‘Mallya getting Gandhi relics a proud moment for India’

March 6th, 2009 - 3:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, March 6 (IANS) The successful bid for Mahatma Gandhi’s belongings by tycoon Vijay Mallya and the return of the relics to India is “a great moment of pride for every Indian”, the Sabarmati Ashram’s director Amrutbhai Modi said here Friday.
“It is a great moment of pride for every Indian that finally the personal belongings of Gandhiji have been won in an auction by Vijay Mallya and the same are being brought to India,” Modi told IANS.

Tony Bedi, a representative for Mallya, placed the winning bid of $1.8 million at New York’s Antiquorum Auctioneers auction house Thursday despite protests in India and an injunction from Delhi High Court seeking to halt the sale.

Mallya said he will be giving the articles to the government once the possession is handed over to him.

“Mallya can choose to give the relics to the national memorial of Gandhiji near Raj Ghat in New Delhi or any of the Mahatma’s memorials across the country.

“It would be very narrow minded of us to think that only the Sabarmati Ashram has the right to keep Gandhiji’s belongings. Gandhiji belonged to the entire nation and not just the Sabarmati Ashram,” Modi said.

Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni had said earlier Friday that Mallya had bought the Mahatma’s belongings in conjunction with the Indian government.

“At this moment, who is bringing Gandhiji’s items back to the country is immaterial. We must rejoice that finally after so many years Gandhiji’s personal belongings are being brought back to India from a foreign country,” Modi said.

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