KM Munshi or Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi was a freedom fighter and creative writer. He was a lawyer by profession. He founded an organization called ‘
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
’ in 1938. The aim of the organization was to create awareness of virtues like ‘Truth, Love and Beauty.’ He was given the title 'Kulapati' (chieftain) for his services to society.
KM Munshi was born on December 30, 1887. At college, his thoughts were deeply influenced by Sri Aurobindo, a prominent freedom fighter-philosopher. He became a pleader and later an advocate at the Bombay Bar. He joined Dr Annie Besant's All India Home Rule League in 1916 and later the Indian National Congress.
Dr KM Munshi was elected to the Bombay Legislative Council in 1927. He was imprisoned several times during the freedom struggle. He was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly in 1937 and became the Home Minister in the first Congress Government. He served as India's Agent-General in
Hyderabad. He became a member of the Constituent Assembly in 1948. He was Food and Agriculture Minister of the Government of India in 1950. He was Governor of Uttar Pradesh during 1952-57. Later, he resigned from the Congress and became the Vice President of the newly formed ‘Swatantra Party’, which supported free enterprise.
The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan that he had established, was the focus of his attention all his life. His aim was to develop the Bhavan as an important cultural organization of the country. Dr KM Munshi was a leading figure in Gujarati literature. He was an outstanding novelist, particularly of historical romance. His literary work ‘Kulapati's Letters’ published in the Bhavan's Journal, were widely read and appreciated. Dr KM Munshi died in 1971.