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

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.


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