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Kanu Gandhi

Kanu and Abha Gandhi, 1985 Kanu,Abha and Mahatma Gandhi at Sevagram Ashram, ca. 1941 Kanu Gandhi (1917-1986), Gandhi's great nephew, lived with his family on Gandhi's ashrams in Ahmedabad and in central India, near Wardha. Kanu was a member of Gandhi's personal staff and they worked closely together until his assassination on January 30, 1948. In 1936 he was given his first camera and a roll of film and thus began his document of the last ten years of Gandhi's life. Gandhi allowed Kanu to photograph him on three conditions: Kanu was not to use flash, the ashram would not finance it, and Gandhi would never pose. Kanu Gandhi was the only one allowed to take his granduncle's photographs at any time. He was thus able to capture Mahatma Gandhi in all his moods and moments. His photographs are of rare intimacy presenting Gandhi in the company of his family and other ashram members, it is the private Gandhi in contrast to the public Mahatma.

Samples - click to enlarge

  Kasturba Gandhi at Sevagram Ashram, 1942   Mahatma Gandhi studying leprosy germs at Sevagram Ashram, 1940   Jawaharlal Nehru in Gandhi's hut on Sevagram Ashram, 1938   Mahatma Gandhi telephoning from Sevagram Ashram, 1938  
Mahatma Gandhi carrying a child at Sevagram, 1940   Mahatma Gandhi drafting a document at Birla House, Mumbai, 1942   Mahatma Gandhi spinning in Birla House, Mumbai, 1942   Mahatma Gandhi and others on an evening walk on Juhu Beach, Mumbai, 1944   Mahatma Gandhi collecting money for Harijan Fund, 1946

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