Mahatma Gandhi kin hopeful of getting back legacy on sale

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Mumbai, Mar 5 (ANI): A great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Tushar Gandhi has expressed the hope in getting back his memorabilia from an auction in New York.

"It was the responsibility of the Indian Government to get the things back. But they woke up pretty late. Last Saturday, only the government announced that they are making strong efforts. Still if the Indian Government wants, they can intervene in the matter and make a strong bid," said Tushar Gandhi.

Tushar had earlier appealed to Indians for money to buy his great-grandfather's belongings that are up for sale as, he said, they are part of Indian heritage that ought not to be frittered away to wealthy collectors.

"A small mistake can rob us of our national heritage. I pray nothing of this sort happens and we accomplish our mission. I hope that before it goes under the hammer some miracle will happen and an angel will fulfil our wish of getting things back," he said.

After failing to mobilise sufficient funds for the auction, Tushar persuaded the Indian Government to intervene in the matter.

The Indian Government is reportedly holding talks with the Antiquorum Auctioneers to take the items off the auction.

Indians view the items as part of their national heritage and want them to be kept in a museum.

Some non-resident Indians have also offered to buy back the items, amid concern that time may be running out for the government to persuade the owner or the auctioneers to sell them the objects.

The auction, the largest collection of Gandhi's possessions on sale at a time, is expected to fetch some 300,000 dollars.

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.

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 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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