Vinoba Bhave

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Vinoba Bhave (1895 - 1982) wiki "was widely regarded as Gandhi’s spiritual heir. The Mahatma appointed (or should we say, ‘anointed’) Vinoba to be a ‘Satyagraha of one’ in 1940 when he wanted to show the British raj that he was still in open resistance to its rule but did not feel it was proper to launch full-scale Satyagraha because the British were preoccupied by the world war– an important Gandhian principle known as ‘non-embarrassment.’ After Gandhi’s assassination in 1948, Vinoba’s permission was sought by key figures in Indian political life to undertake important actions, notably Jayaprakash (JP) Narayan who wanted to launch Satyagraha against the Indira Gandhi government in the 1970’s (Vinoba said no).

"While he was great scholar and interpreter of spiritual classics (his commentaries on the Gita, delivered while in prison for his part in the independence movement is considered a classic to this day) he is best known for the Bhoodan (land grant) movement that he launched after Gandhi’s passing. Using highly traditional Indian models of gift-giving to sages, Vinoba walked the length and breadth of India getting wealthy landowners to donate part (usually a fifth) of their land to poor Harijan families. Five million acres (short of his ambitious goal of 50 million, but still quite significant) were thus collected and redistributed. In some cases landholders were taken up by the enthusiasm and carried out Gramdan or the wholesale gift to the sage of entire villages for his redistribution (a concept akin to the Jubilee year or periodic forgiveness of debts in ancient Jewish practice)..." [1]


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  1. mettacenter Vinoba Bhave, organizational web page, accessed April 21, 2012.
  2. Ramon Magsaysay Award Ramon Magsaysay Awardees, organizational web page, accessed June 2, 2012.