A.K.Chettiar’s Documentary on Mahatma Gandhi - An Over View

Keywords: Mahatma gandhi, A.K. Chettiar, London, Charlie chaplain, Satyagraha, ashrams, Romain rolland, Documentary, Ulagam suttriya tamizhan, Annal adichuvattil, Kumari malar, Dana vanigan, Khadi, Raattai, Camera, Negatives, Los angeles, Raxi theatre, Imperial theatre


Mahatma Gandhi, popularly known as the Father of the nation, wasnot only a preacher but a committed practical idealist. For want of some earning he went to South Africa but totally transformed himself into a liberator of the downtrodden, suppressed Indian community. He successfully invented the weapon of ‘Satyagraha’ and retained the lost human right for the Indians in South Africa. He also did the same in India to politically liberatethe country from the British. Gandhi was a multi-faceted personality. He was a Lawyer, Journalist, Writer, Biographer, Ashram builder, great thinker, a Political leader, a spiritualist, a Constructive Worker and above all a humane person who practiced Truth and Nonviolence till his last breath.
A.K.Chettiar was a Tamil Documentary Film Maker, Journalist and Traveloque writer. He ventured a priceless documentary on Mahatma Gandhi. A.K.Chettiar widely travelled in England, USA, South Africa and India. He met and filmed innumerable number of leaders like Romain Rolland, Maria Montessori, Sir C.V.Raman, Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, C.F.Andrews and many others. He collected about 50,000 feet (15,000 m) of film footage, edited them into 12,000 feet (3,700 m). That documentary film was released on 23rd August 1940 in Chennai. Later the Hindi Version was shown on 15th Aug. 1947 in Delhi and later the English version was shown in Los Angeles in the U.S. Without his efforts, many live pictures of Mahatma Gandhi would not have been available for us. His documentary, In the Footsteps of the Mahatma. Without him, we would not have got the opportunity to see the valuable footages of Gandhiji.

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