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30 reels of unedited footage on Mahatma Gandhi discovered ahead of 150th birth anniversary


ANI Out of box
Days ahead of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has discovered 30 reels of unedited footage on 'Father of the Nation' that amounts to almost six hours of duration.
These 35mm celluloid footages, unedited and stock shots with title cards in between, are often used by some of the prominent studios like Paramount, Pathe, Warner, Universal, British Movietone, Wadia Movietone and many more.
Prakash Magdum, Director of NFAI on expressing his happiness over the wonderful discovery said, "It is indeed a very great discovery for NFAI coming at a time when the entire world is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. There seem to be some rare footages in this collection while many visuals are now part of short films and documentaries available. Some of these shots have been used but some visuals seem unique."
The major highlight of the discovery is a rare half an hour footage of the train visuals where people can be seen carrying Mahatma Gandhi's ashes from Madras to Rameshwaram. The eye-appealing stunning visuals show thousands of people thronging to stations like Chettinad, Sivaganga, Chidambaram, Manamadurai junction, Ramnad, Pudukkottai junctions in Tamil Nadu, with a teary eye and folded hands just to catch a glimpse of the departing soul of Gandhi ji, a press release by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting reads.
Apart from the funeral, the visuals also include close-ups of his body and blood-stained clothes, newspaper reports of the day, Birla House, and the procession to Raj Ghat
The official account of NFAI also shared the pictures of the reel on their Twitter handle.
"A very wonderful discovery at a time, celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of #MahatmaGandhi. NFAI has discovered 30 reels of unedited footage on #Mahatma. The highlight of the discovery is rare footage of a special train carrying Gandhi's ashes from Madras to Rameshwaram," the account read.
Another important footage shows Mahatma's South India tour and Harijan Yatra in January-February 1946. The film, by Projection of India Pictures, shows the visuals of Gandhi at Manapparai Railway junction and then proceeding to visit prominent temples like Sri Meenakshi temple at Madurai, Palani, and Kumbakonam.
The visuals also show Mahatma attending the silver jubilee celebration of Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha at Madras along with C Rajagopalachari. (ANI)

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 3:07 PM IST

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