A section of Indians is asking why India Bought Gandhi’s Letters for $1.3 Million and as a consequence successfully halt the auction.
A brief Recap:
A controversial book “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India” written by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Joseph Lelyveld, ws released last year. The book rattled many in India, including the politicians and relatives of Gandhi (India’s Father of Nation.
What rattled and pretty much offended many Indians were some passages that some interpreted as hinting that Gandhi and Hermann Kallenbach, a German-Jewish architect, were more than just very good friends. In simple, the passages hinted that Gandhi and Kallenbach were Gay Lovers.
The focus on Gandhi’s sexuality was too much for many Indians. With many Gandhians (people who live their lives on Gandhian principles) calling the book no more than a cheap attempt to sell more copies. Some even pointing that in the native province of Gandhi, the state of Gujarat, male friends can still be seen walking hand in hand; but that doesn’t mean they are gay.
Buying Sotheby’s items from the Gandhi-Kallenbach archive:
The Gandhi-Kallenbach archive which includes over 1,000 letters, documents and telegrams exchanged by the two men between 1905 and 1945, as well as several gifts Gandhi gave to Kallenbach over the years ( the material is mostly unpublished), originally belonged to Kallenbach, who became a close friend of Gandhi’s during their time in South Africa. It was put on sale by Kallenbach’s grandniece at Sotheby’s, an auctioning Firm.
The Indian government on Tuesday announced it paid $1.28 million to purchase the Gandhi-Kallenbach Archives, thereby withdrawing the material from a proposed Sotheby’s auction in London. Once again bringing the Gandhi’s friendship with Kallenbach is again at the center of attention. With a section of Indians saying, what exigency compelled Indian Government to buy the archive.