AmbassadorsSpeech on the Occasion of Gandhi Jayanti
Today we commemoratethe birth anniversary of Gandhiji. When he reached the shores of Mumbaion 6 January 1915, few had heard of him. He travelled the length andbreadth of India for the next fifteen years. When he lifted a lump ofsalt at the seashore near Dandi on 6th April 1930, all Indians joined him inproclaiming that India was free. The colonial power did everything itcould possibly attempt in an effort to break Gandhiji’s resolve. He facedprolonged periods of arrest and resisted efforts to divide the people onsocio-religious grounds. Force and coercion were countered with peace andnon-violence. Gandhiji achieved the unthinkable and led us tofreedom. We are his children and it is our task to keep his ideals alivefor future generations.
When great leaderspass, their achievements begin to fade. Gandhiji’s legacy, on the otherhand, has not only endured but has gained universal recognition. TheUnited Nations commemorates his birthday, 2 October, as the International Dayof Non-violence. He has inspired generations of leaders to fight formoral causes including Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. He willcontinue to inspire those who believe in the unity and equality ofhumankind.
Although Gandhijinever visited China, he had warm feelings for the Chinese people. In 1942he said “I look forward to the day when a free India and a free China willcooperate together in friendship and brotherhood for their own good and for thegood of Asia and the World”. Our leaders are motivated by Gandhiji’swords in the building of India-China relations. We all look forward tothe day when 2.5 billion Indians and Chinese can join hands to show the worldthat we believe in Gandhi’s view of world peace and respect for all humanbeings.