- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 12, 2008


The Gandhi Museum in Madurai is not the only shrine to the father of the nation, but it is very informative about him and about India’s long struggle for independence.

During a 1921 visit to Madurai, Mahatma Gandhi was invited by Sri Ramji Kalyanji to spend the night of Sept. 22 at his home, 175-A, West Masi St. During that night, Gandhi thought about all of the skimpily dressed farmers and poor people he had seen during his trip. Often they wore nothing more than a dhothi, a cloth the size of a towel wrapped around the waist. The next morning, Gandhi appeared wearing a dhothi, which became his uniform and part of history.

The bloodied dhothi that Gandhi was wearing when he was assassinated in 1948 fittingly was returned to the city where it was adopted by Gandhi and has become a most poignant exhibit in the Gandhi Museum. Outside the museum, a bronze figure of Gandhi wears a dhothi and carries a walking stick as he crosses a bridge.

The historical photographs and the texts explaining events make this an important tool in teaching about India’s road to freedom.

For more information about the museum, go to www.madurai.com/mahatma.htm.

Richard Slusser



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