Gandhiji's Days in Mumbai


April 9, 1915:
Gandhiji arrived at 7.30 a.m. by SS Arabia from South Africa via London. He stayed at Revashanker Jhaveri's house at Santacruz.

October 28, 1915:
Gandhiji delivered the first in a series of lectures on Indentured Labour, a system under which Indian labour was sent out to colonies under an unfair agreement, at the Empire Theater.

Gandhiji first moved in to Mani Bhavan. During his stay here, he saw a carder pass by the house. A carder is a person who makes cotton. Gandhiji sent for him and asked him to card cotton to make sliver, which are used to spin yarn. A spinning class was thus started in Mani Bhavan and Gandhiji was the most ardent pupil of this class.

February 20, 1918:
One of the oldest women's organisations, Bhagini Samaj of Mumbai (founded in 1916 in memory of Gopal Krishna Gokhale) invited Gandhiji to preside over its annual meeting at Morarji Gokuldas Hall. Gandhiji advised the women and stirred up their sense of tyag, seva, prem and bhakti (sacrifice, service, love and devotion).

April 6, 1919:
This day was observed as Black Sunday to protest against the Rowlatt Act. Through the early hours of the morning, people of Mumbai started gathering at Chowpatty to bathe in the sea. Gandhiji was the first one to arrive. As the day advanced, people kept pouring in on the seashore. At 8.00 a.m. Gandhiji started his speech. After the meeting, people formed a procession to go to Madhav Baug Temple to offer prayers. Gandhiji's books, Hind Swaraj and Sarvodaya, were sold at the meeting. The proceeds of the sale were used for the Civil Disobedience Movement.

July 31, 1921:
A bonfire of foreign cloth was lit at the Elphinstone Mill Compound. This was perhaps the first bonfire of foreign cloth. It was not rags but some of the finest saris, shirts and jackets that were consigned to flames. No less than one and a half lakh pieces of cloth were burnt and Gandhiji celebrated the event at Umar Sobani's yard at Parel. The Mumbai bonfire set an example which was followed all over India.

April 5, 1929:
Gandhiji addressed a public meeting at the Congress House on the importance of khadi and the boycott of foreign cloth. About 50 foreign caps and other foreign clothes were thrown on the platform. At the close of the meeting the foreign-made clothes were burnt inside the Congress House compound.

October 22, 1934:
Gandhiji attended a public meeting held at Azad Maidan to mark the first death anniversary of Vithalbhai Patel. Gandhiji narrated his relations with Vithalbhai Patel and paid him a tribute as a valiant leader in the cause of India's freedom.

July 24, 1944:
Gandhiji attended a meeting at M A Jinnah's residence. These were the famous Gandhi-Jinnah Talks.

March 31, 1946:
Gandhiji stayed at the Harijan Colony at Worli. An attempt was made to burn Gandhiji's hut. The public meeting scheduled to protest against the anti-Indian policy of the South African Government was cancelled.

July 9, 1946:
This was Gandhiji's last visit to Mumbai.