“Eliminating leprosy is the only work I have not been able to complete in my lifetime.” - M.K. Gandhi. Fueled by his lifelong compassion for people affected by leprosy, Gandhi's benevolence towards those afflicted by this chronic disease wasn't as well known as his contribution to India's freedom struggle. He tirelessly supported inclusive principles and rejected the stigmatisation of leprosy, stating, “Why should I call those my brothers if I do not mix with them?”. This sensitivity and grace helped others overcome their fear of people with leprosy, building one universal community.
The abstraction in the painting 'Looking through a microscope at Sevagram Ashram, 1940', is inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s paintings. Here, Atul Dodiya combines these two giants in his paintings - Gandhi, the kind-hearted leader, statesman, and Rabindranath Tagore, a poet; showcasing his ardent interest in combining realism and abstraction.