About GHSS


When Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa in 1915, he at once realised that national integration is of paramount importance and needed highest priority. India was to attain the goal of complete independence. Mutual understanding and unity of hearts among the people of different religions, castes and cultures inhabiting the vast sub-continent became, therefore, the first goal in Gandhiji’s programme of national regeneration.

Fighting for Hindu-Muslim Unity, Gandhiji also undertook the programme of linguistic integration, choosing Hindi, the Language of sufi and saints of India through the ages, as the vehicle for propagating his philosophy, for which he established an institution for the spread of Hindustani. He entrusted this work to Acharya Kakasaheb Kalelkar, who built Gandhi Hindustani Sahitya Sabha for the purpose. 1st September 1955 marks the establishment of Gandhi Hindustani Sahitya Sabha at Rajghat, New Delhi.

As the work of Gandhi Hindustani Sahitya Sabha progressed, Kakasaheb enlarged its field of activity, placing Samanavaya or World harmony to bring about understanding and co-operation among people of all religions, races and cultures.

About Acharya Kakasaheb Kalelkar

 Acharya Kakasaheb Kalelkar (01-12-1885 - 21-08-1981)

 Dattatreya Balkrishna Kalelkar, popularly known as Acharya Kakasaheb Kalelkar was born at Satara in Maharashtra  (India) on 1st December, 1885. One of the closest associates of Mahatma Gandhi, Kakasaheb, has a multifaceted  personality as a renowned educationist, linguist, journalist, thinker, author, philosopher and parliamentarian. He was a  strong advocate of communal harmony and great interpreter of the philosophies of Gandhi and Tagore. His contributions to public life are many and varied, stretching over 75 years. He was a hardcore nationalist committed to the cause of service to the nation and people of India at large.

After graduating from Ferguson College, Pune he started his career as a teacher at National Institute of Education in Belgaon, but soon joined Law College in Bombay following his father's death. During the same period, a daily ‘Rashtramat’ was started by Lokmanya Tilak for propagating nationalism and Kakasaheb was co-opted on its editorial board. However, soon the daily had to be closed due to the fury of the government. Nevertheless, the urge for expressing his views was so strong that he started writing and authored his first publication, the biography of Swami Ramatirth in Marathi. Since then, he has written on various subjects, total 29 books in Marathi, 69 in Gujarati, 98 in Hindi and 12 in English.

In the year 1910, after the death of his parents, he shifted to Baroda and joined National School- Ganganatha Vidyalaya as its Acharya. He was deeply impressed by the thoughts of the founder of the school, Keshavrao Deshpande and Shri Aurobindo. Unfortunately, the school was also shut down after three years again due to the pressure of the government. In 1912 he went to a town in the Himalayas and walked 2500 miles on foot. This was followed by his visit to Nepal and Shanti Niketan in Bengal. Finally, he joined a Gurkul near Haridwar as its director, but his love for literature took him back to Shanti Niketan where he spent six months, and then toured Burma. He met Gandhiji for the first time in 1915 in Shanti Niketan and changed his mind about staying permanently there as a teacher. On Gandhiji's advice he joined the Satyagraha Ashram near Ahmedabad in 1917. In the same year a conference of Gujarat Shiksha Parishad was presided over by Gandhiji and Kakasaheb presented a paper on 'Hindi', the National language. He visited Sindh along with Gandhiji and participated in Indore Hindi Sahitya Sammelan presided over by Gandhiji. He started writing articles for Gandhi’s ‘Young India’ and ‘Navjeevan’ in 1920. As a consequence of Non-cooperation Movement, Gujarat Vidyapeeth was established in 1920 and he joined it an Acharya. Later in 1928 he became its Vice Chancellor.

In 1922 when Gandhiji was put behind bars, Kakasaheb took over the responsibilities of Navjeevan’s publication. Later he also traveled to South India and Sri Lanka with Gandhiji. In 1930 as President of Maharashtra Shiksha Parishad he actively participated in the struggle for independence and gave a call to students to join him in the Satyagraha. He was sentenced for Satyagraha and lived in Yeravada jail with Gandhiji.

In 1935 Gandhiji again presided over Indore Hindi Sahitya Sammelan where a Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti was constituted and Kakasaheb was given its responsibility. Gandhiji founded Hindustani Prachar Sabha in 1942 when he led Quit India Movement in which Kakasaheb also participated actively and was again sentenced for three years. After getting out of the jail, he resumed the campaign of Hindustani Prachar Sabha. While carrying out his responsibilities he felt the need for some changes in Devnagri script and advised Gandhiji on this. His request was accepted.

In 1936 Gandhi Seva Sangh was founded and its journal titled ‘Sarvodaya’ started publication from 1938 with Kakasaheb and Dada Dharmadhikari as its editors. In 1939 the magazine ‘Sabki Boli’ as published by Wardha Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti, edited by Kakasaheb and Shrimannarayan. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the President of Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti, but in fact, as its Vice-President Kakasaheb used to carry out all the responsibilities. He organised the provincial committees in non-Hindi speaking states of Sindh, Saurashtra. Gujarat, Maharashtra, Utkal, Bengal, Assam, etc. for the propagation of Hindi. Due to his inspiration, Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samiti was constituted on 25 May 1939. He also helped ‘Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha’ in Dravidian speaking southern states. In the year 1955 Gandhi Hindustani Sahitya Sabha was founded with Kakasaheb as its founder Chairman.

After the death of Gandhiji, the constructive workers from all over India gathered as Sevagram, Wardha and established Sarva Seva Sangh. Its first two conferences were presided over by Kakasaheb. Similarly, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi was founded in 1948 and Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya was estabilished and its management was handed over to Kakasaheb. The Government of India constituted a Hindi Typing and Shorthand writing committee under his chairmanship.

Hindustani Prachar Sabha, Wardha, started the magazine ‘Mangal Prabhat’ on the day India became a republic and Kakasaheb was its first editor. In 1958 he took over as President of Sevagram Hindustani Talimi Sangh and continued for four years. Since 1952 he was Member of Rajya Sabha for two terms. In 1953 Govt. of India constituted a Backward Class Commission under his Chairmanship for improvement in the conditions of backward castes. He traveled all over India and submitted his recommendations.

Kakasaheb went to East Africa in 1950 and at his instance asThe Vice Chairman of ICCR, a special Wing for Africa was opened. He traveled in Western Europe and Gold Coast, Nigeria, Egypt, etc. in Africa. He also participated in Japan’s World Peace Council in 1958 and visited China. In the same year he also visited West Indies, British Guinea, Trinidad and USA and met some Negro leaders. He propagated Gandhian thought in Egypt, Italy, West Germany, Belgium, Britain, etc. In 1959 he visited Mauritius, Madagascar and East Africa and participated in World Peace Council in Russia in 1962. He has written interesting travelogues as excellent pieces of literature.

Kakasaheb established Gandhi Vidyapith with Jugataram Dave at Vedachhi, Gujarat as its Chancellor in 1967.He was a member of the Advisory Committee on Gandhian Literature. He was honoured by Gujarati Sahitya Parishad in 1969 and Union Government conferred ‘Padma Vibhushan’ on him in 1964. He was offered floral tributes as ‘Sanskriti ke Parivrajaka’ ‘Samanvaya ke Sadhaka’ on his 81st and 95th Birthdays respectively.

Though his mother tongue was Marathi, he made inorable contribution to the development of Gujarati and Hindi languages. His contribution in the field of education, literature, culture and language is matchless. He was an encyclopedia in true sense of the term, he has written authoritatively on various subjects like politics, sociology, science, history, geography, economics and spirituality. He was a lover of art, nature and beauty. He was deeply impressed by Gandhi and Tagore as reflected in his writings. His Gujarati book ‘Jeevana Vyavastha’ won the Sahitya Akadami award in 1965. He was conferred honorary degree of D.Litt by Sardar Patel University, Anand, Gujarat University and Kashi Vidyapeeth and ‘Fellowship’ by Sahitya Akadami, New Delhi.

Kakasaheb breathed his last in his ashram ‘Sannidhi’, New Delhi on 21 August 1981.

Gandhi Hindustani Sahitya Sabha in collaboration with other like–minded organizations has planned various programmes round the year throughout India to celebrate the 125th Birth Anniversary of Acharya Kaka Kalelkar as follows :

1. Inaugural Function on 1st December, 2009 at New Delhi;

2. National Conferences;

a. Hindi and Global India in New Delhi;
b. National Literature and Indian Writing Systems in New Delhi;

3. National Seminars

a. : Gujarati Language and Literature in Ahmedabad;
b. : Saints of Maharashtra and their Contribution in the making of Nationhood at Wardha;
c. : The Role of Linguistic Minority Languages and National Integration in Kalimpong {W. Bengal};
d. : Tribal Literature and Culture in Guwahati;
e. : The Socio-Philosophical Contents of the Freedom Movement in Jodhpur, Rajasthan;
f.: Essential components of the National Education Policy in Kota, Rajasthan or Belgaun, Karnataka;

4. National Workshops :

a. : Religious Harmony and World Peace in Kolkata;
b. : Regeneration of Woman Power at Shillong;
c. : Gandhiana in Action in Western World in Wardha or Chennai;
d. : Media and Society in Deoghar, Jharkhand
e. : Environmental issues in Present India in Dehradun or Kausani [Uttarakhand];

5. Youth Camps to acquaint the youth with Indian Culture, Freedom Movement and Gandhian ideas;

a. Socio-Political Values of Indian Culture & Freedom Movement in Bundi, Rajasthan;
b. Environmental Issues and Current Society in Dehradun or Kausani, Uttarakhand;

6. Publications :

a. 125th Birth Anniversary Volume in Hindi;
b. Reprint of Biography in English;
c. Small Biographies in Gujarati, Hindi & Marathi;

7. Lecture Series and Marches on foot (Pada-Yatras)–aiming at Socio-Religious Harmony.

The estimated cost of all the above activities/programmes comes to around Rs. 25 lakhs for which generous contributions from individuals and institutions are requested to make it a grand success.