Bapuji's belongings are back here in India! After a week long speculations and controversies surrounding the auction of Gandhiji's belongings that included his wire-rimmed glasses, worn leather sandals, a pocket watch and a metal bowl and plate at New York; Vijay Mallya managed to get them back for a whooping $1.8 million.
My reaction: good, good...we have something precious to boast about. Atleast we will have some new additions in our museums. But my question is: was spending so much on Bapuji's belongings justified? I mean how many among us remember him and his principles? We scoff at his principles. 'They are just not applicable in today's times' we say. Then what's the use of keeping his personal items on display, when we can't even follow his simple principles such as Satyagraha and Ahimsa. Do we really care for what he did? Some of us blame him for having a hand in India-Pakistan's partition. Some say that he was wrong in supporting Jawaharlal Nehru instead of Sardar Vallabhai Patel by giving Jawaharlal Nehru the Prime Ministerial post, when actually Sardar Vallabhai Patel was deemed to be the ideal candidate for the post. Till date, people blame Gandhiji for his supposedly wrong political moves. Some of my friends even blame the poor leader coz it's a DRY DAY on both 2nd October (his birthday) and on 30th January (his death anniversary).
Some may argue saying that Gandhiji is still respected. They may point out to me that Lagey Raho Munnabhai had become a HUGE HIT because it had Gandhigiri in it. They may say that Gandhigiri was responsible for reviving those old Gandhian principles that had become extinct, and that people follow it now. But I believe that Gandhigiri was purely a fad that faded away with time. I don't know why but I am not too sure about how these items would be maintained? (bearing in mind the fact that Indian museums are never that well-maintained), What benefit would I or the future generation seek from these priceless articles? (I mean we will just see those belongings, listen to the curator's lecture and go away), What lessons would we gain from his glasses and watches???
As I write this blog, I am reminded of what my friend said after the 26/11 attacks. I asked him why do we never retaliate against Pakistan who continously attack our country, he calmly replied- "we will never retaliate, coz our father of the nation has given us the principle of Ahimsa. Our politicians are just following it". Hmm...point taken. Bechara Gandhiji, forget following his principles...now they are even wrongly perceived.