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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Gandhiji's efforts alone did not bring freedom: Vidyanand Shenoy

The movement led by Gandhiji no doubt was the main thrust for our country in achieving independence, but there were also movements led by others that hastened the dawn of freedom, said B.V. Vidyanand Shenoy, Executive Director, Rashtrothana Parishat, Bangalore, here on Sunday.

He was speaking at a lecture programme on Vanga-Bhanga Movement and Vande Mataram organised under the auspices of Rotary Clubs of City at Sarada Vilas Centenary Hall here.

Country's valiant leaders like Jhansi Laxmibai, Baba Saheb of Naragund and Thathy Tope along with spiritual leaders like Vivekananda, Shradhananda and Bankim Chandra Chatterji inspired the people for the freedom movement. Ahimsa Sathyagraha and similar peaceful movements did not originate for the first time from Gandhiji but it is the nation's heritage. As an example, he mentioned Prahlada from Hindu mythology who was the first to launch a non-violant movement against his cruel father King Hiranyakashyap who denied the power of God.

Vanga-Bhanga movement which played a key role in the nation's freedom struggle was also known as Vande Mataram movement. The song Vande Mataram written by Bankim Chandra Chatterji that evoked patriotic feelings among the masses, is still the best one ever composed during the freedom movement. Sadly as the country, this song too is now truncated, regretted Shenoy.

Foreigners used to look down upon us as from a slave country and were viewing our national leaders and Maharajas with contempt. When a Maharaja from Rajasthan went to buy the prestigious Rolls Royce car, the company refused to sell him the car. He used his influence and somehow bought the car. But as a retaliation, he used it to transport garbage! Humiliated by this, the company executives fell at his feet and took back the car, paying a hefty price, Shenoy said.

Presidents of Rotary Clubs, K.N. Jagadeesh Kumar, Vijayshankar, Sundarraj, Dr. P. Haridas Rao, S.N. Raghavendra and others were present.

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