A range of Mahatma Gandhi memorabilia is going under hammer, including two microscopic slides bearing the blood samples of the Indian freedom fighter.
The blood sample which will be auctioned by Mullock's auctioneers in London on Tuesday is expected to fetch around £10,000 to £15,000 (₹8.4 lakh -₹12.6 lakh). The sample is said to be taken in 1924, when Gandhi was recuperating following an appendectonomy.
Richard Westwood-Brookes, a historical documents expert at Mullock's auctioneers, said the slides will be of great importance to Gandhi devotees. "It has the same status as a sacred relic to a Christian," he told Reuters.
But not everyone seems to be happy over the action. In a series of comments on Twitter and various online websites, many have alleged it to be a cheap way of making easy money.
Responding to the report of the auction, a reader Manish said on Hindustan Times "...these things, should be kept in display so more people can have a look at it..."
Another reader Vinit Pratap Singh said, "Shame on London Government...very cheap decision".
A reader who calls himself as spicierboar posted on the same website, "clone it. raise the dead. let him haunt and go after the congress."
In a CNN report regarding the auction, a reader Thomas Jackewicz commented, "Gandhi worked to help the poor and mistreated in his native country. Lets hope that any money raised will be used to continue his work, to sell them for profit is totally unethical."
A reader identifying himself as Zafar said, "Its a sad state of British... they have gone so cheap and bankrupt that they are now betting on blood of Gandhiji to make some easy money.."
Twitter also erupted with sharp comments on the auction. Here are some of the tweets:
@karrauday: "mahatma gandhi's blood sample on auction in London. What next. his sperm? # weird."
Knotty Namrata :P@ candinam," Mahatma Gandhi's blood sample up for auction..Do something nobel, clone Gandhi!!"
Swapna Raghu Sanand@Svara: "Ugh, who's so bloodthirsty to want to own it?
Along with the blood samples, the former leader's sandals, shawls and bed linen are put up for auction. One of the most sought after item in the auction will be Gandhi's last will and testament. The two-page handwritten will on folio paper, priced between £30,000 pounds and £40,000 (₹25.2 lakh-₹33.6 lakh) is said to be a 'highly important document'.
The massive auction follows the one held by the same auctioneers on 14 February, which fetched a record price of £115,000 (₹96.7 lakh). It was originally estimated to be £10,000 (₹8.4 lakh).