Letters between Gandhi and possible gay lover sold for $1.28 million

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By Anna Peirano

Last year, a controversial biography of Mahatma Gandhi was published claiming the activist was bisexual, leaving his wife to live with German-Jewish bodybuilder and architect Hermann Kallenbach. The Indian government has bought the collection of letters between the two men for $1.28 million just days before they were to be auctioned. 

The letters cover Gandhi’s time in South Africa, his return to India, and his contentious relationship with his family. The documents will now be placed with the National archives of India in New Delhi. 

Previously, the letters had belonged to relatives of Kallenbach. Joseph Lelyveld, author of the biography “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his Struggle with India,” detailed the extent of the two men’s relationship, claiming Gandhi was deeply in love with Kallenbach. 

According to the book, Gandhi allegedly told Kallenbach, “How completely you have taken possession of my body. This is slavery with a vengeance.” The pair lived together for two years in South Africa, and pledged to give one another, “More love, and yet more love… such love as they hope the world has not yet seen.”

According to The Daily Mail, a senior official at the ministry of culture in New Delhi said, “These papers are of huge importance to India to carry out research on the Gandhian view on various things, that is why we decided to purchase them.” 

 

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