Tag Archives: Mahatma Gandhi

Artist from 124 countries recreate Gandhi’s favorite bhajan ‘Vaishnava Jan To’

On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, artists from over 124 countries have contributed in paying homage to the Father of the Nation through his favorite bhajan ‘Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye’. The famous Gujarati hymn was penned by the 15th century poet Narsimha Mehta and was one of the favorite bhajans of Gandhi, who included it into the roster of prayers routinely sung before his meetings.

During the closing ceremony of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Conference (MGISC) and in the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Gutierrez, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Uma Bharti, launched a medley version of the bhajan, sung by artists from over 124 countries.

All Indian Missions abroad identified local artist groups to record the bhajan who gave rise to an eclectic, colorful and rich rendition of the hymn infused with the local flavor of the region. Videos from different regions of the world have also been put together in a fusion video of about five minutes to give flavor to the bhajan. Amongst the star performers is President of Nauru Baron Divavesi Waqa. Waqa’s gesture was not just a tribute to Gandhi but was also a personal gift from him to Prime Minister Modi. The medley version and individual country contributions are available on the External Affairs Ministry’s YouTube page.

ગાંધીજીના પ્રિય ભજન ‘વૈષ્ણવજન તો તેને રે કહીએ’ને વિશ્વના ૧૨૪ દેશના કલાકારોએ સંગીત આપીને અનોખી શ્રદ્ધાંજલિ આપી હતી. ગાંધીજીની ૧૪૯મી જન્મજયંતિ નિમિત્તે નવી દિલ્હીમાં આયોજિત મહાત્મા ગાંધી ઈન્ટરનેશનલ સેનિટેશન કોન્ફરન્સના સમાપન વખતે આ અનોખું ભજન રજૂ કરવામાં આવ્યું હતું. વડાપ્રધાન નરેન્દ્ર મોદી દ્વારા આ ભજનની નવી સંગીતમય આવૃત્તિ લોન્ચ કરાવાઈ હતી.

વિદેશ મંત્રાલયે સત્તાવાર યાદીમાં જણાવ્યું હતું કે, આ પ્રસંગે યુએનના સેક્રેટરી જનરલ એન્ટોનિયો ગુટરેસ, વિદેશ મંત્રી સુષમા સ્વરાજ, વૉટર એન્ડ સેનિટેશન મંત્રી ઉમા ભારતી અને અન્ય મંત્રીઓ, અધિકારીઓ પણ હાજર રહ્યા હતા. વિદેશી પ્રતિનિધિમંડળ સહિત તમામ નેતાઓએ ‘વૈષ્ણવજન’ની આ નવી આવૃત્તિના વખાણ કર્યા હતા.

ગાંધીજીના કારણે વિશ્વ વિખ્યાત થયેલું આ ગુજરાતી ભજન ૧૫મી સદીમાં કવિ નરસિંહ મહેતા દ્વારા લખવામાં આવ્યું હતું. ગાંધીજીએ આશ્રમજીવનનની શરૃઆત કરી ત્યારે સવારની પ્રાર્થનામાં આ ભજનનો સમાવેશ કર્યો હતો. ભારતીય પ્રતિનિધિઓ દ્વારા વિદેશી સંગીતકારોને આ ભજનની માહિતી અપાઈ હતી. બાદમાં તેમણે સ્થાનિક સંગીતકારો સાથે તેને સંગીત આપ્યું હતું.

વિદેશ મંત્રાલયે જણાવ્યું હતું કે, આ ભજનને અંગોલા, આર્મેનિયા, શ્રીલંકા, સર્બિયા, ઈરાક અને આઈલેન્ડના અગ્રણી સંગીતકારોએ સંગીત આપ્યું હતું. આ દરમિયાન વિશ્વભરના કલાકારોની કલા ખીલી ઊઠી હતી. આ પ્રસંગના અમે પાંચેક મિનિટના બે વીડિયો પણ જાહેર કર્યા છે. અમારી ઈચ્છા હતી કે, આ ભજનને યુએનમાં નોંધાયેલા તમામ દેશોના સંગીતકારોનું સંગીત અપાય.

Titusji a Christian man from Kerala, one of the 78 “Dandi Marcher” – Story from Nalloor Library.

TITUSJI – An Unknow n Hero of the Mar Thoma Church –The Christian Dandi Marcher – Freedom Fighter, 1905-1980

Published by Thomas John Philip Nalloor

When  we  celebrate  Independence  Day  on  15  August,  it is noteworthy to  read  about  an unknown hero of the Church. It’s a pride to the Mar Thoma Church that it has men of such vision and mission, who worked untiringly for the freedom of the country. We praise and thank God for such leaders like Mr. and Mrs. Titus of Bhopal.
Titusji (b.18 Feb, 1905), hails from a farming family, (Theverthundiyil, Maramon) in Kerala. He was a member of the Maramon Mar Thoma Parish. After his high school graduation, he taught in a school in Vadasserikkara (a village about 20 km away from Maramon), for a few years  and  then  joined  the  Allahabad  Agriculture  University  and  passed  an  Indian  Dairy Diploma course with distinction.
He was selected by Mahatma Gandhi as a secretary for his milk project in the Sabarmati Ashram near Ahmedabad. Mr. Gulzarilal Nanda (who later became prime mister of India) was the secretary of another unit. Both of them were trusted friends of Gandhiji. Titus got married in 1933, and his wife joined the Sabarmati Ashram; her wedding ornaments were donated to the Ashram.
In 1930, when Mahatma Gandhi decided to break the salt law, he chose trusted Titus to be one of the selected 78 men. Gandhiji, Titusji and 77 others marched from Sabarmathi to Dandi beach to make salt in the symbolic way. Titus was the only Christian in that group. They were beaten up and arrested by the British.
During  one  of  his  visits  to  Kerala,  Titusji  burnt  the  British clothes  (foreign  clothes)  in Kottayam and gave a fiery speech to thousands of Keralites.
Mahatma Gandhi visited Titusji’s house in Maramon (Theverthundiyil) on his way to the famous Hindu temple in Aranmula near Chengannur. This was considered one of the greatest events in Central Travancore. In and around Maramon, thousands witnessed his visit.
After Independence, Titusji settled in Bhopal. He always wore a Khadi. He helped thousands of youngsters find jobs in Madhya Pradesh. He was a very active member of the Mar Thoma Church in Bhopal. In 1970, he published the book “The Bharat of my Dreams”.
He passed away on 8 August, 1980, at the Kasthurba Hospital in Bhopal. He never got any medals or pension for his participation in the freedom struggle.

NB. In his earlier days he was known by the name Titus. “Titusji” was the name given to him by Mahatma Gandhi as a token of love and honour.