| GEO World|
| Gandhi auction draws outrage in India|
| Updated at: 1010 PST, Tuesday, February 17, 2009|
NEW DELHI: An auction of several of Mahatma Gandhi's personal possessions, including his trademark round glasses, has triggered a campaign for the items to be returned to India.
Gandhi's great-grandson Tushar Gandhi, describing it as a "grave insult" for the independence leader's belongings to be sold off next month in New York, said he was trying to raise money to bring them home. Gandhi's sandals, pocket watch and some dishes are among the items being offered.
Parliamentarian Mohan Singh has also weighed in, calling on the government to "buy these relics and bring them back here so that they can be put in a museum". Ramachandra Rahi, secretary general of the Gandhi Memorial Foundation in New Delhi, said Gandhi's belongings "should be available to future generations to see and draw inspiration from". The items are owned by a German collector, who obtained them from Gandhi's grandniece, Ghita.
Tushar, who heads the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation in Mumbai, said they had been given to the current owner for display in museums and that Ghita was "morally not right" to provide a letter of authenticity for the sale. "She should remember that her parents would never, ever have thought of making money out of selling these things. They worshipped these items," he said.