New York. US collector James Otis, who had earlier auctioned Gandhiji’s spectacles, sandals, and watch, has now announced his plans to auction some Gandhian “values” that he claims have been lying unused for ages now. Otis claims to have collected these “principles, practices, and beliefs” of Gandhiji from India sometime in 1990’s through an unnamed “client”, who could ship these values out the country without raising any eyebrows.
“It was a completely legal transfer of ownership,” Otis clarified and vehemently denied allegations that the values were “smuggled” out of the country by his client.
“I have all the documents that show that the customs and emigration departments of India allowed a green route to the consignment. In fact, they couldn’t even recognize that there were Gandhian values inside,” he informs, “no one had a clue what they were!”
Otis claims that these values were lying unused and gathering dust in some part of India for decades when his client spotted them and he could acquire them after paying a “meager amount” of money. But now he hopes to make the best use of it through auctioning of those values that seem to be suddenly in demand these days.
“I hear that someone has created a ‘Gandhiji font’ back in India. Clearly, the modern India recognizes the value, worth and importance of Gandhiji like never before,” Otis said and hoped that the same liquor baron, who had bought Gandhiji’s spectacles earlier, would be willing to offer some “huge amount” again for Gandhian values in the planned auction.
Back in India, Indians were outraged to learn that someone was “selling” Gandhian values.
“Otis must give back the values and not act too greedy,” demanded Indian Culture Minister Ambika Soni, who reassured the citizens of India that the government was doing everything it could to bring back the values and put it in the National Gandhi Museum in New Delhi, where it rightfully belonged.
“Gandhian values are not any commodity,” averred Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who assured the citizens of the nation that her government would do everything possible to bring back the Gandhian values and “restore” it to the position it enjoyed when it “stealthily” left India in the 1990’s.
Main opposition party BJP feels that it might be too late to stop the auction now, but it has appealed that Otis and the person buying the “values” in the auction should be generous.
“The buyer should donate the values to the museum while Mr. Otis should donate the money received for construction of a grand temple at Aydohya, so that the Ram-Rajya, as desired by Gandhiji, could be established in the country,” a party spokesperson said.
Some celebrities were also outraged and tweeting vigorously when reports last came in.