Gandhi: From The Archives
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, revered as Bapu, needs no introduction. Also known as ‘Father of the Nation’, he led the Satyagraha (clinging to truth) and followed the path of Ahimsa or non-violence to liberate India from the British rule. Right from the Champaran agitation in Bihar in 1917 for the cause of indigo cultivators to the Quit India Movement, the Mahatma devoted his life for the people of India.
Hindustan Times was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on September 15, 1924. The first edition of the newspaper was published on September 23 the same year. The paper's first home was a rented three-storey building in the Green Market near Old Delh railway station.
This decade began with the launch of Gandhi's Satyagraha, his rousing call for Swaraj and protests against untouchability. Devadas Mohandas Gandhi, the fourth and youngest son of the Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi, joined the Hindustan Times in 1937 as its managing editor. He held the position till his death in 1957. He was born in South Africa and returned to India with his parents. He joined the freedom movement almost immediately, following the footsteps of his father.
Mahatma Gandhi was a very involved reader of the paper. A prolific writer himself, the Mahatma contributed several pieces to the Hindustan Times on a variety of subjects including on how to become an ideal peasant, caste system, ideal diet, among other things. The connection between the Father of the Nation and the Birlas went much beyond Hindustan Times. Ghanshyam Das Birla had first met Gandhi in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1916, shortly after the Mahatma came back from South Africa. The relationship that developed then lasted for the rest of Mahatma's life. Gandhi spent his final 144 days at what was then called ‘Birla House’. He was assassinated on January 30, 1948.