Downtown

Promoting Gandhian principles



As an actor, writer, journalist, and copy writer ‘Gandhi’ Kanagaraj takes up diverse activities. A commitment to Gandhian principles shines through everything he does.

He began to follow these principles at a young age.



“I studied B.Sc Chemistry at The American College, Madurai, from 1966 to 1970. The Gandhi Memorial Museum was near my college. Eminent Gandhians including Ma.Po. Sivagnanam and Sa. Ganesan used to deliver lectures on Gandhi at the Museum. Listening to them led me to study Gandhian thought,” says Kanagaraj, a resident of Tambaram Sanatorium.



“ In 2000, I began to act in TV serials. In one of them — King Maker aired on Star Vijay (formerly Vijay TV) — I played Mahatma Gandhi. Recently, I played the lead role in a Hindi film Welcome Back Gandhi. The film is all set to release soon. I am grateful to A. Balakrishnan, director-producer, Ramana Communications, Chennai, for sculpting me into an actor,” he says.

From 1970 to 2000, Kanagaraj has worked as a medical representative, an assistant director, copy-writer, product manager, lyricist and script writer.

Playing ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ in King Maker, enabled him to learn more about Gandhian principles.

“When the serial was being shot, Balakrishnan gave a lot of books on Mahatma,” says Kanagaraj.

During this time, he also discovered the Mahatma Gandhi Moral Academy, which promotes Gandhian principles among school students.

In June 2014, the Gandhi World Foundation, Gummudipoondi, came up with a book on Mahatma Gandhi in English and Tamil — Mahatma For Students and Manavarkalukaga Mahatma respectively — for the students’ community.

The book was released by former Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court M. Karpaga Vinayagam.

“I was assigned the task of promoting the books. And I used the book as a tool to promote Gandhian values and principles among school students,” he says.

“Recently, the Mahatma Gandhi Moral Academy launched a ‘Character Document’ titled ‘Mahatma Gandhi Moral Oasis’ at Srimathi Lakshmi Ammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chromepet.

The Academy has presented the ‘characteristics’ of Gandhiji in the document, and the students are advised to sign the document with an assertion ‘I am Gandhi’ and a promise to follow in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi,” says Kanagaraj.

“In the future, the Academy will bring out books, booklets and compact discs on Gandhiji. The CDs will contain speeches of families of people who had spent time with Gandhiji, some of them going to prisons in the struggle for freedom,” he explains. “At present, I am recording songs for a television serial Gandhiyin Vazhkaiyil Thirukural. I have written the songs and am working on the script based on the inputs given by director Siva Rajan.

The serial will throw light on ‘How Thirukural influenced Gandhiji. Gandhiji’s life experiences were closely related to the couplets in the Tamil Sangam literature. The shooting is expected to commence on March 15 or 16,” he says. For details, call ‘Gandhi’ Kanagaraj at 93808 96752.


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 8:55:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/promoting-gandhian-principles/article6993727.ece

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