Drunks Garland Gandhi With Birthday Whiskey
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Abusive vandalism or just incompetent gift-giving? A statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Shimla, India was garlanded last night with whisky bottles in a boozy departure from the more traditional flowers, leaving locals "shocked." The incident occurred on Gandhi's birthday, October 2, which is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and world-wide as the International Day of Non-Violence. Although the "miscreants" accountable are as yet unidentified, cops believe "some drunk men" are most likely to blame, and the "shameful" incident has "outraged the religious feelings of citizens." It's the first time that bottles of alcohol have been left on the statue, which is usually guarded by night watchmen. "I was informed that a cop was deployed by the statue on night duty, but he was missing," says the deputy commissioner. "It might have taken miscreants 10-15 minutes to tie the bottles with statue." The incident has been called "abuse," but the bottles may have been the drunks' idea of a birthday gift, and a way to thank Gandhi for leading India to independence. If so, the gesture was ill-informed; in his lifetime, the spiritual leader made a vow under Hindu precepts of abstinence to avoid alcohol, as well as meat and promiscuity.