Gandhi Goods Going, Going ... Back Home to India

Tycoon pays $1.8m for Gandhi glasses, watch, sandals to donate to government
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2009 1:39 AM CST

(Newser) – The few worldly possessions that Mahatma Gandhi left behind will be returning to his homeland after an Indian tycoon bought them at a controversial New York auction yesterday, the Washington Post reports. Vijay Mallya paid $1.8 million for the independence leader's spectacles, pocket watch and sandals, and pledged to donate them to India's government.

"Gandhi-ji is the father of our nation, the nation that has made me who I am today, so I felt a sense of responsibility," said Mallya. "This will be my gift to the government of India." The auction went ahead despite a last-minute request from the memorabilia's owner, a Los Angeles-based peace activist, to withdraw the items from sale.