GANDHI IN ACTION network

the Spirit of Mahatma Gandhi lives through every nonviolent action

Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav

Senior Gandhian Scholar

Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India

Contact No. – 09415777229, 094055338

E-mail- dr.yogendragandhi@gmail.com;dr.yadav.yogendra@gandhifoundation.net

 

 

Kisan Ashram and Mahatma Gandhi

 

Mirabehn had set up Kisan Ashram at Hardwar in Uttarkanda after releasing jail. Mahatma Gandhi was guidance him in set up of it. He was guiding in selection of land, Ashramites and workers also. He wrote many letters for it. After dependence Mirabehn had done a lot of experiments in field of Agriculture, cattle and village improvement.

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “So you have the land of your choice. May all your dreams be fulfilled? If I go to Delhi and get the time of course I should love to drive to your place. Do not be anxious about me. All I need is rest from the routine work, even love-letters. So till the end of the year this is my last letter. This is the final day of writing letters.”1 “You can have Kisan Ashram But if that, why not Mazdur or its equivalent? A Kisan can be a millionaire, not so a working man, a labourer. But I do not mind Kisan, if you prefer it.”2 “I am making a desperate effort to send you someone either her Ramprasad or Munnalal. Do not be quite certain about me. I have expressed my wish. But ‘there is many a slip between the cup and the lip.’ Who knows but Him? Your love of animals, among them of the cow, is boundless. I agree mostly that there should be personal attention if we are to get the real response.”3

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I hope Ramprasad has arrived there or will be arriving soon. He is very intelligent. Do not detain him for more than two months. Give him as much rest as you can. If he needs more I will see to it. I have arrived here today. Can you read my Hindi? I am a guest of Premlilabehn and Shantikumar. I have with me Pyarelal, Sushila, Dinshaw and Pyarelal’s two assistants. Manu is ill, so I have Kanu. He will go to Rajkot for a few days.”4  “This is just to ask you not to worry about help. Bapa says he won’t find the man to suit you. Balvantsinha can come only after I reach Sevagram. Ramprasad won’t leave you till B. can join you. Meanwhile do as you sing Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.”5 “I hope your visit to Delhi was successful. Thank God, you are keeping well again. Hope the Vyayam teacher will give satisfaction.”6

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Tell me if it is the same thing whether I put the address in English or Hindustani, that is, for receiving the post. I note that Ramprasad was to leave you on 11th. He must have gone. The papers are making a lot of fuss over nothing. Let us see. You seem to have done well in Delhi. It is a hard and even bad thing that a cow should have such preferences as you describe. Is that a general rule?”7 “Beware of overworking yourself or acting against the weather for which you are not made. Do come to Simla whether I am here or not. I may leave any day. I am glad you have two helpers. I wish Balvantsinha can come but I doubt.”8 “If I am to write I must be brief. If you do not feel well you must run up to a cool place. I took the journey well. Balvantsinha must be with you when this reaches you. Keep him if you want him. Tell him on his letter I sent Hoshiari to her father. She will return with or without her boy. It is fair here. It rains off and on. But the insects are more numerous than before. Sushila got dysentery and lost 4 lb. She is now in Bombay with Sardar.”9

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “This is merely a love letter written on the silence day. I have read your descriptive letter with much interest. But I do not know when I shall reach the Kisan Ashram. Is your account to the English Press quite accurate?”10 “I did send you a longish letter. I have asked S. to send you a copy. I have before me two letters from you. The one about Dharmadev Shastri has been sent to Bapa. It would be a sad thing if he proves untrue. But you know what havoc rumour works. Your long letter covers many points. I do not wonder at the bitter experience about Vaidyas. Many of them are impostors. You should write to Chandiprasad about the person sent by him. I do hope you will come upon a good man. I would have none but a proved man. That that man has proved a failure is bad and that the cow he brought has proved a burden is also bad. Then you do not get a good worker. How will you pull on? I do not know that all this does not point to retracing your steps or at least so ordering your life as to enable you to live there without anxiety or worry. I would advise you to have a servant or two to carry out your instructions and look after your pony and a cow if you must have one for giving you pure milk. I would even go without either and be content with the good milk you may buy there. You should move away to a cooler place in summer. This should be easy. Do not think of having a summer haunt for yourself. You must not use up the last penny and then feel compelled to come to Sevagram or go elsewhere as a failure which you will be if you have to give up your place after using the last pice. Do not regard this as a doleful picture. If it is unwarranted by facts as you see them, throw it away. About P I must not say anything. I am prejudiced. I only hope that God will be your guide in this as in everything else. Only in the latter case I might offer helpful criticism. Of the atmosphere what you say is about right. But the things will shape themselves right. Anyway I am trying my best. Here I am daily witnessing a mighty change. I had this evening a meeting attended by probably a lac of prople. I was able to have prayer in perfect silence. It would have done your soul good to witness such a scene. This commenced at Sodepur. My first meeting was somewhat boisterous. As days went on things were changed. And yet I build nothing on this. Only this experience is a balancing factor. I do hope Panditji and his wife will come to you.”11

 

Mirabehn explains: “This letter led me definitely to the decision to give up the idea of trying to keep Kisan Ashram as a Brahmachari Ashram and to put married men with their families there. Bapu’s advice that I should restrict the Ashram of my conception to myself, I whole-heartedly accepted and as I was at that time planning a Government scheme for cattle development in the reserve forests near Rishikesh, I decided to settle in a little cottage on Gangaji’s bank in the middle of the grazing lands and make that my Ashram.”

 

References:

 

  1. LETTER TO MIRABEHN, December 3, 1944
  2.   LETTER TO MIRABEHN, February 26, 19452
  3. LETTER TO MIRABEHN, April 7, 1945
  4. LETTER TO MIRABEHN, April 21, 1945
  5.   LETTER TO MIRABEHN, May 30, 1945
  6.   LETTER TO MIRABEHN June 2, 1945
  7.   LETTER TO MIRABEHN, June 12, 1945
  8. LETTER TO MIRABEHN, June 27, 1945
  9. LETTER TO MIRABEHN, July 25, 1945
  10. LETTER TO MIRABEHN, December 17, 1945
  11. LETTER TO MIRABEHN, January 1, 1946

 

 

 

 

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