Mumbai: The first coffee table book with a unique collection of 100 pencil portraits of Mahatma Gandhi with 100 tributes by his 100 contemporaries will be launched on June 15 at Navajivan Trust in Ahmedabad.
June 15 marks the day when the United Nations General Assembly announced that it has adopted a resolution to declare October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Vivek Desai, Managing Trustee, Navajivan Trust, an organization dedicated to promoting Gandhian values, said, “This book contains 100 portraits of Mahatma Gandhi by Ramesh Thaakar alongwith a handwritten tribute by Gandhiji’s associate/contemporary on it. We have taken care to reproduce the original sketches as faithfully as technology permitted. These portraits are arranged in the chronological order of the date on which the tribute was given.”
Over the years, Thaakar had made 1,800 autographed portraits as he convinced his subjects to sign them. The list includes leaders, musicians, actors, sportsmen and foreign dignitaries. However, “Nothing has been more satisfying than creating 100 crayon and pencil portraits of Mahatma Gandhi, each one bringing out a facet of his towering personality.” Some of the 100 messages are by noted figures like Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Ravi Shankar.
In this rich volume, the publishers say they have strived to recreate the aura of Gandhian era and give an insight into his life and his associates to the younger generation.
In her comment, Ela Bhatt, Founder, SEWA, and noted Gandhian, said that the book brings out many facets of Gandhi. The tributes have been thoughtfully presented in English, Hindi and Gujarati, she said. “It is a book to be read at leisure, browsing a few pages at a time. It is a useful addition to Gandhian scholars’ library and a reference source for the younger generation to know a little about people who knew Gandhi in his lifetime.”
The 248-page book is priced at Rs4,500 (Dh287.626).