Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, today described as "incorrect" media reports about the letter written by Gandhi to his son Harilal, castigating him for 'a rape'. Gandhi berated Harilal, his estranged son, in this letter for 'rape' of his (Harilal's) sister-in-law, and not his daughter Manu, contrary to media reports, Tushar said in a statement here.
Three letters written by Gandhi to Harilal are slated to be auctioned by Mullock's in the UK on May 22. Tushar said the original letter was written in Gujarati and the translation was "uneducated". "I read the letters in its original form in Bapu's handwriting and realised how wrong and may be mischievous the assumptions were," he said.
"In the letter, Bapu confronts Harilal kaka's relationship with his dead wife's sister whom he... contemplating on (sic) marrying then. Bapu approved of the marriage since the sister was a child widow. But he wished that both Harilal Kaka and his sister-in-law make an honest confession of their previously committed sins," Tushar said.
In this context, he wrote to Harilal that his daughter Manu who was then staying with Bapu at Sevagram in Wardha had told him about Harilal Kaka having raped 'her' and 'she' requiring medical help, Tushar said. The 'her' referred to the sister-in-law and not Manu, Tushar said. He also said that legality of the auction and whether the rightful legal owners had offered such sensitive and private letters for mere financial gains or whether it was an illicit trade should be ascertained.