Mahatma’s rusty old bicycle


Recently Six Amdavadis led by architect Riyaz Tayyibji restored the dilapidated cycle of Mahatma Gandhi to its original condition. Really they deserve a great kudos. It has reminded me the words of Mahatma Gandhi on an unhappy bicycle incident that happened with him and he wrote, “A carpenter will always keep his tools ready for use. A typist will keep his typewriter in good repair and a rider will keep his horse in good stead. Similarly a bicycle should always be kept clean, oiled and ready for use. Otherwise don’t have a bicycle at all. I cannot tolerate an accident caused by carelessness on your part. Such things are included in ahimsa.”

Gandhiji’s s bicycle is the now new attraction at the Sabarmati Ashram” as there are many who are unaware that there was another wheel in Mahatma Gandhi’s life, apart from the spinning wheel and that is his bicycle. It will spread a message of Albert Einstein that “Life is like riding a bicycle, in order to keep your balance you must keep moving” as Gandhi moved on bicycle in 20s from Gujarat Vidyapith to Sabarmati Ashram. The bicycle became a part of his life when he lived in Johannesburg between 1903-05 dividing his time between professional and public work. It is rightly said that “It’s freedom at last for Mahatma’s rusty old bicycle” which will be a source of inspiration for visitors in Gandhi Ashram which is celebrating its centenary year.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)