I thanked Mallya for buying Bapu’s memorabilia: Tushar Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar is a relieved man. Sitting at his relative’s residence in Vadodara,he recalls the message he sent to UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya after the latter bought Gandhi’s memorabilia at an auction in New York.

Written by Express News Service | Vadodara | Published:March 14, 2009 3:48 am

Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar is a relieved man. Sitting at his relative’s residence in Vadodara,he recalls the message he sent to UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya after the latter bought Gandhi’s memorabilia at an auction in New York. The memorabilia includes Gandhi’s spectacles,a pair of sandals,a pocket watch,a bowl and a plate.

“I sent him a text message thanking him for buying my great-grandfather’s memorabilia.” He added,“He (Mallya) replied that he bought them as an Indian.”

Gandhi’s memorabilia were on auction in New York despite an outcry by the Indians. “It would have been a shame for all Indians and had memorabilia been bought by some foreigner the shame would have only compounded,” said Tushar.

He added: “The memorabilia had intrinsic value. They are priceless. The moment I heard that it has been bought by an Indian,I had a feeling of relief and joy. I thanked him. I have nothing against him. It was a pure commercial transaction.”

Tushar is,however,unhappy with the way the Government of India strategised to buy back Gandhi’s memorabilia.

“First they acted too late. The entire focus was on stopping the auction than on buying the memorabilia. Then,they wanted the Indians in the US to buy it. And when it didn’t materialise,they panicked,” he said. By this time,the value of Gandhi’s memorabilia went up from 30,000 US dollars to a high of 1.8 mn US dollars.

Tushar said he tried in his own manner to take part in the auction but couldn’t collect enough funds.

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