Gandhi at Banaras Hindu University

Gandhi who became the greatest crowd puller in India and a magnetic speaker in the years to come, gave his first pubic address in India on the occasion of the inaugural of the Banaras Hindu University in February 1916. 

It was a highly distinguished audience, including many princes and the viceroy himself. A large audience of students had assembled. 

The function was presided over by the King of Darbhanga, a native state. Gandhi, in rough cotton clothes, and a large turban, typical of the Gujaratis, was keenly awaited at the podium, since Gandhi by that time had become famous as the champion of the causes for the Indians in South Africa. 

He saw that the princes and kings who adorned the stage were in their most decorative attire, with gold and silver and precious stones, all glittering. Gandhi noticed this and he was fed up seeing the ugly parading of wealth and glamour. 

He began in English, but he told that he had a sense of deep humiliation and shame at being compelled to address his countrymen in a language that is foreign.