As a Republic Day special, we bring to you a copy of a letter handwritten by Mahatma Gandhi, obtained by Pranav Kumar Singh. Pranav’s great grandfather was Baburam Narayan Singh, a dedicated freedom fighter and politician. This and many other letters, written by various leaders, have been preserved by Pranav’s family for generations.
Dated 25th August 1937, this letter was written by Mahatma Gandhi to Baburam during times of political trouble in Chota Nagpur.
Baburam Narayan Singh, also known as Chota Nagpur Kesari (Lion of Chota Nagpur), was close to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Mahatma Gandhi and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. He was an ardent freedom fighter and political leader in Chotanagpur, and later went on to become a Member of Parliament in Independent India. He was at the forefront of most independence movements.
In 1936, Bihar and Orissa separated to became independent provinces, leading to instability in the top leadership of Bihar. Dr. Rajendra Prasad faced issues in getting the different factions to come together as one unit and sail the state through those troubled waters. Baburam wrote a letter to Mahatma Gandhi in 1937, explaining the political worries going on in Bihar. In reply, Gandhiji wrote this letter.
Written in Hindi, he refers to Baburam as ‘Bhai Ramnarayan’, expressing his sorrow over the infighting. He talks about how it makes him sad to see Dr. Rajendra Prasad having to suffer because of the disputes and assures Baburam of another letter he’ll personally write to Dr. Rajendra Prasad to explain how to deal with the situation.
As we celebrate 68 years of being a democracy, we can look at this letter from over 80 years ago to remember the struggles our leaders had to go through to get our nation to the state it is at today.
Happy Republic Day to you!
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