Skip to main content

Modi "promised" Kanu Ramdas Gandhi help which never came, Mahatma's grandson died in Surat as a loner

Little Kanu with Mahatma Gandhi
By Darshan Desai
Amidst reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the “lead” in paying tribute to Kanu Ramdas Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and a former NASA scientist, who breathed his last in a private hospital in Surat on Monday evening, facts have come to light suggesting Modi's promise to “help” Gandhi never materialized.
Dhimant Badhia, a close friend of Gandhi, has told this correspondent that upon return to India, Gandhi and his wife, Shivalaxmi, “kept moving from one place to another as they have no place of their own here. They spent short spells in ashrams or inns, and at one point they were compelled to spend six months in New Delhi's Guru Vishram Vruddha Ashram."
Finally, Badhia revealed, “a Union Minister got in touch with Gandhi and made him speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was sympathetic and offered all help to the couple.” However, Badhia added, the couple “never heard” from either the Prime Minister's Office or the Gujarat government, which also was in know of Gandhi's state of affairs.
According to Badhia, on October 22, Gandhi suffered a massive heart attack and brain hemorrhage “which left half his body paralysed and he lapsed into a coma from which he never recovered.”Ailing since the past few weeks, he was 87, and is survived by his 90-year old wife Shivalaxmi.
As a small child, Kanu Gandhi was the little boy that walked ahead of Mahatma Gandhi who prodded him with his stick on the beaches of Gujarat's Dandi village during the historic Salt Satyagraha of March-April 1930.
"Gandhi lay in a critical state at a private charitable hospital with little monetary resources and virtually nobody to care for him," Badhia said, adding, “After discussing with his wife, we decied that the last rites would be be performed in Surat on Tuesday morning.”
Based in Ahmedabad, Badhia, an old friend and grandson of a close associate of Gandhi, arranged for some monetary help for the ailing Gandhi, and had recently given Rs 21,000 from personal resources.
The Radhakrishna Temple got Gandhi admitted to the Shiv Jyoti Hospital nearby.
They also took care of his 90-year old wife, Shivalaxmi, who is practically deaf and suffers from other old-age related ailments, Badhia said, unsure of her fate now. The going was not particularly good for the elderly childless Gandhi couple since their return after a four-decade long stay in the US in 2014, including Kanu's career of over 25 years with NASA.
Decades ago, the bright Kanu was handpicked by the then US Ambassador to India, John Kenneth Galbraith for studies in MIT, US. Later, he worked with NASA and the US defence department on wing structures of fighter aircraft, while Shivalaxmi was a professor and researcher in Boston Biomedical Research Institute.
Soon after reaching Surat, he suffered the heart attack on October 22 accompanied by a severe stroke which left half his body paralysed; he lapsed into a coma and remained on life-support systems.
Shivalaxmi remained by his side most of the time, as also Rakesh, an aide deployed by the temple authorities round-the-clock to serve Gandhi.
Gandhi's very aged sisters – Usha Gokani from Mumbai regularly enquires after his health and another Bengaluru-based sister, Sumitra Kulkarni, a former Rajya Sabha Member, visited him recently. Badhia said the duo had even offered to bear Kanu's medical expenses but the temple authorities declined, saying they were repaying the debts of Mahatma Gandhi's services to the nation.

Comments

Thank you, Kanubhai, for the many memories you shared with us about your childhood with the Mahatma! We enjoy your numerous photographs at the side of your famous grandpa in the recently published photo biography MAHATMA - Gandhi's Life in Colour – www.mahatmabook.com - and your jolly reminiscences on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjN-yDm3o_c
May your Soul rest in Peace!
This is the true story behind the photo of little boy Kanu Gandhi and his grandpa: http://www.gandhiserve.org/pr/on_pr/ie_pr.jpg

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.