Gandhi’s articles don’t go under hammer | india | Hindustan Times
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Gandhi’s articles don’t go under hammer

Los Angeles based film maker James Otis announced that he had withdrawn Mahatma Gandhi’s spectacles and other belongings from an auction scheduled to be held in New York, reports Nandini R Iyer.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2009 00:51 IST
Nandini R. Iyer

Los Angeles based film maker James Otis announced late Thursday evening that he had withdrawn Mahatma Gandhi’s spectacles and other belongings from an auction scheduled to be held in New York hours later.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma confirmed that Gandhiji’s belongings would not be auctioned. “Calling it off was the only sane course given the backdrop and strong reactions in India and worldwide. The commercialised auction is completely against Gandhian philosophy,” he said.

The decision came in the aftermath of the Indian government and Non Resident Indians in the United States of America rallying together to ensure that Gandhi’s spectacles and other paraphernalia were returned home.

Otis had earlier said he was willing to withdraw the lot from the auction, if India agreed to spend 5 per cent of GDP on health care. He was quoted as saying he and the Indian government were negotiating.

Culture minister Ambika Soni had earlier told HT, “We will enter the auction if required as a last resort to bring back the items to the country. The PM has directed me to do whatever possible.”

The NRI community in the US had also decided to do its bit.

“I’m prepared to pay anything short of a million to secure the lot and bring it back to India but I won’t bid if any Indian government representative is bidding,” NRI hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal told HT.

nandiniriyer@hindustantimes.com

With inputs from Tushar Srivastava and V. Krishna