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Lecture at Gandhigram University, November 2013

this place marks the location where the villagers of chinnalampatti sat on the tracks to stop a train in which Gandhiji was travelling to one can see this simple structure to commemorate the aspirations of simple folks near the crossing at Gandhigram, someone places fresh flowers there every day even today giving the place next to the level crossing a strange presence so difficult to ignore despite the rather sad condition of its immediate neighbourhood...

On 26th Oct at Gandhigram, amazing legacy and spirit in rural constructive work, several small initiatives...old ideas being re-invented for the contemporary lifestyle, good...though had a reality check when i spoke to the management students (I was there to talk to them on Rural Livelihood careers)...they hadn't heard of J C Kumarappa. Their seminar hall had small wooden decor with quotes from Dale Carnegie to Steven Covey, couldn't see a single quote of any Gandhian, the management institute is housed in a building named after J C Kumarappa!!

Met her again by chance at Gandhigram today...yes the one and only Krishnammaal Jagannathan - "the god made the world the way Gandhi and Kumarappa spoke about it, then we have gone ahead and spoiled it" said she..."when someone asked me who is the greatest leader i have worked with, i told them JP...I was with him when he was in his death bed and in the pain and suffering, he asked me, 'krishna behn, has our land become safe and secure for the ordinary Indian?', that was his greatness, life lived completely in dedication for the ordinary person in this country", recounts someone who herself has lived a life on those lines with absolute humility! how can one stop being inspired by this amazing lady who humbly states that she was 'only helping about 15000 dalit families to have a piece of land' for themselves and so much more of them today need land to live as they continue to live in despicable conditions...dynamic, energetic, inspiring!