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Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

My father went to jail in 1942 with Gandhiji, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, C.B.Gupta and others. I was born after Gandhi ji's death. I had a great fortune to interact with people who knew Gandhi ji personally. I am sure there are lots of members of this group who may also have known him or interacted with him.

I think this can be an excellent forum for those who experienced him first hand or how about anecdotes from people whom you know had first hand interaction with Gandhi ji.

What was Gandhi like a person? Too often things are written about him which are quite sanitised and almost in awe. I think it will be wonderful to write in this forum about him as a human being.

Any takers?

All the best. Anil K Rajvanshi

Tags: Gandhi, being, human, person

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Many of Gandhi's ideas were well thought out.
Were they discussed by a group of his supporters?
Did he come to conclusions democratically or was he a bit of a dictator?
During his life and after his death did supporters regard him with great awe- it seems so.
It does seem that leaders should lead, which he certainly did.
I have known many groups, frequently with anarchist ideas, who tend, therefore, not to believe in leaders, who try to make decisions democratically. I must say, however, that years later they do not seem to have achieved much!
Any views on this.
Gandhi ji was a yogi and had a powerful mind. He saw the things first hand and applied his remarkable brain in solving those problems. He read little but being a man of tremendous practicality applied the principles of common sense to those problems. I think he would have been a great engineer if he had gone to an engineering school.

Besides his own vision he was a great democrat who took other's opinion more as a means to validate his own thoughts and opinions.

My father's friend who was in one such discussion meetings told me an interesting story. Gandhiji was asking everybody about his or her opinion at a Congress meeting on a particular complicated point. Shri Rajendra Prasad who was a very close associate of Gandhi ji and also the first President of India replied " Bapu this drama of democracy that you play is not lost on us. We may continue telling you our opinions and ideas but ultimately what you decide will be the collective decision of Congress Party!". My father's friend told me that Gandhi ji gave a really hearty laugh at this remark since it was true!

I think the greatest strength of Gandhi ji, which is also true of other such leaders, is that everybody beleived the truth in Gandhi ji's deeds and utterances and when humans perceive the truth they follow the leaders willingly.
I belong to Kutch, that barren district bordering Pakistan on western front. My grand-father Gulabshankar Dholakia was a public leader in the then princely state of Kutch and led Kutchi Prajakiya Parishad (Kutchi people's conference).In 1925 Gandhiji visited Kutch. My grandfather who was leading the Reception Committee met him. Gandhiji put a condition that he would address the meeting only if his dias was placed among Harijans (untouchables, at that time, now known as Scheduled caste). People were however not ready for such a great tranformation. So the seating arrangement was made in a way that apparently there was no difference between Hatijans and others. As soon as Gandhiji came there he realised that something was wrong. He chided everyone there and shifted his table to the conclave for Harijans and asked those who were willing, to follow him. My grandfather sat along with him. After Gandhiji left, the community leaders ex-ccommunicated my grandfather. He went and reported to Gandhiji. He asked my grandfather to accept the punishment but not budge. My grandfather would tolerate every kind of insults but would not agree to perform prayashchit or ceremonial repentence.Ultimately the caste leaders realised that it was wrong to punish him. This was the way of Satyagrah of Gandhiji.
By mistake I wrote this anecdote in some other thread. I hope our friends would not mind if I copy-pasted it here.

I belong to Kutch, that barren district bordering Pakistan on western front. My grand-father Gulabshankar Dholakia was a public leader in the then princely state of Kutch and led Kutchi Prajakiya Parishad (Kutchi people's conference).In 1925 Gandhiji visited Kutch. My grandfather who was leading the Reception Committee met him. Gandhiji put a condition that he would address the meeting only if his dias was placed among Harijans (untouchables, at that time, now known as Scheduled caste). People were however not ready for such a great tranformation. So the seating arrangement was made in a way that apparently there was no difference between Hatijans and others. As soon as Gandhiji came there he realised that something was wrong. He chided everyone there and shifted his table to the conclave for Harijans and asked those who were willing, to follow him. My grandfather sat along with him. After Gandhiji left, the community leaders ex-ccommunicated my grandfather. He went and reported to Gandhiji. He asked my grandfather to accept the punishment but not budge. My grandfather would tolerate every kind of insults but would not agree to perform prayashchit or ceremonial repentence.Ultimately the caste leaders realised that it was wrong to punish him. This was the way of Satyagrah of Gandhiji.


I belong to Kutch, that barren district bordering Pakistan on western front. My grand-father Gulabshankar Dholakia was a public leader in the then princely state of Kutch and led Kutchi Prajakiya Parishad (Kutchi people's conference).In 1925 Gandhiji visited Kutch. My grandfather who was leading the Reception Committee met him. Gandhiji put a condition that he would address the meeting only if his dias was placed among Harijans (untouchables, at that time, now known as Scheduled caste). People were however not ready for such a great tranformation. So the seating arrangement was made in a way that apparently there was no difference between Hatijans and others. As soon as Gandhiji came there he realised that something was wrong. He chided everyone there and shifted his table to the conclave for Harijans and asked those who were willing, to follow him. My grandfather sat along with him. After Gandhiji left, the community leaders ex-ccommunicated my grandfather. He went and reported to Gandhiji. He asked my grandfather to accept the punishment but not budge. My grandfather would tolerate every kind of insults but would not agree to perform prayashchit or ceremonial repentence.Ultimately the caste leaders realised that it was wrong to punish him. This was the way of Satyagrah of Gandhiji.

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