US President Barack Obama will retrace the footsteps of his "real
hero" Mahatma Gandhi when he walks through the Mani Bhavan Gandhi
Sangrahalaya, which was the Mumbai home of the apostle of ahimsa
from 1917 and 1934 and is now a museum housing rare memorabilia
and 50,000 books.
The two-storey building on Laburnum Road, which Obama will visit
during his two-day trip to Mumbai Nov 6, was also the peaceful
abode for the US president's other inspiration, Martin Luther
King, and his wife Coretta King for two days in May 1959.
"Living at Mani Bhavan for these few days has been almost like
living with Gandhiji. Thank you for providing me with the very
rich and inspiring experience," Coretta King has written in the
It was here that Gandhi initiated the non-cooperation, satyagraha,
swadeshi and khilafat movements, the authorities said.
All set to welcome Obama, Mani Bhavan will greet the president and
his wife Michelle with garlands of khadi and coconut water as is
the tradition of the place, an official said here.
Bhavan president Vasant Pradhan will greet Obama while Gandhi's
granddaughter Usha Gokani will welcome the first lady.
It has got a fresh coat of paint and the premises have been
spruced up, but the authorities said not many changes could be
made as it was a heritage site.
"With the place converted into a library and museum, there isn't
any scope of making physical changes. We would not want to change
the spots where Gandhiji spun the 'charkha' or held meetings with
fellow freedom fighters," Mani Bhavan executive secretary
Meghshyam Ajgaonkar said.
Ajgaonkar, who said he has learnt patience from the Mahatma even
though he never met him, disclosed that security officials from
the US Consulate had been regularly visiting the premises.
"But the details of the security checks remain unavailable to us.
We have been told not to worry about the security. The Consulate
will be taking care of that bit," said the 63-year-old.
"But we are keeping it closed for general public from Nov 5-7,"
added Ajgaonkar, who believes that his four-decade stint with the
Bhavan is not a career but a mission.
About 300 people visit the library and the museum everyday, the
number going up during holidays.
The Bhavan, converted into a museum and a library with 50,000
books and periodicals, several of them on and by Gandhi, has also
preserved his spinning wheel and other belongings.
The building was owned by Gandhi's friend and follower Revashankar
Jagjeevan Jhaveri. In 1955, the building was taken over by the
Gandhi Smarak Nidhi and later became a heritage building.
Gandhi, Obama was reported as saying last year, was a "real hero".
"He (Mahatma Gandhi) is somebody whom I find a lot of inspiration
in. He inspired Dr King (Martin Luther), so if it hadn't been for
the non-violent movement in India, you might not have seen the
same non-violent movement for civil rights here in the United
States," Obama had told school students.
"In my life, I have always looked to Mahatma Gandhi as an
inspiration because he embodies the kind of transformational
change that can be made when ordinary people come together to do
extraordinary things," he wrote in a newspaper before becoming
"That is why his portrait hangs in my Senate office; to remind me
that real results will not just come from Washington, they will
come from the people."
Obama, who is in India from Nov 6-9, has another tryst with his
idol when he visits Rajghat, Gandhi's memorial in New Delhi.
on to make Makkah and Madinah tobacco-free
As Haj pilgrims flock to the Kingdom from across the world, the
Ministry of Health has intensified its campaign to make Makkah and
Madinah completely tobacco-free, according to the Arab News.
“We require the
faces cyclone threat, 16 killed in rains
The threat of a cyclonic storm looms large over Andhra Pradesh
while heavy rains in the coastal region have claimed 16 lives and
damaged crops in over 100,000 hectares, officials said Tuesday.
Dozens of villages
prices biggest concern for Indians, says survey
double-digit food inflation, the increasing food prices will be
the biggest concern for Indians over the next six months, a survey
released here said Monday. According to the Nielsen Global
Rousseff first woman to win Brazil's presidential election
Economist Dilma Rousseff of the ruling
Workers' Party (PT), Sunday became the first woman to win the
Brazilian presidential election, garnering 55.92 percent of the
quiz contest for kids being held in Pakistan
Around 10,000 people from Pakistan have in views posted on
Facebook welcomed the holding of the 'Horlicks Wizkids 2010' quiz
contest in three Pakistani cities, to select finalists for the Nov 25
South Asian finals
interlocutors submit first report
The team of interlocutors on Kashmir Tuesday presented its first
report to the government, days after returning from a visit to the
troubled state that has been rocked by violent protests and
civilian killings since June. The