Hari Bhau Ji was Da Sahab to his younger brothers but somehow many forgot his real name and he became Da Sahab for all. Similarly his wife Smt. Bhagi Rathi Ji became Jiji for everyone. This is a brief story of Da Sahab behind whose successes and achievements, Jiji’s sacrifice and support was as significant as his own. He was a true follower of Gandhian Principles in his core and had incorporated them in his life. He proved that those are not just theoretical concepts but do work in the real life. A few incidents illustrate this point.
In 1927, when his family was socially boycotted from their caste because he being a Brahmin ate a meal cooked by an untouchable. To hair wigs resolve this problem a friend told him "Hari Bhau Ji, if you just deny this incident then caste people will accept your words and will take your family back in the society." Da Sahab replied “A man lives by some guiding force in his life such as wealth, position, knowledge or truth. Whatever little I have, is the strength I derive from the truth and I have lived by that and will continue to do so. You want to take that away from me. After losing that I may be taken back in my caste but will lose my soul. Do you want me to pay such a high price?” Da Sahab was proud of himself for breaking that undesirable custom of the caste and was well aware of the problems he would have to face not only in the community but in his home also where his conservative God fearing father would oppose this act to the extent that he would decide to end his life if his son did not repent and underwent the purifying ceremony. Both his mother and wife supported him in his decision and cheap wigs uk action. His father lived to ripe age of 80 and on the last day of his life, paid respects to Gandhi Ji at his Samadhi.
In 1957, opposite party leaders produced a copy of the post card in which Da Sahab had asked a government employee in Madhya Pradesh to help him in general election held in Rajasthan. This was against the rules and if proven it would have resulted in disqualification of that election and he would have been barred as a candidate for election for next 6 years. From his own party, a suggestion came for him to deny writing this letter but that was cheap hair extensions unacceptable to him. Instead of denying, Da Sahab was willing to resign from the position of Finance Minister. In the Assembly, he stated “Yes, this is my hand writing and signature. I did write this however I was not aware that this person was in the government service.” Even though the opposition party leaders did not believe that knowingly Da Sahab would do an unethical thing but for political expediency, they did bring it up in the Assembly. Da lace front wigs uk Sahab’s unexpected confession stunned them as they had expected Hari Bhau ji would deny writing that letter. All their plans to legally prove his guilt fell apart. Da Sahab’s confession was a proof of his utmost faith in truth and in doing so he earned true respect of the opposition party members. Impressed by his honesty, the issue was dropped. His honesty was even recognized by his enemies as demonstrated by the remarks of a British Ajmer commissioner who had publicly stated that even if Da Sahab was found to have a gun, he would believe that someone had planted it and that it was not his.
These are just a few of the many incidents where the importance of truth in Da Sahab’s life is demonstrated. He stayed true regardless of the cost.
Fearlessness is a byproduct of truth. Da Sahab’s fearless nature is illustrated by the following incidents.
In early 1930, in Indore, the laborers had agreed to end their strike because the mill owners had agreed to their terms and both partied had signed the agreement papers due to the efforts of Da Sahab and Guljari Lal Ji Nanda. Da Sahab and Nanda Ji had promised mill owners that the mill would be reopened but next day when the mill was supposed to reopen, the laborers stayed home and did not go to work. To keep their promise to the mill owners, Da Sahab and Nanda Ji brought 500-600 workers from the nearby villages and the mill was reopened.
The workers who had failed to report for work as per agreement were fired. As a result they threatened that both Hari Bhau Ji and Nanda JI will be killed. Mill owners were anxious for the safety and protection of the mill. To prevent violence, both Da Sahab and Guljari Lal Ji Nanda stood with their arms stretched in front of the gate of the mill, ready to meet the attack and challenged the fired workers to kill them before they can enter the mill. No one dared.
In 1925, Da Sahab received multiple threats for his life and there was a rumor that some people had a plan to kill him. Totally unafraid for his life he went to those people and said. “I have come to your camp to make it easy for you to find and kill me. So do it.” They were unprepared for it and to save their face they said that they had talked about killing him only politically and not physically.
This fearlessness trickled from him to Mahila Shiksha Sadan’s students when in a response to a possible attack on Hatundi, they all said in a united voice to him “We all will from a line by joining hands and only after breaking our bones one can touch even a single brick of Hatundi.” Thus it is possible for a single person to influence and change others.
Non Violence is a true companion of Truth. Da Sahab’s ability to solve the problems non-violently was repeatedly proven. This is exemplified by the following incident that happened during the time of ‘Salt Satyagrah’. Under Da Sahab’s leadership two parties were organized from Ajmer and one of them led by Nitya Nand ji was to go to Byawer. At the last minute, Nitya Nand ji Nagar refused to take his group which was for the promotion of Salt Satyagrah. Although angry at him for his betrayal, Da Sahab patiently listened to his reasons for such a behavior and then instead of punishing him Da Sahab satisfied his doubts by fixing a definite date to start Satyagrah. This reaffirmed Nagar ji’s faith in Da Sahab’s leadership. Then to make Nagar Ji realize the gravity of his disobedience Da Sahab asked him as to what punishment he would have received had he been in military. Since Nagar Ji had been a military man, he knew that he would have been court marshaled. Da Sahab could have fired him but instead he let him have credit for the success of Satyagrah. In Nagar ji’s words “Hari Bhau Ji has won my heart forever”.
Compassion is the root of non-violence. Da Sahab’s compassionate nature was clear even in his child hood when he decided not to appear in a court as the main witness after the accused, the father (who had misbehaved with Hari Bhau Ji and the school head master) of a fellow student requested him not to testify in the court and put his pagri (turban) on Da Sahab’s feet. Da Sahab was moved by the tears in old man’s eyes and to protect his dignity he made the above decision and faced the head master’s fury.
Truth and non violence for Da Sahab were not just words but he applied those principles in his life. His uncle Shri Baij Nath ji was the first person in his life who made him familiar with the country’s condition of slavery, backward condition of his community and inspired him to start using ‘power of pen’ for public awareness. In Hari Bhau Ji’s words the two rules that he laid down for me to follow were:
“First, what should be forgotten: Misbehavior and incorrect actions of others to us and our own help and favors to others. Second what to remember: Always remember our misbehavior and incorrect actions to others and others help and favors to us. These are printed on my heart forever.”
The most important person to influence Da Sahab was Mahatma Gandhi Ji. He started adopting Gandhi ji’s principles of Truth and Non Violence while translating his writings from Gujrati to Hindi for Hindi Navjeevan. Hari Bhau Ji’s ideas and writing style became so similar to Gandhi ji’s that while Gandhi ji was in jail, one magazine incorrectly interpreted that Gandhi ji was writing those articles from jails but in reality they had been written by Da Sahab. Gandhi ji’s association changed this short tempered man into to a patient, peace loving, and courageous individual. How well he understood that Gandhi ji would have liked his unfinished work to be continued by others. This is clear in Da Sahab’s speech in Bombay when Gandhi ji had started his ‘fast till death’ in jail. To reassure the faith of the assembled people he said ‘If Gandhi Ji hears that we are worried about his health, are getting disheartened and have stopped working on our assigned duties, he would prefer death even if he had not died by then; if hears that we are working with more enthusiasm and have stayed focused, that would give him extra strength during his fast and he cannot die.’
He believed in winning adversary’s heart not by force but by love and compassion. He often said the use of force may destroy the enemy but does not destroy the animosity. While by the force of love and compassion, the enemy is turned into a friend. He did not want to be dominated or to dominate anyone. He has beautifully expressed this sentiment in his poem when he requests Ishwar (God) not to come as a powerful master, who will oppress him but to come as a friend to conquer his heart.
His aim was never to achieve fame, wealth or recognition but truly to devote his life to public service. This is very clear in his poem below.
In English ‘My wish is neither to be mentioned in the history books, nor I want to have songs of praise written for me. I wish to live to help sad and unhappy lives and may my final resting place be with them.
Perseverance and toughness of his character comes out in his poem below.
In English I am that minute particle of a diamond that smiles and shines with each beat of hammer and that minute particle of life that refuses to be destroyed by death and lives again and again forever.
Besides writing the poems and patriotic articles in the magazines he had written and translated several books on different topics including biographies of national leaders, philosophical and spiritual essays.
One of his major contributions is in Hatundi currently known as ‘Mahila Shiksha Sadan’. As advised by Gandhi Ji and Jamna Lal ji when Da Sahab moved to Rajasthan in 1925, ‘Gandhi Ashram’ was founded in Hatundi. Initially the goal of this Ashram was to begin social reforms in Rajasthan based on Gandhian principles. During the freedom struggle of India it also became the center for freedom movement related activities in Rajasthan. When that objective was met and India became independent, the main aim of the institution became women’s education where in addition to formal education, life skills consistent with Gandhian principles were emphasized. Thus this organization has evolved according to the needs of the country. It is still active. Today Da Sahab’s presence can be felt in Hatundi, in his literature, in his ideal life which was an example for us to follow.