Mumbai| A loin cloth woven and worn for years by the hero of the indian struggle for independance, Mohandas Gandhi, was sold for an astonishing 5.125 billion rupees (approximateley 85 million american dollars) yesterday, in a public auction in India. In spite of all the efforts from the Indian government and many of the country’s biggest personnal fortunes to keep this historical treasure in India, the item was finally sold to a chinese collector who desires to remain anonymous.
The cloth had remained a possesion of the heirs of the Mahatma ever since the assassination of the great political leader, and it is his great-grandson Halilal Gandhi, grandson of his youngest son Ramdas, who orchestrated the sale despite the numerous protest coming from all over India.
A vast fundraising campaign had been organized throughout India over the last five weeks to try and buy the cloth for an indian museum. The campaign brought in the incredible amount of 2.1 billion rupees in private donations, but the amount proved far from sufficient to win the auction.
“It is a very sad day for India” commented the Indian minister of Culture, Chandresh Kumari. “Once again, our country has proven incapable of protecting its greatest national treasures. It is yet another piece of our national history that is taken away from us and that our future generations will not be able to see and fully appreciate. I have to admit that I am ashamed of the fact that we could not save it.”