Feeds

Montblanc punts £14k Mahatma Gandhi pen

Coming soon: the Mother Teresa diamond pencil sharpener

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Luxury pen maker Montblanc has caused a bit of a stir in India by releasing a commemorative Mahatma Gandhi fountain pen priced at a modest £14,400.

The luxury writing implement celebrates the independence leader's "ideas of radical egalitarianism and simple living" with an 18-carat solid gold, rhodium-plated nib and "a saffron-coloured mandarin garnet" on the clip.

Dilip R Doshi, Montblanc’s distributor in India, told the Financial Times: “We are creating a thing of simplicity and beauty that will last for centuries.”

Unsurprisingly, Amit Modi, secretary of the 102-year-old Sabarmati Ashram founded by Gandhi, suggested that if Mahatma had been presented with with this writing honour "he would have thrown it away". He added: "I cannot imagine why anybody has done this. We cannot recognise this.”

Suhel Seth, a brand expert at Delhi marketing outfit Counselage, agreed. He told the FT: “Look at the illogical marketing. Montblanc is an elite product, a luxury product. Gandhi stood for everything that was non-elitist. Here is a pen that uses the idiom of a man who believed in third-class travel to promote a first-world product to luxurious desk tops."

He warned: “I think it’s such a misread of the Indian psyche. When you tinker around with that symbol of credibility, respect and honour, you risk a backlash that no brand needs or deserves.”

To add to the controversy, it's been revealed that Montblanc paid Gandhi's great-grandson Tushar a cool £91,500 to fund the building of a shelter for rescued child labourers.

He defended: “I know there is a contradiction between the man they are commemorating and the product they are commemorating him with, but you can’t expect a company like Montblanc to come out with a cheap thing." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.