Four original prints showing Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) during his brief stop in Marseille before joining the ‘Round Table’ negotiations in London for the elaboration of the constitution for colonial India.
The pictures (one in two slightly different issues, one in a slightly browner color and more focussed on Gandhi) show the Indian leader descending his boat, and being greeted by the crowd while marching through the streets of Marseille.
The rubber stamp is followed by authorisation to be published in the Czech socialist journal ‘Pravo Lidu’ (‘Autorisation de reproduction pour le quotidien socialiste tchèque journal Pravo Lidu’), followed by a signature.
“When Gandhi made a stopover in Marseille on 11 September 1931, he was probably the most famous man in the world. The American magazine Time even crowned him “Man of the Year” in January. On his way to the Round Table Conference in London to draft a constitution for colonial India, Gandhi was the official representative of the Congress, the major Indian nationalist party. Since he launched his civil disobedience movement in India, inaugurated by the ‘Salt March’ in March-April 1930 – an unprecedented challenge that alarmed the British – Gandhi has been in the news worldwide. Wherever he went, the Mahatma was besieged by hordes of journalists and onlookers.
In London, he rubbed shoulders with the powerful and the artistic – King George V, the writer George Bernard Shaw and even Charlie Chaplin. But despite his prestige, Gandhi left the conference without having obtained any significant concessions. Faced with the economic crisis and the threat of war, the United Kingdom was reluctant to give up its rich colony. Gandhi then decided, before returning to Bombay, to make a European tour to meet intellectuals sensitive to his non-violence movement.
His ambition was to rally European public opinion to the cause of satyagraha, his method of collective struggle against imperialism, without recourse to arms. Moreover, galvanised by the enthusiasm of his supporters, Gandhi wanted to convert Europe to his movement and to rebuild the world on the Indian example in order to put an end, once and for all, to the violence of Western modernity” (see: histoire.fr)
Fine collection of original images capturing of this historic moment in modern Indian history.