Dear Little Friends,
Today is October 2. It is a very important day for our country. This day we celebrate birthday of Mahatma Gandhi — father of our nation. We also call him “Bapu” with great respect and affection. I am sure you all would like to listen story of Bapu whose birthday we are celebrating today across entire India and world.
Long ago, 142 years back on this day of 1869, a cute little baby was born in Porbandar town in Gujarat. Father Karamchand Gandhi and mother Putlibai were very happy. They named the baby “Mohan” — Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. When Mohan grew, he was greatly influenced by honesty and strict discipline of his father and by simplicity and religious thoughts of his mother. At very early age, the shy little child learned great values of truthfulness, integrity, honesty and discipline. He lived these values throughout his life and rightly demonstrated power of these values to entire world.
When Mohan grew older, like any other teenagers, he also fell in bad company and picked up few bad habits as well. He hid these bad deeds from his parents. But his values did not allow these bad habits to linger any longer with him. He realized the mistake and sincerely repented for his bad habits. He confessed to his father by writing a letter to him. Perhaps this incident made him to devotedly, throughout his life, obey the values taught by parents.
Mohan was sent to England to study law. After study, he became lawyer in India. For a case, he visited South Africa. Those days there was discrimination between white and color people. He was ill-treated by a British who threw him out of first class compartment of a train. It was very humiliating experience. He decided to fight against this inhuman color discrimination by British and came back to India.
Unlike any other contemporary violent protestors, Mohan created a new method to fight against British — Satyagrah: protesting injustice in a nonviolent way. Very soon, many people started following him. People called him Bapu (the father) and Mahatma (the saint). Bapu and his followers non-violently galvanized whole India against British rule. British arrested Bapu and his followers and sent them to jail many occasions but it did not deter the sathyagrahis’ will to fight against injustice. There was no discrimination in Satyagraha — people with all religions and all castes joined Bapu. Everyone, be it Muslim or Hindu or Sikh or from any other religion, accepted other in Satyagrah as own brother or sister.
Finally British understood that it would not be possible to rule India against Bapu and his followers. Our country got independence on August 15, 1947. It was first time in history of world and mankind that a huge victory was achieved by Satyagrahs, by nonviolence.
Since then whole world has recognized greatness of Bapu and might of his novel method Satyagrah (nonviolent protest). Many other famous leaders throughout the World such as Martin Luther King, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, Anna Hazare etc followed Satyagrah and nonviolent method to protest against injustice or to achieve agreement with ruling government. I shall tell you story of these superheroes in coming days. For now let’s pay our sincere homage to our respected Bapu by pledging to follow values he lived.
With lots of love,
your Pranav Uncle
[Listen this song about Bapu]