INTERVIEW WITH THE VISIONARY: NANUBHAI NAIK: 1

  • Girish: when and how did you come to know about Gandhi first time? Have you seen Gandhi?

Nanubhai: I have not seen Gandhi. But he entered in my mind when I was young and listened in the morning-processions (Prabhatferi’s) chants, ‘Mahatma Gandhi ki jai’ (Victory to Mahatma Gandhi), ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ (Victory to Mother India). When I began reading newspapers and magazines, I got deeper understanding of nonviolent fight called Satyagraha.

While I was a student in Surat, at one time I was about to put a small bomb in a postal box. But the bomb exploded before I could put it in the box and injured my thigh. Although Gandhi would not have approved my plan of putting a bomb in the postal box, he started taking the hold of my mind.
At the age 24, in our village Bandut in Gujarat state, I sat on the veranda near a wooden column of our home known as the Mension of Magan Mon (Maganlal Monjibhai, my father), and started writing a long poem on Gandhi. I had published several poems in newspapers so I was confident that I would be able to write a long poem. But after writing 20 pages I tore them and threw them away! I was a bit angry on Gandhi as I believed that he had done injustice to his son Harilal.
I had thought of a big poetry-project with the theme of Gandhi, but instead of continuing it tore and threw away even those 20 pages.
Like Harilal I had Love-Hate relationship with Gandhi in the beginning. But later Gandhi himself helped to remove hate from my heart and kept only love. Soon I realized that Gandhi would never make mistakes knowingly. His goal was not only the happiness of the residents of India but those of the entire world. And then Gandhi has always remained in my mind as the world’s highly respected personality.
I did not see Gandhi. But from fifty eight years I have kept reading about him in the newspapers, magazines, and articles. I have read his books also. And thus Gandhi has been spread into my veins and blood. And the result is I keep vividly visualizing what Gandhi would have done if he were alive.
Now I want to bring to life Gandhi again by spreading his ideas. So in the last fifteen to twenty years I have read all the books that I could get about Gandhi. And I have kept reading the articles published in the national and international newspapers that were translated in Gujarati and were published in the newspapers in that language.
And to reincarnate Gandhi I have published more than 10 books mostly in Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, and English. The information about them is given elsewhere in this book.

Girish: When and how did you come to know about Jay Prakash Narayan? Have you seen him?

 
Nanubhai: I have not seen Jay Prakash Narayan. From the age of 20 I began reading about politics and started understanding it. I liked Jay Prakash as much as Gandhi. When I was 21 I wrote a long article about Jay Prakash when he was coming to Navasari, a town in South Gujarat in India. I warned him to remain cautious of his fake followers in the article — it was published in five columns in the prestigious newspaper of Surat, ‘Gujarat Mitra.’
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