The Indian Government is scrambling to suppress rumours that Mahatma Gandhi was gay, allegedly spending $1.3 million to acquire incriminating letters between him and another man.
Over one thousand letters between Gandhi and his supposed lover, Hermann Kallenbach, have been listed as the ‘highest priority’ by India’s Ministry of Culture.
Kallenbach, a German-Jewish Architect and body-builder, supposedly received letters from Ghandi that stated ‘Your portrait (the only one) stands on my mantelpiece in my bedroom; the mantelpiece is opposite to the bed. How completely you have taken possession of my body. This is slavery with a vengeance.’
These letters, along with other documents that suggest Gandhi’s homosexuality, were due for public auction in London. The Indian Minister of Culture has insisted that new possession of the archives is purely for research purposes in regards to Gandhi philosophies.
‘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’, an official has claimed.
Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India by Joseph Lelyveld generated controversy in March with implications of a relationship between Ghandi and Kallenbach. The book was banned in Gujarat, Gandhi’s home state.