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My Master's Master

Gandhiji inspired many, but who inspired him? Here's a story that gives hint towards this.

This story has to do with Dr. Kumarappa, who had decided to live in a hut in Kallupatti in Madurai District of Tamil Nadu. It was a hut he had built himself. On the inner walls of his hut hung a photograph that would attract anyone's attention. It was a picture that showed a common farmer, with a turban on his head. What was this photograph doing here, in the house of a man such as Dr. Kumarappa? Many an important visitor would ask Dr. Kumarappa about this mysteriously unimportant looking man.

"Oh, he's my master's master." Dr. Kumarappa would say. "Master's master?"

"You see," Dr. Kumarappa would explain to the puzzled visitor, "my master is Gandhiji, and this villager, indeed every poor person in the land, is his master."

(Dr. J.C. Kumarappa was an economist educated in England and America. His article 'British Rule and Indian Poverty' brought him in touch with Gandhiji on 9th May 1929 in Sabarmati Ashram. Becoming a partner with Gandhiji in the struggle for freedom, he helped set up and run the All India Village Industries Association at Maganwadi, Wardha.)

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