TN was always close to Gandhiji's heart: Governor

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has said Tamil Nadu was always close to Gandhiji’s heart. It is important to recall that when Gandhiji started the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, in which there were initially 25 inmates, 13 of them were Tamilians.Speaking after he inaugurated the Photo & Digital Exhibition on “Mahatma Gandhi – Life History” on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary at Puratchithalaivar Dr. MGR Bus Terminus, Koyembedu, Chennai, he said, "People in the audience may know that Gandhi visited Tamil Nadu 20 times between 1896 and 1946. During his first visit in 1896 he tried to learn Tamil and bought 9 Tamil books for the purpose.

During a subsequent visit in 1921, when in Madurai, Gandhiji made a change from donning the typical elaborate attire to wearing the simple dhoti and upper cloth that clothed him for the remaining years of his life. About this he himself has written and I quote, “All the alterations I have made in the course of my life have been effected by momentous occasions. Such a radical alteration in my dress I effected in Madurai.”

Gandhiji’s contribution to India is immeasurable. Gandhiji’s contribution to the world is also immeasurable, for leaders like Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela followed in the footsteps of Gandhiji to bring emancipation to their followers who were otherwise oppressed and enslaved. Gandhiji’s message of ahimsa is a powerful signal to mankind that stockpiling of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles will only lead to destruction.

Coming to India, Gandhiji brought about social cohesion among the people of India by vigorously working against untouchability. His economic philosophy focused on self-sufficiency at the village level. He propagated the concept of trusteeship and wanted people to abhor the accumulation of wealth for themselves and their families. All these were the outpourings of the wisdom of Gandhiji which went beyond the political spectrum. His thoughts and deeds encompassed the whole gamut of activities of human existence."