Having a different last name guaranteed normal years of growth: Shrikrishna Kulkarni

Shrikrishna Kulkarni, chairman of the board of directors of the Indian Institute of Administration in Calcutta, was at namma Bengaluru on November 27 for the National Conference at Mount Carmel College. It was for an event that was celebrated to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. The session, Gandhi and I, who had Shrikrishna as the only speaker, was moderated by Sharon Lopez, director of the university's communications department. The fact that Shrikrishna is also the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi made the student fraternity excited, and no doubt, full of questions about his inheritance, perceptions and just being him. The speaker, for his part, responded to all that and more. Excerpts ...

Different surnames ensured normal years of growth

Shrikrishna gave his parents credit for the fact that he did not carry the weight of the child's last name. My parents did not let me know, as a child, that I was Gandhiji's great grandson. Bapu had four children and I was the grandson of the third: my mother, Sumitra Gandhi, was her daughter. I was wondering why every summer vacation, my mother sent me to the place of birth of Bapu, where temperatures would be around 42 degrees Celsius, making it a not so pleasant experience. I finally got to know the truth, but I was glad that the social pressure of being a Gandhi was less, since I didn't have the last name. My university life was easier because nobody knew about my heritage and I didn't face any pressure. ”

In his open letter to Rahul Gandhi in 2014 Sharing his thoughts on how the Gandhi family tree was being perceived in a factually incorrect way because of myths spread by political parties, Shrikrishna went on to write an open letter to Rahul Gandhi in 2014 . Talking about why he took that decision, he said, “I didn’t want any other political party to use Bapu’s name to garner votes during elections. Many people are fooled as they think that Rahul Gandhi and his family are related to the Mahatma, but that’s not the case. Many of the Nehru-Gandhi family trees drawn within the Congress circle, show Gandhiji at the beginning of the family’s timeline followed by Indira Gandhi Rajeev Gandhi Sonia Gandhi and so. Jawarharlal Nehru is not mentioned in those places, which is unacceptable. The letter was written with the sole purpose of keeping usurpers of family assets at bay.

Nathuram Godse was just a man with different ideologies

Affirming why he doesn't hate Nathuram Godse or his family, Shrikrishna says, “Nathuram Godse was just another man who didn’t agree with Bapu and his ideologies. Usually, when we have differences in opinion, we settle it with words. The difference, in this case, is that Godse decided to settle the difference with a bullet. When my grandfather was on his death bed, I had a visitor whom my mother didn’t recognize. He was none other than Gopal Godse, Nathuram’s brother. My grandfather had also submitted a written request to Prime Minster Jawaharlalji back then to change the impending death sentence of Nathuram, but the decision remained the same. ”

Jawaharlal Nehru University protests were more of anarchy

When a student in the audience asked him why he did not support the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) protests, Shrikrishna said that none of the protests was clear on his goal. “I was living in Delhi at that time and JNU protests seemed to be something that just got out of control. While all the fuss was rising over the rates, I had a question for myself: did the students score points on why they don't want the walk? They were agitated, injured and affected, but they were not sure why they were fighting. They did not compare the rate structure with other colleges or universities to see if the reasons for the increase are legitimate or not. The protests, which caused heavy traffic congestion and chaos in public places, could have been completely avoided. The protests were more of anarchy, instead of taking the points seriously.

In perceptions

Recalling some of the experiences he had when people learned who he was, Shrikrishna said: The sad part is that people expect me to lead a certain type of lifestyle because they feel that my life should revolve around being the great-grandson from Gandhiji. Yes I am; No doubt about that. However, that does not force me to do things or think in a certain way. I am free to do what I want. Someone saw me smoking once and commented that Bapu's great-grandson had a bad habit. Another woman told me that she was wearing shorts once and said it was inappropriate. The fact that I am the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi should not link me to a certain type of ideology or lifestyle.