The Day Gandhi Become Mahatma
This is the original copy of the honor bestowed on Gandhiji
at the Jetpur city meeting on January 21, 1915. At Jetpur
Kamribai School, before noon, the Original (Manpatra) Commendation
was written by and read by the Great Gandhian Follower, philanthropist,
and supporter Shri Nautamlal Bhagvanji Kamdar (Mehta). In
the Manpatra, Shri Nautamlal Bhagvanji Mehta (Kamdar) referred
to Gandhiji as the "Mahatma". From that day on,
Gandhiji became the "Mahatma" of the entire world.
This is a great historical document that we are presenting
with immense pride and honor.
The English translation of the original Gujarati language
Commendation from the above.
To Shriman Mahatma Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi. Barrister-at-law.
Gentleman, You have returned to your native land after leading
a fight for many years for the right of Indians. We the residents
of Jetpur, are honored and pleased to have you here. We have
gathered here to commemorate this auspicious occasion and
we heartily present this document of honor to you and to your
You were born in an honorable family of Karmchand Gandhi
in Kathiawad and acquired higher education and higher knowledge.
You have set a direct example of duty to all the people by
way of performing duties rightfully, and we are very proud
of it. Your father had brought fame by enjoying an executive
post in the states of Porbander, Wankaner, Rajkot, etc. In
a similar manner as your father, you have enhanced your father's
fame by taking a leading part in the interest of the country
and people as a top priority of your life.
For the people of Indian origin in South Africa, you fought,
sacrificed and showed them a new light in their life, in order
to fight for their rights, justice, and their dignity. The
Indians all over the world know your dedication and your unbounded
love for them in their hearts. You also stood against the
mighty British Empire with the new weapon of Satyagraha. You
have come out a winner in that. We feel very proud and happy
about it. The way you handled the British government with
skill, determination, will power, undergoing physical and
family pains, and imprisonment are all the hardships that
you underwent in order to fight for human rights, bring success
and were able to change the laws. We Indians are very proud
of you. No amount of words can express the deep gratitude
we feel for the work you have done in South Africa and in
It would be a very long document if we enumerated all the
achievements you accomplished in South Africa and in India.
Even though you come from a noble family and earned a degree
in law and have had biographies written about your achievements,
we will not take up much of your time in enumerating them.
You discharged your duties without self-interest and sacrificed
money matters. Your behavior is characterized by what is being
told in Hindu religious scriptures about saints as to how
they should behave and what religious practices they should
follow. It is not an exaggeration to honor you with the title
of "Mahan Yogi" (Mahatma), it is based upon your
self-knowledge of the Mahan soul (atma).
We pray to the creator of world that you may continue the
way in which you are trying for the well-being of Hind and
that way obliging Hind, and you and your wife remain hail
and healthy physically; and the almighty god may bestow upon
you a long life; and that you may enjoy all happiness and
peace, along with other members of your family.
Jetpur, 21-1-1915.(January 21.1915)