Giriraj writes to Prez again to return Padma Shri

Kanpur: Upset over his unsuccessful attempt to stop the auction of Mahatma Gandhi`s belongings in London last month, noted Gandhian writer and Padma Shri awardee Giriraj Kishore has written another letter to President Pratibha Patil to return the honour.

"Nobody can give the assurance that an auction of belongings of as great a personality as Gandhi will not happen again. That`s why I have written to the President today seeking an appointment to return the honour," he told PTI. He would return the award conferred in 2007 as "Gandhi`s blood went under the hammer" in a foreign and Kishore`s "Gandhian sentiments were hurt." It was a good thing that an Indian, former minister Kamal Morarka, had bought the memorabilia at the auction and "the government should collect these priceless articles from him and keep it in the national museum."

Before the auction, Kishore had threatened to give back the Padma Shri if the memorabilia — which included blades of grass and soil pigmented with blood of Mahatma Gandhi, retrieved from where he was assassinated — were auctioned. He had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on April 5 urging the government to intervene and had subsequently written letters to the President over the issue.