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Photos of Gandhi on Momentous Day in Indian History for Sale at Bonhams
Gandhi indoor gathering 7 Aug 1942. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Photographs of Mahatma Gandhi taken on 7 August 1942, one of the most momentous days for Indian Independence, are for sale at Bonhams India and Beyond sale in London on 5 October 2010.

It was on 7 August that Gandhi addressed the opening day of the historic All India Congress Committee at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Mumbai (then known as Bombay) and launched his call for non violent protest against British rule. “I stick to the principle of non-violence as I did before. If you are tired of it then you need not come with me. At the time when I am about to launch the biggest fight in my life, “ he said, “there can be no hatred for the British in my heart.”

The following day, 8 August, the Congress overwhelming backed the formation of the civil disobedience Quit India Movement rallied by the Gandhi’s famous cry of “Do or die”. The morning after that its leaders were arrested and jailed. It is from these events that India’s eventual Independence in 1948 sprang.

The photographs of Ghandi, dated 7 August, show him at an informal indoor gathering though it is not know precisely where nor at what time of day they were taken. The photographer was Jayant Lalan of Mumbai who was also responsible for an, undated, charming image of the Father of the Nation taking an early morning walk at ‘Juhu’ Beach, Mumbai supported by two colleagues. The collection, which also includes two photographs of Nehru, is estimated at £1,000-1,500.

Bonhams India and Beyond sale takes place twice a year and concentres on historic photographs and documents about Indian and Asia beyond India.

October’s auction also features an album of very early photographs of important ancient cultural sites in the South West Indian state of Karnataka (capital Mysore) by the celebrated photography pioneer, Andrew Neill, £4,000-6,000).

Neill was attached to the Indian Medical Service at Madras and his fame rests largely on his photographs of the Indian Mutiny and his contributions to Ferguson and Taylor's Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore, 1866, several images for which are included in this collection.

Among the most significant of the 15 photographs are a three-part panorama of the temples at Hampi (now a World Heritage Site); an image of a tower in the wall of a Zenana (the part of the house reserved for women in South Asian Muslim homes) in the ruins at nearby Kamalapur and the famous giant statue of Yoga Narasimha (called Narsima by G.W.W) - a Hindu deity often portrayed as half man/half lion - between Hampi & Kamalapur.

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