Charles Frier Andrews

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Charles Freer Andrews was born in England and loved India. He wished that the people of the two countries should live like brothers. He was a lovable man and he served with all his heart the poor and the distressed in India and came to be called ‘The Deenabandhu’, that is the friend of the distressed.
Andrews was born on 12th February 1871 in New castle in England. His father was Edwin Andrews. His mother Mary was his teacher. Even as a student Andrews began to love and admire India. It was in December 1929, the Indian National Congress declared that complete independence was its goal. But in 1906 Andrews had said India should be totally free. After he passed the final examination in classical literature he worked for ten years as a teacher. On 30th March 1904 Andrews Stepped on Indian soil considering the day as the day of his birth as an Indian. He became a friend of Ravindranath Tagore and called him Gurudeva. From 1912 to 1940 he lived for the sake of India. He had decided that he would live in India and serve the destitute. The friendship between Gandhiji and Andrews was the enduring bond of affection between two seekers and servants of truth. Andrews worked with Gandhiji.

When there was a massacre in Amritsar in 1919 Andrews hastened to Punjab and mixed with the people and tried to gouge their feelings. He was upset by the brutal action of his fellowmen of England. He touched the feet of the Indian officer and said, “Brother, on behalf of my people I beg your forgiveness.” Some English men did call Andrews who loved India, a traitor.
Andrews was a good writer. His ‘Indian Independence’ is a valuable book about India. There were many charges against him. But he said nothing about them and forget them. He was truly noble and free from racism. He was a true christian. To him men, women and children were not christians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and so on; they were all human beings. Andrews lived not for himself, but for others. He died in India on 5th April 1940. He was a friend not only of India but of all mankind.

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