Gandhian Chooses Slow Death

Posted: 31.08.2009
Updated on: 21.06.2014

The Times Of India This nonagenarian has been inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave. Now, he is trying to emulate Bhave by staging his own slow
death. Dr Dwarkadas Joshi, 94, stopped taking food on August 15. Ever since, a lot of friends and relatives stream in on hearing about his decision to die. ‘‘We give him only ‘Ganga jal’ to drink. When he meets people, we don’t see any regret on his face,’’ says his son Mihir, 68, a doctor who has carried on his father’s work.

On the advice of Gandhi and Bhave, the ophthalmologist and reformer left his practice in Kalbadevi, Mumbai, in the early 1940s to serve people in Vadnagar.

Joshi and his team has performed eye surgeries on nearly 4 lakh people at various eye camps. Besides, he has extensively worked for the Gram Swaraj and Bhoodaan movements, following the path shown by Gandhi and Bhave.

‘‘On August 12, he fell down and broke his leg. The next day, he told us that he has lived his life and wants to end it the way Vinoba Bhave did. He told me to co-operate,’’ said Mihir.

Joshi came in contact with Bhave in Mumbai and through him he got to know Gandhi. Historical evidence suggests that Bhave invited death. Bhave passed away on Nov 15, 1982, after he decided to abstain from taking food and water to die of starvation. Eminent Gandhian Chunibhai Vaidya, who has worked with Joshi, said ‘‘I met him the day he decided to abstain from food. I told his son that he should be allowed to do whatever he thinks is right for him.’’
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