October, 2015

Mahatma’s Speeches Stressed On Harmony And Cleanliness

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Credits : HT

State Archives has translated his speeches in English and compiled 30 of them in a book – ‘Gandhi Speaks on Non-Cooperation Movement in UP’

Mahatma Gandhi, who played a pivotal role in the freedom movement, visited Uttar Pradesh nearly 30 times from 1920 to 1921 during the Non-Cooperation Movement. He held public meetings and gave speeches in various parts of the state during this period – a compilation of which has been done by the UP State Archives.

The state archives, after collection of the documentation of the speeches from the police department, translated Gandhi’s speeches in English and compiled the 30 speeches into a book – ‘Gandhi Speaks on Non Cooperation Movement in UP’.

Prabhakar Jauhari, regional archives officer who did the compilation, said: “There are five broad messages in the speeches of Gandhiji. There is a message of communal harmony as he talked about unity of people of all castes and religions for freedom. Swadesi – as he would emphasise on manufacturing Indian goods and boycotting those coming from England. The message of cleanliness was also very prominent.”

When Gandhi visited Haridwar and Kashi Vishwanath temple, he was disappointed by the lack of cleanliness at these places and thus when he addressed public gatherings, he emphasised on cleanliness.

Jauhari said an analysis of Gandhi’s speeches also highlights that he wanted to convey a message of ‘discipline’ to the people. “He would begin his speeches with the message and ask people to sit quietly and maintain discipline if they wanted him to continue. He would stop at intervals, and like a teacher discipline the crowd that gathered to listen to him,” said Jauhari.

Gandhiji also promoted physical labour, as he himself set an example by using the charkha, he added. Addressing a gathering at Rifa-e-aam in Lucknow on October 15, 1920, Gandhi said: “I want to tell you that if we want to be successful in the campaign of non-cooperation, we must learn discipline.”

Gandhi visited Lucknow thrice during this period and delivered speeches at Rifa-e-am on October 15, 1920, addressed people in the open near Gomti Iron Bridge on February 26, 1921 and at Aminabad Park on August 7, 1921.