Gandhi family upset by sale of wire rim glasses

They were the spectacles that the independence leader once claimed "gave me the vision to free India". But now the glasses once worn by Mahatma Gandhi are being auctioned, and one of his relatives is trying to save them for the people of India.

"They have gone out of India but they should be brought back," said Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of the Indian anti-colonial activist. "I think that for the sake of the people of India they be brought back and made available."

Two weeks ago it was revealed that the wire-rimmed glasses that Gandhi had presented as a gift to an Indian army colonel in the 1930s were to go on sale along with a number of his other possessions, including his sandals and pocket watch. Antiquorum Auctioneers in New York expect the items to fetch around $30,000 (£20,600) in the auction next month.

Now the independence leader's great-grandson has set up a fund to try and bid for the items and have them returned to India. He is convinced he will have to raise considerably more than the reserve price, but believes it may be possible, with Indian donations.

"We have hardly 10 days left for the auction, but I would like to bring back Mahatma's belongings to India ... and

keep them forever" in one of the two museums there devoted to to his great-grandfather's life.

"We are a country which worships icons and physical things," Mr Gandhi added. "I believe these items have a very close relationship to Bapu |["father", as Gandhi is known in India] and I believe that their rightful place is in India, where common people can see them and be inspired."

Several Indian MPs have already added their voices to the chorus demanding the historic items are found a home in India rather than going to the private collection of some wealthy overseas buyer.

Gandhi's well-worn sandals were given to a British army officer in 1931, prior to the Round Table talks which were being held in London to discuss Indian self-rule.

The leader's Zenith watch was given to his grand niece, Abha Gandhi, his assistant for six years, in whose arms he died after being fatally shot by a Hindu fundamentalist in 1948. The independence movement leader was photographed wearing the watch, made in about 1910. And a bowl and plate that belonged to Gandhi will also go on sale.

Ramachandra Rahi, secretary general of the Gandhi Memorial Foundation, said it was ironic that a price was being placed on the ordinary belongings of a man who preached the ideal of simple living.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Upper KS2 Teacher

£120 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Upper Key Stage 2 teacher ...

English Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + ?110 - 130: Randstad Education Reading: English Teacher ...

KS2 Teacher with SEN responsibilities

£115 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: KS2 teacher with SEN responsibi...

Administrative Assistant

£60 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Administrative Assitant Hertford...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments