The Rare And Unseen Of Mahatama Gandhi - Eastern Mirror
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The rare and unseen of Mahatama Gandhi

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By PTI Updated: Nov 05, 2017 9:55 pm

New Delhi, Nov. 5 (PTI): His life and ideals remain an inspiration for many across the world, but it was the complexity of his character that made Mahatama Gandhi a fascinating subject for countless academic, artistic and literary works.
Yet, some of the finer details of his life and intellectual growth have remained obscure due to scattered letters, photographs and documents in private and public collections around the globe.
To bring them all together, an exhibition of some of those rare photographs, documents and letters focusing on little known aspects of Gandhi’s life is being showcased at Bikaner House here.
The show, which is an outcome of a recent book “Gandhi: An Illustrated Biography” penned by publisher and author Pramod Kapoor, incorporates Gandhi’s evolution from a mischievous, fun-loving boy, into the Mahatama.
“There is a little bit of Gandhi in everyone, and through this exhibition I hope people find theirs,” Kapoor said.
From his schooling and marriage in Kathiawar to his first brushes with the grandeur of London and from a relatively unsuccessful lawyer to a globally celebrated crusader of human rights, the exhibition and the book are the result of years of research on a subject that is close to Kapoor’s heart.
“I knew very little about Gandhi ji, same as we all know about him through school. But when I started researching about him a professor told me if I wanted to know something about Gandhi I have to read collected works about him,” he told PTI.
A curious Kapoor found himself going through a collection of 98 volumes with 500 pages each that fascinated as well as benefited him profoundly.
“I was a non-scholar so everything about him fascinated me. The fact that he was ambidextrous, that he could make sandals, that twice snakes crossed over him and and he wasn’t harmed at all…all these little things fascinated me,” he said.
The exhibition, which was inaugurated by Gandhi’s granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, also included ambassadors and senior functionaries from the Embassies of Russia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, UK and USA.
The show includes chronological text accompanying some rare photographs of Gandhi that bring out his unique complexities.
Believing on his own instincts partly as a publisher and partly as a reader, Kapoor read and researched every story he could find about Gandhi while collecting the photographs and other documents.
“After researching for almost five years, I believe there were many things that could have escaped the attention of a scholar because his thesis is for someone else to read.
“I picked every single story that I read about Gandhi ji and started to research about each one of them. There was vast material in the British Library that chronicled his visit to London and the time he had spent in South Africa,” he said.
Other than the documents and letters from several agencies, British Library in London and Nehru Memorial Library, a large portion of the photographs have been taken from the private families who knew Gandhi.
“I have picked up those things which could fascinate a layman about Gandhi ji. There are several photographs which were not public along with some rare aspects of his life which many are unaware of,” he says.
Kapoor also talked about Gandhi’s failed attempt at meeting with Pope Pius XI in December 1931 and his love for cricket.
“When he went to Italy he was denied a meeting with the then Pope. The papal administration said that there was very little time left for the day.
“But I found some documents archived at Scotland Yard in London which said that Pope didn’t want to see a man who was improperly dressed, “ he said.
The exhibition is set to continue till November 15.

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By PTI Updated: Nov 05, 2017 9:55:12 pm
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