(Last Updated on : 12/03/2014)
Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi was born on December 30, 1887 at Bharuch in Gujarat.He received his education from Baroda college. Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi obtained a degree in law and started practising in Bombay High Court. When he was a student his teacher Sri Aurobindo Ghosh immensely inspired him. Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, the Indian freedom fighter entered into politics as the member of the Subjects Committee of the Indian National Congress. Later he became the member of Swaraj Party.He also joined the Home Rule League. He was the Joint Editor of Young India. At that time Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi was the member of Bombay Legislative Council.
During the Salt Satyagraha in 1930, this well-known Indian freedom fighter, Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi rejoined Indian National Congress. For his involvement on this Satyagraha, the British rulers imprisoned Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi. In 1932, he was again imprisoned in Bijapur for two years. On his release he again became the member of Bombay Legislative Assembly and served as the Home Minister in the first Congress Government in 1934. Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi was again arrested for his active participation in the Quit India Movement of 1942.He was a great educationalist and contributed a lot to disseminate the education. He was the President of the Panchgani Education Society. Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi established the Gujarati Sahitya Sansad. He held different posts in the Bombay University. Maharaja Kanhaiyalal Maneklal MunshiGaekwad of Baroda appointed him as a Member of the Baroda University Commission. In 1938, Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, the great Indian freedom fighter set up the prestigious Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan institution at Bombay, and served as the President of this institution till his death. In 1946 Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi was selected as the member of the Experts' Committee of the constituent assembly of India and played a major role in drafting the constitution of India. He was also the member of Flag Committee, which selected the Flag of India, 1947. Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi served as the Agent-General to the Government of India in princely state Hyderabad. In 1952 he was appointed as the Minister for Food & Agriculture in Nehru's cabinet. During this tenure Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi introduced Vanmahotsav (tree plantation) and tried his best to enlarge the area of forest in India. From 1952 to 1957 he served as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.. After that he left the Congress party and formed Swatantrata Party along with Chakravarti Rajgopalachari.He served as the vice prisedent of this party. Later he joined Jan Sangh.
Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi was one of the prominent figures of Gujarati Literature too. He was associated with a monthly magazine BHARGAVA.He wrote 125 books in English, Hindi & Gujarati including novels, short stories, biographies and autobiography. Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi's major works in Literature are "Mari Kamala', 'Vern Vasulat', 'Kono-Vank', 'Patan-ni-Prabhuta', 'Gujarat-no-Nath', 'Prithvi Vallabh', 'Rajadhi Raj', 'Kakani Shashi', 'Gujarat & Its Literature', 'I Follow the Mahatma', 'Akhand Hindustan', 'The Glory that was Gurjaradesa', 'Imperial Gurjars', 'Bhagvadgita & Modern Life', 'Gandhi the Master', 'The End of an Era', 'Krishnavatara'. Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi breathed his last on February 8, 1971.