‘I am just a (luxury) pen in the left arm of Doshi’

gandhi

On the eve of Gandhi Jayanti, the luxury pen maker Mont Blanc has announced a “limited-series” pen on the Father of the Nation to commemorate the 1930 Dandi March.

The cost: Rs 14 lakh, yes, Rs 1,400,000.

Exactly 241 pieces of the pen will be available worldwide to mark the 241-mile march.

Each pen will come with a gold wire entwined by hand around the middle, which “evokes the roughly wound yarn on the charkha with which Gandhi spun everyday.” And the nib of each pen, which will have an inscripition of Gandhi holding his lathi, will be made of hand-crafted rhodium plated 18-carat gold.

There is also the ‘Mahatma Gandhi Limited Edition 3000’ pen. Three thousand pieces each of the fountain and roller ball point will be available worldwide.

Its cost: Rs 1.7 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh respectively.

***

The “limited edition” pens celebrating a man of the masses has the approval of the Mahatma’s maverick great-grandson Tushar Gandhi (in picture). And there’s a parochial link to the project. The head of Mont Blanc’s Indian operations is the former Indian left-arm spinner,Dilip Doshi, born, like the Mahatma, in Vibrant Gujarat.

Still, there are some obvious questions to be asked of this monetisation of the Mahatma’s image. And reader Sujatha Vijayaraghavan, in a letter to the editor of The Hindu, asks one of them:

“Is it not ironical to remember one who lived like the poorest of the poor by issuing a pen that only the richest of the rich can buy?

“If Mont Blanc wants to pay homage to the Mahatma, it should contribute the sale proceeds towards providing roads, drinking water, electricity, sanitation and schools to 241 villages in India. And if the company wants to spread the message of Gandhiji, it should bring out an inexpensive, unlimited edition of pens with his face and message and offer it free to every child the world over.”

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14 Responses to “‘I am just a (luxury) pen in the left arm of Doshi’”

  1. Mahesh Vijapurkar Says:

    Everything that helps Gandhi’s ideas, purpose and ways to spread should be done, not propagate Gandhi the man, however great he was.

  2. Rajesh R Says:

    Sujatha Vijayaraghavan is absolutely right… its senseless to bring out such a costly pen….

  3. Aditya Says:

    14 lakhs!!! Too much.. I wonder if any gandhian ever used a pen which cost more than 14Rs atleast.. :)

  4. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    If you really want to commemorate Gandhi by buying a pen, you got to get

    Ratnam Pens

    http://www.thehindu.com/2008/05/09/stories/2008050954160600.htm

    http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=83118

    Or other fountain pens by Brahmam or Guider(Guider, if you prefer to have a sampurn swadeshi pen with nibs crafted by them instead of imported ones from China used in Ratnam and Brahmam).

  5. chanakya Says:

    Poor u Mahatma…you had set example by living a simple life…hope your soul will not cry over these opportunists, who make money in your name.
    Since Nathuram Godse shot you dead, we have been killing you time and now, this is one more example. Please forgive us for what we are doing intentionally…

  6. Simple Says:

    Ironical that Mahatma Gandhi is becoming a symbol of the richest of the rich when in reality, he stood for the poorest of the poor.

    But then, strange are the ways of the world.

    And who are we to judge it?

  7. 25BAR Says:

    Ironic? No. We live in a commercial world. It ain’t surprising. And the maverick’ll get his share of the pie.

  8. Karthik Says:

    So called socially inclined businessmen just need an iota of a reason to draw their business mileage in the pretext of commemoration !
    They make sure that the business logic works out for them when projecting the product with a huge tag value in the name of Gandhiji !

    Little do they know of the event being commemorated, let alone the aesthic Gandhian principles.

  9. Alok Says:

    Gandhi’s dead, Long Live the Mahatma.

    It is always easier to be self-righteous when commenting on others’ wealth than to take a harsh look at one’s own.

    It is quite hypocritical of anyone in this nation that has forgotten Gandhi to try and raise their hackles over an attempt to profit from the memory of the man.

    The truth is, we DON’T want to be reminded of him because it only forces us to recognize how much he have forgotten about him.

  10. Mahesh Vijapurkar Says:

    Where does one get a Ratnam or a Brahmam pen? And how modest is its price, not in relation to Mont Blanc but in absoulte terms? In fact, getting a pen with a nib – fountain pens – is so tough. The stationer looked at me the other day in Mumbai as if I had landed from the Mars!

  11. mysore peshva Says:

    all things being unequal, why is there is no dearth of folks offering advice… baayi thegedare upadesha!

  12. mysore peshva Says:

    at first sight, i confused mr. tushar gandhi for mr. vijay mallya.

    i guess that’s not a good sign either!

    (are they separated at birth, or what??)

  13. babuds Says:

    Our leaders squirm at the idea of Gandhi and his ideals. Come October 2nd, he is a source of embarrassment for them. At best they feel he is a necessary evil.

    We either as people or as a nation simply do not deserve him.

  14. karthik Says:

    @ mysore peshva-
    I second your opinion on first seeing Mr.Tushar Gandhi’s pic !!

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