10 July 2012

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India buys Gandhi private letters photo archive by paying $1.1 million to stop the auction

Tags – Mahatma Gandhi Letters Auction London

India buys Gandhi private letters  photo archive by paying $1.1 million to stop the auction

Congress led UPA Indian Government has purchased an archive comprising thousands of letters and documents related to Mahatma Gandhi, including those on his controversial relationship with architect Hermann Kallenbach.

The auction house had put a pre-sale estimate of between 500,000 and 700,000 pounds ($775,000 and $1.1 million) on the collection.

 India has signed an agreement with British auction house Sotheby's and Isa Sarid, the grand niece of Mahatma Gandhi's aide Herman Kallenbach, to acquire the Gandhi-Kallanbach archives
IANS reported that
The ministry of culture said payment of 825,250 pounds was released to Sotheby's and the archival papers sold to the Indian government.
India paid around 60 million rupees or $1.1 million that is 700,000 Pounds

The deal was finally settled at 825,250 pounds, equal to $1.28 million.
Kallenbach, a rich, sports-loving bachelor, donated 1,000 acre farm near Johannesburg to Gandhi which became the famous Gandhian retreat, Tolstoy Farm.
Kallenbach gave up his life of luxury and adopted a simple life on the farm.
Gandhi had described Kallenbach as a soulmate.

The government paid £700,000 ($1.1m), Sanjiv Mittal at the Ministry of Culture told Agence France-Presse.

The acquired material would be housed in the National Archives of India

In 1904, Gandhi and Kallenbach met after that they became very close friends, constant companions

Most of the correspondence, which spans five decades from 1905 to 1945, is from family, friends, and followers of Gandhi, but there are also 13 letters written by him to Kallenbach.

The archive includes several letters that throw fresh light on the controversial relationship between Gandhi and Kallenbach, one of the foremost associates and friends of Gandhi during his time in South Africa.

Many of the letters are written by Gandhi's sons, which give an insight into his life after he returned to India.

The archive was to be auctioned on Tuesday, but after a contract was signed between the auctioneer and India's ministry of culture on Friday, the auction was cancelled.

In a statement auctioneer said that Sotheby's is pleased to announce that the Gandhi-Kallenbach archive, which had been scheduled for auction in Sotheby's English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations Auction on July 10, 2012, has been sold in a private transaction to the Indian Government,"

The friendship between the two men was the subject of a controversial book published last year, which suggested they enjoyed an intimate physical relationship.
Some reviewers of a Gandhi biography by Pulitzer prize-winning author Joseph Lelyveld published last year, which documented Gandhi's friendship with Kallenbach, said the book cited correspondence between the two men, which suggested that they had had a homosexual affair.

Gujarat has banned the book "Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India"

Thus, the documents and papers will not go into private collection as well as public domain.

Now do you think all the papers and documents will be given to Indian historian to read and research?

Now do you think public, historians will never get easy access to documents and access will be given to few once who are trustworthy of government.

Reality views by sm –

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


MEcoy July 11, 2012  

hmm i admire mahatma Gandhi for what he has done regardless of what ever his sexuality is though its my first time knowing about this
thats a huge cots for letters but i think indians deserve to have those letters on their custody

Shaw July 11, 2012  

Wonder if that was a worthy investment