Gandhi Journal Article-I (November 2015)
Jamnalal Bajaj - An Ardent Disciple of Gandhi
By Siby K. Joseph
“There was no work of mine in which I did not receive his fullest co-operation in body, mind and wealth. Neither he nor I had any attraction for what is called politics. He was drawn into it because I was in it. My real politics was constructive work, and so too was his. I had hoped that after me he would fully carry on those works of mine which would be regarded as of special importance”. Gandhi wrote about Jamnalal Bajaj in Harijan in 1942. Jamnalal Bajaj was an ardent disciple of Gandhi and he personified principles of his master throughout his life. The quasquicentennial birth anniversary of Jamnalal Bajaj gives us an opportunity to look how he literally practised these ideals in his personal as well as public life. Jamnalal Bajaj, the adopted grandson of Seth Bachhraj of Wardha, was born on 4 November 1889 at Kashi-ka-bas, a village in Sikar in Jaipur State of princely India. He was just four years old when he was adopted and brought to Wardha. The most remarkable aspect about his childhood was his refusal to lead a life of extravagance in spite of being brought up in a rich family. Once he was scolded by his grandfather Seth Bachhraj for not wearing very expensive ornaments for going to a party. He revolted and left the home giving up everything except the clothes he was wearing. What he wrote to Seth Bachhraj shows that he is a different metal and his very attitude towards life and worldly possessions. “All earthly relationship is hollow. The worldly possessions hold you in their grip. Thank God you have freed me today from their deadly grip. And please rest assured that I will not go to the law to claim a pie of what is yours.” Later Seth Bachhraj was successful in bringing young Jamnalal back to home respecting his ideals.
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