This Blog revolves around the book – MKG – Mahatma Gandhi – Imaging Peace, Truth & Ahimsa and how Learnings from the Mahatma can cause positive change in the 21st century; the book is a pictorial representation of the life and message of the Mahatma, covering major milestones which influenced his philosophy, political awakening and his concept of Ahimsa in a concise illustrative format. An attempt has been made to portray the man behind the Mahatma to provide inspiration to today’s generation.
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MKG book released at the United Nations

1st October 2010 - A special edition of the book – MKG –Imaging Peace Truth and Ahimsa was released by the President of the General Assemble of the United Nations. The release was marked with attendance from Ambassadors from over 50 nations and was the official UN event marking the International Day of Non-Violence.

UN Story Link

Preface - MKG Mahatma Gandhi

I was born 99 years after Gandhiji’s birth or twenty years after he ceased to walk this earth. Needless to say I never had the opportunity to see him or hear him in person; my exposure to him in the initial years of my life was the story of independence at bedtime by my grandmother Nivedita, watching Nivedita’s sister Tarunika spinning the charkha and a chapter in middle school text book.

October 2nd, national holiday in India and the minute of silence on the 30th of January each year have served as a constant recall on the name Mahatma and the person Gandhi.The film Gandhi by Sir Richard Attenborough, like many from my generation was the first real comprehensive exposure to MKG, I was 14 and it was a film that moved me to accepting the power and wisdom of the man. I saw the English version.

Over the next twenty six years his name and context have crossed me a few times, some in the form of simple discussions and some in the spate of films from Bollywood that hover around his name.
What I am trying to say is that I come from a generation that sees Gandhi multiple times a day without an emotional connect or a realisation of the values he stood for. Our recall is limited to the image of Gandhi on the Indian rupee notes, postage stamps and dusty photographs in government offices.

I am from a generation that does not associate khadi with peace and non violence but with politics and corruption. The charkha is just an Uber kool artefact. And the context of Salt is Iodised or not.
I am from a generation that has lost the power to learn from his experiments of truth. All we get is trivia and 1000 word articles whether or not he said the words “Hey Ram” when he was assassinated. Or if he was to be blamed for the politics of that day or have we put him on a pedestal that’s too high.

We have forgotten to see the glass full, its time to move on and leverage his principles for the success of humanity. We need to draw from his experiments, he was a scientist of Human Values and scientists don’t make mistakes they experiment. A scientist never fails, he is a creator, if he is in the process of creating a heat conductor, in every so called failure he is creating an insulator.

This book was to provide a visual insight to Gandhiji’s life, it’s a presentation of facts and images in my hope that it would mean something different to each viewer and allow them to explore the principles of Gandhi more.It has an age line along with the time line of his life, this would allow us to explore his life using our age as a barometer. The book has 200 plus photographs to show his transitions in life and 20,000 words that provide a commentary into incidents of his life.The book by no means is an exhaustive compilation of him; it is more a visual catalyst to set one on a journey to explore more.

The book is produced to act more as a piece of art and the contents published to be treated as treasured experiences of a man so simple yet so unique and valuable. The end objective would be that this book acts as an heirloom and is passed down generations spreading the simple message that would be relevant for a long time to come.


Power of being morally right
Your opponent’s conscience is your biggest ally
One of Mahatma Gandhi’s strongest strategies was to bring into play the conscience of the opponent as an ally and this is only possible if you are morally right.However a few months before I finalised this book I was confronted with a questionIn today’s world does the opponent have a conscience!!! What happens to this power of being morally right, if the opponent’s conscience does not exist?
Then a few weeks later I recalled a clip from a wildlife Television channel … shows the leopard killing the baboon as it’s a sworn enemy and a major food source in the wild. But then something changes when it realises that the baboon has an infant with it. The predator transforms into a protector and the leopard spends the entire night protecting the newborn against a pack of hyenas.I don’t think that an animal (Humans included) exists in this world that does not have a conscience and am convinced that the Gandhian principal of being morally right would still hold true as long as the animal world exists on this planet.

Change Agent and Karma Yoga
The concept of Karma is powerful, however the message and practice has been diluted. The message is more associated with Fate, referring to the good and the bad events in life as being associated with, “Your Karma” indicating the Hindu philosophy of rebirth and deeds in past life drive your present. It is a great source of optimism and helps us all live an optimum life … but what about the 2nd half of the message that you need to be a change agent in present life and practice Karma Yoga. The concept of practicing Karma Yoga is simple – be a change agent expect nothing for your actions and I think one of the best examples of a Karma Yogi in the last century is MKG.

Simple messaging is effective messaging
Simple messaging is effective messaging, Gandhiji with his message of Non cooperation and Non violence kept it so simple that people from all sections and layers of society could relate to it, much like the product positioning of the I pod, a simple device with a single control point providing an effective solution of high quality music.
His call for the boycott of foreign clothes and yet be cheered during his visit by the workers of the British cloth mills shows the power to communicate in a simple but effective manner with reason.
I hope that the generations of today will draw from his experiments of life and seek their interpretations.

Thank You
I would like to thank the people that have helped me on my journey to create this book. Thank you to Mr BK Syngal , his daughter Shruti Syngal who both made the launch happen in London, Sir Gulam for his support and gracious gesture of providing me access to Gandhiji’s letters, Talvin Singh for the musical tribute at the launch.

A special thank you to my production team at Visual Quest, Deepa Gunti and Colonel Pashupathy need a special mention for putting in all the extra hours. My father in law Dr. Brig S. N Capoor for discussing the initial idea on the book. My parents Tara and Vatsal who taught me the power of right. My wife Deepti for putting up with my whims and fancies, my erratic work schedule, inspiring me and grounding me at the same time and thank you to my daughter Adya .. For adding magic in my life.

Birad Rajaram Yajnik
January 2010


Joseph Deiss, President of the sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly, holds up a limited edition copy of “MKG – Mahatma Gandhi – Imaging Peace, Truth & Ahisma” at an event commemorating the International Day of Non-Violence. The day is observed 2 October for the birthday of non-violence pioneer Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi). Pictured with Mr. Deiss are Hardeep Singh Puri (left), Permanent Representative of India to the UN, and Birad Rajaram Yajnik, the book's author.
01 October 2010 United Nations, New York