Dr. Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, the founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was philosopher in action, a man of great ideas and great courage and a multi-faceted genius. The versatility of Munshiji is seen in his role as lawyer, creative writer, constitution-maker, freedom fighter, administrator, organization-builder and champion of Indian culture. Dr. Munshi looked upon himself as a “sea shell thrown up by the mighty flood of Indian renaissance.”
He founded the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan along with a few friends late in 1938. He said, “We, the Bhavan’s family, whether it is the smaller one or the larger one, must make every effort in restoring an awareness of these values-Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram-Truth, Love and Beauty-in personal and collective life.” The Bhavan, in the words of Dr. Radhakrishnan, is the greatest monument of Munshi’s life.
Till his death in 1971 he devoted all his energies to the building up of the Bhavan as the premier cultural organization of the country.
Bhavan’s Founder President
Kulapati K. M. Munshi
(December 30, 1887 to February 8, 1971)
The Bhavan stands for the reintegration of Indian culture and it envisages the education process which focuses on the versatile development of the students by nurturing the rich ideals of our culture and tradition. We strongly believe in the inherent values of our culture and inculcate in the students the Faith in God, Truth in their deeds and thoughts, Dedication and Sublimation.
About a decade before the advent of independence, Dr.K.M.Munshi realized that if freedom was to be meaningful to India’s teeming millions she should emerge as a strong nation, full of hope, wisdom, self-confidence and faith. People at that time were only concerned about Swaraj. But Munshiji thought more of free India than Colonial India. He thought differently and felt freedom was no longer a challenge, it was only a question of time and so to give meaning to freedom he wished to bring about a cultural renaissance and thereby establish AMAR BHARAT. Ancient wisdom which was truly universal in outlook and secular in character was to be reintegrated.
Munshiji felt that the basic foundation for building such an India was that people should be provided with ample opportunities to realize the nation’s immortal soul and should imbibe the consciousness of her ageless cultural heritage despite her diversities and the shocks of several foreign invasions. With this sparkling fire of burning idealism in his heart, he founded the Bhavan on November 7,1938.
Dr.Munshiji was supported by many eminent personalities of his time, in his endeavour to bring about constructive measures to foster and strengthen the cultural and educational foundations with the active participation of all Indian Citizens. With the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi and cooperation of the national leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr.Rajendra Prasad, Sri C.Rajagopalachari, Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and scholars like Mahamahopadhyaya Dr.P.V.Kane, Acharya Jinavijayji Muni, Principal Dr.I.J.S Taraporewala and Principal Kashmira Singh of the Khalsa College founded the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan which has grown from small beginnings into a comprehensive all-India intellectual, cultural and educational movement.
From small beginnings, with just a promise of monthly contribution of Rs.250/- each for one year from three of Dr.Munshi’s friends and himself, the Bhavan has today 119 centres and 395 educational institutions spread all over India, and also six overseas centres.
The Coimabtore Kendra which was founded in the year 1964 by Shri G.K.Sundaram, Chairman, The Lakshmi Mills Company Ltd., for promoting art, culture, literature, moral and ethical values in this industrial city. Shri GKS was the parton of the Kendra and member of the Executive Committee of the Central Bhavan, Mumbai. Dr.B.K.Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, has been the Chairman of the Kendra since 1990.