We are pleased to introduce one fascinating book from BHU alumna, Dr. (Mrs.) Rama Venkataraman from Sanskrit faculty. The book was released in a function held at Chennai on February 4, 2011. The book describes the life and mission of two legendary leaders: Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji (1851-1946) and Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). The book does not try to compare the two leaders, rather evaluates their similarity of work, goal and principles.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya
The author, Dr. (Mrs.) Rama Venkataraman did MA (in 1965) and PhD (in 1970) in Sanskrit from Banaras Hindu University. She lives in Chennai. Her bio-data is attached here.
She can be reached at: Rama4639@yahoo.com
With the permission from Dr. (Mrs.) Rama Venkataraman, we publish selected excerpts of the book. She has also provided introduction of her book and about herself, as follows:
This is a saga of two dedicated and illustrious sons of our motherland- Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and Sri Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It is said that the Poet Rabindra Nath Tagore had given them the epithets MAHAMANA and MAHATMA respectively. Both Malaviyaji and Gandhiji were champions of India’s freedom movement and can be rightly called the architects of modern India. They possessed constant spirit of sacrifice and self-less service and were therefore true karmayogis.
The idea of writing this book was mooted in the mind of my father during a stay at my home in Chennai in 2007. It was during this stay that he saw all the 100 volumes of the ‘The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi’ and many other books on Gandhi by writers like D. G. Tendulkar etc. in my house, collected by my son Dr. V. Aravind. My father was the co-author of the book ‘History of the Banaras Hindu University’. He also wrote about Malaviyaji’s life and works in various articles and books. His lifelong association with Banaras Hindu University started as a student and actively continued even after his retirement as the Deputy Registrar of the University. In this context he had many close interactions with Pandit Malaviya. He had an equal regard for Mahatma Gandhi also. He visualized that it would be a new and challenging perspective to study the two great leaders together and he suggested to me why not we write a book on both of them, the Mahamana and the Mahatma.
This book is about Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya and Mahatma Gandhi. The present work is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the life and works of Malaviyaji up to 1915 A.D. The second part is devoted to the life and works of Gandhiji from 1869 to 1915. This part is mostly based on Gandhiji’s own writings, especially ‘Satyagraha in South Africa’ and ‘An autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth’. It was in the Congress session of 1915 that Malaviyaji and Gandhiji first met in person and thereafter their active association continued without any break right till Malaviyaji’s death. The third part ‘Mahamana and Mahatma’ deals with this period of association and gives the stand taken by these great leaders on some vital issues of national importance. The authors do not intend to compare or evaluate their views. The point to be noted is this, that Malaviyaji and Gandhiji differed on number of issues, accepted it with perfect grace, nevertheless their association and mutual regard never diminished.
The book release function was held on 4th February, 2011 at Ragasudha Hall, Luz Avenue, Mylapore, Chennai. Prof. N. Shanmugam (M.A., M.Ed., Certificate in Education, Education Officer (Retd.) Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Ministry of H.R.D., Government of India) released the book.
About myself and my family
My brother is working in B.H.U. as Prof. in Philosophy, so he will also give one copy to BHU Vice-Chancellor.
I am Dr. Rama Venkataraman M.A. (1965), PhD (1970) in Sanskrit from BHU. My father Sri S. Somaskandan was the Deputy Registrar of BHU. We both started writing this book. As my father passed away, I completed the book.
Shri S. Somaskandan was born on 25th August, 1919. His ancestors hailed from Tirunelveli district in Tamilnadu. His father Swami Shastri, a noted scholar of Veda-Vedanta, Dharmashastra and Karmakanda, settled at Varanasi. His mother Smt. Lakshmi was very pious women. S. Somaskandan was directly admitted to class 3 in the Central Hindu School at Banaras in 1927 from where he passed Admission examination in 1935. He passed Intermediate in 1937 from BHU. He could not continue his studies due to financial constraints and had to take up a job. While in service, he did Graduation (1950) and Post-graduation in Psychology (1952)-both from BHU. He registered for PhD but could not complete it as his subject was not to be revealed. He also joined in LL. B, but due to work load in service could not complete. He had very deep knowledge of our scriptures. He can quote from Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Manusmruti, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata and Gita, from anywhere effortlessly. His knowledge of music and astrology are also well known. He had a very good memory.
Book publishing details
Photo of the cover page
No. of pages 620, No. of print copies 500, ISBN 978-81-909037-6-9
Price Rs. 550
Please send the check, under the name of “Payasvati Prakashan” to Rama Venkataraman or Dr. S. Vijaya Kumar
Name of the Publisher:
N 4/18A (K)
You can get the book from:
Dr. (Mrs.) Rama Venkataraman,
37, C.V. Raman Road,
Dr. S. Vijaya Kumar,
N 4/18A (K)
(Release of Book at Chennai on February 4, 20110)
From left to Right: N. Krishnaswamy IPS (Retd.), L. G. Narayanaswamy, Prof. N. Shanmugam, Dr. C. L. Ramakrishnan IPS (Retd.) and Dr. (Mrs.) Rama venkataraman
Dr. (Mrs.) Rama Venkataraman holding the book
In writing these few lines by way of a foreword, I consider myself blessed in that it was the wish of the author Sri Somaskandan, that I should do it. I regarded this as a learning experience and an honour when Dr. Rama Venkataraman, the illustrious daughter of the illustrious father, conveyed to me his desire that I should write this foreword.
This volume is a rare documentation of the lives and interaction of two great minds of modern India, Mahatma Gandhiji and Mahamana Malaviyaji, for both of whom he had great reverence. A staunch Gandhian, Sri Somaskandan came under the spell of the Mahatma and Mahamana after hearing them in 1934, when he was yet a school student. This inspired him to take to Gandhian ways such as wearing Kadar and using the spinning wheel (charka). He had decades of close association with the Banaras Hindu University, founded by Malaviyaji. These factors enthused him to follow the path laid by them.
Armed with this background, the author has narrated their life and achievements, in the backdrop of the country’s social, cultural and political milieu, neatly dividing the work into three parts. Being a historian, he has brought into play his extraordinary penmanship and acumen in recording, absorbingly, illuminating anecdotes and enlivening episodes which are at times awe inspiring, at times poignant. Fierce patriotism, unremitting toil for the nation, bringing relief to the afflicted, and undergoing personal suffering as the means of achieving objectives have been the hallmark of both Gandhiji and Malaviyaji.
The narration throws a flood of light on the conditions prevailing then in the country, touching on areas like history, geography, culture, customs, manners and the ‘milk of human kindness’ of these leaders. It is interesting to note the interactions between them, since they held, on certain matters, diametrically opposite views and yet harboured no rancour towards each other. In fact, they were like brothers. As instances could be cited their views on the boycott of foreign goods, non-cooperation and civil disobedience. Also could be cited the educational system followed in the Banaras Hindu University. And Gandhiji explains the reason for this, when he says that both followed their own conviction and thus, there was no scope for confrontation or controversy. Both contributed greatly, in their own way, for igniting the minds of the Indians and inspiring them to aspire for freedom. One is reminded of the different paths philosophers follow- the goal being the same. And, in fact, both were philosophers, in the true sense of the word. The lives of both Mahatma Gandhi and Mahamana Malaviya are themselves their message to the masses.
Excerpts from the speeches and writings of these leaders, apart from other important persons lend charm and add value to the book. As has been the wont with this great chronicler, this book is yet another product of assiduous research, a product of poring over hundreds of pages of material and an incisive analysis of the same. This book deserves to be kept in all libraries and in schools and colleges where posterity may learn about the sacrifices and selfless lives led by these great men through self-abnegation, though they had plentiful means for a luxurious life. This publication has not come a day early, as the crying need of the hour is the restoration of all that India stood for in the past.
C. L. Ramakrishnan
04 – 02 - 2011
PART -- I
MAHAMANA MADAN MOHAN MALAVIYA
I TEERTHRAJ PRAYAG
II FIRST WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
III QUEEN VICTORIA’S PROCLAMATION
IV MALAVIYAJI’S BIRTH, PARENTAGE AND FAMILY
V EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
VI HIGHER EDUCATION
VII SCHOOL MASTER
VIII POLITICAL WORK (FROM THE YEAR 1880)
IX DEBUT IN CONGRESS (DEC. 1886) 2ND SESSION
X IN JOURNALISM
XI REJOINED THE COLLEGE 1889 TO COMPLETE LAW COURSE
XII CAREER AT THE BAR
XIII THE BIRTH OF THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
XIV EMERGENCE OF MALAVIYAJI AS A NATIONAL LEADER
XV HISTORIC CONGRESS SESSION OF 1888
XVI BHARTI BHAVAN LIBRARY
XVII CONGRESS SESSION AT BOMBAY 1889
XVIII POLITICS 1890 – 98
XIX THE HINDI MEMORANDUM
XX ALLAHABAD CIVIC WORK
XXI MEMBER, MUNICIPAL BOARD AND THEN OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
XXII CENTRAL HINDU COLLEGE – 1898
XXIII MOOTED THE IDEA OF THE HINDU UNIVERSITY – 1904
XXIV PARTITION OF BENGAL
XXV BANARAS CONGRESS SESSION 1905
XXVI PROGRESS OF THE HINDU UNIVERSITY WORK
XXVII B.H.U. ACT PASSED ON OCTOBER 1, 1915
PART -- II
I BIRTH, PARENTAGE AND EDUCATION
II DESTINED TO WORK IN SOUTH AFRICA
III AFRICA - ITS GEOGRAPHY
IV ADVENT OF INDIANS IN NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA
V GANDHIJI ORGANIZES OPPOSITION TO FRANCHISE BILL
VI NATAL INDIAN CONGRESS
VII IN INDIA
IX CONSOLIDATION OF NATAL INDIAN CONGRESS
X THE BOER WAR
XI SETTLED IN INDIA
XII A MONTH WITH GOKHALE
XIII VISIT TO BANARAS
XV TO SOUTH AFRICA AGAIN
XVI WEEKLY JOURNAL ‘INDIAN OPINION” LAUNCHED
XVII THE PHOENIX ASHRAM
XVIII BACK TO JOHANNESBURG
XIX THE ZULU REBELLION
XX THE BACK ACT
XXI DEPUTATION TO ENGLAND
XXIII THE FIRST SETTLEMENT
XXIV BREACH OF THE COMPROMISE
XXV RESUMPTION OF THE STRUGGLE
XXVI SECOND DEPUTATION TO ENGLAND
XXVII GANDHIJI’S SATYAGRAHA STRUGGLE CONTINUES
XXVIII CREATION OF THE UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
XXIX GOKHALE’S VISIT
XXX A NEW CRISIS AGGRAVATES THE SITUATION
XXXI THE GREAT MARCH
XXXII HOMEWARD JOURNEY
XXXIII FOUNDING OF THE SATYAGRAHA ASHRAM
XXXIV BOMBAY SESSION OF THE CONGRESS
PART -- III
MAHAMANA AND MAHATMA
I MAHAMANA AND MAHATMA
II GANDHI’S SPEECH
III ROWLATT ACT
VI PUNJAB REFORMS
VIII NATIONALIZATION OF BANARAS HINDU UNIVERSITY
IX BOYCOTT OF GOVERNMENT AIDED INSTITUTION
X BOYCOTT OF GOVERNMENT
XI BOYCOTT OF FOREIGN GOODS
XII VISIT OF PRINCE OF WALES
XIV COW PROTECTION
XV COMMUNAL AWARD
XVI UPLIFT OF UNTOUCHABLES
XVII TEMPLE ENTRY
XVIII WHITE PAPER
XIX SILVER JUBILEE
XX QUIT INDIA
XXI LAST MEETING
XXII MALAVIYA PASSES AWAY
XXIII CONCERN FOR EACH OTHER
MALAVIYAJI’S BIRTH, PARENTAGE AND FAMILY
Three years later, the same city of Allahabad, which is known as Teertharaj Prayag, because in it is situated the Triveni Sangam-a confluence of three sacred rivers, the Ganga, the Yamuna and the invisible Sarasvati, witnessed on the Christmas day of 1861, the birth of Madan Mohan Malaviya in a pious and religious family.
During the time of Malaviyaji’s birth, Allahabad was completely dependent on the rivers gifted by nature, for its economy. It had no business and commercial activities, no industrial and agricultural growth, except a little trade that was needed to cater to the requirement of the pilgrims who flocked to the Triveni Sangam for religious pilgrimage throughout the year and particularly, during the month of Magh (Jan-Feb).
Allahabad, before the birth of Malaviyaji was a military cantonment and garrison town. There were very little political and intellectual activities in contrast to the developed city of later years. The importance of its location, surrounded by the vast expanse of water at the Triveni Sangam was recognized by the Mogul Emperor Akbar. While proceeding to Bengal by boat he noticed this vast sheet of water and realized its logistic and strategic importance. He constructed the Fort at a point equidistant from Jhusi and Arial across the Ganga and the Yamuna respectively and then followed it with stationing of a provincial Governor there.
The birth of Madan Mohan Malaviya coincided with a happy turn of events and prosperity coming to Allahabad. An era of development and growth commenced and Allahabad rose to the peak of prosperity. All this happened because of its being made the seat of Government of the North Western Provinces. The fort in Allahabad withstood many major attacks and ensured the security and safety of the city. The Governor General’s visit in January 1858, when Allahabad became his temporary head quarters, resulted in his issuing orders reconstituting the North Western Provinces (excluding the Delhi Division) as a Lieutenant Governorship, with Allahabad as its capital.
From the year of Malaviyaji’s birth, Allahabad thus grew and prospered rapidly and over a period of time, came to possess all the necessities and luxuries of a capital city. The new High Court for the North Western Provinces was established in 1866. To impart studies with degree courses, the Muir Central College was established in 1872. A Government hospital and a Government high school were established in 1861. A public library with access to one and all was established in 1864. To house the principal Government offices such as the Secretariat, the Board of Revenue, the High Court and the Accountant General’s Office etc. four double storied buildings were constructed. The first railway bridge for East Indian Railway, across the river Yamuna was constructed and opened for traffic in 1865. Keeping the same pace of development in the ongoing years, the Mayo Hall, the Thornhill-Mayne Memorial to house the public library and a museum, and a new building of the Muir Central College, besides the Kotwali and the Government Press were constructed. The city witnessed a phenomenal growth in population, from 72,093 in year 1853 to 105,926 in year 1865, 143,693 in the year 1872, 148,547 in the year 1881 and 175,246 in the year 1891, and keeping the same trend touched 260,630 in the year 1941 being the last census during Malaviyaji’s life time.
In his book entitled “Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya”, Sri Paramanand wrote “It almost seems Allahabad anticipated and prepared itself in advance to supply the needs, as they arose, of the newborn-citizen who was to shed lustre on it by his life-long service and self- sacrifice. There was a Government high school in working order before he was of school-going age; there was a first rate degree college in time for him to join after matriculation and there was a High Court and a considerable local population before he set up in legal practice. The field for his political, social and religious work was also developing in three decades.”
Madan Mohan Malaviya was born on Wednesday, 25th December 1861 A.D. His ancestors, the Mallai or Malaiya sect of Brahmans were settled in Malwa in the heyday of the Paramar dynasty and enjoyed royal patronage till circumstances compelled them to emigrate. One of the later Paramar rulers, anxious to unite the northern and southern sections of Brahmans, the Panch-Gaur and the Panch-Dravid, called on them to inter-dine and inter-marry. The Malaviyas (Malaviya, as the proper Sanskrit name, rather than Mallai or Malaiya, was given by Malaviyaji himself) proud of their Aryan ancestry refused to fall in with the Royal order and preferred to quit the realm. They migrated westward. Some of them settled at Patna and some at Mirjapur. Some families came further west and settled down at Allahabad.
The family into which Madan Mohan Malaviya was born belonged to the Chaturvedi branch and was of the Bharadwaja Gotra. His great-grand -father, Vishnu Prasad had five sons. The eldest son Premdhar, the grandfather of Madan Mohan, was a distinguished devotee of Lord Krishna. He was famous for his discourses on the Bhagavata. He had four sons. Brij Nath, the father of Madan Mohan was the youngest son. Pandit Brij Nath studied Sanskrit with his father and developed his talents. He started giving discourses on Bhagavata even at the early age of twenty five and within a short time became a famous and popular full-fledged ‘Vyas’. Endowed with a charming personality, a melodious voice and a passion for music and having cultivated a deep devotion of Lord Krishna, and by his profound learning and knowledge, and presentations, he made his discourses absorbingly interesting, which earned him the respect and patronage of the Maharajas of Banaras, Rewa and Durbhanga.
Brij Nath had six sons and two daughters. Madan Mohan was born after two sons and two daughters as the third son. Madan Mohan’s mother Moona Devi was a worthy helpmate of her husband. She was exceptionally large-hearted, always eager to serve and ever ready to run to the assistance of anyone in distress within her reach.
Madan Mohan has borne testimony to the great qualities of his parents. He had been trained by his parents to follow the rules of conduct prescribed in the scriptures. Madan Mohan was deeply influenced by their religious and god-loving nature, their simple way of life, and kindness to everyone.
Madan Mohan himself had in all twelve children of whom four sons and three daughters lived to attain maturity. His eldest son Pandit Ramakant Malaviya took the B.A. and L.L.B. degrees from Allahabad University. He started practice and became a leading Vakil of the Allahabad High Court. After some time he was appointed Judge of the High Court of Udaipur. He left that the next year and became Diwan of Sirohi state. He was Treasurer of Banaras Hindu University from December 1939 till his death in April 1943.
The second son Pandit Radhakant Malaviya also took the B.A. and LL.B. degrees from Allahabad University and became a Vakil.
The third son Pandit Gauri Kant Malaviya (also called Mukund) graduated from the Muir Central College and engaged in business at Allahabad, Kanpur and Bombay.
The youngest of his sons was Pandit Govind Malaviya who took the M.A. and L.L.B. degrees from Banaras Hindu University. He was engaged in business as Managing Director of Birla’s New Insurance Ltd. He was Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University for a term in 1948-1951 after a short tenure of the office of Pro-Vice-Chancellor in 1947-1948.
Malaviyaji’s eldest daughter, Rukmini was married to Sri Devakinandan Bhatt of Banaras. The second daughter Rameshwari Devi was the wife of Sri Madan Gopal Malaviya of Kanpur. The youngest daughter Malati was the wife of Sri Rama Shankar Bhatt of Banaras.
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Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi 221005, UP