Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

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Object of the Month - October 2019

Bes

2019.20/2

Romain Rolland in conversation with Mahatma Gandhi

Gelatin Silver Print

1931

Gift of Dr. Kalpana Desai

Romain Rolland (1866 – 1944) was a French novelist, dramatist, essayist, musicologist and an idealist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915. He was the most eminent and earliest of the foreign admirers of Mahatma Gandhi. He had great regard for Gandhiji. In his Introduction to the French edition of Young India, Romain Rolland said: "If (Jesus) Christ was the Prince of Peace, Gandhi is no less worthy of this noble title." Mahatma Gandhi visited him at Villeneuve in Switzerland, on his way to India after attending the Round Table Conference in London in 1931.

The photograph here taken by Jacob Schlemmer on December 9, 1931 shows Romain Rolland conversing with Gandhi. Rolland’s sister Madeline (seated on the left on Gandhiji) and Mirabehn (Gandhiji’s disciple; formerly known as Madeline Slade) were interpreters to their conversation.