humility, always called himself a small man. If Somaskandan refers to the Mahamana and the Mahatma, I think Somaskandan deserved to be referred to as a great person, though in a different context.
For I truly believe that the ancient and unique Vedic culture of India produced and continues to produce great men like Somaskandan in great numbers. No other country of the world can claim to have created such a culture where such deep knowledge and lofty values have prevailed over so many millennia among so many people in almost every village of the land. If Somaskandan could quote impromptu and extensively from the vast corpus of the Vedas, Upanishads and Itihasas, it was typical of the extensive scholarship that prevailed, and surely came from the systems of our ancient knowledge-oriented inheritance, and has remained intact to this day, despite western education and influence.
Banaras on the banks of the holy Ganga remains to this day, the ultimate dream pilgrimage destination of every pious Hindu of India. It was no surprise that Somaskandan's father I should have migrated from the far south of India to settle ir Banaras and make it his home and the home of the generations that followed him. It is no surprise too, that the Mahamana created the Banaras Hindu University as a temple of learning in the highest of Hindu traditions. This convergence of fortunate circumstance gave Somaskandan his education, and later a career of service in this University, He started this career as an unpaid apprentice in 1~39, then as a clerk and later rose gradually in its administrative" hierarchy, till finally in 1979 he retired as the Deputy Registrar of the University. More importantly, these years gave Somaskandan the opportunity to study in close proximity the life and work of the Mahamana and also adopt him as a role model for his own life of simple living and high thinking.
Somaskandan thus became uniquely positioned to compile the official History of the Banaras Hindu University, and also write extensively on the work of the Mahamana, and on all the great personalities of those times, including the Mahatma, in their interactions with the Mahamana. And surely this book must be considered as a valuable contribution to the History of Modern India, presenting a unique view at close quarters, of two of her greatest sons who fought and won the country's freedom. The Mahamana and the Mahatma were indeed towering personalities, the finest exemplars of the country's ancient culture. Though they were so much at variance with one another in their perceptions and methods for achieving the political aspirations of India, yet they remained bound by extraordinarily close bonds of mutual affection and regard.
It is a pity that by the-time he had written most of this book, Somaskandan did not live to complete it himself. But seeing his end approaching, he provided guidelines to his daughter Rama, to complete it, which, true to the high standards set by her father, she did with fidelity and competence. To me Somaskandan was an elder brother and a devoted friend and I find comfort in the fact that he has left such a monumental work for the benefit of coming generations of India who would scarce believe that men like the Mahamana and the Mahatma lived and sanctified this land in the way they did. For this great contribution, I salute Somaskandan, my dear friend, whose humility remained untouched by the greatness of his scholarship.
In writing these few lines by way of a foreword, I consider myself blessed in that it was the wish of the author Sri S. somaskandan, that I should do it. I regarded this asa learning experience and an honour when Dr. Rama Venkataraman, the illustrious daughter of the illustrious father, conveyed to me his desire that I should write this foreword.
This volume is a rare documentation of the lives and interaction of two great minds of modern- India, Mahatma Gandhiji and Mahamana Malaviyaji, for both of whom he had great reverence. A staunch Gandhian, Sri. Somaskandan came under the spell of the Mahatma and Mahamana after hearing them. in 1934, when he was yet a school student. This inspired him to take to Gandhian ways such as wearing Khaddar and using the spinning wheel (charka). He had decades of close association with the Banaras Hindu University, founded by Malaviyaji. These factors enthused him to follow the path laid by them.
Armed with this background, the author has narrated their life and achievements, in the backdrop of the country's social, cultural and political milieu, neatly dividing the work into three parts. Being a historian, he has brought into play his extraordinary penmanship and acumen in recording, absorbingly, illuminating anecdotes and enlivening episodes which are at times awe inspiring, at times poignant. Fierce patriotism, unremitting toil for the nation, bringing relief to the afflicted, and undergoing personal suffering as the means of achieving objectives have been the hallmark of both Gandhiji and Malaviyaji.
The narration throws a flood of light on the conditions prevailing then in the country, touching on areas like history, geography, culture, customs, manners and the 'milk of human kindness' of these leaders. It is interesting to note the interactions between them, since they held, on certain matters, diametrically opposite views and yet harboured no rancour towards each other. In fact, they were like brothers. As instances could be cited their views on the boycott of foreign goods, non-cooperation and civil disobedience. Also, could be cited the educational system followed in the Banaras Hindu University. And Gandhiji explains the reason for this, when he says that both followed their own conviction and thus, there was no scope for confrontation or controversy. Both contributed greatly, in their own way, for igniting the minds of the Indians and inspiring them to aspire for freedom. One is reminded of the different paths philosophers follow- the goal being the same. And, in fact, both were philosophers, in the true sense of the word. The lives of both Mahatma Gandhi and Mahamana Malaviya are themselves their message to the masses.
Excerpts from the speeches and writings of these leaders, apart from other important persons lend charm and add value to the book. As has been the wont with this great chronicler, this book is yet another product of assiduous research, a product of poring over hundreds of pages of material and an incisive analysis of the same. -This book deserves to be kept in all libraries and in schools and colleges where posterity may learn about the sacrifices and selfless lives led by these great men through self-abnegation, though they had plentiful means for a luxurious life. This publication has not come a day early, as the crying need of the hour is the restoration of all that India stood for in the past.
This is a saga of two dedicated and illustrious sons of our motherland-Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and Sri Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It is said that the Poet Rabindra Nath Tagore had given them th epithets MAHAMANA and MAHATMA respectively. Both Malaviyaji and Gandhiji were champions of India's freedom movement and can be rightly called the architects of modern" India. They possessed constant spirit of sacrifice and self-less service and were therefore true karma- yogis.
The idea of writing this book was mooted in the mind of my father during a stay at my home in Chennai in 2007. It was during this stay that he saw all the 100 volumes of the 'The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi' and many other books on Gandhi by writers like D.G.Tendulkar etc. in my house, collected by my son Dr. V. Aravind. My father was the co-author of the 'History of the Banaras Hindu University'. He also wrote about Malaviyaji's life. and works in various articles and books. His lifelong association with Banaras Hindu University started as a student and actively continued even after his retirement as the Deputy Registrar of the University. In this context he had many close interactions with Pandit Malaviya. He had an equal regard for Mahatma Gandhi also. He visualized that it would be a new and challenging perspective to study the two great leaders together and he suggested to me why not we write a book on both of them, the Mahamana and the Mahatma. When writing about two great souls, it is difficult to choose whom to give precedence. By following the, tradition of our Indian culture giving deference to age, we have written about Mahamana before Mahatma.
With great enthusiasm he started working on the project and I was helping him. He wrote nearly 200 pages. Unfortunately, he fell down and fractured his hip bone; He was 90 years old. Doctors put him on traction as surgery was not possible at that age. He was completely confined to bed for two months. I was with him at Banaras nursing him during his last days. He was always worried about the book he. had started to write. He wanted to finish the work he had under- taken somehow. But the condition of his health was Slowly deteriorating, and it seemed quite uncertain whether he would recover enough to complete the book. One day he told me that he was entrusting the full responsibility of completing the book to me, after doing meticulous research and thorough study. I said with tears rolling down my cheeks that I would complete this book to the best of my ability and according to his wish and asked him not to worry. I saw an expression of relief and appreciation on his face. He asked me to bring the picture of Pandit Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya, which was hanging on the wall in front of his bed, looked at it with love and respect, moving his hands gently over the picture. He passed away on so'" October 2009.
The present work is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the life and works of Malaviyaji up to 1915 A.D. The second part is devoted to the life and works of Gandhiji from 1869 to 1915. This part is mostly based on Gandhiji's own writings, especially 'Satyagraha in South AJrica' and 'An autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth'. It was in the Congress session of 1915 that Malaviyaji and Gandhiji first met in person and thereafter their active association continued without any break right till Malaviyaji's- death. The third part 'Mahamana and Mahatma' deals with this period of association and gives the stand taken by these great- leaders on some vital issues of national importance. The authors do not intend to compare or evaluate their views. The point to be noted is this, that Malaviyaji and Gandhiji differed on number of issues, accepted it with perfect grace, nevertheless their association and mutual regard never diminished.
The major portion of the book was written by my father. He had already sketched an outline of the book and that served me well to complete his work exactly as he had visualized it. I started working on the book. My father was guiding me invisibly. I am sure that this book is written by him through me.
It is a pleasure to acknowledge my obligations to eminent scholars whose works have been a. source of help and inspiration to me. I· have derived much help from the writings of Sitaram Chaturvedi, Paramanand, Ram Naresh Tripathi and S.Somaskandan on Malaviyaji.
The main credit goes to my husband Mr. P. Venkataraman, who more than anyone else gave me full support and co- operation and encouraged me to complete this work. Without his support it would have been impossible for me to complete this book. Words are not adequate to express my sense of gratitude to him.
My brother, Dr. S. Vijay Kumar, has always been a source of inspiration to me and has guided me by his excellent comments and corrections. His timely advice and words of appreciation and encouragement has kept my enthusiasm alive. I am very thankful to him and his wife Smt. Bhuwaneshwari for supplying the reference books and their assistance to complete this book.
My blessings to my nephew Mr. Akshya Shiva for helping me to translate some of the portions written in Hindi by my father. My blessings to my son Dr. V. Aravind who was the main motivator (indirectly) behind writing this book by the collection of all the 100 books of 'The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi'. He. also helped me by locating and downloading some books from Internet which were out of print. I am also thankful to Dr. Jayant Upadhyay and V. Vibhu Krishna for them. assistance at various levels.
All members of my father's family (son, daughters, son-in- law, daughter-in-law, grandsons) gave me full support and cooperation by assisting in so many ways to complete this book. I believe that this book has been completed up to my father's expectations. We all always seek his blessings.
I am very grateful to Sri N. Krishnaswamy, IPS (Retired) who has helped with his meticulus corrections of the drafts of this book. Grateful is not an adequate word, I have for him the same affection and regard that I had for my father and for me he remains a father-figure. He and my father had great regard and affection for each other and he has been kind enough to add a personal note to this book as a mark of respect to my father.
I am very grateful to Dr. C. L. Ramakrishnan, IPS (Retired) for writing the Foreword to this book. My father had great regard for him, and this was his wish that Dr. Ramakrishnan should write the Foreword. It will be no exaggeration to mention here the extraordinary effort taken by him and Dr. (Mrs.) Alamelu Ramakrishnan in correcting the proof meticulously and with a deep sense of commitment. Their involvement in this task cannot be expressed in words. I am very much indebted to them for their guidance which enabled me to bring out this book splendidly.
I express my sincere thanks to Sri. C. V. N. Ravi, the proprietor of Jai Ganesh Offset Printers, Mylapore, Chennai for printing this book in a very short time and in a very fine manner for which they are well known.
Despite my best efforts, some mistakes and omissions might have crept in. I crave the indulgence of the readers for all the shortcomings. My efforts in completing this book will be immensely fulfilled if it prompts someone to study further the great achievements of Mahamana and Mahatma.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR|
|Part I||MAHAMANA MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA|
|2||FIRST WAR OF INDEPENDENCE||6|
|3||QUEEN VICTORIA'S PROCLAMATION||15|
|4||MALAVIYAJI'S BIRTH AND. PARENTAGE||22|
|5||EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION||27|
|8||POLITICAL WORK (FROM THE YEAR ·1880)||39|
|9||DEBUT IN CONGRESS (DEC. 1886) 2ND SESSION||43|
|11||REJOINED THE COLLEGE||65|
|12||CAREER AT THE BAR||68|
|13||THE BIRTH OF THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS||74|
|14||EMERGENCE OF t-\ALAVIYAJI AS A NATIONAL. LEADER||80|
|15||HISTORIC CONGRESS SES.SION OF 1888||85|
|16||BHARTI BHAVAN LIBRARY||91|
|17||CONGRESS SESSION AT BOMBAY 1889||94|
|18||POLITICS 1890 - 98||106|
|19||THE HINDI MEM RANDUM||117|
|20||ALLAHABAD CIVIC WORK||126|
|21||MEMBER, MUNICIPAL BOARD AND THEN OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL||140|
|22||CENTRAL HINDU COLLEGE -1898||144|
|23||MOOTED THE IDEA OF THE HINDU UNIVERSITY||149|
|24||PARTITION OF BENGAL||149|
|25||BANARAS CONGRESS SESSION 1905||154|
|26||PROGRESS OF THE HINDU UNIVERSITY WORK||160|
|27||B.H.U. ACT PASSED ON OCTOBER 1, 1915||177|
|Part II||MAHATMA GANDHI|
|1||BIRTH, PARENTAGE AND EDUCATION||185|
|2||DESTINED TO WORK IN SOUTH AFRICA||188|
|3||AFRICA - ITS GEOGRAPHY||192|
|4||ADVENT OF INDIANS IN NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA||196|
|5||GANDHIJI ORGANIZES OPPOSITION TO FRANCHISE BILL||205|
|6||NATAL INDIAN CONGRESS||209|
|9||CONSOLIDATION OF NATAL INDIAN CONGRESS||241|
|10||THE BOER WAR||245|
|11||SETTLED IN INDIA||260|
|12||A MONTH WITH GOKHALE||265|
|13||VISIT TO BANARAS||273|
|15||TO SOUTH AFRICA AGAIN||280|
|16||WEEKLY JOURNAL 'INDIAN OPINION" LAUNCHED||291|
|17||THE PHOENIX ASHRAM||296|
|18||BACK TO JOHANNESBURG||300|
|19||THE ZULU REBELLION||303|
|20||THE BACK ACT||307|
|21||DEPUTATION TO ENGLAND||315|
|23||THE FIRST SETTLEMENT||331|
|24||BREACH OF THE COMPROMISE||351|
|25||RESUMPTION OF THE STRUGGLE||354|
|26||SECOND DEPUTATION TO ENGLAND||367|
|27||GANDHIJI'S SATYAGRAHA STRUGGLE CONTINUES||373|
|28||CREATION OF THE UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA||377|
|30||A NEW CRISIS AGGRAVATES THE SITUATION||387|
|31||THE GREAT MARCH||400|
|33||FOUNDING OF THE SATYAGRAHA ASHRAM||439|
|34||BOM BAY SESSION' OF THE CONGRESS||445|
|PART III||MAHAMANA AND MAHATMA|
|1||MAHAMANA AND MAHATMA||451|
|8||NATIONALIZATION OF BANARAS HINDU UNIVERSITY||497|
|9||BOYCOTT OF GOVERNMENT||503|
|10||BOYCOTT OF GOVERNMENT||508|
|11||BOYCOTT OF FOREIGN 'GOODS||515|
|12||VISIT OF PRINCE OF WALES||521|
|16||UPLIFT OF UNTOUCHABLES||550|
|21||THE LAST MEETING OF MAHAMANA AND MAHATMA||599|
|22||MALAVIYAJI PASSES AWAY||603|
|23||THE CONCERN FOR EACH OTHER||608|
Item Code: NAN884 Author: S. Somaskandan and Dr. Rama Venkataraman Cover: Hardcover Publisher: Payasvati Prakashan ISBN: 9788190903769 Language: English Size: 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch Pages: 652 (10 B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 980 gms