M. K. Gandhi

Portraits of Mahatma Gandhi

— Mukul Dey

Photo: Mukul Dey ArchivesPublished in 1948 by: Orient Longmans Ltd., Bombay, Calcutta, Madras.

My book Twelve Portraits had just come out at the end of 1917 and, with a view to making a collection of portraits of the great men of South India, I visited Madras in 1918. There I heard that a great leader of the Indians of South Africa had come to stay in Madras for a few days.

It was Mrs. Sarojini Naidu who took me one morning to the house where Gandhiji was staying at the time. I found him sitting on a taktaposh (wooden-bed) with only a loin cloth tied round his waist, talking to several people who sat round him on the floor. His hair was closely cropped, but he had a shikha, the vaishnava Hindu’s tuft of hair at the back of his head. It stuck me that he was a great saint and a political leader at the same time.

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