Thursday, June 6, 2013




Gandhi ji was  first invited by Maharaja Partap singh in 1915 to VISIT  kashmir but this could not materialize on account of various factors. Again during 1932 and 1946  Gandhi Ji  planned a visit to Srinagar but could not make it due his political engagements .Finally on 1st  August  1947 , Gandhi ji visited Kashmir via Rawalpinidi entering  through Chaklala . Since sheikh Mohd Abdullah was in prison , he was received at chaklala by Bakshi Ghulam Mohd and Khwaja Ghulam Mohd Sadiq as representatives of  National  Conference  . Both  Bakshi and sadiq accompanied Gandhi ji upto kohala bridge and  then  went back to Lahore where they lived as exiles  . Entire NC leadership was either imprisoned or exiled by Maharaja’s Government at that point of time .
Gandhi Ji refused all the Hospitalities of Maharaja Hari singh and stayed  with One kishori Lal Sethi a forest Lessee who was close associate of congress leaders and  Sheikh Mohd Abdullah . Kishori Lal Sethi Lived in a rented house close to present day Bone and Joint Hospital Barzulla in Srinagar city .Gandhi ji was accompanied  by his secretary Pyare lal and two nieces .
On his arrival day , Gandhi Ji was taken   around Dal lake . R C kak Prime Minister  was the first official dignitary  to   visit the Mahatma . Kak also  brought an invitation from maharaja to Gandhi ji for a  visit to Maharaja’s palace  known as Hari Niwas .  Gandhi Ji Visited Hari Niwas on 3rd august 1947. No one actually knows what transpired between Maharaja and Gandhi ji during that meeting but from all accounts , Gandhi ji had suggested to Maharaja to keep in mind the interests of people of the state while deciding his accession to any dominion .
Begum Akbar Jahaan wife of Sheikh Mohd Abdullah  and her Daughter Khalida kept visiting Barzulla frequently to seek blessings from the  Mahatma . Begum Akbar Jahaan had  orgainsed a  reception for Mahatma on his arrival in Srinagar with about 500  women  activists joining this grand reception. Mahatma also went to  Soura  the residence of Sheikh Mohd Abdullah  on a Tea party invitation. MAHATMA Was not happy with Begum Akbar Jahaan for having organized a lavish Tea Party .

                                 ( Mahatma with Begum Akbar Jahaan and her Dughter in kashmir  )

“ Mahatma sahib , Sheikh sahib Agar Baahar Hotay to Bahut Kuchh Hotaa . Mein aur meray Bachay Khuush Hongay Aghar Aap Chhaay  Pee Leingay … ” Begum Akbar Jahaan to Gandhi Ji

“ Mahtama   , If  sheikh Sahib had been  out of prison , he would have arranged a Grand party .  I and my children  shall be happy if you take this cup of tea with us  “

“ Yeh Theek Nahin .Itnaa Khaanay  kaa samaan Kyon laaya . Ek Booday Aadmi nay Kyaa Khaana Hotaa hai . Mujhay Bilkul Pasand nahin . Tum Ko paisay  bachaanay Chaahiye  ” Gandhi Ji to Bagum Akbar Jahaan .

“ This is not good .Why have you purchased so many eatables for this Tea party ? How much can an old  man consume ? I do not like this at all . You need to save money ”

Gandhi ji held Prayer meetings every day during his stay in Kashmir . These meetings were attended by  large crowds . He also visited Dr. Peshin’s Hospital  and interacted with patients over there . Gandhi ji did not address any Public meeting in kashmir but whatever he had to say , he conveyed it in his evening Prayer meetings held in the spacious lawn of Kishori lal sethi's residence  at Barzulla  . Gandhi ji left for Jammu on 4th  August 1947. During his 4 days stay in Kashmir, Gandhi ji met scores of people from all walks of life .He also  conveyed his observations in a free and frank manner . Some observation are as under :-

“ It is really difficult for me to distinguish between a Hindu Kashmiri and a Muslim Kashmiri .You  people speak one language and have  one culture .”

“ While the rest of the country burns in communal fire , I see a shining “ Ray of Hope “ in Kashmir only.”

“ we  all are  children of the same God . Fighting amongst ourselves  on issues of religion is nothing short of  disrespect to our creator . ”

“ In this struggle for freedom  from Monarchy in kashmir , I am with Sheikh Mohd Abdullah who stands by the high principles and  peaceful methods and upholds the Hindu-Muslim unity at all cost.  The  Monarchy must go ”

“ I treat the Amritsar Treaty of 1846  , under which Kashmir was given to Maharaja Gulab Singh as a sale deed  . ” 

“ An eye for an eye ends up in making the whole world blind . The world moves ahead only because a large number of people try to forget and forgive . ”

I end this brief post with lines from Gandhi ji’s favorite *Bhajan  composed by  15th century   Gujrati   poet  Narsinh Mehta.

*Vaishnav jan to Tainay Kahiye
Je Peer Paraayee Jaanay Re
Par Dukhe Upkaar karay Toye
Munn Abhimaan Na Aanay Re..

One who is a Vaishnav
Knows the pain of others
Does good to others,
especially to those ones who are in misery
Does not let pride enter his mind..

*Here Vaishnav means the follower of Vishnu .  As per Sacred Texts of Hindus ,Vishnu  supports, sustains and governs the universe and originates and develops all elements within. He is the first god of   the Hindu Trinity of Brahma Vishnu and Mahesha . The Trimurti (three forms) is a concept in Hinduism "in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva the destroyer or transformer. These three deities have also been called "the Hindu triad or the "Great Trinity", A follower of Vishnu or a person who believes in protection of life on this planet can only know the pain of others .

This Bhajan  has inspired many  singers and musicians  of the country  who have either sung it or played it on their musical  instruments . Some eminent persons worth mentioning are M S subalakshmi,  Lata Mangeshkar , Jagjit singh,Pandit Jasraj , Gangu Bai Hangal , Remo Fernandes , Amjad Ali Khan , Pandit shiv kumar  Sharma and  Hari Prasad Chaurasia…
( Autar Mota )
06.06.2013… Time 11.20 PM

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