Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi (K.M. Munshi)
Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, (30 December 1887 – 8 February 1971) popularly known as Kulpati Dr. K. M. Munshi, was an Indian independence movement activist, politician, writer and educationist from Gujarat state. A lawyer by profession, he later turned to literature and politics. He was a well-known name in Gujarati literature.
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is an ever-growing tree that was planted by Dr. K.M. Munshi, eminent scholar, lawyer and statesman. It is concretization of a vision that took shape over the years in heart and mind of Dr. K.M. Munshi as he, delved deep into literary and spiritual heritage of India and was overwhelmed by the character, power and magnitude of accomplishments of heroes and thinkers of the history and the epics. His idealism and total dedication helped to see his vision with greater clarity and charged him with energy to carry forward his mission.
Dr. K.M. Munshi belonged to the band of man who combined an intellectual idealism with an active realism. With the zeal of a missionary, he implemented the ideals and ideas of his heart in the framework of life of the people. Like rivers, that have an obscure origin as springs in Mountainous regions, Munshi, too, had a humble origin.
Dr. Munshi was an odd mixture of realism and idealism and a strong believer of India’s Cultural resurgence. He clearly saw the many facets of India’s political, cultural, literary, religious and spiritual development. Munshi had a vision of free India in terms, not only merely of political freedom, constitutional democracy and social diversity but in terms of its culture, tradition and the rich heritage of wisdom and learning. In order to foster ethical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and global values.
He felt “three things are necessary for revitalization of Indian Culture –
- The other worldliness in our outlook, the curse of the past, had to be replaced by a sense of joy in the life as it is lived.
- Such of the traditions as were outmoded and stifled the creative vitality of the individual and the collective life had to be replaced by vigorous, constructive and flexible attitude on life.
- The fundamental values which had given ageless vitality to Indian Culture had to be captured afresh for the younger generation.” Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is a product of the most comprehensive and composite vision of one of the greatest sons of India.
Dr. K.M. Munshi founded Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan as an instrument for translating his vision and mission into reality and propagating India’s vibrant culture.
With his sterling character, supreme dedication, amazing humidity, total commitment to moral and ethical values, super human capacity to put in hard and sustained work, readiness to lead from the front and willingness to merge himself completely with the Bhavan.
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s stands for “The reintegration of Indian Culture”. Dr. K.M. Munshi has in clear terms presented the synthesizing character of our culture which make it resilient and life sustaining. This all embracing and unifying force is the soul and inspiration of our culture. In the words of Dr. K.M. Munshi.
Today Munshiji’s fears about cultural decadence and break down of value systems have indeed come true. But Bhavan, the movement is striving to ward off attacks and defy odds to carry forward his message and mission.
With the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. K.M. Munshi founded Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on 7th November 1938, as the beginning of an ‘adevnture in faith’. Faith in India’s past, present and future. It was aimed at ‘reintegration of Indian culture in the light of modern knowledge and to suit our present day need and the resuscitation of its fundamental values in their pristine vigour.’
Bhavan’s Path – Milestones
- 1938 – Kulapati Munshiji laid the foundation of the Bhavan.
- 1940 – Kulapati Munshiji laid the foundation stone of the Bhavan’s first building at Andheri, Bombay.
- 1944 – The Bharatiya Itihasa Vibhag was organized.
- 1957 – Kulapati Munshiji laid the foundation stone of the Bhavan’s Kanpur center.
- 1966 – Kulapati Munshiji opened the Bhavan’s Mahila Mandal School at the Bhavan’s campus at Andheri.
- 2010 – K.M. Munshi Institute of Educational Leadership and Management was started in Delhi.
- 2012 – Bhavan’s Platinum Jubilee celebration and 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. K.M. Munshi.