Indian Government Shells Out Millions To Buy Letters Between Gandhi And Bodybuilder Beau

The Indian government just forked over $1.28 million to buy at auction decades’ worth of documents, telegrams and letters between the Gandhi and bodybuilder Hermann Kallenbach, a lifelong friend and, according to some, longtime lover.

A spokesperson for the India’s Ministry of Culture denied leaders were trying to burying any incriminating evidence: “We already have part of the collection,” said Sanjiv Mittal. “The idea was to fill the gap.”

In his book Great Soul, biographer Joseph Lelyveld claims the muscle man and the Mahatma were more than just pals:

…Gandhi’s organ probably only rarely became aroused with his naked young ladies, because the love of his life was a German-Jewish architect and bodybuilder, Hermann Kallenbach, for whom Gandhi left his wife in 1908. “Your portrait (the only one) stands on my mantelpiece in my bedroom,” he wrote to Kallenbach. “The mantelpiece is opposite to the bed.”

For some reason, cotton wool and Vaseline were “a constant reminder” of Kallenbach, which Mr. Lelyveld believes might relate to the enemas Gandhi gave himself, although there could be other, less generous, explanations.

Gandhi wrote to Kallenbach about “how completely you have taken possession of my body. This is slavery with a vengeance.” Gandhi nicknamed himself “Upper House” and Kallenbach “Lower House,” and he made Lower House promise not to “look lustfully upon any woman.” The two then pledged “more love, and yet more love . . . such love as they hope the world has not yet seen.”

Gandhi destroyed his share of much of their correspondence.


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  • Hephaestion

    $1.28 million does not equal “millions,” as the headline indicates.

  • Cam


    Actually it translates to nearly 71 million Indian Rupee’s

  • skeloric

    @Hephaestion: Useless hyperbole is guaranteed to get the job done though.
    ‘Indian Government Shells Out a Little over a Million To Buy Letters Between Gandhi And Bodybuilder Beau’ just goes not have the same spark to it.
    It is unfortunate that the entire news industry has that bad habit.
    I’ve seen it elsewhere.

  • skeloric

    @Cam: OOH!
    If only the article had actually offered up that piece of information.
    It could have offered the original price in Rupees with the 1.28 million afterwards in parentheses.
    then the title would have made more sense.

  • Gigi

    @All The Whiny Babies

    Who the hell cares about the title referencing “millions” and whether or not it’s proper?
    In case you’re not aware, this ain’t the New York Times. It’s a gossipy gay blog that isn’t
    that popular (compared to others that I frequent). Get over yourselves.

  • the other Greg

    And as they explained on “Seinfeld,” the letters also tell of Gandhi’s fondness for Triscuits. Gandhi loved Triscuits!

    Did Gandhi ever meet John Cheever at any point? Hopefully that’s in there too.

  • Cam

    So one of the most famous advocates for rights looks like he was gay. That makes a lot of sense to me.

  • Colin

    @Cam: It is rumored that Hitler was also gay. Does that make sense to you, too?

    Sexual orientation has nothing to do with anything concerning human rights. Some of the most violent abusers and deniers of human rights were of questionable sexuality or “gay.”

  • Geri

    “Gandhi’s organ probably only rarely became aroused with his naked young ladies,” is a very silly and presumptuous line to write about a man who fathered at least 5 children.

  • Gigi

    @Colin: The only people who’ve “rumored” that Hitler was gay are Scott Lively and his merry band of relgio-fascist thugs.

  • Colin

    @Gigi: The point still stands.

  • Randall

    Hitler was not gay and there is no evidence to suggest it except for the homoerotic aspects of the Third Reich.

  • Eddie

    Gandhi acting like a very old twinck it’s too much to me. But everything is possible if we remenber that people said that J. Edgard Hoover went on drag sometimes… Can you imagine? Personally I think this story is wrong and nothing happens between both men. If Gandhi was gay or bi there will be other lovers because he lived long. And a bodybuilder that loves someone thin, bald, thoothless and old…No way!

  • FunMe

    WOW. That’s very explosive. It’s VERY obvious the Indian government is hiding the truth. I only hope there are copies somewhere. Somehow or another, the truth will be expose eventually.

    Ghandi gay … wow!

  • Geri

    @Eddie: Re: “If Gandhi was gay or bi there will be other lovers because he lived long.”


    Hermann might have been Mahatma’s “exception.” He could’ve been generally attracted to women and had a thing for just one man – Hermann. It’s perfectly possible.

  • Steve-O

    It’s most likely true…..both Kallenbach and Ghandi migrated to South Africa in the late 1800s which was a popular destination for many homosexuals at the time as a way to escape persecution.

  • mbsaravana

    I am not able to understand this..

Comments are closed.