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Gandhi, Nehru letters in Sotheby's auction

June 21, 2009 18:31 IST

A series of signed and autographed letters by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru and some documents and postcards will figure in a Christie's sale in London on July 14.

Three of Gandhi's autographed letters to Islamic scholar and leading figure in the Khilafat movement, Maulana Abdul Bari, in Urdu have an estimated price of 2,500-3,000 pounds (Rs 1.99-2.38 lakh).

They refer to Hindu-Muslim relations, including communal tension in Lucknow and their personal friendship. Writing one letter from prison, Gandhi thanks Bari for gifting cotton for spinning.

A khadi cloth signed by Gandhi and said to have been woven by him will go under the hammer at an estimated price of 2,000-2,500 pounds (Rs 1.59-1.99 lakh).

The cloth was a gift from Gandhi to South African-born actress Moira Lister, who was a friend of Maharani of Jaipur Gayatri Devi.

Two autograph postcards (1,500-2,000 pounds or Rs 1.19-1.59 lakh) signed by Gandhi to Urdu poet Hamid Ullah Afsar also figure in the auction of 153 lots under the category of English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations.

A series of 29 letters signed and four autograph letters and notes signed by Nehru to friend Mridula Sarabhai, together with a signed document, a signed greeting card and 29 envelopes will have an estimated price of 4,000-5,000 pounds (Rs 3.17-3.97 lakh).

Nehru's letters discuss subjects including events in Kashmir, Sarabhai's political campaigns, rehabilitation of Muslims evicted from their homes at Partition and a humanitarian project for homeless children in Delhi.

"I must act according to my own judgment. I know perhaps better than you do of the consequences of what is happening and what is likely to happen consequences not only in Kashmir but the whole of India and Pakistan," says one of the letter written on August 3, 1953, just before the dismissal of Sheikh Abdullah as Kashmiri prime minister.


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