Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Kanubhai Gandhi (86), who passed away on Monday, battling paralysis and heart attack, was cremated in Surat on Tuesday. His wife, Shivalakshmi (89), lit the pyre at the Umra crematorium as the attendees sang Mahatma’s favourite bhajan, “Vaishnav jana to tene rey, kahiye je peer parai jane rey”.
Kanubhai’s sister, Neelam Parikh, who lives in Navsari, attended the funeral with her son, Dr Samir Parikh. His two other sisters, Sumitra Gandhi Kulkarni and Ushaben Gokani, who live in Mumbai, could not make it.
Kanubhai was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Athwalines after he suffered a paralytic stroke and heart attack two weeks ago till he passed away on Monday evening. The Punjabi Samaj of Surat looked after him in his last days. On Tuesday afternoon, Kanubhai’s body was kept outside the hospital for people to have a final glimpse. Surat District Collector M S Patel, Surat City Mayor Ashmita Shiroya, state cabinet minister Nanubhai Vanani, who is an MLA from Surat, BJP Surat city president Nitin Bhajiyawala attended the funeral. Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Dr Tushar Chaudhary, the Leader of the Opposition in Surat Municipal Corporation, Praful Togadia, Surat city Congress president Hasmukh Desai and some leaders of Congress Sewa Dal were also present. Surat city BJP president Bhajiyawala said, “He was in NASA which is a matter of pride for us. Kanubhai was among those who ate from Mahatma Gandhi’s plate.”
He added that the party had given a cheque to the hospital to cover the costs of Kanubhai’s medical treatment.”