A set of photos of Gandhi’s last moments, taken by legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson at Birla House where he died on January 30, 1948, have been digitised. The move sparked controversy, with Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, expressing shock over the “removal”. Denying claims that they been removed, Gandhi Smriti Director Dipankar Shri Gyan said “soft copies of the photos have been installed on LED screens”.
Tushar Gandhi in a tweet said: “Shocked. The evocative photo gallery of Henri Cartier-Bresson displaying the post murder photographs from the Gandhi Smriti have been removed from display on the orders of The Pradhan Sevak. Bapu’s Murderers are obliterating Historic evidence. He Ram!”
Gyan said the move is a part of the Ministry of Culture’s digitisation and upgradation initiative and that the original panels have been kept by the Gandhi Smriti administration in safe custody: “The photos have not been removed from the wall… In place of 12 photographic panels, the walls have been fitted with 13 screens, where these photos play on loop. One should have waited to see the entire series before making an observation to the contrary.”
Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel said, “No photographs have been removed.” He added that he was travelling and will look into it once he is back.
Tushar Gandhi added: “The digital format… completely ignores its historical context written in text when the prints were displayed. It’s like a slideshow without perspective.”
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