Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar urges to follow ideals of Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi in Simla book released and exhibition inaugurated

Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, Himachal Pradesh, Himachal, Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP, BJP Himachal, Shimla, Raj Bhawan, Gandhi in Shimla

Shimla : Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, Governor Himachal Pradesh on the occasion of 79th Quit India Movement Day, coincided with the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence and Ajadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav inaugurated six day long exhibition and released book ‘Gandhi in Shimla’ on Mahatma Gandhi’s association with Imperial Shimla from 1921-1946 in historic Gaiety Theatre here today.Himachal State Museum, Shimla has organized an Exhibition to showcase the great connection of Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi with Shimla town and its people during the freedom struggle. The book was written by a well known writer and columnist Vinod Bhardwaj, a retired Senior Editor from the Information and Public Relations Department, Himachal Pradesh. The book on Gandhi Ji has been published by the Himachal State Museum, Shimla.After inaugurating the exhibition and releasing the book Shri Arlekar paid his tributes to the great sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives to give us the gift of freedom. He said that it was the moral duty of all Indians to preserve and protect the social ethos and integrity of the country. He urged the people, especially youth to follow the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi.“People of Himachal had contributed a lot during the freedom struggle. Dhami Goli Kand, Pajhota Andolan and Suket Satyagraha are the glorious chapters of Indian history. Captain Ram Singh, resident of village Khanyara near Dharamshala, who composed the inspiring National anthem tune made us all proud”, said the Governor.Governor appreciated the efforts of the Himachal State Museum and the Department of Language and Culture for putting up a wonderful exhibition depicting Gandhi’s footprints in Shimla. He said that this exhibition and book would help the people and researchers to know about the Gandhi’s association and connect with this historic town.“We need to learn from the life of Gandhi ji. His simplicity and high thinking are equally relevant in the present times”, said Arlekar.

Director Language and Culture Dr. Pankaj Lalit thanked the Governor for inaugurating the exhibition and releasing the book. He detailed the activities of the department and the publications brought out by the Himachal State Museum.In the exhibition about fifty panels have been put up to show. The book is based on the Gandhi’s 10 visits to Imperial Simla from 1921 to 1946 whereas in the second section Gandhiji’s views about Simla, association with Stokes, Begar system and Gandhi, tasted apple and honey of Kotgarh, Dhami Goli Kand and Gandhi, venues of Gandhiji’s rallies in Simla, Lion of Punjab and Gandhi, My Ambition, Bapu Ka Kamra in Manorville and Chadwick House where Gandhi ji stayed for the last time are put up. Rare pages of the newspapers are also put up in the exhibition. The exhibition will continue till 15th August, 1921.A book on ‘Gandhi in Simla’ comprises of twenty four chapters having 251 pages and rare photographs and documents of that era. The book was not only confined to the visits of Gandhi ji but also highlighted the earlier history of the hills, Gurkha War, arrival of Britishers in hills, formation of hill stations, political circumstances leading to the visit of Mahatma Gandhi and other prominent leaders to Shimla. The other important events included in the book are- First political Stir in Shimla, Gandhi Car on Mall Road and use of Rickshaw and plight of poor people of that period. The detailed chronological accounts regarding his interviews, engagements with Viceroys, Government officials and local leaders and accounts of prayer meetings make it interesting.

A dedicated chapter has been included highlighting Gandhiji’s great association with Samuel Evans Stokes later known as Satyanand Stokes in freedom struggle and helping Stokes in eradicating the menace of Begar system (forced labour) from hills using the power of Satyagraha and non-violence. Gandhiji’s comments on Dhami Goli Kand, Raja of Rampur Bushahr and Chamba are worth reading.Gandhiji’s rallies and his speeches at Idgah Maidan in 1921 and at historic Ridge Maidan in 1931 are rare findings by the author. Gandhiji’s visit to Dagashai, a cantonment town near Solan in 1920 to have solidarity with Irish soldiers who were imprisoned after a mutiny in Solan cantonment, is a unique discovery by the writer.Gandhiji’s exclusive article on Simla in 1921 ‘Five Hundredth Story’ gave an account of the earlier Simla and its problems. Gandhi ji criticized the British Government for running a gigantic country from such heights. The book also threw light on the places namely Shanti Kutir, Fir Grove, Corton Grove, Manorville, Chadwick House where Gandhi stayed and Viceregal Lodge Ava Lodge, Banmore, where Gandhi ji visited during his visits to Shimla.Gandhiji’s associates in the hills viz. Mela Ram Sud, Swami Krishananand, Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, Mahasaya Tirath Ram, Prof. Abdul Majid Khan, Sardar Sobha Singh, Noraha Richards and His Holiness Dalai Lama are included in the book.This research work on Gandhi ji helped in providing authentic records to National Academy of Audit and Accounts (NAAA) Shimla regarding Gandhiji’s stay at Chadwick House where the first batch of the NAAA was trained in 1950. Now the Government of India has decided to convert this historic building into a heritage site depicting the Gandhiji’s contribution in freedom struggle and the glorious history of Audit and Accounts since its inception.Additional Chief Secretary R.D. Dhiman, former Director Information and Public Relations B.D.Sharma, Curator of Himachal State Museum Shimla Hari Chauhan, renowned writers and elite of the town were also present on the occasion.



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