Last week saw Tushar Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, raising funds of approximately 300,000 US dollars to buy back personal items of his grandfather and bring them back to India. He could have approached the government easily instead he wanted a people’s movement for the same. His claim was that the selling of possessions of his grandfather who advocated a humble life of poverty, humility and had very few possessions was not morally right as they belong to the people of India.
Government immediately set up a committee to find out a solution. The committee had various proposals including arranging money through corporate world. The possessions of Gandhiji included his spectacles, sandals, pocket watch, simple brass bowl and plates. Gandhiji himself had given the articles to his attendant, his grand niece and a British Army Colonel on several occasions. Now through a series of successive sales the possessions had reached a private American collector, a documentary producer from Los Angeles named James Otis, and finally up for sale in New York.
Now the latest twist in this case is that an amicable settlement has been reached between Indian government and the auctioneers and the possessions are being given back to Indian Government through a separate deal.
We Indians respect Mahatma Gandhi who brought us freedom using his simple but powerful principles of non-violence, satyagraha and truth. We even celebrate October 2nd as Gandhi Jayanthi. But are we, the present generation, really following his principles?
No we are not!
Instead we are fighting tooth and nail for his belongings . Had Gandhiji been alive, he would have told ”Don’t bother! I had given them away, myself. So please don’t bring up these issues time and again. Instead try to follow my principles and uplift the poor in India”.
It’s time that we worked towards the vision of Mahatma. Principles and vision of Gandhiji shouldn’t remain only in school text books, films and novels. Instead it should be followed by every Indian (at least to some extent).
When can we see an India without corruption, criminal politicians, jobless poor, slum dwellers ? When can we see an India without gender bias and communal riots? The day when India overcomes these, that is the time for owning up Gandhiji’s personal belongings.
Image Credit : Joja Keman
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