Gandhi for Sale

James Otis, a Los Angeles-based film maker and alleged follower of the famously ascetic Gandhi, put the Indian leader's glasses, sandals, and pocketwatch up for auction today, despite the Indian government's attempt to block the sale, The Times of London reports. Gandhi's possessions went on the block in New York with an estimated reserve price of $20,000 to $30,000, although the items fetched much more: $1.8 million. Otis, who is working on a four-hour Gandhi documentary with Martin Sheen and Gandhi historian Lester Kurtz, was reportedly flying to New York to meet with Indian diplomats, but the auction went ahead anyway. Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, the country's seventh-richest man, was reported to be the winning bidder; he says he plans to return the items to his homeland.