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House where Gandhi stayed in Bihar’s Champaran to be turned into a museum

The house where Gandhi had spent a few days during his visit to Motihari to meet indigo farmers, has since been sold thrice.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2017 12:57 IST
Reena Sopam and Sagar Suraj
Reena Sopam and Sagar Suraj
Hindustan Times, Patna & Motihari
Champaran satyagraha,Mahatma Gandhi,indigo farmers
A man fashioned as Mahatma Gandhi on his arrival at the Bapudham railway station in Motihari on Saturday. (Madnakar/HT photo)

A 100 years after Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to Motihari to meet indigo farmers, the house where he stayed there would now be turned into a museum.

The erstwhile house of advocate Gorakh Prasad at Mathiazirat locality, where Gandhi had spent a few days during his Motihari visit, has since been sold thrice. Unperturbed by this fact, chief minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday announced to convert the house into a museum. He also said that the Gandhi Sangrahalaya in Patna would have an independent auditorium, dedicated to Bapu.

The announcements came as a befitting tribute to the father of the nation from the Bihar government, which is celebrating 100 years of the Champaran satyagraha.

READ: Remembering the first Satyagraha: 100 years of Champaran

“I have come to know the house has been sold several times. But the government will still try to develop it into a vibrant museum. I am eager to see the house during my next trip to Motihari,” the CM said.

Smita Chandramani Kumar, great granddaughter of advocate Gorakh Prasad, said: “The house has been altered, but a portion of it, where Gandhiji stayed, has still not been changed. It will be an honour for my family if the house is converted into Gandhi’s museum.”

Though the house remained unnoticed for decades, the Bihar government’s centenary celebration of Champaran Satyagraha has brought it back into focus.

In Motihari, authorities recreated the century old scene, when a man, fashioned as Gandhi, alighted from a special train from Muzaffarpur at the Bapudham railway station. Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi,Tara Gandhi, along with 100 other Gandhian followers, received him amidst slogans like ‘Mahatma Gandhi amar rahe’ (Mahatma Gandhi is immortal).

Scenes were also recreated of how Gandhi had delivered his historical statement before a British officer on April 18, 1917.

Gandhi had visited Champaran on April 15, 1917 on an invitation of a farmer, Rajkumar Shukla, for a first hand account of indigo planters.

First Published: Apr 16, 2017 12:36 IST