2, Some claim that Gandhiji was called “Mahatma” by the residents of Gurukul Kangadi in April 1915, and he, in turn, called the founder Munshiram a Mahatma (who later became Swami Shraddhananda). However, there is no proof of documents, and the date they are claiming is April 1915, whereas again, Nautamlal Mehta and the people of Jetpur signed the Mahatma “Manpatra” on January 21, 1915.
3, Another claim by a Gandhian historian says, “A private letter from friend Pranjivan Mehta to Gopal Krishna Gokhale in 1909 referred to Gandhi with the title “Great Mahatma” and thus remains the earliest written record available to use the title ” Great Mahatma” on Gandhiji. Pranjivan Mehta was Nautamlal Mehta’s brother-in-law, and Pranjivan Mehta never handed any citation to Mahatma. He used the term “Great Mahatma” in a letter to Gokhale, but Mahatma was in South Africa in 1909, nor did he know or receive any citations face to face. Additionally, we have yet to see the letter to Gokhale too.
Read more on the Wikipedia page.
Tagore’s name was a big hyperbole started by Louis Fischer, an American author, without any factual or physical proof. Nautamlal Bhagawanji Mehta was Nagarsheth of Jetpur (Nagarsheth is equivalent to the head of the town, like a modern-day Banker+ Mayor). Louis Fischer had no documents, no location of the event, and no date of events. And yet somehow, he made something out of nothing. All our Gandhian scholars blindly accepted what Louis Fischer said without doing their due diligence. My grandfather, father, and uncle started writing with an objection to Louis Fischer’s hearsay on Tagore, but they were helpless.
My uncle, Moolshankar, wrote postcards and/or letters to various publishing houses as early as 1951; it was worthless as no one cared about our information or truth. None dared to question a white journalist/author from America.
I think nature made me a tool to get justice for my grandfather. I had access to hundreds of family documents and photographs (aka proof), sharing information about the Indian Freedom Movement and our family’s connection to Gandhiji. Thanks to technology, I have better resources and time to share the truth, and that journey started in 1996.
My greatest strength were scholars from the Rajghat Gandhi Museum in New Delhi, Dr. Anand, Dr. Varsha Das, and six other scholars on their team, who acknowledged my family’s information (through a lot of vetting) and definitely gave me a significant boost!
6, The below Points to be noted:
Here are a few other hearsay claims without any proof or documentation.
( we Nautamlal Mehtas family all Live in the USA, and the Devchandbhai Parekhs family lives in Ahmedabad-Mumbai-In USA)
I’ve attached all the above documents and proof below.
Many years back. I Gave a copy; of Manpatra to Devchand bhai Parekh’s grandson as a gesture as Devchand bhai was a friend of my grandfather; on that Manpatra (copied), there are other 44 Jetpurs, citizens, signatures are there including Devchandbhai, Nautamlal, Nautamlals Brother chimanlal and so many others,our relatives.
Furthermore, until 1937 Devchandbhai was doing his legal practice with British admin. He only joined the independence moment once people started noticing that the British were definitely Leaving India. Including uchharang bhai Dhebar. He also joined the Gandhian moment in 1937.
Similar claims also occurred by Gondal Rashshala. In that case, Mahatma visited Gondal on January 26, 1915, so it was automatic. Hearsay because Mahatma visited Jetpur on January 21, 1915.
Next, they just ran to Sabarmati Gandhi Asharam and some local news Papers and claimed that ” Devchandbhai Parekh first coined the word Mahatma for Gandhiji. None of the so-called Curator of Ashram or Newspapers editors had any Logical common sense to ask them where the original copy is. They don’t have. We also asked where the original or even copy of Kasturba Gandhi is. They don’t have it. None of any claimants have any documents of the original.
I also Have 2 emails from Kaka Saheb Kalekars, a Granddaughter from Ahmedabad, and Kishorilal Mashruwals grand sons asking me to GIVE THEM, not an ANNOTATED copy of mahatmas manpatra. I politely declined to avoid more work later with many more claims.
Thus, the Devchanbhai family’s claims and several others’ attempts to challenge the validity of Nautamlal’s Kamdar first bestowing the title “Mahatma” onto Gandhiji are purely hearsay without any proof or documentation.
Therefore we stopped sharing, and if we share, it is ANNOTATED all Gandhian Documents.
Here are some more references I used. The main reason to put pictures copies is easier for my reader than give links.