E-Auction of Prime Minister's Gifts

four brown gift boxes on white surface

Ever thought of giving away gifts, (not the ones you don’t’ like or not the ones that you keep on passing during festive times) but your most priced possessions. Well sometimes a sudden wave of generosity, runs through your heart and you end up giving away things in exchange for a price and some moral values. If gifts of a usual salary class person command little value, possessions of a business tycoon may command more value and how valuable would be the possessions of a prime minister?
E- auctions are nothing new to the world, but the e-auction of the birthday gifts of Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi is definitely something a lot of art collectors, enthusiasts and dedicated fans look forward to.

The Exhibition cum Auction
The exhibition cum e-auction of the gifts presented to Prime Minister Narender Modi during the last 6 months was inaugurated on September 14, 2019, by Prahlad Singh Patel (Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism) at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi (NGMA). The mementoes are at the display for the general public from 11 am in the morning till 8 pm in the evening and are said to be changed every week.
 This auction is different from the auction which was held in January (January 27-February 27) where over 1,800 gifts received by the prime minister were sold in a fortnight-long exercise and around 4,000 bidders participated in the sense that this time the whole process is online because of which a larger audience is targeted.  It is stated that the prices of the gifts have been decided upon by a team of experts, the lowest base price being Rs 200 and the highest being Rs 2.5 lakh. The highest base price of Rs. 2.5 lakh was on a portrait of Modi done on silk which was gifted by a couturier and the owner of Seematti textiles Beena Kannan. 

The intention
 On the occasion of the 69TH birthday of the prime minister, the union minister came up with the idea of an e-auction of his birthday gifts. It is stated that all that the funds generated from this auction will be used for the Namami Gange project, a central government project dedicated to the conservation and preservation of river Ganga. Appreciating the initiative taken by the Union minister the prime minister encouraged more and more people to actively participate through his twitter account.
 This is not the first time that the Prime Minister has used his private property to generate funds for public interests. He used to follow such similar practices even when he was the Chief Minister of Gujrat. The auction will continue till 3rd of the October on the online portal www.pmmementos.gov.in.

Swords, shawls, pagris and more

The gifts on auction include portraits of Mr Modi, artworks, turbans, shawls, swords, figurines of cows and religious idols and make up a total number of more than 2772 objects. Amongst the 1st bidders at the auction was Union Minister Prahlad Patel (Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism) who bought a wooden bullock cart replica of base price Rs. 1,000 for Rs. 2,100. From then, till now many objects have been sold which include shawls, photo frames, statues, etc. 

Image result for silver Kalash with coconut on top pm e auction
Image source - indianexpress.com

Some of them have been sold over 50,00,000; for example, a silver Kalash with a coconut on top encased in an acrylic box, received from Shri Vijay Rupani (C.M. Gujrat) was sold out for Rs. 1,00,00,300 on 16th September. Other popular items, presently on auction on the website include swords, mace, elephant statue, figurines of idols, etc. 
The culture minister said that the value of these mementoes cannot be measured in monetary terms, but that the emotional and sentimental values attached to the gifts are high and immeasurable. To this he added that the Government of India will be sending letters to the top 20 highest bidders, complimenting them for their contribution towards the Namami Gange project and as a token of gratitude.  

The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.” — Lao Tzu
Such noble actions of the government are an embodiment of Lao’s words and a reassurance for the general public that they have chosen a leader who truly represents them.

- Written by Mehul Choudhary

- Edited by Maitreyi Mehndiratta

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E-Auction of Prime Minister's Gifts E-Auction of Prime Minister's Gifts Reviewed by EMN on September 18, 2019 Rating: 5

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