K.M. Munshi and M.K.Gandhi: A Historical Event of Correspondents

by Ana Lopez

Abhimanyu Modi

Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, Go for a stroll in Mumbai and read this name when you reach the Bhavans and your chest swells. Drama is easy to watch and difficult to perform, but where Munshiji’s feet fall, literature and art have ample opportunity to flourish. K.M. Munshi established Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Bhavans, Mumbai) for literature, art and all-round education and the resulting expansion is being enjoyed by Mumbaikars and dramatists today. Munshi was an ardent jurist of his time and a foremost jurist. As a Rajpurush, he had served in Cabinets and as Governor before and after independence. He had great talent and reputation as a writer. His novels, especially those written on the historical backdrop of the period of Siddaraj Jaisingh, occupy a prominent place in Gujarati literature.
It was Kanaiyalal Munshi who started the purely creative approach in Gujarati literature. In his literature, pictures of luxury, luxury and joy of life are seen. He has created by putting the spirit in real conflict, that is why his characters are touching. Munshi’s autobiography ‘Adhe Raste’ reads that he used to read the Arabian Nights all day as a child and think only of talking fish, diamonds in the mountains and flying horses. If Munshi’s stories and novels are read along with fragments of his autobiography, it will be seen that instead of giving in to each other, he has made as much fun as possible, maintaining the Lakshman line, the falsehood, egoism and self-implantation going on in his clan. He did not leave himself in it. Munshi crossed all three stages – determination, struggle and harmony – for his identity.
K.M. It is impossible to write about Munshi in brief. Munshi means the founder of many institutions. A colorful warrior and a legendary creator of Gujarati literature who set out in ‘search of dreams’ and succeeded through struggles! Munshi has created and written important texts in Gujarati-English-Hindi three languages, but his creativity in the field of Gujarati novel-drama-story stopped after going to Nikhari, Mhori and its height. His fields of study and scholarship must include law, culture, politics, philosophy and history.
In the first half of the twentieth century, along with geniuses like Gandhiji, Sardar and Jawaharlal, he could make his own place with his works and brilliant intellect. Such an ardent scholar and rare genius Munshi’s personal life was quite extraordinary. Struggles bless man as much as nature makes man creative. A correspondence between Munshi and Gandhi when the novel ‘Prithvivallabh’ was published.
‘Prithvivallabh’ is a colorful adaptation of Munshi’s drama. Munshi has created a masterpiece by filling the original short historical material with the colors of his imagination and giving it his unique artistry. The subject matter of ‘Prithvivallabh’ is derived from poems written in Gujarat in the 9th or 10th century Apabhramsh and from a treatise written by a Jain monk in the 15th century.
Munshi has written in his autobiography that at that time i.e. in 1914-15, I was swinging between the feelings of ‘blonde best’ which was unprecedented in the Vrittavilas imagined by the German philosopher Nietzsche. Thus the personalities of Munj and Mrinal were born. But I must change the basis of my creativity, right? After that, Munshi’s writing style turns towards originality and in his novels after ‘Jai Somnath’, Munshi’s originality is remarkable. Of course, when ‘Prithvivallabh’ was published 103 years ago in 1921, it had to suffer severe criticism from scholars. The policy expressed in it created a good debate in the society which took a long time to subside.
Not only that, she could not escape Gandhiji’s harsh criticism. After reading the novel, Gandhiji wrote to Munshi expressing his displeasure in these words: I have read ‘Prithvivallabh’ with interest. I didn’t like any of them. Didn’t even want to be like Munj. Why so? Saying that you have painted the characters as they are will not sit well. Some will be good, without hypocrisy in this chaotic world. Mrinal’s you did the chura. Vilas waxed before poor Rasanidhi. Men are cunning, and even a forty-year-old ugly woman will throw her hands into the man’s charms and around his neck. Kalidasa did not write like that, Shakespeare did not impress me like that. Learned something from them. Why not from you? Is your best work considered ‘Prithvivallabh’? Why could I not see you in it? Now let’s have some fun. Your last sentence goes something like this: Munj’s corpse is trampled under the elephant’s feet and becomes bread. The word bread sounds good, but have you thought that it cannot be the bread of the body? If it’s happening, let’s go. It is impossible for the body to become marmalade, pulverized, and become bread.
However, “Munshiji explained Gandhiji’s criticism in these words: If I can write like Kalidas or Shakespeare, then why should I be Gango Teli? Second ‘Prithvivallabh’ is not a model of literature of inspiration; Literature of escape is; It is not intended to teach or motivate. The idea is to give words to the pictures that arise in the mind of the imaginative writer. Munj is somewhat unrealistic; In the same way, a Yogi who has attained Kaivalyapada also seems unreal. If in both ways the extreme – ultimate pleasure – of suffering can be found, then the two experiments will be equal. So my muzzle, which has raga but no fear or anger, has become a rabbit’s horn. I have considered this creation as Swadharma. Imagination creates beautiful things. It has every right to be in literature. I am imaginative in literary activity. When I get a whim, an idea or an ideal attracts me, it comes out as an object and a character. And then write them down. That is why I have painted the events of good people. Not for the purpose of teaching or persuasion, but in the mood of creativity and unrepressed instinct of autobiography. After so much precision, under the letter dated Quoting Munshi, he writes: ‘Why does the body become flattened when pressed? That is a Bharuchi idiom’. The interesting thing is that the controversy did not go further after Munshi’s revelation, but even today devotees narrate this incident and pretend that Munshi gave Bapu the cash. To what extent is it fair to spread fake news?
Zawerchand Meghani also wrote about Munj’s character: “I find the behavior of Munj and Mrinal mismatched. All this is dramatic. It is a difficult task to argue on behalf of ‘Prithvivallabh’ after such an opinion of a famous writer. If you want to comment, you can do it, but it is like doing injustice to the artist. There is nothing unrealistic in this, nor is it fatalistically artistic. and writer Ratilal San. Nayak and Sombhai V. Patel also notes in reference to the said discussion on the novel ‘Prithvivallabh’ in the book ‘Jeevan and Sahitya’: “Meghanibhai, the problem of Prithvivallabh is a chemical problem, it calls for a very subtle reflection. Leaving aside the controversial side of ‘Prithvivallabh’s’ ethos, any neutral thinker would find ‘Prithvivallabh’ to be a creation of high order.
On the other hand, ‘Prithvivallabh’ was praised as much as it was condemned. His popularity has not decreased even after being heated in the debate. 11 editions of ‘Prithvivallabh’ were published in Gujarati and multiple editions in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Sanskrit and English, and there were plays in Gujarati and Sanskrit, which were published in book form; That is what makes ‘Prithvivallabh’ popular. Munshi had a wonderful art of characterization. That is why Munshi and his writing are remembered even after this year. K. who consider love and literature as life. Munshi has been, was and will be an evergreen creator, but one wonders when a gentle pen like Munshi will be incarnated in Gujarati literature!

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