Ms. Sumitra Gandhi Kulkarni has been leading a modest life with her husband, G.R. Kulkarni, in J.P. Nagar for the past 16 years.

Expressing concern over people having forgotten Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals, his granddaughter, Sumitra Gandhi Kulkarni, said here on Saturday that embracing Gandhian values would help us achieve peace both in the private and public spheres.

She was speaking at a function organised here to release Kannadada Mannalli Mahatmana Jeevanagu (Sumitra Gandhi Kulkarni: A Gem of The Mahatma Family in Karnataka) conceptualised, compiled and published by Rachappa S. Holur.

Ms. Sumitra Gandhi Kulkarni said that though she was a biological granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, in the real sense those who believe and practise Mahatma’s ideals and values are his grandchildren and more dearer to him than she herself.

“I was with my grandfather for nearly 18 years. Had he lived for another year, he would have got the opportunity to do my Kanyadaan,” said Sumitra Gandhi Kulkarni, daughter of Mahatma Gandhi’s third son Ramadas.

Ms. Sumitra Gandhi Kulkarni has been leading a modest life with her husband, G.R. Kulkarni, in J.P. Nagar for the past 16 years.

Gandhi’s relevance

Without naming anybody, she said that a Congress president had once told her that Gandhian values had become irrelevant and that nobody would listen to his teachings. “Though those in power have forgotten Mahatma Gandhi, common people still remember him for the values he stood for”, she added.

Underlining the importance of speaking the truth and practising non-violence, Ms. Sumitra Gandhi Kulkarni said that to be non-violent one needs to be courageous. To be truthful, one should be fearless. “There will be no contradiction if you speak the truth. Speaking the truth makes you non-violent. Both truth and non-violence are closely linked”, she said.

Admitting that Gandhian values were losing their relevance in the present times, the former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, in his presidential address, noted that a majority of politicians now have no moral right to speak about Mahatma Gandhi or his ideals. “It is time to introspect and stop making references to Mahatma Gandhi at public functions by those not following his ideals”, he said.

Recalling Mahatma Gandhi’s association with Karnataka and his visits to Gulbarga, Hubli and Nandi Hills, the former Chairperson of the Legislative Council V.R. Sudarshan said that Gandhian values had universal relevance. “His ideals can provide solutions to most of the problems plaguing our society”, he added.

Chairperson of the Karnataka Madhyama Academy M.A. Ponnappa, journalist Padmaraja Dandavate and bureaucrat Manu Baligar were present.