Auction issue: Kishore writes to President for returning award

Kanpur: Noted Gandhian writer and Padmashree awardee Giriraj Kishore, who was distressed over the auction of memorabilia associated with Mahatama Gandhi, today wrote to President Pratibha Patil wanting to return the award.

"Since the Indian government has not tried to stop the auction and it has already taken place in London, I don`t have any alternative but to return the Padmashree," Kishore said.

A pinch of soil and blood-stained blades of grass from the place where Gandhi was assassinated in 1948 were among the memorabilia that went under the hammer yesterday.

In the letter, he has sought a specific date on which he can meet the President for returning the honour he was awarded in 2007 for his contribution to the field of literature and education. This is the second time he is writing to Patil over the issue.

Kishore had also written to Governor B L Joshi for giving back the award recently. However, the writer was informed by his office that his request cannot be accommodated as the award is presented by the President.

He had contacted District Magistrate M P Aggarwal who too has refused saying that the return of the award does not come under the jurisdiction of his office.

To stop the auction, the Gandhian had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on April 5. He had subsequently approached the President, seeking her intervention after he did not get a response.

In his letter to Patil, Kishore had threatened to return his Padmashree if steps in this regard were not initiated immediately.

PTI

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