This Blog revolves around the book – MKG – Mahatma Gandhi – Imaging Peace, Truth & Ahimsa and how Learnings from the Mahatma can cause positive change in the 21st century; the book is a pictorial representation of the life and message of the Mahatma, covering major milestones which influenced his philosophy, political awakening and his concept of Ahimsa in a concise illustrative format. An attempt has been made to portray the man behind the Mahatma to provide inspiration to today’s generation.
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MKG book released at the United Nations

1st October 2010 - A special edition of the book – MKG –Imaging Peace Truth and Ahimsa was released by the President of the General Assemble of the United Nations. The release was marked with attendance from Ambassadors from over 50 nations and was the official UN event marking the International Day of Non-Violence.

UN Story Link

Sunday, February 14, 2010

MKG book launched in London

MKG - Mahatma Gandhi - Imaging Peace, Truth and Ahimsa (Limited Edition)
29th January 2010
Transcript of Birad Rajaram Yajnik

Good evening honourable guests, ladies & gentlemen.
It is indeed a great honour to be here and share my thoughts. I will address two questions that I have been asked multiple times while creating this book.

Why another book on the Mahatma ?
Why am I here in London?

I was born 99 years after Gandhiji’s birth or twenty years after he ceased to walk this earth. Needless to say I never had the opportunity to see him or hear him in person; my exposure to him in the initial years of my life was the story of independence at bedtime by my grandmother Nivedita and a chapter in the middle school text book.

October 2nd, national holiday in India and the minute of silence on the 30th of January each year have served as a constant recall on the name Mahatma and the person Gandhi.

The film Gandhi by Sir Richard Attenborough, like many from my generation was the first real comprehensive exposure to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, I was 14 and it was a film that moved me to accepting the power and wisdom of the man. I saw the English version.

Over the next twenty six years his name and context have crossed me a few times, some in the form of simple discussions and some in the spate of films from Bollywood that hover around Bapu.

What I am trying to say is that I come from a generation that sees Gandhi multiple times a day without an emotional connect or a realisation of the values he stood for. Our recall is limited to the image of Gandhi on the rupee notes, postage stamps and dusty photographs in government offices.

I am from a generation that does not associate khadi with peace and non violence but with politics and corruption. The charkha is just an Uber kool artefact. And the context of Salt is Iodised or not.

I am from a generation that has lost the power to learn from his experiments of truth. All we get is trivia and 1000 word articles whether or not he said the words “Hey Ram “when he was assassinated. Or if he was to be blamed for the politics of that day.

We have forgotten to see the glass full, its time to move on and leverage his principles for the success of humanity. We need to draw from his experiments, as he was a scientist of Human Values and scientists don’t make mistakes they experiment.

Hence the decision to create this book, to lay Gandhiji’s life out in words and pictures for a generation that was born and lives in the attention economy.

The book is a visual insight to Gandhiji’s life, it’s a presentation of facts and images in a hope that it would mean something different to each viewer and allow my generation to explore the principles of the Mahatma.

It has an age line along with the time line of his life, this would allow us to explore his life using our age as a barometer. The book has 200 plus photographs to show his transitions in life and 20,000 words that provide a commentary into incidents of his life.

The book by no means is an exhaustive compilation of him; it is more a visual catalyst to set one on a journey to explore more.

The book is produced to act more as a piece of art and the contents published to be treated as treasured experiences of a man so simple yet so unique and valuable. The end objective would be that this book acts as an heirloom and is passed down generations spreading the simple message that would be relevant for a long time to come.

I hope that the generations of today will draw from his experiments of life and seek their interpretations and learn from a simple Man we made the Mahatma.

Thank you for your patience, I request 2 more minutes …to answer the question why this book was launched in London.

I was questioned “Why London” and my answer was “Why not” …. But the real reason truly is that history has proven that London is the epicentre of the single largest body of humanity that has the courage and conscience to accept and appreciate an opponent. The collective conscience of the people of England has been and will be its strength and hence we could not think of a better place to launch the book.

The Most important part of this evening,I would like to thank you all for coming down; braving the weather I am humbled by your presence.

Birad Rajaram Yajnik
The Nehru Centre
8 South Audley Street

Wind 6 kmph, Temperature 2 degrees, Humidity 60%

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Joseph Deiss, President of the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly, holds up a limited edition copy of “MKG – Mahatma Gandhi – Imaging Peace, Truth & Ahisma” at an event commemorating the International Day of Non-Violence. The day is observed 2 October for the birthday of non-violence pioneer Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi). Pictured with Mr. Deiss are Hardeep Singh Puri (left), Permanent Representative of India to the UN, and Birad Rajaram Yajnik, the book's author.
01 October 2010 United Nations, New York