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.
provides a comprehensive view of all our work
on Mahatma Gandhi around the world.

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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mohandas and Herman

A friendship that created Tolstoy farm near Johannesburg, South Africa. A friendship that proved to be a catalyst to evolve SATYAGRAHA and create change in this world.

I hope we all remember Tolstoy farm and keep the evolution process of SATYAGRAHA on …..

Top photo: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi with his good friend Herman Kallenbach at the Tolstoy farm in 1910.
Bottom photo: 30th May 2010 - A hundred years later Ela Gandhi the grand daughter of Gandhiji along with her nieces Kirti and Uma and Charles Kallenbach the nephew of Herman Kallenbach ( the architect friend of Gandhiji who purchased the land so that the Tolstoy farm could be setup) along with his family was reminisce to the friendship that started Tolstoy farm a 100 years ago.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nelson Mandela – A Room Away

During my visit to South Africa I had the pleasure of visiting the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg; I was carrying a special gift for Mr Mandela– a personalised copy of the MKG book.

Although I had been told earlier that Madiba would not be available to receive the gift in person, I could leave it for him at the end of the meeting and it would be delivered. I had a feeing that I may get an opportunity to see the great man in spirit.

Waiting in the reception for my 3pm meeting, I could suddenly feel a certain energy in the air, people where walking around with a quicker pace and whispering with a smile. I was not sure what was happening, but the excitement was in the air.

Then my host Verne came up to me and apologised that our meeting had to be delayed as Madiba had just come into the office and was in the next room as he had to attend to some urgent paperwork.

I was happy to wait and crossed my fingers, hoping to catch a glimpse of the man… a few minutes later Verne came out and got me for our meeting, needless to say I only saw Madiba in spirit, the energy that surrounds him, extruded through the walls ….I am sure Sheryl Manchisi, my accomplice in the excitement, her meeting was also delayed would agree with me !!!! A date to remember - 26th May 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Letters of the MAHATMA

“I have always been fascinated with the life of Mahatma Gandhi and have purchased his letters three times, which were auctioned at Sotheby’s and returned them to the Indian Government. Mahatma Gandhi is an inspiration to the world. He was not only Indian but a citizen of the world and will be remembered for thousands of years. India is indeed grateful to him lighting the first candle of freedom in South Africa which inspired other leaders to fight for independence.”

Sir Gulam Noon

Sir Gulam Noon was kind enough to share these important letters with us and they are published in the MKG - Limited Edition book.

President Pratibha Patil examines a collection of letters, written by Mahatma Gandhi, presented to her by Sir Gulam Noon (left) and Professor Nat Puri at the Indian High Commission in London on Wednesday October 29th 2009

A newspaper story that appeared in The Hindu:

Gandhi memorabilia: khadi cloth, communal tensions and humour by Vidya Subrahmaniam
A selection of letters written and received by Mahatma Gandhi, and a piece of khadi spun by him and signed by, besides the Mahatma himself, Sarojini Naidu and Gandhiji’s private secretary Pyare Lal, were among the memorabilia presented on Wednesday to President Pratibha Patil by Curry King Sir Ghulam Noon and NRI entrepreneur Nathu Ram Puri.
The letters were sold by the London auction house Sotheby’s on July 14, 2009 for a total of £ 17,500, and Ms. Patil received them at a simple function in the Indian High Commission here. In a voice choked with emotion, Mr. Puri said he felt privileged to have been able to secure the letters.
The items were sold in three lots. Included in the first were three autographed letters to Maulana Abdul Bari (1878-1926), an Islamic scholar, leading figure in the Khilafat movement and close friend of the Mahatma. The purple-bordered khadi cloth, signed by the Mahatma in Gujarati, came in the second lot. The khadi piece was a gift from Gandhiji to South-African born actor Moira Lister, and was sold at an estimated price of £ 2,000-2,500. The third lot contained two autographed postcards addressed to Urdu poet Hamidullah Afsar.
The letters to Maulana Bari reflect the tensions of the time, and contain many references to Hindu-Muslim relations. In one of the letters, the Mahatma expresses gratitude for the gift of cotton for spinning. In a second letter, he thanks Maulana Bari for his mohabbat bhari khat (letter of overflowing love) and hopes the two can continue to have open and frank conversations in the future. The Mahatma speaks of hosting Khilafat leaders, Ali brothers (Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar and Maulana Shaukat Ali Jauhar), and says the three of them spent a lot of time discussing Hindu-Muslim relations.
Most of the letters are in Urdu, and in one of them, the Mahatma, in characteristic wry humour, chides Hamidullah Afsar for writing an unstamped letter. “Hamidullah Saheb, I got your letter, but I do not reply to unstamped letters,” the Mahatma says, obviously irked that he had to bear the cost of the unstamped letter.
This is the third time Sir Ghulam and Mr. Puri have bought Gandhi letters at an auction. Fifteen years ago, Sir Ghulam, in partnership with Lord Raj Kumar Bagri, bought another set of letters for £ 14,000. In 1998, Sir Ghulam and Mr. Puri bought some more Gandhi letters at a Sotheby’s auction for £ 21,000. These letters are in the National Archives, where the third set is also expected to be lodged.
In her speech, Ms. Patil described Gandhiji as more than an individual; his spirit cut across the world and crossed the seas and the mountains. She said his leadership and vision had inspired world leaders from Martin Luther King to Nelson Mandela, and his message of Ahimsa moved the United Nations to declare October 2 a day of non-violence.
Later speaking to the press, Sir Ghulam said it did not matter that the Indian government had not exerted itself to acquire the Gandhi letters. “It does not matter who bought them. I am thankful for having got the opportunity to do my bit to keep his memory alive.”

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Very Special Comment

"The volume is wonderfully illustrated, carefully crafted and beautifully laid out. The author has a great eye for a telling image, and the presentation is excellent. "

DEPUTY DIRECTOR, Immovable Heritage

This is a very special comment on the book MKG – Mahatma Gandhi – Imaging Peace, Truth and Ahimsa as Eric Itzkin is the author of “Gandhi's Johannesburg - Birthplace of Satyagraha", a comprehensive record of the places where Mahatma Gandhi spent his early years in Johannesburg. Itzkin also painstakingly researched archives and consulted members of the local South African Indian community to put together an exhibition at the Museum Africa in the Johannesburg suburb of Newtown, where the city's first Indian settlers mainly lived at the turn of the last century.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

MKG book at Tolstoy farm, South Africa

The book MKG- Mahatma Gandhi – Imaging Peace, Truth and Ahimsa was launched near Johannesburg, South Africa. The book launch was part of the celebrations marking the Centenary of Tolstoy Farm.

It was the coldest day of the week with a sprinkling of rain, but it did not dither the 350 people to make the long drive to the sacred spot. Ila Gandhi the grand daughter of Gandhiji along with her nieces Kirti and Uma and Charles Kallenbach the nephew of Herman Kallenbach ( the architect friend of Gandhiji who purchased the land so that the Tolstoy farm could be setup) along with his family was reminisce to the friendship that started Tolstoy farm a 100 years ago. The Indian Counsel General Vikram Doraiswami released the limited edition

Transcript of my statement at Tolstoy Farm – 30th May 2010

Consul General Doraiswamy, Honourable guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am humbled by your presence and the opportunity to launch my book on this sacred piece of land, a land that’s so significant that it was here, one of the greatest ideas of modern day civilization was evolved.

I would like to take this opportunity to share one thought on SATYAGRAGHA with you all, but before that a line about the book, we have two editions, the objective of the Limited Edition was to create the most exquisite book about a man so simple yet so valuable and the Student edition to allow the young minds of today to use their age as a barometer and view the life of the Mahatma.

Both books will be available for viewing today.

The concept of SATYAGRAGHA, that is Passive resistance, was an original idea of Mahatma, an idea that does not feature in any of our Epics nor has it been documented in any ancient scripture.

SATYAGRAGHA is a force greater than any other force known to mankind; it’s a force that has proven itself in history to be most effective and has achieved success with the least amount of violence. A force much needed in the world today.

But Today - do we understand the power of SATYAGRAGHA, or are we resigned to the fact that the effectiveness of this power was only possible in the last century and today’s day and age has no place for it.

To all those who believe this

I would like to point out, that the concept of SATYAGRAGHA - Passive resistance - is practiced everyday, in every part of the world and it proves itself beyond doubt. We just have not recognised it; hence not recognise its power for today.

You all must be wondering what I am talking about. Passive resistance is a power that every child in every part of the world practices to achieve his objective, Take any child up to the age of 5 and observe him or her as he or she negotiates the realm of life and you will see the power of SATYAGRAGHA. Children are in their purest form of life, uncluttered, unbiased, innocent but are still able to negotiate a victory with men and women multiple times their size. Ask me I have just gone through my five years of Defeat and if you would like to know who the victor was … she is the 5 year old seated in row seven.

In conclusion I would like to say, every single human is born with this power of SATYAGRAGHA, The Mahatma evolved it for us and proved its power, all we have to do is recognise it and practice it.

I hope you all enjoy viewing the book on the Mahatma.

Thank You.


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