Kerala

A Gandhian disciple falling into oblivion

The house of Raghavji in total neglect on the banks of the Bharathapuzha at Shoranur.

The house of Raghavji in total neglect on the banks of the Bharathapuzha at Shoranur. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The memories of a key freedom fighter from Shoranur who followed Gandhi to the core by dedicating his life to Gandhian ideals are fast fading into oblivion with his house and office lying in total neglect.

Raghava Poduval aka Raghavji from Paruthipra, Shoranur, had taken part in the historic Dandi March along with Mahatma Gandhi in 1930. He converted his 3.5-acre ancestral land on the banks of the Bharathapuzha for the promotion of Gandhian ideals by setting up an ashram-like home.

A handloom centre he set up there offered training and classes in charka, and promoted gingelly oil production by cultivating sesame, honey farming, and soap making until he died in 1992. One of the close disciples of Mahatma Gandhi, Raghavji was a Gandhian to the core.

He kept the word he gave to Gandhi to promote self-reliance until he breathed his last. The words he scripted on the walls of his home still read: Swayam prakashitha giri sadanam.

He had been honoured by the nation when former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi invited him to Dandi and felicitated him. But there seems to be hardly any takers for the Gandhian way of life he left behind at Shoranur.

“It is sad to see that such a great freedom fighter and Gandhian like Raghavji is going into oblivion,” lamented Prasad K. Shoranur, a social activist who had formed Gandhi Seva Vedi in 2014, marking the 22 nd death anniversary of the freedom fighter.

The house he lived and the office he used are no longer in use. He had donated it to the Sarvodaya Sangham for promotion of Gandhian ideals. But none takes care of this place now.

Mr. Prasad is maintaining a blog titled orunulluuppu.blogspot.com to spread the memories of Raghavji. He has given tidbits about Raghavji’s eventful life from his birth in 1906 to his death in 1992.


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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 11:48:24 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-gandhian-disciple-falling-into-oblivion/article65765971.ece