Forget the question of how Gandhi’s belongings landed with a private collector and then at an auction house. The real joke was the reactions it evoked from the Indian polity earlier. They discussed and ranted and raved. All to little effect.
After much wrangling, today it emerged that Vijay Mallya, a liquor baron, had paid $1.8 million to win these items.
Am not sure if you can see the irony in this. A liquor baron wins back the personal artifacts of Gandhi “for the country”!
But I am happy for one reason. That there exists a class of people in India who have the street smarts to play the game by a different set of rules.
Not the old sentimental prattling. Not the self-defeating disgust at a culture that puts a price sticker on every relic. Not old bureaucratic forms floating around and petitions to a constitutional authority.
This is action. In the thick of the battle, a game played by the rules of the marketplace. This is the emerging India.