Über Desi

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Mallya buys Gandhi’s langot for $10 million

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NEW YORK: After a high drama, Mahatma Gandhi’s personal items, including the iconic langot, finally went under the hammer and were bought for $10 million by Indian businessman Vijay Mallya. The prized memorabilia of the Father of Nation is expected to return to the country soon as the auctioneers will handover the articles to Mallya within two weeks.

Gandhi’s langot is object of national pride
img via

Mallya planned to donate them to his country. “I am sure all Indians will be pleased that these Gandhi items will be coming home. This is the langot Bapu wore on his Dandi March. In fact, it’s so authentic it has not even been washed since.”

After deciding not to sell the precious langot earlier, owner Dick Johnson decided to sell it after getting the Indian government to promise that they will work on eradicating world hunger and poverty and also resolve the Kashmir issue with Pakistan and reduce corruption in government.

Mallya was extremely happy on his achievement. “This is an object of immense national pride and joy. We are also looking to buy Gandhiji’s lota to add to our collection.”

‘Force India F1′ is now official.

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Vijay Mallya donning the logo for Force India.

The Force India F1 logo.
Image from Autoblog.

If you did not catch the F1 finale in Brazil, you missed one of the best races in decades. The three way tie saw, the underdog and least expected driver, Kimi pulling off an upset that the British fans and press and fans will be talking about for the next few years.

In related Desi news, we wrote earlier that Vijay Mallya had applied for the Spyker F1 team to be renamed Force India F1 and the FIA, the official governing body of motor sports around the world has approved the name. Home of Sport also points out that Mallya has been donning the logo for the past couple of races. The domain name is now owned by Kingfisher Airlines.

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Mallya to name Spyker – ‘Pride of India’?

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Rumors in the pit lane suggest that the Spyker team could be named ‘Pride of India’ for 2008. It sounds like a yacht than a F1 team in my opinion. Mallya is also rumored to be evaluating the use of Epic Aircraft, one of his recent purchases in an engineering and sponsorship capacity.

“It’s not a sympathy contest” says Vijay Mallya.

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Mallya with his new purchase

Dr. Mallya with his new purchase.
Image from Spyker F1.

With the sale of the Spyker team officially completed, Dr. Vijay Mallya along with Michiel Mol the new team owners were on hand at the Chinese GP. Speaking to Formula1.com, Dr. Mallya answered the most important question, the choice of drivers for 2008 and the rumors about Ralf Schumacher and Narain Karthikeyan.

I know Ralf well from my role as a sponsor of the Toyota team and I personally hold him in high regard. But a driver line-up is not something that should be decided by the heart but by the brain. I want drivers that can raise the standards in the team. I always get asked if we will have an Indian driver and my response is – if I can find one who is ready, yes. But only under the parameters just said. Drivers are a crucial part of the team so the driver line-up is a serious matter and not a sympathy contest.

Would I see an Indian team with an Indian driver or would I see a successful Indian team? I would pick the latter. Besides, as a money making machine, teams with drivers from the same country are not as attractive, well unless you happen to be McLaren with a driver capable of winning the championship.

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