Come October 2, the city will witness Vandey Gandheeyam, an event aimed at reminding the people about Gandhian principles and ideologies. It is perhaps a pertinent occasion to see what role Vijayawada played during the Independence struggle, especially in playing host to the Father of the Nation.

A peep into history points out that Gandhi visited the city four times. And, his every visit has a historical importance.

He visited Vijayawada, then more popularly known as Bezwada, for the first time in April 1919 as part of his nation-wide tour to motivate people to participate in Satyagraha.

He addressed a large congregation of people at Rammohan Roy library.

Gandhi later camped for a day in Bezwada on his way to Calcutta (now Kolkata) on August 1, 1920.

Addressing a public meeting on the occasion, Gandhi announced that the Indian National Congress would take up non-cooperation movement. Gandhi and Shoukat Ali were then going to Calcutta to participate in a special meeting of the Congress.

The next visit was when the annual conference of the All India Congress Committee was held in the city from March 31 to April 1, 1921, in the Museum hall.

Bezwada resolutions

This meeting is well known for the presentation of an initial design of our present national flag, as proposed by its architect Pingali Venkaiah.

Gandhi immediately approved the flag after suggesting a few changes.

Since it was the first meeting after the AICC session at Nagpur, the resolutions passed here were popularly known as the Bezwada resolutions.

Gandhi again visited Vijayawada and toured other places in Krishna district in 1929.

This time, Gandhi inaugurated a water reservoir near Durga Ghat.

Until recently, the reservoir stood there as a slice of history but was pulled down by the authorities for the developmental works of the Kanakadurga temple.

The Father of the Nation toured Krishna district once again in 1933 for Harijan Fund.

He arrived at Bezwada on December 16, 1933.

Many people presented citations in Hindi to him at Durga Vilas, the residence of freedom fighter and founder of Andhra Patrika Kasinathuni Nageswara Rao.