Mahatma Gandhi’s Campaign Against Untouchability in Karnataka, written by Dr. G.A. Biradar, Archivist, National Archives of India, New Delhi was released on 16th July, 2011 at Gandhi Peace Foundation.
|Book being released|
Professor Mushirul Hasan, Director General, National Archives of India, New Delhi released the book. Dr. Venkatachala Hegde, President, Delhi Karnataka Sangha was present.
Dr. Gollalappagoud Appasahebagoud Biradar has made a unique attempt to go into Mahatma Gandhi's campaign against untouchability in Karnataka, rather the most parts of Southern India. Based on his scholarly study and field experience he has developed an insight into the subject and discusses in considerable details, Mahatma Gandhi's campaign against untouchability in Karnataka, rather the large part of South India, like, Madras presidency, including Davangeri, Sandur, Bellary, Bombay presidency. He has attempted a balanced view through an analysis of legislation and people's opinions, including administrators’ and judges’. Based upon his analytical survey, his field study and scholarly study, he has justified Mahatma Gandhi's campaign against untouchability in Karnataka, the fruits of which are very much seen in the remote corners in villages and towns of not only Karnataka, but the whole country, in the shape of legislative measures, administrative action towards people's welfare, and well-being; mass awakening, popular will and support.
Dr. G.A.Biradar’s book “Mahatma Gandhi’s Campaign against Untouchability in Karnataka” is indeed an exemplary work of documentary nature providing the researchers working in Polity and History, Socio-Economic System, Human Rights and Ethics etc. with the primary data. Present book is an outcome of the full and proper exploitation, in positive sense, of the original documents preserved in the National Archives, New Delhi. I wish to congratulate Dr. Biradar on throwing fresh light on the untapped sources and dwelling at length on an untouched aspect of the freedom movement in India.
The author has ventured to strike a balance between the success or otherwise of the campaign in Karnataka. The response of the Savarna Hindus to the appeals of Gandhiji to eradicate untouchability from the Hindu social fold was spontaneous, whereas the same from the very beneficiaries viz the Hirijans was very poor. The Sanatanists, on the other hand, put protests here and there during the campaign. The officers loyal to the British Government reported that people used to participate in the campaign out of curiosity to see the person of Gandhiji rather than to involve in the campaign.
Dr. G.A. Biradar, author of the book said: A great historic movement such as the Indian struggle for freedom is necessarily a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon, and strength came to it from many sources. One such solid source of inspiration for strengthening the national movement was the Harijan movement. No doubt Mahatma Gandhi was instrumental in starting the Harijan movement and by doing so he broadened the base for the national movement. Lokamanya Tilak, the great patriot and leader then held a view that the freedom struggle should be severely limited to the political arena, and it should be isolated from the attempts then being made to reform the traditional structure of the Hindu society. The issue then took the form of a controversy between the orthodox and the social reformers. The pre- 1921 years of Indian national movement was dominated and in the hands of upper class people. Therefore, the nationalist movement was confined to largely urban areas. While Tilak was politically non conservative and he was socially a conservative. Mahatma Gandhi was politically and socially a liberal leader. He tried to bring the people of all classes of society to mainstream political movement irrespective of their social status to fight the British rule in India.
Dr. G.A. Biradar is the author of 3 books and about 20 research articles. Born at Golageri village in Bijapur District of Karnataka, he had had his Primary and Secondary education in his native place. Graduated from G.P. Porwal College (KUD), Sindagi in Bijapur District. He has completed his Post Graduation and Doctor of Philosophy in History, Gulbarga University, Gulbarga. He served as Guest Lecturer in History, Gulbarga University, Gulbarga and as Part Time Lecturer in History, N.V. Degree College, Gulbarga for over 3 years. Presently, Dr. Biradar is an Archivist at National Archives of India, New Delhi.