On October 2, 2019—the 150th anniversary of Mohandas K. Gandhi’s birth—the Kolkata-based sculptor Debanjan Roy transformed this space into a veritable Madame Tussauds dedicated solely to the shiny celebrity of the Mahatma, “the great soul.”
In October 1939, about a decade before he was assassinated, Mohandas K. Gandhi issued a warning to his admirers. “Some would like to erect my statue in public places, some others would have my portraits, yet others would proclaim my birthday as a public holiday,” he wrote in response to praises he had received on his birthday.
Two exhibitions to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, in Washington, DC, and New York, on October 2, 2019, explored not only the life of Bapu – as he is fondly called, but also the complexities and divergent viewpoints that has emanated over the ages in the role he has played in shaping societies globally.
“Unfortunately, in India today, we don’t think enough about Gandhi. We should think of Gandhi every day because he had so much to say about quotidian life,” says Nalini Malani. The artist has turned to Gandhi on numerous occasions.