K. M. Munshi
THIS man was an institution, not only because he founded the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, one of the leading education institutes in the country, but also because of the vastness of his genius. Being a patriot, freedom fighter, scholar, reformer, and educationalist, K. M. Munshi was a colossal figure in public life for the good part of the twentieth century.
Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi was born in Broach in south Gujarat. He got his primary education, so to speak, at his mother's knee, his secondary education from Khan Bahadur Dalal High School, Broach, and later he had the privilege of having a stalwart like Sri Aurobindo Gosh for a teacher at Baroda College. Under Sri Aurobindo's influence, he got attracted to armed rebellion against the British, and even learnt to make bombs. But when he moved to Bombay in 1915, he drifted towards the Home Rule Movement, and was later elected member of the Subjects Committee of the Indian National Congress in 1917.
The other influences in his life were Gandhi, Patel, Bhulabhai Desai, and Jinnah. After completing his Law degree from Bombay University, he enrolled himself as advocate in 1913, and soon became a member of the Bar. As his fame spread, he started getting cases from all over India. About this time his first novel was being serialised in a Gujarati weekly.
During World War I, he was influenced by the Home Rule movement. When Sardar Patel was organising the Bardoli Satyagraha, Munshi lent his support, and when Gandhi announced the Salt Satyagraha, he joined the movement along with his wife. He started the movement for a Parliamentary wing of the Congress, and later became Secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Board in 1938. The same year he founded the well-known Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Institute of Agriculture at Anand.
Between 1907 and 1915, Munshi strove for the fusion of different sub-castes of the Bhargava Brahmins. In 1912-13, he took part in the activities of the Social Reform Association and championed the cause of widow remarriage. He in fact showed the way by marrying Lilavati, a widow, in 1922. In 1939, he founded the Children's Home for the delinquent children at Chembur, Bombay.
In 1941, Munshi resigned from the Congress, and started the Akhand Hindustan Movement. On Gandhi's advice he rejoined the Congress, and was elected to the Constituent Assembly. Nehru appointed him to the Experts' Committee for drafting the Constitution of India.
When the situation in Hyderabad was critical, he lent all his experience as Agent-General to bring it under control. He was appointed Union Food and Agriculture Minister, and also served as Governor of Uttar Pradesh.
Since Munshi believed in a strong opposition, he along with C. Rajagopalachari, became one of the founders of the Swatantra Party. But he is best remembered for his efforts to promote education in India. He founded the Panchagani Hindu High School in 1924, and the following he took active part in the movement for founding a university in Gujarat. He was also elected a Fellow of the University of Bombay, where he was largely responsible for giving regional languages adequate representation, and was also instrumental in starting the department of Chemical Technology. H. H. the Gaikwad of Baroda nominated him on the Baroda University Commission.
A prolific writer and
conscientious journalist, Munshi started a Gujarati
monthly called Bhargava, was joint-editor of
Young India, and he started the Bhavan's Journal in
1954. Some of his better-known books are: Gujarat and
its Literature, Akhand Hindustan, Glory that was
Gujardesh, The Ruin that Britain Wrought, The End of an
Era, and Shishu ane Sakhi. He was also
President of the Sanskrit Viswa Parishad, the Gujarati
Sahitya Parishad, and the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan.
IN a school match in 1988, Sachin Tendulkar along with Vinod Kambli came in to bat, and soon became a nightmare for the fielding side by creating a record unbeaten partnership of 664 runs. But Sachin had already tasted blood in 1985 when he scored a century for his school Shardashram Vidyamandir, in the Harris Shield for under-17. The next year he scored nine centuries including two double centuries.
With such unprecedented success at the willows, it was not long before cricketing geniuses like Sunil Gavaskar began to take interest in the new batting sensation. The selectors put him in the reserve for the state, though Sachin's coach Ramakant Achrekar felt that he was too young for the honour. Sachin, however, made his debut in first-class cricket by scoring an unbeaten 100 for Bombay. He finished the season with 583 from 11 innings. He missed the West Indies tour of 1989, but owing to his century in the Irani Trophy, he was picked up for the Indian team. Playing against Pakistan in the first Test at Karachi, and in the second Test, he became the youngest player to score a Test fifty. But he got his first century when he played against England in the second Test at Old Trafford in 1990. India were set to score 408 to win on the last day, and were 109 for four when Sachin came to bat. Soon English bowlers reduced India to 183 for six, but they failed to get rid of Sachin playing at the other end. He scored scored an unbeaten 119, and saved the day for India. The talented batsman continued his century-hitting spree in Australia the following year. This was followed by an equally successful tour of South Africa. In 1992 he was invited by Yorkshire as their first overseas player.
Sachin realised that being a good Test player was not enough; he had to prove his mettle in the one-day game as well. He experimented by opening for India against New Zealand in 1994, and went on to score 82 off 49 balls. Later he scored his first limited-over century against Australia at Colombo, and followed it up with three others.
In his autobiography White Lightning Sir Don Bradman says "Tendulkar is the best looking batsman I've seen . . . . His shot selection is superb, he just lines you up and can make you look very silly. Everything is right in his technique and judgement. He is a lovely guy, and over the years, I've enjoyed some interesting chats with him."
As Sachin grew from strength to strength, he was appointed captain of the Indian team, but he lost the captaincy soon. Regardless of his term as captain, Sachin the batsman kept amassing runs for his side. In 1998-99 season, he scored his 18th century., and the following year scored his first test double century, scoring 219 against New Zealand. Then along with Rahul Dravid he had a record partnership of 331 runs for any wicket against any opposition.
Sachin has handled
success with aplomb. In spite of being the richest
sportsman in the subcontinent, he is still the same
little boy who grew up playing cricket on the streets of
Bandra, Mumbai and listening to his favourite Kishore
APRIL 10, 1880 happened to be the new year's day for the Telugu-speaking people, and on that day was born a son to Chirravoorni Ramasomayajulu Garu, a learned man, well-versed in the Vedas and other scriptures. The proud father was a trusted religious adviser of Maharaja Sir Vijayarama Gajapati Raju of Vizianagram. Yajaneswara Chintamani, as the newborn was named, did almost everything too early in life. He was married before he was 10, and was appointed editor of a journal at 18.
The Maharaja's son Ananda Gajapati Raju made sure that his friend Chintamani got good education at Maharaja's College. By the time he enrolled himself for the First Arts course, Chintamani was already contributing articles to journals such as the Telugu Harp. His family members were not too happy with the activities of their otherwise brilliant child. They tried to persuade him to give up his 'seditious' ways but to no avail. All warnings went unheeded and Chintamani failed his F. A. examinations. But it was not entirely as result of his activities; he was ill at the time of the examinations. He was taken sent to Visakhapatnam for treatment. But if his relations thought he would mend his ways there, they were wrong. For the young man, whose idol was Sir Surendranath Banerjea, began to move about with local political figures. His articles began to appear in the Vizag Spectator, and soon he was offered the post of editor with what was then a handsome salary of Rs. 30. He later bought the journal for Rs. 300 and moved to Vizianagram, taking the Vizag Spectator along with him. Once in Vizianagram the weekly was rechristened Indian Herald. "I was not merely the editor," he recalled later, "I was foreman, proof reader, reporter, sub-editor, and manager all rolled into one." But in spite of its great popularity, financial problems forced him to fold up the journal in about two years' time. Times were bad for Chintamani, and to make matters worse, he lost his wife. Braving misfortune and ill-health, he moved to Madras, and worked on the staff of the Madras Standard for a year or so under the editorship of the famous G. Subramania Iyer.
At the time, Chintamani himself would have laughed at the suggestion of working in Allahabad, but that is exactly where destiny took him. He was invited to work for the Leader, a newspaper founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. With the arrival of Chintamani, Allahabad would never be the same again. He nurtured the paper and turned it into one of the best in the country. Fearless and forthright, he did not hesitate to take on the management if he felt his freedom as editor was being trifled with. Within an year of his editorship, he had a clash with Pandit Motilal Nehru, the chairman of the Board of Directors. In the end, Chintamani had his way, and Pandit Motilal Nehru had to part company with the paper. On Chintamani's 60 birthday, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru said: "Public life, thirty-five years ago in these Provinces was a stagnant pool. Chintamani stirred up its still waters and it was he who made many of us feel the need in those days of a public which could fearlessly and courageously give expression to our aspirations of those days. The result was the Leader."
Between 1927 and 1936, Chintamani was not only the Chief Editor of the Leader but also the leader of the opposition in the U. P. Legislative Council. He started his political career as a Congressman, but later disassociated with Gandhi non-cooperation and civil disobedience movements. In spite of his life-long ill-health, he continued to write for the Leader from his Council House to the very last day of his life.
(To be concluded)