Photographs by Kanu Gandhi

Supported by: PHOTOINK

Kanu Gandhi (1917-1986) was the son of Narandas Gandhi, a nephew of Mahatma Gandhi. Two years after his birth, the family moved to Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram, where Narandas worked as a manager. In 1934 Gandhi came to Wardha, in Central India, and founded Sevagram, which soon became a bustling ashram. Though Kanu wanted to be a doctor, in 1936 he was persuaded by his father to join Gandhi’s personal staff at Sevagram where he came to be known as ‘Bapu’s Hanuman’. It was during this time Kanu developed an interest in photography and persuaded Gandhi to allow him to photograph him. Gandhi imposed three conditions on Kanu: that he would never use a flash; that he would never ask him to pose; and that the Ashram would not fund his photography.

Edited from a long forgotten archive, these painstakingly restored photographs offer an extraordinarily rare and intimate account of the Mahatma’s life and his interactions with political leaders of the freedom movement.