Letters received by Mahatma Gandhi to be published

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Mural painting of Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi Smriti, Tees January Marg, New Delhi.  Photo - Rajat Kain

New Delhi: Mural painting of Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi Smriti, Tees January Marg, New Delhi.
Photo – Rajat Kain

In an effort to provide greater insight into Mahatma Gandhi’s exchange of views with the great leaders of his time, Sabarmati Ashram has taken up a mammoth task to transcribe and publish over 8,500 letters received by him. The step will throw further light on the glorious times and life of the Father of the Nation.

Though the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG) has in detail documented more than 31,000 available letters written by Gandhi during his life time, but the letters received by him which solicited his response have not been documented so far.

“Researchers and scholars have for long felt the need to transcribe and publish the letters and other forms of communication received by Gandhiji so as to be able to understand his response to them more completely or else it is one-way traffic,” Director of Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust, Tridip Sharud apprised the press in Ahmedabad.

The publishing of letters received by Gandhiji would bring to the fore the exchanges between him and the greats of his time such as Romain Rolland, Rabindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Madeleine Slade (Mirabehn) and Esther Faering, creating documents of great historic value.

“The CWMG, a 100-volume electronic documentation of Gandhiji’s speeches, editorials and other writings compiled painstakingly over 38 years, contains over 31,000 letters, telegrams, and cables that Gandhji wrote to others,” Mr. Sharud said.

“The Sabarmati Ashram has in its archives over 8,500 letters and other communications to Gandhiji. These letters are mainly in English, Gujarati and Hindi,” the Director of Sabarmati Ashram trust added.

Emphasising that the compilations of the letters published in Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG) so far have proved to be an invaluable source of biographical and historical inquiry, Tridip Sharud said that the “organisation and editorial design of these 8,500 letters to be published in several volumes would mirror that of the CWMG and thus, they would potentially become companion volumes, albeit as a separate series”.

(With inputs from the PTI)