Feeds

Montblanc punts £14k Mahatma Gandhi pen

Coming soon: the Mother Teresa diamond pencil sharpener

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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." ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?