Narayan Desai, Gandhian with strong Odisha links, dead

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Mar 15:

Narayan Desai, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and Jayprakash Naryan and the son-in-law of former Odisha Chief Minister Nabakrushna Choudhury, died at the Sampoorn Kranti Vidyapith premises in Bhedchi village in Gujarat early this morning. He was 91.

narayan desai

By a strange coincidence, the death Narayan Bhai, who was fondly called ‘Babla’ by the Mahatma, comes on a day when the death anniversary of his mother-in-law and eminent freedom fighter and reformer Malati Choudhury is being observed at many places.

As news of his death spread, members of Utkal Gandhi Smarak Nidhi, Utkal Sarvodaya Mandal, Bajirao Hostel, Utkal Navajeevan Mandal, Kasturba Gandhi Rashtriya Smarak Nidhi, Banabasi Seba Samiti, Odisha Mada Mukti Abhijaan, Rashtriya Yuba Sangathan, Nisha Mukti Yuba Sankalpi and National Youth Project paid homage to the man who had worked tirelessly all his life to propagate the ideals of the Mahatma.

Narayan Desai spent considerable time touring the interiors of Odisha and spreading Gandhi’s word around. In 1938, he had protested near the Aruna Stambha in front of Jagannath Temple against the ban on entry of the so-called ‘untouchables’ into the temple.

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