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Index  >  Arts > Exhibitions: Rare Moments With Bapu - From the Dustbin of Mahatma Gandhi's Personal Photographer
 

Exhibitions: Rare Moments With Bapu - From the Dustbin of Mahatma Gandhi's Personal Photographer
 

Rare Moments With Bapu
From the Dustbin of Mahatma Gandhi's Personal Photographer

Kanu Gandhi (1917-1986) was brought up and lived with his grand uncle, the Mahatma, in his various ashrams. Kanu was a member of Gandhi's personal staff and they worked closely together until his assassination on 30th January 1948.

Since 1936, when Kanu was presented with a camera, he took photographs of the Mahatma, who became his most favourite subject. Gandhi allowed Kanu to photograph him in any situation on the condition that no flash would be used and he would not pose. Kanu Gandhi was the only one allowed to take his grand uncle's photograph at any time. He was thus able to capture Mahatma Gandhi in all his moods and moments.

In 1985 I visited Kanu Gandhi and his wife Abha at their home at Rajkot, Gujarat. Kanu's photographs of the Mahatma left a deep impression on me because they present Gandhi in an intimate way never seen before and document Gandhi's later life most remarkably. After his death in 1986 I helped Abha to organize the large photographic collection, unique in terms of content, quality and quantity. Literally in a kind of dustbin we found forty four negatives that were discarded by Kanu Gandhi for being blur, damaged or double exposed, or for reasons known only to the photographer. With this exhibition a selection of these images are presented to the public for the first time.

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