'Badiyadka Gandhi' Namdev Shenoy goes missing

'Badiyadka Gandhi' Namdev Shenoy goes missing

Sarvodaya office-bearers suspect foul play, plan to file Habeas corpus petition

'Badiyadka Gandhi' Namdev Shenoy goes missing

The only surviving Gandhian in the coastal region, freedom fighter and Sarvodaya activist from Badiadka in Kasaragod district, B Namdev Shenoy, has gone missing from November 2014.

Known as ‘Badiyadka Gandhi’ and ‘Gandhi Ajja’, 92-year-old Shenoy is a familiar figure on the streets with his Khadi jubba and mundu and a cotton bag dangling from his shoulders as he prefers walking to reach his destination.

Until his sudden disappearance, the nonagenarian was regularly visiting schools, colleges and institutions preaching Gandhian philosophy and Sarvodaya ideology, a work dearer to his heart, which he has been carrying out for the last 70 years with the undulating avidity and dynamism.

His sudden and mysterious disappearance has shocked many. “We have tried to trace him in every possible place,” Sarvodaya Mandala Secretary and Advocate Yeshwanth K said.

Yeshwanth used to accompany him whenever he came to Mangaluru, Dakshina Kannada or Udupi or other neighbouring districts.

Subsequently, in a letter to Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithela, sent on January 8, 2015, a copy of which is available with Deccan Herald, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Sarvodaya Mandala President Harikrishna Punaroor, stated that freedom fighter B Namdev Shenoy has been missing since November 2014.

“The last time he (Shenoy) visited the Sarvodaya office in Mangaluru was on November 22, 2014 and November 25, 2014 and since November 26, 2014, he is not traceable,” the letter stated and added that the Sarvodaya office-bearers are suspecting a foul play behind his sudden disappearance.

Requesting the minister to take steps to trace Shenoy, Punaroor said in the letter that efforts to reach Shenoy’s mobile number (9539194997) too has gone in vain as it is switched off since November 2014. Shenoy is a drawee of Kerala state freedom fighter pension.

Habeas Corpus

As there is no reply from the Kerala home minister’s office, the office-bearers of Sarvodaya and his well wishers are planning to file a Habeas Corpus in the High Court soon.

A freedom fighter

Born at Perdala in Badiyadka (Kasaragod district) on May 15, 1924 in a well-to-do family, Shenoy later shifted to Bellare in Sullia. He had his education in Bellare and was greatly influenced by Gandhian ideology.

It may be mentioned here that Shenoy spent nearly two years in Sevagrama Ashram in Nagpur, which was Mahatma Gandhi’s headquarters. Responding to Gandhiji’s call to ‘Do or Die’ in the 1942 Quit India Movement, he took part in it and was jailed for two and a half years in Ballari Jail. Shenoy was also influenced by the Bhoodan movement of Vinobha Bhave.

As he is unmarried with no desire for any possession, he has used the 1.5 acre of his inherited land to set up a small ashram ‘Vishwa Maithri Trust’ in Badiyadka 15 years ago. The ashram helps poor and hapless women, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, rebuild their lives.

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