Veteran Gandhian Narayanbhai Desai died

He was the son of Mahatma Gandhi's diarist Mahadev Desai who also was the personal secretary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mar 16, 2015 15:35 IST
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Veteran Gandhian Narayanbhai Desai died on 14 March 2015 at a private hospital in Surat. He was 90. He is survived by his daughter Sanghamitra and sons Nachiketa and Aflatoon Desai.

He was the son of Mahatma Gandhi's diarist Mahadev Desai who also was the personal secretary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Desai was known for his lecture series on Gandhi called Gandhi Katha, which he started in 2004 and took across the world. Gandhi Katha was uniquely Desai’s own creation because of the way he presented the stories on Bapu. His scholastic ability was in defining Mahatma Gandhi in the modern times.

Desai had served as the Chancellor of Gujarat Vidyapith from 23 July 2007 to November 2014 when he resigned from the post.

He was born in Valsad district of Gujarat and grew up at the Sabarmati Ashram and Sewagram Ashram in Wardha. He was inspired by the Bhoodan Movement of Vinobha Bhave and asked the rich of Gujarat to distribute land among the landless.

He had won many awards and accolades. Some of them are listed below:

• In 1993, Narayan was accorded the Sahitya Akademi Award for Gujarati for writing a biography of his father Mahadev Desai which he wrote as part of the centenary celebrations of Gandhi's close aide.

• Narayan's book about his childhood reminiscences of Gandhi too had won the Sahitya Akademi Award.

• In 1999, he was awarded the Jamnalal Bajaj Award

• In 1998, The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize was awarded to him for his tireless work in favour of the promotion of inter-religious and inter-ethnic understanding, tolerance and harmony and his achievements in the education and training for non-violence and peace, as well as anti-nuclear activism.

• He also received Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak, the highest award of Gujarati literature in 2001.

• He won the 18th Moortidevi Award for the year 2004, given by Bharatiya Jnanpith, for his famous work Maroon Jeewan Aj Mari Vaani, which is based upon the life, philosophy and work of Mahatma Gandhi.

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