Gandhi’s Personal Belongings Auctioned in England

July 18, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. regime 
[ruh-ZHEEM, rey-, -JEEM] (n.) – the government ruling a specific area
Example: The country’s economy has developed under the new democratic regime.

2. auction [AWK-shuh n] (n.) – the selling of things to people who compete to offer the highest buying price
Example: The highest bidder bought the antique porcelain at the auction.

3. apparently [uh-PAR-uh nt-lee, uh-PAIR-] (adv.) – seemingly true based on what is known
Example: Evidence show that the president’s untimely death is apparently planned.

4. nonviolent [non-VAHY-uh-luh nt] (adj.) – with no violence or cruelty involved
Example: The nonviolent protests united the government and its citizens.

5. will [wil] (n.) – a legal paper stating the inheritor of one’s properties
Example: The tycoon’s will says half of his properties shall go to charity upon his death.


Read the text below.
An auction house in England has put on sale some of Mahatma Gandhi’s personal belongings last May.

Mahatma Gandhi is famous for leading the Indian independence movement against the British regime without using violence.  For his advocacy, Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for five times. Gandhi died in 1948 when an activist shot him three times in the chest.

The auction featured a microscope slide bearing a small amount of Gandhi’s blood. Gandhi donated the blood sample after his appendix operation in 1924. Also, the organizers auctioned a pair of Gandhi’s leather sandals, which he apparently wore during his nonviolent protests.

Aside from the blood sample and the sandals, the organizers auctioned a linen shawl as well. The shawl was said to be woven by Gandhi himself. The auction also presented Gandhi’s two-page will. Other featured objects belonging to Gandhi included paintings, photos, recordings, personal documents, and other household items.

Organizers of the auction expected to sell Gandhi’s blood sample for £10,000 to £15,000. They are also hoping to earn £30,000 to £40,000 upon selling the two-page will with Gandhi’s signature.

However, the organizers failed to meet the expected price for Gandhi’s blood. According to one organizer, no one was able to purchase the microscope slide because the auction participants did not bid high enough. On the other hand, the pair of sandals that Gandhi used to wear was sold at a very high amount. The whole auction, nonetheless, successfully earned more than £278,000.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think no one offered a high price for Gandhi’s blood sample?
·         Do you think selling a famous person’s belongings is appropriate? Why is that so?

Discussion B

·         Would you want other people to sell your belongings when you die? Please explain your answer.
·         Why do you think some people like to buy some of the famous public figures’ belongings?


July 18, 2013