Mahatma letters to go under hammer

Two letters written by Mahatma Gandhi, including one to Rabindranath Tagore's eldest brother Dwijendranath, will go under the hammer on December 12 at a Sotheby's auction here.

The letters and a rare copy of the Indian Constitution will be among nearly 200 lots on offer at the sale of English Literature, History, Children's Books & Illustrations.

In 1922, after being lodged in Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad, Gandhi wrote an autograph letter to Dwijendranath rejoicing that his incarceration has come at a time when he felt fully prepared and expressing joy that "India's wonderful calm at this moment is significant of her strength". Gandhi asked Dwijendranath to send messages of support to Young India in the two-page letter, written in pencil. It has an estimate of 5,000-7,000 pounds.

In the other letter, with an estimate of 3,000-4,000 pounds, Gandhi sends condolences to an unknown friend in 1922 on hearing from Charlie (Andrews) of the death of his or her mother, but asking "should not birth and death be the same though".

The limited first edition of the Constitution on stiff Whatman paper is signed by President Rajendra Prasad in English and Devnagari on the authentication page and also by Jawaharlal Nehru and dated 1950 on the front free-end papers. It has an estimate of 4,000-5,000 pounds.

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