Mahatma Gandhi in Orissa… A tribute..
“Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, patit pavan Sita Ram Sita Ram Sita Ram,
Bhaj pyare tu Sitaram Ishwar Allah tero naam, Saab ko Sanmti de Bhagavan”
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~ ‘Bapu’
It means.. Lord Rama, Chief of the house of Raghu, Uplifters of those who have fallen, (O divine couple) Sita and Rama, Beloved, praise Sita and Rama God or Allah is your name, Lord, bless everyone with wisdom. Before he became Mahatma, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, travelled throughout India to understand the people of this country. On Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 we honour the memory of this ‘Mahatma’. There is a temple in Bhatra village, in Sambalpur. Mahatma Gandhi is worshipped there. The priest is a Dalit. The temple was the brain-child of ex MLA Abhimanyu Kumar. When he became MLA in 1971, the idea of a temple dedicated to the man who abolished untouchability inspired him. Between 1921 and 1946, Gandhiji visited Orissa eight times. The response was spontaneous and overwhelming. He along with Kasturba Gandhi arrived in Cuttack on Dola Purnima (Holi) March 23, 1921 and addressed three meeting – at Kadam-i-Rasool, at Binod Bihari and a mammoth meeting on the riverbed of the Kathjodi.
He travelled to Bhadrak, Sakshigopal and Puri. Accompanied by Gopabandhu, he left for Berhampur on March 29, 1921. Gandhi’s second visit to Orissa was on the request of Madhusudan Das on August 19, 1925. Gandhi would influence people like Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das and Madhusudan Das greatly. His fortnight long tour of Orissa for the propagation of khadi started on December 4, 1927. He had high blood pressure and he rested in the house of Madhusudan Das. He left Cuttack on December 21 to attend the Congress session at Madras. In 1934, Gandhiji began his celebrated “Padayatra” with the mission of harijan upliftment and abolition of untouchability. He visited Orissa twice in this connection. During his visit of March 25, 1938, Kasturba, Durgaben, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad, Rajendra Prasad, Acharya Kripalini, Mahadev Desai accompanied him. They addressed the annual conference of Gandhi Seva Sangha and the Utkal Khadi and Village Industry exhibition at Berboi, near Delang in Puri. On January 20, 1946, Gandhiji passed through Orissa on his way from Calcutta to Madras. He addressed the assembled crowds at Cuttack and Berhampur. This was his last visit to Orissa.
Gandhiji was moved to tears when the famine-stricken people of Puri contributed a paise or an anna for the Tilak Swaraj Fund. Gandhiji said, “The famine-stricken skeletons of men and women in Orissa haunt me in my waking hours and in my dreams. Whatever can be useful to those starving millions is beautiful to my mind. Let us give today first the vital things of life and all the graces and ornaments of life will follow”. In a fitting coincidence the Mahatma’s ashes were preserved in Orissa for long. An urn with his ashes was kept in the Puri Raj Bhavan from February 12, 1948 to June 27, 1948. Then the urn was preserved in Cuttack, at the Imperial Bank of India – later the State Bank of India till his great grandson, Tushar Gandhi, immersed them in the Ganges at Allahabad in 1997 – on the Mahatma’s 49th death anniversary. Gandhiji is Mahatma because he taught the country pride; his ideals stand out in a world torn by strife. He was not god, neither had he claimed such. He practiced what he preached and ended the journey as the Mahatma – a long way from a young lawyer treated inhumanly in foreign soil. With his life he taught us that to be superman you need have only humanity and humility. Does not some scripture say – “the meek shall inherit the earth”. His life shall be a lesson for all for ages to come and India shall be proud of the Mahatma who imbued the ideal of oneness in multiplicity.
To Commerate and Celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd October’2010 (Saturday) – the Birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Toshali Resorts invites you to Gandhi Jayanti, the National holiday Weekend Getaway at Toshali Sands, Puri India. For Reservation click on http://bit.ly/9R2Sda . You can also contact your travel consultant firstname.lastname@example.org to plan you weekend getaway vacation. If you feel, we have missed out on any information, do post in your comments, and we would be glad, if you can share this blog with you friends at Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, Myspace, and other Social Networking Sites.