A lanky figure with a pair of glasses, a bald head, dhoti wrapped around his waist and a walking stick as firm as his clear intentions; this is adequate to let one articulate of whom we are speaking about. Yes the history maker, Mahatma Gandhi is in the headlines again for his adherence to the principles of truth and non-violence.
To celebrate Gandhi’s sesquicentennial birthday, a committee greets dignitaries across the globe. Leaders assembled to discuss how India should commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi both nationwide and internationally. This includes the former UN secretaries-general Kofi Annan and Ban-Ki-Moon and ex-US vice-president Al Gore.
Heading the committee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi added 11 foreign dignitaries including 150 Indians to this national committee which was set up last month.
The UN General Assembly had in 2007 declared Gandhi’s birth anniversary as the International Day of Non-Violence. The government has prompted such a measure taking care of Gandhi’s international prominence.
From South Africa, where Mahatma Gandhi spent his early years comes the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the African to hold the position of Bishop of Johannesburg and Archbishop of Cape Town and fought a long battle against apartheid.
The committee also embraces the Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and the Goan origin Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa also recognized as ‘Lisbon’s Gandhi.’
Apart from Gore, the first Hindu member of the US Congress, Tulsi Gabbard and the long-time US peace activist Bernie Meyer also known as ‘The American Gandhi’ has also been included in the committee. Meyer who is known for wearing a dhoti, carries a walking stick to emulate Gandhi during his tours of the US, UK and Canada.
To propagate Mahatma’s message, October witnessed a 150-member national committee set up under Modi’s chairmanship, to decide on how Gandhi’s 150th anniversary should be celebrated.
The Committee included the chief ministers of all states, representatives from across the political spectrum, Gandhians, thinkers and eminent persons from all walks of life.
Nominated multiple times for Nobel Peace Prize including his assassinated year of 1948, Gandhi never received the award but the Nobel committee opted not to bestow him with the award posthumously. Instead, the committee announced there was “no suitable living candidate” that year and no winner was named.
The 14th Dalai Lama, called his award a tribute to “my mentor, Mahatma Gandhi.” In 2006, the Nobel committee publicly expressed regret that Gandhi had never been given the prize.
The convex features in his face clearly stand out with a clear understanding of what needs to get attained in his life. Banishing untouchability, Gandhi got his start as an activist in South Africa. His travel to South Africa in 1893 encountered frequent discrimination and those mistreat prompted him to begin campaigning for the civil rights of Indians in South Africa and eventually developed the concept of Satyagraha in his home nation.
At his behest, the countrymen were ready to embrace the deathbed for freedom struggle and the multiple imprisonments turned him into a transformative figure.
Gandhi sesquicentennial committee greets global dignitaries to commemorate the birth anniversary of this world-renowned personality.