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London documentary recalls 100 years of Sabarmati Ashram

The documentary explored how Gandhi set the ashram up on a 36-acre wasteland on the banks of the Sabarmati river.

world Updated: Apr 11, 2017 18:02 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Sabarmati Ashram,Mahatma Gandhi,Nehru Centre
Documentary producer Vijay Rana being felicitated in Nehru Centre, London, during the screening of the film.(HT Photo)

The centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat was celebrated at the Nehru Centre here on Monday, with the screening of a documentary depicting its founding and construction.

Titled Sabarmati Ashram: The Home of Gandhi’s Experiments with Truth, the documentary by London-based journalist Vijay Rana depicted to a discerning audience how Gandhi set it up on a 36-acre wasteland on the banks of the Sabarmati river, among other details.

The area was then full of snakes, but Gandhi insisted that none of them were to be killed.

It was at the ashram that many of his revolutionary ideas were conceived, such as economic liberation through spinning wheel and khadi, fight against untouchability, boycott of foreign goods, non-cooperation, peaceful civil disobedience and defying the Salt Law.

“While celebrating 100 years of Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram, this documentary is an attempt, in this age of social media when attention span is increasingly fractured, to retell Gandhi’s story with some interesting visual elements to the Internet generation,” Rana said.

The film included an eyewitness account of the April 1930 Salt March by one of his disciples, Sumangal Prakash, who was one of the 78 ashram residents Gandhi had selected as his co-marchers.

AS Rajan, minister in the Indian high commission, said the documentary reflected the values of non-violence, peace, love and harmony that Gandhi espoused, while CB Patel, veteran editor and publisher of Gujarat Samachar and the Asian Voice published from London, remembered his first visit to the Ashram in 1949 as a 12-year-old.

First Published: Apr 11, 2017 17:57 IST