It isn’t just Gandhi memorabilia that is being auctioned off abroad. Vijay Mallya has been busily acquiring objects related to Tipu Sultan, including a silver-mounted flintlock gun and a rare three-pounder bronze cannon from Tipu’s armoury, and a wooden five-claw tiger’s paw, originally covered in gold, that held up Tipu’s throne. Most famously, Mallya acquired a 42-inch sword for Rs 1.5 crore at an auction in London in 2004, but was later chided by the customs authorities for importing, then re-transferring the 205-year-old sword, which he brought to India, then sent to a San Francisco museum for display in 2007, without their permission. Miffed, Mallya has declared he will keep the treasures abroad until the customs duties are dropped. Till then the rooms in Tipu’s palace in Srirangapatnam near Mysore, where these objects were to be displayed, lie sadly empty.