YOUNG WORLD

Know all about the apostle of peace

The Gandhi Library on top of the Gandhi Hill is a virtual treasure house. Why not visit it?

UBIN SULTAN

ON TOP OF THE WORLD: Gandhi Hill PHOTO: RAJU V

ON TOP OF THE WORLD: Gandhi Hill PHOTO: RAJU V  

The track leading to the cenotaph on the hill is full of twists and turns that promise a roller-coaster ride. The sight of the city, while passing through the steep pathway, reminds one of a winding road in a hill station like Ooty. The entry fee to the picturesque Gandhi Hill is Rs. 2.

Set in a serene backdrop on the hilltop is the Gandhi Library. A statue of Dr. K.L. Rao, unveiled on May 18, 1987 by J. Vengala Rao, the then Union Minister for Industries, stands in front of the main door of the library. The foundation stone for the Gandhi Library was laid on November 9, 1964 by the then Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri and S. Nijalingappa, the then president of All India Congress Committee, formally opened it on October 6, 1968.

Almost everything associated with this library, including the antique furniture and the age-old windowpanes, takes one back in history. The five huge bookshelves have a number of books that are maintained in good condition by the librarian, Sarojini Devi, who has been working here for two decades. The library has complete works of Mahatma Gandhi that throw light on diverse subjects like "World religions and Gandhi," "Exploring Gandhi," "Mahatma Gandhi — Political Saint and Unarmed Prophet," "Dimensions of peace and non-violence — the Gandhian perspective," "Complementarily of Gandhi and Nehru," and "Gandhi and the Nonconformists."

Apart from a wide range of books on various subjects relating to Gandhiji, the library also has books on subjects like freedom struggle and Indian history. Rare books on personalities such as Lord Mountbatten, Annie Besant and Abdul Gaffar Khan make an interesting reading.A mini Institute of Gandhian studies and a complete storehouse of books on all subjects related to India, it has works on subjects such as "India's Environment," "Indian Sports," "Age of Indian Art," "Great Men of India," "Indian Women's Battle for Freedom," and many more. Books on recent history like "Rajiv Gandhi — Selected Speeches and Writings," also find adequate place in the racks. Besides history, books on general interest abound. The "Encyclopaedia of World Religions," "Layman's Bhagavadgita," "Arms and Survival," "Towards Socialist Society," are a few examples.

The library also has books on English literature. Catering to all age groups, it is kept open from 4 pm to 8:30 pm. But unfortunately, there are not many takers barring a few regular students.

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