Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Speaking Tree Website | August 03, 2015

Gyani Zail Singh was born in Rajkot in Punjab in 1916. His father, a poor carpenter, could not give him a proper education. It was after joining politics that he acquired fame. Rising from the position of minister and chief minister, he ultimately came to hold the highest post in India-that of President. Having begun his life in a humble dwelling, he nevertheless managed to reach New Delhi's Rashtrapati Bhawan.

On November 29, 1994, he was badly injured in a car accident. He was immediately admitted to the Nehru Hospital at Chandigarh but he never recovered. Having begun his life with none of the trappings of greatness, he returned to that same state with his death on December 25, 1994.

A cartoon was published in the same newspaper, which brought the news of Gyani Zail Singh's demise. A fat man was shown perched on a chair, crippled with old age. These were his words:

I have worked hard. And finally amassed all the money I'll never need. But I'm too old to enjoy it.

The same is true of all men. After great expenditure of physical and mental resources, man is able to achieve material progress. But when he reaches the height of success, the painful realization dawns upon him that this material progress is of no use to him. In spite of possessing everything, he is as helpless as the next person. How strange is man's destiny. He is in possession only of his past and present: he has no power over his future. Here in this world, wealth is as meaningless as poverty. Here, a royal life is as insignificant as a life in a lowly cottage.

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