There are many famous legends and personalities that were born in India and who have made indelible marks in world history, politics and literature. When we talk about the best minds that were born in India there are two names that will have to make it to this list no matter what and the names are of Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi. Tagore was an exceptionally talented man, a talent that the world is yet to see again. His books, stories and songs are discussed even today. They are considered to be timeless master pieces. On the other hand Mahatma Gandhi also known as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a simple man with a mind that cannot be compared to any other in history. He was a man who taught the world that peace is the biggest weapon we have to fight against all evil.
India’s independence struggle is the most glorified of all mainly because it was attained by following the path of nonviolence and peace. A path that was shown by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The father of our nation today is 2nd October 2018, the 149th birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. In this article we are going to try and understand what actually happened and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was given the title of Mahatma.
Tagore & Gandhi
Rabindranath Tagore was an ardent follower of peace. He always emphasised that we must love and respect fellow humans no matter what the cast, religion and nationality of the other person is. Rabindranath Tagore once said that he does not read the paper as it makes him depressed to know how man hates man and what they can do to other human beings. Rabindranath Tagore was inspired by the beliefs of Gandhi and he really appreciated the fact that Gandhi was a huge follower of peace and nonviolence. Rabindranath Tagore would keep a close watch on all the activities that Gandhi was doing. Rabindranath Tagore was one of those who were very sure that the path taken up by Gandhi was the best solution to fight the injustice of British Raj.
The Title of Mahatma
Rabindranath Tagore was the one who gave the title of Mahatma to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Mahatma means a soul that is supreme and pure. The year was 1915 and the date was 6th March. Rabindranath Tagore gave the name of Mahatma to the father of our nation. Both Rabindranath Tagore and Gandhi had a lot of mutual admiration for each other. Rabindranath Tagore wrote many letters to Gandhi and in all these letters he addressed him as Mahatma. Gandhi was a simple man and he was touched by this gesture of Rabindranath Tagore. Letters were also sent by Gandhi to Rabindranath Tagore, Gandhi decided that he must also give a suitable name to this friend and admire of his. It was Gandhi who gave the title of Gurudev to Rabindranath Tagore. In his letters Gandhi addresses Rabindranath Tagore as Gurudev.
The 1915 Story
Rabindranath Tagore decided to give this name to Gandhi after the later returned to India in 1915. Rabindranath Tagore was impressed by Gandhi’s ideologies of Satyagraha or nonviolence. Before returning to India and implementing this strategy he had already used it successfully in South Africa, to help the blacks fight against the British Raj. He was recognised by the British Empire for this unique way of protesting. It was not only India but around 20 more countries that used his principles to get freedom from the British. They both had a very strong friendship and they did at some points not completely agree with each other. However, they ensure they met each other personally more than once. The letters that they exchanged gives a very strong insight into the relationship that they shared and also about the social, political and economic turmoil that the country was going through during those days.
The support Gandhi got from Rabindranath Tagore ensured that he and his ideas get acceptance among the fellow Indians who had almost lost all hopes of a better and independent life. On this Gandhi Jayanti this is our humble tribute to the father of the nation and his amazing friendship with Rabindranath Tagore. Undoubtedly they both were the greatest minds and personalities that India has ever seen. The friendship between the two helped them both to gather a lot of strength and inspiration. It’s interesting that two such great minds existed at the same time and perhaps did a lot to ensure that the country moves from the darkness of slavery to the light of independence.