Mahatma Gandhi, photographs by Margaret Bourke-White: “To believe in non-violence and truth”


Margaret Bourke-White, Gandhi Colony: Gandhi’s morning walk with close members of the Ashram and members of his family, 1946 (1909.2005)


Margaret Bourke-White, Gandhi Colony: Gandhi’s morning walk with close members of the Ashram and members of his family. (verso), 1946 (1909.2005)

Gandhi Colony: Gandhi’s morning walk with close inmates of the Ashram and members of his family. It is hard to overemphasize the importance of the daily ritual. Here Gandhi is leaning on the shoulders of Abha, his daughter in law and Sita, his granddaughter. Just behind Abha you can catch a glimpse of Kanu Gandhi. On the other side of Sita is his devoted secretary and editor of the “Harijan” Pyarelal. A bit beyond Pyarelal and third from left of pic (with spectacles) is Manielal Gandhi. At extreme left of picture is Sushila Pai, who was principal of a girls school at Bajkot in Kastebiawan who is now helping Gandhi as an additional secretary. Second from left (as we look at print) is the main secretary Raj Kumari-dist. by a scarf over head. A little behind Pyarelal and bit behind Sita, is Pyarelal’s sister who is Gandhi’s M.D., his personal woman physician and always at his ashram with him. (She was in many of the Poona pix) Sita is studying [indecipherable] about to take her examinations. If she [indecipherable] with good [indecipherable] she will go to study at Benares.
Caption typed on paper adhered to verso.


Margaret Bourke-White, Gandhi Colony, Twilight prayer meeting, 1946 (1908.2005)


Margaret Bourke-White, Gandhi Colony, Twilight prayer meeting, (verso) 1946 (1908.2005)


Margaret Bourke-White, [Mohandas Gandhi with hands clasped in prayer, standing near his nephew Kanu (R) and his wife Abha, as his secretaries (L-R) Sushila Pai, Raj Kumari and Pyarelal, sit at his feet during twilight meeting at his colony compound], 1946 (1898.2005)


Margaret Bourke-White, [Mohandas Gandhi with hands clasped in prayer, standing near his nephew Kanu (R) and his wife Abha, as his secretaries (L-R) Sushila Pai, Raj Kumari and Pyarelal, sit at his feet during twilight meeting at his colony compound], (verso) 1946 (1898.2005)


Life, “India’s Leaders: As independence dawns they fail to agree on how to use their new freedom,” May 27, 1946, pp. 104-105

Gandhi giving a Post Prayer Speech on October 2, 1947 -from where Gandhi spent the last several months of his life: Birla Bhavan, New Delhi, can be heard below and here:


Source: archive.org, uploaded by public.resource.org, audio courtesy of Gandhi Heritage Portal from All India Radio.

Today is my birthday. I do not celebrate my birthday in the usual way. I would say that on this day we must fast, spin and pray. That, in my view, is the most appropriate way of celebrating one’s birthday. If you really want to celebrate my birthday, it is your duty not to let anyone be possessed by madness and if there is any anger in your hearts you must remove it. I would appeal to the people not to take the law into their hands but leave it to the Government to decide the issue. If you remember this much, I would consider it a good act on your part. This is all I wish to tell you. Transcription of speech, October 2, 1947


“Note on Gandhi’s Birthday” from Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume 089 (LXXXIX), p.524-525, from archive.org.

Gandhi celebrated his last birthday by fasting, praying, and spinning. He did not listen to the special programs in observance of his birthday on the radio. He preferred the sound of the spinning wheel. “He heard it in the ‘still sad music of humanity’.”
Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume 89, p.525

Today is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. He was born in 1869 and  passed away in 1948. Gandhi’s message of non-violence, truth, and equality for all is essential and timeless.

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