Filed under: Writing Instruments
Recently Montblanc unveiled their latest pen in Mumbai. One of Mohandas Gandhi's great-grandsons (Tushar Gandhi shown above) was in attendance as the golden pen was unveiled in time for the 140th anniversary of the birth of the Mahatma . The beautiful pen has angered some who say that a luxury good from a foreign company does not honor Gandhi's legacy and don't see the connection between their beloved icon and a bauble for the rich.
The pen is available in two editions. The Mahatma Gandhi Limited Edition 241 is an 18K gold pen that depicts Gandhi setting off on the salt march of July 1930 and is priced at 17,000 euros (around $24,000). Another addition is available in fountain and rollerball versions for around $3000-$3500. Only 241 commemorative gold fountain pens will be sold, the number refers to how many miles he walked during the "salt march," a protest against salt taxes levied by the British. The pens are decorated with Gandhi's signature and a saffron-colored opal. The pen also comes with a 26-foot golden thread which can be wound around the pen and is meant to recall the spindle that Gandhi used to weave simple cotton cloth. The pen comes in a luxury box with a booklet of Gandhi quotes.
The good news is that Montblanc is donating some money to Indian causes. Montblanc chief executive Lutz Bethge gave a check for 100,000 euros to Tushar Gandhi, for a foundation that works to improve child nutrition and education. The foundation also gets more money (approximately $200-$1,000) for each pen sold. Tushar Ghandhi made news earlier this year when he protested Antiquorum's auction of Mahatma Gandhi's glasses, sandals and pocket watch. He has also asked Britain to return the Koh-i-noor diamond to India.
UPDATE: According to the Gulf Times, Dijo Kapen, from the Centre of Consumer Education in Kerala's Kottayam district has filed a petition in state high court challenging Montblanc's right to market the pens.