Was it Sarojini Naidu who was credited with saying that it cost the nation a fortune to keep Gandhiji in poverty ? (Mr Gouri Satya/Mr Krishna Vattam could correct me on this). I remembered this saying as I read in Deccan Herald about the CM, Mr H D Kumaraswamy’s night stay at Hire Mannur village in Gulbarga dist. the other day. (Nice story by Mr Anand V Yammur). The newspaper carries a photographs of the CM sleeping on the living room floor of a party worker’s residence.
In a nine-para story the reporter captures the setting in all its mundane details. The CM used a common bath and bathed in water brought from the close-by Bheema river. Had he chosen to go to the river for a bath, as most villagers usually do, our CM would have provided the media with an excellent photo opportunity. I am not making a judgment here, on whether the CM’s night at the village was a PR-hype or he was being his plain simple self. My point is that persons in high position, with such austerity gestures, cannot hope to make much difference to the cost of VIP travel, involving an entourage, bandobast and security. Ms Sarojini Naidu’s reference was to the high cost involved in arranging for Gandhji’s rail travel in III Class, and his stay at the Punchquian Road Harijan basti in New Delhi.