MORGANTOWN, W.Va.— When the National Gandhi Museum and the Delhi High Court Bar Association in India recently wanted to stage an exhibit about Mahatma Gandhi’s early years as a lawyer, they drew inspiration from the scholarship of WVU Law professor Charles DiSalvo.
DiSalvo is the author of “M.K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law: The Man Before the Mahatma" (University of California Press, 2013).
“The National Gandhi Museum in Delhi contacted me for advice and documents,” DiSalvo said. “I was not sure what to expect, but, as it turned out, I couldn’t have imagined a more gratifying use of my scholarship. More than 500 Delhi High Court lawyers and judges showed up to kick off the exhibit.”
The exhibit, “Gandhi: the Lawyer,” was held on the premises of the Delhi High Court as part of India’s ongoing commemoration of Gandhi’s 150th birthday this year on October 2. It was opened by D.N. Patel, the chief justice of the Delhi High Court.
Focusing on Gandhi’s years as a law student in England and then as a lawyer in India and South Africa, the exhibit featured poster-size pages and photos straight from DiSalvo’s book.
“Your book is the inspiration,” A. Annamalai, director of the National Gandhi Museum, wrote to DiSalvo. “Finally, the dream of having an exhibition on Gandhi the lawyer is realized.”
In conjunction with the exhibit, a special edition of the Quarterly Bar Review of the Delhi High Court Bar Association includes an article by DiSalvo about how Gandhi’s life in the law leaves behind a challenge for today’s practitioners.