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Autographed letters of Gandhi auctioned

Mahatma's handwritten drafts of a series of articles and autographed letters, written between 1920s and 1940s, go under the hammer in London.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, London
UPDATED ON JUL 13, 2007 03:48 PM IST

Less than ten days after India acquired a rare manuscript of Mahatma Gandhi before it was to be auctioned, handwritten drafts of a series of articles and autographed letters of the father of the nation went under the hammer in London.

Gandhi's manuscript and letters, written between the 1920s and the 1940s, were auctioned by auction house Sotheby's on Thursday as part of its English Literature and History sale.

The lot, which included 33 pages of handwritten drafts of a series of articles for Young India from 1921 and 11 autographed letters by Mahatma Gandhi, sold for 45,600 pounds.

The lot had been expected to sell for between 25,000 pounds to 35,000 pounds. The papers, which were mounted in a 79-page album included 12 autographed letters of Muhamad Iqbal, Sri Aurobindo and Sarojini Naidu.

The manuscript of the Young India articles, written by Gandhi in 1921, discussed a range of political and cultural subjects like the caste system, the khadi campaign, the colonial education system, non-violent protests and a temperance campaign.

The series of articles were written during the Satyagraha campaign of non-cooperation (1920-22) as Mahatma Gandhi visited Gujarat.

The Gandhi letters included six written to Badrul Hasan, a young Congress activist apparently working for Young India, three written to other members of the Hasan family, including one letter on the death of Hasan.

Leading auction house Christie's had withdrawn a priceless Gandhi manuscript from an auction of letters from the Albin Schram collection on July two.

After detailed negotiations, the India House acquired the manuscript. In the manuscript, written for Urdu Harijan 19 days before his assassination, Gandhi pleaded for tolerance of Muslims in India.

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