Mahatma's aide to spread word through 'Gandhi Katha'
Times of India
MYSORE: Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, is known to the present generation through books and other mediums, but Narayan Desai has spent some memorable time with the Mahatma himself.
On a mission to spread the word about Gandhi, the septuagenarian is in Mysore to hold 'Gandhi Katha', aimed at introducing the Mahatma to the GenY. 'Gandhi Katha' will be held till June 5 between 5pm and 8pm at Vijaya Vitthala School in Kuvempunagar here. Gandhi is not a character from Indian epics like 'Ramayana' or 'Mahabharatha', but he lived among us and his story must be told in a different way.
"That is the reason why I'm on a mission talking about Gandhi," he said. "Gandhi saw me before I saw him," he said in an interaction with journalists at an event hosted by Mysore District Journalists' Association on Friday.
Inspired by Gandhi, Desai wrote a comprehensive four-volume biography on him in Gujarati. He spoke at length the relevance of Gandhi for the present age, saying Gandhi is relevant not just to India, but to the whole world. The prevalence of three evils -- violence, unemployment and disparity - has made him conduct 'Gandhi Katha' in India and abroad.
Desai has conducted some 70 'Gandhi Katha's in Gujarat, and another 20 outside the state. This is the first time in Karnataka that Desai is holding sessions on Gandhi.
When asked about the changes that his mission has brought about in the society, he said: "I do not know whether people have changed, but I have changed myself."
On a serious note, Desai said he is not focussing on changing the society overnight, but aiming to bring in changes in individuals.
Desai said he drew inspiration from two books that were presented to him by Gandhi during his stay in the ashram.
The Gandhian was, however, upset with corruption, which, he said, is deep rooted in the society. "People have forgotten to fulfill their duties but expect their demands to be fulfilled," he rued.