Thursday, March 5, 2009

We want it bad, but not that bad.

The NY Times has reported that India’s government rejected a proposal by the owner of Mohandas K. Gandhi’s eyeglasses and other former belongings that would have halted an auction of the items.

On Wednesday, the owner, James Otis, a Los Angeles peace activist, offered to donate the items to India if the government agreed to sharply increase spending on the poor or create an international traveling exhibition about Gandhi that would include the items scheduled for auction — among them Gandhi’s trademark steel-rimmed spectacles, a Zenith pocket watch, a pair of sandals and an eating bowl and plate.

Those demands were rejected.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked India’s embassy in the United States to do everything possible to secure the items, and the country’s culture minister, Ambika Soni, even vowed to “enter the auction if required as a last resort.”

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