Gandhi Jayanti: How Gandhi’s time in Mumbai shaped India’s freedom movement

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's teachings have influenced not only Indians but people around the world. He was born in Porbandar in Gujarat but Mumbai is often regarded as the centre of his activities. On his 154th birth anniversary, here are some of the iconic city structures where Gandhi either spent time or addressed his followers

Updated On: 2023-10-02 01:44 PM IST

Compiled by : Editor

Mahatma Gandhi at Juhu beach in 1944. Photo: Mid-day file pic

Mani Bhavan Sangrahalaya on Laburnum Road is now a Gandhi Memorial but was at the centre of his political activities during the 17 years he spent in the city from 1917 to 1934. According to the Mani Bhavan website, the two-storey property belonged to Shri Revashankar Jagjeevan Jhaveri, who is said to have been a follower of Gandhi and played host to him every time. Among several important moments, the venue witnessed him launching a Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act and starting his historic fast in Mumbai after the boycott of the Prince of Wales’ visit to the city. Photo: Mid-day file pic

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or Mahatma Gandhi as he is more famously known, also spent a lot of time at the Birla House in Malabar Hill, especially when he was sick. His close proximity to the house was because of his close friendship with RD Birla during those days. In 1944, in the later years of his life, this was also where he held talks with Muhammad Ali Jinnah about the Partition. It was not far from Jinnah House (in picture). Photo: Mid-day file pic

Gandhi was also known to frequent Sir Mangaldas House near Lamington Road. Having attended garden parties, he met with Muhammad Ali Jinnah here too and gave a thank you speech in Gujarati, known to be his first form of protest on Indian soil, after returning from South Africa. The property on which Sir Mangaldas House once stood is now known as Imperial Cinema. Photo: Mid-day file pic 

While Gandhi is known to have stayed at a house in Charni Road and a bungalow in Santacruz, it is difficult for them to be traced today. However, there are other places beyond his residence, where Gandhi spent a lot of time and one of them is Girgaum Chowpatty. It was here that the salt satyagraha was held and locals joined him, ahead of the Dandi March in 1930. Apart from Girgaum Chowpatty, Gandhi also regularly visited the Juhu Beach, mostly to be with his family or while recuperating from an illness. According to records of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Gandhi suffered from many illnesses including malaria in 1925, 1936 and 1944. Photo: Mid-day file pic  

Gowalia Tank maidan was where Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement, after a speech on August 8, 1942 with the slogan ‘Do or Die’. The movement aimed to energise the people of India so they could make the British leave the country. A few hours after his speech, several leaders of the Indian National Congress were imprisoned. It is also the reason why the ground has its current name – August Kranti Maidan. Photo: Mid-day file pic

Among the many places in the city, Mahatma Gandhi also gave his first speech in Bhuleshwar at Hira Baug in the presence of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, after he returned to India in 1912. Mumbai will always be associated with Gandhi not only because of the places he visited while he was alive but because it also has a little part of him. A part of his ashes are kept at the Asiatic Society Town Hall. Unfortunately, many places in the city associated with the Indian freedom fighter are slowly disappearing. Photo: Mid-day file pic

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