India to bring back Mahatma Gandhi’’s legacy on sale

March 4th, 2009 - 2:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Mar 4 (ANI): Union Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma has said that India would take all steps, including bidding, for bringing back the personal belongings of Mahatma Gandhi, which are up for auction in New York.
The belongings of Mahatma Gandhi that are up for sale include trademark wire-rimmed glasses, a pair of sandals, a pocket watch, a bowl and a plate.
“Those are part of our collective national heritage. The government’’s attention was drawn through newspaper reports about the forthcoming auction. Enquiries were made. And the leadership is clear Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and also UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi that what is India’’s heritage should come to us. We have accordingly advised our Embassy in Washington and the Consulate General of India in New York to do everything that is required through bidding process or otherwise to acquire father of the nation’’s personal assets for the country.” Sharma told reporters here last evening.
As per media reports, India’’s Foreign Ministry would ask the US State Department to prevent the auction. In an effort to stop the auction, a city High court has put an interim stay on the auction.
The injunction by Delhi court however has no validity in United States, but might strengthen the argument in stalling the auction.
The auction, the largest collection of Gandhi’’s possessions on sale at a time, is to be held on Thursday and is expected to fetch some 300,000 dollars.
The proposed sale has dismayed many Indians who say it goes against the philosophy of a man who shunned material possessions and led an ascetic life.
Gandhi admirers in India want the items kept in a museum.
A great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Tushar Gandhi has appealed to Indians for money to buy some of the leader’’s personal belongings in a New York auction and keep them in a museum.
Tushar had informed that the Zenith pocket watch was gifted to Gandhi by Indira Gandhi. Gandhi used the plate and bowl for his last meal.
Tushar Gandhi has launched a “people’’s initiative” to raise funds to buy the items. But he is disappointed with the response from the government and the corporate sector. (ANI)

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