NEW DELHI: The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has discovered 30 reels of unedited footage on Mahatma Gandhi ahead of his 150th birth anniversary.
These were acquired from a ‘private source’, said Prakash Magdum, NFAI director.
The six-hour-long footage comprises rare visuals such as those of Gandhi’s last hours and death including close-ups of his body and blood-stained clothes, newspaper reports of the day, the procession to Raj Ghat and a special train carrying his ashes from Madras to Rameshwaram.
Gandhi and Kasturba are seen engaged in various activities at Sevagram Ashram in Wardha in one reel. Another reel has the entire footage of Gandhi’s voyage to attend the Second Round Table Conference.
These 35 mm celluloid footages, unedited and stock shots with title cards in between, were taken by prominent film studios like Paramount, Pathe, Warner, Universal, British Movietone, and Wadia Movietone.
“We plan to archive the footage and also digitise it. We also plan to call researchers and historians to identify some of the personalities in the footage,” said Magdum.