Hi. I’m Walking Bob and the visit of Mohandas Gandhi’s grandson, Rajmohan Gandhi, on Sunday, October 24, has me looking at walking in a new light. I walk for the exercise, the chance to enjoy my surroundings, the encounters with people I meet and the enjoyment of the natural and the man-made world of Davis, California. As my daughter has pointed out, I get to walk, take photographs, interact with other people and then write about it, which comes close to describing the ideal job for me.
However, as I read the writings of Mohandas and Rajmohan Gandhi, I see evidence of people who took walking to a far deeper level. Rajmohan writes about his grandfather’s time in England by noting that “The walking Gandhi would become a familiar image to his London friends.” He wasn’t taking photographs, but he was exploring the city and constantly interacting with those he met, regardless of their station in life, and he wrote prolifically about his encounters.
Going even deeper, at the age of 78 Mohandas Gandhi spent nearly six months walking through one of the most inaccessible and poor regions of India. He walked barefoot from village to village, staying with peasants and preaching non-violence and religious unity in hopes of stopping violence between Hindu and Muslim people in that region. That’s walking with a purpose.
Rajmohan Gandhi is coming to Davis in tribute to another avid walker with a purpose, the late Don Mason. Don was once an associate pastor at Davis Community Church and returned to Davis with his wife, Donna, when he retired. Don’s mission took him often to Ghost Ranch in New Mexico where he lead “Walking on Holy Ground” at the retreat center there. Don and Donna are shown here with Usha and Rajmohan Gandhi.
Rajmohan Gandhi has become an important voice for peace between Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims through his service as a Senator in India, his writing, his lectures and his direct involvement interacting with leaders in Pakistan, India, the United States and across the world.
Rajmohan recently wrote what has been described as the first biography “to give a complete and balanced account of Mohandas Gandhi’s remarkable life, the developing of his beliefs and his political campaigns and his complex relationship with his family.”
Gandhi will speak twice on October 24 at Davis Community Church amid artwork created in a class on Gandhi at DCC. The topic between church services at 9:45 a.m. will be “The Legacy of Gandhi” and Rajmohan will speak at 3:00 p.m. on “Building Bridges of Peace.”
Both events in the Davis Community Church Sanctuary are open to the public so walk on down and join me for this rare opportunity.