I was appalled on reading about the launch of the “Mahatma” pens in the price range of Rs.1.5 lakh and Rs.14 lakh. What could be a greater travesty of Gandhiji’s memory? Here is a man who stood for simplicity and austerity, and is remembered for his identification with the poorest sections. The worst feature is the gold wire, which is supposed to represent the cotton yarn Gandhiji spun as a symbol of simplicity, self-reliance and defiance. Had Mont Blanc been serious about spreading Gandhiji’s ideas, it would have introduced an unlimited edition of the Mahatma pen priced at Rs. 5 to empower the poor he identified with, encased in a khadi pouch made by village artisans.
The launch of a pen priced in lakhs in the memory of a leader who gave up his majestic western outfit costume for a single size dhoti after seeing the plight of the poorest is ironical. Is it not contradictory to celebrate his memory by releasing a pen which cannot even be seen by an ordinary citizen?