New Delhi: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will release a book on Mahatma Gandhi on the first day of the new year. The book titled titled 'Making of a Hindu Patriot' authored by J.K. Bajaj and M.D. Srinivas hails Gandhi as the "biggest Hindu patriot".
On January 1, Modi government ministers Prahlad Patel and V. Muraleedharan will participate in the release ceremony of the book at the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi,Rajghat.
Bhagwat had also released a book earlier this year, appealing to build Gandhi's dream of India. Bhagwat had said, "Gandhiji had many times described himself as a staunch 'Sanatani Hindu'. He was never ashamed of being a Hindu himself".
The authors of the book, J.K.Bajaj is the founding director of the Centre for Policy Studies and a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, and is also a member of the commission constituted by the central government to subclass the OBCs while M.D. Srinivas is the founder president of the Centre for Policy Studies.
"Gandhiji openly used to say - 'My patriotism is increasing and this patriotism originates from my religion'," said Bajaj.
"Gandhiji was a born Hindu, but he became a strong Hindu in the days of his experience in South Africa. What is it like to be a Hindu? He learned this during his struggle in South Africa" he added.
According to Bajaj "Mahatma Gandhi refused when Christian and Muslim friends tried to convert him while living in South Africa. During this time he started an in-depth study about Sanatan Dharma which further strengthened his Hindu identity.
The book gives the background of Gandhi's 'Hind Swaraj'. There are many interesting details ranging from the development of Gandhiji's personality and the campaigns he undertook during his stay in South Africa. The book also narrates the story of how Gandhi's developed 'Satyagraha' at the historic meeting on September 11, 1906 at the Empire Theatre in Johannesburg.
The chapter titled 'The South African Jail Diary' also tells the story of the torture in prison endured by Gandhi and his supporters.
The book also describes the correspondence between the great Russian writer and philosopher Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi. The book states that it was Tolstoy who first gave Mahatma Gandhi the title of 'Hindu Patriot'.
The book claims Tolstoy was a fan of all aspects of Gandhi except his 'Hindu patriotism'. It also has information about two meetings held in July 1914 during Gandhiji's arrival from South Africa in which he received the title of 'Patriot Mahatma'
(From IANS with edits)