Gandhi's 'foldable charkha' sold for 110,000 pounds at UK auction

London, PTI | Updated : 06 November 2013, 08:01 AM

A spinning wheel or 'charkha' re-invented by Mahatma Gandhi during his time at Pune's Yerwada jail in 1940s was sold for a whopping 110,000 pounds at an auction in the UK today.

While there's a traditional charkha that the Mahatma is associated with, not many people know that he improvised on the spinning wheel and invented a new foldable version at the Pune jail. 

Richard Westwood-Brookes, an expert at Mullock's said the Mahatma gave the charkha to an American priest Revd Floyd A Puffer. 

Under the British Raj, cotton grown in India was shipped to the UK for making garments, which were then shipped back to India and sold at a price that the people could not afford. In order to resist the British, Gandhi encouraged Indians to use the charkha and spin and weave their own cloth.

The Mahatma's last will, which he wrote at his Sabarmati Ashram, was also sold for 20,000 pounds at the sale of historical documents and artefacts by the Mullock's Auction house in Ludlow near Birmingham, PTI said. 

Other memorabilia - 60 items in all - belonging to Mahatma Gandhi will also be sold in a few weeks from now in a major auction.

The sale of Gandhi's artifacts abroad has been an emotive issue. When James Otis, a peace activist, wanted to sell Gandhi's items in the US, there was uproar in India. 

Today's auction too had stirred a controversy with a prominent British-Indian lawyer Sarosh Zaiwalla asking for the artifacts to remain with India.

While in the past the Indian government has requested wealthy NRIs to buy such items when up for sale, no such move was planned for today's auction.

First Published: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 07:59 AM
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