Honoring Our Jain Delegate from India at 1893 Parliament: Lawyer Virchand Raghavji Gandhi (1864-1901)

For many years, an indelible delegate to the Parliament has not been found within the 1893 Parliament’s archival history on this site. The Parliament is pleased to introduce the name Virchand Gandhi to the roster of dynamic Indian delegates celebrated during this important anniversary year.

For the 1893’s Parliament of World Religions, originally the most acclaimed Jain Priest, Muni Atmaramji, was invited to represent Jainism. His photo and details were printed in Rev. John. H. Barrows official book (Page 21 & 56). When it became evident Rev. Muni Atmaramji could not attend, his disciple, Lawyer Virchand Raghavji Gandhi, was deputed to represent Jainism.

As a Jain delegate, Virchand Gandhi captivated the 1893’s Parliament of World Religions.

In Rev. J.H.Barrow’s book Virchand Gandhi’s following speeches are recorded:

  1. Welcome speech on Opening Day in afternoon session (September 11, 1893)
  2. Speech on the philosophy and ethics of the Jains
  3. A patriotic speech in reference to the allegations of the previous day against the morality of the Hindu religions (audience applauded on his every word
  4. A closing speech whereby Virchand Gandhi was greeted with much applause as he came forward to speak on last day.

Virchand Gandhi was one of the chief exporters of the Jain Religion from India and was the secretary of Jain Association of India. For East Indian Delegates, a dinner was arranged by Rev. J. Henry Barrows and William Pipe before the commencement of 1893’s Parliament which was attended by Virchand Gandhi and other Indian delegates.

Two more important movements were floated after 1893’s, Parliament of World Religions closed, and in both committees the name of Virchand Gandhi appeared as a committee member along with Dr. Paul Carus and other team mates.

Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia

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