Great Builder of Indian Nation
Dada J.P. Vaswani
Chairman, Vaswani Mission
He was Free from Interest and Passions
Great as a politician, he was greater in his love for Hindu culture and the wisdom of India’s Rishis. Free from the interests and passions that inevitably creep into the life of a man devoted wholly to politics, he utilized the great part of his energies in building a centre of education and learning, which has now grown into a world-renowned University and which is unparalleled in India for its technological departments. While politicians had always in view the next election, the thought of the next generation had ever been before him: while politicians had been working for the growth of their respective parties, the growth of the country had been foremost in his mind. Political giants like Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, Surendranath Banerjea, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who in their own days influenced the destinies of the nation in no small measure, have passed away and today their work and names are gradually fading away from the memories of men, but the Hindu University will ever stand as a living reminder of the greatness of Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji.
Challanges Before the BHU Staff & Students
The dream danced in his eyes that the University might become a centre out of which would go out influences which would thrill India from end to end, renovate and re-vitalise this great and gifted land and make her once again a nation of the strong and free….. In his heart was the faith that the problems and perplexities of modern life could yet be solved by the application of the teaching of the Rishis and sages of ancient India. Has the University realized, in some measure, the vision of its great founder? Has the University succeeded in resisting the onslought of the modern forces? Has it answered the challenge of western industrialism? Has the great institution of learning approached any nearer the one source of knowledge and life? Did Pandit Malaviyaji, in his life-time, see his hopes fulfilled, his dream realized, or has he passed on to the Great Beyond with his aspirations locked up in his heart? For an answer we must await the verdict of Time.
Cow-Protection was Very Near to His Heart
The cause of cow-protection was dear and near to him. When Vaswaniji took leave of him and left the room, I followed. And as I was passing out of the door of his room, he called me. ‘I am an old man’, he said to me; ‘and I may not meet you again. But before you leave, I have just one word to say to you. Tell Vaswaniji to take up the cause of cow-protection and see that the barbaric and inhuman system of cow-slaughter is stopped by non-violent methods’. He spoke so quietly, so convincingly, and the words are still ringing in my ears. I assured him that the cow was very sacred to Vaswaniji and the cause of cow-protection very near to his heart. And then to re-assure him, I described to him how only a few days before we set out for Calcutta, Vaswaniji was taking his usual evening stroll in the Hyderabad Cantonment area when from a distance I sighted a cow being pushed and pulled and dragged, evidently much against its will. I drew Vaswaniji’s attention to this and he asked me to go and find out what the matter was. I ran up to the spot, made enquiries, and was told that the cow would be slaughtered in few minutes’ time. I ran back and reported the matter to Vaswaniji, and this was more than he could bear. In haste, he himself proceeded to the spot and offered to purchase the cow at any price, if only to save his life. The butcher very shrewdly raised hitches. The cow simply must be slaughtered, he said, as it was meant for the military officials, Eventually he agreed to sell it for more than double its actual price and Vaswaniji paid for it on the spot. ‘The cow’, I told Malaviyaji, ‘is now happy and gay, grazing on the farm of a friend.’ As soon as I finished speaking to him, I saw that a look of joy lit up his countenance and in his eyes appeared the glow of a light which was almost otherworldly.
I bowed down to him in lowly reverence and asked for his blessings. Once again, in benediction, he placed his soft, tender hand on the back of my head and muttered a sutra in Sanskrit. As he spoke, I felt that in his words was a breath which breathed out peace to all mankind. And, as I left him, I felt renewed, re-vitalized, as though I had breathed a purer air, and had drunk from a fountain of fresh waters.
Great Builder of the Indian Nation
Today the news travels to me over the radio of passing away of this great one. For a moment mine eyes are touched with tears, but for a brief moment only. For the message comes back to me, the message he gave me on that memorable evening, the message of Gita concerning the immortality of the soul. In a voice, tremulous with emotion, he uttered the beautiful lyrical sloka from the Gita: ‘Never the Spirit was born and the Spirit shall cease to be never! Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the Spirit forever. Death hath not touched it, dead though the house of it seems.’
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji is not dead: he has but passed on to join the Band of the Shining. Ones who, behind the veil, are building, stone by stone, the temple of India’s Freedom. Generations unborn will salute him as a great builder of the Indian nation, as an apostle of Indian ideals and pioneer who called India to the Great future that awaits her, Homage to him!