Rare Gandhi letter written from Pune jail up for auction in UK

Priceless mail

A letter written by Mahatma Gandhi to the British authorities in 1943 arguing against wasteful expenditure of putting him under house arrest has made it to an UK auction.

The typed letter, signed by Gandhi and written from the Aga Khan Palace in Pune during his detention by the British forces, is expected to fetch between 10,000-15,000 pounds when it goes under the hammer at Ludlow in the county of Shropshire on February 14.

In the letter, Gandhi made a reasoned plea to the British authorities for his and his followers’ release.

Experts have described it as “an incredibly important document in world history” because it also signifies Gandhi’s final emergence as the one man who could achieve the long awaited independence for India, Daily Mail said.

Richard Westwood-Brookes from Mullock’s Auctioneers, who are handling the sale, said the letter is being sold by a man in India.

“Letters of Gandhi are highly sought after around the world but this is without question one of the most significant letters. The letters that have appeared in recent years were saying things like ‘thank you for my birthday present,’ ” he said

“But this one is highly significant because it’s written from prison. It signifies the moment he was taking on the whole leadership of non-violent moment,” he added.

“This letter, couched in coded diplomatic terms, signifies Gandhi’s desire to achieve a diplomatic strategical struggle for independence, and eventual successful establishment of the State of India,” according to the description of the lot by the auctioneers.

Addressed to the additional secretary of the government of India in New Delhi, the letter says: “It is unthinkable that when India’s millions are suffering from preventable starvation and thousands are dying of it, thousands of men and women should be kept in detention of mere suspicion when their energy and the expense incurred in keeping them under duress could at this critical time be usefully employed in relieving distress.”

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