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SILVER JUBILEE OF GANDHI IN ACTION ---1984-2009, ORIGIN of the IDEA

PART- 1



Gandhi-in-Action, the idea, came to me when, I traveled to West in 1984. Three people were my source of inspiration. First was Jainendra Kumar, a known Indian Hindi novelist, story writer and a Gandhian, Second was Raja Rao, another internationally known Indian author & Gandhian Philosopher and third was Mahendra Kulshrestha, Editor with reputed Indian publishers, Rajpal and Sons. Raja Rao I met once only, Janendra Kumar I have known from student days, since 1968, and Kulshreshta I knew quite intimately, as his wife Kamrulnisha, was a social activist of repute. I never thought to make Gandhi-In-Action International, as an institution in the traditional sense of the term.

Unfortunately, Jainedra Kumar became physically crippled with paralysis very soon after GIA was formed, Raja Rao was not easy to approach, Mahendra Kulshrestha was the only person who activally helped me in the beginning. He also edited my first book, "Saplings of Gandhi on Western Soil" (1985), as Organizer of the Publications of Gandhi-in-Action (GIA).

It was my practical experience of 15 years(1970 to 1984) as a social activist working at local level (though closely in touch with the outside world). It made me feel that Gandhi's ideas can not be realized within the Geo-political boundaries, it has to be spread at the global level because it is not only for a particular country but for whole of humanity. Working with JP movement(1974 to 1980) was the bitter experience so to say, politically speaking.

In 1984 I came to West for the first time and my eyes were opened, and my inner voice also confirmed the idea of GIA. There it is, Gandhi-in-Action, a very tiny idea, 24 years of age.

In these years I made 67 trips to Europe, 27 to the US, several times to Scandinavia, USSR, Japan, South-East Asia, Gulfs countries and Sri Lanka. The twin mission was Gandhi and Ayurveda.

When I started my mission in 1984, I had only one couple known to me in Italy that had visited me in 1983 as SERVAS(a global open door host System founded by an American after the II World War). Now I have more than 12,000 families that I can knock at, besides, many thousands in the whole of Europe, Scandinavia, USSR, Japan, USA, Canada, Mexico, in the Gulf, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

The motto of GIA is , " Think Positively, Act Locally, Live Globally".

It is a people to people movement to bring awakening among the masses as to how to bring social change by bringing change in human attitudes (age old Violent methods to Non-violence and peaceful ways) as well as change in social circumstances( age old Unjust & Inhumane Systems to Just & Humane Systems) simultaneously.

In the year 1984, when I started my journey in search of Truth and Non-violence, I was only a single person to carry on this mission. That time was not very good for me. Mrs. Indira Gandhi was again came into the seat of Power. My Organization, Servants of the People Society, which I joined on 1st September 1974, was vertically divided in to two because of the State of Emergency Rule in 1974-75.


The Society was in turmoil. At that time. Society consisted of 14 life members and they were all daggers drawn, majority of the members were opposed to Mrs. Gandhi. I was the only member who was neutral. This time was the test of my patience. I must admit that I could not stick to Truth and nonviolence whole heartedly,. I decided that instead of becoming timid and fearful at that time, I opted to be violent, this was what I had learnt from Gandhi, "If you have to choose between fear and violence you must choose violence." Because at this point of time, I had either to struggle or leave the Society quietly.

I personally, was divided in two opinions. One was to leave the society and other was to have a long legal battle in the Court. But then common sense prevailed, and I took the whole matter to late Shri Gulzari Lal Nanda, who was next to Jawaherlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. I had the good luck of been working with him as his Special Assistant, and known to him since my student days.

It was evening, and he was resting in his room.. He looked in to the whole matter and told me "Go to home quietly and tomorrow I will give my opinion." I came home restlessly. Next day in the morning I again went to him. Looking to me he smiled and said, "You are not a typist in an office that you will leave one typing machine and sit on the other, you are a social worker. You must fight the case and my blessings are with you."

So, that was the time when I pledged to work for 'Gandhi-in-Action' in practical sense. It took 18 long years and finally I won the legal battle in the year 2000. Single motto has been guiding me and that was "Think Positively, Act locally and live globally". Twenty-four years have gone by, Gandhi-in-Action has sprouted from a tiny sapling in the form of an idea.

This short history was essential in order to give background as to how the idea of creating Gandh-in-Action came into being. And also how the difficult period in my public life guided my destiny. How a frail person like me could take the courage to put step in the right direction.

PUBLICATIONS

1. Saplings Of Gandhi on Western Soil ( Publication year 1985)
2. Living Non-violence ( Foreword by late Bharat Ratna Shri Gulzarilal Nanda,later on translated in Italian and Japanes) . 1986
3.Reminscences of a Revolutionary (Edited 1987)
4 .Raja Mahendra Pratap(Co-aouthor in Hindi 1988)
5.Legal Ethics in a Gandhian Perspective( First Gandhi-in-Action Memorial Lecture By Prof. Clark Cummingham, USA, Edited in 1988)
6.Snowball: Non-violent struggle againt Nuclear Wapons in UK, Co-auther with Angi Zeltor, founder of the movment and renound Satyagrahi, UK 1989)
7.Deepshikha (In Hindi Brief Story of Camphill Movement, 1990)
8 Ahinsak Samaj Nirman Lok Yatra( Hindi, brief traveloghe of Peoples March For a Non-violent Society, was organized in the International Year of Peace sponsored by the United Nation Organization UNO) in 1986.
9. Acharya Vinoba Vhave: Jevan oure Sandesh, Hindi 1993
10.Acharya Vinoba Bhave:Life and Misson 1994
11.Ayurveda For the Western Mind 1999
12.Ayurvedic Panchkarma Simplified 2000
13. Ayurveda:Holistic Technology for Self Healing 2001
14.Ramanujganj : Another Fresh Step Towards Swaraj 2002
15. Peace and Value Eduction : An Essay published by Gandhi Marg 2002
16. Pakirtik Chikitsa in Hindi 2002
17. Gandhi's Political Paradime ( Lecture at International Conference of WTR in Berlin 2002
18 Manav Shri Rachna, Hindi, 2003
19.Democracy on Dialysis : What Next ? 2003
20. Satyagraha: Technology to Reach Truth 2004
21. Swaraj Ki Oure, Hindi, 2005
22. Living Non-violence Revisted: (in the Press 2008)


Arya started writing in "Vishwa Jyoti," a renouned Hindi monthly, while he was in the University of Delhi from 1968. He also helped in the writing-work of "Gandhiji ki Delhi Diary" written by renouned Gandhi's follower Shri Brijkishan Chandhiwala who served Gandhi form 1917 to 1948. This work was done in the year 1969.

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