Culture Minister inaugurates exhibition on 'Gandhi-Kallenbach Papers'
New Delhi, Jan. 30 : Union Minister of Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch inaugurated an exhibition entitled 'Gandhi-Kallenbach Papers' here today.
Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi was the guest of honour on the occasion.
Herman Kallenbach (1871-1945) was one of the foremost friends and associates of Mahatma Gandhi while they were working in South Africa. A German-turned Jewish South African architect, Kallenbach, was greatly influenced by Gandhiji's views on Satyagraha and donated his thousand acre farm to Gandhiji near Johannesburg, which was developed as "Tolstoy Firm" housing the families of Satyagrahis.
It became the laboratory for experimenting Gandhian philosophy, i.e. simple lifestyle, vegetarian diet, social equality, politics and self-sustained economy. Kallenbach remain involved with Gandhiji throughout the Satyagraha in South Africa and also accompanied Gandhiji and Kasturba on their final voyage from South Africa to London in 1914.
Gandhiji and Kallenbach used to call each other as "Upper House" and "Lower House" respectively, Lower House preparing the budget and Upper House vetoing it in large chunks.
The present display is based on Gandhiji's correspondence with Kallenbach which is the latest addition to the Private Paper Collections in National Archives of India.
This correspondence classified in 13 groups not only reflects Gandhiji's association with Herman Kallenbach but also depicts Gandhiji's relationship with his brother Simon Kallenbach and niece Hana Lazar.
Letters of several eminent Indian personalities viz. Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Pherozeshah Mehta, C. F. Andrews, Mahadev Desai, Pyarelal, Sushila Ben, Mira Ben, Maganlal Gandhi, Manilal Gandhi, Harilal Gandhi, Devdas Gandhi, Ramdas Gandhi are important highlights of these papers.
The collection also contains some letters of Isabella Fyvie Mayo, a close associate of Gandhiji and Kallenbach apart from being a pioneering translator of Tolstoy's writings into English. Besides, the collection has 287 photographs and memorabilia e.g. Yarvada Chakra, flag of Suraj and Khadi Scarf, which shows the impact of Gandhiji in the daily life of Kallenbach.
The original copies of Young India and Harijan are also part of the collection.
The exhibition will remain open for public till February 15 at the National Archives of India, Janpath, New Delhi.