Feeds

Montblanc punts £14k Mahatma Gandhi pen

Coming soon: the Mother Teresa diamond pencil sharpener

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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." ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.