One of the most interesting events held on this Gandhi Jayanti was an informative and educative – ‘Gandhi aur Hindi’ that was organized by Vishwa Hindi Academy and Wankhede Review and Analysis. This insightful event, a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi was held on 2nd October 2021 at a banquet hall in Oshiwara in Mumbai. Though it was held in the afternoon, what was so encouraging that it was attended by Bollywood heavyweights like Rohini Hattangadi who was the chief guest, Kavita Sheth, Vinay Shukla and Girish Wankhede who spoke about their experiences as regards to Hindi language.
Rohini Hattangadi recalled that she was just 27 years old when she played Kasturba’s character in Sir Richard Attenborough’s film GANDHI (1982) hence was able to share some insights about the father of our nation.
Kavita Sheth sang the devotional hymn Vaishnava Jana To which was rendered as a bhajan in Gandhiji’s Sabarmati Ashram and then she followed it up by singing a Ghazal.
Vinay Shukla, the writer of Dabangg observed that usage of proper Hindi is of vital importance in any Bollywood film, noting that Gandhiji’s influence in the usage of our national language particularly helped the freedom fight struggle.
Keshav Rai, head of Vishwa Hindi Academy flawlessly anchored the event, while Girish Wankhede of Wankhede Review and Analysis mentioned, “Though being a Gujarati, Mahatma Gandhi had learnt and mastered the Hindi language during those difficult times. After graduating in law from England and after returning from South Africa, Gandhiji’s first big movement was organized in Champaran in Uttar Pradesh that is a Hindi belt, hence he had to learn proper Hindi and be proficient in the language which he felt that for keeping a nation united, we need one language that everybody can understand. Gandhiji felt, “Rashtrabhasha ke bina, rashtra goonga hai” (Without a national language, the nation doesn’t have a voice).
This was followed by a very interesting single act play ‘Daastan E Mahatma’ that was based on Gandhiji’s life that was directed by Mujeeb Khan, A 20 minutes play remembering Gandhi and Hindi. The significance of this play was that the anchor spoke about Gandhiji’s upbringing in first person and threw insights in the life and philosophy of this great man.
Noted writer late Munshi Premchand was so inspired by Gandhiji’s love for Hindi that he became a part of the freedom struggle, added Wankhede.