Remembering the Mahatma, in all the wrong ways…

Companies across the world often try to do some good for the community in which they operate – it’s called Corporate Social Responsibility in business jargon, but sometimes the action of the company jars so much with the intentions of the community or charity that it leaves me open-mouthed in astonishment.

Take the 140th anniversary of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi as an example. German pen maker Montblanc has produced a special limited-edition anniversary pen in his honour. The pen retails at $25,000 and a proportion of that money will go to the Gandhi Foundation. In a clumsy reference to the famous Salt Tax protest march, just 241 pens will be sold – referring to the 241 miles of the march.

Gandhi led a simple life, focusing himself on creating work and prosperity for India as well as peace and understanding between the various religious groups in his country. He promoted Indian products, but even then he focused on craft and the retention of the traditional skills that were being lost through urban modernisation.

What would he think of a pen, made in Europe, and priced so high that an Indian worker on an average salary would take around 26 years of labour to buy it?

Personally, I think he would be horrified. I’m a European and I think it’s in poor taste. It looks like a beautiful pen, but it remains just-a-pen. Some might argue that it raises money for charity and therefore it must be ‘a good thing’ – probably the same people who argue that rock concerts full of has-beens and nobodies are ‘a good thing’ so long as they are staged for the benefit of charideeee.


One response to “Remembering the Mahatma, in all the wrong ways…

  1. Unilateral social independence  leadership (without any thoght on the management and economic development methodologis after independence)of Gandhi in India, resulted only in an economic chaos.  It handed over the nation into  the  hands  of unsocial elements and un-economic rulers to waste and dwindle the unaccountable wealth and talents in India. In the past 62 years after independence, one full generation of people has been turned over.  Now India is ruled by people who do not even have any least feeling of the efforts, agony and selfless power put in by Gandhi and his fellow men. Rather they misuse the name of Gandhi to mislead the people and keep them continually in power. The Gandhian social freedom is enjoyed as a “free economic gift” by the current people in power and as a “free wealthy bonanza” by the future population of India. What is the avenue to break this trend and get into a real economic  prosperity  ???   See at

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