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Gandhi's granddaughter asks Govt to stop participating in memorabilia mania.

Byline: ANI

London, Sep. 21 (ANI): Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter has urged the Indian Government to stop trying to obtain every piece of memorabilia associated with him, as Gandhi was an original minimalist and rejected materialism.

Gandhi may have fought for independence from Britain dressed only in a homespun loincloth and simple sandals, but sixty years after his death, his possessions regularly come under the auctioneer's hammer, The Guardian reports.

Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, daughter of Gandhi's youngest son Devdas, says that government's its intervention at international auctions pushes up prices and detracts from Gandhi's original message.

"He lived with the minimum of things. He dressed like a farmer in the fields, a man in action. In Delhi, when he was here, he had no shoes and no socks."

"That is the advice I gave, but there are still some people who think that every time there is something, we should try and get it back. It inflates the prices. But it also takes up our energies [from dealing] with the problems we have today," the paper quoted her, as saying.

However, she thinks that some things, such as manuscripts, should be saved for the nation and placed in museums.

Gandhi Battacharjee, who was just 14 when her grandfather was killed by a Hindu extremist, says that India had been slow to address the problems of poverty, discrimination and prejudice Gandhi had fought to change.

Instead, some Indians had become increasingly interested in ostentatious consumerism.

"We are still waiting for the real liberation of the Indian people, respect for all life, for all forms of life, without exploitation of man or nature," she says.

In April, the five personal belongings of Mahatma Gandhi were auctioned and bought by businessman Vijay Mallya for 1.8 million dollars. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Sep 21, 2009
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