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Banaras Hindu University (BHU): Today is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. He was born on 2nd October 1869 in the town of Porbandar, Gujarat. Even though on 30th January, in the year 1948, Gandhiji was shot and killed, but he is still alive in our thoughts. Gandhiji had a deep attachment to Kashi. He visited Kashi 12 times in his lifetime. The first political address was given by Gandhiji on 5 February 1916 at the Banaras Hindu University.
Many princely kings were engaged in the program
Mahatma Gandhi reached Kashi for the second time on 5 February 1916 after returning from South Africa. The foundation stone laying ceremony of Banaras Hindu University was being celebrated in the Central Hindu College campus. Along with BHU founder Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya, Annie Besant, Raja Rameshwar Singh of Darbhanga, Raja of several princely states were present there. Gandhiji was present over there in Gujarati costumes (dhoti, turban and lathi).
Asked, how do you want the Swaraj of India?
Gandhiji had said- how do the people of the country, students and all of you want Swaraj of India? It should be clear what the people of Congress and Muslim League think about Swaraj? Meanwhile, Gandhiji’s eyes fell on the jewellery of the kings present there. He said- now understood how our country became poor? All of you should demise the poverty of the people of the country by selling your gold studded jewellery.
Expressed grief over Kashi’s streets being dirty
Continuing his point, Gandhiji said – 13 years ago, the streets of Kashi Vishwanath Temple were full of dirt and are the same today. In such a situation, what would the future of India and people visiting here think? Annie Besant had also tried to stop him, but he continued his speech at the behest of Malviya Ji. Earlier, Mahatma Gandhi first visited Kashi on a religious visit in 1902-03. After the Ganges bath, he had darshan at the Kashi Vishwanath temple. He was very sad to see the dirt on the streets here. During his first visit to Kashi, he also went to meet unwell Annie Besant.
Harsh words for Viceroy Lord Hardinge
Gandhiji was also tight-lipped about the visit and security arrangements of Viceroy Lord Hardinge. It was said that the entire Banaras Viceroy has become a cantonment with the arrival of Lord Hardinge. This is a matter of great shame. How will the ruler protect the people who fears his own life? Gandhiji used very harsh words for the Viceroy, calling himself revolutionary. In India, hardly any such harsh words for the Viceroy were ever uttered in a public forum.
Gandhiji explained the importance of charkha to the youth
On 10 February 1920, Gandhiji visited Kashi for the sixth time. Here he laid the foundation stone of Kashi Vidyapeeth and later he addressed the people at Town Hall. Speaking on national education, he said that we all should avoid half-baked knowledge. Do not be irresponsible. He then attended a meeting of the Nagari Pracharini Sabha. During the seventh yatra, on 17 October 1925, at the Kashi Vidyapeeth ground, he explained the importance of charkha to the youth. He said that charkha will reduce the poverty of the country, carry it forward. On 25 October 1936, Gandhiji visited Kashi for the 11th time. He established the Bharat Mata Temple here.