On Wednesday evening, the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi rejuvenated at the Sabarmati Ashram. The soulful voice of Pt Bholanath Mishra from Banaras Gharana spread musical vibrations across the campus. An event was organised by the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY) and Gandhi Ashram on the Mahatma’s death anniversary.
Looking at Gandhi’s profile and personality, for many it would be hard to believe that he had a deep interest and understanding of music. Amrut Modi, secretary of Sabarmati Ashram, said, “He was very much interested in music. He had taken classes to learn violin during his study of law in England. It was his belief that music has power to calm down people and through music the rhythm of life can be maintained. In fact, he had sought one of the best disciples from Pt Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, who was head of Bharatiya Sangeet Mahavidhyalaya. Pt Paluskar sent Pt Narayan Khare.”
“Pt Khare filled the ashram’s environment with music. He used to teach students, women living in the ashram,” Modi said, adding that he played a significant role in preparing a book of hymns, which were sung every day in the morning and evening. According to Modi, the musician accompanied Gandhiji during Dandi March; he joined the march just six days after the death of his 12-year-old son, Vasant.
Talking about the event, Tridip Suhrud, director of Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust, said, “Ashram life cannot be conceived without music. This attempt is actually to connect with the past and also the city with the ashram in an aesthetically enriching manner.”
Sushma Jacob, state coordinator of SPIC MACAY Gujarat said, “SPIC MACAY had organised its first event at the ashram on October 2. Now on January 30, we organised a similar programme. We want to reach the youth through music. We will continue organising such musical events on both the days every year at the ashram.”