|Gandhi Memorial MuseumMadurai city thehindu.com|
|Gandhi Memorial MuseumMadurai citytimesofindia.i|
|plague at the Gandhi museum, Madurai cauverynews.tv|
|Bronze statue of Gandhiji, Madurai Gandhi museum tamil.samayam.com|
Why was Madurai city chosen for Gandhi museum though cities like Bangaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad were in the run for the proposed museum? Surely, the credit goes to freedom fighters N.M.R. Subramanium (14 August 1905 -25 January 1983; nick-named "Madurai Gandhi'') and the well-known lawyer and social reformer Madurai A. Vaidhyanatha Aiyar (1890–1955; President of the Tamil Nadu Harijan Seva Sangh) whose sustained efforts helped establish the museum in Madurai. Further, it was under the leadership of the latter (with support from the former) first ever temple entry of Harijans (dalits) in Tamil nadu, was taken place on 8 July 1939 in the Meenakshi temple on instructions from Gandhiji and former CM. Rajaji (C. Rajagopala Chari). Sri U. Muthuramalingam Thevar, a respected freedom fighter and a close associate of Nethaji Bose gave ample support to the temple entry movement.
|inside. Gandhi Memorial MuseumMadurai cauverynews.tv|
There is section that contains relics associated with Gandhiji and it includes 14 original artifacts used by Gandhi. Among them is a blood stained cloth used by Gandhi on the day of his assassination. It is mentioned this one is only a replica and the original is preserved in a vacuum glass kept safely, considering its historic importance. A huge white shawl is kept in a glass covered box and it was worn by Gandhiji when he attended the Round Table Conference in London in 1931. Other personal items included a pair of spectacles, a pair of wooden sandals, towels, etc.
Yet another fascinating fact is his first visit to Meenakshi Amman kovil took place in 1946 only after the temple management allowed the entry of Harijans for darshan right before the sanctum.