Lucknow, Oct 1: Ashok Kumar Gupta of Lucknow is the proud owner of hundreds of souvenirs dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. He has collected various books, articles, paintings, portraits and memoirs of Gandhi, which are made of earth, wood, glass and stone.
Fifty six year old Gupta, says that, “The inspiration to collect such items occurred to him nearly 30 years ago." On October 1, he has a room in his house dedicated to the father of the nation. Gupta tries to incorporate Gandhi"s teachings in his daily life.
"I think the life style that Gandhiji preached is applicable to everyone. If someone tries to kill you but you are saved, I feel you should end it there and not set out to take revenge. Then this world will be a better place to live in," said Gupta.
Though Gupta maintains that he is willing to share his knowledge with the world, the study conducted by him on Gandhi is purely for self-consumption. He claims to have studied all the books written on the father of the nation ever since 1942. He had a very unique collection of Mahatma Gandhi's "three monkeys" symbolizing the need to avoid evil in speech, sight and sound.
He claims that among all the countries of the world, around 180 have issued Gandhi stamps. He wishes to collect all of them one day. Gandhi, whose 138th birth anniversary falls on October 2, has been a constant source of inspiration for many in the country ever since independence.
He has inspired leaders like exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, who led a movement against apartheid policies of racial segregation in South Africa.
Mahatma Gandhi, considered father of the Indian nation, was a pivotal figure of India's struggle for freedom against British rule. In January 1948, at the age of 79, he was killed by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic as he walked through a crowed garden in New Delhi to take evening prayers, less than a year after India became independent.