Mahatma Gandhis great grandson denounces auction of his belongings

February 16th, 2009 - 12:37 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 16 (ANI): Mahatma Gandhis great grandson, Tushar Gandhi, has denounced a planned auction of his belongings as immoral, and joined Indian parliamentarians in demanding their return.

Gandhis sandals, pocket watch and spectacles will be sold to the highest bidder at a New York auction house next month, The Telegraph reported.

Tushar Gandhi, who runs the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation in Mumbai, said he has already had offers from people around the world to donate a months salary for the cause.

He has questioned the manner in which Peter Ruhe, a German memorabilia collector and chairman of the GandhiServe Foundation in Berlin, had obtained the items.

The watch, he claimed, was a gift from Gandhi to his grand niece-in-law who served as his personal assistant and in whose arms he died after being shot in 1948.

Tushar Gandhi said that Ruhe persuaded her to sign an agreement with him and now that she has died he is selling them off. He has gone around the world collecting Gandhis personal possessions and running it like a business.

It is all very sad. It is immoral and must be stopped. It would be a grave insult to the nation if these items were just sold off. While my great-grandfather attached little importance to his possessions and lived a simple life, they are hugely sentimental items for the people, he added.

They are priceless to India. I would absolutely hate it if they ended up enriching the life of some wealthy businessman in America or Britain. They belong here, Tushar Gandhi said. (ANI)

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