Hundreds of original manuscripts, documents and letters penned by Mahatma Gandhi may have been lost forever from the office of the Harijan Sevak Sangha (HSS) at Kingsway Camp in Delhi.
Sahdev, 83, office manager of the HSS, said: “The HSS had around 200 original documents and letters of Gandhi. Other Gandhi museums took away some letters that were of interest to them. There were others who carried home documents and never returned them.”
The HSS does not have an inventory of the Gandhi papers, but Sahdev reckons the manuscripts would number about 50 to 60, which remain in his possession.
Rajya Sabha member and HSS president Nirmala Deshpande said besides the draft constitution of the HSS that was written by Gandhi himself there were no original documents of his with the organisation.
But N Vasudevan, a former secretary of the HSS, said: “Deshpande is either ignorant about the existence of these letters, or they have actually gone missing. The affair is hugely scandalous.”
Gandhian Laxmi Dass said it was quite likely that some of these rare letters had been smuggled out of the country.