From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Mahatma Gandhi in England in 1931 for the Round Table conference on Indian constitutional reform. Photo: Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Mahatma Gandhi speaks to the crowd during a rally in Peshawar in July 1938. Photo: Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi took a rickshaw when he had to meet British Viceroy Lord Linlithgow in Delhi in September 1940. Photo: Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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The women from the cotton mill of Darwen, England, greeting Gandhi on 26 September 1931 while he toured cotton factories in Lancashire county. Photo: Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi spoke to several workers when in Lancashire, England, on 26 September 1931. Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi at the Agricultural Fair in Islington, England, on 23 October 1931. His adopted daughter, Madeleine Slade, the daughter of an English admiral, stands to his right. Photo: Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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The then newly-appointed viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, and his wife, Lady Mountbatten, meet Gandhi at their house in New Delhi in 1947. Photo: Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi with Charlie Chaplin on 22 September 1931. Photo: Photo12/UIG/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi with Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, during a meeting in Bombay, India. Photographed in 1946. Photo: Ruhe/ullstein bild/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi with the newly-elected Congress president Subhas Chandra Bose and Sardar Patel during a meeting in Haripura in February 1938. Photo: Ruhe/Ullstein picture/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi with Aga Khan and Sarojini Naidu at the Ritz-Hotel in London. Photo: Ruhe/ullstein bild/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi with two of his granddaughters at Birla House in New Delhi in 1945. Photo: Popperfoto/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi with his wife, Kasturba, at the Sevagram Ashram in January 1942. Photo: Ruhe/ullstein bild/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi with the leader of the All India Muslim League Muhammed Ali Jinnah in Bombay in September 1944. Photo: Ruhe/ullstein bild/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi with writer Rabindranath Tagore in Santiniketan in 1940. Photo: Ruhe/ullstein image/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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A young Indira Gandhi sits next to Gandhi in 1930. Gandhi was on a hunger strike. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG/Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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Gandhi at Juhu beach, with one of his grand children. Photo: Getty Images

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi

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A letter written by Gandhi at the end of the Dandi March on 5 April 1930. In it, he asks the world to understand his protest against the colonial tax. Photo: Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

GANDHI JAYANTI

From Chaplin to Jinnah: Gandhi's extraordinary influence in 18 photos

Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB

When Mahatma Gandhi was asked whether he was a Hindu, he replied, 'Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew.'

Exactly when in history Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi became 'Mahatma' Gandhi is difficult to say.

It was a title he disliked, almost detested. Its ironic we refuse to use another.

His legacy, teachings and contribution to the Indian independence movement continue to inspire generations around the world - but in the process of venerating Gandhi the movement, we seem to have lost sight of Gandhi the man.

Even in his lifetime the legend of Mahatma Gandhi grew to such an extent that the man himself can be said to have disappeared.

Gandhi the man though was no less intriguing.

He was devoutly spiritual, but challenged fundamental ideas. He valued tradition but had progressive thinking. He was revolutionary but insisted on non-violence. He was a committed Hindu but embraced the best of any belief he encountered. His fight may have become about India but his vision was universal.

It explains why his appeal was no less so.

Political, spiritual and cultural icons from around the world counted him as an inspiration. He could engage in conversations and exchange of ideas with everyone from Charlie Chaplin to Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan. He treated children as adults but retained a childlike joy in little things himself. He may have been given saint status by those around him but remained intensely aware of his own human frailties.

Infact, in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth, he is self-deprecating in the manner of only one familiar with self-examination can be.

In this series of photographs, we look at Gandhi the man and the people - diverse, dissenting, distinguished - he forged relationships with.

Priyata Brajabasi

Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB