Finally a few personal effects of Gandhiji are surfacing. The Navjivan Trust, which was stated to have been formed in the year of our Lord 1929, was ignorant of the fact that Gandhi’s SPECTACLES, WATCH, BOWL, PLATE and SANDALS were not traceable and when they surface in an auction house, we shameless Indians clamour for those articles as the HERITAGE of this nation.
The Navjivan Trust must have inventoried all the items left behind by Gandhi upon his assassination. Even if they had inventoried and were unaware of the presence of these articles at the time of such inventorying, how did they suddenly realize that these items belong to them?
We as a nation have shamelessly, in the guise of SOCIALISM, trodden upon the Constitutional guarantees given to the Princely States, such as the Titles and Privy Purses, thru brutal amendments, merely based on POLITICAL OPINIONS. We have not exhibited character by standing by those assurances given by the Constituent Assembly to the princes and nawabs, which secured for the nation a peaceful transition.
Had we had the POWER to make similar amendments, we would have obtained all those personal effects of Gandhi, through such Amendments. In fact a court in London is said to have honoured an order of the Madras High Court, which resulted in the repatriation of the personal effects of Gandhi, which were intended to go under the hammer.
This time, in the foot steps of the Madras High Court, the Delhi High Court had issued a similar order declaring the Auction as illegal. But the story is that the venue is not LONDON but the legally vibrant US of A. The honouring of the order may not be that implicit. Otis (the possessor of the articles), has wisely chosen the venue that may ask for hard legal provisions and may not be as compliant.
A case of theft, under the Indian Penal Code, is punishable with a maximum punishment of 3 years. Under section 468/469 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the limitation period would be 3 years. However, there is a possibility of the plea that the TRUST, had become aware of the loss/theft of the articles only now and therefore the obstacle of Limitation could be overcome. But the CURIOUS CASE IS THAT, THE TRUST WAS UNAWARE OF THE ARTICLES MISSING/STOLEN AND HAVE NOT REGISTERED AN FIR IN ALL THESE 60 YEARS!!
When TIPU SULTAN’S sword was bought by Vijay Mallaya and brought with so much fanfare, it was not projected as a national treasure. If there was one MAN, who put up a credible resistance against the BRITISH and its local stooges, it was TIPU and his father Hyder. Yet we do not respect such histories.
Now that we have discovered that the Mahatma’s personal effects have been located, we as SELF-RESPECTING INDIANS, should not make legal claims to obtain it for FREE, but use our resources and get it in the Auction. THAT IS THE LEAST OF ALL THE HOMAGES THAT WE CAN PAY THE MAHATMA.
It is not essential for a pea-brained man like me to find ways of obtaining it, but gratuitously i may be allowed to suggest that some business houses may be encouraged to buy it in the auction and hand it over to the GOVERNMENT OF INDIA as a NATIONAL TREASURE.
Mr.John Otis, the possessor of the said articles, has come up with a preposterous offer. The offer is that if the Government of India allocates 5% of its GDP towards healthcare, then he would donate the articles to the government. Mr.Otis must be under some delusion if he thinks that the Parliament of India is full of deal makers & that they would go for a deal that appears to have been said to boost his own image and ostensible noble intentions? Does he know that 5% would be around Rs. 35,000 crores? All those items could be got at a fraction of the cost of what Mr.Otis wants the parliament to allocate! Get real, Mr.Otis, get a good bargain in the auction, but do not tread on areas you have no clue about.
LET US VALUE WHAT IS OURS, AND LET US NOT ALLOW OTHERS TO PUT A PRICE ON OUR TREASURES.
LET US GIVE A SENSE OF HISTORY TO OUR CHILDREN, BY RECLAIMING WHAT WE FEEL IS OURS!!