Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Friday, March 06, 2009

On Gandhiji's tangible / intangible legacy

Is all well that ends well?
Look at the cast - James Otis, a NY auction house, Sant Singh Chatwal, Vijay Mallya, the Indian Govt, and the vulture-like media. The drama played out over two weeks, on several stages - busy Manhattan, consul's chambers, editors' desks, and newsrooms.
Quoting from the article "High drama at NY Gandhi auction" - "Were the items really worth $1.8m"? and "...it might have been easier had there not been so much media interest".
This is where I like to sort the priceless from the valueless. On a certain level - the items may be valueless, on an altogether different plane they are priceless.
So you decide who are the heroes (anti-heroes?) / villians / props.
I agree on the media irresponsibility - of late, more media (un)professionals in more media groups in more countries are trying to catch and hang on to invisible threads and substance-less matter for their own minute-to-hour pleasure. This has sadly become their means to survival.
Let's all get down to the sensibility of simplicity, peace and non-violence. I am beginning to think it will be possible in a media-less (at least less media) world!
For after all the hullabaloo, this may give the right picture - Gandhi memorabilia “automatically come under the ownership of Navjivan Trust” In that case of course, it's been much ado about nothing!
(Keshav's Cartoon from The Hindu)
Here's a gist of the acts and scenes:
Ghandi's (Few) Possessions Go Up For Auction in New York
Indian govt wants to prevent Gandhi auction: source
Anger at Gandhi sale (video)
Government mulls action on Gandhi auction
Gandhians unhappy with auction of Gandhi's artefacts
Pressure mounts on government to stop Gandhi artefacts auction
India launches Gandhi sale move
Our own law may cost India Gandhi items
Netas want Gandhi items back in India
Owner says ready to donate Gandhi's belongings to India
Gandhi items auction on, govt will have to bid too
India to rope in NRIs to get Gandhi's items back
India's attempt to stop Gandhi auction rejected
Indian-American hotelier plans Gandhi bid, (Video)
India will not negotiate on Gandhi artefacts: Minister
Gandhi Items Sold for $1.8 Million
Gandhi relics should be a medium to spread the message: Gandhi Museum director
Eye for an eye: whatever it takes
Many Indians feel the revered Gandhi would not have approved of ...
and the flogging continues unabated -
Young India and Gandhi's legacy
All links compiled from Gandhitopia

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6 Comments:

Blogger RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Swarna. Thanks for this. Personally I feel it is more important for people and the Indian government to follow Gandhi's principles - simplicity , peace and non-violence, as you said it - than worry about owning his sparse material possessions. They are priceless, no doubt, and will be so, no matter who owns them. Let us look for the true legacy Gandhi left behind, and try to follow/possess it.

06 March, 2009  
Blogger Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Swarna:)

It is amazing to read so much has been said and done about Gandhi memorabilia and pages and pages have been printed for public consumption, discussion and debates.

I wonder whether the Govt. would have acted at all if not for all this furore over the media.

These items should come to India because it is our national treasure.

We all know there is a dwindling interest among the youngsters of today in Gandhi and what he did for us. Children born in Independent India don't know the hardship we faced under the British yoke.

Recently I saw in the news papers severe neglect to several Gandhi statues. This speaks amply for the great reverence shown by the authorities to Gandhi. Children are learning from all this neglect and forming an opinion about Gandhi. I hope all the write ups in the news papers will give them the incentive to know more about Gandhi, his achievements and what he did for us.

Many thanks for sharing all this interesting information.

Have a good day :)

07 March, 2009  
Blogger Freehit said...

The latest twist in this poll-itical drama is Ambika Soni's claim that Mallya was selected to bid on the items (Rediff) while Mallya has clarified that he acted on his own and bought the items(The Hindu). Keshav's cartoon really says it all.

07 March, 2009  
Blogger Happy Kitten said...

Sigh... it did not have to be like this... I am sure with the right approach India could have got them without all this "mess"..

and now Mallya can make hearts merrier by pouring more "spirit" and they in turn can get poorer while he and his mentors gets richer and scout for more "magnanimous" acts....

We continue to forget Gandhiji...

08 March, 2009  
Blogger Inner Vision said...

I remembered having read his autobiography few years back and feel for the sincerity and honesty with which the book is written. I am glad you are writing about Mahamatma, a legend. Hope people remember his values and inculcate them in the young generation.

09 March, 2009  
Blogger Kat said...

With due respects to Mahathma, I still like Tipu and Subash Chandra Bose.

Grinning to HK flaying Mallya. The ends justify the means?

25 March, 2009  

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