Offered here for your consideration is a lot of items related to the Mahatma Gandhi’s “Boycott British Goods” movement. This is a small collection of three covers and five letters with Boycott British Goods hand stamps and labels. These letters are written by Shri Nautamlal Bhagwanji Mehta (Kamdar) and his family members. Shri Nautamlal B. Mehta was a prominent freedom fighter and supporter of Mahatma Gandhi. He was the first to use and bestow the title “MAHATMA” for Shri Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Shri Nautamlal Mehta presented a commemoration certificate to Gandhiji and in that certificate he used the title Mahatma for Gandhiji. The certificate was presented to Mahatma Gandhi at Kamri Bai School of Jetpur on January 21, 1915. From then on, Gandhiji was known as Mahatma Gandhi. Click here to know more and see the original certificates which were presented to Mahatma Gandhi and his wife, Kasturba Gandhi.
At that time the family of Shri Nautamlal Bhagwanji Mehta was major trader and the main agent in the Western States of India for European and North American products and services for at least 200 Years. When this family involved in the Gandhian movement, they became against using any British products and here, in the items offered, you can see the use of Boycott British Goods slogans in the correspondence of this family to promote the Boycott activity of Mahatma Gandhi.
Shri Nautamlal Mehta had three sons namely 1. Shri Manilal Nautamlal Mehta, 2. Shri Mulshankar Nautamlal Mehta and 3. Shri Vrajlal Nautamlal Mehta also known as Vajubhai. Shri Mulshankar and Shri Vrajlal were closely involved with the Gandhian freedom movement and both never married for this cause. Shri Mulshankar took part in in Dandi March with Gandhiji. Their activities were always hovered by Subhas Chandra Bose, Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Tilak, and other prominent Nationalists during that time. (Letters written by Shri Nautamlal B. Mehta, Shri Mulshankar N. Mehta, Shri Vrajlal N. Mehta and Shri Vanita N. Mehta (Daughter of Shri Nautamlal Bhagwanji Mehta) are offered here in this auction.)
When Gandhiji wanted huge amount of money to establish Gujarati Medium based University at Amedabad known as “Gujarat Vidyapith”, Gandhiji tried to raise the funds from Ghanshyamdas Birla, Jamnalal Bajaj, and Ambalal Sara bhai but all of them were afraid of the British anger and avoided to contribute. However, Dr. P. J. Mehta (one of the relative of Shri Nautmalal Mehta) and Shri Nautamlal Kamdar came out openly, bravely with intense nationalism and contributed Rs. 1,28,000.00 for the University.
cover and the letter inside it. The cover is tied by BOYCOTT BRITISH GOODS single line hand stamp in blackish violet. This cover contains a letter of Shri Mulshankar Nautamlal Mehta written on 20th July 1930 from Satyagraha Chhavani (Gandhian Freedom Fighters’ Center) at Vile Parle, Bombay addressed to his brother Shri Vrajlal Nautamlal Mehta, Jetpur. Cover addressed to Shri Nautamlal Bhagwanji Mehta, Jetpur with delivery postmark on back reading “JETPUR / DELY / 21 JUL 31 / 8.30A.M.”.
Below is the letter inside the above cover.
Below is the translation of the important matter of the above letter:
Note written above the salutation: “I hope that you have received the twenty or may be thirty Patrika (booklets related to freedom movement) which Respected Uncle (may be Shri Chamanlal Bhagwanji Mehta? Younger brother of Shri Nautamlal B. Mehta) sent together four or five days ago. You must have kept the Free Press Journal file.”
2nd and 3rd Paragraph: “I knew that you purchased a book titled “Limbdi maa Police raj” (Torcher by Police in Limbdi). Buy if any book like this is available with Dave and Vyas (Book sellers). Do tell Kantibhai from Dave and Vyas to inform you if such book arrives.”
“Did Thakkar bapa (Amritlal Vithaldas Thakkar – also known as ‘Thakkar bapa’, a prominent Gandhian and an Indian social worker who worked for upliftment of tribal people in Gujarat state in India) visited there?”
“The same Patrika (booklet) is sent herewith. If you read these booklets regularly, I will send it daily otherwise I will keep those here. Do let me know whether you read these booklets or not. Do you sill spin the spinning wheel?”.