Mahatma Gandhi – the father of our nation was a great thinker, philosopher and a great visionary. He practiced what he preached. Setting a model for the entire humankind, Gandhi was a rishi -saint-in its true essence. His thoughts are everlasting and they are relevant even today and no doubt remain so eternally. To perpetuate the Gandhian philosophy, to enlighten the future generation about the phenomenon known as Gandhi, our great leaders of independent India formed an entity – Gandhi Smarak Nidhi – under the stewardship of Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India.
Continuing the creative process of Mahatma, realizing his dreams, publicizing his huge literary genius were the main objectives of the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi.
The Mysore state did not lag behind. A branch of the Gandhi Memorial Trust was established in 1949 and it strove hard to propagate the Gandhian thoughts in the state level. Later on, the formation of linguistic states and the developments at the central Gandhi Memorial Trust, promoted the state Gandhi Trust to rename itself as KARNATAKA GANDHI SMARAKA NIDHI and formation of an autonomous body.
Mahatma’s ties with Karnataka are extraordinary. He visited the State many times and during his visits to Bangalore used to stay in the Kumara Krupa. His regular strolls in this area have brought a sanctimonious stature to this area, Gandhi Bhavan came up in this pious area and was inaugurated by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the then President of India in 1965. This tract of land was in the possession of Gandhi Bhavan in the form of lease. Sri Ramakrishna Hegde, during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, considering the emotional and virtuous ties of this place With the people of Karnataka had donated this land to Gandhi Bhavan. Great followers of Gandhi have Visited this place and have paid their homage to the spirit of Mahatma. Notable among them are, Vinoba Bhave, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jayaprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai and many others. Fascinated people from India and abroad throng this place regularly, confirming the increased interest of people in Gandhian philosophy.
Having dedicated its might, in spreading the precepts of Mahatma, the Karnataka Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi, for the last 6 decades is sowing the seeds of the tenets of Mahatma in the minds of people especially the youth. In its creative wake it has staged an organized battle in eradicating the social evils of alcoholism, superstition etc and has successfully spread the message of Khadi – Mahatma’s greatest propagation. It has helped spurring up the village industry and motivated the youth to follow the lineage of Gandhi. Publication of Gandhian literature is another accomplishment of Gandhi Bhavan that has inspired youth and aged alike. Karnataka Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi has meaning fully celebrated its Golden Jubilee year in 2011 under the guidance of Dr H.O. Srinivasaiah Who is steering the Karnataka Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi for the last 3 decades. Veteran Gandhian and a journalist of eminence Nadoja Dr. Patil Puttappa and many followers of Gandhi took part in the celebrations.
The name of Karnataka Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi is now synonymous With another silent revolution of temperance which is now gaining strength in the State gradually. The Government and the general public have stood together With Gandhi Bhavan (Karnataka Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi) in its undaunted fight against social evil and its unhindered task of spreading the thoughts of Gandhi. The activities of Gandhi Bhavan bear ample testimony to its single minded devotion.