Local historians and scholars opine that Gandhiji’s spirit rests on the National College premises
The Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, who visited Machilipatnam twice, had cherished spending a couple of days at National College here. A few lines he had written in the college visitors’ register on April 3, 1921 are still considered a driving force for the teaching staff of the college that was established in 1910.
An inscription of his valuable words at his memorial on the college premises has been inspiring and safeguarding the institution. The words promise delivery of high standard education. “I have passed two quiet and what shall always remain with me sacred days on the sacred grounds on this great educational institution... As an Indian I feel proud of it….” wrote Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to the National College in 1921.
Gandhiji visited Machilipatnam the second time on December 12, 1933. A page of the visitors’ book of the college is one of the live memories available in Machilipatnam till date. “We still feel the influence of Gandhiji on how we are being driven to serve the student community with quality teaching and get equipped with power to compete with the corporate educational system,” National College Principal M. Peda Venkatappa told The Hindu.
“We have felt a great sense of responsibility to preserve the only memory forever – original Gandhi’s handwritten copy,” he added. Mahatma Gandhi also appealed to the citizens of Machilipatnam during his visit. “I hope that you citizens of Masulipatnam…, I ask you therefore to make this institution your own, strengthen it where you may find it to be weak”.
Local historians and scholars opined that despite Mahatma Gandhi visiting a few villages such as Kautaram, Angaluru and villages in Diviseema, his true spirit rests on the National College premises where he spent those two days of his life.
Gandhiji’s original message and his experiences with his signature are still kept for display for visitors at his memorial at the college entrance.