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

Monday, December 9, 2013

Nelson Mandela - RIP


In May 2010, I was visiting South Africa to launch the Student version of my book – MKG – Peace Truth Ahimsa - A photo biography of Mahatma Gandhi. The book release was a part of marking the centenary of the Tolstoy Farm setup by Gandhiji near Johannesburg.

I took the opportunity to gift one of my limited editions to Mr Nelson Mandela, as I knew he was an ardent admirer of Gandhi. I corresponded with the Nelson Mandela foundation for an appointment. After a series of exchanges they informed me that it would not be possible to meet Mr Mandela, however the officials of the foundation would accept it in his behalf.

On that fateful day 26th of May 2010 I reached the Nelson Mandela Foundation office in Houghton at 2.45pm for my meeting at 3 pm and was directed to the reception seating area.  At 2.55pm there was sudden excitement in the lobby and I could see officials quickly moving around.

Mr Verne S Harris came up to me and apologized that I would need to wait for another 30 minutes as something urgent has come up.  Then there was absolute silence …. I knew something special was happening.  20 minutes later everything was back to normal and Mr Harris came up to take me for my meeting with him and Mr Sello Hatang. They both informed me that Mr Mandela had come into the office to sign a special message hence my meeting had to be delayed by a few minutes. He was seated in the room next to the reception separated only by a concrete wall.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Views of a young man after visiting the Peace Truth Ahimsa Museum

I must admit that by the end the “Peace, Truth, and Ahimsa” session that I experienced today, I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy. ‘Joy’, not out of the information and moral values I garnered during my visit, but ‘joy’ because something ‘different’ was being done about ‘Mahatma Gandhi’. The idea of taking Gandhi as an ideology rather than a person of historic significance, was the underlying difference between Bapu Ghat “Gandhi Digital Museum” and the other Gandhi memorabilia I have witnessed. By the end of today’s session there were only three lessons to take back from this outstanding museum- ‘believe that you can and then you can’, ‘whatever the circumstances are, one must stand by their conscience’, and lastly, ‘think like Gandhi; think differently’.

The entire digital museum experience is coordinated exceptionally well. Every part of the experience was illustrated according to the level of the understanding of the audience. I witnessed the program along with a group of teenage students. Handling these reckless teenagers no doubt was an arduous task, yet the museum anchors successfully managed to titillate their curiosity time and again, throughout the entire session.

The introduction was close to perfect. The crux of this session was to place Gandhi in the context of the 21st century and show the relevance his message has for all of us. Here I feel that it would be nice if the anchor calls a few members of the audience and asks them to narrate their personal interaction with Gandhi. This will enable the anchors to understand their audience better.

The yoga, meditation session should in my opinion be shortened to include Gandhi’s notions of “Karma yoga”; what he practiced in his life. For example it should include activities like sweeping the Bapu Ghat auditorium or washing plates after the sumptuous lunch (also a way of eliminating plastic from the meals). Gandhi Ji’s stress on physical work is something that should be considered to create an understanding of the Man himself. The meditation in this session can include the Tibetan Buddhist meditation on ‘equanimity’ for audiences of higher age groups.

The digital interaction is a masterpiece selection for school children. It is the perfect way to introduce Gandhi and learn about who he is. The selection of movies too is magnum opus. This selection aptly portrays what Gandhi wanted to tell all of us. The selected videos also stick in the mind and really manage to create an impact.

The finale though unexpected and different was not to my taste. Maybe this is because I have never found any fascination for motorcycles and such material things. But I think it works perfectly for the ‘ordinary’ human; it gives him the 21st century “cool” symbol for peace. At the finale maybe the anchors can conduct a short discussion and a short reading session of Gandhi’s writings.

On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed my three four hour experience at the museum. I mentioned earlier, adding a few activities and including a session of active discussion would enhance the existing program.
- Soham

Friday, October 18, 2013

King Gandhi Wall

An interactive installation on M K Gandhi and his influence on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Location: Howard University, Washington DC, USA,

Over a 100 years ago (7th June 1893) at a small railway station in South Africa, a simple man the world calls Mahatma Gandhi was racially discriminated for the color of his skin. He spent that night in anger and introspection to create the most powerful weapon known to mankind – SATYAGRAHA (Truth Force). His philosophy of Peace, Truth and Ahimsa (Non-Violence) inspired Dr King to adapt it for the Civil Rights movement in the United States of America.

My inspiration to create an interactive image wall in honor of these two great leaders can be attributed to two statements: one by Dr Martin Luther King during his 1959 visit to India – “To other countries I may go as a tourist, but to India I come as a pilgrim”; and the other, “People who see the invisible can achieve the impossible.”  Dr King had the ability to see the invisible. He never had the opportunity to meet Gandhi, but the inspiration he drew from the life and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and adapted it for his people is a mark of greatness.

It is an honor to install this interactive KING – GANDHI wall at the Howard University in Washington. Students and visitors to this prestigious institution would have the ability to interact with images, QR codes on the wall via their mobile phones, tablets and smart devices to experience sights and sounds from the past. I hope this interaction empowers them with the ability to see the Invisible and aspiration to become the next King and Gandhi. The world today, needs them.

Howard University Press Release


Monday, September 23, 2013

Causing Change - One Student at a time

Two years ago the Tourism department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh provided us with an opportunity to cause change at a historic location in Hyderabad. Ashes (asthi) of the simple man, the world calls Mahatma were immersed here on the 12th of February 1948. ….

730 days later we present some photographs from our first step. The Peace Truth Ahimsa Museum at Bapu Ghat, Langar house in Hyderabad has successfully imparted over 30,000 hours of Gandhian inspired education.



I would like to thank every person who has supported us on this journey of change - The Tourism Department and the Government of AP, Principals & Teachers of schools and colleges in the city of Hyderabad, all the support staff, volunteers and instructors at the museum, finally all the students who have invested hours of integration and allowed us to learn more than just teach.

Birad Rajaram Yajnik

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Photo: From the movie Gandhi (Ben Kingsley) leads his first protest march (Natal - Transval march ) of striking Indian miners in South Africa.

In 1913, a tax had been imposed on all former indentured labourers, known as the Indian Relief Bill. In protest of this, Gandhi launched a passive resistance campaign, gaining the support of thousands of mine workers. While leading a march on 6 November 1913, which included 127 women, 57 children and 2037 men, Gandhi was arrested. He was released on bail, rejoined the march and was re-arrested. The Indian Relief Bill was finally scrapped. In a few weeks it will be 100 years from that faithful day in South Africa, WHEN A SIMPLE MAN, THE WORLD CALLS MAHATMA CHANGED THE COURSE OF HUMANITY.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

World continues to find GANDHI in the 21st Century

This is the creative concept of a Delas campaign, a Brazilian site dedicated to women. Now that women are more aware of their rights, why wouln’t the next Gandhi or Che or Chaplin be a woman?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gandhi - Hero or Villain?

An email from a young man in Singapore kept me awake for most parts of May 2nd night 2013, it took me more than 12 hrs to structure my response, hope was rekindled ...... the search for Gandhi continues ... the email exchange is listed below ..... its long but may be worth a read
 From: Anirudh Raghavendran
 Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2013 9:46 PM
 Subject: Gandhi-Hero or Villain?
Dear Mr. Birad

I was reading an article in The Hindu today about how Gandhiji asked Sardar Patel to step down so that Nehru could become Prime Minister. While reading, it occured to me that it would take a tremendously flawed man to manipulate a stipulated electoral practice and ask an eligible man, who you know deserves the position of authority more than the man you favor, to step down. Was Gandhiji perhaps a bit of a flawed character? This shook me, because, Gandhiji is a man that I used to revere. His ethical principles were sound, but they seem a little shaky to me now. If we look into his past, we find that he used to ill treat his wife. A Google search turned up a suprising number of articles that were critical of Gandhi and this was enough to ruin the image that I had constructed of Gandhi.

The White Knight of India, the hero who delivered our country from the British, now appeares to be a rogue whose ego could not tolerate the British ruling over his own race. His efforts appear to be self centered and his personality one that was prone to flattery and mule like stubborness. It's possible that it wasn't even Gandhi who was responsible for India's freedom. The Atlantic Charter might have been what moved the British to leave the nation, rather than Gandhi's Satyagraha movement. His weakness in the face of Jinnah was the reason for partition and his failure to respect and acknowledge the leadership, political accumen and eligibility of Sardar Patel leaves me disgusted. Gandhiji was not a good man. He was a man who image was airbrushed by the Congress and put on a facade of values and ethics to get power. He just couldn't stand the fact that HE had to sit in second class because he was an Indian. All he had was an ego problem, no values and no ethics.

Now, this has been a deeply traumatic experience for me. I feel like a five year old who's been told that Santa Claus is a mass murdering psychopath. The I remembered you. Iwas one of the students who attended HMUN India 2012, and your speech/demonstartion there was extremely intriguing. I hope you can reconstruct Gandhiji's broken image for me and give me back my hero.

A dissapointed Gandhi fan


On 3 May 2013 11:18, Birad Yajnik <      > wrote:
Dear Anirudh,
Thanks for writing to me.
The work day has just started in India and I was planning to send you a polite note with an assurance that I will have a response for you in the next few days, but your last line – “I hope you can reconstruct Gandhiji's broken image for me and give me back my hero.” has prioritized my response .. I hope I am able to provide you with a view that would rekindle the hope and strengths of the simple man we call the Mahatma.

 Gandhi was human and I am glad he was as it gave him the opportunity to make mistakes. The freedom and the ability to make mistakes is the one single reason for humanity to move forward. If we take this ability away from all of us, we as a race will be extinct soon. The ability to accept that you can make mistakes allows us to take risk, which fuels decisions and decisions in turn cause change. However decisions also come with the baggage of responsibility and it takes almost super human courage to take responsibility for 300 million people. Gandhi did that and I am sure he was aware of the consequences of taking this huge responsibility but it outweighed the benefits of moving India forward.

We all have multiple roles in our lives, I am a father, a husband, a leader of my team, a friend, similarly you are a son and a student in time will be a husband and a father, we all have to take decisions in multiple situations at different stages of our lives. The combination of these permutations can be exponential and the only tool we possess to take the right decision is our conscience. I am sure Gandhi had a justification backed by his conscience for each of his decisions, and also realized that each decision will have its share of disappointments. But that did not stop him from not taking them as he had a greater responsibility of causing change. His undying belief in – “Truth is God” is an example of how he was able to simplify the most complex of situations in our society i.e. Religion and use it as a tool to do right.

An example for you to debate, In the Ramayana was Lord Ram right or wrong in putting his wife through fire to prove her love and trust for him, also in later pages he sends his pregnant wife Sita away into the forest as his subjects object to her being the queen.

Pick up today’s newspaper and find me a page that has no negative news about the world, it’s disappointing to see that negativity sells and is commercially profitable. I am sure some learned sociologist will be able to explain the mass need to feed off negativity, but it’s the small hope of positivity that creates hope and value for mankind to move forward.
The internet is a great place to propagate multiple views but it’s also a mile wide and an inch thick, needs validations for authenticity and objective of the views.

Finally, I wish to share my dream with you. I am not looking to create Gandhians or followers of Gandhi, but want to find the next Gandhi as we need a lot of them in this current world. The next Gandhi would be able to see and understand the power this simple man created by his experiments with truth and his life and emulate them for a current day cause.

Thanks again for writing in, I travel through Singapore a couple of times a year and it would be a pleasure to meet with you and explore change.
Best Regards

 -------- Original Message --------
 Subject: Re: Gandhi-Hero or Villain?
 From: Anirudh Raghavendran
 Date: Fri, May 03, 2013 9:25 pm
 To: Birad Yajnik <   
Dear Mr. Yajnik,

I'm really grateful for your response, which I only just saw. I realize that I cannot judge Gandhiji, because his situation was unique. In addition to this, his motives were varied, but you have convinced me that, deep underneath, he was always motivated by truth. He did make mistakes but they were honest, and it would be wrong to judge him by those. I like your dream of finding the next Gandhiji. As you say, in a world that is filled with people without any substance or principles, we need a lot more men like Gandhiji.
 I'd like you to know that you have given me back my hero. You've reconstructed a shattered symbol of hope, and I'm really thankful to you. It's really horrible to hear slander about someone you hold high above you. I still remember the presentation you gave in Hyderabad, at HMUN, even though I don't remember any of the other speakers. Your presentation focused on how widespread respect for and knowledge of Gandhiji's values was.

 Please do drop me a line when you pass through Singapore next.
 In the end, we must never forget that Gandhiji succeeded where everyone failed. He had the courage to stand against floods of abuse because of his iron belief in truth and no matter what flaws he may have had, I'll respect him for the hero and Man of God that he is(considering Truth was his God).

 Thanks again for your response, help and support.

Friday, July 26, 2013

8 YEAR OLD GIRLS set an example for CORPORATE INDIA.

Last week I conducted a workshop with a 100 – 8 year olds, they were in grade 3 and visiting the Peace Truth Ahimsa Museum on Mahatma Gandhi. I asked them to pay for a snack and beverage with money that THEY WOULD CREATE. I also informed them that the money collected if in excess of the costs would be used to help economically challenged children.

Paper, pens and pencils were provided and 15 minutes later I had a stack of money that was created by these 8 year olds.

The total sum collected – Rs 8.2 crores
Less cost of snack & beverage – Rs 2200/-
Funding available to help economically challenged children: Rs 8,19,97,800/-

The future of our world is bright!!! The girls were empowered and then asked to use that power to CAUSE CHANGE ….. They came out miles ahead of any person that today possess that power.

More power to the girls and the youth of this country.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Peace Truth Ahimsa - A Student Tour to South Africa by Birad Rajaram Yajnik

Birad Rajaram Yajnik speaks on the student tour to South Africa, tracing the journey that transformed Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi the lawyer to Mahatma Gandhi the greatest peace leader of our times.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Gandhi and the World of Advertising

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Assassination of Gandhi, 1948 - Eye Witness Account (Vincent Sheean)

"Just an old man in a loincloth in distant India: Yet when he died, humanity wept." This was the observation of a newspaper correspondent at the death of Mahatma Gandhi. The tragedy occurred in New Delhi as the gaunt old man walked to a prayer-meeting and was engulfed by one of history's great ironies - a life-long pacifist and promoter of non-violence struck down by an assassin's bullet.
Gandhi's violent death came just months after the realization of his long sought-after goal - the

independence of India from Great Britain. It was a bittersweet victory for Gandhi because along with India's independence came the partitioning of the sub-continent into two separate states - Muslim-based Pakistan and Hindu-based India - an action he thoroughly opposed. Gandhi did not take part in the celebration of India's independence.

Death of the Mahatma
Vincent Sheean was an American reporter and author who had covered trouble spots around the world in the years prior to and during World War II. In 1947, Sheean traveled to India and became a disciple of Gandhi in an attempt to find meaning in the violent and disruptive events he had witnessed during his years of reporting. We join his account as he rushes to join a prayer-meeting with Gandhi in the heart of New Delhi in the early evening hours of January 30, 1948:

"I got a taxi and went out to Birla House in time for the prayer-meeting. This time I was alone. I stationed my taxi under a tree opposite the gate of Birla House and walked down the drive to the prayer-ground. It was not yet five o'clock and people were still streaming in on foot, in cars and with tongas. As I came on to the prayer-ground at the end of the garden I ran into Bob Stimson, the Delhi correspondent of the B.B.C. We fell into talk and I told him about the journey to Amritsar and what had taken place there. It was unusual to see any representatives of the press at the prayer-meeting; Bob explained that he had submitted some questions to the Mahatma for the B.B.C. and thought he might as well stay for the prayers since he was on the premises. He looked at his watch and said: 'Well, this is strange. Gandhi's late. He's practically never late.'
 We both looked at our watches again. It was 5:12 by my watch when Bob said: 'There he is.' We stood near the corner of the wall, on the side of the garden where he was coming, and watched the evening light fall on his shining dark-brown head. He did not walk under the arbor this evening but across the grass, in the open lawn on the other side of the flower-beds. (There was the arbored walk, and a strip of lawn, and a long strip of flower-bed, and then the open lawn.)
It was one of those shining Delhi evenings, not at all warm but alight with the promise of spring. I felt well and happy and grateful to be here. Bob and I stood idly talking, I do not remember about what, and watching the Mahatma advance toward us over the grass, leaning lightly on two of 'the girls,' with two or three other members of his 'family' (family or followers) behind them. I read afterward that he had sandals on his feet but I did not see them. To me it looked as if he walked barefoot on the grass. It was not a warm evening and he was wrapped in homespun shawls. He passed by us on the other side and turned to ascend the four or five brick steps which led to the terrace or prayer-ground.

Here, as usual, there was a clump of people, some of whom were standing and some of whom had gone on their knees or bent low before him. Bob and I turned to watch - we were perhaps ten feet away from the steps-but the clump of people cut off our view of the Mahatma now; he was so small. Then I heard four small, dull, dark explosions. 'What's that?' I said to Bob in sudden horror. 'I don't know,' he said. I remember that he grew pale in an instant. 'Not the Mahatma!' I said, and then I knew.

Inside my own head there occurred a wavelike disturbance which I can only compare to a storm at sea - wind and wave surging tremendously back and forth. I remember all this distinctly; I do not believe that I lost consciousness even for a moment, although there may have been an instant or two of half-consciousness. I recoiled upon the brick wall and leaned against it, bent almost in two. I felt the consciousness of the Mahatma leave me then-I know of no other way of expressing this: he left me. ...The storm inside my head continued for some little time-minutes, perhaps; I have no way of reckoning. was during this time, apparently, that many things happened: a whole external series of events took place in my immediate neighborhood - a few yards away - and I was unaware of them. A doctor was found; the police took charge; the body of the Mahatma was, carried away; the crowd melted, perhaps urged to do so by the police. I saw none of this. The last I saw of the Mahatma he was advancing over the grass in the evening light, approaching the steps. When I finally took my fingers out of my mouth and stood up, dry-eyed, there were police and soldiers and not many people, and there was Bob Stimson. He was rather breathless; he had gone somewhere to telephone to the B.B.C. He came with me down the steps to the lawn, where we walked up and down beside the flower-bed for a while. The room with the glass doors and windows, by the rose garden at the end of the arbor, had a crowd of people around it. Many were weeping. The police were endeavoring to make them leave. Bob could not tell me anything except that the Mahatma had been taken inside that room. On the following day he told me that he had seen him carried away and that the khadi which he wore was heavily stained with blood."

    Vincent Sheean's account appears in: Sheean, Vincent, Lead, Kindly Light (1949); Ashe, Geoffrey, Gandhi (1968).

Friday, May 3, 2013


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Posters @ Peace Truth Ahimsa Museum

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gandhi at IIM Kozhikode

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mahatma Gandhi among leaders most admired by CEOs globally

Mahatma Gandhi figures among the top three most admired leaders of the world, said a global survey of CEOs conducted by accountancy firm PwC.
While Winston Churchill tops the list of 10 most admired leaders, Gandhi figures in the third position after Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple), said the 16th Annual Global CEO Survey.
As part of its annual survey, PwC said it recently asked 1,400 CEOs from around the world "which leaders they most admired, and what they most admired about their actions".

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More on Gandhi and Cricket

On 30 January 1948, two days after the 4th Test ended in Adelaide, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, barely six months after Indian independence was declared.  The multi-faith team attended a combined prayer service reported by The Argus – Monday 9 February 1948.

..................The congregation passed a resolution of sympathy, which will be sent to the Governments of India and Pakistan and to Gandhi's family. It pays a tribute to his life and work as one who had earned a place "among the truly great of all time.".................

Gandhi and cricket

Gandhi and cricket
The writer is the editor of The Picador Book of Cricket.
Article appeared in The Hindu on Sunday, September 30, 2001

NOW, in the week we mark Mahatma Gandhi's 132nd birth anniversary, we must ask ourselves: Did he ever play or watch cricket himself? The biographies that I have read do not mention the game, indeed any game. A cricketer does, however, does figure fleetingly in his autobiography. When Gandhi first went to England as a student, in 1889, one of the three letters of introduction he carried was to his fellow Kathiawari, Prince Ranjitsinhji. We do not know whether they met. In any case, it was only after Gandhi left London, in 1891, that Ranji moved to the University of Cambridge to make his name on its playing fields.
The only evidence of a Gandhian interest in cricket that I know of is contained in a newspaper essay of 1958 by the Gujarati journalist Harish Booch. Booch had just met one of the Mahatma's classmates at Alfred High School, Rajkot. This man, Ratilal Ghelabhai Mehta, remembered Gandhi as "a dashing cricketer" who "evinced a keen interest in the game as a school student". He was, it seems, "good both at batting and bowling", and had an uncanny understanding of the game's uncertainties as well. Mehta spoke of a match they had watched together as schoolboys, played between Rajkot city and Rajkot cantonment. Apparently, "at a crucial moment in the match, as if through intuition, Gandhi said a particular player would be out and hey presto, that batsman was really out!"
These recollections were offered 10 years after the death of Gandhi more than 70 years after the event he predicted, and to a journalist hungry for a new angle to a ruthlessly written about figure. Both interviewer and interviewee were, it appears, a trifle apologetic about the revelations. After Mehta had praised Gandhi's skill at batting and bowling, he added: "Though he had an aversion for physical exercise at school, as he pointed out in his autobiography".
Cricket might not have affected Gandhi, but Gandhi certainly affected cricket. The political movements he led and the social changes he sought to bring about had their consequences on how the game was played in the sub-continent.
Between 1919 and 1923, for instance, he was dragged, willy-nilly, into a remarkable campaign to accord just recognition to a family of Dalit cricketers. These were the Palwankar brothers, the eldest of whom, Palwankar Baloo, was without question India's first great slow bowler. But, because of his caste, Baloo was never made captain of the Hindu team in the Bombay Quadrangular, then India's premier cricket tournament, and in which the other competing teams were the Muslims, the Parsis, and the ruling Europeans.
The campaign to accord just recognition to the Palwankars got an enormous boost from Gandhi own struggle against the evils of caste. The family's nationalist supporters took heart from the Mahatma's claim that swaraj would come about only after we had done away with the pernicious social practice of untouchability. In 1923, Baloo's younger brother Vithal was made captain of the Hindus. Palwankar Vithal was a high-class batsman; according to some who watched both, he was just as good as Vijay Hazare.
In the finals of the 1923 quadrangular the Hindus won, with their captain making a century. As one patriot who watched that year's quadrangular later wrote, "the happiest event, the most agreeable upshot of the set of matches was the carrying of Captain vithal on the shoulders of Hindus belonging to the so- called higher castes. Hurrah! Captain Vithal! Hurrah! Hindus who forget caste prejudice! Mahatma Gandhi Maharaj ki jai."
Gandhi's next intervention with the course of cricket came in the form of his Salt March of 1930. This led, as we know, to countrywide Civil Disobedience. The city of Bombay was an epicentre of the protests, and as a consequence the Quadrangular was not held between 1930 and 1933. When it resumed, in 1934, it became the object of fierce opposition from nationalists. If the Muslims had a separate cricket team, the argument went, did not this provide them a justification for demanding a separate nation? The Gandhians among cricket lovers mounted a sustained campaign against the communal cricket tournament. Finally, in 1940, they were able to obtain a statement from the Mahatma himself (by this time the tournament had become a Pentangular, with the inclusion of a fifth side simply called The Rest). Gandhi told them that his "sympathies (were) wholly with those who would like to see these matches stopped". Gandhi asked the "sporting public of Bombay to revise their sporting code and to erase from it communal matches."
"I can understand matches between Colleges and Institutions," remarked Gandhi, "but I have never understood the reason for having Hindu, Parsi, Muslim and other communal Elevens. I should have thought that such unsportsmanlike divisions would be considered taboo in sporting language and sporting manners."
Sadly, the forces that favoured the continuation of the Pentangular were also strong and well organised. So, despite the Mahatma's opposition, the tournament was played on until 1946, by which time the creation of Pakistan was a fait accompli. Neither cricket nor Gandhi could stop it.
Postscript: It was said of Gandhi that he was a saint who wished to become a politician. I like to think that he was also a philosopher who wished to become a humourist. On one occasion, cricket was the subject of his wit. When Vijay Merchant's sister Laxmi asked for his autograph, Gandhi chose the page of her book containing the signatures of the 1933-34 M.C.C. team, selecting himself as its 17th member.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Mahatma Gandhi's ‘light’guided Martin Luther King Jr.
By NIRUPAMA RAO - Ambassador of India to the United States.

Having won our independence in a nonviolent struggle, Indians join Americans in celebrating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership of the civil rights movement in the United States. On Aug. 28, we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, and, on April 4, we will mourn the 45th anniversary of his assassination.

On March 10, we will mark another milestone moment in King’s public ministry and personal journey. On that day, 54 years ago, he returned from a monthlong journey to India where he rededicated himself to the nonviolent struggle for justice to which the leader of our nation’s independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi, gave his life.
King carried forward Gandhi’s commitments — and Indians enthusiastically embraced King’s campaigns — because both shared common values, common strategies and common struggles. While each leader’s life was cut short by violence, both these prophets of peace still have much to teach a world plagued by war, terrorism, discrimination and divisiveness.
Through most of the past century, Indians and African-Americans supported each other’s struggles because we identify with each other’s predicaments and principles. While born and raised in India, Gandhi first struggled for social justice in South Africa where he protested peacefully against discrimination against Asians as well as Africans.
Returning to India in 1914, he developed the doctrine of Satyagraha — nonviolent resistance to evil. This watchword has been translated as “truth force,” “love force” — and, in a phrase made famous by the U.S. civil rights movement, “soul force.” From the Salt March in 1930 to hunger strikes and prison terms, our nonviolent struggle won our independence in 1947.
Gandhi also reached out to African-Americans, spreading seeds of nonviolent protest that King would ultimately harvest. In 1929, he authored a short article in the NAACP magazine, The Crisis, and in 1935 he met with a group of African-American leaders visiting India, including Benjamin Mays, who later became president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, which King attended.
As a mentor to King, Mays encouraged him to read Gandhi’s writings, which informed King’s leadership of the bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955. King later wrote that Gandhi’s teachings were “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”
Meanwhile, leading stalwarts of the nonviolent movement in India watched King with interest. After visiting the U.S. in 1956, India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said he wished he had met King. In January 1959, Harishwar Dayal of the Indian Embassy passed along a letter from the Gandhi National Memorial Fund inviting King to visit India.
Accepting the invitation, King arrived in India on Feb. 10, 1959, declaring: “To other countries, I may go as a tourist but to India I come as a pilgrim.” Having dinner with Nehru on their second night in India, King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, toured the country, meeting with leaders, scholars and everyday citizens and discussing issues of poverty, economic policy, race relations and world peace. In a broadcast on All India Radio, King said: “If this age is to survive, it must follow the way of love and nonviolence that [Gandhi] so nobly illustrated in his life.” King later wrote in Ebony magazine that many Indians were better informed about the bus boycott than many Americans. His visit to India was a revelation in many ways, as if “the spear of frustration” had been transformed “into a shaft of light.”
After his trip, King wrote: “I have returned to America with a greater determination to achieve freedom for my people through nonviolent means.” His commitment to peaceful protest informed his later efforts, including his campaign in Birmingham, Ala., and the March on Washington, both of which took place a half-century ago.
Fifty years after King’s visit to India, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) recognizing Gandhi’s influence on King. During February 2009, King’s son, Martin Luther King III, Lewis and other Americans visited India, retracing the martyred civil rights leader’s pilgrimage 50 years earlier.
In today’s world, Gandhi and King continue to inspire the leaders of nonviolent freedom struggles, from Nelson Mandela in South Africa to Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar. Their lives and legacies — and King’s journey to India — still offer new paths to global peace and human progress.



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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Talkio - Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, February 23, 2013

110 years of freedom - Harley Davidson

Ahimsa Harley now has a customized Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Graphic on the offical, please visit the link below and VOTE ... Thanks

How the Ahimsa Harley was created:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reading Gandhi

The copper coin was most intriguing. On one side it read – MAHATMA GANDHI 1932 and the other it displayed the emblem of the British Raj. So a coin minted by the British in the name of Gandhi 15 years before independence , right after the failure of the famous round table talks in London. It could not be further from the truth … but what was the truth.  Reading Gandhi does not always mean reading volumes of pages written by him and hundreds of others, the world has been at it for a long time, Reading Gandhi according to me is reading between the lines, understanding this man we made the Mahatma, understanding his life, understanding events around him and far away from him and then learning from them for the 21st century. But is it relevant …… Before I delve into that, let me tell you where the 1932 coin came from. It was minted in New York in 1935 by a Magician – Frank Ducrot as he had created a magic trick called the Mahatma. So how intriguing a man do you have to be to have a magic trick in your name, 10,000 miles away, in a land you have never visited in a time where Facebook, Twitter or YouTube did not exist. The story gets even more interesting where we learn that in 1901 Frank Ducrot was the editor and publisher of a magazine on magic called the MAHATMA …. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was called the Mahatma – Great One only from 1915 …. I am still reading to unravel this!!!!

Going back to the relevance of Gandhi in the 21st century and if learnings from his life would cause change. Gandhi has been invoked by the most powerful even today, President Obama stated him when stumped by a question from an elementary school girl, Pop star Shakira invoked him in her award acceptance speech at the ILO, a bikers group in the United States – BAAC – Bikers against Animal Cruelty quotes him on their website, 10,000 people a city in brazil march in his honor every year, in 2011 a nation got democracy in 18 days using the weapon (SATYAGRAHA) created by him…….. Reading Gandhi is a book that gets written every day in some part of the world and the process never stops.

My journey on reading Gandhi began a few years ago when I started on my book – PEACE TRUTH AHIMSA – a photo biography of Mahatma Gandhi; it was launched in a form of a Limited edition on the 29th January 2010, a very cold day in London, the venue Nehru Center did not offer parking, but the crowds overflowing into the street of Mayfair proved without doubt that Gandhi still lives between us. The next 36 months have been a high speed adrenaline ride across continents, from the Tolstoy farm in Johannesburg, South Africa, to the United Nations and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The book got invited to the international book fair in Beijing, was honored in Tokyo, and recently was at Cairo in the midst of all the turmoil, hope and change. It’s like riding a hi speed bike of change.

Speaking of bikes, I got an opportunity to engage with 900 teenagers who had gathered from multiple countries as a part of the Harvard Model United Nations, I was to speak to them on “Mahatma Gandhi in the 21st century” for an hour before the start of a social evening.  Needless to say the excitement was not very high. The evolution I witnessed that night was motivating as I attempted to inspire the children with the life of Gandhi. At the end to express their energy they all transformed a Harley Davidson by signing their names and messages, creating a symbol of peace truth and ahimsa. This single act reconfirmed to me that the youth of today are ready to embrace the path that created the most powerful weapon known to mankind – Satyagraha (Truth Force).

That night I started on a path that has a destination / a goal, a goal to inspire the new generation with Peace Truth & Ahimsa (nonviolence) and create the next Gandhi in the world. The world needs another Gandhi and needs him fast, in fact the true need is a Gandhi in every continent, country, city, town and village. The need is so immense that it’s in our blind spot and my task is to show to the world why we need him in the 21st century. The destination is clear but the route is mapped by people, people who provide the opportunity to speak to the world.

As I continue reading Gandhi, I attempt to rewrite it for the 21st century at the Museum of PEACE TRUTH AHIMSA, at Bapu Ghat, Langar Houze in Hyderabad. On most days the Ahimsa Harley is parked inside along with a host of memorabilia – Time magazines from 1930, 31 and 47 featuring Gandhi on the cover, a signed book by Sir Richard Attenborough, and the 1932 coin from New York … the list goes on. The Museum also features the largest image wall on Gandhi, its 76 feet long and 10 feet high with over 400 images. The digital zone attached has the voice, letters and films of the Mahatma accessible on I-pads, touch screens and projectors. The - I AM GANDHI student program at the museum allows children to touch and read Gandhi in a unique way, hoping to find the next Gandhi.

As a footnote to this article: The Ahimsa Harley was recently displayed at the India Bike Week in Goa, the bike invited maximum attention and got the maximum likes on the Facebook page of the event. People Reading Gandhi.

Birad Rajaram Yajnik

Feb 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

CHANGE Happens on Facebook - Ahimsa Harley

The first-annual India Bike Week in Goa, India was an amazing milestone event that took place January 31 - February 3, 2013 to help celebrate Harley-Davidson's 110th Anniversary.
The Ahimsa Harley was displayed at the venue along with a ton of bikes and events.
BikeWale review on Ahimsa Harley
"Called the Ahimsa Harley, this is not a normal Harley. This motorcycle has been signed by over 900 students. The concept was to kick start a revolution of Peace Truth and Ahimsa and create a symbol that would announce to the world that this generation is ready to embrace Mahatma Gandhi. The 900 students supported this by signing on a Harley Davidson turning into it a Ahimsa Harley."
On the Harley Davidson Facebook page it was a treat to see the Ahimsa Harley get the Maximum "likes" in the India Bike Week album….. MK Gandhi would be smiling …..

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The legacy of Mahatma Gandhi TODAY rests on the shoulders of the Egyptian people

The legacy of Mahatma Gandhi TODAY rests on the shoulders of the Egyptian people; two years ago they lead a peaceful revolution. Over the last week the news around the world shows violence and the protests from most parts of Egypt.

I have spent the last week in Cairo and would like to state that it is a peace loving proud country of young people, young people who have aspiration to evolve in a democratic peaceful nation. They are proud of their 5000 year history and hospitality is at their core.

It’s a country that has potential to grow into a modern yet traditional, a futuristic yet historical, proud yet peaceful nation …. One that Gandhi would be proud of…….  


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