Monday, March 09, 2009

Mahatma Gandhi Going Once..Twice..And SOLD!!!

‘Ladies and gentlemen, the next item on display is Mahatma Gandhi’s Pocket watch, accompanied by his Sandals, bowl, plate and glasses’ announced the auctioneer in the Antiquorum in New York. There were tons of bidders present at the event, with the highlight being on the distillery tycoon Vijay Mallya. He was under a tremendous pressure to place the winning bid and bring the most treasured Gandhi’s belongings back to where it belonged, India.

‘The official starting bid of these items start at $20,000, please place your bids now’ yelled the announcer.

’Forty thousand dollars’ yelled one bidder

‘Ninety thousand’ came the response from another

‘One Million dollars’ shouted an antique collector from Los Angeles

‘1.2 Million’ said another bidder

‘1.2 Million Is the current highest bid, going once, going twice…….’ Stress was mounting on Mallya and it was high time for him to place his bid which would save India’s dignity (?)

‘1.8 Million Dollars’ screamed Mr. Mallya. That’s it! There were no more takers. All the belongings of Gandhi, now officially belonged to Mallya, which means it now belonged to the people of India!

All went well, and Mr. Mallya was ready to finish the final paperwork to close the deal officially. When he was about to make an exit from the Antiquorum, someone came rushing towards him screaming,

‘Mr. Mallya…Mr. Mallya…..you almost forgot this. This comes along with the items that you just won’

Mallya looked at that and was visibly panicking.

‘I never bid for this…and I never will. Who would need this and what could one possibly do with this’ screamed Mallya

‘But sir, we have clearly mentioned this in our fine print. When you look at the terms and conditions of this auction, it reads that the winning bidder of Gandhi’s belongings assumes full responsibility of this item along with the items that he/she won’

Mallya had nobody to blame but himself, for not reading the fine print and he considered himself being tricked into this by the auctioneers.

As this was a high profile auction, he was aware this news will instantly reach millions of people in India, and he knows that when everyone comes to know about ‘this’ they are not going to be very happy. Mallya knows that no one in his home country cares about this additional ‘item’, as the Indian public has long disowned it.

He was panicking. He had to get some support from the Government of India to deal with this situation. The best thing he can do is to call up the leaders of the ruling party and the opposition party to handle this situation. He got the two leaders on the line and started explaining about how he missed the terms and conditions and how he ended up with ‘the additional item’ along with the items that be bid for. He was trying to persuade the leaders of both the parties to accept ‘this’, and was even ready to pay a hefty amount for whichever party that is ready to accept.

The response was unanimous from both the party leaders.

‘Mallya, who do you think we are? We are politicians and this is strictly against our policy to deal with anything like ‘this’. It is true that we wanted to win the other items like his Spectacles, Sandals and the Bowl that belonged to Gandhi….but this? Sorry Mallya…this is election season and we don’t want the public to think that we had anything to do with ‘this’. ‘

Mallya replied ‘It was you both who forced me to do this auction in the first place. You cannot back out just because of ‘this’. If you politicians don’t want ‘this’ and the people of India don’t want ‘this’, who do you think I should take ‘this’ to? I don’t care even if I am losing money, I am going to set up another auction for ‘this’ and hopefully some one would buy it’.

The next morning, a new item had surfaced in the list of ‘items’ for auction.

The title read--

‘On Sale Now. The Principles of Mahatma Gandhi. The official starting bid for ‘this’ item is ONE DOLLAR’!


Thanks Appa for the original idea

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13 comments:

Pip said...

What an excellent piece of writing. I hope it gets spread far and wide.

Madhu said...

Interesting, funny and thought provoking! Although, I'm very suspicious if any of the Hinduthva parties would have wanted anything to do with the great Mahathma.

May there be peace on Earth !

project why said...

wonderful post
I guess when there are takes for 'this' in our beloved land things will start happening

lav said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lav said...

Good One Rama. I dint know your dad was blogging too...Pretty cool eh..
Nice touch to include the link to the wiki page on 'this'. It was thought provoking for sure.

Keep the good work going!

Rama Karthikeyan said...

@pip - Thanks! I am on every bookmarking site to promote this ;)

@Madhu - Dude, we have to take the Hindutva discussion as a separate topic. I remember we having a similar discussion when we were doing our final year project!

@ProjectWhy - Indeed! Thanks for stopping by

@ lav - Yea, he has been writing in Tamil weeklies for a while now. I'm slowly dragging him to this side of the world. Cheers.

Pankaj said...

Great piece of writing. I think every one should read this and ask "Why are we such hypocrites that we want Gandhi's items but not his principles?"

Anaggh A. Desai said...

Appreciate your thoughts. I have ambivalent views on this. However my pissoff & frustration also stems & rightly so - from the fact that we indians leave everything half baked & this has been brought up strongly by me with Tushar Gandhi (a friend) also with DNA on twitter - which is....after the activism of buying....why is it not taken to its logical conclusion of being brought back to India without the levies that the government is not willing to write off. AND mind you there has been a precedence of it happening with Sachin's Ferrari!

http://www.anaggh.com/2009/03/09/mohandas-karamchand-gandhi-remembering-you.html

http://www.anaggh.com/2009/03/09/gandhiji-helping-capitalism-even-after-70-years.html

Anaggh

Anurag said...

Nice one!
I found another angle which the majority seemed to have missed.

http://engineeranurag.blogspot.com/2009/03/gandhi-vision-and-glasses.html

Santthosh said...

Good one Rama! Thought provoking

History Today magazine said...

Very interesting! Where did you find out about that story? As far as I'm aware it is not something that was publicised at all!

Yogesh Bailwal said...

Very well written, its true. Indian politicians (most of them) have there own definition of Gandhian Thoughts and they can only understand that.

Sashi said...

Nice one da...........